Maybe its little surprise that “To Love” wended its way into Wednesday night’s FlyYorke extravaganza. After all, the Turkish vocalist/DJ, Ahu appeared on Lotus’ “RobertaFlack,” while “To Love’s” producer Paul White might be the most kindred spirit to the Low End outside of Lincoln Heights.
Dropping records on both the lionization-worthy London imprint One-Handed Music and Stones Throw, White is a first-rate Dilla disciple. Other producers jack the unquantized drums and the soul loops, but harness neither the emotionalism nor the eclecticism (or the fact that Dilla was resolutely opposed to isms, save for this kind.) His “Uprising of the Insane” from 2009’s Strange Dreams of Paul White flipped “20th Century Schizo Man” 18 months before Kanye and to far more impressive effect. Whereas Kanye used King Crimson to burnish his cool cred and serve his self-delusion, White was only interested in the music, burying it in a bedlam sound, vocals chipmunked to sound bi-polar, propulsive drums, and a science-fiction melody of his own creation.
Having sold out of the limited edition run of 1,500 copies, One-Handed is making the full length available for free download. When I wrote about it two years ago, my capsule review praised White’s creates “gorgeous, stoned, head phone music.” Unlike many of beat records that trade instant novelty for longevity, Strange Dreams is one of those records that never left my iPod classic before my cat crippled it in a stunning display of feline insensitivity. Fuck you, F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Cat). But “To Love” showcases the commercial potential that the sound has yet to realize. The sort of thing that strikes the rare balance between Vanilla latte soul and underground weird. If it’s good enough for those two…
MP3: Ahu (prod. by Paul White) – “To Love”
ZIP: Paul White – The Strange Dreams of Paul White (Left-Click)