Gilles Peterson says: “STR4TASFEAR is a continuation from our first project, celebrating the ground breaking Brit-funk era of the late 70s/ early 80s while continuing the story with the rise of the drum machine; paying homage to the Acid Jazz and Electro Soul that followed and the evolution that inspired club culture and new Jazz of recent times. For me it’s a record of parallels, not only in music but a lot of the issues we are experiencing today began in that Brit-Funk era. The parallels in the political landscape of that time and today are poignant and the moment of overall change we are living in is reflected in this record. Bluey is a significant executer of exhibiting the important social questions through music from a Black British perspective and it’s an honour to work with him.”
For their second album, Gilles Peterson and Jean Paul Maunick have invited some collaborators to connect the legacy with a new generation of musical innovators. The core concept of the album is that nostalgic reflections meet the desire to celebrate the present moment. This is clearly expressed in the central moments of the album. Most notably, the multi-talented neo-soul godfather Omar, who in an incredible plot twist, contributed his complex, idiosyncratic synth basslines to “Why Must You Fly”.
The epicentre of STR4TASFEAR is the coming together and cherished friendship between the band’s founders, a solid production duo whose clearly defined roles complement and inspire each other. Gilles Peterson as executive producer, enriching the production process with his extensive and encyclopaedic knowledge of late 70s/early 80s Brit-funk and electro-soul, inspiring a new wave of musicians over the course of his remarkably long career as DJ, label owner and radio producer. Highly acclaimed musician and producer Jean Paul “Bluey” Maunick provides the creative flow. Added to this is the invaluable contribution of Mo Hausler, who has been instrumental in shaping the album’s soundscape. Completing the vision is the magical touch of legendary keyboardist and pianist Peter Hinds (Atmosfear, Light of The World, Incognito), who can be heard throughout the album. The album pays homage to the incredible pioneering work of bands like SunPalace & Freeez, who paved the way for artists like Total Contrast & Stephen Dante (produced by Bluey in the mid 80s) to become British electro-soul. This sound is now emulated by contemporary producers such as Dâm-Funk, Zopelar & SpaceGhost to name a few.
STR4TA is the new wave jazz-funk project of DJ, presenter, producer and record label owner Gilles Peterson and legendary musician and Brit-funk authority Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick (Incognito, Freeez and Light of the World). As long-time friends and collaborators, they are exploring new musical possibilities with STR4TA, inspired by a formative time together. Their debut album, Aspects, was released in March 2021 to critical acclaim and was Maunick and Peterson’s first album together in over a decade. The track We Like It reached over 1 million streams on Spotify, Rhythm In Your Mind lasted over 12 weeks on the Jazz FM playlist and a remix EP featuring Melé, Dave Lee, Greg Wilson, Dave Aju and others was released in late 2021. Strong support has come from BBC 6Music, The Guardian, Wax Poetics, The Vinyl Factory, Crack, CLASH, Télérama (FR), Radio Nova (FR), KCRW (US), Rolling Stones Italy & Japan. STR4TA have played electrifying live shows at We Out Here (UK), Primavera Sound (Spain) and a headline show at The Jazz Cafe, London.
Photo by Alex Kurunis