27 June 2012
George Fitzgerald - Child (Aus Music, Out Now)
We've been fans of George Fitzgerald's output so far, and have had nothing but good things to say about his output, but his latest EP for Aus Music sees him stepping up his game and nailing some vintage-sounding house, whilst still sounding fresh and contemporary. Heavily Chicago-influenced, Fitzgerald uses a mixture of 808 and 909 percussion, a wonderfully vintage-sounding bass synthesiser, and vocals that sit somewhere between neo-soul vocal solos and chopped up UKG to build a quality four-track EP. Whilst it's a fully-rounded EP, with genius to be found across the board, Child and Lights Out on the A-side are possessed of immediately engaging riffs and big breakdowns that scream peak-time house music, whilst Hindsight and Unilateral on the flip both lend themselves more to early evening or build-up tunes. Child manages to make the best of one nagging two bar-riff, slowly filtering a warm bass synth at first, before augmenting it with verging-on-cliched house piano sound and a more ethereal hi-end synth. Similarly Lights Out is all about the dropping in and out of drum sounds - taut claves, steely open-hats and weirdly swung claps shift focus, whilst Fitzgerald warps around a chopped up vocal demanding we "turn the lights out". Whilst Fitzgerald's first releases were laden with androgynous, warpy vocals that made for melancholic tracks, this EP sees him embracing the more retro notion of the male Diva, with vocals that owe more to house singers like Steve Edwards or Donald O.
In contrast, the B-side retains more influences from the Joy O sound that made his name, keeping the metallic chicago percussion, but using more ethereal synths, and sending the percussion into all the wrong places. Both are solid in their own right, and the bizarrely innapropriate rave stab that keeps crowbarring it's way into Unilateral is a surreal delight, but these two are very much slow-builders that require a little work to find the best in them. Nothing groundbreaking, but a really solid EP that will get a good workout for sure.