REVIEW: Priestess / Bravado [CRC-01] — Harvey Sutherland and Bermuda
Mike Katz, alias Harvey Sutherland, with his live trio Bermuda, transports you to an alternate world in which the neon glow of disco never faded and the funk groove runs deep.
The first release on Sutherland’s new imprint Clarity Recordings features him on keys and synths, Graeme Pogson on drums and Tamil Rogeon on strings.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, the trio present two tracks, Priestess and Bravado in form of double A-side 12” single, available for listening/and or purchase on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, iTunes and Beatport as well as Juno, where it’s also available on 12”.
Debussy sits, at ease in the privacy of a lounge, sipping on something that goes down smoothly, contemplating the night sky. Slowly, his foot starts to tap in time to the beat as the crisp retro bassline slinks in and the piano washes over him. A synth melody floats in on a cloud before being joined by equally stratospheric strings. As he exhales contentedly, the bassline drops out for eight bars, leaving space for the strings to drift into the centre of his attention. They let out as the piano drops into an infectious syncopated groove and the track starts to build again, reaching new heights when the strings rejoin, followed by a crunchy bassline which sets the tone for the rest of the track. The drums start to get more energetic, coming into their own and creating a funk groove that doesn’t let up. Although it reaches some form of climax, it doesn’t simply cut but instead subtracts elements one at a time to fade out much like the way that it arrived, leaving the listener in a state of hypnosis.
Shimmering strings lead the way as Bravado builds and builds, the drums once again forming a precision-engineered bedrock for the sounds of electric piano, synths and strings. The drums lock into a backbeat that feels fresh throughout, the shifting, growing nature of the drum performance allowing the track to feel alive in a way that club tracks with programmed drums can seldom offer. A funky keyboard riff sits tight for a while, letting Sutherland’s lengthy solo rise, developing slowly as the instrumental beneath it gets more frenetic bit by bit while never dropping a beat. As the solo reaches it’s peak, the drums relent momentarily before clicking back in to play the track out.
Sit back, relax, hit play and let the luscious sounds of Harvey Sutherland’s double single wash off the week’s stress.
Buy the track on iTunes here
Written by Jasper Murison-Bowie