Mark Seven's catalogue spans nearly two decades, but some of his best music has come in the last 18 months. Last year he released a 12-inch, The Fatal Flaw In Disco, whose A-side paid tribute to a type of house music championed by artists like Masters At Work, Lil' Louis and Cajmere. E-Versions #7, also out last year, channeled another house legend, Tony Humphries—the two mixes of "Dial Theory" were emulations of a Kiss mix where Humphries cut between two copies of audio from a phone call. The Promised Land, also released on Ari Goldman's World Building, comes with an insert that gives thanks to several dance music greats. Seven's reverence for house's legacy produces strong results here, too, though the EP is less consistent.
"I need my people to hear this," begins "The Promised Land: Chapter II: Enter This House," the first of three tracks built around punchy drums and evangelical chat. It's a good track with lots going for it, but the interplay between the chords and organs fails to create the magic spark of, say, "The Fatal Flaw In Disco (U-4-Ria)." Of "The Promised Land"'s three versions, "Chapter IV: 40 Years" is the strongest. The mood is pensive at first, but Seven's Burrell Brothers-style keyboards add a gorgeous shimmer.
The other two tracks are more understated, a mode in which The Promised Land falters. Only small details, like "The Promised Land: Chapter VII: Salvation"'s offbeat horns and "Helping Hand"'s vocal and kazoo combination, manage to stand out. But when its energy matches Seven's devotion to '90s house, The Promised Land is more likely to sway you.
TracklistA1 The Promised Land: Chapter II: Enter This House
A2 The Promised Land: Chapter IV: 40 Years
B1 The Promised Land: Chapter VII: Salvation
B2 Helping Hand