The new Urbanstars compilation is out and it's blistering!
The first Urbanstars compilation was a truly mould breaking set. Compiled by Choice's Steve Wren, it contained a whole clutch of urban soul anthems that were fresh, vital, soulful and straight off the street.
The good news is that volume 2 is now with us and in many ways it's even better than that epic volume 1. Continuity between the two sets is provided by the Dazz Band's version of "You Are My Starship". One of the highlights of Urbanstars 1, it has rightly been a soul night mainstay since its release. Here's it's presented in the in-ya-face Boostamix and it's irresistible. Leah McCrae's another from the first set who gets a track here. Her contribution is "Summervibe" which rides in on the luscious riff from Tania Maria's "Come With Me". Never has a tune been more aptly named. Its one of the album's many highlights. Others include Rugged's "Spend The Night" which has all the credentials to become a classic; Byron Stingly's "Don't Stop" - already a massive soul night anthem; Niambi's "Come Dance With Me" - one irresistible invitation; and Jo Jo's floating "Sweet Honey Love", which deliciously slow things down just at the right moment. Listen up too for Hush's "Ghetto Mantra" which is built around that current fashionable eastern vibe. It provides a flava that's just a touch different. But dip in anywhere and you'll find your own favourites. The Urbanstar crew have turned out a stunning set here but, more importantly, by their consistency they've proved that an independent British set up can do anything the majors can - and do it better! BILL BUCKLEY - BLUES AND SOUL MAGAZINE