Next time you’re on the hunt for some beautiful background music with a steady beat and jazzy vibe, put Blue Lab Beats on, thank me later. The duo have been in the mixing game for years, working with everyone from Rag’n’Bone Man, Dua Lipa and a whole cadre of other artists, but in recent months they’ve been striking out as an act unto themselves.
They were a formidable presence at this year’s Love Supreme Festival, and they recently retreated into the studio (Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studio, to be exact) to record their first album. For months now jazz and neo-soul fans have been salivating at the notion of a Blue Lab Beats album, especially given that drummer Moses Boyd, all female jazz group Nérija, saxophonist Nubya Garcia, hip-hop trio Otha Soul and numerous other home-grown heroes were involved.
Now, following the last release in August, a pair of tracks have emerged, the first of which, ‘Pineapple’ features the former two guest contributors, and it’s quite something. A heady mix of flamenco guitar and ratchet-tight drumming (nothing less expected of Boyd), it’s a soft, captivating tune which exemplifies the producing talent as much as the instrumental. The saxophone solo which arrives around halfway through the track pushes it from something pleasant to something sumptuous, and the string harmonies carry the whole thing through.
The album itself, Xover, won’t actually see the light of day until the end of March, but between this track and ‘Dome’ (which features Otha Soul and Daniel Taylor) there’s plenty of gorgeousness to chew on until the next single finds its way out into the daylight.
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