- Classy, impactful spins on techno, breaks and drum & bass.
- Wyatt Stevens broke out from New York's club music scene with last year's The NYC Dance Project, a pitch-perfect LP of classic-sounding house. It's become his best-known record, though up until then he had rarely made music in that style, jumping instead between techno, electro, drum & bass and hip-hop. Enter Gallery S. The self-titled album from his new alias is his meatiest release since The NYC Dance Project, and it feels like a course correction, reflecting Stevens as a musical polyglot who can apply his irrepressible touch to pretty much anything.
The album is a rough-and-tumble ride through all of Stevens' inspirations, tossing samples around with the restless percussion and deft chopping that makes his music tick. There's his stunning edit of Janet Jackson's "Go Deep," which starts with gabber-like kicks before morphing into something closer to drum & bass. "A Sudden Collapse," whose slapping drums and gasping vocal samples recall Moodymann, highlights Stevens' unpredictable drum programming. The LP's fluid mix of techno, breakbeats and drum & bass establishes a kind of transatlantic continuum, in which Stevens effectively combines dance music sounds from both the UK and the States.
Because he's dealing with dyed-in-the-wool dance music sounds, it'd be easy to see Stevens' work merely as the sum of its influences if it weren't so expressive. The music sounds as though it's pouring out of him, full of the joy, tension and boiling-over energy that makes so much of dance music meaningful. The album's most ecstatic moment comes via "The Subtle Sound Of Dying," a drum & bass cut that recalls Ed Rush & Nico's "Guncheck" with dubbed-out vocals and pads that temper the hectic energy. It's a typically excitable splatter of ideas from someone who loves dance music in all its forms.
01. 100 Skyward Fist
02. A Sudden Collapse
03. Almost A Break Track
04. Tier One Program One
05. Hello? Brooklyn (Interlude)
06. Kage, Titans Shadow feat. shampoo
07. The Subtle Sound Of Dying
08. The Creation Of A Universe
09. We Could Have Been Better
10. Tier One Program Eight
11. Go Deep Restructure
12. Grace Under Pressure