This gentle track on the second and best disc of Emancipation sounds refreshingly stonewashed and sun-bleached, offering a respite from the album’s more busy and brittle moments. It was adapted from a song written by Sandra St Victor and forms part of a triptych of meditative quietude in the middle of the CD, along with Curious Child and Dreamin’ About U, interrupted only by Emale‘s intrusion. Spike Lee in an interview with Prince told him that his love for Soul Sanctuary was so strong that he played it for two hours straight, annoying his wife in the process. This story awakened old memories of my own personal repeat button abuse, when my youthful enthusiasm for certain songs became so intense that a single track looping for hours couldn’t sate the thirst. It was a monomania that didn’t start with the arrival of the CD player either and I can’t have been the only one to have filled a cassette tape full of a single song repeated again and again. A D90 that had De La Soul’s Magic Number filling one side and 45 mins of Neneh Cherry’s Buffalo Stance on the other got particularly worn out I recall. Happy days. Soul Sanctuary wouldn’t be my first choice for this kind of endless repetition but having just sat through five rotations in writing this I’ve become an oasis of tender calm. A seventh dan master in equanimity “unbothered by the chaos swirling around outside”. Maybe Spike’s onto something.
402: Soul Sanctuary