No Regular Play‘s Greg Paulus goes solo on this « City Movements EP » for the long-standing London-based label Freerange Records.

When I receive promos, I always try to avoid reading too much info about the release or the artist. By doing this, I save a lot of time of course… but most importantly: I’m not influenced by what I could listen to. I’m a white page, waiting to be filled with sound waves.

So here I am, a couple weeks ago, receiving this new EP in my mailbox and, a few minutes later, listening to this release from « Greg Paulus », an artist name I never heard about before. For some reasons, the music immediately made me think about a particular sound I used to hear a couple of years ago. It recalled me the sound of Wolf+Lamb, Soul Clap and the whole Crew Love-affiliated talents when I was really into their music (around 2010, if I’m right). All of this just to say that the music really caught my attention, so I started seeking more information about this « Greg Paulus » and discovered he was actually one half of No Regular Play, probably one of the most noticeable acts from the Crew Love team, alongside Soul Clap, Navid Izadi (RIP), the Pillow Talk project and a few others.

Anyway, enough words, back to this new release from Brooklyn-based artist Greg Paulus. For this « City Movements EP » Greg delivers three brilliant original tracks showcasing his talents as a producer – of course – but also as a trumpet player and vocalist. Opening tune « Breezy Point » comes correct with Greg’s vocals coming to the fore backed by a crunchy house groove, a solid, analogue bassline and simmering Moog synths. You can really sense this particular « Crew Love sound » on this tune, in my opinion, with its descending, reverberating keys and the mystic spoken words in the background.

Flipping over we have « Do You Love Me? », co-produced with fellow Crew Love and Brooklyn artist Taylor Bense, which takes a jazzier approach with Greg’s filtering trumpet arrangements adding a warm, organic depth to the track whilst the Prince-inspired house groove keeps the funk factor running high.

Closing out the release we have « Mr. Lee’s Trophy Theme » in which Greg and co-producer Teddy Stuart reimagine the scene as a certain film director arrives to receive his latest award. There’s plenty of attitude, a hint of sleaze and a dash of humour but above all else we have bags of soul emanating from within the layers of warm pads, Wurli chords, trumpet lines and hooky vocal.

Another beautiful release from Freerange Records, keeping the house music alive while the dancefloors remain empty. At least we can count on a handful of artists and labels to warm our hearts and lift our spirits during these times… while we patiently wait for the next party to happen – hopefully in 2021.

Grab « Greg Paulus – City Movements » on Juno Records.