Elec­tronic

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tim McNa­mara

Star­ring ... XXVIII Louie Vega Vega Records

Whether along­side Kenny “Dope” Gon­za­lez as pi­o­neer­ing pro­duc­tion duo Masters at Work, as front­man of worldly soul col­lec­tive El­e­ments of Life, or as orig­i­nal solo pro­ducer, Gram­my­win­ning Louie Vega is a rare tal­ent in the house and world mu­sic scenes.

The Bronx-born Puerto Rican’s famed Roots res­i­dency at Cielo, New York, still draws House­heads each week, while his Vega Records im­print re­mains a bas­tion of orig­i­nal­ity.

Star­ring … XXVIII, amaz­ingly Vega’s first solo al­bum in a 30-plus-year ca­reer, is as much a con­fir­ma­tion of his ev­er­green sta­tus and un­com­pro­mis­ing ap­proach to pro­duc­tion as it is tes­ta­ment to his pulling power. No less than 25 artists lend their tal­ents across this dou­ble disc, 28-song out­ing, and the re­sults are bril­liant.

Long-time house vo­cal­ist Monique Bing­ham, for­mer Brand New Heav­ies front­woman N’Dea Daven­port and Amer­i­can singer-song­writer Vik­ter Du­plaix all fea­ture through­out a di­verse mu­si­cal jour­ney tak­ing in funk, latin, Afro, down­tempo and R&B in­flu­ences, bound for the most part by warm house pro­duc­tion. Vega’s wife Anane, a star in her own right, also fea­tures, lend­ing her vo­cals to the lounge-like Heaven Knows and Turned Onto You.

There’s long been an in­escapable pos­i­tiv­ity in Vega’s work, and it’s no sur­prise such good vibes are in am­ple sup­ply here. Whether through the clas­sic house feel­ing of Ain’t No Stop­pin’ Love, fea­tur­ing By­ron Stingily, or the gospel-house stom­per You Are Ev­ery­thing, fea­tur­ing R&B soul siren Jo­ce­lyn Brown, Vega stays true to house mu­sic’s abil­ity to unite.

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