Modern Musings………grooves from the Modern Side with Mark Randle

DJ Spinna & Ovasoul7 You Should Be Loving Me (Original Organic Vocal) (US Wonderwax 12”)

I make no apology for starting the reviews with what is for me, quite easily the best of the recent soulful house vinyl. I’m led to believe that this track originated a few years back, but that certain parts of it had, until recently, been mislaid. The good news is that these came to light otherwise we may never have got to hear this superior slice of deep, soulful house. My immediate reaction on hearing this (once I’d picked myself up off the floor!!) was that it’s TOO good. Maybe I need to explain what I mean. Whilst some soul traditionalists maintain the stance that house music is “banging shite” (I know, such informed opinion eh?), the irony is that there is a whole strain of the genre that will never get soul club exposure because it doesn’t have the kind of heavy 4/4 beat required by those that do actually accept some house music in their soul club. The result: a void left for achingly soulful, musically superior productions like this one to fall right through into obscurity. I’m not going to attempt to describe the beauty of this cut to you, as the whole equals much more than the parts. For instance, there’s no strong, wailing vocal, but the whole thing just washes over you in waves, proof if ever it were needed that soul is best described as A FEELING!! Check this tune out please.

Raphael Saadiq Never Give You Up (US Columbia CD/LP “The Way I See It”)

Now then, those of you reading this that may be already familiar with this album will surely be thinking “has Randle lost the plot, only singling one cut out from this fine album?” Permit me to explain. It was clear from the late 80’s, when Saadiq first appeared as part of Tony, Toni, Tone on Wing/Polydor Records, that he was a cut above and had that extra something. His work since as a solo artist has only served to reinforce that view. Only when he chooses to release this album of 60’s influenced productions do certain factions of the UK soul fraternity decide he’s worthy. So what we have is a situation where, for me as a follower of contemporary soul, as good as this album is I’m left disappointed as I would rather hear the man using his talent to take things forward. Yet those that care little for contemporary soul have gone for this. Do these talents have to do this to be accepted by “soul fans”? Answers on a postcard, but I hope it doesn’t become the norm. I do fear it that it will though, as recently more artists have released material in this vein. The fact that this has also been released on 7 x 7” singles too says it all to me!! Regression ahead of progression or so it seems. Anyway, to the track in question: it’s brilliant, features some bloke Stevie Wonder on harmonica, and is singled out here as the cut that I believe will appeal most to those of similar musical persuasion to I. Check the album out to see if it suits your taste, don’t misunderstand me, it is top quality at what it attempts to do.

Eric Benet Most cuts (US Warner Bros. CD “Love & Life”)

I’m reviewing this CD immediately after the Saadiq offering in the hope that you will listen to these albums side-by-side too. Benet is another super talent from the Saadiq generation, and is here back on great form after his lack-luster previous album. The difference here relative to the Saadiq album is that Eric keeps it contemporary, and as such, whilst it would be difficult to say that this is a “better” album, it is certainly more representative of where I like to see artist’s energy directed in 2008. The killer for me is “You’re The Only One”, a lilting below mid-tempo stepper, with lovely use of strings and subtle horn work…………you get the idea, classy BUT contemporary. “Weekend Girl” is the real dance floor winner from the set, a catchy number with Eric in soulful R&B territory, again well produced with thoughtful use of real instruments throughout. There’s some nice piano work here, and great brass stabs. All told this is a quality set, with a nice mixture of mainly mid-tempo’s and ballads. Welcome back Mr. Benet…………..more like this please!!

Joey Negro & The Sunburst Band feat. Leroy Burgess Survivin’ (Joey Negro Club Mix) (UK Z Records 12”)

Our second slab of vinyl this time around, and I have to confess that it is getting harder to review quality 12” releases as time marches on. However, one or two do still filter through, and we’ll always try to bring you the best of ‘em. Believe me, this is an example of the very best of ‘em. Lifted from the recent CD “Moving With The Shakers” (did we review that recently?), but presented here in a remixed form, is this sure-fire slice of 80’s boogie influenced soulful dance from UK maestro Dave Lee, aka Joey Negro. Negro has his finger firmly on the pulse and consistently delivers the goods, here joined by the legendary Leroy Burgess on vocals. This is a dance floor cert, being infectious, aided by a great hook, which is lyrically uplifting. Good time soulful dance straight out of good ‘ol Blighty too! Essential.

Before I sign off for 2008, a few quick spins to end with. Those of you into the retro feel of Raphael Saadiq could do worse than to check out the new albums from Jazzanova (“Of All The Things” on US Verve) and The Bamboos (“Side-Stepper” on UK Tru Thoughts). The latter features a great cut “Make It Real” featuring the vocals of Kylie Auldist, with the former containing “Let Me Show Ya” with the excellent Paul Randolph on vocal chores, which is also available on 12” vinyl for you vinyl junkies. The Bennson cut reviewed last time out can now be found on CD (EU Raw Fusion), and very good it is too, with the killer title cut “Let The Love” also now making it on to the big black round stuff. The new John Legend CD (US Columbia) has its moments, but is largely disappointing compared to his previous efforts. It will win him mucho plaudits elsewhere though, as there is a lot of crossover potential therein. On the hairy-chested tip, volume 2 of the “Southern Soul & Party Blues” CD’s (US CDS Records) is now on the streets, containing the pre-release bubbler “Time” by Kashious and a few other goodies if southern soul is your bag. Also Will Easley has a new set “Sweet, Sexy Soul” for the same label, with some fine vocal performances included, and the added bonus inclusion of his hitherto sought after CD single cut from the late 90’s, “Don’t Ya Like It”. The Marc Evans CD “The Way You Love Me” (UK Defected) must get a quick mention, only not making the main reviews due to many of the cuts having already received much attention on vinyl. This is pretty essential if you don’t have the 12’s. “Essential Street Soul 2008” (UK Urban Essentials CD) is the latest in the series compiled by DJ Bigger and is the most consistent yet and worth checking out. The new Kloud 9 CD “Enjoy The Ride” (UK Expansion) is cool, with a brilliant Realm remix of one of the cuts “Love’s Just Better With You” taking things into soulful house territory. Rounding things off in that vein then, and our friends in Japan deliver a few real treats with albums from M-Swift (“Evening Sun” on Pony Canyon), and Yukihiro Fukutomi (“Contact” on Avex) hitting the mark, the latter having some great moments from one of my fave ladies, Lady Alma. On Jap vinyl, Especial bring us “Never Let Me Down” by Jose Carretas feat. Dani: more class from this reliable imprint. Finishing with a couple of European releases, and again Jose Carretas is involved, this time featuring Marcus Begg on the great “Cutting Me Up” (UK Jus’ House), which sounded real good loud at the Prestatyn Soul Weekender, and finally the essential Richard Earnshaw remix of “Make It Alright” from Lenny Fontana and Joi Cardwell, sounding like a sure-fire dance floor winner from the Stalwart label. Don’t sleep on this one!

Mark Randle’s Starpoint Radio playlist for November 2008:

Jazzanova feat. Leon Ware & Dwele – Rockin’ You Eternally (US Verve CD)

Yukihiro Fukutomi feat. Lady Alma – That Music (JAP Avex Entertainment CD)

Oli Silk ft. Donnell Spencer Jr. – That Kinda Love (US Trippin ‘n’ Rhythm CD)

Formation Soul feat. Nova Starr – Enjoy (Original) (UK Centric 12”)

Tracy Cruz – Let Me Sing (US Ivory Sky Productions CD)

M-Swift feat. Hazel Sim – Make It On My Own (JAP Knife Edge/Pony Canyon CD)

Jon B – Paradise In U (US Arsenal Records CD)

Deborah Cox – You Know Where My Heart Is (US Deco Recording Group CD)

Yukihiro Fukutomi feat. Lady Alma – Time For Change (JAP Avex CD)

Keni Myles – 4 This Love (US Keni Myles CD)

Jose Carretas feat. Dani – Never Let Me Down (JAP Especial 12”)

Slique – Your Body (JAP Toy’s Factory CD)

DJ Man X and Albert Sterling Menendez feat. Blaze

Quasimode feat. Carmen Lundy – Sounds Of Peace (JAP Geneon CD)

Love Can Change Your Heart (Blaze Vocal Mix) (US Deep Haven MP3)

Jazzanova – Theme From Belle Et Fou (Danny Krivit Edit) (EU Sonar Kollektiv 12”)

Kashious – Time (US CDS CD)

M-Swift feat. Donna Gardier – Set You Free (JAP Knife Edge/Pony Canyon CD)

John Legend – Good Morning (US G.O.O.D. Music/Columbia CD)

Kadice – Ready, Ready Love (UK Urban Essentials CD)

Sam Bostic – Still Missing U (UK Soul Jones/Expansion CD)

Willie Clayton – I Feel A Cheatin’ Coming On (US Malaco CD)

Tonya (Baker) – Joy Of Forgiveness (US Kingdom Records CD)

Doktu Rhute Muuzik (Roy Hightower) – Don’t Feel Sorry For Yourself (US CDS CD)

(w/c 24/11/2008)

1. Incognito – Step Aside (Dimitri & DJ Meme Remix) (UK Dome 12″)

2. M-Swift – Evening Sun (JAP Pony Canyon CD)

3. Various – Essential Street Soul 2008 (UK Urban Essentials CD)

4. Jazzanova – Of All The Things (US Verve/Universal CD)

5. Family Of Eve – I Wanna Be Loved By You (Remix) (US Kaydee 12”)

6. Main Ingredient – Evening Of Love (Re-Edit) (US Path 12”)

7. Slique – Rhythm & Ghetto Soul (JAP Toys Factory CD)

8. Blu-Swing – Revisions (JAP Columbia CD)

9. Various – Southern Soul & Party Blues Vol. 2 (US CDS CD)

10. Bennson – Let The Love (Remix) (EU Raw Fusion 12”)

Web –

Tel / Fax – 0116 237 5461

Email –


Mark (December 2008)

SOL ASCENSION (B-day Party for DJ Spinna) w/DJ Spinna & Ovasoul7 :: Sat. 1/31 + BILAL


(A Global Soul Live Music Event)

Saturday nights in NYC just got hotter!!! Legendary nightclub SOB’S and
recording artist/promoter of the popular Libation party, Manchildblack,
bring you a night of global grooves with their brand new dance party,
Sol Ascension. This monthly soiree is dedicated to showcasing the best
live acts and dj’s in the genres of global soul, afro-beat, funk, deep
house and nu jazz to keep you dancing all night long!

On Saturday, January 31st, Sol Ascension will celebrate the birthday of one of
the music world’s true anomolies, producer/remixer/label owner DJ
Spinna. The Brooklyn based legend is world renown for his incredible
production on songs like the Shaun Escoffery anthem “Days Like This”,
his critically acclaimed genre defying albums Here to There and
InterGalactic Soul, and his enormously popular tribute parties to musical
icons like Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Prince and Michael Jackson.

This special event will feature Spinna on the tuntables all night long as well as
an ultra rare NYC performance by the vocalist behind the dance floor
smash “I Cling” and the current hit on Spinna’s Wonderwax label “You
Should Be Loving Me”, Ovasoul7. Check out a clip of Ovasoul7 in action

If that weren’t enough, the nights stunning slide show exhibit will be provided
by photo provocateur Human.

Get ready to ASCEND!!!

Manchildblack/Hype Life Music

(A Global Soul Live Music Event!)


(Performing “I Cling”, “You Should Be Loving Me” & More)

Hosted by

Visuals by Photo Provocateur


204 Varick Street @ W. Houston
$10 in advance –
$15 at the door

Also, check this out!


Hype Life Music recommends Ian Friday, Tony Humphries, King Britt, Ovasoul7 & DJ Spinna

Hey Fam,

It’s 2009, so let’s get it started!!!

Libation comes back with a vengence tonight when our resident Ian Friday is
joined on the decks by the legend himself, DJ Tony Humphries. It is
truly an honor to have this man come through Libation and I can’t think
of a better way for us to start our 2009. Special shout out to Kris
Flowers for helping to make this happen.

On stage, fashion and art will merge with live painting from Sacred 77 by
Afreakstar. Also, be sure to check out the Libation lounge where the
lovely Lisa will be selling scarves, hats and more to keep you warm
during these winter months.

On Thursday, January 22nd, Libation hits you hard once again with our Post-
Inauguration Celebration. On this special night, resident DJ Ian
Friday will hold it down on the turntables with Philly’s own King Britt.
This will be Britt’s first visit to Libation and I know that he and Ian
together will be pure FIRE!!!

Lastly, SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, January 31st is the next Sol Ascension @
SOB’S which will be the official birthday party for another one of my
favorites, DJ Spinna! Spinna will rock the party all night long and we’ll
have a rare live performance by Ovasoul7, whose latest collaboration
with Spinna (“You Should Be Loving Me”) was my absolute favorite song
of 2008. He’ll be performing his dancefloor hits “I Cling”, “How’s Life”
and more with a full band. Simply put, NOT TO BE MISSED!

We’ll that’s all for now. Hope to see alot of you tonight at Libation.

In the meantime…

Be Love, Be Light and Be the Peace You Seek!