ANDY VAZ - Its OK
More than just okay, the thirty-first release on Andy Vaz's Yore imprint is, at certain moments, downright fabulous. A four-track release available in twelve-inch vinyl and digital formats, It's OK makes good on the label's commitment to deep house music in its opening cut in particular, an ecstatic slice of soulful vocal house called “Love You Forever” that sees Vaz collaborating with Detroit-based keyboardist, singer, and producer Niko Marks. Long-time Vaz followers might be startled by how great a difference there is between his earlier output (the Sound Variation series, for example) and this latest cut, but its effervescent character won't be denied. Marks' raw vocal's a major drawing card, naturally, but the track's instrumental make-up—a classic disco-house groove royally powered by a low-slung bass line, congas, and warm acoustic piano and Rhodes playing—is just as appealing. The second cut, a steamy and driving remix by Detroiter Malik Alston of Vaz's “Hurry, Hurry,” is strong, too, especially when its acidy synth pulses—a Vaz signature—are accompanied by a swinging groove and jazzy tenor sax soloing. While not pitched at the same ecstatic level as the opener, it's a high-energy affair, too, that derives much of its strength from its smooth “Do you feel the way I do” vocal refrains and sax wail. Vaz's attention to detail likewise comes to the fore during “U Did me Wrong” in the ear-catching way the phased-in female vocal swoops into position (the “B” in “Baby, you did me wrong,” specifically) to join the funky beat pattern, gurgling synths, and Rhodes chords.If there's, comparatively speaking, a weak cut on the twenty-eight-minute release, it's “Worst Fantasies,” which at eight minutes is overlong and features a voiceover by Andre Da Bishop that's less smooth than it could be. It starts promisingly by laying out gurgling acid-synth patterns and an hypnotic sound and rhythmic design, but a mouthful such as “I knew all along that you were telling lies and I still can't wait to be in between your thighs” ends up feeling like too many syllables for the space available, and the vocal often feels rushed as a result. Still, three out of four ain't bad, and, for that matter, the EP earns its recommendation on the strength of “Love You Forever” alone.