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PREMIERE: Seravince - 'Freedom ft Sharlene Hector'

Get a first listen of this previously unreleased track from the 2010-2011 Hear To See-sessions.

Seravince at the Flowriders Studio in 2010.

Vincent Helbers aka Seravince is an Amsterdam-based keyboardist/producer & mixing engineer. He's also been running his Flowriders Studio for more than 15 years at various locations, which is known for its warm and analogue sound due to still frequently using methods as recording to tape and vintage equipment. A few note-worthy releases that came out of that space are Jameszoo's Fool, Ntjam Rosie's Breaking Cycles, Richard Spaven's The Self, Niels Broos & Jamie Peet's self-titled EP.

Vincent first arrived on the scene in the mid 90s with the acoustic contemporary jazz group J. Moods Quartet and released 2 CDs with them. But for many of us he arrived on our radars with his well-appreciated Flowriders projects. Two albums and several 12"s came out under that moniker between 2003-2007 on labels like the Dutch 4 Lux and the renowned British Mr Bongo. The 2nd album R.U.E.D.Y. recently got its re-release and came out as a Deluxe Edition in 2019 for Mr Bongo's 30 Year Anniversary celebrations. The expansive work now has 24 tracks, 9 more than the original! Many of them feature long-time collaborators from the UK, such as Richard Spaven on drums, Rob Mullarkey on bass and Colonel Red on vocals. There's a timeless quality buzzin' throughout the recordings due to it's blend of various styles, acoustic live instrumentation, use of electronics and forward-thinking attitude. Even though its been praised by like-minded heads like Jazzanova, Mr. Scruff, Gilles Peterson, Rainer Truby, I still feel this might have fallen between the cracks when it initially came out. One of the stand-out tracks 'Russelology' did get some love at the infamous Co-Op parties in London, the mecca of the broken beat movement.

When he's not playing, writing or recording his own projects Vincent is doing work as a mixing engineer & producer behind the control board. A couple of recent clients include Phil France, Brotherly, Ronald Snijders, Fridolijn, Pete Philly, Les Cooles De Ville, Ruth Kolleva & Agnes Gosling. His ear for detail and love for analogue equipment are some of the factors that determine the rich sound coming out of the speakers and into the heart.

Seravince & Sharlene Hector

In 2010 Vincent started the sessions for the Hear To See album, his debut release as Seravince. He chose to make this his most organic to date, with no programmed drums and a minimum of overdubs. He called upon the one and only broken beat drum-maestro & close friend Richard Spaven for all the complex, detailed grooves. The vocal tracks were divided between Renee Neufville (RH Factor) from the US and Sharlene Hector (Reel People/Basement Jaxx) from the UK. One of the key inspirations for the sonics on Hear To See was the modern-day masterpiece Voodoo by D'Angelo, released in 2000. Vincent went as far as even involving Russell Elevado, who mixed and engineered Voodoo, on a couple of his tracks!

The album stood the test of time and is getting re-discovered since it got its first, long overdue, vinyl release in 2020. In the process of this re-release the Amsterdam-based Wicked Wax label unearthed two previously unreleased tracks from the original recording sessions. The first one, 'People Of The Night', was featured as a digital-only bonus track in September and has gotten great response of well-appreciated selectors & stations all across the globe.

Today we're bringing you the second gem, featuring Sharlene Hector on vocals and a guest rap verse by Esperanzah (who later became known as Pink Oculus). It's a beautiful soulful tune that floats on the lush Fender Rhodes chord progressions, nuanced broken drum patterns and Sharlene adding her harmony to it all. Recordings like these remind us why it's still special to hear analogue music recorded to tape. It contains a unique warmth that is unmatched in the digital world. People like Adrian Younge still continue this legacy, as can be heard on all his Jazz Is Dead releases.

'Freedom' is being released on all digital platforms on April 30th, which is International Jazz Day. We're providing you the scoop today so you can get a first listen below.


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James Brown
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