First Listen: The Lounge Lizards feat. Mike City – She’s The One (Original Mix) (Tribe Records)
There’s an intrinsic if not instinctual soul tessitura on the sweet and delightful ‘She’s The One’. Not that surprising though considering the CV of Atlanta-based DJ/producer DJ Kemit. A name you might remember for his contribution to Arrested Development. But also as one half of production pair KemeticJust.
There, he teams up with Luke Austin under The Lounge Lizards guise. With both of them sharing an obvious inclination for classic Soul vibes. With the presence of Californian singer Mike City adding much to the feeling. As a result, I don’t think it will be an offence. This when stating as to how there’s something of Osunlade on this jam. If not and possibly even more of Peven Everett.
Mind you, more than a rating X or Y which is per definition reductive, we’re speaking of Modern Soul of an undeniable standard. So please, make yourself a favor. Firstly, give it a listen. Secondly, forget about its categorization. Then thirdly, let us know how you feel…
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– Not to be missed with the defunct avant-garde music group of the likes… The Lounge Lizards result from the reunion of two talents. On one side, DJ Kemit, once a member of Arrested Development. But also one half of KemeticJust. A man whom you might remember as well for his numerous collaborations. With Eric Roberson, Rich Medina or Heston among others. And on the other side, Luke Austin. A keyboardist who’s worked with Jill Scott and Tisha Campbell to name a few.
Luke and Kemit began creating music together. This after discovering they both shared the same enthusiasm for many things. Be this rare grooves, classic Soul, classic Chicago House, soulful House or Disco.
Mike City is probably best known for producing singles such as ‘Heard It All Before’ for Sunshine Anderson and ‘Full Moon’ for Brandy. Initially a songwriter and musician, City became a singer by trade and later a producer after needing an outlet for the songs he wrote.
“Working with Mike City has been a blessing. And we felt that this was the right time to introduce our brand of soulful house to the masses”, says Kemit. “The Lounge Lizards and Mike City present ‘She’s The One’ for the world to dance to…”
– Philadelphia, PA native Michael Flowers first came to fame back in 1999. This while writing and producing ‘I Wish’ for Carl Thomas. Suggested to collaborate with Sunshine Anderson by a friend of his who’d heard her singing in the cafeteria line at North Carolina Central University, he became her mentor. Eventually co-writing and producing the memorable ‘Heard It All Before’ for her 2 years later.
A quick check at the man’s discography brings the opportunity to realize the consistancy of his contribution since the early 90’s. Working with an impressive array of luminaries. From Usher, Bilal and Nate Dogg. To Brandy, Dwele, Rihanna and Gerald Levert to name a (very) few. Meanwhile he would keep on ear on the House Music production. Eventually becoming a die hard fan of Ten City that would get him to change his moniker as a wink to them.
Surprisingly enough, he only released one album – ‘City Limits’ back in 1998 – as an artist during all these years. Resurfacing in the mid 2010’s while sharing the duties with producers such as Mark Francis (‘I Need Your Love’) and Booker T. But also Adam Rios (‘We Keep Going’), Ian Friday and Sean McCabe. Not to mention Earl Tutu & John Khan (‘Everybody Needs Somebody’, ‘Lately We’). And The Lounge Lizards (‘She’s The One’) more recently. With the good news being Mike is on his way to release ‘The Feel Good Agenda’ on BBE. An album – his second – that boasts cameo appearances from artists such as Lalah Hathaway, Dwele (on ‘I Rock Wit U’), Carl Thomas and Junior. And, last but not least, Faith Evans on its first offshot, ‘When I Luv’. This with remixing work courtesy of Kenny Dope.