Norm Talley - Norm-A-Lize

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  • Detroit Hustle is a dance, a book and an idea central to the city's resurgence, but many of the Motor City's leading dance producers work at their own pace. Marcellus Pittman and Andrés have been hinting at new albums for years, and Kyle Hall has released two tracks since 2015. Of his own music, Norm Talley told 5 Magazine: "I don't put out a lot of records just so I can say that I have a record out. When you're releasing records just to have something out, you're shooting yourself in the foot." Talley had worked on his latest album, Norm-A-Lize, for at least three years, and the 14-track LP is the culmination of this slow and steady approach. In recent years, Talley has linked up with another Detroit lynchpin, Omar-S. He mixed The Best's disco-house-flavoured Detroit history lesson, "Seen Was Set," and Norm-A-Lize comes via Alex O. Smith's label, FXHE. Though most of Talley's recent output has cast its gaze towards Europe—he's merged his signature beatdown sound with Club De Visionaire-friendly minimal burners like "Analog XTC" and the Ricardo Villalobos-caned "Cosmic Wave"—Norm-A-Lize brings it back to the D from the jump. "Get It Right"'s exuberant disco sample continues "Seen Was Set"'s nostalgic trip. The Detroit vocalist L'Renee lends her voice to the excellent "Alright," and the nosediving bassline on "Get It Right" could have come from Omar-S himself. Talley's dance music pedigree stretches back to 1982, and Norm-A-Lize traces his personal history through Detroit's various musical eras. Tracks like "The Rise" and "Get It Right" encompass Robert Hood's original minimal vision, while "No Need 2 B" works the jazz cool and string samples of seminal Kenny Dixon Jr. and Theo Parrish tracks into a more uptempo context. (The last time I saw Talley DJ, he pitched up Dixon Jr.'s "No," reimagining the late-night house track as pulsing techno.) Norm-A-Lize's best cuts look back to the disco and soul vinyl lurking in Detroit's record stores and basements, source material that's already led him to beatdown classics like "Change" and "The Journey." In the RA podcast he mixed with Delano Smith and Talley as Detroit Beatdown, Mike Clark described the style as having "deep, funky and soulful grooves" made by and for a "community spawned from Motown, funk, jazz and even blues!" "If It's Love That U Want" is a textbook example of beatdown's appeal: funk guitar samples floating above swinging hats and a massive 909 kick. Similar elements form a musically accomplished whole on "Get On Up," a dizzying melange of soulful disco samples, harpsichords and DJ Duke synth stabs. "Cause I Believe," a timeless piece of hi-tech soul, fits nicely into the rich canon of Detroit's soulful dance music. The culmination of years of patient work, Norm-A-Lize reflects and builds upon Detroit's musical legacy.
  • Tracklist
      01. Get It Right 02. Seneca St Gruv 03. Dub Station 04. Alright feat. L'Renee 05. No Need 2 B 06. The Dream 07. Earth Vibrations 08. Cause I Believe 09. Paradise Garage 10. The Body 11. Da Hornz Norm 12. If It's Love That U Want 13. The Rise 14. Get On Up