Monday, February 15, 2010


Longevity is something that many artists wish to achieve but in a world that is moving faster than ever it is easy to see why many sometimes take the short term option over the longer term one. Unfortunately, this can lead to poor quality control and dated music. There are plenty of artists out there who are patient enough to see beyond music trends and fashions, and at the moment quite a few of them have decided to come back with music releases!

Sade is a singer who could never be accused of rushing things. It's nearly 10 years since her last album and "Solider of Love" arrives at a time when a million and one pretenders have come and gone, but when anticipation for her music is as strong as ever. This is laid-back modern day gimmick free soul music that rewards repeated listening. None of the singles here will threaten the Lady Ga Ga or Black Eyed Peas of the world chart-wise, but this album will stand up in ten years and sell millions too.

Massive Attack are another UK group who always seem to perfectly judge the time when a new album will be anticipated and despite being quite busy touring wise and in the studio quite a bit, they only sporadically release albums. Heligoland is their 5th proper album over a 20 year period that has seen them enjoy huge critical and indeed commercial success. As always there are loads of guests, including regulars such as Horace Andy and also DAmon Albarn, Hope Sadoval Tune Adebimpe, Guy Garvey, Martina Topley-Bird and Portisheads Adrian Utley. Massive Attack are a great band and this one takes a bit of work, but I have to admit I'm a fan.

The Gorillaz are a virtual group involving Damon Albarn who can certainly not be accused of tardiness when it comes to putting music out there. The new single "Stylo" is typical Gorillaz. Soul legend Bobby Womack joins Brooklyn rapper Mos Def on vocals over an electronic downtempo workout. Also set to appear on the forthcoming album are a host of guests once more. Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed, Mark E Smith, Paul Simonon, Kano, De la Soul and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are all on board on what should be a mouth watering prospect. The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are back here in April and celebrate with the a fine release on Dublin's Choice Cuts label, paying homage to classics by the Art of Noise, Outkast and Fela Kuti amongst others.

Soul and jazz legend Gil Scott Heron has a new album out too. "I'm new here" is only about 27 minutes long and produced by XL boss Richard Russell. There's some great stuff on this album and it's terrific to have one of musics most influential figures back. Meanwhile, another soul legend beset with personal problems, could be making an even more unlikely return. Sly Stone has been AWOL bar only the odd public appearance for many years, but he is working with the likes of George Clinton on new material and though both his finances and health have taken some big batterings over the year, we live in hope that he can make a comeback.

Another new albums worth checking include the latest from the young US Jazz singer Jose James, which is called "Blackmagic" The spirit of legends such as John Coltrane is alive here on this stunning album, while I'm sure Gil Scott Heron himself would approve. Jose James is like the wonderful Robert Glasper, a new school jazz artist who is very much in the classic mode while remaining at the cutting edge of music in 2010. All in all, it's not been a bad start to the year for new music!

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    I'm a DJ from Cork in Ireland. I work with RedFM, presenting Red Drive, The Hitlist and my specialist show, Black on Red. I'm probably best known for being one of the main hip-hop/soul DJ's in Cork and Ireland. I've been DJing in Cork since the early 90's in legendary clubnights such as Sweat in Sir Henrys, Mor Disco, Free La Funk, Yo Latino and also Jam and Jam Junior at the Savoy and the Pavilion. I've also held down long term residencies at clubs around Ireland such as Brown Sugar at the Kitchen in Dublin, U-Turn at Ri Ra in Dublin, Jazz Juice at the GPO in Galway, Thompson Garage in Belfast, the Soul Clinic, Dee-Bop, Meltdown and Mo Bounce in Limerick and i've played abroad in the United States and the U.K. on numerous occasions. I also write a music column for the Evening Echo and i'm a regular contributor to the U.K.'s Blues and Soul, the longest running black music magazine in the world. These days i run the Pavilion, a music venue in Cork, which hosts my Jam night every few Fridays also you can catch me at