- Harvey Sutherland is a classic man. Since 2013, the Melbourne producer born Mike Katz has refined his smooth, well-mannered house into a kind of low-key funk. You'll recognize one of his records from its warm Rhodes chords, light-footed disco rhythms, soulful synth leads and limber basslines, all of which at least sound like they were performed and recorded live in the studio. It's likely they were, too—Katz was at one point a session player, and his intuitive musicianship shines through every song he's written. "Bermuda" and "New Paradise," the two tracks on his first EP for Danilo Plessow's MCDE label, credit one Tamil Rogeon for his string arrangements. It's an important detail on a 12-inch that recreates a time when subtle details were of the utmost importance.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Bermuda is how full and vibrant it all sounds, but it's also worth noting how Sutherland treats the vintage style without so much as a knowing wink. For him, there's nothing remotely insincere about a pitch-perfect homage to jazzy disco-funk, and that energy pulses through each silky groove. "Bermuda" is the uptempo high-stepper, complete with a fat bass synth and hard-smacking claps, while "New Paradise" fills out the B-side with deep, bubbly soul. They both seem to aim for the more restrained side of late '70s/early '80s T.K. Disco fare, and yet Katz's ear for interwoven harmonies and natural performances lift them high above simple pastiche. Bermuda is a densely melodic and unabashedly joyous record, the kind that sneaks up on a crowd and puts them in a frenzy before they realize why they're moving.
B1 New Paradise