É Soul Cultura Vol. 1 seemed to land at exactly the right moment. Post-lockdown,
optimism was back on the rise and the dance floors swelled again. For many listeners,
Manchester based DJ Luke Una's intriguingly woven pattern of new, old, rare and
under-discovered music from around the world became the soundtrack to
rejuvenated positivity. Piccadilly Records made the release their top compilation of
the year, with Rough Trade placing it as their number two. The enthusiasm from the
industry was mirrored by record buyers and demonstrated that in the right hands,
moving through genres, tempos and decades can make perfect musical sense.
This second volume gives another opportunity for Luke to share his journey of the past
four decades of staying up late and getting transcendental whilst listening to holy grail
music as the city slept. It at times ventures into the deeper, spiritual, soulful,
downtempo, experimental aspects of his tastes. From the conscious, street soul fusion
gospel of Veronica Mickie's 'Lost Children', to an excursion into Swiss, psych, progressive
rock in the form of Pyranha, then onto the classic Indian music-inspired electronic
workout of Andi Otto's 'Bangalore Whispers'. Luke hints at his softer side in Avis; a
sweet, obscure cover version of Minnie Riperton's 'Baby, This Love I Have', as well as
championing local heroes in the shape of Manchester's Yargo and their driving, obscure,
proto-house belter, 'Marimba'. There's also Japanese, electronic, slo-mo heaviness from
1979, courtesy of Bach Revolution. House music is integral to the É Soul sound
and is represented by Nav Aktah's deep remix of Mr Scruff, and then there's Isis 'In
Essense'; a track of such majestic brilliance that it has never left Luke's record bag.
The selection is eclectic, global, and plucked from different times and spaces. In theory,
perhaps they shouldn't work together, but there is a mysterious link that makes them
gel as a whole. That's what Luke does best. He creates a sort of musical alchemy,
unifying the diverse.
The much anticipated second volume of the compilation series curated
by Luke Una.
New, old, rare and under-discovered music from around the world. Feat. LFO,
Mr Scruff, Real Thing.
Double vinyl LP, Gatefold Sleeve, OBI Strip, Limited Edition Fanzine written