On Repeat…Mint Condition – Caught My Eye

8 02 2011

I have to admit that I didn’t pay this cut much mind when it initially surfaced, like a fool. But, repeated plays have unlocked a groove up there with Mint Condition’s best (i.e. the Jam & Lewis years). It’s an addictive midtempo goodie featuring the hallmarks of that classic MC sound; live instrumentation, on point vocals, mature lyrics and catchy songwriting. I am now officially excited about their new album, due out on Shanachie, April 5th. In the meantime, I’ve got Caught Me Eye on repeat…

You can grab a copy of Caught My Eye over at iTunes. It’s dope.

Hot SoulCut Alert – Sir Gant & the Invisible Force – I’m Gonna Miss You

7 02 2011

One of the most popular cuts on the modern soul scene over the past couple of months has been Sir Gant & the Invisible Force’s timeless slice of soul, I’m Gonna Miss You featuring Boyz II Men founding member, Marc Nelson. Taken from the upcoming album, The Journey, I’m Gonna Miss You is a midtempo ethereal gem that calls to mind the work of great artists such as Lamont Dozier, Earth, Wind & Fire and George Duke.

The driving force behind Sir Gant & the Invisible Force is producer, arranger, keyboardist and composer, Dean Gant, perhaps best loved for his co-production and arrangement of arguably the greatest soul album of the 1980s, Anita Baker’s impeccable Rapture. Sir Gant has worked with some of the most influential figures in soul and jazz over the past forty years including Peabo Bryson, Outkast, Earth, Wind & Fire, Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler, Bill Withers and Deniece Williams. Musicians on the album include Omar Hakim, Steve Ferrone, Ricky Lawson, Al McKay, David T. Walker, Gerald Albright, Rahmlee, Dr. George Shaw, Marcus Miller, Nathan East and percussionist Paulinho da Costa. With this pedigree, and the quality of the album’s first single, we have high hopes for Sir Gant’s forthcoming ‘Journey’.

For more information on Sir Gant, head on over to Reverbnation to listen to more cuts off the upcoming album, which should officially be with us by the start of March. In the interim, you can purchase I’m Gonna Miss You at iTunes. Nice one!

Tokyo Dawn Records Free Art Slave Amelia!

7 02 2011

SoulCuts is in love with Tokyo Dawn Records at the minute. Following our adoration of their latest compilation, The Boogie, comes Amalia’s debut album, Art Slave, produced by Swedish Funk-God, Opolopo. We’ve only had a quick listen, but can categorically state that fans of future funk will lap up this Chaka Khan Live from the Epcot Centre 2041 styled album.

Opolopo’s unique, resolutely current, production combines with Amalia’s never less than exemplary vocals to create a funk album that stimulates both body and mind. The press release describes the sound as sonically and musically inspired by New Jack Swing, but I think that somewhat discredits Opolopo’s fresh production style which filters hip-hop, soul, funk, new-jack and myriad other influences to create an individual sound almost approaching its own genre. As with other work on Tokyo Dawn, Art Slave is not necessarily an album for the old soul connoisseur. But, for those open-minded folks with a penchant for funk, Amalia’s debut album sounds like it will be one of 2011s finest.

We’ll be reviewing the album later this month after some quality listening time. In the meantime, you can listen to the album and buy a pre-release download over at www.tokyodawn.net, prior to the physical release in March.

Deonis Got Next!

1 02 2011

Whetting appetites for his upcoming album, Deonis just dropped his mixtape, He Got Next. It’s a ten-track, future funk fuelled excursion through soul, purpleness, hip-hop, R&B and much in-between. Cuts initially grabbing my attention include the When Doves Cry on Planet Rock goodness of Fade Away, the space age slow jam, 4:20, the upfront sounds of My Future Now and the Prince-like Supernatural.

Deonis is perhaps better known for his production work as Pumah. The man’s pedigree is second to none; he’s produced for SoulCuts favourites, Carmen Rodgers and Geno Young, and worked with innumerable great artists including Kirk Franklin, Musiq Soulchild, Fred Hammond, Darwin Hobbs, Erykah Badu and Eric Roberson.

Deonis produced eight of the project’s ten tracks, with the other two appearing courtesy of his unofficial mentor, the legendary J Dilla. His influence is certainly felt on this mixtape, but Deonis appears to have deftly crafted his own undeniably fresh and funky sound, delivered at the cutting edge of soul, warranting comparisons with trailblazers such as Bilal and Eric Roberson.

He Got Next is available as a free download, via Deonis’ Bandcamp page. You can listen to it right here:

Deonis’ debut album, The Breaking Point will be released 1st March, featuring production from S1, Ernie G, Terrace Martin, Picnictyme and Deonis himself. We’ll be bringing a full review when we get to hear it. On the basis of this mixtape, I can’t wait!

The Alternative John Barry Tribute….

1 02 2011

…comes courtesy of the UK’s finest, Mr Omar Lye-Fook, with the Midnight Cowboy sampling, In The Morning from his greatest album, the appropriately titled Best By Far…