funk . soul . jazz . nu-jazz


Genre pick of the week Cover of Hard Candy - Be With Records Edition by Ned Doheny.
Ned Doheny’s 'Hard Candy', originally released in 1976, is widely considered the finest blue-eyed soul album of all time. It has long been a source of great frustration then, that this perfectly-formed Southern California masterpiece has been unavailable on legit vinyl for almost 40 years. Previously bootlegged in derisory fashion, original copies are rarely found for less than $100. Be With Records, a new vinyl-only reissue label, continues apace by marking its third release with the first officially licensed reissue of Doheny’s nautical classic. Perhaps most famously, this impeccably smooth set features the timeless 'Get It Up For Love', a wonderful example of mid-70s mid-tempo white-(hot)-funk. Produced by the legendary Steve Cropper, it featured a veritable who’s-who of the Laurel Canyon soft-yacht sound (JD Souther, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, the entire horn section for Tower of Power!) yet bombed mysteriously. It’s been a cult record since. Pressed on audiophile 180gram vinyl and featuring the original artwork for both jacket and full colour inner sleeve, this very limited reissue of 500 copies is one not to be missed.


David says: Ooh, been after a legitimate copy of this for ages. Seminal yacht rock. Anchors away!

The long awaited follow up to 2010’s Full English Beat Breakfast, 'Last Man On Earth' is Big Boss Man's 4th album. The British four piece return with a new set of songs and recordings that take a fresh approach to the BBM sound - their hip hybrid of Latin, Jazz, Soul, Psych and ’60s/’70s drenched R&B is now expanded with the added dimension of a brass section and guest vocalists adding to the further sonic and rhythmic explorations from the band; taking us on a one heck of a brand new trip!

'Aardvark' a jazz dance floor filler, rush released fresh from the studio mix sessions as a free download in April 2014 was the first track to be taken from the new album, immediately receiving strong radio support from BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 2, including multiple spins by Craig Charles on his Funk & Soul Show, who declared that "I've been a big fan of Big Boss Man for many years. Big Boss Man ‘Aardvark’. Double Groovy!" Additional radio plays came also from Gideon Coe, Tom Ravenscroft, Cerys Matthews, Chris Hawkins and Huey Morgan at the stations.

Reference Points: The Bongolian, Soul, Funk, Latin Soul, Boogaloo, pop Hammond Grooves, Jazz, Beat, Mod Jazz.
File Under: Rock/Pop, Funk, Dance, Boogaloo, Soul, Jazz, Mod.


LP Info: 180 gram vinyl.

'The Upper Hand & Other Grand Illusions' is a series of vignettes that tell a story of courtship and intimate interaction. It opens with a confrontation in “Forever Love Is Tainted,” focusing on the inner monologue of a man deceived. The song is a shot of reality, produced by Jelani Brooks to achieve a sound that is syncopated in melody, harmony, rhythm and texture. Each song thereafter documents a realization, “A Private Island” acting as commentary on the literal cost of getting to know someone. Drummer Terry Orlando Jones appears in great form here, and later on “Covered in Cloth,” an acknowledgement of the moment someone invites you to move in. “The Pinnacle (of Class and Taste)” is the only song presented here that is created solely by myself, though it’s outside influences are quite obvious. It documents the bliss of the high point in its words and also in the fleeting sounds of the supporting production. At the project’s halfway mark, the unaccompanied voice of Carminelitta starts “Our Love Was Brand New” and sets the tone for a session of reminiscence wrapped in synths at every frequency. “Secrets Seem Rehearsed,” complimented by Jelani Brooks’ saxophone arrangement, addresses the fate of it all with a tone that cannot necessarily be classified as optimistic or pessimistic. It just is. And that’s the nature of the struggle for the upper hand.

During his eight-year stint with Hi Records Syl Johnson was in the shadows of both Al Green and Ann Peebles, but with ‘Total Explosion’ he stepped into the spotlight. As this album’s predecessors had Johnson vacillating between being a romantic and a wretch, ‘Total Explosion’ explores his unrepentant side with good results.

The album’s biggest single was Johnson’s slowed-down take on Green’s ‘Take Me To The River’. Although the religious / sexual imagery is lost in the translation, Johnson does a good job with it.

The best track, the brilliantly arranged ‘Watch What You Do To Me’ has Johnson playing the role of cuckold and as he sings “I carry my piece, everywhere I go,” it certainly made him more of a menace than a romantic balladeer.

Backed by the full Muscle Shoals studio band, including the Memphis Horns and Memphis Strings, ‘Total Explosion’ was Johnson’s most successful album at Hi Records and was one of the best in the label’s catalogue.


Mean Love - Bonus Mix CD Edition

With roots in the rich musical history of North America as well as Africa, Sinkane provide a new perspective on what soul music is, and what it can be. Sinkane’s 'Mean Love' rolls like an emotional, existential history of the artist. Ahmed Gallab has created an altogether unique compound of sound, stylistically nostalgic and ultramodern at the same time. From Gallab’s childhood in Sudan there is a Pan-African influence of popular Sudanese music and haqibah, as well as distinct horn and synth arrangements more common to East Africa. This background merges with the lessons learned from Ahmed‘s stints with obsessive craftsmen such as Caribou, Yeasayer and Of Montreal, and especially the monumental task he underwent as musical director of ‘ATOMIC BOMB! The Music of William Onyeabor.’ Gallab excavated and arranged a treasure trove of lost classics from the West African synth-pioneer to put together a now legendary series of performances. 'Mean Love' is an album with an open door invitation, and gets deeper with every listen. You hear it right away in the blistering opening track, “How We Be”. An instant classic, sounding like a lost gem of soul funk, a sweetness of voice alongside honey bass lines, the tune grips you and makes you wish for a dancefloor, while enticing you to stay for the whole journey of the album.


LP Info: Includes 23 track bonus compilation CD while stocks last.

CD Info: Includes 23 track bonus compilation CD while stocks last.


Trip To The Moon EP

    Taking their inspiration from the flickering magical early movie by Georges Méliès of the same name, this is not a soundtrack but four snappy instrumentals that take the listener on a different kind of trip. The Spaceheads sound, of Andy Diagram’s looped and harmonized trumpets propelled by the dynamic drums of Richard Harrison, is augmented on the first track by their good friend, and longtime Manchester musical maverick, Paddy Steer on bass.

    Tuk Tuk

    Chambray Record Shopper Tote

      Lovely new chambray (that's denim to you and me) tote bag from the good folk at TukTuk.

      The main compartment is big enought to carry your 12" vinyl purchases, and there's also a 7" pocket on the front for those few cheeky sevens you've picked up too.

      The main compartment has a magnetic stud fastening, and there is a phone pocket and zip pocket for all your other bit's and pieces, both in lovely check fabric (like the linings in their leather record boxes).

      It has nice long handles, big enough to sling it over your shoulder, but not so long that you can't carry it in your hand.


      The Up Tights

      That's The Sound Of My Heart / That's What I Get

      Previously unreleased KILLER northern soul dancers! From the long-forgotten archives of Alley Records from Arkansas, Soul7 have unearthed a batch of awesome raw 60s soul from Ike Noble and the Up Tights! The label have cooked up two killer 45s and a long player out of this incredible find, and first up is 'That's The Sound Of My Heart' - a raw and infectious, up-tempo feel good 60s Midwestern dancer with menacing horns and driving guitar rhythms. And if you like the A-side then then you'll love the flip! 'That's What I Get' has scorching vocals over positive, pounding 60s Northern instrumentation. What a find! When these are gone they're gone - floor packers today and collectors items tomorrow!

      The Up Tights

      There's Gonna Be A Better Day Coming / How Long Must I Wait For You

      Previously unreleased KILLER northern soul dancers! From the long-forgotten archives of Alley Records from Arkansas, Soul7 have unearthed a batch of awesome raw 60s soul from Ike Noble and the Up Tights! The label have cooked up two killer 45s and a long player out of this incredible find, and second on their hit list is 'There's Gonna be a Better Day Coming' - the "NOW Sound" of priceless, supple 60s Northern soul first covered up and broken at Lifeline! Flip it for 'How Long Must I Wait For You' - dreamy and melodic, spine tingling sweet 60s soul number - Northern at its finest. On limted 45 or check out the LP - coming soon!'

      Wax Poetics

      #59 (Aaliyah / Kelela Cover)

        eteran music journalist Michael A. Gonzales looks back twenty years on Aaliyah’s debut album, the controversy with R. Kelly, and the follow-up album with Timbaland that changed the landscape of R&B. Includes never-before-published photos of Aaliyah by photographer Jonathan Mannion. Novelist T. P. Carter interviews newcomer Kelela and runs down the L.A. electro-bass scene.

        Producer, songwriter, and organist Edwin Birdsong is the anonymous genius behind some of jazz-funk’s most cosmic moments. Influenced by Larry Levan and the New York club scene, Birdsong’s left-field boogie anthem “Cola Bottle Baby” would become fodder for both Daft Punk and Kanye West, and his bare funk breakbeat track “Rapper Dapper Snapper” would nod hip-hop heads for years, bringing Birdsong’s grooves to a new global audience.

        Rinder and Lewis had a knack for creating commercial, crossover disco, hiding behind various monikers like El Coco and Le Pamplemousse. Ultimately, they chose to reveal their true identities on a string of records that would allow them to realize a more artistic vision of disco that played to their strengths—stripped-down drum-and-synthesizer tracks that pioneered the cosmic dance.

        Terry Reid passed on the opportunity to become the front man of Led Zeppelin, choosing to carry on as a solo act that never paid off with the heights of fame and fortune of his musical pals, yet he recorded two soulful folk-rock masterpieces and has become known as an artist’s artist.

        The story of the notorious NYC bathhouse Continental Baths is the story of disco. The Baths would birth the careers of dance icons Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles, two young DJs who were soaking in the nascent disco scene of the early ’70s—and who soon got their own shot behind the decks, ultimately influencing the dance scene in immeasurable ways.

        As one half of production duo Flyte Tyme Productions, Jimmy Jam, along with partner Terry Lewis, changed the landscape of popular music and the sound of radio forever. The duo’s attention to their craft and changing times saw an evolution in their sound through the latest technology, yet their secret to success was unique, tailor-made productions for each artist.


        Edwin Birdsong
        Rinder & Lewis
        Terry Reid
        Jimmy Jam
        Continental Baths
        Com Truise
        Doug Shorts

        Various Artists

        Spiritual Jazz 5 - Esoteric, Modal And Deep Jazz From Around The World, 1961-79

        Until it was swept aside by the pop explosion of the 1960s, jazz was the most popular modern sound on earth. From the New World and the Caribbean to Africa, across the Soviet Bloc and the British Empire to the Far East, jazz music was embraced, adopted, played and enjoyed. Having examined spiritual jazz as it was expressed in the US, and followed its messengers and influences in Europe, this fifth installment of our Spiritual Jazz series presents jazz from the rest of the world: a collection of jazz messages hailing from the four corners of the world that are united in their diverse treatment of the jazz idiom.

        Jazz might have been the music of America, but in its beginnings it was not a purely American creation. The long story of its development stretches across the Atlantic, from Africa to the crucibles of slavery in the Caribbean and the Americas, both North and South. It was a music that ultimately emerged from the varied and resilient cultural achievements of Africans brought to the New World in bondage, and who brought with them a multiplicity of musical traditions. Evolution and development continued and, like a dandelion dispersing its airborne seeds via the wind, the sounds of jazz were carried around the world on the airwaves, record sales and by travelling musicians. In whichever continent the form took root, the individual, ethnic and cultural circumstances of the musicians decided the flavours and nuances of the jazz they created.

        This volume of Spiritual Jazz presents some of the rarest and most extraordinary global jazz recordings. We have covered some of the wider world's best known yet still underexposed jazz scenes - places such as Argentina and South Africa, as well as some of the world's most obscure. There are recordings here made for major labels, and recordings issued privately. Very few of them have seen any release outside of their country of original prior to this collection. But all of them speak of a period when jazz was a global musical lingua franca, spoken with ease by musicians who headed out into the night to produce their own distinctly local translations.

        This is esoteric jazz, modal jazz, spiritual jazz - as played by musicians from around the World.

        All tracks fully licensed and digitally restored from the original master tapes.

        Comprehensive liner notes with added individual notes on each track and original stories direct from the musicians involved.

        CD with 16 page colour booklet with in-depth liner notes, album cover scans and previously unpublished photographs.

        Most tracks never before reissued - previously only available on rare LPs that change hands for hundreds of pounds!

        Deluxe double vinyl LP pressing with thick, embossed gatefold sleeve

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