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Heels & Souls step back to 1988 for their sixth reissue, relicensing and remastering Flair's anthemic soul number 'Chasin' The Rain.' For the uninitiated, strap yourself in for six blissful minutes of heavy bass licks, soaring vocals, and infectious synth lines.
Consisting of Janet Rose (aka UK Soul queen JB Rose), Joe Matz, Peter Bielig, and Peter Shindler, Flair was a predominantly German affair, with Rose being the only UK band member and Bieling living in London during the late '80s. This is a curious detail considering 'Chasin' The Rain' is often lauded today as a UK Soul classic - partially due to its release on the prolific UK label Champion. However, it's squeaky-clean production values, and the fact it was mixed and mastered at the famous Jankowski studio in Stuttgart by three Germans, reveals a somewhat different story.
The track has that UK street soul heavy low-end, but with a synth-pop flavour sprinkled in the mix - swinging synth lines and gated snares aplenty. Yet from chatting to Peter Bielig, who's been instrumental in getting this record reissued, the sounds sweeping across the Atlantic from the likes of Jam and Lewis, who blended R&B, funk, soul and pop, were clearly a big influence too.
Those were heady days for four young twenty-something musicians, with Peter recalling cherished memories these tracks bring back, telling of his and JB's PA sessions at London's Gulliver's nightclub. However, while 'Chasin' The Rain' had all the hallmarks of a chart-breaking hit, Champion prioritised other projects and the record never broke. Sadly the group disbanded after only two releases, and this musical gem was consigned to the crates of those in the know. Soon after, Peter Bielig went to Jamaica to work at Tough Gong Studios, working on albums for Rita Marley Music. He now lives in Brazil, producing local artists in his studio in Salvador.
Unfortunately, the master tapes were nowhere to be found, so we had the maestro, Sean P, rip and restore a mint copy of the record, with award-winning mastering engineer Cicely Balston working her studio magic for that added punch.
A1. Chasin' The Rain
B1. Chasin' The Rain (Dub)