Who: Contante & Sonante
What: music steeped in the West Coast AOR genre
Sounds Like: all things West Coast AOR
Although this website is dedicated to undiscovered artists or rediscovered artists that we missed first time around why not about a record label too? That said Contante & Sonante based out of Madrid, Spain appears to be the perfect candidate of the little record label that can.
Directed by A&R executive Gabriel Raya the label is entering into its 14th year of exist focused not on quantity but rather creating and releasing limited editions of otherwise unavailable adult contemporary music. In fact one such artist who did not get his due prior to his untimely passing was David Foster’s (among others) demo singer Warren Wiebe who has always been a central inspiration driver for this label. The limited editions releases have always included at least one if not more tracks featuring this sorely overlooked golden voice or in the case of Tom Snow’s Original Demos release every single track,
The label has also included other Original Demos limited numbered edition series that has included the likes of Steve Dorff, Gardner & Fuller and most recently Burt Bacharach however the pivotal moment was the Tomi Malm produced and arranged tribute to David Foster. How the small intimate label Contante & Sonante managed to bring this all together with several pivotal artists is unclear. What is crystal clear is that despite the challenge of interpreting someone else’s craft and also via the complexity of multiple voices in a seamless fashion, Fly Away is not only a tribute to the great David Foster but also sets the standard of how a tribute album should be done.
Since then the label has upped their game with two albums of extreme high caliber. One of them again featuring Tomi Malm, this time his 2017 solo debut Walkin’ On Air. With the same high level execution found on Fly Away reappearing here throughout, but this time Malm's own compositions are the focal point. From cover, production, arrangements and songs all the way to the top performances, his solo debut is simply a stylistic startling stellar debut.
Apparently the above healthy trend continues with a new super group called the GIG featuring Randy Goodrum, Dave Innis and Bruce Gaitsch who are about to unleash their debut album Brave New World which will hit the streets on April 30th 2018. And the preliminary word on the street is that this is another superb delivery from the little label that can and does. Yes Contante & Sonante are living in a brave new world of their own taking the risk of quality versus quantity where less is certainly much much more.
New Artists coming at you all the time.