***** West Coast Swingaz – Groove 4 U (Bandcamp / Trash Can Dance TCD344 – 2022)

In the farming heartland of Estonia, house music mega centers New York, Chicago and L.A. are closer than one may think, when imaginary road signs are pointing to the village of Väätsa, the home of Tanel Matsalu aka West Coast Swingaz. As the artist’s name suggests, the trip commences at the US West Coast, in the back seat of an Arabian Prince’s 80’s limo, for sinking into pure bass upholstery (“And Have A Nice Weekend”). Having paid a visit to break-dancers, garage (house) fumes are waiting at the other end of America (“Luvdrunk”, “I Groove 4 U”), which along with “Special Night” invite to a dance spree.

Ghetto house worshippers are blessed with “Work It Out”, which recalls the beginnings of the genre’s global domination that started in 1980’s Chicago. “Ooh Babe” is the most opulent piece of the album, with a slapping rhythm and soulful vocal samples, and “Take Me Away” maintains the same spirit. We descend into the night with rolling house when velvety bass riff enters a relationship with saxophone smoothness (“When I Think Of You”).

House music is without borders, and international man from Väätsa proves it with “Groove 4 U”. Of course, several influences can be listed – the artist mentions labels such as Strictly Rhythm, Nu Groove or Nervous – and the samples are from Jamanta Crew, Johnny Loopz, LNR, Parris Mitchell, Gwen Guthrie, to name a few. With history that spans several decades, house music can’t be easily revolutionized. However, it is an driving package with the cover design in the spirit of Legowelt, drawn by the artist with felt-tip pens. In the physical form, the Estonian cassette boss Trash Can Dance released the album.

The review is adapted from the original article published in the Estonian monthly Müürileht .

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