The end of a long winter is in sight, with the first green shoots of spring showing up in the form of “Love Core,” a charismatic and simple Soulful House gem from Ralf GUM and British vocalist Omar. Now resident in my hometown of Brighton, Omar is surely one of the most distinctive and underrated voices in Soul music. His 2013 single “The Man” should have been a global smash, in my opinion. However the record was criminally slept-on, mostly because its release coincided with the PR shit-storm surrounding part-time warbler and full-time “creepy uncle” Robin Thicke’s date-rape anthem “Blurred Lines.” Nobody can compete with that level of mediocrity.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. “Love Core” is straightforward enough song with floaty, shimmering chords and horn stabs riding a solid, unflashy beat. This is the environment in which Omar shines the most, laying down tight, percussive backing vocals, then opening up his voice for the life- affirming, catchy lead performance. South Africa’s Sir LSG provides the only remix, ushering the track into afro/jazz house territory, building a smooth new groove from the ground up. The package also includes instrumentals of both mixes and a beatless “Reprise” version, which is a rare and beautiful addition these days. Creative ’80s and ’90s DJs will know how useful “Reprise” versions are. Seriously, let’s just bring them and “Bonus Beats” back and forget about these stupid “Stems” (covered in detail here).