Music Reviews


Art of No State


Stateless’s Scandinavian sweet soul music will have R&B fans longing for the days before Teddy Riley’s New Jack Swing invention, when R& amp;B began its rejection of soul. Sure, the neo-soulers are trying to bring it back; but dig deeper than them, and all you’ll find, perhaps, is N’Dambi, Donnie and Peven Everett; and then, you’re on your own. Soul may be dead in the States, but it still lives in the heart and music of Stateless (nee Andreas Saag, aka Swell Session, aka Fleebite).

Art of No State is a lush, deep, almost erotic aural adventure. Atop Saag’s flawless broken beats rests sensual synths and dreamy effects. This disc is full of depth and heartfelt music that really brings soul forward into the “now-more-than-ever” era of today.

He has enlisted the help of some incredible vocalists here on this debut. Yukimi Nagano (of Koop’s “Summer Sun” fame) has a creamy sensuality that has true siren power. She is much more than those trip-hop waifs that were ubiquitous a few years ago. Like the early days of Vinia Mojica, Nagano draws you in and doesn’t let you go, imbuing songs like “Unequalled” and “All of a Sudden” with an irresistible magnetism that is hard to beat or tear away from.

Almost of equal weight is Elsa Hedberg, whose vocals are incredibly alluring, giving the driving broken beat of “Leave Me Now” a subtly, beautifully tortured air. She’s simply a marvel.

And Jonatan Backelie has the unique ability to sound like Jamiroquai (with ’80s neo-funk flashes in “Bringin’ Me Down”) and Michael Franks (in the buttery smooth groove “Falling Into”).

This album is truly a treat. To quote a much more famous Campbell, Earl: “Skol, brother.”

Ubiquity Records:

Recently on Ink 19...

Best of Five

Best of Five

Screen Reviews

Not everyone can be excited by blocks spinning on a screen, but if you are, Ian Koss recommends you pay attention to Best of Five.



Event Reviews

Jeremy Glazier shoots a CAKE headline show at McGrath Amphitheater.