Two pearls from the small but perfectly formed catalogue of V4Visions, a London label that operated in the interzone of street soul and house music in early-’90s Britain. “I’m Believin’ (In Love Again)” is a romantic midtempo ballad riding a slinky UK R&B sound somewhere between Soul II Soul and Loose Ends. Wistful and yearning, “If This Is A Dream” features a mellow breakbeat groove and a fluid bassline with a played-not-programmed feel. Both tracks were built by The Code, the production duo of Marvin Williams and Carl Holst-Roness.
Before hooking up with V4Visions, Mason sang in Tongue N Cheek, a Britsoul outfit formed by production duo Bootsie & Snudge. The group scored a Top 20 hit in 1990 with “Tomorrow”, released via EMI sub-label Syncopate, while other singles enjoyed success in UK clubs during the late ’80s. Mason achieved anonymous immortality when snippets from Tongue N Cheek’s 1988 single “Nobody” reappeared as samples in Acen’s 1992 rave classic “Trip II To the Moon.” Plucked from the 12-inch a cappella version, Mason’s sensual midtempo singing was sped up into an electrifying hyper-soul shriek:
“Music takes me higher… more than ever before… I can’t BELIEVE these feelings.”
After working with V4Visions, Mason briefly fronted the outfit Smoove on “Take That To the Bank” and featured solo on the 1994 compilation Black to the Future with a cover of the Terry Lewis song “Tell Me If You Still Care” and a sound similar to Jam & Lewis era SOS Band. But after that— silence. Yet another Black British talent who never got the opportunity to flourish fully in the music industry of that time.
It's a Dream, It's a Vision
Where's Your Love Gone?