Media | CD
Style | HOUSE
Released | OCT '07


Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, arranger, and songwriter Robert Strauss follows his critically acclaimed debut album 'Quasars and Phasars' (Freerange records, 2005) with 'Mr Feelings': a timeless piece of intense soul music inspired by the golden age of disco boogie and glitter ball extravaganza. Here we use the adjective 'inspired' tentatively, for Mr Strauss' main strength is to produce luscious synth-fuelled groovers which would not be out of place in a 1980's underground record shop, yet still have a decidedly contemporary feel to them. You really have to listen to 'Mr Feelings' to believe it.

Support from music industry's luminaries is deep and wide: Jazzanova, Joey Negro, Spiritual South and Yam Who? to name but a few have all expressed their full appreciation for the music of Robert Strauss, yet there can be no greater accolade for a musician trying to recreate and build on the more elegant sounds to come out of the 80's than the involvement of the man himself: Leroy Burgess. For 'Mr Feelings', Leroy Burgess comes out of the woodwork to not only lend his vocal talent to 'Hot like an Oven', but also to feature in Robert Strauss' band tour later this year.

This album has all the hallmarks of a future classic, and it makes BBE immensely proud to be part of the project. It will be supported by a full radio & press campaign, limited editon 12 " singles & tour.

source: soulseduction


Title | 23 SECONDS
Media | 2XCD
Label | !K7 RECORDS / D
Style | HOUSE
Released | NOV '07


The unique trio Cobblestone Jazz use early computers and analogue instruments to create pared down sounds that retain the quality of improvisational jazz but with a techno dancefloor aesthetic. Through a real-time exchange of musical form, language, and ideas, Tyger Dhula, Mathew Jonson and Danuel Tate provide a continual sense of excitement and discovery for their audience.
All members of Cobblestone Jazz are successful musicians and producers in their own right, and the influence of each individual contributes greatly to the international success of the group.
Tyger Dhula's history as a DJ and producer of electronic music provides the stylistic platform for the groups improvisations with his ability to break grooves up into their key elements, holding the music firmly within the electronic music tradition. Mathew Jonson brings a fervent commitment to pushing his music in new directions, as well as the gifted ability to mix and compose freely. Using analogue drum machines and synthesizers as his instruments of choice, Mat chooses to write and record his contributions in the moment, as opposed to settling for pre-configured patterns. Danuel Tate is the jazz musician and performer who prompted this approach to the group's writing practices. His keyboard playing shows a rich understanding of modern harmony and melody, but, like many great artists, his dedication to simplicity is what holds him in such high regard.
Cobblestone have received critical acclaim since their 2002 debut release on underground label ItIsWhatItIs, with support coming from artists in all walks of electronic music; from Gilles Peterson and Theo Parish to Daniel Bell and Richie Hawtin. The last few years have seen them perform every- where from fabric in London and Panorama Bar in Berlin to Mutek in Montreal and the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. As a representation and celebration of how they make music, a Cobblestone Jazz performance showcases the musical outfit as a pragmatic and responsive unit, a living and breathing creation free of formulaic sequence, and offering one captivating perspective on the future of electronic music itself. '23 Seconds' is their debut album.
Title track '23 Seconds' sees the band doing 'what they do best'. The skippy and swinging 101 is joined by the rhodes and vocoder to give it a really light and lazy feel, later permeated by a bubbling and loopy melody. 'Slap The Back' demonstrates the roots of classic Cobblestone. Free flowing interplay between the 101 and Rhodes synth is the main theme for this tune, and a beautiful solo from Danuel. 'PBD' is a slice of classic Detroit techno; no frills, no gimmicks. It's burly bassline keeps things low to the ground while the oscillating pads reach for the sky. On 'Hired Touch' scurrying movement amongst the Rhodes progression and a no nonsense bassline bring life to a landscape coloured with washes of synth. Conflicting melodies bicker into a howled climax, the intensity subsiding, unresolved.
'Lime In Da Coconut' is a potion brimming with transformation, reworked here exclusively for the vinyl album. They approach a simple key melody from every angle imaginable, with the harmonies, disharmonies, bubbling accents and rhythmic permutations exposing the otherworldly potential of the simplest of tunes. 'Change Your Apesuit' is the deepest album cut, kicking off with a subdued bassline and half-time shimmering percussion. The beautiful yet morose vocoder melody and rhythm rhodes are joined halfway by a sweeping rhodes line to set the cinematic tone for the second half of the piece. On 'Saturday Night' a deep synth line and ghostly vocoded moans progress through a jungle of percussion and falling echoed tones, steadily approaching a beat that enlivens like water on a desert journey, or rather, like vodka on a Saturday night.
'W' is currently riding roughshod across the worlds finest dancefloors thanks to it's appearance on the latest Cocoon compilation and here edited for the album. It's perhaps the most uncharacteristic of the tunes on the album, drawing its influences from early trance. 'What You Want' is a new track, recorded exclusively for the vinyl album. It was improvised and recorded live at UAF festival in Wiesen, Austria and ably demonstrates what this trio can create on the fly. Finally 'Waiting Room' paints a vast and unfamiliar landscape, sparsely populated with nebulous synth chords, beckoning vocoder traces and twin-peaked lounge tones. This LP version is also exclusive to the vinyl release.