Up High Collective is a bunch of guys from Leuven (Belgium) who like to get creative with sound, vision and graphic design. This resulted in a number of experimental festival grooves. No better way to describe their music than how they do on their Facebook page: “Razor-sharp pieces of future soul, boppin’ from the deceptively light and skippy to whirlpool synthlines and hydraulic sub pressure. All trademarked by a signature lick of R&B gloss and sunken subs with ultra-sparse rhythm architecture”.
The first single the Collective released, Blend, became an instant underground hit in 2010. Much of its success should be attributed to vocalist Delv!s, or simply Delvis (real name Niels Delvaux), who’s sound perfectly encaptures “future Soul”, with a vocal that sits somewhere between Cee Loo Green and Remy Shand. In 2011 Niels also collaborated with Title on Sidechain Reaction, a track released on his Brussels’ On Point label. As an artist in his own right, he has supported Selah Sue and the legendary Betty Wright. Now he’s got his first solo record out. Tell Me sounds timeless. Watch a reggae-ish live performance below. And in case you are not familiar with Up High Collective, a throw back to Blend after the jump. Time to rewind and unwind!
Belgian producer dj Chillow teams up with his longtime pal Jeffrey Jefferson on the second in his ‘n Chillow series. Jefferson aka Gringo already featured on the first album Reap ‘n Chillow- NY2BE . Jefferson ‘n Chillow – Muddy Grounds is the second album on which Chillow collaborates with fellow artists. Jefferson has a Rap background, but with his band SoulRock Avenue he ventures into singing Neo Soul. This is exactly what the new project is about, creating a mature Hawthorne-like sound. You can preview the first single Muddy Grounds here.
New music is on the way from British main man of RnB, Omar. It’s a fact the man owns one of the most memorable tracks in the history of contemporary Britt Soul. There’s Nothing Like This never made the Top 10 in the early 1990s, but became an influential classic almost instantly. Beverley Knight included the track in her Britt songbook Soul UK.
On his forthcoming album The Man, released on Freestyle Records, Omar has re-reworked his classic, this time featuring world famous Welsh guitarist Pino Palladino on bass. A completely new arrangement with strings and horns give the track a more live and acoustic feel. Scratch Professer, Maddslinky and Shafiq Husayn have been commissioned to provide remixes of the title track, which is also the album’s lead single. The video, directed by Robin Brunson of Hexstatic, shot with handheld fisheye lenses in an alternating black-and-white and color visual, follows Omar wandering across streets and beaches. A welcome return, long overdue.
While eagerly anticipating BlackSUMMER’snight, the second part of Maxwell’s trilogy, we were pleased to here his voice on Alicia Keys’ latest. Fire We Make, the next single to be taken from Alicia’s Girl On Fire album, now has a video, directed by Chris Robinson. Set in a New Orleans hotel, the heat is on. Keys needs some cooling, not just for the blistering heat. The track does not make me boil, but Maxwell looks and sounds smouldering. The “Urban Hang Suite” teased fans already with a partial track list of SUMMER’s and a snippet of his new song Gods. In wait of a full single release, this video can go on heavy rotation. Bring in bucket of ice before you watch it. Consider yourself warned…
Brand New Heavies, acid jazz combo from London’s Ealing will be releasing their eighth studio album Forward end of this month. Sunlight, the lead single of the project, will be out on Monday. All time favorite front woman N’Dea Davenport is back on vocal duty. Hooray! N’Dea features only on three songs: the new single, Addicted and a cover of Players Association’s disco hit Turn The Music Up. New band member Dawn Joseph also sings on three songs. Vocalists Jan Kincaid and Simon Bartholomew are featured on other tracks. The Heavies will go on tour, both in the UK and abroad. Sunlight rings in Spring alright.
Preparing to embark on a world tour, with tickets selling out in minutes, Beyoncé is getting ready to release her fifth studio album Mrs. Carter. The title, obvious as it is, refers to her hubby Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. Earlier this month a dreamed up track listing surfaced. Fake, as it turned out. What we wouldn’t do for the Bey to hook up with Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and little sister Solange! All on one album.
Knowles, or say Carter, has never been out of the spotlight, performing at the Super Bowl Halftime and the president’s inauguration, and the documentary Life Is But a Dream, directed and produced by the singer herself, premiering on HBO last month. The previous album 4 let down in sales figures, though critically acclaimed. It is now time for some new music.
To wet our appetite, the first single just dropped. Actually, two songs have been set free. Supposedly the intro and outro of the upcoming full length. On Bow Down, produced by Hit-Boy, the singer takes her Diva-self to another level: “This my sh*t, Bow Down bitches”. The track fades halfway into the Timabaland-produced I Been On. Tease your ear buds.