- One of those dudes who was around back in the Detroit heyday, Kai Alce started working at the Music Institute club in 1987, and can boast to having been in the studio when Inner City cut "Good Life." These days, though, Alce calls Atlanta home, championing the city as a house music hotbed by DJing, promoting, collaborating with the likes of Chez Damier and Ron Trent, and banging out a few productions of his own. Though he's only amassed a modest discography to date, Alce's leanings to the tender side of Detroit-informed deep house are already clear. This latest record, for the solid Deep Explorer imprint, is about as airy and laid-back as they come.
Opening the EP on perhaps its most subdued note, "KZR griv" conjures twilight reverie beneath pads as luxurious as 1000-thread count linens. The percussion locks in a brisk cadence but plays rather faint, and the bass is just plain shy. The effect suggests something more intense waits just over the horizon, but with things so agreeably hypnotic and dreamy here, the track's simply in no hurry to get there.
"Ooohhh!" is extroverted by comparison, with a sunny keyboard hook, some tasteful samples, a jerky bass groove, and a beat that's much more present, weaving some urgency into music that is still, in the main, low-key and soothing. Dubbyman's remix flips the melody from bright to moody, then generously drizzles molasses-thick basslines over the track. A robust upgrade, the Deep Explorer head's take is heavier and more full, but doesn't weigh down the buoyancy of Alce's floating keys.
Closer "Smoov Bumps" floats back up to the supple lightness of "KZR griv." While a firmly tapped beat ably deals out the "bumps," a music-box-delicate synth melody delivers a lilting sweetness that is, like everything else on this record, appreciably "smoov."
A1 KZR Gruv
B1 Ooohhh! (Dubbyman Remix)
B2 Smoov Bumps