First off DNAS Productions is not a band but rather a production company. Whereby I am my own production company thusly the only member. Although I do like to do collaborations with other artists in between my solo projects. I compose arrange engineer and from time to time as a memebr of somebodys band yep you guessed it I perform. (TAH DAAAHH!!! -currently not in a band nor am I looking to be- LOL)
Tyrone Steele Garland Thomas
Classic soul influences come together in this D’Nas production. A sign of the times perhaps as true soul once again sweeps the urban landscape with artists like Brian McKnight Maxwell and D’Angelo leading the charge at the national level. It’s nice to hear soul again. D’Nas does a nice job of incorporating the thump of contemporary urban production elements and classic soul structure working in the growing popular style called neo-soul or contemporary RB. Neo-soul today contains the earthier elements that made songs by the Main Ingredient Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder so great in their day. Nearly ridding itself of the slick almost mechanical nature of the urban contemporary sound of the eighties and nineties it is nice to hear those influences used today by indie urban artists. There is a significant difference between the soul of the seventies and the urban contemporary music of the eighties and nineties. One wanted simple graphic violent and nearly pornographic intercourse. The other wanted subtle sensitive intimate understanding and love making. One was for the street the other for candlelight wine and romance. There in lies the secret expressed in D’Nas Production’s N’Dian Summer. Nicely performed co-writers Tyrone Steele and Garland Thomas incorporate muted trumpet and strings to set the romantic mood while block chords on the piano help to establish the underlying groove that makes hips and pelvic areas grind slowly to the point of sexual tension. Tyrone Steele’s music has a touch of the classic quiet storm format a soulful sound that touches on jazz influenced counter melodies and solid chord structures. Garland himself works loosely in the style at times affecting a Stevie Wonder element in his vocal intonations while establishing the story line in much the same way that Luther Vandross or Teddy Pendergrass did. No doubt that Mr. Thomas spent much of his life listening to Babyface and other urban artists of the past twenty years although it is equally as obvious that he has spent some time listening carefully to the male vocalists of the seventies. He works deliberately at the delivery and melodies of a sound that hasn’t been heard much on mainstream urban radio in the more modern era. N’Dian Summer fits better with the past in that way. This is old school soul not intended for those who prefer their music hard and violent … this is music designed for romance and not for simple fng. Good job D’Nas.
Read Between the Lines
A. Tyrone Steele
As the collaborative effort between Tyrone Steeles production and Garland Thomas flavor of singing Read Between the Lines ultimately is an urban-contemporary RB tune with heavy jazz influences. Steele provides a fine accompaniment to the punchy soulful voice of Thomas which results in a very fresh cool feeling. DNas Productions describes this song as very refreshing which is entirely accurate. Steele works well to set a smooth easy pace that really sets the tone of the song. From there Thomas brings forth his lyrics in a performance that seems improvised at times matching the feel of the accompaniment around him. Production wise Steele brings forth everything you might expect from a jazz-flavored jam: wandering pianos sweet horns cool hats and cymbals etc. The melodies are intricate by nature and play over each other very well. There are a few problems with the production of this song that make it just less of stellar. First the recording quality is a bit flat. I heard a good low end (though the synthy baseline kind of gave it a 1980s soft rock feel) but the mid frequencies sounded squashed and the highs of the cymbals were not brought out and much as they could have and should have been. Also there is a long break in the middle of the song that drags on a little too long but does show off some of Steeles skills. All and all the song is a nice departure from most of modern RB and should probably be checked out by most RB and Jazz fans. Thomas is an enormously talented vocalist and Steele has a good grip on how to bring those talents forward with his melodic skills. Others of you not especially interested in urban music will want to pass this one over production quality is sub-par and the lyrics are not especially poignant. Oh and congrats to Dnas Productions who accurately found a refreshing and talented producer in Steele whom we may hear from more in the future...
Matthew Hurst (aka DJBox)