Joey Anderson makes house music that celebrates tradition while refracting it at the same time. House’s most classic mode floats and springs to action, keeping a sense of levity even when delving into its darker moods. Anderson’s contemporary take tows a similar line, but, everything in his tracks ventures outward instead of upward, as if in search of some new way to explore dance music’s promised freedom.
In the wake of Anderson’s atmospheric, impressionistic 2014 album After Forever, the three-track Head Down Arms Buddha Position asserts itself as harder and more expressly club-inclined from the start. The title track blares at the beginning with a squiggling-synth invocation of old Chicago acid house, and the whole thing spins like a cyclone in slow motion. “Tears Can’t Bring You Near” is softer and more reserved but still concussive, with beats falling near obvious spots to create familiar grooves but always a little spread out and abstracted too.
“You Gave Me Life Again” assumes a more horizontal posture with sprays and waves of ambient sound. Anderson’s focus on danceable rhythm remains active and engaged, but it also goes to show, as it wanders patiently through seven wondrous minutes, how open to interpretation the notion of “danceable rhythm” can be.