First Listen: SoulParlor Will Make You “Smile” with new song

Tokyo Dawn Records’ upcoming release, Smile, by the German-based production team of SoulParlor sports a bevy of familiar names as well as some relative newcomers to the indie soul, hip hop, and dance worlds. Joining the DJ collective on their third project are artists like: Parks, Amalia, Eric Rico, Rogiérs, Replife, Stan Smith, Leona Berlin, and Raziel Jamaerah for a broken beat extravaganza. The hard left-of-center club project does have one especially radio-friendly electrosoul cut we had to share in the title track, featuring a lilting Jata on vocals.

Tokyo Dawn Records’ upcoming release, Smile, by the German-based production team of SoulParlor sports a bevy of familiar names as well as some relative newcomers to the indie soul, hip hop, and dance worlds. Joining the DJ collective on their third project are artists like: Parks, Amalia, Eric Rico, Rogiérs, Replife, Stan Smith, Leona Berlin, and Raziel Jamaerah for a broken beat extravaganza. The hard left-of-center club project does have one especially radio-friendly electrosoul cut we had to share in the title track, featuring a lilting Jata on vocals.

In its sharp transition from aggressive opening bars to a sunshine day chorus, “Smile” is the kind of feathery cut that melds the aggressiveness of its backbeat with a hook that literally lifts the song in the air and keeps it there. A harmonically layered Jata delivers “oohs” and “ahhs” on the choruses like he’s been singing doo-wop backgrounds for years. On the leads, his approach is almost jazzy in its cool. The whole melodic affair is as blazing as it is romantic, and is a welcome introduction to an album that can get a bit heady and avant-garde in its funky forays into garage, dubstep, drum ‘n’ bass, and broken beat production techniques.

We hope Jata provides just the open door you needed to check out the rest of Soul Parlor’s musical home. Smile will be released on digital and CD by Tokyo Dawn Records on Feb. 2, 2015.    

By L. Michael Gipson

 

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