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smallpeople-salty days 2lp (smallville)

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smallpeople: salty days

It would be a waltz to call Salty Days just a treaty of deep house. But it is much more than just that. The co-owners of Hamburg's most gentle record store and label Smallville -- Just von Ahlefeld and Julius Steinhoff aka Smallpeople -- wouldn't be the romanticists they are, if it were that simple. The debut album from Smallpeople not only honors and delves into a sound that already peaked some 15 years ago, it also hones and elevates it, without ever falling into the Reynoldsmania trap or being old gold retold. And this is all oh-so-clear from the very start: the fine flutes of 'When It's There' go straight to your heart and they do so without any self-mockery or hipster smiles as much as the gasping 303-sounds, chirping birds and healing DX-like bass sounds a few tracks later do. 'Salty Days' -- an allusion not to grim times, but to a certain member's adoration for the crystalline mineral -- is blessed with a coherence and tradition that isn't leaden and a feeling that is pure. Like a distillate of U.S. innovations and the European backfire on it, Smallpeople tell their personal love story and jump to their own conclusions. 'Move With Your Vision' and 'Black Ice' both concentrate the form and content of this album: house music that knows its roots, past and classicism, but is made with the minds and means of today. In the '90s there was the saying that it's impossible to create an album consisting of house music and house music only (those dreary downbeat experiments still haunt us to this day). Salty Days is an ideal that belies that statement." --Gerd Janson

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