Artist: Joseph Malik
Title: Aquarius Songs
Cat No: CPT 170-1
Format: 2 LP
Joseph Malik`s music / dj / producer and club promoter activities in Scotland reach as far as to the early 90s. With fellow DJs Sace and Easi, he organised various club-nights and parties in Glasgow and Edinburgh, slowly building a rep as a DJ in the scene.
1993 Malik moved to Edinburgh to check out the International Arts Festival. There he hooked up with an old friend from back in the early 80’s Hip Hop scene, AJ. The results were amazing and the duo had their first release under the name of MF’ Outa National on the ground breaking “Mo’ Wax Headz album Vol. 1“ with the track “Miles Out Of Time”. 1994 brought Malik and AJ to the Stereo Mcs label Response, home of fellow DJs Sace and Easi now recording under the name of NT and Mc Mello with a new production name Black Anized, taken from an old Hank Ballard record. They released a series of killer EPs and album projects on the Response label.
Black Anized set up a home grown label in Edinburgh called Yush Records in 1996. With a host of musicians and visitors from around the world to their Bedroom beats studios they released various EPs, albums blending musical vibrations of Hip Hop, Reggae, Latin, Jazz, R&B, Breaks and Beats, African Asian Chinese experimental music styles. By 1997 Malik left Black Anized and Yush Records to turn his thoughts to the club scene with partner Toby Shippy ‘Salsa Celtica’ and Simon Hodge ‘Big Beat’. They launched a new club night called `The Lizard Lounge`. Based in an old church run by hippies and called `Cafe Graffiti` the club night was a development in mixing DJs and live bands from around the world.
After three wonderful years, in which they won Club Of The Year Award two years in a row, sadly the club came to an end but Malik moved on to a new project called Futuristica pushing the new wave UK and euro NuJazz scene with the help of record collector and DJ Daryl Gannon. The club gained a grassroots support and brought Malik into contact with Rainer Trüby, who asked Malik to sing again The track Rainer had in mind was called “High Jazz” and they recorded it with the rest of the Trüby Trio in Munich at Fauna Flash studios. While being in Germany, Malik stumpled across Michael Reinboth, head of Compost Records. Malik signed a new recording deal for a singer song writer project he was working on in secret with studio Maverick producer David Donnelly, a diverse multi talented musician whose complex arrangements Malik first heard on David’s Demusphere project on Parallax Records in Edinburgh. Together their diverse musical influences focused on Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, John Lennon, Shuggy Otis, Crosby, Stills Nash, Young, Ritchie Havens, Joyce, Terry Callier, D’Angelo, Radiohead, Jimi Hendrix, Dr. John, Fela Kuti.
2002 was a great year for Joseph Malik, with his first album on Compost “Diverse” receiving worldwide critical acclaim & leading to Joseph being played constantly by the likes of Gilles Peterson & Norman Jay. Joseph is now regularly invited to dj around the world, spreading his style & influence even further, making new friends wherever he goes. Since the album was released, Joseph is enjoying the reputation of being one of the most foremost singer songwriters of his generation, working on new projects with Darren Emerson, Tim Deluxe, Fred Everything, Aqua Bassino, Grand Unified, Innocent Sourcerers, Zero DB, 100 Strong & Trüby Trio.
Now, after 10 months of being locked in the studio with his producer David Donnelly and co-producers Steven Christie & Grand Unified, Joseph has produced an incredible album that reflects more on his club side. Where „Diverse“ focused on chill out, summer guitar chords & more melancholic tones,
this new album focuses more on uptempo songs, strong political ideologies & social awareness of the world around him, while still blending in the beautiful lush chords with the help of string orchestra & horn sections to produce the finest album of his career, which is “Aquarius Songs”. Starting with the swan song & title track “Aquarius Song” where Malik goes “big band”, paying homage to his heroes of yesterday. Moving forward to the first single from the album, „Diablo“ (the road to Seville) – a dark spanish tango breakbeat track dedicated to the journey of Malik’s football team, Glasgow Celtic, as they progressed through Europe to the UEFA Cup final in Seville. Joseph was so dedicated to this track, he learnt Spanish in order to sing this song, which, quite rightly, will be the first single taken from the album.
Along with the main producers, there are also some hugely talented people who guested on this album. Steven Christie’s collaboration with Joseph – “Casualties of War” is a heartfelt anti war song blending the musical styles of Brian Wilson & Stevie Wonder. Grand Unified produced the track “Dream Dancer” which is Malik’s dedication song to the split-up with his girlfriend – a perfect love song for the dancefloor and with the roots of Malik’s Nigerian heritage. Malik also invited fellow Edinburgh dj & producer Aqua Bassino to sing with him on the track “Believe & See”, for Malik’s homage to New York house music with a touch of Blondie. There also is one very special live recording on the album that just couldn’t be left off – “Race Relations”, which was recorded live in Motion Blue, Yokohama in Japan last year when the west was at war with the east. When the war kicked off, he wrote this song as his response to the injustice and suffering that was around him – truly singing his heart out on this song with every breath to put across his true feelings about the destruction of humanity.
Joseph´s also to be heard on three tracks of the upcoming Darren Emerson (Ex Underworld) album which will see the light of day in September!! Make sure to highlight this in your calendar, boys and girls!