SummaryThe latest in Tru Thoughts' series of essential label compilations, compiled by A&R and label co-owner Robert Luis, "Shapes: Circles" is out on double CD, double LP (with full 2CD insert) and digital, on 26th August.
The compilation brings the best of the current sound of the label across 30 tracks, including a handful of remixes, upfront exclusives – including a newie from brand new signing Titeknots, and an upfront album track from rising soul sensation Harleighblu – and cuts previously only available on other formats, as well as the odd stone cold classic.
Serving to reinforce Tru Thoughts' reputation as home to a diverse array of talent, the artists showcased here include Alice Russell, Quantic, Ty, London Posse, Zed Bias & Skream, The Bamboos & Aloe Blacc, Hot 8 Brass Band, Belleruche, Hint, Anchorsong, Wrongtom, Hidden Orchestra and many more. The music and artists on this compilation have seen recent support across the full gamut of musical and cultural print and online press, as the profile and standing of Tru Thoughts as one of the UK's foremost independent labels continues to rise. Daytime and specialist radio play, sessions, interviews, mixes and features have this year featured on: BBC R1, BBC 1Xtra, BBC R2, BBC R3, BBC 6Music, Choice FM, XFM, BBC Scotland, BBC London, The Selector, Ministry of Sound Radio, Solar Radio, BBC R4, NPR, KCRW, Pulse Radio, Solid Steel, Monocle 24, Resonance FM and many more.
Robert Luis elaborates on some of the delights to be found within this collection, in his liner notes:
The first CD opens with Natural Self's epic take on Electrelane's "The Valleys". Fresh yet classic soul follows from Harleighblu, a 21-year-old singer who has just recently signed to Tru Thoughts; followed by a truly beautiful track from Alice Russell's current album. Excellent hip hop is high on the menu, from Ty with the MTV playlisted "Like You Never"; Hint with an '80s soul leaning hip hop remix of his own popular cut featuring T-Fly; and Rodney P's anthemic reggae influenced track "Live Up". Wrongtom and Deemas J continue the reggae and dancehall theme with a big party tune from their debut LP. In the world of inspired covers, Hot 8 Brass Band re-imagine The Specials' classic "Ghost Town" via New Orleans; and Quantic takes a Pete Rock & CL Smooth classic into Cumbia territory. Immersive spiritual jazz comes from Menagerie, whilst Japan's Anchorsong combines live strings with deft and original production on the MPC sampler.
CD2 is more club orientated, kicking off with an exclusive from brand new Tru Thoughts signing Titeknots, who opens proceedings with a heavy and building deep bass groove. King Britt takes Hidden Orchestra's multilayered orchestration into his unique dancefloor space. Brazil's Drumagick add their pure percussive take on proceedings whilst Mark de Clive-Lowe and the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra inject the big band with big electronic bass, for a fresh new form. The dancefloor reggae and ragga is provided by Hint and Natalie Storm reworked by C.O.N.E.; and Benny Page tearing it up jungle style with a huge remix of Wrongtom & Deemas J. Zed Bias and Skream define the meaning of the low-end with their aptly titled "Badness" track, and UK supergroup Sleepin' Giantz – aka Zed Bias, Rodney P and Fallacy – take no prisoners with "Raving Bully".