Wednesday 9 November 2022

'The Light' (2022 Reissue) by Deborah Jordan

Seeing its release on vinyl for the first time is the debut solo album, 'The Light', from Futuristica recording artist, Deborah Jordan.

Initially unveiled in 2009, 'The Light' was warmly received thanks to its fluid mix of organic neo-soul stylings interspersed with lush broken beat soundscapes resonating with listeners both new and those who would have already served as long-standing and devoted fans of the singer-songwriter.

Although, today, we regard Deborah Jordan as an established solo artist with three sensational albums to her name - 'The Light' (2009), 'What You See' (2011) and 'See in the Dark' (2020) - 'The Light' would have had to contend with an incredible weight of expectation particularly when considering the high standard and volume of Jordan's musical output at that point in time.

As lead vocalist for the beloved Kaidi Tatham and Dego project, Silhouette Brown, Deborah Jordan became a key component within a certified classic broken beat and nu-soul record that still serves as a benchmark for the genre nearly twenty years later.  Jordan's unrivalled performance alongside the production of two of the most revered names in broken beat and dance completely enthralled listeners of the group's self-titled 2005 release.  

As adept as her incredible vocal has always been when immersed within these electronica-inspired soundscapes, Jordan's passion for music runs far deeper than a commitment to any one genre or style; her unwavering charm truly rests within her chameleon-like ability to cement the classic that is 'Silhouette Brown' or a release on the other end of the spectrum like the treasure that is 'Trust' by Robert Mitchell's Panacea.

Serving as one of pianist Robert Mitchell's many projects, the Panacea collective - which also boasted the distinction of Richard Spaven on drums - delivered some fantastic releases with 'Trust' providing a particularly noteworthy entry within the series.  The reunion of Jordan's vocal alongside Mitchell's piano for the latter's brilliant release 'Hold The Light/The New Resistance' (2022) serves as a great reminder of the fantastic chemistry between the two long-time collaborators and a reminder for what a magical album 'Trust' really is.

It is a lot of credentials to have run through so apologies for the perhaps excessive amount of details above but it's hard not to consider these past highly-revered projects when considering the challenges 'The Light' would have had to face in introducing Deborah Jordan as a solo artist in her own right.  The album's opening two tracks always seemed to be (sub)consciously addressing those points with the dawning-of-a-new-day feel of 'The Light Intro' which leads straight into 'Brought To Life' - a powerful statement of intent designed to introduce Jordan finally front & centre with the spotlight firmly fixed on her.  

An all-star production team are enlisted to help facilitate the vision for 'The Light' with names including Atjazz, label mates Electric Conversation, Simbad, Jniero Jarel, Rise (later known as Mecca:83) and long-time production collaborator Marc Rapson.  While past projects have positioned Jordan amidst a variety of varying sonic backdrops, 'The Light' finds something of a dynamic happy space that masterfully pulls together from each of her musical facets - the neo-soul of 'Home', the broken beat structure of 'Future Calling', the 90's R&B-infused 'Want It Back' and the trippy but lush 'Nothing Lasts'.

While collaboration has continued to serve as a key component for Jordan's music to this day - including releases under the banner of Sun Circle with Simon S and the 'HUMAN' project with K15 - the solo albums have continued to flourish with those releases cementing Deborah Jordan as one of the UK's most sincere and compassionate artists who has always managed to convey so much through her music making her one of the most profound and earnest voices of our time.

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