funk . soul . jazz . nu-jazz


Genre pick of the week Cover of Supafunkanova Vol. 2 - Compiled By Joey Negro & Sean P by Various Artists.
Following on from the phenomenal success of the recent “Italo House” and “Remixed With Love” compilations ZR returns with another humdinger of a compilation to start of 2015.

"Supafunkanova Volume 2" has been selected by Joey Negro and Sean P who together have compiled many previous albums including "Disco (Not Disco)", “Destination Boogie” and the ever-popular "Soul of Disco" series. The dynamic duo continue to dig deep, compiling high quality albums filled with lesser known disco and boogie. As the title suggests, "Supafunkanova" focuses on the funkier end of the 70s and 80s, showcasing some of the bumpier grooves recorded in the disco era when even James Brown had to take notice of the Saturday Night Fever inspired disco explosion. It will come as no surprise to hear some particularly hard to find gems have been unearthed here, and ones that aren't just rare but genuinely merit being re-issued.

ZR have been working on 'Volume 2' for some time now as the first instalment was released way back in 2007. It takes a while to put these albums together, tracking down the owners of these musical gems, finding the right image for the sleeve but it's finally come together. Highlights including the boogie synth-infused Airplay "Drive Me Crazy" and the "White Horse"-ish "Cool Out' by Magnum Force. Things get more DC go-go style on "Super Stimulus" by Stimulus, ex Skullsnap Sam Culley gives us the uptempo jazz funky "Walk", whilst the soulful Teena Marie-ish “Sound Reason" by Splash gets an exclusive Joey Negro edit.

Don Cherry

Where Is Brooklyn?

Trumpeter Don Cherry, an Ornette Coleman soulmate and a world musician decades ago, became one of jazz’s many early losses 10 years back. But saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, who joins him on this fizzing 1966 set, has since ascended to cult status, and he is still around to admire. In the 1960s, he knew no melodic fear at all, in which respect he was aptly partnered with Cherry. This is a quartet set, strongly influenced by the melodic approach of Coleman, but with a fierce abstraction of tone quite different from Coleman’s playful lyricism.

Moreover, the rhythm team of Ed Blackwell on drums and Henry Grimes on bass provides a scintillating underpinning for the music that is worth listening to all on its own. Sanders’ mix of Coltrane’s yearning long notes, Ayler’s ghostly, fluttering wail, Coleman’s fast, bumpy phrasing and his own manic bagpipe screams certainly separates the faint-hearted from the stayers on the opening 'Awake Nu'. But the conversation between Sanders and Cherry is light, lyrical and engaging on 'The Thing', and the saxophonist even gets into a stubborn, Sonny Rollins-like repeating Latin vamp on 'There Is The Bomb'. An unflinchingly quirky classic.

Following the extended year-long gestation of his 'Who Am Eye' EP, Clarence Clarity ups his game with this hotly-tipped debut long player for Bella Union. 20 tracks long, 'No Now' is a chaotic melange of sounds that will have your head in a spin. Prince-tinted electro-funk, Michael Jackson in a psychotic state, alt-alt-R&B, hints of Ariel Pink's more bonkers moments, but remade as synth-pop, sampled vocals against Clarity's own vox, micro beat mash-ups... It's a fascinating collection of tracks, an album that takes pop experimentation into the outer reaches of the Galaxy...

“Clarence Clarity’s electro-soul sleaze is unlike much you’ll hear this year, or any other year for that matter… Think Prince trapped in the wiring of a dusty Sega Mega Drive.” - NME


2xLtd LP Info: LP format is pressed on gold vinyl and packaged in
a gatefold sleeve with digital download.

Lyn Collins

Think (About It) - Bonus 7" Edition

James Brown had several incredibly talented “funky divas” in his late 60s and early 70s revue stable, including Vicki Anderson and Marva Whitney. But as great as those two powerhouse singers were, Lyn Collins was the strongest hit maker of that JB era. Her strong voice and commanding stage presence - which earned her the nicknames “The Female Preacher” and “Mama Feelgood” - quickly proved to be a potent addition to the People Records universe. In the spring of 1972 her second single, the driving and ridiculously funky “Think (About It)” hit the R&B music world like a ton of bricks. Thanks to its timeless, relentless groove and powerful vocals, “Think” gained a powerful second life in the 1980s thanks to the hip-hop generation, fueling the platinum smash “It Takes Two,” by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock in 1988 and additionally sampled by dozens of hip-hop and dance music artists up to the present day. But Collins was far from a One Hit Wonder: she was as vocally adept on ballads as she was with full-blown funk. She proves this throughout her debut album, which was released in 1972 on James Brown’s new People Records label - the imprint’s second full-length release. To wit, aside from the title smash: a powerful and emotional cover of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”; the socially progressive “Women’s Lib”; the Gamble & Huff-penned “Never Gonna Give You Up” (originally done by Jerry Butler); and even a daring, muscular take on the song “Fly Me To The Moon,” made famous by, among others, Frank Sinatra. All throughout 'Think (About It)', Collins shows that she was a vocal force to be reckoned with. Backed by a James Brown-assembled musical crew that included Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley and, of course, James Brown himself, the platter was bound to impress and succeed. And that it did.


LP Info: Includes 22”X 22” poster of the sleeve artwork along with bonus 7” 1973 People single, “We Want To Parrty, Parrty, Parrty” with the B-side “You Can’t Beat Two People In Love” which is unavailable on any Lyn Collins full-length.

The Electric Peanut Butter Company

Trans-Atlantic Psych Classics Vol 1

The dynamic duo of Shawn Lee and Adrian Quesada are back with Vol.1 of their 'Trans-Atlantic Psych Classics' masterpiece! Adrian Quesada is a man on a mission! He has been killing it in both the recording studio and on the live stage. While on his ‘Brown Sabbath (Brownout)’ and ‘Spanish Gold’ albums he found stolen moments in hotel rooms whilst on tour to send musical compadre Shawn Lee tracks for the second Electric Peanut Butter Company album. The band of brothers created the music in the same fashion as their debut but with a noticeably fuzzier, dirtier edge. The album starts with 'Flexi Funk', where the drums were recorded straight to Flexi disc on a 1950s tube machine which sounds otherworldly and crusty as f#@k!!! Other highlights include the psych-pop gem 'Spread The Jam' which declares the duo's intentions (to spread jam?). The album has a more heavy psych vibe than its predecessor but deftly continues a logical progression for Los Hermanos Adrian Quesada & Shawn Lee. Two of the hardest working musicians in show bidness and from the looks of it, just getting started!


2xLP Info: Sun-Pat coloured vinyl!

Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

Journey In Satchidananda / Blue Nile

Over the course of five albums, Manchester-based trumpeter, composer, arranger and band-leader Matthew Halsall has carved out a niche for himself on the UK music scene as one of it's brightest talents. His languid, soulful music has won friends from Jamie Cullum and Gilles Peterson to Jazz FM and Mojo as well as an ever-growing international following. His label Gondwana Records is home to GoGo Penguin and his own albums have found Halsall exploring the modal jazz of John Coltrane, paying tribute to the hard bop of the late 50s and early 60s or most recently on "Fletcher Moss Park" and "When The World Was One" drawing on Eastern influences in his most personal statements yet. But perhaps the most profound influence on Matthew Halsall is the spiritual jazz of Alice Coltrane and this 12" finds Matthew exploring her music with an all-star band performing two of her best known compositions: "Journey in Satchidananda" and "Blue Nile". Featuring Matthew Halsall trumpet, Lisa Mallett flute, Rachael Gladwin harp, Taz Modi piano, Gavin Barras bass, Gaz Hughes drums and Nat Birchall percussion. Originally recorded for BBC Radio at the legendary Maida Vale Studios and broadcast on Jamie Cullum's show they are released here for the first time on vinyl and download.

The ultra collectable Invisible City Editions returns to the 12" market with more delights from music's deleted history. ICE kingpins Brandon Hocura & Gary Abugan travel the globe in search of lost gems and Holy Grails, devouring long closed warehouses and rickety record shacks like a couple of disco locusts. Following on from their gorgeous reissues of Michael Boothman, Stephen Encinas and Witch, the label serve up a split 12" of rare and exotic audio delights. On the A-side we get lost deep in the groove with "U Turn Me On", an 808 driven Haitian-Canadian dubbed-out disco boogie anthem that's sure to drive crowds manic. The raw 808 rhythm and endless bassline form the perfect rhythm section for hypnotic movement, while those dubwise vocals put this in the same league of proto-island-disco-house as those killer Tapper Zukie 12"s we've been treated to recently. After the dancefloor pressure of the A-side, Brandon and Gary offer some soothing frequencies on the flipside by way of Astarius' "Ancient Times Part 1 and 2". The Hawaiian mystic displays his mastery of circular breathing and polyphonic overtone singing across two hypnotic mantras, soaked in reverb and twisted in pitch. It's sure to melt brains into a dervish twirl before opening the doors of perception.

Ata Kak's cassette 'Obaa Sima' fell on deaf ears when it was self-released in Ghana and Canada in 1994. The music on the recording - an amalgam of highlife, Twi-language rap, electro-funk and disco - is presented with the passion of a Prince record and the DIY-bedroom-recording lo-fi charm of early Chicago house music. The astute self-taught song craft and visionary blend of sounds and rhythms has made the album a left-field cult favorite among adventurous listeners worldwide. Awesome Tapes From Africa founder Brian Shimkovitz found the tape in 2002 in Cape Coast, Ghana - one of only a few ever pressed - and later made it the inaugural post on the Awesome Tapes From Africa blog. Hundreds of thousands of downloads, YouTube views, music video tributes and remixes, as well as years of mystery regarding Ata Kak's whereabouts, culminate in this remastered release featuring rare photos and the full back story of one of the internet age's most enigmatic musicians.

Lord Sausage

Funky River / The Devil Made Me Do It

This has to be THE rarest and most sought after funk 45 from the Virgin Islands. With only a small handful of original copies known in the collectors world, and changing hands for four figure sums, here at last is your chance to buy a fully licensed, remastered 45 reissue of this super heavy funk rarity. Lord Sausage or Al Sinclair aka Alvin S Hodge Jr was on a small budget when he cut funky river back in 1973 on St Thomas, Virgin Isles. There was only enough money to pay the musicians who were hired in for the session and to pay for 1,000 copies to be pressed. Alvin was given permission to use the Derbs label by a Crucian calypso friend of his, aptly named 'the Mighty Derby.The record sold out on St. Thomas but a copy was sent to WLIR-FM in New York.It wasn't very long they asked for another copy to be sent because they had worn it out due to the air play it received.After that unfortunately, Alvin just dismissed going any further with promoting the single. Basically saying the record was not sold anywhere else. Later, out of the blue, someone sent him a copy of Billboard Magazine where it showed Funky River at number 3 , He was also sent a chart with the song being promoted by Tri - State Distributers at #13, only 12 slots away from the ROLLING STONES with their song "Angie". Before long he received a letter from Tri - State Distributors telling him that it would cost about $10,000 to promote. In his own words Alvin stated "I didn't have the money nor anyone to advise me, therefore, I just dropped the matter." Here is an exert from the The Virgin Isles Daily News from Sept 25, 1973. "The nationwide popularity of Al Sinclair, a ST Thomas singer has been climbing recently. Sinclair, originally known as Alvin S. Hodge, Jnr has been hitting number 12 on the Disc Jockeys Popular Picks of the week with his record, funky river. He was formerly known as Lord Sausage. Funky River, promoted by Tri-State Distributor and promotion company, hit number three 10 months ago in the Brite Star Pick Hit of the Week in Billboard magazine, passing Lynn Anderson, the Columbia label country and western singer and Jimmy Osmond, of the Osmond brothers. He was told recently that he may now be slated for the top 45 chart, which features such stars as Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye.

Sauce 81

Natural Thing / Bustin'

Japan's beat master Nobu Suzuki drops a blinding 7" of deep and driving funk on the consistently excellent Eglo Records. Taking inspiration from the Gap Band / Rick James era of funk, Sauce 81 underpins the banging "Natural Thing" with a phat little synth bassline before letting loose with piano, strings, brass and horns as we romp through his classic song structure. On the flipside, "Bustin'" heads a little deeper into the groove and nudges the 70s dancefloor funk stylings of Fatband Band into the jazzy territory of James Mason. Deep, soulful, spiritual and driving, this is gonna ignite the soul weekenders this year.

Saun & Starr

Look Closer (Can't You See The Signs?) / Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

Imagine a world where big sales and high quality are not mutually exclusive - where hits on the radio are indeed the finest songs available, every note more valuable than the next. Now Look Closer, beyond fad or taste, beyond what is considered the norm, or what is considered “far-out.” Way… way out into the stars - out past Orion and the entity formerly known as the planet Pluto (or dwarf-planet for all you science brains,) and if you’re lucky, you’ll find two singers who have harnessed the celestial secrets to such a quandary; a duo whose sum is greater than its parts. I speak of Saun & Starr.

Fresh off the success of their record-breaking debut single ‘Hot Shot’ b/w ‘Gonna Make Time,’ S & S are back with two sides, equal parts complexity and subtlety- ‘Look Closer’ / ‘Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah Blah Blah’ (That’s right! SEVEN Blahs!).

‘Look Closer,’ the eponymous track to their forthcoming and highly anticipated debut album, is a dark mover that creeps into your bones via the aural highway, and sticks there till you can’t do anything but shake it loose on the dancefloor. The flip ‘Blah Blah...’ is a breezy, sun-filled day of cocktails and good friends. Think Island Soul a la Jackie Edwards.

Tuxedo is Mayer Hawthorne (Aquarius) and Jake One (Taurus). They are descendants of the one-word moniker family of funk, where you will find such groups as Chic, Change, Loose Ends, Shalamar and Zapp. Tuxedo emerged last year with three tracks of smooth, synth-heavy disco-boogie / electro-funk accompanied by no information about the group except a greeting: “Tuxedo is here! Stay classy.” Multi-platinum recording artist Pitbull loved the tracks so much he used one of them on his album 'Global Warming: Meltdown'.The duo is excited to release the upcoming album on Stones Throw Records, which also marks Mayer’s return to the label since the release of his debut 'A Strange Arrangement' in 2009.

Following in the footsteps of Francois K, Jazzie B (Soul II Soul) and Fabio & Grooverider, Gilles brings a Masterpiece selection containing a typically wide ranging, devious selection that references twists and turns of Petersons career as a ground breaking, outer-national club and radio DJ. Its journey which begins at Dusk, heralds the Dawn and slips to the Twilight. Gilles' passion and enthusiasm is unfailing and deeply infectious and this is why Ministry of Sound is very proud to have him deliver a Masterpiece.

To tie in with second installment of 'Supafunkanova' Z Records are re-releasing a re-packaged 'Volume 1'.

Disco historians and top deck hands DJs Joey Negro and Sean P cast the net yet wider with 'Supafunkanova', another retrospective of outstanding 12” tracks from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Unearthing over 24 gems from their respective colossal record collections, the groovesome twosome pull together some of the original backstreet 12s which put FUNK into the disco decades.

It’s a collection sure to please all. The hard-bitten funk fan is likely to find something he hasn’t unearthed yet or even knew existed and the newly initiated disco boogie fan will find this a great place to start his digging. There’s even an exclusive remix by Joey Negro of the old school classic "We Rap More Mellow” by The Younger Generation, thrown in as an added bonus.

This double CD features some old school rap styles from Billy Lamont and South Bronx, plus some proper jazzy street funk from Silver Lining, The Pied Piper of Funkingham and Hypertension. For the beat-focused, there are killer breaks to hand with some old favourites from J. Gayle Gaymon, BLT and Legacy, as well as Ray Munning’s cooler than cool remake of ‘Funky Nassau’. The gatefold Double LP also features a new and exclusive edit of Foreal People from Joey Negro. Reigning in sounds from New York, South Carolina, Washington, Boston and Los Angeles, 'Supafunkanova Vol.1' is an intoxicating blend of fiercely groovy arrangements, bouncy drumbeats and funk driven synths. A musical mix still as likely to get the booty shaking as it was over 20 years ago!

For 23 straight Saturday nights of 1982, The Chicago Party dance show assaulted Chicagoland UHF eyeballs with Spandex, Southside fly guys, tender tenderonies, magicians, contortionists, prismatic video gimmickry, and lip-synched singles by a rising regime of local post- disco casualties. Unfettered nightlife and outlandish humour poured out of oddball outpost The CopHerBox II and onto TV screens, presented here as a 100 minute video mixtape on DVD. Its companion compilation features five previously unreleased tracks, joined by music culled from a trove of self-released 45s and small-time 12”s. Die-cut cathode-ray jacket and six in-package stills put the Party at your fingertips.

Available on CD or 2LP, each edition of 'Ultra-High Frequencies: The Chicago Party' will arrive in one of six cover configurations, all of which are interchangeable via printed inner sleeves and enclosed booklet. Both editions include our entertaining DVD mix tape, isolating the most absurd and outrageous moments from the original broadcasts. Play functions enable viewers to enjoy 23 unique musical performances, as well as a mini-documentary about the creation and realization of The Chicago Party. For fans of electronic soul with a public access aesthetic, 'Ultra-High Frequencies: The Chicago Party' is the place to be.


2xLP Info: LP sleeve is die-cut 'TV style', with interchangeable inner sleeves to create images on the screen. Includes DVD & 20 page full colour 11"x11" booklet.

2xCD/DVD Info: CD sleeve is die-cut 'TV style', with interchangeable inner sleeves to create images on the screen.

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