Austin Boogie Crew 2020
Lassoing the groove in anniversary style, Texan record label presents a tasty slice of their finger-popping roster.
Funk’s never been the same since its chunks began dissolving in a disco bouillabaisse to get smoothed on the dancefloor, and nowadays the genre’s borders are blurred enough to create an often irresistible variety of strands. This is something that Austin Boogie Crew seem to know all too well, because their stable – which goes way beyond the core DJ collective – may deploy different techniques but there’s always a catchy tune cocooned in a finely accentuated rhythm. The twelve artists, from Austin’s own Spence to Sweden’s son Lowmac, provide a nice illustration to such a point, by laying out one impressive spectrum of emotions across 21 pieces to make the listener alternately sway and swoon.
The players’ sonic geography is impressive too, as “Do It 4U” by STARSHIP CONNECTION channels Caribbean bliss and COMPUTA GAMES’s “Do Your Thing” navigates a Balearic kind of carelessness. Starting with the silky span of “Goodies” which Diamond Ortiz spiked with synthetic elegance and vocodered allure, these tracks roll through both soulful and spacey landscapes, so Rojai’s “So Special” sports romantic streaks and voices that caress and excite in equal measure, while Jonny Tobin’s piano-sparked “Sunrise” travels in a world of wondrous suspense. Whereas Solar Shield’s “Beeturia” weaves a cosmic thread through simple beats, the electronica of XL Middleton’s “Enjoyable Sunburn” feels rapturously stark; and if Trailer Limon’s “Dancing With Somebody” is deliciously slow in its stereo swirl, many other cuts move at a quick pace.
There’s a lot of old-school sensibility on these tracks – the futuristic “A Good Time” by B & THE FAMILY could bounce off mirrorball back in the late ’70s and land in our time to wet Moniquea’s rather dry “Closer” – yet it’s not for nothing that the compilation bears “modern” in its title. After half-decade of creative success, ABC must have a bright outlook.