Rose and violet lights fall on three musicians decked out sleekly in skinny ties, pressed
slacks, and starched white shirts. The mass of bodies gathered before them pulsates with a
unified enthusiasm. Sweet soulful vocals rise from the man in the middle, an effect rendered
all the more captivating by the fact that he is concurrently beating out an unrelenting
backbeat on the drums. Flanking him on either side are a bassist who jumps up and down
to the rhythm as he generates the throbbing low-end, and a keyboardist whose cool
composure belies the fire in his fingers. This is Tortured Soul.
Born of the simple yet adventurous belief that modern dance music can be performed
completely live, Brooklyn’s Tortured Soul packs dance floors with their unique live
performances, while their recorded oeuvre pushes the genre boundaries of soul, dance, and
Tortured Soul has blazed an amazingly uncommon trail through the world of modern music.
Following the early success of their now-classic dance singles “I Might Do Something
Wrong,” “Fall In Love” and “How’s Your Life” in 2001 and 2002, Tortured Soul formed
officially as a live band and booked their first nationwide tour in 2003, often playing in club
settings that had never before seen a live act perform dance music so seamlessly. With the
devotion of club-goers and DJs cemented as their foundation, TS branched out to live
venues and festivals worldwide, from Tennessee’s Bonnaroo, to the UK’s Big Chill, to the
Java Jazz Festival in Indonesia. Today, after 5 years of touring and a reputation for a live
show nothing short of legendary, they are perhaps the only band in the world that can rock
the main room at Fabric (London) at peak hour, as well as a 15,000+ festival crowd at the
Montreal International Jazz Festival.
Combining elements of old soul and funk with a modern dancefloor sensibility, Tortured
Soul’s style is both an echo of the past and a challenge to the future. This blend of sounds
has won them praise from palettes as diverse as Lenny Kravitz and Barry Manilow, and
made them a fave pick of DJ’s across many genres. Their tracks have received remix
treatment from such luminaries as Osunlade, DJ Spinna, Alix Alvarez, Quentin Harris and
Dimitri from Paris among others, and have appeared on over 25 compilations by the most
prominent dance labels, from Hed Kandi to Defected - a testament in and of itself to the
impact they’ve had on current dance music.
2006 saw the release of their highly lauded first full-length album “Introducing Tortured
Soul,” (Purpose Records / R2 Records) which collected their early 12” singles with some new
studio gems, and fans around the world have been waiting with baited breath for the
sophomore effort ever since. In early 2009 the wait will be over, as Tortured Soul drops
their new album “Did You Miss Me” on the band’s own newly formed TSTC Records (Dome
UK/Europe, Columbia Japan). Previewed for fans with the 3-song/1-remix “In Transit EP” in
Spring ’08, “Did You Miss Me” picks right up where “Introducing” left off. As it winds its way
through infectious disco grooves, heartfelt raw soul, and lyrical themes that range from
melancholic love, infidelity, and party-going mirth, the album coheres as the group’s most
accessibly diverse effort to date.
With the launch of TSTC Records, the new album “Did You Miss Me” forthcoming, and
worldwide touring to follow, 2009 is sure to be a huge year for Tortured Soul. Standing on
the vast musical foundation that they themselves have laid, Tortured Soul looks eagerly to
the future -- and in the words of Gilles Peterson, “the future of house music” is Tortured