Virgo Four – Resurrection

Ahead of a recent trip abroad I decided it was time to update my music collection; JLS’ lp is over a week old and Frankie Cocozza won’t be releasing anything until 2012 at the earliest (and I suspect even then it’ll be a dubplate-only release).

With this in mind, I plumped for Rush Hour’s second Virgo Four release in as many years, Resurrection. The CD boasts 15 unreleased Chicago house hits from ’80s tunesters Eric Lewis and Merwyn Sanders. If you get the vinyl, you’re treated to twice as many tracks in a limited edition box set. Bonus.

Whilst some of the beats feel like filler – this was after all a compilation of unreleased material rather than an lp by conception, unlike their fantastic self-titled 1989 album – a handful of the tracks are Chicago gold. Sex, for example, deals with the intricacies of ‘naughty times’ with a base-heavy drum lick that would have made J Dilla proud (RIP). Moskaw’s locomotive-inspired beats and synth baseline feel icy fresh, as if you’re sat atop the Glacier Express in your birthday suit, hurtling through the Swiss Alps with a smile on your face and a chilly willy. The standout track for me, however, has to be it’s a crime. Co-written by Greg Gary (great name), the soul-drenched vocals, thoughtful message and instantly hummable baseline make this track a special find.

Better still is Caribou‘s remix. Caribou’s take on its a crime preserves the best elements; the bouncy bass remains the backbone and the rueful vocal riffs are now ably performed by Daniel Victor Snaith (Mr Caribou himself, previously known as Manitoba). As with many of the tracks on his 2010 lp Swim, this remix passes through a series of phases which grow and grow until the 3m 50s mark when a soaring baseline preludes a monster drop.

With this track on heavy rotation, I decided to check out some of the Caribou back catalogue and I’ve not been underwhelmed. The Milk of Human Kindness has a delicate sound while last year’s ‘Swim’ is made for the dancefloor. Both are exercises in effective songwriting.

Dave – I definitely came late to the Caribou party. The good news is it’s not too late for others to learn from my mistake. The Caribou Vibration Ensemble are playing at Scala in London on 6 December for those lucky enough to have bought tickets in time. If not, check out Nightmare Before Christmas in Minehead between 9-11 December which is co-curated by Caribou. And if you can’t make that, Snaith has put a delightful, download-friendly mix together ahead of the festival here.