Sgt Wumbo does deep house such justice with his lush and decadent grooves. Tracks are kept to the essentials with throbbing bass lines, smooth vocals, and a symphonic glide of sound that is imbued with a tremendous degree of emotion. He ensures that every single element has an acutely designed balance for the atmosphere stuns with its swirling heady mix. Infectious soulful melodies lead the way as vocals neatly weave their way into the colossal cascading approach ensuring that detail shines with such care.
His influences go to the very heart of the matter, with nods to greats like MK. Akin to MK’s output, the chords here have a beauty to them one where they radiate out into the simply infinite. Speaking of chords, Sgt Wumbo takes a page from Kerri Chandler’s book, for the way that these pieces evolve reflect an almost classical nature at times. The way Sgt Wumbo builds out the textures means that it is a dense world, one full of a tremendous sense of life. Hooks are aplenty in Sgt Wumbo’s stately tracks and oftentimes draw upon some of Disclosure’s work with house music, for there is a sly seductive quality for how they unfurl.
The EP “Never Meet Your Heroes” touches upon elements of pop within a deep house context. From the get-go there is the hard-hitting tech house grooves of “I Got That” with little flourishes brought into the forefront in such a careful, controlled manner. “Losing Control” shows off his ability to explore vast cavernous spaces, with a mysterious edge that brings elements of dub into the fray. The heaviness of the sound and the way he plays with the vocals makes it a highlight, as the song has a Burial-like sense of the unknown. Heavy in volume is the energetic workout of “Going Through It” where he lets the chords reverberate giving them additional power.
Vocals enter into the forefront on the phenomenal splendor with the single “Beating Heart”. Aptly named, the way that the piano chords ripple alongside the sheer tenor of the voice feels masterful, as does the heighten sense of strings that build the tension up before bursting full of color. The ebb and flow of the piece feels justified for his approach is one that allows a bit of looseness into the proceedings.
His remixes equally show a similar temperament and respect for other people’s work. “Pony” (a remix of Ginuwine’s classic) features a giddy energy with the emphasis on the bluesy vocals a particularly nice touch, as the way he lets the groove loose gives it a giddy, carefree attitude. Vocals become an essential part of the mix with the incredible work of “DMGD” (a remix of Danity Kane). Intense elastic grooves work wonders as the driving rhythm gives it an urgency, one that radiates throughout every single carefully laid-out beat.
With a sound that draws from deep house’s roots while updating the style in a way that feels so refreshingly modern, Sgt Wumbo presents a polished, perfect atmosphere easy to get lost in.