Noël Nanton Fu.Cha Cul.Cha

It's a treat to hear house albums that give up the goods from top to bottom, as Toronto producer Noël Nanton does with his debut full-length. With previous releases on Jinxx, Vinyl Peace and, most recently, a slew of singles on Nick Holder's DNH label, there was no question of Nanton's raw talent. He goes above and beyond, however, with this highly accomplished collection, incorporating lush layers, live instrumentation and heavy Afro-Latin percussion. Fu.Cha Cul.Cha may well be the future of house, simply because it manages to be equal parts thought provoking and rump-shaking. "An Inspirational Journey" leads us in gently with its organic percussion, sweet bass, guitar snippets and sustained chords. This one may bring Joe Claussell and his Spiritual Life label to mind, but the track that follows, "Black Jacks," is all about the floor, with funky bass, heavy beats and filter action. "El Ray," an underground club smash in many a global city, brings those worlds (and house lovers) together, as pumping Afro-Latin beats nestle sweet instrumentation, hooky horns and the inviting voice of storyteller Sandi Flores. "Magic Noise" also brings the Latin percussion, adding to the "can't stand still" beats and slinky bass line, while "Mongo Bongo" takes it that much further, pumping up the beats while adding horns and much sweetness. While "So Sweet" adds a dub influence, while the track-y, politicised "Things Are Changing" hearkens back to Nanton's earlier releases as Forefront Noise. Album closer "Your Love" is deep, funky house at its finest, as solid beats, funky-ass bass, horn melodies and oh-so-sweet vocal hooks call us to close our eyes and give it up on the floor. Like much of the album, this piece showcases Nanton's fantastic ear for melodies, beats and treats. House proper indeed! (Honchos)