Sail Away – Strike Boogie (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

People today love gathering labels around themselves. Every musician seems also to be a producer, those selling t-shirts are suddenly also entrepreneurs, and anyone with a blog and an opinion is automatically an influencer. But there are some people, such as Strike Boogie, who actually are multi-disciplinarians, in his case someone who has throughout his life flitted between theatre, dance, literature, illustration and of course music to find the perfect creative outlet for whatever the current project is.

Ahead of a new ep, The Immaculate Conception, and the promise of a plethora of music releases throughout the year, he has just released Sail Away and what a cool and seductive track it proves to be. A gorgeously understated slice of neo-soul, it blends busy, shuffling beats with soft and soulful vocals into the perfect example of where the sharp end of urban music is today.

It is both effortlessly addictive and deftly crafted, a clever weave of mainstream-pleasing construction and more inventive and adventurous, underground soul-pop vibes. The beats might be urgent and inviting, enough to get even the most reluctant wallflower up and on to the dancefloor, but the calm and serene nature of the top line vocals, the haze of the chorus harmonies, the use of space and restraint as points of sonic punctuation, hint at something that far outpaces the usual hip-hop hype and R&B revisionism which seems to clutter up today’s charts.

It’s a great teaser for the EP to follow. A cool calling card. A masterful mission statement. It’s also a track that makes its impact, not through volume or density, sonic weight or musical punch, it is cleverer than that. Instead, Strike Boogie offers up something beguiling, seductive, enticing and tasteful and against the white noise of gimmick and gizmo, pop conformity and the transient ebbs and flow of fad and fashion, such subtle sounds are perhaps the most powerful sonic beacon on the musical horizon.

The power of understatement can never be overstated.

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