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Luciel – …And That’s All I Remember

Track List:

  1. On and On
  2. Rolling in the Deep
  3. Dream Not
  4. I Don’t Wanna Run
  5. Love and Pride
  6. Better Things
  7. A New Place
  8. Questions
  9. Our Love Is Blind
  10. Sexy Bus
  11. Breakfast

At first sight it may come as a bit of a surprise, for a relatively unknown band to present a full album running for more than an hour – instead of perhaps recording a short demo, trying to get one of the major studios or labels attention. But maybe it is the signs of the times, in which the music business certainly has not become more friendly or accommodating, but modern and more accessible recording technology may enable the creatives to be more independent:

From start to finish this album was written, recorded, produced and mixed by us. Thanks to our complementary and extensive expertise, from songwriting to producing etc., all the processes were highly interfused. Along with the writing of the songs, ideas for production and concepts of sound appeared and evolved, essentially making the whole production an ongoing process of composition. To us production is just as important as writing,” states Florian Rynkowski, bass player and co-producer. This highly organic and collective approach fundamentally shapes the sound of “… and that´s All I Remember”. Everything sounds clear and crisp, while always maintaining a warm analog sound. The arrangements, complete with strings, synths, numerous keyboards and beautiful complex vocal harmonies, always remain transparent and even in their occasional opulence unobtrusive – they never obscure what soul and funk is all about in the end: the grooves and, of course, the songs and their feeling. And they have a lot to offer, talking, as they should be, about love, personal as well as by and large. No teenage bubble-gum, leaving nothing much behind once the bubble is burst, but grown-up soul with contradictions and friction

Of course, an album like this doesn´t suddenly appear out of nowhere! Next to Florian his brother David Rynkowski (accomplished singer, keyboard player, composer and producer) and Tim Dudek (drummer and musical all-rounder) are at the core of Luciel. Responsible for the guitar work is Philipp Brämswig, awardee of the Neuer Deutscher Jazzpreis Mannheim with his jazz trio, which in turn has Florian playing bass. Their love for improvised music also informs the sound of Luciel, when the musicians act out their joy of playing in the occasional, and perhaps not all that genre-typical solo passages. Therefore it comes as no surprise that they already have gained a fine reputation as a live act on the scene – supporting among others acid jazz legends Incognito, neo-soul icon Bilal, or any musicians darling and nightmare Snarky Puppy.

It might appear a tad over-modest, when the Luciels are talking about their shared “passion for good hand-made pop music”. But when a band states that they are oriented towards the great albums of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder of the 1970´s and are trying to translate some of the musical achievements of these masterpieces into a present sound, they indeed have set themselves quite the task – and in the case of … and that´s All I Remember” realised it in spectacular fashion. For in the end to produce good and hand-made pop music means nothing more and nothing less than to combine initial catchiness with musical depth. Just as you would expect from a good wine or whiskey, the first impressions of these 11 songs are promising and enticing, while manifesting their full impact by and by. These songs allow for relaxed and finger snapping, atmospheric listening, while the grooves are inviting these hips to move – and they are always encouraging and rewarding a closer listen.

Album Review

DLF Kultur - „Soundscout“, M. Risel:
"Luciel gehört wirklich zu den besten Bands und Debütalben, die ich in Soundscout bisher vorgestellt haben. Großartig!"

„Vertrackte Rhythmen und Harmonien, sowie jazzige Strukturen verhindern selbstbewusst den Missbrauch als Hintergrund-Dudelei… Zu verkopft und angestrengt wirkt das Album nicht, dafür sorgt die Lässigkeit und die Finesse, mit dem das Quartett die Songs abspult. Wegen der Retro-Coolness der 70er-Streicher-Arrangements ertappt man sich schnell bei Gedanken an die fetten Produktionen von Marvin Gaye oder Steview Wonder.“

"… dieser allgemein hohe Grad an lässig-virtuoser Instrumentenbeherrschung lassen nach Anhören des Eröffnungsstücks „On an On“ keine Zweifel zu: Hier muss eine junge US-Band im Gefolge von Vulfpeck oder Snarky Puppy am Werk sein. Aber weit gefehlt: Hinter Luciel verbergen sich David und Florian Rynkowski an Gesang, Gitarrist Philipp Brämswig und Schlagzeuger Tim Dudek. … durchmessen die Kölner auf ihrem erstaunlich reifen Erstling die Geschichte des Soul und Funk von Motown bis Badu mit detailreicher Verspieltheit. …Luciel sollte man sich merken."

Radio Okerwelle (Braunschweig):
"Wie bei einem gutem Wein oder Whisky sind die ersten Eindrücke der insgesamt 11 Songs auf diesem Album angenehm vielversprechend und einladend. Ihre volle Wirkung entfalten sie aber nach und nach. Es sind Songs, die atmosphärisches Hören und entspanntes Mitgrooven zulassen, aber jederzeit das wiederholte und genauere Hinhören belohnen. Anspieltipps: „Dream Not“ und „I Don’t Wanna Run“." (Album der Woche KW 6/19)

TIDE Radio - „Rauschen“ (Hamburg):
„Hochklassiger R&B/NuSoul kann auch vom Rhein kommen, das beweisen Luciel, das Quartett um die Brüder David und Florian Rynkowski aus Köln. Wirklich sehr beeindruckend die Platte „…and that’s all I remember“ - insbesondere David Rynkowski, der Keyboarder ist auch ein umwerfender Soulsänger!“

Aachener Nachrichten:
„Luciel hat mit Gästen ein beachtliches Debütalbum aufgenommen. ...das Resultat ist eine frische, spritzige Mixtur, die zeitlos ist. …das ergibt ein schlüssiges Bild. Lässt in entspannten Passagen auch schon mal an Steely Dan denken. Und es groovt auch ordentlich, bleibt dabei rund und leichtfüßig.“