WATCH: Blood Orange ‘Uncle ACE’ (Kindness Remix Video)
In a vision I saw men of infinite panache. Chest pubes bared, lip rugs waxed, hairy-knuckled thumbs hooked under silver snakeskin belts, they skated after rosy-cheeked damsels through the spotted lights of a roller disco.
For this I blame ‘Uncle ACE’: that bouncing, grooving, mirror-ball shard of disco-funk from BLOOD ORANGE’s stellar LP ‘Cupid Deluxe’. Short of being the best album of 2013, ‘Cupid Deluxe’ was certainly one of the sexiest, and this track sees main man Dev Hynes getting downer and dirtier than anywhere else.
The sauntering, tight-wristed guitar riff paves an LED path of BEE GEES-grade swagger, and before you can say “Tony Manero” a vanilla-voiced man has shimmied up and started whispering sweet nothings in your ear. Another half a minute and you’re melting over the velvety braying of a sex-ophone—fear not, these are classic symptoms of disco fever. If symptoms persist, take a cold shower.
Courtesy of the recent ‘lounge’ revival and artists like DESTROYER and BON IVER, the sultry sax is enjoying something of a comeback right now—and for good reason. Everything the instrument touches turns to smooth, liquid gold, and tracks like ‘Uncle ACE’ and ‘Chosen’ (a slightly more laidback groove from the album) wear the proof around their neck. BLOOD ORANGE uses it here to clear the steam and chill things out for a beat, offering a delicious breath of air and a swig of cranberry juice before the funk strums carry the vocals back in.
Sliding into a guitar-sax medley, the track henceforth builds in momentum and intensity, ascending for more than a minute-and-a-half toward a climax that never really comes—eventually fading out quietly rather than blowing up violently. But that’s just peachy: ‘Uncle ACE’ is a tender, generous lover, and he understands that it’s not the destination that matters, but the journey thereto. In this case, that journey is all about love… sweet, saxy, sweaty love.
Now check out the video for KINDNESS‘ remix of the track featuring ROBERT OWENS.
Words by Gavin Butler