The latest addition to the fine string of releases put out by the Detroit-based label Vanity Press Records – an imprint we’ve been following ever since their inaugural release back in 2016 – comes from fellow Michigan native Charles Trees. This marvellous 3-tracker is steeped in the history of vintage dance music in terms of its sonic basic and melodic feel, yet it’s a wholly progressive offering that manages to toe the line between forward-thinking electronic production and music that will, quite simply, make you move. Combine this audible concept with an epic Funkmaster Flex diss and you’ll have a rough idea of how the B-side offering – rather unsurprisingly titled ‘Flex’ – sounds on the Charles Trees EP.
Proceedings are caught in a state of motorised propulsion right from the off, with visceral rhythms gradually morphing into a truly pummelling ordeal. Flex’s thick, Bronx-flavoured accent dominates the chopped up vocal samples; the rather comic “that website’s trash” is incorporated into the track’s rhythmic DNA for a brief period and, bizarrely, goes down an absolute treat. A story is divulged at various intervals throughout the song’s duration – as Trees leads us into the tune’s most heady heights, our narrator transforms into a blur of accompanying noises and percussive clips, until eventually reverting back to his original voice with a Dipset-inflected instrumental to accompany him. It’s a quintessential, chameleonic dance number that showcases the producer’s love for hip hop, house and humour all in one go.
The Charles Trees EP is out October 30th on Vanity Press – pre-order the vinyl here.