How did Gladys Knight put it again? »Everybody’s talking about the good old days.« Hence: forget neo-soul, new-soul or now-soul. When Adrian Younge is getting together with his band colleagues from Venice Dawn, it’s all about soul. About what soul used to sound like. Even about the sound of vintage. Still, it’s important to know that the retro claim does not mirror a zeitgeisty approach but rather an aesthetic instinct. Of course, that can only be an initial trigger, considering that summoning the spirits of analogue sounds is tricky and takes technical skills as much as musical expertise. Plus, it always opens out into some kind of inverted exorcism. The musician from Los Angeles has committed himself to all these ground rules, and since he created the score for the Blaxploitation-parody »Black Dynamite«, he keeps following traditional paths. His latest LP »Something About April II« is paying tribute to this concept by coming forward with the kind of bass lines, drums and organs that defeat nowadays’ clean and cool productions by conjuring the comfy heat of long lost days. For achieving this sound, the multi-instrumentalist has returned to the rather dusty equipment in his studios, like kicks and snares that are still breathing the spirit of the 60s and 70s. In addition, as a sound engineer, he knows how to create the best conditions to catch special sound atmospheres, which comes in handy for the invited singers: Venice Dawns Loren Oden, Laetitia Sadier, Bilal, Raphael Saadiq and Karolina all seem to have clicked immediately with the compositions. Together with Adrian Younge, they have created tracks full of organic weightiness and the necessary cinematic range, so that the tracks automatically trigger correspondent pictures – and still, and that’s the big secret, the sound is as light-footed as it gets.
Pu Poo Platter
A Chilling Winter Night