Dance music is a form of pop music, and most pop music, historically, has been made at least in part to make people dance. But somewhere, somehow, the relationship fell apart.
Ewan Pearson, though he might not put it in as many words, brings the two back together. Not just by squeezing genuine sweat out of some of the most coolly-produced radio confections possible, but also by locating the secret pop song that lurks in the heart of every great club track. No easy trick. But in over a decade behind the boards that fusion has become second nature the English-born, Berlin-residing producer and DJ.
That’s doubtless due in part to his tenure behind the decks at some of the greatest nightclubs in the world. And it must somehow be related to his decision, around the turn of the decade, to stop producing his own solo work (which he released as Maas and World of Apples as well as under his own name; he continues to produce alongside his frequent collaborator Al Usher in the duo Partial Arts) and concentrate on the music of others, both as a studio producer and, most famously, a remixer.
Put together, these 21 tracks make sense in a way they never could on their own, playing ideas off each other and creating a jumbled and jubilant narrative. In the end, the story Piece Work tells is a simple tale of a love affair with recorded sound – coupled, perhaps, with the moral that two heads are better than one.
You can hear Ewan having fun with every drumbeat, every chord, every squelching bassline, and that palpable sense of joy is nothing short of infectious.