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Andrés – New For U review

It’s pertinent that in a week the music world once again poignantly celebrates the far reaching influence of the sorely missed J Dilla, one of his friends elects to continue the legacy the Detroit producer left in the best way possible – with the foundation of a new label. When quizzed in a 2010 interview with La Familigia magazine what the most important lesson he learnt from Yancey was, Andrés responded with no small amount of emphasis, “listen to your records”, and this is something that has certainly rung true in everything the producer has released to date.

Naturally at the helm for the first release on his own La Vida imprint, Andrés continues to plough a path between the mid tempo beatdown and housier fare on New For U, the three tracks every bit as essential as his most recent output on Mahogani. The influence of Dilla and Dixon Jnr is apparent throughout, though Andrés very much has his own sound, be it the infectious snap of percussion or the subtle and inventive usage of samples, and it’s all wrapped up in his obvious love for exploring and playing music – something which is apparent to anyone who tunes into his regular webcasts.

The title track is a gloriously ripe combination of these aforementioned elements, as drums caked with thick dust intertwine with a gorgeous array of strings, soft vocals and warm chiming chords. Everything is chopped with deftness into a rhythmic template aimed towards the heavens. It’s hard not to get caught up in such a simple yet devastatingly effective track arranged in a manner that keeps your attention throughout.

Alongside it “Drama Around The Corner” makes for one of Andrés’ trademark neck snapping beatdown moments and is testament to his statement regarding what Dilla taught him. The level of percussive detail that’s apparent when you concentrate fully can only be the work of a man who knows his record collection inside out and it’s complemented by the hazy sampledelica of expertly teased out vocal embellishments and jazzual horns.

It makes for a charming almost brief interlude to the B Side magic of “Jazz Dance” which sounds like the track Dani Plessow dreams about making every night. The stripped down arrangement of bumping drums, low reaching double bass and swift keys occupies most of the B Side and yet feels like it could reach deep into infinity without losing any of its charm.

Tony Poland