Splice Sounds has released a sample pack from MJ Cole, one of U.K. garage’s first true stars whose work has spanned Mercury Prize-nominated albums and a lengthy career as a remixer and producer.
MJ Cole’s House & Garage Essentials features the sounds of the underground rounded out with samples fit for a radio hit. It includes bumping house beats, syncopated percussion, R&B grooves, soulful vocals, bopping keys, and indie pop-influenced synths.
The London-based musician and producer, born Matt Coleman, got his start as an in-house engineer at the jungle/drum & bass label SOUR. He was introduced to UK Garage in 1997 by Ramsey & Fen, who he worked with as Rafmat, and by DJs from the London Underground pirate radio station, who worked with MJ Cole to produce tracks on V.I.P. (Very Important Plastic).
MJ Cole’s widely praised 2000 debut Sincere was a landmark release for the genre, taking the pirate radio-bred sound aboveground by emphasizing its soul and R&B influences. Following 2003’s Cut to the Chase, a guest-heavy set that touched on U.K. hip-hop and ragga, Cole remained busy remixing artists like Mariah Carey and Amy Winehouse, collaborating with artists ranging from Dizzee Rascal to Bruno Mars, and continually exploring rhythms with his solo EPs and singles. He returned to his classical roots with 2020’s MJ Cole Presents Madrugada, released on Decca.
Also available is Modern-Funk by DāM-FunK aka Damon Riddick, for who funk is a way of living, “a feeling of struggle and staying cool through it all.”
DāM-FunK grew up in the Los Angeles city/suburb of Pasadena. A ‘70s baby, he came of age in the era of the Uncle Jamm’s Army parties, of electro-pharaoh Egyptian Lover, of Prince’s purple reign. His parents nurtured his musical talents as a child, and by his teens, he mastered the drums, then the drum machine. A chance encounter led to an apprenticeship under funk songwriter/producer Leon Sylvers III (SOLAR Records). By the mid-90s G-Funk era in hip-hop, Dam found his musical skills in high demand by rappers such as Mack 10 and MC Eiht.
In 2006, DāM-FunK and a few friends launched the popular Funkmosphere party in L.A., bringing the boogie back. It was around then that Dam drew the attention of record label Stones Throw, a partnership that has seen the release of his debut Toeachizown (2009) and Invite the Light (2015), as well as an anthology of early productions, Adolescent Funk (2010), to Higher(2013) with Steve Arrington, and 7 Days of Funk (2013) with Snoop Dogg.
The sample packs and all individual sounds are available to Splice subscribers. New users can try Splice Sounds with a free 14-day trial.
More information: Splice Sounds