„Mr. Pink what have you been smoking?“ is the first full-length release on Cologne’s ava. label. Though you might think of the album title as long and unusual, it isn’t in the cosmos of ava. Titles like “We Were Raised To Believe That Someday We Were All Gonna Have Great Beards” (by Funkycan, ava.003) or “I Think We Agree, The Past Is Over” (Damiano von Erckert, ava.002), which have found their way into playlists of DJs such as Joy Orbison, MCDE or Midland, are proof for their conventions. Since the beginning in 2011 ava. has made a name for itself with a handful of well received EPs from the likes of Funkycan, label head von Erckert or its mini-compilations “Koeln I” and “Koeln II”, genrewise all located somewhere in the wide spectrum of house music.
Now, the ten track collection on “Mr.Pink what have you been smoking?” is a collaboration between the Cologne residents Damiano von Erckert and hip hop producer Tito Wun aka Twit One, member of the “Hi-Hat-Club” and known for his releases on Melting Pot Music. Both deliver five tracks each, so it’s not a cooperation as per definition, but a known formula which worked fine for the Hi-Hat-Club – and that can be said already – works great on this record as well.
Musically the album is a journey through the rich history of soul and disco and its contemporary adaption expressed in stripped down (hip hop) beats, skits and house music. When Tito Wun is responsible for the skits soul-affine disco edits (The way you do it, Reel ting), von Erckerts domain is for the straighter house sound (The dude loop, Hercules in NYC). The result is a pleasantly unagitated but essential fresh mini LP, which is in stores since January 15t, but could have been released in 2003 or 2023 as well. Only point of criticism is probably the running time with only about 30 minutes.