“Mood Matters“ is a defining illustration of Dusty’s musical world. With open eyes and ears, in combination with an insatiable appetite for collaboration and experimention, he has constantly straddles the fine line between tradition and modernity. Several years after his successful debut album „Keep It Raw,“ the Jazz&Milk label founder hits home with this beautiful record, one that highlights how subtle and talented a producer and musician he is. „Mood Matters“ proves that an album need not simply commit itself to a genre or two; and in the process ups the ante considerably by featuring a broad spectrum of musical styles, bringing together Dusty’s favourite leanings such as Jazz, Funk, Soul, Afrobeat, Latin, percussive Beats and Deep House rhythms, while seeking a natural balance between accoustic, electronic and traditional sounds through the prism of a club-music oriented approach.
Not only does the album feature some of Munich’s finest musicians, such as the members of the Bad Jazz Troupe, Jo Junghanss or Beni Brachtel aka Bartellow but it also impresses via its collaborations with a diverse range of international artists. From the beautiful voice of Carla Vallet (France), the amazing guitar rhythms of Kokolo’s Ray Lugo (NYC) and Flamenco musician El Pirata (Granada) to the rich production sounds of Sam Irl (Vienna), the hypnotic percussion of César Granados (Panamá City) and the sweeping horn sections of Todd Simon (Los Angeles) – covering a universe of musical talent in all their different shapes, masterfully capturing the deep musical vision of its main architecht.
Informed by his experienced sampling background, Dusty sets a high value to establishing his own characteristic sounds. For the most part, he avoids sampling on „Mood Matters“, and instead creates a sound somewhere between nostalgic sampling and a rich modern aestethic by combining the charm of old recording equipment with the benefits of contemporary production methods. This fusion is brilliantly demonstrated on the title track, one that meshes forward-driven house vibes with organic jazz instrumentation. In addition, tracks like „Danse Macabre“, „It’s Time“, „Reascend“ or „Lost in Andalusia“ bring together traditional live elements with electronic production, synthesizer sounds and heavy basslines. While a very danceable approach is found on most of the tracks, one also finds tranquil and underscored ones, such as the lovely pieces „All There Is“ and „Longing Lingers“ which features Carla Vallet’s vocal talents or on „Southern Spirits“ with its colorful Flamenco guitar and gentle string arrangements.
The Munich-based label, and its associated clubnight „Jazz&Milk“, have been a city fixture for the past seven years and represent an integral component of German club culture, having hosted international luminaries such as Mr. Scruff, Quantic, Sofrito Soundsystem, Lefto, Simbad and many others. From his collaborations with and influences from such creative and versatile producers and DJ’s, to his live performances with the Bad Jazz Troupe, to his spinning vinyl records, these experiences have all combined to generate the unique sound found in Dusty’s productions. As a passionate DJ, he travels the world consistently, having performed for audiences in New York, London, Madrid, Canary Islands, Copenhagen, Saigon, Manila or Singapore. He cleverly manages to move dancefloors with an individual and positive twist, not by submitting to musical clichés, but by always seeking a distinctive sound, one that blends sophisticated old and contempary dance music.
As a do-it-yourself man, Dusty took months to build a full-scale music studio environment out of white cardboard paper, to be used as basis for the title song’s music video „Mood Matters,“ in which a large dancing milk carton programs beats, plays instruments and dances along to the jazz driven House track. Paper drum- and tape machines are brought to life by means of elaborate stop-motion generated sequences; which can also be found on the album’s cover art.
If you are already familiar with the eclectic Jazz&Milk cosmos - exemplified by several releases from artists such as Ray Lugo, Sam Irl, Fredericks Brown, The Jivers and Mr. Chop, then you can rightly expect, and not be disappointed by, all the different styles and influences shining through on this album – all held together by THE connecting force in Dusty’s music: a whole lotta Rhythm!