cielo: playtime (review)

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May 19, 2009 by DJ Elroy

Courtesy of Tommy Boy

Courtesy of Tommy Boy

words by djElroy~

Long gone are the days of field trips, summer vacations, and getting spoiled by grandma. Now that we’re older, the right-brained innocence of youth has been eroded by the rules, regulations, and responsibilities of adulthood. Not all is lost, however, because Cielo says everyone deserves Playtime.

Resident mix-masters Nicolas Matar and Willie Graff will treat your ears to a top-shelf selection of house music representative of a night at the world-famous dance club. As a venue, Cielo exemplifies the “old meets new” concept — the perfect juxtaposition of 70s dance decor and the cutting edge Funktion One sound system — and the double-disc set successfully reflects that. It is an eclectic opus featuring everything from deep dubs to jazzy sass to African drums and funky vibes.

The ‘Classic’ disc is introduced with the sensual suggestions in “Want Me Like Water” while the groove grabs you by the ears and refuses to let go. The mix builds into a spoken-word lesson in house music (“Sound Is Yours”) before rolling into the beautifully uplifting vocals of “Into My Life”. This set is simply packed full of great music, catchy hooks, and good times.

The second disc — ‘Nu Classic’ — opens with the gentle piano and noir-esque bassline of “Cirque De Soul” before flowing into the hauntingly beautiful chants of Motor City Drum Ensemble’s “Lonely One”. Over the next several tracks the mix makes a subtle shift into a deeper vibe, melding together groovin’ riffs and intricate percussion before finally peaking with the sexy and strong “Headphone Silence”. The meditative “Escandalo” gets a last word in before the final drums are struck and you’re left with a profound sense of satisfaction.

Playtime scores high marks in both music selection and stylistic presentation, demonstrating again why Cielo has been cheered by critics and fans alike year in and year out. Tommy Boy Entertainment has found the formula for success in the series and this newest release lives up to expectations. For those of us not able to enjoy New York’s nightlife, Playtime gives you a taste of the Big Apple without the risk of biting a worm.

myspace.com/nicolasmatar

myspace.com/williegraff

As featured on Progressivehouse.com!

ProgressiveHouse.com

ProgressiveHouse.com

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