Straight Outta Oakland, a new figure in the handmade-house resurgence
America is experiencing a renaissance in homegrown house music right now. Pockets of classically minded, craft-obsessed producers are cropping up all across the country: New York's Steve Summers and the rest of the L.I.E.S. crew, D.C.'s Maxmillion Dunbar and his Future Times label, Pittsburgh's Pittsburgh House Authority, and Los Angeles' SFV Acid are all emerging as key nodes in a thriving network of DIY producers and labels. Now Oakland comes online with a fantastic new EP from Glenn Jackson, an East Bay producer and promoter (as well as a blogger and XLR8R contributor). The three tracks on Jackson's Morning Swim EP are awash in lush textures and limpid color: The record runs the gamut from heavy-lidded piano jams to sprightly, R&B-inspired cuts fleshed out with congas and spine-tingling digital synths. You can hear the influence of artists like Larry Heard, Pepe Bradock, and Roman Flügel, but Jackson's command of harmony and groove is all his own.
While Morning Swim marks his official solo debut, Jackson is no newcomer; he's also a member of the "synth/stoner-pop" duo James & Evander, and he has additional releases — both solo and in the groups Hoodcats and Benefitz — on his own digital label, Mapzzz. All of Mapzzz's releases are free, as is a 2012 sampler from West in Dust, his new label with Elephant & Castle's Dave Reep, and they make a strong argument that it's Oakland's time to shine.
Check out "You Too," the dreamy closing cut from his new EP, below. The record is out this week on the D.C./Brooklyn label Ceremony Recordings.