Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

TUNES RECOVERY PROJECT: Walter Jones – Living Without Your Love

Yeah, he doesn’t seem to get photographed much, this lad…


Tal Rosenberg: Luxury on high speed. The dance floor on low speed. Just cruising. Gorgeously.

Matt Cibula: Adorable. Sublime. Slightly boring.

Ian Mathers: This smoothly executed slow burn sounds kind of like the kind of track I imagine Daft Punk’s “Emotion” was fondly making fun of. Nothing much happens for six minutes, and the singer seems kind of disengaged for the sentiment she’s expressing, but it’s hard to resent the sweet spot Jones spends so much time massaging here.

Martin Skidmore: The bassline is very close to Chic’s magnificent “Good Times”, as is the guitar playing, but this is subdued house, with a rather lovely and soulful female vocal. I feel as if it needed something more in the music, or some more words for the vocalist to sing, as I got a bit bored after halfway, but there is a warmth here that I like.

Rodney J. Greene: Somewhat slavish nu-disco with a ghost-in-the-machine vocal and synthonic bridges that compulsively warp between key signatures in search of an unattainable higher level. Jones manages to do everything right and this is totally enjoyable, but, like those synths, he never quite finds the spark he’s looking for.

Martin Kavka: This DFA-distributed house track is most notable for having key changes that come out of left field the first time you hear it. Subsequent listens are a letdown.

Michaelangelo Matos: You can dismiss this as mere retro if you like. It sounds precisely, utterly like circa-’82 roller-boogie electro, with the same guitar plucks and Prelue Records-era plastic synths, both warmer in retrospect, and in Jones’s hands more overtly melancholy, which the low-medium tempo aids. So little changes musically that when the chords switch up at 2:57 on the bridge (haha, “bridge”) the shift is unexpectedly huge, an emotional surge in a track pregnant with feeling but doing its best to keep everything in check. The throwback quality makes sense for a song whose only lyric (the title, not counting the occasional “oooh, na na”) communicates the kind of longing only deep immersion in memory can soothe. My single of the year.

Frank Kogan: I remember back in the day Boris Midney had a project appropriately called USA-European Connection. This reminds me of that sensibility, an international night world of lounges and discotheques and late-night bachelor pads, all painted smooth and slightly mysterious.

Mallory O’Donnell: The DFA label, despite any flirtation with trendiness or hype, have maintained the kind of quality control that Prelude or Easy Street must be futuractively jealous of. Which is to say they’re nothing more or less than the best disco label around, which is saying quite a lot. “Living Without Your Love” is a fine, if unsurprising outing, with a lovely vocoder-rippled lead vocal that will make you continue to never want to hear anything autotuned again. That said, it’s not a patch on the A-side, a melting boogie caramel of sweet wonky perfection.

10 Responses to “TUNES RECOVERY PROJECT: Walter Jones – Living Without Your Love”

  1. Didn’t get round to reviewing, but really liked this and hadn’t heard of it before, so thx Matos.

  2. haha that should be Prelude Records, obv.

  3. ‘I’ll Keep On Loving You’ is also v lovely – I slightly prefer it to this.

  4. One of my top 10 singles of the year: Thanks for this, Matos. I kept the blurb simple because the song does same, but I really like the way that Matos was able to compress the emotional swells of the song within his swelling blurb. I played this song at a party once and you could see a little glide in everyone’s step.

    One thing I’ll mention, since I don’t see it anywhere here, is how pristine those drums are. They’ve got a puffy thwack that I love, sort of a cloudy boom-bap that remind me of the opening drumbeat in Indeep’s “Last Night a Saved My Life” or in Taana Gardner’s “Heartbeat,” and like those two songs a bassline softens the impact of the drums rather nicely, so that once the keyboard comes in the composite is a sort of glowing pulse.

    I was too late to submit my nominations for amnesty tracks–and to an extent I felt I was a little too uncommitted to the Jukebox this year for me to think I had much of a say–but people who like this should check out my #1 and #3 singles of the year, respectively: J Kamata & 2000F’s “You Don’t Know What Love Is” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_ffPVq4aUU) and Azari & III’s “Reckless (With Your Love)” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6T3I_Zskfs)

  5. Yeah, didn’t get to this in time. I like it.

    Also, re: Ian. I never thought of “Emotion” as making fun of songs like this. I don’t know if I buy that claim (maybe due to the fact the track’s one of the ones I actually like on the abysmal Human After All), but it’s an interesting one nonetheless.

  6. Missed this one too — an easy 9.

  7. Tal, here’s your link for Azari & III


  8. Is the link not showing up for you guys? It is for me, but then there was a weird “the comment needs to be moderated” before it was posted.

  9. I second both tracks Tal mentions, and on a further Azari & III tip, here’s “Hungry For The Power” and its incredible video (though “Reckless” is probably the slightly better track). I’ve mentioned 2000F & J Kamata on and off – we’ve covered Subeena and Joy Orbison in a related vein, and in the Joy Orbison post I linked a number of similar artists in the same scene (including the 2000F A-side, Joker’s “Digidesign”).

  10. Renato, I’d place a lot more emphasis on the ‘fondly’ part of that phrase than the ‘making fun’ part. One of the reasons I love “Emotion” is because it’s both a sincere, genuine song and also kind of a loving send-up of that kind of track, if that makes any sense.

    I had a really weird reaction to this one – loved it on first listen, hated it the second time, and kind of settled down into what Matt talks about subsequently. Not sure why the extreme reactions at first.