JIMPSTER / BIRDHOUSE / FREERANGE RECORDS – By Cal Gibson

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

For the last twenty-five years Jamie ‘Jimpster’ Odell has been one of the mainstays of the deeper side of British dance music – staking a claim right up there alongside the likes of, let’s say, Charles Webster, Kirk Degiorgio, Marc Mac, Dego, Atjazz and IG Culture to name a few iconic names as examples.

Jamie’s work throughout that time has remained vital – the signature Jimpster deep house grooves progressing, mutating, staying true to the ethos of the underground, making art for art’s sake rather than with an eye on any prize. A proper producer, you might say. The DJ’s DJ. Respected and admired by the dancefloor connoisseurs, he’s sure-footed and steeped in the fusion of jazz, soul, disco and house – echoes of Miles, of Gary Bartz, of John Abercrombie, of Chick Corea and Return To Forever – amplified, replayed, reinvigorated for today’s dancefloors.

Birdhouse sees him step away from the dance and swoon back into the sweet embrace of the forefathers mentioned above: this is a laid back, sensual collection of late-night steppers, smothered in the deepest of soulful flavours, sprinkled with characteristically well-chosen vocal outings. He’s been this way before with Messages From The Hub – back in 1999 (an album that got played to death in my sets at the time…what a joy it was to revisit – check it out, still sounds awesome!) and he knows instinctively what’s up when getting on down.

Ascension leads the way – Oliver Night’s delicious vocal honey-smooth: ‘deluded imperfections they won’t take us higher…so I take my time’. Gilles P has already played this one – it`s destined to be a small hours classic for sure.

Beautiful Day works Cairo’s heartfelt vocal into another aquatic groove: narco-soul for damaged hearts, trumpet lines a balm for the broken – ‘no more fuss and fighting’ Cairo sings and with the horror of this week, of all weeks, we can only say amen to that.

The Doors Of Your Heart ups the tempo but keeps the vibe: Nick Cohen’s bass underpinning super-agile percussion, the vocal sample flipped this way and that, broken beats and a busted up smooth banger. Quality.

Future Paradise manages if anything to up the deepness quota: heavy bass manouevres anchoring strings and synths: heartrending riffs delivered in slo-mo: a lush, gloopy stew of soulful goodness served ice-cold and hot as hell. Killer tune.

So it’s Jimpster, it’s great, it’s a million miles from the dancefloor and all the better for that: an album to play, and play, and play – cherry-pick your favourites, or blast through the whole package – this is a producer still right at the top of his game.

Jimpster`s Birdhouse is released today, on Freerange Records. 

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