Kez YM: City Soul EP

Yore fans who've been digging recent wax by Rick Wade and Alton Miller will want to give their fullest attention to the label's newest recruit, Kez YM (real name Japanese producer Kazuki Yamaguchi), whose City Soul EP oozes soul in the best possible way. Yamaguchi's quartet of steamy deep house cuts overflows with warm Rhodes chords, hand-claps, and bass and drum grooves so funky they should be outlawed. It's telling that he hosts his own club night in Tokyo because the voice samples and percussion that ornament his material definitely strengthen its “live” club feel. The EP begins with “Pepe,” a soul-funk house jam replete with a driving bass throb, charging “live” drumming, and wild electric guitar playing that'll remind listeners of a certain age of Sly & The Family Stone. With its low-riding bass, honking sax line, and house pulse, “City Soul Vibrations” couldn't be any more perfectly titled, and it's next to impossible to remain seated once the synth-heavy funk of “Washing My Heart” enters the picture. City Soul EP finds Kez YM distilling the timeless essence of house music into four cuts that come and go far too quickly.

May 2009