New Ben Westbeech Video- Falling

31 01 2011

I’ve been a fan of Ben Westbeech for some time and continue to salivate with anticipation at the prospect of his new album dropping this Spring. His last album, Welcome to the Best Years of Your Life still demands to be played chez SoulCuts on a regular basis. It’s a fascinating and overall enjoyable snapshot of a young artist working through their influences in search of a sound. The new material I’ve heard from Ben initially seems more accomplished and focused, impeccably produced with even stronger songwriting. Bring on the album, and check out Ben’s website for more musical goodies – http://www.benwestbeech.com/.

In the interim, check out this addictive soulful house jam, Falling, complete with a nice video showing Ben falling, singing and popping a delightful young lady’s bubblegum (and that ain’t a euphemism, dirty minds!!!). It’s a fantastic song. Perhaps the best I’ve heard all 2011 (OK, we’re only a month in, but still…). The single should be HUGE! Prepare to hit repeat!

And just in case you missed the recently dropped cut, Slowly, check out the vids below highlighting both the studio and acoustic versions. Lovely stuff!

Slowly strongly reminds me of Gaelle’s Falling (confused yet?) released on Naked Music a few years back. One of my favourite cuts of the past 10 years. It’s not like I needed another excuse to spin it, but this’ll do. Enjoy!

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Tokyo Dawn Records Bring The Boogie!!!

30 01 2011

One of the most interesting, and funkiest, compilations of 2011 so far has to be the new one from Tokyo Dawn Records, The Boogie.

The press blurb reads: Based on groove fundamentals such as 80’s and 90’s R&B, Minneapolis funk and early electro, this compilation holds 18 modern approaches to what we like to call boogie music. Inspired by the music of the past, the overall sound of The Boogie is nonetheless fresh and refined. Soul fans with an aversion to hip-hop, house and the beatier side of things won’t like everything on offer here, that’s for sure. But me, I love it! I don’t wanna be a freak, but I can’t help myself!

Listening to The Boogie actually made me feel exactly three and a half times cooler than I actually am. Just look at the tracklisting and all those exciting names, Opolopo, Vindahl, B. Bravo, Taut Fudge (OK, I made that one up). Cool, huh? But don’t worry, The Boogie is certainly not all mouth and no trousers, it’s packed to the rafters with strong songs and deep funk in addition to the overall progressive feel. There’s even a wine bar Atjazz re-edit of the old Rah Band track, Message from the Stars. How cool is that?

Take a listen to a few of the cuts below, and if you’re digging this head on over to Tokyo Dawn Records and grab a copy, just like l did!





SoulCut of the Week: Jesse Boykins III – B4 The Night is Thru

28 01 2011

Out there in the blogosphere, this track is far from news, but it’s resolutely dope. As such, B4 The Night is Thru is a well deserved SoulCut of the Week. I’ve been listening to this cut on and off since Jesse unleashed it on the world towards the end of last year, but this last week has seen an unprecedented amount of plays chez SoulCuts. It’s a stunning piece of contemporary soul, with Machine Drum’s undoubtedly progressive production smartly aligned to the overall soul aesthetic to create a cut that warrants comparisons with sophisticated trailblazers such as Sade and Maxwell. I’ve been a fan of Jesse’s work for some time, but following this, and his recent work with Foreign Exchange, I’m even more excited at the prospect of listening to his upcoming Machine Drum produced album, Love Apparatus, which undoubtedly promises to be one of 2011’s most interesting soulful listens.

Learn more about Jesse at jbiiimusic.com and download the immaculate B4 The Night is Thru right here.





UK Soul Jam Serves Up a Delicious, Jazzy & Soulful Line-Up

27 01 2011

All roads lead to the UK Soul Jam at Camden’s Jazz Cafe on Sunday 6th February for a Nu-Jazz special. The night features so much talent for a measly tenner that you’re likely to be committed should you not make it along. Heading up the event is the one and only Valerie Etienne, renowned UK soul and jazz vocalist on the scene for many years with an envious back-catalogue of accessible and progressive sounds. Her work as part of Galliano on the infamous Talking Loud label certainly helped to inform my musical path over the past twenty year, so I’m thrilled to be seeing her live as part of the UK Soul Jam.

More quality comes from Heidi Vogel (Cinematic Orchestra), Cecilia Stalin (Koop), Floetic Lara, Lisa Mayers, Sherry Davis and up and coming eclectic soul star in the making Matti Roots (check the dope track OCD below), among others.

In addition to the live performances, there will also be an open mic and jam session to included the public as the night progresses. It certainly sounds as if anything could happen, albeit all deep with a jazzy and soulful vibe. Previous surprise guests have included Amy Winehouse, Shalamar’s Jeffrey Daniels and Marsha Ambrosius. One to reach? No doubt.

Grab your tickets from the Jazz Cafe right here. Oh, and here’s a lovely flyer with all the necessary details.





LeNora Jaye’s Story is Taking Over SoulCuts

24 01 2011

Ok, folks. 2011 has arrived with its first essential release, The Story by new soul heroine LeNora Jaye. I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the album for my pals over at soulinterviews.com and can report that its a mandatory purchase for all lovers of timeless soul. The quality is so high on this debut that I’m reminded of Ledisi’s first album, which, as you’ll surely agree, can’t be a bad thing. The Story is a varied album on which LeNora’s songwriting and production skills shine brighter than that big fat orangey thing up there in the sky. Contributions from Steve Wallace, the excellent Astral 22 (who also associate produces) and Angela Johnson, among others, round out an album that takes the listeners on a replenishing trip through soul, jazz, gospel and house.

Have a listen to our favourite cut from the album, the glorious house jam, Never Get Away. It’s only crime is its brevity. What a killer!

Read our review here, and purchase the CD from Simply Soul Mail Order or Soul Brother Records. The album will be available for download via all the usual outlets from Valentines Day. It’s a date!





The Future’s Bright for Orange Tree Records

18 01 2011

I’ve been meaning to post a little something up about these guys for flipping ages, tut-tut. Oh well, all good things in time…

Orange Tree Records is a new record label and music promotion service aimed at promoting original UK soul and hip hop. The label launched back in December 2010 with the release of their rather dope ‘Fresh Fruit, Vol. 1’, a compilation EP of UK underground soul and hip-hop featuring Chima Anya with Soweto Kinch, Simon Middleton, Nutty NRG and Lousie Golbey. Having garnered support from tastemakers such as Giles Peterson, Shortie Blitz and Ras Kwame, Orange Tree definitely seems to be one of those labels you’re going to want to keep an eye on. Check out the video for Louise Golbey’s Same Old Same Old to get a flavour of the quality we should come to expect Orange Tree.

You can download the EP from all major download sites. If you’re hungry for more, roll on over to the Orange Tree MySpace page.





SoulEnvision Delivers an ESSENTIAL Modern Soul Mix – Fanatic About Vol. 1

16 01 2011

Last weekend, one of the UK’s premier soul events took place, namely the Luxury Soul Weekender at Blackpool. With live performances from Cool Million, Al Olive, Jean Carne (superb!) and the somewhat eccentric Michael Henderson, the event was a sumptuous feast for modern soul fans. The live acts were complimented by some of the most established tastemakers on the UK modern soul scene, spinning tunes across four rooms including Roger Williams, Ralph Tee, Richard Searling, Bigger, Colin Curtis, Richard Searling, Gary Dennis, Mike Stephens, Mike Vitti and tons of other luminaries. Needless to say, SoulCuts took it to Blackpool somewhat large!

Providing a flavour of the quality of cuts played out over the weekend, friend of SoulCuts, SoulEnvison has dropped this essential mix over at his Soundcloud page, providing a sweet snapshot of some of the best modern soul material of 2010, highlighting a number of the monster cuts dropped at Blackpool. Hit the player for some soulful goodness and check out the tracklisting below.

1. Kindred The Family Soul – You Got Love
2. Eric Benet Feat. Chrisette Michele – Take It
3. El DeBarge – Serenading
4. Donell Jones – The Finer Things In Life
5. Preston Glass/ Keni Burke – Orange You Ready (Cool Million Remix)
6. Victor Haynes – Im Out Of Your Life
7. Jonathan Butler – So Strong
8. Drizabone Soul Family – Slow Luv (Through The Night)
9. Sunshine Anderson – Call My Own
10. Shirley Jones Feat. Jean Carne – Tell Me What’s Wrong (Cool Million Remix)
11. Brian Culbertson Feat. Kenny Lattimore – Another Love
12. El DeBarge Feat. Faith Evans – Lay With You
13. The Gap Band – Outstanding
14. Mary Jane Girls – All Night Long
15. Rahsaan Patterson – Where You Are (Silk’s Old School Remix)

Let us know if you’re feeling this mix, and check out SoulEnvision on Twitter.