It starts with a beat, propulsive and deep. Hypnotizing in its grasp, a synthesized bass line sneaks to the foreground. Percussive accents stoke the rhythm. Rahsaan Patterson's voice suddenly cuts through like a lightsaber: "And I cry and I try, and I try and I cry, and I!" It's a stunning, electrifying entrance.
A swirl of strobe-lit bliss fuels "I Try", the first single from Heroes & Gods 2.0 (2021), Patterson's collaboration with house producer Quentin Harris. The renowned DJ has taken each of the thirteen songs on Patterson's most recent studio album, Heroes & Gods (2019), and transformed them into cosmic glitter. The project's been a lifetime in the making for Patterson, whose heart and spirit have always resided in house music. Though other notable producers like Steve "Silk" Hurley had occasionally remixed tracks off Patterson's earlier albums, Heroes & Gods 2.0 marks the first time he's dedicated a full album to the house aesthetic.
As one of the industry's most charismatic vocalists, Patterson is the spark behind Harris' reimagined musical concepts, tailored for private listening as much as the dance floor. Both album opener "Catch Me When I Fall" and "Sent From Heaven" are career-best performances from Patterson, who contours the lyrics with warmth and passion. His voice soars effortlessly to heights that would elude most current hitmakers. Harris brings an infectious bounce to "Silly, Love, Fool" and re-routes "Rock and Roll" into a groove that coasts breezily beneath Patterson's simmering wordplay ...
[Click to read more of Rahsaan Patterson's interview with Christian John Wikane for PopMatters.]