WBEEZA – Expression of Love – Third Ear Recordings (Review and Interview)

WBEEZA – Expression of Love – Third Ear Recordings (Review and Interview)
South London man Wbeeza released his first record in 2007 and since then he delivered lots of high-quality stuff between house, techno, jazz and hip hop. Yet his only album until now, the 2010 “Void”, has been, well, not a disappointment as it had some highly interesting grooves on it, but maybe a little too much of a collection of sketches and snapshots and it left the followers with the strong suspicion that Wbeeza might be able to deliver more than that. Now Wbeezas second album ‘Expression Of Love’ is available (via the artists long-term-label Third Ear Recordings). Compared to ‘Void’ Wbeeza dramatically reduced the number of tracks as there are only seven songs included, on the other hand he allowed the tracks expanding way beyond average length if needed. And it seems that indeed the mentioned suspicions were insofar true as ‘Expression Of Love’ is a great piece of work from start to finish that feels very much like a gesamtkunstwerk. As Wbeeza points out in the interview below he didn’t have an album concept for ‘Expression Of Love’ but, even if not intended, the record appears as the result of a carefully executed masterplan. Maybe it’s one of these subconscious-things, who knows? The albums starter ‘Say Nuttin’, little more than a solid House beat and some sparse detroitish chords, is a delicious appetizer for the epic blend of House, Techno and Jazz to follow. Tracks as ‘Work’, reduced to a heavy bass line, an energetic vocal sample and an irresistible groove, or the uplifting ‘Catwalk’ with its smooth horn sounds illustrate Wbeezas amazing ability for finding a tunes essential elements, avoiding everything superfluous. The programmatically titled ‘Cosmic Jazz’ digs deep in sophisticated soulfulness where rich and warm sounds softly float, yet there is something mysterious about it, some strange vibes that put the track on another level. And even the quite obvious idea of sampling Gil Scott-Heron works out, simply because Wbeeza chose the right sample for the right beat, resulting in a massive but still transparent hit that will illuminate the dance floors of this world. “All killer, no filler” you could say, however the albums highlight is the title track: ‘Expression Of Love’ is a 15 minutes suite, based on gentle piano chords and tight percussion, slowly meandering between repetition and change, tenderness and estrangement. It’s a spiritual thing. Great stuff on a par with the big American names as Theo Parrish (though it’s maybe not as grim as Parrish) and Moodymann and easily one of this years best albums in House Music. (Written by João Geck) --- Interview with WBeeza talking about his new album "Expression of Love". Questions by João Geck Q.: Your new album Expression Of Love sounds organic and playful but also sophisticated and well-structured. How do you produce your music? Do you have your own studio? And how long did it take to finish Expression Of Love? I have my own studio in Deptford, South London. So far, I’ve not sat down and thought ‘I’m going to produce an album now’. One day I might decide to do that. When I produce tracks I have no agenda in mind. I have no idea what will come out when I sit down and start every day. The only thing I know is that I’m focused on the track I’m making right now and not what I’m going to do with it. Q.: Expression Of Love feels way more as one piece of work as Void, your last album from 2010. How important is the idea of an album being more than just a collection of tracks for you? Both ‘Void’ and 'Expression Of Love’ are collections of tracks. As I explained above, one day I may sit down and decide that the next twelve tracks will be my next album. But Void and Expression Of Love are not that. They are tracks selected it create a specific release. Void was a particular kind of album. Expression Of Love is a different kind of album. Q.: There are some tracks (for example the title track, one of the best tracks i heard for a while) on your new album that really sound special and enlightened. What are your inspirations for doing it the way you do? This particular track, the title track Expression Of Love was created when I was in the middle of a very turbulent and stressful time. The track was just over 20 minutes when finished but needed editing, needed tightening. Q.: Levon Vincent recently said that the angst/anger driven techno these days bores him and he's missing "Jazz influences and Afro-Cuban rhythms" and the idea of music as a melting pot. (Besides my guess that Levon Vincent might like your album), would you agree? And where do you see the future of house and techno? There is a lot of very average mediocre music being made and played at the moment. Everyone is trying to sound like someone else and that seems to be cool with the people who book DJs and write about music. It’s not really something I’m a part of. Q.: Expression Of Love comes out on Third Ear, as most of your stuff does. As you run your own label pFlymusic, have you thought about releasing the album there? And what will happen next on pFly? Releasing an album is an expensive and time consuming business. Third Ear is the kind of label I want to see my music released on. Next on PFly could be a cassette mixtape. Could be but not yet decided. The mixtape is ready to release. Thank you.   You can BUY Wbeeza - Expression of Love released on Third Ear Recordings HERE from whatpeopleplay.com.

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