The shelf-worn, sultry, almost mournful sounds Wade gets from his equipment are practically the definition of deep-with-a-capital-D. But don't count on ruddy, beatdown introspection. This isn't music to stir your tea to; it's crisp and up-tempo—the rhythms are aimed directly at the dance floor.
"Ricky's Groove" features the Morgan Freeman-voiced War of the Worlds prologue, warning of intelligent beings who "observed and studied" from afar. An imaginative listener could, if he liked, hear it as a comment on a recent spike in global interest in the Rust Belt's house scene (writing from Germany, I'm in no position to throw stones). Sci-fi bleeps and UFO pads underscore the lurking menace Freeman describes, while a beat slams with the immediacy of an anthem. If you're hungry for a "Feel It" reprise, this should treat you well.
Maintaining the enlivened pace, "The D" has a bassline so addictive you wanna sing along with it. There's a wooziness to the keys, and a smoky soulfulness to the brass moaning gently in the background. These are the things I remember when I think back on the track, but while it's playing, the machinelike hi-hats and agile bass gyrations step forward. Closer "Intelligence," though is all thick narcotic haze. Everything feels slightly pitched down, the percussion a little less insistent, the vintage keys plodding along as though hypnotized, and the depth charges of bass falling in slow motion. With an early morning feel, this one also has the set's eeriest tone.
I'd rank this package pretty high in Wade's esteemed discography. If nothing else, I recommend dropping it in the basket as a chaser for your Funky Chocolate repress of Harmonie Park Vol. 1. Oh, and by the way, the second Laid drop comes courtesy of Pigon's Rndm, and it looks like Rick Wade will return to man the third.