After more than twenty years behind the decks and dozens of original releases, the outspoken artist known as Sulli has put together his first full length record, Things I Say. As the title suggests, and like most of Sulli’s original work over the years, this project has no shortage of provocative insights. The album features twelve tracks of unadulterated house music, harking back to a time before the velvet ropes and the corporate sponsorships, from a committed DJ who chooses to remain faithful to the sound and vibe of the underground.
Sulli is a product of the early ’90s US west coast house community. With tales of making pilgrimages from his Reno, Nevada home base to San Francisco’s The End Up as well as parties thrown by the renowned Wicked crew, Sulli certainly has the foundation on which to build his own underground house music reputation. In 2005 Sulli founded the label Amfibius which quickly became respected with releases from the likes of Jay Tripwire, Alexander East, and Rick Preston as well as Sulli’s own projects. Juggling his ‘day time’ profession as a respected action sports photographer with his late night musical activities, the ambitious Sulli launched Hype & Soul Recordings to further focus on his expanding output as well as his collaborative projects with fellow Reno DJ Cody Nasir aka 5657.
Things I Say is the culmination of all this activity. The twelve cuts all draw on Sulli’s house music education and represent different styles and flavors that have touched his ears (and feet) over time. There’s an emphasis on the classic underground sound of the late ’90s, which holds a special place in the hearts of many west coast house veterans, with contemporary production sounds and elements thrown tightly into the mix. On top of all this there is a bit of introspection and deep wondering about the state of the world, evidenced through the vocals on tracks like “Black and White,” “I’m Not Your Nobody,” and “My Life,” as well as in the song titles themselves, hinting at something more than your standard house music track. Of course, there are also the beats and bass lines, potent reminders of this music’s natural habitat: behind the decks and on the dance floor.
Referring to his production style as ‘soul-tech,’ Sulli does admit that, despite his hard work on Things I Say, what happens in the studio is secondary to what goes on in the nightclub or warehouse. “To me production is the natural evolution of things, but in the end it all leads back to the dance floor,” he says. “I am a DJ first, and as such I live and die by the turntables”. Spoken like a true devotee of the house music underground.
Brett Johnson - “Awesome … every track is jumping!”
Spettro - “Loving ‘I Feel You’ and its huge beats over sexy chords.”
Tyler Stadius - “Cool tracks. I like the hypnotic sounds.”
Kirsten Sees (Area38) - “Wicked tracks! A superb range of styles from raw, gritty, and filthy to deep, sultry, and seductive.”
Chris Fortier (Fade) - “Good stuff.”
Chris Udoh (Tiger Hook, Wamdue) - “Deep, hypnotic tech house … I love it!”
Pete Moss - “‘I Feel You’ is excellent.”
Joey Silvero (Distant People) - “Deep and rolling vibe … I like the synth and vocal effects.”
Deepshizzol - “Stonking release from Hype & Soul Recordings and Sulli.”
SimonG (Deep South Audio) - “Hot! This producer has been dropping nuggets for some time now.”
Bobi (Global Movement Radio Show) - “‘I Feel You’ is a warm, seductive house tune … big atmosphere here, sensual and strong!”
Alexandre Klimow (Pure Dance, Belgium) - “Great production and great sound as usual with dj Sulli. Bravo.”
Ornette (Radial Blur Radio Show) - “I’m loving the vocal work on Sulli’s tunes . dark and grimy with just the right amount of energy. The vox on ‘Nobody’ echoes the angst and moodiness of Depeche Mode. Top productions!”
Jamie Topham (CDPool) - “Strong and heavy tech-house sounds. ‘Footprints’ is pretty bloody good!”
Darrell Stout (Next Level Radio Show, WRUW FM) - “Wow! The perfect blend of tech-house going on right here through every track.”