Welcome to the human machine. Electronic Dance Music, or EDM, has gone through so many mutations since the music started gaining fans and celebrity from the LGBTQ factions in and around Chicago back in the 1980’s. The whole idea for house music rests on the DJ’s bringing it home for the dancers who sweat in the shadows trying to enjoy life on a Saturday night. Losing themselves in a 120 BPM haze at the Warehouse is one of the great pleasures a disco patron could experience.
Matt Warren, an experienced record producer, record label owner, international DJ and songwriting artist has long had experience pumping out House Music and raising the flag for it all over the world; including making the normally neutral Switzerland come out in favor of a House Music DJ spinning in that land of the Yodel. It is a long and impressive resume that includes stellar productions and remixes that are too numerous to list in a short space for a review.
Suffice to say Matt’s new album, “Music Is My Life”, comes out swinging and never lets up until the very end. He saves space for his son to contribute the album’s final piece of music. It’s a nice way to mellow on down after such a heart racing batch of songs. Reaching deep into the Latin bag on this album there is a distinctly Havana/ Puerto Rican/South Beach, FL influence that is mixed into some of the songs. It rises and falls with the arrangements and it feels like the producer uses these influences much like a cook would use spices. Whether it is adding splashes of piano or horns to the verses and the choruses, or augmenting the electronic influences and techniques, with live instruments.
There is a long list of guests including the familiar Pepper Gomez, who adds her trademarked vocals to great effect. Other names include Janis McGhee, Sharkeyes, and several guests who share the artistry roster on the Wake Up! Music label. Favored tracks here include the sultry and hypnotic “Going Deeper” that has a wonderful, pulsating rhythm section with touches of Acid House and Techno keyboard elements bubbling under the mix. Another highlight is the song “Music Is My Life”, which is clearly the truth for the artist/producer here. With such a long history in the House Music field, nobody can call it a boast. It is an earned perspective, and is that personal truth that brings this track to life. That and the bass line. The bass on this track is one of the driving forces. There is a Nile Rogers quality to this song and it helps move the music behind the vocals and horns as a nice, funky KC like keyboard runs circles around the rhythms. The single from this album, “Get On Up”, also keeps things going without becoming boring or stale. The goal for this record is to provide the soundtrack for the people who are out there dancing the night away. It achieves its goals and more. Warren’s a leading contender for the top Nu House artist, and this album should be considered the top contender for Nu-House album of the year so far.