mardi 22 janvier 2008

Ronald and Rheji Burrell - Nu Groove

For several reasons, I really had to do a Nu Groove special post. First, NY based-Nu Groove had an extremely wide catalogue, releasing deep house, garage, hard house, rave-inspired techno and breakbeat, not forgetting some very tracky, more or less experimental material, even if that was pretty common in the early 90s for a dance label. The other main reason is their amazing roster : Bobby Konders, Joey Beltram, Ralphie Dee, Basil Hardhaus (best moniker ever ?), Lenny D, and the less known, but surely no less gifted, Ronald and Rheji Burrell. The last little reason might be how Nu Groove’s few distinctive sonic identities sound today : this unmastered, amateurish, ancient quality, full of wild juvenile enthusiasm and dark instincts. To my ears, it sounds like very primitive experimental yet functional music. And that’s something rare enough to be signalled (nice frenchism/litteral translation here, sorry).

Anyway, here are some of the greatest tracks released on the label. Let’s start with the Burrell Brothers.

N.Y. House'n Authority (Rheji Burrell) – Apt. 1A

N.Y. House'n Authority (Rheji Burrell) – Apt. 3A
Tick the track and click on "Rapatrier" (top right of the server's page) to d/l.

Impersonal, mechanical and unforgiving acid house, complete with whipping hi-hats and claps, and a deep, dark gray bassline. The first track has these spookily ridiculous half-human pleasure screams, both male and female. Two extremely singular, yet generic, cold and machinic pieces of music. Taken from an incredible concept EP based around New York housing politics, I guess.

Metro (Rheji Burrell) – Straphanger

Rheji on a slightly more soulful tip : breathing muffled vocal parts, lo-fi synthetic strings, a drum programming pretty much early garage sounding. But there’s still this unstoppable acid bassline. Also from another and equally great concept EP called « Journey Thru the NY Underground », actually not released on Nu Groove but on Dave Lee/Joey Negro’s Republic Records.

Grey Area (Ronald Burrell) – Fire !

Riff-heavy, rugged house, kind of Todd Terry-ish minus the « anything goes, and I really mean anything » element. Not your typical Ronald track, i.e. neither deep or garagey. But then again, the two brothers used to be able to work out raw club tracks as much as urbane soulful songs. Oh, and it’s not on Nu Groove either, but on Citi.

Aphrodisiac (Ronald Burrell) – Song of the Siren

Hypnotic, gently obsessive, yet sort of quiet and deeper than deep. A bit new-agey, but in a rather restrained and elegant manner.

The Burrell brothers now seem to work in the recording/producing business, mostly for rap and r&b acts. Rheji even did a track for departed goddess Aaliyah back in the late 90s ! But the song wasn’t so good, I mean not as marvelous as I had fantasized it to be.

That’d be all for the moment. More Nu Groove to come very soon, even nu-er than nu groove, and on Nu Groove proper.

1 commentaire:

Jacob a dit…

Can we PLEASE get a re-upload on these? Thanks!!!!!!!