INTERVIEW: Smoove and Turrell | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image by Ricky Atterby

If you’re looking for a band whose pure passion and adulation of their scene is crystal clear, then look no further than Smoove & Turrell; the North East duo are inherently proud of their region, and have been instrumental in supporting the live soul and funk scene. Smoove explains that, despite the high praise awarded to them by the likes of funk and soul DJ Craig Charles, the scene is still very much underground. Partner in crime John Turrell adds: “UK soul will never die. We have had a love affair with the scene since we started and have been lucky enough to meet and work with a load of other artists who feel the same!”

2019 marked the end of their first decade as a band, which was a milestone the duo were keen to celebrate, as Smoove enthuses. “We were enthralled that we were still going strong and realised that we could do another ten years more!”

It seemed right that with the onset of a new decade should also come a new album: Stratos Bleu, released this month, is a collaborative project for the band and they pride themselves on working with some of the best musicians in the North East: “Everything came together very naturally. We all rose to the occasion experimenting to discover new sounds and write tunes together.”

we have always tried to push our sound into different areas while still keeping to our belief that soul music should not be limited to the standard styles of the past

Elements of house and dance music are very evident, especially on tracks It Ain’t Working and This Time, and a certain generation may be transported back to the legendary backroom at club night Shindig. “I hope on every album we have always tried to push our sound into different areas while still keeping to our belief that soul music should not be limited to the standard styles of the past.” John reflects.

Stand-out track Do It features a sample famously used by Primal Scream, and Smoove explains that sampling techniques are close to his heart. “It’s my hip-hop roots and my passion for cut ‘n’ paste music. Do It features lots of samples and scratches referencing positive messages.” Elsewhere on the record, Still Don’t Know is a remake of an old song You Don’t Know, taken from their first album Antique Soul. “Our label mates Kraak & Smaak from Holland made a remix which we liked so much that we thought we would rework their version into our live sets. It went down well, so we added this updated version; a rework of a remix!”

The duo are justifiably proud of their regional heritage and find that being from the North East is a talking point. “We don’t feel any disadvantages by not living in London or a bigger city. This is our home, and it’s where we belong.”

Smoove & Turrell release Stratos Bleu via Jalapeno Records on 5th June. The band’s tentative live dates include gigs at Sage Gateshead on Friday 31st July, Gateshead Beer & Music Festival on Friday 28th August and ARC, Stockton on Wednesday 16th September

 

Like this story? Share it!