Friday, August 3, 2018

Vocalist Joseph Malik blends 60s R&B, blues, soul + jazz on his first album outing in 12 years (2018)

“Diverse Part 2 is an album very much about now and the way black music can descant on the past and yet embrace endless innovation. In the spirit of the old sixties DJs that were the ghetto mavens of their era - "Cut the chatter, check out the platter."
Stuart Cosgrove (writer and broadcaster)

With 80,000 copies of his 2002 milestone, post club classic LP ‘Diverse’ already under his belt, Joseph Malik’s ‘Diverse Part 2’ is his first album outing in 12 years and his debut showcase on Ramrock Red Records. 

Thanks to his perseverance and the close support of friends of 30 years and his inspiration to sing, David Donnelly, Steven Christie along with Saleem Andrew McGroarty and Chris Greives, collaborate with Joseph to deliver an uncompromising, take no prisoners collection of songs that are, quite simply, spine tingling. ‘Take A Left’, the first track taken from the album, is already smashing it on BBC Radio 6 Music and beyond. 

Over the last two years, Joseph’s work ethic has been relentless and his intensely passionate commitment towards ‘Diverse Part 2’ has driven it to the finishing line, allowing us to savour the exquisite result. Set for digital release on the 7th September, with the vinyl release following a month later, there is already an unbelievable buzz surrounding the album which Joseph has tantalisingly alluded to on various social media platforms during the production time. 

With a great ear for finding musically compatible artists to work with, Joseph has surrounded himself with a team of Scotland’s finest soul brothers and sisters to provide the raw energy to help him complete his mission to record the best in Soul, Jazz and Blues music. Together, they have created beautifully crafted melodies that fuel each track as their instruments interweave with Joseph’s distinctive vocals and the end result is respectful in its nod towards the musicians that went before as well as putting a fresh spin on the recordings. The hauntingly evocative ballad ‘Love Bound’ sits side by side with pared back track ‘But I’m Lost, Not Found’ full of longing and melancholy; sophisticated jazz jams are sprinkled throughout the line-up and the grittily authentic Rhythm & Blues number ‘Lost Not Found (Reprise)’ rubs a mohair suited shoulder with ‘Take A Left’, all of which allow Joseph’s captivating vocals space to soar and shine above the solid bedrock of his soul collective, the Easter Street Northern Soul Band.

Mr Malik’s first forays into music began when he started collecting records at 7 years old, buying vinyl from his local record shop in Glasgow’s West End. By the late 1970’s, he was 14 and DJ’ing at parties, breakdancing at the Plaza Ballroom with his older cousin’s crew Glasgow City Breakers and working at the Sub Club as a glass collector and flyer boy. But, by his late teens he’d grown weary of Glasgow’s violent backdrop of race hate and moved around from Manchester hanging out at the iconic Hacienda night club then down to London, watching Jah Shaka before eventually ending up in Edinburgh where he felt at home in the accommodating, multicultural city. Joseph began honing his production skills as a DJ/co-producer as part of Scotland’s foremost hip hop group, Black’anized, going under the code name M.F Outa ‘National and together with longtime friend and DJ/producer, Saleem Andrew McGroarty aka Awunsounds, he recorded the ground breaking ‘Miles Out Of Time’ which was included on the album ‘Headz (A Soundtrack Of Experimental Beathead Jams.)’

This was just the beginning of an extraordinarily, illustrious musical career that has spanned more than 30 years with Joseph Malik refusing to be stereotyped. His stunning vocal delivery on Trüby Trio’s seminal ‘High Jazz’, resulted in a great friendship with Rainer Trüby who was instrumental in landing Joseph’s recording contract with German label, Compost. Releasing ‘Diverse’ on the label, the record received critical acclaim from his peers including Gilles Peterson and Norman Jay.

Success continued for Joseph; touring with Terry Callier, releasing a double album on the Stereo MCs Response label, writing his first hit record ‘Crack Pipe’, working on hip hop, techno and Drum and Bass productions with luminaries such as Drumagick, Grand Unified, Darren Emerson, Fred Everything and Kruder & Dorfmeister and releasing a remix album with Aqua Bassino and Grand Unified.

The wheel has turned full circle……please be upstanding for Joseph Malik and ‘Diverse Part 2’.