Words: Angel Mel.
Artist: Sean McCabe
Title: It’s Time
Buy on Traxsource
More info: Sean McCabe is a man who needs no introduction, affectionately known by some as the ‘Godson of Soulful House’. His name is synonymous with trail blazing music aficionados from the likes of: King Street, Local Talk, Strictly Rhythm, Vega Records, Tribe, Quantize and of course Z Records. Since the early 00s Sean’s production credentials have included a string of collaborations, remixes, re-edits and a impressive all star cast featuring Kenny Bobien, Lil Louie Vega, Nathan Adams, Stephanie Cook and Sunburst Band to name but a few. It was only a matter of time before he turned his full attention on to making his first debut album.
‘It’s time’ is a rite of passage, a collective history of musical influences that shine through the album. What strikes me first is his impressive versatility, McCabe refuses to be pigeon holed. He has found new directions by exploring interesting territories from smooth Hip Hop courtesy of Big Ed on ‘All of the above’, delving into the deeper side of House on ‘Want Me’, and kicking back with Sunburst Band inspired grooves with ‘Love for Life Ft Renn, while always remaining true to roots. Sean, not only wrote the music and arrangements, he also has enlisted a whole host of talent to share in his vision. One of the albums best attributes is bringing the lead vocal back to the fore, when all is said and done there is no greater feeling than to throw your voice up to the heavens and sing, ‘Its Time’, gives you the opportunity to do just that.
Take the track ‘Everything’s Alright’, with it’s jack your body vibe which smooths into inspirational lyrics by Erik Dillard, a tune you can actually dance and sing along to. Whilst Dutch lyricist Migosy lays down R&B velvet tones, over richly spread Stevie Wonder-esque keys. Do not be misled this track will give you more than one reason to bounce.
Songstress lends her vocal caresses to broken down beats, which are swept up by juicy bass guitars rifts and sugar coated lyrics.
‘It’s Time’, is the reflection of a lifes work. A dedication to the music scene that has nurtured and inspired a talent from the tender age of 17 years old.
An album from a man who stood on the brink and declared this is my time, I am not late. I arrive exactly when I mean to ‘Its Time’.
Artist: Mike Steva
Title: Who Am I
Buy on Traxsource
More info: Signed to Yoruba Records in 2012, Mike Steva has been making his mark ever since his first EP ‘Visions of Paradise’.
Steva returns to aplomb with his first debut album ‘Who Am I’.
‘Who Am I’ charts a journey of self discovery, using the exploration of music to discover uncharted soundscapes.
There are several distinct creative forces at work. The first, in the shape of Mike’s Macedonian roots; which takes the form of traditional instruments, combining complex rhythms layered together to create texture and tension.
Secondly, Steva has captured the essence of the Yoruba sound, intertwined with the Macedonion traditions to form a meeting of two worlds.
The album is a lesson in traditional music and how looking to the past can find it’s place here in present day. ‘Who Am I’, creates a seamless transition combining modern influences of Soul, House and spiritual grooves.
‘Oasis’, is as every bit as exotic as it’s title suggests. Like being transported back to a different era full of mysticism. The hypnotic and intoxicating blends of the flute and marimba are delicately placed amidst the driving drums. Music to lose your self in.
‘Weekend Love’ explores soulful sensualities. The promise of forbidden love and allure of attraction. Sang with passion by Motty and Siobhan O’ Rouke, reflecting excitement in their voices. The ‘tip’ ‘tap’ of the cowbells act like the quicken heartbeat as the lovers are about to embrace. A modern day Soulful love song.
‘Who Am I’, is the breakthrough album that beautifully illustrates the creative ingenuity of Mike Steva, and Yoruba Records.
Artist: Mega Jawn
Title: Ten Letters From Home
Buy from BBE
More info: Mega Jawns are fresh out of the BBE camp, a perfect example of BBE’s ethos of ‘real music for real people’. This is music that can be appreciated at home. Here we take an album which dares to slow down the pace by combining the rich vocal tones with a deep soulful sound, to a classic 4×4 house beat. If each track were a letter, then the album reflects a personal and intimate feel; of a person who has taken considerable time to convey the intended message. Each track intensifies the message and so the correspondence continues, with it’s call and response vibe.
“Joy” has already enjoyed recognition and success on the under ground dance scene. From the first keys of the intro you are greeted with an uplifting beat. A story of love and appreciation that can lift even the lowest of spirits.
“Running Home”, is a brooding melancholy of electronic twilight. Emotive vocals add to the haunting depth, pulsing through the track like a still beating heart.
Ten Letters from Home, finds the balance of treading the fine line between ‘House’ for the dance floor and ‘House’ for your home. Are you in the mood for soothing calm that evolves into driving sensualities? Then this album will make your ‘House’ a home.
Artist: Kev Beadle
Title: The Private Collection Vol 2
Buy from BBE
More info: It has been several years since the release of Kev Beadle’s Volume 1 album. In Volume 2 Beadle unlocks the vaults to explore rare independent Jazz sounds from the Seventies and Eighties. When you take a trip through the mind of a music maestro, there are an array of rare and beautiful pleasures to explore.
Far from being inaccessible , the listener is welcomed into a world from the not too distant past. Images of pirouetting, the shuffling feet of Jazz dancers and sweat dripping from their brow. Heads nod in appreciation, as smiles of delight all trip across the imagination.
Ears absorb a poem on Black oppression and liberation, disjointed Jazz by Archie Shepp. The Janet Lawson Quintet, ‘Dreams Came Be’, with it’s rich Bossanova over tones is sheer joy. The piano skips over the keys the same way a well aimed stone skims over the water.
If you are a devoted collector or perhaps you may have missed Kev’s earlier incarnations of compilations released on the likes of Argo Jazz and Charly Records back in the early 1990s. The Private Collection is a astute reference to the ever changing world of modern Jazz and therefore should take pride of place in your collection.
Artist: Trueself & Various Artists
Title: The Good Cause
Buy on Bandcamp
More info: Continuing with the theme – Home is where the music is.
The Good Cause is an album put together by Jamie ‘Trueself’ Radford of Atjazz Recording Company notoriety. The word ‘good’, has several meanings in regards to this album. Firstly the album celebrates the life of a young man named Frazer McDermott who sadly passed away in 2011, after losing his battle to Optic Nerve Glioma. The proceeds from this album for ‘good’, go to raise money for Frazer’s House, a charity that assists parents with accommodation so that they can be closer to their children, in times of traumatic illness.
Radford, with access to some of the music scene’s most prolific producers; Osunlade, Karizma, Atjazz, Si Tew and (Trueself) Jamie himself to name but a few.
The album is ‘Good’, in the sense that each track is filled with an optimism, positivity runs through the core with a focus on the future.
With a stellar selection of artists all lending their unique talent expect to hear finely tuned melodic house inspired beats, dream like soliloquies of trickling lakes and heavenly sensations.
Lastly the ‘good’, is a shining example of what happens when we all pull together for the greater ’cause’.
For more information please go to: www.frazershouse.co.uk
Charity Registration Number: 1146263
Artist: Rainer Truby
Title: Slouse Fishing in Slower Territoires
Buy from Beatport
More info: Compost records are responsible for some of the most progressive and ground breaking music. With Producers such at Peter Kruder, Koop, Kyoto Jazz Massive et al, making their mark on the under ground dance scene. Few can say they were present at the conception of such an influential label some fifteen years ago.
Rainer Trueby has been at the forefront, pioneering music with the likes of Trueby Trio and A Forest Mighty Black. He is responsible for bringing the deepest, most broken of beats, Nu Jazz inspired and seductive house blends. Rainer is a man that knows his music and better still knows what you like to listen to.
Fishing in Slower Territories is the act of slowing down the creative pulse. It is the exploration of sweeping soundscapes all carefully compiled to slowly, but surely raise your blood pressure(all the tracks at set to 116BPM).
This is an album that is firmly on the Left field, bringing together tracks that were not particularly commercial but no less the pinnacle of excellence, a crate diggers dream.
Take the track ‘Love Endeavour’ (Maurice Fulton mix) By Alice Smith; with it’s electronica Rare Groove finesse, complete with well timed hand claps to punctuate the slip of the hip.
Paskal & Urban Asolutes remix of Fetsum ‘Waiting for you’ is oozing with soulfulness. Fetsum’s vocal delivery cuts through this track like a knife through butter. It is glorious.
While ‘Bamboomen’, track entitled ‘Sun’, is a punchy, clipped like a hummingbird with the subtleness of wind chimes. This is a track you ‘Feel’ an experience for all the senses.
I could carry on selecting stand out tracks, but that would mean recounting the entire album
Slouse is an auditory oasis. A safe haven against a world of noise pollution and invasion. Simply put; Slouse is nourishment for your soul as well as your ears.