Strategy: Fields of May

Fields of May finds Paul Dickow taking time out from his Community Library doings to contribute a predictably arresting 12-inch of Strategy material for Orac. In a manner similar to Dickow's equally expansive “World House,” “Fields of May” effortlessly conflates African boogaloo, Chain Reaction dub, and Detroit techno into a barrlehouse hybrid. The tune swoops into view in a steely haze of fluttering, Fluxion-styled exhalations, then promptly segues into a snappy, kalimba-accented groove that spreads its global wings towards Africa, India, Berlin, and the Australian outback. Radovan Scasascia (aka AM/PM) gives the tune a dubby Secondo remix that slightly arrests the original's quicksilver flow and instead grounds it in space-funk territory. Tiny electronic glissandi leave spiraling trails across the night sky while a hiccupping funk pulse inches its way across the floor. The opening tracks are strong but matched by the B side's “VCoda,” a gloriously funky, nine-minute serving of dub-soul-disco that's as cool as an ocean breeze. Though we're presumably hearing the fruits of sampling wizardry, in an alternate universe one might imagine Dickow surreptitiously hitting ‘record' after cottoning to the studio magic his session musicians are producing during a loose, impromptu jam.

December 2006