CHOICE CUT- Lukas Greenberg ‘Essence of Me’


Lukas Greenberg / Essence of Me

CD / Digital 

Plastic City / Released March 2012

It’s obvious Greenberg started life as a hip hop DJ, considering the contents of this, his third LP offering. Similarly, after listening, it should surprise few that his career spans decades (and therefore stylistic trends) within the techno and house scenes (first finding a footing therein circa 1994).

Clearly then things come in a few different shapes and sizes. More so there are choruses, strings, and real instruments abound. In fact, one of the biggest criticisms could well be the overall lack of filler material offered on album three. Of course we’re not alluding to Greenberg’s affinity with your Digitalisms or Sebastians, but for the type of dancefloor sounds in question every track here stands out.

Gim Me Som being a pretty good example- simple vocal loops and pipe-organ melodies providing the focal point for a house tune is nothing new, but the combination remains wholly memorable when the hook is this catchy. Similarly the re-imagining of Timmy Thomas’ R&B classic Why Can’t We Live Together is a full on piano workout (of such a standard even naysayers should be able to get it) boasting ivories, Wurlitzers and samples from the original vocal anthem.

For further proof check the retro acid keys of Alt Shule, or even the relatively heads down, mainroom, wide-load Chicago-esque stomper Get It On, which does very little other than continue to kick back in with the screams of an over zealous diva, but makes sure you know about it. All of which would suggest a standard house LP, but then we’ve failed to paint the true picture.

Because there are also tracks like Balkan Voices, featuring Valya Balkanska; a strange, Arabesque delight (like prog with eastern promises, only realised through deep tech). It almost makes no sense in comparison with the remainder of this album, but steals the show in the process.

And there are more seeming anomalies. Instrument of God is possibly our favourite excursion into broken beat house for balmy evenings since Manik’s album of last year, and BigHit‘s early electro inspired session (complete with robot voices) is another unexpected treat, not least when the jazzy edges are finally exposed. The list could go on, which is the case in point- the atypical matches the expected in terms of quantity, making for a varied release with one consistency; warm timbre to match the springing of spring. How very timely.