The Kings of Late Night feat. Billy Love
Fly Away EP
West End Blue
Mel Cheren launches his label's new offshoot, West End Blue, with the Fly Away EP, a four-track compilation of jazzy dance music, more abstract than the uplifting, soulful house path West End Records usually walk. It's The Life is a plodding deep house number, devoid of any excitement and a remarkably bland opening track to this exciting project.
On the flip, Norm Talley spices thing up with his West End Blue interpretations of the EP's title track, Fly Away. Inspiring lyrics float over staccato drum loops, creating a lush nu-jazz warmth that beautifully wraps up Billy 'Love' Beaver's shimmering vocals. And then from nowhere the drum kick drops into an intricate, off-centre rhythm, glittering with LaFrance Harper's soothing guitar solo and the angelic harmonies of backing vocal group, Members of the House. Talley's West End Lounge Mix strips away the drums and makes the keys and vocals more prominent in the mix, delivering a wonderfully mellow rendition of Beaver's emotive love song.
Also included is an addictive bonus track; Theo Parrish's Sound Signature rework of Illumination. With cushioned drums and melting keys, Illumination is worthy of its own 12" release, a luscious groove that shines under the sincere words of Billy 'Love' Beaver.
A varied and forward-thinking release, the Fly Away EP is a sparkling debut for West End's promising new venture.
Sample 1 "Fly Away" (West End Blue mix)
Sample 2 "Fly Away" (West End Lounge mix)
Sample 3 "Illumination" (Sound Signature mix)
Ian Blevins www.ianblevins.co.uk