- Deep offerings from the Detroit tastemaker on his label Upstairs Asylum Recordings.
- For over three decades Norm Talley has been immersed in the dance music scene in Detroit. He is a product of the "Ppogressive" era that was often overlooked as techno became internationally renowned. These were the days of teenage parties like L'Uomo and Charivari, when Ken Collier and the Electrifying Mojo were shaping a generation's taste. Talley slowly crafted his sound while maintaining numerous residencies in Detroit, eventually being pushed to release music by Eddie Fowlkes. After a few releases, he stepped back from production but was crucial in facilitating the Beatdown Sound. By the mid-'00s he was back pumping out his take on deep house and has not slowed down since.
Last year Talley launched Upstairs Asylum Recordings, a concept he first used on his second ever release, from 1998. Deep Essentials Vol. 1 offers up five tracks that showcase his groovy beatdown and minimal techno fusion. Straightforward drum programming, mesmerizing loops and meticulous sound design are the key components of a Talley track. Over the past few years a working relationship with Omar-S has further shaped his sound, with fellow Detroit artist/engineer Brian Kage's mastering touch lending his releases a familiar sheen.
Over the years, Talley's released excellent house tracks across a myriad of labels, from Track Mode to Third Ear to Tsuba. Deep Essentials Vol. 1 is the first in a series of key tracks from Talley's back catalogue, along with some new tracks. On "Holla-Day” (originally released on Tsuba in 2014) we get the bouncy blueprint for Detroit house, with a similar vibe on “DEEPTROITSTRUMENTAL," which keeps things moving with a rolling snare. "D-Toolz" is a new track and the most intense of the offering—the dubby, ominous melodic techno cut is a fitting soundtrack to a banging dance floor. The standout is "One Track Mind," a tension-building track from the aforementioned Tsuba EP, with its sweeping pads, jazz noodling and vocal snippets deep in the mix. Talley has carved out a place for himself by consistently delivering simple yet effective tracks that blur the line between techno and house. Many attempt to ride this fine edge, but as Deep Essentials Vol. 1 demonstrates, Talley's preternatural consistency is rooted in the storied history of Detroit dance music.
A1 The People (intro)
A3 One Track Mind