you just can t keep a man like carlton jumel smith down. this time around we get another soulful k.o. from his debut album in the form of -love our love affair-, a mid-tempo groover drawn from that sweet well of southern soul. one of the fortes of carlton s -1634 lexington ave.- lp is that it flows along as an entity but also revels in the strengths of its individual parts. this fourth single brings out another stylistic strain from carlton and cold diamond & mink s repertoire. after the tight intro and the vibraphone licks have set the scene there are twists and turns plus some classy action from jukka eskola on trumpet, did we mention the instrumental on the flip side? this single might be just the thing you needed to jump start the morning or blast in your sunday evening radio show.
the next installment in cold diamond & mink’s soul investigations introduces a three part harmony group from california. “my my my baby” is a smoking hot group harmony groover that should drop a few jaws at your next dj set. thee baby cuffs was born out of love for soul music and chicano culture. their first 45 “where did our pride go”, came out in 2017 on the raza del soul label, covering an unsung early 70’s larry saunders production. “my my my baby” continues on the same lane of midtempo soul over funky drums and soulful horn lines. the lyric is your middle of the road love song material, but the group harmony lifts it right off the ground like it’s meant to happen in this kind of music. get a few copies and rock the instrumental on the b-side before dropping the vocal, if you feel like it. soul music that’s this potent is better enjoyed in excess.
i cant love you anymore is the first single by hard working soul performer carlton jumel smith recorded with cold diamond & mink, and the man has revealed his middle name just for the occasion. otherwise known simply as carlton j. smith, theres no doubt he has swallowed a large pill of soul since seeing james brown live at the apollo theatre as an 8-year old. smiths timmion debut single sinks him into drum heavy southern flavored deep soul, a style that comes out of him naturally as water from a mountain spring. backing him up on the falsetto parts is pratt, who recently turned some heads with his pratt & moody release lost lost lost on stylart records, and together the two basically nail it. when looking for artists, who just seem to move through time effortlessly with a steady air of confidence, passion and precision, one might pick up the phone and give cjs a call. even though his discography of couple of late 2000s albums and some guest spots in early 90s soulful house 12inches is a bit mysterious, there seems to be not one bit of difficulty to his craft or personality. as a recording artist, i cant love you anymore is a new opening into raw soul territory, and it is just what the world needs today. he laid down an album worth of tracks on his last helsinki visit, and this might be something to look forward to.
after lamenting on the emotional baggage of hurricane katrina on his last single after the storm willie west offers another sonic angle on the city of new orleans, his place of birth. give it back is the closest example of mardi gras funk that willie has recorded since his cult classic said to myself on warner brothers from 1975
when the seasoned singer and musician bobby oroza lay his gentle voice on tape at the timmion labs a year ago, nobody knew what was about to happen. the beat ballad -this love- on the stylart sublabel, flew out and the first pressing was sold out within a week. a dj issue was sold for a hundred dollars at an auction even before the record was released. the hype was real. originally the lengthy vocal take was spread on two sides, persuading dj s to spin it with two copies to get the full experience. this pleasure can now be extended even further by rocking the instrumental backing by cold diamond & mink before cutting to the vocal. or, if you prefer it sans vocal, keep it instrumental all the way. incidentally, not many are aware that bobby plays the organ here. for fans of bobby s extremely personal style, he has new tracks in the pipeline, and man are they potent. keep your ear tuned to timmion and stylart, the official home of post-millennial soul sounds.
the third outing on the timmion sublabel stylart presents two musical heavyweights from up north. pratt & moody are tuomo prättälä and markus nordenstreng, neither of which are strangers to singing, songwriting or playing instruments in jazz, soul or rock circles in finland.