Published Jun 21, 2018Early last decade saw a resurgence of interest in underground '70s funk, as tastemakers like Keb Darge and labels like Strut released compilations featuring groove-based tracks, while hip-hop artists like J Dilla and Madlib started to sample these rarities.
On his fourth LP, Medline gives a unique spin to this style of crate-digging, as the French turntablist has recreated eight jazz funk classics note for note, acting as a one-person-band. Although many of the tracks found on Solstice have been sampled by well-known artists like Kanye West and Curren$y, Medline gives many listeners their first exposure to these songs.
Typically known as a beatmaker, Medline offers an album's worth of great instrumental performances throughout, giving tracks like John Cameron's 1973 track "Liquid Sunshine" a terrific woodwind accompaniment, while Lee Mason & His Orchestra's 1971 track "Shady Blues" features a tasteful organ breakdown.
But it's refreshing to find Medline injecting his own personality into some of the album's songs, as Jay Richford & Gary Stevan's 1974 track "Running Fast" features a IDM breakbeat, and Cortex's 1975 song "Chanson d'un jour d'hiver" demonstrates Medline's elastic groove.
Although every track featured on Solstice can currently be found online, there's a wonderful vibe that runs through this album that makes it an essential buy for any digital rarity collector. (Independent)