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

Pur­ple Disco Ma­chine Soul­matic Sweat It Out Dres­den-born Tino Pion­tek has been pro­duc­ing since 2009, re­leas­ing pre­dom­i­nantly (sur­prise!) disco-in­spired house pro­duc­tions on la­bels such as De­fected and OFF Record­ings, and, more re­cently, step­ping up to remix the likes of Jamiro­quai and Go­ril­laz. The ex­po­sure and ac­claim that has fol­lowed those big-name remixes has, in part at least, al­lowed the Ger­man to en­list a for­mi­da­ble guest ros­ter on his de­but al­bum. Soul­matic is a group ef­fort cap­tained by the tal­ented Pion­tek, who builds his shiny, synth-lay­ered pro­duc­tions around sam­ples and vo­cal per­for­mances from both high­pro­file and up-and-com­ing guests. The re­sult is a di­verse foray into funk, boo­gie and nu-disco, abound­ing through­out with soul and house beats. The emo­tive keys of opener Music in You progress to Lorenz Rhode’s vocoder vo­cals, in what is a slightly cheesy start to pro­ceed­ings, al­beit one bound by a funk-fu­elled bassline. Mas­sive first sin­gle Body Funk, in con­trast, holds the cheese while up­ping the en­ergy. A driv­ing bassline com­bines with fil­tered synths and a looped vo­cal sam­ple from Hot Streak’s 1983 sin­gle Body Work — “One two, one two, one two, three four!” — to form a killer Italo-disco in­spired cut. The moody Pray for Me fea­tures the soul­ful pipes of Gnarls Barkley’s CeeLo Green, and fur­ther ben­e­fits from co-pro­duc­tion by Australia’s own Bag Raiders. Fall­ing Down, mean­while, is epic, emo­tive fare an­chored by Ella’s soar­ing vo­cal. Se­cond sin­gle Devil in Me charted strongly ear­lier this year for a rea­son. Co-writ­ten by Duane Har­den and as­sem­bled around a sam­ple from Wil­liam Bell and Judy Clay’s 1968 sin­gle Pri­vate Num­ber, Pion­tek’s spar­ing pro­duc­tion leaves am­ple space for Joe Killing­ton’s vo­cal hook to shine. The al­bum’s title track is a stand­out — glo­ri­ous, driv­ing key-led house music at its finest, end­ing in a frenzy of live per­cus­sion. To­wards the end, Faith­less link with Pion­tek for the pound­ing club tune Let the Music Play, while New York rap­per Kool Keith ap­pears amid the jan­gling per­cus­sion, strings and chilled out keys of Mem­phis Jam. Soul­matic isn’t the most co­he­sive al­bum, prob­a­bly as a re­sult of there be­ing so many guest writ­ers, pro­duc­ers and vo­cal­ists con­tribut­ing, but it’s none­the­less a solid col­lec­tion of up­beat grooves by a pro­ducer re­ally hit­ting his straps on the global scene.

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