• Sam Fleming


Moodymann has the power to transform any room into a nightclub. His music feels like 2 a.m. on a Friday night, right as everything is starting to wind down. TAKEN AWAY is the newest album from the legendary techno producer from Detroit and Moodymann’s new album offers a new perspective on his signature sound. In the last two decades Moodymann single-handedly shaped a convoluted and mysterious legacy. TAKEN AWAY is a departure from anything he has done before. Although it’s full of late-night bangers, these songs feel warm, fuzzy and comforting. While in previous albums it was clear where he incorporated samples, on taken away Moodymann becomes one with the music he is sampling.

The title track, “Taken Away,” is an early standout. It grooves along for almost seven minutes, chopping up samples, and mixing in new voices all while maintaining Moodymann’s signature sound. The song doesn’t stand still for even a second, it constantly morphs and runs in a new direction keeping the listener guessing. Moodymann has always had the voice of a classic bluesman but on songs like “Do Wrong,” he pushes his voice to its limits. On “Do Wrong” Moodymann completely ditches the techno backbeat and his raspy growl almost crosses the line into creepy. He sings “You been going out every night, coming home smelling like someone else” and “You got me in back in church on Sunday, praying I don’t smack the devil out you” over a gospel sample. As he croons about his lover instruments just come crashing in, adding to the chaos of the song.

Most of the time TAKEN AWAY barely feels like a techno record. In the last couple of years Moodymann has worked to incorporate more funk, soul and jazz elements in his music and TAKEN AWAY is the culmination of all of that. Even though it may not always be strictly techno, a pulsing baseline drives all of Moodymann’s music and TAKEN AWAY is no exception. If you are looking for a collection of late-night, sleazy bangers then this album is perfect for you.

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