St. Louis multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer Osunlade has created an overwhelming statement of joy and spiritual energy with his latest Yoruba Records release A Man With No Past Originating The Future. His career began in the 80′s with scoring and compositional work for the famous Sesame Street, leading to his transition to the west coast and stints with artists of the top caliber in pop culture in the 90′s and forward. His life took a defining turn in this period with his relocation to New York and the creation of his Yoruba Records. It’s an imprint that has stood strong over the years and has become his foundation for the visionary work he implanted in the domain of both acoustic and electronic music before he started releasing titles under his own name.
Beginning with the 2000 release Yoruba Records: El Primer Año, Osunlade returns valiantly thirteen years later with his 7th full length A Man With No Past Originating The Future. It brings him into the future and extends his sound into a higher dimension of thought, glowing with a trail of the worlds imprint that has never been revealed with such clarity on any of his past works. The musicianship is in top form with Osunlade layering down various instruments and bringing in guests to accompany his vision towards creating a pure embodiment of love through sound. The amount of different instruments Osunlade uses for the record is mind blowing, containing the following: Fender Rhodes, Mini Moog, Drum Programming, Trap Set, Piano, Arp Odyssey Bass, Arp Omni, Timpani, Cuica, Chekere, Flute, Guitars, Samples, Snd Fx, Skin Drum, Log Drums, Talking Drum, Surdo, Tambourine, Synthesizers, Mallets, Kalimba, Shakers, Bells, Woodblock, Roland 808, Wurlitzer, Toy Piano, Atmosphere, Bodhran, Heartbeat, Handclaps, Clavinet, Berimbau, Brush Snares, Basses, Mellotron & Vocals. To summarize how this all transcends with the other musicians who are present has been a task of overwhelming roads.
Listening to A Man With No Past Originating The Future has been an experience that comes best from beginning to end, with full attention given to every detail. The songs can stand on their own inside mixes and singles but the power rests in the voyage it contains and how this travel becomes so enriching and joyous in body, mind and spirit overall. “The Realm of Difference” begins with the album set in a luminous room, where rays are pouring through glass walls with a bright glow and pieces of the world are folding inward towards the center of mass one is occupying. Ambient with small additives of subtle bass that creeps its way in, the celestial and spiritual state of the album begins right away and transmission to another world takes full affect. To process the beauty and complexity of tones, field recordings and use of space is overwhelming, setting the albums tone for a very deep experience that will take every twist and turn you could never imagine. “Eclipse” sets the album up for the first full introduction of Osunlade’s band, grooving over a late 70′s soul and synth George Duke feel. The percussion and drums are incredible, adding a lot of sense and depth to the keyboard solo’s. Sax from Emanuele Coluccia plays an integral role along with lush rhythm keyboard sections, defining the style of this instrumental piece with a voice of the past that an artist like Thundercat is also tapping into.
“Human Beings” changes the dynamic of the voyage yet again, embracing acoustic guitar, vocoder laced vocals and a deep sultry style of bass and drums. The lyrical presentation of Osunlade comes into full focus, shedding light on his gift as a vocalist and visionary thinker to the people listening. The next piece on A Man With No Past Originating The Future, “Quiet Departures”, has become a song I am absolutely floored by. Containing traces of ghost like vocals over elegant fretless bass, the intro floats into the higher regions of the cosmos. I feel a sense of sonic healing overcome my senses that very few pieces take my senses. The introduction of percussion and drums plays an integral role into the development of its glow, rising each measure as bass explores different regions and overtones roam in every direction. A sound from an ancient world that is given to the 21st century as a gift from the mind of Osunlade. Traveling to yet another world of sonic existence, Osunlade calls upon the talents of lyricist and poet Supreme for an examination of our society and the complex nature of threats that is against humanity in “Sour The Plan”. The musical backdrop is beautifully dark, light in color yet heavy in emotion. A perfect deviation that brings the album back to planet earth.
To summarize the evolution of worlds that exists on A Man With No Past Originating The Future seems impossible, with lush configurations of instrument relationships that is far removed from the standards of any one genre. Osunlade is a pioneer through sound and an example of how the spiritual growth of ones self can bring one to such heights in musical form. As an artist for the advancement of music, we are captivated by his talents, inspired by his works and motivated to fulfill every dream we have ever had when we hear something we powerful as A Man With No Past Originating The Future. Fuel for the mind, body and spirit. All vinyl is sold out, good luck trying to find a copy.