Genres Part 2 (featuring Incognito)

I recently wrote about musical genres and sub-genres, and then shared the story with friends on my mailing list.  You can imagine how exited I was when I got a direct response from Jean-Paul Maunick (aka Bluey) of Incognito! It’s always exciting when you get to communicate with your inspirations, and I’ve had the pleasure of getting to talk with a number of them when writing for Leisure Lab. But hearing from Bluey was even bigger than that. He and Incognito helped lay the foundation for many of my favorite styles such as Nu Jazz and Broken Beat.  They were at the forefront of the Acid Jazz movement, and the group has continued to make amazing music for 25 years. So of course his input on the subject of musical genres is pretty meaningful to me, and I thought you’d be interested in it too… Here’s what was in my email: What do you think about music genres?  I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Some musicians hate them because they think they’re too restrictive.  Some artists try to perfect specific sub-genres in order to be more successful financially – they find their niche and use it for all it’s worth. I actually find them creatively useful, like paints on a canvas. Whether it’s downtempo, deep house, or drum and bass, the different styles inspire me to communicate different emotions or ideas. But that’s from a musician’s perspective.  As a fan of music, I like them because they give me a way to explore all kinds of different sounds, and find new music. I wrote about that on...

Inspirations: The Baldwin Brothers

I’ve loved the Rhodes piano sound for a long time, but the record that really gave me a passion for it was Cooking with Lasers by the Baldwin Brothers. This song was one of my favorites – it’s called “Dream Girl,” and it features vocals by Miho Hatori (of Cibo...

Inspirations: Lady Alma

Lady Alma is one of my favorite vocalists. She’s mixed the sounds of gospel and Philadelphia neo soul with those of West London broken beat and future soul, collaborating with artists such as 4hero and Mark de Clive-Lowe, and of course Silhouette Brown. So I was pretty excited when I got to talk to her recently about two new albums she has in the works. You can read about that right...

Inspirations: Underworld

Underworld is a huge inspiration for me. I think that will be a little more apparent in songs to come. But something about their music that has inspired everything I’ve produced so far is the diversity in sounds and styles across all their tracks. Technically you might call them Techno, but they’ve made House and Drum and Bass as well. In fact, their new song “Scribble” is a collaboration with High Contrast (another inspiration for me). My favorite Underworld track is “Two Months Off,” but “Scribble” comes really close. More on...

Inspirations: Nicolay

I’ve loved Nicolay’s music for a  long time now.  And if you know me, you know that the first City Lights record was a huge inspiration.  Well, City Lights Volume 2 just came out, and it’s amazing.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like it.  Check the description...

Simon Harrison’s Basic Soul Show

I love Jazz, Soul, Nu Jazz, Future Soul, Broken Beat…  There’s such a diversity of styles among all those genres, and yet there are common threads too.  Simon Harrison manages to tie them all together in his Basic Soul Show, which you can listen to here:  Simon Harrison’s Basic Soul. The show is a huge inspiration to me.  In fact I interviewed Simon back in January, and you can read that here. Hope you enjoy Basic Soul as much as I do.  Let me know what you...
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