END OF YEAR REVIEW 2020

TOP 20 COMPILATIONS

Options for travel may have been seriously curtailed in this strange year, but the DJs, diggers and selectors of the world have stepped into the breach wonderfully, wowing us with audio journeys through space and time. Top prize belongs to global groove merchants Khruangbin, whose intercontinental set for Late Night Tales encompasses African boogie, Korean AOR and alt-pop gems from their Houston hometown. The window into Japanese music opened a little wider this year with excellent collections from Music For Dreams and LITA, while Soul Jazz, Brownswood and Acid Jazz took care of all corners of the jazz spectrum. Elsewhere you’ll hear disco, AOR, indie and house in a varied and vital Top 20 compilations.

Piccadilly Records Compilation 2020
Vinyl fans rejoice! We’re delighted to announce that we’re once again releasing a compilation LP, jam-packed with 12 tracks cherry picked from this year’s Top 20 albums. All for the bargain price of £9.99 again!
'Piccadilly Records Compilation 2020' is available to order here now.

Check out these links to see our other Best Of 2020 Charts:
Click HERE for the Piccadilly Top 100 Albums 2020
Click HERE for the Piccadilly Top 20 Reissues / Collections 2020

And don't forget our super deluxe perfect bound 92 page full colour End Of Year Review Booklet is available now too, beautifully designed yet again by Mark Brown Studio, you can pick up a physical copy here, free instore or view online here.
Hot on the heels of ‘Mordechai’, the critically acclaimed third album from US psych-rockers Khruangbin, the Texas trio are set to become the latest act to present their own LateNightTales in the popular, long-running musician-curated album series.

Having first come to prominence in 2013 when producer and D.J. Bonobo included Khruangbin’s ‘A Calf Born in Winter’ in his own collection of songs for the series, the little known Houston trio had yet to release an album, but have since gone on to become international superstars forming their own exotic, individual sound. “The LateNightTales series is such a special thing to be a part of because we wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for Bonobo’s LateNightTales, because that’s how we got into the LNT family – and got a break.”

With a mind-blowing selection of tracks that cross borders and cultures, Khruangbin’s deep love of global grooves – from Asian pop to Nigerian reggae – Japanese mellow groove to Latina flavas – are steeped in eclecticism; Nazia Hassan’s Hindi-disco ‘Khushi’, produced by British-Indian legend Biddu, South Korean rock band Sanullim who contribute ‘Don’t Go’, a pair of African bangers from Nigerian Maxwell Udoh and Roha Band, from Ethiopia; a diversion to Belarus for Песняры and thence to Madrid for the strident vocal performance of Paloma San Basilio with ‘Contigo’ before hightailing back to Texas.

Elsewhere, the Lone Star state reps proudly, with David Marez and Kelly Doyle plus, in the LateNightTales tradition, the band deliver an exclusive, horizontally brilliant version of Kool & The Gang’s ‘Summer Madness’, while the mix concludes with a spoken word piece by Tierney Malone, accompanied by fellow Houstonian Geoffrey Muller’s atmospheric banjo rendering of Erik Satie’s ‘Gnossienne’.

“It’s cool to think about what you would listen to late at night, as a band together, lighting a spliff, kinda vibe. We definitely wanted to cover as much global territory as possible; so it was the globe and then home. We wanted to show the treasures from our hometown, or people from our hometown that the rest of the world probably doesn’t know. That’s what makes Khruangbin Khruangbin. The stubbornness about being so hometown-centric but what makes Houston is this this constant international influence. That’s that gulf stream, bringing it right into Houston. So I guess that’s kind of the theme.”

The LateNightTales series was established back in 2001 with Fila Brazilia taking to the controls and mixing up the first of what would continue to be the first choice of music connoisseurs worldwide. Since then, the series has seen releases from the likes of The Flaming Lips, Hot Chip, Floating Points, David Holmes, Bonobo, Jon Hopkins, Röyksopp and many more.

STAFF COMMENTS

says: Though I swiftly snapped up a copy of their first RSD single on the advice of my more experienced Balearic brethren, it was an early online mixtape which truly turned me on to this Houston Trio. Awash with Thai funk, Brazilian soul and hazy dub, this set beguiled rather than banged, encompassing that soothing, grooving style which has since become their signature. Naturally I came to this, their first official compilation, and on the excellent Late Night Tales no less, with the highest expectations; all of which were exceeded over the course of this mesmeric mix.

Through the cascading strings and shimmering harp of Santana & Coltrane’s opener, Khurangbin begin their dream sequence, an uncanny hour of vignettes in a land free from the conventions of space and time. The loved up dub of Houston contemporaries Brilliantes Del Vuelo gives way to blistering disco from 80s Bollywood, a cult art-pop classic from NY’s Downtown follows the sublime Blaxploitation soul of Gerald Lee. Songs separated by distance and decades sit happily side by side, united by an optimistic mood and ever-present groove. More than this though, each of these songs share a transportive quality; listening to the Nigerian boogie of Mawell Udoh, it’s impossible not to picture a Lagos nightspot, or the skyscrapers of Seoul when Sanullim’s soft pop stunner bounds out of the speakers. Even the band's own exceptional cover of Kool's 'Summer Madness' offers a deep concentration of the Khruangbin style, an invitation into their personal Shangri-La.

In an era in which the race for the rare can leave even the finest diggers blind to the actual merit of the music, Khruangbin's melodies sans frontières is a remarkable feat, each selection superb on its own and sublime taken together.

Khruangbin around the world and I, I, I can’t fight it baby.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xColoured LP Info: Unmixed Vinyl Version (includes mixed and unmixed tracks as download).
Pressed on double 180 gram virgin vinyl.
Includes 30cm art print.
Including download codes for the Khruangbin mix and full unmixed tracks as MP3 / FLAC / WAV.
Indies exclusive orange vinyl.
The orange vinyl format is limited to 4000 units worldwide and sleeves are numbered.

2xLP Info: Unmixed Vinyl Version (includes mixed and unmixed tracks as download).
Pressed on double 180 gram virgin vinyl.
Includes 30cm art print.
Including download codes for the Khruangbin mix and full unmixed tracks as MP3 / FLAC / WAV.

CD Info: Mixed CD Version.
Includes unmixed tracks as download.

2 - Various Artists

Oto No Wa

    For the fifth entry in our Collector`s Series we enlist the skills of Japan-based musical connoisseurs, Ken Hidaka, Max Essa, and Dr. Rob. Their compilation Oto No Wa sets out to map the evolution of chilled Japanese sounds across 3 decades. Collecting 14 tracks, produced by a wide range of artists. From ambient pioneers to dance-floor veterans. Roping in 9-piece reggae band, Little Tempo, percussionist Kazuya Kotani, and organic, psychedelic collective, Olololop.

    Beginning in the late 1980s, the era when “environmental music” became prevalent, there`s Yoshio Ojima`s cool computer-generated Sealed. The compilation also includes later work by his contemporaries Takashi Kokubo, and Yoshiaki Ochi. Theirs are compositions designed for art galleries and museum installations. “BGM” built from emerging technology, and / or counterpoint tapped out expertly on sticks and stones. The 90s give us the seminal electronics of Susumu Yokota, and the solar-flare strut of Scha Dara Parr - Japan’s answer to The Beastie Boys. Here, remixed by the legendary Major Force. Moving into the 21st century we have the post-house productions of Flower Records. Kentaro Takizawa`s oceanic Gradual Life, and Little Big Bee`s colourful coral reef-diving Scuba. Fellow traveller, Kaoru Inoue`s “Kyushu kosmische”. Representing the next decade are Flower Records` current rising stars, Coastlines, who calmly combine classic fusion, library music, and gentle nova bossa nova rhythms. Alongside them are the sun-baked electro-acoustics of Karel Arbus & Eiji Takamatsu, plus Chillax` previously unreleased epic analog / modular jam.

    All of these selections are the result of some serious “digging” but more importantly they represent physical connections made during Ken`s 20-plus-year career in the “Biz”, Max` decade of DJing all over Japan. Music made by folks interviewed by Rob at the websites, Test Pressing and Ban Ban Ton Ton. Friendships forged at Lone Star - the trio’s long-running party, which takes place every month at Bar Bonobo in Harajuku.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: Music For Dreams score an A* for A&R once again, inviting Ken Hidaka, Max Essa and Dr. Rob to celebrate the decades of dreamy Japanese music. Tracing a path from the airy era of environmental music, through the downbeat electronics of the 90s to the wavey Walearic of the 21st Century, the trio present deeply dug rarities while paying tribute to the thriving musical community which surrounds them. Engaging, immersive and unquestionably Japanese, ‘Oto No Wa’ is an irresistible listen.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP 2 Info: Limited edition clear vinyl.

    3 - Various Artists

    SEX: Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die

      First time ever on vinyl, the legendary compilation taken from the infamous Kings Road ‘SEX ’shop jukebox. Curated by Marco Pirroni of Siouxsie & the banshees, Adam & the Ants and SEX shop regular, a hand-selected treasure trove of underground/outsider classics – All of which were on heavy rotation throughout the mid-70s on Malcolm and Vivienne’s SEX boutique jukebox..

      Originally released in 2003 on OLLA records, “Sex: Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die”, The 2020 Stranger Than Paradise Records edition includes new updated artwork plus testimonials from Marco Pirroni, Don Letts, Jon Savage, Jordan, Paul Cook, and Manicured Noise’s Steven Walsh.

      “…in my all-important role as ‘Sex’ shop layabout 1974-1976, it was my self-appointed duty to sit around and do nothing except be snide about everyone who came into the shop and continually play my favourite 20 records on the jukebox over and over again, until Jordan or Michael could stand no more and pulled the plug out of the wall……

      .. I had never heard of any of the 19 artists who had made my 20 favorite records (I still haven’t) and couldn’t imagine what they were thinking when they made them (I still can’t) but whatever it was they were thinking, they believed it - body and soul - and were making the records they wanted to make against all odds, including at times their own lack of talent. The one thing I learnt from those days was that it’s more important for an artist to be actively discouraged than encourage”

      Marco Pirroni

      “Memories of a jukebox. The first thing we did when going into the shop was head to the jukebox and fire up some music. It was great listening to all those 50’s/60’s tracks and it was a bit of an education music wise.

      Blasting out great Rock’n’Roll, Garage / Rebel Rock, it had to be the coolest jukebox in London at the time and we’d spend hours hanging around, digging the scene and looking cool. As time went by we’d add our own 45’s into the mix but the jukebox choice had Malcom’s stamp all over it with a selection of outsider, freaky misfits. ..Long live outsider, freaky misfits and R’n’Rollz “

      Paul Cook, Sex Pistols

      STAFF COMMENTS

      says: Back in 1975, one time Banshee and 80s Ant Marco Pirroni was a dedicated teenage delinquent, spending his days surrounded by the pornographic polyester of McLaren and Westwood’s infamous King’s Road boutique. For this compilation, originally released on CD in 2003 and now finally available on vinyl, Pirroni raids the shop jukebox to bring us twenty tracks brimming with hormones, solvents and teen spirit, each playing its own small part in the genesis of punk.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xColoured LP Info: Pressed on limited pink vinyl and includes a bonus 7" featuring two exclusive tracks taken from the jukebox –
      A - side - Ian Hunter ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy’
      B- side - Jerry Byrne ‘Lights Out’

      4 - Various Artists

      DJ Kicks - Mr Scruff

        DJ-Kicks starts off its 25th year with a selector who’s been doing just that for even longer than we’ve been going. A true giant of the underground dance world, we proudly present the original ‘Jazz Potato’ himself: Mr. Scruff!  His 31-track masterclass features one new and exclusive track and lands 27th March 2020. Spanning the decades like a funky timelord for our special mix, Scruff brings some of the world’s best analogue and digital musicians together in a head-spinning melange of sinuous groove – ably blending sometimes disparate elements into an aurally nourishing whole - courtesy of two of the safest DJ hands you’ll ever have the pleasure to be in.


        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Everyone’s favourite party potato Keeps It seriously Unreal to celebrate 25 years of DJ-Kicks, seamlessly blending thirty one disparate tracks in an hour long display of total decks-terity. Nipping from South America to South Africa, spinning electric soul, eclectic reggae and euphoric house, Mr Scruff imbues every minute of this mix with his freestyle musical mantra while placing ultimate emphasis on the shelf wobbling bass. Push back the sofa and turn off the lights, your house party soundtrack is here!

        5 - Various Artists

        Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1972-1986

          When Light In The Attic released Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1976-1986 in 2019, it was the first collection of its kind to be released outside Japan. It proved to be just what music fans had been waiting for—a compilation of sought-after tracks that had been nearly impossible to obtain unless you were well-connected with dealers and collectors, or traveled regularly to the countless record stores in Japan. Pacific Breeze included Minako Yoshida, Taeko Ohnuki, Hiroshi Sato and Haruomi Hosono among other key players of ‘70s-’80s Japanese City Pop, the nebulous genre that encompassed an “amalgam of AOR, R&B, jazz fusion, funk, boogie and disco, all a touch dizzy with tropical euphoria,” as we described it the first time around.

          With Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1972-1986 we dig deeper into those sounds of bubble-era Japan. From the proto-City Pop funk of Bread & Butter and Eiichi Ohtaki to the crate-digger favorites Eri Ohno and Piper, the latest entry in Light In The Attic’s Japan Archival Series brings another set of sought-after tunes, most of which have never before been available outside of Japan. Tomoko Aran and Anri, also included in this compilation, are just a few of the artists who have gained popularity in recent years thanks to Vaporwave, the meme-genre that heavily samples Japanese City Pop to create its particular aesthetic.

          Pacific Breeze 2 once again feature the artwork of renowned Tokyo-based illustrator Hiroshi Nagai, whose iconic images of resort living have become synonymous with City Pop. Nagai’s urban tropical imagery is a perfect match for the expertly curated tunes, evoking a certain sense of nostalgia for the leisure lifestyles of ‘70s-’80s Tokyo, while simultaneously being perfectly in tune with the current zeitgeist.


          STAFF COMMENTS

          says: Light In The Attic return to the optimism and affluence of Japan’s City Pop era, digging a little deeper to find a wealth of sophisticated grooves largely unknown outside their homeland. Glistening with the sheen of a new technology, these tracks fused soul, funk and new wave influences into a pristine urban pop, perfectly suited to the heat and high rises of a modern Japan. Now you can savour the flavour of Eri Ohno or Yuji Toriyama while saving your air miles for a rainy day.

          6 - Various Artists

          Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present The Tears Of Technology

            At the turn of the 80s, a new generation of musicians appeared who saw synthesisers not as dehumanizing machines but as musical instruments that could be coaxed into creating modern, beautiful and decidedly emotional music. It was almost as if the musicians were intentionally creating this music to prove the doubters wrong. “The Tears Of Technology” celebrates an era of electronic melancholia, synthesized intimacies and insights – even Tomorrow’s World didn’t see that coming.

            Compiled by Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, “The Tears Of Technology” celebrates this brief period when scruffy synth duos from the provinces broke through and took over British pop. Like mellotrons before them, synths could project a strange and deep emotion; listen to OMD’s ‘Sealand’, or the Human League’s ‘WXJL Tonight’, and it was clear that something in the wiring had an inherent melancholy.

            In the 60s and 70s, the synthesiser had mostly been regarded as either a novelty or a threat. Tomorrow’s World warned us that the cold, heartless synth would soon make orchestras redundant. But by 1980, Korgs, Moogs and Rolands were becoming affordable for all, and post-punk had created a safe place for new groups to experiment with these new toys.

            The influence of Kraftwerk – who had made a landmark appearance on Tomorrow’s World in 1975 – is all over this collection. Big names rub shoulders with obscurities by Turquoise Days, Electronic Circus and Illustration, all highly prized recordings among ‘cold wave’ and ‘minimal synth’ afficionados. There are pioneers like John Foxx and Thomas Leer, alongside unexpected synth sadness from Simple Minds and the Teardrop Explodes.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            says: In yet another display of curatorial excellence, Messers Stanley & Wiggs capture that strange and beautiful 80s moment when art-school drop outs all over the nation went electric in punk’s wake, paving the way for a decade of unlikely synth pop success.

            7 - Various Artists

            Gilles Peterson Presents: MV4

              Gilles Peterson presents a time capsule of musical magic. Taken from a day of live sessions in London’s legendary Maida Vale Studios - studio MV4 to be exact, it was originally intended just for Peterson’s BBC radio show broadcast on 20th October 2018. Struck by what a special moment the sessions captured, Peterson has decided to mark the results with a release proper on his Brownswood imprint. It features a diverse, all-star cast of some of the acts celebrated by Peterson in recent years, in a series of freewheeling and off-the-cuff recordings, several of the tracks backed by the group of Brownswood signee, Joe Armon-Jones. Featuring Dylan Jones, James Mollison, Mutale Chashi, and Marijus Aleksa as well as guest turns from Fatima, Asheber, Nubya Garcia, Hak Baker, and Oscar Jerome, plus a double track special from Bristol based collective, Ishmael Ensemble.

              Soul Jazz Records’ new album ‘Kaleidoscope – New Spirits Known and Unknown’ brings together many of the groundbreaking artists involved in the new jazz scene that has developed in the UK over the last few years.

              Featured artists include Matthew Halsall, Yazmin Lacey, Ill Considered, Tenderlonious, Theon Cross, Emma-Jean Thackray and many, many more in this ground-breaking release.

              As well as sharing a pioneering spirit in these new artists’ approach to frontier-crossing musical boundaries, a further theme of this album is that many also share a determination to independent practices – and most of these artists’ recordings featured here are either self-published or released on independent labels. While the attention of this new wave of jazz artists up until now has been London-based, this album shows how this movement is spread across the whole of Britain (and indeed beyond).

              ‘Kaleidoscope – New Spirits Known and Unknown’ shows that while there is commonality in these artists’ approach to music, there is a wide variety of styles – from deep spiritual jazz, electronic experimentalisation, punk-edged funk, uplifting modal righteousness, deep soulful vocals and much more.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              says: It’s been a breathless few years for British jazz, with essential new artists appearing by the day on a plethora of labels up and down the country. Thankfully Soul Jazz are here to help us keep track, taking stock of the scene on this bumper triple vinyl collection.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              3xIndies Exclusive LP Info: Deluxe edition with bonus 7".

              9 - Various Artists

              Martin Freeman And Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner Two

                A follow up to 2018’s Jazz On The Corner which has now sold over 10,000 copies, and last year’s equally successful Soul On The Corner, this compilation see Martin and Eddie return to the world of jazz for another bite at the cherry after Volume one was declared to be “the best jazz compilation of the last 20 years” by Jazz FM’s Chris Phillips.

                The concept came from a radio show that Freeman and Piller put together for BBC Radio 6 Music which was so well received that the pair decided to dig deep into their record collections and build a double album of some of their favourite tracks.

                The concept is simple: an album packed full of jazz gems which they hope are slightly off the beaten track. This year we have hidden gems from Nina Simone and Nicola Conte, classics from Roberta Flack, Roy Ayers and The MJQ, whilst the new British jazz generation is represented by Emma Emma-Jean Thackray. Running the gamut from hard bop, to progressive fusion via Latin beats, it’s an exhilarating listen from start to finish.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Eddie Piller dons Sherlock’s Deerstalker, teaming up with national treasure Martin Freeman for another trip through their enviable jazz collections. Eschewing the wilfully obtuse in favour of personal favourites from across the decades, the duo celebrate a lifelong love of the genre.

                10 - Various Artists

                Soul Jazz Records Presents Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave And Hardcore

                  Soul Jazz Records’ ‘Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave and Hardcore’ is a brand new collection of heavyweight ragga influenced hardcore jungle tracks from the early 1990s. Dark and heavy. Featuring classic and seminal tracks from the likes of Levictus and Krome & Time alongside a host of rare and little-known ragga and junglist hardcore tunes, featuring the likes of Babylon Timewarp’s hypnotic ‘Durban Poison’, Rhythm For Reasons’ mad ‘The Smokers Rhythm’, The Freaky rave-y breakbeat sound of ‘Time and Age’, Trip One’s super dark ‘Snowball’ and loads more. Expect super heavy basslines, equally heavy twisted ‘Amen’ drum loops, even heavier ragga vocals. Original jungle style - roots and culture - from the earliest days of drum and bass.

                  Included with the first edition of the ‘Black Riot’ vinyl and CD is a free graphic mini-novel ‘Black Riot: The Mysterons save Planet Earth from the Xatheroid Angels’. This is the third collaboration between writer Paulo Parisi and Soul Jazz Records. This new graphic story continues the story of black electronic dance music - this time set in London circa 1992 - from Soul Jazz’s earlier ‘Invasion of the Killer Mysterons’ (Jamaican electronic dub, co-compiled by Kevin Martin (The Bug)) and ‘Mysterons Invade the Jackin’ Zone’ (about Chicago acid and experimental house 1986-93).

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  says: In a year when some serious questions were asked about the whitewashed narrative of Britain’s dance floor history, Soul Jazz go back to the start of the Hardcore Continuum to celebrate the black artists pushing the boundaries of system rinsing sounds.

                  11 - Various Artists

                  Make More Noise! Women In Independent Music UK 1977-1987

                    4CD / 90 track set exploring the work of female artists in the decade following the punk explosion.

                    In the wake of punk rock and its boundary breaking, rule bending remoulding of the musical landscape, female artists in particular found themselves able to work, at last, in a more meritocratic environment. Quickly, an industry long dominated by male artists, producers, managers and Svengalis became more accessible than ever before, and countless inspired and inspirational artists poured onto stages and into recording studios throughout the UK. ‘Make More Noise’ charts a path through the cultural shift that followed.

                    Featuring ninety of the most remarkable female artists, all-girl bands and female-fronted groups to have recorded in the UK during the decade spanning 1977-1987, irrespective of genre and commercial success, “Make More Noise” proudly explores the breakthrough of countless pioneering women of the era. Of course, hugely successful female pop stars were nothing new in 1977, but this isn’t their story. This is the story of the everyday artist. The jobbing, gigging, working musician. The independent spirt.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Cherry Red excel themselves with this bumper 4CD / 90 (!) track compilation of fierce females from the post-punk era. Littered with favourites from the likes of The Raincoats, Rip, Rig & Panic, the Cocteau’s and Vivien Goldman, this takes me right back to Saturdays behind the counter in Brown Street.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    4xCD Box Set Info: Hardback book format includes over 14,500 words of sleeve-notes (including artist-written pieces) and introductory essay by Lucy O’Brien.

                    12 - Various Artists

                    Club Meduse 2 - Retour Au Club Compiled By Charles Bals

                    In the summer of 2018 Beachfreaks Records founder and celebrated crate digger Charles Bals threw open the doors of Club Meduse, an imaginary open-air venue on the Cote D’Azure where the obscure but inspired soundtrack is always humid, sun-kissed, synthesizer-heavy and proudly European. The resultant compilation was acclaimed by both music critics and record buyers, so two years on Bals has once more joined forces with Spacetalk to re-open Club Meduse for another imaginary summer season beneath the baking-hot Mediterranean sun. Acting again as in-house DJ, Bals has dipped into his personal stash of obscure, overlooked and little-known gems and selected a soundtrack rich in drowsy chanson vocals, glistening Spanish guitar lines, Latin-tinged drum machine rhythms, rushing Fairlight stabs and sparkling synthesizer sounds. Having gone to great lengths to track down the musicians behind the music, he’s joined in the virtual DJ booth by a wealth of forgotten artists whose magical music he holds so dear.

                    This time round there’s an undeniable 1980s flavour to proceedings with all but one of the tracks – Claude Miss’s African-influenced 1990 Balearic pop shuffler “Paco Ye Adame” – being produced and released during the decade. As with its predecessor, Meduse (Retour au Club) contains a mixture of off-kilter, barely known dancefloor cuts and the kind of drowsy, slow-motion tracks that are best suited to lazy afternoons by the pool and early evenings spent squinting towards the sunset. In this category you’ll find the ambient-pop bliss of Lili’s fretless bass and Flamenco guitar-sporting “Gitana Morena”, the slow-motion brilliance of Belgian outfit Capco’s “No Vayas Al Sol” (featuring the vocals of future Benelux pop star BeaLuna), the trumpet-laden magic of Nathalie David’s “Coup De Foudre (Instrumental)” – a track written by her songwriter father Jacques Bendavid – and the Mediterranean pop slickness of Jean-Claude Watrin’s “Game City”.

                    If dancing in your Speedos or swimming costume is your thing, Bals also has you covered. Check, for example, the “Midnight Mix” of Jade 4 U’s Praga Khan produced 1988 gem “Rainbows” – a prize slice of new beat/synth pop fusion powered forward by a bold, headline-grabbing bassline – or De Dion’s “Sexy Cola (Glu Glu Version)”, a jaunty, hard-to-explain mixture of pop cheeriness, Art of Noise experimentation and summer holiday glee. Or for that matter the reggae/zouk/electro fusion of Les 36 15’s effervescent “Zoulous (Remix)” and the boogie-era Gallic jazz-funk of Marc et Frank’s “Cap’tain Coke” – a cut recorded in a Paris studio by two prisoners on day release, jointly funded by the French ministries of justice and culture. When you’re done dancing, there’s plenty to soundtrack those wide-eyed late night romantic moments too, not least the bubbly, 80s-soul influenced chanson delight of Weekend Millionaire’s “Exit”, the gentle reggae/synth-pop fusion of L’s private press delight “La Boite Musique” and Cecilia’s seductive synth-pop shuffler “Chocolat”, the B-side of a seven-inch single that now changes hands for hundreds of pounds online.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Charles Bals reopens his fictitious nightspot on the French Riviera; a place where the sea air meets the smell of incense and the dancing bodies shimmer with Ambre Solaire. The soundtrack ranges from humid Euro-boogie to Balearic bossa as Bals extols his own brand of coastal cool.

                    13 - Various Artists

                    Love Saves The Day: A History Of American Dance Music Culture 1970-1979

                      For the last 20 years London-based author and party organiser Tim Lawrence has dedicated himself to excavating the history of New York City party culture and bringing some of the most powerful aspects of that culture to London’s dance scene, from where it has ricocheted around the world.

                      Having conducted the first and set of major interviews with David Mancuso of the New York City Loft, Lawrence started to host Loft-style Lucky Cloud Sound System parties with David and friends in London in June 2003. In February 2004 he published the first of three published three pioneering histories that have excavated and championed the previously overlooked foundations of contemporary party culture: Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music (1970-79), Hold on to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene (1973-92), and Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor (1980-83). Since 2018 Lawrence has hosted and DJed at the community audiophile party "All Our Friends. Paper Magazine describes him as the “reigning authority on the history of dance music in New York”.

                      With knowledge to share, and a readership as well as a dance floor to feed, Lawrence released Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor as the debut imprint on Reappearing Records. A year in the making, a compilation featuring rare and iconic tracks that appear in his much-loved and heavily-thumbed classic Love Saves the Day amounts to the follow-up. The collection features several tracks selected regularly by Mancuso, the party host who exerted a prophetic and unparalleled influence on New York City party culture, as charted by Lawrence. It also includes choice picks from groundbreaking DJs such as Michael Cappello, Steve D’Acquisto, Francis Grasso, Richie Kaczor, Larry Levan and Nicky Siano, whose expressive contributions are faithfully recorded in Love Saves the Day. The compilation traces how disco grew out of the record collections and intuitive sensibility of these and other DJs, offering a unique survey of the era’s expansive sonic palette.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      says: Roughly fifteen years on from his seminal dissection of New York’s disco scene, Tim Lawrence delivers this companion compilation, recreating the magic and majesty of a night with Mancuso, Levan, Siano and D’Acquisto. This flawless set is essential listening for anyone interested in understanding what disco really was, and why it matters so much.

                      14 - Various Artists

                      Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs Of Marc Bolan & T. Rex

                        An extraordinary tribute album to one of rock's great composers, Marc Bolan, which was also made under the direction of the legendary Hal Willner, ‘Angel Headed Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex’ is a collection of major stars including Elton John, U2, Joan Jett, Nick Cave, Peaches and Marc Almond who have reinterpreted and reimagined some of Marc Bolan &T.Rex’s greatest tracks including Jeepster, Bang A Gong (Get It On) and Ride A White Swan.

                        The album, which was made under the direction of Hal Willner who sadly passed away on 7th April, is launching along with the audio and video of Nick Cave’s moving reinterpretation of ‘Cosmic Dancer’. The video will be included onNick Cave & The Bad Seeds Tee Vee, a newly launched 24 hour Nick Cave stream.





                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        says: On his final project before his passing in April, Hal Willner invited a suitably diverse group to pay tribute to Marc Bolan. But ‘Angelheaded Hipster’ is just as much a testament to Willner’s uncanny knack for connecting people as it is to the source material; How else do you explain a musical cast containing Kesha, Elton John and Todd Rundgren?

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xColoured LP Info: White double vinyl.

                        Next in the compiler hotseat for seminal mix series ‘Back to Mine’ is the legendary DJ and producer Fatboy Slim. Having sold over 10 million records and embarked on a number of sold out arena tours, the esteemed record collector and all round great selector delves deep into his weighty collection at his home to create a heady journey of funk and soul. The collection opens with Dave Barker & Ansell Collins ‘Monkey Spanner’ – a reggae single released in 1971 from the Kingston based duo working for the infamous producer Lee “Scratch” Perry.

                        There are a few rare finds, Donal Leace ‘Today Won’t Come Again’, Wind ‘Grooving With Mr Bloe’ and George Rene ‘Smokey Joe’s La La’. And the most recognisable for many no doubt is Betty Chung’s 1968 classic ‘Bang Bang’ thanks to the vocals of the Nancy Sinatra cover being sampled in the Audio Bullys rework in 2005.

                        The 1975 classic ‘Take Yo Praise’ from Camille Yarborough which Fatboy Slim used to sample the iconic ‘Praise You’ in 1998 is found in the first half of the mix, and not forgetting his group Beats International, which Norman sampled lyrics from the featured track ‘Jam Hot’ by Johnny Dynell for ‘Dub Be Good To Me’. A track that became the best-selling single in the UK in 1990.

                        And last but not least, two new and exclusive tracks ‘Fatboy Slim & Roland Clark ‘Sunset 303’ (If You Believe) and ‘The Voice Of Experience’ under his Yum Yum Head Food alias, known for producing his more ambient tunes including ‘Bird Of Prey’.

                        Fatboy Slim delivers an amazing selection of tracks which give us all a little sneak peek into the vibes generated from years of meaningful memories for this ‘Back To Mine’ series. From his house to yours, listening pleasure is guaranteed.

                        “Over the years there has been so much action back at mine, so many friends, lovers and lunatics who would congregate after the clubs had closed to laugh, share and swap ideas and tunes and generally put the world to rights… this is a collection from the soundtrack of those sessions” - Fatboy Slim


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        says: Unstoppable since their return in 2019, Back To Mine’s hot streak continues with this amazing contribution from one of my personal heroes. As you’d expect from Mr Cook, the tracklist is all over the shop, uncovering rare reggae, soul, punk funk and disco, a few cuts he’s sampled over the years and two gorgeous exclusive tracks.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive yellow vinyl.

                        UK electronic artpop outfit Hot Chip provide the perfect antidote to these strange and uncertain times with the latest release in the hugely popular LateNightTales artist-curated series.

                        Along with featuring new music from the band, they have selected music from some of the most engaging artists of the 21st century, taking in pulsating electronic rhythms, hypnotic grooves and leftfield ambience.

                        Spearheaded by founders Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard, Hot Chip are one of the UK’s most interesting and much-loved acts. Since releasing their debut album ‘Coming On Strong’ in 2004, they have received a Grammy Award nomination (‘Ready for the Floor’) and Mercury Prize nomination (‘The Warning’) and their seventh studio album, last year’s ‘A Bath Full of Ecstasy,’ received rave reviews across the globe from both critics and fans.

                        A unique, personal collection that is both euphoric and melancholic.

                        “I think we all had slightly different understandings of what a Late Night Tales compilation might consist of; varying interpretations of the brief. For some the mix might be what you’d want to listen to as your late night continues, after a night out. For others maybe it suggested a selection of music for listening to as you drift off to sleep; then again it could just be music evocative of night time, or concerned with its traditionally ‘darker’ moods,” says Taylor.

                        Hot Chip’s ‘LateNightTales’ opens with the simplistic beauty of Christina Vantzou’s ‘At Dawn,’ before morphing in to the first of four exclusive tracks from the band - the floating, transcendent ‘Nothing’s Changed’, before Rhythm & Sound ft. Cornell Campbell serve up the heavy dub classic, ‘King In My Empire’.

                        The journey continues with Pale Blue’s ‘Have You Passed Through This Night’, a silky, cold wave disco track, while Suzanne Kraft’s ‘Femme Cosmic’ and Fever Ray’s ‘To The Moon and Back’ provide squelchy synth-pop. Furthermore, the punchy ‘Much To Touch’ from Bolton-born, Berlin based producer Planningtorock and an ethereal cover of Velvet Underground’s ‘Candy Says’ by our hosts add an element of displacement and detachment.

                        Elsewhere, other highlights include an appearance from synth-pop auteur Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith with ‘Who I Am & Why I Am Where’ and new material from Alexis’ ‘other’ band, the improv-mavens About Group, along with the adventurous ‘Workaround Two’ from electronic experimentalist Beatrice Dillon and German composer, Nils Frahm’s beautifully evocative ‘Ode’. But it is left to Alexis’ father to have the final word, with an elegant excerpt from the daring ‘Finnegans Wake’ by James Joyce.

                        “We’ve put together a mix of music which ties all of these ideas together and represents some of our favourite music new and old, some of it directly influential on Hot Chip and some of it music we have discovered and loved, been surprised by and connected to. There are three new songs of ours which we’re really proud of, and which I think connect naturally with the nocturnal world the compilation speaks of, and a cover of ‘Candy Says’ which is one of the first songs the very early version of Hot Chip played when we were still at school,” says Taylor.

                        The LateNightTales series was established back in 2001 with Fila Brazilia taking to the controls and mixing up the first of what would continue to be the first choice of music connoisseurs worldwide. Since then, the series has seen releases from the likes of The Flaming Lips, Floating Points, David Holmes, Bonobo, Jon Hopkins, Röyksopp and many more.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        says: Two decades into their career and it’s fair to say that the enduring electro-poppers know a thing or two about a tune, and their entry into the Late Night Tales series is brimming with them. Any DJ mix which includes Rhythm & Sound, Nils Frahm and a cover version of the Velvet Underground is fine by me.

                        17 - Various Artists

                        The Ladies Of Too Slow To Disco Vol. 2

                          On Volume 2 of The Ladies of Too Slow to Disco, DJ Supermarkt has brought together 16 compelling tunes and hidden gems from 1974-82 that tell a deeper, more political story, while taking the suave sounds you love into new territory: soul, gospel and jazz. The songs on this compilation are from women who were taking control of their own careers, making an independent stance in the some of the most trying years for women in the history of the recording industry. In an effort to tell the often untold, yet deeply influential, stories of this delicious period of music, Volume 2 highlights songs from players who broke through the machismo that sat upon the glass ceiling before them to create classics.

                          As with every TSTD release, you will uncover lost classics and should-have-been-hits into the overdue limelight. You’ll find confessional funk and sultry disco, 5th Avenue flounce and soulful midnight aching. You will discover artists here who were movers and shakers from the 1970s Women’s Music movement, artists determined to fashion a music industry that worked for them. You’re in the company of musical royalty. The Ladies of Too Slow to Disco 2 brings you the smartest writers and singers, Grammy winners and unforgettable performers, all at the peak of their powers.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          says: Presumably adorned in linen trousers and an apricot scarf, DJ Supermarket delivers another essential set of deep yachters and enticing AOR from an all female cast. If you need any more persuading, head straight for that Marti Caine track and thank me later…

                          18 - Various Artists

                          For The Love Of You

                            After the sell out success of 3 12 inches released at the tail end of 2019, For the Love of You is a 12 track compilation of lovers rock covers curated by Sam Don and overseen by Euan Fryer of AOTN.

                            Featuring amazing covers of tracks by artists such as Leon Ware, Mtume, Archie Bell, The Gap Band, Lowrell, Prince, Starvue, Bobby Caldwell & The Isley Brothers, there is not a filler in site, essentials all the way.

                            The project has taken almost 2 years with the help of many musicians, singers and producers from the scene. A special shout out goes to Peter 'Honeyvoice' Hunnigale for going the extra mile and doing many introductions.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            says: This time last year, Athens Of The North switched things up with a trio of 12”s featuring gorgeous lovers rock covers of boogie originals. For 2020 they deliver a full compilation on that same theme, resulting in a 12 track set of lilting interpretations of the likes of Prince, Mtume, Lowrell and the Isley Brothers.

                            19 - Various Artists

                            Soul Jazz Records Presents: Deutsche Elektronische Musik 4: Experimental German Rock And Electronic Music 1971-83

                              This is the new instalment of Soul Jazz Records’ ground-breaking ‘Deutsche Elektronische Musik’ series, “a near-definitive guide to some of the world’s most extraordinary music” - The Guardian.

                              This new Soul Jazz release features many of the classic German electronic and Krautrock groups from the 1970s and 1980s, including Can, Amon Düül II, Harmonia, Conrad Schnitzler, Agitation Free and Roedelius, as well as a host of lesser known artists such as Dzyan, Klaus Weiss, Gruppe Between and many more.

                              Deutsche Elektronische rarities unearthed on the album include Kalacakra (whose fanbase included the great Moondog) and their superb ‘Nearby Shiras’, taken from their super-rare spiritual / psychedelic private press concept album ‘Crawling to Lhasa’ from 1972. 

                              ‘Deutsche Elektronische 4’ includes a wealth of German electronic experimental artists - the seminal pioneering group Harmonia (Roedelius, Moebius and Michael Rother) and avant-garde guru Conrad Schnitzler, as well as lesser known synthetic artists such as Klaus Weiss, Deutsche Wertarbeit, E.M.A.K. (Elektronische Musik Aus Köln), Günter Schickert and others.

                              Finally, the album also features an array of heavy and progressive German cosmic rock groups - Dzyan, Virus and the amazing Turkish/German tripped out sound of Alex’s ‘Patella Black’, recorded at Can’s Inner Space in 1973, produced by Holger Czukay and Jackie Liebezeit.

                              ‘Deutsche Elektronische 4’ comes with extensive newly commissioned sleevenotes by David Stubbs, author of the seminal books ‘Future Days: Krautrock and the building of Modern Germany’, ‘Mars By 1980: The story of Electronic Music’ and ‘Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy’.

                              This album comes as a deluxe double CD edition with outsize booklet and slipcase, as well as a heavyweight triple vinyl edition with full colour inner sleeves. Both formats include full liner notes and extensive rare photography.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              says: I really can't get enough of these compilations. Superb, unheard of gems mixed in with some undeniable classics, and presented beautifully in true Soul Jazz style. Unsurprisingly brilliant.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              3xLtd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                              20 - Various Artists

                              Under The Influence Vol.8 Compiled By Woody Bianchi

                                Z Records continues its commitment to unearthing the obscure and long forgotten tracks from the last 40 years through the ever-popular Under The Influence series. Following on from Red Greg, Paul Phillips, James Glass, Nick The Record, Sean P, Faze Action and Winston. It’s now the turn of one of the Italy’s most impressive collectors; Woody Bianchi.

                                The story behind U.T.I is this, being a seasoned record collector Z label boss Dave Lee (Joey Negro) has made the acquaintance of many of the worlds other vinyl junkies. People that may be unknown to the general public but are hardcore enthusiasts who have built some of the best collections of soul, funk and disco on the planet. The idea of UTI isn't about big name djs but is to give a musical platform to those who have the knowledge to put together a track listing of killer tunes.

                                Woody Bianchi is a prolific DJ, producer, remixer and record collector. His International collaborations with Bob Sinclar,Todd Terry, Arthur Baker, Full Intention, Eric Kupper, Jocelyn Brown, Marshall Jefferson and many others have created an remarkable profile for him. He has released over 300 productions worldwide and has toured side by side with many of the scenes greatest names. Here we get the pleasure of delving into his vast collection and plucking some of the rarest records out there, with many of the tracks costing hundreds if you were able to find the originals.

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

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                says: For the eighth instalment of their Under The Influence series, Z Records hand the controls to Italian record obsessive Woody Bianchi, who showcases an impressive set of disco rarities from his personal collection.


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