VARIOUS: Brian Power Presents Soulhouse Volume1 (Soulhouse)

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Brian Power is a much loved and respected spinner on the UK soul and soulful house scene. Quite remarkable really when you learn that he only started DJ-ing in 2013 at the age of 50! (There’s hope for us all!). Since that Damascene gig at London’s Vintage Bean Café on Brick Lane, Mr P’s played out all over (including the obligatory Ibiza gigs) and worked with luminaries like DJ Spen, Mike Delgado, Ronnie Herel and Richard Earnshaw. Brian also presents the monthly SoulHouse Radio Show on Mi-Soul Radio and, more importantly, last year he launched his own SoulHouse label.

In a short space of time the label has become hugely successful via a series of beautifully crafted and soulfully inspired singles – many of them have scaled all the credible charts and most have graced savvy DJ sets worldwide.

Why has the label been so successful in such a relatively short time span? Well several reasons. First and foremost, Brian’s a fan – a huge soul fan of forty years standing and a committed clubber for more years than he cares to remember. He understands the genre and he knows what the people want. Because of that he knows how to craft a good tune and when the occasion demands he also knows how to pick a classic to cover. (The SoulHouse tweak on Luther Vandross’ ‘I Wanted Your Love’ was a massive club hit). Then, because of his status, he can get some of the genre’s top players to work with him…. people like bassist Ernie McKone, guitarist Luca Feroni and ace keyboardist Mike Patto. And finally he uses only the best vocalists to front his creations…. none better than the lovely Rebecca Scales who fronts two songs on this – SoulHouse’s first album … a compilation of the best of the label’s singles.

Ms Scales fronts ‘So Long Gone’ and ‘Have You Ever’. The former comes in two mixes – a Richard Earnshaw mix and one from Eric Kupper. By common consent the Kupper mix was THE soulful house tune of 2016. Everything about it was right. Most notably Rebecca’s emotion-wringing vocal. Naturally it’s one of this compilation’s highlights. Others include the aforementioned ‘I Wanted Your Love’ with a Vandross style vocal from Ali Tenant and a cover of Jeffrey Osborne’s ‘I Really Don’t Need No Light’ fronted by Lloyd Wade.

The compilation boasts three brand new cuts – ‘You Mean The World To Me’ with house legend Marc Evans at the mic; a big Samba school workout, ‘Memoria De Roberto’ and ‘You Win’ which is a showcase for newcomer Michelle John. Brian spotted Michelle on The Voice (she was last year’s runner up) proving again that he knows what makes things work and there’s lashings more evidence on this 2Cd set that offers one satisfying eleven track disc and a big, big Brian Power master mix that segues all the highlights on a second disc.

(BB) 4/5