Available on: Prime Numbers LP
After a few years of honouring previous releases through remix collections, it could perhaps be daunting for Trus’me to herald new material by releasing a whole album. Treat Me Right, however, proves that he has nothing to fear: these eight tracks of romantic machine music show off an in-depth knowledge of dance music with an individual touch.
Trus’me shares a certain sound with Terrence Dixon, engaging with the depth and warmth of a particular modern, Detroit-inspired sound, combinations of soulful samples, subtle synthesizers, and crunchy bit-reduced drums all working palpable moods. From The Far Future Pt. 2, Dixon’s own re-emergence late last year, was quite a thematic release, largely introverted and narrative. Treat Me Right, however, is more of a collection of tracks than a specifically long-playing album project, the results more stripped down and functional.
Like machines loaded with content and set off to run, hard, whether rushing or bouncing, propulsion is always at the fore. Harmony and samples take precedence over melody, occurring only as small hooks where present – see the spikes in ‘Hindsight’, and the LFO/Egyptian Lover-like lead of ‘It’s Slow’. The latter shows Trus’me at his best, constructing absorbing step-sequenced rhythms, a constant chopping of 16th-note blips and crunches interspersed with caught breaths. ‘Somebody’ – 4am techno with a booty twist – is just as notable, a storm of constantly shifting off- and on-beat cymbals, claps with the kick and snare breakdowns, and hypnotic acid bass straight out of Armando’s reign.
Among these kinds of classic structures, Treat Me Right makes coy use of filth and sophistication, through house and jazz(ish) samples: ‘Defunct’s battering of drum machines and electronic fragments are offset by a harmony from some kind of French Riviera dream sequence; ‘Hindsight’ is equal parts sleazy and sexy with its guttural male groaning; ‘T’es Une Pute’ is a bright, Mediterranean house track with a title that translates to ‘You’re A Whore’ (although, not speaking French, that might technically be ‘You’re A Ho’.)
Although his work doesn’t drip with quite as much succulence as Moodymann, Trus’me does a good job at marrying these elements to his own sound. Although issued as a double vinyl LP, I’d be more tempted to think of it as 2 EPs’ worth of collected dancefloor material. This said – and with the old adage of a producer’s album having to be something ‘more’ than just a collection of dance tracks, of course, being a pertinent one – Treat Me Right still strikes a solid balance between functionality and depth.