DEXTER WANSEL was one of the principal architects of the classic Philadelphia sound. In 1970 after being honourably discharged from the United States Army, our man started to work sessions as synth player, eventually pitching up at Philadelphia’s famed Sigma Studios. Very quickly he was featuring on soon-to-be classics from many of the Philadelphia International crowd whilst also working with Instant Funk and Yellow Sunshine. Dexter was also, of course, a mainstay of MFSB .
As leader, his moody, space- soul LP ‘Life on Mars’ is regarded as a classic of its genre – a genre he expanded via half a dozen more albums. Then, of course, there’s Dexter’s unforgettable writing collaborations with Cynthia Biggs and his major production/arranging achievements at PIR… ‘Nights Over Egypt’, anyone?
After the peak Philly years, Wansel recorded sporadically and fans will be delighted to know that he’s back in business with a new single, due 16th November. The tune is a sweet and simple ballad, ‘As One’ which features a soulful vocal from Detroit soulstress and sometime actress, Terry Dexter. Here her performance betrays her gospel apprenticeship. Wansel’s delicate piano tracks the vocal to create an ambience not a million miles away from those classic 80s and 90s Disney themes – think ‘Aladin’ and ‘Pocahontas’.
We believe that ‘As One’ is taken from an upcoming Dexter Wansel album- intriguingly titled ‘The Story of the Flight Crew To Mars’ – a nod to the man’s major opus? Looking forward to it!