A well-known figure in the Washington, DC party scene, DJ, promoter/organizer, and freestyle dance master Baronhawk Poitier has recently begun dipping his nimble toes into the original production game. His latest, the brief but wide-ranging Temperado Tornado EP is a great mission statement for his community-oriented brand, a welcoming fusion of deep house, techno funk, and party thrills.
The EP opens energetically with the title track, a joyous, hands in the air rave-up with a blaring horn sample that just might be getting obnoxious by the time it smartly cedes its place to the delicate chiming bells of the cut’s second half. It’s an attention-grabbing calling card for sure, but not exactly subtle. The decidedly more minimalist “Phakie Phattie” is up next, a fractured but still propulsive techno cut with chilly Afro-funk vibes.
Follow-up “Lowside Heights” may be the stealth highlight here, a funky, deep house jam swimming in dubby textures, the goldfish tail of a playful synth line surfacing periodically. These relaxed vibes lead nicely into the tribal throb of closer “Gasp & Grasp,” another deep house cut with room to spare. It’s probably the least memorable thing here, but certainly not without use value.
Use value is as good an angle as any to approach Temperado Tornado: this is party music, and Poitier’s background as a dancer and general maestro of celebration serves him well here — you can almost hear the circle forming during the breakdown of the unapologetically kitsch title track, and a sweaty, good-natured warehouse vibe prevails throughout. Alone on a pair of headphones is perhaps not the ideal setting for this EP, but if you’re partying for one these days or just looking for some varied house grooves, take this tornado for a spin. (Honey Soundsystem)