You can’t find a more devoted cheerleader for Detroit’s electronic music scene than Norm Talley. Just look at his Facebook profile, this guy is all about the 313 – all the way to the name of this debut 12″. And it’s more than obvious that this is appreciated by his fellow musicians and producers.
The list of folks that contributed to the debut of his new label Upstairs Asylum says it all. Norm shares the credits with none other than Moodymann and Omar S, D’Julz helps with the mashing up and Charlotte O.C. is featured on vocals. It’s the kind of lineup that lets the cursor hurry on over to the order button almost by itself – and the fact that both tracks have been around already doesn’t diminish the joy at all.
Omar S and Norm Talley’s contribution was featured as a free downline on Resident Advisor five years ago – funny in a way if you look at Omar’s last album just a while ago called “Fuck Resident Advisor”. According to him the production was done in his back yard with the support of “The Roland Boutique” which probably means that the guys at Roland parked their equipment over at Norm’s house and let them do their thing with them.
Seemingly, Omar and Norm are happy to stick to what the good old 909 has to offer. It’s almost comforting that “Muggy Detroit Heat” features Omar S’ deliberately non-sophisticated approach (which is totally not the same as unsophisticated), maybe moderately polished by Norm Talley’s mix. It’s a relatively relaxed affair that breathes a lot of classic house music air and doesn’t break too much of a sweat – probably just as much as is advisable on a muggy summer day in Detroit.
The flip side is nice little re-version of Moodymann’s “Hangover” which was previously only available in digital format and on the flip side of his rare 2014 “Sloppy Cosmic” 12″. And if you know Kenny Dixon Jr. and his often eccentric arrangements, you might just feel secretly thankful for the straightforward and dance floor friendly mash up that D’Julz is providing. Purists among Moodymann fans might wrinkle their noses a little bit – but this will work the crowd even better than any of the original mixes.
Norm Talley said in an interview for Detroit Electronic Quarterly: “There are always different versions/mixes of a track that I would like to play and have on vinyl. These two tracks are an example of that.” We can fully relate to that notion and are thankful for such a DJ friendly debut.
Release for review:
NORM TALLEY, OMAR S, MOODYMANN, D’JULZ – DET-313-EP – UPSTAIRS ASYLUM RECORDINGS – UAR 001