Record Review: Mark de Clive-Lowe – Church

Funk. Soul. Groove. Let those three words sit for a minute and now imagine an entire record full of those vibes and so much more. That is exactly what Mark de Clive-Lowe has delivered with his latest release, 'Church'.

Mark de Clive-Lowe - Church

As a blogger that covers a range of topics including music, it was inevitable for me to receive music submissions from up and coming artists in my inbox – even from artists who are already well-established. I probably don’t receive as many submissions as the big leagues though. I mean, the internet is a pretty massive space, but as a writer who’s still trying to make it herself, I’d say that I like to support the underdogs; the ones who don’t get as much coverage as others.

And I have in the past – I think a handful of the artists you’ve seen on The 5 to 9 Life have been because a song/album was sent to me rather than a result of me stalking various other blogs, friend’s recommendations or my Soundcloud feed. In fact, as I write this particular review, I just received another music submission.

There’s so much new music out there – I seriously find it hard to catch up. And as someone who has eclectic taste with all different genres, I’d say my life gets a little bit harder with trying to find a great record that caters to all tastes. But more-so my own. I mean, what you see on The 5 to 9 Life is purely things that I like.

And so when “Church” came to me through email, I was intrigued. The email itself didn’t say too much but the album artwork piqued my interest, and I wanted to hear the record to see if the music complemented the artwork. Sometimes things like that matter – well, to me at least.

I’m glad I decided to give this record a chance, rather than dismiss it though.

“Church” by Mark de Clive-Lowe has everything – and I mean EVERYTHING. I’m not a musician by any means but I think I’ve heard enough music over the years to know what’s good and what’s not.

“Church” is a record full of jazz, brass, horns, keys, synths, beats, bass, hip hop, percussion, classical undertones and even elements of the salsa and Brazilian funk! At least that’s what I was hearing through my headphones and to be able to capture all that within one record? Wow, I was impressed.

Honestly, three tracks in and I was hooked! I wanted to hear more, more, more. Lucky for me, “Church” is an album of 13 tracks, catering to my listening desires. On top of all that, de Clive-Lowe has a host of stellar guests on this record from Nia Andrews and John Robinson to Low Leaf and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson! Nice.

Mark de Clive-Lowe is a very talented jazz keyboardist, music producer, artist, and club DJ, originally from New Zealand but is now based in Los Angeles. He has a way with rhythm that not many musicians out there possess. Mark de Clive-Lowe is a cult figure in the world of contemporary jazz, but he’s also one of the more innovative producers in the industry these days and it shows that he’s still got with his latest release.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to see this record being played live or how the sounds all came together in the studio during recording. The production and songwriting is really on point. Damn.

Unfortunately, the preview above does not reveal all the songs on this record that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to over the past week, but I kind of like that strategy. It’s a teaser for you. If you like what you hear above, you should definitely hit that BUY NOW button. Trust me.

Favourites from this record for me include ‘The Mission’ where John Robinson’s natural flow is reminiscent of Talib Kweli; the change-up in ‘The Precessional’ resulting in an in-your-face sound by the time the song comes to a close; the angelic vocals of Nia Andrews on ‘Hollow’ and the smooth and rather poetic ‘Sketch for Miguel’. Lucky for you, the first three can be heard above.

Each and every track is a multi-layered experience though fusing and experimenting with so many different sounds and instruments! “Church” is truly a record that provides something for everyone. Hit play on any of the songs above and you’ll see what I mean, but my recommendation is to buy the record and listen to it from start to finish. It’s only $10. Trust me, it’ll be worth it. đŸ™‚

But if you needed any more convincing, check out this special behind-the-scenes video of Mark and Nia recording in NYC to see what you could be in store for.