‘Colours Of A Red Brick Raft’ is the debut album from Manchester based musician Werkha, showcasing his infectious fusion of Afrobeat, bass, house, jazz, funk and soul, all bound together with constantly evolving electronic production.
Werkha is the moniker of Tom A. Leah, who moved from the urban bustle of Manchester to the sticks of Cumbria as a child, later returning to his birth city to study music and pursue his career. His musical inspirations are anchored in these two geographically close but starkly different environments that he calls home.
Via the delicate, transcendental string and vocal-led beauty of “Dusk feat. Bryony Jarman-Pinto” and the forward-thinking, deep house-meets-FlyLo chicanery of “Falling Through The Wall”, the two track lead single hints at the exciting range of the album. Elsewhere on the LP, Leah continues his ever-evolving creative partnership with lifelong friend Jarman-Pinto; the gleefully catchy “Beacons” standout “Sidesteppin'” rightfully takes its place, and the earthy yet finely honed vocals of this star in-the-making intertwine with funky guitar work and fuzzy electronics from Leah for an ode to the movement and buzz of urban life in “City Shuffle”. “The Invincible feat. Alex Rita” is another vocal cut which finds Leah on equally catchy form, delicate yet crowd-pleasingly direct.
The title bubbling evocatively with the themes and imagery within, ‘Colours Of A Red Brick Raft’ is a record on which the excitement, movement and personal and artistic development of recent years are palpably present. “I have always had a mix of inspirations, but all this movement and exposure to so many different environments has helped me embrace the idea of channelling lots of different styles into one album”, says Leah; “I basically realised: albums should be as fun and as engaging as travels are”.
His debut full-length record builds on a landmark 2014 for the producer and multi-instrumentalist which saw his “Beacons” EP championed by the likes of Monki (BBC R1), Gilles Peterson (BBC 6Music), Rob da Bank (BBC R1), John Kennedy (XFM), Nemone (BBC 6Music), Goldierocks (The Selector), Bonobo’s BBC R1 Essential Mix, THUMP, Eton Messy, Sabotage Times and Topman Ctrl.
“Probably the most exciting young talent in UK electronic music right now” – Sabotage Times
01. Flinch / Quiver
02. Dusk feat. Bryony Jarmon-Pinto
03. Falling Through The Wall
04. The Invincible feat. Alex Rita
05. Dim The Light
06. Sidesteppin feat. Bryony Jarmon-Pinto
08. Fire By The Kul
09. Houses Of Saffron
10. City Shuffle feat. Bryony Jarmon-Pinto
11. Border Kite
12. A Revelution Blue
The album Werkha “Colours Of A Red Brick Raft” (Tru Thoughts) is going to be released June 12, 2015.