Esteban Adame: Day Labor (EPM Music, 2014)

July 15, 2014 at 11:05 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Esteban Adame: Day Labor

Esteban Adame: Day Labor

Los Angeles native Esteban Adame has been playing keyboards in various Underground Resistance-affiliated projects (most notably Los Hermanos and Galaxy 2 Galaxy) since 2004, and has released a handful of solo 12″s on labels such as Motech and his own Ican Productions. This is his first solo full-length, on Dutch label/distributor EPM Music. The album embraces several flavors of late-night Detroit sounds. It starts with a bass-heavy, blinking ambient intro track called “Rise And Shine”. “Out To Get It” balances jittering hi-hats and floating synths with calmer moments, all on top of a steady 4/4 beat. “The Grind” is more of a gritty, tense burner, with meteor-shower synths sprinkling over everything. “Paraphernalia” is where we start getting into topsy-turvy melodic loops and ghettotech vocal samples. Seems a bit lo-fi, not quite in an ’80s Dance Mania way, but maybe like a smoothed-out homage to something like that. “Handed Down” heads straight into Galaxy 2 Galaxy territory, melodically, with swinging house beats and funky keyboard lines, and plenty of smooth soloing. “Home Sick” is another standout, with a haunting synth melody, slapping beats and echoed piano riffs. “The Reason” is vintage UR in contemplative mode, with lots of spacey whistles and a forlorn, distressed melody. “What I Really Think” is a retreat to a more singular type of track, focusing on a beat and a few sounds that don’t really move from their spots much, but seems to slowly build and expand a bit. “Another Day” sounds a bit similar to “The Reason”, except it’s brighter and more optimistic sounding. “Friday Night DUI” ends the album with a slinky soundtrack for starting your weekend with a cruise around Detroit, while intoxicated.

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