Everything Daniel Bortz touches seems to glow, his music radiating a fuzzy warmth like a soft scrubbed earthlight. It’s a sound that permeates whatever music he makes, in whatever genre it spills over into, and that golden touch is everywhere on Stay, a new 11 track album on Permanent Vacation.
Stay is sophisticated but fun; playful and something of an antidote to the gloom that has surrounded much of the world over the hell of 2020. “On A Boat” is maybe the quintessential track of Stay, lifted up by a spring-loaded 303 that comes to dance with the sax and a playful bouncing bass. There are moments of pure beauty, as on the opening “Grind” and the enigmatic, quiet epic “Stay.” There are also moments of deep house ecstasy, done as well as anyone can do it on “How Far Can We Go.” “Holding You” hits a bit too close to home, with lyrics that describe a literal closeness, a skin-to-skin intimacy of contact that quite a lot have been craving. Each of these tracks has a keen instinct for melodies that stay with you. “Teenage Emotions” and “You Can Stay Forever” — which sounds like the early ’90s Aphex/Moby collaboration that never took place but should have — are a soundtrack searching for the right movie. Daniel Bortz is among the most talented music men in dance music; he could easily make a living as a pop songwriter if he wanted to but he saves the best of it for us.
Daniel Bortz: Stay (Permanent Vacation / 12″ Vinyl / October 2020)
1. Daniel Bortz: Grind (03:16)
2. Daniel Bortz: Holding You (05:08)
3. Daniel Bortz: How Far Can We Go? (03:39)
4. Daniel Bortz: South Beach (03:12)
5. Daniel Bortz: On A Boat (06:10)
6. Daniel Bortz: Smells Like CK One (05:47)
7. Daniel Bortz: Stay (02:24)
8. Daniel Bortz: Teenage Emotions (04:21)
9. Daniel Bortz: Isolation (04:06)
10. Daniel Bortz: Together (02:13)
11. Daniel Bortz: You Can Stay Forever (04:03)
Daniel Bortz photo by Tom Bioly