Take 5 with Osunlade

Osunlade Take 5

As a follower of the Yoruba culture of Ifá, it is no surprise that Osunlade’s music and approach to it is deeply spiritual and entirely true to itself. It is what has made him such a consistently attractive figure in a scene that has become increasingly commercialised and monetised.

Osunlade has ensured that his path to success has been entirely on his own terms. It is the reasoning behind his relocation to the Greek island of Santorini from the States, and it is immediately evident in any track from his back catalogue: his easy house sounds are infused with a confidence that invites the listener to trust its process.

Ahead of his appearance at Freedom Mills on April 27th, Osunlade sits down with us to Take 5, picking out five tracks that demonstrate the wide-ranging influences on both his production and selection processes.

1. Bennie Maupin - Quasar (Mercury)

This is a 7/8 timed masterpiece from Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi and Head Hunters outfits, as well as his known performances on Bitches Brew and Meshell Ndegeocello’s Peace Beyond Passion albums to name a few, this movement takes me on a journey from a quiet moment of subtle string orchestration to a blazing firestorm of brass only to arrive back at that lovely place it began, quiet and enticing you to simply be. It simply doesn’t get much better than this beauty!

2. Moodymann - Oceans (Planet E)

Now this one is one of the reasons I started Yoruba. Being a fan of Kenny’s for years, I'd never heard something so funky in the realm of deep house. Full sample galore and the absolution of creating something 100% new in my eyes, this one with its even off-set notes makes total sense in the big scheme of things here. Such a mood (pun intended) this set me on my discovery for house as I've created and enjoyed over the years.

3. Josh Mease - You Found Me (Frog Stand Records)

When I discovered Josh Mease, I was immediately in love with his sound and approach. The closest thing I'd heard similar to the Beatles chord progressions however with so much soul. All recorded in his home and mostly in a closet which to me gave the album a particularly intimate appeal. With the use of Moogs, bells and his airy voice all bundled in a warm blanket of good. This album and particularly this song speaks volumes of true art and songwriting is for me.

4. Jon Hassell - Empire III (Editions EG)

From the first hit of the log drums to the atonal use of his trumpet, Jon Hassell has created a sound like no other. This particular song taken from his Aka/Darbari/Java album is a beautiful realization of other worlds. I personally use this song to meditate often. There’s something in it that speaks volumes. The rhythmic pattern is specific to only itself allowing the horn to showcase Jon’s signature pallets while creating space for you to find your own.

5. Jan Jelinek - Moiré (~scape)

The king of glitch funk soul, as I would call it, released loop-finding-jazz-records in 2001 and was recently re-issued in 2017. This song in particular to the album sets the stage for what becomes the soundtrack of any road trip, house cleaning or any affair. The use of samples, the construction and arrangements are unforgiving and precise in approach. I've been a fan of this type of music for years, starting with Twerk in the early 90’s but this takes me on a ride that I never want to leave. Part house in some places, part jazz, but 100% pure - it’s a staple in my musical diet.