“LAP OF LUXURY” by Kingsway Music
What’s up MM Heads! It’s your dude BROADWAY here to review a new release by the Frank Dukes brainchild, Kingsway Music. The release is another sample kit, the fourth of its kind released by Kingsway, called “Kingsway Music Presents LAP OF LUXURY”. But there’s something a bit different about this one, that I think you’ll truly appreciate.
This release essentially is what I have come to view as more of a full-blown instrumental album, rather than JUST a sample kit. You’ve likely not yet seen a sample library release of this scope or of this nature. What has come to be the norm for these sample library releases are usually samples or tracks ranging anywhere from 15 second to a minute of mostly repeating melodies or progressions. Well, NOT this release. The musical pieces on this are truly ambitious. They are fully-composed pieces of music, each with their own transitions thru intros, verses, bridges and choruses in most cases, and in some cases – outros. What we have here is mind-blowing to an extent when considered as a sample kit because it is more reminiscent of the instrumental works of guys like David Porter and Hodges, James, and Smith of the early-1970’s rather than just a sample library. Those folks in the 70’s would release full instrumental LP’s, usually consisting of the musical work on previously released projects, but without the vocals included. This release is on par with those in many ways musically and compositionally, which is more than just a credit to the work…it’s one of the highest praises I can offer a sample library release like this.
Composed fully by Maneesh “M-Rock” Bidaye, the collection features 11 original compositions, each inspired by orchestrations and arrangements of composers like Isaac Hayes, Lamont Dozier, and Thom Bell. To Maneesh’s credit, this work sounds incredibly vintage and organic. It would be extremely difficult to discern that this was not recorded at the time of the explosion of soul music. It is done that well.
I got a chance to speak with Frank Dukes and M-Rock about the process, and they explained that all of the 11 pieces were composed and recorded by Maneesh on gear such as vintage mics, guitars, basses, and a couple of analog synths, and he’d get strings and horn players to come in when necessary (which seemed often, the string pieces on this project are super lush). Frank explained that his involvement would be that Maneesh would record then bring the work over to Frank’s studio and re-record if necessary. Creatively this is M-Rock’s baby though, and what a baby it is. Maneesh formed a relationship with English DJ and producer Mark Ronson, which led him into being in the studio with Ronson at times seeing him work, thus influencing him to buy a bass in order to create 70’s styled compositions like the one’s he loved. He began recording and producer Marco Polo passed these on to Frank Dukes, who in turn gave M-Rock the facilities and tools that he needed in order to fully expand on these soul ideas. “LAP OF LUXURY” is one of the products of that story.
Maneesh used inspirations such as “Never Can Say Goodbye” by The Jackson 5 for ideas on bells and high octave parts on pieces. He modified his bass to sound more vintage and gritty like that of Motown famed bassist, James Jamerson. Small attentions to detail like these created a flawless representation of the soul music that producers today have lusted and slaved over, but the kicker here is – there are no sample-clearance fee’s for these.
All in all, in terms of the organic and authentic feel of the 1970 soul music that is so popular and widely-used and sought by sample-based producers everywhere, Frank Dukes and M-Rock may have delivered the best representation of that in an original sample library that we’ve seen thus far. Which makes this an absolute must have for sampler’s or fans of 70’s music period. At $34.99, this is actually quite a steal, considering that most of the 11 compositions run-on as fully composed songs, with many parts in each composition worthy of being used sample-wise. The foundation for creativity here is truly in abundance.
This kit gets an emphatic BROADWAY Seal of Approval. Great work by M-Rock and Frank to get this out to the masses. Get your hands on it.
Until next time, 100!