We’re not sure if you know this but local dance maker Magic Touch has a new album coming out. He— Damon Palermo—released the Chicago housey Nothing More last year and is back now with Palermo House Gang, an eight song jammer coming out February 25 on 100% Silk. Can’t wait until next Tuesday to hear the album? You’re in luck! You can listen to the release in full via Pitchfork Advance through its release date. This is great news because it is a fun record.
The album is top to bottom easy dance tunes. Opening number “I Need The Magic” is a statement of intent with vocalist Sarah Bat (We think?) singing about how she needs a connection and to be heard on the dance floor: she needs “the magic,” AKA that Magic Touch. “Passion,” the only non-collaborative song on the record, is a low lying disco jam that Palermo twists in and out of repeated house vocal cue “Don’t you try so hard just to please me.” The collaborations on the record are successful and—as the title of the album suggests—MT needs a gang to deliver his message, most of which are unknown: The Horses add a fullness to “Shine Baby Shine,” Ash Williams contributes to shimmery, golden, saxophone’d “It’s Love” (Which Ash offers a paired down, belled out remix of later on the record.), and Benny Badge helps contribute to closer “Calabria” being such a cosmic tune.
The funny thing about Palermo House Gang is that you cannot actually tell where Palermo himself ends and his obscure contributors begin. Even on the solo track “Passion,” a guest vocalist (Or someone!) has a hand in the sound. Nineties, high-hat leaning “You” and dark synthesized conga “House Of Intuition” both feature Octo Octa—but who can really parse through the song to pick out where OO starts and MT ends? Both are the album’s highest moments and it feels wrong to rob either artist of praise. Thus, the whole gang gets high fives.
Parts of the record will remind 100% Silk fans of last year’s Replicant Moods from LA supergroup Pharaohs. There is the same feeling of collaboration and a conceptually spread dance floor. The sound here is articulated a little clearer (Somehow, despite all the extra hands.) and is at it’s heart a fun listen. You can—and should—spend some time spinning this today courtesy of Pitchfork Advance.