On paper the pairing of Henry Wu with Odd Socks seems like the perfect fit. For one, the Berlin imprint and the South Londoner share a wholly relaxed way about things – favouring the scenic route in lieu of any kind of quick fix, with the label previously making a suitable home for German upstarts Glenn Astro and IMYRMIND. Parallels can most certainly be drawn between Wu’s heavily Jazz inflected approach to ‘House’ and the stylings of the aforementioned producers, with the 22a collective he’s part of sharing an obvious sonic kinship with the louche aesthetic orbiting the German capital’s Oye Records. Here on just his third release, we find Wu more and more comfortable with a sound that is increasingly becoming his signature.
The ambience of ‘Summer Road’ succeeds in conjuring up the kind of sunkissed vistas that the title suggests, as Wu gets to work with a very unfussy drum arrangement and drifting pads. Rolling through woozy Funk breakdowns and aimlessly disjointed structures, it’s a very pleasant place to spend five or so minutes. ‘Midtour’ comes across significantly more focussed – with a wah wah lead line driving things forward from the get go. Bass pops meander in the background as he lands on the middle space between dancefloor and home listening, drawing comparisons with Broken Beat pioneers such as Dego and Kaidi Tatham.
There’s an almost dubby quality to ‘117 Careplan’ – with each deep chord reverberating into echoing infinity. The atmosphere Wu creates is well worth soaking oneself in, but its not until he lets loose with lashings of arpeggiated synthesizers that he truly distinguishes himself. Rounding off the collection with arguably the pick of a fine bunch is ‘Back To Brukka’. Firmly entrenched in a reclined style of electronic Jazz, here we find Wu at his best – with every foible and kink of each musical choice explored in the most interesting way possible. Rich with personality and pulled off in style, ‘Motions of Wu Vol.1’ most certainly deserves to be the first of many entrants into a long series.
‘Motions of Wu Vol.1’ is out 18th April 2015 on Odd Socks. Pre-order it here.