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The Sound Providers - An Evening With The Sound Providers

the sound providers
The Sound Providers - An Evening With The Sound Providers
(CD) Quaternote/ABB Records QTR006/ABB1047-2, 2004-03-16

Review :
I remember clearly the year 2001 and the marvelous "Soon Come" album from Asheru And Blue Back Of The Unspoken Heard, which introduced me to a new range of independant old school funky back-to-basis hip hop influenced by the Zulu Nation and the Native Tongues tribe. When a few years later I stumbled upon this strange album, called "An Evening With The Sound Providers", listing Little Brother, Asheru, Wee Bee Foolish, Maspyke and The Procussions as featured artists, with a classy Blue Note-styled cover artwork, I couldn't resist buying it. I never regretted the purchase any second as it introduced me to the supa-groovy flow of The Procussions, whom I managed to finally colaborate with on the recent Grant Phabao reggae remix of their "Simple Song" track, but that's a whole other story and you're as misleaded as as I was back in 2001. The band is a matter of fact here the one called The Sound Providers, consisting of Soulo on production and DJ J-Skills on turntables, and the album is mostly a "beatmakers sampling jazz" hip hop deep joint, with only a quarter of the record featuring vocalists. Disappointment?? Not any second. The 5 emcees-fuelled tracks are all killer bopping head-nodders, with a preference for the jazz guitar & beats shoulda-been-a-hit "5 Minutes feat. The Procussions". The instrumentals just complete those stand-out songs perfectly for any ind of heavy blunt-rolling type of business. A must-have for old-schoolers and a perfect introduction towards the new 2006 album "Surreal & The Sound Providers"...

Tracklisting :
01. Intro
02. Live At The Spot 1
03. For Old Time's Sake (feat. Asheru Of Unspolen Heard)
04. Night Steps
05. 5 Minutes (feat. The Procussions) | Go download MP3
06. Only Moments Ago
07. Autumns Evening Breeze
08. Live At The Spot 2
09. It's Gonna Bee (Alright) (feat. Wee Bee Foolish)
10. Jazz At The Cove 11. The Throwback (feat. Maspyke) | Go download MP3
12. Live At The Spot 3
13. The Prodigal Returns
14. Live At The Spot 4
15. Pacific Vibrations
16. Live At The Spot 5
17. Braggin & Boasting (feat. Little Brother)
18. Never Judge (feat. Soulo)
19. Live At The Spot 6

Links :

Biography :
In the summer of 1998 the Sound Providers settled in for a series of recording sessions in a tiny San Diego apartment. Those hot summer days would produce their first release: a 12" single titled "Dope Transmission" b/w "The Field". A few weeks later the Sound Providers signed a pressing and distribution agreement with ABB Records. They began work on three more singles, garnering them a cult-like following worldwide. Now, after a brief hiatus, the crew from Southern California is back with brand new music destined to please hip-hop fans everywhere. An Evening with the Sound Providers, which marks the Sound Providers debut CD release, hits stores on February 24th.

With the original emcee gone in search of a solo career, the now two-man group hit the lab and did not emerge until recently. The end result is the highly anticipated, 21-track debut album which features instrumentals by the duo, and guest appearances from some of their favorite artists including Little Brother (ABB Records), Asheru of Unspoken Heard (7 Heads), and Maspyke. "We are big fans of all of the artists featured on the album," says Jason Skills. "It's nice to hear your favorite emcees on your tracks. It takes the music to a place that you might not normally take it."

A portion of the album was recorded by the artists' who made special guest appearances on it with the exception of The Procussions track, "5 Minutes." That song was recorded at a well-known studio in Los Angeles where Jason is a freelance engineer. "We wanted to cut the vocals for ë5 Minutes' so I waited for a session to get done early, called The Procussions, snuck them in and hooked it up while none of the other engineers were around," said Jason. "We knocked out the whole thing in one night!" The remaining tracks on the album, mainly the instrumentals and interludes, were recorded at both Soulo and Jason's respective studios.

The final touches needed for the album were done in San Diego, where Soulo provided all the scratches and in Los Angeles where Jason mixed the album. "From beginning to end, this has been a truly amazing experience" recalled Soulo. "From the moment the first group turned in their completed track to delivering the final copy to ABB for mastering, this is something that Jason and I have long waited to do and we are finally getting the chance to share our music with the world."

Friends since the mid-90's, Jason Skills and Soulo grew up in San Diego, CA where Jason worked as a recording engineer and Soulo dropped out of business school to work on music full time. The duo met when Jason was hired to engineer a record Soulo was working on at the time. "It was the first time I had met him even though we were from the same city, both came up in the same scene, both made beats" says Soulo. The duo soon found out that they shared a similar no nonsense attitude towards music and similar influences, ranging from early bop pioneers to Cal Tjader to Eric B and Rakim. "We both ended up being record fiends and started hittin' up wax spots together. We've pretty much have been tight ever since" stated Soulo.

Currently, life has taken them on different paths. Although Jason now resides in Florida where he teaches recording engineering, the Sound Providers are stronger than ever. Soulo handles most of the business for the Sound Providers back in San Diego while Jason continues to engineer outside projects ranging from soundtracks to mainly rock. His decision to focus more on rock music engineering has proven to be an asset for the group. "I wanted to learn from these engineers who were making it happen in the 60's and 70's. They are the ones who have always tested and pushed the boundaries and I believe that's how you become ill on the engineering tip. I'm taking all that understanding and skill, and using it within a hip hop context, and so far I'm happy with the results."

Despite minor setbacks and distance between them, the Sound Providers have arrived on the other side a sleeker and stronger production team who has embraced change and placed themselves into a positive position because of it. Look for 2004 to be the year where the Sound Providers take it to the next level and establish themselves as a force that will open ears and minds.


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