The first 14 seconds of Nguzunguzu‘s Warm Pulse is the scratch of a washed out house track, like somebody else’s party bleeding out of their apartment with only the most persistent tendrils of trebly hihat and snare claw through the open window. But then like my senses meeting the drone of car traffic on Normandie, a warm blast of bass leads the rest of the spectrum into my ears.
Up until now, beats were Nguzunguzu’s best creations. I’m thinking of the strident gait of “Mirage” or the tribal tumble on “What Dance?” and “Water Bass Power.” You could definitely count the swaying call and response on “Delirium” among these rhythmic contributions. But Warm Pulse fully introduces what the duo hinted at (see “Wake Sleep [Total Freedom Winter Park Homicide Edition]“ and their remix of Fatima Al Qadiri’s “Hip Hop Spa”) before: a sense of the world around it. Warm Pulse is less energetic than any of Nguzunguzu’s earlier releases, in an apparent exit from congested clubs and into the orange glow of the street. When the bass drum drops out at 1:46 on “Smoke Alarm,” it is not to create space for a buildup toward “the drop,” but to reinforce our sense of the atmospheric space in which the track lives.