Sebastian Gummersbach’s Yore debut brings with it a further refinement of the material he’s created for the German label Raw Soul. It specializes in material infusing modern house and techno grooves with flavourings of jazz, funk, and soul, the result a timeless take on house music. Anyone who’s been keeping tabs on Andy Vaz’s Yore releases will realize immediately that the same description could be applied to his imprint.
Given all that, it’s easy to understand why Gummersbach, a producer hailing from Neuss, Germany, is such a natural fit for Yore. There’s no small amount of artistry in play in the EP’s four tracks, each one arguing strongly on behalf of his skills as an arranger and mood shaper. No cut better shows that than the opening “Rough Edges,” which is, frankly, anything but rough. He builds the arrangement methodically, starting with warm, billowing washes and then layering in step-by-step dub atmospherics, a strutting house pulse, congas, and synth ear-worms—a seductively smooth intro to the release.Gummersbach might have been listening to Hall and Oates’s “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” prior to crafting “Calming Solitude” when the latter sounds so much like a clubby instrumental riff on the hit. Here too silky chords and synth textures merge with a rousing beat pattern to draw listeners to the dance floor.
On the flip side, “Eden” initially changes things up with a classic B-Boy beat and handclaps, but the tune gradually aligns itself to the character of the EP’s other body-movers, even if acid-tinged synths become part of the mix. Closing out the release is the most techno-oriented of the four cuts, “Undisclosed Thoughts,” acid once again central to the track’s identity and the chugging groove frothy. The word Eden naturally calls to mind the Biblical paradise, and consistent with that the tone of Gummersbach’s EP, its A-side cuts especially, is generally smooth, serene, and harmonious; it’s also, as stated, a seamless addition to the Yore catalogue.
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