Layers of Sound & The Demetrios Project
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Layers of Sound & The Demetrios Project

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'Timing is everything, so the saying goes and it could not be more true of Demetrios & Mike Newstead's third collaboration: just in time for the summer season and not too long after the unforgettable 'Thanking You'! Being a bit of a fan of the Layers Of Sound projects, it may seem difficult for me to remain objective. However, quality always shines through and if funky house is your niche, it is almost impossible to get the hook of 'Feel Alive' out of your head. Try stopping yourself from jigging around to this gorgeous, well produced, shiny, happy track with a sumptuous vocal by the lovely Bilonda. Demetrios then doesn't make it easy for you to find a favourite mix, as usual there's a fair selection to choose from. In fact, I kept coming back to the original mix, because it's such a tune, but I also ended up falling for the charms of the Jackindabox and U-Ness & Jedset mixes too. As always, the whole package is major value-for-money and pure class... they also always sound like they're having fun! Great stuff guys and hope it's licensed to many compilations over the next few months.'
- www.shazam.com (Stuart Ayling)


'You can't fail to be enchanted by the incredulous, sweet intoxicating talent that vocalist Bilonda Mfunyi-Tshiab is fortunate to own. There's a handful of mixes to wet the appetite, but I'll settle for the Original that is pure driving up tempo soulful US garage with thumping-beats, old-fashioned strings and an arrangement that reeks of a classic MAW orchestrations of old. Although don't rule out the less-vocal Funked Up Electro Dub either.' - www.dmcupdate.com (Lewis Dene)


‘What I really like about this track from UK label L.O.S. is that, like the advert 'it does what it says on the tin', this track does what it says in the title, it brings a rush of goodness into your heads and hearts and even makes you (for the moment) forget such things as gloomy Winter's and other such trivial problems and stamps a smile back onto your face, slaps you round the face, straightens your hair up and gets you ready to come out of that music hibernation that you have been closed in for some time now and start enjoying yourself again’ - www.djvox.com


'The 3rd release of UK rising label Layers Of Sound Recordings sees Layer Of Sound join forces once again with The Demetrios Project and the result is an excellent uplifting house track titled "Feel alive". The "Original mix" is a solid track with pumpin' beats and funky bass, topped off with a catchy and passionate vocal performance. The 6 mixes package also includes the funkier "Club mix", the electro influenced "Electro dub" and the "Radio mix", as well as a powerful remix from French Producer Jackindabox and a soulful/funk rework courtesy of U-Ness & JedSet.' - www.housepage.net (Franco Martinelli)


'Feel Alive' with this Layers of Sound & The Demetrios Project driven scorching track as the electrifying beats will tear up the dancefloor. The vocals of Belgium's Bilonda Mfunyi-Tshiabu mirror the exuberance poured into this lively track. Personal favourites include Jackindabox 3am mix and Los Re-touch of U-Ness & JedSet's Soulheater mix set this track apart from the rest as your thoroughly enjoy immersing yourself in the indulgence of pure dance music at its best! - www.bluesandsoul.com (Leo Isaacs)


'Here we have a great uplifting track with belting vocals by The Demetrios Project coupled with the very groovy and tight production talents of Mike Newstead. This is the kind of music we like, full of positive vibes and ripe for the dance floor. Major support from many big names and rightly so.' - www.faizemusic.com


'Purest funky house here. The original vocal and dub mixes work that bass line in to an inch of its life and filter the vocals half to death, surely ensuring that Hed Kandi and chums will soon coming knocking at the door. The pick of the mixes is the Electro dub mix, which will definitely put hands in the air.' - www.oneweektolove.com (Alex Stevenson)


‘A passion for music’

Oliver Heard of base.ad chats with Layers of Sound & The Demetrios project

When is house not house? It’s something the Layers of Sound & The Demetrios Project ponder when base.ad chat about new single ‘Thanking you’ – a tribute to Demetrios’ late father. With Layers of Sound DJ Mike Newstead’s production matching Demetrios’ songwriting, and stonking vocals courtesy of former London Community Gospel Choir singer Bilonda Mfunyi-Tshiabu, the result is a thumping, soulful track that’s got people excited. But is it house?

“Mike has said ‘I don’t know if this is house music’,” says Demetrios, affably. The song could easily have been accompanied by guitars and it would be an acoustic piece, which I don’t think you can say that about other dance tracks.”

Following ‘Mission’ – their 2007 debut release on Layers of Sound Recordings and a Ministry of Sound Housexy inclusion, ‘Thanking you’ joins good time beats with big time vocals, but Demetrios knows it’s against the tide of current house. “To be honest, I’m not that big a house fan,” he confesses. “My background is in contemporary gospel. Working with Mike has encouraged me to listen to house. It’s very minimal, isn’t it? Quite obscure at times, not much to it,” he sums up.

That outsider angle put together with Newstead’s insider nous has proved fruitful since the pair met in 2005, setting up the Layers of Sound label this year to release their own material. When we catch up with Mike Newstead, he emphasises how important the label’s been in raising their profile. “We’ve tried to do this by putting out quality material that will appeal to a number of different types of house DJs and music fans,” he says.

Featuring remixes by Jed Set & U-ness and Mr Fuzz (Jackindabox), Newstead admits the single’s vocal mixes “are essentially what the Layers of Sound music is all about.” And the vocals by Mfunyi-Tshiabu, a long term friend of Demetrios, have raised an eye for some in the dance press. “You get those haters,” says Demetrios. “We were shocked by one guy who said ‘what’s a fucking vocal doing on this tune?’ That inspired us to go back and create a dub!” he laughs out loudly, “but the majority have all been positive.”

And the lyrical inspiration behind ‘Thanking you?’ “The first verse is about my father. He always used to say ‘you had a passion for music’. It stuck in my mind.”
- www.base.ad (Oliver Heard)


'Following hot on the heels of their debut release, 'Mission', Layers of Sound burst right back with another barnstorming funky houser, aided and abetted The Demetrios Project and vocalist Bilonda Mfunyi-Tshiabu. The original vocal and dub mixes take care of business on a thumping, hook-laden tip, filtering the hell out of some emphatic keys - perfect fodder for sunset raving. The obligatory electro remix comes from Jackindabox who dishes up chopped guitars and a stabbing b-line that should come with a public health warning, whilst those of you after something a little more sedate should head for the U-Ness Midnight Dub which irons out all the creases and reclines on a deep, echoey groove.' - www.oneweektolive.com (Alex Stevenson)


'The Demetrios Project prove that they are no one-trick-pony, by cleverly recruiting the talents of singer Bilonda Mfunyi-Tshiabu for "Thanking You", the second single from his own label. Playful piano & loopy vocals ensure the track gets off to a spirited start. Bilonda's clear, powerful, yet graceful singing style & a catchy chorus, coupled with trademark stylish production, ensure the tune resonates long after it has finished! Included on here too are edgier, dirtier sounds for electro fans and my favourite, some more chilled out, almost Balearic, sounds, with a more soulful feel. Second single, another winner. When's the album?' - www.shazam.com (Stuart Ayling)


Discography

Layers of Sound & The Demetrios Project featuring Bilonda

‘Feel alive’ (LOS003) Layers of Sound Recordings 2008

Licenses:
‘House is love Vol.2’ Clubstar 2008

‘Thanking you’ (LOS002) Layers of Sound Recordings 2007

Licenses:
‘The Housewarming’ Ministry of Sound 2007
‘Quelelectro’ Queep Organic House 2007
‘SoulHeat Summer Sun-Session’ Soulheat Records 2007

‘Mission’ (LOS001) Layers of Sound Recordings 2007

Licenses:
‘Housexy International’, Ministry of Sound 2007
‘Everybody Dance Now Vol. 04’, Vitamin Entertainment (Korea) 2007

Photos

Bio

Label & Band Biography:

Layers of Sound Recordings was launched at the beginning of 2007 with the aim of releasing fresh new collaborations between house DJ/Producer Layers of Sound (aka Mike Newstead) and The Demetrios Project (brainchild of singer-songwriter Demetrios) featuring stunning female vocalist Bilonda Mfunyi-Tshiabu.

Their first 3 collaborations, ‘Mission’, ‘Thanking You’ and 'Feel Alive', have been greatly received amongst the world’s DJ elite with names such as Danny Ramping, Sander Kleinenberg, Laurent Garnier, Kid Massive, Audiowhores, Grant Nelson, Richard Earnshaw, Graham Gold and Alex P showing support. The tracks have also been licensed to several compilations including the acclaimed Ministry of Sound ‘Housexy’ series (i.e. 'Housexy International' & 'Housexy Housewarming') and Clubstar Records’ ‘House is Love’ series (i.e. House is Love 'Vol. 2').

With an album currently in production, ‘Layers of Sound & The Demetrios Project’ together with ‘Bilonda’ are determined to break through this year and are actively looking to sign with a larger label able to take their crossover sound to the masses.

Individual Group Member Biographies

Mike:

Up-and-coming House producer and DJ Mike Newstead started making a name for himself on the London scene for his original productions, remixes and DJ residencies at venues such as: Turnmills, Epicurean Lounge, Kinky Mambo, Millennium, Matt & Matt, Progress and Lush. As a producer, Mike has remixed tracks by the likes of Simon Grey, Lil’ Devious and JedSet; always retaining his distinctively rich melodic ‘layered’ sound. Over the past few years, commercial releases and licenses have also been coming hard-and-fast from labels such as: Ministry of Sound, Lowered Recordings, Refunkt Records, Doubleshock Recordings, Soulheat Records and Queep Organic House.

Demetrios:

Described by Blues and Soul music magazine as ‘one of the most persistent artists in the business’, Demetrios began his career as a singer/songwriter at an inner city music project in southeast London. ‘The Demetrios Project’, a vehicle for Demetrios’ songwriting, saw its first two releases on UK House imprint, MN2S. Both tracks were underground hits and the Project’s debut, ‘Celebrate’, was quickly added to Marshall Jefferson’s ‘Welcome to the World of’. The follow-up, ‘Feel Alive’ (no relation to the label's 3rd release), was remixed by Swiss House-giant Jamie Lewis and demand for this classic saw its re-release at the beginning of 2008.

Bilonda:

Bilonda Mfunyi-Tshiabu, of Congolese decent, grew up in Liege, Belgium. She began developing her phenomenally powerful voice at the age of 20, late some might say, but it was no time at all before Bilonda was performing in venues across Europe singing Jazz, Soul, Gospel, Pop/Rock, Latin, Electro, House, Blues, Gospel and even French ‘chanson’! Moving to London to study contemporary music, she joined the London Community Gospel Choir and also collaborated with an Electro-Punk outfit known as ‘The Machines’, whose partnership produced Bilonda’s debut, ‘Everywhere’, for Neon State Records in 2004.