- Aside from chart-topping singles like "I Got U" and "Need U (100%)," Duke Dumont has released a series of EPs called For Club Play Only, which since 2012 have been an outlet for the London producer's less pop-oriented material. Parts 1, 2 and 3 all dealt in big house beats and meaty basslines, only tossing in vocal samples for a melodic texture or repetitious hook. The records have been largely dependable, and gave Tiga's Turbo label a solid dose of main-room fare with some bite. Now Duke Dumont, real name Adam Dyment, returns four years after the last installment with its follow-up, but this time it's a two-track EP for Defected. Half vocal-house throwback and half cosmic dance excursion, Part 4 finds the producer in his usual zone while also struggling with a new approach.
Dyment has said of this EP, "The goal is to leave a legacy of dance music that'll stand the test of time, in the same light that many of the artists I hold in high regard have done in the past." In that way, "Be Here" is a perfect fit for Defected, a mainstream label whose long history has likely influenced Dyment's output. English singer Kelli-Leigh Henry-Davila returns after lending her voice to "I Got U," and gives a nuanced and show-stealing performance over the by-the-numbers house beat. A catchy and slick horn section enlivens the arrangement somewhat, but "Be Here" is an otherwise prosaic retread of worn out dance music tropes.
"Worship" is more interesting by comparison, if only because it finds Dyment out of his element. At seven minutes, it's among the longest Duke Dumont tracks, filled with a skeletal arrangement of spacey arps, disco-sourced bass and 126 BPM kicks and claps. But what could be transportive and mesmerizing in the hands of, say, Prins Thomas, feels bloodless and rote. If Dyment hopes to leave a legacy of dance music that will stand the test of time, he'll have to write his club-focused tunes with more of the ear-catching sensibility of his radio hits.
01. Be Here