Thursday 6 October 2022

5 Songs About: Tru Thoughts Records

This episode of our 5 Songs About: series sees us celebrate the music of the revered Brighton-based label, Tru Thoughts Records.  As surmised on the label's website, "We aren't the sort of people to get stuck on genres; we hope you agree that good music is good music".  It's a fantastic ethos to put forward for a label and it's one that Tru Thoughts has lived by since their inception in 1999 playing host to some incredible music releases from a roster as diverse as the electronic-meets-Gnawa collaboration of Rabii Harnoune & V.B. Kühl, the LA-based horn trio Moonchild, the broken beat wizardry of WheelUP, the blazing funk of The Bamboos or the vibrant energy of The Hot 8 Brass Band.  Tru Thoughts continues to house a treasure trove of innovative and inspired music from sensational artists and here are 5 tracks we were keen to talk about today...

1. 'Threads' by Bryony Jarman-Pinto (2019)

Spearheaded by the singles 'As I've Heard' and 'Saffron Yellow' – Bryony Jarman-Pinto's distinctive unhindered style of soul, jazz, folk and beat-heavy tracks, coupled with an earnest and heartfelt approach to her songwriting, served as excellent examples to what her pairing with Tru Thoughts label-mate Tom "Werkha" Leah would breed for a full-length album.  'Cage and Aviary' absolutely delivered on all fronts - a truly incredible album boasting several songs that could have quite easily found its place on this list; we'd also encourage you to check out the remixes in support of the album courtesy of Wu-Lu, dego, 2000Black and Wonky Logic, as well as the Fish Factory live sessions EP.

2. 'Crazy That You Love' by Aurora Dee Raynes (2021)

The London-based collective Aurora Dee Raynes headed up by Stephen Raynes and vocalist Danielle Kranendonk released their debut full-length in 2021.  Pulling from a variety of exciting influences that formed the musical gumbo of Aurora Dee Raynes' 'Invisible Things', the project was as much a celebration of classic neo-soul as it was a progressive take on the genre.  Bursting with boundless creativity and enthusiasm, Aurora Dee Raynes absolutely solidifies their place amongst Tru Thoughts greats with tracks like 'Find My Way', 'Good For You' and of course the riveting energy of 'Crazy That You Love'.  A recent remix of 'Good For You' by Shy One offers an exciting broken beat aesthetic to the group's music which they comfortably adopt as part of their compelling arsenal.

3. 'Feeling Good' by The Quantic Soul Orchestra featuring Alice Russell (2005)

Will "Quantic" Holland and Alice Russell will perhaps forever be recognised as Tru Thoughts' the artists most synonymous with label recording home.  With a wealth of releases in their own rights, their combined collaborations warrant just as much praise for the undeniable chemistry and unbridled magic the two bring to each other's music including this cover of Nina Simone's seminal 'Feeling Good'.  Naturally, Simone's original would warrant absolutely zero introduction as it's a song that has seen a multitude of covers from Michael Bublé to Lauryn Hill so it's saying something that this soul-infused and string-heavy interpretation by Quantic & Alice Russell - taken from the Quantic Soul Orchestra sophomore album, 'Pushing On' - is quite possibly the best reimagining of Simone's classic that you are likely to hear. 

4. 'Blue' by Space Captain (2017)

Space Captain's debut full-length, 'All Flowers in Time', introduced the New York-based band's take on their varying styles ranging from indie-pop to psych-soul across their imaginative nine track outing.  Featuring some exquisite tracks throughout, the gloriously infectious 'Blue' served as the clear album standout with fantastic production and a sublime performance from Space Captain vocalist Maralisa Simmons-Cook.  Be sure to check out the brilliant remixes courtesy of Sly5thAve ('Blue') and Jesse Fischer ('Loveline').

5. 'Raise The Roof' by Lizzy Parks (2008) 

Impossible to have completed this list without shouting out the brilliant 'Raise The Roof' album by songwriter-vocalist, Lizzy Parks.  An album that thrived from its unique amalgamation of styles thanks in part to the project's co-producer Benedic "Nostalgia 77" Lamdin, this release ranks as another sensational release within the Tru Thoughts catalogue and perhaps one that went a little under-appreciated.  Bolstered by some awesome tracks including 'Forever and a Day', 'Ode to St Cecile' and of course the vibrant jazz of the album's title track, 'Raise The Roof' still ranks as an essential Tru Thoughts project.  As an added bonus, absolutely check out the Nostalgia 77 remix of the album track, 'All That', which relishes within its 90's boom bap production.  Bliss.

6. 'ZBRA' by Nikitch & Kuna Maze (2019)

What's this?  An illusive sixth song?  Well, you'll have to forgive our enthusiasm for not being able to stop at just five but such is the catalogue, we couldn't resist just one further entry which sees us cite the collaborative project between Nicolas Morant (Nikitch) and Edouard Gilbert (Kuna Maze).  The duo have created some incredible soundscapes fusing their affections for jazz compositions with the electronica stylings of broken beat.  With their last album 'Back & Forth' released earlier this year to rave reviews, we turned our attention to the duo's eclectic 'Mush' EP for our selection today.

No comments:

Post a Comment