Archived Magazine February 2015

FEBRUARY 2015 ISSUE

A sneaky peek of just some of what is in the February 2015 issue – READ NOW!

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Joe

 

When Kedar Massenburg took the plunge to sign Joe Thomas to his Kedar Entertainment label, it seemed to be like a match made in musical heaven for R&B purists. The credible industry big gun and former head of Motown Records, the man credited with coining the term “neo soul”, was pairing up with the super-soulful maestro with the butter vocals, responsible for some of the most enduring ballads the genre had produced. And for a long time things were going just great: in the space of the seven prolific years they worked together, they crammed in four studio albums of original material – a far higher output than at any other time in Joe’s career…

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Keisha Jackson

 

Around eight weeks ago, when Keisha Jackson, daughter of Millie, began winding down from a seven-month stretch as support vocalist [alongside Joi Gilliam and Debra Killings] on the 2014 Outkast tour, she found time to consider her future. Would she continue her rather successful work as a background singer – she’s a regular in Erykah Badu’s live band and has been on the road with such as Raphael Saadiq, Joss Stone, Faith Evans and a heap more, as well as a frequent studio contributor to hits on Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown and others over recent years – or was it time to resume her solo career and finally put out some of the recordings that she’d been accumulating in between gigs?…

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Reggae 2014

 

What can we say about reggae music in 2014? There was certainly plenty of it. The flood of new releases was unprecedented, as tracks continued to pour in from places like Latin America, the Far East, Africa, Australasia and even India. Reggae is now truly global and more popular than at any stage in its history thanks to the internet.
For decades, we complained about how the music couldn’t compete with other genres, and that it didn’t enjoy a level playing field. Reggae didn’t get its fair share of commercial airplay, press or television exposure, and distribution was always a major problem. It was an underground phenomenon, and the only ways of accessing it were by going to dances, listening to pirate stations or visiting specialist retailers who were scarcer than hen’s teeth outside of cities with large Caribbean communities. The rest of you would have to buy records by mail order, after maybe reading about them in Echoes…

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Telemachus

 

When Timbaland sampled the song Khosara Khosara by Egyptian musician Hossam Ramzy for Jay-Z and UGK’s Big Pimpin’, it changed the crates that future producers would dig into. No longer did you have to stick to soul, funk or jazz, you could look further out.

Some 15 years later, Telemachus has picked up on some of the ideas of hip-hop’s short-lived millennial world music moment for second album In Morocco. A self-explanatory set that reminds us of Madlib and Flying Lotus’ eastern dabbling, the album idiosyncratically explores the sounds of the region and was recorded while Telemachus was living in southern Morocco, where he travels every year…

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