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Net Feature/ Deymare: "Soul of Man EP"

img  Tobias

In retrospect, the Downtempo- and CoffeehouseChillOut-years weren't that bad after all. I can still remember drinking a delicious white beer in a cafe in Leiden (near The Hague) on a lazy and rainy afternoon of the year 2003 to the sounds of Saint Germain's „Tourist“ and thinking to myself that this was just the perfect soundtrack to the occasion. I therefore welcome a release like „The Soul of Man EP“ with open arms – especially since it may be nostalgic in its mood, but never retro in its methods.

Which means that there are neither Dubby bass lines, nor Pseudo-Jazz-echoes and Latin Groove-samples to be found here. Deymare doesn't seem to be sipping all that many latte machiato either. His music, as subconsciously funky and dreamily hypnotic as it may be, is not the kind of  wallpaper you'll put on to spice up your party, but more of a brooding and psychoactive fellow.

Deymare builds his darkly erotic shuffles from shaker loops, buzzing and sizzling hihats, seductive bongo cycles and sparse upright bass growls, which pierce the otherwhise organically open structures like sharp knife stabs. Thanks to the inclusion of spacey synth pads, the pieces retain a deeply sensual note, not unlike that of a 70s softporn soundtrack. Still, they never indulge in complex noodling or fake sax solos – this is still electronic music, no fusion derivative.

With this in mind, Deymare does an excellent job in keeping the listener's attention while simultaneously sending him off into a different orbit. The title track thrives on an insistent but sleepily slow bass drum, tinkling melodies and surreal chord progressions, while „The State of Things as They Really Are“ is more straightforward and dynamic, sailing on an ocean of Rhodes harmonies and sweeping strings.

On „Lonesome Cowboy“, meanwhile, the repetitive nature of the music shines through more clearly. Even though this is a deliberate factor, Deymare constantly reshapes textures to arrive at subtle developments, sometimes only driven by outwardly casual embelishments of a particular sample of motive or the surprising addition of gamelan-like elements.

All of this means that „Soul of Man“ is less suited for intense debates, but more of an ambient work for the high which follows an overdose of black tea – when the brain receptors are working overtime, but the heart is beating slowly. Those  Downtempo- and CoffeehouseChillOut-years will not return that soon, but with acts like Deymare around, they may not have to either.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Deymare
Homepage: Tropic Netlabel

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