Detroit House veteran, Alton Miller, has been quietly cementing his legacy as one of the foundational voices in the genre for the past three decades. Headspace EP, his latest EP dropping on Croatia-based label, Forbidden Dance Records, finds him embracing his East Coast soul and funk roots, while still retaining a luxurious, hypnotic Deep House vibe.
“Shine on Me (Rollin to Detroit Mix)”, the second track off the A-side, is a “revision” of a song Miller made for Moodymann’s label, KDJ Records, back in 2002. This updated version, helmed by producer Ricardo Miranda, emphasizes Miller’s own vocals as the focal point of the track. As the opening groove settles in, with softly glistening cymbals, warm, silky pads, and a metronomic clicking that persists throughout the song’s duration, Miller’s vocals unobtrusively swirl around the mix, conjuring a kind of one-man harmonizing soul quartet. As the track builds, with the rhythm section shuffling in, and those unmistakably Detroit House keys, Miller sings the refrain: “In my mind every thought of you / Shine your light and it gets me through”. Miller’s performance, which embodies the kind of open-hearted, unabashed yearning for the comfort of another you would find on an overlooked soul gem from the 60’s or 70’s, is given ample room to shine and luxuriate within this rich, deeply soulful soundscape.
Like so many of the best classic Deep House cuts, this track rarely feels like it’s doing too much, yet encapsulates so much of what makes the genre so effective and timeless. Miller has a preternatural sense of what the crucial elements are in terms of soulful Deep House. His laid-back, but clearly meticulous approach pays off with a track that can’t help but shine.