The Negative Positive album cover
The Negative Positive

Dego

2021
2000 Black

For someone who’s been producing and releasing for 31 years, 4Hero’s Dego sounds extraordinarily creatively hungry on this record. Most of his 21st century output has broadly been in the broken beat spectrum — incorporating 80s boogie, latin and dancehall syncopation, and techno funk production values — and that’s certainly the case here. There are laid back grooves here (the mystical soul of “Recovered Memories” with Samii’s rich vocal harmonies), and classic mid tempo party starters (“This is a Message to You” with Nadine Charles commanding you to get up and pay attention in a p-funk / early hip hop style). But throughout, the crispness of the sound fizzes with appreciation of technology. And the opening salvo of “Stained With the Tears on Their Faces” with its Chicago footwork jitter and “Is it the Whole Truth” which fuses liquid piano soloing with the digital rhythms with uncanny precision make a bold statement that this isn’t someone just relying on influences: it’s a record bubbling with newness.

Joe Muggs

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