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  • Filed under: Review
  • 01/14/2013

Jacques Renault "Back to You"

Production-wise, Jacques Renault has kept pretty quiet for the past couple of years. As such, "Let's Play House" is not only his first solo release on Let's Play House, the youngish New York label he co-runs with Nik Mercer, it's also the source of his first new original material since 2010. The a-side continues in the carefully calibrated disco style Renault is associated with, but adds more depth to his usual approach, thanks to some subtle production techniques. Introducing itself with a scrappy cluster of hi-hats, the track gradually brings in a familiar-sounding disco horn riff, its bleats given a dub-techno feel by a filter that slips off in tantalizing increments with every jerky return. Like Andrés' 2012 consensus hit "New 4 U," "Back to You" seems instantly familiar. As congas, guitar strokes, hoovering bass, and a mechanical cough thread their way through the mix, the listener can look on with a sense of inevitability or predestination, enjoying the path that's been carefully laid out.

On the other side, French duo Paradis turns in a zoned-out remix that at times seems to improve upon the original, primarily by adding a hypnotic vocal hook that sounds like Sebastian Tellier hang gliding over the proceedings. As that voice crests over muffled horns, the dubby, ducking feel implied by the original is made more explicit with aggressive sidechain compression that puckers the open-throated vocals like a tufted-leather armchair. As with the main cut, it's an accommodating place to be, but after six minutes, this swooning, airborne remix starts to wear out its welcome. Reminiscent of Studio remixes, the song's final, eventless three minutes stretch the barefooted vibe beyond its natural lifespan.

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