Alex Agore takes the title of his new release, Behold, I Make All Things New (and consequently the preacher sample used on the title track) from Revelation 21:2-7, however the statement isn’t directed to the heavens but rather towards a rebirth of a sound that may have strayed from the ‘house of god.’ That message being that while deep house may be in vogue you need to go back to the roots to discover the real soul again. Agore is a relative newcomer based in Berlin but with no real ties to any scene there nor with any real desire to be either. He has managed to produce 2 full length albums and 2 singles in the past year with sounds that range from melodic techno to jazz tempered electronic but with little acclaim. Agore is one of those artists that may be too talented for his own good, a producer that sticks to what’s true to his heart and lovingly churns beautiful music but without the backing of the right PR or trendsetting web coverage. But I believe that is all about to change for him. Behold, I Make All Things New is house music so good that it should be turning heads, setting ears on fire and sending asses jiggling. And maybe most of all, making you wonder where Agore has been all your life, or at least the last year.
Getting back to my original point, what makes Behold, I Make All Things New so strong is that these 4 tracks get to digging the dirt sole of jazz and graft it to beats that bump. At a high level, this is music that may bring to mind early KDJ or Theo Parrish’s more conventional grooves, as Agore twists jazz and funk samples in a way that is reverential of the source material while re-arranging it to extract maximum dance floor pleasure. On “Memories,” the bassline and soulful vocal are filtered before bringing the beat to bear and then dropping a moody chord progression. It’s rare to find music that can reflect a party-like atmosphere and the feeling of heartbreak at the same. “Cafe Au Lait” sounds like it’s being channeled through an old 78 stylus as it’s powered by fundamental jazz elements including a filthy stand up bass, a driving horn sample and layers of be-bop piano melodies, along with a gorgeous keyboard melody. And on the title track, Agore uses the aforementioned preacher’s words to lend some context to what is essentially a spiritual journey distilled into deep house. The arching trumpet line and urgent female harmonies sound melancholy, but are buoyed by solid percussion and a change up 3/4 of the way in that sends the track down a more straightforward path of galloping beats and moody keyboard, and a female vocal singing and inviting you to “jack your soul.” This may be Agore’s first bona fide house release and may give him well deserved exposure but I wouldn’t count on him pumping out this stuff. When music is this well crafted it will last to whatever comes next from him and well beyond.