Accolades is here, and they are making moves worthy of their name. They are the newest audio production team to emerge from the musical epicenter of Los Angeles. This soulful duo was formed by Anas Canon, esteemed record producer/sound engineer and founder of the emerging label Decorative Audio along with his writing partner, prominent Los Angeles based multi-instrumentalist/producer, Joel Van Dijk (who also serves as Aloe Blacc’s musical director and guitarist). The two have embarked on the nearly impossible task of re-imagining “The Motown Sound” for our modern age.
The project, Accolades vs. The Funk Brothers emerged from Canon’s genuine love(read obsession) for the genius of early Motown recordings. Canon and Van Dijk are long time fans of The Funk Brothers (the brilliant musicians who played on the original Motown recordings) and the musical bed that they created for the classic vocalists of their time such as Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and many more.
The vocal tracks from these Motown recordings were chopped up and laid into a bed of rugged drum programming by Canon, which was then re-harmonized and re-grooved by Van Dijk and guest musicians*-- the effect being a completely new approach to the familiarity of the Motown sound. As the name suggests, Accolades Vs. The Funk Brothers challenges the Motown studio personnel to a musical production duel in our now modern age of recording technology, lending a fresh perspective to the timeless recordings.
Accolades’ musicianship is what sets them apart from those who simply seek to remix the classics. Their use of advanced harmonic concepts, real instruments and sophisticated arranging serve to reimagine Motown in the 21st century. The use of additional sections elongate the original narrative of timeless songs like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s If This World Were Mine, and The Jackson 5’s Mama’s Pearl, taking the listener’s nostalgia and giving it a new home.
To hear this project is to be transported to the place in which your soul feels most comfortable. With harmony that serves as a powerful aphrodisiac, and a new rhythmic pulse that compels you to rise in your living room and hit that signature two-step, Accolades Vs. The Funk Brothers satiates that sultry space in your spirit. That feeling you felt when you first heard Marvin is morphed into a contemporary setting, as if the song was just released today. A fresh perspective is given, an epiphany is received, and what was once old is new again.
Written by Savannah Harris