I’m shit at identifying samples and intimidated by people who have that instant recall that they can ID a sound with three notes and a little bit of whiskey. I was googling for one that I thought was from a Nona Hendryx record when I stumbled across Pat Van Dyke’s Let The Horns Blow. Though heavy on samples, this had nothing to do with Nona – just a vague resemblance in the title – but within a few bars of the first track I was hooked. Van Dyke is a tremendously talented writer, and Let The Horns Blow is a clinic in how a few modern tools and a store of ingenuity can make for some great tracks. A promo line from Bobbito quoted here basically intimidated me away from writing about it at all, because I can’t put it better than how he described it as “a jazz record that’s probably produced by someone young enough to be raised on hip-hop.” It’s succinct and dead-on accurate.
Van Dyke has a gift for feeding everything into the beat – everything is pliant and devoted to that preternatural stomp. “On The Good Foot” blazes with upright bass, horns and enough flourishes you’ve maybe heard before and makes them sound new. Horns float upward, dancing above that elephant foot stamping on the one. These are like the records that Moodymann would tell some young cat to listen to if he ever wanted to know the secret to playing turntables like a piano. Altogether, this is barely 10 minutes of music across four songs combined and I wanted more.
Originally published first in 5 Magazine Issue 139, featuring Jerome Baker, Hanna Hais, David Mancuso, Surface and Karen Copeland & more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full Access to Real House Music.