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September 25, 2012

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Album: Wolf + Lamb ‘Versus’ LP
Format: Longplayer
Cat No: WLM26
Label: Wolf + Lamb
Released: 22nd October 2012
Distribution: Word and Sound
wolflambmusic


Tracklisting


1. Real Love feat. PillowTalk
2. Weekend Affair feat. Soul Clap
3. Fo Porter feat. Voices Of Black
4. World Turning feat. Casey Gibbs and Night Plane
5. In The Morning
6. Serpentine feat. Rap Lisa
7. Close To You feat. Greg Paulus
With all its ups and downs, its climaxes and pitfalls, epic victories and sudden u-turns, the true story of Wolf + Lamb echoes the wisdom of fellow New York wiseass Woody Allen, who once remarked that “a relationship is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies.”

Together Zev the wolf and Gadi the lamb have kept the shark alive for over a decade by embracing the courage to venture into uncharted waters—forever plumbing the depths, riding the waves, and scouting new horizons. Whether assuming the roles of production duo, DJ team, or label owners, Zev and Gadi have written every page of their true story with wit, ingenuity, disarming warmth, and good old Brooklyn swagger.

Strong-willed and staunchly independent, the two have resolutely steered clear of conventions and the expectations of others, always believing that the only way forward is to follow the beat of your own inner drum, no matter where it takes you. In recent years audiences the world over have resonated with this singular vision, eschewing minimal machismo fist pumps and embracing Wolf + Lamb’s glittery head-banded hug.

‘Versus’, Zev and Gadi’s follow-up LP, reveals the sharks at their most people friendly. Rhodes-drenched, Berry Gordy sunshine vibes are in full effect throughout. The seven tracks on ‘Versus’ exemplify a remarkable cross-pollination of genres, a true testament to the intense, ‘it takes a village’ spirit of collaboration among the artists in the Wolf & Lamb aquarium.

The LP kicks off with “Real Love,” an electronic duet with San Francisco’s PillowTalk. A sparse, airy kick and lackadaisical, scale-climbing bass line complement a vocoder-drenched croon, evoking nothing less than an R&B version of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works. In the album’s next track, “Fo Porter,” butter soft vocals from Voices of Black (“I want it/I need it/I just can’t get enough/I hold it/I squeeze it/I just won’t give it up”) complement lush orchestral arrangements, doing for hip-hop inflected dance music what Metro Area does for disco.

“In the Morning,” an after the after party, hands to the air entry into the house of god, will instantly conjure up for those lucky enough to have visited the Marcy the familiar image of Gadi’s hands feeling up the wall in ecstasy while Zev soldiers through the groove. “Weekend Affair,” perhaps the real standout of an all-round exemplary album, punctuates stuttering, oscillating synths with a ferocious cowbell and moaned vocals, continuing a long-standing New York tradition of sexualized Downtown funk.

The gorgeous “Serpentine,” with its kettle-drum compression worthy of Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight” and atmospheric vocals from French chanteuse Rap Lisa, is rounded out by the it’s a perfect ending to the album, a moment of calm before the sharks, always on the move, start circling again.

Wolf + Lamb’s debut album was released in 2010 and planted the duo on the map. Critical praise from everyone from The Guardian newspaper to the cover of DJ mag ensued as the world embraced their novel concept. The W+L partnership consists of a DJ duo, production outfit, family of labels and New York City venue, the Marcy Hotel, a space that functions as a recording studio, a home to their free thinking artists and sporadically, a nightclub.

Since then they have continued to share their time between Berlin, Miami and New York, habitually locked in sessions at their shifting studio space with their adopted musical family. The results of these sessions have been building towards their full follow up, scheduled for early 2013. In the meantime, ’Versus’ celebrates the depth of their connections and continuous desire to create and unleash innovative music to warm the soul.