Tortured Soul - 7/19/18Thursday, July 19 2018 6:00 pm Doors / 8:00 pm Start
- Front Premier
- Bar Stool
Tortured Soul - 7/19/18
at City Winery Washington DC
- 6:00 pm
- 8:00 pm
- Front Premier
- Bar Stool
Before DJs evolved into global superstars, musicians carried the baton. The Brooklyn-based dance trio Tortured Soul isn’t trying to intently rewrite the logic of today’s EDM with the sweat of their own musicianship, but they are living proof that the very same music can be freed from the DJ booth. Influenced by the classic songcraft of Prince, Heatwave and Kool & The Gang, the members of Tortured Soul are three distinctive guys with three different backgrounds, united under a groove-centered rhythm. The band’s frontman and principal songwriter, John-Christian Urich, can be seen simultaneously drumming and singing with effortless mastery, while the rest of the collective, made up of keyboardist Ethan White and bassist Jordan Scannella, virtuosically generate the pulsating accompaniment. It’s a striking visual that’s feverously winning converts with each and every tour stop, with them being likened to The Roots of house music. Inside the group’s mystique, the acid jazz is reminiscent of Jamiroquai funk, while deeply saturated in the contemporary freshness of house purveyors like Joey Negro, Kenny Dope, Soul Clap and Jamie Jones. Even the legendary tastemaker Gilles Peterson, dubbed them “the future of house music."
A succession of 12-inch singles followed “Might Do Something Wrong,” including Alix Alvarez’s mix of “How’s Your Life” and the romantic dance-pop of “Fall in Love.” Billboard dance critic Michael Paoletta lauded the latter track by calling it “a sterling, soul-slammed house jam.” Each of the singles impressed the bevy of the world’s dance halls, allowing the band to tour heavily with appearances at clubs and festivals across the US. With 2006’s Introducing Tortured Soul, the band was able to piece together their first debut album using all their earlier singles while also incorporating a few new studio additions. The follow-up album, 2009’s Did You Miss Me, released on the band’s own label, TSTC Records, ushered in a new wave of critical acclaim, climatically winning accolades from various music publications like Blues and Soul, SoulTracks and SoulBounce. “Home to You,” “In My Fantasy” and “Your Dream Is My Dream” were all given the 12” and 7” singles’ treatment. Continuing their regimen for clubland rituals, Tortured Soul implored an attractive A-list of DJs and remixers to carefully handle the mixes for their latest batch of uptempo dancefloor fillers, including Mark de Clive-Lowe, Quentin Harris, Jon Cutler, DJ Spinna, Dimitri From Paris and remix pioneer Tom Moulton.
Today, their popularity continues to spread across intercontinental boundaries as their touring schedules broaden with every single measure. So far, the group has wowed audiences at some of the world’s biggest music festivals, such as the Cape Town Jazz Festival, (South Africa), Java Jazz Festival (Indonesia), Detroit Electronic Music Festival (USA), Pukkelpop (Belgium), Big Chill Festival (UK) and Montreal International Jazz Festival (Canada). Touring abroad has not hindered them from making their bicoastal US rounds at Bonnaroo, Milwaukee’s Summerfest and at popular live venues like Hollywood’s Vanguard, Chicago’s Double Door, Atlanta’s Center Stage and Washington D.C.’s 930 Club. Their prowess has even won the praises of Barry Manilow and Lenny Kravitz.
AllMusicGuide wrote that Tortured Soul’s songs are unapologetically poppy, explaining why their music has appeared on All My Children, A&E’s The Glades, Showtime’s Huff and Canada’s version of So You Think You Can Dance. Their music has become the soundtrack of retail shopping in stores like Gap, American Eagle Outfitters and Hollister, while even landing in a popular demo trial for Bose headphones. Over the years Tortured Soul’s music has been documented on a wide range of dance compilations and has been licensed to Universal Japan, Defected, BMG Ariola, Dome and a host of other labels.