If home music was a human being, it might be in its late thirties and plumb within the season of mid-life disaster, which makes a sure musical maturity an inevitable growth. That it must be Chicago producer Ron Trent who brings home music its pipe and slippers on What Do the Stars Say to You is both exceptional or predictable, relying on whether or not you’re extra accustomed to Trent because the firebrand who produced the spartan dance traditional “Altered States” on the age of 14 or the co-founder of Prescription, a label famend for its unfathomably unwrinkled deep home.
What Do the Stars Say to You is the polar reverse of “Altered States” and different early home data that jolted their approach out of Chicago and Detroit within the late ’80s and early ’90s. It’s florid the place a lot early home was uncooked; laid again, the place its predecessors burst with vitality; and clean, in comparison with the style’s sometimes spiky funk. The album revels in an ultra-languid hybrid of home, disco, jazz, and new age that nods to Stevie Surprise’s sweetly pastoral Journey By means of the Secret Lifetime of Vegetation and the Germanic wooze of Tangerine Dream.
Trent is way from the primary producer to deliver stay instrumentation to accommodate: Masters at Work’s Nuyorican Soul mission within the Nineties was a name again to the disco data from which home was born. However few producers have gone fairly as far down the rabbit gap as Trent does right here. The file options contributions from septuagenarian jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, Ivan Conti and Alex Malheriros from Brazilian jazz fusionists Azymuth, and Texan psych outfit Khruangbin—an unlikely lineup for a home mission. A touch of jam-band earthiness floats over the file like weed and patchouli at a Phish live performance. (The album is designed, in keeping with Trent, for “harmonizing with spirit, city life and nature.”)
Synths and electronics do function all through the ten tracks (15 on the combined version) however they’re supposed as a framework for the stay musicianship, with Trent himself contributing drums, percussion, keys, piano, and guitar. All through, What Do the Stars Say to You retains issues immaculately clear and tidy It’s the type of file the place the mastering credit score (New York home and disco legend François Kevorkian) actually deserves its prominence—an album to be downloaded in WAV and used to check out new audio system.
Maturity, musicality, and finesse should not at all times welcome phrases in dance music, and What Do the Stars Say to You makes no concessions to anybody who likes their home tough, prepared, and machine-driven. Every little thing is clean as velvet and as relaxed as a sloth sleepover, from Lars Bartkuhn’s silvery guitar solo on “Cool Water” to Italian ambient pioneer Gigi Masin’s synth traces on “Admira,” a tune for individuals who contemplate Manuel Göttsching’s horizontal masterpiece E2-E4 to be a bit of too belligerent.