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  • Filed under: Review
  • 04/24/2013

Alden Tyrell & Gerd Luv Thang

Luv Thang is further proof, if proof were needed, that the '90s house revival shows no signs of losing steam. To its credit, "Luv Thang (feat. Jessy Allen)" by two of the Netherlands' premier Chicago worshippers, Alden Tyrell & Gerd, genuinely sounds like a quick-and-dirty slice of house from another decade. The production is rote but punchy, with sashaying hi-hats leading a charge of warm, deep bass and a staggered cascade of drum hits. Allen's vocals are confidently sassy, even while strutting around the song's paper-thin conceit ("Gimme that luv thang," plus some obligatory ad libbing). Their presence, despite how confidently Tyrell and Gerd drop them into the mix, doesn't do much for the track. Allen has plenty of attitude and commitment, yet her words merely fill a role, even suggesting some forgotten, fly-by-night track from the very decade the song is channeling. "Luv Thang" is house without the usual preciousness that attends nostalgia, and it strays into somewhat cheesy—if ultimately effective and historically accurate—territory as a result.

The vocal-less "Girls Can't Swim" takes exactly one less chance than the a-side does, sticking to the Tyrell's and Gerd's strengths as producers. It's just as well, since these two specialize in embodying the brutalist spirit of jack tracks, and this b-side, with its heart-stoppingly weighty bass drums and sour, boinging synths would not be out of place in Clone's Jack for Daze discography. The vibe is rougher than, say, Bicep's, even if the era of reference/reverence remains the same. There's enough in these few minutes to remind us they're doing something new with a timeless body-music template, although too much jacking can be awfully drying after a point.

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