Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Andy Vaz – House Warming – Yore Records

HOUSE music and the long player haven’t always been the cosiest of bedfellows. From the year dot there has been a school of thought that the genre doesn’t lend itself to the album format and that it was designed strictly for clubs and couldn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t work in the comfort of your own home.

But rendering an LP as simply two or three 12” records, or a series of independently-released twelves such as Fred P alter ego Black Jazz Consortium’s Codes & Metaphors and Frank & Tony’s Presents collection, has given that theory an almighty boot into touch. Not only that but the market for – or at least the desire to produce – house albums appears to be in very rude health indeed.

Just a brief glance at my own relatively recent purchases/needs/wants illustrates that point: Moomin, Melchior Sultana, Brawther, Baaz and the aforementioned Fred P to name a few. That list could of course stretch much longer. More importantly, the relevance and quality of house music albums has never been better.

Entering the fray then, though an old hand when it comes to the long player, is head of Cologne-based Yore Records, Andy Vaz, with this his third vinyl album.

Handsomely conceived and executed, pleasing on both the eye and ear, House Warming is truly a thing of beauty. From the opening strains of the cheeky and angular eponymous opening intro, a musical red herring rather than a portent of things to come [take a gander here], to the grand finale that is the rousing Infinite Monkey Theorem, there’s something for everyone of a house-bent here and much to wallow in and gorge yourself on.

You want seriously-soulful emotive house dripping in quality, Vaz has got it for you. Check out Nobody (featuring Eva Soul) and My Emotions. Fancy a little light acid-tinged action without a hint of cliché? Vaz has got that covered too – check out Help Me, Oppidum Ubiorum and the mighty Want U Back. And for straight-up honest-to-goodness proper house music, and I do mean proper, Vaz is again your man: Things & Strings, personal favourite Smiling Guitars and, not forgetting, the chunky title track itself.

But then anyone who has taken even a passing interest in the man’s music in recent years – if you haven’t, shame on you – would expect nothing less from him. As head honcho, in-house producer and general creative force behind the consistently brilliant Yore, Vaz has been around long enough to know what it takes to put together a house album with both sincerity and style. All killer no filler is generally the phrase du jour on such occasions but for once it really is true.

Listen. Buy. Enjoy.

Check out:
Yore Records online
Andy Vaz on Facebook
House Warming @ Juno

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