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How's That? by Michael DeVellis

How’s That? is a hard-driving, rather funky dance/electronica 4-song sampler from a sax player who, unbeknownst to me until now, has been producing, writing, and playing an assortment of instruments for over a decade. I must say that while this material doesn’t grab me as anything I’d be inclined to consciously seek out in music stores, it has all the elements of a sweaty-good party time at a Saturday night free-for-all jam club. The entire album is called Who’s That?

Tracks 2 and 4 are the most noteworthy pieces to me. Their steady, grind-it-hard backbeat and throaty bass and synthesizer stand out most prominently. However, like all of the cuts here, they are quite long and, as such, get a bit monotonous after a while. Then again, because the primary focus here appears to be on jamming and getting others up and dancing, monotony might not be a bad thing. There’s definitely an infectious air about the tunes that compels one to work up a sweat and appetite on the dance floor. There are a few bands that come to mind when listening to this sampler. Heavyshift and Fishbelly Black are two. The latter provides for me a bit more creativity and structure and is better classified as acid jazz.

That said, if it’s good, funky, aggressive dance music you seek, DeVellis will impress you. While the sampler contains nothing too deep or cerebral, it’s also not a shallow effort, and the talent is easily discernible. Overall, the music is decent. Good sax, bass, drums, keys, and synth all come together to provide a pretty pleasurable union. Through this effort, DeVellis actually enables one to envision him onstage cranking out this set to a frenzied, dancing crowd. As I’ve said, the tunes are long, so just be prepared to stay awhile. You just might want to do that anyway.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Michael DeVellis
  • CD Title: How's That?
  • Genre: Electronica
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Maelstrom Music
  • Rating: Three Stars
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