From: Jon Freer (jon-freer_at_excite.com)
Date: 2004-05-24 18:02:08
Jon Freer’s Reviews. 23rd May 2004.
Thanks to Anton at Trailer Media, Nicky at Phuturetrax, Crispin J Glover, Andrea at Freewheelin’ Media, Regis De Way at NEWS and Steve at Timewarp for these…
Album & Compilation selection.
V/A – New York Soul (Unisex)
Cat No: USEXCD/LP006. Release Date: 7th June 2004.
NY has always been a place where things happen. Whether speaking musically or not, the city has attracts people at the top of their game, whilst also producing an unfeasibly large amount of home-grown stars within its five boroughs and surrounding vicinity. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the NY Soul compilation, striding along with a confident Hip-Hop styled swagger, is brimming with talent. Up there with the recent “Detroit Soul” offering, “New York Soul” drops the falsetto’s and lets the ladies represent a little more, alongside skilled b-boy production maestros. The syrupy toned Amel Larrieux tries to mend her broken heart on “All I Got 2”, where causal beats with a swing to their hips partner sturdy brass under Amel’s velvety vocals. Q Tip’s “Even If It Is So” charts the tale of a struggling yet surviving sister, as untamed brass and a meandering guitar link up with statement-making keys. The wholesome “A Little Soul” by Pete Rock uses inquisitive br!
ass, unpretentious percussion and swaying keys to create an unassuming yet ever so rewarding instrumental number. An essential purchase!
V/A – Life Styles: Kenny Dope (Harmless)
Cat No: HURTCD054. Available Now.
Kenny’s choice of tracks may surprise a few people. The age of many tracks on “Life Styles” suggests his aim with this compilation was to expose the past relics that have shaped his musical development, instead of appraising recent favourites. The Jackson 5’s “I Am Love” is a fairytale esque declaration from the heart, where precious vibraphone-dipped keys partner a flaunting electric guitar and unstoppable strings. Phil Upchurch’s “Black Gold” undoubtedly provided the inspiration for the Nuyorican Soul outing of the same name, with its timeless acoustic guitar, stunningly attractive strings and soft percussive patter. The butterfly fluttering flute addled “Too Soon You’re Old” by Penny Goodwin is in two parts, a slower first half and a quicker-paced second, where the message is presumably that you must live life at a fast pace to achieve your dreams. The link between the tracks presented here and Kenny’s musical output over the past couple of decades is perhaps weaker!
than one would expect, and the music needs a few more listens than a MAW 12”, to be fully appreciated. Not quite as outstanding as Louie’s “Choice” selection, this is still a worthy release from the plumper of the Master’s pairing.
Crispin J Glover – Which Way Is Up? (One Little Indian)
Over the years, Crispin has been responsible for a fair few dancefloor conquering tracks. This conventional yet commendable long player for One Little Indian is an all round housey affair, set to get toes tapping and heads nodding. Princess Julia’s half-spoken half-sung cockneyed vocals feature on “This Is Not A Love Song”, a trashy yet fun guitar addled stormer. “Dream Over” features a spoken word diatribe against the programming of society, which rides ‘knock-on-the-door’ inquisitive percussion, smoking guitars and a creeping bass. “Deep Down Inside” pits flowery female vocals against India’s intense musings, over slouching boogie-style beats, sunshine synths and paper-thin keys. This album shows that despite the fact that the 12” is king, House-based long players can be successful.
V/A – Real Ibiza VII (React)
Cat No: REACT CD251. Release Date: 21st June 2004.
Compiled by veteran chiller Phil Mison, the Real Ibiza series is one of the most credible to document the sleepier side of the island. Spread across two CD, the tempo doesn’t vary much, but the quality of the music does hugely. There are some absolutely gorgeous sun rising moments, but there are also some vacantly staring personality-less outings too. The suggestively monikered End Of Orgy’s “Villa Rouge” takes its strength from overpowering swirling guitar waves, which are backed by shining keys and emotional strings. The Endresen-Wesseltoft Duo’s “Out Here In There” is much less confusing aurally than on paper, as icy strings, lonely keys and beats that echo deep inside back a tragic story about the search for love. Hird’s “Getting Closer” urges displays of love, over touching keys, empathising chords and glazed strings. This is a true representation of the more horizontal end of the electronic music spectrum.
Swirl People – Special Combo (Aroma)
Cat No: AROMA CD 002. Promo.
This feels more like a collection of tracks than an actual album, but nevertheless, there are some wonderful moments. There are a few disjointed vocal cuts here, but it seems that the instrumental cuts provide a more forceful punch. “Special Combo” is a sprightly and almost 2-steppy styled percussive cut, with a wobbly analogue-toned bass, theatrical strings and a cute flute. “My Thoughts (Fly Away)” is the type of fractured record the Bugz would have made if they had grown up on a diet of smoother four-four’s not violent breakbeats, with its speaker-bending bassline, sax blasts and thought-mangling synthetics. “Extend The Knowledge” is typically Swirly styled nu-tech house musica, where warm keys, vocal snatches and determined beats hook up and get on just fine. Not revolutionary, but hardly lacking in ideas!
V/A – Gettin’ Soulful (Vampisoul)
Cat No: VAMPI CD 042. Available Now.
‘Soulful’ here stands for anything made with conviction, be it conventional souly croonings, mystical jazz, energetic Latin or anything else that is found in this collection. The Vampisoul crew have rifled through their notable back catalogue and have unearthed a heap of striking music. Eastside Connection’s “You’re So Right For Me” sees stepping forward percussion, dazzling strings and a smiling flute back infatuated vocals. Cal Tjader’s “Solar Heat” is cosmic jazz for the year 3000, with its heavenly vibraphone, rustling shakers and padded drumming. “Viva Pereza” by the Fania Allstars uses firm organ keys, clip clop percussion and a contemplative guitar to produce an enthralling Latin dance no. The variety and number of tracks in this collection means that there should be something to suit most tastes.
reviewer and writer for the following
websites and magazines: Blues & Soul Magazine,
FACT Magazine,littleplanet.net, City Life Magazine,
XLR8R Magazine, Keep On Magazine, Exposed Magazine,
beyondjazz.net, Store Records(Sheffield),
deephousenetwork.com, offitsface.com, Sandman mag,
Vanguard online, quadrastate.co.uk,
Inner Loop Magazine, housemuziq.com, undergroundhouse.net, worlddj.com,
mosoul.co.uk, discotribe.net, flygarictracks.com,
Testpress-Announce Yahoo Group
Housemuziq Private Yahoo Group
Brique Rouge, Exceptional Records,
Robsoul Recordings, Dust Traxx,
Spiritual Life Music and more...
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