Strong Souls: Remember When EP
D3 Elements

Remember When doles out three straight-up, sophisticated, and sultry deep house jams from Raymond “RayDilla” Funnye operating under the Strong Souls name. Funnye brings a deep history to the EP: in the mid-‘90s, he released material on the Chicago label Dance Mania and the UK Black Market imprint, and more recently oversaw Vibes And Pepper prior to launching his latest venture D3 Elements. Of more immediate concern is the new EP, however, which more than rewards one's time and attention.

The A-side's “The Beast” augments its swinging house strut with silken string pads and (the true cherry on top) a beautifully pulsating bass line before amplifying the muscular groove with additional percussive layers. The result is five minutes of classy house music that's as propulsive as it is serene. You'll be forgiven if you're reminded of Rick Wade when the late-night scene-stealer “Remember When” rolls out a lithe disco stomp and embellishes it with bongos and shimmering Rhodes chords. Keeping the quality level high, the B's transporting “Don't You Know,” all dreamy washes, synth radiance, and funky bass pulses, swings and swaggers with a delicious, jazz-inflected exuberance. Words like warm, soulful, and classy spring to mind as one takes in the release's nineteen minutes.

January 2014