Monday 25 November 2019

Dala Records Mixtape

"We have one goal in mind: to cultivate organic music and share it with the world": this is the ethos for the independent record label, Dala Records, and for any label this is a slogan that couldn't be more pure of intent.

The Brooklyn-based label - with a flair for the analog and the classic soul stylings of the genre's forefathers - seem certainly well on their way to having their vision realised through a fascinating and dynamic roster, wonderfully encapsulated in 2019 with the arrival of the label's first mixtape which can be purchased through the Dala Records store.

'Anything & Everything' by Billy The Kid
Not only able to boast being the founder of this exciting hub of talent and creativity, Billy Aukstik's resume also includes writer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, and under the guise of Billy The Kid, a Dala Recording artist in his own right.  Having had a hand in projects by the Dala line-up, Billy The Kid's 'The Stay Strong EP' showcased Aukstik's wide range of limitless talents.

'Evelyne' by Steve Garvin
Having helped pen some of Dala Records' signature songs, Steve Garvin made the transition to vocalist with his debut single on Dala which served as something of a fitting tribute to the heroes that proved early inspirations for Garvin, including John Lennon, The Beach Boys, American Analog Set, amongst others.  With a lush arrangement, which also sees Garvin on acoustic guitar, the bitter sweetness of 'Evelyn' depicts an aggrieved breakup through albeit earnest lyrics.

'Return The Favour' by Camellia Hartman & The Soulful Saints
The New York native, vocalist, skilled violinst and multi-instrumentalist leaves her indelible charm on anything she touches, particularly when it comes to any of her awesome singles released through Dala Records.  Following in the vein of her previous efforts 'Breathing Hard (Over You)' and 'At Least I Got My Baby', Hartman continues to build on her Northern Soul inspired take on soul music which finds itself so at home on Brooklyn's Dala Records, and continues to garner her a devoted following from soul music enthusiasts around the world.

'Back When' by Ray Mason
Mason boasts the distinction as trombonist for afrobeat heroes, Antibalas, as well as boasting collaborations - with trombone in tow - on seminal projects by Charles Bradley, Mark Ronson, Lady Wray and Janelle Monae.  Dala thankfully became the natural choice for Mason when considering the transition to front man and vocalist, and using the opportunity to further demonstrate his versatility, Mason’s vocals sound surprisingly at home on the more rock-based aesthetic of his debut single.

'Bad Man' by Mel & Kim
The debut single from Dala's vocal duo continues in the long line of soul music that seeks to address the socio and political environment that inspired them.  Mel Johnston and Kim Foxen bring such an exciting energy to 'Bad Man' - theirs is a special and unique musical union, each with a wealth of experience and a shared passion for soul and jazz music.  And backed by The Soulful Saints?  Bliss!

'Hangin' On' by Kyle Lacy
Propelling Kyle Lacy's adoration for time-honoured and classic soul music, 'Hangin On' serves as a magnificent two-man performance between Lacy and Aukstik - a thrilling pairing with equally thrilling results as the combination of Lacy's poignant opening lyrics, lamenting over a portion of his life that has since passed, sitting over Aukstik's symbolic church-esque organ is magic.  Unfortunately, these can also be gut-wrenching words that resonate with many as well which is what ultimately makes music - and this song - so special.

'Here's A Call' by Georgia Lee Johnson
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, a passion for performing arts eventually brought Georgia to New York where the city's all-encompassing and all-inclusive musical aesthetic led her to new styles and collaborators, as well as to jazz's vibrant music scene.  Dala's signature analog sound, now paired with Georgia's exquisite vocal and warm-hearted song-writing delivers stunning results - the 'Languages' EP is a real treasure where Georgia's personality and limitless talent shines throughout.

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