Tell me, when was the last time you fell in love with an album? Making you want to hit the replay button as soon as the last song was finished, just to avoid losing that warm glow inside your head?
'After dark, my sweet', the fantastic debut by Dutch duo TJ Kong & Nuno dos Santos, will do the trick just nicely. The twosome prove that deep grooves and song structure don't have to clash with a genuine club feeling.
"Call us romantics, but hasn't the love been lost from a lot of dance music?" TJ Kong (Erwin van Moll) asks rhetorically. To which Nuno adds "We wanted to bring back some of that love. And we wanted to make an album that's not limited to the dancefloors".
In an ocean of formulaic techno, preset house music and festival one hit wonders their eleven track debut indeed is a flashing bright red beacon to hold on to. Music made without any stress or time pressure, which captures all the emotions the duo experienced, be it joy, loss or love.
During the recording sessions, Nuno (who lives in Utrecht) spent a fortune on train tickets to make the weekly journey to Erwin's Eindhoven-based studio. While the music often came out naturally, finding the right vocalists proved a greater challenge.
One voice was easy: Robert Owens. The American house legend sung their 2008 club hit 'Merging' to higher grounds. You'll find the addictive song in an alternative version on the album. Owens lives in London nowadays, where TJ & Nuno also recorded 'Where Were You'. The vocals were done in less than a day. "Owens is such an incredible professional", TJ Kong smiles. "Before you know it he has recorded 30 vocal tracks.....and they're exactly what's needed".