Living Life In Phases is the brilliant new album from Sheffield native Leigh Devlin under the alias MinusBlue, released via Seamless Recordings on 16th May...
Having engineered on Dizzee Rascal’s Mercury Prize winning album, Boy In Da Corner, remixed for Reverend And The Makers, and signed over 100 records to down-tempo compilations, Leigh Devlin’s career goes back some years. Living Life In Phases is an electronic album exuding a colourful mix of influences and a wealth of experience from a 30 year musical history.
As co-founder of the legendary Kenwood Studios in Sheffield where the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Fila Brazillia and Groove Armada all recorded, Leigh Devlin is a master at the sound desk. His technical wizardry saw him run Sheffield practice studio Bok Studios where the likes of Roots Manuva and Phil Oakley (Human League) were regulars, to tutoring at the Sheffield College of Music alongside fellow heavyweights, Simon Stafford and Sarah Jay, who’ve worked with Joe Strummer and Massive Attack respectively.
It’s this musical background that inspired Living Life In Phases, the second studio album from MinusBlue and the result of a three year hiatus travelling Europe. In comparison to its 2009 self-titled predecessor, Life In Stages drifts from MinusBlue’s previous chilled out sounds into a stripped back affair of lush eighties and nineties influenced sounds with simple drums and synths and airy production.
Leigh said, “I wanted to move away from being tarred with the 'chillout' brush. I wanted to make a poppy/Balearic/electronic sound that was a bit of a look back through my musical background. That's why there is an 80s and 90s feel to some of the tracks. I had got to the point with the previous album, and working on other peoples music down the years, that I needed a break from writing and producing, hence the trip around Europe. I also needed something to write about, and life kind of gives you that, if you let it. I had plenty to write about by the time I started again. That's why the album is called Living Life In Phases”.
The first single to be released from the album, Don’t Give Love Away, was an international hit, played on rotation on the likes of Kiss FM Australia, Billboard USA and multiple stations across Europe.
Living Life In Phases was built from the ground up to be a live project and, along with the band’s talented singer songwriters, will be toured later this year in the UK and Ibiza.
Vocalists on the album include Justin Lewis who, with his critically acclaimed Justin Lewis Orchestra, performed at Glastonbury and signed toBeastie Boys label, Grand Royale; plus Grammy Award winning guest vocalist Keithen Carter who’s written with everyone from Chaka Khanto Philip Bailey (Earth Wind & Fire).
Fans of the Human League, Joy Division, Warp Records and Orbital are bound to enjoy this album. It’s a rich tapestry of musical influences and a rare opportunity to hear an LP reflecting so many years of experience. Leigh Devlin’s ongoing love for music shines throughout.
:: Preview the album here!