Following on from his 2006 album State Of Euphoria (SK080CD/LP), SOULPHICTION aka JACKMATE, and part of MANMADESCIENCE aka Stuttgart man MICHEL BAUMANN brings us a fresh new album on Sonar Kollektiv. As well as having had releases on Sonar Kollektiv and his own labels Philpot and Phil E, SOULPHICTION has also put stuff out through Perlon, Playhouse, Moon Harbour, Liebe/Detail, DIY, Mule, Resopal and Freude am Tanzen and has remixed DJ KOZE, INTERNATIONAL PONY, DAPAYK & PADBERG, EGOEXPRESS, MOVE D, SOLOMUN and EVA BE amongst others. SOULPHICTION was represented on the recent Sonar Kollektiv anniversary compilation Ten Years Who Cares (SK150CD) and this album continues his friendship with the Berlin label. The album opens with some gently plucked harp strings and the luscious voice of SUZANA ROZKOSNY on Chevy Estate who also sang throughout the last SOULPHICTION album State Of Euphoria. Her voice has such a distinctive soulful sound it really brings a tune alive. Ghana Wadada is a dark dance-floor romp complete with haunting flute melodies and ethnic vocals. This is a nice lounge tune ideal for building up at the start of a set. Ghana Wadada and the funky number Prison Song are also available as 12″ (SK179/elektrish). Prison Song features MARCIN ÖZ aka Berlin’s DJ HIGHFISH who also plays bass for the mighty WHITEST BOY ALIVE. The track mingles lots of live bass combined with a shaker giving this tune its groove but the beat is the rhythm of a genuine chain gang. The stomper Velveteens is a great dance number and can also be found on the 12″. The sound is lovely and raw – a long way from a lot of the over-polished productions one hears played out in clubs these days.
SOULPHICTION remains true to his name and puts a lot of heart and soul into the music. He tells a story with his music, but it’s believable enough to carry the listener along, at least for a while. SOULPHICTION moves in so many musical directions at the same time. So while Cargo is a pure swinging jazz number with a lovely shuffle beat, he still manages to complete the track with spaced-out synth sounds giving it an other-worldly feel. Soul Print makes clever use of some TV western samples but is held together with some nice acoustic guitar strumming. Sun Children is true soul while Reclap is tribal.
In fact SOULPHICTION takes in so many influences and spans so many genres it’s pretty much impossible to classify him. His sound is always changing and shifting. Do You Overstand has music for all occasions. Whizzdom and Understanding even provides a perfect dance-floor track. SOULPHICTION knows fine well that it can be boring to do something that can be too obviously categorised. And you never quite know what you’re gonna get with SOULPHICTION – the penultimate track I Just Wait, is freaked out hip-hop. MICHEL BAUMANN is open to everything. While his JACKMATE project focuses mainly on straight beats and functional house, SOULPHICTION takes in influences from hip-hop and jazz resulting in a truly experimental feel: there’s a great roughness to his sound, it is never too clean. SOULPHICTION’s productions are restrained and minimal in the right way – he doesn’t let things get too complicated. Do You Overstand encompasses such an eclectic cross-section of so many styles that it is simply impossible to pigeon-hole the SOULPHICTION sound, its a true fusion of every genre imaginable.
“impossible to pigeonhole…its really f*cking good”
“An immensely powerful sound…expect to hear a great many DJs picking this up”
“Essential music for the ‘08”
“…reminiscing has never felt so relevant”