Brian Harden

Instinctive State of ...

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Chicago-born producer Brian Harden has found an appropriate home for his ultra-smooth house music productions with Detroit's deep house oasis Moods & Grooves. After a series of 12" releases, the label has made Harden its first album artist, releasing Instinctive State Of... to the benefit of deep house fans everywhere. The album opens with the buzzing trot of "Zion" and the intricately layered N.Y.C. house of "Love Funk," complete with George Benson-style guitar soloing by Mike Saxon. And things just get deeper from there with jazz xylophone taking center stage on "Palladium" and vibes running through a heavy cloud of filters on the spacy "Matrix." Harden clearly connects with his Motown counterparts. The breaking jazz snare and candlelit string ensemble of "Love N Strings" easily fit next to productions by Detroit house enigma Moodymann, while the bare minimal thump and piano soul of "Missing You" is the type of sultry slow house that Theo Parrish and Alton Miller have made careers out of. Harden even makes slight nods to the Detroit techno sound with the buffering sweeps of "Crazy Talk" and the obvious Derrick May tribute, "Strings of Soul." By never stomping on the groove, Harden makes house music that is ultra-deep without ever having to tell you how deep it is. It is clearly a style born, as the album title states, out of instinct.

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