Saturday, June 27, 2020

Akin: Sailing (CDM) (Recognition Records, 1998)

Third and final single from Akin, a UK female duo who were active in the late 90s and mostly known for their single "Stay Right Here" which was produced by Cutfather & Joe. First posted back in 2019, they were another UK R&B act - along with Kleshay - who got shelved by their label in the late 90s. They originally started out signed to Warner Music UK where they released two singles "Stay Right Here" and "Private Party" before making a swift disappearance. Not much is known about them but according to the WEA archive they were originally members of a group called Intrigue and toured alongside all the notable acts back then (MN8, Eternal, Michelle Gayle.) They did appear in the lineup for the MOBO Awards in
1997 but all eyes at the time were on Eternal who were at that moment riding high with their smash hit "I Wanna Be The Only One." Following their time with Warner Music UK, the duo signed to a small independent label Recognition Records where they released a final single, a Christopher Cross cover, in 1998. Aside from the very nondescript front cover, the hype sticker on the case tells us that their names were Venus and Tkai and met"when members of Intrigue changed their name to Akin" but exactly who Intrigue were I cannot say. I don't know whether it was originally intended for their album but both that and its b-side are very similar in style. Their cover of "Sailing" especially has a similar orchestral backdrop that some tracks on their album have while "Throw You Hands In The Air" is a mellow groove that almost has, dare I say, a Spice Girls-meets-Eternal vibe about it. Again, a great duo who not many people knew about back then. As always, many thanks again to our friend "L" in the UK who found an original copy and check out a sampler of his exclusive cassette promo of their album bellow.

Additional information from the WEA archive:
"Released on WEA on June 2nd, 'Stay Right Here' is the debut offering from London based duo Akin. A killer summer soul shuffler, 'Stay Right Here' is already laying down a big groove in the nation's clubs with a selection of mixes from D&A; and Mindspell.  
Akin are Venus and Tkai. The two met in 1995 when they were members of Intrigue who toured alongside Michelle Gayle, Eternal, MN8 and Sean Maguire. The two left the group and decided to pursue a different musical direction and in January '96 flew out to New York to work with Ric Wake's (Celine Dion/Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston/Diana Ross/Taylor Dayne) team of producer/writers including Peter Zizzo (Celine Dion/Jennifer Rush/Kim Wilde), Matt Noble (Diana King/Ce Ce Penison) and Arnie Roman (Celine Dion/Taylor Dayne).
Unfortunately the girls got caught in New York's worst ever snow storm in January '96 and recording was halted. Akin then returned to the U.K to finish off the tracks with Brockpocket (Mark Morrison), Cutfather & Joe (Mark Morrison, Peter Andre), and Ben 'Jammin' Robbins (Eternal/Toni Di Bart/Gabrielle) who produced and mixed the single 'Stay Right Here'. 
The result of these collaborations is a series of tracks that vary from sweet, groove-laden R&B; to big orchestral ballads to rival anyone from Whitney to Eternal"
Sailing (Radio Mix) 3:47
Sailing (Orchestral Mix) 3:46
Throw Your Hands In The Air 4:32