Sault - What's the story?

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Album is here -

Just from the first track I can detect traces of ESG, The Jellies, The Dixie Cups & Holland–Dozier–Holland era Motown if it had been produced by Norman Whitfield. The production is timeless but state of the art at the same time. Ace songwriting.

My inner cynic reckons with the smart low key underground anti-marketing it is going to end up that Sault are some long time music business insiders, the album will eventually get a full release on say XL with a massive marketing push and it'll end up being thee essential album of 2020. Or not. But whatever, it doesn't detract from it being a great record.

stirmonster, Monday, 16 September 2019 20:42 (three years ago) link

I hate that the vinyl sold out like in a day and I was constantly checking if a release date was published. The whole willful obscurity of the project is frustrating but I guess it’s working. I heard Danger Mouse was involved but that might be fake.

Music wise I posted in the songs of summer 2019 thread that I absolutely love the combination of northern soul vocals + krautrock styled drums.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Monday, 16 September 2019 20:58 (three years ago) link

i think vinyl is still available from here -

stirmonster, Monday, 16 September 2019 21:00 (three years ago) link

It's groovy, but I'm not really hearing the ace songwriting.

#YABASIC (morrisp), Monday, 16 September 2019 21:02 (three years ago) link

i guess it comes down to what kind of song writing you dig?

stirmonster, Monday, 16 September 2019 21:04 (three years ago) link

Xpost: Huh that’s weird last time I checked they were sold out! I guess they restocked, thank you for the heads up, already ordered.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Monday, 16 September 2019 21:07 (three years ago) link

People on discogs were selling them for twice or thrice the price which I thought was ridiculous as a second print was surely around the corner.

I see two sellers still have it for 50 pounds.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Monday, 16 September 2019 21:11 (three years ago) link

Oh I see there’s snippets of a new album called 7 on their instagram account and it also sounds great. Seriously who are behind this project? I can’t find anything on them only name I see attached is Dean Inflo Josiah which is also very obscure on info and... maybe an alias of another artist?

✖✖✖ (Moka), Monday, 16 September 2019 22:36 (three years ago) link

i thought i read somewhere that 00s blog fav kid sister was involved?

just sayin, Monday, 16 September 2019 22:40 (three years ago) link

There is another name attached too - Cleopatra Nikolic.

She has written for Little Simz.

I'm not on Instagram so didn't know about '7'. Curioser and curioser.

stirmonster, Monday, 16 September 2019 22:41 (three years ago) link

Some of these new tracks sound very “Danger Mouse” I wouldn’t be surprised if he is in fact attached to this one. I see there’s a connection between this “Dean Inflo” mystery man and Danger Mouse on a Michael Kiwanuka album.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Monday, 16 September 2019 22:51 (three years ago) link

I kinda like how this band is a mystery. Really cool album!

(•̪●) (carne asada), Tuesday, 17 September 2019 00:38 (three years ago) link

This sounds great, thanks for the heads up.
allmusic has the following bio information: "A rhythm-forward heavy rock ensemble formed by members of American power metallers Kamelot and groove metal outfit Arcanium." LOL, that seems highy unlikely

willem, Tuesday, 17 September 2019 08:39 (three years ago) link

It’s actually true! There’s another band called Sault who play metal. one of them might need to change their name eventually.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 17 September 2019 15:02 (three years ago) link

Never heard of them before this thread. Listened to a couple tracks so far - I like it but the ESG influence is PROMINENT. Also hearing Tom Tom Club as filtered though, I don’t know, something from the era of late 90s electronica’s-the-next-big-thing.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 17 September 2019 16:40 (three years ago) link

The song is the second single from Sault, a trio that features London-based musician Dean “Inflo” Josiah Cover (writer of audio mainstays “Black Man in a White World” by Michael Kiwanuka, “House in LA” by Jungle, “Offence” by Little Simz, and many, many more). It’s released via Forever Living Originals, an independent label that counts Melisa Young among its cohort, better known as Chicago rapper Kid Sister (whose Kanye-featuring “Pro Nails” was a bonafide smash upon its release in 2011, as was the track’s magnificently massive Rusko remix).

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 17 September 2019 16:47 (three years ago) link

Oh nevermind I see you already figured this much out.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 17 September 2019 16:48 (three years ago) link

I listened to and enjoyed the album but also thought that almost every song seemed geared for placement on a modern Southern Gothic HBO-type show. (N.B.: I am watching Sharp Objects at the moment which may have influenced this conclusion).

monotony, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 02:18 (three years ago) link

new album already?

just sayin, Monday, 30 September 2019 05:24 (three years ago) link

that should probably be 'new album already!'

just sayin, Monday, 30 September 2019 05:26 (three years ago) link

7? Have I missed 6?

mmmm, Monday, 30 September 2019 10:08 (three years ago) link

Haha I half wonder if they're just releasing individual discs from a huge boxset-sized debut album

7 is the one, I think (so far)--5 is pretty great debut for a 'sound' band--foregrounding those influences that seemingly nobody will ever tire of--but some of those songs on 7 really hit me deep in the soul

the cretin hits the cast (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 04:15 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Both albums are amazingly consistent, hard to really choose one over the other. Huge low-end throughout. I feel wrong saying it, but this is what I wish ESG sounded like.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Monday, 21 October 2019 23:12 (three years ago) link

My copy of the 2nd one should arrive tomorrow. I'm perfectly happy with how ESG sound already and wouldn't change anything about their sound, but if their more recent recordings had sounded more like this I'd probably play them more.

stirmonster, Monday, 21 October 2019 23:44 (three years ago) link

"why, why why" is an earworm and a half even on a first listen.

What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers (jed_), Tuesday, 22 October 2019 00:02 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Damn totally missed the second release!

(•̪●) (carne asada), Friday, 22 November 2019 19:28 (three years ago) link

It's really good too, although I feel ever slightly more favorably toward 5.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 22 November 2019 19:37 (three years ago) link

They're both pretty fucking amazing. Love the trend of bands popping out 2 albums this year

octobeard, Saturday, 23 November 2019 02:03 (three years ago) link

Really enjoy the slight layer of polish distinguishing the second album from the first. Even more, I enjoy trying to figure out if it’s the songs as a whole or the brilliance of the rhythm section that’s the force of what’s captivating me.

file of unknown origin (bendy), Saturday, 23 November 2019 04:45 (three years ago) link

For me it’s the brilliance of the rhythm section. They are amazing. Apparently there’s a tour planned next year so I guess we’ll finally meet the people behind it.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 23 November 2019 07:15 (three years ago) link

yes, all about the rhythm section for me. is anybody else's copy of the second album warped?

stirmonster, Saturday, 23 November 2019 16:54 (three years ago) link

Gradually, I'm growing to feel like this is ace songwriting, both wishing I could articulate why and knowing that I like it because I can't pin it down. It's Sly & Robbie, but it's also Sly and Robbie and Black Uhuru.

file of unknown origin (bendy), Sunday, 24 November 2019 13:52 (three years ago) link

The grooves carry them on tracks that are less fleshed out, but there's definitely some standout songwriting too. "Why Why Why Why Why", "Masterpiece", and "Friends" leap to mind as A+ writing.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Sunday, 24 November 2019 14:03 (three years ago) link

Yes, the grooves are what drew me in to begin with but the songwriting is what elevates it into something very special. it will be very interesting to see how it works live.

stirmonster, Sunday, 24 November 2019 15:58 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I missed the previous discussion on this but gave it a listen after seeing it listed as Bandcamp’s second best album of the year. Rhythm section really shines.

I am using your worlds, Saturday, 14 December 2019 10:31 (three years ago) link

Jesus Christ these records are so utterly, completely everything I want/need in new music. Even things I love wholeheartedly, it's incredibly rare to hear something where just every decision feels so exactly right.

This has to be related to Little Simz, no?

The only connection I really hear to ESG (whom I adore) is that it's so perfectly minimalist--there's never more than like three or four sound sources. I hear some Library tendencies, some high sophistication a la Adrian Younge/Midnight Hour or Michael Kiwanaku but with so much more restraint. If there's an Afrobeat component it feels more like Lijadu Sisters than Fela... I mean, they definitely get the "who does this call back to" synapses firing, but ultimately I really don't care too much because it's just so perfectly timeless--never retro or overtly futurist, just. . . what it needs to be to do what it's trying to do.

Soundslike, Monday, 23 December 2019 05:32 (three years ago) link

If this is Danger Mouse related, it's by far the best thing he's ever been involved with. The restraint would seem uncharacteristic. . .

Soundslike, Monday, 23 December 2019 05:40 (three years ago) link

If you're not hearing this group, you're missing something pretty damned wonderful:

Soundslike, Wednesday, 1 January 2020 06:08 (three years ago) link

^ you piqued my interest with those previous posts, so thanks! 7 is especially good, I quickly decided.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Wednesday, 1 January 2020 13:04 (three years ago) link

i wish the "dancing in the rover" (?) voice from "up all night" would reappear elsewhere. that little refrain is my favorite part of 5 !

budo jeru, Saturday, 4 January 2020 19:31 (three years ago) link

we're all voting for "up all night" as the song to represent sault at the 77 best tracks ILM 2019. i said it first that means you have to do it

budo jeru, Saturday, 4 January 2020 19:34 (three years ago) link

Kind of wish "Don't Waste My Time" was nominated, but don't want to further dilute the choices.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Saturday, 4 January 2020 20:06 (three years ago) link

i love don’t waste my time! still haven’t heard the new album.

Fizzles, Saturday, 4 January 2020 20:11 (three years ago) link

I'll go with that just to get them seen/heard--but I don't think I could pick fewer than 10 favorites across the two albums.

I'm pretty firmly sold on '7' as the better of the two albums, though both are top-5 of the year for me...

Soundslike, Saturday, 4 January 2020 20:19 (three years ago) link

7 has grown on me but 5 is thee one i reckon. hard to choose between "don't waste my time" and "up all night".

stirmonster, Saturday, 4 January 2020 21:11 (three years ago) link

I need to try 7 again, definitely dismissed it too quickly.

Good taste, bit Victorian but who isn't? (jed_), Saturday, 4 January 2020 21:28 (three years ago) link

I can't figure getting one and not the other? They're hardly miles apart--tracks could be interchanged freely, other than '7' having a slightly more serious tone overall perhaps?

Soundslike, Saturday, 4 January 2020 21:45 (three years ago) link

you're probably right tbh.

Good taste, bit Victorian but who isn't? (jed_), Saturday, 4 January 2020 22:02 (three years ago) link

okay, there are songs on 5 that it sounds like had existed for many years but which I had only just heard (where has this been all my life?) whereas this one sounds more current and more like a straight RnB record at times (albeit a very good one). I was singing along with Up All Night, Why Why Why... and others after one listen (this is not always a good thing but is in this instance) but I struggle, so far, to have that connection on 7. 5 also sounds like a weird compilation of unheard tracks from various groups whereas 7 sounds like a record by a group (MAYBE) and that is not a negative, it just doesn't seem uncanny in the way 7 does.

Good taste, bit Victorian but who isn't? (jed_), Saturday, 4 January 2020 23:00 (three years ago) link

I also want to add how much I love Sault as a band/project name.

Good taste, bit Victorian but who isn't? (jed_), Saturday, 4 January 2020 23:08 (three years ago) link

actually some of this really reminds me of The Smile

― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, November 3, 2022 4:04 PM

I remember thinking when I listened to The Smile, that Thom & Co must've been listening to Sault

Soundslike, Thursday, 3 November 2022 17:22 (seven months ago) link

Also, this is the dumbest, most wrong-headed music-related written opinion I've seen in many, many years:

Soundslike, Thursday, 3 November 2022 17:24 (seven months ago) link

Did Geir write that?

an incomprehensible borefest full of elves (hardcore dilettante), Thursday, 3 November 2022 18:57 (seven months ago) link

I'd call them more a groove band than a jam band, but he's not wrong about that part — it's part of what I like about them, they build songs around grooves. But the idea that this is all mostly improvised is bizarre.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Thursday, 3 November 2022 19:05 (seven months ago) link

discussed a lil bit here - OK, is this the worst piece of music writing ever?

Fash Gordon (Neanderthal), Thursday, 3 November 2022 19:05 (seven months ago) link

Terrible take. Also it’s sort of taking issue with statements not made by the band? The band themselves are not explicit about their intentions with each release, we don’t know if they’re commenting about the perception of scarcity or democratization of art or the disposability and/or fleetingness of the medium or whatever this reviewer is taking from it.

The anonymity amplifies the music, which should be the focus imho

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 3 November 2022 19:06 (seven months ago) link

between assuming that most of the music is improvised and that the band is a cooperative of hundreds of pro session musicians "donating bits of spare stuff"(?), he seems to be completely naïve about the basics of how bands operate and how albums are recorded. its very strange, especially considering his bio identifies him as a former "Professor of Music Industry Innovation"

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 3 November 2022 19:24 (seven months ago) link

also funny that this guy whose expertise is new media/"innovation" seems to take it for granted that AIIR must have been created with a massive live orchestra and not with VST/synth stuff

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 3 November 2022 19:32 (seven months ago) link

is that piece going viral or something? I've never heard of this guy

rob, Thursday, 3 November 2022 19:35 (seven months ago) link

It’s a dumb piece

AIR does sound like a hybrid of session orchestra and VSTs… what impresses me most about it is the plucked string writing— dual harps (which at times sounds like, and might be, a kora) and pipa, it’s produced/recorded/written extremely well— less so but still the case on AIIR

flamboyant goon tie included, Thursday, 3 November 2022 19:42 (seven months ago) link

Side effects of that article - it is giving me nostalgia flashbacks to circa 2007-08 when everyone (including me) had a music blog and felt like they needed to express their opinions in 500-word daily dispatches on every item of music news. That tone of self-inflicted resentment, "Why must I be obliged to engage with this??"

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 3 November 2022 22:13 (seven months ago) link

I listened to 11 today and every song immediately set the mood but lost my interest by the end

flamboyant goon tie included, Thursday, 3 November 2022 23:15 (seven months ago) link

that's how i felt too, nice vibes but not much more

ufo, Friday, 4 November 2022 00:16 (seven months ago) link

The piece linked above is indeed terrible but I have to concede this one point:

Making everything free might help audiences at a time of fiscal crisis, but it does absolutely nothing for the cause of independent musicians desperately trying to assert the economic value of their work.

Paul Ponzi, Friday, 4 November 2022 00:24 (seven months ago) link

TBF, they were saying that when Radiohead did the In Rainbows experiment so it's not like this is even a new complaint on his part.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 4 November 2022 00:43 (seven months ago) link

it's very silly to be hung up on albums being given away freely in the age of streaming, when that's an actual problem for "independent artists desperately trying to assert the value of their work"

ufo, Friday, 4 November 2022 00:50 (seven months ago) link

I listened to 11 today and every song immediately set the mood but lost my interest by the end

This is every sault and every khuarangang song for me

calstars, Friday, 4 November 2022 01:03 (seven months ago) link

Every cult artist has their Sandinista where they flood the audience with so much material they're not sure how to engage with it.

bendy, Friday, 4 November 2022 13:02 (seven months ago) link

How long is each album btw?

Mark G, Friday, 4 November 2022 14:43 (seven months ago) link

aiir is 25 minutes, untitled (god) is 73 minutes, the others are around 40 minutes

ufo, Friday, 4 November 2022 14:52 (seven months ago) link

Making everything free might help audiences at a time of fiscal crisis, but it does absolutely nothing for the cause of independent musicians desperately trying to assert the economic value of their work.

I intuit that this is a really bad argument, but I don't have the verbal skills to explain why rn

I was struck today while attempting a listen-through of Untitled (God) that the inclusion of so many essentially-unfinished tracks and field recordings was depreciating the value of my time spent as a listener

flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 4 November 2022 16:29 (seven months ago) link

I think that argument would make more sense for an independent artist that operates far less cryptically and maybe only releases one album every 2-3 years. I think most people familiar with Sault realize by now they're doing their own singular thing and keeping people guessing.

Chris L, Friday, 4 November 2022 20:25 (seven months ago) link

BTW, I'm listening to "Air" for the first time this year. It didn't sound like it would be my thing but it kinda is. It sounds the score of an uplifting film from an alternate 50s/early 60s Hollywood that had greater equality.

Chris L, Friday, 4 November 2022 20:29 (seven months ago) link

Finally got to listen to one of these, with full attention--randomly chose '11'. It is very low-key, but personally I love that from Sault--super stripped-down, like I loved from '5' and '7' but mellower. A perfect sound space for what was a beautiful autumn afternoon.

(I still can't really get into the quasi-motivational spoken word parts, as with the previous 'Untitled' albums, but as a jaded non-religious anti-self-help realist, I'm probably as far from the target audience of those parts as possible.)

I feel like I'm going to love 'Today & Tomorrow,' as a big fan of Ngozi Family and Chrissy Zebby Tembo, and Zamrock generally, few bits I heard on preview really reminded me of.

Soundslike, Friday, 4 November 2022 23:50 (seven months ago) link

Insofar as “a consumer listening to recorded music”, the recorded music has been without-value-to-the-creator for over two decades— for those of us who did use Napster, creators who did encourage people to buy what they could afford and steal what they couldn’t, for those of us who groaned at Lars Ulrich etc.

The obscenity that creators face at present is that third parties have stepped in to profit off the consumer-artist association without fairly compensating the creator. Personally I’d prefer that consumers steal music than listen to it via Spotify et al, and I think this is a common feeling, so long as DSPs continue to be big-business thieves

Claiming that a creator is depreciating the value of recorded music in this specific usage of it— consumers listening in private— by making the music free, is incorrect. Within this context I posit that recorded music has long been effectively valueless; the evil profiteers within the industry are DSPs, not creators who make their music available for free

Thanks for indulging me as a type about a difficult thing to type about

flamboyant goon tie included, Saturday, 5 November 2022 01:37 (seven months ago) link

Booming post

Fash Gordon (Neanderthal), Saturday, 5 November 2022 02:18 (seven months ago) link

'Today & Tomorrow' just had me grinning ear to ear from about 3 minutes into the opener all the way through. Scuzzy proto-metal/Zamrocky fuzz guitar, bouncy and loose drums, and "lead vocals" mostly by what sounds like a dozen kids--just an absolute joy.

Released on its own, I think some people would've lashed out against 'Today & Tomorrow' for its simplicity and (intentional) low-polish approach (just as some might simultaneously dislike 'Aiir' for being too polished). Hopefully as part of this mega-batch-release, people can roll with it as a valid facet of Sault's many paths of expression.

Soundslike, Saturday, 5 November 2022 14:28 (seven months ago) link

I can see why people might hear it as slight or half baked but I love the ramshackle energy, reminds me of that elusive ESG feel at times

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 5 November 2022 16:18 (seven months ago) link

What are we going to do when Kanye inevitably gets his hands on Inflo?

Ibadan, Sunday, 6 November 2022 00:22 (seven months ago) link

lol there's no way that happens at this stage

ufo, Sunday, 6 November 2022 00:34 (seven months ago) link

I like AIIR significantly more than AIR. (I refreshed my memory of the earlier release in the meantime.) These tracks sound a little more like satellites of the last Little Simz record, perhaps. And, though I probably can't reliably tell the difference, I'm less often distracted by thoughts about which elements might be synthetic vs live ensemble lol.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Sunday, 6 November 2022 02:04 (seven months ago) link

I really hope these come out on CD... But I guess I'd doubt it.

Soundslike, Sunday, 6 November 2022 07:18 (seven months ago) link

These are on Spotify now

TWELVE Michelob stars?!? (seandalai), Friday, 11 November 2022 00:06 (six months ago) link

Also available as digital (incl lossless), CD and vinyl via Bandcamp. Digital albums are £7 each.

The Ghost Club, Friday, 11 November 2022 00:09 (six months ago) link

ooh thanks for that Bandcamp tip

sleeve, Friday, 11 November 2022 00:11 (six months ago) link

oic I guess I thought "Available for free download for 5 days" meant "...and then will disappear like the last album" rather than "...and then will be available for non-free download"

TWELVE Michelob stars?!? (seandalai), Friday, 11 November 2022 00:25 (six months ago) link

i thought the same.

that's a lot of vinyl at once!

stirmonster, Friday, 11 November 2022 00:33 (six months ago) link

is it just me, or does the streaming audio on these sound better than the MP3s?

sleeve, Friday, 11 November 2022 01:21 (six months ago) link

Doubtful on Bandcamp (streams at 128 if you haven't purchased) but could be better on Spotify (full res depending on settings etc.)

The Ghost Club, Friday, 11 November 2022 02:47 (six months ago) link

For some reason Untitled (God) not on Spotify but the other 4 are.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Friday, 11 November 2022 05:32 (six months ago) link

Oh wow, did not think they'd come out on CD! Instant buy, comes out to like $22/album w/ international shipping, and I'm good with that.

Soundslike, Friday, 11 November 2022 07:39 (six months ago) link

Didn't realise Aiir was also on there as it's listed as a single rather than album xp

groovypanda, Friday, 11 November 2022 07:47 (six months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Are the credits for the recent batch of releases available anywhere? It would be interested to know the delineation of writing, producing, arranging on these records. From some digging I did on social media it looks like some new people were involved. It would be good to get a complete picture.

Ibadan, Sunday, 27 November 2022 07:25 (six months ago) link

all that's available for some of their previous albums is writing credits from publishing databases, but there's nothing about any of this year's releases on those.

on previous albums, writing credits were generally inflo/cleo sol or inflo/kid sister, depending on who's doing lead vocals - occasionally both. kadeem clarke (a session guy who's a regular inflo collaborator) is credited occasionally. instrumentals are often credited just to inflo. occasionally others are credited, like simz and kiwanuka on the tracks they're featured on, and josh lloyd-watson from jungle and jack penante have made appearances before.

producing is pretty clearly all inflo though, it's his project.

there do seem to be some new vocalists appearing on this most recent set of releases but i haven't made any effort to identify them.

ufo, Sunday, 27 November 2022 08:24 (six months ago) link

Little Simz is on Free.

Jack Peñate, Cleo Sol and Chronixx are also in there.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 27 November 2022 13:22 (six months ago) link

two months pass...

Very ltd. quantities available for pre-order: LPs & CDs ov five recent releases:

dow, Saturday, 28 January 2023 01:30 (four months ago) link

I think they're all readily available (for pre-order) on Bandcamp, too:

Soundslike, Saturday, 28 January 2023 02:59 (four months ago) link

three months pass...

Anybody (esp. in the States) received their CDs/LPs from the five albums that released last November?

Getting slightly worried mine were lost in the mail, but then again international parcel shipping seems totally haywire currently...

Soundslike, Saturday, 29 April 2023 01:47 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

They've only just started coming out in the last week in the UK.

I'd waited until I got LPs before listening on Streaming. Today & Tomorrow is a real surprise. I'd love to know who is singing on this.

kraudive, Friday, 19 May 2023 20:03 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah--I wrote to Forever Living Originals via Bandcamp basically just to make sure they hadn't been sent and lost in the post. Got this response:

"We currently have an issue we are clearing with our couriers before the last of our orders can be shipped."

Which at least means they're still planning to ship. I've bought every album they've issued on CD and a few on LP, but that didn't keep me from being among the last orders heh

Soundslike, Saturday, 20 May 2023 03:55 (two weeks ago) link

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