Album Review: Small Pyramids / ‘Slow It Down’ (Glasgow Underground)

SMALL-PYRAMIDS-SLOW-IT-DOWN

★★★☆☆

Zach Hunsaker’s cosmic disco and boutique deep house ease downs face a quandary. That definition of cosmic becomes overstated when having lead you to a slow dance in the sand as the sun dips South, its idyllic perspective starts to become merely everyday. Of course it has mass appeal available by being a club-lounge segue that isn’t blaring garishly, and always leaves you warm and relaxed. Nicely managed vocal switch-ups — “Look No Further” utilizing Dennis Edwards, the pianos of “I’m Gonna Beg You” measuring an interpretation of Smokey Robinson — settle into soft pastel shades with an effervescent border framing picture postcard scenery.

Upon chugging in the same direction at a pace where weights are placed around its calves — this is less a Baywatch sequence, more a loved-up, LA race through treacle — the wonder of the sweet electro-R&B influenced harmonies can fizzle. Its after-hours attributes are the preserve of the nitpicker — “Stranded” is an anonymous blueprint of paradise, waving at ambient compilations from its deserted locale, but does come in welcoming, spa-projected orange hues. Hunsaker doesn’t aim to establish an identity, or whip around the dance floor; conversely, he deals solely in vibe, has titles speaking for themselves, and is wise enough not to force the issue so as to let magic naturally materialize.

As likely to send you straight to bed over prolonging the party, Hunsaker just about wins, twice over, by easing down and along a fine line.

File under: Kris Menace, No Regular Play, Mark E

Big Shot Guest Mix: Slow It Down

Despite living 400 miles apart Glasgow’s Slow It Down — Jamie Gardiner and Ralph Thomson — still manage to make beautiful music together. Sporting a funky sound drawing from disco, house and boogie, they keep under the 122 BPM speed limit and we’re all the better for it. On October 29 the duo will release their new Alright EP with Elijah Collins on Retrospective (listen to it at the bottom of this story), and to celebrate they’ve crafted an exceptional Big Shot Guest Mix.

“Our DJ sets and mixes are unashamedly party music and there’s nothing within reason we won’t drop if it’s the right vibes or we’ve had enough Red Stripe,” says Jamie Gardiner. “With this mix we wanted to showcase some of the tracks and artists we dig at the moment and big up some of SoundCloud’s unsung heroes, a place littered with dance floor gems if you’ve the time to search ’em out.”

Have a listen to their 12-track Big Shot Guest Mix featuring tracks from underground sensations Le Youth, Native Underground, MANIK and Ruben and Ra’s Underground Dub of “Alright.” Download and enjoy.

[display_podcast]

Big Shot Guest Mix: Slow It Down

1. Le Youth / “Cool”
2. Moon Boots feat. Violetness – “Running From”
3. Pink Stallone feat. Joey Washington / “Mine” (The Revenge dub)
4. Native Underground / “Close” (Alphabet City remix)
5. Lipelis / “I Need It” (Lovebirds mix)
6. Slow It Down and Elijah Collins / “Alright” (Ruben and Ra’s Underground Dub)
7. Bonar Bradberry / “Guess Who”
8. Ponty Mython / “It’s Not Right To Die Tonight” (Original Mix)
9. Joey Karmon / “Wowshit”
10. Markas / “Love” (Elijah Collins remix)
11. Bit Funk / “It Ain’t Easy”
12. MANIK / “Weekend Is 4 Lovers”