Myungho Choi: Moment by Moment
A Touch of Class

Myungho Choi: How Long Till Dawn
A Touch of Class

Originally from Columbus , Ohio and now residing in New York City, Myungho Choi issues four fresh tracks on Moment by Moment, his A Touch of Class debut. Drawing upon a range of influences, from Detroit techno and Chicago House to James Brown and George Benson, Choi's bass-heavy material impresses with its sleek house design and jubilant spirit. On the A-side, a slamming backbeat groove pumps beatifically throughout “Moment by Moment,” propelling the opener forward while oscillating string tones and funk guitar parts engage in slinky counterpoint. Step aside when the bass-heavy “Blondie” comes into view, and then bask in the intensity of its relentless James Brown groove. The B-side tracks could pass for Choi-Benson collaborations, so strongly is the latter's presence suggested. “Red Umbrella” sounds as if Choi built the track around a guitar sample from Breezin' while Benson also seemingly shows up on “Try Me” with Choi underlaying a Benson vocal-guitar sample with a swinging, double-time house groove. No matter: Moment by Moment is joyous stuff, and classy too.

Though Choi's follow-up 12-inch is less a dramatic departure in style than it is Moment by Moment Part Two, there's nothing terribly objectionable about that when How Long Till Dawn is so irresistibly effervescent. On four dizzying tracks, Choi again powers his stampeding funk grooves, ecstatic voices, and somersaulting Rhodes melodies with classic soul bass lines. His stoked mix of soul, jazz, and house proves exhilarating in the steaming strutter “Lovin' You Today” and high-velocity disco anthem “Shakin' Bricks.” Less aerodynamic and earthier by comparison, the low-slung party-funk groove in “How Long Till Dawn” would sound perfectly at home in a Parliament-Funkadelic set, especially when voices chant “Shake” and “Havin' fun?” and horns blaze over a steaming stomp. The closer “We Ain't Leaving” revisits the Benson-funk style of Moment by Moment by looping a guitar-vocal fragment over a relentless minimal disco pulse.

February 2008