For an album that brings together artists “from Sweden to Alabama,” On Deck still manages to deliver one big, warm, soothing vibe that pervades all of the senses, much like the perfect summer day. The Alabama-based label/community/collective harvests nine rock solid cuts to showcase the talent that it has carefully cultivated since its birth in 2008. Ethereal synths, smooth vocals, and cool, laidback rhythms give the album an otherworldly quality. File under: ‘swanky summertime rooftop electro-soul lounge pool party’ music.
Mr. Bird and Gregory Blackman’s “Get On Through” is like hearing Marvin Gaye wildin’ out on a tropical vacation. Ahmed Sirour’s “BrookLon” has an umistakeably sensual lounge feel; a sultry bassline cycles over a pulsating rhythm and lush keys. Tall Black Guy hits us with his usual elegance on “Run The Fantastic Race.” The track is at once calm and tense, with a fuzzed out bassline that wouldn’t sound out of place on a J Dilla beat tape. Nicholas Ryan Gant brings that butta-smooth Terry Callier feel on “Better,” while Diggs Duke and ProbCause give us some feel good raps on “Underestimated” for good measure.
For anyone in need of some rejuvenating summer soundtrack music, this might be the album you’ve been waiting for. The album finds strength in having parts that are similar enough to make it sound cohesive, but changing the feel just often enough to keep the listener …well….listening.