It was just one of those summer records. As soon as you heard the tendrils of Jephte Guillaumes deep house spiritual The Prayer, seeping out of a speaker you knew you´d be in for a treat. Acoustic guitars, sounds of an eternal rain, soft Latin percussion and after two minutes a huge b-line hits and Jephte´s sonorous voice soon clears the sky as you move to the rhythms.

The former bass player with New York Acid-Jazz act Abstract Truth, has gone solo. He is one of NYC premiere players and has performed with A Tribe Called Quest, Mary J. Blige and Groove Theory.

Jepthe Guillaumes is recording "Haitian street voodoo music" for the hip label Spiritual Life Music in New York. The Haitian born New Yorker has released three tracks The Prayer, Kanpé and Lakou on the Spiritual Life Music label.

Lakou, the first single, means a place of worship. According to Jepthe The Prayer just means: be grateful for life. He says that people like to hear it on the dance floor because they can feel what he is saying rather than understand the words. This, he claims, is down to the intricate rhythms and the beats culled from a childhood listening to street music in Haiti. Jepthe Guillaumes brings Haitian musical traditions into American musical traditions and the two styles merges into new dimensions of dance music.

Jepthe Guillaumes three awesome singles are now collected on a Spiritual Life Music compilation released through Nuphonic, together with two Ten City remixes, and some rare tracks with artists I didn´t know of before. On this excellent release with beautiful music it´s easy to see how house music can be the next logical step in soulful black music. Once every now and then a label comes along that helps to redefine a genre. Spiritual Life Music is without doubt one of these. Jephte Guillaumes is on the cutting edge of a new brand of globally charged deep house music.

The music on this compilation, collected by Spiritual Life Music's label headman, Joe Claussell, is a brand new genre of acoustic deep house. It probably sounds like no other music you ever heard before. Soft percussion, tender strings, singers and deep b-lines will surround you. The congas, strings and voices makes me think of early 1970´s Curtis Mayfield albums like "Curtis" and "Back to the World". But make no mistake, this is not retro funk, there is a hard edge beat, rather than Mayfield´s groove. Claussell´s vision of dance music makes it difficult to label the music on Spiritual Life Music as house, dance music or anything else. It´s just good music. And it´s awesome!!


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