EP Review: DJ Ra Soul – Take it Slow

Artist: DJ Ra Soul

Title: Take It Slow EP

Genre: Deep House

Record Label: So Sound Recordings

Release Date: 9 September 2011

I never feel particularly comfortable talking negatively of an artists’ work because music, like any art form is an expression of oneself. It’s the artist’s personal creation which is the end result of countless sources of inspiration, moods, experiences, feelings.

It tells a story in a form that is ten times more powerful and profound than words can. Who am I to criticize someone as experienced, musically talented and knowledgeable as DJ Ra Soul? It’s like a ‘laaitie’ trying to teach his father life lessons. So, it’s with no disrespect that I offer my two cents worth as at the end of the day you can’t and won’t satisfy everyone. This is what I have tried to keep in mind while listening to DJ Ra Soul’s “Take It Slow EP”.

Perhaps quite a fitting name, as I found it pretty slow in evoking any kind of positive emotion in me. There is no doubting that DJ Ra Soul has been around for a long time with his first release dating back to the early 90’s. He has seen it and done it and is well respected in the industry as both a DJ and producer. The truth is however I struggled with this EP. There are definitely elements that connect with me in some of the tracks but overall, I was left rather disappointed by the release.

I always look forward to receiving music to review and the excitement of potentially finding that new gem, but my initial impression of the “Take It Slow EP” was that it had been produced by a new kid on the block who just didn’t quite get it. Granted, this is definitely much more of a West Coast style which isn’t a style that has ever resonated with me as in my opinion it lacks any real depth. I’m inclined to also think a lot of South African House heads will feel the same.

The saving grace of the EP is the signature track “Take it Slow” which stands out as the most listener friendly my opinion, with a soft, soothing vocal and melodic baseline. There are elements of classic 90’s house with a reminiscent piano stab which I must admit takes me back to the good old days. As the label boss for this release said “When I think about Ra Soul’s music, I get the feeling I used to get at the pick point of house music (1998-2000), when house was about happiness, love, feelings, emotions, community, soul, discovery and sharing”. Ah, I get tingles just thinking about those days. It’s just a pity the rest of the EP doesn’t also take me back there.

REVIEW: Darren Rose


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