Wednesday 3 February 2021

'Rebirth' by LaNote

'Rebirth' marks the brand new album release from vocalist and producer LaNote marking her return to the Futuristica fold.

Courtesy of her efforts as part of the Parisian quartet, Electric Conversation, LaNote's name will forever be etched into the annals of Futuristica Music's history but with the label now celebrating their fifteenth year of releasing music, her official return makes the year all that special.

Along with fellow band members As Valet, Oz and Gus La Temp, Electric Conversation went on to deliver an incredible hip-hop inspired blend of future soul which is still prevalent to fans all these years later.  It was a comparatively young Electric Conversation that scored the opportunity to open for Silhouette Brown in Paris in 2006 that afforded them the chance to meet Deborah Jordan - Silhouette Brown vocalist at the time - and subsequently open the doors to Futuristica Music.  The union would spawn two full-length albums - 'Communication' (2007) and 'Electric Conversation' (2013) - which are rightfully highly revered projects and regarded as modern day classics. 

As her unique vocal delivery allowed her to interchange her style between singing and rapping over Dilla-inspired productions, LaNote's talent and ability was glaringly obvious.  Several projects outside of Electric Conversation have been blessed by LaNote's vocal contributions including projects by As Valet, Jazz Chronicles, ZigSixteen and Deborah Jordan, along with her production work for artists including Belgian rapper Masto Xico.

As if 'Rebirth' couldn't be any more appealing - a phrase that may very well be used again before this review is complete - the album also enlists the boundless talents of Electric Conversation partner, As Valet, as the project's producer further adding to the serendipitous nature of 'Rebirth's release.  For the self-described "abstract-instrumental-space-hip hop beat producer", As Valet's mouth-watering (re)union with LaNote really goes on to generate something incredibly special - with many of the tracks hovering around that two-and-a-half to three-minute mark, the project's beat-tape style, use of lush samples, hip-hop-inspired production and soulful aesthetic... it all works beautifully as a fitting extension to Electric Conversation's legacy.

Through both, musically and thematically, much of 'Rebirth' strongly resonates with As Valet's own 'Inner Journey' - released last year through A Night on Canopy Records.  And while the third solo project from Valet served as something of a spiritual reconnection to his roots in the Caribbean Island of La Martinique, much of 'Rebirth' serves as LaNote's spiritual reconnection to music.  Music, as in LaNote's decided focus towards releasing projects in a solo capacity, and music as a vessel for her own, perhaps cathartic, level of personal and social commentary.  Taking 'SOS' as an example - the album's incredibly powerful closing number which addresses the Black Lives Matter voices.  Classic music by no less than legends like Curtis Mayfield, Gil Scott-Heron, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, James Brown... all ask timeless questions about the society they grew up in and questions that sadly still ring relevant today.  Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On?' serves as a great example... maybe we're destined to always ask that question but it's certainly a question people still ask nearly 50 years later. 

As if 'Rebirth' couldn't be any more appealing [hmm!] - the album's second disc presents a series of remixes from long-time friends and affiliates providing some fantastic takes courtesy of Mecca:83, aCatCalledFritz, DJ Spinna, Simon S, Marc Rapson, Kn7azz amongst others.

The first full-length project from Futuristica's fifteenth year couldn't set the stage any better for what promises to be an awesome year for the label.  'Rebirth' is a wonderful homage to everything that came before it - as previously mentioned, it serves as a fitting extension to Electric Conversation's legacy but at the same time lays the groundwork for LaNote as a solo artist in her own right.

To purchase the album, please visit the Futuristica Music Bandcamp page, here.

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