EP, Independent Media, 2007
While admittedly not a fan of house music, this disc somehow landed on my desk some time ago despite a warning to the label that we don’t cover this kind of music. Nevertheless I decided to check it out, as free of preconceptions as possible (preconceptions that stem from being dragged a few too many times into bars and clubs playing this stuff).
The first thing that popped into mind when checking “The Travels Of Windimoto”, the first offering of this duo of producers/DJs that hails from Chicago and Detroit (hence the obvious pun on the name Windimoto) is that it would be quite adequate for a lounge setting or for playing before the club and dancefloor are properly filled up. Overall, Windimoto’s music is quite laidback, doesn’t offend any susceptibilities and doesn’t cause much a long-lasting impact. The impression I get from this release was the same I get when listening to the offerings of many DJ-come-musician’s: that their music suffers for adhering too much to the conventions of the genre they’re used to working in, without looking outside of it for inspiration.
One can easily find a couple of blatant failings in this release, failings that extend to all of the tracks and, if they are a characteristic of the genre in question, make it all the less to my liking. Essentially, there is a lack of a clear and deep bass element and keyboard elements – both are pushed way into the back and drowned in looped rhythmic structures (which incidentally sound rather flat), thus denying it much needed depth and melody. Only the first couple of tracks have a chance of survival, thanks to the presence of vocals which provides a unifying component and essentially carry the songs, irrespective of the musical layers underneath.
While I didn’t find “The Travels Of Windomoto” particularly well-achieved, perhaps there is potential for increasing the musical quality of this duo if they eventually address the points referred above and make it less genre-specific (i.e., add variety by incorporating elements from other music genres).
— Miguel de Sousa