Sunday, 18 January 2009

Nick Van Gelder - Choose Music 2008 – BBE

Every now and then an album comes to my attention that truly, deeply and seriously excites me beyond belief. There are many inexplicable factors playing a part in this but whatever the case Nick Van Gelder's “Choose Music”, released on the excellent UK BBE label, has sent me through the stratosphere into soulful dance heaven! Oh, what to say about it?! If you love any number of uptempo rhythms from the past 30-odd years then you will be able to find a home in your collection for this wonderful CD. If you adore the TSOP / Salsoul sound, soulful garage or house and a jazz then this is a wonderful amorphous musical mulch to savour. Somehow, Nick has absorbed all that is good about our favourite music and has blended it to sheer perfection. For me it is the strongest uptempo CD I have bought for a LONG time. The rhythms pulsate, the real instruments add sparkle and the synths add goose pimples. The vocals, too simply shine and fans of Mr Fingers or even Byron Stingley will love this. I discovered this album by sheer serendipity and am most thankful for my initial faux-pas!!! The only regret is that a lot of great new material is suffering at home right now as this album has taken precedence and importance over all else! LOL. Listen to the samples and see what I'm blathering on about.

The set benefits from two brilliant, soulful, vocalists – Mazen and Dom Glover and their input is astronomical. The opening song, “Just Give It Up”, with it's Blaze cum Salsoul rhythms complete with horns, sax etc is breathtaking and the vocals kick in and complete the job perfectly! Feel-good dance music is well and truly back, folks! “Thinking Of You” hits us with all the force and passion of Mr. Fingers / Larry Heard. Blinding, haunting and compulsive listening. Mazen returns to vocal duties on the sheer boogie tune, “Times Like This” - all that's missing is Vince Montana's vibes! “Think About It” offers a brilliant George Benson / Rod Temperton early 80s guitar riff with a real sense of the halcyon days we all know and love. This is 2009, folks!!!! As you listen to this CD keep reminding yourself that! Isn't it fantastic?! Fans of Louie Vega's more soulful House output will bask in the glory of “Ain't No Friend Of Mine” - resplendent with a scratchy 70s guitar rhythm that would impress the Blackbyrds, and keys that would make Lonnie Liston Smith smile. The retro Philly grooves of “I'm In The Mood”, “Choose Music” and “The Way” is knockout and Mazen returns to knock us out with the gems “Time To Get Ready”, “Wont You Stop” and “Game Of Life”. My God! I cannot put into words how superb these tracks are. Seriously, if you don't feel these songs then you are either on the wrong website or dead!!! No quibbles – just get clicking and buy a copy NOW.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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