Jay Haze – homme fatale, madman, exceptionally gifted composer and producer, owner of labels TuningSpork and Contexterrior, and mastermind behind numerous other musical projects – has done it again. The big surprise. Something no one expected. After two singles (plus remixes for Telefon Tel Aviv and Kiki), Jay brings Fuckpony back to the BPitch stable, offering a full-length album with intentions no less than world dominance. Sure, house music has always been king, but even if (as these days) some poser waiting around the corner claims his name is Jack, the subtly-trained ear can hear the difference, and the wheat is separated from the chaff. And instead of coasting comfortably off the success of his recent Fabric47 mix CD, Jay strikes again with what may be his most mature, cohesive artistic statement yet.
Hardly anyone knows the legacy of American-style house as Mr. Haze does. Despite a sense of tradition, this guy's intention was never just to reproduce a well-known sound. His nonconformist principle has always been a recurring theme throughout his diverse projects as he crosses given boundaries. Futurism as a conceptual basis and Chicago as grammar, but even a bit more special than what is currently being rehashed with these ideas.
And what Jay as Fuckpony has always excelled at is opening up to – what one would call commonly and from a distance – “pop”. Pop in the best sense, though: as an abstraction of accessibility, one that strikes your cheek gently while scraping stubble. The slightly shifted, forward-driven syncopation in the title track “Let The Love Flow” would be a prime example. Angular, sharp-edged pop, on whose surface you could light a match – so much soul is pushing through that the dancefloor seems like it is about to collapse. But it won’t, because “Let the Love Flow” doesn’t become a pure dance album, at least not in its entirety. Instead Haze meanders into a strange realm somewhere between the gleam of Saturday night (like in the track “Orgasm On The Dancefloor On A Saturday Night”) and the pale daylight of a Sunday morning (as in “A Pill's Medley”). The listening experience provides a sort of afterhours party for lovers, only that here the sweet taste of the club never dissolves away from the tongue. Everything stays positive here: despite the high altitude, Fuckpony lands in the crate softer than ever, with house tracks that resurrect old feelings, but despite all the grace and emotion, kick sharply with a super-tight bass drum. A collection of small epics that are never for a second flat or cheesy, despite their catchiness.
Because this album seems to be so sentimental and tender, it almost sounds as if Jay Haze has discovered his feminine side on BPitch Control. You could call it house with heart, an entire album without samples, made from scratch with his own two hands. The horns, the drums, and of course the dominating piano – all of these emanate from the mad spirit of the master, sustaining his genius, his unmistakable handwriting ever present. Only the vocals in “Fall Into Me” and “I Know It Happened” are not sung by Haze himself, but rather by Laila Tov and Chela Simon. The latter has already lent her voice to Kiki's “Good Voodoo”, and her contributions to this album offer a few soulful moments, instantly making your arm hairs stand on end.
Yes, it comes full circle- Fuckpony's long-player for ravers in love and for raved out lovers who are still going long after peak time. A self-contained album with powerful melodic arches and a great dramatic underscoring of house, embedded in tradition but not dwelling on the past. Ten tracks, each unique and self-sufficient, held together through love: the love of music, of house, of Berlin, of parties, of all of you out there. So in this sense, love it also! Real love is forever...
(added: 2009-08-24 17:33:55 )