Writing reviews is always exciting and daunting because you are giving people your opinion on someone else’s work. Not everyone will agree with your opinion, but it’s a personal view after all and we are all entitled to our own. The daunting part comes in, more often, when you have to give your view on an album by one of South Africa’s most talented and successful artists such as Jullian Gomes (Not an opinion there).
This man has achieved a lot in such a short space of time. I would really like to go through all of his achievements and go back as far as I can, but that would take up so much time and we would not get to the actual album review. If you consider yourself a House music fan/ follower or you’re one of those that have been living under a rock for the past decade, surely you have heard of Jullian Gomes, but if you have been on vacation on another planet, I will do this favour for you to catch up.
Jullian Gomes was born and raised in South Africa and was popularly known as one half of G. Family, a duo formed with his cousin Michael G. They released on several local and international independent labels such as Soul Candi, House Afrika Records, Realtone Records, Foliage Records, Atjazz Record Company and Seasons Limited. In 2010 he participated at the Red Bull Music Academy, which took place in London. He has played at numerous local and international festivals, received several music award nominations and even went to win a Metro FM Music award.
Early in 2012 he decided to take a break from G. Family and his first solo release titled ‘Love Song 28’ featuring Bobby (Track 10 on Late Dreamer) became an instant hit. In 2013 the industry witnessed Jullian rolling with UK veteran Martin ‘Atjazz’ Iveson. These two later dropped a collaborative album titled The Gift The Curse.
His latest Album, ‘Late Dreamer’, is packed with a lot of great tunes that will surely be dance floor favourites. The album is basically built from old and fresh tunes and he also features some familiar names on every track. (He also has that 90% thing going on, I wonder if Hlaudi Motsoeneng has any involvement in this album, though I did not see his name in the credits. [Laughs])
The first track is a short dreamy intro that cannot really be considered House music and it features New York based rapper Oveous Maximus, who you might remember for his 2009 hit on Yoruba Records titled ‘I Apologize’.
The second track features Martin Iveson (Who we know as Atjazz, not sure if there is a particular reason for using the Martin Iveson moniker here). His presence on this track becomes evident in the second minute of it with the kick drums changing from the normal four on the floor pattern. This song is very electronic yet laid back.
Nothing Can Break Us, the 3rd song, features the ever hardworking Ziyon from LiquiDeep. This track has a very deep vibe to it and it’s a proper dance floor material with its memorable melodies and deep bassline.
The 4th track is a superb soulful jam, ‘1000 Memories’. This is very different from the usual stuff that Jullian is known for. The drum features a prominent tom that gives it an Afro feel, while the infectious bass and chords create a beautiful canvas for Sio’s sultry vocals.
Wait For You is one of those tunes proving Jullian’s prowess and versatility. This is definitely one of my favourite tracks on ‘Late Dreamer’ and it features the vocals of Sarai Jazz. I found myself singing along to this one after listening to it a few times.
Track 6 is called ‘Out of My Life’, a previous release as a single in 2014 and features the vocals of South African vocalist, Bucie. This is a soulful jam done the unconventional way. The track was a hit on the dance floors and the album will probably extend the life span of this beautiful song.
On track 7 Jullian goes a little dark with Be Yourself , featuring South African male vocalist, Kabomo. This is not the kind of track that you expect to hear vocals on, but I guess making music requires brilliant minds that can do the unthinkable. Our South African market will particularly love this, it is Afrocentric, groovy, smooth and dark.
‘The System’ is the 8th track on Late Dreamer. When I heard this song, the first thing that came to my mind was “Truth”. I am referring to the night club in Midrand, Johannesburg. If you have ever been to Truth, then you will know what I am talking about. The System is very ‘techy’ (My word, don’t Google it) and features the vocals of the infamous Lazarusman, also a South African.
I laughed a little when I read the title of this track, ‘Broken Tamagotchi’ (If you can relate, then you my friend are very old). Broken Tamagotchi, featuring Daev Martian, is evidence of Atjazz’s influence on Jullian. Although he has been able to detach and create his own sound, now and then you still hear the influence from the veteran. This one is not your typical Jullian Gomes production, it creates the perception of growth and true musicianship.
To close off the album, Jullian brings back his hit song ‘Love Song 28’. This is one of his best works that took his career to new heights and proved he can do it as a solo artist. Probably, it’s the song that made people aware of this amazing artist and allowed them to put Jullian Gomes under their radar.
Late Dreamer is a great album, it is dynamic, well produced, mastered and you will never get bored listening to it. It has different styles, influences and it’s not monotonous. I would have loved to see more new songs on the album, but I have no complains, the older songs are still relevant and will hopefully allow us to give songs a longer life span than we currently do. If you are a lover of House music then do the right thing and grab yourself a copy, I assure you, you will not be disappointed.
Preview and get a copy of Jullian Gomes’ Late Dreamer. Don’t be shy to comment with your views.