- Appropriately enough, when a subgroup of Hamburg, Germany's Smallville crew decided it was time to collectivize themselves, they became Smallpeople. Made up of Dionne, Julian Steinhoff, Abdeslam Hammouda, Jaques le Bon and Christopher Rau, they've had success in perpetuating their brand of auteurish, organic deep house with releases on Laid, Jus-Ed's Underground Quality and, naturally, Smallville.
Smallpeople's debut was called "Before Leaving to Paris," and it looks like Dionne got some work before leaving there as well, as this solo release appears on the French imprint Terpsition. The Hamburg sound seems to have survived the journey intact. "The eXchange" is a warm, upbeat number, exuding the bonhomie of a few beers at an art opening, its lively bustle embodied by counterbalanced major-key synth motifs, tap-dancing drum patterns and a live-feeling handclap.
On the flip, Christopher Rau, who issued his strong debut LP for Smallville last year, shows up on remix duty for "Siege Twelve," nicely juxtaposing lush chords against more metallic-sounding retro drums—modern-day deepness mixed with the jackin' past. "The Dee," it will perhaps surprise few people to learn, refers to Detroit. It's a solid and energetic number, with dreamy, glittery pads like neon chimes tinkling in the wind—but why invoke Detroit once more? Come home, Dionne, Hamburg's waiting.
A The Xchange
B1 Siege Twelve (Christopher Rau Recollage)
B2 The Dee