Tennerz: The Layabouts feat. Imaani – Stay (The Layabouts Vocal Mix) (Foliage Records)
The Layabouts, Imaani, and also Foliage Records… As many names widely speakin’ for themselves in terms of quality. Even though the label has remained on hold for a few years.
Well, the good news is that these three entities are back in full effect with the blowing ‘Stay’. Therefore makin’ themselves in accordance to the famous expression sayin’ that unity makes strength.
No matter what, The Layabouts (Leigh Darlow and Alex Paschali) have the art of always comin’ up with sizzlin’ hot grooves. With the rumblin’ funk bass-driven ‘Stay’ makin’ now exception. A cut embedding all the elements which have been for much on their growing reputation along with time. Beginning with their sense of balance. Meanwhile spicin’ up the whole with little details that make the difference such as the contrasts they create with their keys. As for Imaani, she shows once more her natural maestria vocally speakin’. Delivering a heartfelt one of a kind performance and, in the meantime, an invitation one can hardly resist to…
Listen, she’s beggin’ “you” to stay. As a matter of fact, I hardly see how you wouldn’t do so when havin’ a listen to this masterpiece…
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The first time I heard of The Layabouts brings me back the the first half of the 2000’s. Back at the time, Olivier Velay, who was in charge of Stalwart Records, warmly told me about them. Suggesting it would be cool welcomin’ them for an interview on the first version of Indamixworldwide. Something he ended up doin’ for us. With, from then, Leigh Darlow and Alex Paschali widely showin’ us as to how they are a force to definitely count with.
Darlow, the man behind the rhythms, and Paschali, the guitarist and orchestrator, first met back in 2001 in home city London. Off back various projects they happened to be working on in the same recording studio. They delivered their first release – ‘Small Talk EP’ – 3 years later on Soulworks Recordings. Eventually collaborating with Alix Alvarez on ‘Feelin Right’ and from then progressively establishing their reputation as a driving force. One might remember their remix of David Harness & Roland Clark‘s memorable ‘The Deejay’s An Alien’ for Foliage Records back in 2008. Or their rework of Choklate‘s ‘The Tea’ on Reel People Music two years after. Not to mention the outstanding ‘Thank You’ feat. Pete Simpson with remix courtesy of Reelsoul. Or ‘Perfectly’ with Shea Soul which received the remix treatment of Atjazz.
As many gems which would lead to countless others. From Renn‘s ‘Nights In Africa’ to Reel People‘s ‘Sure’. Eventually bringing them to be managed by Reel People Music label head Oli Lazarus.
On year on, and they would deliver one of the cuts of 2011, while remixing Imaani‘s ‘Found My Light’. Then Tarantulaz‘s ‘I Wasn’t Kidding’. Meanwhile, they would introduce us to Portia Monique with ‘Do Better’ in 2012. Eventually sharing the duties soon after with Omar on the hypnotic ‘As Long As You Believe’. Their debut-album – ‘Future Retro’ – following soon after. With 2013 seein’ Portia Monique joinin’ them for like an encore on ‘Colours Of Love’…
More recently, back in 2016, Choklate and The Layabouts‘ paths would cross once more on ‘Wide Open’. Meanwhile the twosome gave a brilliant boost to Tony Momrelle ‘This Could Be Us’ soon after. With their remixes of Portia Monique‘s ‘Ecstasy’ comin’ out a month later. Another year goin’ and they would make a beautiful return along with Imaani on ‘Stay’, therefore marking the return to activity of German label Foliage Records after a 3 years hiatus.