What's thick, black and 12 inches across? It's the new album from US super producer...
Christian Hopwood 2002
First off we should probably establish that Stupid Richard this ain't! Thick Dick is the alter ego of US super producer E-Smoove and Tribal Seduction is his first album under this eyebrow-raising pseudonym. As the name and title suggests there are drums and sex aplenty.
Hailing from Chicago, E-Smoove began his musical adventure in 1982 as a DJ heavily influenced by his father's collection of early dance music as well as the DJing styles of Farley "Jackmaster" Funk and Steve "Silk" Hurely. In fact, it was Hurley that spotted E-Smoove's skills and brought him into his own production company. With such strong ties to the home of house music and its early originators there is no doubting E-Smooves pedigree.
No wonder, then, his producer/remixer CV reads like a roll call for a pop music master class; Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Mary J Blige, Musiq Soulchild, The Backstreet Boys, N'SYNC to name but a few. However, under the Thick Dick moniker pop music is left in its' box and we are treated to a subterranean excursion into deep, sexy tribal house.
Overtly sexual house music is nothing new (check Lil Louis' "French Kiss" for starters) and whilst its explicit nature might not be to some tastes there are some wonderful moments here. As the title suggests the tracks are percussive heavy with tough, bouncy kicks and more bongos than you can shake a stick at. The bouncy, drifting and oddly metallic "Touch The Sky" butts up against the uplifting vocals and horns of "Wet" whilst "Orgasm" does.. erm.. exactly what it says on the tin. Perhaps the stand out moment on the record is the smooth, oceanic hymn to the music "Insatiable". Synth swells and distorted electric guitar combined with punchy kick drums frame a sumptuous female vocal loop to create one of THE tunes of the year so far.
By his own admission Tribal Seduction is E-Smoove's attempt to put "Caligula on wax". Undoubtedly the immoral sexual escapades are evident in tracks such as "Bounce" and "I Want To..." but quite how Mr Dick intends to make his horse consul remains to be seen.
Above all he is a fantastic producer and one with a sense of humour at that. In a scene that can often take itself too seriously we should be thankful for those who can make us blush. Lascivious, libidinous and utterly salubrious.