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APRON RECORDS

Steven Julien and Kyle Hall return with their first EP together in ten years, “Crown”. The record follows earlier EPs the duo created under their former alias Funkinevil: 2013's “Ignorant” and 2012's “Night/Dusk”. The record once again brings together two artists from opposite sides of the pond - Julien hailing from London and Hall representing Detroit - with a shared love for soul in its purest essence.

Opening "Page 1", a pitched-down vocal by James Massiah pronounces, ‘My plan - won't let you take it from hand.’ That alone could be considered the nut graph of a record about taking ownership, created by two vanguards in the electronic music scene that, a decade ago, insisted on infusing their music with soul in a commercial club circuit lacking in it.

Assembled from a few years-worth of studio jams in Julien's studio, “Crown” dials up the staticky warmth present on earlier Funkinevil tracks like "Dusk" and "In The Grid." Across seven songs, Funkinevil shaves off some of their tougher elements, instead shooting for pastoral melodies and funky basslines, like on "Page 2", where Vicky Flint's flute flutters sleepily over breaks and a groovy Korg synthesizer. But the atmosphere on the EP is also grander than ever - on "Page 5," Cloud's wistful melisma soars over Flint's bleating saxophone and wandering sci-fi synths.

With all this attention to funky musicality, it's only fitting that two legends specializing in the craft would land on the B-side - Däm Funk revs up "Page 3" with a slamming kick and his unmistakable coolness, and Reggie B turns "Page 5" into a sludgy, jazzy dance party.

In the words of Julien, ‘I think a lot of people have forgotten about what this whole thing is about. Musically, artistry and everything. So I'm happy this is what we represent on this project.’


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6. Dam-Funk Page 3 Re-Freak Mix
7. Reggie B Page 5 SciFonk Mix

Simbad (aka SMBD) is a stalwart of the underground music scene in the UK; this multifaceted producer can turn his hand to a number of sounds and styles. Since his 2007 album "Supersonic Revelation" and his acclaimed dancefloor hit "Soul Fever", the London based Frenchy has been constantly travelling the five continents entertaining delighted clubbers with his super energetic DJ skills or producing and recording various artists from many different genres including deeper dubstep don Mala (DMZ), UK Hip Hop star Roots Manuva, Cuban songstress Dayme Arocena, Detroit House producer Kai Alce, Berlin based deep Techno artist Fred P, Seun Kuti from Afrobeat's most famous family, Brazilian superstar artist/actor Seu Jorge and being production mentor for the king of cool, radio DJ Gilles Peterson (who made him one of the resident at his Worldwide Festivals). With the "Moon Theory" EP Simbad demonstrates his talent on some deep analog frequencies for the very solid & ever growing label that is Apron Records. As the music wizard puts it himself : ‘I'm just trying to make some timeless shhhhh man, soul in all forms really, trying anyway! And I guess that the best is yet to come.' Recommended.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Apron continues to remain completely crucial through 2017. Funkinevin's uncompromising label constantly offering up gritty, real life alternatives to the gloss'n'polish fakery of this world.

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