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Lewis Taylor

Lewis Taylor - Reissue

    In 1996, Lewis Taylor released his self-titled masterpiece. A true modern classic, it’s an album that was years ahead of its time. Forget 25 years ago, it could easily have been made in 2021. An effortless blend of neo-soul, sophisticated pop, smart grooves and laid-back white funk, it enjoyed rapturous reviews from critics and music legends alike. But the album never managed to make an impact and given what was likely a token vinyl release at the time, the original records have long since been near-impossible to find. Lewis Taylor’s Lewis Taylor remains a holy relic for some and criminally unknown to most.

    Lewis Taylor’s impeccable influences created a dazzling sonic palette: the LP as a whole suggests the visionary brilliance of Prince; the vocal stylings evoke the yearning power of Marvin Gaye; the effortless guitar playing shares the virtuosity of Jimi Hendrix; the haunting tones conjure Tricky; the innovative production and engineering invite comparisons to studio mavericks like Todd Rundgren and Brian Eno; the multi-layered, complex harmonies flash on Pet Sounds-era Brian Wilson; the dark, drama is reminiscent of both Scott Walker and Stevie Wonder; the complex arrangements create textures and moods with the feel of Shuggie Otis on Inspiration Information; the bold experimentation is akin to progressive artists like Faust and Tangerine Dream; the atmosphere is in conversation with Jeff Buckley’s Grace… and we could go on. That might all sound like marketing hyperbole, but not as far as Be With is concerned. It is a genuine wonder how an album this good could’ve passed so many people by.

    But despite all the reference points, the similarities are really only skin-deep because the album sounds truly original. It occupies its own distinct, strange universe that feels dark and brooding one moment, bright and joyous the next. Ultimately, Taylor sounds like Taylor.

    Although you wouldn’t know it from the credits, the album wasn’t the work of Lewis alone. Sabina Smyth gets an executive producer credit on the original sleeve, but in fact she worked with Lewis on the production and arrangements, did a lot of the backing vocals and she co-wrote Track, Song, Lucky and Damn with Lewis.

    Lewis clarified all this in a Soul Jones interview with Dan Dodds in 2016. He explains how not giving Sabina the credit she was due at the time was an unfortunate consequence of where his head was at and he’s now trying to set the record straight.

    Together they created an exquisite and sensually-charged record, with a freshness to the writing that makes the songs catchy, melodic-yet-deep and sometimes even funky. The music is predominantly guitar-led and a mixture of organs and synths, live drum loops and electronic percussion make for a sort of modern soul backing orchestra.

    On the surface the album is gorgeously laidback, but beneath the lush, sometimes slick, production there’s a murkiness in the seriously gritty funk/hip-hop instrumentation. Lewis Taylor can be a claustrophobic listen. Even its one-word, often seemingly throw-away track titles add to the sense of unease. In its most positive moments, there’s still a sense that things aren’t quite right. The magic comes from this compelling tension.

    The languid, strutting “Lucky” is a sensational opening statement. Sinuous electric guitar winds around the shaking percussion with a killer bass line rattling your bones, and Lewis’s voice is sublime. Its six-and-a-half unhurried minutes manage to distill the work of Marvin, Al Green and Bobby Womack because yes, it’s *that* good. Up next is the tough, dusty drum and jazzy, unsettling psych-guitar workout of “Bittersweet”. Aaliyah described it the “perfect song”, which says it all. By turns loping and soaring, tightly coiled and blasting free, 25 years on its discordant, swaggering majesty still sounds like future R&B.

    The swinging, blue-eyed funk of “Whoever” oozes sophisticated sunshine soul for hazy days before “Track” sweeps in. The music tries to lift us up, beyond the reach of the vocals trying to drag us back down as Taylor sings “my mood is black as the darkest cloud”. The spare, dubby electro-soul of “Song” closes out the first half of the album with barely contained dread as it creeps towards the lush, synth-heavy coda.

    The smouldering “Betterlove” eases us into the second half, coming on like a languorous response to the call of “Brown Sugar”, before sliding into the shuffling, softly-rocking “How”. Somehow the remarkable “Right” manages to both warm things up and smooth things out even more. Taut yet luxurious, it’s definitely not wrong.

    “Damn” was to have been the album’s title track and you might also be able to hear its influence on D’Angelo’s Voodoo, maybe most obviously in the chaotic closing moments of “Untitled (How Does It Feel)”. Building to a screeching wall of noise that suddenly cuts dead, “Damn” sounds like the natural end to the album, with the celestial a cappella “Spirit” serving as a heavenly reprise.

    When it came to the sleeve, art director Cally Callomon heard Taylor’s music as “sideways off-camera glances at a plethora of influences he had” and wanted to interpret that visually: “I went off into night-time London to see if I could find his song titles in off-beam low-fidelity photographs. I even found a shop called Lewis Taylor”. With a slide for each of the album’s ten tracks, nine of them are on the inner sleeve and the slide for “Damn” makes the front cover. It should’ve been the album’s title, but concerns over distribution in the US scuppered this.

    One of UK soul’s most fascinating artists, Andrew Lewis Taylor is an enigmatic figure and a hugely under-appreciated talent. A prodigious multi-instrumentalist who got his start touring with heavy blues/psych outfit the Edgar Broughton Band, he released two albums of psychedelic-rock as Sheriff Jack before Island signed him on the strength of a demo alone. But Taylor was destined to be one of those artists unable (or unwilling) to be pigeonholed and despite the best efforts of Island’s publicity department the music never sold in the quantities it needed to or deserved to. Island eventually let him go in the early 2000s and in June 2006, Lewis Taylor retired from music.

    Typical for the mid-90s, this CD-length album was squeezed onto a single LP for its original vinyl release. Simon Francis’s fresh vinyl mastering now spreads out the ten tracks over a double LP so nothing is compromised. And as usual, the records have been cut by Pete Norman and pressed at Record Industry. The original artwork has been restored at Be With HQ and subtly re-worked to work as a double.

    This sprawling psychedelic soul opus really is a forgotten should-be-classic. We know that there are those of you who know, and as for the rest of you, we’re a bit jealous that you’re getting to hear Lewis Taylor for the first time.


    TRACK LISTING

    A1 : Lucky (6:34)
    A2 : Bittersweet (5:36)
    B1 : Whoever (4:31)
    B2 : Track (5:11)
    B3 : Song (4:56)
    C1 : Betterlove (5:25)
    C2 : How (3:59)
    D1 : Right (4:27)
    D2 : Damn (6:01)
    D3 : Spirit (3:16)

    Maston

    Darkland

      Maston’s Darkland is a breezy collection of the material from the Tulips sessions that didn’t make it onto the original LP. Originally a digital-only release for those in the know in the autumn of 2018, after re-issuing Tulips in 2020 it made too much sense for Be With to give Darkland a vinyl release.

      Like Tulips, Darkland was recorded mostly in Hoorn, in the Netherlands, between 2015-2017 during downtime from Frank’s touring duties with Jacco Gardner’s band. Bits were also done in Los Angeles on some extended trips back home.

      The collection plays like an alternate view of Maston’s instant modern classic Tulips; a companion piece to the LP proper with similar mixture of shorter themes and more full length tracks. As Frank Maston explains: “I think Darkland is the shadow of Tulips in a way… what it might’ve been in a different universe. But the heart of Tulips beats in these songs as well and they evoke the same memories and feelings for me. I see my process playing out across these songs - lots of experimentation and trying out new techniques and sounds and just sort of going for it.”

      Frank goes on: “It was all from the same pool of material, like 30+ ideas. I was making a lot of little demos… some would be more fleshed out and become songs and others would just be a cool riff and not go anywhere. When I started trying to form it all into an LP I went through all the sessions and ideas and collected the ones I thought were the most fleshed out and cohesive together as a whole. There were a fair amount of songs that were finished and in hindsight really should have been on Tulips (like what would’ve been the title track). And the rest of these songs are either very early versions of tunes that ended up on Tulips or some cool ideas that just ended up being dead ends. It definitely shows how wide my net was in the beginning before I narrowed the record down stylistically.”

      Darkland opens with its ornate 39 second title-track before striding into “Tulips”, that full-length title-track that never was. It’s a real head-nod, percussive-rich electric piano stunner that would’ve been a comfortable standout on the album proper. But now this “downlifting” gem is given ample room to shine on this record.

      The funky organ-led bass and drums workout “Immaculate Conception” will keep your neck gently snapping while MPC fiends go reaching for their sampler. And that’s gospel. “Love Theme No 3” cuts a breathtakingly stylish vibra-slapped swathe through the middle of the opening side before we’re startled by the pronounced bass and twinkling percussion of “The Owl In Daylight”. Charming digi-drums underpin the wonky synth (quiet-)banger “Innovative Patterns” which has a lovely melodic switch-up in the final third before the tempo (and hairs on your neck) rise on the faintly creepy yet imminently groovy “Osiris”. The gorgeously soft-focus “Groove Experiment No 3” closes out the first half in slow-mo wonderment.

      The lushly melancholic “Raincloud” ushers in side B before the emotionally-stirring “Phonic” taps at the door, coming on like the long lost sister to Pet Sounds’ “Let’s Go Away For A While”. Next up, the swooning beauty “Love Theme No 2” keenly sways in front of you, growing ever more insistent and hypnotic. The too-short “Italian Summer” conjures the same flirtatious imagery as the title hints at whilst “Endless” is a fascinating “piano-pella” alternative version to “Rain Dance” from Tulips. “Wonder Theme” has a nostalgic, exotic 60s swing and album closer “Willow” is a hushed, campfire folk gem. The gently circular strumming is just magical.

      Speaking to Aquarium Drunkard back in 2019 about the sessions that became Tulips, Frank noted: “I was really surprised by the lack of sunlight during my first winter in Holland, so I would call it Darkland which then became the name of the first demo I wrote during that time. It was also the working title of the record when I first started writing. Some are full songs that didn’t make the cut (including what would have been the title track), some are just ideas that I never finished.”

      Whilst we were working on Darkland’s vinyl release Frank explained more specifically about the music that didn’t make it on to Tulips: “When I was putting together the tracklisting for Tulips I was already thinking that whatever didn’t make it onto the LP would be cool to release eventually somehow. The response to Tulips has been so passionate over the years that it’s nice to be able to offer another piece of that world. And for me personally it’s amazing to have more of my work out there in the world. Most common bit of feedback was that many of these songs should have been on Tulips. The odd friend says it’s much better than Tulips.”

      Just like Tulips before it, Simon Francis’s vinyl mastering for Darkland has been cut at 45rpm so you can trip out to this as well at a woozy 33 1/3. The artwork too has been designed by Frank himself as a literal visual continuation of the Tulips cover.

      We couldn’t possibly say whether Darkland is better than Tulips, and luckily we don’t have to decide.


      TRACK LISTING

      A1 : Darkland (00:39)
      A2 : Tulips (02:55)
      A3 : Immaculate Conception (00:46)
      A4 : Love Theme No 3 (01:23)
      A5 : The Owl In Daylight (00:51)
      A6 : Innovative Patterns (02:24)
      A7 : Osiris (00:58)
      A8 : Groove Experiment No 3 (01:49)
      B1 : Raincloud (03:57)
      B2 : Phonic (00:48)
      B3 : Love Theme No 2 (01:58)
      B4 : Italian Summer (00:52)
      B5 : Endless (02:11)
      B6 : Wonder Theme (01:09)
      B7 : Willow (01:06)

      The Whispers

      Keep On Lovin' Me / Turn Me Out - 2021 Reissue

        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 before.

        Side A features the notorious anthem “Keep On Lovin’ Me” (the one with *that* life affirming video) whilst over on the flip you’ll find the outstanding, semi-slept-on “Turn Me Out”.

        Freshly re-pressed for 2021.


        TRACK LISTING

        A1 : Keep On Lovin’ Me (5:49)
        B1 : Turn Me Out (5:50)

        Mother Freedom Band

        Cutting The Chord

          Mother Freedom Band’s Cutting The Chord is a funky modern soul classic. It’s both a criminally under-appreciated album and a hard-to-find record so we’re delighted to be giving this sweet disco-funk groover the reissue treatment it deserves.

          Produced by the great Al Goodman from The Moments and originally released in 1977, Cutting The Chord seems to be one of the lesser known releases on the curious, and often great “All Platinum” label. Other than a 7" of a couple of these tracks, the only thing that the band seem to have released is this album, and what an album it is. Unbeatable soul-funk of the highest quality.

          The album bursts open with “Love Will Stay In Your Corner”. It’s a soulful dancer that reliably slays any funk set you care to drop it in. It’s followed by the lithe disco funk “Flick Of The Wrist” that’s all bubbling baselines and elegant horns. The groovy, horn-enhanced sweet soul of “Gotta Get It Back” is equal parts heartbreaker/hip-shaker and the acidic organs on “Mr Brother” are an experiment in synth soul.

          Perhaps the group’s best known track, “Beautiful Summer’s Day” might well be worth the price of an original copy alone. It’s pure piano-driven paradise soul. A tropical birdsong intro sets the scene of a warm, perfect sunshine day and the lead vocal soars over the lush, clean production. The tempo oscillates between contemplative and stomping. Essential.

          The brilliantly-named “(Assistants Rag) When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” opens side two. Another huge highlight, its title refrain repeated over this laid-back, power-funk workout. It still sounds incredibly modern, like something off the last D’Angelo record, and if Public Enemy and Diamond D both sampled it you know it knocks hard.

          The horn-heavy, clav-stabbing-stomper “We Like To Boogie” keeps things fast and funky before the airy, heavenly harmony soul of “Come On Home” mellows us all out. Things pick up again with “Touch Me”, and you might recognise its addictive elements sampled in Jay-Z’s Kanye West-produced “A Star Was Born”. The magical, reggae-tinged, gospel-influenced “Sweet Love” closes out this assured, classy set.

          We dare to say that Cutting The Chord is a rare example of a funk-soul LP which is killer from start-to-finish. Sure, there are the stand-out bombs, but the whole thing is a complete and varied album of feel-good vibes held together by its fluid horns, tight, tight rhythm section and beautiful vocals.

          Mastered for vinyl from the original analogue tapes by Simon Francis, cut by Pete Norman and artwork restored at Be With HQ, this new edition should hopefully stop this album slipping any further into obscurity. It’s just too good to be forgotten.


          TRACK LISTING

          A1 : Love Will Stay In Your Corner (2:59)
          A2 : Flick Of The Wrist (3:10)
          A3 : Gotta Get It Back (3.06)
          A4 : Mr. Brother (4:24)
          A5 : Beautiful Summer Day (3:21)
          B1 : (Assistant’s Rag) When You’re Hot, You’re Hot (4:06)
          B2 : We Like To Boogie (4:24)
          B3 : Come On Home (5:13)
          B4 : Touch Me (3:21)
          B5 : Sweet Love (4:18)

          Jorge López Ruiz

          El Grito (Suite Para Orquesta De Jazz)

            Be With is delighted to present Jorge López Ruiz’s El Grito (Suite Para Orquesta De Jazz), eternal Argentinian magic released on CBS in 1967 that must be one of the most sought-after South American jazz LPs.

            Living in Buenos Aires in the 60s, driven by creative impulse and rage Jorge López Ruiz used music as his platform to protest the Argentine military dictatorship: “I could never stand dictatorships, to be told how you have to think, what you have to do. Nor did I endure discrimination”.

            A young López Ruiz had appeared on a television panel alongside writer, politician and philosopher Arturo Jauretche, criticising the Onganía dictatorship. Jauretche told López Ruiz “Now say it with music”. This was the deep inhale that lead to El Grito, literally “The Scream”. As López Ruiz later explained “Jauretche urged me that my protests should not remain in words and acquire the consistency of a work… but it was not so much what he told me but how he told me, what prompted me to make the work take shape, first in a live concert and then in a recording”.

            As the police and military began resorting to kidnapping, torture and summary executions to quiet dissent, with depressing inevitability the artist community and their work were a particular target of the increasingly brutal regime. El Grito was banned not long after it was released and the majority of original copies were unceremoniously destroyed.

            The work of a genius artist living under an opressive dictatorship, erased by the government of the time, this is buried treasure in every sense and it’s been a rare record for over 50 years. But it isn’t just being hard to find that has pushed up the prices of those few original copies that survived, this is a foundational record in the development of jazz in South America.

            El Grito (Suite Para Orquesta De Jazz) is a showcase for Jorge López Ruiz’s skills as a composer and arranger as he leads a virtuoso orchestra of the likes of Mario Cosentino (alto sax), Baby López Furst (piano), Pichi Mazzei (drums), Gustavo Bergalli (trumpet), Oscar López Ruiz (guitar), Arturo Schneider (flute) and Jorge López Ruiz himself plays double bass on the fourth and fifth movements.

            As the album’s sub-title explains, The album is a Jazz orchestra concept suite. Five movements, to be heard as a whole, that end where they begin.

            “When I wrote it there was no history of a cyclical work in jazz. But I didn't notice that, I needed to express something and I did it. At that time they told me I was crazy, that such a thing was very difficult to do. But hey, I like challenges”.

            Yet this is not challenging jazz. There are certainly avant garde, free jazz flourishes, but the hard bop characteristics make this a very accessible album: easy to listen to without being easy listening. López Ruiz’s love of film brings a definite cinematic feel.

            The title movement opens the album in bombastic style. “El Grito” grabs you by the lapels and refuses to let go. Raw then controlled, it’s by turns stabbing then soothing, with rage weaved in and out of the elegant styles. “M.A.B. = Amor” is our favourite here. With a tense introduction and a patient build, a gentle sax sweeps in to lift everything up to meet the serene piano and soft drums. Elegantly paced, it moves back and forth between deep contemplation and a more urgent call and response between strings and horns. A near-eight-minute, slow motion marvel.

            The second side eases in with the beautifully-titled “Hasta El Cielo, Sin Nubes, Con Todas Las Estrellas” (“Up To The Sky, No Clouds, With All The Stars”) a relatively brief mid-tempo piece featuring López Ruiz’s insistent bass notes high in the mix, and again blending the sublime with the emotive with its wild horns and tight rhythm section.

            It’s followed by “Tendré El Mundo” (“I Will Have The World”) which also leads with hypnotic bass, but this time swifter, driven by crashing drums, rapid horn conversations and effortlessly cool piano flourishes. Rounding out the suite, “De Nuevo El Grito” (something like “The Next Scream” or “The Scream Renewed”) is a stylish closer. Whilst López Ruiz’s bass shifts the track along, the horns and piano are more restrained, yet no less stunning.

            This Be With edition of El Grito sounds sensational, if we do say so ourselves. Working with audio from the original analogue tapes, the vinyl mastering chops of Simon Francis are on full show here in what he considers to be some of his best ever work for Be With. Pete Norman’s cutting skills have made sure nothing is lost. The tortured artwork has been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to helping this revered work find a rightful place in every protest art collection.


            TRACK LISTING

            A1 : El Grito (06:12)
            A2 : M.A.B. Amor (07:45)
            B1 : Hasta El Cielo, Sin Nubes, Con Todas Las Estrellas (03:54)
            B2 : Tendré El Mundo (04:10)
            B3 : De Nuevo El Grito (07:45)

            Keith Mansfield

            Vivid Underscores

              The creator of the romping tunes that became the iconic themes to the BBC’s Grandstand programme and their televised Wimbledon Tennis Championship coverage, Keith Mansfield was perhaps KPM’s most prolific artist from the mid 1960s right the way through the 1980s. As well as the sort of pop orchestral sound that is all over these classic library records, he could also turn his hand to raw, edgy rock and funk. Quentin Tarantino is a big fan, going as far as including some of Keith’s work on the soundtracks to Kill Bill and Grindhouse.

              This is it. This is THE ONE for us: Keith “The Man” Mansfield’s Vivid Underscores from 1977. A sample freak’s wet dream and one of Be With Rob’s favourite ever KPM records. A must for fans of Brian Bennett’s Voyage (yes, THAT good). And no, we’ve no idea either why it took us this long to get round to tackling this monster of a record. But then again some things are worth waiting for.

              Attention! Calling all crate diggers, DJs, beat heads, Hip Hop junkies, MF DOOM fans! Behold! Vivid Underscores makes sampling easy. Prepare to be up all night, every night, chopping, looping and splicing these endless grooves and spacey synths. The highlights are too many and too mind-blowing so we’ll pull out a few particular highlights. Trust us, this library LP is just jaw-dropping.

              “High Velocity” sets the tone with its aggressive horns, wah-wah guitars, funky baseline and wobbly synth refrain. So good and so hypnotic that Memphis Bleek just had to swipe the ominous, frazzled intro for “What You Think of That” featuring Jay-Z. Also, for real drama, the 1985 Lakers retrospective “Return to Glory” used it to soundtrack the footage from the legendary game five of the NBA finals at the Forum. Heady days. “Crash Course” - Stetsasonic horn refrain? Beautiful - jazzy chase-funk, amazing warm keys, percussion and funky horns - all action.

              The more restrained “Matter Of Urgency” is an utterly amazing, brass-heavy underscore. The grandiose, uplifting “Dawn Of Aquarius” still sounds like the future with its tense, thundering drums, killer bassline and swirling synths. Version II loses the drums and percussion but is no less startling. “Staying Power” closes the first side with a relentless, pounding groove which *will* snap your neck. Be warned.

              “Trucking Company” is a pacey, synth-and-string masterpiece and its accompanying parts (a–c) mess with the formula to great effect. Part (a) adds echo delay to really dazzle and part (c) plays the breezy, beautiful middle section without the tension. “Hot Cargo” and “Espionage” are both tense spy-funk themes par excellence. “Interplay” is a quiet killer, with flutes over a glistening piano refrain just waiting to be looped. The intro to the menacing “Omen” might’ve been sampled by 7L & Esoteric for their classic “So Glorious” but the entire 5 minute track is a mini-drama masterpiece, one only Mansfield could create.

              Even though its a mix of short themes in-and-amongst longer, full-length tracks, Vivid Underscores is still thoroughly listenable from start to finish. That’s not something that can be said of all library records and it still manages to serve as rich resource to keep even the keenest samplers busy for a while.

              As with all of our KPM re-issues, the audio for Vivid Underscores comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. And as usual, the sleeve reproduction duties were handed over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


              TRACK LISTING

              1 A1 - High Velocity (02:26)
              2 A2 - Crash Course (02:40)
              3 A3 - Crash Course II (00:14)
              4 A4 - Crash Course III (00:10)
              5 A5 - Matter Of Urgency (02:37)
              6 A6 - Dawn Of Aquarius (02:50)
              7 A7 - Dawn Of Aquarius II (02:50)
              8 A8 - Staying Power (03:28)
              9 B1 - Trucking Company (02:32)
              10 B2 - Trucking Company (a) (01:03)
              11 B3 - Trucking Company (b) (00:50)
              12 B4 - Trucking Company (c) (00:38)
              13 B5 - Hot Cargo (02:25)
              14 B6 - Espionage (03:08)
              15 B7 - Interplay (01:55)
              16 B8 - Omen (05:17)
              17 B9 - Perpetual Motion (03:30)

              Barry Morgan And Ray Cooper

              Percussion Spectrum

              Originally released in 1979, Percussion Spectrum was produced by the legendary percussionists Barry Morgan and Ray Cooper. With dope beats taking in diverse styles, from funk and soul and jazz through to Latin, Brazilian, samba and Afro-Cuban, this is an amazing sample source filled with killer drum-breaks and percussion flares. Unsurprisingly it’s one of the most sought-after records from the Themes catalogue.

              This library LP is a library in itself, with its mix of short themes of single beats, short breaks and some longer, more fully-formed DJ-friendly tracks. Trust us when we say that this is a box full of percussion firework ready to be thrown onto the dancefloor at the just right moment. We don’t have anywhere near enough space to describe all 34 tracks (there isn’t even enough room on the labels to list them all!) so we’ll pick out some favourites.

              Favourites like opener “Impulsion”, a percussive masterclass with drum upon drum upon drum making it feel like a neat prototype to the percussive underscores of Peter Lüdemann and Pit Troja’s eternal The Now Generation LP. And the dramatic “Fast Action” is exactly that, racing along on a rapid roll of congas, cymbal crashes and throbbing kicks. “The Chaser” is classic library cop-funk with dilapidated drum figures, and the outrageously funky “Heat On” is the perfect accompaniment to your wild action sequences.

              A real highlight is “Runaway”, and not just because it sounds like nothing else on the record. Here are drums and percussion in that tight funk style that just cries out to be sampled. “Percussion Power” is an extended, near-three minute suite of funky drum solo after funky drum solo that just aches to be looped: open drums to die for people! “Shivers” is a tense, apprehensive underscore with shock stabs that builds to a climax whilst “Drums On Parade” is a showcase of head-nod drums and cymbals in march time. Did someone say “funky”?

              Side B starts with a stroll down “Samba Street”. With the noise of the crowd in the background, this is riotous, authentically drawn samba that sounds like it’s been beamed straight in from Rio in full flow. Drop this at midnight and watch the cobwebs fly off any dancefloor. Prefer it without the fake crowd? “Samba Street (b)” has you covered.

              The simple, innocent “Child’s Themes” (all five of them) provide a nice, sweet respite from all the funk. Nursery sounds tinged with only a touch of melancholy. The gentle marimba solo of “Tropical Peace” only adds to the sense of serenity we get from the relatively calm second side. The album closes out with a veritable toolkit of tom toms, snare drum rolls, timpani, vibraphones and chiming bells.

              Percussion Spectrum is a joyous collection of sounds, as bright, beaming and downright funky as the vibrant cover. The Themes series is known for each record having its own particularly striking sleeve, which was unusual for library records at the time, and Percussion Spectrums’s multi-coloured drumsticks make for one of the most eye-catching.

              As with all of our other Themes re-issues, the audio for Percussion Spectrum comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. As usual Richard Robinson has taken the same care with restoring the original sleeve from archive scans. This is another one ticked off the list of library records that should be out there for anyone who wants a copy.


              TRACK LISTING

              A1. Impulsion (3:06)
              A2. Tension Build (0:31)
              A3. Fast Action (2:29)
              A4. The Chaser (1:59)
              A5. Heat On (1:05)
              A6. Runaway (2:04)
              A7. Power Source (0:33)
              A8. Percussion Power (2:53)
              A9. Shivers (3:08)
              A10. Gathering Storm (2:15)
              A11. Drums On Parade (2:18)
              B1. Samba Street (A) (3:04)
              B2. Samba Street (B) (3:04)
              B3. Child's Theme (A) (1:12)
              B4. Child's Theme (B) (0:40)
              B5. Child's Theme (C) (1:05)
              B6. Child's Theme (D) (1:25)
              B7. Child's Theme (E) (1:24)
              B8. Spanner In The Works (2:19)
              B9. Tropical Peace (1:48)
              B10. Clippity Clop (1:18)
              B11. Red Indian Drums (0:36)
              B12. Fairy Wand (A) (0:09)
              B13. Fairy Wand (B) (0:11)
              B14. Fairy Wand (C) (0:11)
              B15. Snare Drum Roll (A) (0:14)
              B16. Snare Drum Roll (B) (0:09)
              B17. Timpani (A) (0:25)
              B18. Timpani (B) (0:05)
              B19. Timpani (C) (0:06)
              B20. Vibraphone (A) (0:09)
              B21. Vibraphone (B) (0:10)
              B22. Bell Chimes (0:28)
              B23. Clock Chimes (0:36)

              The creator of the romping tunes that became the iconic themes to the BBC’s Grandstand programme and their televised Wimbledon Tennis Championship coverage, Keith Mansfield was perhaps KPM’s most prolific artist from the mid 1960s right the way through the 1980s. As well as the sort of pop orchestral sound that is all over these classic library records, he could also turn his hand to raw, edgy rock and funk. Quentin Tarantino is a big fan, going as far as including some of Keith’s work on the soundtracks to Kill Bill and Grindhouse.

              Many library records are a game of two halves and Contempo is certainly one of those. The first side cooks on a high funk breaks flame whilst the flip is something altogether more tranquil, yet no less groovy. It lays back with dreamier, post-coital grooves.

              Rugged funk opener “The Fix” confidently displays its low slung languid grooves with heavy drums, horns and bass. Smokin’ in slow motion. The punchy “What’s Cooking” follows and has a lighter, more whimsical touch. But the drums still roll and the clavs wiggle in fascinating opposition to those horns. The dark and moody intro to “Cut To Music” gives way to a more inclusive, relaxed funk that’s all irresistible bass and stabbing horns. The mid-tempo “Man Alive” signals the time to really get down. A percussive monster jam. If you can’t strut to this then we really can’t help you! Closing out the A side, fresh guitar licks drip all over the slick drums of “Funky Footage”, with a New Orleans piano vibe coming on to really light a fire.

              Whilst the dramatic crime funk of the A side is enough on its own to have earned this record its place in the great library record canon, it’s undoubtedly the more smoothed out B side for which Contempo is rightfully adored and celebrated. It’s so chilled and mellow, with beautifully arranged, sweeping strings, sax solos aplenty and a real 70s soundtrack feel. Think Love Boat, CTI label, Bob James, Grover Washington Jr.-type jams.

              The super sleek and sexy jazz funk of “Breezin’” is as light and magical as you’d hope. An open-air masterpiece, its indulgent sound is just a taster of the sophisticated funk to follow. The elegant, romantic feels of “Good Vibrations” (used brilliantly by Odd Future’s Mike G for “Swiss Army”) is a string-drenched, wah-wah fuelled ode to living your best life. Nonchalantly. Whilst it keeps a very West Coast feel, the blaxploitation strut is certainly more Blackbyrds than Brian Wilson. “Sun Goddess” will blow your mind with the sensuous sound of glorious horns and beautiful keys. The luxurious “Love De Luxe” and its horizontal grooves have been much sampled, but here it proves that it doesn’t need any help to get you in an intimate mood. Closer “Snake Hips” is a cool mid-pace slouch. Just divine.

              Originally released in 1976 but, like the very best KPM records, wonderfully timeless, Contempo is also no mere LP-length collection of loosely related tracks. This is a rare example of a library record that is a genuinely great listen from start to finish.

              As with all of our KPM re-issues, the audio for Contempo comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. And as usual, the sleeve reproduction duties were handed over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


              TRACK LISTING

              A1. The Fix (03:18)
              A2. What’s Cooking (03:51)
              A3. Cut To Music (04:44)
              A4. Man Alive (02:58)
              A5. Funky Footage (02:40)
              B1. Breezin’ (03:16)
              B2. Good Vibrations (04:39)
              B3. Sun Goddess (05:20)
              B4. Love Deluxe (04:36)
              B5. Snake Hips (03:42)

              A singular presence in 21st Century pop, Róisín Murphy is a genuine maverick. Her seminal 2007 album Overpowered received widespread acclaim from music critics yet, arriving at a time of waning major label interest in vinyl, it was released only as a hyper-limited double LP. Accordingly, in the decade since, it has been obscenely difficult to find. It is a true honour to finally reissue this thoroughly modern dance-pop classic on Be With. Whilst remaining true to the loud pink and orange wax of the original release, this remastered edition enjoys the bonus inclusion of fan-favourite “Parallel Lives”, finally making an appearance on vinyl.

              A sumptuous, all-killer electro-disco gem, every song could’ve been a smash. With its heavy disco influence - deep beats, lush synths and subtle horns and strings - Overpowered was focused solely on the dancefloor. Inspired by the Eighties proto-house of D Train, Mantronix and Gwen Guthrie, but also recalling the intelligent pop of Yazoo and early Eurythmics, Overpowered presented sensual electronic soul for the heads and the hips.

              Her collaborators, including Timbaland mentor Jimmy Douglass, Bugz In The Attic and Richard X, constructed a gleaming shrine to the spirit of Bobby O and Giorgio Moroder by stitching together crisp synthesised beats with the slicker tics of early house. The lead single and title track lifted the bassline squelch from the dawn of cosmic disco -- La Bionda's "I Wanna Be Your Lover" -- and the follow-up, "Let Me Know", effortlessly incorporated the chorus of Tracy Weber's 1981 boogie bomb "Sure Shot".

              The wonderfully dank, sticky R&B of “Primitive” is Murphy’s favourite track from the album: “I mean, who gets to put primordial soup in the first line of a song? That idea of not always being in control of the primitive parts of yourself, the bits that fall in love or the bits that dance or lose the plot or drink too much, and putting that across … that’s pop for me. It’s playing with all the different colours of the rainbow of life.”

              Murphy’s blistering vocals are versatile enough to elevate the icy textures of "Dear Miami", the sexed up kaleidoscopic funk of "Footprints" and the grace of "You Know Me Better". Sharp, witty and heartbreaking, here Murphy laid claim to being the kind of strident disco singer “Dusty Springfield never quite had the abandon to become”, as Pitchfork noted in their original, glowing “8.0” review.

              Overpowered was considered an instant classic and, sounding deeply prescient, it has aged gloriously. There has long been an acknowledgement of Murphy’s influence on other artists’ gonzo fashion, and many musicians have spent the last decade crafting dancefloor tracks that embrace piano house and disco, even if they’d pale when held next to "Let Me Know". Shifting from the glam pop of "Movie Star" to the buzzing acid of "Cry Baby", when the dubby ballad for her dad, "Scarlet Ribbons", wends its way to the sweetest of endings, you realise you've been immersed in the best grown-up dance-pop album since Madonna's Ray of Light.


              STAFF COMMENTS

              says: Much needed and beautiful reissue of Roisin's 2007 debut album. Inspired pop music for the discerning adult in your life...

              TRACK LISTING

              SIDE A
              Overpowered
              You Know Me Better
              Checkin' On Me

              SIDE B
              Let Me Know
              Movie Star
              Primitive

              SIDE C
              Footprints
              Dear Miami
              Cry Baby

              SIDE D
              Tell Everybody
              Scarlet Ribbons
              Body Language
              Parallel Lives

              Steve Moore

              Analog Sensitivity

                When a synth master like Steve Moore joins forces with the legendary KPM, magic must materialise. And so it does with Analog Sensitivity: cinematic, enigmatic synthscapes to both haunt and heal.

                New York-based multi-instrumentalist/producer/film composer Steve Moore is probably best known for his synthesizer and bass guitar work as Zombi, together with Anthony Paterra. But he is also part of Miracle and Titan as well as being a prolific solo artist releasing music as Gianni Rossi, Lovelock and under his own name.

                Steve’s music has found a home across labels like Future Times, Mexican Summer, LIES, Static Caravan, Relapse, Kompakt, Spectrum Spools, Death Waltz and Ghost Box, and much of his recent work has been scoring films like The Guest and Cub. Prolific indeed.

                Sound Clips URL 90 Second MP3s @ 96kbps:
                https://www.bewithrecords.com/files/BEWITH097LP__sound_clips.zip

                The story of Analog Sensitivity starts with those soundtracks, or more specifically the time in between them. Rather than being commissioned by KPM, this LP comes from music Steve was recording sporadically and tinkering with for over three years during the downtime between his film projects. There were no ideas about what it was nor a plan for how it would be released, or even if it was going to be released at all.

                However, after Jon Tye invited him to play on the Ocean Moon project for KPM Steve realised that the hallowed library label might be the perfect home for what he had been working on. The people at KPM agreed. Finishing production in late 2019 in Albany, NY, he came up with the track sequencing and suddenly, he had an album: Analog Sensitivity.

                The LP opens with the dystopian electronic minimalism of “Eldborg”, its dark synth bass unfolding to ominous synth pads, shadowy sustains and glistening arpeggios. “At The Edge Of Perception” brings an unsettling retro-future of edgy analogue leads and desolate FX. The sound of a robotic core tears through the sparse textures of the enigmatic “Rose Of Charon”. A chilling breeze blows through a persistent, hypnotic synth sequence on “Time Freeze”. Title track “Analog Sensitivity” is a sparkling transcendental synthscape of melody, drones and celestial synth. The brooding “Behind The Waterfall” winds down the first side, building subtle strings and a desolate sound beneath its haunting organ.

                “Mirror Mountain” ushers in side two, its woozy bass and arpeggio unfolding to envelop the muffled, muted echos of its organic leads. "Syzygy" emerges you in bubbling sequences, airiness and ambient electric guitar tones. It’s followed by the cinematic minimalism of “Pentagram Of Venus” and its trickling FX. The wind swirls through the otherworldly “Of Dust Thou Art” kicking up clouds of unsettling, plodding synth sequences leading to the uneasy atmosphere of “Message From The Beast” which builds to the echo of the last refrain of some choral incantation. Closing track “Urge Surfing” is as cool a climax as you’d hope from something so brilliantly titled, riding along hushed waves of brooding electronics.

                With the clue right there in the title, Analog Sensitivity is built up from the quieter aspects of the sound Steve has been exploring and evolving for over 20 years. It’s a layering of ambivalently dense and airy, muffled and echoing sounds from his collection of synthesizers and other electronic music hardware. And whilst some of Steve’s other work uses this vintage equipment to conjure the past, that wasn’t his intention here. Steve explains “I wanted Analog Sensitivity to feel atemporal, as though it could have been released any time over the past 30 or 40 years. While not specifically in the spirit of any particular album, I’m really into old KPM artists like Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett”.

                All the instruments and most of the effects on Analog Sensitivity are hardware, which will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his work. But for Steve there is something a little more special about working on music for KPM: “For me this is very serious. I’ve been so inspired by many old KPM records that it’s a full-circle moment and a complete honour”. So as well as his trusty Korg Polysix and Sequential Circuits Prophet 600 (he uses these two on almost everything) Steve also broke out some of his more unique and rare equipment for this album, like his Freeman String Symphonizer, Minimoog, ARP Avatar and a Roland System 100M.

                Steve adds “Oh and yeah KPM wrote those song descriptions, which are PERFECT, I could never write something so perfect and concise. Haha”.

                The album’s cover was designed by Mitch Smith, a local Albany artist who’s work Steve had seen around and thought would be a perfect match for the sound of Analog Sensitivity. That 1980s KPM logo provides the ultimate seal of quality. Mastering for this vinyl edition was overseen by Be With regular Simon Francis, and it was cut by the esteemed Pete Norman to be pressed in the Netherlands by Record Industry. This is surely another future classic library LP.


                TRACK LISTING

                A1 : Eldborg (2:07)
                A2 : At The Edge Of Perception (2:55)
                A3 : Rose Of Charon (3:43)
                A4 : Time Freeze (3:08)
                A5 : Analog Sensitivity (4:10)
                A6 : Behind The Waterfall (2:18)
                B1 : Mirror Fountain (3:52)
                B2 : Syzygy (4:22)
                B3 : Pentagram Of Venus (3:50)
                B4 : Of Dust Thou Art (3:31)
                B5 : Message From The Beast (2:12)
                B6 : Urge Surfing (4:59)

                Ocean Moon is a solo project from Jon Tye of Seahawks. A long time explorer of the sounds of spaciousness, having released the ambient classic LP iO in 1994 as MLO, Crystal Harmonics is a document of Jon’s latest discoveries. An ambient/new age/modern classical library suite for KPM, this is inter-dimensional music for mind, body and spirit.

                Island Visions, the recent collection of music from Seahawks for KPM, touched on the deeper, more spatial side of music and led to Jon exploring this territory in greater depth, again for KPM, under his Ocean Moon alter ego. This time he brought along some of today’s most visionary musicians: Jon Brooks (The Advisory Circle / Ghostbox) for his intuitive melodic mastery, Seaming To (Graham Massey’s Toolshed) for her extraordinary vocal talents, Steve Moore (Zombi) for his sophisticated and inventive rhythmic sensibility and Richard Norris (The Grid) for his sensitive and deeply resonant ambience. The initial recordings were made at The Centre Of Sound in Cornwall, with the collaborators various contributions coming from London, Derbyshire and the US.

                The supremely serene electronic flute and bells of “Crystal Drift” ease us into our journey and we take our next steps with “Rainbow Ripples” as it gently folds space with arpeggiated synth swells and delicate machine beats. Light vocal tones, bells and breath FX on “And Breathe” keep us going, accompanied by synth drones and billows of electric piano.

                We travel through the synth-space-surf haze of “Lost Oceans”, with soft bass and warm ambience, to reach the “New Infinity” of revolving melody, spacious pads and light electronic beats. The celestial tone floats of “White Mirror” close out the first side.

                Temple bells ring out to running water flowing together with deep resonant vocal tones as the second side opens with “Peace Bells”. “Revolving and Evolving” follows, a tranquil electronic meadow of lush pastoral synth tones where we rest for a while for “Mountain Dreaming”, a light rhythmic dance of zither and birdsong.

                The undulating “Forest Motion” ripples with synth arpeggios, dreamy Solina strings and percussive modular electronics before allowing the crackling ambience and Cantonese whispers of “Sleep Golden” to wash over us. Finally we find ourselves on “The Long Path”, its warm temple ambience of drones and chants guiding us home.

                Crystal Harmonics is inspired by four particular albums from KPM’s catalogue. There’s The Electronic Light Orchestra by Adrian Wagner from 1975 and then Temple Of The Stars, Breath Of Life and finally Keith Mansfield’s Circles, these last three coming from KPM’s mid-1980s run of modern classical/New Age gems. For Jon, “making library music can be very liberating. I really enjoyed the additional focus it brought to the music working on different facets of composition with each collaborator”.

                But Crystal Harmonics is no mere exercise in vulger pastiche. As the past, present and future sound of paradise, this fresh exploration of mid-90s ambient and original New Age sounds exists outside of our linear experience of time.

                The cover started as a collage Jon made a couple of years ago, a different expression of the same impulses that guided the music. As a nod to the records that provided seeds of inspiration, the collage was framed by KPM’s house style of the 1980s for the finished sleeve by Richard Robinson.

                Mastered for vinyl by Be With’s sonic shaman Simon Francis, cut by the legendary Pete Norman and pressed in the Netherlands by Record Industry, Ocean Moon’s Crystal Harmonics is the tranquil balm for these turbulent times.


                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Ex Piccadilly staff Rob Butler's labour of love continues in earnest signing up this fully original work of art by Seahawks main man, John Tye. Calm and unhurried, strikingly emotive and serene.

                TRACK LISTING

                A1 : Crystal Drift (03:56)
                A2 : Rainbow Ripples (04:08)
                A3 : And Breathe (02:10)
                A4 : Lost Oceans (01:34)
                A5 : New Infinity (05:03)
                A6 : White Mirror (02:54)

                B1 : Peace Bells (02:40)
                B2 : Revolving Evolving (03:34)
                B3 : Mountain Dreaming (02:03)
                B4 : Forest Motion (03:16)
                B5 : Sleep Golden (03:16)
                B6 : The Long Path (03:29)

                A dramatic, string-drenched epic, James Ralph Bailey’s Just Me ’N’ You has been a sought-after soul masterpiece for decades. A lush suite of beautiful songs, it was conceived as a concept album; a sophisticated paean to love. Originally released by MAM Records in 1974, Just Me ’N’ You is a breathtaking jazzy soul album. It’s similar in style to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On - particularly the performances, orchestrations and chord progressions - but dealing with a different universal subject matter.

                If What’s Going On was about romance instead of politics, it would sound like this. Fans of Marvin, Leon Ware, Donny Hathaway, Leroy Hutson and Willie Hutch will love this record. Not as well known - this is definitely an underrated gem - the work of James Ralph Bailey is no less mind-blowing. It’s got to be one of the best soul albums of all time. The original productions were made on a basic home tape machine and enhanced with strings, rhythmic overdubs and a variety of other instrumentation. These are beautiful arrangements of strings and jazzy horns.

                Rhythm guitars and bouncy bass serve as the groove foundation, congas provide a Latin feel whilst the vibraphone and harmonica add colour. And then of course there’s JR’s voice. His style recalls Hathaway, with a delivery akin to Marvin at the time. As he scats and sings, accompanying himself in sweet harmonies, there is still a rawness of pain and longing in his voice, the rawness familiar to all deep soul. As an album, Just Me ’N’ You is no mere collection of songs. The tender, smooth tunes flow perfectly together into a fluid, single artistic statement. This is one where it’s hard to pick out any standouts. You may have heard the soaring title track before, maybe on Gilles Peterson’s Digs America compilation. The opening track “After Hours” sounds as fresh now as it ever was and segues beautifully into the majestic “Heaven On Earth”.

                Recorded by Hathaway the previous year, Bailey’s original of “Love Love Love” is incredible and arguably the definitive version. The powerful, dreamy, sax-and-harmony-laced “All Strung Out Over You” has echoes of the Chi-Lites, it’s that good. Goosebumps. And we could go on. Mastered by Simon Francis, cut by Pete Norman and pressed at Record Industry, this Be With edition of Just Me ’N’ You sounds every bit as brilliant as it should. A joyous celebration of love, this album is perfect in every way. If you don’t already own a copy then now is the time.

                TRACK LISTING

                A1 : After Hours (02:57)
                A2 : Heaven On Earth (05:09)
                A3 : Just Me ’N’ You (05:40)
                A4 : She Called Me (04:42)
                A5 : Cute As A Button (03:31)

                B1 : Love, Love, Love (03:07)
                B2 : I’ll Always Be Your Lover (04:11)
                B3 : All Strung Out Over You (03:35)
                B4 : Not Too Long Ago (04:08)
                B5 : Everything I Want I See In You (03:05)

                Caiphus Semenya

                Listen To The Wind

                Caiphus Semenya, AKA Mr Letta Mbulu, is a South African legend, and Listen To The Wind, his iconic debut album, is simply a superb modern-soul/boogie album. It’s also incredibly rare, especially in good condition, so Be With is delighted to present this reissue. Now a revered composer, musician, and arranger, Caiphus left apartheid South Africa in the 60s for selfimposed exile in Southern California together with his wife, Letta Mbulu. Settling in Los Angeles he started working with the likes of Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba and other exiled and semi-exiled South african artists, as well as, of course, his wife Letta.

                Caiphus also found himself working with and composing for a broad range of jazz and pop artists, including Lou Rawls, Nina Simone and Cannonball Adderley. His facility with both jazz and African forms served him well. His LA stay was also the beginning of an ongoing collaboration with Quincy Jones, the fruits of which can be tasted in Caiphus’s African compositions for the scores to Roots and Spielberg’s adaptation of The Color Purple. Given his decades of work behind the scenes, it’s no surprise that it took until 1982 for Caiphus to get around to putting out the first album of his own. But all that experience shows.

                Listen To The Wind is a deeply impressive synthesis of early 80s US production and instrumentation together with his traditional South African musical roots. It’s stylistically diverse but the ingredients are never diluted. There are elements of boogie, soul, funk and jazz, all shot through with pan-African flavour, and moving effortlessly from uptempo floor fillers to more meditative, slower soulful tracks. Produced by Caiphus himself, he makes full use of a stellar line up of session musicians including Nathan East, Michael Stanton, Sonny Burke and Paulinho DaCosta.

                And of course, there are Letta’s show-stopping vocals. To our ears, Listen To The Wind is just one big party, and lord knows we need that more than ever right now. Opener “Angelina” is one of Caiphus’s most beloved tracks at Be With HQ. It’s a breezy, feel-good SA boogie-funk classic. Harmonic and horn heavy, it sounds as fresh today as it would’ve done in the early 80s. If this one doesn’t make you move, you may need your pulse taking. The drum breakdown alone, a little over halfway through, is sensational. It’s followed by the gentle reggae lilt of “Play With Fire”. A real melodic slo-mo delight, carried by the tropical vibes and, above all else, by the extraordinary performance of Caiphus himself and his backing singers. Closing out side one, the spectacular “Umoya” is driven by triumphant horns and slick bass. With its protoGraceland vibes, we reckon Paul Simon must’ve been listening. Hard. Caiphus trades verses with the unmistakable tones of Letta, and it sounds divine.

                Yes, it’s as good as anything on Letta’s canonical In The Music… The Village Never Ends. A wide-eyed wonder, made for unity and togetherness, it’s all infectious, smiling faces for nearly nine minutes. But never mind nine, we could party to this for ninety minutes and “Umoya” would leave us re-energised for ninety more. Elegantly firing up side two is perhaps the album’s best known track. “Without You” is a heavenly slice of modern soul, an end-of-nighter to end them all. Smooth strutting, disco-fied funk with that unmistakably South African sound, it’s just sublime, with those lyrics that keep coming back to smiling faces and community, “without You the sun won’t shine”. Big with the likes of Rush Hour’s Antal, this is aural perfection. “Ziph’inkomo” is a soul-soothing, swooning epic. Gently building throughout, its final few minutes are genuinely stirring as the backing vocals and instrumentation swell. Jaw-dropping.

                The irresistible groove of frantic, percussive workout “Gumba Boogie” closes out what must surely be one of the greatest artistic statements of the 1980s. If his friend Quincy wasn’t feverishly taking notes for Thriller, then you could’ve fooled us. With Simon Francis handling the mastering of this Be With edition, you know it sounds as fantastic as ever. The cover art, as breezy as the music, has been faithfully restored. All that’s missing is you.

                TRACK LISTING

                A1 : Angelina (05:50)
                A2 : Play With Fire (04:38)
                A3 : Umoya (08:42)
                B1 : Without You (05:56)
                B2 : Ziph’inkomo (07:17)
                B3 : Gumba Boogie (06:08)

                Caiphus Semenya

                Streams Today… Rivers Tomorrow

                Caiphus Semenya, AKA Mr Letta Mbulu, is a South African legend and Streams Today… Rivers Tomorrow, his second solo LP, is perfect. A ten out-of ten album if ever we heard one. It’s also incredibly rare, especially in good condition, so Be With is delighted to present this reissue. Now a revered composer, musician, and arranger, Caiphus left apartheid South Africa in the 60s for selfimposed exile in Southern California together with his wife, Letta Mbulu. Settling in Los Angeles he started working with the likes of Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba and other exiled and semi-exiled South african artists, as well as, of course, his wife Letta. Caiphus also found himself working with and composing for a broad range of jazz and pop artists, including Lou Rawls, Nina Simone and Cannonball Adderley.

                His facility with both jazz and African forms served him well. His LA stay also the beginning of an ongoing collaboration with Quincy Jones, the fruits of which can be tasted in Caiphus’s African compositions for the scores to Roots and Spielberg’s adaptation of The Color Purple. Originally released in 1984, Streams Today… Rivers Tomorrow is not just a musical masterpiece, it is also the soundtrack to the life of many South Africans - both then and now. Fusing the US-heavy sounds of boogie, disco and funk with Afrobeat and traditional African elements, it’s truly a spectacular listen. Jabu Nkosi handles keyboards on the album, with synths by Caiphus and Craig Harris. Sipho Gumede is on bass and Condry Ziqubu is on guitars. The Afro-Cuban grooves of “Mamase” open the record. Continuing where Listen To The Wind left off, this is another horn-heavy call-and-response ode to a positive life. Life as an invitation to party, to take part, to “get involved”.

                But only if you’re willing to let in the transcendent power of music. “There’s gonna be a Mardi Gras, there’s gonna be a carnival; there’s gonna be a jamboree, there’s gonna be a bacchanal”. Who can resist that? Vibrations everywhere. It’s followed by the joy of “Aida”. Gleeful, dayglow keys and synths *just* on the right side of mid-80s sleaze are accompanied by a killer bassline, slick, skipping drums and proud horns. Infectious funk. The tempo is taken down a few notches for the powerful “Nomalanga” and the lamentations of a heartbroken man who must leave his wife Nomalanga and their children to join the fight against apartheid.

                It’s an emotional song, no question, but it doesn’t bring you down. The uplifting music and optimistic vocal delivery from Caiphus and his backing singers in the second half offer hope. Breezy drums and contemplative keys act as a backdrop for the stunning backing vocal harmonies in the intro of “Moshanyana”. This gives way to stuttering beats, a bassline to die for and Caiphus giving it his all, over guitars, marimba and synth strings. Another slo-mo winner. Side two opens with “Dial Your Number”, an uptempo English-language boogie-funk workout, complete with mid-song cutaway to a random telephone call. Whether or not this propels the song into “key track” status, we’ll let you decide. What’s not up for debate is the brilliance of “Matswale”. This was a hit in South Africa in the mid-80s and you can still hear why. It might just be our favourite Caiphus hit.

                Wow. This is some damn fine breezy, beautiful, emotional pop. The restrained playing, the guitar licks and the gentle keys are out of this world. The beats? Thundering, direct and slick. The singing? It’ll give you goosebumps. As for the sentiment? This is Caiphus singing to his in-laws about their daughter’s adultery, begging them to intervene and help him save his marriage. Not your typical pop single story-telling! The ferocious “Ndi-Kulindile” closes the set with a nod to the coming sound of the States. The hard-edged, electro-influenced drum patterns and bouncing, elastic bassline are something of a departure from the album’s predominant sound, yet one wonderful constant, Caiphus’s exceptional delivery and his sparring with his backing vocalists, is satisfyingly present and warmly deployed. With Simon Francis handling the mastering of this Be With edition, you know it sounds as fantastic as ever. The stunning sleeve has been restored, with its painting of a dream-like cosmic vista, as a lone figure takes in a scene that’s part distant planet, part urban sprawl.

                TRACK LISTING

                A1 : Mamase (05:41)
                A2 : Aida (04:01)
                A3 : Nomalanga (06:23)
                A4 : Moshanyana (04:31)
                B1 : Dial Your Number (04:41)
                B2 : Matswale (05:44)
                B3 : Ndi-Kulindile (03:51)

                Fuzzy Duck

                Fuzzy Duck- Vinyl Reissue

                  A memorable name with an outstanding cover, Fuzzy Duck is a classic slice of underground London art rock and melodic psychedelia. Originally released on MAM in 1971, it’s truly a musical force of infectious riffs and fiery solos, sharp tempo changes, a tight rhythm section and heavy, Hammond-drenched grooves. With echoes of Spencer Davis Group, early Grand Funk and Vanilla Fudge, it comes on like a heavier Soft Machine or Caravan. No wonder Fuzzy Duck’s cult appeal has endured.

                  The album features Mick Hawksworth (Five Day Week Straw People, Andromeda) on bass, acoustic 12-string, electric cello and some of the vocal duties, and also Roy “Daze” Sharland (Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Spice) on organ and electric piano. Accompanying those two were Paul Francis on drums and percussion, and Grahame White on guitars and the rest of the vocals.

                  Originally released in an edition of 500, Fuzzy Duck became legendary all over the world through a holy trinity of scarcity, personnel and its sheer brilliance.

                  The album kicks off with a heavy, bass-fuelled, Hammond rocker titled “Time Will Be Your Doctor”. This is pure hard-edged blues rock, brilliantly played. Its drum break intro was sampled by DJ Premier for Gang Starr’s “Mostly Tha Voice” on 1994’s legendary Hard To Earn. And we can hear its personality all over Harvey and Thomas Bullock’s Map Of Africa.

                  Rollicking highlight “Mrs. Prout” follows. At nearly 7 minutes long, it incorporates more psych-leaning guitar and drawn-out keyboards à la Ray Manzarek with the band effortlessly switching from jazzy rhythm section to a progressive one. That magnificent instrumental jam that starts half-way and continues through to the end is a true wonder.

                  “Just Look Around You” is propulsive folk-rock with a soaring, proto power-pop chorus, backed by frenetic organ and heavy bass high in the rich, intoxicating mix. Back comes the heavy, strung-out psych to both close out side one with “Afternoon Out” and kick off side two with “More Than I Am”. Both tracks are improvisational winners that stylistically nod to the late sixties and “More Than I Am”’s guitar hook, catchy organ and memorable chorus would’ve surely made it a great single.

                  “Country Boy” quenches the thirst for rhythm and melody, only the lyrics and vibe are wonderfully creepy. The sudden cut of the groove and the drop into a more sinister tempo will make you stumble, before the band pick up speed and toss you back again into the opening jam, this time with a badass organ to ride you home. The final, fully fleshed out track is the majestic “In Our Time”, which oscillates between endless organ-driven boogie and heavenly, genuinely moving vocals. Just stunning.

                  Infamous instrumental cut “A Word from Big D” rounds out the album. Yes, that’s the band jamming with duck quack sound effects accompanying the music. “Ducking vocals” as the sleeve says. You know, just in case the whole “duck” theme had passed you by. It’s an appropriate closer for what sounds like an album that must have been *a lot* of fun to record. It’s definitely fun to listen to.

                  Mastered by Be With’s chief sound duck Simon Francis and cut with glee by the veteran Pete Norman, this reissue of Fuzzy Duck’s one-and-only LP sounds as mighty as it should. That unforgettable sleeve artwork has been carefully restored and the records pressed by the wonderful Record Industry in the Netherlands. Essential.


                  TRACK LISTING

                  A1 : Time Will Be Your Doctor (05:06)
                  A2 : Mrs. Prout (06:45)
                  A3 : Just Look Around You (04:20)
                  A4 : Afternoon Out (05:20)
                  B1 : More Than I Am (05:30)
                  B2 : Country Boy (06:00)
                  B3 : In Our Time (06:49)
                  B4 : A Word From Big D (01:51)

                  Linda "Babe" Majika

                  Don't Treat Me So Bad - Vinyl Reissue

                    Linda "Babe" Majika’s insanely brilliant "Don’t Treat Me So Bad" is a tight six tracks of blistering electro-flavoured bubblegum and synth-drizzled solar-powered machine-funk. It has become increasingly hard to find, with copies currently moving for over £200. But this is definitely a case of eye-watering price equalling heart-thumping quality.

                    Once of the Hot Soul Singers, "Don’t Treat Me So Bad" was Linda’s debut LP as a solo artist. It was produced by Ace Mbuyisa of boogie-funk maestros Freeway and was originally released on Umkhonto Records in South Africa in 1988.

                    The enormous “Let’s Make A Deal” is probably the best known track here, and it’s definitely the best one if you ask us. Linda’s vocals drip with attitude over warm, breezy synths and an urgent, edgy electro beat to create a timeless club-ready bomb that sounds as fresh as ever. But the rest of the album is far from filler.

                    Opening track “Kunzima (Tabalaza Mjita)” instantly brings the sunshine vibes, strutting out the gate with that unmistakable South African steppers groove. It’s a deceptively simple song, with multiple instrumental elements arriving and taking leave with admirable restraint.

                    “It’s Our Home” is a powerful showcase for Linda’s vocals, enhanced by some life-affirming call and response backing vocals throughout. In fact they’re a joyous presence on the whole album. The insistent pipes and swirling, bubbling synths of title track “Don’t Treat Me So Bad” follow. A spacious proto-piano house banger that closes out the first side in phenomenal fashion.

                    Arriving as track two on the second side, “Unga B’Omthemba Umuntu” has the unenviable task of following the huge “Let’s Make A Deal”. It does the job with class, bringing the tempo down to a mid-paced tropical bounce with lilting harmonies and welcome traces of hi-life guitar. Wonderful stuff. “Playboy” is is another unbeatable head-nod groover rounds out the set wonderfully. That bassline high in the mix is to die for, and the chorus will make any dancefloor smile.

                    As ever, Simon Francis on mastering duties elevates this release, adding heft and elegance in all the right places with his customary deft touch. The memorable cover art, in which Linda appears straight out of the 1950s with her polka dot skirt and butter-wouldn't-melt pose, has been faithfully restored. But don’t let the innocent styling fool you - Don’t Treat Me So Bad is the work of one badass woman who can hold her own, and then some.


                    TRACK LISTING

                    A1 : Kunzima (Tabalaza Mjita) (04:55)
                    A2 : It’s Our Home (04:04)
                    A3 : Don’t Treat Me So Bad (04:15)
                    B1 : Let’s Make A Deal (04:34)
                    B2 : Unga B’Omthemba Umuntu (05:13)
                    B3 : Play Boy (05:00)

                    Breakwater

                    No Limit / Do It Till The Fluid Gets Hot

                      Be With presents hen’s teeth extended cuts of two glorious Breakwater classics - “No Limit” and “Do It Till The Fluid Gets Hot”. These super-rare Arista promo-only 12" versions from 1978 have never been commercially available until now. Originals have regularly sold for upwards of £400 in the past 10–20 years so you know how vital this is.

                      Breakwater’s futuristic boogie-funk glider “No Limit” is six and a half minutes of slickness on wax. It’s almost AOR. Like an infinite masterpiece, the chilled opening chords of the intro could go on forever - and they almost do - but when they give way to the power-funk groove, the track just slaps. It sounds so fresh today, over 40 years on, thanks to the smooth, smooth mixing of Jimmy Simpson. In no uncertain terms this is a monster, written by the great Grey and Hanks. That bassline, those keys, the horn section… all the ingredients are there. Ahead of its time by a good 3 or 4 years, some regard “No Limit” as the first 80s groove ever recorded in funk/soul history. A neat trick, given its year of production.

                      On the flip, the six minute version of “Do It Till The Fluid Gets Hot” is an original Philly party jam. A showcase for Breakwater’s phenomenal intensity, this sounds like Parliament’s “Flashlight” on steroids. Acidic synths bleep and warp, blending with triumphant horns, in-the-pocket drums and bumping bass to conjure a truly deep funk groove. Laying deep in the cut, the salacious vocal delivery only adds to the brilliant sleaze.

                      Breakwater had a sonic aesthetic beamed in from the future and these two tracks are just more proof of that. Remastered and cut loud for devastating dance floor dynamite, this vinyl reissue arrives just in time for all those (perhaps imagined) BBQ Boogie Throwdowns. This is a true modern soul double-sider, essential in every way.


                      TRACK LISTING

                      A1 : No Limit (Extended Version) (6:33)
                      B1 : Do It Till The Fluid Gets Hot (Extended Version) (6:00)

                      Billy Paul

                      Let The Dollar Circulate / East

                        Billy Paul’s “Let The Dollar Circulate” and “East” have never appeared on a legit 12" before. They do now.

                        “Let The Dollar Circulate” is inextricably linked to one of J Dilla’s greatest ever deep productions, whilst the massive “East” has long been a big Harvey tune. Both make full use of the incredible MFSB, the regular group of crack musicians that acted as the house band for the Philadelphia International Sound label at Sigma Sound Studios.

                        Causing glorious damage to discerning dance floors until this very day, Billy Paul's “Let The Dollar Circulate” was first released in 1975 on the album When Love Is New. It has the upbeat, dramatic proto-disco sound of classic Philadelphia soul. Taut, urgent verses of evergreen lyrics that preach the evils of capitalism and environmental destruction, to a thumping, menacing bassline. A gospel-infused chorus releases the tension in an explosion of strings and horns. Dynamite.

                        A richly textured and enduring soul hit, “Let The Dollar Circulate” received a second wind when it was sampled by Dilla for Spacek’s 2005 underground gem “Dollar”.

                        “East” is a fascinating, genre-blending track; a magical, widescreen soul-jazz masterpiece. Mystical and powerful, it’s a pulsating mini-epic with a potent spiritual dimension. “East” was written by Philly bassist and baritone Tyrone-William Brown and appears on 1971’s Going East LP. Lenny Pakula’s atmospheric arrangements are complex but deeply funky, perfectly suited to Paul’s fervent vocals. Gamble and Huff’s production is a brilliant demonstration of their balancing Paul's jazz roots with the funky soul of the day, and seeking to innovate and push musical boundaries.

                        A first-person rumination on slavery, Paul’s thoughtful, deeply moving spoken word introduction unravels as the track reveals its secrets. Against the jazzy backdrop Paul’s delivery is heartfelt, welling up with emotion. Strings cascade and winds howl while the bass prowls along the arrangement. Stunning.

                        Remastered to stunning effect, Be With is delighted to present this vital double-sider from the man ?uestlove called “one of the criminally unmentioned proprietors of socially conscious post-revolution ’60s civil rights music”.


                        TRACK LISTING

                        A1 : Let The Dollar Circulate (4:48)
                        B1 : East (6:21)

                        Various Artists

                        Breath Of Danger (Themes)

                        "Breath Of Danger" was originally released in 1974, and rounded up a killer ensemble cast of library legends including Alan Hawkshaw, Brian Bennett, Alan Parker, David Lindup, Kenny Salmon, Barry Morgan and Ray Cooper.

                        They Say: “A selection of suspense underscores and drama blackcloths which vary in intensity and cover a wide range of suspense and drama situations”.

                        We say: A breaky, funky library great masquerading as a horror score. Oh, and the cover art is amazing.

                        Lindup’s opener “Cold Sweat” sounds like hip-hop-friendly mode Axelrod and, indeed, was brilliantly sampled by Kool Keith for his Dr. Dooom project. Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett’s “The Manipulator” sounds like it arrived straight out of the same sessions as their legendary Synthesizer & Percussion LP from the same year.

                        Over on the B-side Alan Parker’s “Psychosis” is a moving and beautifully restrained funk-guitar/cello/harp workout. Stunning. Kenny Salmon’s “Flying Squad” is a sleazy, flute-enhanced gem and the album closes with “Voodoo”, a seventy second riot of sound and colour from the dynamic drumming-percussion duo of Barry Morgan and Ray Cooper.

                        Sonically, there’s a widescreen vitality in all these tracks thanks to the driving rhythms, vibrant horn sections and blazing guitar work. It renders Breath Of Danger - 45 years old - truly ageless. The Themes series is known for having particularly striking sleeves, which was unusual for library records at the time, and Breath Of Danger’s scraps of comic-book crazy make for one of the most eye-catching.

                        As with all of our other Themes re-issues, the audio for Breath Of Danger 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.


                        TRACK LISTING

                        A1 : Cold Sweat (1:50)
                        A2 : Unease (2:41)
                        A3 : Aftermath (1:45)
                        A4 : Isolation (2:34)
                        A5 : The Unknown (2:42)
                        A6 : The Manipulator (3:12)
                        A7 : Space Probe (2:50)
                        B1 : Psychosis (2:54)
                        B2 : At Risk (2:53)
                        B3 : At Risk (Link) (0:26)
                        B4 : Manhunt (3:00)
                        B5 : Flying Squad (2:40)
                        B6 : Dead End (1:11)
                        B7 : Collision Course (1:47)
                        B8 : Voodoo (1:13)

                        Tommy Guerrero

                        A Little Bit Of Somethin' - 2019 Repress

                        The cult skater from San Francisco is globally renowned as one of the original members of the legendary 'Bones Brigade' team. And as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, his laid-back soul is beloved by all who’ve basked in its blissful glow. There’s something elemental about this music that really stirs the soul. Strikingly beautiful and instantly addictive, it’s a kind of funk-fuelled, melody-driven, groove-based magic. There's a serenity and heart in the playing that radiates warmth and splendour, as if crafted for endless sunsets. His albums that surfaced on Mo Wax at the turn of the century have been treasured since their release and it’s two of his most vital LPs that we're honoured to reintroduce.

                        "A Little Bit Of Somethin" is a quietly majestic gem. Brimming with Guerrero’s horizontal 'loose grooves', these brief but innovative instrumentals demonstrate a rich variety and, as such, comprise an LP that is aptly titled. An enchanting start-to-finish listen, it was instantly regarded as essential upon release via Mo Wax in 2000. It has aged remarkably well.

                        Throughout this inspired collection, simplicity is key. In deploying it, Guerrero presents a beautifully crafted melodic soundscape. The distinctive, mellifluous approach of his guitar style, blending Brazilian, Cuban, Mexican, soul and jazz motifs, is at once startlingly new and tantalisingly familiar. Set against unrushed percussion, the music releases a crystal clear stream of healing frequencies to create a fragile, hypnotic atmosphere.

                        Each track clocks in at around three minutes and, with a lack of studio polish or commitment to traditional song structure, it’s a wonder how this enigmatic record demands your attention. However, through its gentle dynamism and impressive playing, it does just that. Whilst resolutely low-key, this lo-fi aesthetic feels genuinely organic and remarkably personal; its powerful intimacy truly connects. It’s what makes this album so beloved of those lucky enough to be already familiar with it. From Margaret Kilgallen's truly iconic cover artwork to the music contained within, it's all brilliantly effortless.

                        Guerrero’s musical ideas are consistently compelling throughout, making it impossible to select highlights. The album’s laconic drift touches upon jazz-fusion workouts and slow-mo hip-hop drums, Tortoise-style experimental post-rock and cinematic sound textures. It’s at once hazy, light and bouncy yet sombre and bluesy. The Latin soul of El Chicano blends with the breezy jazz of Grant Green. By employing guitars and drum machines to create a stripped down rhythmic tapestry of spellbinding, addictive songs, there are even traces of The Durutti Column. A little bit of country, a little bit of rock & roll. "A Little Bit Of Somethin’", indeed.


                        TRACK LISTING

                        A1 : Blue Masses
                        A2 : Four Trk Samba
                        A3 : Tiny
                        A4 : Numb Millenium
                        B1 : 100 Years
                        B2 : Pescadito
                        B3 : Azucar
                        C1 : Flux And Meter
                        C2 : It’s Raining Again
                        C3 : Today Like Everyday
                        C4 : Soul Miner
                        D1 : As The Sea Holds Creatures Vast And True
                        D2 : So Blue It’s Black
                        D3 : Little Chin

                        Alex Chilton

                        It Isn't Always That Easy

                          "We adore Big Star and Alex Chilton more than words can express. Being able to present two of Alex’s staggeringly beautiful demos on vinyl for the first time (on a cute picture sleeve 7", no less) is an absolute honour for us at Be With.

                          “It Isn’t Always That Easy” and “If You Would Marry Me” both sound like templates for some of Alex’s best-known Big Star numbers. These demos come from the transitional recording sessions he made with Terry Manning at the Ardent studio in 1969, but were missing from the vinyl version of the wonderful Free Again compilation that was released in 2012.

                          Caught between the end of the Box Tops and the birth of Big Star Alex’s song-craft was already remarkable - as these demos prove - and this release represents a fascinating, exploratory period in the career of one of pop’s most enigmatic talents.

                          “It Isn’t Always That Easy” is the real knockout. A tender, acoustic ballad that, stylistically, could have appeared Big Star’s “#1 Record”. Yes, it really is that good. A deeply affecting, ruminative lament that explores the ravages of Alex’s short career to date, it is also one of the sweetest and most delicate melodies he ever wrote. A song this stunning shouldn’t just be kept for the Big Star completists.

                          Over on the flip, “If You Would Marry Me” finds Alex in earnestly romantic mode. It’s just him and a piano, albeit one that is played in a poppy, uplifting fashion to complement the optimistic mood: “I could make you feel so glad inside and so alive” he confidently declares. It’s quite the gem. It really should be mandatory for this to be played at every wedding.

                          Unfortunately there seem to be no photographs of Alex from around the time he was making these recordings. But luckily we were put in touch with Pat Rainer who was photographing the Memphis music scene that Alex was still part of a few years later.

                          Happy to be described as “a friend with a camera who was hanging around”, Pat’s candid pictures of Alex included one of him asleep on the floor of the Ardent studio. Even though the photograph was taken 9 years after the demos were recorded, we think this intimate portrait makes a fitting cover for these equally intimate songs."


                          TRACK LISTING

                          A1 : It Isn’t Always That Easy (02:32)
                          B1 : If You Would Marry Me Baby (1:48)

                          Be With are back on the tail of brilliance with an ace reissue of a total disco destroyer, oft overlooked because it's more or less impossible to find.
                          In 1980, Randy Muller’s Skyy dropped the monumental “Here’s To You”, comfortably one of the greatest dance singles of all time. Released on Salsoul, “Here’s To You” is now exceptionally hard to find in its original form. On this special Be With double-header, we present the sought-after 12" mix and back it up with the strutting “You Got Me Up”, which has never been on a 12" before. Naturally, both are cut loud and bumping for devastating dance floor power.
                          A sure-fire classic of the NYC club scene and a true block party rocker, “Here’s To You” beautifully combines sweeping synth-strings, loose cymbal hits and swaggering lyrics delivered with enviable style. But the real hero is *that* bassline. Oh, wait, no, actually, it’s *that* synth refrain halfway through. Harnessing the Oberheim Matrix 12 to emulate a horn section has provided goosebumps on discerning dance floors ever since.
                          As Muller expressed in his 2007 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, “It’s a very special record, it’s positive and has that spontaneous, life-giving spirit in the groove. Everything locks, just pure chemistry.”
                          If that wasn’t enough, over on the B-side is “You Got Me Up”, a real hidden gem from Skyy’s Skyway LP. Also released in 1980, the track is a wonderful showcase of the group’s airtight rhythm section and Muller’s uncanny ear for a groove and a melody.


                          TRACK LISTING

                          A1. Here’s To You (5:21)
                          B1. You Got Me Up (5:07)

                          “Larry Jon Wilson? He can break your heart with a voice like a cannonball.” - Kris Kristofferson.

                          Larry Jon Wilson came to the party late. When he arrived in Nashville, country soul pioneer Tony Joe White had already made six albums. Townes Van Zandt had made seven, Mickey Newbury eight. Kristofferson, the accepted High Priest of the New Nashville, had made five. Larry Jon, by the time he arrived, had spent ten years in corporate America.

                          He did not start playing guitar until the age of 30, but five years later he released his debut, New Beginnings (1975) and followed it just a year later with Let Me Sing My Song To You, both on Monument Records. A revelation among the hipsters and critics of Nashville, the LPs ensured Larry Jon was immediately embraced as part of the mid-70s “outlaw country movement” that eschewed slick production in favour of a raw, gritty approach. When a film crew came to document this burgeoning sound, they made straight for Larry Jon's door. The legendary Heartworn Highways (1981) featured his mesmerising performance of “Ohoopee River Bottomland”.

                          He was a singer and writer of intensely private, painfully moving tales of southern life. With his deep, papa-bear voice, funky southern groove, and richly evocative narratives of rural Georgia, Larry Jon was a unique stylist but his gutsy, greasy sound did not translate into sales. Too funky for the country crowd, too heartfelt for pop radio, he fell between the cracks. We hope the long-overdue reissue of his first two albums will go some way to rectifying this. Indeed, both New Beginnings and Let Me Sing My Song to You - so similar they play like two halves of a double album – showcase his unique mix of country, folk, soul and swampy blues.

                          New Beginnings failed to propel Larry Jon to even the relatively modest cult acclaim enjoyed by his likeminded contemporaries. And some of the frustration this conjured can be heard on 1976′s Let Me Sing My Song To You. Both the title track and the self-deprecating “Drowning in the Mainstream” speak of Wilson’s hope to inch at least a few steps towards the big time without making too many compromises. Any album containing the likes of the heartfelt, deeply beautiful tribute of “Ballad of Handy Mackey” and the superlative country-gothic funk opus ‘Sheldon Churchyard’ – the lead track from the lauded Country Got Soul compilation - must rank as essential listening.

                          The audio for Let Me Sing My Song To You comes from the original analogue tape transfers and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the striking cover art and we were honoured when Larry’s close friend Jeb Loy Nichols kindly agreed to contribute wonderfully unique liner notes, presented beautifully on the printed inner sleeve opposite a gorgeous black and white shot of Larry, mid-performance.


                          TRACK LISTING

                          Drowning In The Mainstream
                          Let Me Sing My Song To You
                          Sheldon Churchyard
                          I Remember It Well
                          The Ballad Of Handy Mackey
                          Think I Feel A Hitchhike Coming On
                          Willoughby Grove
                          Life Of A Good Man
                          Kindred Spirit

                          The Moments

                          On Top

                            The Moments’ On Top is a perfect example of symphonic soul. Amongst true heads, this is considered the most valuable of all their albums; an original copy of this LP, if you can find one, starts at around $75. Alongside contemporaneous acts from the early 70s - The Chi-lites, The Stylistics, The Delfonics, The Futures, Blue Magic and The Main Ingredient - The Moments exuded all that was compelling about deep, harmony-drenched, string-laden soul.

                            The standout here is undoubtedly "To You with Love", a floating, tender ballad sung by Harry Ray that features the group’s patented handclap-tambourine combo, sweetly repetitive strings, serene guitar and gentle piano. It was famously sampled by J Dilla for “Last Donut Of The Night” - the gut-wrenching finale to his seminal Donuts. Concentrating solely on its sampled history would do The Moments a huge disservice, but its crucial appearance at the climax of Donuts directed fresh generations of pre-disposed soul fans to the absolute canon. Judged entirely on its merit, it’s one of the most heart-breaking songs of any decade and worth the price of admission alone. It’s the sweetest, most goose-bump inducing 3 minutes of aural bliss you’re ever likely to be exposed to.

                            If that wasn’t enough, On Top spawned two minor R&B hits: "All I Have" and "Lucky Me", each featuring Billy Brown's ice-melting falsetto. Opener “All I Have” is a sumptuous introduction to the album. With melancholic, understated guitar licks, twinkling keys and heartbeat drums, it’s a gem. The triumphant “Lucky Me” is simply gorgeous; all gentle chimes, swirling strings and, again, scarcely believable falsetto soaring atop proud horns.

                            Also included are two singles that are different from anything the group had ever done; "I Can't Help It" and "That's How It Feels." The former features thundering kicks and crashing cymbals underneath floating flutes, progressively stabbing strings and horns. The yearning vocals embody an almost Temptations-like delivery at times. "That's How It Feels” is a two-parter wherein Brown's voice bestrides a bed of rhythms on a tune more aptly defined as a love suite than a song. Dripping in breakbeats, piano and strings, Brown describes the devastation of losing the one you love before the track brilliantly switches up with a sweeping string-led chorus and heavenly harmonies.

                            The only genuine uptempo number, where anomalous happiness reigns, is "Sweeter As The Days Go By," led by Brown in his natural, gospel-inspired tenor. A charming but sorrow-filled "I Lost One Bird In The Hand" is an impressive, slow lamenter crooned by Ray, with horns and strings dominating the lushly arranged backdrop. Appropriately, we end on that down-lifting note that we've all come for: "Candy Shack."

                            The audio for On Top 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 memorable cover art, handling the reproduction duties with the utmost attention to detail.


                            TRACK LISTING

                            All I Have
                            I Can't Help It
                            To You With Love
                            That's How It Feels
                            Lucky Me
                            I Lost One Bird In The Hand (While Reaching For Two In The Bush)
                            Sweeter As The Day Goes By
                            The Ice Is Melting
                            Candy Shack

                            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.


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              says: The kings of the KPM library scene, groove barons Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett hit the studio together for the first time in years and treat us to an eagerly anticipated LP of new material. As you'd expect from this pair of heroes, it's a far out and funky affair. KPM x BeWith for the win!!!

                              TRACK LISTING

                              Flying
                              Hole In One
                              Reignited
                              Straight Up
                              Serengeti
                              Open Road
                              In The Clouds
                              Corcovado
                              On The Nile
                              Marrakech
                              Oasis
                              Midnight Jazz

                              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.


                              TRACK LISTING

                              Mystery Prelude
                              Car Patrol - Title Sequence
                              Breathless
                              Breathless - Short Version
                              Waiting Game
                              Mystery Moll
                              Mystery Movement
                              The Heavies
                              Dirty Scene
                              Study In Fear
                              Empty Streets
                              Night Watch
                              Foot Patrol
                              Quiet Girl
                              Relaxed Scene
                              Routine Procedure
                              Quietness Sustained

                              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.


                              TRACK LISTING

                              Love Is All
                              Mr. Smooth Man
                              You've Got What It Takes
                              You're A Winner
                              Your Smile
                              Time Goes By
                              Move And Shake Your Body
                              Love Doctor
                              Soul Slap
                              Crumpet
                              That's What Friends Are For
                              Flying High

                              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.


                              TRACK LISTING

                              Tycoon
                              Hot Property
                              Whistle Stop Tour
                              Power Complex
                              Research Establishment
                              Clean Air
                              Fatal Error
                              Sleeping Giant 1
                              Sleeping Giant 2
                              World In Action
                              World In Action (Composite)
                              Balance Of Power
                              Motorail Express
                              Road And Rail
                              International Flight
                              Quality Fair
                              Summer Location

                              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.


                              TRACK LISTING

                              The Open Highway
                              Funky Chimes
                              Bright Blue Note
                              To Shearing With Love
                              Cross Talk
                              Waltz On The Off Beat
                              Blues In The Basement
                              Piano In Transit
                              Sales Talk
                              Kings Road Chelsea
                              Samba De Negra

                              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.


                              TRACK LISTING

                              Happy To Be Alive
                              Basie 77
                              It's Easy
                              Expanding Markets
                              Land Of Opportunity
                              Against The Odds
                              Ooops!
                              Pride In Purpose
                              Winner Takes All – Opening
                              Winner Takes All – Closing
                              The Road Forward – Opening
                              The Road Forward – Closing
                              Trademark, Tense Preparation
                              Light Preparation
                              Under Pressure
                              Speedway
                              Double Quick
                              Made It
                              Pick Up
                              Accolade

                              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.


                              TRACK LISTING

                              Capitol City
                              Wallop
                              Full Throttle
                              Dossier
                              Big Haul
                              Name Of The Game
                              Taste For Living
                              Fresh Start
                              Hot Boppin
                              All Time Greats
                              Bop On The Rocks
                              Corn Ball


                              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

                              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.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Magic
                              2. A Magic Version 

                              Bô'vel

                              Check 4 U

                                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

                                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!!!

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1.  Check 4 U
                                2.  Check 4 U (Metrodome UK-Gee Mix)

                                Plush

                                Fed - Vinyl Reissue

                                  UNCUT: “The dazzling symphonic album he always threatened to produce. 5/5”

                                  ROLLING STONE: “A soulful symphonic masterpiece”

                                  Originally released in Japan only on CD in 2002, Plush's Fed lives up to the cult-like adulation it has garnered ever since. A stunning symphony of Bacharach-inspired pop, Toussaint-swing and Melody Nelson-era-Gainsbourg, it’s an album bound together by Liam Hayes' maverick genius; an uncompromising Brian Wilson-esque quest for sonic perfection. Positively indulgent in every way, this sumptuous record has long deserved to be treated to a deluxe vinyl edition. Lovingly overseen by Hayes and recent collaborator Pat Sansone (Wilco/The Autumn Defense), it will finally be available on the format it should’ve always been, this Record Store Day 2018. Remastered and presented as a double LP - cut specially at 45rpm – it comes housed in a beautiful gatefold jacket with expanded artwork throughout.

                                  Its expansive, singular vision infamously took years to realise, involving Earth Wind & Fire’s horn arranger (the legendary Tom Tom MMLXXXIV) amongst other elite personnel. Recorded with five different engineers (including Steve Albini and John McEntire), Hayes meticulously extracted every ounce of pop from each note. A long list of renowned studio ringers (including soul drummer Morris Jennings) and Chicago regulars (McEntire, Rizzo, Parker) among many others provide playing of demonstrably professional precision. As such, Hayes' complex, meandering melodies are rendered far more coherent and satisfying than they otherwise might have appeared, bringing his epic, anguished pop to a rarely seen level of perfection and depth. This unstinting dedication to the overarching vision was rewarded handsomely - artistically, at least.

                                  However, as might have been expected, his deluxe approach resulted in a bill too steep for any American or European label to ultimately support. It has since seemed unlikely that it would see the light of day on either side of the Atlantic. Yet we were determined not to allow Hayes' lifetime achievement to go unnoticed or let music fans across the world miss out on one of the finest albums of this century.

                                  A wide-eyed opus of stunning intensity, Fed oozes Hayes’ impeccable influences without ever becoming overwhelmed by them. Incredibly, it touches upon Blaxploitation soul, Boz Scaggs-soft-rock, hints of jazz and blues, timeless baroque and skewed pop. In one long minute, the stabbing, soulful "So Blind" moves through five different melodic segments; horns shift easily from haunting backdrop to explosive forefront, smoothly giving way to strings as Hayes' voice casts its bewitching spell. The ambitious soul of “Having It All” has been described as the diffident cousin of Marvin Gaye’s “Save The Children” whilst the breezy "Greyhound Bus Station" is pure 70s AM Gold, evoking the easy warmth of Jimmy Webb’s beloved Land’s End period. The sublime resignation of "No Education", a beautifully slow number that begins, "Never read a book in my life/ But I feel just fine" is post-rock ballad heaven. Arriving towards the end, the title track arrives as a majestic suite; moving from a horn-and-guitar-led instrumental via shifting melodies to Hayes’ compelling vocal bursts.

                                  An album of such brilliance, Fed can comfortably sit alongside such staggering statement pieces as David Bowie's Young Americans, Randy Newman's 12 Songs or Harry Nilsson's Nilsson Schmilsson. Indeed, for all the sprawling elements that went in - lengthy guitar builds, exploding horn sections, solemn strings, female backup chorus - it is a deeply personal and original record. Employing a distinct “more is more” aesthetic, he demonstrates remarkable restraint in producing an album of such intimacy. "My creation has drowned me," he memorably sings on languid opener "Whose Blues", yet he navigates the shifting styles and ideas with enviable ease.

                                  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

                                    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.

                                    TRACK LISTING

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

                                    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."


                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1 Here In Iowa
                                    2 November Rain 
                                    3 Here In Iowa (Peaking Lights Disco Dub) 
                                    4 Shine On


                                    Latest Pre-Sales

                                    191 NEW ITEMS

                                    Morning 🌤 @dinkededition number 117 incoming today at 11am. Keep em peeled 👀 https://t.co/zrUabprZi3 https://t.co/NhCysu2tpB
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                                    Happy Sunday everyone 🙌 The sun is out, the streets in the Northern Quarter are buzzing again and we have some Sund… https://t.co/5xaOaCtbqd
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