Friday 24 March 2023

If you're thinking, Reel People, what happened to them?  Well don't because this new album is like nothing has happened to them over the 20 years since their debut album except that they are even better now!

Hard to believe I know but lets reel off who has joined the trio of soul/jazz/house legends Oli Lazarus, Mike Patto and Toni Economides on this ten track album; Raheem DeVaughn, Muhsinah, Chantae Cann, Michael Champion, Paula, Jill Rock Jones, Eric Roberson and Arrested Development’s Speech.

If we go back to Gilles Peterson's Golden era V1.0 (pre-BBC 6 Music, No iPlayer, very early Internet, Etc...), you'd see Reel People regularly on his Radio 1 late night show tracklisting and their 12s would be in all the trendy London records shops with the sleeves showing who all the 'guest' singers are like Vanessa Freeman, Angela Johnson and even flautist Nathan Haines.

So there's been a big buzz about this especially as the single, 'Everything’s So Crazy' featuring Jill Rock Jones is so good low slung beach beats with Jones proving orange is the new black.  But before that, Eric 'Erro' Roberson (who, back in 2004 shared a Gilles Peterson Worldwide Exclusives 10" with much missed TY - RIP) shows he's still serious soulful on 'Save A Lil Lov' which has enough synth bump to be the next single.

And you could say that of lots of the other tracks here, 'If I Was Your Man' (feat. Michael Champion), 'Deja Vu (featuring Raheeem DeVaughn; yep! that's Grammy nominated Raheeem) and 'Dance In Her Eyes' (feat. Chantae Cann & Dayne Jordan).  Sounding very Jazz FM / Solar Radio "bringing you soul, jazz, funk, soulful house, R&B and so much more". 

And on that subject, Speech gets out his inner Incognito / Brand New Heavies on 'I Never Knew' (massive at Southport Weekender I hear: that Peterson still gets all the best tunes early - be prepared for his We Out There Festival later this year) and you can match that with 'Something New' with Muhsinah on a bossa tip that's been beautifully produced (a favourtie of DJ Andy 'Delectabeats' Garvey).

Atlanta-based singer Paula gets on two tracks, the downtempo 'Vibe' and 'Fly' that are beyond love; "Love2" you might say.

There is no denying that this is fantastically crafted with great vocal performances and musicianship which will be playing on repeat.  I predict, this'll be massive worldwide as it feels like deja vu all over again.  

Artist: Reel People
Title: Love2
Release date: 24th March, 2023
Label : Reel People Music
Catalog Number : RPMCD008 / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 


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