Various Artists

Solebeats One

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Based in Glasgow, Sole Music refuses to place stylistic, geographical, or ethnic limitations on its sources of funk, as is proven by the diversity of this compilation. And this is not your typical back catalog collection, either. The proprietors of Sole Music went through the effort to license several tracks from a variety of labels including the trip-hop loops of Benny Blanko's "Listen" and Pablo's funky drummer disco on "Supersweet," just because they sat nicely next to their own releases, including Tony Free's "Do It Anyways," and the Latin beat experimentation by the traditionally hip-hop producer DJ Spinna. Then you add in the nu-soul female rap of Silent Poets' "Someday," the space-age analog bass slap of Porn Theatre Ushers' "Me & Him," and the gospel inspired interlude of "Emancipation" by U.K. black music scholars Black Science Orchestra and you discover that this relatively brief ten-song compilation has checked off an astounding spectrum of modern and classic soul nuances. So while Sole Beats One is competing with an overabundant market of downtempo compilations, many from more well-known urban sources, it might have taken a couple of blokes from Scotland and their distant perspective to really gather an open-ended collection of what we call modern soul music.

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