Thursday, November 15, 2012

Modern soul

This week we will be adding around 100 titles that fit in the modern soul box (this of course in addition to things added in other genres). From classic 70s sounds like Dyson's Faces and Timothy Wilson, via Bobby Patterson under his Bobby Story guise and Philly magic from Anthony White, to smooth 80s styles by Plush and southern-tinted gems as the Jessie Butler LP on Bound Sounds.

If you're new to the term, here's an attempt at a brief guide as to what constitutes modern soul! Generally we're talking mid 70s to mid 80s. The sound is slicker than 60s and early 70s recordings but not quite as tough as the later disco and boogie stuff. Modern soul can certainly be jazzy & funky, but not as much as what we call rare groove (see Roy Ayers: the essence of rare groove, NOT modern soul!). In the more progressive circles, even soulful house stuff has been accepted as part of the night (Lenny Williams' "Gotta Lotta Luv" is a prime example).

The modern soul scene shares a love for artists like Lamont Dozier, Bobby Womack and Leroy Hutson. If you go to a night in the UK or mainland Europe, chances are you will hear something by these giants or some of Willie Hutch or Curtis Mayfield's 70s/80s output. Alongside these, you might get to hear much-loved classics as Garfield Fleming, Al Hudson and Beloyd spiced up with big rarities from Daybreak, Tavasco, Bobby Thurston or maybe Bobby Boyd.

It's a tough task trying to sum up a scene/direction of music in just a few short notes, but take a listen to the clips in the links and you will get to hear some amazing music. Once you start digging there's no end to how much great stuff you will find.

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