Jun 1, 2018

RhoDeo 1821 Grooves


Today's artists are arguably the most multi-cultural band in Britain (current and past members hailing from a remarkable list of 32 different countries!), they was initially formed back in 1979 by Mauritius-born Jean-Paul Maunick, known to all since childhood as a Bluey . The son of Edouard Maunick - a distinguished African poet and writer - Bluey first moved to London in 1969 at the age of nine. By the mid-Seventies, his fascination with watching US bands like Earth, Wind & Fire, Weather Report and Kool & The Gang soon led to him hanging around with key players in the UKâ  s then-emerging jazz/funk scene - including groups like Gonzales, Hi-Tension and Average White Band - before going on to form his own aforementioned combo. With their debut album Jazz Funk (released through British independent Ensign Records in 1981) immediately establishing them at the forefront of London's then-thriving black music underground, the band however did not reach their commercial peak until signing with Phonogram's hip Talkin Loud label in 1990. ..... 'N Joy

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An acid jazz project with surprisingly deep roots in the 1970s jazz/funk/fusion world, Incognito were originally formed by Jean-Paul Maunick (aka Bluey) and Paul "Tubbs" Williams. Both were leaders of the late-'70s disco-funk group Light of the World, who scored several moderate British hits, including a cover of "I Shot the Sheriff." Just after the release of Light of the World's third LP (Check Us Out), Maunick and Williams shifted the lineup slightly and renamed the conglomeration Incognito. A decade separated their first and second albums, but from the early '90s through the early 2010s, the group recorded at a steady rate and stuck to their colorful hybrid sound.

Incognito debuted with the single "Parisienne Girl" and released the 1981 LP Jazz Funk, but were inactive during the rest of the 1980s. Maunick continued to write material for his group, even while working with Maxi Priest and others. (Williams later moved to Finland.) By the beginning of the 1990s, DJ legend and early Incognito fan Gilles Peterson had founded the Talkin' Loud label and he made Incognito one of his first signings. Their 1991 update of Ronnie Laws' "Always There," featuring lead vocals by Jocelyn Brown, became a Top Ten hit as part of Britain's booming acid jazz scene, prompting the release of Incognito's second album overall, Inside Life. It was largely a studio affair, with Maunick and engineer Simon Cotsworth directing a large cast with many of the best musicians in Britain's fertile groove community.

With 1992's Tribes Vibes + Scribes, Maunick added vocalist Maysa Leak to the lineup. A cover of Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" became another Incognito hit, and the album ascended Britain's pop charts even as it rose on America's contemporary jazz charts. The third album, Positivity, became the group's biggest album success, with much attention across Europe as well as Britain.

In 1994, Incognito appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation album, Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool. The album, meant to raise awareness and funds in support of the AIDS epidemic in relation to the African American community, was heralded as "Album of the Year" by Time magazine. In 1996, the band contributed "Water to Drink" to the AIDS-benefit album Red Hot + Rio, also produced by the Red Hot Organization. Their song "Need to Know" is the theme song for progressive radio and television news program Democracy Now!.

Late 1994 Leak unsuccessfully attempted a solo career with Blue Note, leading to temporary vocal replacement Pamela Anderson (not the Baywatch pinup) on 1995's 100° and Rising. Leak returned, though, appearing on the following year's Beneath the Surface. During the latter half of the decade, Incognito expanded their discography with 1996's Remixed, 1998's Tokyo Live, and 1999's No Time Like the Future.

The group's first two albums of the 2000s, Life Stranger Than Fiction (2001) and Who Needs Love (2002), were made without Leak. The latter, the first of several releases for the Dome label, featured Brazilian vocalist Ed Motta. Leak returned for Adventures in Black Sunshine (2004), a set that also boasted a guest appearance from longtime Incognito inspiration George Duke. Bees + Flowers + Things (2006) was a mix of cover versions along with re-recordings of four Incognito classics. More Tales Remixed (2008) involved remixes from Dimitri from Paris and Mark de Clive-Lowe, among others.

Incognito began the 2010s by acknowledging a major group milestone, most notably with the two-CD Live in London: The 30th Anniversary Concert, as well as their 14th studio set, Transatlantic R.P.M., featuring performances from Chaka Khan, Mario Biondi, Leon Ware, Ursula Rucker, and Leak. Surreal (2012) was followed by Bluey's first proper solo album, Leap of Faith (2013), while Amplified Soul (2014) -- one of the group's several releases to exceed an hour in length -- showed that their productivity was hardly on the wane. 2016 saw the band release its 17th studio long-player, In Search of Better Days, which featured guest artists pianist Avery Sunshine, drummer Richard Spaven, percussionist Jody Linscott, and Japanese guitar legend Tomoyasu Hotei.

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On 100 Degrees and Rising, the pioneering acid house outfit, Incognito, turn in another first-rate record, featuring their trademark mixture of jazz, soul, and funk. There's not much to distinguish 100 Degrees from their previous handful of records, but the band is smooth, accomplished, and deep, finding new variations on their trademark sound.

Incognito - 100° and Rising     (flac 425mb)

01 Where Did We Go Wrong 5:41
02 Good Love 5:45
03 One Hundred And Rising 5:56
04 Roots (Back To A Way Of Life) 5:41
05 Everyday 4:50
06 Too Far Gone 2:35
07 After The Fall 3:29
08 Spellbound And Speechless 5:31
09 I Hear Your Name 6:53
10 Barumba 4:56
11 Millenium 6:16
12 Time Has Come 4:00
13 Jacob's Ladder 6:05

Incognito - 100° and Rising   (ogg  155mb)

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Beneath the Surface finds original lead singer Maysa Leak returning to the Incognito fold. Coincidentally or not, the record finds the group moving deeply into smooth, laidback, jazzy soul. It's a seductive sound and the group executes it well, even though there ironically isn't that much substance beneath the surface.

Incognito - Beneath The Surface    (flac 452mb)

01 Solar Fire 2:11
02 Labour Of Love 6:46
03 Beneath The Surface 5:42
04 A Shade Of Blue 5:45
05 Without You 7:20
06 Misunderstood 5:05
07 Hold On To Me 5:23
08 Living Against The River 4:21
09 She Wears Black 8:46
10 Fountain Of Life 5:19
11 Out Of The Storm 3:49
12 Dark Side Of The Cog 6:27

Incognito - Beneath The Surface  (ogg  171mb )

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From the opening bars of "Wild and Peaceful" (almost a description of the group's style) with its soaring strings, crystalline piano, and flawless vocal harmonies, it's apparent that No Time Like the Future is rich with Incognito's patented blend of soul and finesse. "It Ain't Easy," with its refrain of Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On," is a classic funk outcry; "Fearless" is a wordless chant with some great rhythm guitar and booting jazz saxophone; "Nights Over Egypt" backs another great vocal with popping bass and orchestral atmospherics; "Black Rain" mixes exotic drumming with some subliminal dissonance. Producer-composer-guitarist Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick has added string arrangements by Simon Hale, appearances by the horns of the hot Cuban band Irakere, and the performances of small army of R&B singers (Maysa, especially) and British contemporary jazz players (Ed Jones stands out on tenor and soprano). The result is an irresistible combination of strong songs and pulsing rhythm tracks, all polished to slippery perfection.

 Incognito - No Time Like The Future    (flac  422mb)

01 Wild And Peaceful 5:44
02 Get Into My Groove 4:59
03 It Ain't Easy 6:16
04 Marrakech 6:41
05 Fearless 6:14
06 Nights Over Egypt 7:08
07 Centre Of The Sun 5:02
08 More Of Myself 4:50
09 I Can See The Future 8:14
10 Black Rain 8:19

Incognito - No Time Like The Future  (ogg  152mb)

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Yes, there is an R&B feel to the first few cuts. Yes, Maysa and Randy Hope Taylor are out, but Incognito really transcends all the players except Bluey. Brilliant bassist Julian Crampton isn't exactly a stranger here either. What we get are several wonderful singers, the most recognizable being Kelli Sae from Count Basic, who are recorded and mixed beautifully. The themes are the same: joy and inspiration of love and pleas for peace and understanding. There's also a great torch song, Skin on my Skin, where Kelli Sae laments like she's never done with Count Basic. Yes there are more synthetic drums, but there are also horns and strings in almost every song. The best song by far is Rivers Running Black, Incognito at its most pure: Great instruments and just enough vocals to spice things up. It reminded me of I can see the Future. The horns are right up front in this one. If people have led you to believe this is all R&B, there is a 9 minute Bossa Nova epic called On the Road with a Jack Kerouac monologue near the end of the album. It's a true Incognito sound with an awesome scat by Ms. Sae. There's a lot to enjoy here and plenty of great Incognito touches to keep you coming back for more.

 Incognito - Life Stranger Than Fiction    (flac  375mb)

01 Stay Mine 4:39
02 Bring You Down 4:49
03 Slow Down (Get A Grip) 4:40
04 Skin On My Skin 5:18
05 Cut It Loose 4:33
06 There Will Come A Day 5:36
07 Castles In The Air 5:46
08 Got To Know 4:52
09 Reach Out 6:16
10 Rivers Runnin' Black 6:46
11 On The Road, Pt. 1 4:24
12 On The Road, Pt. 2 4:16

Incognito - Life Stranger Than Fiction  (ogg  135mb)

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