ANDY VAZ - Repetitive Moments last Forever LP
On his (at long-last) debut album, Background founder Andy Vaz leaves behind the micro-sonics that characterized his label for so long, focusing on big, tumbling grooves that owe much of their shuffle and their bright jazz chords to Moodymann and Theo Parrish. Actually, that's not entirely true: swelling keyboards aside, Vaz still sticks to resolutely miniscule bits of sound, and dry-as-a-bone drum machines, for the majority of his rhythm tracks. But he increasingly fills up space with errant hits and sticky keys. Occasionally, as on "Places and People Change," a dirty bass line will assume the lead, but most of these tracks work more like tools, or maybe second-hand tools: their top-heavy constructions feel like they've been carved out of DJ sets, with all the fortuitous (and sometimes fortuitously awkward) overlays kept intact. Shifting in and out of character, the tracks occasionally sound like auteur fare; more often (and more appealingly) they hold out behind a scrim of anonymity. Ironically, that makes this fine album Vaz's best work.