Prolific producer and mult-instrumentalist Tenderlonious returns with an EP as love-letter to the Roland TR-808. Its cover is enough to get hip-hop heads, vinyl purists and studio boffins salivating – and is probably reason alone for the limited edition 12” vinyl to already be gone, long gone. Sold out just like that.
But the music is a balm too.
Opener, Opus, is no such thing – a mere drizzle of 80s OST synths to set up the flow and feel of this tantaliser of an EP. It is entrée to the title-track’s main. Here the techno aspirations of Tenderlonious are to the fore – he can go full jazz too, as one of his many assaults. But the snares here aren’t so much renegade as uniform and they set up a space where we might imagine what the vamps from Madonna’s Vogue would have sounded like if reworked by Theo Parrish.
To Prometheus next, which drifts into play, stylistically, on the back of the track it follows, and reminds of Herbie Hancock’s 80s synth works. Perhaps if framed by house as a pervading style.
Closer, 808 State, has the bubbling funk of a bassline colliding with the titular drum-machine patterns – its woozy and wonky and delightful.
Tenderlonious will always deliver the goods. And though this is just 20 minutes, I find myself playing it twice in a row, sometimes three times, to get the full fill.
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