In the three years from the release of their debut album Illegal Cargo, SLOWTRAINSOUL have traveled miles. The souljazzelectro duo have been on countless compilations Hotel Costes, Buddha Bar, Nirvana Lounge, Café Mambo… with combined sales of 1.2 million records worldwide. Their music has been used in film and TV including the US hit series ‘Six Feet Under'. On the live side of things they continue to excite audiences globally with their energetic show from Roskilde Festival to Radio City Music Hall, SLOWTRAINSOUL formerly Slow Train are showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, their latest musical adventure shifts it up a gear.
Santimanitay explodes with genre-bending soul . The album title is taken from an early calypso refrain originating in Trinidad , which means, ‘without pity'. STS takes the listener on a ride thru decadent world funk terrain, retro synth soundz, mutant blues samples and freeform jazz expressions.
A year in the making, Santimanitay was recorded in several studio's around the world from Copenhagen to LA, London to Trinidad , collaborating with local musicians on their travels. The multi-talented duo worked together on production, with Morten on keys, engineering-programming and Lady Z on gtr, perc, lyrics, additional programming and voice.
The first single ‘Mississippi Freestylin' is a swampy hip-hop roots vibe and like its predecessor In The Black Of Night (Illegal Cargo), it tells a dark tale of the supernatural. Lady Z's lyrical narrative links the track's together and draws from her West Indian roots using Voodoo, Yoruba and Trini ‘Ole Mas' figures as characters in the songs. ‘ Eight In Nine' and ‘ Ma Soucouyant' (soo-coo-yah) reveal a more avant-garde edge to the duo and are also linked to the story, which unfolds with every album.
The deep live strings, smoky horns and slow jazzy offbeat of ‘ Sexing The Cherry' , a track which highlights Morten Varano 's minimalist production skills is a stand out song. Lady Z's voice captures the mood, seductively relating the torture of infidelity. ‘ Shine' is the only other down tempo track on the record, a funk fuelled reggaeton slow burner.
‘ Splinter' a mid tempo cut, combines broken beat and 80's electro funk, distorted moog licks and R&B Soca vocal melodies, with Lady Z lowering her tone in the same vocal style as Trail Of Dawn .
The hypnotic deep house flava of ‘ I Want You To Love Me' is compelling and roots itself in the kind of soul jazz that melts in your mouth. ‘The City Never Sleeps' shifts into fifth gear delivering some sweaty funkt up house and is an instant classic while ‘Inferno' mixes a Bo Diddley four to the floor groove with Hammond, country gtr, and a blues vocal that captures the fun of SLOWTRAINSOUL live! The soulskapunkfunk of ‘ California Stars' also has its appeal and is the rockiest track on the record.
‘Las Lap' symbolizes the end of the adventure . It's a crossover of soca, drum n bass, tassa and house. Musically and lyrically this is a homage to Trinidad Carnival and is the name given to the last few hours at end of the festival. The track features Steel Pan and Tassa drums both Trini musical innovations. Destinations… Unity Release Euphoria!
Two times Danish Grammy nominee and dance music producer with 50 releases in eight years Morten Varano is a prolific artist. His own work as Varano, Sunny Face, Puddu Varano , and Los Chicharrons ( Tummy Touch Records ) has earned him respect from other dance music producers (Richard Dorfmeister, DJ Yusef, Roger Sanchez) and Puddu Varano's 12inch release (Blue Sky White Sand...feat Lady Z) have hit the number one slot on the uk radio one dj favorites list (Ben Watt). He is running his own labels Murena records, Voodoo Recordings and DRAMA!king (Vincent Van Go Go, Carla Alexandar, F.U.K.T, Junkyard Productions ao.) and has promoted two of Copenhagen's most successful club nights “Voodoo Club” and “Lust” from 1998 -2002. Beside a busy recording schedule and running his three labels he is also manages Copenhagen club Rust in Copenhagen .
Lady Z is the alter ego of London based acoustic artist z-star . The charismatic soul jazz singer-songwriter & mc has written, recorded and performed* with artists such as Nate James*, Omar*, Keziah Jones * , Natacha Atlas , Nigel Kennedy* and soul jazz legend Terry Callier who lovingly gave her the name Lady Z during a recording session at Incognito's Blue studio. Under the moniker z-star she released her debut album on VirginEmi ita (2004) to much press acclaim and subsequently was asked to do a seven page spread for Italian Vogue. On the dance music scene, Z* has collaborated with, Max Sedgely, Los Chicharrons, Puddu Varano, Marathon Men and Goudi with current releases on Mr Bongo, Irma, Voodoo , Murena and Sunday Best.
The STS sound remains classy confident and uncompromising. The success of their debut album Illegal Cargo with high radio replay tracks like Naturally, In The Black Of Night and Trail Of Dawn attracted many music lovers worldwide and so the adventure continues.
Lady Z and Morten Varano are a magical duo, truly gifted at creating soundtracks to your life. Santimanitay reminds us of this.