- Ornaments Music is clearly run by someone with a few names in his rolodex and a few favors to cash in. Its output so far has been limited to a focused selection of underground house heavyweights. Marko Fuerstenberg, I-Robots and the very solid new act Mod.Civil have all contributed to Ornaments, meaning the label has an unmistakable (and unsurprising) Berlin center of gravity. The biggest names yet appear here, on the third installment from the imprint, with two interpretations of Sascha Dive's "Deepest America."
Samuel Davis, an alias for Dive himself, opens things with an interpretation very much of the subtle and static style that Cassy, for instance, has taken to extremes. A variety of American cultural figures are named over an unemotive backing beat, leaving Dive's track solidly in the mix fodder category. (This isn't to say it's unworthy—indeed, it will probably be a pleasure to hear this slot into house sets with unassuming ease.)
Moodyman's take, predictably, is more memorable. The Detroit producer brings more melody, a touch of cheesiness and dynamic breakdowns to the table without slathering too much of his trademark funky gravy over everything. It's probably not wild enough to cut through the stoned, functional vibe that in the end overtakes this record, though, because "Deepest America" is—at its essence—exactly what a limited release, special edition Berlin-oriented house record should sound like right now.
Although the Berlin scene deserves a huge amount of credit in fostering one of the most vibrant and creative musical communities of our time, few people seem to be talking about the danger that the mass exodus to Prenzlauer Berg may be causing. (i.e. Too many artists beginning to speak with one voice.) Although very good, there is also something just a bit too familiar about "Deepest America." If we aren't already, it might just be time to start wondering about the long-term influence of murky labels about which the main thing we know is that they get their mixing done at Dubplates and Mastering, Berlin.
A Deepest America (Samuel Davis Dark Soul Mix)
B Deepest America (Moodymann Remix)