"Smallpeople deliver gorgeous bridges between lofty house and vibrant dance floor burners, a way to celebrate life, providing give-a-toss who's watching me dance music"
Putin has a designer baby. Woops. Well, here to be your wheat-sheaf drip coffee for your mornings, the bass for your teeny bopping bins, we got some fresh Sunny Delight for you. Namely via Smallpeople, the apt duo of Julius Steinhoff and Just von Ahlefeld, better famed for their wee record shop in Hamburg, where they launched and run a fantastic record label named Smallville.
Recognised (cos it should be) just as much for its signature typography and drawn cartoon-esque cover work designed by Stefan Marx, as it is for the labels choice selection of quality artists releasing polished house. From Christopher Rau to Arnaldo, Moomin via Lawrence… it’s a home for house, and Smallpeople are now set to release a brand new LP on the imprint.
That may be a lot of mini adjectives, but we assure you the music is plush, humble and largely more engrossing than it would seem. Smallpeople and their ethos, like the label, the shop, everything, seems to stem from nothing but good times, and better art, created hand-in-hand, naturally issa a vibe ting innit.
Julius and Just obviously keep busy, while producing EP’s and remixes and pushing out a steady hand of solid releases from other artists, cherry picking fitting talent in that Smallville fashion. Afterglow follows in that vein of consistency, and is the pair’s first feature length release since 2012’s timeless ‘Salty Days‘ LP.
Having drummed up all of that, it’s then impressive that Afterglow, elegantly wastes no time, but rather seems to extend it? Stand out moments stem from “Camera Obscura” and “Sonic Winds” et al, quintessential house, no arrogance, no brashness, and possibly some of the duo’s best production to date – the funky shit is real. Granted when you seen the Smallville label, you have an idea of what you’re getting into, but is that a bad thing? Consistency is key and if you don’t like feel good tracks, well… fuck you :)
Besides, everyone is rewriting, reissuing, rebranding the old into the new, and this LP is like a tin of Ronseal for the new generations… literally hitting the nail on the head. More-so than Billy Porter killing every fucking red carpet in the last 6 months, just far less oblivious, like when you’re at a family gathering, and you ask Alexa to play some hardstyle, cos granny needs to know about the BangHead Massif, big ups gran… it’s just a healthy bit a gabber me love.
Smallpeople deliver gorgeous bridges between lofty house and vibrant dance floor burners, a way to celebrate life, providing give-a-toss who’s watching me dance music, while on the flip side, the album is just as comfortable being the soundtrack to a heavy night of paperwork, a sunny stroll on a long walk, or the good ambience of a sesh with the bezzies. Passively fusing together 8 gems, washed in a bubble bath of kicks, vibrant melodies and just the right oomf, that like its predecessor is quite frankly much needed R&R.
Plush grooves like “Hearts at Whole” and “All States of Dawn” move hands in the air, they bop your head and get that booty shaking, cooking up familiarly nostalgic drums, samples and synths, shooting between influences of America and Germany… but the album progresses and balances itself out with darker and more hypnotic notes like “Beyond“, that by the time the ending arrives, gosh oh golly mister, ain’t she a beaut (insert wolf whistle).
‘Afterglow’ LP is scheduled for release 22 March 2019 via Smallville Records. Order a copy from Juno.
A1 Magic Interference
A2 Hearts At Whole
B1 All States Of Dawn
B2 Camera Obscura
C2 Sonic Winds
D1 Benevolent Receiver