Review: Drei Farben House – Fluency Fabrics LP – Tenderpark
Three and a half years after Drei Farben House’s third LP “Choice Item”, he is back with his fourth long-playing record “Fluency Fabrics”. It’s the 20th release for his very own Tenderpark imprint and therefore a very nice anniversary. Seven tracks made it onto the record in the end and all of them are spiced with lots of vocal, funk, disco and soul samples. Drei Farben House again delivered what he is known for already. House and deep house with a certain warmth, on point grooves and samples that are a tribute to the originals they were taken from. Of course the whole album is not coming up with serious changes, but that’s not the vision Micha is following. Once again he plays around with sounds that are quite familiar and he already used, but for this album he enmeshes them differently. He flips the old samples and comes up with something new that is still true to his sound. The same approach can be seen on the artwork. “Choice Item” and “Fluency Fabrics” both depict architecture in a natural environment, so the aesthetical idea remained the same. So both albums connect on many levels and still “Fluency Fabrics” is recognizably the next step, with more details soundwise and an even clearer visual message, created by Till Sperle.
“Fair Weather” is the first track on “Fluency Fabrics” and comes with a driving bongo and guitar loop that have a superb groove in combination. Fluffy pads and organic drums contrast the funky parts in great style. Short vocal snippets and sharp chord hits on top to support the energy and that’s it. “Black Mountain College” on the b-side starts out with a looped vocal and a lot of retro charm. The vocal loop finds his place in the background and really does the trick. Crisp drums on top and the “make it happen” vocal in combination with heavy moaning turn this track into a sexy and freaky mid-tempo bouncer. “Brown and Beige” closes the b-side with hard hitting drums and a very classy string. The bassline has a great groove and the small drum rolls in tiny breaks really make some room and add a great amount of excitement. The shifted chords and vocals play tag with each other and offer a lot of synergy. “Rive Gauche” opens the c-side on the second 12 inch of the LP. Strong drums and percussions with lovely delayed pads are a superb foundation. While the other tracks have almost endless parts, this one relies on just a few and small modulations which gives this track a nice dub house touch. Minimalistic chord stabs and a funky vocal fit in perfectly. Simplicity that ends up in a nice drive and harmony. The mixture of dub and funk or even soul elements is very uncommon, but surprisingly works quite well. “Nostalgic Tyme” is the second track on the c-side and comes with a heavy bassline, agile drums and of course effortless sounding vocal snippets that have a great sleaziness which fits this track excellently. The main vocal “cause music’s been my therapy” is the sing along part and immediately reaches out to you. You’ll sing to this on the dance floor before you know it. It seems like on “Nostalgic Tyme” it’s all about the bassline and vocals, the whole mid sections is clearly hearable but somehow does his thing unagitated in the background. The final side starts out with “Cable Knit” as the first track on the d-side. As displayed several times during the album, you again find a very fat and crisp bassline that has a nice organic feel. It seems like training and playing bass guitar really was worth the effort. “Move to this”, the lead vocal screams to you and is one of the trashiest and obvious vocals one can imagine, but what would disco and funk be without some cheesy vocals. You’re right, it wouldn’t be the same and we all would miss it. Besides those vocals the track has a very complex drum set and powerful percussions that perfectly punctuate the track. “Stateside” is the last track on Drei Farben House’s “Fluency Fabrics” and relies on the same ingredients. Vocal snippets, funky guitar samples that spice things up a bit, great motion in the bassline segment, energetic percussions, organic drums and some short chords and pads. At first glance it seems like all the tracks are somehow the same, but the difference needs some attention for details. All the tracks feature the same parts and pretty much the same fluffy vibe, but the magic never happens on the surface. All the beauty needs to be discovered while listening closely and as soon as you took your time listening to “Fluency Fabrics” you’ll understand the whole concept of working with or around samples that were used by Micha several times before. Flipping a sample is hard, flipping it two, three or four times to create something new or to use it differently is one hell of a challenge. All in all Drei Farben House mastered this challenge and brings us seven warm, melodic and funky tracks that have the dreaminess you sometimes need.