Album Reviews: AC Slater, Booka Shade, Mat Zo

Bass House

AC Slater Night Moves EP (Party Like Us Records)

Get down with some super-deep basslines that make you want to hump a woofer. AC Slater, the “King of Heavy Bass House in America”—likely a self-proclaimed title, but it’s fitting—shells out a three-track EP that’s just the right balance between soulful classic house and new-school wonky beats. The first track, “So Sweet” with Megan Thomas, could be super dance-floor friendly. Unfortunately, it’s a bit too creative for a Las Vegas club—but it’s what should be pumping though speakers. “Go Harder,” featuring Dell Harris, continues to lure in anyone with dope undertones and strings for substance. “What You Want” is equally solid. Put this on at stoplights and blow away the guy next to you who’s listening to Avicii. ★★★★☆

Deep House

Booka Shade Eve (Embassy One/Blaufield Music)

Fortunately, the genius German duo Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier got their panties out of a wad and didn’t break up—the music world should be thankful. With understated funkiness, their traditional recording techniques lend human warmth to each of the 12 tracks, which weave together into something of a house/tech house/techno opera that even includes Groove Armada’s trombone player Andy Cato and deep house vocalist Fritz Kalkbrenner. Favorites include “Maifeld” and “Perfect Time.” Spotify this sucker, then actually buy it. It’s totally worth it. ★★★★☆


Mat Zo Damage Control (Astralwerks)

Oh, I know this song (“Easy”). Wait, I know this one, too (“Pyramid Scheme”). And this one (“The Sky”). Wait, didn’t I hear this already (“EZ”)? Hmmm, Mat Zo’s debut album sounds awfully familiar. That’s because some of the tracks have already been out for a minute. Can’t fault a guy for knowing what works and turning that into an album, but the offering seems disjointed. Perhaps Zo is trying to prove his versatility, thus he’s got everything from an interlude that sounds like Jethro Tull’s flute (“Little Damage”) to ’70s porno background music (“The Sky”) and Middle Eastern dubstep (if that’s a thing now, on “Caller ID”). But it’s still better than most EDM these days, so, much appreciated, Mat Zo. ★★★☆☆

Disc Scan

Upcoming on Deanna’s radar

NOV. 15: OK, I know the date has passed, but I just saw that Nils Frahmreleased Spaces and I almost missed it, so shame on me; I’d be mad at myself if I didn’t share it with you. Who’s Nils Frahm? A brilliant German modern-day composer I’m musically in love with, so if you’re looking to refresh your ears, pick this one up. DEC. 3: Speaking of people I’m musically in love with, Glen Hansard (you know, the guy from the movieOnce), drops his second solo offering, Drive All Night, on this date.

Originally published in Vegas Seven.

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