The trip-hop and electronica collective 4UrbanArtists was founded by the bass player and composer Volker Schwanke (alias Daddy Deep) in 2000. Another founding member was the British born lyricist and singer-songwriter Frances Livings whose vocals are featured on five of the tracks. Prior to this collaboration they had worked together on Daddy Deep's album "Professorship" in 1999 (AMM Lipstick, Köln).
Setting out with new material, they played their first regular live gigs at a club called “Rote Laterne” on the famous Reeperbahn in Hamburg. This is where they met the DJ, sound programmer and guitarist Automart (Martin Hillmann) from Krefeld who joined the band and became a co-writer. The forth member - implied by the name 4UrbanArtists - is a laptop. The 4UrbanArtists quicky gained popularity and started working on their first album, Jungle Jazzin' which was recorded in 2002/2003 but then never released because the band split up.
In 2009 the Los Angeles based indie record label Moontraxx (founded by Frances Livings and the guitarist/composer Greg Porée) choose six songs from this extensive catalogue of music to be remastered: The album was released under the name Sticky Traxx on June 1, 2009. It is most likely that the band will reunite by individually working on files and sharing them between Los Angeles, Berlin and Hamburg.
Review on iTunes by Joseph Michaels “A Breath of Fresh Air”, July 8, 2009
“4UrbanArtists is music worth adding to your favorites list. Instrumentally the opening track “Real Drive” represents the groovy, fun electronica side of the CD. Volker Schwanke’s programming is brilliant with funky, latin flavors added in. I really enjoyed the clever twists and turns that never lost sight of the beat. […] Of the six tracks three are proper songs and two have vocalise all performed by Frances Livings. The three songs penned by Livings are “Come Closer”, “Mr. Moon” and “Don’t Treat Me Cool”. My favorite is “Mr. Moon” because of the lyrics. It has the sensibility of a great pop song but avoids all the boring clichés. Sonically it’s very cinematic and atmospheric. “Come Closer” is reminiscent of vintage Sade with all the seductive imagery of that artist at her best. I love the lyrics in “Don’t Treat Me Cool” as well. They have the biting commentary of a Leonard Cohen meets Mose Allison, while wrapped in a track that feels like a very hip contemporary version of Peggy Lee’s classic “Fever”. The 2 vocalise songs are the slow, funky trip hop “Sticky TraxX” where Livings’ vocals are smokey, haunting and fun. I might add that on this track the voice is complimented nicely by Nolan Shaheed’s solo trumpet work. The other one is “Real Bass” where the vocal part is almost horn like. The nice thing about this track is that although the vocal is written as an instrumental part, Livings’ singing is very compelling and draws you in as if there are words. […]” 5 stars