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White Noise: Paxton Fettel - Everything Stays The Same

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Paxton Fettel - Everything Stays The Same

Label: Greta Cottage Workshop

In recent years we’ve found that there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a perfectly-honed deep house album, and there seem to be a lot of them about at the moment. One of 2015’s most notable bounties is surely the debut album of Danish producer Paxton Fettel, an eight-tracker that gives generously across its concise runtime, showing a diverse array of skills and always hitting the spot.

Admittedly Fettel takes a while to get going: the first few tracks take are lush and elegant, but don’t hint at the joy and range to be found on the album’s second half. They sure do set the mood though, Amber Light Burns is a gentle opener that gazes deep into the sunset, while Beyond The Sapphire Surf and Cloud Feeling live up to their blissful titles, lightly born with colourful melodies.

It’s all very pleasant and airy until Dots On The Skyline hits, and suddenly it becomes clear that Fettel is more than just a good producer. The crunchy hip-hop lope suits Fettel’s classy melodics to a tee, as a looped harp and lose piano chords tug us skywards while the gritty drums keep us rooted to the ‘floor. Then an acid line bursts from the woodwork, more jazzy than disorientating club mania (à la Floating Points), resulting in a powerful cocktail. The pace continues to rise with the surprisingly raw Lift Off, which pulls off a glorious contrast between its sawtooth bassline and hobnailed kick offset by jazzy keys. The unexpectedly merciless kick shows another side of Fettel’s production, pulled off with the impeccable finesse which span all of his productions.

If those tracks send you off into space, the return to earth is just as joyous. Fettel teams up with Japanese producer Takuya Matsumoto for a gorgeous nu-disco ride with Afloat On A Sea Of Nothing, whose searing brass and optimistic keys carry you on their wind, bearing none of the stasis indicated by the title. With the closing Solitary Returns, Fettel returns to gazing off into the distance, its burbling chords and wistful mood a fitting cap to a well-crafted journey. Beyond his serious production talents, the relatively few tunes and shorter track-times show one of Fettel’s skills which is rare in the house world – concision. He knows just when to pull back, when the sound is done and speaks for itself. The inevitable result of that is that you’re left just wanting more.


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