Deca / Source Material / Def Pressé – By Cal Gibson

Super review by Cal Gibson, of The Secret Soul Society and Scruffy Soul Recordings.

This is the second outing from Def Pressé’s hook up with KPM: this time round New York beatmaker Deca gets the nod to rummage through the archives and come up with the goods. Not too tricky an assignment given the pure unadulterated gold that makes up the KPM back catalogue.

What you get are eight hefty chunks of beat science boom-bap, clad in robes culled from the 70s finest session players. Belladonna, for example, rides down the woodwind alley, solid beats dripping over chopped up instruments, easy-going, head-nodding, mellow mood music for the “library” lovers amongst us (count me in).

Set Course takes a nautical theme: under-stated bass synth rolling under twitchy beats and submariner bleeps: pitching around like waves on the sea, little vocal snatches sprinkled underneath, all nicely wrapped-up, well-judged and executed with panache.

What Deca does really well is retain the charm and the placid nature of his sources: opener, Sleepwalker, is a lovely slice of dusty melancholy powered by a yearning flute riff, which summons up youthful indiscretion and doomed romance with ease: one hit and you’re suddenly back to being a star-crossed seventeen year old again, always missing out on the object of your thwarted desires (well I was anyway…)

Right of Passage is about as uptempo as it gets – another charming romp through those Elysian fields of memory: that summer you spent hitchhiking round Europe getting smashed on cheap vino and crap hash – here’s the soundtrack, bubbly and effervescent and ready to transport you back to being stuck on the side of an autobahn outside Munich for two days straight.

There remains plenty of mileage in digging through such wonderful sound sources. There’s a loveable cuddliness, somehow, to KPM that’s undimmed by tides or time. So the Rhodes hoedown of Melee feels like you could spin it for days on repeat and not lose the vibe: its two minutes long but you could stretch that to two hours and there’d be no complaints from this listener. There’s a heart and a soul here that comes from skilled musicians doing their thing: that’s something that will never age. Treated reverentially but funkily by Deca, Source Material is the real deal, classic vintage grooves updated cleverly: what’s not to love?

Deca`s Source Material is released today by Def Pressé. 

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