What we have here is a truly classy release from South African duo Monocles and Slezz. The’ve teamed up with UK’s Andy Compton of The Rulers to bring you a jam only to be described as the very best of deep soulful house.
Featuring US vocalists Tantra Zawadi and Dana Byrd, this truly international release has four remixes and the original version of Only Love.
It all kicks off with with a nice laid back original version. Monocles and Slezz give us a truly beautiful soulful house gem perfect for those early weekend moments when you’re waking up and trying to get the day on the road. In a way this song isn’t pretentious or demanding. It’s flows with a rather simple groove, has it’s sparky elements and all this is wrapped up with the wonderful duo of Tantra Zawadi and Dana Byrd both showcasing their singing and spoken word abilities. Too often deep house jams tend to be just a tad monotonous not really getting anywhere. Monocles and Slezz give you a deep package which you will listen without even wanting to know “whats coming next”. It just flows and you don’t want to change a thing. Yet with each track you want to know what have the remixes come up with hoping they haven’t messed up a beautiful song.
Good thing is Only You is fantastic as a whole! Next up we have a remix by Russian-born Kojo Akusa, who’s version kicks off with a bit of broken-beat kind of rhythm. Maintaining the overall deep fell of the original, the change in rhythm is enough to spark attention. Over the time Kojo Asukas remix grows and flows building up the anticipation of some sort of “grand finale”. But it isn’t there. Instead DJ’s can use Kojo Asukas remix as a buildup tool to their own finale. It is a great remix I’m surely going to play a lot!
For the third remix we got a deep IndySoul SoulBreeze version with lush grooves and spoken words to hook you. The Canadian has added some funky drum rolls to his deep interpretation giving it a distinctive sound. Bumping bassline in the background let the both Dana and Tantra shine with their vocal abilities. As of writing this it is Sunday morning and what a flow to start the day.
In the package you’ll also find a remix by Gene King. Compared to other remixes Gene’s take on Only Love is more soulful than deep. He’s added a beautiful guitar hook and has built a rhythm which is a bit heavier if you know what I mean. He still has everything running nice and deep. When many remixes kick off with Tantra’s spoken word Gene is starting with Dana Byrd on vocals. In a way if you don’t pay attention you can mistake this jam for something different. That is of course until the chorus kicks in.
To finish the release on Foliage Records we have the South Africa’s own talent TekniQ. I think this remix is actually the best in the bunch. His Midnight Mix brings in just a tiny bit of techier drum kicks but keeping everything flowing in it’s purity. He has also added a beautiful new melody hook which adds a dimension you didn’t know was missing.
To sum it up Monocles and Slezz alongside Andy Compton, Tantra Zawadi and Dana Byrd have put together an amazingly soulful deep house jams. The remixes compliment each other perfectly giving any (intelligent) house music lover a song to surely add to the collection.