- In its matter-of-fact descriptions and mythology-free concept, Scott Grooves' latest EP seems somewhere between a business card and an instruction manual. Parts Manager 2 is part of a series that aims to unpack Grooves' repertoire. "There's a thousand different ways you could do a drum pattern—you don't have to do the same thing all the time," is how he introduces "Mono Waltz (3/4 Part)," a prancing skiff of shakers and woodblock percussion that skips a beat without skipping a beat. Grooves also sounded at ease on last year's Parts Manager (First Four), but I left that record feeling like he had more to give.
Parts Manager 2 takes the baton smoothly from its predecessor, finding more room to explore in each track. Rich string stabs, light piano, double bass and saxophone mingle elegantly on "Gravitas (Smooth Part)," which, despites its spacious mixdown and soulful melodies, feels both heartfelt and a little aloof. Grooves invites you closer on "Bittersweet (Stripped Part)," a beatless funk weepie performed in one take on a Rhodes-y Yamaha S90, with Ian Finkelstein on bass.
Grooves' gentle emotional pleas surface regularly. Each one is convincing, but "? (Consistent Part)" might be the most persuasive, perhaps because you don't see it coming. It begins with MK-style organ stabs, regal strings and an itchy bass pattern—the sort of generously proportioned Detroit house record you'd expect of Alton Miller. But just when you think the track's going to plateau, Grooves switches the drum pattern and out comes a keyboard harmony of plaintive depth.
A1 Gravitas (Smooth Part)
A2 Mono Waltz (3/4 Part)
A3 Bittersweet (Stripped Part)
B1 Dened (Hybrid Part)
B2 ? (Consistent Part)