PLATINUM PIED PIPERS at the Sound Academy (11 Polson), Saturday (June 14), 1 am. $20, advance $17, first 100 NXNE wristbands free (see page 62). 416-461-3625. Rating: NNNNN
Some major changes have been happening in the Platinum Pied Pipers’ world; the relocation of the future-soul group’s core members Waajeed and Saadiq from their Detroit home base to Brooklyn is just one of the sound-reshaping developments.
In the process of building their highly anticipated Abundance album, the blossoming solo career of longtime collaborator Tiombe Lockheart allowed a new vocal diva to join the Triple-P ranks, the supremely soulful Karma Stewart.
Stewart makes a head-turner of a debut with the lead 12-inch single On A Cloud (Ubiquity), the first glimpse of a bigger and bolder PPP sound to come. Even more intriguing is the raucous P-Funk-inspired flipside, Angel, powerfully belted out by the group’s other important addition, St. Louis soul-jazz threat Coultrain. Coultrain will be doing much more than singing the hooks on PPP’s forthcoming album (due from Ubiquity in September), as everyone will discover at the Sound Academy Saturday night.
“Waajeed kinda took me under his wing after we met through a mutual friend at the CMJ music conference,” explains Coultrain from New York.
“We were all out doing what you do in this city and we happened to bump into each other. When I was introduced to Waajeed, I told him I’d bought the only three copies of the first PPP LP in St. Louis the day it came out. Then I gave him some of my music and said I’d like to work with him someday. He got in touch with me soon after, and I wound up writing the majority of the Abundance album, which has been an incredible experience.
“We didn’t try to push things in any direction. They gave me a lot of freedom to express myself, and fortunately we were all on the same page about what was happening in society. They might play me something they were working on and I’d just say the first thing that popped into my head, and that was it. Sometimes it was just that easy.”
New Platinum Pied Pipers collaborator Coultrain explains why the new developments in sound on the group's forthcoming Abundance album aren't a departure:
Evidently, Platinum Pied Pipers are devoting more attention to the visual component of their live presentations which we'll see in Toronto: