February 28, 2013

Adam Wray needs you at least 73.7 percent.

Listen to music long enough and you realize it moves in circles. What was popular twenty years ago will be discovered by kids on the come up, and bits of that old sound will become new again. Right now, the sounds of early house are catching their second wind thanks to producers like Adam Dyment aka Duke Dumont.

It’s only recently that Dumont’s gotten serious about his original productions. After a half-decade earning his stripes as a touring DJ and sought-after remix artist, he fled London for pastoral Hertfordshire, devoting himself to his own work. He returned from the wilderness in 2012 with a clutch of club-ready weapons, a case study in the benefits of developing at one’s own pace, outside the hype cycle that breaks artists before they’re ready.

His FOR CLUB PLAY ONLY 12″s were statements of intent, the first volume’s bouncy, hypnotic “Street Walker” the choicest cut of the bunch. With “Need U (100%),” the first release on his Blasé Boys Club imprint, Dumont and 17 year-old South Londoner A*M*E* have taken things all the way back to ’88, channeling the bright, upful vocal house of acts like Inner City.

On its surface, “Need U (100%)” is straight throwback house, full of the handclaps, ooh-whoas, and mmm-mmms typical of the genre. The vocals and cornball lyrics are ripped right out of that playbook, too, with A*M*E* perfectly suited for diva duty. Dumont’s drums have a bit of swing to them, though, and the tune is girded by a rumbling low-end that has more in common with the past few years of UK bass music. Dumont’s got a knack for synthesis, reviving the best parts of the old by blending them with the new. If “Need U (100%)” is any indication, he should have a big 2013.

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