Detroit doesn’t sound like “Detroit” anymore, and Recloose (aka Matthew Chicoine) is a significant part of that phenomenon. While taking techno back to the bedroom in EPs and singles for Carl Craig’s Planet E, Recloose has, like his international Matt-peer Matthew Herbert, messed with the boundaries of house, techno, hip hop and jazz for beats and ideas that question the canon while opening up the future. That was what techno was supposed to be about anyway.
The results — like 1999’s jazzy dub-and-sample powerhouse Spelunking EP — have been funky and uplifting, trends Recloose continues to work out in his first mix CD for Eskimo Recordings. The album laces veteran greats (garage producer Kerri Chandler; Detroit vet Anthony “Shake” Shakir) with the best of current new-jacks (Herbert; Omoa Music’s Jeremy Ellis, aka Ayro) into a mix filled with flip-the-script moments and positive feedback.
Whether it is Detroit’s own Ibex (“Oasis”) and Theo Parrish (“Sayala Sayale”) searching and teasing through rhythms from trip hop to house, or Herbert’s remix of Recloose’s last single, “Can’t Take It,” which blips and bops with vigor and play, Jigsaw slips into the new-new school with ease. The dour moods and nonvocal seriousness of an aging vision of Detroit are being shed here in favor of multiple origins and modes. The beats hold the funk in their sight while gliding and glancing off the walls of a multilegged future beyond the on-the-one past.
Robust and beautiful, Ayro’s Afro-rhythm/vocal pour-out, “Let This,” finishes the mix — a testament to dedication, love and the future of rhythm (“Let this song/tear down weathered walls/let this song take off where you left off”). Though this mix postcard from the funk front will not calm the need for Recloose’s soon-to-come first full-length, it will prepare a place for it in the hearts of the uninitiated. Encore.
E-mail Carleton S. Gholz at firstname.lastname@example.org.