3 Generations Walking 3 Generations Walking

Like most records on Spiritual Life, 3 Generations Walking is less deep house than deep fusion. It un/consciously blends garage, dub, jazz, soul and other dialects of African Diaspora music with the digital touch of producers MKL and Soy Sos. The duo juxtapose cello with high-frequency sweeps, guitar wailing with ultra-low bass pulses, congas with house kicks, etc., but never for the novelties of your average mash-up. Rather, they treat these inter-cultural dialogues as arranged marriages: a ritualistic hook-up of unrelated sounds and the musical histories that gave birth to them. While most producers engage the latter by sampling classic vinyl, 3 Generations seek the wisdom of the seasoned musicians who might have played on them. Sos explains, "You’re talking about a conga player like George Jones who’s in his mid-50s. That guy’s played certain beats a thousand times and every time he plays it, he’s using his experience. He’s going to push it in a way that’s different from a loop.” The live-electronic arrangements on 3 Generations Walking are rich and expressive, but never purely aesthetic. They’re equally responsive to the duo’s lyrical concerns on everything from First Nations’ genocide ("Mohawk”) to intimate love ("Skin”). Vocal performances by Claudia Acuña and Christiane D are highly theatrical and at times shamanistic, redefining the role of the house diva as an impassioned, yet intelligent, storyteller, while the presence of Haitian balladeer Gary French stirs some well-aged soul into the mix. Few DJ-friendly albums offer a vision as accomplished as this one and for 3 Generations Walking, these are only the first steps. (Spiritual Life)