White Rabbit Records - Blog

2023/4 Albums Thing 322 - Smoove & Turrell “Antique Soul”

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Right then, back to the alphabet after Saturdays excursion in to D...we're back at Sm which means...

Smoove or DJ Smoove, aka Jonathan Scott Watson, is a DJ and remixer from the North East who had made a couple of albums for Acid Jazz Records. I first came across Smoove via a song called “Left Right And Centre”. The song had been written by Paul Weller in his mid teens and in 2006 Acid Jazz released a single by Lord Large, a recording of Weller’s song and a couple of remixes. Lord Large turned out to feature New York Italian singer Dean Parrish (who Northern Soul fans will know for songs like “I’m On My Way”, “Determination” and “Bricks, Broken Bottles And Sticks”) and one of the remixes I liked was by this fella Smoove. So I dug a bit deeper and found an album called “Gravy: Remixes & Rarities” by Smoove which featured a fantastic cover of the Spencer Davis Group song “I’m A Man” credited to  Dan Roberts (a 7” copy of which cost me a tidy sum some years later) and now I was really interested in this Smoove fella. The next thing I discovered was that Smoove was a part of something called Smoove & Turrell. I found their tracks “Hammond” and “Beggarman” online and quickly ascertained their sound was very much like the Dan Roberts single and here we are with a copy of Smoove & Turrells debut album “Antique Soul”

Smoove had chanced across singer John Turrell after hearing him rehearsing with his band in a garage in the house next door to a keyboard player he was working with. After a couple more sessions scouting him through the walls they knocked on his door and hit it off straight away. Smoove & Turrell was born. Smoove & Turrell is a band, they are real musicians and not just a DJ/Remixers backing tracks with a live singer. They play a concoction of Soul, Funk, Northern Soul and Hip Hop that they dubbed ‘Northern Funk’ or sometimes the much better description of ‘Northern Coal Music’.

This is pure dance music, aimed firmly at the feet and not the head. The grooves are infectious and Turrell is a great soulful singer, if at times you could easily mistake him for Paul Weller. Highlights are the previously noted singles “Hammond” and “Beggarman”, the barnstorming “I Can't Give You Up” and a great cover of Yazoo’s “Don’t Go”. 

No deep dissection or philosophical rumination on the nature of this album will be entered into here. This is dance music pure and simple, that’s why I like it, pure and simple.

Hammond - https://youtu.be/5wF_c69NT-M?si=YO3Cxw5AyhbX7YQj

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