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- Magnetic Eyes by Jeff Phelps
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OK, this is a good one. A re-issue of Jeff Phelps' super-rare private press electro soul LP 'Magnetic Eyes'. Having not heard Phelps' material before it's hard to believe this one's been over-looked in re-issue circles for so long as this guy's a fucking genius! Phelps dabbles in a rare form of soulful electronic music that brings to mind the likes of Steve Wonder, Sam Cooke, classic yacht rock (Loggins, The Doobies, Hall and Oates...that sort of bizzle) Herbie Hancock, Kraftwerk, Prince and a bunch of jazz types, whilst remaining true to his own unique vision. This shit is so up my street that I can barely put my thoughts into any coherent sequence for y'all!! I just wanna turn this baby up loud and enjoy the funky flavour. The beats here probably make Dam Funk wild with jealousy (he provides the sleeve sticker write-up which doesn't surprise me at all...you know these two must be rocking the same Linn drum machines), the playing is totally spot on, the production is dry and crispy and there's a tune that reminds of the awesome Jermaine Jackson/Devo single 'Let Me Tickle Your Fancy', so, yeah... it's all good. Phelps also has a secret weapon, a young female singer by the name of Antoinette Marie Pugh whose style compliments Jeff's production to a tee, bringing a more soulful Madonna vibe to 'Don't Fall Apart On Me' and 'Hear My Heart'. It's sad to hear that a lack of music business experience led to this being Phelps' only recorded document. Given money and record label assistance these two could have been true pop contenders back in '85. Amazing record. Great sleeve too. A must have for electro-funk aficionados everywhere. Best thing I'll hear all week, for sure.
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