Following on from ‘Melodies’ and ‘Curiosities’, ‘Harmonies’ is the third album in a Lord Echo trilogy which spans more than a decade for ex-Black Seed, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Michael August, aka Mike Fabulous.
And while it would probably be technically correct to call the 10-track release a ‘solo’ work, ‘Harmonies’ is all about collaboration, the album being all the richer for the key contributions made by Electric Wire Hustle’s Mara TK (vocals), Fat Freddy’s horn man Toby Laing, Lucien Johnson on sax, and cameo vocals from Leila Adu and Lisa Tomlins.
They add up to something close to a mini ‘who’s who’ of the local funk scene, and all have featured on previous Lord Echo releases.
Naturally enough, the whole thing oozes warm vibes, as a hybrid disco-meets-reggae-meets-afro soul concoction of knee-buckling sweetness, with all manner of instrumentation on hand to keep things fresh and always interesting.
Recorded and produced at August’s Gracefield studio in Lower Hutt, and released on the London-based Soundway label, it would be no stretch to contend that this is the best offering yet from Lord Echo.
Mara TK’s vocal gymnastics on the sublime Just Do You is one of the more obvious highlights, while Tomlins’ star turn on the Philly soul classic I Love Music breathes new life into a much loved old banger and creates an ideal album closer.
In addition to standard forms, this release also comes in a double vinyl edition, specifically for the discerning club DJ.