Delroy Edwards - Change The World LP (L.A. Club Resource, 2021)
"Even though he broke through with a contender for broody acid track of last decade, Delroy Edwards has never taken his work too seriously. "I definitely think that there is a connection between humor and dopeness,” Edwards told Bandcamp Daily last year. "Those old records," he continued, "there's some funny shit happening there. It gets people buck and excited and it's funny." His label L.A. Club Resource has been a living testament to his simultaneously reverent and irreverent take on American house and techno, with recent releases from Gene Hunt and Beau Wanzer. Change The World, Edwards' latest LP, is cut from the same cloth. He looks back to '80s and '90s Chicago house with a smile, from the record's album art informing us, "The answer is simple… change the world / Bring the house" in REDRUM typescript, to the eight rough-and-ready house tracks collected inside.
The halcyon days of Chicago house are the bread-and-butter of the record. Each track has an improvised energy, like catching Edwards channeling his inner Ron Trent as he hammers it out at peak time. This energy comes across with an attractive rawness, from the vocal and drum duet "Don't Ya Know" to the ecstatic player piano-like melody in "House Blitz" to the undulating sci-fi synth chords in "The Answer is Simple." Even on the more polished tracks, like the vocal-led "Change the World," Edwards tips his hat to the formative years of Chicago by unleashing the record's most feel-good chord progressions over a jacking groove.
But while the record pays homage to Chicago, it does so from the smog-and-sun haze of Los Angeles. "Bring the House" brings dive bar slap bass and minor keys one minute, an arpeggio as breathtaking as sunset in the Palisades the next. There's a similar West Coast feel to "Sweet Geese," but the vibe hints at Edwards' well-documented interests in punk and garage rock with dashes of guitar feedback and snarling claps.
Change The World, with its percussive workouts chock full of vocoders and half-cut melodies, continues where his last LP, 2020's Slap Happy left off. Across his career, Edwards has always made it clear that he marches to the beat of his own (recorded straight to tape) drummer. He is just as likely to reissue a forgotten '90s Memphis rapper as he is to pop up on Apron with velvety deep house. On both Slap Happy and Change The World, Edwards perfect this lowkey ethos. He sticks to his guns by turning out some best-in-class crunchy and off-the-cuff floor fillers." - Resident Advisor