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Get On Up
“Get On Up justifies its title by diving into dance music, if only to soothe the listener with a downtempo soul track on the next song.”
Being a helpless sucker for nostalgia and retro music, it’s more than refreshing to listen to artists that are on an obvious quest for something new, who seemingly leave whole sounds behind as soon as a song is done. While not exactly that jittery, Swedish producer and vocalist Mattias Axelsson, or Stray as he prefers to call himself on stage, has produced an eclectic sophomore album filled with tomorrow’s sounds. Get On Up, released on fresh new imprint Soularp Records, justifies its title by diving into dance music, if only to soothe the listener with a downtempo soul track on the next song.
While rooted in soul, Stray’s songs cannot help but leave the genre (even if only to renew it), collecting keys and electronic bass lines from futuristic funk and grabbing a few melodies from catchy electronica. Remarkable ’Won’t Do That’ is nothing short of a disco banger with a euphoric chorus that must set the dancefloor off right. Joyous ’Today’ has scattered singing over the nearest thing to a retro beat on the album (the deep digital drums and electronic sound effects couldn’t be helped, of course). ’Come Over’ is a dreamy, slow-pace song where Stray’s vocals take command and lead us into a dramatic crescendo in the song.
All in all, it’s very refreshing to see not only that electronic music can stand on its own, but that it can also help older forms of music onto the path of renewal in an interesting way. Stray is developing the forward looking electronic sounds Jay Dee experimented with on certain productions, the kind of electronic soul Sa-Ra Creative Partners have taken even further. We should let Get On Up run from beginning to end, either in your headphones or on the natural habitat for a bunch of the songs: a sweaty dancefloor.
words Sven Carlsson