Monday, 13 October 2008

Nomad Soul - Candy Mountain 1991

Island Records CID 505

Diane Charlemagne is one of those rare UK sparkling talents. Her voice has been described as a soulful, sensual, swooping energy to flow through an eclectic collection of music. Her songwriting claims an innocent beauty with her use of pseudonyms. Achieving stand-out in the musical genres of drum and bass, jazz, dance and pop cannot be claimed by many artists.

Diane has an exceptional flair for songwriting, and so it comes as no surprise the majority of the material she appears on has in fact been both arranged lyrically and melodically by herself. She writes carefully crafted lyrics and beautifully balanced melodies - often shaded by the twinkling stars of leading artists.

Her roots began in Manchester's Moss Side in the early 80s scene. Starting off in a battle of the bands scenario Diane soon became an associated member of legendary R'n'B group 52nd Street. Diane continued her early successes with the band to include Tell Me How It Feels (coming soon) which went on to tear up the US Billboard Charts reaching number 15.

The early nineties saw Diane working with Howie B and Dobie (Soul II Soul), Howie B & Dobie were offered a deal with Island Records. Along with Charlemagne they, allegedly, recorded an album as Nomad Soul. After only one single, Candy Mountain, Dobie apparently left because he wasn't happy with where things were heading.

I was also under the impression she was the vocalist with Cool Down Zone but she doesn't record it in her discography? Then came the monumental breakthrough of Inner City Life by Goldie.

The mid Nineties engaged Diane's voice with Urban Cookie Collective, releases include The Key, The Secret. Since then Charlemagne has progressed on the dance scene and moved into house and garage. Working and writing with artists such as K-Klass, Satoshi Tomiie, Mutiny UK, Santos and Judge Jules, prior to being invited to tour as a singer with Moby. Touring for over 3 years, Diane gained worldwide recognition.

Recent years have seen the soulful diva signed with Chrysalis Music and continuing to work with respected acts such as, collaborations with London Electricity, 2020Soundsystem and Prayer Box. Diane was part of The Gospel Choir performance of Cry Of Innocence - the opera in respect of the tragic death of 19 year old Stephen Lawrence.

OK, so this is a request and I found it in the crates. The SIIS boys get a little quirky on this oddball leftfielder. Using that guitar sample that I know so well but can't put a name too, this avoids a pigeonhole by standing firmly astride the Jazz & Soul division. Hard to choose between the Radio Mix and the Nellee Hooper Mix but both work well.

The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Nomad Soul.rar Filesize: 27.31 MB


  1. Hi Mickey,

    just come across this blog & love it!
    This release caught my eye i must admit, keep up the good work!

    BTW do you mind if i add you to my favourite links?


  2. Cheers Mark,

    Do I mind... don't be daft mate, of course I don't. I'd like everybody to add me? :-D

  3. Hi Mickey,

    added you to the favourite list. You can do the same if you wish too?


  4. Nice writeup. I have this one, too, and believe it to be an underappreciated gem. Both the Nellee and DJ Intellectual mixes are fine, although I lean towards the latter more often than not. I'm glad to see others out there remember this track, too.

    On the subject of Soul II Soul-related projects, by any chance would you have the 12'' of Victoria Wilson-James' "Bright Lights"? Curious how the 12'' mix differs from the album version.

    Take care and keep up the excellent work!


  5. Hey Mickey. You wanted to know the sample used in the Nomad Soul Track? Well it was bugging me as well - I knew I had the track on a comp. CD somewhere - but no idea which one. Finally came across it - the original was Steve Parks "Movin' In The Right Direction" from Mastercuts Classic Rare Grooves 1!! I discovered some great tracks on that CD including Sass and Kinky Foxx. Anyway, take care and hope you have a Great Xmas. Keep up the great blog!

  6. Of course Tulp, thanks for that Dude. I love that track, I may have to post the 12".

    Merry Christmas. ;-)


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