(NEW) =1. Smoove & Turrell – Will You Be Mine
Nu-disco bomb and Daft Punk killer
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(NEW) =1. Smoove & Turrell – Will You Be Mine
Berry Geordie is back, in the company of the mighty John Turrell of course, with their latest installment of the ‘northern coal’ sound. Lay It On Me is the first single off the pair’s forthcoming long player Broken Toys and the sort of big soul-clap stomper that is their bread and butter. Or whatever they can afford to eat up north now in these benighted economic times – probably a coal
Slow Down might be the first-named track on the cover but this one’s all about the neo-disco adventures of coal-soul duo Smoove & Turrell with their ‘creators-of-Last-Night-A-DJ-Saved-My-Life’-referencing In Deep. How deep? Balls deep my friends! We’re not just flirting with the bouncer at Studio 54 here either – more attempting to storm the doors with no fewer than seven remixes (from
Nu-northern soul boys Smoove and Turrell (a.k.a. Berry Geordie and Smokey Turrell) are due to return shortly with second album Eccentric Audio which is all set to propel them into mainstream consciousness.
As before, Turrell rides as classic-voiced vocal shotgun to Smoove’s driving force behind the beats. And, it has to be said, Smoove (or rather ‘smooth’) is frequently the word this time
Full Eccentric Audio (p)review HERE
Here we are then – it seems that Berry Geordie and Smokey Turrell will be back in April with a brand-new, full-length follow-up to last year’s superb effort Antique Soul. It’s business as usual in the sense that the pair run the gamut of all things (northern) soulful and funky – although it has to be said that production-wise things are sounding somewhat more – uh – smooth and ambience-wise a bit more ladies’ night than last time around. The sly dogs. Check out the album preview below:
The ever generous man from ‘Get Carter country’ (TM.), (that’ll be Smoove of Smoove & Turrell fame) has put together a fresh bunch of funk breaks and grooves for your aural pleasure. Should you wish to download said sonic cornucopia of delights (and, having heard it, I can’t think of a single earthly reason why you wouldn’t) simply proceed via the following link:
…if that’s not enough for you, head on over to inhale.org.uk, for an interview with the man himself. And if that’s not enough for you – well then – there is no pleasing you…
One of the stand-outs from the Antique Soul LP, this soaring, yet somewhat melancholy, nu-soul anthem finds Turrell pondering the current economic recession through the medium of his warmly rasping soul vocal. In this he is ably assisted by partner in crime and beatmaster-general Smoove. Between the two of them they conclude that far from all that bollocks about ‘quantitative easing’ what you really need is to get your ass to the, “beggarman’s disco,” in order that the, “bad times don’t get you down.” Well, I’m always up for a boogie. As long as it’s not house music.
21 September 16 November on Jalapeno
Take a couple of blokes who could pass for those two Geordie builders who drink in your local, put them together in a studio and what do you get? If the two in question are Smoove and Turrell the answer isn’t a new stud wall and the faint whiff of battered Mars bars but Antique Soul. In other words a heavyweight northern soul-influenced collaboration with the gritty credibility that other nu-soul pairing Mark Ronson and Daniel Merriweather just can’t seem to muster and more crossover power than Moses at the Red Sea. Because when this is on, it’s really on.
On the one hand you’ve got John Turrell – surely the unlikeliest man in the world to possess the classic soul rasp that he does and Smoove’s slabs of thunderous rhythm – both factors which elevate this above the competition. Breakbeat bomb Hammond kicks things off (I can only imagine your surprise at discovering that this is centred around a huge Hammond hook) and Turrell’s insistence that, “You’re so, so dirty,” also delivers a promising lyrical beginning. It’s a track that is immediately seen however, if not actually raised, by the steroid-pumped pre-breakbeat Motown rhythms of next one – I Can’t Give You Up.
Third track You Don’t Know is more chilled but solid nonetheless – though the presence of a saxophone lends this an 80s mainstream feel that at times is the album’s Achilles Heel. There’s just something about a certain kind of saxophone playing that brings to mind a ponytailed man, suit-jacket sleeves rolled up to the elbow, silhouetted against a wet, nightime cityscape flecked with neon. And unfortunately the next three tracks summon this image far too effectively. So I’m not joking when I say that I could feel the uncomfortably close presence of Sade, Courtney Pine and 80s’ George Benson during The Difference, Hypnotized and You Got Me Bad as Turrell gives himself over to slick harmonies and only Smoove’s breaks remain to protect your immortal soul.
Happily, sanity is restored with forthcoming single, Beggarman – a soaring nu-soul anthem during which Turrell considers the current economic recesson and concludes that far from all that bollocks about ‘quantitative easing’ what you really need is to get down the, “Beggarman’s disco,” in order that the, “bad times don’t get you down.” Well, I’m always up for a boogie – as long as it’s not house music. Obviously. Subsequently, in a masterstroke of cover-track genius, 80s synth pop-duo Yazoo’s Don’t Go gets the Smoove & Turrell treatment, Darker Days delivers some brooding menace, and the pair outdo even Hammond for most inventive title with the subsequent Latin Groove which is, of course, a bit latin, and a bit groovy. Finally, things get all moody again with Without You.
Antique Soul is packed with either bangers or tracks that have that sure sign of a classic – the sense that you’ve heard it somewhere before – although actually you haven’t. Even if it does stray from the righteous path of funk into 80s ‘saxy-land’ at times, Antique Soul demands your attention.
Out now on Jalapeno
Listening to the various efforts at rebooting northern soul over the last couple of years has been a bit like being on the sidelines of the ‘open’ egg and spoon race at a school sports day. Ever an event that inspires a variety of approaches, it has both heroes and villains. Mark Ronson is the devious competitive parent who achieved an early lead by sticking chewing gum to the bottom of his egg but gave the game away because of his too clinical style. Bratty Winehouse has dropped her egg so many times it’s in more fragments than her career. Respectable staff members The Bamboos and Kylie Auldist forge ahead with a graceful ease though currently in front are flamboyant Sixth Formers Gnarls Barkley. Snapping at their heels are this pair from (appropriately enough) northern England. Slick-but-not-too-slick You Don’t Know almost rehabilitates the saxophone and reveals that Smoove has clearly got the groove while Turrell’s got the classic smoky vocals. The finishing line awaits…
Out 13 April on Jalapeno Records.