By Alex Kantarelis
Worcester’s electro soul duo Gamble & Burke have been getting a whole lot of attention lately ~ and not just in the 508, but also all over the globe, especially in Europe. Their new mix tape is top quality, and is sure to get them even more airplay in the months to come.
Most bands from Worcester hope to play the Lucky Dog a few times in their career, or maybe even get played on “Bay State Rock,” but Gamble and Burke have been lucky enough to get air play on BBC1 (the biggest radio station in England) and have made a splash on the French electric music charts as well. Unlike typical Worcester bands, these guys have fans all over England, France and Germany, to name just a few places.
They got their start in 2009, when Kaz Gamble returned home to Worcester to work on Boy Band, a movie that was being shot here. Local musician and Berklee School of Music grad Dan Burke met up with him to help with the soundtrack. “He wanted me to come in and do some vocal session work and we hit it off,” Burke said. From there, the duo started writing songs together, discovering a certain chemistry that was like nothing they had ever heard. Combining electronic-based tunes with very catchy vocals, Gamble & Burke had created a new sound. “We’ve been calling it electro soul, it’s not really a sub genre but I guess it’s the best description,” Gamble said. Instead of focusing their attention on the beat, the way a typical DJ would, they turned their focus to the actual song. This old fashioned approach is what sets their style apart. “I’ve mostly come from a hip hop and electronic background, but my favorite music has always been classic songs from the 50s and 60s. I really geek out on that kind of stuff,” Gamble said. “With Dan and me, the DNA of the songs has to be good. No matter what style the production is in, at the core it’s still a strong song,” he added.
That love for good songs landed them on several soundtracks, including the recent Lifetime movie “Sexting in Suburbia,” which was filmed here in Worcester. Aside from their airplay in Europe, they have been played on WFNX, and get some radio love in Providence as well. They had songs come out on compilations on Kitsune Records out of France, which led to the label releasing an EP. Recently they opened for rapper Sean Kingston at The Hanover Theatre on April 2nd.
The guys plan on continuing their brand of electro soul throughout 2012, and hope to fine tune their unique sound into a new release. And knowing them, we’ll be hearing them in soundtracks for all kinds of TV shows and movies soon. Keep your eyes and ears open, because they really are one of Worcester’s best.
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