Moodymann – Silence In The Secret Garden (Reissue 2XLP) LTD copies only !!
Well, it's Kenny Dixon's finest moment - a simply astonishing collection of tracks that will crown a year in which Detroit and it's brightest cohorts have dominated the dancefloor yet again and have teased out a whole new legion of fans and followers for the likes of Kenny, Theo, Rick and the extended deep house fraternity. The opening "Entrance 2 The Garden" holds the door open to the Moody world, as perfect an intro to an album as it gets, tentative strings, live drums, droplets of piano and funk bass all converging into an atmospheric force de majeure worthy only of the magician himself. 'People' is one of those genius slow funk, slink-drippin' heavy bass grooves that Kenny keeps pulling out, filled with beautiful rhodes keys and the bar crowd noises which give it that saturday night bumpin' vibe, the first glimpse of Kenny's long standing soulmate Norma Jean Bell arriving with the enticing breathy sax flowing like water over Kenny's beats to complete the picture. Back in 99 a one sided white label came outta Detroit with the simple lettering "JAN" emblazoned across its label. The track was a total KDJ classic and is re-worked here in breathtaking fashion under the new title "LIVEINLA 1998". The dirtiest, sleaziest bass bounce sets the dancefloor agenda, ill-fitting african sampling cuts in, handclaps rotate, the percussion stix upping the ante before...finally...a devastating Grand Piano tumble twists proceedings into something unfathomably tough, deep and totally Detroit in a way that just can't be messed with. Astonishing. "On My Way Home" is the real surprise on board, finding Kenny in a deep dive through Detroit's other fascination : dark, soulful Techno, a sort-of Basic Channel induced haze of a track that should be listened to late at night driving through a neon-strewn freeway, the windows wound wide open. Immense. No one else in the House can compete with Kenny when he's on form.....and boy is he on form here. Hands-down best house music album of the year.