Paul Cut has more talent in his middle finger than most of us have in our entire soul. He has a preternatural feel for a groove, an uncanny knack for writing simple but sophisticated hooks and arranges a deep house track like he was born for it.

His first album is out this week and it is a stone-cold shot to the jaw. Le Bal Des Douaniers showcases Paul Cut’s soft touch on the keys and near virtuoso work in making a selective sound palette sound as big as a discotheque and as intimate as a record playing on a turntable just for you.

“Caparadise” leads off and at 5:49 is a key argument for why you should still buy doubles of everything you love. This heavenly riff, spiritually descended from “Forever Monna” could go on forever. In an ideal platonic universe, it does. You could say the same about the hopped-up boogie of “Zebulon Neon” and “Boug Room.” A dazzling flash of Metalheadz-era Drum’N’Bass melted into speedy Chicago footwork gets transposed on the classy “Les Gars Si” and increases in intensity track-by-track until we’re at full jungleism on “Tipsy Glisse.” There are producers who have tried to make that transition for years without it coming out sounding corny or try-hard. You listen to shit like this and it’s baffling to think this guy has been releasing music for all of four years.

Le Bal Des Douaniers isn’t the best that Paul Cut is going to come up with, but it’s a career-charting album, in the company of a select few.

Paul Cut: Le Bal Des Douaniers / Popcorn Records (April 2020 / 12″ Vinyl/Digital)
A1. Paul Cut: “Intro Cut” (1:59)
A2. Paul Cut: “Caparadise” (5:52)
B1. Paul Cut: “Zebulon Neon” (8:02)
B2. Paul Cut: “Boug Room” (6:14)
C1. Paul Cut: “Les Gars Si” (6:07)
C2. Paul Cut: “PPSB” (5:59)
D1. Paul Cut: “Tipsy Glisse” (8:51)
D2. Paul Cut: “Zut Flute” (6:15)



Originally published in 5 Mag issue 181: A Tribute to Mike Huckaby. Support 5 Mag by becoming a member for just $1 per issue.