I-Level – “Heart Aglow” (1983)

I-Level were a short-lived blip on the global pop radar that demand a second spin thirty years after their debut. The dance-oriented trio’s number “Give Me” was a crossover hit in it’s day, and hip-hop heads may remember it was interpolated by Q-Tip 15 years later on ATCQ’s The Love Movement.

This ballad on the trio’s debut album features warm vocals from Sierra Leonean vocalist  Sam Jones over lush production British producers Duncan Bridgeman and Jo Dworniak. Simultaneously tropical and urban, the comforting tune blends the emerging electronic music tropes of the time with live instrumentation that could pass as a not-so-distant cousin of early Sade. Truly ahead of their time, the group disbanded after their second album yielded marginal sales in 1985. Co-producers Bridgeman and Dworniak racked up several session credits in the subsequent years, however Sam Jones’ whereabouts are unknown. Allow yourself to get lost in the unapologetically 80s vibe, and you might find your heart aglow, too.

Words by @BrotherHayling