House of Woo cover

House of Woo

Released

It’s common for musicians who are also writers or academics to join dots between styles but few do it with such delirious style as Washington DC’s Andrew Field-Pickering aka Maximillion Dunbar. Across a smorgasbord of tastemaker labels — L.I.E.S., Berceuse Heroique, Hot Haus, Trilogy Tapes — he has consistently taken base crate digger materials and transformed them into plutonium. This album for RVNG Intl. is a perfect showcase of his methods. Field-Pickering has an unerring ear for similarities in synth tones or rhythms, so he understands for example how a breathy artificial flute can be both Balearic and grime at the same time, or how the mischievous disjointedness of Yellow Magic Orchestra maps perfectly onto that of modern deconstructed club styles. It’s extremely clever, but never clever-clever: for every “I understood that reference” moment there’s a dozen just plain “wow that’s great” ones. It’s also a perfect fit for RVNG, sharing as it does their facility for rewiring lines of influence and musical genealogy, making the familiar sound new and the unknown sound natural.

Joe Muggs

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