Domu presents Pete Simpson - Look a Little Further (2007)

Domu presents Pete Simpson
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Look a Little Further (LALF) is the debut disc from two notable UK artists: beat master and producer Dominique (Domu) Stanton and session vocalist Pete Simpson. Look a Little Further is a sweet modern soul record teeming with the classic UK soul hallmarks all over it -- an ample reverence for US soul traditions, up-to-the-minute production values, and a healthy balance between soulful melody, inspirational messages and engaging dance rhythms -- all combine to produce a heartfelt album with mass appeal that could easily find a home on American adult-oriented and quiet storm radio.  All tracks were co-written by Domu and Pete Simpson with additional collaborators Mike Patto (Reel People) and Pete Kuzma (Jill Scott/Touch of Class).

Look a Little Further (LALF) is the debut disc from two notable UK artists: beat master and producer Dominique (Domu) Stanton and session vocalist Pete Simpson. Look a Little Further is a sweet modern soul record teeming with the classic UK soul hallmarks all over it -- an ample reverence for US soul traditions, up-to-the-minute production values, and a healthy balance between soulful melody, inspirational messages and engaging dance rhythms -- all combine to produce a heartfelt album with mass appeal that could easily find a home on American adult-oriented and quiet storm radio.  All tracks were co-written by Domu and Pete Simpson with additional collaborators Mike Patto (Reel People) and Pete Kuzma (Jill Scott/Touch of Class).

Dominic Stanton or Domu has, since the early ‘00s, been one of the leading lights of the UK broken beat scene, producing a number of classic tracks and albums in this genre under a host of guises and pseudonyms such as Sonar Circle, Bakura, Rima, Umod. His is a very diverse talent that manages to express itself in numerous ways - as a keyboardist, programmer/beat maker and a producer. His last CD under the Domu guise, Return of the Rogue, was a highlight of 2005 and one that is definitely still worth investigating. Pete Simpson is also a respected session vocalist who has been active since 2001, most notably with the UK's Reel People and the Unabombers. As a vocalist, he has a patented UK sound not unlike the highly regarded Shaun Escoffery and the older Ray Simpson (perhaps a relative?).

In general, UK male vocalists are most noted for the earnestness and sincerity in their delivery than for sheer vocal power. This has often led to unfair criticisms of the UK producing more cookie-cutter type black male singers than exceptional world class talents. Nonetheless, there have been those black UK soulmen who influenced and delighted the world with their contributions, such as Omar. As a crooner and technician, Mr. Simpson can stand proudly alongside American cousins like Will Downing or Leon Ware. Pete Simpson as a vocalist does his job well! He has a pleasing tone that is easy on the ears and a soothing, romantic flow that can comfortably fill the background and set a cozy mood.

Together Domu and Pete have crafted a quality release. Ten songs of text book modern soul that takes its cues from 80's electro-soul/synth funk, the type pioneered by the likes of Kashif, Leon Sylvers III and Midnight Star, and updates it with modern production touches.  There a number of delightful songs - most in a mid tempo groove and very few mis-steps. "I'm Left Dreaming" is one of my favorites on the album and reminds me of the mid 70's work that Marvin Gaye did with Leon Ware. The title track, "Look a Little  Further," is the current single sporting a club worthy Muthafunkaz remix is here on the album in a nice bossa mode. The insinuating groove and chorus lodges in the head long after it plays. The album's first single, "I Won't Give Up," is another highlight on the album.  

Those familiar with Domu's vast output may be surprised with the more conservative choices in grooves and beats that he has opted for this time around - there's nary a whirr/buzz/bip or beep to be found - the beat patterns are pretty straight ahead and appropriate for the project. This is  mainstream adult soul.  Look a Little Further is not a club banger. However it serves to illustrate yet another side of Domu's diverse gifts and a fitting presentation of Pete Simpson. Highly recommended!

Addendum note:  LALF is not yet scheduled for domestic release but it is available for affordable high quality digital download at a number of sites. You can check out the following sites: http://www.traxsource.com/ http://www.junodownload.com/
If you fiending for the physical product you can pick it up on amazon.co.uk

Jujube Jones, 2008

 
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