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Many releases in the modern Soul movement seem to be made with just the modicum of cut'n'paste with haste skill required to land them in the genre's forgotten rare groove ocean, Tumbleweeding past us all without even a raised pulse. But then some enter our arms, our ears, our thoughts & heart, more in the timeless traditions of Bill Withers & Donny Hathaway, as a perfect, if somewhat forward-feeling fit for new, real, beautiful soul music. The Nextmen vs Joe Dukie - Blow wind Blow - The Unreleased Sessions EP is just that & it's hard to believe it was created almost a decade ago, only to be unearthed now for our listening pleasure.
Acclaimed genre-popping producers Brad Baloo & Dom Search from The Nextmen joined forces with arguably one of the world's best Soul vocalists, Fat Freddy's Drop frontman Dallas Tamaira - AKA Joe Dukie - in the Summer of 2003 to flesh out & record an idea hatched by Christopher Tubbs who, at the time, was working for ill fated London label Carbon Records. The trio met during Freddy's first trip to London & with just four days in a front room to record, the boys enlisted band mates Toby Laing & Joe Lindsay on horns, along with the lyrical endeavours of Hamish Clark from Breaks Co-op to forge what would become something very special. The result was simply stunning, but like the path much trodden, the label folded, the record was never released & the DAT tapes lay undiscovered in a dusty archive until now. Thank heavens for a studio spring clean, a re-listen to love & the idea of gifting these tracks to beloved supporters of The Nextmen & Joe Dukie in the delay between long players. Time has not wearied this exceptional sound.
Expertly refreshing & familiar, this modern Soul classic is gracious & warm, with a big boomp of fever & fun. Its brief flirtation with funk might offer us a little Philadelphia dreaming, but it's hard to imagine a time when this didn't sound futuristic. More emotive & energetic than favouring the supposed elegance of overwrought wit-pop, what is clear is this trio's indelible passion for the comfort of good sounds. And if music makes everything feel right, then shouldn't we just embrace and enjoy?