soul posts

The Menahan Street Band

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 by Julija

soul // funk

Lead by multi-talended producer Thomas Brenneck, The Menahan Street Band offers a solid blend of instrumental funk, late sixties sounding soul, latin grooves and afrobeat. Back in 2007, long before the group’s debut album, the Brooklyn based ensemble drew attention for their outstanding “Make The Road By Walking” track, which was sampled for the ubiquitous Jay-Z’s hit “Roc Boys (And The Winner Is)”. “Home Again!”, a mid-tempo composition from the recently released Menahan album embodies warm guitar melodies and tightly structured horn arrangements.

Entirely instrumental soulful goodness.
The Menahan Street Band – Make The Road By Walking
The Menahan Street Band – Home Again!
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Amanda Jenssen

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 by Paul Irish

pop // soul

Last summer I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Stockholm, Sweden. The music scene is incredibly active there, but if you go expecting to see some DJs or global acts you know, you might be a bit surprised; the country produces so much music that it’s pretty self-sustaining. Amanda Jenssen emerged out of their Idol 2007 competition and just scored a #1 spot on the charts with this track, and yet, there’s hardly any coverage outside of Scandinavia. The chorus has an obvious pop sensibility, but her soul-driven vibe (think: Amy Winehouse) is showcased in the verses. (Thx, Christofer!)

Strong, soulful, and Swedish pop music.
Amanda Jenssen – Do You Love Me?

Magda Sinit

Monday, November 5th, 2007 by Paul Irish


I spent Saturday night in NYC watching the final performance of Sufjan StevensBQE at BAM, an entirely incredible experience. A full live orchestral instrumentation behind his tracks took away my breath and brought me to tears during ‘Casimir Pulaski Day’. On the bus back home, it was tough to merge back into reality. Helping smooth my transition is an artist who has an oddly unique name. But just like with Sufjan, behind that jarring moniker is quite a treat. Magda Sinit weaves her soulful vocals into finger-snap groove.

Nothing unexpected, just chilled for consumption.
Magda Sinit – Mista, Notice Me


Sunday, October 21st, 2007 by Julija

neo soul // r&b

From soul to funky guitar chords and bittersweet ingredients of r&b to surprising reggae twists, Asa (pronounced Asha) carries rich musical heritage and intensely spiritual strength. Asa was born in Paris and raised in Lagos, south-western Nigeria, where absorbing influences of jazz and African music, transforming it into a fresh sound, she constantly craved for singing her heart out. As her first eponymous album flows with ease, groovy rhythms and emotion, Asa projects positive values and her honest point of view on today’s realities.

Infusing with hope, melodies get under your skin.
Asa – No One Knows
Asa – Jailer
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Thursday, June 28th, 2007 by Julija

british soul // turntable soul

The London based threesome of soulful singer, vintage guitarist and a DJ has attracted attention in the underground music scene before the actual album release. And there is a solid reason for that. From funky soul and jazz-like ballads to swinging melodies, combining their hip-hop fetishes with atmospheric instrumentation, Belleruche comes with a long-awaited refreshing sound. Certain delicious vocal similarities and rhythmic quirks makes me think of now parted Moloko.

Dusty vinyl + rum-fueled contemporary sound.
Belleruche – Minor Swing
Belleruche – It’ll Come
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Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 by Paul Irish

downtempo // jazz // soul

I hate to be a label fanboy, but Brighton-based Tru Thoughts always seems to dominate in my best-of lists. Their roster is small and focused, but includes saucy downtempo heavyweights like Bonobo and Quantic. Jumbonics turns out an organic jazzy slip-n-slide, a pleasant distraction from your ruff-n-tumble day. It’s Money Mark meets Buddy Rich at the pad of Booker T and the MGs. It’s a deep soul ride.

Melody-led song-structures and a more mature soul sound.
Jumbonics – Bubble Drop
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Thursday, January 25th, 2007 by Paul Irish

soul // german post-jazz

Flanger first recorded records in the experimental downtempo realm. When they started recording their 2005 album, Spirituals they seemed to take a page from label-mate Jamie Lidell‘s book: they transitioned into more soul ‘n blues based songwriting. The reeded instruments in “Crime in the Pale Moonlight” provide the perfect accouterments to Riff Pike’s crooning. “How Long is the Wrong Way” gives us a little lighter jaunt down Finger Snappin’ Lane.

Where inspiration to play and sing come from above.
Flanger – Crime in the pale moonlight
Flanger – How long is the wrong way
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Thursday, November 2nd, 2006 by Paul Irish

urban soul

Gilles Peterson would be proud of me. Mr Peterson, radio host on BBC Radio 1 and one of my favorite DJs, has an affinity for a particular sound. What is that sound like? These adjectives might get you close: urban, sultry, smooth, jazzy, funky. And all those are perfectly applicable to New Orleans songstress Voice who just dropped a new CD on Toronto’s Public Transit Recordings. A grooving rhythm section and an eccentric tempo curl around Voice’s.. umm”¦ voice. The result is close to the current West Coast soul sound (a la Raul Campos’ Nocturna show on KCRW).

Tight little one for the head nodders and the soul sistas.
Voice – Know Rhythm
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Fat Freddy’s Drop

Monday, September 18th, 2006 by Paul Irish

kiwi reggae-soul // dub

I can’t say that you Aurgasm readers often tell me what music I should be hearing (lord knows I get an earful from promoters), but one name that’s been thrown my way many times is Fat Freddy’s Drop. And if the popularity of the last multi-reader suggestion, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, is any indication, you’ll likely enjoy these guys as well. Not content with whipping up killer beats, they often lay down soulful R&B vocals to glide effortlessly into your ears. Last year, this seven-piece set picked up all four New Zealand Music Awards they were nominated for, as well as scoring Gilles Peterson’s Album of The Year.

Dubbed out groove from down under.
Fat Freddy’s Drop – This Room

Fat Freddy’s Drop – Wandering Eye

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Saturday, August 19th, 2006 by Paul Irish

acoustic soul // downtempo blues

Just like you wouldn’t expect soul crooner Jamie Lidell on the Warp label, Fink is a peculiar addition to the Ninja Tune family. While the label is known for their dynamic electronica with hip hop and funk infused, Fink embodies the simplicity of a man sitting on a milkcrate strumming his guitar. “All Cried Out” trots at a medium pace, a steady guitar strum underneath Fink’s addictive melodies. Influenced by the harmonies of D’angelo and India Arie, he crafts vocal lines that snare you and basslines that seduce you. “Biscuits”, a proper song for an Englishman, has a bit more atmospheric accoutrements, but accomplishes just the same.

Combine: John Martyn + Jehro + D’Angelo + Jack Johnson + Zero 7. Blend and chill.
Fink – All Cried Out
Fink – Biscuits (track 10 on the Aurgasm Summer Soundtrack)
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