High Off The People

by Audio Soul Project

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about

The latest Audio Soul Project release on Fresh Meat, Mazi’s heaviest work since he’s acclaimed 2002 full length “Community” on NRK, is informed by a time when the heartbeat of revolution was strong. “High Off The People” is inspired by the zeitgeist of the 60’s, perfectly melding that spirit with Audio Soul Project’s modern approach.

The record opens with “Get Off Your High Horse”, a charged hypnotic journey that is easy to get lost in. For those who need comparisons it should suffice to say this track fits with music from Jimpster, Tom Middleton or Francois Dubois; but its also tempting to mix this with old gems from your Warp or Paper Recordings collections. “Get Off…” sets an initially minimal pace as it organically builds with layers of acoustic and analog instrumentation. It should be no surprise that Mazi’s ARP Odyssey can be heard screaming and squelching throughout. This time the beast is set against warm and cold sounds from a Moog; the later creating a singular rather catchy melody via frequent patch changes. Electric piano chords are accented by loud distorted stabs in a circular groove that continues undulating and morphing through the track. Live maracas, casabas and a recurrent conga supply the simple, effective percussion. The track never stops building, yet does not get busy; an arrangement style that comes natural to Mazi.

On remix duties, Fresh Meat enlist the impeccable skills of current rising star Subsky. This Turkish talent has recently released exceptional music on labels like Plastic City, Urbantorque, and Forensic Records. For his remix of “Get Off…,” Subsky infuses the track’s main melodic parts with his own bouncy FM bass line, insistent new keys, and a multitude of wild rhythmic accents. The Subsky remix is a sophisticated big room track in the tradition of artists like King Roc or Satoshi Tomiie.

ASP’s second original offering is the spiritual “Song For Fred”. The twelve minute plus trip is a musical ode to Fred Hampton, the former leader of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party. Here, Mazi pays tribute to a figure who has clearly captured his imagination. The song is deceptively simple and repetitive. A shuffling lo-fi drum track and a sub bass bump are all that underpin the evolving piano and synth key work; it’s the kind of workout that strikes a meditative mood while shaking ones hips. The music, simple loops, and dramatic breakdowns evoke a sense of discovery reminiscent of “Morning Factory” by Ron Trent. After eight minutes of ebb and flow the track grandly breaks down into a speech by Hampton where the man elaborates on the purpose of his life and his hope that others can share his revolutionary spirit. This is heavy stuff to be sure but no one says dance music has to always stay on the surface. If they do, Fresh Meat is not listening.

No package on Fresh Meat would be complete without a nod to the utilitarian aesthetic. This time Eris Drew Larsen provides a short and utterly useful edit of “Song For Fred”. He cuts the track judiciously, retaining only the most linear and rhythmic passages. The result is a pure early 90’s-styled warehouse track that transforms the long journey of the original into a perfectly concise DJ tool ready for live back and forth between the decks.

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released November 21, 2008

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Fresh Meat Records Chicago, Illinois

Fresh Meat Records is home to producers influenced by the “other side” of Chicago House. Fresh Meat has recently released several vinyl and digital projects featuring music by Derrick Carter, Mike Huckaby, Audio Soul Project, MANIK, DJ Jes, and Studio Nova. ... more

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