- I have seen the future of dance music, and his name is Kyle Hall. Innovative, arch, cocksure, refined—to hold a 19-year-old in this regard is one cause to smile. His latest collaborative EP with Rick Wilhite on Rush Hour is another. Appealing to wontedly disparate tastes, Hall's mercurial talent is as suited to a framework of house as it is to dubstep, and this record flaunts the former to devastating effect.
His solo A-side effort, "After Fall," sounds like a pre-robot era French record with attitude. The percussion is shatteringly high in the mix and revels in an almost melodic role against a hushed backdrop of the loopiest of all disco loops while an umbrella of reverb envelops the whole thing. Nothing fancy, no pussyfooting—this is house music that abounds with swagger and class.
After belting everyone for six, Hall hands over the reins to Wilhite (under his Godson guise), for B-side opener, "Analog Love." Resisting comparison to the breathtaking pace set by his young charge, the Detroit veteran pitches things right down to claim soul music for the 21st century. He takes First Choice's classic, "Love & Happiness," walks away with the croon and Rhodes, applies a beat that grows more hypnotic by the bar, and lets things run their course until you forget that a climax of oscillating pulses and programmed hi-hats was not a typical feature of a Salsoul record.
It is the final track, "Microburst," however, in which Hall's unwillingness to be ensnared by the trappings of genre similitude becomes strikingly clear. To be sure, this is a duet between both tutor and protege, though it is the latter's endeavour as virtuoso beat-master (Wilhite is responsible for the eerie groove) that erodes the comfort zone and demands attention. Hall performs rather than programmes and the results are interesting if not spasmodically jarring. This will not be to everyone's taste, and I'm not sure the experiment is conclusively successful, but if this is the sort of mental run-around Kyle Hall needs to further his already vast breadth of scope, then who am I to quibble?
A1 Kyle Hall - After Fall
A2 The Godson - Analog Love
B The Godson & Kyle Hall - Microburst