Sam Redmore & the Topical Soundclash Allstars

Sam Redmore & the Topical Soundclash Allstars

Khali Ackford

Producer and artist Sam Redmore is shaping a career as one of the UK’s most exciting new talents. His path has seen him evolve from club DJ and promoter, to remixer responsible for a host of masterly edits, to lighting up airwaves and stages from London to LA with his original productions and killer live shows.

His knowledge of global, eclectic sounds – shaped when following the movements of the likes of Gilles Peterson, Quantic, Louie Vega and Mr Scruff – set up his 2022 debut album Universal Vibrations as a feast for those who wished to dance to a different beat.

His succinct summary that the album represents “music for dancefloors inspired by music from all over”, means no reveller is going home disappointed.

Success was almost instantaneous – Nagu, an instrumental track from his debut 7” release, was played on BBC Radio 1, 6 Music, Radio 2, Jazz FM and Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM on the same weekend! A supremely rare cross cultural appeal and unheard of for an instrumental latin dancefloor tune. Nagu has since gone on to be a mainstay of daytime BBC 6 Music, getting played almost every week since release.

Radio stations around the world followed suit, with LA tastemaker KCRW one of the first to get on board hammering Tears, Sam’s cumbia cover of the Giorgio Moroder classic. Meanwhile, French tastemaker station FIP has been consistently supporting Sam throughout. When the album dropped in September 2022 it was immediately given the prestigious Album of the Week accolade at Jazz FM, rounding off an extremely successful campaign that included BBC 6 Music guest mixes for Craig Charles , Huey Morgan, Afrodeutsche and Cerys Matthews – an incredible spread of support.

Sam came up on the scene in the UK West Midlands and the cultural mix of the area is still a massive source of creativity for him. His records and live band showcase Birmingham’s best new vocal talent, with guests Lumi HD, SANITY and Mr Auden Allen all involved. His energetic live show has seen Sam and his live band The Tropical Soundclash Allstars become a festival mainstay, with appearances at Mostly Jazz, Wilderness, Boom Town, Shindig, Green Man, Kendal Calling, Camp Bestival and Shambala earning rave reviews.

2024 will see Sam unleash his second album – Modulate, from which the first single Glow has already picked up strong BBC 6 Music support.

Speaking about the process, Sam tells us:

“Whilst creating Universal Vibrations, a lot of the time I felt unsure whether I had it in me to create an album’s worth of original compositions. Coming from a DJ/remixer background, it felt like a big step to start pieces of music from scratch and develop them until they were finished. With the debut album in the bag however, for Modulate I was much more confident in what I was doing, and the thought process changed from can I do this? to how would I like to do this?. I found this change in mentality allowed me to enjoy the process much more than with the first album.”

The sound of Modulate is an expansion of what Universal Vibrations started – music made with the dancefloor firmly in mind, involving a combination of electronic and programmed sounds with organic, live instrumentation. Modulate showcases a more diverse sound palette than Universal Vibrations, but with a newly refined musical focus.

Sam continues “I pick up inspiration from many different kinds of music – from house, disco, broken beat and funk through to afro latin styles including afrobeat, cumbia, salsa and samba – and try to combine things to create something exciting and new.”

One key development in the process of writing Modulate has been putting together a live band and seeing first-hand the response people have to hearing the music. This has given Sam both enthusiasm and ideas for how new pieces of music might fit into the set, with a number of tracks from Modulate being trialled and perfected through live performance over the last 12 months.

There are a large number of musicians involved in the creation of Modulate, with some of the vocal collaborations particularly noteworthy. Dele Sosimi is a hugely respected name in the afrobeat world, and somebody whose music Sam has been following for a long time – “well before I started making music myself”, he explains. “To collaborate with him on a track really is a dream come true, with his contributions and influence on so much music that I love a huge deal to me. When I received the vocal recording for Home it immediately elevated what was something I was already proud of to a new level. You can hear the depth of emotion in Dele’s voice, and listening back to the track now I can’t help but feel that emotion within. There is a melancholy there but also hope and uplift – things that are important to me both in music and in life.”

Likewise, Abdominal is an MC Sam has admired from way back. “His voice, lyrics and flow are truly unique in an extremely crowded field and it’s really exciting to have teamed up with him on this.”

Lumi HD provided some of the standout moments on Universal Vibrations, and there was never any doubt she would be an important player on Modulate. An exceptionally talented yet hugely underrated vocalist and songwriter, her time in the limelight is surely on the way.

Modulate features major contributions from Rory Simmons (trumpet player of choice for Jamie Cullum and recent Brit Award record breaker, Raye) who provided astonishing horn and string arrangements on the majority of the tracks on the album. The album also includes invaluable offerings from Chris Mapp (bass), Alex Clarke (flute), Pete Nickless (piano), and Robbie Moore (synthesizers), amongst many others.

Modulate is scheduled for release in October 2024, with a full UK live tour to follow.