Album Review: Oscar G / ‘Beats’ (Nervous)

★★★☆☆

Oscar G just wants you to get loose. Loose being the operative word, as long as asses are moving in the right direction. It’s not much to ask, and Gaetan isn’t holding a gun to your feet either, with crowd-gathering, tribal-tied grooves and tried and tested vocal prompts. “Music Takes Me Higher” and “Work” aren’t teaching funky green dogs new tricks, but the dance floor chase remains good enough. Toughened up beats are told to chill by Latin sections: “Agua Bendita” and “Play U Out” take the steam out of the situation by playing party-powering, tub-thumbing percussion with no need for over-elaborating — though an enormous fog horn and some passing cop car sirens will shake up the conga line.

Undeniably led by vibe, it’s all about letting the rhythm take you, stepping out of the club and onto the streets as per the clash of rustic and digital (“Cha Cha Cha” meeting both half way), though the humidity doesn’t change either side of the velvet rope. Twelve-minute jacker “Hypnotized” is classic to the core, showing Gaetan wants it all. You can keep your wild mood swings though – maybe it’s more close-knit than first thought…anyway, it’s a rock-solid selection.
File under: Murk, Masters at Work, Dennis Ferrer

Compilation Review: ‘Cielo Sunrise Mixed by Nicolas Matar’ (Nervous)

★★★★☆

It’s deep house but is not just another deep house mix. It’s ambient house but not really of the swirl-and-sensory variety. And it’s chilled house that’s too strong willed to be called so. This is despite the involvement of scene toppers Deniz Kurtel and Maceo Plex, and Cielo Sunrise benefits from all of these similar-but-different-to strands of reassuring clubbing. Set up for the beginning of daylight hours and standing firm throughout, one of America’s household club nights and scooper of many an award quietly and maturely goes about its business. Curator Nicolas Matar creates a conscientious Balearic sound that has a little more about it than just complying to the above terms.

The main idea being that for as much as it wants you to lose and/or calm yourself within, it’s not a selection, with moments of stern funkiness from Plex and Daso & Orfin, that’ll let you lose your attention and concentration. Layo & Bushwacka!’s palm treed “Summer Gone” and Martin Dawson & Glimpse’s diligent “No One Belongs Here More Than You” are in the middle of both lounging and deep furrowing circles, and while Kyodai’s “Mi Rumba” starts firmly, anything with rumba in its title is gonna turn into a workout for the hips.
File under: Slip N Slide, Guy Gerber, Bambu