Label: Mister Bear Records
Cat: MB003
Format: Vinyl & Digital
Genre: Deep House
Release Date:
Vinyl – 3rd June 2024
Digital – 24th June 2024

For their latest release, Mister Bear are thrilled to be welcoming Detroit House icon Alton Miller back into the fold, who brings to the table a ultra fresh and breezy serving of dance music excellence….

When discussing the evolution of House music from its Chicago roots in the 1980s to the present day, a name on the tip of everyones tongue will certainly be Alton Miller, who has carved out one of the genre’s most revered and diverse musical journeys. Miller played a pivotal role in developing the Motor City’s house music scene, showcased in his running of the seminal Music Institute night club alongside fellow illumainares Chez Damier and George Baker. His productions would start making their way into the world during the 90s, where his soulful musical upbringing had a big influence on the strand of House he would go on to be so celebrated for. Miller’s releases exude heart, soul and rhythm, with glorious melodic sequences leaving a last impression, often interlaced with inspired vocal performances and intricate drumming outlays. His musical recipe and approach has seen him continue to release music at a steady pace, a testament to his ability and long reaching influence on dance music as a whole – with releases on Planet E, Mahogani Music, Neroli, Forbidden Dance and M3, to name but a few. In recent years, he has also fostered a musical connection with South Africa’s thriving house music scene, along with establishing the Alton Miller Foundation which aims to help young people develop life skills, along with frequently speaking at workshops and events about his experiences and contribution to the dance music world.

Following on from the groovin’ ‘Am Forplay’ release earlier this year, ‘Reflections Within’ continues with the positive undertones and breezy, euphoric melodies that have been cornerstones of Miller’s sound for decades. The record is, as always, exceptionally balanced, with a mergence of his signature house style with tracks which feature the wondrous vocal abilities of Giinga Flame – providing an enriching and all encompassing experience. ‘Vibe Check’, which opens the record up, and ‘No Fomo’, feature Flame up top above the sea of instrumental excellence. ‘Vibe Check’ contains a delightful chord progression alongside sweeping jazzy lines, with Flame’s voice gently but powerfully floating above the kicks, effortlessly wrapping the dance floor up, moving hearts and minds along. ‘No Fomo’ on the other hand strips the backing track to a strong pulse, with Flame given plenty of room to showcase her talents, truly acting as the lead instrument as the track rolls on, and on, into the sunset.

The other side of the record is represented by the three instrumental tracks, ‘Light of the World’, ‘Around the Corner’ and ‘Reverie’, which all speak of Miller’s multi-faceted approach, with each track bringing something slightly different to the table. ‘Light of the World’ is involving and evolving, like waves lapping at the beach, characterised by the gentle key stabs and sparkling top layer elements that give it a real gleam. ‘Around the Corner’ features a similar top quality rhythm layer, with this one a bit more playful, providing a up and down motion to proceedings that is sure to get the feet moving. Finally, ‘Reverie’ feeds into the rhythm of the dancefloor, with a pulsating chord that underpins the rhythm and provides a beautiful link between the glorious melodic meanderings that come forth.

Alton Miller has always looked forward, ever reaching into tomorrow to come back with music that continues to inspire, dazzle and enrich. His career is testament to that fact, a body of work that sits within the clouds, a series of releases that move the mind and the soul in equal measure. ‘Reflections Within’ is the newest chapter in that, a record that is filled to the brim with expert progressions, inspired melodic interventions, strong chordal undercurrents, and of course some superb vocal performances. As house music goes, you don’t get much more life affirming, so why not loose yourself in the sunset somewhere – there ain’t no better soundtrack….