His latest album, Produced With Love II, continues the work he started with 2017s superb collection. Incorporating aspects of house, soul and disco and crafted with the attention to detail youd expect from someone of Lees heritage and calibre, Produced With Love II comprises 12 brand new songs and will arrive in June 2022. The writing process has always remained the same and Dave has always preferred to work face-to-face with artists whenever possible albeit with a few enforced remote sessions due to the pandemic
Says Lee of his approach:
Writing new memorable songs is difficult. It’s much easier coming up with a good backing track or using a sample than it is a killer new top line. There were about 200 releases a week in the 90s, now there are apparently 8000 on Beatport. How many of them are decent original songs? Id say its about the same as the 1990s, maybe even less.
It helps enormously when youre working with some really talented people and Ive always tried to work with musicians – like Michele Chiavarini, Kaidi Tatham and Tony Remy – who are some of the best at what they do. On this album Ive got seasoned vocalists like Omar, Lifford and Valentine Brothers Billy Valentine who have the classic soul sound I love. For me I simply think about the voice, not how marketable the person is.
Released as the lead single from the album in April, Starlight sees Lee team up with Omar: a former principal percussionist of the Kent Youth Orchestra and later a graduate of the Guildhall School Of Music who was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to music.
Starlight is a gorgeous, mid-tempo dance record, with Omars silky vocals backed up with rich production: soaring live strings, groove-laden clav and synth over a warm bassline creating a heady, inviting atmosphere.
Its an almost viscerally life-affirming record: a theme that continues throughout the entire album. Take a track like If You Ever Need Somebody feat. Tiffany Tzelle’, or Taste My Love’ with vocals from the aforementioned Billy Valentine. These songs would stand toe-to-toe with any soul standard from the 70s or 80s: to have production this rich and bold in 2022 isnt far short of miraculous.
And thats what you get throughout Produced With Love II an attention to detail and level of creative collaboration rarely seen. Its why a Dave Lee album is a rare thing. These things take time, but when they do come along, its something worth treasuring.