Further Details: Old Bones
A Touch of Class

Further Details' Old Bones is suave, well-groomed, and smartly-dressed, the tech-house equivalent to a tuxedoed Cary Grant attending a post-gala Manhattan soiree. There's not a hair out of place as London-based producer and Real Soon founder Paul Hammond opts for tasteful restraint over steaming grooves and ecstatic climaxes (one wonders if he got all the wildness out of his system by playing in the groups A Primary Industry and Ultramarine in the ‘80s). Not surprisingly, Old Bones satisfies most when the reins are loosened and Hammond lets his material heat up.

Prime cuts? Animated by a sweet disco-funk groove, “Who's To Say” brightens the set considerably with deep house sparkle. Striking too, “The Conversation” opens with bubbly chords dancing over a jacking house pulse, after which the arrangement expands and the swing intensifies with voice interjections, handclaps, and percussion flourishes. “In the Air” begins even more promisingly, as ‘70s funk bass, dubby chords, and a simple descending Rhodes melody mesh into a slamming funk-house groove (Hammond even works some juicy clavinet into the mix) but, unfortunately, the track lapses into an aimless jam in its closing moments. “Soul to Wherever” likewise opens strongly with an infectious, jubilant attack but the tune fails to develop and instead coasts for five minutes without change. Some songs (e.g., “At Some Point”) give off a subtle African scent in their rhythms, as when stabbing chords stutter over the Portable-styled shuffle in “Night Stretches Out." The biggest surprise? Hammond's unusual title cut choice, given that “Old Bones” doesn't just brood but gradually slows until it expires exhaustedly, those old bones seemingly coming to their final rest.

April 2008