Those lazy, hazy days have come to an end, the sun bids farewell earlier every day, and there’s already a chill in the air. For many, fall is a wistful, romantically melancholy time of year, a season to wonder about what might have been if only you had spent the warmer months more wisely, and a time to shudder at thoughts of the impending gloom to come. (Disregard the above if you’re in southern climes. Wanna change places?) Anyway, it’s the perfect season for the Touch of Class label’s second Indian Summer compilation, a collection of tune that sum up the autumnal vibe, one that alternates between the congenial and the contemplative.
Indian Summer: Volume Two features tracks from some of Touch of Class’s core team (including Tone Of Arc, Signal Flow, Pattern Drama and Navid Izadi), along a string of cuts culled from upcoming projects and ringers—Thugfucker, Ataxia, Berkson & What, and Jonny Cruz’s new Ominous duo among them. As you might expect with such a wide swathe of artists, there’s lots of variety on tap—plenty of which would fit vaguely into the house template, but with a few outliers as well. And some within that second group are among the compilation’s best. Schnitz’s “Hermetic” is pure cosmic electro-funk, with Moog-ish synth lines and Joe Le Groove’s breathy, filtered vocal snippets propelled by drum-machine syncopation; Mavidip & Steinlausky’s “Eyeballin’” is a pseudo-sexy, low-slung R&B tune that treads the line between parody and honest homage; and “Get Back Down,” by KMLN (featuring Myron on vocals) nestles somewhere between slow-groove Prince (albeit a very minimalist Prince) and Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait (The Whisper Song)”
Most of the rest of Indian Summer: Volume Two follow a 4/4 groove, though none of them could exactly be considered peak-time material; these songs are as much about feeling as they are about dancing. There’s a dreamy, pensive ambience to most of them; fitting, given the season. There’s a nostalgic quality, too—none of these tracks are “old-school,” exactly, but there’s some of the same aura that house had in those fertile, late-’80s and early-’90s days, when producers were learning to inject more nuance, musicianship and soul into their machine-made music. (If you think about the vibier tunes on the New Generation label’s old DJ’s on Vinyl EPs, you’ll be close.) “The Force,” from Berkson & What, is a jazzy, low–bpm track boasting a bumping little bassline and gorgeous chords; Moon Unit’s “High on You” wraps its heavenly synth washes around a boogie-tinged rhythm; and "Passing the Lion,” by Tone of Arc, could be a future Balearic classic. The record’s final track, “Colours”—from the dream team of Signal Flow, Pattern Drama, Navid Izadi and Jonny Cruz—sums it all up: ten minutes of muted bliss, with feelings of hope mingling with a faint sense of loss, make for a gorgeous ending to a wonderful set.
NYC’s Kolekti crew celebrates the release of Indian Summer: Volume Two with a party on Saturday, October 3 featuring Metro Area, Wolf + Lamb, Pillow Talk, Tone of Arc, Pattern Drama, Signal Flow and more.