- DJs who make a beeline for the Move D section in record shops are usually deep house heads—his recent 12-inches have ranged from bass-driven and bumpin’ (‘Got Thing’ on Philpot) to austere and bumpin’ (‘Quit Quttin’’ on Uzuri) to sampledelic and bumpin' (‘Track 1’ on Workshop). But there are other sides to Move D, many of which show themselves in collaboration. He’s made piles of ambient records with Pete Namlook, he releases jazz records as Conjoint, and this month alone he’s putting out a CD of radio play soundtracks with writer Thomas Meinecke.
This latest Move D record is also a collaboration, this time with ambient techno producer Benjamin Brunn. The pair have made one album before (Let’s Call it a Day, BineMusic, 2006), which I have not heard, but judging by this excellent 12-inch it’s going straight on the list. The key to the sound is the label, Smallville, which like fellow Hamburg imprint Dial, is all about crossing deep house signifiers with lush ambient atmospherics. Reported to be culled from a series of live jams, the 12-inch gets the balance right between Move D’s house impulse and Brunn’s liquid notes on the b-side ‘Melons’, one of the more sonically deep tracks of recent times. It’s ten minutes of warm, delicate groove and curling buzzpads that’s so lush and luxuriant it makes the record sound one centimetre thick.
Elsewhere there is a beatless ambient piece, ‘After the Rain’, which is also gorgeous but just one minute long, and ‘Honey’, which seems heavily indebted to Minilogue’s recent brand of improvised squiggle funk. I’m not so convinced about the direction of the latter, but ‘Melons’ is worth price of entry alone, hitting a sweet spot that’s both achingly simple and totally necessary at a time when European house music is trumpeting austere emptiness as a virtue. Fill your ears up with this.
B2 After the Rain