Benji B & Glenn Underground Present Need 2 Soul Vol.2

A 26 track pop album (2h 36m 22s) — released January 26th 2009 on Need2Soul
Due to the overwhelming popularity of their nights and the cream of DJ's that spun there. Need2Soul have subsequently added another string to their bow by developing a record label of the same name, material sprung from the vast amount of unreleased tunes their guests played. Their first album release 'Need2Soul' V.01' was lovingly compiled by house dons Ron Trent and Jerome Sydenham earlier this year. However, for this release, things take a slightly more eclectic turn as BBC 1Xtra's Benji B compiles CD 1 where he selects timeless underground soul, disco, African and techno sounds. Gems reflecting his superb taste in music that has become synonymous with his weekly radio show and outstanding club sets. On the flip Chicago DJ Glenn Underground takes the groove to a different zone with his signature style of soulful / jazzy and deep house. Benji B was immersed in music from birth playing the Sax religiously and teaching the art of the Gamelan at London's Southbank Centre. By the age of 16 he collaborated with Gilles Peterson on their live radio show 'Worldwide' on Kiss FM. The show later went national when it moved home to BBC Radio 1 where he became producer for 2 years syndicating the show around the world. 'Worldwide' won a Gold Sony Award in 1999. When the BBC launched 1Xtra in 2002 Benji was asked to present his own show 'Deviation', which is broadcast every Thursday from midnight until 2am. His radio shows and DJ sets blend tunes from various genres of underground soul music, spanning broken beats, hip hop, house, UK Garage, jazz, soul and Detroit techno. Glenn Underground is the founding member of the Strictly Jaz Unit. He was raised on disco classics and freeform jazz in Chicago's Southside, the place where house music was born. Taking inspiration from Chicago's original pioneers, Larry Heard, Ron Hardy & Lil' Louie, Glenn Underground aka GU, CVO, amongst many others, has to be the most proficient and lasting producer of underground house music in Chicago. Portraying an expansive dance catalogue and ranging from absolute jazz to deeper electronic sounds and everything in-between. His sets seamlessly walk the line between deep/jazz/tech house, and the sublime sounds that came from the legendary parties of late 70's Chicago. One of dance music's must unrewarded artists, who we hear, produces all his music after midnight!

This two disc affair features track selections from two top class DJs from either side of the Atlantic, 1Xtra DJ Benji B and Chicago-based deep house producer Glenn Underground. Disc one is taken by Benji B, who seemed to ascend using Gilles Petersen's coat tails a good few years ago, and who here collects a diverse range of tunes. There are gospel chants with the Celestial Choir, nu-soul from Phlash, quality tech from Ame with 'Hydraulic Dog', a Carl Craig acidic rework of Cesarioa Evora's 'Angola' and some Latin house from Louie Vega. But the highlight is Deetron's 'I Cling', after which it fails to reach the same heights again. It's diverse with a few nice touches but a little disjointed at times. Glenn Underground's disc takes us more housewards, kicking off with the sublime 'A Swell Session' by Swell Session (aka talented Swede Andreas Saag) from 2000, which sucked me right in. From the tribal chants of Nahawa Doumbia, it gets overly sweet with Vega's EOL remix of 'Stars' by Jiva, and Blvd East's 'Luv 4 Money' sounds far too like that Mr V with Miss Patty track. Luckily, Glenn pulls it back, with some proper Latin house on Misia's 'Melody', featuring MAW on the remix, and our Phlash's awesome remix of Fini Dolo's 'Blow. Elsewhere, Allen Hoist' gospel-tinted 'With Love' is solid, KDJ's 'J.A.N' is abstract and menacing, and it's all rounded off with Brett Dancer's nice cut, 'Dreamin', which oddly only runs for 90 seconds. All in all this is not your run of the mill compo and will appeal to those looking enrich their musical palate. There are a few hits and a few misses, and some will find it a little too far left of centre, but on the whole I quite enjoyed it. - record of the day

The Need2Soul label has been running since 2005, but they only made their first venture into the commercial mix market this year with a double disc set from regular US guests Ron Trent and Jerome Sydenham. On Need2Soul Vol. 2 you can expect yet another helping of deep and soulful house music, this time featuring DJs from both sides of the Atlantic. UK-based Benji B is a DJ on BBC 1Xtra, a station which dedicates itself solely to black and urban music, and can be found spinning anything from UK Garage to jazz on his weekly Deviation show. Need2Soul regulars will probably be happy to know that there isn't a grime track in sight, as Benji mixes up classic soul and disco alongside African house and techno sounds on his disc. Glenn Underground's half is a more streamlined take on his jazzy house style, and the Chicago house stalwart even manages to crowbar in some bagpipes (which thankfully doesn't sound as awful as it does on paper) amongst the smooth grooves. - resident advisor

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