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De'Nate
Reminisce
Nu Groove Records
www.denatemusic.com


The duo of multi-instrumentalist Nate Harasim and singer Deborah Connors form the smooth ambient/R&B-soul outfit De'Nate. Their debut record Reminisce has creamy ambient textures relatable to Great Britain's Kate Havnevik, and smooth rolling grooves emblematic of Lizz Wright. The prized track is De'Nate's remake of The Eurythmics single "Sweet Dreams" as Harasim and Connors give the song a new look by inducing pinholes of velvety atmospherics into the roving pulses and Connors' handling of the vocal melody, which is quite distinct from Annie Lennox, is nonetheless just as finessed, penetrating and aurally stunning. Connors' vocals have a sensual caress as Harasim's arrangement is elegantly landscaped in cascading synths, dulcetly lanced guitar cuts and supplely moving beats.

De'Nate indulges their tastebuds in upbeat tempos with the dancetrack "Let Your Body Move" injecting cool swiveling motions that fire up the passages. But then again, De'Nate's forte are their romantically spruced arias like "All You Are to Me" and "You Are My Everything" harnessed in softly clasped trimmings and smooth soul straps tied around Connors' vocals. The plush chords give the songs a heavenly elevation, and the soft R&B textures that circuit the melodic transistors are hypnotically phrased. There is a silky feel in Connors' vocals as the flutter in her valves moves sensually around Harasim's seductive entrappings. This is most apparent in "Secret Garden" as the harmony vocals of Jim Salamone complement Connors' lead beautifully. The soft spray of the synths is relaxing and the gentle flux of the rhythmic swells have an affectionate stroking that lets the listener lay back on the melodic pillows.

Reminisce warms the soul and impales the senses with shots of serenity. It's standard smooth soul fused with contemporary ambient escapes that arouse dreamy sensations. The music of De'Nate melts away stress while keeping the listener on a heavenly plane. In this way, it is an album that is made for everyone.

-Susan Frances

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