Everybody’s favourite blue-eyed soulster MAYER HAWTHORNE is a very busy boy. Right now he seems to be dividing his time between his own properly solo recordings and his collaborations with producer JAKE ONE on the ‘Tuxedo’ project.
And it’s that ‘Tuxedo thing that’s at the top of Mayer’s agenda right now as he gets set to release ‘Tuxedo II’ on 5th May on Stones Throw Records.
Hawthorne and One started the idea of Tuxedo back in 2006 when they shared their favourite songs on mix tapes (remember them?). From there, the duo eventually made music together, resulting in their acclaimed ‘Tuxedo’ long player in 2015…a melding of styles combining Jake’s funk leanings with Mayer’s Detroit influenced soul sensitivities.
‘Tuxedo II’ offers much more of the same…. Jake One calls the Tuxedo sound “gangster boogie”, others have dubbed the sound “Cali boom-bap” or “elegant disco”… whatever, the music is always good-time and optimistic. Jake and Mayer agree: “Tuxedo is about having fun and dancing. We needed a carefree release in these fucked up times. ‘Tuxedo II’ is a modern testament to unity and positivity in trying times. It is a reminder that the dance floor will always be there to welcome you, whoever you are.”
Highlights abound on the set’s 11 cuts. Right now we’re lovin’ ‘Back In Town’, maybe the best song Kool and the Gang never recorded; then there’s the tongue-in-cheek ‘Scooters Groove’, the Shalamar/Whispers-flavoured ‘2nd Time Around’ and the 80s Weekender sound ‘Shine’ (who’s the lovely lady vocalist?)
The big named guest is Snoop Dogg who’s there on the opening ‘Fux With The Tux’ on which he opines: “The only time you wear a Tuxedo is when it’s time to party.” We wouldn’t argue!
TUXEDO II is out on 5th May on STONES THROW RECORDS