After the big (or rather: small, really) relaunch of the label – Just von Ahlefeld is out, graphic artist Stefan Marx is now the official co-owner along Julius Steinhoff – Smallville is picking up the pace again, which essentially means that they do as they have always done. Apart from Move D’s congenial return in EP format and an LP on the sub-label Fuck Reality, »A Long Way« is the first major release since the pandemic began and, however, relies on at least one familiar name: Jacques Bon took care of the Parisian dépendance of the Smallville record shop for years, Cabale operator Vincent Drux in turn is his studio partner. Over the course of the eight tracks, the two of them do what Smallville releases always do: spreading good vibes and evoking the desire to hear these tracks played out at your favourite open-air location. It is deep house in its friendliest, warmest and most emphatic form – driven by sophisticated rhythms and bouncing basslines, oriented to the steady pulse of the kick and yet permeable to different moods. The beginning is low-key and in fact the producer duo even introduces occasional discords into the mix. Once they get to the truly cosmic »Space Ways«, however, the sound clears up, the tone becomes more anthemic and the grooves more demanding. The clear highlight of this album that has been so carefully arranged as a steady flow is »Your Wings«, which mediates between rumorous Chicago-style roughness and a buzzing sense of rapture.
A Long Way