Marcus Liesenfeld talks about the new TSTD compilation “Yacht Soul 2” and the unifying power of great music

Two years ago, Berlin-based Too Slow To Disco (TSTD) curator and DJ Marcus Liesenfeld aka DJ Supermarkt introduced “Yacht Soul – The Cover Versions,” a captivating collection of West Coast AOR tunes reimagined by talented black soul and R&B artists. It was evident from the start that this venture wouldn’t remain a solitary endeavor. The dusty archives were teeming with outstanding rarities and classics just waiting to be unearthed and shared with the world. Now the sequel many of us have been waiting for is here: “Yacht Soul – The Cover Versions 2.” This great follow-up continues the tradition, delivering a masterful compilation of songs hailing from the golden era of music in the 70s and 80s. What becomes strikingly evident once again is that exceptional songs transcend the constraints of genres. We had the pleasure of delving into the world of “Yacht Soul 2” with Marcus Liesenfeld himself. He shared insights about the latest edition of the Too Slow To Disco universe, his role as a guardian of vintage sounds, and the most important criterion a song has to fulfil to be included on a TSTD compilation.

Eddie Chacon talks about his current European tour and his latest album “Sundown” in the West Coast Soul interview

With his current album “Sundown”, Eddie Chacon has released one of the best albums of the year. The Californian soul artist is currently on tour in Europe and will also play some shows in Germany at the beginning of November. He will be accompanied by the fabulous The Zenmenn from Berlin, whose terrific album “Hidden Gem” made it into our Top 10 last year. We caught up with Chacon in Lisbon to ask him a few questions about the tour and his latest album.

Review: “Chronicles of a Diamond” by Black Pumas

When Black Pumas unleashed their self-titled debut in 2019, it was as if a soulful explosion had rocked the music world. The Austin-bred duo of singer/songwriter Eric Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada not only earned critical acclaim but also won over the hearts of fans, who were spellbound by their electrifying live performances. Four years later, the highly anticipated sophomore album, “Chronicles of a Diamond,” has arrived, and it’s a wild and mesmerizing journey that cements Black Pumas’ status as an unstoppable force in the music scene.

Review: “Behind The Tea Chronicles” by Ed Motta

In the world of music, the return of Ed Motta is nothing short of a grand spectacle. After a five-year hiatus, the musical “Colossus of Rio” reclaims his throne with his 14th studio album, “Behind The Tea Chronicles.” This musical journey transcends boundaries and welcomes us to immerse ourselves not only in groovy, soul-stirring tunes but also in cinematic reveries.

Maeva Borzakian’s new album “Lovin’ Truth” is a celebration of love and the many facets of black music

Maeva Borzakian has been at home on the world’s stages for over 20 years. She recently toured with the legendary jazz-funk band Cortex. For “Lovin’ Truth”, the Parisian singer, songwriter and composer has teamed up with French funk alchemist Philippe Magoo to record an album full of elegant R&B, 80s orientated funk and West Coast influenced pop songs. The result is compelling and finds the newlywed singer at the top of her game. Fans of Sade and Erykah Badu should definitely give it a listen.

Ed Motta returns with new single “Safely Far” and announces album for October

After a five-year hiatus, Brazilian music giant Ed Motta returns with his first single “Safely Far” from his new album “Behind The Tea Chronicles”, which will be released on 20 October. The new song combines everything we love about the Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Rio de Janeiro: bouncy West Coast grooves meet jazzy Steely Dan-style harmonies, sparkling Rhodes piano runs and exquisite brass arrangements, over which Motta’s uniquely soulful voice elegantly floats. The master is finally back!

Review: “Popsicle Toes” by the Buster Brown Band

Named after a cartoon character, the Buster Brown Band from Texas evolved in the 70s and early 80s from a classic blues rock band into one of Dallas’ hottest blue-eyed soul and funk outfits. Unfortunately, a planned album never materialised at the time and numerous demos disappeared into the archives. Thanks to the Parisian label Providenciales Records, these songs oscillating between funk, blue-eyed soul and West Coast AOR have now finally been officially released on “Popsicle Toes”. West Coast music aficionados who love bands and artists like Pages, Earth, Wind & Fire, Eric Tagg or LeBlanc And Carr should definitely give it a listen.

Between heat and heart – on their new album 79.5 celebrate New York club sound in all its facets

79.5 describe themselves as “the sound of New York City” – and they don’t exaggerate, especially when it comes to the sound of dark R’n’B and disco clubs in Brooklyn, where longing, ecstasy and breakdown are celebrated every night. On their now released sophomore album, the Brooklyn-based band captures all these emotional states in great songs that oscillate between 70’s underground disco, electro boogie, acid jazz and sugary sweet pop – somewhere between the cool funkiness of the Universal Togetherness Band and the catchiness of the Scissor Sisters.

On his solo debut “Wait Til I Get Over” Durand Jones reflects on his musical and personal roots

With his solo debut “Wait Til I Get Over”, Durand Jones, frontman of the great soul band Durand Jones & The Indications, embarks on a very personal musical journey to his hometown of Hillaryville, Louisiana, and lets the listener participate in the diverse musical culture of the black community of the American South. Jones succeeds in creating an album that exudes the scent of “magnolias on a hot summer day” while reinterpreting the traditions of Southern Soul for the 21st century.

A Good Woman – Interview with Izo FitzRoy

Singer, songwriter and pianist Izo FitzRoy returns with her third album “A Good Woman” and impressively proves that she is one of the great voices of the British soul and gospel scene. The album is her most personal to date and reflects her development over the last few years, and is not least an examination of the roles women have to play in our society. WEST COAST SOUL spoke with the artist about the making of the new album, how the experiences of the last few years have influenced her songwriting, her collaboration with Oscar de Jong of Kraak & Smaak, feminism, the healing effect of gospel music and much more.

The Everettes celebrate the classic Motown sound on their new album “Soul Steps”

With their second album “Soul Steps”, the Berlin and San Diego based soul outfit The Everettes follow in the footsteps of their musical idols and catapult the classic sound of Motown, Stax and Northern Soul into the 21st century with a lot of finesse and dedication. Anyone who can sit still while listening to these stirring soul stompers is beyond help. “Soul Steps” is definitely a must-have for the upcoming Northern Soul party.

Emm Gryner heads for the sunny shores of yacht rock with her new album ‘Business & Pleasure’

When a music professional like Canadian singer-songwriter Emm Gryner sets out to record a tribute to the L.A. sound of the late ’70s and early ’80s, she doesn’t do things by halves. On her new album ‘Business & Pleasure’, the artist gathers session musicians from the golden age and, with the help of producer Fred Mollin, transfers the mellow sound of the past into the 2020s. The result is a varied album that will not only please lovers of classic yacht rock.

Eddie Chacon returns with new album “Sundown”

On his new album “Sundown”, Eddie Chacon embarks on a meditative journey through the shallows of life. As on his comeback album “Pleasure, Joy and Happiness”, he is accompanied by his brother in spirit, the multi-instrumentalist John Carroll Kirby. It seems too early to speak of a late work for an artist who is just 59 years old. But “Sundown” shows a reflected singer and songwriter who draws his wisdom from his life’s experiences. This is how soul music has to sound in the 21st century.

On his new album “What’s Trending” Leo Sidran takes a close look at today’s world

On his latest record “What’s Trending”, the American singer-songwriter Leo Sidran continues his deeply personal examination of the all-too-human, today’s social circus and family life, which he already so skilfully laid out before us with an open eye and fine intuition on the previous album “The Art Of Conversation”. Enriched with funk, West Cost and even hip-hop elements, Sidran grooves his way through the pitfalls of everyday life in a swinging and elegant way, supported by numerous family members, including his father, the legendary jazz musician Ben Sidran, inviting us to smile and reflect and showing impressively that he has long since become an accomplished chronicler of his environment, a musical Woody Allen, if you will. What Leo Sidran observes, writes down and sings has a universal meaning that applies to life in Brooklyn as well as to the rest of the world. “What’s Trending” is an album that should be listened to carefully.

The Angels Of Libra launch into the outer space with their new single “Revelations”

After the Hamburg-based soul outfit Angels of Libra and Irish singer Nathan Johnston took off last year with their excellent debut album, the Angels are giving even more boost with their first single “Revelations” from their forthcoming second album, which will be released on 17 March, and are finally overcoming the force of gravity. Almost weightlessly, the musicians weave soul, library and film music into a rousing mix. Major Tom would have liked the video released for the new single.

Surprise Chef announce Europe tour

Surprise Chef’s sound draws from ’70s film music, the funky side of jazz and samples that form the basis of hip-hop. In April and May the Australian band will finally come on a big European tour and will also play some concerts in Germany. With their new video “Spring’s Theme live at the Legendary Diamond Mine” they get their fans in the right mood for the upcoming shows.

Tennis are on the trail of the little things on their new album “Pollen”

On their sixth album “Pollen”, the self-reflective indie-pop duo Tennis from Denver, Colorado, find meaning in the little things and continue the successful path they set out on with their predecessor “Swimmer” – modern pop music that evokes the glamour of the 80s but is firmly anchored in the present, not least thanks to a punchy production. And yes, Alaina Moore’s voice is as ethereal as ever.

Pacific Breeze 3 – Light in the Attic continues its journey into the world of Japanese City Pop

Light in the Attic releases the latest chapter in its acclaimed Japanese City Pop series, Pacific Breeze, which delivers a mesmerizing blend of AOR, R&B, jazz fusion, funk, boogie, and disco from the country’s flourishing bubble era of the ‘70s and ‘80s. The highly anticipated Pacific Breeze 3: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1975-1987, continues the exploration with songs that push the boundaries of the genre and offer glimmers of the next waves of music, including Shibuya-kei, hip-hop, and electro.

Out now: Smooth & Soulful Sounds Vol. 17

With our “Smooth & Soulful Sounds” series, WEST COAST SOUL.de presents current favorites, potential hits as well as fresh releases and artists that deserve more airplay. Discover the latest from Soul, West Coast, Slow Funk and Sunset Disco.

Island Time – Interview with Joel Sarakula

“Island Time” is the long-awaited new album from Joel Sarakula and his first since moving to the Canary Islands at the height of the pandemic. Building on his previous albums “Love Club” and “Companionship”, the Sydney-born singer-songwriter, musician and producer expands his palette with a wider use of synthesizers and drum machines, making stylistically adventurous choices such as AOR samba and 70s-style reggae. The result is one of the first album highlights of the new year. West Coast Soul took the opportunity to talk with Joel Sarakula before the start of his German tour about the making of “Island Time”, the influence of his new domicile on his music, what the audience can expect on the tour and much more.

OUT NOW! WEST COAST SOUL.de presents “Tokyo Dreams Volume 3 – Japanese City Pop, Funk and Rare Grooves”

It all started with an internet phenomenon: “Plastic Love” by Mariya Takeuchi became a viral hit in the 2010s. The 1984 single, written by Takeuchi and her husband Tatsuro Yamashita, sounded nostalgically familiar and at the same time exotic to Western ears, and opened up a musical cultural space previously known only to insiders: the world of City Pop. A genre that provided the soundtrack for Japanese economic prosperity in the 80s.

West Coast Soul.de – Albums Of The Year 2022

The year is coming to an end and it was again a year of great new releases and discoveries. Of course, it was and is always impossible to limit a year to just ten albums, but the following records have left a lasting impression on us and accompanied us through the last months. It’s time to honour the best albums of the year: Here is the West Coast Soul.de Top 10 of 2022!

Out now: “Smooth & Soulful Sounds – Best Of 2022”

With our Spotify series “Smooth & Soulful Sounds”, WEST COAST SOUL.de presents current favourites, potential hits as well as fresh songs and artists who deserve more airplay. We’ve compiled the seven editions of the year for you in one Best Of West Coast, Soul, Funk, Sophistipop and Sunset Disco of 2022.

Out now: Smooth & Soulful Sounds Volume 16

With our “Smooth & Soulful Sounds” series, WEST COAST SOUL presents current favorites, potential hits as well as fresh releases and artists that deserve more airplay. Discover the latest from Soul, West Coast, Slow Funk and Sunset Disco. Listen now!

Nathan Johnston & the Angels of Libra celebrate the virtues of authentic soul music on their debut album

For their first studio album, the Hamburg soul outfit Angels of Libra teamed up with the Irish singer-songwriter Nathan Johnston, after they had already attracted attention with singles with Shawn Lee and Maiiah. The result is an authentic album full of elegantly grooving, varied and atmospheric soul music, characterised by tasteful horn arrangements, a great rhythm section and the right amount of analogue warmth, but not least by Nathan Johnston’s striking voice – one of our soul albums of the year.

Album Review: Lee Fields explores the depths of the human soul on his new album “Sentimental Fool”

It has taken over 20 years, now finally the legendary American soul singer Lee Fields has released his first album on the New York Daptone Records label. With the support of label founder Gabriel Roth and the best musicians Daptone has to offer, the 72-year-old singer explores the essence of pure, true emotion on “Sentimental Fool” and impressively demonstrates his mastery. Soul music can’t get much deeper than this.

Ticket To Shangri-La – Interview with Young Gun Silver Fox

On their new album “Ticket To Shangri-La”, Young Gun Silver Fox invite us to take a sonic break from everyday life and current crises. But anyone expecting an album full of relaxed ballads should buckle up. On their fourth studio album, Shawn Lee and Andy Platts pick up the pace and combine their inimitable feeling for catchy, sundrenched West Coast soul-pop with an infectious funkiness. West Coast Soul talked with the duo about their new songs, their creative partnership, sources of inspiration, tour plans and many more.

Too Slow To Disco – the anniversary interview with Marcus Liesenfeld

After smooth detours to soul covers, French neo-disco, modern sunset club sounds and Brazilian AOR, the renowned “Too Slow To Disco” series returns to its original West Coast AOR and yacht roots this year with its tenth edition. A good reason to talk with Berlin based TSTD curator Marcus Liesenfeld aka DJ Supermarkt on the development of the series over the past eight years, the qualities of a good music curator, his favourite editions, the classic compilation format, the future of the series and much more.