Release Date: Mar 16, 2018
Record label: Smalltown Supersound
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Pop/Rock, Ambient House
Will Long first became known as one-half of Celer, an American duo who issued an absurdly prolific stream of breathtaking ambient/drone releases laced with field recordings and acoustic instrumentation. Following the tragic, untimely death of his partner, Danielle Baquet-Long, Will continued Celer as a solo project, eventually settling down in Japan and starting a new life. While in Tokyo, he came in contact with Terre Thaemlitz, another American expatriate, who is best known in the dance music world for making provocative deep house under the name DJ Sprinkles.
Part of what made Will Long's Long Trax 1 so special was DJ Sprinkles. She overdubbed each of Long's originals, which added a beautiful soulfulness to his raw and bare-bones approach. Without those reworks, the LP would have been a different story. This is the one we get on Long Trax 2, the Japan-based artist's follow up, which no longer features DJ Sprinkles, nor her label, Comatonse.
A protégé of DJ Sprinkles, Long is well-versed in the political import of deep house, using vocal samples to add narrative as well as melodic texture. Just as Sprinkles used documentary voice recordings to tell the melancholic story of house and its queer origins on 2009's Midtown 120 Blues, Long continues to explore the radical potential of the dancefloor and its possible expansion into wider society on his second LP, Long Trax 2. If the dancefloor is now regarded as a 'safe space', he posits, why can't our society be also? Yet, in Long Trax 2 he merely finds the stasis of acceptance, the repetition of norms rather than the urgency of subversion.