Bayou-born soul sensation, Durand Jones, is bringing his raw energy to Colemine Records with his debut LP. Jones brings you two fiery original soul music, pairing soaring vocal work with dusty drums, slinking guitars and screaming organs. With a stellar background in gospel, Jones got his start in the church, singing in the choir of his hometown in rural Louisiana. When his music career took him to Bloomington, Indiana, he was selected to join the legendary Indiana University Soul Revue, and it was through his involvement that he met writer/producer duo Aaron Frazer and Blake Rhein. The three began writing original soul music, recording themselves straight to tape in the basements of Bloomington- a process which brings you the gritty sounds available on Ohio-based Colemine Records. Sure to satisfy fans of Charles Bradley, Lee Fields, Aloe Blacc, and Leon Bridges.
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Los Angeles based label Cold Busted readies the second volume of a ten part series. This series covers the best Funk and Jazz inspired tracks found only on Cold Busted. Each release is hand-picked with many of the songs available on CD for the first time including cuts by Akshin Alizadeh, Mister T, Singularis, and Bloody Tadi. If you haven’t heard of Cold Busted then this is the compilation series you should start with.
The borders between London's musical tribes have always been porous. For Yussef Kamaal, the sound of the capital with its hum of jungle, grime and broken beat has shaped a self-taught, UK-tipped approach to playing jazz. In the states, the genre's long-running to-and-fro with hip hop from Robert Glasper to Kamasi Washington has reimagined it within US culture. On Black Focus, Yussef Kamaal frame jazz inside the bass-saturated, pirate radio broadcasts of London. Taking inspiration from the anything-goes spirit of '70s jazz-funk, on albums by Herbie Hancock or the Mahavishnu Orchestra, it's a loose template with plenty of room to experiment. The pair, made up of Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams (aka Henry Wu), have had little in the way of formal training. Instead, their musical tastes and approach to playing are indebted to Thelonious Monk's piano as much as the drum programming of Kaidi Tatham. "It's all about the drums and the keys," Williams says. "Not to take anything from anyone else, but that's where it all originates from: the chords, the rhythm of the chords and the drums." Born out of a one-off live session to perform Williams' solo material for Boiler Room, it soon became a project in its own right. Coming together as Yussef Kamaal, they played a series of live shows where little more than a chord progression would be planned before taking to the stage. Bringing that unspoken understanding to the recording sessions (engineered by Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics), the unplanned, telepathically spawned grooves retain the raw energy of their live shows. "It's not so much about complete arrangement, it's more about flow," Dayes says. "A lot of the tracks are just made spontaneously Henry will be playing two chords, I'll fill in the groove and we'll just leave the arrangement naturally." Both hail from South East London, crossing paths in 2007 as teenagers playing their first pub gigs around Peckham and Camberwell. Dayes drums for cosmically-inclined, afrobeat outfit United Vibrations, while Williams on top of drumming and playing keys in different incarnations over the years has made waves with his solo, synth-draped house 12"s for much-fted labels like 22a and Rhythm Section.
San Diego's own The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble is back with their sophomore LP on Colemine Records! Cinematic soul is the order of the day from this west coast group. Covering a lot of soulful territory here: deep funk, soul jazz, breakbeats, and more!
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It’s too simple to call Cold Busted just a record label. Sure, these purveyors of trip-hop, instrumental hip-hop, downtempo, and funky sounds consistently release modern classics. But the LA-based label, founded by Derrick Daisey—formerly known as DJ Vitamin D—have created a lifestyle music experience orbiting around Daisey’s rarefied palette and iconic vintage-vibing artwork, and a thriving community of innovative musicians feverishly creating and collaborating. The first CD, of a ten part series, covers the best Funk and Jazz inspired tracks found only on Cold Busted.
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Boris Blenn from Berlin releases a Nu Jazz Downtempo full-length album, ‘Berlin Future Lounge’ on Cold Busted. Starting off with the track ‘Mellow’ the listener is absorbed by the chill instrumental Hip Hop beats and lustrous warm and soothing synths. ‘Grain’ displays more minimal palpitations and clicks while the song ‘Funkazoid’ showcases active beats, wonky synths, funky breaks and an insane drum solo. Following is ‘Jazzaloid’ a feel good tune with lush diva vocals bee bopping and accentuating the rhythm and brightness with melodic keys adding a nice touch. ‘Sunshine’ is warm and calming with dazzling notes and organ keys and a caressing snappy snare, definitely capturing a pleasurable feeling of sun on your skin.‘Dream’ is another tranquil song with a happy hi hat, organic sounding Bass and emotive piano keys. Ending on a Jazzy note, ‘Still’ wraps things up with a moody Bass, free loving drums and a smooth male vocalist, all details earnest and charming. A seasoned producer with a colorful background, Boris Blenn delivers with this 14-track album, a fruitful and joyful collection of sounds. Fans of Prefuse73, Pole, Mark Farina and Gotan Project will likely dig this album.
One-take ambient instrumental travels, composed in strict committee by the trio of Kevin Blagg, William Suran, and Dante Carfagna. Recorded spontaneously in rural Arkansas, bulging sub-woofers lope through fissures of skeletal banjo and pitched down pedal steel, while delicately arranged basins of synth and guitar reverberate, providing a steady stream of granular epiphanies. Utterly faded, yet still possessing crystalline clarity, these twelve songs continually attain summits rarely reached within the span of four-minute transmissions.
A collection of fan favorites and exclusive killers soooo good it turns Gold to Platinum. Dig on 21 tunes hand-picked by Daptone staff, musicians, and fans. But what's REALLY special are the exclusive tracks by NAOMI SHELTON and the GOSPEL QUEENS, as well as "The Baddest Band in the Land" THE DAP-KINGS, who offer up a never-before heard dance-floor dominator, "Thunderclap", that was tracked during the sessions for SJDK's I Learned the Hard Way. Still need more convincing? How about extensive liner notes from the foremost authority on Soul Music, the illustrious MR. FINE WINE – the DJ behind WFMU's longest running Soul program, DOWNTOWN SOULVILLE. It's the perfect album for those down with the Daptone Sound, but who also enjoy consolidation. Voila! DAPTONE GOLD Vol. II.
The world moves faster than ever these days, and even in the digital age, things can always be counted on to go in cycles. Despite all of the advances in computer recording technology, home studios, and electronic instruments, there is a flourishing interest in analog recording techniques and in recreating the mood and sound of vintage soul records. With one foot in the past but their eyes firmly set on the future, El Michels Affair are among the leaders of a resurgent funk & soul movement from New York City that's sweeping both the music community and the charts. Led by saxophonist/organist Leon Michels and producer/engineer Jeff Silverman, El Michels Affair began as a loose collaboration of session musicians (including members of top-selling acts Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, the Budos Band, and Antibalas) that looked to blend some of the vibrant quality of soundtrack records with the recording aesthetic of early reggae, and the rawness of 60's rock--they called it 'Cinematic Soul.' This delicate balance was evident on their 2005 debut album Sounding Out the City, which earned critical acclaim and acted as the inaugural full-length release for Michels and Silverman's burgeoning label Truth & Soul (also the moniker for the duo as a production team). The buzz generated from the album and a series of moderately successful 7" vinyl singles from Truth & Soul led to an invitation by Toyota's Scion division for El Michels Affair to accompany the rapper Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan for a promotional concert. As avid Wu-Tang fans, not only were the band leaders thrilled with the opportunity, but Michels found that the 'Cinematic Soul' sound was consistent with the moods of RZA's gritty soundscapes on the classic Wu-Tang releases. The concert was such as success, El Michels Affair went on to play several more concerts nationwide backing Raekwon and other members of the Clan, and the shows led to the recording of two smash 7" singles featuring instrumental reinterpretations of the Wu-Tang classic songs "C.R.E.A.M." and "Bring Da Ruckus." The singles combined to sell an extraordinary amount of over 7,000 units worldwide, and their success led to a contract in 2007 with indie hip hop powerhouse Fat Beats Records to record an entire album of Wu-Tang Clan interpolations entitled Enter the 37th Chamber. Since the contract was inked, a worldwide explosion of retro soul led by Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson, and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings has transformed the pop music landscape, and the Truth & Soul production duo have been in strong demand, recording with everyone from breakthrough Grammy-nominated artist Adele to punk rock innovator Iggy Pop. They've been commissioned for official remixes of Amy Winehouse and Dinah Washington (for the popular Verve Remixed series), and produced for Australian multi-platinum acts Jet and Gabriella Cilmi. Despite the eclectic group of clients for the Truth & Soul production company, El Michels Affair continued to build an audience within the hip hop community. A track from Sounding out the City was sampled for Ghostface Killah's 2007 track "Shakey Dog Lolita," and a horn part written and performed by Michels (for Menahan Street Band) was famously lifted for Jay-Z's smash single "Roc Boys." Truth & Soul also worked in the studio on original productions with multi-platinum producer Just Blaze (T.I.'s "Live Your Life," Jay-Z, Usher). With their increasing presence behind the scenes in the industry, El Michels Affair looks to have their status as recording artists rise significantly in 2009. With the release of their finally-completed album Enter the 37th Chamber, they can finally step out of the shadows of the retro-soul trend and establish their status as one of the most exciting and versatile bands in modern recorded music.