For many people, the first time they heard of Paul Randolph, was when they heard his track Soldier on the eight-track Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012. Paul Randolph was in good company, given the artists that featured on Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012. Idrissa Sissoko, Ade Alafia Adio, Sage Monk, Mammy Wata and Sons of Arhat all featured on Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012. In many ways, this was Offering Recordings showing the music industry how many talented artists they’d signed. One of most talented and up-and-coming artists was Paul Randolph. It was obvious from the first time you heard Soldier. Now, the next step in introducing Paul Randolph to a much wider audience swings into action with his forthcoming E.P. Soldier. This however, is no ordinary E.P. Quite the opposite. Instead, it’s a mammoth eleven track E.P. Rather than one Soldier, it’s more like a platoon. Before I tell you about the Soldier E.P, I’ll tell you about Paul Randolph.

When it comes to musical pedigrees, Paul Randolph’s is second to none. He comes from a musical family and was born in one of America’s most famous musical cities…Philadelphia. Paul first began his musical journey as a child playing guitar. Then when he was six, his family moved to Brazil. That transformed his life. Not only did he become fluent in a second language, but immersed himself in music, which in Brazil, is part of the culture. This included studying guitar with the same Brazilian tutor as his father. By the time Paul was a teenager, his family were on the move again.

Next stop for Paul was Detroit, another a musical city. Although Paul graduated from  Central Michigan with a degree in marketing, music was his first love. Throughout his university course, music was ever-present. He played in the Detroit area, and by this time, had mastered percussion and bass. After graduating, Paul has made music his career, and worked with a number of well-known artists.

Among the artists Paul has accompanied, are Odetta, Tony Allen, Dennis Coffey and Johnny Johnston. After that, Paul was lead singer of Mudpuppy, a Detroit based group whose music was inspired by New Orleans funk and blues. Following his departure from Mudpuppy, Paul accompanied Amp Fiddler, Carl Craig, iSoul8, Catz ‘n’ Dogz and Zed Bias to mention just a few names. Paul Randolph it seems is a versatile musician, whose equally comfortable playing funk, blues, Nu-Soul and electronic music. Regardless of the musical genre, Paul can play it. As well as being a member of Mudpuppy, Paul has also released a trio of albums.

Paul’s debut album was 2004s This Is…What It Is, which was released on Mahogani Music. Three years later, Lonely Eden was released in 2007 on Still Music, with Echoes Of Lonely Eden following in 2010. Despite not releasing an album since 2010, Paul has been busier than ever. During 2012, he released seven projects, including collaborating with Jazzanova. Then late last year, came Paul Randolph’s first release for Offering Recordings. Straight away, it was obvious that Paul Randolph was a man with a big future in music ahead of him. Soldier is a tantalizing taste of Paul Randolph’s talents. On the Soldier E.P. there’s not just one, two or three versions of soldiers, but a might eleven versions, which I’ll pick the highlights of.

Just a lone acoustic guitar opens the Main Mix of Soldier, before drums and percussion enter, giving the track an African Roots sound. Then Paul throws a curveball. His tender vocal is accompanied by pounding drums. Now the track head in the direction of the dance-floor. Synth, keyboards and backing vocalists join the percussion and acoustic guitar as African Roots meets deep house. Paul teases and tantalizes the listener, dropping the tempo before building the track back up. This results in a track that’s compelling, catchy and beautiful oh and very dance-floor friendly.

Apart from the Main Mix of Soldier, another of the highlights of the Soldier E.P. are the Radio Mix. It’s just four minutes long, two minutes shorter than the Main Mix. This seems to result in a much more potent and powerful track. Somehow, it’s even catchier, not unlike to a call to dance, but one you can’t resist. Best to submit to its charms. Talking of infectiously catchy, dance-floor fillers, that’s a good way to describe the Daz i Kue Vocal Mix and the eleven-minute GiKu Remix. They’re two of the best of vocal remixes. 

Showing a very different side to Soldier are the instrumental or dub versions. Choosing between the various remixes isn’t easy, given their consistent quality. However, Boddhi Satva is responsible for peerless dub remixes. These are the Ancestral Dub and Dubthrudamental Mix. Along with the Instrumental and Kickless Remixes, the eleven remixes on Paul Randolph’s Soldier E.P. have one thing in common…their quality.

While there are nine different remixes of Soldier on the E.P. this isn’t overkill. Not at all. Each of the nine remixes bring something new, compelling and captivating to the original version of Soldier, which is a quite beautiful song. Soldier is also melancholy, wistful, emotive and haunting. It’s all these things and much more. I’d describe it as one of these tracks that stay with you. It’s not just memorable, but makes you think and asks questions of you. If only more music like this.

Listening to Paul Randolph’s eleven track E.P. Soldier, it’s obvious Paul is a hugely talented singer, songwriter, musician and producer. He has a great future ahead of him. Not only did Paul write Soldier, but produced the track and arranged it with Boddhi Satve. Soldier is just a tantalizing taste of what’s to come from Paul Randolph. Hopefully, it won’t be too long until the release of Paul Randolph’s next album. Until then, you’ll be able to enjoy Paul’s forthcoming E.P. Soldier, which will soon be released by Offering Recordings.


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