Whilst the daily Fresh Juice allows us to share some great new tunes, a lot of important figures in the music industry that live and thrive behind the scenes, helping artists develop their vision, go unnoticed in the publics eye. Yes, that is the nature of the beast but that is why today’s feature is special. Head of XL Recordings, Richard Russell has just released his debut EP under the moniker of Everything is Recorded. Enlisting the help of XL signee Sampha and sampling one of the most delicate soothing vocalists, Curtis Mayfield, Russell has mixed and most certainly matched two of the best standout soul aficionados of their respective eras.
Today’s Juice is titled Close But Not Quite, and in my opinion is more of a smoothy than a juice. Thick in texture, the first track on Russell’s new EP is gentle and has a very Sampha feel to it. A petite piano melody creates the tear jerking foundation for the duet that ensues. Sampha’s voice is almost too complex to deconstruct. Its gruff but soft at the same time. It’s heavy but has the ability to shift pitch at a moments notice making it perfect for Russell’s delicate production on Close But Not Quite. Chopped from Mayfield’s, The Making Of You, Curtis’ (if i may call him that) voice is so light it almost whispers the chorus. With Russell at the helm guiding the track through string sections and understated percussion the track ends with Mayfield getting the last word.