Pinky2Dye4 is the alias of Juanita Lewis, whose discogs listings feature just one other production credit — “Understanding Neith” from the 2005 V/A These New Cats From Detroit. Liner notes describe what must have been a harrowing accident that lead Lewis to “cease all production” until now.
Lewis returns on a Moods & Grooves undergoing a notable shift. Mike Grant’s label, we’ve said before, is one of house music’s best, a catalog that captured several future legends at their start and often at their best. These are good records that stay good. Grant’s A&R acumen forms a sixth sense with a remarkable level of consistency over the labels’ 20+ year history.
The last two releases from the label have been strictly digital. This wouldn’t have been a big deal in 2008 when everyone was going digital but it is in 2021 from a label that was committed to vinyl (not to mention the commitment to doing so during Grant’s repeated military deployments. One release went live, he told me a few years back, when he was at Fort Hood for mobilization.)
Yet the quality is still sky high, even the parts that some might consider (wrongly) incidental to the experience: the artwork is phenomenal both on this and on “Saturdays on Down South,” the first Moods & Grooves Digital release. Lead by “Blossom In May,” Phantom Phoenix is remarkable, especially when you consider this is the first release in 16 years. The sound has a soulful but sprightly, uptempo and intensely musical feel — maybe we’ll call it “that Reel People sound” so the folks at home know what they’re missing. The dubbed out “Tie Me Up” is terrifyingly addictive and a key indicator that Lewis, for what we’ve missed, is back again.
Pinky2dye4: Phantom Phoenix (Moods & Grooves / August 2021 / Digital)
1. Pinky2dye4: Blossom in May (6:02)
2. Pinky2dye4: Tie Me Up (6:17)
3. Pinky2dye4: House Diva (6:41)
4. Pinky2dye4: Stretching Time (5:43)
⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was not submitted as a promo.