Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat

WEEK STARTING 16 Oct

Genre pick of the week Cover of Power Clown by Fila Brazilia.
Setting themselves a breathless pace with four albums in three years after the brilliance downbeat bliss of their breakthrough LP "Maim That Tune", the eclecticism and organic warmth of Fila Brazillia's electronica continued to amaze on "Power Clown", a previously CD only release from 98. Laid-back jazz-funk grooves straight out of the '70s are the foundation of the record, but hints of Stevie Wonder-esque soul, hip-hop, bossa nova, ambient, spacey techno, house, minimalist electro, big-beat and trip-hop all pop up here and there, as do touches of ethnic percussion, acoustic guitar, saxophone solos, new age-y synth flourishes, and the occasional odd vocal sample or sound effect. What really pushes "Power Clown" over the top, though, is that the group maintains their focus throughout, never meandering and changing things up often enough to keep the grooves from becoming repetitive. One of the finest and most over-looked electronic-dance releases of 1998.

Bellydance

3 Days Man

    Turned on by a new dawn of chemical love, Sydney dance-funk combo Bellydance laid down their sampledelica blueprint in 1991, thinking in parallel with Weatherall’s revelatory work with Primal Scream. A candy flip of streetsoul, festival jam band and Chip Monck’s cautionary brown acid address, 3 Days Man! was primed for open fields and discotheques, in an age when the deejay was royalty. With an elastic lineup that boasted up to 9 members, Bellydance synchronised more with the club scene than the city’s straight-ahead pub rock racket, naturally recruiting hometown heroes Peewee and John Ferris to remix their multi-track concoction. A certified party closing anthem, the brother’s sun-smacked breakbeats elevate a collective consciousness beyond the clouds. Originally issued on Regular Records sub-label Boomshanka Music as a precursor to their album One Blood, the now sought-after 12″ sports characteristic artwork from Mambo visionary and Mental As Anything co-founder Reg Mombassa. Instigated by Sydney selector Ben Fester, this Efficient Space reboot arrives fashionably late to Woodstock’s 50th anniversary but just in time to help soothe universal division.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: If you unravel the strand of the Balearic poncho which twists through "Moments In Soul", "Higher Than The Sun" and D Twins "Falling", you might eventually encounter this Aussie obscurity from Bellydance. Spoken vocals in a "What Is It That You Want To Do?" style, some irresistibly baggy breaks and a happily stoned soul instrumental all sewed together with a dubby bassline. Ponytails out!

    To close the 3 EP reissue series of Neville King and Lee Laing's King & City label, the all female group Charisma are presented with their summer infused Lovers cut, Everything Is Fine.

    Three Lewisham friends, Angela Richardson on lead vocals, with Geselle and Janie backing, were active from 1982 to 1990, but are really remembered for the early recordings made with Neville King. Their debut, Everything Is Fine rides the Lovers sound at its peak. Written with One Blood's Lloyd Robinson, with the rest of band of Robinson brothers providing the rhythm section, this is pure South London sound system music.

    Recorded again at TMC (Tooting Music Centre) Recording Studios - working alongside the likes of Dillinger, Tradition and New Musik - Everything Is Fine rides a beautiful soul reggae rhythm as Trevor (Drums) and Lloyd (Bass) Robinson set the foundations, while One Blood provide the Dub mix.

    A true love's lament, a song of hope, serenity and pure vibes. Label head Chuggy slides behind the mixing desk for an extended Discomix that stretches, loops and dubs the vocal and dub back forth, to close a glimpse at this uniquely British phenomenon, taking reggae closer to it's heart and soul.

    Steve Cobby

    Sweet Jesus

      Steve Cobby returns for this, his latest outing for his own imprint, Declasse. All of the elements you'd expect from Cobby are rife here, gorgous loungey keys, sweltering Balearic atmospherics and Cobby's keen ear for production. 

      Beautifully relaxing, but not without it's twists and turns, 'Sweet Jesus' is exactly the relaxing tonic we all need in these trying times. More fire from the Hull based maestro. 




      FAR are excited to bring Chris Coco and DJ Rocca to the label for this release. Both artists need no introduction to Balearic /House and Disco aficionados, the pair have both notched up stunning solo musical releases.

      Meeting at La Casella festival in Italy in the summer of 2019, the duo decided to team up in the studio resulting in the ''Discoteca'' EP, a shimmering slice of Balearic, Disco House containing all the right ingredients and forward motion required for maximum sunshine or nightime connection.

      On A1 Discoteca (The Heavy Fun Dub Mix), they manage to create a heady cocktail of synth riffs, ARhodes and Guitars all underpinned by a solid bass line, nodding to the Jazz funk of Atmosphere with the edge of Dinosaur L recording in Italy circa 1982. AAntonio prosper turns up on vocals, whispering, and chanting, evoking imagery of a night out in the mid-summer heat somewhere in southern Europe.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      says: More quality stuff from the Faze Action camp as Chris Coco and DJ Rocca team up for "Discoteca", a spacious and groovy Balearic dancer which sounds a bit like a mythical Lindbaek dub of Laid Back, or the record Bell Towers is reaching for with each release. Faze Action turn things up with a hypnotic space disco remix which tastes a little Turkish Delight, while additional OG "Brute" is a right little acid funk wriggler.

      You can always trust Rush Hour's Japan series to deliver some incontinental magic, but this tasty 12" is exceptonal even by their gih standards. Firstly it gives the DJ a handy wax of the two finest tracks from Colored Music, but secondly they land enhanced and extended by famed Japanese digger and DJ Chee Shimizu (of Organic Music fame). 
      The two cuts originally featured on the band's seminal self titled album from 1981 and 'Heart Beat' remained a cult DJ secret weapon, for many years all over the world. This heavy EP includes an alternative version of 'Heart Beat' that featured on the Japan only "Individual Beauty" LP of 2018 (also compiled by Shimizu).

      STAFF COMMENTS

      says: If you know, you know. In case you don’t, these two unclassics from Japan’s Colored Music offer narcotic synth pop laced with industrial idents and proto Detroit thrust.

      Beverly Glenn-Copeland

      Transmissions: The Music Of Beverly Glenn-Copeland

        Throughout a fifty year recording career, legendary singer, composer and transgender activist Beverly Glenn-Copeland's music has defied categorisation and genre, its only consistency being the extraordinary fusion of vision, technology, spirituality and place.

        Now in his mid-70’s, Glenn-Copeland was born into a musical family and studied the classical piano repertoire from ‘cradlehood,’ listening to his father playing the piano four to five hours a day. He moved from his home-town of Philadelphia to study classical music at McGill University, Montreal in 1961 (focussing on the European song repertoire) before he suddenly felt called to write music that would weave influences from the myriad musical cultures he had come to love.

        Newly signed to Transgressive, this career spanning collection of songs includes three previously unreleased tracks; ‘River Dreams’, written last year and released with the album announcement, the live versions of ‘Deep River’+ ‘Colour Of Anyhow’, in addition to studio tracks from his acclaimed masterpiece Keyboard Fantasies + more.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd LP Info: LP format is pressed on heavyweight black vinyl and is housed inside a beautiful gatefold sleeve with spot gloss to the cover. Includes a bonus 7” (also black vinyl), and code to download all tracks, including those that are on the CD + digital formats (‘A Little Talk’ and ‘Erzili’)

        This week's Ronseal award goes to Cole Odin for the lush and perfectly titled "Warmth" EP, a much needed dose of mid afternoon sun in the week my boiler broke down. On A-side cut "This Kitchen Is For Dancing", Cole is in full Claremont 56 mode, combining sunkissed arps and nuanced drum programming beneath a chiming, chorus soaked guitar, recalling the horiztonal magic of the finest moments from Messers Smith & Mudd. "The Warmth Of Your Sun" switches the style but retains the vibe, dropping the tempo for a dubby downbeat jam absolutely dripping with hallucinogenic agents. Remixes come from Jack Priest and Adam Warped who strip back and speed up the cuts respectively for some full blooded Balearic house heat. 

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Lovely stuff from Cole Odin on Eclectics here, ensuring we all stay toasty throughout the imminent winter. Dreamy guitars, bubbling electronics and unchecked optimism wait within.

        Satoshi & Makoto

        Cz-5000 Sounds & Sequences Vol. II

        Scientific Bulletin From The Safe Trip Institute, Amsterdam.

        Our latest communication to colleagues concerns an audio artefact – library reference code ST019 – provided by our esteemed Japanese brothers Satoshi and Makoto. They unearthed it from their own archive of musical experimentations and laboratory tests, which have been ongoing since the 1990s. They have shared it so that the process of peer reviewing can begin in earnest.

        We have undertaken thorough testing in the Safe Trip Laboratory and offer the following observations:

        Colleagues in Japan provided us with sample product of the following audio artefact – file number ST015 – believing that it may be relevant to the Safe Trip Institute’s ongoing research in this area of study. After rigorous testing and analysis, we would like to offer the following observations:

        • By running each of the 10 pieces of music that make up the artefact through the Past Fire Particle Analyzer, we have ascertained that every single note, chord and aural element was created using the CZ-5000, an electronic instriment built by Japan’s Casio Corporation.

        • One of our researchers discovered that if you assign a Pantone colour code to each different musical note featured on the artefact, all bar 734 of the 1,867 “spot” colours are present. By gathering these together on one screen, she discovered that most of the “musical colours” employed by Satoshi & Makoto were shades of purple, orange, red, green, yellow and pink.

        • In laboratory tests, listeners were instinctively drawn to the following percussion-free compositions: ‘Crawl Up (ST019-02)’, a combination of vibrant melodies and rumbling sub-bass; ‘Updraft (ST019-08)’, which one listener claimed helped him see through time; and ‘Kass (ST019-09)’, a musical voyage through neural pathways that should interest colleagues within the world of phrenology.

        • Test subjects also responded positively to a number of other artefacts, with one insisting that ‘Corendor (ST019-03)’ induced intense feelings of joy thanks to its use of vibrant melodies and “shuffling beats”. We draw no conclusions from this comment but think it worthy of further discussion.

        We invite colleagues the world over to analyse and test this audio further in order to increase our understanding of Mr Satoshi and Mr Makoto’s archive aural artefacts. We eagerly await your correspondence.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Since we're around 17 mins away from the next lockdown and can't go anywhere, I'd suggest investing in this sonic trip from Satoshi & Makoto. Clean, crisp and melodic the ten tracks on offer form the perfect soundtrack to sofa based space exploration.

        Various Artists

        Help (War Child) - 2020 Reissue

          Twenty-five years ago this month, the cream of the British music industry walked into Abbey Road and studios around the UK and recorded an album for War Child in response to the plight of the thousands of families caught up in the bloody Balkans war.

          It went onto become the most legendary charity album of all time. Inspired by a John Lennon quote "The best record you can make, is recorded on Monday, cut on Tuesday, pressed up on Wednesday, packaged on Thursday, distributed on Friday, in the shops on Saturday”, Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller formed the super group Smokin’ Mojo Filters and Radiohead, Manic Street Preachers, Portishead, Massive Attack, Suede, The Charlatans and many more contributed tracks.

          Go! Discs’ Tony Crean and Andy McDonald, press officer Terri Hall and others rallied artists, media and the industry to come together in those few days. Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic wrote the sleeve notes, John Squire designed the artwork and Johnny Depp even popped in to play guitar.

          Within 24 hours, 20 tracks had been recorded and it was in store five days later selling 70,000 copies in its first day. The album went on to make £1.25 million and launched War Child not only as the charity for British music, but more importantly, the only charity who specialise in protecting, educating and supporting children in war.

          The difference this album made for War Child cannot be over emphasised. It was the starting point of a relationship with the British music industry that has seen some of the world’s biggest artists come together - but more importantly, it has enabled War Child to reach more than a million children caught in the crossfire of war over the last 20 years.

          You only need look at the news today to see that War Child’s work is more important than ever. Four million Syrian refugees have fled the conflict, two million of these are children, some of whom are alone, all of whom are terrified and traumatised by what they have seen.

          Since the HELP album, War Child’s work with music has gone onto raise more than £7 million for children in conflict. 


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xLP Info: Remastered Audio at Metropolis on 2x Black 180g Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve, Printed Inner Sleeve.


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