Dub . Reggae . Dancehall . Ska . Rocksteady


Genre pick of the week Cover of When The Lights Are Low / I Want To Go Back by The Paragons.

The Paragons

When The Lights Are Low / I Want To Go Back

    This is a licensed reissue of the track featured on the album “On The Beach”- Treasure Isle – 1967. This gorgeous and haunting song boasts remarkable singing and musicianship allied to the finest song-writing. A Rocksteady masterpiece that totally deserved being released as a single at last. This is a special limited edition - strictly limited to 500 copies - one release only.

    The Paragons were originally called “The Binders”, a band that comprised Keith Anderson (better known as Bob Andy), Garth Evans (aka Tyrone Evans), Junior Menz, and Leroy Stamp. In 1964 John Holt and Howard Barrett replaced Menz,and Stamp and the name was changed to The Paragons. Anderson left in 1965, and The Paragons continued as a trio. After John Holt left to pursue a solo career, Vic Taylor took Holt's place. The trio initially recorded two outstanding albums: the legendary “On The Beach” 1967, and the equally good “Riding High“- later renamed “The Paragons with Roslyn Sweat” in 1974. Most of their many masterpieces come from these two albums. They carried on recording more albums, the latest being “The Paragons Return” with John Holt. In 1980 Blondie covered their song "The Tide Is High" with great international success. Today “On The Beach” is considered by many as the definitive Rocksteady LP…


    Martin says: A captivating slice of classic '67 rocksteady which perfectly encapsulates the mood of genre. This is heart-wrenchingly powerful music.


    When The Lights Are Low
    I Want To Go Back

    Vusi Mahlasela, Norman Zulu, Jive Connection

    Face To Face - 2023 Reissue

      Strut revives a lost recording from the archives in January with a 2002 collaboration between acclaimed South African folk singer Vusi Mahlasela, singer songwriter Norman Zulu and Swedish jazz / soul collective Jive Connection.

      The links between South Africa and Sweden have long been strong with Sweden one of the most supportive European nations in the struggle against apartheid; the government helped to fund the ANC for decades and Mandela visited the country on one of his first European stops following his release from prison in 1990.

      Sotho folk singer Vusi Mahlasela, dubbed “The Voice” Of South Africa, performed at Mandela’s inauguration in 1994 and has enjoyed his own long relationship with Sweden, regularly embarking on cultural exchanges and forging a strong bond with the Jive Connection band, featuring guitarist / bassist Stefan Bergman and Little Dragon drummer Erik Bodin within its line-up.

      Although touring regularly, the collaboration has rarely been documented beyond a lone studio album in 1994. This “lost” recording, discovered in the archives of producer Torsten Larsson, also features songwriter / vocalist Norman Zulu and showcases their natural musical chemistry together. Vusi’s songs have traditionally addressed the struggle for freedom and the need for reconciliation and, here, his lyrics are as powerful as ever, ranging from parables (‘Prodigal Son’) to an unflinching lament on child abuse (‘Faceless People’). Jive Connection vary the soundtrack, bringing in hints of reggae, jazz and post-punk alongside traditional township arrangements.

      Face To Face is mastered by The Carvery. Artwork features unseen photos from the album sessions along with full lyrics. Produced in association with Torsten Larsson. 


      2. UMZALA
      4. INKOMO
      5. FACE TO FACE
      6. THEMBA LAMI
      8. PUSH
      10. ANASTACIA
      11. B4 THULULALELE
      12. ROOTS
      13. STILL

      The Maytones

      Call You Up / Barrabus

        This is the very first reissue of two rare and sought-after cult tracks by The Maytones. Attention: This is a special limited edition - strictly limited to 500 copies - one release only. This is a licensed reissue of the very rare 7" vinyl single track…. This wicked Boss Reggay instrumental was only released on the British label “Explosion” in 1970, making it extremely rare and sought after. Don’t miss the lashes in the introduction!


        Martin says: A rare-as-hen's-teeth track from '68, later released in UK in 1970. Perfectly demonstrating the move from rocksteady to ska; its moonstomping groove present and correct from the off.


        Call You Up

        Absolutely ingenious album from relative new comers Mystic Jungle, aka Dario di Pace who, frankly, will astonish with the creative meanderings and twists on retro grade electro disco, boogie and proto house. Based in Naples, and head of the Periodica label; it's been some while since I've heard search an authentic reaction of styles from the golden age of the glitterball.

        We're not talking no beige rehash here though folks, Mystic Jungle have conjured up an album of future classic cosmic-sherm disco - the kinda tracks that if you were searching through Baldelli or Ron Hardy mixtapes you'd be expecting to pay at least £50 each for a dusty copy!

        Starting with the Mexican wave boogie of "Don't Stop Your Love", which you'd be convinced is a lost nugget from '83, we move through to "Get Down On It" - another sun-blushed boogie bomb with the spirit of California in its sights. Side B opens with the smoochy twilight-island epic, "Hold On Your Dreams", which, aside from have one absolute mother of all guitar solos, basically orders you to make your snazziest cocktail and comfortable in the hammock as it takes you on its psychedelic-disco rocket ride.

        "Money Wonder" is that wigged-out moment of bedroom boogie you've been waiting for. With gilded guitar lines, catchy vocal hook and gritty drumbox it's superb keyboard solo has all the garnishings to really show off its pedigree as this bona fide dancefloor titan struts proudly onto the scene. So good! Just enough time for "Keep Alive This Fire" which keeps to the wonky disco flavour, injecting a plethora of vintage synth fx across a rattly drum rhythm, disco-not-disco basslines and vocal combo for a quirky and fun end to this rather life affirmed collection of modern dancefloor grooves. Mystic Jungle proves he's one of the hottest cats on the current circuit and I urge you intently to get this album ordered fast!


        Matt says: Stupidly good modern genius who recreates some of the best bits from Italo, cosmic, proto-house and boogie in his own clumsy, earnest style which you'll be convinced is a lost nugget.Future classic alert!


        Side 1
        1. Don't Stop Your Love
        2. Get Down On It
        Side 2
        1. Hold On Your Dreams
        2. Money Wonder
        3. Keep Alive This Fire

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