dOP // The Odyssey of Dreamy Peace [Apt. International]
I remember being crushingly disappointed when I first discovered dOP, as I was initially convinced it was a comeback of an early nineties Progressive House act that I once loved. Disappointment was quickly replaced with pleasure as dOP – French trio Clement Zemstov, Damien Vandesandea and Jonathan Illel – turned out to be particularly good at crafting quality Deep House. Over the years their style has developed away from being just good Deep House, into something that, when heard blind, is always unmistakably dOP.
Even though the pace is more urgent than their usual output, the hallmarks of dOP are all present in The Odyssey of Dreamy Peace; folksy, storytelling vocals, mouth harps (!), a low bass saxophone (that is doing its best to recreate the bassline from Josh Wink’s Don’t Laugh), a pensive 60′s organ and distinctly Parisian saxophone solos. Its all so unexpected and fresh, completely sidestepping any pitfalls of becoming a chin stroking Jazz exercise with an emphatic triple jump. An absolute riot from start to finish.
Not wanting to be outdone on the sonic surprise front, Osamu M & Hiromat is a bit more conga-licious in its approach to start, but before you get any ideas about this being a simple Samba workout, wedding bells begin to cascade over the middle third. The saxophone and organ is retained from the original, forging that link to the source, but managing to remain distinct and inventive.
Less successful is the Hideo Kobayashi remix. It is actually a fantastic gallop of a Techno track, right up until the moment the vocal starts up. The smokey tones seem to sit ill at ease over the top over the relentless bass pulse and mechanical drumming. Strip it away, and you would have a winner of a Techno track, full of bright piano stabs, reminding me of Underworld’s thunderous Push (Upstairs).
Outside of this slight misstep, another interesting outing from this little Japanese label.
Release Date: Out Now