Folk Music is by definition music that is an expression of the life of the people in a community and it seems legitimate to believe that the community of music lovers revolving around Sonar Kollektiv shares the same philosophy, where listening to music is a pleasure that relaxes your mind and refuels your soul. With the release of the Secret Love compilation series Sonar Kollektiv tried and succeeded in encapsulating this spirit shared among friends and fans of the label and in delivering a very personal vision of what folk music is. And given the success of the previous volumes of Secret Love, Sonar Kollektiv faced somewhat of a beautiful challenge. Renewing a definition that is more emotional than based on an actual music classification – for the 4th time – and writing a new chapter in their adventures in folk music without betraying the work already done is an herculean task. But JAZZANOVA, who teamed up with Swiss DJ, producer and Drumpoet Community labelowner ALEX DALLAS for this 4th installment are not the kind of artists that would start being anxious with such high expectations. They conceived this new opus like you choose a gift for someone you love. You don’t try to do better than the year before but you try to be inventive and original so as to surprise the loved-one and to see a smile illuminating his face and sparkles of joy in his eyes.
With Secret Love 4 ALEX DALLAS and JAZZANOVA present various artists that all share with them the belief that Folk Music is a genre that transcends every predefined categories. Folk music refers above all to a certain spirit – a particular way of understanding and feeling the world around us – that every artist express and relate to his people in its own way. This definition linking intrincately the concept of folk and the one of soul is the core idea binding every song selected for the compilation. Moreover every artists share the love for instrumental and organic orchestrations and vocals sung with a mellow and delicate voice. They all try to challenge commonplaces and clichés that go along with the idea of Folk Music without betraying the singer/songwriter tradition where the message conveyed is as important as the music played.
The artists selected by ALEX DALLAS and JAZZANOVA follow completely this will to give new foundations to this genre. Many new talents in the field of folk and neo-folk such FINDLAY BROWN with his magnificient Losing the Will to Survive (Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve Reamimation) or JAMIE WOON and his Wayfairing Stranger are here gathered to refresh our ears alongside with more experimented artists such as multi-instrumentalist and singer ANDREW BIRD with Imitosis taken from his critically acclaimed album Armchair Apocrypha. The tracklist has been elaborated has if Secret Love 4 were a mixtape to catch the heart of someone you love. THE LAWRIES open the compilation with the laidback and soulful song Sailboats, in which his singer PETE LAWRIE sings his solitude with a soft and delicate voice. The tune Roscoe (beyond the wizard sleeve’s mix) by 5-piece rock band MIDLAKE with its mellow guitar riffs and keyboard melodies and its contemporary grooves is a brilliant follow-up. Taken from their last album called ‚The Trials of Van Occupanther’ released in 2006 on Bella Union in USA and V2 in Europe that has been praised as one of the best album of 2006 by magazines such as Uncut (#7), Mojo (#9), Q (#21) and NME (#40), Roscoe is its sound and construction a beautiful definition of what modern folk is all about. From CLARA HILL with About You to THIEF with down down over to A RACE OF ANGELS with Afrika Displaced every artist give his personal meaning of the word Love and fill the hearts of his listeners with deep emotions. It is also interesting to see that ALEX DALLAS and JAZZANOVA experimented a bit more and chosed a few artists, who come and surprise us with a lesser known facet of their artistic personality. KALABRESE, who is more famous as minimal-techno producer with the famous E.P. Chicken Fried Rice issued on Perlon in 2004, will astound more than one fan with the tune Hide taken from his latest album Rumpelzirkus released on Stattmusik and featuring Reggae-Soul singer GUILLERMO SOHRYA and his soulful and deep voice. Hip-hop DJ ZANE LOWE from New-Zealand, who reached the status of superstar with his own radioshow on BBC 1 in UK, reveals his soul and folky side through his band BREAKS CO-OP and a beautiful piece called Duet. Sonar Kollektiv’s first lady of dub, electro and house EVA BE completes the picture with a sublime acoustic version of her ballad She walks alone present on her recent full-length album Moving Without Travelling on Sonar Kollektiv’ dub and ragga sub-label Best Seven.
The cherry on the heart-shaped cake is the guest appearance of singer/songwriter genius PAUL WELLER. The trad-rock nature of his music influenced and keep on influencing most of the artists and songwriters of the new folk era. ALEX DALLAS and JAZZANOVA decided to pay hommage to his career by releasing the beautiful ballad The Loved, where his voice finds the perfect harmony between light acoustic guitar riffs and flute melodies for the happiest end you could possibly think of.
“another quality selection of modern tripped-out folk delights”
“Downtempo electronics with hella live instrumentation… these are proper songs”
One Week to Live –
“another fascinating education from Sonar Kollektiv”
DMC Update –
“a dream dinner party soundtrack”