First Listen: Zo! feat. Dornik – Lifelines (N’Dinga Gaba Reelmix) (Foliage)
Like it or not, remixes are just like cover versions. They bring something or they don’t! No more, no less. With N’Dinga Gaba‘s interpretation of ‘Lifelines’ makin’ no exception. And belonging to the first category, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. At least for those of us familiar with his works.
‘Lifelines’ first appeared back in 2016. This as a part of Zo!‘s ‘SkyBreak’ album, with Reel People Music soon after licensing it. Then releasing it with remixes courtesy of… Reel People.
Hard to not find some connection between British singer Dornik (Leigh) and Michael Jackson as a matter of fact. And, by that, I mean his downbeat repertoire. Then, more precisely, that timeless gem titled ‘Human Nature’. A feeling which N’Dinga Gaba subtly enhanced on his rework – the Reelmix – of ‘Lifelines’ for German label Foliage. The whole in an infectious lectro/funk syncopated vein. Cleverly punctuating it with sparkling vocoderized keys. Thus delivering one of his best reworks ever.
No need sayin’ how you won’t wanna miss these ‘Lifelines’…
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– A multi-instrumentalist and a producer nowadays living in Silver Spring, MD, Lorenzo Ferguson was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. Something you can tell, judging by the wide range of music genres which got to him at an early age, thus serving as the basis of his influences.
Also known as The Musical Architect or simply Zo!, the man is a definitive workaholic. This with no less than 8 albums to his credit since 2003 including his latest – ‘SkyBreak’ – that saw the light back in 2016. An album that includes ‘Lifelines’ featuring Dornik which Reel People eventually remixed on their Reel People Music label a few months later. With N’Dinga Gaba bringin’ it to a new dimension with his rework for Foliage Records two years after. Meanwhile ‘We Are On The Move’ which we welcomed in our Top 10 in November 2014 with remix courtesy of Shur-I-kan, initially appeared eighteen months before as a part of the Zo!‘s ‘ManMade’ album. The latter seeing him sharing the duties with Erro and Phonte.
As a musician, Zo! collaborated with an impressive amount of other artists. From Slum Village to Malik Alston. But also Platinum Pied Pipers and Sy Smith. Not to mention The Foreign Exchange. Eventually becoming their musical director and one of their regular producers.
Most recently, Zo! has expanded his musical repertoire to include film scoring. Thus completing full scores for two documentaries: ‘Black, White & Blue’ (2018) and the Northwestern University commissioned, ‘The Takeover’ (2018). While in production for another upcoming studio release, Zo! is also currently composing music. This for the newly-acquired IFC sketch-comedy series, ‘Sherman’s Showcase’, that should see the light in 2019).
– London-based singer and producer Dornik Leigh never went after the spotlight, but the spotlight found him anyway. The quiet spoken Croydon native was content for years to stay behind the drumkit, drumming for Pop stars on tour and keeping his own bedroom-recorded, sun-streaked electronic love songs a secret. “It was just a private hobby”, he admitted. “I never saw myself as a frontman.” It was while on tour with Jessie Ware that she heard his demos, and immediately knew he’d be right at home alongside her on PMR, the home of forward-thinking, Leftfield Pop. If it wasn’t for her, the world might never have stumbled across this hidden gem.
Dornik made his first appearance on the musical landscape back in 2013. This with the bubbling Lectrosoul ‘Something About You’. Over the course of the next two years, he followed this with ‘Rebound’, ‘On My Mind’ and ‘Second Thoughts’. As many groove-led jams that focused around his percussionist obsession with creating addictive rhythms. It was while writing these particular songs that the man also found his groove with storytelling. Eventually describing his process as being like “scripting a short film.”
Impressionistic yet passionate, the result is something like a film full of palm tree-fringed montages; dream sequences bleed into love scenes, with lyricism that weaves everyday observation into far-off fantasy.
His 2015 eponymous album was like the 80’s sent in a time capsule to the 2050’s. The world had to wait a little while for Dornik to emerge into the spotlight, and that’s cool by him. His music is made to be absorbed, to get right under the skin. The more time you spend with it, the more you just might discover. Just like the outstanding ‘Lifelines’ that saw him sharing the bill with Rapper Phonte (Coleman) and producer Zo! back in 2016. With additional remixes courtesy of Reel People appearing a few months later on their Reel People Music imprint. Then N’Dinga Gaba reworking it two years after for German label Foliage Records.
– N’Dinga Gaba has been on the music scene for more than two decades as a DJ, producer, musician and composer.
Hailing from Central African Republic although based in Baltimore, MD, N’Dinga has embraced a variety of musical styles over his career. He has played with several symphony orchestras and Jazz bands as a trombonist. And as a DJ, he has toured with Hip-Hop and Rock acts. And he is most likely proficient in all styles of electronic music.
Also known as The Diplomat, DJ Nuclear, and The Love House Movement, N’Dinga’s musical style is hard to define. You can find his music and remixes on many labels, such as Foliage Records, Peng Records and Sole Channel. This in addition to Code Red / Quantize Recordings and King Street. Thus standing on an impressive amount of one of a kind pieces of music as a matter of fact.
Among the first productions / mixes of his coming to mind would certainly be ‘Until You’. A firing gem that saw him sharing the bill productionwise with Code Red label head DJ Spen. With Marc Evans takin’ the centerstage vocally speakin’ on this partial interpolation of George Benson‘s ‘Love Ballad’ back in 2012.
That same year (2012) seeing him crafting extra monsterjams for the label. From his magnetic remix of the vibrant ‘Let It Be Love’ by the likes of Mark Di Meo feat. Nickson. To both ‘Rocker’ and ‘Radio Billie Stereo Ella’ for Erin Leah. Even though the firts traces of him bring us back to 2007 and the release of ‘Queen’ along with Scotty P on SOLE Channel Music with remixes courtesy of Mr V and Reelsoul.
Hard to give a specific hat when speakin’ of the man, we said earlier on. Illustration with ‘Everything’ that saw him sharing the duties with producers Ross Hillard and Tom Wardle and singer Natasha Watts. This under the THR33 guise back in 2015 before receiving a remix courtesy of Louie Vega the year after. But also with ‘Beautiful Humans’ which he retouched for Boddhi Satva feat. Les Nubians in 2017. That same year seeing him reconditioning ‘Yum Yum’ for Luka feat. Sio Blackwidow which we eventually welcomed as our Single Of The Week back then.
2018 getting us to enjoy another blast of his. This under the form of the composite ‘Lifelines’ for Zo! feat. Dornik on Foliage Records.
In addition to this, N’Dinga has launched his own label – Global Diplomacy – by the end of 2014. Thus putting out extra jewels. From Namy feat. Miwa‘s ‘Lift Me Away’ to Troy Denari‘s ‘Tembaco’. Not to mention ‘Beautiful’ along with Jaidene Veda and Josh Milan, among others…
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Traxsource IDMW Top 10 November 2018