Friday, April 12th, 2019

Peggy Gou – Starry Night

Some sumptuous house to lead you into the weekend…


Alfred Soto: What a sumptuous mix! The Korean producer weaves an elementary bass line around house chords, 1984-era hand claps, and catchphrases from her native tongue. It sounds like July barbeques, and it’s only April.

Kat Stevens: Peggy has been consistently churning out this sort of quality elastic-band house, full of spring and space and snap. “Starry Night” is basically breakfast techno, something that will get you up and out of the house in time to pick up the parcel from the sorting office before work.

Leah Isobel: Peggy Gou walks a specific, sublime line between lush textures and plastic camp. She builds “Starry Night” on a smorgasbord of digital sounds that sit just left of the real; the spiky handclaps, the city-pop synth pads, the chintzy keyboard, the vworp-y bass that defies the rules of physical noise. The beats drive the song forward with a relentless velocity, while she barks with military precision: “Moment. Now. Us.” Her music asks if it’s possible to engineer feeling from sheer determination; my body moves for me, answering yes.

Nortey Dowuona: Slinking, poppy bass sidewinds alongside bubbly, strolling drums as chipper piano chords are followed by ghostly wailing synths and bottled, flat-smacked percussion. Gou breathily sings, then issues soft but firm chants over boiling synths that are finally laid like a blanket over the whole production.

Katherine St Asaph: Immaculately tasteful house in the Todd Terje vein, the sort I’d be immensely pleased to hear out in the wild, but a little safe and stakes-less to seek out specifically.

Will Adams: I wasn’t sold on this genteel house workout until the trance chords started pumping through the right side of the mix, and I was even more intrigued when the thumb piano followed it. “Starry Night” builds patiently, perhaps too much, but the payoff is worth it.

Iris Xie: This week I’ve been dropping this in at various points during Jayda G’s “Stanley’s Get Down (No Parking on the DF),” and the transition is so smooth and clear like freshly washed glass. The house music instrumentals are lively and have funky vitality, and the subtle marimbas in the back bring in a lively feel of participation that is infectious and feels a little visceral. Combined with Peggy Gou’s own proclamations, and I’ve been thinking about how interesting it is to see how house music, which is originated from queer Black people, and the way both of these songs have their own particular ways of bringing out the particular energies and focuses of these particular artists. In this case, Peggy Gou goes for a different type of effortless, driving cool that is more grounded in getting you up and dancing by using the instrumentals to get you back up and moving spontaneously, in contrast to Jayda G asking you to take up space in very refined and posed forms. Both valid, but still very interesting to witness and participate in.

Will Rivitz: Say what you will about lo-fi house — creatively bankrupt, a constant reminder of streaming’s algorithmic churn, what have you — but its explosion has led to a seepage into myriad other sub-genres and scenes, and its omnipresence has meant that of the many strands of its diffuse hybridization that have been thrown onto walls of speakers, a few of them have stuck. In particular, its tongue-in-cheek ethos matches nicely with the less darkly and stoically serious mélanges of house, particularly the Terjeified funk of “Starry Night.” Gou’s track is a masterclass in doing less with less, six or seven disparate loops interweaving with little variation into a tightly-knit scarf of warm disco. As anything more than a lovely accompaniment to a night out or an afternoon of work, it’s a little listless, but as an accompaniment, it is sublime — and, honestly, most house that tries to be more ends up overwrought and undercooked. See you on the floor.

Reader average: [7] (6 votes)

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