Sunday, 6 April 2014

Alton Miller feat. Bantu Soul - Ngizo Ku Linda - Moods & Grooves

Much to my regret and indeed eternal shame as a music lover, it took me until the Clouds Are Gone EP on Deeper Soul from 1995 to finally ‘discover’ Alton Miller. That was more than a decade into the Detroit artist’s recording career and with releases already running into double digits on essential labels such as 20:20, Peacefrog, Plant E and Track Mode.

Better late than never I guess. Which has made it all the more satisfying that a likeminded soul should give me the heads up before it dip below my radar on the man’s latest release on Moods & Grooves, his third for Mike Grant’s long-established and ever-relevant imprint but more than ten years since his last outing for the Motor City outfit.

Not that Miller has been in the least bit idle during that time. Yet whatever the reasons for the hiatus from M&G, the Ngizo Ku Linda EP is nevertheless a welcome and worthy re-acquaintance. Recorded in South Africa and featuring the sublime vocal talents of Bantu Soul, Ngizo Ku Linda is a one track-three versions triumph. Classic soulful house in every sense of the phrase.

Given the talent on board for this project it is little wonder all three tracks exude confidence and class. Melding afro, house and a touch of jazz, the original version is achingly soulful and effortlessly smooth, the renowned South African artist/producer’s vocal delivery both heart-warming and yet somehow heart-breaking at the same time. Divine.

For those still afraid of vocals, the instrumental edit should take care of that being a beautiful, evocative and lingeringly gentle breeze of a track with little intent other than to ease and tease a dance-floor.

Erstwhile Miller cohort Abicah Soul (aka Miguel Davis) pitches in with a top-notch remix that adds a little more Detroit grit, though pleasingly not too much. Hanging onto some of the original vocal snippets and weighing in with a punchy Quentin Harris-style stab, Davis goes deeper and just a little dirtier too. Recommended.

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