Annabel Lee

Who Is Annabel (lee) And Why She Is Ninja Tune’s Secret Weapon

Who is Annabel Lee?  Ummm, that poem by Edgar Allen Poe.  It was a dark perspective of love and death, written quite beautifully.

But who is Annabel (lee)?  And why did Ninja Tune release her latest project on vinyl By the Sea… and Other Solitary Places.  

Well, before that I’ll share my first xperience hearing Annabel (lee)…


Myspace was ‘poppin‘.  Giant Step (big ups nuff respect) added my bi-weekly radio show to their music player Giant Step Jukebox.  Which was dope because my name was right above the musical man that I’ve admired as a creative spirit, Gilles Peterson.  It was understood that the right eyes and ears would hear the show simply because of that, but then throw in other shows like Jonessy, i think Lefto and Simbad (memory failing now).

The point, everyone was official and there weren’t many, about 8 or so shows that they had and of course Gilles Peterson. Very coveted spots from dudes that were killing it and me, the new guy that Giant Step marketing/social team heard something special from (thanks Jay Yee, Adam Erik, Maurice).  I had to make a strong impression with dope sounds, but how do you do that with incredible dj’s that get everything free and so far ahead.


Gilles was my success model in terms of a tastemaker that plays everything that is dope and ahead of the curve.  I didn’t want to be like him, I liked him because he played music that if I heard on my own, I’d definitely be pushing to people.  He also wasn’t pretentious and seemed down to earth, I liked that.

I was that guy that always said “they aight, but you should check this person out”.  Made cd’s or had listening get togethers playing obscure dopness.  I knew my ability to craft original creative blends and foresee dope artistic and musical talent would speak for itself over time. #patient

Now I’m an independent musical researcher in that, I’m not looking at what the next cat is doing. Dopeness will come naturally to the ear just as it did when I discovered Giant Step and Gilles Peterson in 1998 while living in Williamsburg, Virginia… #exactly.

I had to dig deeper.

Annabel (lee) was that voice and Richard E was that producer.  It was the perfect follow up to an rare Portishead track I stumbled upon.  I needed something dark and beautiful… think I found it #Annabel (lee)

(update) kinda funny now, she thought I was a fan… but no, merely a creative spirit that saw their potential and respected as artist, just as I’m doing 8 years later still pushing.  Not a fan!

The original show link is still up on Giant Step…

1849 by Annabel Lee is the last song

Who is Richard E?  Well, he’s just as mysterious as Annabel.  I’m not really sure if I can say because I really don’t know except that he’s the head of Further Out Recordings.  Kinda scary really, they are both intoxicatingly spooky in a sexy musical type of way.  Like the Adams family His production/composition/arrangement/mixing is flavorful and keeps you on your toes.  He’s particular good with capturing essences of time and pretty dope dj.

As for Annabel, I’ll describe her voice as beautifully enchanting.  Like a seductive ghost singing in ya ear when your alone and her voice is in 3D sound/visual, so you hear it and see it.. #imaginativeMind

It’s patient, alluring and captivating.

I really don’t have ghost singing in my ear when I’m alone, but somehow it was a fitting description.  Now I want one…

Annabel Lee Cover Art
Annabel Lee Cover Art

Gotta respect it when dope music can tap into your core like Annabel (lee) can.

As much as I could understand taste makers comparisons to some of the greats, particularly Billie Holiday… She’s has her own sound identity in my opinion, is classically fresh and edgy which you’ll see later on along with ability to adapt to many genres dance, electronic, funk, soul, hip hop.    

That’s why I believe Ninja Tune released this project along with If Music for the Save Soho campaign.  The buzz is just beginning and Ninja Tune knows they have a legend on their hands.  The question is whether they are fully prepared to invest in someone who could truly be one of the next artistic force of our time…. if anyone can understand how and where her core demographic lie and how to reach em’ its Ninja Tune.

An artist’s recognition, is often long over due because its timeless…

If one has the ability to see others appreciate them and their own success within their lifetime, its quite a blessing.  Many of the greats don’t.

Seems like this will… and my hunches are never wrong 😉

Believe” – Annabel (lee)

Album: “By the Sea… and Other Solitary Places”

Label: Ninja Tune

Annabel (lee) & Novo Tempo – Circles (Richard E & Annabel (lee) Vocal Suite)

Here’s an older track that is timeless… no one in the game sounds like her at all.  When more ears get on, the fun will begin and so will her place in music.  Paired with Richard E’s smooth and very gritty, organic, analog approach these two are a force in music. – Gibril ‘GiKu’ Kuyateh 

Annabel Lee
Annabel Lee

Listen to more Annabel (lee) & Richard E 

Below is a dope little eclectic mix curated by Richard E… music at its finest!

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