Archive for ‘Nu-Soul’

août 23, 2010

Root Soul – Root Soul

Note :

A much-needed full length set from Root Soul – aka Kenichi Ikeda – a Japanese artist who’s really been winning our ears with his earlier singles! The groove here is upbeat and soulful – a heavy
influence from the UK scene of recent years, particularly that side that’s more based in classic jazz/funk modes of the 70s! Vanessa Freeman steps out on two great tracks for the set — and other
guests include Andrea Clarke, Lyric L, Leon King, Shea Soul, and Cro-Magnon – but the core grooves are really what win us, and they feature some great jazzy horn parts dropped in alongside the
beats and keyboards – more of a jazz/funk style of instrumentation than the usual Japanese groover.


Origine du Groupe : Japan

Style : Nu-Soul , Funk

Sortie : 2009


1. Spirit Of Love (Feat. Vanessa Freeman & Mike Patto) (4:35)

2. Sky High (4:55)

3. It’s The Way (Feat. Vanessa Freeman) (6:07)

4. Override & Fly (Feat. Andrea Clarke & Lyric L) (5:39)

5. Moog Rock (7:15)

6. Fuselage (Feat. Leon King) (6:14)

7. Feeling Good (8:43)

8. Disco-Tech Tribe (Feat. cro-magnon) (7:03)

9. On & On (Feat. Shea Soul) (5:48)

10. My Dream Came True (Feat. Leon King)(6:13)

11. Spirit Of Love (Feat. Vanessa Freeman & Mike Patto – Phil Asher’s restless soul Boogie mix) (12:45)



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juin 27, 2010

Mavis – Mavis Presented By Ashley Beedle & Darren Morris

Note : ++

Dédié à Mavis Staples (chanteuse de soul importante, notamment avec les Staples Singers mais aussi pour son engagement dans le mouvement des droits civiques de Martin Luther King), « Mavis » est un
disque qui sonne terriblement daté : un joujou de producteurs (les Anglais Ashley Beedle et Darren Morris) mou comme un vieux disque de trip-hop avec casting de luxe –  Kurt Wagner
(Lambchop), la diva disco-soul Candi Staton, Ed Harcourt, Sarah Cracknell (Saint Etienne) ou encore le miraculé Edwyn Collins. « When I walk with you » sample « I’m not in love » de TenCC, ouah
l’originalité ! Tout le monde roupille…

Par Placido Castafiori



Origine du Groupe : U.K , North America

Style : Soul , Funk

Sortie : 2010

Tracklist :

01 Gangs of Rome ft. Kurt Wagner 5:00

02 What You Looking For ft. John Turrell 4:50

03 Nemesis Required ft. Cerys Matthews 4:38

04 Revolution ft. Candi Staton 5:28

05 Puzzles & Riddles ft. Ed Harcourt 6:14

06 When I Walk With You (Heartbreak Song) ft. Sarah 5:11


07 Sinful Love ft. Disa 5:24

08 Dreamers (Interlude) ft. Chris Coco 1:29

09 Let Your Love Shine ft. Danielle Moore 3:58

10 4:14 ft. Cherilyn MacNeil 5:26

11 Feeling Lucky ft. Edwyn Collins 5:05

12 Revolution ft. Candi Staton (Heavy Soul Extended 6:18




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juin 27, 2010

Somi – If The Rains Come First

Note :

One tendency I’ve found among musicians is that worldly artists tend to be pretty good at making worldly music. Vocalist and songstress Somi certainly qualifies. Born in middle-American Illinois
but to immigrants from the East African nations of Rwanda and Uganda, Somi spent part of her childhood in Zambia. She studied the cello through much of her life, until she was inspired by her
mother to take up singing. Eventually, she molded her own emblem on music; that sound of hers is a perfect blend of American jazz and soul with East African hues and rhythms. Somi calls it « New
African Soul. » This multicultural approach has been honed over two albums and as of October 13, Somi has a third album that’s perhaps her most personal one yet, entitled If The Rains Come

If « New African Soul » sounds just a tad like Michael Olatuja’s Speak album written about here earlier this year, well, Olatuja is very much involved on this album, too: he contributes his
electric and acoustic bass playing deftness on every track, as well as producing this record along with Michele Locatelli. Having recorded this disc last spring in Paris, they were able to pull
in a rhythm section from the city’s vibrant local African music scene. By using musicians who instinctively understand Somi’s delicate vision, Olatuja and Locatelli gives the sonic palette some
depth and it’s smooth as the surface of a bayou, but tastefully avoids trends of the day. It embraces the ears with the comforting sounds of acoustic guitars, gurgling electric piano and genuine
African percussion. Most importantly, they allow Somi’s voice, songs and musical conception come fully to life.

Somi’s lithe voice carries the elegant moodiness of Nina Simone and the smokey allure of Sade. Even though Somi sings in three different East African languages as well as English, you don’t even
notice she’s giving us linguistic change-ups because the universal language of music stays out front. She doesn’t attempt to knock you over with a broad range (although as « Maybe Then » shows us,
she has little difficulties hitting the upper register), nor does she over-emote, a trap too many soul singers fall into. She takes the songwriter’s approach of rendering her lyrics in service of
the melody.

Somi wrote the lyrics for all eleven tracks and created those melodies with some help from the producers and the other backing musicians. Though Somi doesn’t play any instruments on this record,
she clearly understands enough about music theory from all her years studying classical music to put together some subtle, elaborate melodies that are consistently sweet-sounding. Take, for
instance, the opener « Hot Blue, » which grooves along gently on a circular African rhythm but concludes with a more assertive bridge where Somi provides a lead vocal counterpoint in English to
background vocals sung in one of those African tongues. Her lyrics are consistently introspective, dealing with issues of spirituality and confronting life’s challenges while relishing its

The contemporary Brazilian vocal backing on « Rising » combine with African beats and jazz guitar to create a breezy three-way connection among Africa, South America and North America. » Other
notable touches are the tight, soothing East African grooves and airy vocals found on the title tune, the gentle piano tribute to Somi’s father « Jewel Of His Soul, and the way the jazzy melody
just floats above rapid percussion rumbling underneath on « Kuzunguka. » Somi even supplies some effective oral percussion on the acoustic guitar based « Changing Inspiration » (see video of live
version below).

The track being promoted most heavily is « Enganjyani, » which means « most beloved » in the Rutooro language. Hugh Masekela guest appearance may have much to do with the hoopla on this track, but
even the famed South African trumpeter takes a backseat to Somi’s flair for easy flowing melodic lines and naturally heartfelt vocal stylings.

Somi came up with the heading If The Rains Come First from her mother, who told her that rains can bring blessings as much as they offer challenges. Somi took the challenge of putting together a
well conceived and carried-out record of African soul and the result is a blessing for those who appreciate such a intelligent and mellifluous mixture of sounds spanning oceans.

If The Rains Come First comes to us via ObliqueSound Records, the label co-founded by Locatelli and an outfit that thus far seems to have a good eye for finding and recording those worldly
musicians who make quality world music.

By Pico




Origine du Groupe : North America

Style : Alternative Fusion World , Soul , Nu-Jazz , Afrobeat

Sortie : 2009

Tracklist :

1 Blue 4:27

2 Prayer to the Saint of the Brokenhearted 3:21

3 Wallflower Blues 4:53

4 Be Careful, Be Kind 5:12

5 Enganjyani 5:19

6 Rising 3:22

7 Changing Inspiration 3:14

8 Kuzunguka 4:46

9 If the Rains Come First 5:09

10 Jewel of His Soul 4:31

11 Maybe Then 6:08



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juin 20, 2010

Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid

Note :

Cela fait un petit moment que l’on entend parler de Janelle Monae. Depuis 2005, en fait, date de la sortie de Idlewild, l’album/soundtrack d’Outkast pour le film du même nom. Au coté du duo
d’Atlanta, la belle Janelle nous avait fait découvrir sa jolie voix sur deux morceaux. Sa première sortie date de 2008, c’est un EP nommé Metropolis: The Chase Suite qui, bien qu’un peu surfait,
a bien fait grossir le buzz en prévision d’un premier véritable album. Nous y sommes et le moins que l’on puisse dire, c’est que l’attente n’aura pas été vaine!

« The ArchAndroid » est, en effet, un copieux aperçu des multiples talents de la Miss Monae. La belle n’hésite pas à s’aventurer du coté de la Pop avec l’étonnant « Make The Bus » (dans lequel on
retrouve les zouaves de Of Montreal) ou « Wondaland », voire même sur le terrain Rock avec l’ébouriffant « Come Alive ». Néanmoins, il s’agit ici d’un album de R’n’B. Si, en 2010, le terme est devenu
presque péjoratif, il s’agit ici de lui redonner ses lettres de noblesses.

Des morceaux entrainants et imparables comme « Locked Inside » ou le single « Tightrope » (taillé pour les charts internationaux avec un Big Boi excellent, comme d’habitude) nous prouvent que ce
genre a encore, quoi qu’on en dise, un bel avenir. Dans le registre souvnet casse gueule de la ballade, Janelle s’en sort aussi parfaitement grâce a une voix puissante et assez singulière (« Oh,
Maker », « Say You’ll Go »).

Voila, avec « The ArchAndroid », Janelle Monae a prouvé de manière brillantissime qu’elle était bien plus qu’un simple buzz. Cet album frais, homogène et brillant donne un coup de fouet à la
production R’n’B grâce à une fougue réjouissante, un talent qui ne se dément pas et une somme conséquente de bonnes idées. Cette chanteuse a, en tous les cas, la carrure d’une star mondiale.
Beyoncé, tu peux commencer à trembler.

Par © Soul Brotha


Origine du Groupe ; North America
Style : Nu-Soul , R&B , Rap
Sortie : 2010
Tracklist :
01. Suite II Overture

02. Dance Or Die (Feat. Saul Williams)

03. Faster

04. Locked Inside

05. Sir Greendown

06. Cold War

07. Tightrope (Feat. Big Boi)

08. Neon Gumbo

09. Oh, Maker

10. Come Alive (The War Of The Roses)

11. Mushrooms & Roses

12. Suite III Overture

13. Neon Valley Street

14. Make The Bus (Feat. Of Montreal)

15. Wondaland

16. 57821 (Feat. Deep Cotton)

17. Say You’ll Go

18. BaBopByeYa