Blue-in-Green:RADIO

Thursday, 1 October 2020

SAULT

 


With their initial debut album shrouded in mystery upon release - the genius approach to the marketing of SAULT's '5' (May, 2019) revolutionised how anyone would have approached marketing an album.  We're actually playing it a little fast and loose with the term "marketing" as the album didn't actually seem to have any.  The all-black cover with the matchsticks forming the number 5, released under the name of SAULT, was almost the beginning and end of all available info for the collective.

But people talked.

And as the whispers of this stunning piece of work spread online, before anyone knew it, a second project was released, '7', just as innovative and revolutionary as its predecessor.

Now in 2020, with four albums released through their own Forever Living Originals label home, the group has become one of the most inspired and cherished names within R&B, soul and funk.

The mystique couldn't last forever though and the predominant trio behind the name were later uncovered as producer Inflo who had partnered with vocalists Cleo Sol and Kid Sister.

Inflo has long captivated as a producer through some stunning projects.  His indelible touch can be found on releases by Little Simz ('Flowers' and 'Selfish') as well as the last two albums from Michael Kiwanuka ('Love & Hate' and 'Kiwanuka') who he produced alongside Danger Mouse.  Musically, SAULT's general aesthetic works as an incredible extension to Inflo's past productions - the beats are glorious audacious funk which are made beautifully for Sol and Sister to just soar over. 

The highs between '5' and '7' for example are too numerous to mention, from high energy numbers like 'Up All Night', 'Smile and Go' and 'Red Lights', to more subdued groove-based tracks like 'Friends' and 'Why Why Why Why Why'.  The 2020 releases, however, presented a different perspective for SAULT's music - released in June, 2020, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and in the midst of a global pandemic that saw thousands of people in the US wave of social distancing regulations to protest in the name of Black Lives Matter, SAULT released 'UNTITLED (Black Is)'.  The album still boasted that signature SAULT sound over the course of 20 tracks for a record that was part celebration of black culture and pride and part protest music.

Aside from SAULT, Forever Living Original also houses the jaw-dropping release from Cleo Sol, 'Rose in the Dark'.  With production from Inflo - where does he find the time? - Sol delivers a contemporary soul gem steeped in an exquisite 70s soul inspired backdrop.

Forever Living Originals's five album releases to date are as essential a reflection of innovative soul music as you can get and with a release schedule that has moved quicker than we could keep up with at times, we'd implore anyone not currently riding the SAULT train to jump aboard.

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