With its urgent bassline and sample from the soundtrack of the cult movie The Taking of Pelham 123, Max Sedgley's Happy became an instant house classic when it was first spun in clubs a few summers ago. The original (and rare) Italian 12" also included the excellent Slowly, marking the multi-talented Englishman as one to keep a close eye on.
And then nothing.
After turning in the odd remix, it wasn't until last year that Sedgley resurfaced with the Lalo Schifrin-sampling Devil Inside. Although it wasn't quite up to his previous tunesâ€”how could it be?â€”at least it meant he was still making records. Now though, his debut album is on the horizon, and a copy of From The Roots To The Shoots has landed in my lap.
Happy sounds as insistent as ever, and dropped at the right moment, would still no doubt fill a dancefloor this summer. The languid, head-nodding groove of Slowly has also aged really well; so much so that it's getting its own re-release as a single this month. Elsewhere, Celebrity could be Mylo given an Acid House remix, and Set It Free is reminiscent of the future-funk of Crazy P. The pervading feel of dance music from earlier times is encapsulated by the Orbital-inspired closer Ego Spiritual.
Not an immediate record in any way, From The Roots To The Shoots is still wide and varied enough to be pretty satisfying, with its knowing little nods to dancefloors of the past. Shame it took so long to arrive.