Tennerz: Choklate- Wide Open (The Layabouts Vocal Mix) (Reel People Music)
Reel People Music starting the new year in the nicest way one might think of. This along with US songstress Choklate Moore‘s ‘Wide Open’ as reworked by The Layabouts. Therefore makin’ of this an encore 5 years after havin’ done the same with ‘The Tea’…
The result is no surprisingly outstanding once again. Quite illustrative of the typical approach of the twosome – Leigh Darlow and Alex Paschali – in their arrangements. With that modern if not futuristic twist for much on their growing reputation along with time. The whole standing as the perfect environment for Choklate‘s mesmerizing performance.
Wide open to this. How about you?
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– A Seattle, WA native, Kolesta Moore grew up on a Gospel diet in San Diego, CA. She eventually got introduced to Hip-Hop by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince‘s ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand’. “It was the first ‘worldy’ song and only video allowed in the house.” So when finally out on her own, she recalls having her ear to everything from Bach and Yo Yo Ma to Brotha Lynch Hung. Becoming a resident at Jumbalaya, one of the most popular club nights in Seattle, most likely encouraged her to explore the art of musical creation through both writing and singing for herself as well as other artists. As well as performing stunning live shows.
The first impression when comin’ to hear Choklate singing is the one of absolute maturity. Evolving in some Funk and Soul environment such as on her 2 studio albums – ‘Choklate’ and ‘To Whom It May Concern’ – in 2006 and 2009. Occasionally flirting with Blues and somehow reminding of Janis Joplin or Me’Shell Ndegeocello at times. Enough to catch the attention of Reel People Music label head Oli Lazarus. With the latter getting her to deliver the memorable ‘The Tea’ back in 2010. Then ‘I’ll Let It’ along with The Realm on the same label. Teamin’ up with Kola Kube (one of Joey Negro‘s countless guises?), she eventually made some noise in the Nu-Disco scene with ‘Break My Heart’, built on a sample of Wham‘s ‘Everything She Wants’. Meanwhile 2012 saw her sharing the duties with Atlanta-based producer DJ Kemit on the soothing R&B-ish ‘Releasing’.
Another 3 years after, and she would make a brilliant come back on Reel People Music with ‘Wide Open’. A cut which, as usual from this label, would be the subject of countless remixes. From Reel People to Opolopo. Not to mention The Layabouts who crafted another blast!
– The first time I heard of The Layabouts brings me back the the first half of the 2000’s. Back at the time, Olivier Velay, who was in charge of Stalwart Records, warmly told me about them. Suggesting it would be cool welcomin’ them for an interview on the first version of Indamixworldwide. Something he ended up doin’ for us. With, from then on, Leigh Darlow and Alex Paschali widely showin’ us as to how they are a force to definitely count with.
Darlow, the man behind the rhythms, and Paschali, the guitarist and orchestrator, first met back in 2001 in home city London. Off back various projects they happened to be working on in the same recording studio. They delivered their first release – ‘Small Talk EP’ – 3 years later on Soulworks Recordings. Eventually collaborating with Alix Alvarez on ‘Feelin Right’ and from then progressively establishing their reputation as a driving force. One might remember their remix of David Harness & Roland Clark‘s memorable ‘The Deejay’s An Alien’ for Foliage Records back in 2008. Or their rework of Choklate‘s ‘The Tea’ on Reel People Music two years after. Not to mention the outstanding ‘Thank You’ feat. Pete Simpson with remix courtesy of Reelsoul. Or ‘Perfectly’ with Shea Soul which received the remix treatment of Atjazz.
As many gems which would lead to countless others. From Renn‘s ‘Nights In Africa’ to Reel People‘s ‘Sure’. Eventually bringing them to be managed by Reel People Music label head Oli Lazarus.
On year on, and they would deliver one of the cuts of 2011, while remixing Imaani‘s ‘Found My Light’. Then Tarantulaz‘s ‘I Wasn’t Kidding’. Meanwhile, they would introduce us to Portia Monique with ‘Do Better’ in 2012. Eventually sharing the duties soon after with Omar on the hypnotic ‘As Long As You Believe’. Their debut-album – ‘Future Retro’ – following soon after. With 2013 seein’ Portia Monique joinin’ them for like an encore on ‘Colours Of Love’…
More recently, back in 2016, Choklate and The Layabouts‘ paths would cross once more, givin’ birth to ‘Wide Open’. Meanwhile the twosome gave a brilliant boost to Tony Momrelle ‘This Could Be Us’ soon after. With their remixes of Portia Monique‘s ‘Ecstasy’ comin’ out a month later. Another year goin’ and they would make a beautiful return along with Imaani on ‘Stay’, therefore marking the return to activity of German label Foliage Records after a 3 years hiatus.