With How We Groove, Lello Di Franco (L.D.F.) and Brian Garrett (Javonntte) pair up for a prototypical Yore release, a high-quality affair that’s natural clubby yet also artful. Di Franco’s an Italian DJ and producer who’s based in Naples and whose career began in the early ’90s; Garrett, on the other hand, hails from Detroit and has been creating material for almost as long. Their respective output locates itself solidly in house and techno but extends into soul, funk, and jazz areas too. Said gravitations aren’t mere flirtations either; Garrett’s interest in jazz began in high school, and when he was fifteen or so the aspiring musician even had a month’s worth of lessons in the mid-’80s with-wait for it-Miles Davis (Garrett’s mom apparently had connections). Associations with Aretha Franklin, Blake Baxter, and others surface in his history-but that’s for another time.
All three tracks qualify as dance productions but satisfy equally well on pure listening grounds. While a strong ’80s vibe initially oozes from “Believe” in the electronic drum fills that get it moving, the cut quickly settles into a light-speed groove that percolates with single-minded determination. The richly detailed arrangement shape-shifts rapidly: at one moment, syncopated piano chords give the track a classic house feel; at another synthesizer flourishes and bass pulses lend it a sleek, sci-fi quality as the material thrusts breathlessly forward. The less frenetic “From Day to Night” is earthier and funkier though no less artful. As a punchy bottom end establishes an infectious house vibe (with a bit of jazz swing also in the mix), see-sawing vocal elements and bubbly synthesizer touches elevate the track to a headier ‘listening’ realm. At first it seems as if the title track might venture into gospel territory, what with organ and piano dominating the intro, but soon enough the tune brands itself as a swaggering house cut, albeit one replete with funky drop-outs and trippy vocal effects. No matter how adventurous and experimental the material gets, pumping bass drums and swishing pulses ensure the tracks never lose their identity as floor-fillers.
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