Greg Paulus has a habit of turning up on some of my favourite tracks, frequently lending his trumpet work to give electronic music a element of sophistication. Here he teams up with Nick DeBruyn to release the duo's debut album as No Regular Play on Wolf + Lamb.
Paulus and DeBruyn met when they were just eight years old, gradually bonding over a a love of A Tribe Called Quest, Mile Davis and John Coltrane. Those influences may be writ-large across Endangered Species' length but this is still an album that is unmistakably their own. Paulus' trumpet frequently punctuates warm, electronic beats and there is a clear manifesto in support of all things funky here, with bouncy analogue bass a-plenty. It's a refreshing album from start to finish.
Jumping off with the thick and luxurious 'Birdfeathers' Endangered Species makes a seductive entrance. Gentle piano, wandering trumpets and warm chords give things a sunny outlook. The album increases and decreases the pace as required and so the title track is a more taught, upbeat piece, snappy spoken vocals creating melding with a heavy, funky sound.
'Nameless' is infatuated, a laid-back vocal serenading whilst a tidy percussive backing cements a base for a layered chord sequence. It's an entrancing moment, warm and invigorating, and over all too briefly.
There are clear jazz, soul and funk influences throughout but these are usually blended together and combined with new styles, as on 'Keep It Right'. This plays a snappy, soulful trumpet line against a series of pads, eventually creating an enjoyable interplay between the brass and the bass.
Aside from warm, laid back electronic music some of my favourite sounds are soul and jazz. Endangered Species blends these together to make something convincing and joyful, providing Wolf + Lamb with their strongest album release yet.