Young-blooded Johannesburg-based house & techno producer Avation is carving out a name for himself on…
There is a quote somewhere about how great levels of human strife brings about great works of art (there are many quotes) and so it seems fitting that over this strange, bizarro year while most dance floors worldwide remain closed that a lot of wonderful concept albums have emerged from talented producers wanting to tell a longer story. This is true in the case of Prequel’s recently released debut album, ‘Love Or (I Heard You Like Heartbreak)’ that takes the listener on a roller coaster ride of melodic sentiments. Released on South London seminal label Rhythm Section INTL, this 12-track (double vinyl) LP marks a strong return to the imprint for the artist and has a little something for everyone when you drop the needle.
‘When Love Is New’ is a tune that really brings together Prequel’s penchant for raw ‘Boom Bap’ era MPC2000 chops and the rarest of secretive samples, with live string arrangements from Tamil Rogeon giving the song an organic richness. In this crazy time of loneliness and heightened emotions, people are really looking for albums with sonically deeper substance and groove, and he still delivers catchy, dusty house bombs without making a club-centric record. The Melbourne, Australia-based producer also reunited with Cazeaux O.S.L.O. who he worked with on his ‘Freedom Jazz Dance’ EP. The leading single ‘Love Is’ features O.S.L.O. decanting the meaning of love over a hypnotic broken beat, wrapped around a swirly guitar. The album is a whole vibe that really should be listened to uninterrupted in its entirety. Few producers these days know how to appropriately use samples in a tasteful and expanding way as Prequel pulls off here, building upon them and not relying on them. He has been a longtime student of both Detroit Dons J. Dilla and Moodyman and his productions only further add to the myth (or hype!) that there really is something magical leaking into the water supply down in Melbourne. The rise of unique and forward-thinking dance music producers coming out of there over the past decade has been as exciting as Seattle in the early ‘90s for anyone paying attention. A theme of love found and love lost is cohesive throughout this release with its little vignettes that for being from 2021 A.D. Prequel manages to conjure a sense of old-time nostalgia, of timeless emotion mixed with over-filtered piano hooks and biting funk bass lines, like on the song ‘I Tried To Tell Him.’
There are many layers to ‘Love Or (I Heard You Like Heartbreak)’ throughout all of the productions, thematically and musically, that being stuck inside the house for a whole year alone seems to have served as Prequel’s catalyst. It’s like a dam broke inside of him and this all came pouring out into the studio. ‘Unaware Of Love’ is another beautiful cut off the album that is going to pound dance floors when they open again (yes we know Australia is open). In the meanwhile, this LP is a wonderful at-home-raving record for couples and the broken-hearted alike.
Prequel’s ‘Love Or (I Heard You Like Heartbreak)’ is out now. Purchase your copy here.
- I Need Your Love (Intro)
- When Love Is New
- I’ll Never Stop Loving You
- All I’m Missing Is You
- Love Is Love (Interlude)
- I’m In Love With You (Interlude)
- I Tried To Tell Him
- Unaware Of Love
- And That’s The Story Of Their Love
- Love Is feat. Cazeaux O.S.L.O
- I Don’t Know When I’m Going To See You Again (Outro)