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LaTique – Orange Juice

Written by on August 31, 2020

Stepping out with his debut album and joining fellow artists like his friends Dwson and Pierre Johnson, LaTique has a fresh take on tech and deep house.

Born Mfihlakalo Siphesihle Mbanjwa, LaTique started out with Fruity Loops – but in 2020 he’s graduated to EPs on labels like Atjazz and Stay True Sounds.

His first LP kicks off with the tranquil and captivating ‘All Alone’, where plaintive vocals from Chief Joint & Salvador echo above warm chords and a killer bassline. Following track ‘Won’t Stop’ doesn’t – it just gets more expansive, moving into the trance-like Afro-tech the likes of Culoe de Song are exploring. Plus there’s that deft chord change…

‘Moments’ actually introduces African-style chants and maintains the momentum, all synth sparks and impeccably-placed hi-hats over a rolling undertow. Then the title track charts a more minimal path, a spare bassline beckoning the listener into its dark tunnel. ‘Your Time’ is busier, but still built for peak-time with its relentless flow and scathing synths.

On ‘Organ Of 93′, LaTique is joined by Pierre Johnson, and while the title suggests a throwback it’s anything but, retooling classic house tropes in a new big room way, the pair’s skillsets conjoining wonderfully on a complex and colourful track. On ‘Not Guilty’, the tech is turned way up, with some shimmering notes and vocal lines flitting around the forward-focussed groove.

Singer P.M dominates ‘Easy Road’, which is reminiscent of the work of the late Kenny Hawkes with SA singer Louise Carver. Then ‘Morning Cry’ takes us on a trip to the club in the very early morning, the sun about to rise. Finally, ‘Give You Up’ ends big, a mass of synths reaching up above a tide of propulsive reverberations.

As debuts go they don’t get more impressive than this – a scintillating starter that will be loved by the likes of Dixon, Âme, Franck Roger, Rocco and more.

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