Various Artists – Good Timin’ Vol 1 (Good Timin’, 2019)

A blast through a real spectrum of the goodness that shines forth from this fantastic label.

Good Timin’ has always delivered the goods, literally. A label filled with the sunshine side of house and dance music that has consistently lit up dancefloors and soundtracked walks on the beach for years. A warm glow radiates through much of the music on the label, and it always has this feel to it, a consistent level of fuzzy haze that contributes to the party and gives something back. The label heads, Jex Opolis and his pals, keep moving along the peaks and troughs, with the bass lines and chords all so very good. Through Conga Radio’s 2016 release ‘Right Beside You’, through to Roberto’s ‘Junk Rubber’, to all of Jex Opolis’s releases (they’re all fantastic), its another one of Canada’s premium labels, focusing on the feeling and the emotion that dance music can evoke. Warm times elaborated throughout.

Their latest release, ‘Good Timin’ Vol 1′, is everything towards that and more. It includes familiar faces, such as Conga Radio, and Jex Opolis and the Conga Radio, along with Moon Tan’s and Hoiya’s label debuts. The music is a little bit more expansive, touching on a mixture of mellow styles with club orientated style tracks, with vocals playing a key feature (as per with Good releases). Its so well balanced, and will tug at the heart strings and play with the sensibilities to every end. So lets dive in!

The opener, Jex’s ‘What Ya Need’, gets us started on a strong note. An electro beat gives way to a techno esq beat with a heavy as hell bass line. This transitions so nicely from the opener, before a electric sax key line comes in. It feels very 90s in its throwback, but very fresh at the same time, playful and joyous, with little vocal lines thrown in for good measure. Synth pads play out in the background, and give the track so much depth. The layers and levels are gorgeous, with the structure of the song staying put with its bass line receding far into the background, with the drums playing their part impeccably. It oozes late night dusk feels, grooving away into the night. Wicked! up next we have Jex and Hoiyo, with their tune ‘Laffs’. Starting off with some nice and playful chords underneath a laugh track, the tune bubbles along strong. The Larry Heard style chords are so well placed, and float above a consistent beat so beautifully. The bass kicks in too, which just adds depth and presence to the tune. Lucid and fluid, its so smooth it melts around the groove, a fantastic tune. Next we have the big one, Conga Radio’s ‘168 North’. Originally released on Gerd Jansen’s excellent ‘Music for Autobahns’ compilation (check out immediately if you haven’t), this is classic Conga. The beats are crisp, the synths carefully curated but superbly placed, the bass line perfect and simple, its just classic. Their formula of tune making is wonderful, and always delivers. The little key solo that comes in just takes the track to another level, a real head bobber, and delves deep into the soul and the night.

Up next we have Moon Tan with the tune ‘Eso Lux’. The vibe is taken down a notch, as the producer embraces a slowed down late night sort of feel. The drums taken down a notch, with the synth lines the star of the show here. Evoking 1980s LA and J Funk productions, its slow and sexy, with the groove slowed down to let it unravel and develop. The spaces left when the lead keys fall out lets the listener take in all the foundations of the sound, the bass is allowed to breath, and the groove just takes us away. Up next we have is Eric Anada with ‘Totally!’. A combo of all the vibes we’ve been experiencing before, with the drums a bit more up than the slower burners, but all the fun chords remain. The progression here is fantastic, and the drums drop out at all the right times. The playful vocal samples again play a big part, as the synths drop away then swell again and again. The tune has a fantastic level of depth, with the bottom chords dropping far down to the edge of the kicks, with the cymbals adding a real level to the drums. Finally, to conclude this compliation of good grooves, we have Jex coming up again with The Nite, ‘I love the Nite’. Evoking modern soul and vibes associated with Dam Funk and the neo funk groovers, its a nice touch to end on. A fully realised dance tune, synths to the max, and is a nice contrast to have full vocals to end the EP with. A stunner!

All in all, Good Timin’ continue on with the vibe. Their level of summery excellence radiates so strong on this one, and long may we bask in their goodness for years to come. This EP says a lot about the label’s ethos and message, their curated sound always touching us deep, keeping us all cosy and warm as the sounds develop and escalate all around us. Keep the good times coming Good timin’!

Support the troops:

https://jexopolis.bandcamp.com/album/good-timin-vol-1

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