- Within each genre there are a select few artists who are looked upon to provide a reliable projection as to where the genre stands at any given moment. Of the Frankfurt/Mannheim crowd, which includes labels like Oslo, Cécille and 8bit; Johnny D is firmly seen as one of the bellwethers of the deep house resurgence of the last few years. As such, his latest release for Cécille serves as a small peep into where things are at in Germany's southwesterly region at this moment.
"Love or Leave Me" is a fun, slightly twisted and odd piece. Camp, soulful female vocals build well, adding atmosphere and texture, which is pulled through by an aggravated, robotic voice. The track doesn't particularly make your ears prick up, but it does grow on you with each listen, and serves as a reliable dance floor mover. Not challenging, not too original, just good happy house music.
B-side "Triva Mango" is far from Johnny D's most original release either. But, in a way, it does show him opening up a few more possibilities for future development within the genre. The same style of skippy tribal drums that we've become accustomed to are underlined here by a big old, bin-pushing thud. The clear hook lies with extended male vocals, sounding somewhat like a mental patient trying to explain why his tongue has swollen to twice its usual size. It's less pronounced than "Love or Leave Me" yet more confident in its stride.
At a time when many releases are pushing the fray on a gloomier tilt, it's nice to know that someone out there is still smiling while making their records. Where Johnny D goes from here is anyone's guess. Maybe the genre has slowed down a little. Maybe a young upstart, much like the Johnny D of three years ago, is busy plotting the next stage of progression for deep house.
A Love or Leave Me
B Triva Mango