Uffe Christensen says he's not listening to much house music these days. "If I could," he said from his home in Amsterdam, "I'd make a jazz album." But the Danish soundsmith doesn't sound like he's resigned himself to make a standard dance floor record, exactly.
Returning to Tartelet for the first time since his debut release under his own name, 2012's Straess! EP, Uffe has delivered an uncommonly graceful and assured first album, assembled from a few years' backlog of tunes and a young lifetime's worth of disparate musical influences. On Radio Days, you'll hear shades of hip-hop (Uffe's first musical love, he says), smoky soul, generations of jazz styles and, of course, a distinctly Detroit strain of grooving house music—often all on the same track. But even if you know the constituent parts, you haven't heard them pieced together quite like this before.
Radio Days turns on Uffe's toasty sound design, built from the sampled shards of his record collection and material recorded a friend's studio in Copenhagen. It's as warm and coaxing to the ears as a fresh tray of chocolate cookies is to the nose. Analog synths sizzle and zap, tube amps and surface noise hiss ever so subtly in the corners, and drums pop artfully through spacious mixes.
Uffe's self-taught as an instrumentalist, producer, and vocalist, but his intuition is impeccable—hear it on easy floor-fillers like "Die For You (I Won't)" and "My Luv Was Real," where hefty basslines saunter through the ample space between cymbal splashes and Uffe's breathy voice builds alluringly strange chords, or on tense ballads like "I Can Show You High," a dual testament to the producer's songwriting chops and sampling dexterity.
In true Tartelet form, the sound is modern and direct, but in form, Radio Days recalls an era of true albums spread across two sides of a single record, where each cut represents one layover on a flight around the artist's world. We expect your turntable's stylus hasn't cut many grooves like it.