Wbeeza Black Moon EP
The South Londoner's secretsundaze debut, filled with acidic and Detroit-tinged touches, attests to the producer's burgeoning talent.
Warren “Wbeeza” Brown is a purveyor of wide-angle house; he’s the sort of music maker who can focus on a large aural topography that encompasses everything from soul, jazz and hip-hop to acid and Motor City techno. The South London music maker zooms in on the latter three sounds on his secretsundaze debut, the Black Moon EP, released hot the heels of his recent (and excellent) Expressions of Love long-player on Third Ear Recordings. But, as often the case with Wbeeza, he saves plenty of room for the “soul” end of the landscape in the EP’s bigger picture, too.
The title track is a vaguely evil-sounding piece, defined by a sinewy, modulated acid line weaving its way in and out of the mix, that hearkens back to the TB-303’s ’80s heyday—but the cut’s rhythmic structure (basically a kick and a well-placed bit of machine-room click) gives the cut a propulsive force that takes it out of the realm of acid pastiche. It’s the kind of number that the phrase “simple, yet effective” was made for. “Like Butta” is basically a DJ tool, defined some subdued synth work and a percussion pattern that’s reminiscent of old Reese tracks like “Structure” or “Station of the Groove,” albeit in slightly slowed, muted form. But the prize goes to final track “Ferguson,” a Detroit-tinged tune which adds significantly more hue to the EP’s palette. Rather than coloring the track with the postindustrial clatter of some Midwest-techno homages, Brown opts for undulating, transcendent beauty—until some ghostly, gunshot-like percussion makes an appearance, a reminder that the tune is named for a city that’s suffered its share of troubles in the recent past. Despite that association—or perhaps because of it, at least in part—”Ferguson” is imbued with the kind of spiritual grace that attests to Brown’s burgeoning talent.