Groovy little French label SOULAB is one of soul’s best kept secrets. Based down in Toul the set-up is dedicated to making new soul with total respect for the past. Not for them the slick pastiches so beloved of the UK modern soul crew; rather, the SOULAB people create brand new grooves that are at once innovative yet totally soulful. Right now they have a wonderful 13 tracker out on native New Yorker ALLEN HOIST. His ‘Soul Renaissance’ set typifies the label’s feel and flavour. It has elements of house, Latin, and jazz… all wrapped in deep soul grooves. It’s kinda like PEVEN EVERETT – only much more accessible and soulful. Check out a tremendous version of ‘Inner City Blues’ to understand. SOULAB also has an album on UPTOWN FUNK EMPIRE – ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. The set is dance-friendly and features a whole team of great vocalists including ol’ fave NOEL McKOY. If you want to get the feel of the SOULAB sound (and you should) then there’s a great 13 track compilation – ‘Soul’s Back!’ featuring music from all of the label’s diverse roster. Full reviews on very soon … in the meantime for more info go to