Miguel Graça presents Soul Not Mind Shining Stars

While there's no doubt that the Canadian house scene is vibrant with its many DJs and producers, there are still only a few that have put out full-length releases for serious home listening. Alongside the likes of A:xus and Nick Holder, Montreal's Miguel Graça raises the standard with his solid debut of chilled-out, deep house vibes. The grooves on Shining Stars ride on a straight-up house vibe with a feel for high-end percussion and a slight dose of jagged funk. But that aside, Graça's emphasis is clearly on the contemplative atmospheres and live musicianship bedded in the tracks. His bass lines on "Pineapple" and "I Found Love" have a synthesised fluidity that gives the tracks a uniquely head-oriented bounce. Guitarist Sebastien Tremblay drops lines on the title track in particular, opening up its grooves to the colours of a sunset and then goes a little bluesy on the mundanely philosophical "Rollin'." There are hardly any moments on Shining Stars that contain the pop appeal of Graça's Juno-winning single, "Thankful," (recorded under Red Life in 1993), but such subtle textures prove to be more satisfying. (Bombay)