Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Seductive Souls - Spirit - 2010 - Lounge Records

Hot on the heels of the Richard Earnshaw release comes the brilliant Seductive Souls from Germany. "Spirit" is a vibrant album that is oh-so-alive and full of energy! A flowing album of soulful, jazzy and funky tunes that are both smack bang in today's groove, yet comfortable in a traditional setting too. The funkiness of the 70s meets 2010 dancefloor sensibilities straight on and both are the victors here. Diversity is very much the name of the game here with plenty of handshakes to today's dance masters and deep, gracious bows to yesterday's legends. The opening song full of strings, horns and a Latin twist really takes us back to more comfortable days and yet the beats are hip, urban and tough. The vocals are edgy, sassy and verging on a version of N'Dambi. This 70s flow is excellent, feeding nicely into the second song which is the samba-ish "Your Love". The swaying gait, acoustic guitar and atmosphere speaks so much in a Far Out recordings voice, and this is a real plus as far as I am concerned.

This Latinesque soulful funk flavour really kicks off in a 70s fashion, complete with freaky Pleasure-like keyboards and Salsoul keyboards and flute! A strong cut with a sturdy bassline that should garner much kudos on the dancefloor and on quality radio. I never expected music to return to this kind of format in a million years - and thanks to those of us in the UK and Europe who can see past this goddamn awful R&B phase and treat it as the irrelevance that it is. Our man, Tom Moulton, pops up with the expert reworking of their stylish cover of Brick's classic "Dazz". this has been beefed up, made chunky and propels nicely on a throbbing bassline...a great reworking of a classic and top marks to all concerned. This has got flavour! Following the colourful instrumental, "Neo's Theme" we have a pseudo 60s vocal effort "Love Don't Hurt At All" which oozes summer and I am reminded slightly of a less complicated Jazzanova with this track. For me, though, the KILLER cut is the wonderful 70s effort "How It Feels".

This is sublime summertime soulful boogie with a firm footing in Pleasure / Confunkshun and Earth, Wind & Fire but with a contemporary feel a la the Sunburst band or Liquid Spirits. This is such a bright, summery and happy song that I would recommend you purchase on the strength of this song and this song alone! Saying that, I played that song over and over again and then came across the righteous 70s sounding "One People" which really packs a punch. The album really does contain some corkers and this slice of righteous yester-now soul/funk is just the ticket. So, too, is the superb "Seductive Hustle", complete with wah-wah guitar and serious upright bass! The final cut is a slight homage to Memphis Soul and the organ adds some extra southern spice too - "Real Love" is a great track and closes the set with some real edge. If the US has lost it's soul then we know full well that vestiges of it reside in hamburg among many other places!

Barry Towler

The Vibe Scribe