Keith Worthy – The Price of Nonconformance
Label: Aesthetic AudioScore: 8/10
Amongst those in the know, Keith Worthy has long been touted as one of Detroit’s most uncompromisingly excellent DJs. In recent years, Worthy’s stature as a producer has grown in line with his lofty reputation as a selector, chiefly as a result of his work at his Aesthetic Audio imprint, a label that’s also played host to the likes of Steven Tang, Tony Lionni and Juju & Jordash amongst others. If you’ve read interviews with Worthy before, then you’ll be all too aware that he’s a man who follows a slow and steady approach, and rather than rush his work he’d much rather focus on doing things right. It’s a sound that’s brilliantly conveyed on his debut LP, The Price of Noncorformance, too.
Although the various interludes might be deemed somewhat unnecessary be some, they do set the tone brilliantly on the LP, allowing it to breathe for air when necessary whilst also adding extra emphasis to the tracks on show. Of said tracks, there’s a veritable slew to get wrapped up in, whilst each one basks in its own personality. Early jams come thick and fast, with the likes of ‘Deeptroit’ and ‘Jazz’ immediately signaling that Worthy means business. It won’t surprise fans of Worthy’s that this is a predominantly deep house LP, but it’s the textures of the tracks that really mean this one sticks out from the pack. To give you an idea, if UR did ‘Jazz’, it’d probably already have been held up as a future classic.
That said, Worthy has always followed his own path, and it’s a trait of his that’s explored with great depth on the likes of ‘Guilty Pleasures’, a robust but cheeky offering that sticks to no obvious script. He develops this notion on the aptly titled ‘Leftfield’, which sees the producer opt for a melancholy air of floating, gregarious synths that stick out amongst the rest of the LP. That said, there’s still plenty more to keep you occupied (not least ‘The Aesthetic Track’ and my own personal favourite, ‘Karma’). In short, The Price of Noncorformance is a plainly epic work that house heads are sure to gobble up with some gusto.