Classics: The Layabouts & Pete Simpson – Thank You (Reelsoul Remix) (MN2S)
When talents come to meet other talents, you can’t hardly expect anything else but quality. Which is obviously the case when thinkin’ of ‘Thank You’. Here we had all the ingredients to make of this heartfelt piece a timeless one. Which is, as well, the case, remembering it saw the light back in 2010.
Mind you, The Layabouts (Alex Paschali and Leigh Darlow) are regulars on these shores. And Pete Simpson is one of the most talented singers hailing from the U.K.. As for Reelsoul, he delivers his signature sound, blending stellar keys over a bumpin’ bass driven rhythm pattern.
Remembered as one of the 2010 Miami Winter Music Conference’s highlights. I suppose we’ll never say enough thank you to these gifted people for this…
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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 on, 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.
– It’s quite surprising to note no one has ever written a biography in regards to Pete Simpson. Come on… We’re talking about one of the greatest voices hailing from the U.K. along with Omar and Tony Momrelle! With All of them having a lot in common with each other as a matter of fact. Beginning with their instantly identifiable voices. But also their undeniable versatility.
A skillfulness which has allowed Simpson to embrace many different genres. From Acid Jazz, along with Domu to Drum & Bass with London Elektricity (check the outstanding ‘Impossible To Say’). But also his memorable collaboration with Joey Negro‘s The Sunburst Band. Not to mention his regular collaborations with House producers. This bringing us to gems such as ‘In My Heart’ with Bobby & Steve to ‘Gotta Make It Right’ with Groove Assassin. And more recently ‘Thank You’ with The Layabouts to name a few.
– William Rodriquez III found his early influences in the wide rage of musical sounds and styles which his dad introduced him to. From Cerrone to Loose Ends. Not to mention the various tones of Hip-Hop and Dance Music that surrounded him.
An avid collector of 45’s by the age of 4, this experience continued to have an expression for Will‘s creative outlet. By the age of 10, he taught himself by ear to play the keyboard. His cousin bringin’ his attention to Deep House cuts from labels such as Strictly Rhythm and Nervous. And a year after, he eventually started spinnin’. Nurturin’ his craft musical arrangements across the board from Hip-Hop, Rare Groove & Underground House Parties.
By 1992, Will was making beats with two tape decks and a keyboard. This rich musical assortment continued to thrive on his passion for production. As he continued to advance himself in the art of making music so did his sound. His rich soulful debut, ‘Take Me To A Place’ found a home on Frankie Feliciano‘s Ricanstruction label.
He quickly followed with a string of releases for various labels, meanwhile establishing an instantly recognizable signature. Therefore turnin’ countless jams into essential cuts. From The Laybouts & Pete Simpson‘s ‘Thank You’ to Soul: ID‘s ‘Believe’. But also Marc Cotterell‘s ‘Into The Light’. Or Diephuis featuring Jocelyn Brown‘s ‘Don’t Quit’. Not to mention Sterling Ensemble featuring Lee Wilson‘s ‘Everybody’ to name a few. Then Deva Mahal‘s ‘Wicked’ that’s seen him sharing the duties with Quantize Recordings label head DJ Spen…
As a matter of fact, it’s as if everybody wanted to have something of Reelsoul these days. Such as Dihann Moore with her revamp of ‘True To Yourself’ on Makin Moves…
No surprisingly, Reelsoul also crafted masterpieces under his own banner. Beginning with the memorable ‘For The Love Of You’ featuring Kyra back in 2010 on MN2S. And ‘Get Myself Together’ on his recently launched Reelsoul Musik label.