Detroit-based electronic producer Colton May introduced his Fleet.Dreams alias with last year’s self-titled EP, and now this follow-up 12” EP on Dublin label All City ‘Baskets Of Gold’ sees him reconvening with longtime vocal collaborator AJ Magic for seven new tracks that wander between house, funk, soul and hiphop.
Opening track ‘EKG’ gives a good indication of the smooth blend of styles at work here as tumbling midtempo disco rhythms that call to mind Maurice Fulton give way to AJ Magic’s smooth multi-tracked soul vocals, the dewy organ keys adding a woozy soft-focus feel as chunkier MPC-punched beats lock in amongst the fluid polyrhythms and analogue bass synths.
‘Obedience’ meanwhile ventures out into airier house structures as muted 4/4 kickdrums roll against vaguely trap-tinged snare programming and AJ Magic’s autotune-treated soul vocals as phased synth pads add a pristine glittery feel.
’Positive Growth’ offers a change of gear down into dusty hiphop-soul as a muted funk bassline snakes against clattering breaks, AJ Magic’s soul harmonies shifting into a more verse-based cadence as a gruff, pitched-down voice repeatedly intones “don’t pick the flower”, adding a vague feeling of underlying trepidation to the florid melodies.
Perhaps the most immediate touchstones that these tracks call to mind are the likes of Madlib and J Dilla, something that’s particularly brought into focus by ‘888’s bumpy wander through jazz-inflected piano chords, loose clattering drum breaks and old school centred rhymes. Smooth and laidback stuff that’s well worth investigation.