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!
Trixie Whitley, born in Ghent, Belgium, daughter of musician Chris Whitley, has been hovering back and forth between New York, where she grew up, and Belgium. As a teenager, Whitley toured with the famous dance company Les Ballets C de la B, as a singer/musician and dancer.
Trixie already recorded 3 EPs. Strong Blood, her first, was produced in collaboration with Me’shell Ndegeocello and Dougie Bowne in 2008. That same year, she was invited to the Berklee School of Music, by legendary producer Daniel Lanois. Daniel and Trixie got together with drummer Brian Blade & bassist Daryl Johnson to form Black Dub. At this point Whitley recorded a second EP, The Engine. In 2011, she released a Live EP, including 5 songs performed at Rockwood in NY City.
Last year, Trixie began working on her first full-length solo record with producer Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman, known for his work with eg Antony & the Johnsons and Rufus Wainwright) and engineer Pat Dillett (known for his work with David Byrne and Mary J. Blige). Fourth Corner is scheduled for release January 29 in the US (Feb 11 in Europe, March 5 in UK). Judging by the lead single Need Your Love, the album will be a warm ‘n bluesy listening experience. Selah Sue’s got company!
Selah Sue’s self-titled debut album will be released Stateside in June. The Belgian reggae-soul singer recently made it onto Rolling Stone’s ‘New Faces 2012’ list, quoting “Selah Sue is proof that the world is smaller, and that MySpace still has a stake in launching careers.” And two weeks ago Sue tweeted “Mad Men makes woman happy”. The song Please, a duet she recorded with Cee-Lo Green, will be featured in a trailer for Season 5 of the hit series.
The award winning album already produced the hits Ragamuffin, Crazy Vibes and This World. This last track now has a video to accompany the song. Not much going on, just Sue multiplied. Enjoyable just the same.
Today Studio Brussel revealed the theme song for the 6th and final edition of their benefit radio marathon Music For Life. The past five years the cities of Leuven, Antwerp and Ghent hosted the event. This year all three will take turns in hosting as the mobile studio will be moved from city to city. To reflect this union, three artists got together to collaborate on this year’s theme song. Selah Sue (from Leuven) and dEUS front man Tom Barman (from Antwerp) recorded their on take of the Bel-Pop cult classic Zanna, produced by The Subs (from Ghent). Originally the track was released in 1984 by Luc Van Acker, a Belgian experimental musician, producer and manager, in duet with Anna Domino. Sweet Coffee released their version in 2007, taken from the album Naked City. This new version will be available on iTunes from Wednesday 30 November.
July 17th Selah Sue played an intimate acoustic set at the iTunes Festival. 30 minutes of the girl, the guitar, a bottle of water, and oh that wonderful raspy Stevie Nicks-like voice. First time in the UK, first time in London. First of many, if the girl’s talent is anything to go by. She played some of her signature songs Raggamuffin, Explanations and Black Part Love. At the end of the gig Selah poured some songs into a Raggamedley. Talking bout a revolution! …Read ‘revelation’! View some clips here, and go check out her self-titled debut album on iTunes.