Here’s another interesting new release from Soulection Records. The young producer oriJanus from Bakersfield, California has done a remix of “Hot Music” – the classic track released by Soho in 1989. The man behind the original was Pal Joey – a New York house music pioneer who also released a version in 1994 under his own name.
OriJanus does a very nice job of updating the track by applying some tasteful chopping and adding booming 808s and stuttering hi-hats.This is a free release and part of Soulection’s digital White Label Series. Check out both versions of the track below.
Brand new and very smooth tune from Vancouver’s production duo PotatoHead People. As far as I can tell they have a project dropping on Bastard Jazz very soon. Should be interesting.
Now and then I will be highlighting some of the interesting record labels out there by doing a small profile on them. Hopefully this can serve as an entry point for those unfamiliar and as a guide to some of their important releases. First up is the Los Angeles-based label Soulection which has been putting out an impressive amount of quality music over the past few years.
Soulection is both a record label and an artist collective and they also broadcast their own excellent radio show. The company has been in existence since 2011 and the people behind it are Joe Kay, Guillaume Bonte and Andre Power.
A lot of the music released on Soulection is a product of the so called beats scene phenomenon which occurred in Los Angeles in the late 00’s. Around this time a group of electronic music producers started experimenting with new sounds in their bedrooms and in L.A. clubs like Low End Theory. A lot of the music made took cues from left field hip hop like J.Dilla and Stones Throw Records but also added things like electronica, 90’s RnB and jazz to the mix creating an innovative and forward thinking stew which soon caught fire and made stars out of people like Flying Lotus.
Soulection was established in the aftermath of the beats scene-hype when the sound started seeping out of L.A. and into the work of artists from other regions including many of those on the label. Just as the beats scene artists often differed quite a bit from each other, most of the artists on Soulection have their own sound, but also a certain aural aesthetic which binds them together. The music is producer driven, mainly instrumental and often reworks or references existing tracks from the world of urban music past or present.
Kay and co originally used Bandcamp to grow the label and managed to put out an impressive 28 releases during their first two years. Originally all releases were available for free but they’ve since started charging. The past few years have been successful ones. Apart from touring all over the world doing shows and attracting the attention of major players in the record industry, they recently entered a partnership with clothing brand Stussy. Big things are definitely in store for these guys.
Below are some of my favorite artists on the Soulection roster. There are many more artists on the label, so make sure to stop by their website or Soundcloud to check out more music if you like what you hear.
Lakim The Lynchburg, Virginia-bred Lakim is a man comfortable with many different styles and sounds. According to himself he originated the term “Future Bounce” which has since become a musical movement in its own right. It’s a fitting description, but one too limited for Lakim’s diverse sound. His debut full length “This is Her” effortlessly blended downtempo and broken beats with RnB, soul and more, but he also creates boom bap hip hop and occasionally dips his toes in deep house waters.
Sango The young, Michigan-based producer Sango calls his music “spiritual bass music”. He’s part of a wave of heavily RnB-influenced underground dance music producers which also includes people like Kaytranada and Schlomo. Sango first gained attention by remixing artists like The Weeknd and Aahliyah, but he really revealed his musical chops on his acclaimed debut LP “North” from 2012.
Iamnobodi This rising producer from Hamburg, Germany is a skilled musical craftsman who’s music embraces influences from jazz, house, hip hop and electronica. He’s shown his versatility on a number of releases which convey a wide range of moods and atmospheres as well as a consistent ability to keep heads nodding.
Mr Carmack A master at blurring genre distinctions, Honolulu’s Mr Carmack blends hip hop, trap, soul and RnB into cocktails that are often captivating. The producer/remixer/dj’s career really got a boost when his “Bang, Vol 3” and “Life Death” EP became best sellers on Bandcamp.
This month one of my favorite artists, Gil Scott-Heron, would have turned 65 had he not tragically passed away much too soon in 2011. Though he remains somewhat overlooked, in my opinion this singer, musician, poet and activist is easily one of the most important figures in African American music since the early 1970s.
He was an artist whose music incisively and often humorously spoke truth to power and chronicled the plight of his people. But he was also capable of writing moving personal songs about his life as an artist, family man and black man in America. The wide range of themes he explored gave his songs a rare substance. The soulful, jazz-influenced productions that were often made with his frequent collaborator, Brian Jackson, provided the perfect accompaniment. His most famous song, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised“, has rightfully become a classic but there was a lot more to him than that.
I’ve put together a short mix of some of my favorite Gil Scott-Heron tunes. Considering the amount of quality music he put out in his lifetime the length of the mix doesn’t do him justice. So for anyone who hasn’t already checked out his amazing body of work I suggest you do so.
Dontae Winslow is a composer, songwriter, producer and classically trained trumpeter who, among other things, has toured and played with Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo and Justin Timberlake This week he released a solo album called “Enter The Dynasty”. The first song off of that album was “Summer Cookout” , a collaboration with Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots and jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove. True to it’s title, this track will leave you longing for the coming of summer. Check out the rest of the album here.
Earlier this year veteran British Soul singer, Omar, made an impressive comeback to music with his seventh studio album “The Man”. Since then, several excellent remixes of album cuts have emerged. This new exclusive remix of “Treat You” by Swedish DJ/producer, Opolopo, is no exception.
Opolopo infuses the song, which features Caron Wheeler, former vocalist of Soul II Soul, with a subtle, but soulful house vibe and the result is quite irresistible. Opolopo, who has released music on labels such as Tokyo Dawn Records, Z Records and many more, once again demonstrates his golden touch when it comes to remixing which was also displayed a few years back with his excellent remix of Jazz vocalist Gregory Porter’s “1960”.