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Play It By Ear

Play It By Ear
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It might be his debut album, yet Peacey’s “Play It By Ear” is a body of work crafted as though by a scholar. And where better for this work to emerge from than Derby, UK’s Atjazz Record Company, a label with a rich heritage and many strings to its bow?

This eclectic sonic journal catalogues the evolution of Peacey, documenting his interactions with, and influences from, some of dance music’s notable players. It’s an album that will attract discerning ears and open minds; minds attuned to a multitude of genres as it visits Hip Hop, Nu-Soul, House, Garage, Boogie and Fusion.

As well as the expanse of influences it draws on, “Play It By Ear” presents its distinctive characteristics: accomplished songwriting, skilful production and heartfelt performances from all. The clear drive to propel dance music is evident throughout. Not only are the songwriting and performances legendary, but the whole album drips with rich production, thanks to the use of vintage mics, classic synths, Rhodes Piano and plenty of live instrumentation.

During the profound journey of creating this album, Peacey contemplates how the primary motivation for this work stemmed from a need to find solace from deep emotional upheavals he experienced. “This album will never be finished, but I’ve learnt to let go. And what better way than to start writing and exploring your emotions through songs?” mused Peacey.

The listening experience begins with the eponymously named ‘Play It By Ear’. Like an orchestra tuning its instruments, the mood is set and the production ethic established; the horns are introduced and emotions are ramped. We now embark on our first vocal track: ‘Love in the Forest feat. OVEOUS’ is street poetry exploring the merits of love, bringing along the essence of New York. Peacey is then joined by labelmates Clyde and Atjazz for ‘Hold Me Back’. Co-written and sung by Clyde, it’s an organic yet polished bumpy dancefloor cut, topped and tailed with horns by Toronto-based Octavio N. Santos. It’s also his album debut single, so watch this space!

The album features outstanding vocal talents and Rona Ray is but one. She performs over Peacey’s infectious mid-pace hook for ‘Playground’, another of the album’s singles. Vanessa Hidary’s masterful and sometimes manic spoken word performance is complemented by live percussion that drives the mood of ‘Culture Bandit’. If the drums of ‘Falling Down’ don’t make your day, then the soulfully delivered vocals of labelmate Sarai Jazz will. Relaxed? Well, don’t lose your focus because Sabrina Chyld ushers in another wonderful 4x4 tune, and her soulful delivery yearns us to ‘Find a Way’.

‘Dear Uncle Tim’ pays homage to the inspiration behind this album. This man introduced a young Peacey to electronic music! So sit back and absorb the ethos that radiates from this incredibly expressive piece of music. Although the album is drawing to its close, it’s still ‘Runnin’, thanks once more to Sabrina Chyld. What a vocal, and what a bassline. And over the next offering, lush percussive layers and synths invite Emilie Chick to lay her smooth vocal tone delivery over ‘Don’t Send Us Back’?

Found tracks

Peacey - Play It By Ear
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Peacey - Love In The Forest (feat. OVEOUS)
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Peacey - Afternoon Delight (feat. Atjazz)
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Peacey - Hold Me Back (feat. Clyde & Atjazz)
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Peacey - Playground (feat. Rona Ray)
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Peacey - Falling Down (feat. Sarai Jazz)
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Peacey - Last Night's Dream
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Peacey - Find A Way (feat. Sabrina Chyld)
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Peacey - Culture Bandit (feat. Vanessa Hidary)
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Peacey - Zero Construct
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Peacey - In The Distance (feat. Laroye)
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Peacey - The Mandarin Affair (feat. Clyde)
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Peacey - Not That Way
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Peacey - Dear Uncle Tim
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Peacey - Running (feat. Sabrina Chyld)
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Peacey - Don't Send Us Back (feat. Emilie Chick)
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