Wednesday 20 March 2024

'Cosmic Justice' by Honest Lee

'Cosmic Justice' marks the newest project from producer, DJ and musician, Honest Lee, whose latest release is unveiled once again through the innovative hub of creative talent, Growroom Productions. 

And through that very lens of Growroom, one Mylie Durham has managed to chart a thoroughly impressive and engaging musical journey that has afforded himself - and many others - a platform in which to create music steeped in sincerity and unhindered in its design.  For Durham, whether his releases have been presented under the banner of Honest Lee, igloo two, The Mighty Heard or Three Man Soul Machine, it's very much a journey that celebrates his continual compulsion and passion to create.

From his early series of remixes and re-edits of tracks by Ben E. King, Sam & Dave and Ikebe Shakedown released early in the label's life span, Honest Lee's debut full-length release came in the form of 'Solera' in 2018.  A nine-track album that perhaps served as the first full display of Lee's range of talents with tracks as much a showcase of his affections for authentic, vintage analogue soul as it was of hip-hop amongst its influences and inspirations.

Further to his releases under the guise of Honest Lee, Durham's adventures continue alongside Dan Bradley under the banner of another esteemed name under the Growroom banner, igloo two.  Appropriately surmised on Bandcamp as their sound consisting of "lo-fi rock riffs, quirky synth sounds, and hard thumping drums", igloo two's releases including 'silver eyes meets doctor robot' (2018) and 'between time' (2022) have also provided a staple for the label, showcasing new facets to Durham's creativity which ultimately seems to know no bounds.  Whether it's the more gritty soul and hip-hop make-up of The Mighty Heard or the Hammond organ trio aesthetic of Three Man Soul Machine (alongside Scott Schoem and Frank Mitchell), Durham presses on, keen to delve into the new project with a Prince-esque level of prolificacy.

'Cosmic Justice', the second full-length release from Honest Lee, relishes in Durham's affections for collaboration - a revelation that should come as no surprise considering his long list of Growroom projects and productions for other artists.  Across the twelve-track release, Durham - who helms the clear bulk of instrumentation on the album - pairs with a range of top-tier talent including saxophonists MKMKMK and Matt Rippetoe, trumpeter Joe Herrera, percussionist Jerry Busher and guitarist Slanigiro Renguez, amongst others.  

With six years since the release of 'Solera', musically, the 'Honest Lee' soundscapes have found a natural and riveting evolution with a wider scope of influences employed and ultimately we're presented with a far more confident record.  Honest Lee's penchant for dancefloor-driven breakbeat funk and soul is still on glorious display but songs like 'In a Natural Mood' and 'On Days Like Yesterday' offer more intricacies in their composition.

'Cosmic Justice' represents an exciting milestone record within the Honest Lee/Mylie Durham pantheon of releases - it's broader in scope, more self-assured and indicative of Growroom's unwavering affection for music born of creative freedoms.

No comments:

Post a Comment