Soul Preview 2016: DJ Kemit returns with the dance-centric ‘Together’

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Photo by Shannon McCollum

If you’re a music head who likes to go out and cut a rug in Atlanta, chances are you know the name DJ Kemit. The Milwaukee-born, ATL-based turntable legend is responsible for hosting some of the city’s top ongoing parties (e.g., Kickin’ Up Dust, Soul Makossa, Spread Love and, most recently, the ATL Dance Sessions). But his talent doesn’t just end in the club; Kemit has been building a rep over the years as a go-to music producer. In this role, he’s crafted hit songs for local heavyweights like Algebra, Anthony David and Heston. On top of those tracks, in 2012, he released his beat-heavy debut solo album — “Everlasting” — featuring Eric Roberson, N’Dambi and Frank McComb, among other vocalists. And in this brand-spanking-new year, he’s emerged from the studio once again with a collection of tunes — this time in the form of the house music-tinged EP “Together.” The project is dropping in early 2016 via singer/producer Josh Milan’s Honeycomb Music label and co-stars artists such as Terrance Downs, Tasha LaRae and Milan himself. But before “Together” hits the streets, Slo*Mo checked in with Kemit to get the ins and outs on his newest release.

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Soul Preview 2016: Mo Upcoming Releases

Beyond DJ Kemit’s long-awaited new project, a ton of other Atlanta-affiliated artists are gearing up to drop music in 2016. Look below, for 12-plus records you should be checking for:

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Jermaine Hardsoul
Folks may recognize vocalist/musician Jermaine Hardsoul from his production work with artists like Eric Roberson, but now he’s finally taking the spotlight in a big way with “Lane” — his first full-length solo studio album. Taking a listen to “Lane” (available on all digital platforms January 22) you’d almost think it was a concept album — and that’s due to the 1980s/1990s-era R&B/soul influence that runs through almost every tune. The track “Oh Girl,” for example, channels the spirit of the Prince/Time Minneapolis sound, while songs like “The One Two” (featuring ATL expat singer Carmen Rodgers) is fueled by Chi-town stepper sounds. Look for this album to catapult Mr. Hardsoul deeper into the consciousness of music fans everywhere. More info: www.hardsoulsound.com.

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Mo Events: King, Meshell Ndegeocello, Daley + more

Check it out: The Slo*Mo homies, once again, have picked the best soul music and culture events going down this month in the A. Take a look, and get in where you fit in:

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Feb. 29: King — Fans of the ultra-melodic soul trio King should get an award for patiently awaiting the release of the band’s first full-length album, “We Are King.” I mean, it seems like it took the group — made up of sisters Paris and Amber Strother and “musical sister” Anita Bias — like, forever to get back on the scene with new music since they took the world by storm via their first EP, “The Story.” So we can all thank the creator for the chance to jump ear-deep into more of King’s dreamy harmonies and vibey soundscapes. And to celebrate the release of “We Are King,” the crew has hit the road once again, with plans to invade Atlanta tonight. Expect to hear plenty of that new-new, but I’m sure audience members who’ve been riding with them since 2011 will be treated to renditions of early cuts like “Hey” and “Supernatural.” Bring your rumps. $15-$20. 7 p.m. Vinyl, 1374 West Peachtree Street. www. centerstage-atlanta.com.

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Mo Sounds: Donnie, Latrese Bush + more

Slo*Mo is dedicated to bringing you the best in music on the regular. Case in point, check out some dope cuts that are out right now from some of Atlanta’s best artists (and one out of towner):

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Donnie — “The American Mythology”: At the tail end of 2015, Atlanta soul heavyweight Donnie released a fresh new album, “The American Mythology” — his first since 2007’s “The Daily News.” The project, however, marks a shift for the acclaimed vocalist; songs on the album were crafted more as ensemble pieces instead of vehicles for the singer’s solo expression. The end result is a sound that’s more akin to a Broadway musical’s soundtrack than a straight-up, radio-ready song … and, yo, that’s DOPE. At a time when the music industry needs an injection of creativity, “The American Mythology” is a courageous journey in a bold, new sonic direction. Honestly, it would be amazing if more independent artists did what Donnie has done here: Create a project that couldn’t be made if you were signed to a regular record label. So, let’s celebrate this truly artistic endeavor by snagging a copy or three. More info: www.iamdonnie.com.

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The Summer of Soul: Intro

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The first rule about summer in Atlanta is that it’s not over until, like, October. That’s partly due to the weather, which stays warm for a truly hot minute, and also because promoters and event organizers have must-do programming slated to pop off well into the fall. It’s that spirit of never-ending good times that inspired us at Slo*Mo to launch The Summer of Soul — a multi-month campaign designed spread the word about the season’s top local music, artists and events.

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The Summer of Soul: The best ATL events — ONE Musicfest, Afropunk Atlanta + More

Janelle Monae and her Wondaland crew (Photo by Marc Baptiste)

Janelle Monae and her Wondaland crew (Photo by Marc Baptiste)

A ton of stuff’s happening in Atlanta this summer; of course, not all of it is worth your time or your cash — especially if you’re a lover of soul music and culture. So, yo, to help you navigate the next few months, the super-dope crew at Slo*Mo has curated a list of the season’s best events (we’re talking concerts, art exhibitions and more). Check it out:

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