Fewer labels have been more prolific than talismanic, Peckham-based party-come-label Rhythm Section over the past two years. The imprint–helmed by promoter, programmer and DJ extraordinaire Bradley Zero–has served as host to a slew of local heroes, such as Chaos in the CBD and Henry Wu and displayed an impeccable knack for finding new talent in the UK and more specifically, London. The quality of Rhythm Section International has been proven time and time again, and one can safely expect a dope slab (thanks to The Carvery) of deep, soulful grooves for every release. With all that in mind, we turn to to RS017 from the hands of Dan Kye, which we’ve learned is the alias for Jordan Rakei’s stripped-back electronic project.
The four-track EP, titled Joy, Ease, Lightness, is the first release attributed to the moniker “Dan Kye” and it’s a tasty, smooth package of tracks. “Change” starts things off with a boom-bap infused beat covered with silky pads, guitar work and vocals. Meanwhile, “Like You Wanna” is a groovy, joyful track driven by a funky percussive structure, catchy vocal work and an irresistible funk soul guitar lick. The B-side turns to deeper territories, which brings us to our premiere track, “Tolle”.
The cut pays immediate tribute to spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle both in title and in use of his voice as the introduction. It should also be noted that the name of the EP itself is an allusion to the same quote from the philosophe. “Tolle” continues some of the now obvious trademark stylings of Dan Kye: smartly layered vocal samples are bound to the percussion, while smooth lead vocals add another dimension to the deep house instrumentals. The synth work on this one is creamy and sweet, reminiscent of the aesthetics of hotshots like Laurence Guy (think “Kojak”) and the like. “Tolles” partner on the flipside, “iigo” ends things on a deeper note, while again reflecting the aforementioned stylings of the other tracks on the EP.
All in all, Joy, Ease, Lightness is a warm, soulful grip of deep house tracks and fits perfectly in the catalogue of Rhythm Section International. It’s an impressive debut from a “new name”, but this man is clearly a savvy multi-instrumentalist and we probably shouldn’t be surprised that RSI are the ones to dig him up in this vein. In summary, the philosophically-inspired EP is fun, light and danceable, while also remaining intelligent in both production and lyricism.
Already available on : Juno