Jigsaw Music

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As soon as Recloose burst onto the scene with his 1998 debut EP for Planet E, he garnered a modest yet ardent cult of enthusiasts who advocated his production work as well as his DJ sets. With each successive year came another EP -- Spelunking (1999), Can't Take It (2000), Can't Take It Remixes (2001) -- each reaffirming the young and still relatively unknown Detroit artist's commendable reputation among those in the know. Unfortunately, an annual EP and the occasional DJ set weren't enough to satisfy Recloose's growing legion of enthusiasts who patiently waited for the long-talked-about-but-continually delayed LP of material Planet E always whispered about. Though Jigsaw Music isn't that LP but rather a DJ mix album, it's still a welcome release that functioned to tide over Recloose's salivating enthusiasts. In fact, this release may surprise those expecting a generic DJ mix album; though no doubt gifted in both trades, Recloose is arguably a better DJ than producer at this stage in his blossoming career. He doesn't follow any beaten path as a DJ, trailblazing his own style. His taste in music steers clear of typical Detroit techno and also doesn't head into Chicago deep house territory. He instead looks toward a roster of young producers who synthesize the two Midwestern styles -- Ibex, P'Taah, and Ayro, for example -- and veterans who are no doubt influences on Recloose's similarly eclectic production style: Kerri Chandler, Herbert, and Shake offer highlight moments. Besides a laid-back feel and smooth transitions, organic instrumentation fuels Jigsaw Music; there aren't big 909 drum kicks or synth riffs or anything remotely hard about the music, just lots of live percussion and an omnipresent aura of soul. So even if Recloose remains frustratingly reclusive, putting out the occasional EP or making the occasional low-key DJ appearance, at least his advocates have a standout DJ mix album in the meantime, the perfect addition to his so-far slim yet pristine oeuvre.

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