MAGIC MIX

funk . soul . jazz . free jazz . broken beat

WEEK STARTING 23 Aug

Genre pick of the week Cover of A Song For Paul by Ghost Funk Orchestra.
For Fans Of…Temples, Allah-Las, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Khruangbin, David Axelrod et al.

Ghost Funk Orchestra are a mystery. Plain and simple. Dirty, soulful production, 'verbed and fuzzed out guitars & mysterious vocals that feel like a lost score to a Quentin Tarantino film. The brainchild of one-man producer / musician / arranger Seth Applebaum, GFO is forging new territory and blurring the line between soul and psychedelic, just in time for that BBC3 Woodstock documentary everyone's been banging on about! 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Just in time for that BBC3 Woodstock documentary everyone's been banging on about, a modern interpretation of soul and psyche that's sure to excite the hippies. Refracted through a cinematic prism, the track's have a focus and direction which elevates them above other druggy bandwagon hoppers...

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Limited gold vinyl.

Bill Brandon

The Streets Got My Lady / Whatever I Am, I'm Yours

    Bill Brandon from Huntsville, Alabama recorded between the late 60s to late 70s, primarily with the Moonsong and Prelude labels. Of the 7”s released, “The Streets Got My Lady” became prolific as an upbeat modern soul gem on his one outing for the Piedmont label, original pressings of this today fetching in excess of £350. It is (co)-written, arranged and produced by Moses C. Dillard who would take Bill to Prelude Records for his one self-titled album in 1977. Earlier Bill had worked with Sam Dees and Fredrick Knight at Moonsong, along the way recording “Whatever I Am, I’m Yours” which has also become in demand and exchanges hands for over £250. Hence this release represents both great music and amazing value.

    Singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist, Desmond Coke's supremely rare, privately pressed, lo-fi, synth-soul fusion, "Let's Chase The Sun" is represented here in edited form. Painstakingly remastered from the original tapes, this self taught pianist, drummer and sax player condensed his musical experiences and dreams in to an opus on love and togetherness.

    Desmond Coke alias 'Fatfingers' - named by fellow musicians due to improvisation and interpretation skills - began playing keyboards by ear at 15 and went on to a music career playing with the likes of Alton Ellis, Prince Fari, Barrington Levy, Dillinger, Don Cherry and Shara Nelson, as well as a gamut of the On-U Sound label's projects, including Creation Rebel, Dub Syndicate, Singers & Players and Mark Stewart + Maffia.

    With an interest in reggae, dub, jazz, soul, meringue, gospel and garage, his sole album was a true fusion to create a brand new sound. Composed, arranged and produced by Coke, he worked with an array of seasoned musicians, including his own sisters Winifred (percussion / vocals) and Paulette Coke (percussion / DX-7 & M1 synthesisers).

    Pressed on his own Saterlite Entertainments in 1989, Coke describes the album's purpose, "to get the message across to have focus, ambition, to dream and 'chase the sun'. That relationships are important, 'I need somebody' and naturally the chemistry is 'you and me'. Great relationships are about friendships and that it's ok to 'mesmerise a friend'. The most natural thing is to enjoy each other's company and to 'make a love child'. These good intentions and meanings, where love is the key." Some thirty years later Desmond's thoughts are as resonant today as then - Let's Chase The Sun.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: What is this tropical funk curio I hear you ask?! Well, it's Desmond Coke! - with a name like that you'd surely expect him to bring the party, and like a white horse he elegantly struts across dancefloor, beach, terrace and club; the perfect soundtrack to a debauched night on the tiles in a foreign paradise.

    Around the year, the sturdy red brick walls of an old Cable Factory stand there like a mountain, facing weathers of all kinds rising from the Gulf of Finland. It might be freezing winter winds whipping the whole shore line into submission, fog heavy as concrete, or the relentless sun of the summer months, softening the asphalt to a boiling point. Whatever the weather may be, the narrow courtyard of the old factory embraces those musicians, who are looking to get down. They gather from all directions, making their way towards a pair of doors that lead towards a flight of stairs, again through a few doors all the way to the last portal, where an open padlock and a loosely hangin crossbar signal that Cold Diamond & Mink are inside, locked in a groove.

    Who could it be with them this time, perhaps the jazz prophet Jimi Tenor beaming out of his space ship, maybe it's the golden voiced knight of soul Tuomo "Pratt" Prättälä, the number one trumpet wielding dandy Jukka Eskola or the saxman Pope Puolitaival, who loses nothing in coolness compared to the former? The reel to reel is always there in the monitoring room, catching each analog layer of sound, even the silences and banter between takes. Seppo lays down the guitar and tries to catch the riff on organ instead, Jukka throws a rare tune on the turntable, hoping to guide their unit through that wobbly chorus, Sami waits there bass in hand, maybe already thinking about the next production.

    After a whole lot of playing instruments, arranging and taking care of business, after the moon has travelled around the old industrial building for some rotations, Carlton Jumel Smith comes waltzing through those same doors. There's a handful of unnamed tracks waiting for him. He sits there listening and then starts writing, maybe echoes of soul classics from his own record collection in New York projecting inside his mind. Then the tape is rolling again. Starting with a short intro rap Carlton lets it out, singing on the edge of shouting "Woman you made me...". After the vocals are in the can, Carlton ascends out of the basement and heads out to entertain an audience somewhere. Some months later, after the mix is said and done, there's the question of the instrumentals. It seems they're pretty good as they are. And here they are.





    The neo-soul movement of the late 1990s, which fused classic soul sounds with contemporary elements, heralded the arrival of some of the greatest R&B recordings of the decade. Albums like Lauryn Hill's "The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill", D'Angelo's "Brown Sugar", and Maxwell's "Urban Hang Suite" were all born of this trend, while artists such as Mos Def, The Roots, and Common whole-heartedly embraced the sound, creating some of their most timeless material in the process (most of it we've championed whole-heartedly through the years! - Ed).

    These are some of neo-soul's great successes, but a slew of underground acts were what set the initial blueprint for their more pop-friendly acquaintances to follow. Acts such as R&B duo Groove Theory. The New York pair, consisting of singer / songwriter Amel Larrieux, and producer Bryce Wilson, (A veteran of the legendary 80s electronic group Mantronix) helped set the tone for neo-soul via their lone studio release, the self-titled "Groove Theory".

    The nearly hour-long record features 14 tracks of Wilson's smooth soul arrangements and atmospherics merged with golden era boom-bap beats, and Larrieux's siren-quality vocals, inspired equally by a combination of Native Tongues, peak Marvin Gaye, Joan Armatrading, Soul II Soul, as well as elements of breakbeat, jazz fusion, and even trip hop. It's a definitive, but often overlooked classic of the 1990s, which helped expand contemporary R&B's sound, render Billboard hits out the tracks "Tell Me", "Keep Tryin'", and "Baby Luv", and even found the time for a Todd Rundgren cover. On the cusp of Groove Theory's 25th anniversary, Get On Down is proud to bring you this vinyl reissue of an underrated 90s gem. The original record has never been re-released on wax since its 1995 debut, but is now presented here with fully remastered audio, and bundled in a full-color insert sleeve with complete lyrics and liner notes. 


    Chet Ivey

    Dose Of Soul / Get Down With Geater Pt, 1

    Reissue mavericks Soul Brother, bring you a rarer than rare funk / soul gem from Chet (Poison) Ivy. Chet recorded periodically between the late 50s and mid 70s. The two great sides here were recorded at Sigma sound Philadelphia and released originally on a 1974 7” for New York label Sylvia (also issued on Memphis label Freetone in 1975). Copies have exchanged hands for over £100. “Get Down With The Geater” was sampled by DJ Q-Bert in 2006 and is a great funk blast. “Dose Of Soul” has become the in demand dancer in recent years on both the funk and modern soul scenes.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Raw, hypnotic funk here; heady and noxious, it's no wonder it's been a prized item on the soul scene for years. For the younger listeners, these are the kinda tracks DJs like Theo Parrish, Jeremy Underground and MCDE forge careers on excavating and working into their contemporary sets...

    Written over the course of three years, "Cage And Aviary" ties personal reflection to wider social issues, giving an intimate insight in to what it means to come of age in today’s world. Sophisticated songwriting is brought to life with Bryony’s harmonious vocals, layered with jazz, soul and elements of folk, creating a melodic sound that has charmed many major tastemakers. "Cage & Aviary" was created with long-time friend, collaborator and Tru Thoughts label-mate Tom Leah AKA Werkha, highlighting their capacity for musical exploration.

    'The album is built around my contemplations on life, love and myself and tying that in with wider global issues.' Jarman-Pinto explains, 'lyrically I have circled around the theme of family and securities I felt at a younger age, measured against my insecurities now and personal desires to my own femininity and personhood'. This lyrical struggle is best represented in “Emerge”, a track written at a time when Jarman-Pinto was experiencing her biggest lack of creativity and insecurity around her writing; she describes a breakthrough in writing, willing for one to come.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Delicate vocals, jazz-flecked instrumentals; Jarman-Pinto causally wears flowers in her hair with a relaxed, diurnal, open-air quality; you get the feeling she's destined for some colourful live performances across the festival circuit. One to check for sure.

    Christian 'Kon' Taylor's KONTemporary imprint goes from strength to strength! This, the fourth release sees the Boston crate diggin' selector, producer and remixer extraordinaire reworking Alicia Myers' gospel tinged roof-raiser 'I Want To Thank You' to devastating effect!

    This killer 1981 rare-groove / disco classic has long been a secret weapon of DJ's who dig that bit deeper, an underground classic for sure. Imagine then, getting your hands on the master tapes, and being allowed to go DEEP on the arrangements and stems and crafting your own special versions of this absolute monster cut? Well, that's what KON's done! On this high quality, top-shelf 12" you get 2 brand new mixes including a heavyweight 'dubapella' version pushing Alicia's gorgeous voice deep into the delay. KONtemporary always bring that heat, and this latest jam is no exception, boasting full sleeve artwork, stellar mastering and a super nice pressing.

    Essential business right here!


    Theo Parrish

    What You Wanna Ask For - Ft. Lori, SilentJay, Simon Marvin, Perrin Moss & Paul Bender

    Theo's back with a whole host of friends and a return to his slick, jazz-infected grooves . What we've heard of this new record sounds great, almost like he's revisiting "Summertime" era moods. With a lush and dreamy piano - organ combo, sumptuous strings and that iconic bass motif, we're in Theo Parrish dreamworld here!

    Get those orders in as copies are always in high demand!


    Phrydderichs Phaelda

    Bruchstuecke

    Reissue of the amazing "Bruchstuecke" LP by free-jazz artists Phrydderichs Phaelda.

    This band was a short living school band project of the Gymnasium Voerde Mitte (West-Germany) led by pianist and music teacher Friedrich Schepers joined by other teachers and students (Hans Klimek on bass, Lutz Leonhardt on drums, Wolfgang Kulawik on guitar). In 1975 they went to the studio to record 6 instrumental tracks in a style that could be best described as jazz / fusion with hints of r’n’b and rock, which are brimming with crisp snare drums played in polyrhythmic and ever-changing patterns and tempos. Alongside that the astounded listener gets to enjoy thrilling electric guitar lines and breathtaking electric piano excursions together with ultrawarm and elaborate bass guitar parts. All this is held together by the four musicians great overview and ability to improvise and react spontaneously to their fellows. This creates a kind of magic which is rare to hear in music these days.

    Stefan Leisering and Juergen von Knoblauch, the two record digging members of Jazzanova have immediately understood the unique quality of "Bruchstuecke" and decided to re-release this overlooked masterpiece. In the course of the original release of this album in the early 1980s only a small amount has been pressed. Now re-mastered from original vinyl by Oliver Haertel at Upstairs Studio Berlin, and produced for reissue by Oliver Glage, Stefan Leisering & Jürgen von Knoblauch. Product management by Oliver Glage.
    Reissue artwork by Frohe Zukunft Export.


    An African artist, born in Ghana (1945) during the English colonial occupation, Mack Porter moved to the Netherlands and then to Italy in the late 60's where he released four pop and soul-oriented singles for the small Naples label Fans. In 1969 he won the Un disco per l' Europa song contest in Lugano, Switzerland which got him signed to the RiFi label. In 1972 he made a concept album (under the name of Mack Sigis Porter) and this album is the masterpiece that is "Peace on You". After his musical career Porter stayed in Italy and became a stylist under the name Mack Squire.

    "Peace on You" was strongly inspired by psychedelic soul influences and progressive atmospheres, with wild guitar solos (and some Hendrix-like vocals), and even some orchestral arrangements. Mack Porter’s only album (featuring many famous Italian guest musicians) is an acclaimed favorite when it comes to African psychedelic rock. Riddled with long folky introductions, funky strings, soulful organ breaks, soft progressive rock, fuzz guitars…combine all of this with Porters sad bluesy voice and you have a unique sounding record that gets more interesting with repeated and concentrated listening.

    It was rumored that this rare and expensive album (original copies tend to go for silly money on the second-hand market) only came out on a handful of promo copies, but the sad truth is that it simply received no promotion at all and sold in minimal quantities.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

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

    Synthia

    Tonight You Might / Dissolve

    Big Crown records is proud to present their first foray into the exciting and moving world of boogie-informed synth-pop with a Big Crown super group of sorts, aptly named Synthia. Side A, "Tonight You Might", finds Lady Wray on vocals while production is handled by Leon & Homer. The song starts with drums that could seamlessly mix in with Juicy Fruit or Juicy, whichever is your preferred flavor. As promising as the song starts, Nicole's entrance on vocals guarantees that you've just put the needle on a Certified Banger. Side B, "Dissolve" is an instrumental designed for peak hour dancefloor play. With swinging flutes and sexy sax provided by El Michels himself, and drumming programmed by the best actual drummer in the land, Homer Steinweiss, Dissolve is just a good ol' time from start to finish. Big Crown records has been sitting on a grenade and were ready to set her off baby!

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Deee-licious soul musica here from a unique voice and bolstered with some incredible muscianship. Two tracks for rainy days, sunny days, lonesome nights and loved up evenings.

    Masahiko Togashi, Don Cherry, Dave Holland, And Steve Lacy

    Live At Yubin Chokin Kaikan Hall, Tokyo On May 14, 1986

    For this historical concert held at the Yubin Chokin Hall, in Tokyo on May 14, 1986, the legendary Japanese drummer Masahiko Togashi brought together an amazing line-up with such modern jazz luminaries as Steve Lacy (soprano sax), Don Cherry (pocket trumpet), and Dave Holland (bass). This particular album consists of four previously unpublished tracks (on vinyl), including some highly regarded Lacy compositions such as "The Crus" and "Quakes" and Don Cherry's African flavored anthem called "Mopti". The Lacy-Cherry frontline flies over the agile, airy rhythm section of Holland and Togashi and the interplay between the four master musicians sounds loose and relaxed. This is a must-hear for any post free jazz fan.

    Universal Togetherness Band

    Saturday Night / More Than Enough

    While in pursuit of a Radio and TV Broadcasting degree from Chicago State University, Cynthia C. Gibson directed the music video for the Universal Togetherness Band’s “More Than Enough.” Backed with the unreleased party anthem “Saturday Night,” “More Than Enough” is available for the first time in an attractive picture-sleeve 45 and sounds super funky and sublime. The raw drums collide with nicely picked guitar lines while the male-female chorus is like golden syrup on fresh pancakes! Soul collectors you need this!

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: High grade jazz-funk that'd you catch plenty of jocks utilizing to devastating effect on the more sophisticated 'floors. Both sides strut and canter like a prized show horse, but it's the smoochy b-side love-in, "More Than Enough" that does it for me...

    This is the second collaboration of Joe Buhdha and Terri Walker, the first being 2014’s "Untitled to Entitled" EP featuring "Feel Right" and "Tired Out". The EP received major support from many taste makers and top DJs around the world and now the pair are back with a full length album! With a smorgasboard of high grade collaborations throughout - Children Of Zeus, DRS, Rodney P - Terri Walker merges reggae, house, soul and hip-hop into a distinctly UK-centric brew. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Tasty merging of flavours makes this a highly accomplished UK offering. Rich with a multi-coloured, carnival energy, with a skilled and attentive songwriting to boot. A winner!


    This Sunday (August 25) we are down @ThePilcrowPub next to the CIS building celebrating the launch of our new beer… https://t.co/ng2LNvz2SY
    Fri 23rd - 3:22
    Our very own Ryan here looking very happy with his new @HorsebeachBand album ‘The Unforgiven Current’ which is out… https://t.co/5hvcgSqC3w
    Fri 23rd - 1:02
    Coloured vinyl from Ghost Funk Orchestra, Tropical Fuck Storm aka @tfs_theband Augustus Pablo Meets King Tubby and… https://t.co/gwcS9ATOYT
    Fri 23rd - 12:56
    Out day. @work1ngmensclub 7” ‘Teeth’ Limited to 500 copies only. Don’t sleep. https://t.co/2zZgwq94dq Label… https://t.co/Chh4EcsdiT
    Fri 23rd - 11:28
    Happy New Music Friday everyone. We are open all weekend and we have brand new banners gracing our walls today from… https://t.co/ACNwFvdjHy
    Fri 23rd - 10:21
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