Monday 11 January 2021

'Manifest EP' by Nathan Thomas

The release of the 'Manifest EP' by Nathan Thomas not only marks the first release from Futuristica Music for 2021, but also kick-starts celebrations for the label having reached the monumental milestone of their fifteenth year of releasing music.

With past projects initially spearheaded by Low Budget Soul and including wonderful releases from Electric Conversation, Deborah Jordan and Emanative, Nathan Thomas looks set to continue the label's fine lineage building upon the groundwork already laid from last year's 'Still Water'.  

With many years in the music industry under his belt, singer, songwriter and guitarist, Nathan Thomas, was finally able to bestow his debut full-length project to the world presenting his vision for contemporary soul and R&B to a rapturous reception.  'Still Water' served as a deeply personal project that cleverly fused these varying styles allowing Thomas' personality and talent to shine against this eclectic sonic palette.  With production from Futuristica's Simon S and Marc Rapson, the album boasted numerous highlights including the album's title track, the nu-soul stylings of 'Sunblind', the intimate and personal touch of 'Winters' and the hip-hop-inspired productions of tracks like 'Voodoo' and 'Manifest'.

With the latter number now taking centre-stage for the release of the album's accompanying EP, 'Manifest' proves to be the track that keeps on giving with the EP spawning two awesome remixes and a handful of additional gems too.  In our review of Nathan's full-length release, we referenced the production of Simon S at times being reminiscent of his alternative moniker, Jazz Chronicles: it seems like we weren't a million miles off the mark as Simon has instead opted to dust off his Peter Franks hat for his 'Manifest' remix - to equal satisfaction no less.  The "trademark crisp drums, warm bass and lush keys" associated with Peter Franks projects again provide such a snug fit for Thomas' vocal, in exciting contrast to the Marc Rapson's reinterpretation of the track...   

The words "Marc" "Rapson" "Remix" are fast becoming three of our favourites in relation to contemporary soul and R&B.  Despite consistently luscious productions all round, Rapson remix gems have come in the form of Deborah Jordan's 'I'll See You Again', La Note's 'One Way', 'Lately' by Simon S and Emanative's 'When on Earth'.  The remix for Thomas' 'Manifest' is absolutely a gem worthy of the Rapson brand as this version decidedly slows the pace down providing a sublime alternative.

A much needed extended edit of 'Resilience' is also included taking the original version from two minutes all the way up to over five, plus the playful nature of 'Another Theory' delivers as a previously unreleased entry to the 'Still Water' archives.

For the first of several projects due out this year, we eagerly await what the label has planned for their fifteenth and have genuinely kicked the whole thing off in fine fashion with this excellent release!

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