“When the Time Is Right” manages to be both nonchalant and agitated at the same time. Producer Cody Currie lays out a series of contrasts — between the stubby, stabbing electric piano and the marauding bass, between a stern, slapping cymbal and a stream of hurrying, rat-a-tat percussion — over a driving rhythm. The result is freeing for dancers, who can choose to align their movements with either the calmer or the more frenetic elements in Currie’s track.
Currie, who moved from the U.K. to Berlin two years ago and then released a pair of EPs through the label Toy Tonics, has absorbed all the right lessons from the proto-disco soul of the Seventies. “I’m really attracted to the sounds” of that era, Currie said last year, “… and I try to incorporate that into my own productions,” both through vocal-mixing techniques and the selection of instrumentation.
The music in “When the Time Is Right” shares some DNA with Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson’s “The Bottle” or Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ “Bad Luck.” (Though the singing in Currie’s track is hushed compared to the work of those Seventies vocal dynamos — this is don’t-wake-the-baby dance music.) “When the Time Is Right” also fits next to slightly more recent club singles that expertly update soul traditions, tunes like Quentin Harris’ “Traveling” and Peven Everett’s “Heat Up.”
Currie’s new EP, Moves, is due February 12th via Toy Tonics. In addition to “When the Time Is Right,” another highlight is the title track, a cozy, skipping, club-ready collaboration with Eliza Rose that the DJ/producer Ash Lauryn recently previewed on her monthly NTS radio show.