Back On Track – Slowly But Surely
It has been a tough month with a severe water damage in our Prenzlauer Berg apartment and thus, negotiating with a lot of craftsmen, caretaker, and property management. Thank heaven my vinyl record collection survived all the mess. But thankfully, the open-air season at our little Pankow hideaway has started successfully and with lots of new contacts and businesses. Alas, Gina’s work for her own page had to back off.
We survived with a lot of fancy, funky music, like the latest Soul Lounge compilation, the 13th edition so far with three CDs full of soulful cuts and organic grooves. And a few new discoveries and surprises. The wonderful voice of Carol Wheeler is back on a track by Simon Law (from Simon’s own new “Look To The Sky” album), one of the original members of Soul II Soul. The sweet and sensual “Morning Love” kicks off the 40-track compilation. Also brandnew here is a piece by ultra-sexy singer, songwriter and producer Eric Roberson. “Looking For” is an excellent melange of current urban soul/pop and extravagant production work. Elsewhere on CD 1 are recent favorites by Avery*Sunshine, Rahsaan Patterson, Incognito, and Angela Johnson. And going back a few years further, still infectious cuts from Frank McComb, Anthony David, and Dennis Taylor. Plus a live recording of “A House Is Not A Home” from the brilliant Shaun Escoffery.
The second CD starts off with the fantastic Tony Momrelle who still amazes me with his Donny Hathaway-esque voice and approach. Eric Roberson is back here on a super soulful track by the always thrilling Greg Dean (“Grass Ain’t Greener”). The songs between 1995 and 2017 on this CD are carefully selected and haven’t lost any of their excitement. Beverley Knight, Bluey, Hil St Soul, Conya Doss, D-Influence and a remix of the kick-ass burner “Little Star” by Don-E which might sound a bit too pop at first listen, but really unfolds into a mesmerizing stomper after a few spins. There is also a BBC Live Lounge recording of “Ex-Factor”, a new piece by the ever so magnificent Jarrod Lawson.
CD 3 is full of remixes and extended tracks. Between the club-friendly “The Time Is Now” by Don-E and “Music Is The Key” from Down To The Bone, we get the Young Pulse & ATN Remix of “Spiritual Eyes” by Jarrod Lawson, another jammin’ Angela Johnson piece (“You’re Here With Me” in a Massheen Remix), and the best track on Bluey’s latest solo effort, the lush “Sky” in a remix by Ski Oakenfull. Also on the menu, the diligently covered “Love Has Come Around” (Donald Byrd & 125th Street N.Y.C.) by Incognito and the equally splendid “Love’s Comin’ At Ya” (Melba Moore) by Full Flava feat. Hazel Fernandes. A welcome late spring/early summer compilation.