- Verona is helping keep the funk alive with the second anniversary of the Mother Tongue project.
- In a world where physical media is consistently talked about as if it's at death's door, it seems absurd for anyone to start a new pressing plant for vinyl records. Mother Tongue is that absurdity materialized, proving that a firm resolve and organic relationships (along with some EU grant money) can create great things. Besides the pressing plant, Mother Tongue operates as a label and retailer based in Verona, Italy, under the guidance of Patrick Gibin. Madre Lingua is a compilation of artists who have contributed work to Mother Tongue. Marking the novel project's second anniversary, it's a vital snapshot of the various sounds kicking around in the Verona outfit's sonic microverse.
In broad strokes, the A-side is more organic in style, while the flip focuses on the synthetic. K15 provides some downtempo electro funk with "White Sage," a cosmic piece where his jazz piano chops get to shine. It's a deep, late-night tune, a good set closer. The other two songs come from an ensemble consisting of Tiombé Lockhart, Kaidi Tatham, Tommaso Cappellato and Patrick Gibin. "Face To Face" teleports the listener to a smoke-filled jazz club, as Lockhart's titillating vocals over Tatham's keys imbue the track's R&B sound with a soulful authenticity. On the disco boogie bomb "Blue Bird," the musicians take things to the next level. Tatham keeps funkin' around, showing off the sound he's been developing alongside Dego.
"Apollo 3000" is the first of three more club-focused tracks. Cappellato and Gibin team up with another keyboard wizard, Mark de Clive-Lowe, to take us into deep house territory. Clive-Lowe puts the synthesizers to work, bringing a slick funk to the usual 4/4 flare. EDB partners with Gary Superfly for a pure jacking house track in "Pressure," the most functional DJ tool on the release. On "9," we're treated to the latest in a series of tracks from the mysterious Infectious Madness, a project that has only ever released on Mother Tongue. Whoever it is, they've already mastered the technique of broken beat, and it sounds like they've been studying Dego & Kaidi Tatham closely.
Mother Tongue is a grand undertaking, so it's gratifying to see it flourish. By sticking to a vision without compromising, the team is providing an essential link between the past and present of soulful music by building a full ecosystem where like-minded artists and labels can continue to make physical records, even in the face of an adverse environment. The high quality of the music is perhaps no surprise, reflecting the passion of a group of creators used to bringing their grand visions to fruition. Happy birthday to the family—here's to many more.
A1 Tiombé Lockhart, Kaidi Tatham, Tommaso Cappellato - Face To Face
A2 K15 - White Sage
A3 Tiombé Lockhart, Kaidi Tatham, Tommaso Cappellato, Patrick Gibin - Blue Bird
B1 Mark de Clive-Lowe, Patrick Gibin, Tommaso Cappellato - Apollo 3000
B2 黒舌 (Infectious Madness) - 9
B3 EDB & Gary Superfly - Pressure