Urban Soul Collective
Please Yo Self

By Gavin Weale

This is definitely the sound that has been doing the business on many dance floors around London for the last year or so: post-2-step, post deep house, and occupying some unchartered territory between the two. The shuffling beats and warm synths will endear it to open-minded souls who welcome the dynamics of garage transposed onto, dare I say it, a more musical framework, and it also has one foot firmly placed in the 'broken beat' camp. Tracks like Midnite Love, with its dreamy vocals, suggest that crossover appeal is apparent, while the warm bass lick of So Right is an irresistible slice of deep house that will certainly do the business in a club scenario. Elsewhere, Ain't No Sign chugs along with vocodered stabs, and Dis Is It is a bone fide song that moves and shakes to oh-so-soulful vocals and a shapeshifting bassline.

It's beautifully produced from start to finish with that understated sense of letting the sheer groove of the tracks do the talking, plus there are spats of virtuoso musicianship amidst the entourage of syncopated percussion. Most appealing however is the happy blend of a positive vibe and a rugged dance floor sensibility, and although it's an artist album, the whole collection is given an all-important context by being mixed together by man of the moment Modaji. 21st century soul music home-grown and tended with loving care.
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