MAGIC MIX

funk . soul . jazz . free jazz . broken beat

WEEK STARTING 13 Dec

Genre pick of the week Cover of EP by Thatmanmonkz / Simba.
More new & unsanctioned hi-grade disco juice here from Hot Peaz 'N Butter who enlist Thatmanmonkz and Simba for a double-headed outing around the glitterball. A combination of riotous, fiery disco, a keen ear for the under-represented and some natural talent on the console means all four of these crafty edits are certified highly combustible!

Hand-stamped vinyl only 12" series in serious limited supply. Cop now or cry later!


STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Organic funk, soul and beyond treated respectfully by Simba and co. Four cuts that will leave you wanting for more.

ALTA’s debut release, "Reasons" is the product of many long nights making music together in a back room at Hannah and Julius’ Brunswick home. It was self-recorded over 10 months, from January 2018 to November 2018, using midnight sessions, tape delay effects and a literal room full of wall to wall synths to carve out a world all their very own. 'It's a collection of songs written together in our home studio. No cowriters or anything, just us two experimenting making the music,' says the band. The album was later mixed by Seekae’s George Nicholas in Sydney and mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Chris Gehringer at Sterling Sound (Rihanna, Janelle Monae, Chvrches).

Thematically, the album’s title alludes to the sense of complacency that often sets in when people start making excuses for themselves. 'It’s this internal thing,' Julius explains, ‘always coming up with reasons why things did or didn’t happen, or reasons why someone else did something. Often it’s self-preservation but it’s also bullshit.'

"Push" follows on from previous singles "Figured Out", "Back On It" and "Twisted", which have just under 2 million streams on Spotify since their release and are receiving global attention, with spins on BBC Radio 1 and praise from the likes of The Line of Best Fit and CLASH.

"Reasons" is an intricate and emotional body of work that will see ALTA step out from Melbourne’s underground scene, and into the international limelight..


A beautiful, dreamlike expression of spiritual jazz recorded at a time when the idiom was completely out of vogue, Gary Bias' East 101 remains little known even by cult-classic standards, but its free-flowing approach demands attention from listeners who believe this kind of LP ceased to exist somewhere around the late 1970s. Recorded with a stellar supporting cast including vibist Rickey Kelly, bassist Roberto Miranda, and pianist David Tillman, Bias unspools a suite of deeply soulful and profoundly far-reaching original compositions that vividly evoke the blue skies of the record's Los Angeles origins. His flute and soprano saxophone somehow divine gravitas from weightlessness, creating music that challenges as much as it comforts.
Jason Ankeny/AMG

Bitter End

Honky Git Fonky / Bu Bu Yam Yam

Bitter End continue to rip up the rule book with a genre defying output that's up there with some of the best dance music around at the moment. Release No.11 hits the ground running with a whiteboy disco-funk bomb on the A, a relentless gallop with soaring synth work and an unwavering commitment to uniting sweaty bodies. Coincidently aligning itself with the sound of rising Manchester upstarts - See Thru Hands. Are we due a prep-funk revolution?!

"Bu Bu Yam Yam" switched into deep house mode, a subtle Reese gliding away in the lower registers as frenetic perc, keys and drum kit all get bustling in the rhythm section. 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: I honestly can't believe we're up to number eleven in this series. Well, you know how the old saying goes - time flies when you're having fun. And having fun we most certainly are when Bitter End are involved!

When acclaimed South African musician Guy Buttery first sought out Dr. Kanada Narahari in late 2016, it was as his patient.

“It was a dark time.” Buttery recalls, “I had been bedridden for months and had been suffering from debilitating bouts of fatigue which no diagnosis or medication could help me get to the bottom of. When I first met Kanada, I was at the stage where even picking up my guitar to make music had become a joyless and taxing exercise.”

As Buttery’s searched for a cure, a family member recommended he see Kanada an Ayurvedic doctor who had relocated to South Africa from India and set up a practice in Durban. It was during this consultation, that the musician first experienced how Narahari infused the healing properties of Indian Classical music into his practice. Rather than treating him with a smorgasbord of pharmaceuticals, Narahari played his sitar and set Buttery on a strict daily diet of Raga’s to fast track his recovery.

Buttery was not only struck by his doctor’s musical talents but by the powerful healing properties inherent in his sitar compositions. When he left Narahari’s doctors room that afternoon, he asserts he was feeling decidedly clearer, lighter and stronger.

“Diving into Kanada’s music was definitely one of the reasons I'm still here today.” he admits. “The consistent tonal centre at the heart of Indian Classical Music, literally became my support pillar over this period. A central core of sorts in which to fall back on, strengthen and discover.”

Narahari as it turned out, was not only a prominent music therapist (and one of the only Ayurvedic doctors practicing in South Africa) but like Buttery, a highly accomplished musician with a devoted following back in his homeland.

Born in a small village along the Western Ghats in Karnataka, India, Narahari, at the age of nine, had enrolled to study Carnatic classical vocal and developed an interest in Hindustani Classical music with a particular passion for the sitar. While Buttery had secured his reputation as one of South Africa’s musical treasures, a multi-instrumentalist who commands sold-out performances both locally and internationally and more recently had been awarded the prestigious 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist for Music.
From this consultation, a friendship developed between the two musicians with Buttery soon inviting Narahari to join him in his studio. But it wasn’t all plain sailing in the beginning. While Buttery and Narahari’s sensibilities were very much aligned, there were a range of cultural and musical influences, nuances and inflections that first needed to be navigated and understood.
“I suppose we had to find a common ground.” Buttery says, before adding, “Which in the end turned out to be pretty "uncommon ground" for the both of us.”
It was after a few intensive sessions together that something exhilarating began to emerge. What began as a few idle improvisations soon evolved into feverish and lengthier jams. Whenever time permitted, the musicians would meet, descending deeper into the emerging sounds, while reimagining the realms that existed between their African and Indian heritages.
Over the next few months, the duo would rack up over fifteen hours of recordings in studio, and it was up to Buttery to shape the material into an album which they collectively titled Nāḍī, which Narahari translates from the Sanskrit as "The Channel" or "An Internal River".

During this period, Narahari bestowed upon Buttery, the moniker Guruji while Guy would refer to him, in affectionate return, as Panditji. Each time the musicians would meet, the studio space would be cleared by an impromptu ritual, with Guruji burning African Imphepho while Panditji would chant a Sanskrit mantra dusting Indian Agarbatti clouds over their instruments.

Once the room had been made hazy with this aromatic alchemy (with the ancestors welcomed in) the musicians would pick up their instruments and plunge into shimmering tides of sound. Reflecting on these sessions, Narahari recalls the immense creative freedom he felt throughout: “Guy and I tried to wander as much as possible, without any speculative, preoccupied ideologies or limitations. Love remained at the forefront of our journey together.”

“Those evenings we spent together in the studio” adds Buttery, “felt incredibly rich with purpose and a profound sense of freedom. While improvising, anything could happen and mostly did.”

On a first listen, the tracks on Nāḍī emerge as salty, humid invocations to the inscrutable depths and misty myths of the Indian ocean-- that vast body of water that stretches between, and laps the shorelines, of the artists’ respective homelands.

When asked to describe the sound him and Narahari refined, Buttery prefers to relay a series of evocative images.

“For me” he explains, “Nāḍī is a lighthouse, a beacon that resides at the bottom of the ocean.” As Buttery envisions it, “what once offered light to guide ships to safety, has been submerged and re-purposed by marine life as a coral-reef temple. Similarly, this sunken lighthouse exists as a concealed cenotaph, memorializing the ancient sea-routes and passages that once connected the two distant lands.”

On paper this may sound obscure but listening to the songs, it serves as an apt metaphor.

Across each meditative movement, listeners are able to relive the journey, immersing themselves in a series of incantations, replete with high dynamics, delicate African-Indian inflections and virtuoso string playing of an entirely new order. Further complimenting the fusion of musical dialects are a range of guest artists including Shane Cooper on bass, Thandi Ntuli on vocals, Chris Letcher on organ, Ronan Skillen on tabla and percussion and Julian Redpath on guitar, synth and backing vocals.

Now like the submerged lighthouse, the recordings stand as a monument, a marker and snapshot of this fortuitous meeting, a tribute to the healing gifts of Guruji and Panditji in performance. It’s a process that already, both musicians look back on with reverence and nostalgia.

Buttery ruminates in closing, that when he first met Kanada his illness correlated with the biggest drought South Africa had experienced in many years “…for whatever reason, whenever we would connect and make music together, the sky would tend to open. Even if it was just a few drops. This went on for months, until finally the drought dissipated and my health had been restored.”

By the time the heavens did open across the East Coast, a deep friendship had been forged and with it abundant musical offerings poured down. A treasured sample of which we able to share in every time we press play and immerse ourselves in the sacrosanct musical universe that is Nāḍī.

While "Bobby" was the track that sparked the idea for Caserta to start BridgeBoots, "Diana" was always in the back of his mind.

"Diana" started off as a release on the long since defunct LegitMix platform. Now it gets new life remixed and mastered by Caserta @TheBridge StudioLA, with a more concise 7-inch edit as well as a brand new 'Sing A Long Dub' on the flip; it's sure to be a main stay in the crates for years to come.


STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Right on time to be dropped in one of those awful xmas office parties but hold your horses... why drop the original when you can drop this mega edit instead? Buy on sight!

My Favorite Things was one of John Coltrane’s bestselling LPs ever. Recorded by Atlantic Records in less than three days during several marathon sessions, it produced enough music that would later be issued on subsequent albums: Coltrane Plays the Blues, Coltrane’s Sound, and Coltrane Legacy. “My Favorite Things”, the title tune, belongs to the Rodgers & Hammerstein hit musical The Sound of Music, which opened on Broadway on November 16, 1959. Prior to Coltrane’s interpretation of the song, Benny Goodman was among the first to give it a jazz setting, but it was Coltrane who brought “My Favorite Things” to the attention of the jazz world with the version contained here. Apart from the bonus track ‘Exotica’, an original by Coltrane, the inclusion of compositions by Cole Porter, George & Ira Gershwin and Rogers & Hammerstein, this album is very much a salute to the ‘great American song book’.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP Info: Limited edition 180g vinyl with alternative cover, deluxe inner sleeve and bonus track. One pressing only.

Presented in Europe in 1956 under the title of Davis’ Cup were Miles Davis’ earliest recordings for Columbia. Most of the tracks had been previously released on the album ‘Round About Midnight (CL949), which marked the trumpeter’s first LP for that label. Miles Davis’ quintet was formed in 1955 and is widely regarded as one of the greatest combos in jazz history. The band’s considerable number of recordings is due mainly to contractual agreements. Miles had been recording for the small jazz label Prestige, which didn’t have a wide distribution. However, after his success at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival, he received a substantial offer from the recording giant Columbia. Prior to leaving for Columbia, Miles fulfilled his Prestige contract with a couple of marathon sessions that yielded the celebrated Cookin’, Steamin’, Workin’ and Relaxin’ LPs. Davis’ first Columbia sessions, recorded while Miles was still under contract for Prestige, produced the album ‘Round About Midnight, which was titled after the Thelonious Monk tune that had earned him such great success at Newport.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP Info: Limited edition 180g vinyl. Collectors edition with alternative cover and deluxe inner sleeve. One pressing only.

Kicking off a brand-new Wolf offshoot label, celebrating the soulful sound of house music from the late 90’s & early 00’s, two DJ Romain classics get the remastered treatment straight from the DATs!

"It’s The Spirit" became an instant classic when released in 2004 - it’s eyes closed business with a weighty bassline, buzzed stabs, spiritual organs and Darryl D'Bonneau’s impassioned vocals. A track that still holds up today, regularly played by the likes of Floating Points, Ben UFO, Kerri Chandler and others in the know, fetching up to £40 on the cogs.

While digging through the racks in A1 Records in New York a few years ago, the Wolf duo came across "Piano Man" nestled on the B side of a Romain release from 1998. A peaktime burner, that never fails to ignite the dancefloor and one that always gets named checked whenever they let it loose.

After contacting DJ Romain, who to their surprise knew of Wolf and was keen to work together, they set about giving these jams a new lease of life, digging back in the archives to recover the DATs from the original projects.

This one’s not for the gurning fly catchers, it’s specifically for those that like to get down. 


Garfield Fleming

Don't Send Me Away

A multi-genre-busting release that has transcended most dance scenes from modern soul, rare groove and boogie to become perhaps the most in-demand '80s records on the current collectors scene. Finally released on 7-inch.

The popularity of "Don't Send Me Away" was recently confirmed when a YouTube clip of Garfield himself, performing "Don't Send Me Away" at a Paris record stall in late 2018, went viral with over 2,000,000 views to date.

"You Got Dat Right" is equally arresting, a bumpy soul-disco cut with big chorus, rambunctious keys and heavy slap bass.

Pressed on dinked, heavyweight 7" this is a soul & disco collector's dream!


Another absolute gem of a reissue from Light In The Attic.

Album recorded at the legendary Wally Heider Los Angeles studios and features heavy session players Dr. John, Jim Keltner (John Lennon), and James Burton (Elvis Presley).

Release sports 32 page CD booklet and 180-gram wax, lovingly re-mastered from the original master tapes and a deluxe Stoughton “Tip-On” old school sleeve with faithfully reproduced original artwork.

What happens when a musically minded country boy from rural Kentucky heads to the Golden State and makes an album of blue-eyed soul with Dr. John, Jim Keltner (John Lennon), and James Burton (Elvis Presley) as his back-up band? Well, if the stars were aligned, singer songwriter Jim Ford would’ve had a major hit on his hands. As it was, 'Harlan County', released in 1969 on the minor label Sundown Records, simply fell through the cracks between monster selling titles by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Despite being allied with some of the biggest names in the business and a deft musical touch - Ford wrote songs for Bobby Womack (“Harry Hippie”), Aretha Franklin, P.J. Proby, The Temptations, and even appeared on Sly & the Family Stone’s 'There’s a Riot Goin’ On' - Ford never struck gold as a solo artist and eventually left the often cutthroat music business for a quieter life at the turn of the 1980’s.

“Jimmy Ford is the baddest white man on the planet,” said Sly Stone of Harlan County’s main man, and listening to the album today who’s to argue? Needless to say, Light In The Attic Records are honored to re-release these ten emotive country-soul songs on CD and LP with Ford’s original cover artwork, beautifully re-mastered audio, extensive liner notes by Kurt Wolff (The Rough Guide to Country Music), and rare photos, all presented with an adult portion of love. Fans of Charlie Rich, Tony Joe White, Lee Hazlewood, and Bobby Charles, please take note. 'Harlan County' is a revelation to deep music heads and for the previously converted, an opportunity to revisit one of the California studio scene’s crowning glories. To quote the title of Wolff’s booklet essay, “Jim Ford’s Music Will Kick Your Ass And Blow Your Mind.”

Armed with a powerful whiskey fueled voice, down home rhythms, tight horn section, and occasional spectral orchestration from Gene Page (The Righteous Brothers, Barry White, Marvin Gaye), Harlan County is ripe for reappraisal. And though Ford is unfortunately no longer with us - he passed away in 2007 - his musical legacy lives on. With fans and friends including Brinsley Schwarz leader Nick Lowe and actor Marlon Brando it’s safe to say that Jim Ford was the real deal. So head over to your local brick and mortar record shop, hit the liquor store for a bottle or two, and turn up the stereo. Take a country-funk trip to Harlan County. It’s cheaper than a flight and will take you right where you need to be.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Limited blue vinyl version.

Forty Seven Times It's 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.

This 7” serves up two Jazzfunk gems from the rare 47 Times Its Own Weight LP on the small format for the first time.

Following on from his joint release on RNT white label last year, Colombian wunderkind Felipe Gordon moves over to the Reserve imprint with a 4-tracker of beautifully crafted sampled house.

The record kicks off with "Those Quiet Eyes of Yours", skillfully blending a sunny, picked guitar lick around swung houz drums and a wobbly bassline. "There's A Part Of Me That's Always True" is up next, utilizing bright digi-keys, another wobbly b-line and phosphorescent drums.

Side B's "Now That You Caught My Heart For The Evening" offers updates to the jazzy house blueprint, with a well known Tropicalia vocal indent in there for good measure. Finally, "That Night At El Bukowski" concludes with a deep, sublime, nocturnal jam that perfect eschews any overused house tropes for something inventive and considered. Top stuff. 


South London singer and songwriter Greentea Peng releases her new release, "Rising", following 2018’s acclaimed debut EP "Sensi" and the simmering viral hit "Downers", released in summer 2019. Featuring the blissful, Earbuds-produced "Mr Sun (miss da sun)" that sets the tone for a bright, bold EP which weaves a myriad of genres, all anchored by a mesmerising old-soul vocal. On the clattering title track "Risin'", Peng announces 'woke up today, brand new morning' over an insistent, handclap- supported beat, before adopting a half-spoken wordflow. Elsewhere, over the densely layered hip hop beat of "Sane", she sings a low-slung, effortless hook: 'come make me feel sane, baby.'

Greentea Peng is dark and light, half soul-searcher and half wise-cracker. In a constant explorative state, she is honest and frank, her inner battles channelled through the rhythms and flows of her music. Her energy beams bright whether she’s touching on darker matters or happier moments. Visually Peng is a living, breathing piece of art - effortlessly cutting the figure of a true British original. So much so, Vivienne Westwood street cast her for her recent ‘Youth Is Revolting’ cover of Dazed.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured Mini LP Info: Green vinyl.

Linda Hill recorded this LP for Nimbus West in 1981 with fellow Arkestra members, including flautist Adele Sebastian. And it’s Sebastian’s vocal duet with Hill on the spiritual jazz epic “Leland’s Song” that opens this stunning LP. Hill’s ensemble also included the serious horn player Sabir Matteen, as well as bassist Roberto Miranda and drummer Everett Brown Jr., who would all go on to record LPs for Nimbus.

The Arkestra first started rehearsing at pianist Linda Hill’s house in the early ‘60s. “In a few months, we’d built up from seven or eight to about 18 cats, musicians started living there,” Tapscott wrote in his autobiography. “People got involved with the Arkestra like it was their life’s work.” Hill took the role seriously, earning her the name of “the Ark’s matriarch” by Tapscott.

Jai Ho

Short Story From Tabla, Drums & Trumpet / Oye Maia

Any jazz lover will tell you that one of the main considerations in their appreciation of jazz is spontaneity, and the freedom it gives to improvise. In jazz, freedom is everything.

Here we have a record that was recorded simply because some musicians met in the studio one day in 1996. They were not under instruction, they had no plans. What they had was the presence of mind to make music with one another, free to collaborate and spontaneously create new sounds. Drummer Harbans Srih tells us about 'Short story from Tabla, Drums & Trumpet':

"We were tracking some funky jazz with a full band. All left at the end except for Pandit and myself. As there was a bit of time left I said to Pandit to have some fun tracking tabla and drums. Engineer pressed the record button and off we went without any prior rehearsal. This take is the result. Colin had turned up, took one listen and said he'd like to play trumpet on it. Again without any particular discussion he went in and recorded this take, resulting in this fusion of Indo-Jazz."

And then in 2003, 'Oye Maia' came about:

"We met at the recording studio one afternoon. I had an idea of recording an Indian themed track and had brought along a kalimba. I showed it to Shanti who started to play it. It was suggested that he recorded a 2 bar loop while Pandit and I performed alongside. Shanti then improvised on trumpet utilising Indian phrasing. The track was named after his daughter Maia, and translated it means 'Listen Maia'."

A classically trained multi-instrumentalist, Don Laka began his career in the ‘70s and then joined the seminal jazz outfit Sakhile in the early ‘80s. Already an established musician by this time, Laka was at the forefront of exploring the latest synth sounds of the day. Being introduced to synthesizers by Harari's Alec Khaoli, Don soon began experimenting with different synths like the Oberheim, Juno, and Prophet 5 while using a Commodore 64 to sequence them. Constantly striving for the latest sounds, Laka’s early explorations culminated in his debut solo album, "I Wanna Be Myself". 'I went and did an album, recorded tracks at Downtown Studios [in downtown Johannesburg]. Most of the album, except for "Let’s Move the Night", was done straight with a Fairlight at a different studio, of the guy that owned the Fairlight, Adrian Strydom.'

He was the only guy in the country who had a Fairlight, I think on the continent. 'This was the first commercial record made on a Fairlight in this country. I remember the other instrument I used was Jupiter 8, which was a very expensive Roland synth, and I used a Juno-60. I would layer them. The only thing I programmed was the drums. You can hear the snare sound, I think it was a mix of some cracked bottles and something that we just mixed. Holed up in the studio, Laka remembers getting special input on "I Wanna Be Myself" from master bassist Bakithi Khumalo, who would also feature prominently on Graceland. 'I remember I played all the instruments on it. I played bass, I played all. Bakithi walked into the studio and I said, ‘You know, I’m not a bass player. Baks, do you wanna do it?’ And he nailed it, in one take! Reissued for the first time is Don Laka's masterful album. 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: If you study the sleevenotes or credits of pretty much any good dance record from South Africa around a certain time period (let's say 1980 - 2005) there's a 90% chance that this guy will be involved! A true star, prodigy, muse and inspiration. Don Laka we salute you!

Born in 1938, and raised in Glendale, California, Lloyd Miller has had one of the most unusual careers in all of jazz. By age 12 he had declared an intent to make his living as a jazz musician, and by high school he had already begun to experiment, shunning swing music's mechanical perfection, and chafing at his parents’ desire for him to nurture his talents with formal training.

This tumultous relationship with his parents would eventually lead to a stint in a psychatric hospital, before reuniting with them in moving to Iran, his father having accepted a job working for the Shah. Stops in Hong Kong, Japan and Pakistan on the way to Iran deepened Miller's connection to other cultures he’d first felt while listening to old world music compilations. He felt a definite calm and peace, an immense respect from everyone towards everyone else, and immersed himself in other cultures and languages immediately.


Miller spent a year in Iran with his family, picking up Farsi after a few short months, and steadily gaining more and more of an appreciation for how deep the roots of Persian art run. However, still committed to his decision forge a career in jazz, Lloyd left Tehran in 1958 to head to Europe to see if he could make a living from jazz music. Miller kicked around the continent, first in Germany, then in Switzerland, Sweden and Brussels. He collaborated and performed alongside 60s jazz legend Jef Gilson, and experimented with exotic instrumentation before returning to America to resume his studies at Brigham Young University in Utah. In the years following his stint with Gilson, Miller had become more and more disillusioned with both modern music and modern society, which had ashewed jazz for rock music, which he detested. In Miller’s conception, for a music to have value it had to have a deep connection to a tradition, specifically connecting jazz to African lore. To Miller, something like “Tuareg African music is blues, just with no chord changes.” Oriental Jazz was recorded, compiled and self-released in 1968 while Miller was studying at Brigham Young. The record, originally pressed in a quantity of 300 copies, sought to combine a cool, modal style with the exotic arrays of instruments and styles that Miller had picked up during his travels. Miller included songs he’d cut with Gilson in his Parisian studio years before, and a solo piano piece that he recorded in one of the school’s practice rooms. Despite Lloyd’s professed aversion to modernity, there nevertheless is something strikingly new sounding about this music, which fits together in startling juxtapositions.

Traces of Bill Evans, Stan Getz and Jimmy Giuffre rub shoulders with Persian santur, Arab oud and Turkish saz music. Copies of Oriental Jazz languished in Miller's home for years after numerous failed bids for record contracts, before finally ending up in the hands of record collectors decades later. After its release however, he would find a second life after returning to Iran, doing field recordings, and eventually hosting a weekly television show that programmed both American jazz and the best traditional Persian musicians he could find. It was not to last however, as he abruptly abandoned the country to return to the US in the late 1970s, predicting the arrival of the Islamic Revolution. 

Juan Moretti

Cats Do Not Care About Glasses

Summer might be fading away, but the good time grooves keep on coming courtesy of Hell Yeah’s next album project: Cats Do Not Care About Glasses is the latest from all round musical talent Juan Moretti, who fuses together jazz, hip hop, electronics, soundtracks, musical experimentation and much more into a freeform album of intoxicating sonic journeys.

Moretti is a bassist, drummer, composer, arranger, visual artist, DJ, hard clubber and good food lover who has been plotting his own route since the early nineties. He is co-founder of the 3IO jazz band and Things Happen nu disco duo who has been involved with theatre shows, short soundtracks, visual installations, festivals, DJ sets, experimental art and more. Drawing on all that and heading off into the unknown, out of his comfort zone and into brave new sound worlds, he goes where the compositional process takes him without a view to any specific genre or style.

That plays out across the seven suburb tracks, with opener ‘Flare’ managing to be a worldly ambient piece as well as a slow motion acid track, a blissful balearic trip but also a majestic melodic masterpiece. ‘Fahrenheit’ fuses cosmic Sun Ra jazz with glistening electronics that drown you in warm sunshine, and ‘Insane’ has a tropical feeling and gentle bossa rhythm, but intensely freeform synths that tie you up in knots.

The midpoint sinks you into the breezy wind instruments, afro vocals and gently lilting guitar licks of ‘Fortaleza’ before ‘Claustrophonic’ is another celestial electronic jazz epic with withering sci-fi synths and live drums that constantly evolves. A swaggering dub beat and drifting sax line make ‘Moroboshi’ a low key beach club classic in the making, and finally ‘Backdoor (Mad The Cat)’ is a lush hip hop vibe awash with breezy licks and steamy chords.

This is a brilliantly inventive album that brings together jazz, electronics and hip hop in truly magical new ways.

On The Corner provide the first taste of a landmark recording that the label embarked upon two years ago on the East African island archipelago of Zanzibar. Pete On the Corner was consulting for the ambitious permaculture development of Fumba Town. The story of Siti Binti Saad, the mother of Taarab is rooted in Fumba. Pete joined the dots to shine new light on the pioneering life of Siti Binti Saad as the innovative town development took shape and looked to connect with the Island’s unique history at the centre of the Swahili world. Whilst steering a recording project that would celebrate Siti Binti Saad’s legacy, Pete brought in producer Sam Jones and the pair met with filmmaker Andy Jones (who documented the life and work of the legendary Bi Kidude) who revealed that Siti Binti Saad had a great grand-daughter, Siti Muharam who led a very private life but had a ‘golden voice’. With music director Matona on board the scene was set to go beyond celebrating the singular legacy of a Swahili pioneer and find a new hero.

Siti Muharam has a golden timbre and on this 7” we get the first taste of her debut LP that will represent her great grandmother’s legacy for the next generations. The 7” is two tracks which are at the furthest reaches of the LP project. The A-side is a Sam Jones Construct of ‘Ashikibaya (Ft. Tamar Collocutor)’ who find new frontiers of this Swahili jazz out across the Indian ocean pushing a cosmic Taarab on the trade winds. The flip is an instrumental affair with Matona driving the stunning ‘Mandira’. This project came to life in a derelict studio in Zanzibar in February 2018 with the help of Fumba Town Development, Dhow Countries Music Academy, The British Council, Matona, Sam Jones and On The Corner.


Spaziale Recordings is born. Setting their sights on reissuing highly sought-after, obscure records, alongside providing fresh new interpretations of these classic gems, they kick things off with a bang. Presenting an official remastered limited edition reissue of a classic cosmic disco 12”, featuring extended disco versions of three superb Afro and Latin-flavoured tracks taken from John Ozila’s 1979 killer funk album "Boogie Salsa".

Released on French label Disques Vogue, the A side offers the highly infectious afro groove of "Funky Boogie", treasured by the likes of Horse Meat Disco, Dekmantel Soundsystem and Jack J. Previously a fiercely-guarded record collectors’ secret, the flip houses two great afro-cosmic, obscure disco versions of "Let’s Go Boogie" and "L’Orange Bleue" previously only available as album versions on the "Boogie Salsa" LP. Now fully remastered and cut loud and proud to 12 inch for maximum audio pleasure.


The sixth edition of the Pleasure of Love edit series features the Toronto based Patchouli Brothers (GAMM, Basic Fingers, Barefoot Beats, Tugboat). The duo have a long running disco & house party called Beam Me Up and have a proven track record of slicing up and distilling rare, underappreciated cuts into peak time dance floor gems.

The A1 is a raw, driving Côte d'Ivoire disco revision with excellent celebratory vocal loops and synth leads. Next up is a smooth italo, tip-tap, jam re-edited to perfection, highlighting the sophisticated horn and lead synth interplay.

On the flip is a rubbery synth bass led soca jam that will set off just about any party with its catchy vocals and tension/release re-arrangement. And rounding out the release is a dutch disco call and response re-edit detailing a common thread in the dancer-DJ relationship. Dancefloor tested and approved!


Stating their influences range from Prince, The Weeknd, Janet Jackson to Frank Ocean, Secret Rendezvous call their sound 'Indie R&B' and their latest track - 'Back In The Day' is a sentimental slow jam that showcases flashes of these elements set against bedroom and lofi styles.

Lyrically Morsch reminisces over the 90's, conjuring up imagery of baggy clothes, listening to Tupac on the basketball court, and going cruising with a bottle of Bacardi at night. Her silky delivery and sing-along chorus is perfectly suited for the 808-led backdrop from Lauw.

This is cool jazz album all the way around. From the black and white hand drawn to the fact that it came out of Fresno, California (not exactly a hotbed for jazz) to the handful of styles present (straight ahead, funky, free, and even a raga), this record’s got it going on. High quality musicianship and some far out stoner tracks make this album stand head and shoulders above most of its private peers. Original very limited issue (rumor has it that only 300 were pressed). This album was a very limited press that was handed out at their shows and sold to local record stores. Only together for nine months, Mike Selesia (who plays Sax and Flute) and band recorded this album in one day presented this fascinating hybrid of early 60s Coltrane, early 70s Miles Davis.

Soopasoul is most definitely a name synonymous with the UK funk 45s scene and this sought after cover of the Jimmy Castor classic – It's Just Begun is one of many records that have cement his place at the top. A record that has long been a turntablists secret weapon is given the Soopasoul treatment here with Danny dropping the drum science as well as playing the bass and his crack team of players trumpeting some serious brass action, injecting some fresh funk into this respectful cover of a classic record. This record preceded his hotly anticipated debut album 'Twin Stix' and has long remained in the bags of the DJs in the know!





WOW…. Those fine folks at Dynamite cuts gives us two funk and soul gems from the mega rare find Texas funk LP by Steamheat, appearing for the first time on 7”. Originally released in 1975 on Fable records, "Frozen Tundra Lady" and "Since I Met You" have been in regular rotation for any reputable Northern Soul DJ, and now find themselves on the genre's format of choice!


Studio58 / Mandjou Kone

Nick The Record Remixes

DJ, collector & edit entrepreneur, Nick The Record launches another new label Natural House for showcasing new material & remixes from his nearest and dearest.

Studio 58's "Birds Of Paradise" is a place where highlife meets house with a smile wider than its face.

Mandjou Kone / hailing from Burkina Faso gives us "Wamian" which is perfectly pulled into the heart of the dancefloor with all manner of deftly deployed devices. Absolutely essential floor pieces from a man who knows.




Sun Ra

The Antique Blacks

    The vitality you hear on "Antique Blacks" is a testament to the unique energy of the community around The Foxhole Cafe in Philadelphia, as Ra honed his unique brand of Afro-Futurism through the late 60';s and 70's. Cosmic theatre, spiritual chants, and experimental electronics make this record an essential document that was ahead of its time. Ancient to future! BIG TIP !

    The 1970s saw change in Sun Ra's recorded output, and as far as we can tell, the content of his live performances. By the middle of the decade, Sun Ra's music no longer seemed comprehensible as part of the jazz New Thing – quirkier, more idiosyncratic elements were more to the fore. At this time,1974, every Sun Ra record still surprised, and seemed radically different from everything else he had released up to then. The musical universe proposed by free jazz had never circumscribed Sun Ra. He had been part of the movement, but was able to use the possibilities it suggested without being limited by its conventions.

    "The Antique Blacks" illustrates this well. Recorded as a radio broadcast in Philadelphia, according to Dale Williams, it has a well defined but oddball structure. Sun Ra was a master architect, very concerned to use the unfolding of an album, a broadcast or a live performance to create a satisfying structure. "Song No 1" starts on an upbeat note, it's a lively, tonal introduction, featuring John Gilmre on tenor saxophone, Sun Ra on roksichord, Dale Williams, then aged 15, on guitar, and Akh Tal Ebah on trumpet.

    Sun Ra's poetry is featured on "There Is Change In The Air", a track which has on occasion been used for the album title: in its original incarnation as a "Saturn LP", there was no dedicated sleeve artwork, and this record appeared under many names. Ra's poetry is allusive, elusive and paradoxical, and this was its first major appearance on a record. During instrumental passages, Dale Williams' guitar is heard, along with the saxophones of Marshall Allen and Danny Davis.

    "The Antique Blacks" is a similar setting for a Sun Ra poem, which encompasses 'spiritual men', and Lucifer as a dark angel. The Arkestra is heard in conducted improvisational ensembles, in between the sections of the poem. "This Song Is Dedicated To Nature's God" has Arkestral vocals, with John Gilmore's voice in the foreground. Williams' guitar is once again prominent in the instrumental passages.

    Sun Ra's poetic declamations provide the structure for The Ridiculous I and The Cosmos Me, which also has a fine unaccompanied tenor solo by John Gilmore, keyboard improvisations by Sun Ra, and closes with bass clarient from Eloe Omoe. Sun Ra's keyboards are heard with minimal Arkestra support on Would I For All That Were – a fine synthesiser improvisation, with electric piano left hand accompaniment.

    Tension is resolved by "Space Is The Place, which rounds the album out in an upbeat mood, with Akh Tal Ebah, James Jacson and Sun Ra prominent among the vocalists. The closing section includes the chant "Sun Ra And His Band From Outer Space", often used at the close of live performances. This isn't strictly live, though: in one line the vocal is played backwards on tape!


    Leon Thomas

    Love Each Other / L.O.V.E

    It's been 20 years since Soul Brother Records first celebrated the music of Leon Thomas with the "Anthology" collection. Today his music is as renowned and sought after as ever, and the time could not be better for the pairing of these two songs on 7" single. Both come from his time at Flying Dutchman in the early 70s.

    Leon Thomas' debut solo recording after his tenure with Pharoah Sanders is a fine one. Teaming with a cast of musicians that includes bassist Cecil McBee, flutist James Spaulding, Roy Haynes, Lonnie Liston Smith, Richard Davis, and Sanders (listed here as "Little Rock"), etc. Thomas' patented yodel is in fine shape here, displayed alongside his singular lyric style and scat singing trademark. The set begins with a shorter, more lyrical version of Thomas' signature tune "The Creator Has a Master Plan," with the lyric riding easy and smooth alongside the yodel, which bubbles up only in the refrains. It's a different story on his own "One," with Davis' piano leading the charge and Spaulding blowing through the center of the track, Thomas alternates scatting and his moaning, yodeling, howling, across the lyrics, through them under them and in spite of them. It's an intense ride and one that sets up the glorious "Echoes." This tune is Thomas at his most spiritual and uplifting, carrying the mysterious drift of his tune entwined with Spaulding's flute and a set of Pan pipes, fluttering in and out of the mix before his wail comes to the fore as a solo. The end of side one reaches into Thomas' past (he sang with everyone from Count Basie to Grant Green and Mary Lou Williams) for a highly original read of Horace Silver's classic "Song for My Father." Thomas imbues the tune with so much emotion, it's a wonder he can keep it under wraps. Side two is more free from in nature with "Damn Nam," a near rant, but one possessed with melodic vision and harmonic invention with this band. There's also the deeply moving "Malcolm's Gone," a co-write between Thomas and Sanders that features the latter's gorgeous blowing, hard and true in the middle of the mix, and a wildly spiritual Eastern vibe coming through in the improvisation. It's the longest track on the record, and one of the most criminally ignored in Thomas' long career. The album closes with Bell and Houston's "Let the Rain Fall on Me." It's a shimmering straight jazz number with a beautiful piano solo by Smith. It sends out a visionary album out on a sweet, soulful note. Ultimately, this is among Thomas' finest moments on vinyl, proving his versatility and accessibility to an audience who, for too long already, had associated him too closely with the avant-garde and free jazz.

    12 Bombazos Bailables budget sampler album compiling 12 take-no-prisoners dancefloor tracks from the Discos Fuentes vast catalogue that turns 85 this year. Cumbia, hard salsa, descarga and more. A perfect introduction to the Discos Fuentes reissue series and a very convenient DJ tool, every track is a winner! Featuring names such as Los Supremos, Conjunto Miramar, Michi Sarmiento Y Su Combo Bravo, Fruko Y Sus Tesos, Peregoyo Y Su Combo Vacana, Adolfo Echeverria Y Su Orquesta.

    Various Artists

    Full Beam - For Gees Only Volume 2

    Ok finally after months and months of broken promises, Full Beam! - For Gees Only volume 2 is upon us. Get ready for 8 absolute nuggets from the deepest caverns of boogiedom. Pharaoh B and his Pyramid Suite crew have overloaded the hydrofoil for this one. You know the rules: Vinyl only no digi ever and no repress ever. 300 for the universe so buy or cry. ONE PER GEE (discogs sharks i'm talking to you - don't even think about getting ya mam to order another copy on your behalf we will find you out). ALL HITTERS NO SHITTERS. Strictly not for choppers. This is serious gear peops - guaranteed to blow nappers clean off. No sound clips either - you're gonna have to trust us - your bravery will be rewarded. Mega rare tackle - get your orders in before it's too late.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Market leaders in boogie & street soul return with more sounds made famous on their acclaimed NTS show and played at their rousing MCR parties. As Pharaoh Brunson himself says - 'all hitters no shitters!'. Worth it for that £500 "Money Talks" track alone.. DO NOT SLEEP!

    Various Artists

    Spiritual Jazz 10: Prestige

    'Esoteric, modal and deep jazz from Prestige Records, 1961-73'
    The tenth edition of our Spiritual Jazz series takes a closer look at the music Prestige was recording at the start of the 1960s. This was the period when the modal jazz sound pioneered by Miles and Coltrane was starting to percolate through the jazz underground.

    In its heyday, Prestige was the only jazz label that could hold a candle to Blue Note. Prestige was always quick off the mark to record new artists, and in the years after Kind of Blue the label was quick to release some of the most innovative early explorers of the new style.

    Founded as New Jazz in 1949 by 20-year old jazz fan and entrepreneur Bob Weinstock, Prestige was the only other imprint besides Blue Note to capture the iconic jazz sounds of the 1950s, and like its rival it grew to be an icon itself.

    If Blue Note documented the sound of hard bop in its most carefully crafted and beautifully presented form, the low-key, jam-session approach that Weinstock preferred meant that the music captured by Prestige has a tough, unfiltered energy that was a lot closer to way it was being played live, night after night, by New York's most prominent jazz musicians.

    Featuring Afro-Eastern visions from Yusef Lateef and Ahmed Abdul-Malik, deep modal excursions from Mal Waldron and Walt Dickerson, and essential spiritual jazz grooves from Gary Bartz and Idris Muhammed, Spiritual Jazz vol. 10 documents the sound of modal jazz in full flight, unabashed and authentic from the pioneers!

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: This momental series turns its spotlight onto the Prestige label, and more specifically their 1961-73 output. If you like your jazz deep, modal and esoteric, then this is for you!


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