A Man with No Past Originating the Future Osunlade Yoruba Records/ ITH ★★★★✩
FOR a man synonymous with African rhythms and the percussive, soulful, house-based grooves of his Yoruba Records imprint, Osunlade’s latest album is a departure from the dance floor. A Man
with No Past Originating the Future leaves behind the dark, club-based offerings showcased on 2011’s raw, tribal-infused Pyrography. Instead, the American-born, Greece-based DJ-producer has channelled an enduring love for ambient music to produce an album steeped in jazz, soul, down-- tempo and even hip-hop influences, underpinned by subtle electronic tweaks and trademark percussion. An initial vinyl release and subsequent re-press sold out, which led to powerhouse British imprint Defected linking with Yoruba for a full release through the former’s ITH sub-label. This is a real grower, full of laid-back offerings that, when matched with some fantastic and varied instrumentation and excellent song writing, make for a powerful foray into ambient electronica.
Realm of Difference is a dreamy opener, matching a slowly building soundscape against soft bass and chirping birds and wildlife. Eclipse goes right into jazz territory, a mishmash of horns and guitar. On Human Beings, Osunlade’s mechanically manipulated vocal melds with acoustic guitar, bass and percussion, a summer groove to be savoured. Osunlade’s album feels like summer. It’s warm, worldly, balanced, beautiful.