For many, many years now British soul has been able to hold its head high with its US counterpart. Bands like Incognito and The Brand New Heavies enjoy a worldwide fan base while solo stars like JUNIOR GISCOMBE, OMAR, DON-E and NOEL McKOY have sold millions of records and are constantly in demand. Last year that trio, along with LEEE JOHN (of Imagination) joined forces on a key track on Don-E’s ‘Little Star’ album. Tune in question was the quite lovely, ethereal ‘Spiritual’ – an album highlight… and its success encouraged the quartet to do it all over again.
Junior, Omar, Don-E, Noel and Leee recently went back to the studio and, using the umbrella name BRITISH COLLECTIVE, have collaborated on another wonderful piece of modern soul called ‘Romantic’. The tune, a precursor to an eagerly-awaited album, is a tight, sharp groove with just a hint of New Jack Swing about it and, oddly for a super group maybe, it’s a real team effort. The voices blend beautifully as if the boys have been singing together for a long, long time; there are no egos on show and none of the collective aspires to lead singer status!
You can probably guess that such a landmark recording comes in a number of mixes. The Radio Edit, obviously, highlights the best of the original track; the Booker T Klub mix and the Paris Cesvette remix take the tune into house territory; while the Romix tweak is bumpier and a bit more R&B. Old stagers (like me) might well prefer the So Sweet Mix which is … well, “sweeter” and unless my ears deceive me there’s a whiff of Michael Wycoff’s ‘I’ll Be Looking Up To Up To You’ about the insistent riff.
Whatever mix you go for, you’ll get a proper British soul treat. Find out more @ www.thebritishcollective.com