December 9


Ten City Album ‘Judgement’ is Out Now

By RawKeith

December 9, 2021

Ten City

House music has always been a 12-inch format, the iconic vinyl single has long been fetishised by DJs and perfect for the fast paced, sometimes throwaway culture of electronic music. But among this world are the game-changers; the visionary artists who buck trends and determine new directions and ideas for generations to come, Ten City are one of those acts. Their fifth studio album, Judgement (Ultra Music) is nominated for a prestigious GRAMMY award in the “Best Dance/Electronic Album” category.

With Judgement, Ten City—who is Byron Stingily (lead singer, songwriter) and one of electronic music’s most renowned producers Marshall Jefferson--delivered their first original music in over two and a half decades.   It is an album that celebrates the history of House and Disco, taking the horns and strings straight out of the Philadelphia Soul textbook and of course, tying everything together by Stingily’s imitable falsetto.

Forged in the white heat of acid house’s rise during the 80’s and surrounded by jacking tracks, the group offered a lyrical salve for the world’s woes, based on its disco origins and always delivering a hopeful message. Their debut album Foundation is one of a small handful of house albums released in the late 1980’s now regarded as classics of the genre. It yielded “That’s The Way Love Is,” a top ten hit in the UK and a Billboard #1 smash in their home country. After a 25-year hiatus, Ten City have returned to save us, in a world of lies, misinformation and cancel culture, Stingily’s lyrical positivity has never been more needed than it is now. 

Releasing their debut album in 1989, Ten City then followed up with their State Of Mind LP in 1990, the No House Big Enough LP in 1992 and finally their That Was Then, This is Now album in 1994. For this new project and fifth album, Jefferson and Stingily reunited in the strangest of circumstances, the renewal of their working relationship marred by the dark shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We did the whole album remotely. Byron was in Chicago and I was in Manchester and all the musicians recorded from different locations. It was really interesting, the way it all came out. The horns and strings were in Chicago. The bass player is in Florida. Some of the backgrounds were done in New Jersey. I played keyboards in Manchester and Byron did the vocals in Chicago.” 

– Marshall Jefferson.

Despite the geographical differences and the challenges presented Ten City succeeded in producing brand new works as well as contemporary reworkings of their classic and well-loved originals, “Devotion” and “That’s The Way Love Is.” The first single released from the album Be Free, was driven by an Earl Young-style rhythm, but led by Byron’s elevating words: “everybody wants to be free;”which have never been more relevant while we’re locked up in not-so-splendid isolation. 

The album also includes a testimonial to 1988, “Summer Of Love” (seminal Acid House pioneer Danny Rampling even gets a name check), while on the gospel-soaked “Come Together” and club orientated “Feel It Too,” the message is clear: unity, joy, inclusivity, equality and hope. 

Ten City return when the world needs uniting more than ever. Their music and positive messages can help to heal divisions and create a new chapter in House music’s ongoing legacy. 

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