MAGIC MIX

END OF YEAR REVIEW 2018

TOP 20 COMPILATIONS

2018's been a killer year for the compilation, with a whole host of trusty names and plucky newcomers coming up trumps whatever the genre or concept. JD Twitch takes the top spot with his outstanding survey of Germany's NDW and post punk scene, while Brownswood are hot on his tail with their introduction to the new wave of jazz. Elsewhere, you'll find excellent contributions to the Late Night Tales, DJ Kicks and Fabric series, as well as journeys through South African synth pop, obscure girl groups, Europe's bedroom pop and Japanese fusion. Get listening!

We're also we’re delighted to announce our very first vinyl compilation.
‘Piccadilly Records Compilation 2018’ is a hand-picked selection of tracks from our various EOY charts, featuring LUMP, Khruangbin, Tim Burgess, TVAM, Phil France, Kadhja Bonet, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Gulp, Advisory Circle, Christiane F, Prins Emanuel and Theon Cross. All for the bargain price of £9.99!
Released around the beginning of December, ‘Piccadilly Records Compilation 2018’ is available to pre-order here now.

Check out these links to see our other Best Of 2018 Charts:
Click HERE for the Piccadilly Top 100 Albums 2018
Click HERE for the Piccadilly Top 10 Reissues / Collections 2018

And don't forget our super deluxe perfect bound 84 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.

1 - Various Artists

JD Twitch Presents Kreaturen Der Nacht - Free Fanzine Edition

THE PICCADILLY RECORDS COMPILATION OF THE YEAR 2018.

FOR A LIMITED PERIOD ONLY BOTH FORMATS COME WITH AN EXCLUSIVE LIMITED EDITION 8-PAGE FANZINE FEATURING EXTRA PHOTOS, ARTWORK AND MEMORABILIA.

Strut present an exclusive new compilation curated by Optimo’s JD Twitch, ‘Kreaturen Der Nacht’, bringing together classics, rarities and oddities from Germany’s original post-punk and DIY scene.

1979 to 1984 was an era of particular artistic upheaval in Germany as strong subculture scenes formed in many German cities. Emphasis was placed on expression rather than technical perfection, artistic impact rather than skill. DIY self-organisation prevailed with the establishment of small record labels and independently produced records and cassettes. Bands experimented across genres and consciously abandoned the English-speaking mainstream with German band names and lyrics. “Although we had a small underground scene, it was very vibrant,” explains Gudrun Gut of Malaria! “Bands like Die Haut, my first band Mania D., Malaria!... we organised gigs ourselves or friends would open a gallery and have bands playing. We hung around together in a handful of clubs like Risiko or Dschungel and went to gigs at SO36. West Germany had other regional scenes too: Düsseldorf and Köln around Der Plan and the Ata Tak label and there was the Hamburg side with Abwärts. Germany didn’t have a real music industry like the US or England back then."

This new collection is a personal selection from JD Twitch, built over years of playing the tracks in club sets. “It is not designed to tell a definitive story of what was going on in Germany in this era,” he explains. “Rather, it is simply an arbitrary collection of records I adore from a specific era with a specific attitude that hopefully together sum up some of the musical undercurrents in Germany at that time.”

The package features a host of rare and unseen photos from the period along with extensive interviews with artists including Beate Bartel (Mania D.), Christoph Dreher (Die Haut), Michael Hirsch (P1/E) and Thomas Voburka (Weltklang). All tracks are remastered by The Carvery with artwork by Optimo’s in-house design man Andrew Beltran.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Those ever reliable folks at Strut enlist the curatorial skills of Optimo selector JD Twitch for a 16 track trip into the angular world of NDW. A distinctly German hybrid of post punk, synthpop, dub and tape experiments, the NDW scene burned bright at the dawn of the 80s, and this flawless set presents that unique sound at its most expressive.

A primer on London’s bright-burning young jazz scene, this new compilation brings together a collection of some of its sharpest talents. A set of nine newly-recorded tracks, We Out Here captures a moment where genre markers matter less than raw, focused energy. Looking at the album’s running order, it could easily serve as a name-checking exercise for some of London’s most-tipped and hardworking bands of the past couple of years. Recorded across three long, fruitful days in a North West London studio, the crossover between each of the groups speaks to the close-knit circles which make up the scene.

Surveying the way that London’s jazz-influenced music had spread outside of its usual spaces in recent years, this album bottles up some of the vital ideas emanating from that burgeoning movement. Giving a platform to a scene where mutual cooperation and a DIY spirit are second-nature, it’s a window into the wide-eyed future of London’s musical underground.

Ubiquitous, much-lauded saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings is the project’s musical director. His own recent projects span from South Africa-connected, spiritually-minded jazz players Shabaka and the Ancestors to Sons of Kemet, who match diasporically-connected compositions with viscerally-direct live shows. His entry on the album, ‘Black Skin, Black Masks’, is typically difficult-to-define: with an off-kilter, shifting rhythmic backbone, repeated phrases – mirrored between clarinet and bass clarinet – shape the track with an alluring hue. His input ties together a deft, genre-agnostic sensibility that’s shared through all the players on the record.

Theon Cross – who’s also part of Sons of Kemet with Hutchings – starts his track, ‘Brockley’, with the solo, distinctive low rumble of his tuba. Winding and mesmeric, it sees tuba and sax lines winding together in rhythmic and melodic parallels. Ezra Collective – whose drummer and bandleader Femi Koleoso has toured with Pharaohe Monch – run a tight, Afrobeat-tipped rhythm on ‘Pure Shade’, with the final third changing gear into a melodic, momentous closing stretch.

Joe Armon-Jones, whose ludicrous chops on the piano have seen him touring with the likes of Ata Kak, showcases earworm-like, insistent motifs on ‘Go See’, balanced with a playful, improvisatory approach with room for ad-libbing and solos a-plenty. Taking a softer tact than many of the other entries, Kokoroko – whose guitarist Oscar Jerome has been making waves with his solo material – spin a lyrical, steady-paced meditation on ‘Abusey Junction’, matching chanted vocals with gently-played guitar.

Nodding to spiritual jazz influences, Maisha’s ‘Inside The Acorn’ is a wandering, explorative rumination, balancing delicate washes of piano and percussion with sharp interplay between flute and bass clarinet. In contrast, Nubya Garcia’s ‘Once’ is taut and carefully-poised, her tenor sax guiding a carefully-built energy to an explosive conclusion. And finally, Triforce’s ‘Walls’ is a performance in two parts: starting with Mansur Brown’s languorous, lyrical guitar, the second half switches up to a low-slung, g-funk-tipped groove.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: The trusty Brownswood label at the rescue again to point out all the new music you should be listening too, We Out Here is a collection of London’s blooming and ever-growing young musicians Jazz scene. This captures the vibe and hub around upcoming Jazz, elements of traditional raw Jazz elements matched with swooning percussion. The contemporary style reaches back into its essential past and is shone in a new era of up and coming artists.

“To me, sounds have always been more interesting than words,” says Agnes Obel. “I love it when the voice becomes an instrument and you almost forget it’s a human voice.” Never is this more apt than on this beautifully programmed and bewitching selection of music.

Agnes’ 2010 debut album Philharmonics went platinum in France and Belgium and, unsurprisingly, quintuple platinum in her native Denmark, where she also won five Danish Music Awards (equivalent to the Brits) in 2011. The follow-up Aventine, released in late 2013, was imbued with the same measured calmness as her debut. It went platinum in Belgium and gold in Denmark and France.

For the mix you have in your hands it feels almost as if Agnes has scoured the world looking for kindred spirits – or kindred songs. There’s a quietude about it all, the antithesis of a rush hour, like a frozen lake on a Sunday morning. This is aided by a veritable cornucopia of new Obel material, including a haunting reading of Danish song ‘Glemmer Du’, Inger Christensen’s ‘Poem About Death’ set to original music, and an Agnes original, ‘Bee Dance’.

Among them, there’s the enigmatic Jamaican singer Nora Dean who weighs in with the hypnotic and slinky Duke Reid production, ‘Ay Ay Ay Ay (Angie-Lala)’ and the sparse, sardonic ‘Party Girl’ by Michelle Gurevich, so good it inspired the eponymous French movie. There are the plangent voices, The Bulgarian Folklore Choir, Nina Simone, Ray Davies and Agnes herself, ringing true. Somehow, Ms Obel makes even makes the electronic tracks bow to her needs as with Yello whose ‘Great Mission’ is more Martin Denny than Underworld and cult Greek composer Lena Platonos’ ‘Bloody Shadows From A Distance’ pulses gently rather than throbs and Can’s recently rediscovered ‘Obscura Primavera’, unusually hushed.

"I was surprised at how much time I ended up spending on this. I collected all the songs together with my partner Alex and we just spent time listening to records, trying to see what would fit together. Some of the music I’ve included here is on mixtapes we made when we were just friends as teenagers. Each one of the tracks produces stories in my head." - Agnes Obel, February 2018


FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

"Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop From Europe, 1980-1991" is the second multiple artist compilation on Music From Memory and is compiled by record connoisseur Raphael Top-Secret and label man Jamie Tiller. The compilation brings together twenty one tracks from across the continent; exploring the more unusual and unexpected sides of Pop music produced during that period.

Drawing material from cult experimental artists such as Steve Beresford, Brenda Ray and Bill Nelson alongside one-off independent musical projects rescued from the fringes, ’Uneven Paths’ focuses on a selection of tracks that go beyond the confines of mainstream pop music but which also transcend expectations of much of the ’experimental’ music of the time. This is music with one foot in the avant-garde and another foot firmly rooted within the sensibilities of Pop; where Jazz musicians detour into Synth-Pop, Punk bands break into Boogie jams, and student doctors jam out on odd melodies with synthesizers and drum machines during their night shifts.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Previous Music From Memory releases have seen the imprint explore the esoteric fringe of electronica, Brazilian synth wave and art-school ambient with the same exhaustive research and inspired selections. Now the Dutch label turn their attention to the underappreciated talent at the heart of Europe's outsider pop movement. There are too many tunes here to mention, and most are new to me, but I have to shout out Brenda & The Beachballs, Miko & Mubare and Violet Eves as favourites.

For the third volume of compilations curated by confirmed crate diggers, Spacetalk invites you to take a trip to the magical Mediterranean resort of Club Meduse in the company of Beachfreaks Records co-founder Charles Bals.

A creative director, designer and curator by trade, Bals spends the majority of his spare time searching for superb, unknown, small-run music releases made between the 1970s and 1990s. While some of these are made available for other enthusiasts to buy via Beachfreaks' mail-order service, many more make it into the racks of Bals' private collection. With Club Meduse, Bals is sharing rare, hard-to-find and just plain brilliant gems from his personal stash for the very first time.

For Club Meduse, Bals was inspired by countless magic childhood summers spent playing amongst the rocks, beaches and warm seas of the Cote D'Azur. The compilation, then, is a soundtrack to the greatest soft-focus, sunlit teenage summer holiday you've never had, with a gaggle of forgotten musicians and overlooked artists for company.

Take a barefoot stroll from the campsite to the beach with Ara Macao, whose warm and lucid "Canyon" is a softly-spun delight, before splashing in the crystal clear waters to the accompaniment of The Clean-Hands Group and their 1984 Balearic blue-eyed soul gems "Night Fly" and "Shake It On".

As the sun comes down, clamber across the cooling rocks with the tumbling, sun-kissed guitar solos and sparkling analogue synthesizer motifs of The Keyboys' leisurely "Savannah" ringing in your ears, before using the words of Gemini's "Take A Chance" – undoubtedly the most Balearic record to emerge from Sweden in the last 50 years – to get flirtatious under the moonlight.

Should you fancy a dance down the camp disco, Bals' selections will gently ease you onto the dancefloor and into the gaze of the boy or girl of your dreams. The fuzzy Italo-boogie of the C.V.Q Band's "Whatever You Do (Instrumental)" will get you going, while Miss's 1984 French electro gem "Hip Hop" should guarantee a celebratory conclusion to the night's party. 

Released on the 'Sony Classical' label, "Call Me By Your Name" is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman. Summer of 1983, Northern Italy. An American-Italian is enamored by an American student who comes to study and live with his family. Together they share an unforgettable summer full of music, food, and romance that will forever change them.

Sufjan Stevens is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His debut album A Sun Came was released in 2000 on the Asthmatic Kitty label which he cofounded with his stepfather. He is perhaps best known for his 2005 album Illinois, which hit number one on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart, and for the single Chicago from that album.

Ryuichi Sakamoto is a Japanese musician, composer, record producer, pianist, activist, writer, actor and dancer, based in Tokyo and New York. 

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Limited edition 180g blue vinyl.

2xColoured LP 2 Info: The is the special Limited Peach Season Edition. The records are pressed on peach-coloured vinyl and the gatefold sleeve has a peach scent. 14,999 individually numbered copies are available, but only in Peach Harvest season.

Ltd LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

Midnight In Tokyo 2, the second installment to the compilation series that rounds up hidden gems by Japanese artists that's perfect for listening at night in Tokyo, is here. This time the collection brings together some tasty electric jazz fusion from the '80s , compiled by Dubby, the man behind the online record store Ondas.

The compilation begins with "Hikobae," a dark and slow cosmic jazz by saxophonist Genji Sawai, followed by "Danza Lucumi," an odd Caribbean-style jam by Today'sLatin Project, a band fronted by Tadaaki Misago of Tokyo Cuban Boys, with arrangements by Yasuaki Shimizu. "On The Coast" is a soulful and mellow vocal track arranged by Ryuichi Sakamoto, from guitarist Shigeru Suzuki's album White Heat, and fusion boogie cut "In The Hot City" is by Mr. Theodore, which was a one-off project by a mysterious artist.

The melancholic soul jazz number "So Long America" is the title track from the album Yasunori Soryo released in '82, following a stint in America with the band Brown Rice. "Twisty" is a tropical reggae tune from the album Samba Kathy, an underrated classic by Jugando which was released on Trash, a sublabel of one of Japan's finest jazz labels, Trio. "Samarkand" is an electric Latin jazz jam that sounds like something Miles Davis and Santana could have played on, performed by a Latin funk band from Fussa. "Imagery" is a primal African fusion track by Katsutoshi Morizono, a member of the prog rock band Yoninbayashi.

Windmill" is the most acoustic sounding tune on this compilation, a breezy Brazilian affair with a Hermeto Pascoal feel. "Mystery Of Asian Port" is by the band Parachute, which consisted of Japa-nese fusion giants like Akira Inoue, Tatsuo Hayashi and Masaki Matsubara. The cosmic jazz record sounds like something Daniele Baldelli would play in his sets. "Bay Sky Provincetown 1977" is a classic Japanese fusion tune by guitarist Yuji Toriyama.

The set also features the mellow but danceable "Heatwave" by keyboardist Keiichi Oku, featuring a female vocalist (which some have identified as Rie Ida), and last but not least, closing out the 13 track compilation is "Day Dream At The Bob's Beach," a wonderful urban fusion with a beautiful vibraphone melody, from the Japanese fusion classic album that was a one-off project by studio musicians


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Studio Mule treat us to the second instalment of their Midnight In Tokyo series, this time boasting the curatorial élan of Ondas man Dubby. The famed Japanese digger collects thirteen rare gems from the 80s underground, each expressing a different strand of Tokyo's jazz fusion scene - mindbending, body moving magic.

8 - Various Artists

J-Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969-1984

In the years following the World War Two, Japan developed one of the most insatiable, dynamic and diverse markets for jazz. For a crucial period of little over a decade - from the late 1960s to the early 1980s - Japanese jazz culture progressed at an astonishing rate, producing an extraordinary array of artists, recordings and record labels that created some of the most forward thinking and impressive jazz to be committed to tape. This amazing journey is explored on ‘J Jazz’. This compilation from BBE uncovers some of the most sought after and rare material from this period and pulls together key artists who shaped the postwar modern jazz scene in Japan.

‘J Jazz' includes obscure and sought after rarities like the bass-driven power jazz of Koichi Matsukaze’s ‘Earth Mother’, the holy grail rarity of Aizawa Tohru Quartet’s ‘Dead Letter’ and the loping majesty of Takeo Moriyama’s ‘North Wind’. This collection takes the listener into deep spiritual jazz, post-modal impressionism and fierce dance-floor fusion with material from artists and composers whose names are generally only known to committed collectors of Japanese jazz. Fumio Karashima, Mitsuaki Katayama, Takeo Moriyama and Kiyoshi Sugimoto are among the names featured on an album aiming to shed a little light on the shadowy world of Japanese jazz clubs, tucked away in the neon backstreets. This music demands a wider audience and BBE are excited to deliver a landmark compilation, lifting the veil on this wonderful and mysterious area of the global jazz catalogue.

None of the tracks featured on ‘J Jazz’ have ever received an official release outside Japan before. The albums the tracks are taken from are extremely hard to find and often fetch huge sums on the collector’s circuit. Originally pressed in small numbers on independent and private labels such as Union, Johnny’s Disk, Whynot, ALM and VAP, these tracks are now available for everyone to enjoy.

Compiled by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden, both long-time collectors of Japanese jazz, ’J Jazz’ brings together the very best in modern jazz from Japan, recorded during a critical period of musical and cultural transition that saw composers and musicians not only assert a new artistic identity but also create a lasting musical legacy.

“Paris In The Spring” is a collection of the new music, put together by Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, that emerged from France between 1968 and the mid-70s, an extraordinary blend of several previously independent strains – French chanson and yé-yé, American jazz and funk, British chamber pop – shot through with the era’s underlying mixture of optimism, uncertainty and darkness. This is the first collection of its kind, released on the 50th anniversary of the Paris uprising.

Serge Gainsbourg – a jazz pianist with a chanson past and a pop present – was in a position to play a key role in soundtracking France in flux over the next five years. His “Histoire de Melody Nelson”, with its heavily atmospheric arrangements by Jean-Claude Vannier, was the acme of this new, unsettling French sound. “Paris In The Spring” includes other equally dazzling Vannier arrangements (for Léonie) and Gainsbourg compositions (for Jane Birkin and Mireille Darc).

Prior to 1968, 60s French pop had been dominated by yé-yé, the country’s unique brand of upbeat pop, a world of primary colours, minijupes and discothèques (a French invention, after all). Its stars either faded fast after May ’68 or adapted to the new era: Jacques Dutronc (‘Le Métaphore’) and France Gall (‘Chanson Pour Que Tu M’aimes un Peu’) discovered a moody side they had previously kept hidden, while Françoise Hardy released the Brazilian-influenced, after-hours classic “La Question”, from which we have picked ‘Viens’.

New bands like Triangle emerged, influenced by Soft Machine and Gong who became regulars on the Paris club scene. French library music from Janko Nilovic and film soundtracks (François De Roubaix, Karl-Heinz Schäfer) reflected the era’s edginess. All are represented on “Paris In The Spring”, making it a continental cousin to Stanley and Wiggs’s hugely popular 2017 Ace compilation “English Weather”

The latest edition of K7!'s ever essential DJ Kicks compilations sees Forest Swords take on curatorial duties. Following acclaimed albums on Ninja Tune and Tri Angle, soundtrack and installation work, and remixes of the likes of Bjork, Matthew Barnes aka Forest Swords has curated a 25-track compilation that draws a line between past inspirations and his current peers. "During all of the nights that shaped me as a music fan there wasn't really a focus on DJing etiquette; sticking to genres, perfect transitions – it was all pretty DIY and purely like having someone cook up their personal mixtape in front of you, to surprise you and to explore different sounds" says Barnes. "That kind of rough-around-the-edges approach is so much more exciting to me than something sterile and seamless and I wanted to carry that spirit into this compilation." Chosen over the course of a few weeks in winter 2018, the mixed version was cut on Barnes' laptop during a wintery cross-country train journey. Like much of his own output, his DJ-Kicks skirts around pristine electronics and embraces more organic textures: 80s post punk (Anna Domino, Dead Can Dance), classic 90s British electronica (Orbital, Mira Calix), and smokey digi-dub (Rhythm & Sound), all rub up alongside some of the most forward-facing producers working today (Demdike Stare, Laurel Halo, Fis). The compilation sifts through rhythms, shifting speeds and emotions: from pop icon Neneh Cherry's primal thudding to the zombified throb of exclusive Forest Swords track 'Crow' via Deena Abdelwaheed's clattering deconstructions to the euphoric two-step of Djrum. It's a collection of tracks that feels as restlessly curious and weighty as Barnes' own work

Compilers Miles Cleret (Soundway) and DJ Okapi (Afrosynth Records) present a selection of 18 rare, handpicked 1980s cuts that highlight the period that nestles in between the ‘70s (where American-influenced jazz, funk and soul bumped shoulders with local Mbaqanga) and the ‘90s when Kwaito and eventually house-music ruled the dancefloors of urban South Africa.
In 1980s black South Africa a local form of pop music evolved as the disco boom died down and slowly mutated. It was often ubiquitously described as Bubblegum - usually stripped-down and lo-fi with a predominance of synths, keyboards and drum-machines and overlaid with the kind of deeply soulful trademark vocals and harmonies that South African music is famous for. Alongside French-Caribbean Zouk this kind of music has slowly been making its way into the DJ sets of many of the most open minded selectors around the world. This compilation is in many ways a sister release to the hugely popular compilation of Nigerian boogie and disco that Soundway released in late 2016 : “Doing it In Lagos: Boogie, Pop & Disco in 1980s Nigeria”.
The album takes its name from the band Ashiko’s track of the same name Gumba Fire that features on the compilation. The term is derived from gumba gumba, the term given to the booming speakers of the old spacegram radios that broadcast music into South Africa’s townships and villages. The phrase later evolved into Gumba Fire to refer to a hot party. Put this record on and feel the heat!


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: As we seem to have reached the end of the great Afro disco excavation (I joke, I hear a new banger every two weeks), things jump forward from the disco era to the time of boogie and proto house with this mega collection of bubble gum bangers selected by Soundway and Afrosynth boss DJ Okapi. Everything on here is excellent, but Condry Ziqubu's "She's Impossible" is way in demand, and this is your only chance to get it without breaking the bank.

FORMAT INFORMATION

3xLP Info: 3LP comes in high gloss gatefold sleeve with 8mm-thick spine, and detailed sleeve notes and images of the original album covers.

12 - Various Artists

Basement Beehive: The Girl Group Underground

    Who do we become when we live our dreams? It’s all here—the high hairdos, the dreams and schemes, the tender camp, the wedding bell fantasias and chaste tragedies. Sister acts, studio receptionists, classmates, angelic voices of the 1960s; some legendary, many hidden in the basement of expired rainbows. Gathered on this deluxe double LP (or CD) are 28 (56 on the compact disc!) foiled escape attempts, now free to soar in girl group heaven.

    For the 100th and final instalment of the iconic FABRICLIVE mix series, in its current form, two UK pioneers unite for a hypnotic 74 minute mix. Burial and Kode9 are each credited with fostering esoteric, hyperlocal sounds and steering them to global recognition, helping to shape the landscape of contemporary electronic music as we know it. They are also close peers, having influenced each other’s careers immeasurably over many years.

    Since launching his seminal Hyperdub imprint in 2004, Kode9 has sustained a reputation as one of the most innovative artists, curators and DJs. He was a regular fixture at the legendary DMZ and Fwd>> nights in London - which to many are still considered as setting the bar for clubbing in the city and nurturing the rebirth of the post-millenial UK scene. Since 2017 he runs and co-curates Ø, a monthly event at Corsica Studios merging immersive installations with groundbreaking musical programming. From 2003-2009 he hosted the Fwd>> radio show on Rinse FM, later co-hosting the Hyperdub show alongside Scratcha DVA. He has three studio albums, Memories of Future (2006) and Black Sun (2010) with The Spaceape, Nothing (2015) and three DJ compilations, Dubstep Allstars vol.3 (Tempa 2006), DJ Kicks (!K7 2011) and Rinse 22 (Rinse 2013) to his name, as well as tracks released on labels ranging from Aphex Twin’s Rephlex imprint and Soul Jazz to Warp and Domino.

    As one of the most enigmatic artists of the 21st century, Burial is responsible for birthing a sound that is truly singular. There are few producers whose work is so instantly recognisable, to the point that his name is now synonymous with a distinct set of eerie sonic components. His disquieting depictions of South London, informed heavily by sound system and UK rave culture, are widely considered masterpieces, with the cultural impact of his work echoing far further afield than his hometurf. His relationship with Kode9 and Hyperdub stems back to his first EP, South London Boroughs (2005), with almost every subsequent release, including two highly influential studio albums, Burial (2006) & Untrue (2007) residing on the label.

    Both artist’s origins can be traced back to bass-heavy strands of UK underground music - a sphere in which they have worked closely together for many years - but the idiosyncrasies of their respective styles are recognised on a much broader scale. As such, the mix reaches into obscure corners and a disorienting range of tempos across its 37 tracks. Featuring artists from Africa, China, South America and Japan as well as the Europe and US, the mix draws from gqom, juke and footwork to trance, jungle and grime, as well as a wealth of material that defies categorisation. it sounds like it was stitched together from a box of unknown mixtapes found in the gutter.

    FABRICLIVE 100 concludes the current incarnation of the beloved mix CD series in a way that honours it's namesake clubnight. Covering many of the musical styles that have found their home within its walls, whilst simultaneously looking outward for inspiration. It is also a documentation of two of London‘s remarkably skilled artists delving deep for an undeniably unique collaboration.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: It was always going to be a legendary musician that curated the 100th outing from the hugely influential Fabriclive series, and who better than the duo of Kode9 & Burial. We get brooding modern ambience, deep dubs and crackling, glacial beats akimbo over a ridiculous 40 tracks. If you only buy one Fabriclive (I assume for most of you, it's too late for that), make it this one.

    When Acid Jazz founder Eddie Piller asked Martin Freeman (‘The Hobbit’, ‘Sherlock’, ‘The Office’) to do a jazz radio show they could hardly imagine the response. From around the world emails and tweets inundated the show and they swore to themselves that they couldn’t leave it there.

    Now, two years on, this compilation of their favourite jazz has arrived. From the rolling hard bop of Lee Morgan and Art Blakey, via screaming soul organ, jazz funk original acid jazz onwards to the post modern spiritual jazz of Kasami Washington, this is an incredible journey.

    Soundtrack album to the forthcoming documentary "The Man from Mo’ Wax" that charts the life of pioneering UK electronic / trip-hop figure James Lavelle, whose presence in the scene as a DJ, producer and label head remains pivotal today, nearly three decades into his career.

    The soundtrack features tracks from the film that chart the life of Lavelle + his label Mo’ Wax including:
    - artists that inspired him to create Mo’ Wax such as Hiroshi + Kudo, Zimbabwe Legit, Marie 'Queenie' Lyons + The Wild Bunch

    - trip-hop classics from Mo’ Wax by DJ Shadow, La Funk Mob, Attica Blues, Dr. Octagon, DJ Krush + RPM

    - essential Lavelle productions/co-writes with Thom Yorke, Ian Brown + Queens of the Stone Age.


    The film features interviews with DJ Shadow, Joshua Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja (3D), Ian Brown, Futura, Thom Yorke and Grandmaster Flash who help tell the remarkable story of one of the most enigmatic yet influential figures in contemporary British culture. Unearthed from over 700 hours of footage including his exclusive personal archive spanning three decades, "The Man from Mo’ Wax" is an exhilarating, no holds-barred ride through Lavelle’s career highs and lows.

    The film will be released in selected cinemas nationwide on the 31st August – celebrating the 20th anniversary of the seminal UNKLE / Mo’Wax album release of "Psyence Fiction". There will a launch event at the BFI Southbank, the home of British cinema. Album will be released same day as the film to combine marketing efforts.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Sil says: Unexpected nostalgia attack took me over when listening to this comp. That DJ Krush 'Kemuri' track was and is a beast and the Zimbabwe Legit one is timeless. Let alone 'Ravers Suck Our Sound and Get Fuck' by the very understated La Funk Mob. You need this if you were there at the time and more even if you were not.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xColoured LP Info: Coloured vinyl – 1 disc red, 1 disc blue.

    History revealing compilation project centering around the legendary Front Club in Hamburg Germany that existed from the 80´s - late 90´s - a leading club in terms of music selection, mixing technique, rave culture - in a very important period of time.

    Eponymous resident DJ´s Klaus Stockhausen and Boris Dlugosch take a close look back at that time, guide you through the history, the early beginnings and absolute key moments of house music club culture in Germany.

    37 legendary tracks make up the CD release - many of which have not been on sale forever and a day while the vinyl, set across two volumes, selected 16 of the hardest hitting numbers for an unmixed selection for the DJs and collectors alike.

    Hamburg’s Front club was already the stuff of legend, and the story is important now, 21 years later as not many peoiple know how house music infiltrated Germany to give techno some competition on the dancefloor. With Front you wouldn't have Robert Johnson or, to some extent, Parorama - house and disco simply were not celebrated in large numbers until Front, Stockhausen and Dlugosch opens minds and record boxes to the soulful sound. 


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLP 1 Info: LP Part One.

    2xLP 2 Info: LP Part Two.

    17 - Various Artists

    Running The Voodoo Down Vol.2 - Explorations In Psych-rock-funk-soul-jazz 1965-77

    Carefully assembled by Dean Rudland and Tony Harlow the set looks at a decade when African-American music was exploring myriad new directions against a backdrop of incredible and explosive social change and features the likes of John Coltrane, MC5, Shuggie Otis, Sonnie Sharrock, Dr. John, Isaac Hayes, Joe Zawinul and Melvin Van Peebles. Whilst not all of this music was commercially successful at the time, its importance and its influence on subsequent generations of artists – both black and white – has continued to grow over the years. A compilation for the heads, not a playlist.

    As the blissed out 60s turned dark and political, music led the way and it became important to have a message to deliver whatever the medium. Coltrane’s fierce energy revitalised jazz which was languishing in the doldrums of hard bop and organ trios, and inspired a new generation of politically active and motivated creators, but it also inspired a new generation of rock musicians who used his modal experiments as a launching pad for a spacier more underground music. The Byrds stuck within the “pop single” format but melded the energy of Coltrane’s “perfect” modal exploration My Favourite Things with their attempts to capture the mood of the Ravi Shankar pieces that had influenced Coltrane.” Eight Miles High combined the contemporary excitement of space travel with clear hidden references to the growing drug culture and captured lift off perfectly.

    The music of a new generation of jazz players influenced deeply by the rock explorations of Eddie Hazel and Jimi Hendrix, and by the new afrocentric politics, but wanting to reach out in a voice their community could understand was another part of this. Alumni and friends of the various Miles Davis bands formed solo projects on every side, especially after the surprise success of Bitches Brew (it sold a million copies).

    As music expanded its palatte so too did Black Art, Poetry and film. The brilliant recent exhibition Soul Of A Man [Tate London 2017] captured the explosion in politically motivated art led by creators like Emory Douglas. Isaac “Black Moses” Hayes was in the forefront as his starring role in Shaft pioneered the new genre of Blaxploitation. But the genre was really started by less remembered Black entrepreneur Melvin Van Peebles. Van Peebles was a bohemian Renaissance man, who acted, wrote novels (in French) and poetry, and from the late 1960s made a series of low budget and self funded films.

    Van Peebles poetic streak also spilt over into recordings – always heavily politicised and representative of the the new African American militancy. Van Peebles classic Brer Soul represents a milestone of the genre, whilst his album Serious as a Heart Attack shared its name with Val Wilmer’s awesome book on her life amongst the world of free and loft jazz and featured Van Peebles on the cover in a slogan shirt stating “Rated X by an All White Jury”.

    This was psychedelic music, liked by rock fans and the counterculture, but grounded deeply in jazz and constantly referencing the fact in its lyrics. 


    Applying maximum sunscreen and blending the perfect caipirinha, Too Slow to Disco take a dive into an often overlooked side of Brazilian music: Brazilian soul, funk and AOR. To guide them through these unfamiliar waters, the firm enlist a new face, a giant of musical endeavour, the young nephew of Brazil’s legendary soul icon Tim Maia, the ‘Colossus of Rio’, as he’s known: Ed Motta.
    At the end of the 1980s Ed Motta burst upon the music scene as a major singer and one of the writers and producers in the band Conexão Japeri. He’s now fifteen albums into a career that hops from genre to genre, perhaps one of the savviest music makers and curators out there. He is a refined practitioner of jazz, funk, soul, AOR and much else besides, having worked with everyone from Gilles Peterson to Roy Ayers, 4Hero, Seu Jorge, Patrice Rushen, Greg Phillinganes, Bo Diddley, Incognito, Ryuichi Sakamoto and many other insanely talented musos.

    In this collector’s compilation, you’re coming on a kind of expert guided time travel mission – just picture yourself following Ed’s fingers as they trace along the sleeves in that massive library-sized vinyl vault of his. So we dart back through over two decades of music making, dancing in one style then the next from soul to funk to AOR, you’ll feel the air coming out of the horn section right the way through, and a mixologist’s golden touch tying everything together.

    The artists Ed has play-listed for you include über-obscure figures like Carlos Bivar or Gelson Oliveira & Luiz Ewerling – both of whose songs here derive from privately pressed albums – so rare they’re not even listed on Discogs! He’s also gathered together a real pantheon of Brazilian musical heroes like Rita Lee (who was part of the legendary Os Mutantes), Cassiano (one of the founders of Bossa Trio and Os Diagonais) and million sellers like Roupa Nova, lovingly referred to as ‘the Brazilian Toto’ (who would have thought that would become a compliment by 2018?)! And as ever with the Too Slow to Disco series, the artists might be new to you, but they’re always bringing a killer tune.

    “Before slipping this LP on, you need to nail the AOR modus opeara… That means: a Hawaiian shirt à la Magnum PI, loafers without socks as in Miami Vice, jump in your convertible and drive under the coconut trees. This is a sunset ride through Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, Miami, Hawaii. Aloha!" Ed Motta

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLP Info: 180 gram heavyweight double vinyl.

    2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Follow up to the amazing "Backstreet Brit Funk". Volume 2 has been eight years in the making and continues to showcase the best of the genre from the late 70s to early 80s, compiled once again by Joey Negro. Perhaps one of the UK’s most under-appreciated genres and emerging in the late 70’s; it takes influences from jazz, funk, reggae and pop and by the early 80s it had spread all over the UK. Chart-topping mainstream bands like Wham!, Spandau Ballet and Haircut 100 tapped into the style and sound to help launch their careers, whilst Linx, Level 42, Light of The World, The Cool Notes and Hi Tension were all Brit Funk acts who troubled the UK top 40 with their own singles.

    Brit Funk was essentially the UK’s answer to underground disco & boogie , with musicians at first imitating and eventually developing the sounds they heard on the US imports that made it across the pond. And like disco, the Brit Funk scene was significant in reducing racial boundaries in the clubs and raising the profile of black and white musicians who worked together. Back in 2010 Joey Negro complied the first volume of Back Street Brit Funk: a collection of obscure and forgotten gems of the scene that found favour across the board. The fact that it’s taken eight years for Volume 2 to see the light of day is a testament to the both the obscurity of the records included, and the logistical challenges involved in digitizing what started life as vinyl-only releases, with only a handful of 12”s remaining in some cases.
    'I hadn’t planned a Volume 2 of BSBF when putting together the first, but after a while, I started to wonder if there was potential for a follow-up. Over the past 8 years I’ve kept my ears peeled for interesting UK productions that for some reason hadn’t come to my attention before.' Joey Negro.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: We've had 'nuff resurgences in disco, Italo and boogie thus far, but no-one's really popped the lid off the whole Brit Funk cannon. Save for that wonderful "In The Red" comp on Chuwanaga (and Volume 1 of this series of course) the scene has gone relatively 'Un-comp'ed'... until now! Maestro Joey Negro can always be relied upon to present to us the first sift off the crop. Here showing us the dizzying delights of this very British operation... High energy, high musicianship - high vibe! I used to roller-skate to this shit!! ;)

    Strut present the first ever compilation series to access the archives of one of the greatest of all French Caribbean labels, Disques Debs out of Guadeloupe. Set up by the late Henri Debs during the late ‘50s, the label and studio has continued for over 50 years, releasing over 300 7” singles and 200 LPs, covering styles varying from early biguine and bolero to zouk and reggae. Debs played a pivotal role in bringing the créole music of Guadeloupe and Martinique to a wider international audience.

    Volume 1 of this series marks the first decade of the label’s existence and takes in big band orchestras, home-grown stars, touring bands and a new generation that would emerge at the end of the ‘60s. Early releases were recorded in the back of Henri’s shop in Pointe-a-Pitre, from his own sextet playing percussive biguines to young saxophonist Edouard Benoit, leader of Les Maxels and regular arranger for Debs bands. Other artists ranged from big bands like Orchestre Esperanza and Orchestre Caribbean Jazz to poet and radio personality Casimir “Caso” Létang and folkloric gwo ka artist Sydney Leremon. Debs also capitalised on recording foreign touring artists visiting Guadeloupe during the early ‘60s including Haitian trumpeter Raymond Cicault and Trinidadian bandleader Cyril Diaz.

    Compiled by Hugo Mendez (Sofrito) and Emile Omar (Radio Nova), ‘Disques Debs International’ is released in conjunction with Henri Debs Et Fils and Air Caraibes. The package features a host of rare and unseen photos from the Debs archive with both formats featuring extensive sleeve notes and interviews with Philippe Debs and Max “Maxo” Severin of Les Vikings. Volumes 2 and 3 follow in 2019.


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