Sebo K: Watergate 04
Watergate Records

Like a landscape scene slowing coming into focus, DOP's “Intro” eases the listener into Sebo K's (Sebo Kazey) mix, but it's the second cut—Rick Wade's “Night Station”—that clarifies the direction the Berlin DJ has in mind for his Watergate set (the fourth installment in the series issued by Watergate, the Berlin dance music club situated by the river Spree): soulful and deep house music. Wade's track oozes just the right amount of twilight soul, and with a smidgen of funk added in for seasoning. In like manner, the material that follows is soulful and deep too, and strongly communicates Kazey's love for the classic strains of Chicago house and Detroit techno. Soulful falsetto vocals testify (albeit restrainedly) in DOP's “Cold World,” while a male vocalist does much the same in Blagger's “Strange Behaviour.” Sounding like The Crusaders in a particularly funky mood, Session Victim's (Hauke Freer and Matthias Reiling) “Contribute” is thoroughly old-school in its blend of electric piano, synth sweetener, funk guitar, and triangle.

Kazey blends Daze Maxim's “Strange Things” and Patrice Scott's “Excursions” into a lush house cruise, Je Davu's percussion-heavy “Music Got You Movin” brings funk of the most steamy kind to the album, Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts tame the savage soul-house beast with a calming church organ in “The Pussy Sheppard,” DJ Koze gives Sid Le Rock's “Naked” a predictably off-kilter once-over, and Nina Kraviz takes us out with impassioned vocalizing in “Voices.” For almost seventy minutes, Kazey 's mix envelops the listener in bass-heavy sultriness, but w hat distinguishes Watergate 04 most is the degree to which it distances itself from the prototypical mix's techno leanings and instead fixates almost exclusively on house of a distinctly soulful and funky vintage.

December 2009