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ARTIST
TITLE
Electribal Soul
FORMAT
LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
TRIBE 002LP TRIBE 002LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
2/18/2022

LP version. Gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeve. Electribal Soul is the fabled, previously unreleased second album from UK electronic pioneers Electribe 101. Recorded in 1991 by the quintet of vocalist Billie Ray Martin and Birmingham-based electronic musicians Brian Nordhoff, Joe Stevens, Les Fleming and Roberto Cimarosti, Electribal Soul was conceived as the sequel to the band's 1990 debut album, Electribal Memories. Electribal Memories had yielded the hits "Talking With Myself" and "Tell Me When The Fever Ended" and pushed Electribe 101 to the forefront of a crossover electronic scene that fused dance music with pop savvy. More immediately lush and warm than the dancefloor-friendly structures of Electribal Memories, the clue to the sound of Electribal Soul lies in the second word in its title: soul. Songs like the aching sensuality of opening track "Insatiable Love" or the emboldened defiance of "Moving Downtown" showcase Billie Ray Martin's distinctive vocal range as it moves from haunting quiet to dramatic, euphoric rapture "Deadline For My Memories", the song that provided the title for Martin's first solo album, was originally intended for the second Electribe 101 album. "A Sigh Won't Do" finds Martin in soothing vocal mode, her lyrics framed by restrained and subtle beats and sounds. Electribal Soul heads into darker territory with "Hands Up And Amen which savagely documents the mugging of a woman in Queens, NY at gunpoint. Acover of Throbbing Gristle's "Persuasion" takes you into a seedy world of sexual coercion and creepy infatuation. Pop house banger "Space Oasis" was written by Billie Ray Martin with Martin King before Electribe 101 was formed. Electribal Soul places Martin at the captivating center, surrounding her voice with everything from dubby rhythms to chunky R&B beats to nascent trip hop breaks; wiry, acid-hued synths uncoil gently without ever dominating, while horn samples and lush, disco-inflected strings provide a rich, naturalistic accompaniment for Martin's emotional outpourings. The band finished mixing the album at London's Olympic Studios in 1991, assisted by Apollo 440's Howard Gray on production duties for "Deadline For My Memories", "Insatiable Love" and "Space Oasis", with Gray supported by talented engineer Al Stone. Against a backdrop of a worsening relationship with Tom Watkins, and a disinterested Phonogram, Electribe 101 were swiftly dropped by their label. Thirty years after the songs were recorded, the second and final chapter of Electribe 101's story is here. Includes extensive liner notes from Billie Ray Martin, and the album sleeve features unseen archive photographs by Lewis Mulatero from the original 1990 sessions.