Osunlade

Offering

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    8
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Osunlade's dextrous, graceful Offering is one of the best mixes of early-2000s jazzy house available. With the exception of 1982's "Don't Be Blue" from Jackie & Roy (a bit of an oddball, with its Manhattan Transfer-like exultations of "Turn this frown upside down!"), each selection comes from the 2000/2001/2002 class of deep house, with many of those tracks heavy in Latin percussion and Afro-grooves. Those familiar with Osunlade's productions, the output of his Yoruba record label, and his DJ sets won't be shocked to hear a tasteful mix stocked with subtle blends that allows for each track to be enjoyed to the fullest. Offering also doubles as a quasi-document of Osunlade's vinyl-only output and his outside projects. Boobjazz's "Midnight Ceremony (Osunlade's Black Messiah Mix)," Atelewo's "Chimes of Freedom," and three Osunlade-proper productions ("Tree of Life," "Beats de los Muertos Africa," and a reworking of his epic signature "Cantos a Ochun et Oya") are sprinkled throughout, outdone only by the Wahoo mix of Jazzanova and Vikter Duplaix's "That Night." The last quarter of the disc is just as lively as the others and takes a bit of a turn: Track Headz's "Our Music" is relatively tracky and not as organic as what precedes it, but its raw patterns and its elegant swipes of strings come in at just the right time, adding another color when the clusters of rattling, jingling percussion are just about to wear out the welcome. Likewise, Savannah's is almost entirely made of electronic elements, but its Mr. Fingers-style chords keep it grounded. It's all put together extremely well -- almost too well. Those with aversions for the sweet, the smooth, and the spiritual should avoid this at all costs.

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