Don’t make me clap this one out. #SoulfulHouseBelongsOnVinyl.
Make it a slogan, make it a hashtag, put it on a birthday cake but understand that beautiful music that appeals to determined music lovers and an audience of audiophiles belongs on vinyl. It deserves to be preserved and we’re seeing with the vanishing of whole libraries of creative arts developed in the first decade of this century because “Out Now On Beatport” is no guarantee a record will be “Still Out On Beatport” tomorrow. This is dance music: imagine if you will a phony copyright claim about uncleared samples from a deep-pocketed publishing entity that yanks a track off the major platforms. You can fight it if you have the money; chances are they have more, and their army of robo-lawyers can snuff out any track (and take out plenty of non-infringing ones as collateral damage) while you’re sleeping.
This shit is actually happening and it’s happening every day and if you just made an edit of a disco loop you probably don’t care. If you wrote actual songs, hired musicians and a fair share of your future earnings are now held in limbo, you want that shit in a vault. Soulful House Belongs On Vinyl. It’s a cause whose time has come.
So I’m pleased to see Ralf Gum taking four tracks from his latest Progressions LP and pressing them to wax a few months after the main record has come out. This is a little different, Ralf Gum’s GOGO Music has frequently if not always pressed CDs of their tracks (from what I understand the circumstances of digital music in South Africa lead to CDs being not just a viable but a very practical distribution vehicle after they went out of fashion elsewhere.)
But vinyl reaches a different audience and it’s one that has become thirsty as fuck for soul. Four tracks are represented here, including Jimpster’s great remix of “Claudette” featuring Monique Bingham and “Back To Love” featuring Joseph Junior. Terry Hunter’s remix of “Claudette” would have been nice to have on wax too, but then vinyl is all about making hard choices, isn’t it?
The flip side showcases a hybrid deep/soulful/afro sound with “Uyakhala” featuring Mafikizolo and “After Midnight” featuring Portia Monique. I don’t think this is a conscious shift in tone: it’s what happens when a precocious deep house label submerges itself in the sound of South Africa for the last decade, which is exactly how it happened with GOGO.
Ralf Gum: Progressions Sampler EP / GOGO Music
A1. Ralf Gum: “Back To Love” (feat Joseph Junior & Ayanda Jiya) (7:00)
A2. Ralf Gum: “Claudette” (feat Monique Bingham – Jimpster Time After Time remix) (6:53)
B1. Ralf Gum: “Uyakhala” (feat Mafikizolo) (8:40)
B2. Ralf Gum: “After Midnight” (feat Portia Monique) (6:05)