The Radicle Tim Deluxe Strictly Rhythm
On the back of 2002’s Latin-inspired house anthem It Just Won’t Do, Tim Deluxe hit a purple patch, garnering worldwide acclaim for his remix work and original productions. A few albums followed, but nothing compares to his latest jazz-inspired offering The Radicle in terms of the depth and quality of material as well as the story behind it. In production since Deluxe turned his back on the clubbing and DJ lifestyle around 2009, the album is, in Deluxe’s own words, “a reaction against the rise of EDM”. The Belfastborn Londoner has eschewed synths and machine-driven sounds in favour of live instrumentation, surrounding himself with a clutch of contemporary jazz musicians on guitar, drums, sax, trumpet, piano and bass. The result is a warm and altogether immersive album, as much a middle finger to the formulaic EDM world as it is a tribute to quality sounds of the past. Barbara Ann Teer’s sampled vocal on opening jam JAS sums up the album’s aesthetic as she name-checks “very serious kind of artists” including John Coltrane and Nina Simone against a backdrop of jazzy horns, a subtle key line and rolling beat. Love Is, meanwhile, is a low-slung, smoked-out blues groove in which a rambling sax solo pairs with a moaning vocal. Deluxe’s cover of the Miles Davis trumpet classic So What! stands as another powerful example of the direction here — a frenetic bumper underwritten by a walking bassline, wonderful percussion and horn stabs.