MAGIC MIX

funk . soul . jazz . free jazz . broken beat

WEEK STARTING 21 Jun

Genre pick of the week Cover of Slavic Spirits by EABS.
Polish septet EABS apply an innovative approach to jazz, distilling it through the prism of hip-hop, blending it with elements of soul, funk and electronic music. ‘Slavic Spirits’ was 2 years in the making and contains 100% original material. They are joined by 22a head-honcho Tenderlonious who lends his exceptional soprano saxophone and flute playing to all seven tracks.

After their very well-received 2017 debut album ‘Repetitions (Letters to Krzysztof Komeda)’, focusing on the lesser-known works of the legendary Polish composer, the Wroclaw-based EABS decided to further expand this lead and released two more vinyl records, ‘Live At Jazz Club Hipnoza (Katowice)’ and ‘Kraksa / Svantetic’, the latter recorded directly on tape and released via 22a, which crowned the “Komeda triptych”. The astounding reception of these releases built up loyal following outside of their native Poland and whet listeners’ appetite for completely new recordings. For this LP the musicians turned to Slavic mythology and Polish demonology, while pondering upon the contemporary spiritual condition of Poles. The enigmatic “Slavic melancholy” remains the main inspiration, as the band tried to extract it from their own DNA. ‘Slavic Spirits’ is an endeavour to get in touch with the world of a long and brutally llost culture which, due to lack of sources, will never be thoroughly explored.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: EABS continue to impress with their unique jazz sound on the 22a label, paving the way on the nu jazz era.

Golden-era, 1977, Brazilian jazz-funk-fusion album from the legendary Azymuth. Lush Rhodes, soaring synths and fusion guitars from Malheiros and Bertrami combine with the inimitable drum grooves from Ivan “Mamao” Conti that create the signature Azymuth sound. The album moves from mellow soulful moods, into screaming disco-jazz-fusion, samba funk, synth boogie and ends with a tough 160bpm Batucada workout.

Black Pumas

Black Pumas

    Sometimes, a mystical, life-changing connection can be closer than you think. In 2017, Grammy Award-winning guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada had recorded some instrumentals in his Austin studio, and he started looking around for a vocalist—he knew a lot of singers, but he wanted something different. He reached out to friends in Los Angeles, in London, but nothing seemed right. Meantime, Eric Burton had recently made his way to Texas. Born in the San Fernando Valley, he grew up in church and then got heavily involved in musical theater. He started busking at the Santa Monica pier, where he brought in a few hundred dollars a day and developed his performance skills. Burton traveled through the Western states before deciding to settle down in Austin—setting up his busking spot on a downtown street corner, at 6 th Street and Congress, for maximum exposure.

    A mutual friend mentioned Burton to Quesada, saying that he was the best singer he had ever heard. The two musicians connected, but Burton took a while to respond (“My friends were like ‘Dude, you’re an idiot, you need to hit that guy back!’ “) Finally, he called Quesada, and started singing to one of the tracks over the phone. “I loved his energy, his vibe, and I knew it would be incredible on record,” he says. “From the moment I heard him on the phone, I was all about it.” The results of that inauspicious beginning can now be heard on the self-titled debut album from Black Pumas, the group that Quesada and Burton assembled, which has become one of the year’s most anticipated projects. Described as “Wu-Tang Clan meets James Brown” by KCRW, Black Pumas were the winner of Best New Band at the 2019 Austin Music Awards.

    Quesada has a storied reputation from playing in bands like Grupo Fantasma and Brownout, accompanying artists from Prince to Daniel Johnston, and producing such acclaimed projects as 2018’s Look At My Soul: The Latin Shade Of Texas Soul. For the tracks that kicked off this project, though, he had a different direction in mind. “I was looking for somebody with their own identity,” says Quesada, “who liked Neil Young as much as Sam Cooke.” Burton’s taste, range, and experience proved to be exactly what Quesada was seeking. “We just take to the same kind of music,” he says. “I listen to East Coast hip-hop, old soul music, folk music. When Adrian sent me the songs, it was like I had already heard them before. We were on the same wavelength from the get- go.”

    The first day they got together in the studio, they recorded the dusty funk that would become the Black Pumas’ first two singles, “Black Moon Rising” and “Fire.” Quesada had written the music for “Black Moon Rising” on the day of the 2017 solar eclipse, and Burton took that concept and ran with it. “Right away, the hair stood up on the back of my neck,” says Quesada. “I knew, ‘This is it—this is the guy.’ ”

    Burton sensed the potential, as well. “When I saw that Adrian played with Prince and had a Grammy,” he says, “that he was a serious, respected artist, I knew that I would do my best not to squander that. If you can do it on the street, for a long time, without making yourself crazy, you can do it with a guy who’s won a Grammy.”

    The duo also knew that they didn’t want their sound to be too retro or imitative. “We didn’t want to just do throwback soul and pretend that hip-hop never happened,” says Quesada, nothing that it was listening to Ghostface Killah that initially triggered him to start writing this material. “It had to feel sincere coming from us. I have a certain aesthetic in the studio, Eric has a voice that evokes a certain era, but I don’t think we reference that too directly.” “Adrian has had the time and the interest to really dive into a specific sound, to recreate something he heard on a Motown record,” adds Burton. “And because of that specific knowledge, he provides an interesting sandbox for me, whose background is in theater, to do something super-unorthodox—to be an art student and play with all the colors I have, but to put it on something that’s more familiar to listeners’ ears.”

    With Black Pumas having evolved from an idea to a session to an album, they decided to put a band together and see how this music sounded live. They booked a residency at C Boys (a sister venue to Austin’s famed Continental Club), initially playing every Thursday for a month. “We only rehearsed twice, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into,” says Quesada. “But with the first show, we knew it was unique, special—the chemistry and fire were there immediately. And what Eric could do as a frontman was like nothing I’d ever seen.”

    As word got out, the C Boys shows turned into a local phenomenon (“the hottest party in town,” according to the Austin American-Statesman), with lines around the block despite the fact that the band had only released one song. The reaction to the group’s recent South by Southwest appearance helps explain the mania—the Chicago Tribune called Burton’s performance “a whirlwind of movement and gesture,” while Rolling Stone, in naming Black Pumas “One Of The 30 Best Bands We Saw In Austin,” wrote that “the hometown six-piece’s grooves were funky in a thick, viscous way, oozing out in ambitious jams that wandered into heady territory without meandering” and praising Burton’s “tireless, charismatic energy.”

    The other, unexpected result of the C Boys residency was that Burton presented more of his own songs to help fill out the set, which led Black Pumas into new territory. “Eric had all these other songs based on other styles, going back into what he was doing when he was busking,” says Quesada. “It was a real spark that we could huddle around him and his songs, too, and get a real sense of what our sound was.”

    In fact, the final song recorded for Black Pumas was “October 33,” a tense, pleading ballad by Burton. “I didn’t feel like we had the right last song,” says Quesada, “we needed something with more of Eric on guitar. I said ‘I want to put down one more, do you have anything?’ and he texted me back exactly what I was imagining—it was almost unspoken.”

    Quesada and Burton both return, over and over, to this almost mystical connection they felt from the beginning. It’s this sense of common purpose, of shared vision, that gives Black Pumas its focus and power—and that points to great things ahead.

    “It’s so seamless, it’s like we’re musical brothers to some degree,” says Burton. “It feels so easy to meld together that what’s most important for us now is to continue to look for new sounds—to make sure we’re feeding ourselves the knowledge to continue to evolve. Every time we get together, it’s better than the last time.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: A beautiful groove-led juxtaposition of classic soul and simmering low-key funk, brimming with tenderly plucked guitars and phased Wurlis, all working their way around the momentum-filled majesty of Burton's perfectly fitting vocals. Stunning stuff.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    The hardest working man in showbiz, godfather of soul, funk and possibly fuck, James Mu'Fuckin' Brown dropped this masterpiece back in 1972 and it's slapped suckers silly ever since. Now we get a f-f-f-fresh double vinyl reissue of "Get On The Good Foot" with new and improved sound quality for 2019. The album's title track was issued as a two part single on its release and predictably topped the Billboard's R&B chart at the time. Elsewhere "The Whole World Needs Liberation" takes a conscious direction while "Cold Sweat" just gets down and dirty for the dancers.

    Chocolate Buttermilk Band

    Head Games

    Founded by Larry Akles in 1971 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, The Chocolate Buttermilk Band, has been one of the busiest and most successful cover and backing bands in the Southern United States for the last 5 decades. While they’re little known outside the region, their handful of singles from the early 1980s are, for record collectors, among the best and most desirable in Modern Soul and Boogie Funk.
    Alongside their double LP retrospective of the group, Past Due also treat us to this 7" single featuring the group in full cosmic funk mode on "Head Games" and bedroom boogie mode on "No Way" - so something for the peak time AND the erection section ;)

    Chocolate Buttermilk Band

    Head Games (The Story Of Larry Akles & CBM Records)

    Founded by Larry Akles in 1971 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, The Chocolate Buttermilk Band, has been one of the busiest and most successful cover and backing bands in the Southern United States for the last 5 decades. While they’re little known outside the region, their handful of singles from the early 1980s are, for record collectors, among the best and most desirable in Modern Soul and Boogie Funk.

    Jerome Derradji & Past Due Records present “Head Games (The Story of Larry Akles & CBM Records)”. Released on a double LP with printed inner sleeves (or booklet) that include never seen before pictures of the band and a story written by Jacob Arnold. Artwork is by the mighty Al Kent. 

    This compilation includes every song released by the Chocolate Buttermilk Band, remastered and reissued for the first time. Needless to say, this is an essential release for fans of Boogie, Soul and Funk as the Chocolate Buttermilk Band releases are known to fetch thousands in the collectors market.

    In Larry Akles own words, “This girl in Atlanta told me one time, she said ‘Larry, I heard on the radio that Chocolate Buttermilk was going to be on the show, and I told my girlfriend, Oh, it’s gonna be onnnn if Chocolate Buttermilk on there, ’cause whoever come behind them, they got to go!’” He continues, “When we hit the stage, boy it’d be some fire. We wouldn’t have to get warmed up. We’d start off hot!”

    Max Cilla

    La Flute Des Mornes

      Open your windows wide and let the summer breeze in, Max Cilla's "La Flute Des Mornes" is simply sublime music from Martinique — free-flowing, mystical roots, with lilting jazz, Latin and Cuban rhythms. Cilla dedicated himself to the revival of the bamboo flute 'of the coastal hills', which he fashioned by hand from a single piece of wood, according to ancient Indian traditions. In this recording from 1981 — a kind of Antillean sister-star to Don Cherry's Mu albums — it is featured alongside the traditional percussion instruments of Martinique. Good for souls and sundays...


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP Info: ONE COPY FOUND!

      Evans Pyramid

      Never Gonna Leave You - Joakim & Max Pask Remixes

      Joakim: "About a year ago, I had dinner with a special group of friends obsessed with food like me, we call it the Yum Yum Club. Max Pask is a member and while we were preparing a decadent meal, he played me that Evans Pyramid song « Never Gonna Leave You » that I didn't know of. It blew me away and I immediately tried to integrate it in my DJ mixes. But that proved to be a challenge as the beautiful song is very lo-fi in its production with very quiet beats. OK for a very end of a night, but I wanted to play it more than that, so we decided to make an edit with Max that quickly turned into something closer to a remix. Here it is now. There's a house mix for the pumping hours and a disco mix that is closer to the original. Very glad to introduce you to the amazing music of Evans Pyramid (if you never heard of him), a forgotten genius from Boston, the missing link between Shuggie Otis and Prince."

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: The absolutely amazing soul / funk / disco unclassic, Evans Pyramid's "Never Gonna Leave You" gets a resolution tweaking rework from Joakim and Max Pask, in two different variations. Finally the DJ has a definitive, high def version of this bomb to flip in the mix.

      Lee Fields & The Expressions

      Wake Up / You're What's Needed In My Life

      Following up on the massive success of Lee Fields recently released full length "It Rains Love" we drop another 45 for the DJs and collectors. This time showing off two different sides of Lee & The Expressions range. The A side "Wake Up" is Lee's heavy duty, drum driven, anthemic tune for the times. Fields calls out the highly over-used and abused term of the current presidency "fake news." Over a hard as nails sound bed courtesy of The Expressions he goes on asking people to wake up and not let this propaganda sway them from knowing what is right and wrong.

      The B side "You're What's Needed In My Life" is a gushing testament to the beauty of love. Solidifying his title as the Professor of Love it's almost like he's writing your girl's valentine for you. Going beyond how happy the woman he is singing to makes him and telling of how she makes everyone she meets happier. This two-sider is about as classic as possible, a heavy duty funk banger on the A side, and nothing but love on the ballad B side. Another classic and timeless offering from the one and only Lee Fields. 

      Kelly Finnigan

      Catch Me I'm Falling

      “Catch Me I’m Falling” featured in prominent Bose ad all fall of 2018. The lead single that kicked off Kelly's solo career. Ultra-sweet, super mellow, just one of the most tender moments on Kelly Finnigan's solo LP The Tales People Tell. Utilizing the pocket playing of Max and Joe Ramey from The Ironsides, Kelly's falsetto shines bright for all to hear. For fans of Lee Fields, Thee Lakesiders and Durand Jones. B-side is exclusive to this 7-inch and will not be on LP.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd 7" Info: Very limited Pink coloured vinyl is exclusive to Indie stores.

      Forty Seven Times Its Own Weight

      Cumulo Nimbus

      Fable is a small independent record label started in Austin, Texas in the early 1970s by a young trombone player named Michael Mordecai. In autumn 1975 he debuted a trio of albums on Fable by Austin bands 47 Times its Own Weight, Steam Heat and Starcrost. With only 1000 of each pressed, and each carrying a different emphasis on soul, funk or jazz, all 3 have gone on to become highly sought after by collectors and DJs around the world.

      We meet with Michael at our UK offices and over several hours he tells us the highs and lows of running Fable Records, leaving no stone unturned and with success and tragedy in equal measure. We also speak with members of all 3 bands, and they share with us interesting stories and cool anecdotes of the wild times in the mid '70s when their records were made. We acquire informative press cuttings and some awesome posters & flyers, and all of this we publish in a booklet included with each LP which are housed in a US-style tip-on sleeve. Jazzman Records - We Dig Deeper.



      Led by Chris Hazelton, The Freedom Affair is a freight train of Kansas City soul! Dirty, funky drums, gritty horns, and the combined vocals of Misha Roberts, Seyko Groves, and Paula Saunders to put this band over the top. Politically charged soul music for the dancefloor!

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd 7" Info: Very limited Blue vinyl 7” is exclusive to Indie stores.

      George & Glen Miller

      Easing

      After furnishing us with a fine reissue of the Rebbles' take on "Sweetest Taboo", Soundway stick with the Caribbean, bringing us another soca-tinged treat from music's forgotten past. Long since a holy grail for dance floor diggers, George & Glen Miller's 1979 groover "Easing" perfectly encapsulates the melting pot of late seventies NYC, fusing disco, soul and soca into a swooning, soaring triumph. Restored, remastered and cut loud for the dancefloor, the 12” single features the original vocal on the A-side and the essential instrumental on the flip.

      The Miller brother’s musical journey began in Trinidad and Tobago in the early 70s. During their teenage years they formed The Groovy Millers - a five piece band made up of George, Glen and their three siblings. After a chance meeting with Lord Shorty, they went on to collaborate with one of the Soca stars of the time and firmly plant their feet in the Soca scene of the musically rich Caribbean island.

      Of the five siblings it was George and Glen that pursued a career in music, and in the late 70s the two brothers made the move to North America to develop their music style. Disco dominated the airwaves at the time and a studio session with the prolific Frankie McIntosh resulted in the masterpiece that is ‘Easing’.

      Drawing influence from the blossoming disco and soul scene, George and Glen added Caribbean flavour to the New York sound to startling effect. Soft, subtle keys and guitars are punctuated with layered trumpet and violin riffs, complimenting George’s silken, restrained vocal. Frankie McIntosh’s arrangement shines through with what might be his finest work, placing this track on the mantle with other New York classics of the time.

      Niagara

      Niagara

        This was more a project than an actual band formed by German jazz drum legend Klaus Weiss. He formerly worked with another jazz legend from his mother country, Klaus Doldinger and gained fame in the German jazz circuit of the 60s and 70s. His 1971 output with Niagara was the result of the vision to create an orchestra made entirely of drummers and percussionists. Despite the fact that there are no regular melody instruments to be heard on this album, the two lengthy compositions are arranged in such an enthralling way that they have a rather catchy and memorable feel. Among the cult drummers featured on this album are Udo Lindenberg (yes, this icon of German rock and pop started as a drummer!) and session hero Keith Forsey. Both compositions offer an ever pulsating rhythm inferno, a maelstrom of different grooves and sounds which enchant and hypnotize in equal measure. Open your mind for the ultimate rhythm experience and join in if you dare.


        Okinawa Delays Feat. Satoko Ishimine

        Nariyama Ayagu - Inc. Phil Mison Remixes

          Blink and I missed it! After the highly sort after and supremely limited first run disappeared over the horizon, OBI strip and all, Claremont 56 take pity on schmucks like you and I with a plain sleeve repress of this serene Balearic beauty. Though it may not be the looker it once was, you'll be reassured to know that this gem sounds just as good as ever. Label favourite, Cafe Del Mar hero and all round top talent Phil Mison takes controls on the A-side, rewarding one and all with a pair of pure, ambient bathers. Celestial synthwashes wax and wane beneath gentle acoustic guitar, occasional piano chords ripple through the infinite calm and the fx laden vocal sings sweetly to the siren, leaving us to drift peacefully into a new state of mind. In dub form, Phil omits the vocal and lets his tranquil instrumentation take centre stage, rivalling the superb "69" on Growing Bin for untampered beauty. Over on the flip, original Okinawa Delays cut "Vibration" steps a nimble path between Japanese jazz, mature funk and city pop to take a place at the top table with Eri Ohno, Ruriko Ohgami and Sadao Watanabe. The mix of shuffling percussion, diminished 7ths and rubber-necking bass should keep your body loose and limber, while Satoko Ishimine's smooth vocal soothes your soul to perfection. This won't be around for a long time, so buy a copy and stay cool all summer long. 

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Ltd 10" Info: ONE COPY FOUND!

          "Chocolate City" is the third album by the George Clinton led funk band Parliament, released in 1975. It was a 'tribute to Washington D.C.', where the group had been particularly popular. The album’s cover includes images of the United States Capitol, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial in the form of a chocolate medallion, as well as sticker labeled 'Washington DC'. The album was very popular in that city, selling 150,000 copies there.

          "Chocolate City" features the classic P-Funk lineup with George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, and Eddie Hazel. The Brecker Brothers, Michael and Randy, joined the band as did vocalist Glenn Goins. Prakash John plays bass on several tracks. This album also marks the beginning of the pivotal songwriting team of George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, and Bernie Worrell, a partnership that would last until the 1978.

          The album is full of the uptempo funk that the band would be known for as well as the vocal harmonies of The Parliaments. “Let Me Be” draws on jazz as well as gospel influences. “Together” is a remake of “Together in Heaven” by Bootsy, Phelps, and Gary. Glen Goins makes his debut P. Funk performance on “Big Footin'”.


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          LP Info: 180g vinyl.

          Prince

          Originals

            Prince will forever be remembered as a commanding live performer, chart-topping recording artist, and music business revolutionary. Yet for all the time he spent in the spotlight over his four-decade-long career, Prince also worked tirelessly behind the scenes to nurture talent and pen songs for the rising artists he respected.

            Sourced directly from Prince’s vast archive of Vault recordings, ORIGINALS is a brand new 15-track album featuring 14 previously unreleased recordings that illuminates the vital, behind-the-scenes role Prince played in other artists’ careers. These are more than just demos, the production quality has been kept high and the recordings resemble a pristine quality similar to that of Nothing Compares 2 U released last year.

            By the mid-1980s, Prince was dominating the charts even as a writer/producer with songs he’d composed and recorded for others. In addition to releasing nine of his most commercially successful full-length albums, he also wrote and recorded endless reels of material for proteges The Time, Vanity 6, Sheila E., Apollonia 6, Jill Jones, the Family, and Mazarati. Several of the iconic songs found on ORIGINALS were considerable hits for the artists who recorded them. 


            FORMAT INFORMATION

            2xColoured LP Info: Deluxe 2x180g purple vinyl.
            CD.
            Hardback 12” gatefold book with glued pocket holding 2x 180g purple LP and 24 page 4 colour booklet.

            2xLP Info: Standard 2xLP.

            ‘Atlantic Oscillations’ marks the return of world renowned British producer Quantic with his most cohesive and intricate album to date. Bringing together new players and concepts with a dance orientated sound that has enchanted fans and tastemakers across the world for nearly two decades, it showcases Will “Quantic” Holland’s artistry and rare ability to intertwine the electronic with the orchestral.

            Embracing his own love of albums that travel, taking the listener on twists and turns, with the loss of the album narrative that has occurred in this day of streaming, Holland utilises the space created to explore more creativity as a producer. As he admits, “on the whole, the common theme on this record is that it is probably more intricate and arranged than previous records. I spent three times as long as any other Quantic record and spent a lot of time in the detail”. This meticulous attitude is apparent throughout; each track has been crafted to draw the listener’s attention, with elements of both musical originality and a sense of modernity.


            Straight from East L.A., Thee Sinseers embody the lowrider sweet soul vibe. Love songs, washed with reverb, slow tempos for rolling, and a vibe for days. This type of doo-wop soul has been embraced by the Chicano culture and with a growing scene, Thee Sinseers look to make their own mark. The A-side, a very doo-wop leaning tune is contrasted with the James Brown cover on the B, "I Don't Mind". Both sides just crush. For fans of Durand Jones, Lee Fields, Sunny & The Sunliners.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Ltd 7" Info: Gold vinyl 7” is exclusive to Indie stores.

            Following his mighty rendition of "I Want You", Soul Sugar (a.k.a. Guillaume 'Gee' Metenier) is back with another massive Soul-Reggae version, this time taking on Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much".

            Fearlessly taking on such timeless classics is serious business, and Leo Carmichael delivers, once again, with a maximum dosage of finesse and feeling. Seductively delicate backing vocals from Carl Lee Sharshmidt and Karene Brown keep it as warm and intimate as one would hope, while Thomas Naim's tasteful guitar licks and Gee's minimal production allow the song to breathe and flow steadily on its own.
            Recorded in Paris, Kingston, Miami and London, the resulting blend of Soul and Reggae riddims has rarely felt so natural. On the A-side, Gee's "Discomix" dubs a generous dose of the sultry backing vocals over a minimal, bassy groove that dips, dives and flows on into the sunset. UK producer Adam Prescott lets loose with an infectious 90's dancehall rerub, aiming straight for the dancefloor... ladies' choice! Finally rhythm legends Sly & Robbie drop the BASS with a heavy dancehall treatment, taking it low, letting it ride, while the vocals float on... Never Too Much!

            Fable is a small independent record label started in Austin, Texas in the early 1970s by a young trombone player named Michael Mordecai. In autumn 1975 he debuted a trio of albums on Fable by Austin bands 47 Times its Own Weight, Steam Heat and Starcrost. With only 1000 of each pressed, and each carrying a different emphasis on soul, funk or jazz, all 3 have gone on to become highly sought after by collectors and DJs around the world.

            We meet with Michael at our UK offices and over several hours he tells us the highs and lows of running Fable Records, leaving no stone unturned and with success and tragedy in equal measure. We also speak with members of all 3 bands, and they share with us interesting stories and cool anecdotes of the wild times in the mid '70s when their records were made. We acquire informative press cuttings and some awesome posters & flyers, and all of this we publish in a booklet included with each LP which are housed in a US-style tip-on sleeve. Jazzman Records - We Dig Deeper.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            David says: Yet more heat from Jazzman. On fire after their unmissable Don Rendell reissues, this time they delve deep into the Texan funk and soul scene of the early seventies and find Starcrost, an og of which will cost you £400.

            Psychedelic deep soul of the highest order, Symphonic Four was a St Louis based band (as was the original label Zudan). Word is the record was recorded in Detroit, and the backing band was made up of some members of Parliament/Funkadelic which would make a lot of sense. A long time spin for Deep Soul head but deserving of a wider audience and that why we could not resist to pull this one from the now again Catalogue, 500 copies only.



            ’Hard Rain’ follows hot-on-the-heels from the acclaimed Ruby Rushton album ‘Ironside’, but whereas contemporary urban jazz was the focus there, Tender’s solo record marks a return to another of the multifaceted artist’s skills: dope house and beat music that oozes futuristic funk.

            This sparse but perfectly-populated masterpiece takes inspiration from J Dilla and echoes elements of vintage Blaze, Larry Heard and Carl Craig. Warm and soulful, but also spacious and clean, Tender extracts maximum flavour out of just a few ingredients.

            “Casey Jr.” kicks proceedings off with a neck-snapping bass heavy p-funk
            monster, like Slum Village or Platinum Pied Pipers by way of Surrey and
            onwards to south London. Real electro laced cosmic jazz funk keys and techno hi hats coalesce exquisitely on “Buffalo Gurl”, whilst the breathtakingly deep. ‘Hard Rain’ sounds both current and classic. “Low Tide” is an ambient jazz interlude that clears the palate, before “Another State Of Consciousness” trips the light on a kaleidoscopic discoball of pure synth ecstasy. Bumpy and blunted, the break-fuelled flute ride of “Aesop Thought” and LA style abstractscience of “Workin’ Me Out” shine a new light on trip hop, before the album closes with the smouldering, emotive brooder “Almost Time”.

            After a long studio hiatus, this is a sign of good things to come from Tenderlonious and the 22a camp!


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Matt says: Peckham rises once again as the 22a firm display some more sonic wares from their locale. Tenderlonious at the controls for a mellow, smoked-out modern jazz / electronics composition.

            Various Artists

            Quare Groove Vol. 1

              A long time in the making – Quare Groove Vol. 1 – Sounds of the Irish musical underground from the 70s & 80s..Spread across 2 12s with extensive liner notes on printed inner sleeves. Re-mastered with care by Shawn @ Optimum.
              .
              Stating it softly..... Irish music of the 1970's was simply not synonymous with groove music in any way. Avid music aficionado's were totally 'rockist' then (to use an old tag from the same time!) That thread tends to follow with record collecting of vintage Irish music of that time, down to this day. We'll throw a little change into that narrative here - the groove is very rare, and not a little quare! We've looked at the entire recorded music picture of what happened here on this little island into the 1980's, and we're bringing back this -----

              We can't tell you that this music comes from a strange place - it comes from a steadily steep and VERY strange place! A small place that was not a little conflicted societally and politically back then - and in every way too, public and private. However it was also a time of great change. Living through it seemed like a rite of passage that moved off from some manner of dark age, and then over forward into a brighter light. Modernity beckoned, and not just with the technology!

              So what can you hear here? It's no coincidence that this music also makes a similar coming of age. Recording techniques were wholly embraced here, in this era. Late 1970's Irish music saw sound engineering and music production artistry advance from previous, and in a very big way. As studio's moved away from simple and straight audio captures, the music really benefitted. So what can you hear here? We're bringing you two sides of this story on two big black twelve inch slates. The first slate has an abundantly sweet clubbier sound of past-funk groove music. The second slate gives you an edgier angle of what the post-punkers got up to, after they too got their hands on the same danceflooring. This is really but only the beginning: There's so much more to come!

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              LP Info: ONE COPY FOUND!

              The ever-popular "Under The Influence" series continues in earnest. Following on from Red Greg, Paul Phillips, James Glass, Nick The Record, Sean P and Faze Action (phew!), it’s now the turn of one of the scenes most prolific but yet unknown collectors, Winston.

              Outside of the established record collectors Winston is pretty much unknown but those that know of him will tell you that despite his low profile he has one of the best record collections around.

              Sean P remembers his first trip to Winston’s house in the sleeve notes: 'When I visited his house for the first time, I felt like a beginner - my expectations were far exceeded by the neat rows and piles of 12"s and L.Ps everywhere; and I had brought along a foolscap notebook which after eight hours or so, expanded my wants list considerably. I thumbed through hundreds of weird and mysterious independent and major label releases. Winston played whatever I was interested in hearing, occasionally spinning random 7"s ("Space Funk" by Manzel, for example) and various LP cuts of his choice. I had perused around half of the collection by the time I left, but I'll never forget that kid-in-a-toyshop feeling, along with the realisation of Winston's buddha-like status as a master of this arcane pastime.'

              Sean continues: 'Winston is still doing the 'rounds weekly; and since the Hammersmith Black Music Record events of the mid-'80s, he's missed few record fairs, if any - trading with dealers & fellow collectors and parting with cash when necessary. Surprisingly, he has no truck with the internet – somewhat curious to the rest of us who now can't imagine life without it. And as a man with no online presence, knowledge of Winston's existence is restricted to the real world. Some justification, perhaps, for giving this fervent ambassador of all things boogie an opportunity to share some of his favourites beyond those in the know.

              So for Volume Seven of the Under The Influence series Winston has included tracks taking in soul, funk, disco & boogie with many of the tracks costing hundreds if you were able to find the originals.'

              As always with ZR compilations a lot of time and effort has been spent on creating these masters from the original vinyl, cleaning them up, removing all the clicks and pops resulting in the cleanest sounding copy possible.


              STAFF COMMENTS

              Matt says: Preaching to the converted I know but the incredible series continues! Volume Seven and losing no steam along the way; if boogie, disco and soul are your bio-fuel, then this should have you up and running in no time at all. Impeccable selection of hits, all legit and licensed - if you were to attempt to seek these tracks out individually it'd take thousands of pounds and hours! Winston does the leg work...


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