Since its inception in 2002, Third Ear's output has remained ineffably reliable and multifaceted whilst carrying forth a distinct and tangible sense of soul. Now, 13 years on, Wbeeza makes a welcome return home and follows up a slew of lauded EPs on the label as well as his 2010 debut LP, 'Void' with only his second album, 'Expression Of Love'. And what an album it is. A long term favourite among both House traditionalists and experimentalists, Warren Brown entwines Jazz, Hip Hop, Detroit Techno, Soul and Disco with impressive ease, and with Expression Of Love the Peckham, South London-born and bred producer expands on his canon and presents 7 cuts that fans both old and new will relish. The opening track, 'Say Nuttin' kicks things off with a long-tailed kick pulsing beneath tight shuffles and syncopated ride shots. Rich and complex rhythms interweave and propel rich, swirling synth tones before 'Cosmic Jazz' goes deeper, setting a hypnotic vocal through stop-start kick patterns and creamy Detroit pads. 'It's A Sign' finds Wbeeza returning to the work of Gil Scott Heron once again. He takes two different samples and deftly works them into a heavy, claustrophobic groove, with a subtly processed sax loop circling asymmetrically throughout. 'Work' sits a cartoonish snippet from a recording of a gang member explaining his reaction to one of his homies being shot dead, over freely sequenced drum work and a steadily filtered bass line to mesmerizing effect. Experimental in its development - 'Expression Of Love' is the centre-piece of the album. The track goes through some startling changes and atmospheres. At 109 bpm, glowing Rhodes tones, tumbling bongos, creaking kick drums and shining synths sweep out over its 14 minute duration. A blue, languid groove steadily blooms into focus and is then dismantled. 'Turn The Lights Off' evokes a dark club with low ceiling and sweat dripping off the walls, through spectral tones and a voice that intones 'Turn The Lights Off, Turn The Music Up', propelled by one of Wbeeza's famous kick drums. 'Cakewalk' then brings things to a close with some playful MPC work. Truncated Soul samples are carried by no-nonsense rhythms before a switch up snaps in to catch the dance floor off guard. Added shuffles and trumpet snips build a buoyant and Jazzy vibe that brings another coup for Third Ear and another truly fine addition to Wbeeza's catalogue to a close.
More from Third Ear Recordings