Archive for the ‘Soul’ Category

Tensnake – Feel Of Love ( Kaytranada Edition ) [2014]
August 22, 2014

There’s been a glut of incredible tracks filling up my Soundcloud feed as of late, this latest offering from Kaytranada is no exception. Its like liquid summer exploding all over the inside of your skill. An absolute masterclass in soul and groove from one of the best producers in the business. Get your ears around this immediately, you will not be disappointed.

Smoove & Turrell – Will You be Mine [2013]
July 28, 2014

My apologies for the delay in posts, its been a busy few months and sadly WP have changed their default posting backend making it rather troublesome to post on this POS Atom machine I use. That said, this is how you do a triumphant return, with a corker of a track like this.

Ive enjoyed pretty much every Smoove release i’ve heard. He’s got a real knack of kicking out some of the freshest sounding funk this side of 1979 and with his collaborations with Turrell, its just onward and upwards. Broken Toys is their forthcomming album, #3 in total and the standout track for me is this track. Its an absolutely perfect marriange of electro, funk and soul, with fantastic lyrics, a driving bassline from heaven and plenty of soul to keep you nodding. I heard it originally on Zemeralds most recent mix on Blue Racoon radio and must have repeated that part of the mix a dozen times before locating it.

For those interested, the link to the soundcloud copy of Broken Toys from Smoove & Turrell is below. Give it a listen, its amazing. Standout tracks other than the one above are Broken Toys and People Keep Talking but to be honest, the whole album rocks it.

Frankie Knuckles 1955-2014 | Warehouse Top 50
April 2, 2014

As you might imagine, the tributes have been comming in hard and fast since the news was formally announced.  The following playlist was put together by the geniuses over at Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) and its a stellar snapshot into those old Philly and gospel sounds that shaped what the Warehouse and in turn Frankie’s reputation. Taken directly from the tracklist Frankie listed in the seminal book “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” , its an awesome collection of tracks. So give the history a listen and have some fun fun. Learn the words, sing along. This is music for dancing!

Frankie Knuckles 1955 – 2014
April 1, 2014

I found out last night that Frankie Knuckles had died aged 59 and I cannot overstate how gutted I was. Frankie Knuckles wasnt just a DJ or Producer, he was one of a very small cadre of people responsible for creating the sound that has played in my head and heart for as long as I can remember. Sounds a bit spiritual I know but its hard to explain that music to me has always been about the kickdrum, the high hat and piano or soulful vocal hook. Sure my tastes have mellowed over the years but at the very beginning of my own personal musical journey, it was House music and specifically the Soulful House sound synonymous with ChiTown/NYC that I loved. Imagine me. locked onto as a young 8 year old lad, the John Peel radio show on a Sunday night, taping the imports that he played during the show. House music is probably the first thing I would say that defined me as my own person with my own taste. The first thing I found on my own.

Frankie Knuckles was responsible for the music at the Warehouse in Chicago, often credited with the origin of the name “House”, a shortened version of “The Warehouse” music that was in such demand in early 80’s Chicago record stores. The history of House Music is littered with DJ’s and producers held in high almost godlike reverence but almost all agree that Frankie was deserving of his title as the “Godfather of house”. A guy who took the records available to him after the death of commercial disco, rolled in a drum machine in the booth thanks to Derrick May and helped pioneer a sound that has dominated global music for over thirty years. Sure it was going to happen sooner or later but this soon, man I wanted to see Frankie just one more time…

So today the web has been rammed full of tributes to Knuckles, Twitter exploded last night with tributes, Facebook has been busting at the seams with friends all posting their favourite Frankie Knuckles cuts. He has a legacy that transcends his death for as long as there is a Kick Drum, a snare, a highhat played over a soulful vocal and an uplifting piano riff, therein lies some of Frankies DNA, a fingerprint that will outlive all of us left here reflecting upon his body of work.

Thank you for the music Frankie.

Nas & James Brown – Get Down (The Boss) [2011]
March 5, 2014

Keeping on the Nas flavour but mashing it together with one of the seminal James Brown cuts was a masterstroke of genius. The Boss from James Brown being not just one of the best from the Godfather but also one of the best Funk Soul tracks of all time. Nas’ lyrics fit into this badboy like butter, completely flawless. Full respect to the YouTube guy, ESyms, this is amazing.

The Staple Singers – I’ll Take You There [1972]
February 25, 2013

RIP Cleotha Staples

Its always sad to hear about the passing of yet another classic vocalist but when one of those is one of the Staples sisters, then its time to show some serious respect. The Staples were huge with an immense back catalogue of phenomenal unique cuts of Soul and Funk as well as enough covers to trample anyone in their path. Some of my favourite soul tunes of all time came on the end of the Staples ample pipes. “I’ll take you there” might have been forever consigned to the advertising hell that so many other classic Soul records wind up in had it not been so DAMN CATCHY. You will find yourself singling along to this, you will find yourself shuffling around the room and it’ll be in your head for days to come.

Rest in Peace Cleotha, I for one will be enjoying the Staples catalogue tonight!

Jakwob – Fade (Featuring Maiday) [2013]
February 3, 2013

Proof that you dont need a lot to produce a blinder of a track. Of course, this has all the components that I love in a tune, a cracking piano, beautiful vocal and an interesting break. The artists, Jakwob, is better known for churning out vocal led Dubstep type tunes so this is a bit of a welcome departure. Simple, gorgeous, quality stuff.

From Soundcloud.com Bio
Jakwob is talking about super-gnarly, super-heavy dubstep.
“I can make that music, I enjoy that stuff,” he says, a slim, stubbled young man with dark eyes, “but I don’t want to replicate it, I don’t like making music that’s too difficult to get into so I end up adding things, different unexpected elements…”

This approach has made 22 year old James Edward Jacob a hot property. Take the recent track ‘Let it Fall’ – it has soaring vocals courtesy of writing-collaborator Rocky, pulsing dubstep rhythms and electronic elements all combined effortlessly. Jakwob has no snobbery or boundaries, he can play nine different instruments, he’s a musical magpie and always has been…

Sister Sledge – Lost in music (Dimitri from Paris remix) [2012]
January 16, 2013

I have no idea how I missed this from March 2012. Its no secret that I think “Lost In Music” is one of the greatest tracks ever released with the Nile Rogers re-edit being the creme of the crop. That is, until now because I think Dimitri gives ole Nile a serious run for his money. The intro goes in a completely different and absolutely wonderful direction, going with a string intro that is just INSPIRED. What a way to kick off a track everyone knows, then your back into familiar territory but keeping it entirely intrumental, Dimitri drops in the accapella and its just so fucking GOOD. The track is sped up about 10% which gives it even more punch, its a absolutely brilliant remix, completely and totally awesome. Play this LOUDLY on repeat while I get out of this chair and start dancing round the office.

The Isley Brothers – Its Your Thing [1969]
January 9, 2013

Gwaan! Happy New Year one and all. Getting back on the proverbial posting horse, lets kick 2013 off with this monster from The Isley Brothers. A 1969 pumping Funk and Soul assault on the senses with a simple but effective message for a New Year. Its your thing people, do what you wanna do.

Amen to that!

Michael Jackson – Rock With You (Frankie Knuckles Favourite Club Mix) [1995]
November 29, 2012

For the record, I pretty much adore Michael Jackon’s first 3 Albums, Off The Wall being my favourite by a long way with Bad and then Thriller. Dont care about the eccentricities, accusations or any of that shit, the music stands bigger than the man.

Now, I have no idea what Frankie Knuckles was smoking when he wrote the intro to this remix since it deviates so far from the original disco/funk classic it hard to believe its even related to the original. But this is the intro I think every artist wishes his tracks remix would have. Its a full force emotional buildup of biblical proportions with a piano riff so inspired it just steamrolls the listener into submission. Soon as the drop comes, your back in Frankie Knuckles familiar housey territory and its a pretty happy bouncer for the remaining 5 mins but you’ll find yourself constantly yearning for that intro.

On a side note, after MJ passed away, a guy with the online handle of Technics2000 did a kind of tribute mix featuring tracks from his entire back catalogue in their best remix format. Its an amazing mix that I strongly recommend you go grab and give the guy some love. Its been on constant repeat this week on my 14 hr days and im yet to get bored! There’s lots of links online, just run a search for “Technics2000 Michael Jackson”