Reel People Music breaks new ground, in more ways than one, with the launch of fresh compilation series Broken, Deep & Dope. A spin-off from acclaimed compilation brand Soulful, Deep & Dope – introduced back in 2015 – this new series sees the much-loved independent imprint pushing further at the boundaries of soulful music. All with that customary Reel People feeling.

Broken, Deep & Dope 2024, the series’ first instalment, unleashes 20 superlative examples of the soulful ‘bruk’ (broken beat), nu beat and nu jazz sound that has so innovatively informed contemporary dancefloors around the world since its inception back in late Nineties West London. Bringing together classic cuts from the Reel People Music stable (including those by Daz-I-Kue, Monkey Brothers and Reel People) and key productions from some of its closest affiliates and biggest inspirations (such as Vikter Duplaix, Jazzanova, Bugz In The Attic, Kaidi Tatham, and Sean McCabe), this white-hot selection nips and tucks beautifully between stuttered Latin and Afro rhythms, deep house-edged jams and soaring flights of soul-jazz fancy.

30/70’s opener Acceptance was only released in January and, remixed by Ziggy Zeitgeist and Goodmood, delivers crisp, upbeat, sax-y flow that is wholly reflective of the feel-good vibes across the wider release. Bugz In The Attic’s remix of Reel People feat. Darien Dean’s Upside guides smooth vocals and pads over snappy beats with playful aplomb, and Afronaut’s ascendant take on Alison David’s Dreams sees singer (and crowd) pushing that urgent, infectious percussion every step of the way.

Elsewhere, Harold Matthews Jr & Sean McCabe get deep on Metronome which, remixed by Turbojazz, slinks deliciously upon pulses of synth and lowdown spoken word. McCabe’s dub of MrMilkDee & Jill Rock Jones’ 2 Positions provides similarly mesmeric blasts of synth beneath beat ‘n’ piano trickery, whilst Feiertag feat. Nego True’s swaggering Feel Me nudges effectively into house territory and Don Kamares & Stan Smith’s smokin’ Unwu (one of two tracks here courtesy of renowned Swedish label Local Talk) twists and turns smartly between intense sample loops, glacial keys and shufflin’ drums.

There are sexy, sultry Latin hustles, too; not least SMTHNG SMTIME’s Morning Love, where remixer Jonny Faith cuts stuttered beats with outrageously funky electro-bassline, and Bruk Rogers feat. Onj & Roberta Silva’s slightly looser, piano-sprinkled Deusa. Meanwhile, tracks by Envee (Styrax), Jazzanova (Mwela, Mwela) and Kuna Maze (Samosa) revel in their dynamic jazz-tastic settings – the latter cooking up especially abstract thrills.

None of this is to forget broken beat pioneer, and recent Reel People collaborator, Kaidi Tatham, whose indefinable influence is felt across several cuts on Broken, Deep & Dope 2024, including Alien @£^% (featuring Trian Kayhatu) as well as slick remixes of Monkey Brothers feat. Shaun Escoffery’s Losin’ My Head and Daz-I-Kue feat. Hadiya George’s Pedigree – both featuring on Tatham’s recent Reel People Music album Fusion Moves. Other artists on show include Incognito, Kv5 and Nathan Haines (with anthemic joint Doot Dude).

Reel People Music is a label borne out of the soulful success of acclaimed collective Reel People but representing so much more. Launched in late 2009, the imprint has built a fiercely loyal international fanbase through its passion for artist development, musicianship, song-craft and authentic soulful groove.

Broken, Deep & Dope 2024, with its scattered yet compulsive beats, frisky basslines and acrobatic melodies, promises to further expand Reel People Music’s reputation for soulful depth and drama. Gathering old and new favourites from some of the world’s finest taste-making DJs and producers, this is another scorching, oh-soul essential hustle. End of. 

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