Andy Vaz: Way Back When

The dust has barely settled on Andy Vaz's Persistencebit EPs Lost & Recovered Data and First Aid Remixes (by Jan Jelinek, Anthony Shake Shakir, Mapstation, and Krikor no less) and already the Background Records head has another sterling trio of cuts ready for public consumption. Way Back When sweetens the deal by arriving in a nothing less than a transparent vinyl pressing housed within a special spot-varnished sleeve. The new EP presents a slightly different Vaz persona than the one heard on the EPs and the full-length Repetitive Moments Last Forever. Whereas those releases showcase a mercurial, future-groove style, the latest material invokes the classic sounds of Detroit techno and Chicago house while also directing its gaze firmly towards tomorrow.

That's nowhere more evident than on the A side's “Day Light Savings” where a glimmering keyboard pattern's sunny vibe sets the stage for an old-school stomp to gradually emerge from the shadows. Over the course of its seven minutes, the tune shifts from classic techno to a free-flowing mode closer in spirit to Vaz's current approach. Also representative of that current style, the B side's propulsive shape-shifter “Walking Up My Alley” gathers steam as reverberant chiming chords twist into oblique configurations, the path ahead illuminated by handclaps and a buoyant pulse. At disc's close, Vaz mixes the jazz-funk strut of the house-flavoured “Way Back When” into an infectiously swinging groover before battering it into shape with an incessant stream of syncopated percussive accents.

January 2007