paul randolph

“There’s a great underground soul scene bubbling with artists you may not have heard like … Paul Randolph, among many others in [Detroit] – Stevie Wonder

Is it too fan-boi to say that I’m absolutely besotted with the recently released collection of remixes of tracks from Paul Randolph‘s 2007 album, Lonely Eden? The original album was a wonderful, warm, journey through organic Detroit soul, from this Techno second-waver (his credits go back to 1993 and he was a part of Carl Craig‘s legendary Innerzone Orchestra).

A bass player and vocalist, I was a huge fan of his This Is… What It Is album on Moodyman‘s Mahogani Music, an album (mini-album?) so deeply beautiful it defies words on screen.

Whenever I feel jaded by house music and it’s various mutations, I put this mighty disc on and shiver a little again.

Released over a series of 12″ EPs across 2008 and 2009, the mixes on Echoes (Of Lonely Eden) mostly take me to this same place. The original long player was/is a lovely jazz-edged soul album, full of killer deep urban grooves – the sort that only appear on independent labels now, as the majors seem to have forgotten about the music that drove the world for so many decades and made their empires what they are – but the remixes take these songs back to the place inhabited by that earlier mini album, and that remake of The Stylistics’ People Make The World Go Round, that Paul voiced so movingly on the Innerzone Orchestra album in the late ’90s.

Recloose, Deetron, Zed Bias, Charles Webster and others all provide majestically deep mixes but the stonker is the Underground Resistance mix, from Mark Flash, of GPS,  an epic and sad soldier’s ballad on the original album, dominated by stabbing strings and a mountainous ending, now lifted into another eerie place altogether closer to the centre of Detroit around 4 am.

I toyed with posting a track, but, nah, buy it…

A disclaimer: I was given this album by my good friend, Phillip Kelly, who was responsible (in collaboration with Simon Endres) for the art direction, typography, layout, design and the fabulous photography (as seen above) on both this and the earlier Paul Randolph releases..none of which, you can be assured, influenced my non-corruptible mind.