Mention the name Peshay around an ageing junglist and they’re likely to suddenly get a faraway, dreamy look in their eyes. During the late nineties Peshay (real name Paul Pesce) was one of the most innovative figures operating amongst the UK’s then thriving drum and bass scene, a veritable secret weapon amongst Goldie’s Metalheadz roster and the man behind club smashes like ‘Predator’ and ‘On The Nile.’ While he’s survived record company shenanigans and continued as an enduring presence on labels like V Recordings though, this latest album for Tru Thoughts ‘Generation’ sees Peshay dropping the junglist styles entirely in favour of a collection that’s far more rooted in jazz, disco and vintage funk. With a strong emphasis on live instrumental performances, the loose, free-flowing vibe here is often closer to the likes of The Herbaliser than anything else.
There’s also a focus on crate-digger friendly breaks, with ‘Indigo’ offering up a chase-scene worthy retro-funk shuffle that fuses sinuous Moog grooves to fluid snare breaks and rolling bass grooves in a manner likely to delight old Mo’ Wax heads. ‘Seville’ meanwhile brings the rolling latin disco-house rhythms to the forefront as 4/4 snares and clattering batucada percussion power away beneath majestic Cuban horns and a fluid samba bassline, before ‘Kickin’ It With The Piano Trio’ takes things off on a snaking freeform jazz wander that sees Bill Evans-esque piano fills trading shots with descending double-bass runs and a rush of hyper-dextrous cymbals. With a virtual absence of electronics, it’s perhaps the track that best highlights Peshay’s intention to step out of his usual square, and while there’s the occasional tepid moment here, overall these are pretty quality vintage-minded grooves.