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Mar 1st 2003


Pure Kemistry - Kem OwensKem - Brother Man (Motown)


Motown Records over the years have given us some of the best acts tocome out of the US of A. From the 'motown sound' of The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles to young guns Brian McKnight, Boyz to Men and India Arie.

Speaking of young guns the latest to come from the Motown stable is the multi-talented singer/songwriter/producer and Detroit resident Kem Owens. Now recently there's been a few carrying that banner (most recent being the excellent debut set from Remy Shand) and Kem carries on that trait and runs with it on his debut set - Kemistry

The album was originally released independently by Kem himself selling some 10,000 CDs back in 2001. With the success of that, the album brought the attention of Motown who signed the younster.

The track I'm highlighting here is the excellent 'Brother Man' a very jazzy oriented soul cut that finds Kem sounding a lot like a young Al Jarreau in his early days. The formula is simple, nothing extravagent just put the simple things in place and the rest will follow suit - hook, line and sinker. It does with this one and most definitely is the stand out from the album for me, not to say the album is not good because it is.

The album is in stores now so go spend some dosh and get it (it really is a good set - really) Another one for your listening ear.. A TY-D Pick indeed. 

Listen to Kem's 'Brother Man'







Amasing - Sisters Ayana & Ayinke aka AariesAaries - Strangers to Lovers: (Atlantic)


Ever since they debuted on Musiq's 'Girl Next Door' track back in 2000, you had a feeling that they were not meant to be just background singers. The Philadelphia-based sister duo known only as Ayana and Ayinke (no last name mind you) form the latest neo soul duo to hit the soul scene known as AAries.

As kids they grew up singing in the church and it was very evident that their path would lie in music whether gospel or classical. Before you knew it, they were working with some of Philadelphia's 'new disciples' in neo soul, such as fellow Philly artists The Roots, Jill Scott and not forgetting Musiq. Said Ayana "We started at Blue Funk and we participated in all the Philly venues, Everyone was just giving off what they had to give, so we were a part of that same class, continuing the tradition of soul music."

In 1998, the duo's management team Mama's Boys Mgmt had a working relationship with Musiq and they were invited to sing on Musiq's debut album 'Aijuswanaseing,' "Working with Musiq was just kinda natural," Ayinke quotes, "and, doing 'Girl Next Door' was a blessing in disguise, because it opened the door for people to inquire about who we were."

That open door leads to the duo getting a record deal with Atlantic Records which bring us to the track offered here, the official debut single 'Strangers to Lovers' taken from their forthcoming debut album 'Always Remember'. The song is an all round pleasing delight to the listening ear. Excellent production provided by CarMuI - (an acronym for the team of Carvin Haggins, Musiq and Ivan Barias) using Tyrone Davis's classic track 'In the Mood' as the song's back bone. The sisters voices are sweet, strong and potient evidence of their church upbringing - classy stuff.

Can't wait forr the full length as I feel it's going to be one of those records that just surprise you. I highly recommend that you pick it up as soon as it becomes available.
A TY-D Pick indeed. 

Listen to Aaries - 'Strangers to Lovers'





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