Andy Vaz: Different Times

Andy Vaz featuring Alton Miller: Different Hours Revisited
Yore (Japan)

These are Different Times indeed for Andy Vaz if the EP's three mighty jams are indicative of where his music's heading. The A-side's “Over Here (A Glance Over Prime Time Mix)” roars from the very first moment Vaz unleashes its steaming, Latin-tinged groove. A far cry from the techno the Yore label head once issued, the tune finds Vaz exploring Bodycode territory with a dizzying house pulse that straight up rocks. Melodies and voices rise to the surface of the feverish broil and then just as quickly recede, leaving room for a driving bass line to gain the spotlight.

The flip's “Hurry Hurry (Before It's Too Late Mix)” is a bit more in line with what we might expect from Vaz with, in this case, a bass-thumping pulse the motor driving the track's slinky, jazz-inflected strut. Tilman Ehrhorn's sax playing (grossly under-mixed, unfortunately) wails over waves of rollicking piano playing and spirited vocal chants of the kind you might encounter in a deep house cut. The energy level hardly flags for the disc's final track, “Bygone Times (Nostalgia Mix),” which stokes a fiery house swing with its locomotive pulse, futuristic synth patterning, and high-velocity bass lines.

On the related12-inch, the Japan-only Different Hours Revisited, “Bygone Times” gets a choice reprise that might just top the other. In this case, the house vibe that powers the Different Times version intensifies into a steamy deep house treatment once Alton Miller's multi-layered vocals works their way into the mix. Vaz's swinging pulse and the funky bass lines bubbling beneath the surface are once again the cherry on top. The tough, bass-thrusting groove of “Hurry, Hurry” also gets another workout with Miller again boosting the cut with his soulful croon. In this jamming treatment, Ehrhorn's sax and Miller's voice coil around one another while the piano bangs out staccato house chords and the background chorus punctuates the air with its mantra-like bark.

Vaz's music has never sounded more impassioned and energized than it does on these two club-ready EPs and, consequently, both, not surprisingly, feel like they're over far too quickly.

November 2008