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That Secret Sauce (Marbled Vinyl)

RS 043C-LP RS 043C-LP

LP version. Red-and-black marbled vinyl. With his debut release for Peckham club and label institution Rhythm Section International, Hackney-raised Jerome Thomas is declaring the dawning of a new age for British soul music. Jerome's school was a home filled with non-stop music; whether that was bootleg CDs of rare groove from East London's Sunday markets to late '90s R&B on The Box or family favorites; Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, Chico DeBarge, Jill Scott. He learnt his prodigious vocal craft of ad-libs and harmonies by listening to Brandy's '98 LP Never Say Never on repeat. Working with a live six-piece band of assorted ages and musical backgrounds from rock to classical jazz, Jerome's sound is a 180 degree turn from the direction of travel of UK R&B which has trended towards producers' tracks made inside the computer. Jerome composes the pieces, then allows space for interaction with his long-term musical collaborators. The "organic decisions" open up the scope of his music as they jam and record. The result is a sound that could been made in the '70s, the '90s or the '00s. He's the new blood of the sophisticated British sound that traces back to artists like Mica Paris, Soul II Soul and Omar. For Jerome, music has literally been a life-saving vessel for self-expression. Like 1% of the population, he has a stutter, which disrupts the fluent flow of his speech. The stutter disappears when he sings, freeing his voice as it's transformed into an instrument. As an introverted, intuitive Pisces, the songwriting process lets him explore and express his internal cosmos. Jerome describes his sound using the acronym FOE, standing for "Freedom of Expression" and "Fusion of Everything". His music is a space for him to dissolve boundaries and binaries. His fine falsetto explores a register that can read as masculine or feminine. The romantic story that runs across the two vinyl sides of That Secret Sauce is told without specifying a gender point of view. Like many of the great soul records, a close listen to That Secret Sauce reveals its romantic narrative; from first meeting to sexual infatuation to the dissolution of the affair, the breaking up and the moving forward -- keeping your energy clear. It's a tale as old as time, retold. For fans of D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Eliza, Iamddb, Alxndr London, Sir, Cleo Sol, Fatima, Ego Ella May, Masego, H.E.R., Joyce Wrice.