Franck Roger & Mandel Turner – Through The Motions
Sometimes vocals can destroy a track, detracting from an otherwise competent production. Sometimes vocals can be the special ingredient that transform a track from the nondescript to the sublime. Long-time house producer Franck Roger’s recent collaboration with former Paradise Garage attendee Mandel Turner‘s, thankfully, firmly in the latter camp.
Through The Motions is the kind of soulful house cut that, thanks to Turner’s dreamy delivery, harks back to the vintage Chicago and NY house era. Offering both soulful choruses (that have been beautifully and subtlety edited to great effect) and camp, infectiously fun spoken word interludes, it sits very much in the ‘classic house’ bracket, channelling the energy and freedom of those early 12”s, without ever feeling like pastiche.
The releases comes with a dub cut to boot but, as hinted beforehand, it’s the vocals that make this package such a tasty proposition. Inspired by the Nu Groove 12”s of old, the track isn’t awhollyretrospective affair. Roger’s more than deft ability for fusing hooks to his inimitable bassline, demonstrates that whilst his muse might be old, his skills are far from dated.
A strong release from a great partnership, it’s a fantastic reminder of both the universality of house music and just why the heritage of the sound is as relevant today as ever.