Review: Reekee – Bal Era EP (Uzuri Records)
Written by Josh Aitman on 12th December 2016
Jazz-house producer Reekee comes back at us with a killer new EP. Following on from his previously self-released EP, Meeting Point, this latest release comes via his personal imprint Wrong Notes.
Standing in the shoes of a musician rather than a producer, Reekee’s undeniable talent to create fresh sounding house productions is sending him on his way to the forefront of jazz-based house music scene. With this latest release no exception, his name should now be considered in among those the likes of Four Walls & Funkyjaws from Belarus and Australian newcomer, Harvey Sutherland.
Holding Reekee’s signature lounge-jazz sound, Bal Era is soft, appealing and soothing – all while being dancefloor ready. His feature track, also named “Bal Era”, fuses african-style drum rhythms with classic jazz piano riffs and synth outbursts throughout. Steady from start to finish, this track blends perfectly into the early warm-up DJ set – Absolutely killer from the word go.
For a producer fairly new to the scene, a pre-pressed edit from Glenn Underground surely shows the pure talent of this Italian producer…Enough so that the Chicago jazz-house king has showed his interest, appreciation and now contribution to the upcoming producer’s work. Picking the pace up, Glenn Underground transforms Reekee’s title track with an irresistibly funky baseline that’s accompanied by a punchy, light hearted, melodic processes reminiscent of something straight out of Underground’s extensive back catalogue of music. As with most of Glenn’s releases, it is the lengthiest track on the EP – going strong at just under eight minutes – repping the progressive structures that have made him the figure he is today. Testament to his mastery, Glenn Underground ends on a climax, throwing in a charismatic saxophone solo as he experiments with the compression of his baseline, moving it through acidic states and back to soft, warm and grooving sounds.
On the B-side, Reekee works himself into an emotional frenzy, producing a beautifully sad sounding number. Comprising of a minor-focused chordal top with deep undersides, “Black Tobacco” could fit the heartthrob moment of any film with its deep meaningful grooves. Scuttling synth rhythms ornament throughout but reign themselves in when necessary, allowing each instrument to take its turn in spotlight – a true testament to the Italian producer’s talent so early on into his career.
To round off this stunning EP, Reekee once again experiments with jazz dissonance on top while creating interesting Bonoboesque drum patterns below. While this isn’t his strongest track on the EP, the uneasy fusion of chords transports listeners to uncertain musical corners, displaying a style not too dissimilar to that of Byron The Aquarious as Reekee pushes the parameters of contemporary jazz.
Once again another killer EP from Reekee to build on his stunning previous release. Uzuri are no doubt chuffed with their latest singing as he stamps his jazz-inspired sounds onto the renowned label. Dropping on December 12th, we recommend you act fast on this one as there’s little chance it will be around for long.
Two killer producers, one killer label and a quality record to tie them all together.
Grab your copy HERE.