The playful album title of Mr Pink, What Have You Been Smoking? (a reference to Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs) is a sign of things to come on a record that positively beams with vintage soul. And here ‘vintage’ is unquestionably a better descriptor than ‘retro’, the latter implying a certain trendiness; this is fun for fun’s sake, a glorious foray into wiggling house and dusty hip hop.
Following up the successful I Think We Agree The Past Is Over, Cologne’s ava. label boss Damiano von Erckert teams up with Tito Wun to deliver five irresistible tracks each: von Erckert, some rusty 4×4; and Tito Wun, gleeful boom bap.
‘Leave uuu’ sets the tone with a sensuous vocal jam, before von Erckert gets straight to business on the Karen Young-sampling house bomb ‘The dude loop’, an exalted slice of filtered, horn-led house. Slipped between the jubilant jams are apt 40-second interludes, all bongo rhythms and soul snippets from Tito Wun (a seasoned German hip hop and edits specialist), tying together what could otherwise come off as a disparate sort of mixtape.
The album’s numerous highpoints come from the friskier Tito Wun cuts, unabashed in their use of catchy samples – see the grizzled swing of ‘The way you do it’ or the sexy funk of ‘Reel ting’. Elsewhere, von Erkhert offsets the rapturous moments with a couple of shuffling percussive numbers, each limber enough in arrangement to fit with the record’s breezy mindset.
The only complaint, perhaps, would be the LP’s meagre 30 minute running time. But in the end it all adds to the youthful, unpretentious charm that courses through Mr Pink and, of course, the burning desire to give it just one more spin.
ava. | Released: January
01. Damiano von Erckert – Leave uuu
02. Damiano von Erckert – The Dude Loop
03. Tito Wun – Apesier (Interlude)
04. Tito Wun – The Way U Do It
05. Tito Wun – Stapelskirt
06. Damiano von Erckert – Hercules in NYC
07. Tito Wun – Reel Ting
08. Tito Wun – Cruzkit (Interlude)
09. Damiano von Erckert -Crackle Shinin’
10. Damiano von Erckert – Good Love For YOU