- After taking a solid ten years off from his production game, Detroit Beatdown maestro Norm Talley has been setting his gears back in motion since Third Ear reissued "The Journey" in 2009, with strong releases for Thema and Dockside reinstituting him as one to watch. The Travlin EP finds Talley hooking up with London's Landed Records for three slices of no-frills Detroit goodness. You're not likely to finding anything mind-blowingly innovative, but it might surprise you how much tension Talley can juice from these three simple grooves.
The epic "ION" is without question the EP's strongest track, with Talley keeping a tight grip on a Rhodes vamp that's poised to pull the leash right out of his fist. The track recalls music made during Talley's long break from production—the far more boisterous "Double Trouble" by Pied Plat, as featured on Marcel Dettmann's Berghain 02 mix, springs to mind—but with a sort of confident restraint younger producers probably couldn't pull off. Rather than set the floor on fire, "ION" gets it boiling one degree at a time. The same goes for the title track, whose saxophone melody guides us over a long, bumpy road with the panache of a driver who's seen these potholes before. "Analog Dreams" feels somewhat at odds with the EP's forward motion, with a voice asking that we grab hold of its hi-hats and rising bassline and "go back, way back." Regardless, Norm Talley's tight grooves suggest there's much still to come from this veteran.
B2 Analog Dreams