MAGIC MIX

funk . soul . jazz . free jazz . broken beat

WEEK STARTING 18 Oct

Genre pick of the week Cover of Ocean In A Drop EP by GoGo Penguin.
GoGo Penguin present Ocean in a Drop (music for film), a 5 track EP drawing from music originally written for their original live score to Godfrey Reggio’s cult film Koyaanisqatsi. Expect music that moves from fragile beauty to powerful themes that offer both a stand-alone snapshot of the trio’s world and echoes of the images that inspired the music.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: As soon as you hear those distinctive piano keys roar into electronic jazz action you know you’re in for a treat. This five track EP is filled with their beautifully delicate and classic sound. I’d quite happily have them soundtrack my life!

The Caribbean has long been an incubator for the sounds that will animate and shape the culture of the rest of the world for decades to come: From the rhythms of Cuba helping to shape American jazz, blues and rock n’ roll, to Trinidadian calypso introducing a bouncy lightness and gaiety to American party music, to Jamaica’s reggae showing a new way to rebel against convention. But what about the music of Belize, the Caribbean nation that holds the odd position of being a former British colony on the coat of Spanish-speaking Central America? Most people don’t know about the country at all, let alone about the rich sounds it has to offer.

Bredda David Obi set out to change that in 1984 with the release of his debut LP "No Fear", and the introduction of a new Belizean groove he called kungo (or cungo). A mélange of traditional Belizean brukdown music and sprinklings of the rock, funk, calypso and reggae he had played in various bands during his years as a journeyman musician in the United States. He would further develop this modern tropical sound on subsequent albums, integrating more and more elements from Belizean niche genres like sambai and paranda. Cultures of Soul now documents Bredda David’s journey into the soul of Belize with an anthology of his early recordings including tracks from "No Fear", "Cungo Musik" (1987) and "We No Wa No Kimba Ya" (1990) albums.

Bredda David’s kungo is hard to describe exactly—its various ingredients make it feel somewhat familiar, but the recipe with which he blends them is slightly strange, fresh and intriguing. But one thing is for certain, it is sure to electrify the dance floor and make everybody jump up and bruk down! Housed in a gatefold jacket with extensive liner notes by Uchenna Ikonne. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Cultures Of Soul put the spotlight on Bredda David and his Belizean Kungo sound with this seven track retrospective. Now, I'd never heard of Kungo going into this, but after a very enjoyable listen I can report that reggae, disco, sunkissed rock and proto house flavour this uplifting music.

Broen return with eyes open to new vistas on their second album, ‘Do You See The Falling Leaves?’. Back in 2017, Norway’s experi-pop quintet brought exuberant reserves of intelligence, positivity and warm-spirited commonality to the world-building bustles of jazz, funk, psychedelia, electronics and hip hop on their international debut, ‘I Love Art’.

‘Do You See The Falling Leaves?’ extends its predecessor’s vision and expands its brightly generous worldview, opening the door to mindful, invigorating and mind-bogglingly inventive ways of composing, engaging and connecting: with nature, with each other, with their own potential.

As Anja Lauvdal (synths, piano) explains, finding ways to connect is a core theme. Even if EE Cummings’ classic minimalist poem ‘l(a’ was not an influence on the album, its use of a falling leaf to symbolise loneliness clicked with Anja. “I thought that was a nice comment to the title/theme of the record. People can use each other and nature around us to feel connected instead of lonely. The opposite of loneliness is maybe to be connected - as an individual - but also connected to the world. In a way, ‘do you see the falling leaves’ then also means ‘do you see the lonely people’, and that you can open your eyes or reach out a hand.”

This is the first ever reissue of ‘Disco Soccer’, the 1979 album from Ghanaian sportsman turned musician Alhaji Sidiku Buari. Originally an athlete, winning silver and gold medals in the Senegal All Africa Games and West African Games in 1963 and a bronze in the All African in Congo Brazzaville in 1965, Buari moved to America on a music scholarship from The York Institute, obtained as a result of his athletic achievements. Buari soon became enthused by baseball, training with the York team and occasionally playing in matches. When one of York’s music teachers heard him singing inspirational team-builder songs and chants for his side - in the Ga language- he suggested putting a rhythm section behind the songs, recording them, and seeing what the American record buying public thought of them. It won’t surprise you to hear that said Americans loved the demos- so, in 1975, he recorded his first album – the first of fifteen. Buari went on to collaborate with Bernard Purdie, Sugar Hill’s Steve Jerome and Salsoul’s bassman, Gordon Edwards. A switch to Polydor in 1979 produced Disco Soccer, and if you’re into disco or boogie or any hybrid thereof, this is a must-have album. A homage, Ay to Zee, to New York’s late 70s disco scene, filtered through an Accra late-night haze: Ga vocals and West African percussion all the way, all of it composed and produced by the artist himself. A generous eleven tracks of all killer-no-filler boogie business: one of those albums you just put on, and leave on. An essential partner to BBE’s double Buari LP Feelings/Sidiku Buari & His Jam Busters, Disco Soccer is reissued from the original masters and reproduced on 180-gram vinyl with new liner notes and original artwork.

Death To The Planet was originally released for Record Store Day 2017CE, selling out of its initial run of 700 “Comet Fire” orange vinyl immediately. Unavailable on vinyl at retail since 2017, with huge Discogs/eBay demand. Darkness and light. The party to end all parties. The ghosts of 70s Harlem, via the warehouses of Chicago and Manchester, presided over by Sun Ra. The sound of total planetary destruction, produced with laser-guided accuracy and aimed directly at the dancefloor.


Prophecy: “In the sky will be seen a fire, dragging a tail of sparks...” Just as Nostradamus prophesised in his quatrains, The Comet Is Coming: “The great star for seven days will burn, the cloud will cause two suns to appear and the big mastiff all night will howl.”

The Prophecy: where it all began. These three planets aligned in 2013CE, having between them played with bands including Melt Yourself Down, Polar Bear, Soccer96 and Sons Of Kemet. They have since gone on to conquer the planet with the Mercury Prize-shortlisted Channel The Spirits and Impulse! album Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery. Here is the universe in a microcosm; the life-force distilled down to its raw essence: sex and dancing. Sub-bass, slamming analogue, unhinged sax breaks. The rhythm of life repressed earlier this year in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it run of 500.


STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: One of the two Comet is Coming represses which were in incredibly high demand – the Prophecy is bursting with life from thumping irregular jazz triumphs at one point and spoken word with their unique ever-changing sound the next. Absolutely brilliant stuff!

FloFilz is one of the most promising newcomers on the German beatmaker scene. His sound is deeply rooted in the Low End Theory (Tribe not LA) school of beats and his tracks regularly hit the six-digit plays mark on Soundcloud. FloFilz grew up in Belgium and lives currently in Aachen where his studies violin. When it comes to his own beats, jazz reigns supreme over nearly any other music. "Metronom" is his first official album and we are delighted to release it on Melting Pot Music. Our art director and photographer Robert Winter was so inspired by the 18 tracks that he took a trip to Paris together with FloFilz, where he shot the cover photos. We release the record with a gatefold sleeve including a eight-page photo spread and a download card. This special edition is limited to 1,000 copies.

An essential album from contemporary Brazil, Xenia's first solo effort pays tribute to the sounds of the black diaspora, masterfully blending soul music with jazz, samba, r&b and electronic flavors.

Latin Grammy nominated album

180gheavy vinyl, comes with download card

Xenia França is a singer from Bahia, Brazil. She has been nominated for the 2018 Latin Grammy for this debut album Xenia, and for the song "Pra que me Chamas?", a favorite among listeners. Part of an art scene concerned with reviving and disseminating the African-Brazilian culture, the singer became a reference of female empowerment and behavior, especially among black women.

Xenia has performed at major Brazilian festivals, such as Recbeat, Coala, Coma and Queremos, among others. In 2018 she took to Central Park's SummerStage Festival in NYC, and has also performed in Philadelphia and at the Pablo Toblón Theater, in Medellin, Colombia.

Her first solo effort here, "Xenia", is an essential album from contemporary Brazil, paying tribute to the sounds of the black diaspora, masterfully blending soul music with jazz, samba, r&b and electronic flavors, now available for the first time outside of Brazil!

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP includes MP3 Download Code.

Serge Gainsbourg

In The Studio With

Spread over 3 CDs, this collection of 59 tracks, consists of a selection of Gainsbourg tracks (including many new and exclusive versions), interpretations of songs from other performers and a volume dedicated to the music of films is the audio complement of 450 pages of the Gainsbook.

The result of more than twenty years of investigation and sixty interviews bringing together Serge Gainsbourg's historical arrangers, sound engineers and session musicians, this book sheds new light on his phenomenal repertoire.

Also available as a 10 track LP.

Loleatta Holloway (born in Chicago,1946) was an American R&B-Disco singer known for her massive hit songs such as “Hit and Run”, “Love Sensation” and “Relight My Fire”, all of which have been sampled extensively worldwide. Billboard magazine ranked her as the 95th most successful dance artist of all-time.

Holloway first began her career singing gospel music, then in the early 70s, she met her future producer, manager (and husband) Floyd Smith which kick-started her impressive recording career. Shortly after Holloway signed with the Atlanta-based soul music label ‘Aware’ where she recorded two albums: Loleatta (1973) and Cry to Me (1975).

Later, in the mid 70s she signed with top Philadelphia arranger and producer Norman Harris’ Gold Mind/Salsoul Records, where she recorded many more top charting hit singles and launched her career as a disco act. From then on (and until this day) Holloway’s songs (which became DJ favorites) were heavily remixed and sampled on a multitude of tracks from renowned acts such as Black Box, Whitney Houston, Bobby Byrd, Raekwon, Flo Rida, Pitbull, Ice Cube…and MANY others.

Loleatta Holloway passed away at the age of 64 on March 21, 2011 leading to a wave of tributes and condolences from across the globe (Holloway also had a huge following in Europe and Japan).

Her debut album (Loleatta from 1973), which we are presenting you here today, is a total classic … it is here that Holloway developed her throaty, full-bodied vocal style and dramatic presentation we all came to enjoy and admire. The album features the hit singles "Mother of Shame" & "Our Love". Also included is a beautiful rendition of the Syl Johnson track “We Did it”.

Fast & slow-paced grooves, blazing horns accompanying the driving rhythm section, female backing vocalists soaring in unison, chiming guitars … and of course Loleatta’s explosively powerful and joyful vocals make this a fantastic (and dance-floor friendly) album. Holloway really brings the tracks & arrangements (penned by a number of hugely talented songwriters) to life using a combination of emotion, passion and power. 


FORMAT INFORMATION

Deluxe LP Info: Deluxe 180g vinyl edition.
Black Vinyl Edition Limited to 500 copies, comes with obi strip.

Durand Jones & The Indications

Morning In America / Cruisin' To The Park

When Durand Jones & The Indications released their sophomore LP, American Love Call, there was a bundle version of the album available that included a bonus 7" with "Morning In America" on the A-side and a true bonus B-side, "Cruisin' To The Park." That B-side, an homage to lowriders everywhere, has become a theme for a whole new generation of sweet soul lovers. So we are proud to present this heater of a 45. For Fans Of… Smokey Robinson, The Delfonics, Lee Fields. Let's cruise....

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd 7" Info: Orange coloured 7" vinyl.

A landmark recording in early creative improvised modern music, bassist Cecil McBee's recording for the Strata East label is an important document introducing him as a leader from the international jazz-based scene in New York City via his native Tulsa, OK and following a brief mid-'60s stint in Detroit. McBee as a pure musician has staggering technique, rich harmonic ideas, and an indefatigable swing, but it is as a composer that he is set apart from other musicians of this mid-'70s era. "Life Waves" is a stunning piece of composed and improvised music, with a brief clarion horn section setting off McBee's chordal strumming and harp bop drive. Trumpeter Tex Allen's brash lines, the incendiary tenor saxophonist George Adams, and more thoughtful alto saxophonist Allen Braufman dig into hefty but contrasting solos, while drummer Jimmy Hopps stokes the coals. The other premier piece, "Mutima," has a soaring longer melody switching on and off onto a samba palate that is pretty, beautiful, and much more introspective than other wild and woolly cuts. The legendary but under recognized flutist Art Webb shines on the floaty free "A Feeling,' and the atypical but wholly contemporized "Tulsa Black," a portent to the music that would be made later in this time period by Sonny Fortune, and featuring the wah-wah electric bass guitar work of Cecil McBee, Jr. The two-minute "Voice of the Seventh Angel" sports the disparity of a complex arrangement alongside the beautiful singing of a young Dee Dee Bridgewater, while the marathon "From Within" has McBee performing solo, but overdubbed on two basses in opposite stereo channels, using serene long-toned arco and static pizzicato in arresting sounds that meld into a bridge squawk reminiscent of the saxophone playing of bandmate Adams. In retrospect, McBee's great career was ostensibly launched well before this recording, having worked with prominently with Charles Lloyd, Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Yusef Lateef, Charles Tolliver, and countless others. "Mutima" (translated as "unseen forces") undoubtedly solidified his stature and brilliance as a major player.
Michael G. Nastos/AMG

Pharoah ‘Farrell’ Sanders (born 1940) is a leading figure in the world of jazz and one of the last living legends with connections to players like Sun Ra and John Coltrane. His tenor saxophone playing has earned him royal status amongst free jazz players, critics and collectors.

Originally Sanders was interested in urban blues music, but his high school teacher exposed him to jazz and this took Farrell in an entirely new direction. Once completing high school Sanders quickly packed his belongings and headed to Oakland, where he got a chance to work with musicians of high caliber such as saxophone players Sonny Simmons and Dewey Redman (who were both later to be major forces in new jazz and free jazz). Soon the young Pharoah would meet John Coltrane and would feel being attracted to the life as a professional musician. By the early sixties Sanders moved to New York where the major jazz scene was happening. Here he’d spent most his time honing his skills at rehearsals with Sun Ra….sadly he was not making much money with the Arkestra and soon found himself living on the streets, trying to stay up all night playing and then scrounging for money during the day, often selling blood to eat.

Sanders recorded his debut album for ESP soon after, but it wasn’t until he started playing with his old friend John Coltrane that he would fully unleash the fury of his saxophone on the world of free jazz. The records Pharoah Sanders played on for Coltrane laid the foundation of what was to come for both the world of free jazz and for Sanders as a musician. After Coltrane’s tragic death Sanders would record further with Alice Coltrane, John’s widow, on the album Karma (1969 – Impulse!), which is universally accepted as Sanders’ masterpiece. Along with musicians Alice Coltrane and singer Leon Thomas, Sanders helped to create the genre of spiritual jazz.

By this point in his career & on the album we are presenting you today (Moon Child, recorded in 1989), Sanders had largely withdrawn from the kind of screeching avant-gardism on which he at first staked his reputation. Here Sanders plays with an all-star line-up consisting of Stafford James (Sun Ra) on bass, William Henderson (Roy Ayers) on piano, & Eddie Moore (Sonny Rollins) on drums. Moon Child, with its attractively spacy vocals, is reminiscent of the days of “The Creator Has a Master Plan,” and this mood is kept throughout the album and in the choice of cosmic tunes represented on it.

On this album the legendary saxophonist clearly reinvented himself as a more traditional improviser, capable of thoughtful and pensive deliberations. Catchy mystical New Age vocals, astrological references… Pharoah may remain an acquired taste, but few jazzmen can equal his unique formula of mastering the ‘groove’.


Pharoah Sanders

Izipho Zam(My Gifts)

Two years after the death of his mentor and boss, John Coltrane, and just before signing his own contract with Impulse!, Pharoah Sanders finally got around to releasing an album as a leader apart from the Impulse! family. Enlisting a cast of characters no less than 13 in number, Sanders proved that his time with Coltrane and his Impulse! debut, Tauhid, was not a fluke. Though hated by many of the jazz musicians at the time -- and more jazz critics who felt Coltrane had lost his way musically the minute he put together the final quintet -- Sanders followed his own muse to the edges of Eastern music and sometimes completely outside the borderlines of what could be called jazz. That said, Izipho Zam is a wonderful recording, full of the depth of vision and heartfelt soul that has informed every recording of Sanders since. Guests include Sonny Sharrock, Lonnie Liston Smith, Chief Bey, Cecil McBee, Sirone, Sonny Fortune, Billy Hart, Howard Johnson, and others. The set begins with a gorgeous soul tune in "Prince of Peace," with Leon Thomas doing his trademark yodel, croon, and wail as Smith, McBee, and Hart back him and Sanders fills the gaps. Next is "Balance," the first blowing tune on the set, with the African drums, the modal horns, and Sanders' microtonal investigations of sonic polarity contrasted with Johnson's tuba, leaving the rhythm section to join him as Sharrock and Smith trade drone lines and Sanders turns it into a Latin dance from outer space about halfway through to the end -- it's astonishing. Finally, on the 28-minute title track, the band members -- all of them -- begin a slow tonal inquiry, a textured traipse into the abyss of dissonance and harmonic integration, with Thomas as the bridge through which all sounds must travel on their way to the ensemble. From here, percussion, bells, whistles, Sharrock's heavily chorded guitar -- all provide rhythm upon interval upon tonal figure until the horns enter at about 12 minutes. They move slowly at first and gather force until they blast it right open at 20 minutes and the last eight are all free blowing and an endurance ride for the listener because, with four minutes left, Sanders leads the band in a gorgeous lyric ride that brings together all disparate elements in his world and ours, making this track -- and album -- an exhilarating, indispensable out jazz experience.



STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Spiritual jazz legend Pharoah Sanders, Izipho Zam(My Gifts) is a literal gift to all jazz fans out there, full of rhythm and fantastic percussion. Joined by big names, Sonny Sharrock, Lonnie Liston Smith, Chief Bey, Cecil McBee to name a few, full on talent and style!

The Soul Twins / N F Porter

Quick Change Artist / Keep On Keeping On

The Soul Twins, real life siblings Hal and Harold Degraffenreid, were Detroit’s answer to Sam and Dave. “Quick Change Artist” thundered onto the U.K. Northern Soul scene at the Torch All-nighters in Stoke-on-Trent and little wonder since it was recorded by Johnny Griffith for Ollie McLaughlin’s Karen label and features the Funk Brothers on backing. N F Porter was born Nolan Frederick (NF) Porter in Los Angeles in 1949 and is best known for “Keep On Keeping On” his third and final single for Gabriel Mekler’s Lizard label. It was released in America in 1971 and found its way on to the U.K. Northern Soul scene via The Torch all-nighters in Stoke-on-Trent where it was first played as a new release, and later at the legendary Wigan Casino.

Joe Tex / Little Willie John

Pneumonia / Fever

    Joe Tex, born Joseph Arrington Jr, needs no introduction to the rare soul fan having enjoyed dance floor action over the entire history of the scene – who could forget the enormity of “Show Me” at Wigan Casino and the ever-popular “Under Your Powerful Love”. So, it is ironic that he would have to wait almost fifty years for one of his earliest recordings, “Pneumonia”, to be finally appreciated! It is of course an answer-song to “Fever” which was recorded earlier in the same year, 1956, by Little Willie John earning him a Gold Disc for a million-seller and a #1 on the R&B Chart. Peggy Lee would go on to popularise the song world-wide with her hit cover in 1958.

    Various Artists

    Back To Mine - Jungle

      The iconic album series Back to Mine returns once again in 2019 with the first DJ mix compilation from world dominating indie-dance band Jungle, showcasing their personal tastes for the after-hours. The series was renowned for its eclectic selection and selectors which includes some of the biggest names in electronic and pop music, from the likes of Faithless to Pet Shop Boys, Groove Armada to New Order.

      The collection includes an exclusive track from Jungle themselves and takes the listener on an eclectic musical journey. From 90s disco by Merle to more recent house tracks by Manuel Darquart and Drumtalk. Bristol DJ Admin provides the percussion heavy ‘Space Cadet’ and the irrepressible Mocky supplies good vibes on ‘How It Goes’. There’s sophisticated pop from The Marias and Sam Evian and there’s some spotlight for modern jazz with tracks by Kamaal Williams, Mansur Brown and BadBadNotGood featuring Kaytranada. There’s also room for some gospel influenced soul by The Flying Stars of Brooklyn NY, lo-fi dream pop from Paul Cherry before ending with the always impressive HNNY.

      “When asked what genre of music we like or create we always answer explaining that we try not to hear music in genre but more in sonic and emotion, and if it feels good then it is good. By that merit, we have conjured a list of far-reaching tracks and brought them together to sit harmoniously on this Back to Mine mix. Put together mostly in the confines of our London based garden studio, where many a late night gathering has taken place, the mix makes its was through psych, Afro-beat, house and soul with some of our favourite tracks of the moment, Have fun and enjoy.” - Jungle

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Millie says: Jungle’s compilation is a close replica of what I’d include on my own selection of favourite songs featuring BadBadNotGood, Kaytranada, Sly5thAve and Mansur Brown. A fantastic mixture of contemporary jazz while also reaching broad horizons from house, soul and Afro-beat, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to genre inclusivity. Featuring one of Jungles very own exclusive track ‘Come Back A Different Day’ which is drenched in electronic beats with their signature sleek vocals.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive clear vinyl. Limited edition heavyweight vinyl and extra thick cardboard sleeves with full coloured bespoke artwork, commissioned from illustrator Rich Fairhead, depicting the artist’s influences alongside personal sleeve notes from Jungle.

      Soul Jazz Records’ ‘Nigeria Soul Power 70’ album showcases the influence of funk, rock and disco on Nigerian music during the 1970s. Originally released as a nowlong- out-of-print collectors’ 7” box, this fully expanded album release now also includes extra tracks from Sonny Okosuns, Wings, Chief Kollington Ayinla and more.

      While for many people the fusion of funk and jazz music with Nigerian rhythms and aesthetics began with Fela Kuti and his afro-beat sound, in fact this can be traced further back to the phenomena of the 1960s Nigerian artists and house bands in nightclubs and hotels who interpreted US soul and pop music with a local flavour and none more so than Geraldo Pino, the ‘African James Brown’ who features heavily in this collection. Other similarly inspired Nigerian funk and soul artists featured here included Tony Grey and his Ozimba Messengers and Don Bruce and The Angels.

      ‘Nigeria Soul Power 70’ includes a number of tracks from the group Wings originally known as BAF (Biafran Air Force) Wings, an army band formed during the Biafran civil war in Nigeria. The groups’ heavy mixture of funk, rock and African styles was popular among many Nigerian groups at the time.

      Beneath the shadow of the few Nigerian artists who signed international recording deals in the 1970s - Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Chief Ebenezer Obey - lies of vast wealth of largely undiscovered musical transmutation and cultural cross-pollination and included here are heavy afro-funk/rock and disco tracks from artists such as the legendary Sonny Okosuns as well as rare cuts from little-known outside of Nigeria - groups such as Colomach and MFB. Most of these obscure artists signed to major labels in Nigeria in the commercial slipstream that opened up as Philips, Decca and EMI tried to emulate the international success of the big three international Nigerian artists.

      Finally featured here is Kollington Ayinla, one of the co-founders of Nigerian Fuji music, who gives us perhaps the heaviest of all tracks on this album. Ayinla is the great moderniser of the Fuji sound and in the late 1970s began adding Bata drums and synthesizers to his authentic music to create a powerful and heavy new fusion of traditional and modernist aesthetics, embracing both new technology and experimentation while rooted firmly in Nigerian historical lineage.


      Barry is all over this Vic Mars @VicMarsmusic album ‘Inner Roads and Other Paths’ released earlier this month on… https://t.co/9LGcceRgty
      Thu 17th - 1:09
      Massive thank you to @state808 today who played a great set and signed a few copies of their new album ‘Transmissio… https://t.co/Ez3Cd7yuy4
      Sat 12th - 7:11
      Haha. No problem. Thanks for sharing. https://t.co/VKvgqJfreB
      Sat 12th - 6:55
      Ready for National Album Day @AlbumDayUK Open from 10 - 6 today as usual. Follow the link to this week’s albums… https://t.co/8AzifY3uYo
      Sat 12th - 8:07
      E-newsletter —
      Sign up
      Back to top