Despite DFA’s rep as modern disco dons, they’ve always found ways to avoid being pigeonholed. Records like Sinkane’s ‘Mean Love’ and Dan Bodan’s ‘Soft’ are just two recent examples of how the label’s ethos has never remained static. This sense of adventure was effortlessly captured in Marcus Marr’s 2013 12-inch The Music, a Doobie Brothers-meets-Morris Day nine-minute homage to summertime.
Marr is back on the NYC label, this time with something aimed to the right of midnight. A-side Brown Sauce is defined by its rolling Roland bassline, the darker and deeper tone more akin to The Music’s B-side ‘Pleasure Moon’, but without the ethereal vocal. Its not lacking Marr’s musicality though, with the liquid bassline finding relief with a more melodic synth-fuelled breakdown that satisfyingly envelops the beat as the track develops.
B-side ‘Peacemakers’ throws back to the aforementioned Doobie-era, channeling Herb Alpert’s classic ‘Rise‘ in the process. Marr lays down the bass (an old Fender Jazz he picked up for £90) in what’s an authentic funk-driven jam with plenty of modern, club-friendly low-end.
Both tracks are exquisitely produced and serve as symbols for what DFA can do so well: forward-thinking production with a retro wink. With Marcus Marr, they’ve clearly found a common ground and with his heavier club sound firmly established, Marr’s new debut album due later this year could be a stomper. Saucy.