CAT #: RVNGNL17
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Maxmillion Dunbar’s House of Woo is raised on a solid foundation of love.
Maxmillion Dunbar is one half of Beautiful Swimmers and the don behind the Future Times record label. A background wound around MC skills and a side hustle DJ’ing disco, Dunbar first tried his fingers at programming hip hop beats, eventually introducing his rogue breed of house music to the dance world via 2010’s Cool Water. Crafted with skeletal kick patterns and dark, head nodding beats, the album and surrounding 12s simmered under sparsely placed, shadowy samples.
HOW counters Cool Water’s darkness with shimmering, dazzling light. HOW is a pure blast of bliss inspired by Dunbar’s deeply rooted relationship with his girlfriend. Themes of their devotion never appear lyrically on HOW, but they ebb in the album’s emotional flow. The couple even collaborated on the Woo 12″ b-side “Shampoo,” the last track recorded after two months of sessions at their home.
Says Dunbar, “My girlfriend and I would listen to the tracks in the studio at our old place, laying back in chairs and letting them play over and over for hours.”
While star-crossing coats HOW in a newly born, warm glow, Dunbar’s signature slam takes the album out of the domestic setting and onto the dance floor. Aligned with a community of dance deconstructionists including Beautiful Swimmers label mates Protect-U, L.I.E.S. institution Ron Morelli, and Dutch compatriots JuJu and Jordash, Dunbar abstracts his tracks rather than grinding them into grids.
“I make a lot of tracks by sticking on a loop forever, letting it live and breathe as long as it needs to,” says Dunbar. “I keep all of the pieces I’m working on balanced, floating in the air. If it doesn’t take minutes to stand up, it takes weeks.”
HOW’s architecture is free of fabricated rigidity, but it does bare structural resemblance to some of dance music’s outer limit moments. Theo Parrish’s narrative masterpiece Parallel Dimensions is touchstone on a track like “Coins For The Canopy,” while the cerebral techno of Newworldaquarium takes moving, grooving form on “The Figurine” and album namesake “Woo.”
In percussive corners throughout HOW, Dunbar drums up native DC Go-Go spirits and skitters into Jersey swing on tracks like “Ice Room Graffiti”. Dunbar deviates even further from his blueprint on “For Mozy” and “Kangaroo,” pieces that haunt House of Woo with their spectral, synthetic wash outs.
Whether showing respect and love for his influences, his peers, or those even nearer and dearer, Dunbar stands in the doorway waiting with a warm invitation to anyone ready to dance, embrace, and inhabit forever the House of Woo.
Maxmillion Dunbar’s House of Woo will be released on February 19th, 2013 on RVNG Intl. as a double LP, CD, and in digital format.