B. Hayes - Laurine (PRE-ORDER)
12"Yugen's third entry, Laurine, arrives courtesy of Los Angeles-based producer and These Things Take Time label-head B. Hayes. At just 22 years old, Hayes has packed remarkable perspective into this immersive deep-house four-tracker. It's the work of a true participant. As if Hayes' work as a DJ, producer, and label owner wasn't enough, he has also put in time as a DIY party promoter (he threw the beloved Like I, Love U parties that used to go down in the Chinatown area of Chicago) and a production assistant at Chicago dance institution Smart Bar. The sum of all these parts is Hayes' impeccable ability to balance functionality with sonic taste.
Of Hayes' time as an underaged production assistant at Smart Bar, he explains, "I helped with all the weekend parties and had to stay in the club the whole time because I was underage. Watching how DJs played music and how crowds reacted to it was so interesting to me. I became obsessed with it." You can hear this relentless curiosity in the smooth chords and icy textures of dub-laced, deep-house escapade "Mantra." Hayes eventually left Chicago, spent some time in Berlin, and then moved out to Philadelphia, PA and started his own imprint—These Things Take Time. It was during Hayes' stint in Philly that he began work on Laurine, which was named after a friend and DJ from the Slow Life crew in Berlin.
While it's tough to pick an obvious highlight here, "Ovation" is a damn near perfect deep-house cut—an oceanic plunge into Hayes' secret world of colorful pads, nasty bass stabs, and infectiously bouncy drum programming. Lush chords glide and twist over drifting vocal samples that shimmer in and out of focus, as Hayes' dialed-in rhythms expertly unravel. Title-track "Laurine" glides along with glassy synths, a backdrop of deep sub-bass, and a clave-powered rhythm that thuds underneath. Perhaps the most dubbed out of the bunch is "Local Walk," which is accented by contorting synth stabs, drifting pads, and an infectiously simple bass-line that dances over Hayes' detailed drum programming.