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Alan Parker And Madeline Bell

The Voice Of Soul LP (Themes Reissues)

    2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

    Veteran library musician Alan Parker recorded with session vocalist Madeline Bell for his Themes International Music label and the result was 1976’s The Voice of Soul.

    The sensational uptempo dancer “That’s What Friends Are For” is probably the most well known track on the record, and is a big hit on the rare groove scene, but it is by no means an anomaly. The Voice of Soul is essentially a perfect, sophisticated soul album with heaps of swagger and sass from beginning to end. Its once generic-sounding title is now deservedly definitive.

    And the whole LP oozes sex. It oozes sex so much that it could have soundtracked a period porn film. Indeed, parts of it did. “Love Is All” and “You’ve Got What It Takes” both featured on the infamously banned Pretty Peaches from the same year.

    As is usual with library records, The Voice of Soul was hard to get even when it was first released. It’s next to impossible now. So here’s your opportunity to own what is in our opinion one of the finest rare soul LPs of the late 70s, and a superb example of Madeline Bell’s superlative vocal talents.

    But that’s not the whole story. As well as pitching the record as “a varied selection of modern female vocal features which are equally suitable for background or radio programme usage”, the original release notes go on to explain that “the corresponding backing tracks are issued on TIM 1022 The Sound of Soul. Therefore it is possible to edit from vocal to instrumental version and vica versa where commentary or scene changes occur.”

    So yes, all of the backing tracks from The Voice of Soul were released as The Sound of Soul, and we couldn’t re-issue one without re-issuing the other.

    As with all ten re-issues, the audio for The Voice of Soul comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

    Alan Hawkshaw And Brian Bennett

    Full Circle LP

      Their NEW album, in full, iconic KPM cover is a return to the laidback jazz-funk that helped Alan and Brian demonstrate their library chops. The album is classic Hawkshaw/Bennett. It swings, it grooves, moves and thrills with a flair these two have perfected over years.

      Alan Hawkshaw (piano/Hammond) and Shadow’s drummer Brian Bennett are responsible for some of the slickest, funkiest and most sought-after library records ever made in the UK, particularly ones recorded on the legendary KPM label. Their work has now become the go-to place for sampling in music today. Artists such as Dilla, Nas, and the xx, right through to the billion selling Kanye & Drake have taken Hawkshaw’s and Bennett’s immaculate beat-driven soundscapes for their own usage.

      Their new album, in full, iconic KPM cover is a return to the laidback jazz-funk that helped Alan and Brian demonstrate their library chops. The album is classic Hawkshaw/Bennett. It swings, it grooves, moves and thrills with a flair these two have perfected over years.

      Standout tracks such as "Hole In One", "In The Clouds", "Interchange", "Oasis", "On The Nile" and "Corcovado" are no mere excursions in nostalgia, for they carry lots of deft studio work that many a producer would give their right arm for. Hawkshaw’s arrangements allow the drums, guitar, bass, strings, Hammond, flute and brass to swirl elegantly around the 12 original tracks; a masterclass in recording.

      Cut by Pete Norman, housed in a beautifully designed Richard Robinson sleeve and pressed at 180g by Record Industry in Holland, this release has been afforded the care and attention it rightly deserves. Essential.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

      Keith Mansfield / John Cameron

      Voices In Harmony LP (THE KPM Reissues)

        2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

        Voices In Harmony was released in 1973 as “a selection of contemporary pop titles featuring voices, brass and rhythm”. We choose to describe this collection of works by Keith Mansfield and John Cameron as “a string-laced, harmony-drenched KPM classic”.

        From the bright, lilting harmonies of “Liquid Sunshine” to the melting flutes of “Loving Touch” and “Gentle Persuasion”, this is warm, effervescent soul music for dreamy, idyllic moods. The supreme “Husky Birdsong” is so, so smooth, with its unrelenting bossa bassline and warm keyboards. “Half Forgotten Daydreams” is a gorgeous wordless groove.

        As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Voices In Harmony comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

        James Clarke

        Mystery Movie LP (Themes Reissues)

          2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

          James Clarke’s Mystery Movie was released in 1974 as “modern, small group compositions in various moods. Ideally suited to the new Americanised style of T.V. and cinema film where music is used to create the mood and carry the action”.

          So this collection covers a lot of bases, but it does so brilliantly and has absolutely no right to be such a fantastic listen from start to finish.

          Mystery Movie is best known for the slick drum breaks underpinning the top-notch jazz-funk chase theme “Car Patrol”, the fuzz riffing and ARP soloing of “The Heavies” and the slow-mo strut of “Mystery Moll”. “Study In Fear” and “Empty Streets” are horror soundtrack fodder of the finest sort.

          However, it’s the understated, plaintive pieces that we find the most rewarding. Ambient feels and strung-out fried-folk treats, full of cyclical naïve melodies. Music that evokes the ‘downlifting’ Ronnie Lane and Ron Wood instrumentals from their great Mahoney’s Last Stand LP, as well as the beautiful soundtrack work of Jack Nitzsche and Ry Cooder. You might also recognise “Waiting Game” from being sampled by melodic downbeat masters Express Rising.

          Check “Relaxed Theme”, “Quiet Girl”, “Routine Procedure” and “Quietness Sustained” for a melodic, melancholic set, with the last three performed on just acoustic guitar and harp. Gorgeous work.

          As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Mystery Movie comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

          Alan Parker

          The Sound Of Soul LP (Themes Reissues)

            2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

            When Alan Parker recorded the killer library soul-funk LP The Voice of Soul with session vocalist Madeline Bell in 1976, some bright spark at Themes decided to also release all of the backing tracks as a separate, and equally innocuously title LP called The Sound of Soul. Thank goodness for bright sparks.

            Released as a collection of “unobtrusive musical backings in various rhythmic styles”, the LP’s original description dryly explains “these tracks have been issued without melody and are therefore particularly suitable for use behind commentary. Female vocal versions of these tracks are issued on TIM 1021 The Voice Of Soul and it is possible to edit from vocal version to instrumental version or vica versa where commentary or scene changes occur”.

            Madeline Bell was backed by The Rhythm Section, who were for all intents and purposes the Themes International Music house band. So what we end up with here is entire album of instrumental work-outs by a band comprised of the formidable talents of Alan Hawkshaw on keyboards, Alan Parker on guitars, Barry Morgan on drums, Les Hurdle on bass guitar and Frank Ricotti on percussion.

            Without Bell’s vocals these backing tracks are given all the room they need to breathe. Each one more than stands up on its own.

            The Sound of Soul is a real diggers’ delight and, unsurprisingly, a must-have counterpart to The Voice of Soul.

            As with all ten re-issues, the audio for The Sound of Soul comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

            Keith Mansfield / Alan Hawkshaw / David Snell

            Big Business / Wind Of Change LP (THE KPM Reissues)

              2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

              The two sides of 1973’s Big Business / Wind of Change are mainly the work of the great Keith Mansfield but there’s a killer cameo each from Alan Hawkshaw and David Snell to help deliver “a thematic suite, diverse in mood, applicable to dramatic and environmental situations”. A Be With favourite and truly one for the heads.

              The Big Business of side A is all the work of Keith Mansfield. It’s heavy on the suspense and features the vital “Hot Property”, an insistent groove so good that Madlib sampled it to lace the ace “Long Awaited” by Lootpack with Dilated Peoples.

              “Sleeping Giant 1” is a more fleshed out version of the equally-dazzling “Fatal Error”, evoking the orchestral magic of David Axelrod. Indeed, it conjures images of Diamond D falling over himself in the early-to-mid 90s to loop its intoxicatingly eerie soundscape. Complete with guitar fills that recall Paris, Texas-era Ry Cooder, you need this record for this piece alone.

              The horn-and-flute-led "Tycoon" is a head-nodder and "Power Complex" has some fantastic percussion. Other highlights include the breezy glide of “Whistle Stop Tour” and its sister groove “Clean Air.”

              Over on Side B is the more expansive Wind Of Change, which includes the David Snell and the Alan Hawkshaw contributions. But these ain’t no filler. Snell’s shuffling “International Flight” sounds like a smooth Dorothy Ashby track tossed from the heavens. Hawkshaw’s “Road And Rail” is about as luxurious and strung-out as the great man gets and it might just be the highlight of this whole set.

              Not to be outdone, if Mansfield’s “Balance Of Power” doesn’t make you feel like king of the world then you must be playing it wrong. Oh, and did we mention “World In Action”?!

              As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Big Business / Wind of Change comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

              Francis Coppieters

              Piano Viberations LP (THE KPM Reissues)

                2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

                Piano Viberations’ “small group jazz featuring piano and vibes with rhythm” makes for a gorgeous Francis Coppieters showcase, surely one of Belgium’s best-kept musical secrets. Released in 1975, and arguably the most low-key of the KPM and Themes records we’re re-issuing, this is easily our current favourite.

                “The Open Highway” is the appropriately-named opener, and immediately demonstrates Coppieters’ dexterous interplay between piano and vibes in assured, joyous fashion. The shuffling bossa of “Sales Notes” is a jaw-dropper, well-mined by samplers with impeccable taste. The mellow head-nod drum-break that is “Funky Chimes” brilliantly demonstrates Coppieters’ quiet majestic side with its slow-motion funk rhythm with beautifully reflective notes throughout.

                The upbeat and joyful “Cross Talk” closes out side A. Vibes and piano are definitely at the heart of the arrangement here. The quick cut movement of “Piano In Transit” is another gem, driven principally by piano but those vibes along for more than just the ride. On a more gentle, elegiac note, “To Shearing With Love” is a warm, slow, romantic piece in the style of George Shearing. It’s plaintive and sublime.

                Piano Viberations is one of those rare library records the original description of which makes as much sense now as it did when it was first released. Piano and vibes with rhythm indeed.
                As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Piano Viberations comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

                Alan Hawkshaw And Brian Bennett

                Synthesis LP (THE KPM Reissues)

                  2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

                  The “vivid contemporary sounds for a fresh visual image” make up the now canonised Synthesis from Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett. These two greats go deeper than usual on this collection, and the end result is a synth concept record of sorts. Released in 1974, it’s an essential companion piece to their Synthesizer and Percussion LP, released on Themes International Music in the same year.

                  Like most of our favourite library records, Synthesis has that gloriously funky, “weird electronic music” vibe without ever being inaccessible. With the awesome ARP Odyssey at the fore, Hawkshaw and Bennett have created a blissed-out soundscape that, whilst laid back in all the right places, somehow remains heavy on the funk. It’s a sort of throbbing, proto-G Funk sound and you can find it on many of these low-lit basement workouts.

                  Take the ice-cool “Alto Glide”. It’s a sunset-funk highlight with an electro-flute refrain that conjures those dreamier Dre / DJ Quick instrumentals from ’91 to ’92. Stereolab, Koushik (again) and all those Ghost Box artists were clearly listening very closely in the years since. The equally relaxed “Mermaid” glides effortlessly with soft, shimmering piano, understated percussion and kaleidoscopic synths. It’s a really beautiful piece.

                  With these two soft-focus closing tracks allowing the LP to float away over the horizon, the preceding ten tracks have a more insistent, neck-snapping rhythm section to back the synth overload. Highlights include the head-nod funk of “Getting It Together” and the synth break in “The Executive”, which informed classic video game soundtracks.

                  For once Be With really is stuck for words to describe just how good this record is. Best just to listen.

                  As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Synthesis comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

                  Alan Hawkshaw And Brian Bennett

                  Synthesizer And Percussion LP (Themes Reissues)

                    Released in the same year as Synthesis over on KPM, 1974’s Synthesizer and Percussion is its essential companion piece. “This record features the many distinctive sounds of the ARP Synthesizer plus percussion in various moods and tempos” is the even more underwhelming than usual library record sales pitch for Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett’s second collection of what is basically minimal G-funk, with overtones of primitive acid house. This is ridiculously good.

                    This is one of Hawkshaw and Bennett’s wilder joints and aeons ahead of its time. Bennett’s tough drums provide the underpinnings for the prominent bass, keys and bubbling synths high up in the mix, alongside Hawkshaw’s deranged clavinet-funk-rock. There are heavenly break loops galore.

                    Opener "Mon Amour" is ultra-smooth funk, all inter-weaving melodic lines whilst the seminal "Oddball" is an incredible hard electro strut with a knocking break. "Mile High Swinger" is a tranquil Spaghetti Western whistling theme over double tempo rhythmic movement and the pulsating "Auto Pilot" has a percussive groove elevated by electric piano and synthesizer. Check "Driving Force”, “Home Run” and "Pacesetter" for electroid prog-funk dripped in acid squelch.

                    All five final tracks are beatless synth workouts, because they can.

                    As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Synthesizer and Percussion comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

                    Nick Ingman

                    Distinctive Themes / Race To Achievement LP (THE KPM Reissues)

                      2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

                      Released in 1976, Distinctive Themes / Race To Achievement is legendary arranger Nick Ingman exploring the two distinct ideas of “impressive themes varying in style from ‘Basie to Elgar’” and “a study in the pressure and rewards of achievement”.

                      Distinctive Themes is a veritable indulgence of variously-tempoed, full orchestra, big band workouts, from relaxed swing to more propulsive themes. The progressively building “Expanding Markets” is a true highlight, with its rolling pianos, contemplative electric guitar solos and moody horns over skipping beats. The dramatic “Against The Odds” is another stand-out.

                      Race To Achievement is all rugged funk with stabbing chords and strutting horns and it’s probably our favourite side. Of course we have to acknowledge the fantastic “Tense Preparation”, sampled by Prince Paul and Dan The Automator for Handsome Boy Modeling School’s seminal “Magnetizing” with Del Tha Funky Homosapien. But the whole side’s range from tense underscores to fast and punchy chase themes makes this is a gem of the KPM catalogue.

                      As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Distinctive Themes / Race To Achievement comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

                      Alan Hawkshaw / Brian Bennett / John Fiddy

                      Hot Wax LP (THE KPM Reissues)

                        2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

                        Hot Wax is an assured KPM masterclass from a dream team line-up of Brian Bennett, Alan Hawkshaw and John Fiddy. Here we’re treated to what happens when all three decide to explore “the latest trends in production music”. The latest as of 1976, of course.

                        John Fiddy’s numbers are sumptuous, string-led and light. Floaty soft-psych underpinned by a solid groove, particularly on “Taste For Living” and "Fresh Start". If you're into Koushik and those early Manitoba/Caribou records - and you should be - you’ll appreciate these.

                        For us, the Bennett and Bennett/Hawkshaw stuff is on another level. “Capitol City” oscillates between driving funk and downbeat sentiment. “Name Of The Game” is tough, smokin’ funk, famously sampled in 2007 by Madlib for Percee P’s “Who With Me”. “Bop On The Rocks” knocks hard and “Full Throttle” features a guitar solo with some of the nastiest, about-to-explode fuzz you’re ever likely to hear.

                        As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Hot Wax comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.


                        Marti Caine's infamous Point Of View is a groovy blend of slow-mo funk, dark disco and precise pop. Originally released on BBC Records in 1981, it has attracted a considerable cult following this century. The odd charity shop score aside, it has been impossible to find a copy for less than eye-watering sums (often selling for over £200) and, as such, it's an honour to present the first officially licensed vinyl reissue of this sublime record. Featuring expert liner notes written by Bill Brewster - perhaps the record's most notable champion - this lovingly curated release is limited to just 500 copies.

                        Marti Caine was a popular UK TV entertainer in the late 1970s onwards and Point Of View presented her with an opportunity to proceed in a hip direction by working with British R&B heavyweight Barry Blue. His legendary reputation was secured with a string of great records, among them the first three Heatwave albums, the Balearic hit "Afro Dizzi Act" by Cry Cisco and the cult smash "Breakin' In" by Javaroo. However, despite the array of talent working on the album, Point Of View sank without trace at the time. It's something that Blue attributes to the bizarre way BBC Records worked, and he entertainingly expands upon this within the liner notes.

                        Musically, the highlights are many and memorable. Its most notorious track is the sublime soul stepper "Love The Way You Love Me", the reason most people covet this album so profoundly. However, from the dark dubby disco of "Snowbird City" to the moody ballad "Love Is Running Through Me", the lesser heralded tracks are nothing short of exquisite. Indeed, the chugging elegance of sleazy disco opener "Can I Speak To The World Please?" showcases a string-drenched strutting-funk that would've been enviable the world over. It's that good.

                        The outlandish artwork - presenting a striking, green-eyed Marti treating a tiger to a headlock - has been faithfully restored and is arguably worth the price of admission alone. With access to the original tape transfers, Simon Francis' sensitive mastering elevates the sound throughout and, as ever, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g. Sadly, Marti died of lymphatic cancer at the tragically early age of 50 in 1995, so is not here to experience what we hope will be a long overdue reappraisal of the hitherto underheard genius of Marti Caine, the singer.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Millie says: Marti Caine slaying it with this groovy disco and funk-filled reissue of Point of View. Featuring the legendary track ‘Love The Way You Love Me’ which is an anthem in itself. This Be With release is super limited so don’t hesitate.

                        With powerhouse production trio Organized Noize, Sleepy Brown orchestrated Atlanta's hallmark sound of the 90s; his slow-cooked southern-fried G-Funk providing hits for TLC, Outkast and Goodie Mob. However, by 1998 and post-Aquemini, his desire was to take centre stage. The dizzying result was Sleepy's Theme and their wonderful throwback LP, The Vinyl Room. Their vintage, 70s soul-steeped magnum opus was promptly passed on by Jimmy Iovine at Interscope, released only on CD on a limited scale, and mostly...um...slept on.

                        To mark the 20th anniversary, Be With Records finally present the album on the format it was so clearly inspired by yet seemingly destined never to appear on. The inaugural vinyl edition of this landmark record boldly arrives as a DJ friendly double LP, fully remastered and pressed loud and heavy at 180g. Elegantly housed in a sleek, sumptuous gatefold jacket, adorned with an appropriately pimped-out purple foil layer, it features printed lyrics across two double-sided inner sleeves.

                        Blending organic instrumentation from one of the tightest, greasiest, yet sophisticated bands in the land, The Vinyl Roompresented dreamy melodies, warm synth textures, stately horns and wayward beats. Brown conceived his "garage funk band" as adhering to the sonic touchstones of Blaxploitation and he achieved it. Featuring keyboardist/singer Eddie Stokes, drummer Victor Rico Cortez, guitarist Bill Odum, vocalist Keisha Jackson and the late Pimp C, the sound was always going to be in the pocket.

                        While it eschewed contemporary trends, the underground sound was nevertheless fresh and grounded in the hat-tip spirit of hip-hop. With Sleepy bragging that there were no samples, The Vinyl Room comprised a richly textured, mesmerizing and confident sound where the recurring themes were women, cars and weed. As he explained, "the music of the 70s wasn't computerized, it was just realness from the heart and that's what we captured." Indeed, Brown wasn't just inspired by bygone funk; he grew-up in it. As a boy, he travelled to gigs with his music playing father and founder of the legendary Brick: Jimmy Brown.

                        The album lopes at a weed-stoned pace, with sweet falsetto leads, spoken word raps and honey-coated female background vocals with just enough superfly sensibility to give you a contact high. The luscious bass grooves, silk-soft cymbal pats, raindrop-drowsy keyboards and country-fried wah-wah guitar licks conjure Bobby Womack in the lab with Marley Marl, Isaac Hayes laced by Dr. Dre or Curtis Mayfield bring introduced to DJ Quik.

                        Opener "Can't Let Go", with its heist movie aesthetic, morphs into a strung-out love song as Sleepy slurs compellingly throughout. Pimp C's low-riding beat for "Simply Beautiful," a bouncing track brilliantly inspired by Barry White's swaggering "You're the One I Need", is exceptional. Perhaps as a nod to the great Brick, the horn section on "Grind On" is quietly joyous and profound whilst "Curse On You" is a dark groover and features a great vocal from Cee-Lo Green. "Still Smokin'", another rousing track, is a peculiarly laidback anthem; hypnotic, hot and smooth. Perhaps the highlight of the entire piece, "Choked Out Saturday Night" sounds like the old Atlanta. Like rolling in a Cadillac about 12 midnight, going to club after club, passing the churches and juke-joints, preachers and pimps, lush trees and the red dirt.

                        The last word goes to Sleepy, from his recent interview with RBMA: "I just wanted to do the most funkiest album ever. When you play the album, I just wanted you to just sit back and just ride out. If you've had a long day, play the album. If you're smoking, if you don't smoke. Whatever you do, at that time when you got to relax, throw that on."


                        A certified UK boogie bomb, originally released in 1982, and coming hot on the heels of the Be With Records Pink Rhythm reissue campaign. Original copies are incredibly hard to come by so grab a copy of this officially licensed, fully remastered, reissue before the 500 copies (for the world) find their forever homes.

                        Side On were a one-off UK soul dream team, consisting of Peter Maas (Freeez/Pink Rhythm bassist), Everton McCalla (Freeez/Light Of The World/Potion) and the legendary Rick Clarke (Potion). 

                        Originally released on Beggars Banquet, it's a huge, feel good, Brit Funk classic and a massive record with everybody's favourite boogie aficionado, Dam-Funk.

                        Unmissable.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        David says: Hoowee it's getting hot in here, did someone put the heating on? No? Then it must be the fire that is Side On's 'Magic'playing in the shop. The ace, Beggars, Brit Funk classic, lovingly restored just for you, you lucky LUCKY people.

                        Freddie Scott

                        (You) Got What I Need

                        Neck-snapping soul masterpiece from Freddie Scott, famously sampled by Biz Markie for his melancholic pop-rap hit "Just A Friend" and a surefire piano-driven basement party anthem in its own right.

                        The work of the legendary producers Gamble & Huff, the track was also sampled by Ghostface Killah for the wonderful "Save Me Dear" with Jay Dilla also utilising the crunching drums to lace many memorable productions for A Tribe Called Quest and Slum Village.

                        A peerless piece of deep soul and hip-hop history, here's your chance to own the first ever officially licensed reissue on 45.

                        On the flip, "Powerful Love" is uptempo guitar-soul with finger-popping swing. Featuring delicate horns and gorgeous backing vocals, it's an unfairly slept-on gem but, given the weight of the A-Side, this is perfectly understandable.

                        This special 7" single comes housed in a heavy duty custom printed full-colour company sleeve and is limited to just 500 copies.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Millie says: This soul seven-inch could brighten up any dull day, Freddie's irresistibly vocals wash over you with happy warmth. When you get this you'll be thankful everyday!

                        You'd think that following "Melodies Of Love" would be an impossible task. Not so, if you happen to be genius Brit-Funk pioneers John Rocca and Andy Stennett. On their more understated - yet, pound for pound, stronger - second record, Pink Rhythm stretched out to create a 4 track EP of richly melodic, exquisite beauty. In the process, they trumped their most well-known release.

                        Cruising on a funk-fuelled journey from the swaggering title track, via the blue-eyed soul of "Trust Me", to the stabbing staccato synth heat of "More And More" and back again ("India" dub) this EP has ESSENTIAL seared onto its substantial grooves.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Sil says: Dreamy, galactic, synth-ridden and surprisingly soulful killer funk 4-tracker for those who dig deeper. Perfect soundtrack for my Saturday night ride back from clubbing hard on my Delorean.

                        This is it. The number one. El Numero Uno. The Bomb. The tune that gives you street soul bass up in your face and will destroy your speakers if you're not careful. Quite simply the greatest & most sought after street soul holy grail of them all. The sound of Manchester then and now. Adored the world over and currently (ambitiously) selling on Discogs for £1999.00. Bô'vel - Check 4 U (1996) will finally be available again via Be With in July.

                        Fully remastered, produced in conjunction with Bô'vel herself and our man RUF DUG and featuring the huge METRODOME remix everyone's been raving about on the flip. Ltd. to 1000. Don't sleep. ENJOY.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Matt says: Here it is folks! Most anticipated 12" of the year following HOT-2-TROT plays at Ruffy's Lab, Red Laser, Wet Play AND Friend's And Family. A taste of pure MCR history, from '96 to now with the original conceived way back during the first bout of Three Lions fever while Metrodome's remix brings the flavour straight back to Moss Side circa 2k18. This is the real shit!!!

                        A continuation of his kaleidoscopic sun-dappled cosmic-disco, Neon Leon was the much-loved CD-only sophomore album by Sorcerer. Just in time for Spring/Summer, we present the first ever vinyl issue, released as a deluxe double LP.

                        A perfectly formed suite of ten tracks featuring soft guitars, subtle synths and lightly grooving percussion, Neon Leon magically evokes that elusive summer feeling throughout. The guitar-driven "Algorhythm" serves as the album opener, blasting bold, sun-drenched jazz chords atop bright synths and groove-based drum programming. "Ride The Serpent" and "Distort Yourself" are guided by a more sultry, slo-mo disco impulse whilst the staggering "Chemise" and strident "Face It" merge 80s West Coast production sheen with Sorcerer's trademark laid back, gentle disco. "Raydio"'s undeniable head-nod groove adds a rare vocal to the proceedings, joyously combining with the bubbling cosmic funk.

                        Since its initial release in 2009, exceptional producers have created vibrant variations on the dreamy, dubby, melodic nu-disco theme. Happily, the emergence of such luminaries as Jex Opolis, Harvey Sutherland, Suzanne Kraft, Tornado Wallace et al has only served to make the master – Sorcerer - sound ever more brilliant and vital.

                        Utilising his array of guitars, drum machines, synths, and trusty MPC, the loved-up Sorcerer sound inspires halcyon memories of warm days, endless sunsets and pure youthful abandon. Influenced by surf, 80s dance pop, acid-R&B, space jazz, krautrock, disco, dub, and am radio gold, his music maps a tour through a uniquely Californian lifestyle. Yet when music so vividly captures a vibe and a feeling, it can make writing about it appear almost redundant. Instead, to glean the full colour of what your turntable will soon gratefully radiate, we prescribe the generous soundclips presented here.

                        And, for a unique insight into the process behind the wonderful sounds conjured up, here's Sorcerer himself:

                        "Neon Leon's is the name of a bar in a Elmore Leonard book I was reading on a vacation to Belize with my future wife. I was soaking up his brand of noir during the making of the songs on this record, along with another favorite Ross Macdonald. We were living in a small apartment in the Mission District of San Francisco where i had my own room to jam. It was painted Orange and Turquoise and was a very inspiring place to create and focus. I could walk out of my house to any number of hole in the wall bars where people were deejaying, hanging-out, and knew about me and my music.

                        After White Magic I developed more confidence in my style and process so I stuck with it and I believe it shows in the tunes I selected for the record. The sounds are rich and I dug deeper into sampling from obscure dollar records and getting looser musically. I made a handful of collage videos for the tracks at this time as well, which represent where my mind was at visually. In my mind it's Cosmic Funk that rules the day and I am thankful to have the opportunity to share it with the world again."



                        A near-perfect record, White Magic was the lauded CD-only debut album by Sorcerer (Californian native Dan Judd, one half of Windsurf with Hatchback). Just in time for Spring/Summer, we present the first ever vinyl issue, released as a deluxe double LP.

                        Back in summer 2007, this majestic set gently nestled itself into the Balearic soundtrack-to-summer slot for many, making him a household name for Cosmic Disco heads alongside the likes of Lindstrom, Metro Area, Todd Terje, Mudd, Studio and Quiet Village. In the intervening years, exceptional producers have created vibrant variations on the dreamy, dubby, melodic nu-disco theme. Happily, the emergence of such luminaries as Jex Opolis, Harvey Sutherland, Suzanne Kraft, Tornado Wallace et al has only served to make the master – Sorcerer - sound ever more brilliant and vital.

                        Utilising his array of guitars, drum machines, synths, and trusty MPC, the loved-up Sorcerer sound inspires halcyon memories of warm days, endless sunsets and pure youthful abandon. Influenced by surf, 80s dance pop, acid-R&B, space jazz, krautrock, disco, dub, and am radio gold, his music maps a tour through a uniquely Californian lifestyle. Yet when music so vividly captures a vibe and a feeling, it can make writing about it appear almost redundant. Instead, to glean the full colour of what your turntable will soon gratefully radiate, we prescribe the generous soundclips presented here.

                        And, for a unique insight into the process behind the wonderful sounds conjured up, here's Sorcerer himself:

                        "White Magic is a reflection of personal freedom and discovery. Having been in bands for years, this was a chance to develop music that stood alone and for me to be in full control.

                        I was living alone and worked on jams whenever I could. I was highly inspired by a new openness to music as a pure inspiration, not being part of any scene. I tapped into the mixes I was hearing coming out the UK where deejays were playing "cosmic" sounds that were so strangely familiar.

                        I was picking up all kinds of $1 vinyl and throwing bits of it into my sampler almost randomly to see what would come out.

                        In my mind, I was making music to be played at my friend's Broker/Dealer Pop nights where they fused golden German techno sounds with the new disco emerging at the time. Also, I took vacations and reconnected with the Pacific Ocean where I spent so much time as a kid: it spilled out into the sounds.

                        Lastly, I forged a partnership with Hatchback (Sam Grawe) who was working on music in the same way. I learned so much about arrangement and the colors of music. We began recording together as Windsurf and released our own stuff. It all seems like a small glorious moment in time, so I am so excited to keep the legacy alive and I continue to work on my music with these spirits inside of me."

                        The Deirdre Wilson Tabac

                        The Deirdre Wilson Tabac

                        Recorded in Philadelphia in 1969, The Deirdre Wilson Tabac's sole album is a beautiful blend of funk, jazz and soulful pop. Possessing the complex grooves, thrilling breaks and ethereal weirdness that The Rotary Connection pedalled so brilliantly, the LP failed to connect with audiences upon its original release.

                        In the decades since, it has deservedly attracted a considerable cult following. However, almost inevitably, it has become increasingly tricky to pick up a copy in good condition for anything less than eye-watering sums. As such, we're delighted to present the first officially licensed vinyl reissue of this undoubted masterpiece of freaky funk-rock, limited to just 500 copies.

                        The Tabac were, in fact, a trio. Discovered, managed and produced by Svengali Sonny Casella (who'd earlier managed garage band The Magic Mushrooms), they comprised Deirdre Wilson, Stu Freeman (formerly of said Mushrooms) and Barbara Payne (formerly with the James Brown Revue). They were backed by session players including jazz guitarist Chuck Anderson, bassist Hugh McDonald and keyboardist Roy Bittan (who went on to be a long-term Bruce Springsteen sideman).

                        Their first single coupled two fine Casella compositions, each featuring powerhouse vocal workouts; the supremely funk-fuelled blues beat of "The Other Side Of Life" and the psychedelic-flavoured "Look In My Face" - both of which are featured here. This 7" picked enough up airplay to merit an album, which duly appeared early the following year, but, as is often the way with these lost classics, it received barely any press. Correspondingly, sales where low and the trio didn't last long.

                        And herein lies the real tragedy. The rest of the LP deserves to be heard from start-to-finish - it's that good. A beguiling mix of funky folk and rocky jazz tracks, with some deep, string-drenched harmony soul ballads and a handful of remarkable covers elegantly presented througout. Indeed, they put some sauntered head-nod funk into The Beatles' "Get Back" whilst tearing through a version of "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay" which gives Otis' original a real run for its money.

                        But the real standout cut for most - with its soulful, haunting vocals, swinging hammond organ and stabbing horns, is the incredible 6/8 time jazz dancer "I Can't Keep From Cryin' Sometimes." Staggering.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        David says: A key release in my recent re-evaluation of jazz, The Deirdre Wilson Tabac effortlessly married 70s folk arrangements, carefree soul and jazzy tonality.

                        Two seminal 12" mixes of a pair of enormous tracks from The Whispers. Both boogie/street-funk flavoured, these sought-after versions have never been paired on the same record. Side A features the notorious anthem "Keep On Lovin' Me" (the one with *that* life affirming video) whilst Side B houses the outstanding, semi-slept-on "Turn Me Out".

                        A first for anyone, we were granted full access to the separate tracks of a Ned Doheny masterpiece. Accordingly, Claremont 56 maestro Paul "Mudd" Murphy was selected to preside over the full stems for Ned's classic "Think Like A Lover" and asked to deliver one of his famed remixes. His gentle disco rework blew us all away. An extended triumph of strung out balearic bliss, it is presented here on vinyl as a limited edition of 500 copies, complete with the dub on the flip. With mastering handled by the wonderful Simon Francis - engineer for both Claremont 56 and Be With - you know this sounds every bit as good as it feels. Housed in a beautifully produced disco sleeve, designed by Mudd himself, these will not be around for long. Just in time for Spring/Summer parties and festivals, ensure your set is flavoured with this slow-motion, string-drenched gift.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Patrick says: Claremont 56 boss and total dude Paul Murphy takes a break from his busy schedule to deliver a blinding mix of Ned's blue eyed groover for Be With. More refreshing than Solero in a boiling record shop, this is Mudd's best remix work since the second Nado 12".

                        Oh yes! First ever official reissue of the positively sublime and very rare Butterfly LP, recorded in Tokyo in 1979 by Japanese songstress Kimiko Kasai and jazz legend Herbie Hancock.

                        Due to its super-rare status as a Japan-only release, this exquisite collection of covers never got the recognition it deserved at the time, despite incredibly inspired performances from Kimiko, Herbie and the supremely talented musicians assembled for the project. From heavenly drummer Alphonse Mouzon and renowned organist Webster Lewis to bassist Paul Jackson, reedman Bennie Maupin and the master percussionist Bill Summers, the legendary performers crafted amazingly good vocal versions of Herbie / Headhunters jazz-funk. Unsurprisingly, it has been heavily in demand for many years.

                        The LP opens with Kimiko's highly desirable version of "I Thought It Was You", an elegant take on Herbie's own anthem. Other superb re-workings include the delicately soulful "Butterfly", jazzy groover "Sunlight", the smooth and sexy "Tell Me A Bedtime Story" and the beautiful ballads "Maiden Voyage" and "Harvest Time". A wonderful example of perfectly understated and masterful jazz-funk soul fusion that shouldn't be missed, the set closes with a jaw-dropping version of Stevie Wonder's "As".

                        This lovingly curated reissue enables a long overdue reappraisal of this hitherto unavailable masterpiece. The stunning artwork which adorned the original jacket - complete with OBI strip and sumptuous 4 page folded insert - has been faithfully restored. Simon Francis' sensitive mastering elevates the sound throughout and, as ever, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g. Essential.

                        Originally released in Japan only, back in 1979, "Prone" is considered by most aficionados to be Ned Doheny's crowning glory. Even better than the superlative "Hard Candy" in fact. So quite why this AOR / mellow jazz-funk gem has not been available legitimately on vinyl for over 35 years is anyone's guess. To celebrate "Be With Ned", the West Coast maestro's first ever tour of the UK and Europe in March 2015, Be With Records do tha right thing and proudly present the first ever officially licensed reissue of this forgotten-funk classic. What makes this release truly special is the inclusion of the full-vocal version of jazz-funk classic "To Prove My Love", a total oversight on other pressings. Produced again by the legendary Steve Cropper, "Prone"'s super-smooth grooves showcase Ned's beautifully laid-back vocals, virtuoso playing and forever-wry lyricism. Aside from "To Prove My Love", it boasts some of Doheny's most under-appreciated tracks; witness the slickness of "Think Like A Lover", "Guess Who's Lookin' For Love Again" and "Funky Love". Pressed on audiophile 180gram vinyl and featuring the original artwork for both jacket and lyric-insert, this limited reissue is one to treasure.

                        Plush

                        Fed (RSD18 EDITION)

                          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                          Double LP, pressed at 45rpm, gatefold sleeve, download code

                          A wonderful companion piece to the totemic Fed, we proudly announce the first ever vinyl edition of Korp Sole Roller by Plush. Liam Hayes' magical fourth full-length LP was previously only available on a rare Japanese import CD. Produced and arranged in 2010 by Pat Sansone (Wilco / The Autumn Defense), it finally arrives in a limited edition of 500 copies.

                          The common impression of Plush is that of an underground rock myth, lent greater poignancy by the lofty vision that galvanised his music. Yet while he has long been a cult concern, clued-up celebrity fans periodically declare their profound love for Hayes' maverick genius. Indeed, after Jason Schwartzman introduced Plush to Roman Coppola, several stunning songs from Korp Sole Roller soundtracked Coppola's A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III.

                          As ever with Plush, it's easy to imagine you are listening to a privately pressed rarity from the mid-late 1970s. Or one of the criminally neglected jewels from the discography of Jimmy Webb or Burt Bacharach. The sound on Korp Sole Roller does differ crucially from Fed, however. It is more streamlined. These 10 gorgeously seductive creations careen around ornate string and wind instrument arrangements and producer Sansone's deft work is likely the reason for this. Yet, brilliantly, it still possesses that sun-warped take on classic pop-rock, that Plush specialises in. That peculiar "down-lifting" phenomenon of performing upbeat songs in an enigmatically mournful way.

                          Upon completion, Korp Sole Roller barely received anything resembling a release. Press coverage was zero because none of the major magazines or blogs knew of its existence. His management at the time essentially buried the album in order to concentrate on other releases. Looking back on this decision, it really made little sense. Everyone involved in its creation of these near-perfect gems is extremely proud of it. Liam himself has described it as the favourite of his albums. Pat's delicate work is astounding. Remastered especially for this special limited edition, it is presented in a sumptuous gatefold jacket with high-end art photography throughout, including full colour inner sleeves. Finally, here's your chance to own a slice of kaleidoscopic pop history.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          David says: It's very rare these days that a record's reissued that no one here at Piccadilly HQ doesn't have at least some glimmer of knowledge stored away in a dusty part of their brain. This Plush album however, is just that, a genuine bolt of lightning that's electrified all of us with it's lush, Peak Bowie orchestration and kaleidoscopic embrace of pop history. Brilliant.

                          Timeless drum-machine soul music from genius Brit-Funk pioneer John Rocca. Pink Rhythm were a mid-80s evolution of Rocca's London-based band Freeez, featuring the great Andy Stennett and Peter Maas.

                          "Melodies Of Love" was first released in 1985 yet, still sounding staggeringly fresh, it's no surprise that discerning DJs call on it now more than ever. As the title suggests, it's so melodically profound and so effortlessly funky, once you hear it, you never forget it. Accordingly, it has been growing in demand on 12" for the past decade.

                          Gliding serenely, its epic, melancholic synths appeal to fans of Italo, whilst its stabbing Moog bassline and wall-shaking drums retain an unmistakable boogie / electro-disco feel. Rocca himself delivers a memorably androgynous vocal that only adds to the majesty.

                          Backed with the strutting sax workout "Walking In The Rain", this officially licensed, remastered 12" - presented in a heavier sleeve than the original - is one not to miss.

                          A notoriously jaw-dropping folk-funk classic, long treasured by the Balearic fraternity, the self-titled LP from the brothers Batteau nevertheless remains a criminally underheard gem. Appealing to fans stuck on Ned Doheny's scorching blue-eyed soul as well as Gene Clark's rich country-rock, it's an honour to present the first officially licensed vinyl reissue of this undoubted masterpiece of proto-Yacht-Rock.

                          Like a forgotten piece of baroque folk caught in 1973, Batteaux's eponymous album somehow sounds magically timeless. A full 45 years after the fact, it remains a mystery as to why they weren't better known. The lush production and virtuoso playing conforms with the ruling aesthetic of the time - well-crafted, melodic songs performed with precision and balance - whilst the shimmering AOR atmosphere and sun-dappled vocal washes align neatly with the best Crosby, Stills & Nash records.

                          Throughout, the beautifully penned tracks hold traces of Jimmie Spheeris, America and Seals & Crofts. The immaculately orchestrated percussion and additional instrumentation (electric piano and fiddle to name a few) are performed by perennially celebrated West-Coast cats including Tom Scott, John Guerin and Andy Newmark.

                          It's no surprise that the heavenly "High Tide" is such a Balearic touchstone. A free soul aqua-space groover, its sophisticated rhythms predict the swing of CSN's canonical "Dark Star" by a full four years. An alternative measure of its enduring magnificence can be gauged by MF Doom sampling Paul Horn's wonderful version, subsequently used by Ghostface Killah.

                          The highlights are many and memorable. Gorgeous opener "Tell Her She's Lovely" is the perfect example of the addictive, melody-driven songwriting which really should have earned them stardom. Moody ballad "Living's Worth Loving" is nothing short of heartbreaking whilst the chugging elegance of "Wake Me In The Morning" showcases their bewitching harmonies. The hypnotic yearning of "Lady Of The Lake" is an exquisitely string-drenched, piano-laced favourite that achieves a peculiar strutting-funk. It's that good.

                          This lovingly curated reissue enables a long overdue reappraisal of the hitherto buried genius of Batteaux. The serene aqua artwork which adorned the original jacket - their father worked on a dolphin-human communication project in Hawaii, hence the infamous design - and sumptuous inner sleeve have been faithfully restored. Whilst, with access to the original tapes, Simon Francis' sensitive mastering elevates the sound throughout and, as ever, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g.



                          Michael Wycoff

                          Looking Up To You / Diamond Real (Tee Scott Instrumental Mix)

                          Two seminal 12" mixes of a pair of Michael Wycoff heavy hitters from 1982. One a two-step favourite and one a Loft classic, these sought-after versions have never been paired on the same record.

                          Side A features the smooth-gliding anthem "Looking Up To You". The unmistakable snap of that sighing intro is unlike anything else. As such, it's no surprise that Leon Ware, celebrated master of the unexpected chord, has his fingerprints all over the track. Co-written with Zane Grey, "Looking Up To You" stands among the very best of Leon's staggering bank of compositions, both solo and with Michael Jackson, Minnie Riperton and Marvin Gaye. It's such an influential track, serving as the sample foundation of a massive top five R&B hit for Zhane in 1993, but it has never been bettered upon. Original 12" copies – if you can find them – go for over £50 today, making this side worth the price of admission alone.

                          If that wasn't enough, it's arguable that the B-Side wins again. A staple of David Mancuso's New York Loft parties, the Tee Scott mix of uplifting boogie gem "Diamond Real" is on another level entirely. A DJ legend of infamous clubs Better Days and Zanzibar and a trailblazing innovator, Tee Scott mastered the art of the reconstructive club mix.

                          For maximum destruction of discerning dancers, Be With have opted for his heavenly dub. 7 minutes of devastatingly slick dance floor dynamite, at once polished and dilapidated, its ecstatic charm is universal.

                          Devout lovers of modern soul have long worshipped the rapturous, sophisticated funk of Michael Wycoff. In combining that richly elegant voice, redolent of Donny Hathaway, with the production of keyboardist and arranger Webster Lewis, it's no surprise that both of these tracks became vital club classics of the early 80s R&B scene. Clear, full-bodied and bright – the 12" versions of these tracks are notoriously punchier than those featured on Wycoff's LP, and feature boomin' low end and neck-snapping drums. Buy on sight.



                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Patrick says: MASSIVE Be With 12" here pairing Michael Wycoff's biggest hit, the hair raising disco/club soul/jazz funk gem'Looking Up To You', with a rare Tee Scott instrumental mix of Loft classic "Diamond Real". Pressed to perfection, this is must have tackle for the collector and DJ alike.

                          You may know Aretha Franklin's scintillating "One Step Ahead" from its vital role in the Oscar-winning movie Moonlight. You may also know it as providing the beautifully melancholic backdrop for Mos Def's 1999 hit "Ms Fat Booty".

                          The inaugural Be With 7" is a special one indeed, containing the first ever officially licensed reissue of Aretha's all-time deep soul classic. "One Step Ahead" was not included on any of her Columbia studio albums, and remains one of her rarest releases.

                          On the flip, "I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face" is a thrilling, goosebump-inducing killer and an unfairly slept-on rendition of this eternal track.

                          The single comes housed in a custom printed full-colour company sleeve and is limited to just 1000 copies.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          David says: Boom! Always wondered what the mournful, yet bouncin' sample used in Mos Def's all time classic 'Ms Fat Booty' is but couldn't be bothered to Google it? Here you go, thank me later.

                          Arthur Russell epitomised the spirit that defined downtown NYC in the 70s and 80s. Yet his inability to complete projects resulted in limited output. Be With now present the reissue of Event Horizon, an album Arthur did finish with his cult group The Necessaries. Criminally neglected for 35 years, its scarcity on vinyl has caused it to evade his most diehard fans and its relative obscurity has rendered it largely unknown, even amongst Arthur acolytes.

                          Arthur played keys in the new wave/power pop quartet, as well as writing half the songs and contributing his inimitable vocals and avant-garde cello. Fronted by the muscular guitar of lead singer Ed Tomney, the band was rounded out by Ernie Brooks (The Modern Lovers) on bass and drummer Jesse Chamberlain (ex-Red Crayola). The record was produced by the legendary Bob Blank and featured the pulsing trombone of Peter Zummo.

                          Event Horizon represents the partial overhaul given to The Necessaries' first record Big Sky (1981). Renamed and relaunched in 1982, The New York Rocker described the revised LP as benefitting from "some shuffling, some trimming of deadweight and the setting of real gems in their place. The biggest plus – "More Real" - is easily the prettiest song the Zombies never wrote". That track, as well as the towering "Driving And Talking At The Same Time" (below), "Detroit Tonight", "On The Run" and "The Finish Line", came from the pen of Arthur. They are undoubtedly the best tracks on the album, wonderfully capturing Arthur's softer, more melodic approach to pop.

                          With an uncompromising post punk attitude, The Necessaries blended distorted guitars and loud drums with melodious, intelligent songwriting. It's weird and minimal, but it's still resolutely pop. Like much of Arthur's work, the songs are warm, shimmering and modern; catchy, hypnotic and utterly timeless. As well as handling a lot of the lead vocals, he arranged the tracks too, stripping away some of the new wave poppiness and adding his signature beautiful moodiness. It sounds like the most transcendent idea of what pop music could be.

                          Event Horizon should've been one of the most influential records in rock music history. Like most slept-on classics, it didn't make the immediate impact it intended to, and was forgotten by Sire and, eventually, by fans. Nevertheless, Arthur forged ahead with his solo career after abruptly quitting the band by jumping out of the van at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel in New York, while on the way to an important gig.

                          Whilst Event Horizon will appeal to all Arthur Russell completists, it demands further examination beyond his fans. It's long been an elusive missing piece to the lore of the downtown scene, but it won't be for much longer. Art Pop? Jangle Pop? Power Pop? Whatever. Far ahead of its time, this is pure pop for now people.

                          The original, iconic artwork has been faithfully restored whilst Simon Francis' dextrous mastering adds real clarity throughout. As ever, the record has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g. Additionally, the album features extensive liner notes on a printed inner sleeve by renowned writer and friend of the downtown scene Mikey IQ Jones.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          David says: It's compulsory to be an Arthur Russell fan if you work in a record shop. Here we have Arthur in a less well known guise, coming across a bit like an NYC version of very early REM, it's nothing like anything else he did and all the more beautiful because of it.

                          Letta Mbulu

                          In The Music... The Village Never Ends

                          Originally released in South Africa in 1983, 'In The Music... The Village Never Ends' is one of those holy grail African records that barely needs any introduction. Featuring the enormous 'Nomalizo', it's a record that aficionados around the world have been waiting many years to get hold of. Now, Be With Records proudly presents the hugely anticipated vinyl reissue of this bonafied classic.

                          This release is officially licensed and has been lovingly mastered for vinyl by Simon Francis (Claremont 56 mastering engineer) It has been pressed on audiophile 180gram vinyl for the first time and features the original, rarely seen artwork.

                          South African singer Letta Mbulu possesses one of the most beautiful voices the world has ever known. Her immaculate voice emits a sweetness that radiates from deep within, brimming with a joy of life and inspiring a spirit of hope and happiness. On this album, her voice soars over a strident musical force that veers between disco, soul and pop music of the most incredible kind. The gleaming guitars recall disco's finest hours while the thump of the beats anticipate 80s British soul.

                          News of this limited reissue has already been causing a significant stir amongst those in the know so do not sleep on this - you have been warned!

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          David says: If you missed it first time round this is your chance to get your hands on a mint copy of one of THE African holy grails. Don't sleep...

                          A sublime slice of boogie-funk, Alec Mansion has steadily gained the status of a "crate-digging classic". Accordingly, it has been near-impossible to find a copy you can actually play for years.

                          Originally released in 1983, the LP arrived with impeccable credentials; programming duties were handled by Dan Lacksman (the brains behind Telex, the "Belgian Kraftwerk") whilst production came from Marc Moulin (of jazz-rock fusion heroes Placebo). At the time, like so many records before and since, it's wonders were lost on them public at large and it's appeal was confined to critics. Today, it's a masterpiece lauded by boogie aficionados from Liege to Los Angeles.

                          On the rare occasions it turns up secondhand, it commands eye-watering figures. A record that has eluded even the most seasoned of vinyl freaks, this is highly recommended if you're a lover of analogue boogie/synth-funk (and let's be honest here, who isn't?!)

                          The original artwork of both jacket and sumptuous, full-colour inner sleeve have been faithfully restored; the latter featuring Mansion's memorable lyrics emblazoned across the pleasing jazzy early 80s design. 

                          Remastered and pressed on 180g vinyl this is another bomb from Be With, everybodys favourite reissue label.



                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          David says: If Dam Funk met Phoenix in a Parisian late night boogie bar in the eighties and they decided to jam until the sun came up, this is what the music they made would have sounded like. Ace.

                          Air

                          Air - Be With Records Edition

                          Long Island's AIR only made one album. As solitary statements go, it's exceptional. Divinely elevated by Googie Coppola's beautiful voice, this transcendent masterpiece of soulful jazz-rock fusion has become increasingly tricky to track down. 45 years on from its initial release, Be With Records finally make it available again on vinyl.

                          The highlights are many and memorable. From the irresistible groove of "Mr. Man" to the heavenly piano vocal of "Jail Cell"; from the funk-fuelled brass breaks in "Man Is Free" to the haunting, unforgettable "Sister Bessie", it is easy to understand why this record has been long revered amongst aficionados.

                          Yet the entire record is without weakness and, therefore, selecting standout tracks seems redundant. If ever there was an album to surrender to in full, this is it. A perfect blend of rock and jazz, the record's greatest asset is surely Googie's uniquely expressive voice - the like of which we'll never hear again.

                          Much like the music contained within, the original jacket was a thing of total beauty, presented as a lavish gatefold with a distinctive die-cut logo on the front flap. Accordingly, in keeping with the quality of all Be With reissues, this has been painstakingly recreated, along with the original liner notes. Sonically, Simon Francis' dextrous mastering adds real clarity and muscle throughout and, as ever, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g.

                          Treasured by 'selector' luminaries such as Jeremy Underground, MCDE, Floating Points and Hunee, this startling record is beloved by everyone who has heard it. Buying the original - if you can find it - would set you back a small fortune so Be With's latest archival release is one that is already being warmly welcomed from all corners of the global record-buying community.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          David says: It's not quite jazz but then it's not a straight up rock record either. It is, dear God help us, a jazz rock fusion record and it's the only one I own, honest.

                          Ned Doheny

                          Labor Of Love (Kenny Dickenson Remix)

                          London/LA producer Kenny Dickenson crafted his stunning remix of Ned Doheny's "Labor Of Love" to mark the Be With Ned tour in March 2015. The gentle disco re-rub was leaked by influential blogs and has been wreaking elegant havoc on both sides of the Atlantic ever since, setting a new gold standard for AOR remixes. Beloved of everyone who's heard it, we've been inundated with requests for a physical version.

                          As RedKen, Dickenson came to prominence with his cult edit of Steve Perry's "She's Mine" - an instant hit on the AOR Disco scene - whilst his double A Side Fleetwood Mac 12" with Psychemagik was number 1 across Juno, Piccadilly and countless others, gaining him further notoriety. Here, taking Ned's stellar version and creating new melodies by twisting original sax solos inside out, Kenny's remix is elevated further with the introduction of his sophisticated keyboard work and additional white-hot production.

                          Completed the day of Ned's penultimate show, Kenny bounded up to Pete Fowler - on DJ duties - and handed him the demo. Ever the showman, Pete played it seconds after Ned finished. Momentarily mortified at the chutzpah involved, we realised we were listening to something sensational. The key element would be Ned's opinion. He aired it the next day, breaking a drained silence as we boarded a flight to Berlin: "There was a remix of my song played last night." Heart in mouth, we were in for a deserved dressing down. "Pretty good; I liked it." And with that, we were determined to commit this wonderful reimagining to vinyl.

                          After two years of major label wrangling and artist nudging, Be With Records are delighted to finally present this as an officially authorised, one-sided 12". Enhancing the package, the record comes appropriately adorned with striking new artwork from Pete Fowler himself and liner notes from all parties involved. 




                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          David says: Tropical, heated rework by Kenny Dickenson of the Doheny classic. Silky drumwork, bringing the synthy bass stabs to the front and letting the vocals do the heavy lifting. More than worthy of the remix treatment, and done with style and panache. Hot stuff.

                          Ahmad Jamal is a jazz giant and The Awakening is his iconic masterpiece. The landmark deep trio session - recorded in NYC and released on Impulse! in 1970 - is an essential album, ripe for reissue for years it's finally here, courtesy of Be with.

                          It is impossible to discuss The Awakening without acknowledging its indelible mark on golden era Hip Hop. A defining album of hip-hop culture, producers of the highest calibre have famously sampled elements of this timeless record to lace all-timers with a foundation for their most legendary tracks. Indeed, both the experimental "DJ Premier In Deep Concentration" and Shadez Of Brooklyn's seminal "Change" utilised Jamal's sparse title-track to stunning effect.

                          A melancholy motif from "I Love Music" was employed by Pete Rock for Nas's crucial "The World Is Yours" whilst, over a more abstract refrain from the same track, Jeru memorably delivered his "Me Or The Papes" ultimatum. Over in Chicago, No I.D. elevated Common's peerless "Resurrection" by lifting a precise riff from Jamal's plaintive rendition of "Dolphin Dance" whilst the head-nod quality of All Natural's hypnotic "Renaissance" owes it all to the looped keys of Jamal's take on "You're My Everything".

                          With bold beauty and unhurried grace, Ahmad Jamal plays piano differently from everyone else. He was a huge inspiration to Miles Davis and influential to how Wynton Kelly performed across Kind of Blue. In his autobiography, Miles describes being blown away by Jamal's dynamic "concept of space, his lightness of touch [and] his understatement". It's why The Awakening will always be so revered.







                          Originally released in 1977 on RCA, this rare and sought-after album followed the 1973 disbanding of Edna's much-loved Honey Cone. Produced by her husband, legendary producer/songwriter Greg Perry, the album was somewhat of a risk; a deep soul album released during the period when disco was altering the landscape of popular music. And perhaps inevitably, despite the stellar production and spine-tingling vocals throughout, the album glided gracefully under the radar, spawning only one single and seeing no chart action.

                          That single - the magnificent title-track - soon became a notorious rare groove stepper in its own right. However, in the years since, it has become a crate diggers classic. Its fame was elevated among hip-hop heads when Prince Paul memorably looped the shimmering intro when crafting the melodic hook for De La Soul's late-summer-stunner "Pass The Plugs", a wistfully melancholic back-porch nostalgia trip. And, more recently, Leon Vynehall liberally lifted the same intro for his sepia-tinged "Midnight On Rainbow Road" to augment the excellent Rush Hour compilation Musik For Autobahns 2.

                          Officially licensed and beautifully remastered for vinyl by celebrated engineer Simon Francis, it has been pressed on audiophile 180g vinyl for the first time and features the original iconic artwork. Each copy includes a printed inner sleeve with a sumptuous black & white photo, full lyrics and heartfelt notes from Edna herself.

                          Funk Factory

                          Funk Factory - Be With Records Edition

                          An exquisite slice of psychedelic jazz-funk, Funk Factory was criminally overlooked upon release but became a crate-diggers classic over time. Yes, the LP is most famous for containing the peerless dusty groove of "Rien Ne Va Plus", heavily lifted by the Beastie Boys for their Paul's Boutique standout "Car Thief". Yes, you'd be correct to assume said gem is worthy of the price of admission alone. Yet, to those in the know, Funk Factory represents so much more than a Dust Brothers sample-source. Indeed, the entire album represents a space-aged opus, featuring tripped-out keys, tight drums and baked synths; all laced by Urszula Dudziak's ethereal vocals drifting around the exceptional instrumentation.

                          Funk Factory were boldly led by brilliant Polish violinist and saxophonist Michal Urbaniak and vocalist Dudziak. Two additional, accomplished Polish musicians were involved: virtuoso keyboardist Wlodek Gulgowski and singer Bernard Kafka, founder and leader of great Polish vocal group Novi Singers. To augment this solid foundation, a sensational American rhythm section was assembled, with bassists Anthony Jackson and Tony Levin, drummers Steve Gadd and Gerald Brown and guitarists Barry Finnerty and John Abercrombie.

                          Legend has it that Urbaniak created this seminal record in response to his American colleagues' claims that Eastern European musicians were not "funky". Funk Factory demonstrates that Urbaniak and his cohorts could play funk as well as any American musician. As sophisticated and multi-layered as the best of the genre, it deserves to be as canonical as the greatest works of Herbie Hancock and George Duke. Accomplished and utterly unique, this intoxicating blend of crack musicians created an irresistibly heady dose of transportive funk that sounds every bit as vital today as it would have in 1975.

                          Original copies are prohibitively expensive so this officially licensed 180g version enables a wider audience to now discover its genius. Dovetailing neatly with the recent interest in forgotten Eastern European grooves, this timely release of a true lost treasure is sure to be one of the year's essential vinyl reissues.



                          Korallreven

                          Here In Iowa Remix EP - Inc. Peaking Lights Remix

                          In autumn 2015, Swedish dream-pop duo Korallreven bid us all farewell by releasing the "round-the-world-in-a-day" sounding final single Here In Iowa, alongside memorable shows in New York City and Scandinavia. Now, they return for one last time with a disco dub dream remix of said song by the mighty Peaking Lights. This forms part of a 12" EP released by Be With Records. The record - limited to just 500 copies - will see its worldwide release for Record Store Day on 16th April 2016.

                          The 12" will also, for the first time on vinyl, include Korallreven's breathtaking cover of Guns & Roses' 'November Rain' from 2014 as well as Shine On, the duo's rework of their own 2010 single Honey Mine, featuring Taken By Trees' Victoria Bergsman.

                          From the guys:

                          "Hard to say if Here In Iowa was an end or a start of something new. You'll see! Whether or not, we hold it as one of our highest heights and, after this beautiful season, we truly deeply madly felt that it was worth some extra limelight. And hey! Thanks for the remix, Peaking Lights! It's so wonderful! Life surely is."


                          Most recent converts to the world of Ned Doheny discovered his genius via 'Hard Candy' or 'Prone'. Be With's introduction was by way of "Postcards From Hollywood", a cult song from his stunning, self-titled debut album. Beautifully poignant, it can only be found on said LP. And whilst his later albums are rightly revered, "Postcards" - and the 9 additional tracks that comprise this exceptional opening statement - represent a criminally overlooked gem. Original vinyl copies of this album are extremely rare - and correspondingly expensive - so we're thrilled to present the first ever vinyl reissue of a true lost classic.

                          Of everything he recorded, we know this LP to be Ned's favourite. An intoxicating brew of acoustical jazz-rock, folk and country-rock - delivered in Ned's supremely laid back West Coast style - it features gorgeous melodic lines throughout, complimented by his distinctly funky overtones and tightly-coordinated instrumental textures. With albums as perfect as this, it is routinely tricky to identify standout tracks. However, rivalling the heartbreaking "Postcards" is the phenomenally propulsive "Lashambeaux", strident opener "Fineline" and "On And On", featuring the harmony vocals of Graham Nash.

                          When a beginners guide to Ned surfaced last year, he and many others were surprised by the startling number of omissions from his best album. You can now enjoy the fleshed out, non-demo versions of these wonderful originals.


                          Be With Records present the hugely anticipated first ever vinyl release of R&B star Cassie's seductive debut. A late-night classic of chilly electro-soul, the self-titled album has influenced many in the dance music fraternity since its original CD-only appearance back in 2006. Particularly revered by Jamie xx, Four Tet, Hot Chip and Tri Angle Records, the R&B cognoscenti went into overdrive when rumours of this release first leaked.

                          Perhaps most famously, it features the slick summer smash "Me&U" which reached No.6 in the UK charts and topped the US equivalent. Yet the remaining 10 tracks serve to create a "minimalist R&B" masterpiece; the intricate and space-filled arrangements are laced with sinister synth bleeps that wouldn't have been out of place on an early 90s Warp record. The dark, hypnotic high ends coupled with Cassie's ice-queen delivery made this stand out from the tired crowd of mainstream R&B at the time. It still sounds wholly and eerily unique.

                          Like all Be With releases, this record is officially licensed and has been cut by Frank Arkwright at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. Pressed on audiophile 180gram vinyl - befitting the heaviness of the music contained within - it also features the original artwork set elegantly within its 12"x12" borders.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          David says: How this classic slice of future-r&b never received a vinyl release before now amazes me. A must-have for your Summer and beyond.

                          Leon Ware

                          Leon Ware - Be With Records Edition

                          Leon Ware’s self-titled 1982 album has long been a holy grail for rare groove record collectors. Indeed, mint copies are rarely found for less than £100.

                          So Be With Records, a new vinyl-only reissue label, is pleased to mark its first release with Ware’s classic - a set that features the timeless 'Why I Came To California', a beautiful example of early 80s soul funk that should be of interest to yacht rock fans as well.

                          A truly unsung legend, Leon Ware has written a stunning variety of classic soul music over the course of six decades. He joined Motown in the late 60s and became one of the label’s key writers.

                          His most indelible contribution at Motown was Marvin Gaye’s masterpiece 'I Want You'. Ware's production and songwriting memorably took Gaye to another creative level.

                          Despite recording a handful of critically acclaimed solo albums for Motown and Elektra, including this one here, he has remained a secret to many outside the music industry. Be With Records hope this timely reissue goes some way to rectifying that.


                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          David says: Official, 100% pedigree reissue and with only 500 copies for the WHOLE world this won't be around for long. Perfect sunshine soul with a hint of yacht rock, and worth it alone for the absolute bomb, 'Why I Came To California'.


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