Label: All Good Music Label
Cat #: AGM001
Format: Vinyl and Digital
Release Date: July 25 2022
For the debut release on the All Good Music label, John Beltran and Shane Donnelly link up once more under the Sol Set name to bring you some truly extraordinary flavors that draw power from all corners of the globe.
Back in ‘96, LTJ Bukem set up the Earth imprint as an offshoot to his widely acclaimed Good Looking Records, with the aim of bringing together the finest in future leaning downtempo and future jazz cuts, alongside weaving in a little bit of D’n’B DNA for good measure. The debut of Sol Set came into being on the label’s ‘Earth Volume 4’ with their track ‘Aztec Girl,’ featuring a guitar and piano laden masterclass in groove and feeling, with a timelessnessthat wouldn’t feel out of place on many a Balearic sunrise set.. The track very much reflected Beltran’s outputs at the time, with albums such as ‘Sun Gypsy’ (2002) and ‘In Full Color’ (2004) reflecting his deep affinity for Latin music and live instrumentation.
The groundwork was certainly set for further Sol Set releases, and despite the 22-year gap, the music found on the LP ‘Ola de Novo’ makes you feel like the duo never even left. True to form, the pair ensure that no corner is left unturned in the tone and style departments, with movements from leg-shaking rhythmic sequences through to tear-jerking soul-laden numbers that have heart and soul stacked into them.
Beltran and Donnelly have bought some pals along for the ride, with the core players consisting of James Simonson, Jeremy Ellis and Beltran’s go-to producer John Arnold, alongside an exciting ensemble of talents including Chick Corea protégé Ruslan Sirota, Jazz vocalist Sofa Knezevic and singer songwriter Taylor Taylor. The album begins with a reimagination of ‘Aztec Girl,’ aptly named ‘Aztec (2022).’ And as if to remind you of the groundwork that track laid out, there is an immediate invitation into a universe that feels brimming with life and vitality. This is best shown as the quietly evolving opening segment gives way to a superb breakdown before thrusting forward into the main groove—tantalizing to say the least.
‘Let’s Get Away’ and ‘Bliss Mode’ arrive next, with both tracks exerting a supreme level of feel, along with some superb vocal performances that float and traverse across the top ends. ‘Rhythm of the Sun’ keeps the fire burning in similar fashion, with the guitar work here setting the base as the vocal lines do much to craft a deepening in atmosphere. ’O Amor Está No Ar’ comes next, and this is when the rhythm begins to stick things up a gear. The percussive layering is crystal clear yet undeniably dense, with every little element given a moment to shine. The melodic sequences which arrive on top do much to create a very soft and elegant level of intensity, deliveringthe perfect balance between momentum and relaxation.
‘Linda São Paulo’ takes things down to a sultry, smooth yet very textured place, with every element found here designed to spellbind and entice. ‘Sugarloaf’ brings the energy up, and the track has this electrifying atmosphere to it,as if the music was recorded on the streets of the Rio Carnival, with the cavernous vocals really giving the track that deepness in scale. Moving towards the business end of the tracks, ‘Bieja Flor’ and ‘Pour Le Moment (For Now)’ make an appearance, with the former providing the most quiet moment of the record yet, an audial space in which to reflect upon some truly memorable guitar work. The latter provides a more final reminder of the magic contained within this special record—a long goodbye, smiles all around, a satisfaction burning in the heart, a sunset draped across the skyline.
Join Sol Set as they celebrate life, music, instrumentation and vitality in the most special of ways, an album that arrives just in time for all those escapades in the sand, the long meanders in the deep blue, the hangs with friends and strangers alike.This is music to experience life to.