Community is power. Community is love. Community is beautiful. South London’s Touching Bass collective represents this sense of community perfectly. Founded by Errol and Alex Rita in late 2014, Touching Bass has grown into a community-come-club night, a monthly NTS Radio show, a concert series and creative studio, and most recently a record label. I’ve been following them since about 2016, and have loved to see the progression in the vision, and the growth in the family as a whole, which now extends far beyond London and the UK. Touching Bass presents: Soon Come is their new offering to the world, a 22-track compilation curated by Errol, Alex Rita and Sammseed, spread across a double 12” vinyl, and split between two distinct sides, ‘day’ and ‘night’, bringing together light, soulful and ethereal sounds with more dynamic, groove and dancefloor-centric sounds that are bound to get you up and dancing. I attended their launch party for the album as well, and it was good vibes all around, as I was immersed in the sound of the album while nodding my head and even allowing myself to dance a little near the end of it.
Firstly, a big shoutout to all artists involved – 10.4 ROG & Brother Portrait, Wu-Lu, Hejira, Clever Austin, Kuzich & Alien, Ego Ella May, keiyaA, Nala Sinephro & Lyle Barton, Nayiem, Lori, Contour, Cowrie, Arnheim, Melo-Zed, Blvck Spvde, The Wach, AshTreJinkins, Ben Hauke, Leaux, Eun & Demae and Molinaro. Every track on here is incredible, with each artist bringing their unique talents and sounds to a compilation that is cohesive and brought together by the incredible talents of the artists on the album. It’s sequenced to perfection and captures the eclecticism of the contemporary independent jazz, soul, hip-hop and dance music being created and championed by the music community. A few highlights: 10.4 ROG and Brother Portrait’s “The Lighthouse” kicks the project off with a reflective, hard-hitting groovy beat, with Brother Portrait’s seamless, free-flowing verse that is reflective and full of poignant imagery. The drum arrangements on Clever Austin’s “Hour 40” are impressive to say the least, with keys and synths that add to the groovy guitar licks and drumming. Ego Ella May’s powerful vocals on “Missi U” are complemented by angelic synths and a groove-heavy beat. keiyaA, as usual, comes through with the killer vocals and eclectic drum patterns on “Camille’s Daughter”, while Contour’s emotive vocals are just so powerful and hypnotic over a drum-heavy but hypnotic instrumental. On the ‘night’ side of the album, Melo-Zed’s raw drumming on “Ebondance” featuring Mary Cayenne-Elliot is brought together by the groovy basslines and an emphatic beat. The Wach’s “Dream On Freedom” is another groove and rhythm-heavy house track, with swirling synths and off-kilter drumming that is just hypnotic and perfect for the dancefloor. Ben Hauke’s “Turn It On” has this hypnotic and captivating groove and melody, with a percussive instrumental that is so damn heavy – an incredible house tune that builds and builds with synths and melodies. It’s a truly engaging and hypnotic dance record that stands out to me as one of the more memorable ones on the album. Eun & Demae’s “Your Company” is a stunning track, with Eun’s dynamic beat, the moving strings and Demae’s usually silky smooth voice. There are so many gems on the album, and so many moments that make me want to either close my eyes and focus on the music and nothing else, or make me nod my head back and forth and dance.
Thank you Touching Bass for curating this important body of work, for the culture and for the community. Thank you for also making me feel like a part of the family in many ways. The community you have built, and your emphasis on providing opportunities to artists around the world to showcase their talents is incredibly inspiring, and I hope you continue thriving for years and years to come. Soon Come is the result of that hard-work, and I hope you know how grateful the whole community is for it. Go support Touching Bass’ new compilation album Soon Come below and don’t forget to support!