Retromigration (Malik Kassim) is an artist equally at home producing smoked-out instrumental hip hop, blunted, soulful 4/4 or deep house with serious jazz flavour, and his Straight Foxin‘ album on Wolf Music features 14 tracks which all move between variations on these genres.

There are lots of style blurring and hybridising here; “Formant” mutates effortlessly from percussion-heavy soul-jazz into jazz & bass, while “Be Someone” featuring Bezzix and Mauricesax develops from a gentle samba shuffle into deep house. “Kush Love” featuring Passion Deez works itself up into a footwork-flavoured drum & bass jam and “What If” and “Mild Fever” also explore higher tempos, the former made up of intricate, footwork-is drum programming, the latter bringing an Amen break and drifty pads á la mid-’90s Bukem.

Around half of the album is Retromigration house tracks, some of which like “Mada” are straight-up glowing, glittering deep house, but there’s plenty of successful melding of jazz playing and house rhythms too. It’s a dangerous area: jazz house can oh-so-easily become terribly beige, but Kassim skilfully integrates quality jazz soloing and ensemble horn riffs with his house grooves. The quality of the playing and the sense that the jazz elements haven’t just been stapled on at the end but are a key part of his musical vision keep Straight Foxin’ out of the beige-zone, resulting in an organic-sounding, musically rich album full of jazz-flavoured club and club-adjacent jams.

⚪️ Straight Foxin’ Tracklisting

Retromigration: Straight Foxin' (Wolf Music / 12" Vinyl + Digital)
1. Kunta (02:34)
2. Formant (03:38)
3. Be Someone ft. Bezzix & Mauricesax (05:01)
4. Mada (04:12)
5. All I Do ft. Mauricesax (04:41)
6. Bouncer ft. Mauricesax (05:21)
7. New Cribs ft. Bezzix & Mauricesax (05:45)
8. ITWT ft. Mauricesax (03:36)
9. Jilter (06:06)
10. Kush Love ft. Passion Deez (03:47)
11. What If (03:25)
12. Mild Fever (05:05)
13. Bad Knees ft. Nephews (05:06)
14. Nima (01:52)

⚪️ Disclosure Statement

This record was submitted as a promo.

⚪️ Previous Coverage

⚪️   In The Wolf’s Lair: Inside WOLF Music with Harold Heath (2020)
⚪️   Medlar, Manuel Darquart join WOLF Music’s “Friends & Family” (2022)
⚪️   Dos: Two Years of Aterral Records (2023)
⚪️   Lea Lisa – Keys of Life (2022)
⚪️   Jimpster turns in a pair of predictably great remixes of Retromigration’s “Secret of a Pimp” (2022)


5 Mag Issue 208
Out July 2023

WE STILL CALL IT HOUSE: This was originally published in 5 Mag Issue #208 featuring the story of Chicago house music collective 3 Degrees Global, a tribute to DJ Deeon, a cover mix by and profile of Gratts, Detroit vocalist Diviniti, John Davis of the disco’s scariest orchestra, the great vanishing of pirate sites more. Help keep our vibe alive by becoming a member for $2/month and get every issue in your inbox right away!

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