Damiano Von Erckert’s early musical endeavors were pretty unsuccessful, the labels just weren’t biting. Unperturbed by their lack of interest in his music, Damiano decided to bypass the undiscerning labels completely and start his own. So, in 2011, AVA. Records was born. Several releases later, some serious critical success (including the much lauded “Mr Pink, What Have You Been Smoking?“) and Erckert has just unveiled his 2nd self-released LP; the beautifully packaged double 12” – ‘Love Based Music’.
Grand opening ‘All Good‘ sets the bar. Filtered vocal samples flow over a warm orchestral base – it’s a rich pallet with a distinctly cinematic feel, instantly likable and undoubtedly a standout. ‘No Good Times‘ throws caution to the wind and atmosphere out the window, replacing the harmony of all ‘All Good‘ with strong repetitive Latin grooves. It’s undeniably fresh Disco funk.
‘French Porsche‘ follows. Stabbed chords and shaken percussion (courtesy of Funkycan) are reminiscent of Juan Atkin’s “Techno City” Damiano then slews straight back into 70’s soul with ‘Hollywood‘ … slow sexual funk featuring Georgia Anne Muldrow’s off-kilter vocals Alongside ‘Symphonie of a Brother’, ‘Housem‘ is probably Damiano’s opus. An explosion of Tr-909 claps and hi hats, sandwiched between filtered piano chords and held in place by an incredible vocal sample, this remastered version is (as the title playfully suggests) a perfectly crafted House anthem while eerie ‘Adhab Ya Msafiri‘, is an undeniable future classic.
The extraordinary arrangement of sparse percussion and softly-spoken poetry courtesy of Imam Ally Salaam feels very much like a lamentation (that is until around the 3.00 minute mark when Erckert cranks it up into 4/4.) ‘Sweet and Kind’ perfectly demonstrates the scope of ‘Love Based Music‘. Assembled in the fashion of a Gang Starr record (but without the verses) it’s an invigorating injection of low-slung Hip-Hop. With it’s softly staccato percussion, surging synth and steady vinyl crackle ‘Reelluv feat. Tito Wun‘ is a quiet curtain close. s a gentle reminder of the albums incredible variety.
Sitting perfectly within AVA.’s ethos of being “committed to the tradition of House and Techno, while seeking the permanent link to freshness and innovation” ‘Love Based Music‘ is an undeniable success. If you haven’t heard of Damiano von Erckert yet (or indeed AVA. and its associated artists,) leave it to ‘Love Based Music‘ to get you hooked. It’s a definite contender for album of the year.