First Listen: Jarrod Lawson – Sleepwalkers (Opolopo Remix) (Dome Records)
On the heels of his critically acclaimed eponymous album back in 2014, Soul/Jazz rising sensation Jarrod Lawson finds himself in the best company he could think of. This while having Opolopo left in charge of the remix of ‘Sleepwalkers’. Thus highlighting Lawson’s obvious singin’ style. But also bringin’ it to the next level. With the smooth jazzy latinesque ‘Sleepwalkers’ in its original form turned into a stellar contemporary Jazz/Funk monsterjam. Opolopo once again remaining true to his words. This while seeding the right spices at the right moment in some irresistible way…
Here again, this is nothing but top quality music. You don’t wanna miss this, do you?
Download from Traxsource.
– Call it whatever you want… The first impression comin’ to mind whenever hearing Jarrod Lawson is the fact that this man’s got a thing! And a thing that makes him pretty much stand apart. He’s got that voice of the great Soul singers who’ve gone before him. But he also plays (keyboards), crafts basslines, arranges and produces with a maturity once can instantly feel. With thanks to his early years were filled with sound in his father’s recording studio in Redwood City, CA. The latter teaching him much about music and exposing him to many artists including Bob James…
The first traces one can find of Lawson, Jr. bring us back to 2011. Back then, he shared the bill with Jans Ingber, Jay-Bird Koder and Reinhardt Melz. And together as The SoulMates, they self-released a DVD titled ‘Live & In Living Color’.
Another three years would go and Lawson came with his self-released eponymous debut-album. An effort which UK label Dôme Records licensed soon after. Eventually commissioning Opolopo to retouch ‘Sleepwalkers’. Thus filling his impressive list of reworks with another definitive must-have…
In 2016, Lawson shared the bill with Portland, ON-based R&B singer Tahirah Memory. This resulting in a single titled – ‘InterMission’ – on the SO-UK label.
Strangely enough, we haven’t heard anything from him since…
– Lookin’ in the list of possible remixers for someone to give a contemporary (if not futuristic) feel to your music? Then chances are great you would find Opolopo on top of it along with others studio wizards such as Atjazz, Henrik Schwarz or Aki Bergen. This pretty much depending on the direction you want to give to your work, as a matter of fact.
Speakin’ of Hungary, Peter Major (Opolopo) hardly knows more than the fact it happened to be his native country. Her mom deciding to leave it during the communist period. This during a visit she made to his dad (himself a musician) who was touring in Sweden at the time. With the whole family changing nationality soon after.
Sweden being a country where Jazz has an undeniable meaning – with thanks to its prolific scene – no wonder how it got an echo on Opolopo‘s construction. As DJ, a remixer or an artist on his own rights.
Opolopo released his first album – ‘Omnifarious’ – back in 2003 on Australian label Collision Records. And he got commissioned to do his first remix two years later. This while retouching ‘Freeze The Cut’ for Comfort Fit feat. Blaktroniks on Japanese label Tokyo Dawn Records. From then, he has dropped 4 extra albums with his latest – ‘Superconductor’ – back in 2015 on Joey Negro‘s Z Records label. Meanwhile collaborating with luminaries such as Keni Burke (‘So Good’) and Paul Randolph (‘Sustain’). But also Taka Boom (‘Feels Good 2 Me’) and the late Diane Charlemagne (‘Round And Round’).
As a remixer, Opolopo made quite an impression with his rework of Mario Biondi & The High Five Quintet‘s ‘This Is What You Are’ back in 2007. But he most likely would get his breakthrough 5 years after with his Rerub’ of Gregory Porter‘s seminal ‘1960 What?’. This masterpiece bringin’ him on everyone’s lips lookin’ for the next sensation. Beginning with ours since we’ve relaunched IDMW back by the beginning of the Summer 2014. And most definitely standing among those we tend to champion the (re)works of.
His list of the likes is quite impressive with more than 100 quotes on Discogs to date and 350 on Traxsource. From Sandy Barber‘s ‘I Think I’ll Do Some Stepping (On My Own)’ to Ferry Ultra feat. Gwen McCrae‘s ‘Let Me Do My Thang’. But also Deep Tenor City‘s ‘Oba’ and Jarrod Lawson‘s ‘Sleepwalkers’. Not to mention Los Charly’s Orchestra‘s ‘All Around The World’ and Lisa Stansfield‘s ‘Picket Fence’in 2015. Then what about The Jacksons‘ ‘Everybody’ which he’d retouched the year before? Or Omar feat. Caron Wheeler‘s ‘Treat You’ the year after???
Opolopo regularly updating his list since. This with Rhemi feat. Cassius‘ ‘Beat Within’. Then, more recently Rapson‘s ‘Heat’ and Kenny Thomas‘‘Your Love’ among others. Not to mention Kelvin Sylvester & Natasha Watts‘ ‘Fly Away’…