Most producers would have an immediate meltdown if they tried taking on even half of the influences that John Larner runs a thread through in his all-inclusive marathon sets. Groomed to keep the Chicago and Detroit underground legacies alive, he’s held his own behind the decks for going on two decades, while having a death-grip on all things house and techno. The next single in his clutches is “Blu Eyed Soul,” a futuristic funk jam that calls on rapper Ashley Nelson to exude pure confidence in his unapologetic flows. The self-assurance is too contagious.
Adding further credibility to the equation are remixes from indie dance group Dirty Soul, Windy City local Richie Heller, and one of Chicago’s finest, James Curd. The latter takes the funkiness to full throttle—as the DFA regular is known to do—giving Nelson’s brazen verses an even more assertive charm. The sauntering drums, oscillating synths, and sprinkled-in guitar riffs give this zippy rework an on-top-of-the-world type of flair, but it’s the bumpy basslines that really show how Curd can easily command the crowd without overcomplicating things.
Available December 15 via Dirty Sole.