Chicago Damn – Hold On review

With little more than a recently set up blog for information, those that delight in idle speculation will be all over the true identity of Chicago Damn. Does it really matter though, when this debut on Mark E’s increasingly impressive Merc imprint proves to be such a refreshingly oddball take on post house and disco dynamics. A tribal feel engulfs your senses as “Hold On” begins, thanks to the muggy sounding chants that work in unison with the thumping bass drum beat. However it’s the multi faceted layers of melodies and instrumentation that make this track so gloriously hard to pin down. A mid point step towards shimmering balearic atmospherics before a swift u-turn into a heavily percussive locked groove is just one of the many pleasant rhythmic shifts here.

On the flip, “Be Your Man” proves to be a more instantly gratifying dancefloor treatment, seemingly melding disparate rhythmic elements to form a future retro raw house groove. Picture Pepe Bradock remixing Rick Wilhite and you might have an idea. Expert usage of vocal samples and energetic drum edits are central to a track that peaks and tweaks in all the right places. Attention Merc and Chicago Damn; more of the same please.

Tony Poland