Some lovely vibes come through with this latest single from Mozambique-based producer GentleBeatz. If ever an artist name was perfectly designed for the sound that they offer, this is it.
Soul City emerges with the easy-going rhythms and subtle organic-electronic ambiance of a Lemon Jelly classic. You can hear every instrumental layer as this crisp and clean building block, and yet at the same time – you can let the entire completed soundscape work its smooth and colourful softness around you in a united wave of warmth. There’s a natural sense of movement to the track that helps give it a mildly energizing quality – it feels like you’re riding through the city; and again, the track’s title is about as well-suited to the musical journey within as possible.
To break it down to the details, there’s a lot here to appreciate. Certain vocal snippets add an element of humanity and soul, even melody. The drum-line and the riffs work beautifully together to reinforce and enhance this. Those electronic elements meet well with the organic ones – it doesn’t feel forced, nothing is out of place. There’s a fullness to the track for sure, particularly when compared to similar efforts from a decade or two ago, but the overall effect is no less calming. On the contrary, there’s a wash of comfort to the entire release. A lack of space is not a lack of quietness – the producer has incorporated every moment in a manner that works in favour of the underlying sentiment. You can appreciate the details as much as you can the general embrace of the finished piece.
Soul City is a pleasure to stumble upon and an easy must for the long-term playlist – or whenever you feel that some simple joy and calmness is required.