Showing posts with label soul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soul. Show all posts

Friday, September 27, 2013

LISTEN: The Jazz/Hip Hop/Soul Sampling Magic of France's ProleteR

Toulouse, France's ProleteR, a self-described "swing-hop producer," has created something quite impressive with his latest release, the Feeding the Lions EP. Jazz, hip hop, soul, and, yes, swing, all melt together to brew something that sounds as if downtempo music became obsessed with decades old jazz and soul records. There's an understated cool and subtle grit sewn throughout the upbeat samples from those older generations, giving Feeding the Lions a classically modern, accomplished character that's undoubtedly debonair but quietly ready to get wild, as well (as the cover art above might suggest). Check out some jams below. It's all I've been listening to at work recently.

If you dug those, check out/pick up the entire Feeding the Lions EP below.

Monday, August 26, 2013

LISTEN: The New Zealand Soul of Ladi6

New Zealand's critically-acclaimed Ladi6 recently released their third album, Automatic, and it's one of the best modern R&B/hip-hop infused albums I've heard all year. With an underlying ethereal chill that's as striking as the snowcapped Alps that rise high into the New Zealand skyline, this trio conjures up the perfect amount of soul to lift their mix of seductive '90s R&B and groove-heavy hip-hop above many of their contemporaries -- and the pop hooks don't hurt either. In the crack between summer heat and winter's bite, you'll find the vibe of Ladi6.

Check out two standout tracks from Automatic below.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Screaming Eagle of Soul Is Bringing Another Classic That's "Strictly Reserved For You"

Back at the start of 2011, a 62 year-old soul singer by the name of Charles Bradley (aka "The Screaming Eagle of Soul") released his debut album. And while that sounds like a dream for one man, it was more of a blessing for the rest of the world. Bradley wasn't just another singer with the hope of making it in music, he debuted as an overlooked, under-appreciated legend of classic soul and R&B. The praise and success that followed that release was most definitely deserved, and it proved Charles Bradley was a classic long before the world discovered him.

Lucky for us, Mr. Bradley is set to return with his sophomore effort, Victim of Love, on April 2nd. April, huh? Why wait that long to check it out? Spin the killer "Strictly Reserved For You" below. If there's one thing to say off the bat, it's that this Screaming Eagle of Soul sounds better with the passing of the years.

Monday, September 17, 2012

LISTEN: Funkommunity - "Pass It On"

As I've stated fairly recently, I've struggled to keep my head in the music/music blogging game over the past few months. Whenever I feel a disconnect from this once overwhelming passion in my life, I find that soul music takes me right back into the fold. I've been feeling that disconnect once again, but New Zealand duo Funkommunity (kiwi soul producer extraordinaire Isaac Aesili and singer Rachel Fraser) have roped me back in with their blend of progressive R&B soul, specifically the song "Pass It On."

Monday, June 18, 2012

MUSINGS: And We're Back...With A Bit of Soulful Intervention

It seems as though I increasingly find myself struggling more and more with the upkeep of Mixtape Muse, especially this past week. In regards to last week, I didn't want to do anything with a computer (it's what I stare at all day after all) following work, and outside of relaxing after getting home I just wanted to ride my bike as much as possible. It was a pretty scary and, in some way, uncomfortable thing to feel a disconnect with music, something that's been my life outside of school and work for more than a decade now. More than anything, it was a lack of passion I felt for music, and so, it felt like an unusual emotional disconnect from something that has helped shape me into who I am today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Charles Bradley Announces U.S. Tour, Offers to Sing to Your Special Someone

Fresh off an amazing 2011 which saw the release of his debut album, No Time For Dreaming, soul legend Charles Bradley is gearing up for a new U.S. tour -- and he's bringing The Budos Band and Little Barrie with him. Bradley will also being doing a run of dates in Australia. No Time For Dreaming was incredibly well-received here at Mixtape Muse, and it towered over everything as my top album of 2011.

The "Screaming Eagle of Soul" is also running a special contest for Valentine's Day called "Valentine's Day...Gotta Make It Right!" You can enter for a chance to have Bradley call your loved one and sing his romantic ballad "Lovin' You, Baby." Details on how to enter here.

Scope all of the upcoming tour dates and catch live acoustic and electric performances of "Lovin' You, Baby" below.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

SEE & HEAR: Allen Stone - "Unaware"

I must have been wearing blinders for the past year, because just last night I came across a singer/songwriter by the name of Allen Stone that, for lack of a better term, blew me away. One look at Stone, and you've probably already guessed incorrectly as to what kind of music he creates. More than that, you've probably underestimated his voice. I'm writing this after only hearing one song, "Unaware," a jazzy-tinged cut of old school soul, so I can't speak to the rest of his catalog. I watched this live performance from his "Mother's Living Room," and felt so compelled to share it, especially for how explosive it becomes as he ushers in the final chorus. Stone's unassuming disposition and approach to soul naturally reveal the complexities of the genre, the inescapable power that grips our hearts with such unadulterated emotion. One look at Stone, and you can tell he's sharing things from within that no one could ever possibly know about.

Friday, February 04, 2011

REVIEW: Liz Janes - Say Goodbye

Liz Janes - Say Goodbye

Saying Liz Janes is a bit of a chanteuse is like saying Ella Fitzgerald was a great singer. Like Fitzgerald, there’s a soothing serenity to Janes’ voice, one that’s capable of quieting anything with its gentle, angelic, honeyed tone. Surrounded by a yin-yang of spacey folk and jazz-inflected soul, cradled by a spacious amount of reverb, Janes’ voice soars with a comforting, reassuring strength.

It’s been five years since Liz Janes’ last release (the 2005’s collaboration with LA free-jazz collective Create (!) ) and nearly six years since Janes’ last solo album (2004’s Poison & Snakes). Say Goodbye, released this past December, moves away from the indie and folk rock tendencies of Poison & Snakes and the avant folk experimentalism of 2005’s Create (!) collaboration towards more jazz and pop-oriented material. It’s refreshing to hear an artist take risks with his or her sound and direction, and Janes is no exception – precisely why Say Goodbye sounds somewhat adventurous without ever really attempting to do so.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

REVIEW: Charles Bradley - No Time For Dreaming

Charles Bradley - No Time For Dreaming

In the past decade, we’ve seen a resurgence of Motown and mid-‘60s to early-‘70s soul in popular music with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone, Raphael Saadiq, and, of course, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. Out of that bunch, Jones and The Dap-Kings certainly have the most authenticity and deepest soul roots, truly capturing that old school sound. But 62 year-old Charles Bradley easily tops them all.

It's surprising to learn that, at 62, No Time For Dreaming is Bradley’s debut LP – after a few 7” singles here and there over the past couple of years. Bradley has, for years, strived to make music for a living, but that opportunity didn’t arrive until a few years ago when he was discovered by Daptone Records’ Gabriel Roth while performing his James Brown tribute show under the stage name Black Velvet. On No Time For Dreaming, the influence of James Brown is certainly evident along with hints of Otis Redding and Al Green. But with the life experience that inspires Charles Bradley, he is an utterly unique and empowering voice.

Monday, December 20, 2010

VIDEO: Charles Bradley - "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)"

As previously reported, 62-year old soul singer Charles Bradley is finally releasing his debut LP, No Time For Dreaming, after decades of singing and performing between odd jobs, just trying to make ends meet. When you hear him sing, you have to wonder how he went unnoticed for so long. A close listen to Bradley feels almost religious for the power and soul that inspires the music; it's a combination of his early life on the streets and years of determined passion for music that power Bradley's incredibly emotive voice. In every note that leaves his mouth, you hear the lifetime of a man that has seen it all.

IFC recently premiered the music video for single "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)." The video is rather autobiographical as it was filmed in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bed-Stuy where Bradley was raised, in the Bushwick projects where he currently lives, and on the rooftop of Dunham Studios, where the album was recorded. Watch the video below.

When speaking about the meaning of the song recently, Bradley said, “The world is in a lot of trouble. I see all the hardships and everything that’s going wrong and I think everyone should come together and make the world a better place. It’s getting worse and worse and everyone’s just watching it happen. They got to stand up.”

No Time For Dreaming is out January 25 through Daptone imprint Dunham Records.

Charles Bradley
Dunham Records

Monday, December 13, 2010

SEE & HEAR: Charles Bradley - "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)"

By Kisha Bari

Charles Bradley - "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)"

Anyone who knows me well enough is aware of my love for old school soul/R&B/Motown. As a person who cares equally for lyrics and instrumentation, soul isn't necessarily the place to turn for incredibly inventive lyrics. What's the real draw for soul is the emotion that empowers -- or rather underscores -- each word that leaves the lips of the singer. Nothing is more gripping than raw emotion that emanates from the depths of the soul. It's relatable music for its sheer honesty and confessional spirit. And lately, for me, it's been the most comforting thing in this world.

Charles Bradley is a 62-year old soul singer that knows something about patience. He's been singing for years, but it's only now that he's releasing his debut album, No Time For Dreaming. Bradley's voice has the perfect amount of rasp and age to give such great detail and emotion to every "oh," every word, and every syllable that he sings. At 62, Bradley certainly has the life experience to inspire his performances. He spent a large chunk of his childhood living on the streets and, over four decades later, was still struggling to make ends meet. The chance to realize his dream didn't come until he was discovered by Gabriel Roth of Daptone records while doing his James Brown routines under his alter ego "Black Velvet."

No Time For Dreaming is out January 25, 2011 through Daptone subsidiary Dunham Records and is some of the most genuine soul music you're bound to find in the 21st century.

Download "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)" after the jump.

Friday, October 22, 2010

LISTEN: DJ Tommy TNT Presents "Devastating Duets"

MP3: DJ Tommy TNT Presents "Devastating Duets"

While checking into a press release I received, I followed a link over to the Dunham Records official site and came across something best described as a "gold mine." Right smack on the homepage, I noticed a link for an MP3 labeled "Devastating Duets," which I initially thought was just a one-song MP3. I have a thing for old Motown/soul/R&B, so I was already sold on checking it out, and it just so happens that Dunham is a sublabel of Daptone Records -- so I knew I was in a good place. To my surprise, the MP3 was actually a podcast; a mix of great duets from over the years. The man behind the mix and compilation is DJ Tommy TNT, who, I'll admit, I had never heard of before. Tommy TNT is actually Thomas Brenneck, the man behind Dunham Records, the founder of the Menahan Street Band, a member of The Dap-Kings (you know, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings), and a member of The Budos Band. To say the man knows his old school soul/R&B is stating the obvious.

So, hit play and get down. If you're looking for some pure recording gold, you've found it. Great voices, great music, and that aged, warm vinyl sound. See the tracklist for the podcast after the jump.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

REVIEW: May McDonough - Spilt Milk

May McDonough - Spilt Milk

In Spilt Milk, May McDonough has the type of voice and batch of songs that make heartbreak and pain sound like pleasurable things. McDonough sings with a seductive, hot heat hypnotism that's hard to ignore. She carries a certain emotional weight in her voice in much the same way blues singers do. Like a cross between Fiona Apple and Tom Waits, Spilt Milk is an album meant for hot summer nights and lazy Sunday afternoon relaxation, on a porch covered equally by sunlight and shadow. It's an album that can celebrate and mourn, all at once.

The songs here are all about slow-paced rhythms that provide the perfect backdrop for McDonough's voice. The album carries an unmistakable classic spirit that's reminiscent of old jazz singers from the '30s and '40s, which provides her with the opportunity to exercise and display her warm, soothing croon. On songs like the entrancing "Riverside" and the jazzy, 12/8-driven "Mama Drained the Bathtub," brass cries out in the night and shines bright recalling New Orleans jazz. These songs are indicative of the album's blues, jazz, ragtime, and soul roots. For good measure, McDonough also proves she's not a one-trick pony as she displays a knack for the psychedelic garage rock of the '60s on "Gone With the Snake".

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cilla K. and Her Alternative Soul

Cilla K., a French West Indian artist based in New York, is what I would best describe as an alternative soul/R & B artist, mixing elements of both genres along with jazz, electronica, modern pop, certain elements of '60s pop, and more. She cites artists from J Dilla to David Bowie as influences and does her best to create something eclectic. Her debut album, Fine Line, was released last month and showcases her mission to create a melting pot of genres. Of the album, she says, "At the beginning, I felt like this album had to be done a long time ago but I kept growing and I always felt like I should incorporate new qualities I had gained with time. Truth is, the timing couldn't be better because it is finally so representative of who I really am."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

R.I.P. Isaac Hayes

Today, Isaac Hayes, the legendary actor, arranger, musician, singer and songwriter, passed away at the age of 65. He was found collapsed and unresponsive near a treadmill in his home. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

Through his work with Stax-Volt Records and albums such as Hot Buttered Soul in the 1960s and 1970s, Hayes was key in the development of soul music. He is also credited with helping to create both the disco and hip-hop/rap genres.

Rest in peace, Mr. Isaac Hayes.