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EMOTIONAL RESCUE

Anyone who has followed Emotional Rescue knows it has always done a fine job of documenting punk and dub's early years, not least by showcasing the previously unheralded work of Skinbat Scramble. Now they back that up once more with a new compilation that puts together a selection of the band's previously unreleased recordings. It is a superb trip through a number of decades and finds core members Mark Eason and Fergus Crockford distilling slow tempos, experimental sounds, dub, and much more into leftfield rhythms for body and mind.

TRACK LISTING

Side 1
1. Submit
2. Submit (Dub)

Side 2
1. North By Northwest
2. North By Dub

Side 3
1. Skidaddle
2. Skidaddle (Daddy)

Side 4
1. Basement Voltaire
2. Pixie Boot (Dub)

Exo Fender

Big Mood - Incl. Justin Van Der Volgen Edit

The always hard working Emotional Rescue now unveils the electronic disco project Exo Fender, helmed by esteemed New York producer Eric Calvi and featuring the legendary Steve D'Acquisto. The remastered songs 'Big Mood' and 'Music In My Mind' span two new EPs, with updated edited versions by NYC producer Justin Van Der Volgen. Calvi's journey from Paris to New York's music scene in the 1980s when he engineered hits for artists like Cameo and Africa Bambaataa, and laid the groundwork for Exo Fender. Inspired by clubbing friendships, the project's infectious grooves and tongue-in-cheek nature gained club play and collector's acclaim, with Van Der Volgen's remix enhancing their timeless appeal for today's dancefloors.

TRACK LISTING

Big Mood
Big Mood (Justin Van Der Volgen Edit)

Exo Fender

Music In My Mind - Incl. Justin Van Der Volgen Edit

This is the second of two releases from Emotional Rescue that looks to the music of Eric Calvi who headed up the collective Exo Fender, a project that brought together a bunch of friends, producers, and studio amigos. This one is a live boogie jam with Brooklyn DJ and producer Steve D'Aquisto. He was a regal at The Loft and a friend of Arthur Russell so all that bears out in the music - a loose-limbed disco groove with languid percussion and big vocals. A Justin Van Der Volgen edit rounds out the 12".

TRACK LISTING

Music In My Mind
Music In My Mind (Justin Van Der Volgen Edit)

Die Radierer

Batman - Incl. Gary The Tall V Exotic Gardens Remix

Emotional Rescue takes another trip into the twisted world of post-punk dubs, electronics and oddities here at the hands of DJ, collector and radio host Gary The Tall. The original comes from German duo and new wave innovators Die Radierer whose pop-reggae jam 'Batman' is irresistibly catchy with its low-slung beats and lazy, sun-kissed melodies. It appeared on 1983's In Hollywood and was recorded at their home studio on a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder. Gary The Tall's remix finds him teaming up with Aaron Coyles under his new alias of Exotic Gardens and the results are loopy and dubbed out to perfection.

TRACK LISTING

Batman
Batman (Gary The Tall V Exotic Gardens Reversion)

Glen Ricks

Keep On Dancing - Incl. NAD Remixes

Emotional Rescue continues its love affair with Glen Ricks here by reissuing his solo debut release. 'Keep On Dancing' is a cult and hugely coveted cut that fuses disco and reggae in some style. Ricks had a first successful musical career in The Fabulous Flames then moved between Canada and Jamaica and eventually got stuck into music in earnest again in the Caribbean. He wrote this one with writer and producer Chris Stanley and it came out first on 7" in 1981, then on 12" a year later. It has a superbly soulful vocal and a groove full of subtle bump that is sure to bring joy to any dancefloor. Idjut Boys' Dan Tyler also adds his own spin under his NAD alias for a more heavy and dub-laden take.

TRACK LISTING

Keep On Dancing
Keep On Dancing (NAD Discomix)
Keep On Dancing (NAD Discodub)

Emotional Rescue's vital Konduko reissue series sadly comes to an end here with a look at the label's final years. In those days it moved away from reggae, disco and boogie towards an enduring electro sound that had a vast and lasting impact on the Miami scene. The biggest tune from that time was when Noel Williams linked with local songwriter Lawrence Dermer aka Der Mer for the track reissued here. 'Fall Out' soon became a hit with its driving electro-funk rhythms. The original sits next to the later Fresh '86" mix as well as a NAD disco mix from Dan Tyler, best known as one of the Idjut Boys. It's an irresistible package of body-popping electro with hooks for days.

STAFF COMMENTS

Mine says: The seemingly endless excavation of King Sporty by Emotional Rescue continues in earnest with "Fall Out" from 1986 nicely bolstered with a remix from Dan Idjuts under his NAD alias.

TRACK LISTING

"Fall Out"
"Fall Out" (Fresh '86)
"Fall Out" (NAD Discomix)

King Sporty / The Extra Funk Factory

Fantasy - Incl. Jonny Rock Remix

The last of the Konduko series from Emotional Rescue arrives now and quite possibly it is the best of the lot from Noel Williams. His 'Fantasy' saw him work with Larry Dermer aka Der Mer on what is an effective and catchy electro jam that operates at the higher end of the tempo chart with some classic vocoder vocal action to really make it pop. Despite being released originally in 1984 this one still bangs with its emulated TR-808 beats and nagging melodies. The instrumental heightens that and then the Jonny Rock Discomix shuts down with long-form rework that shows why the DJ, editor and all-round amiable bloke is so well regarded.

STAFF COMMENTS

Mine says: Just when you thought Emotional Rescue had mined all the King Sporty gold they go an unearth a fresh seam! Jonny Rock's on hand to add to its karat, very nice!

TRACK LISTING

Fantasy
Fantasy (Instrumental)
Fantasy (Jonny Rock Discomix)

Betty & The Code Red is a life and creative partnership between Benin-born Tunde Obazee and his girlfriend Betty. The pair grew up in Nigeria and would play all manner of instruments to entertain people at the local school before staying together as they went on to live in Italy and the US. Obazee performed at colleges and universities despite no formal training and eventually recorded a selection of tunes together including a small album on relatively new bits of gear like the Yamaha RX7. Emotional Rescue has collated some of their best work across two new EPs, this being one of them.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: I didn't need much convincing on this one! Funky world exotica driven by the RX7 and other similar pieces of classic hardware. Oozing soul and good vibes throughout, shut the curtains, get this on the deck and drift off into your own paradise.

TRACK LISTING

Akure
Is Wrong (Apartheid)
Cry Africa
Hard Working

There is always a good backstory to the music that Emotional Rescue releases and this EP is a case in point. It comes from Betty & The Code Red and Betty was the girlfriend of Tunde Obazee, a Nigerian-born artist who used music as a "non-violent tool to express his socio-political opinions on global injustice." The pair would entertain people on campus by playing anything they could get their hands on, informed by the old Edo folk songs they had grown up around. They went on to live in Italy and the US and start a family as well as lay down self-released songs that have become cult classics. A selection of them feature on this, the first of two EPs from the pair.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Second outing for this outfit this week. The story (above) is great isn't it? Love a good story me. Thankfully the music also delivers. Three sultry slices of electronic soul with a cheesy group hug on "Memories" to finish.

TRACK LISTING

Wishful Thinking
Na Wahala
Na My Life Be Dis
Memories

Group Du Jour was founded in Portland, Oregon in 1983 and have had a storied career spanning the decades since. They have always brought together live, ethnic, and electronic sounds with folk and modern pop, later getting ever more experimental. Early albums Forgotten Colors in 1986 and Wonderful Vision in 1988 are groundbreaking affairs, the latter of which gave rise to 'Motion Of Waves', which is something of a cult favourite for deep diggers. It is a rich instrumental groove that layers up synthesiser, flute, guitar and haunting vocals sitting over a brilliantly electric beat. The whole thing was a live one-take recording and is perfectly suited to both sunset and sunup moments of dancing pleasure.

STAFF COMMENTS

Mine says: Absolutely beautiful record by one of my favourite reissue labels, I especially love the percussion on this. Emotional Rescue always dig out the best stuff!

TRACK LISTING

"Motion Of Waves"
"Motion Of Waves" (Cassette Mix)
"We Travel Dark Waters"

Various Artists

Get It Right: Afro Dub Funk & Punk Of Recreational Records '81-‘82

The Emotional Rescue label has done a superb job of shining a light on the British post punk scene over the last decade or so. It now does so once more in fantastic fashion with a compilation of tunes from Bristol's short lived but much loved Recreational Records. The 10 tunes have been remastered and recut and they all sound as good now as ever. Highlights include X-Certs - 'Untogether' and Electric Guitar's 'Don't Wake The Baby' which sum up the collection perfect with their jangling dub rhythms, heavily treated vocals and oodles of delay all twisting your melon. This releases was included in Bandcamp's Essential Releases 2022.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Brilliant comp shining the spotlight on a lesser known Bristol label: Recreational Records. If you dug that "Spikey Dread" comp from way back in 2013, this one's for you!

TRACK LISTING

Side 1
Scream + Dance - In Rhythm (12" Mix)
Talisman - Wicked Dem (12" Mix)

Side 2
Animal Magic - Get It Right
X-Certs - Untogether
Electric Guitairs - Don't Wake The Baby

Side 3
Talisman - Run Come Girl (12" Mix)
Scream + Dance - Giacometti (Wicked Mix)

Side 4
Ivory Coasters - Mungaka Makossa
Animal Magic - Trash The Blad
Scream + Dance - In Pink & Black

Rare Silk

Storm - Incl. Arp Duppy Chip Mix

Emotional Rescue turn their attention to Rare Silk and their sublime cult classic "Storm". It's one of those rare tracks with a wonderful otherworldly quality that manages to be smooth and accessible, and somehow not like anything you've ever heard before. It must be somewhere in the mix, between the dreamy harmonized vocals, lush instrumentation and curious sense of space. The original on the A side is a treat enough, but then throw in a mercurial dubbed out version by Arp on the flip and you've got yourself a 10 inch portal to a most delightful dimension.

STAFF COMMENTS

Mine says: Much sought after repress of this delightful tune from 1985. A bit new age, a bit balearic, and well jazz-y this could be one of your new favourite Sunday afternoon listens. Looks pretty cool too...

TRACK LISTING

Storm
Storm (Arp Duppy Chip Mix)

King Sporty is something of a chameleonic artists, not that many people know. He started out int he 70s making reggae and soul 7"s, then moved into disco, boogie, hip-hop and electro 12"s during the 80s, and then when house music hit in the 90s he evolved once more. This new drop from Emotional Rescue takes a tune from that late era. 'Computer Music' is four to the floor with electro influences and a lazy break that pull you in deep. Far-sighted chords bring a serene sense of cosmic majesty while a filtered vocal adds space age vibes. A dub is included as well as the Universal Cave Discomix by the Philadelphia DJ and production crew. A retro-future EP indeed

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: King Sporty did an amazing job of traversing disco, hip-hop, house, electro and cosmic camps. "Computer Age" definitely lands in the electro category, but retains all the soul and human touches that would become familiar with this pivotal producer.

TRACK LISTING

Computer Age (Club Mix)
Computer Age (Dub Mix)
Computer Age (Universal Cave Discomix)

Noted reggae vocalist Barry Biggs comes under the Emotional Rescue microscope here with celebrated LA digger Patrick Billard aka DJ Duckcomb remixing one of his cuts. First up is the original version of 'Illusion' which has big pianos over the clean digital dub. The soaring vocal is obscured by plenty of lush effects and melodies. After a version twists and contorts the original, the DJ Duckcomb Discomix slows things down and ups the dazzling disco vibes but keeps the dub dubby bottom end to ensure plenty of dance floor impact. This is a classy one as ever from this label.

TRACK LISTING

Illusion
Illusion (Version)
Illusion (DJ Duckcomb Discomix)

King Sporty / Fashion Funktion

Sun Country - Incl. 40 Thieves Remix

Here comes Emotional Rescue and Konduko's last in their series of Noel Williams/King Sporty reissues, this time looking at later electro productions and the hip-hop/boogie influenced 'Sun Country'. Vocals and co-production come from Williams' long-time partner Betty Wright and as well as a vocal and instrumental mix there's a longform remix by Bay Area disco dub stalwarts, 40 Thieves.

By this point in his career, the godfather of Miami Bass had travelled a long way from his Jamaican roots in reggae and soul, paying homage to the warm climbs of the Sunshine State and laying down a much copied template using the TR-808 drum machine create the electronic emulations of the breakbeat, claps accenting the backbeat and trademark low frequencies shaking the floorboards. The instrumental stretches the arrangement, emphasising the interplay between electronics, bass, vocal samples, scratching and fx, the voice transformed into a percussive element in its own right. The flip sees 40 Thieves flexing their understated understanding of electro funk, making for a rounded, generation-jumping package.

TRACK LISTING

Sun Country
Sun Country (Instrumental)
Sun Country (40 Thieves Disco Mix)

As one of the finest and most stylishly eclectic labels out there, you never know where Emotional Rescue will go next. This time out they head into a world of Afro-cosmic, a scene initially pioneered by early and groundbreaking Italian DJ Danielle Baldelli. Boyake's 1990 gem 'Ethno Groove' stands out as a classic of the genre and joins the dots between the early house and techno sounds that were sweeping Italy with new age ideals, Afro drums and chunky tribal percussion next to Balearic synths. It features syncopated analogue beats and live percussion and as well as the original, this 12" features two of the further mixes that came in 1994. All are heady, head-turning and mind-melting pumpers.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: A proper Baldelli-endorsed thumper from a surprisingly later period than the cosmic hayday. This feels like it was pulled straight from those original Cosmic Club mixtapes, but actually came some 7 years later.

TRACK LISTING

Ethno Groove
Ethno Groove (New Age To Bokaye Mix)
Ethno Groove (Double Beat Explosion Mix)
Ethno Groove (Tribal Mix)

The Vision

Far Away: 6 Songs Of Reggae & Dub Music

Emotional Rescue looks to the newly rebuilt but still very much culturally separate East and West Germany of the 1980s with this new EP. It's dub reggae through a post-punk and alternative lens by Hanover artists Felix Holter aka Dubvisionist. All these cuts have a very live, improvised feel because father way he worked from rhythms first and jammed endlessly before adding the vocals. They are taken from their 1987 release 10 Tracks Of Reggae & Dub Music which was inspired by the great Adrian Sherwood label On-U Sound label, and you can hear that clearly.

TRACK LISTING

Side 1
1. "Far Away"
2. "Different Language"
3. "Whirl"

Side 2
1. "Natty Vision"
2. "Fear"
3. "No 4"

The Konduko 7" series ends with the 4th and possibly best single with Noel Williams aka King Sporty's cover version of Bob Marley's "Them Belly Full", here released as "Dance To The Music".

First released on the Natty Dread album of 1974, it was Marley's first album working away from Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer and was a spiritually charged political and social statement, also featuring classics "No Women, No Cry", "Lively Up Yourself" and "Rebel Music".

As an associate and friend from their Studio One days, William's version makes sense, in the tradition of covers throughout reggae's history. Appearing a year late, the 1975 single came in Jamaican and US pressings, a nod to Konduko's roots, having started in Kingston before the move to Miami in the earlier part of the decade.

A warning against allowing the poor to go hungry, with the prophetic 'a hungry mob is an angry mob', the cover includes a lot of the Miami feel Sporty was incorporating. With instrumentation again from the Ocean Liners KC And Sunshine backing band, the horns and guitar raise the soul, with counter keys, Part 1 is a straight vocal, while Part 2 is close to a Version but more than an instrumental and in its title, shows its funk and soul background too. A perfect end to the series, the uplifting tracking belies the powerful message, bringing the Miami swing to the JA groove once more. 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: More from King Sporty's early period with a riotous cover of Bob Marley's "Them Belly Full". One of two releases on Konduko this week - both essential collectors items and strong relics of reggae-crossover history.

TRACK LISTING

Side 1
1. Dance To The Music (part 1)
Side 2
1. Dance To The Music (part 2) 

The second 7" in the Konduko series reissues this mega-rarity, Noel Williams aka King Sporty's own version of Bob Marley's Concrete Jungle. The connection between Marley and Williams was long-standing, both living in the tenements of West Kingston and gaining their musical foundations as part of the Studio One, that would reach fruition when they later co-wrote Buffalo Soldier together.

Clement Dodd's organisation was more than a label, running a sound system, studio, pressing plant and its own distribution. As Deejay on the system and later releasing his debut single on the label, William's learnt his craft, taking this knowledge to Miami and replicating much - expanding the Konduko label to encompass studio, plant and distribution.

First recorded with Lee Perry, Marley's 1971 original was famously rerecorded for The Wailers move to Island Records and their 1973 album, Catch A Fire. Here, a rare Williams' vocal is backed with horns atop a reggae-funk groove. The songs message of struggle is universal and everlasting, even with a touch of Miami swing.

This is backed by Young Girl, a single in its own right, from the same period. A rocksteady, breakbeat shuffle bely the songs roots in late 60s soul, with a powerful counterpoint vocal from wife and partner, Betty Wright. A collector's item itself, together they are essential.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: One of two King Sporty 7"s in this week. Hard to pick a favourite - they're both killer. And so nice to see his pre-disco evolution from Jamaica, to Miami and with more reggae focussed stylings from what would flavour his later discography. The Bob Marley and Lee Perry connection also makes these two 7"s highly desirable.

TRACK LISTING

Side 1
1. Concrete Jungle 
Side 2
1. Young Girl

The 3rd part (of 4) collating the music of International Noise Orchestra, Marching In Time 3 again highlights the breath of music this mainly studio project presented between 1987 and 1991.

Starting with The Atlantic Swimmer, Richard Strange leads with his ubiquitous punk poet delivery across pure late0s Balearics. Out on his own, sport or ambition, all atop strident guitar, one drop; funk drum and bass interplay.

The global music anthem Far Away is the first of 3 tracks by alias Internationales Gerauschorchester. Flowing like street soul remixes of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, as Rama Mani's vocals envelop and rise above the syncopation meets world love.

On the flip, the band shows their rock roots of Gimme More Lovin'. The vocal sees Strange in tandem with founders the Gemini Brothers behind the desk, as Ulrich on keys and Wolfgang on guitar let it all swing.

Finally, when you have a floating ensemble featuring master percussionists from the Indian sub-continent in Ramesh Shotham, R. A. Rajagopal, T. A. S. Man and T. N. Shashikumar then I Speak Your Body Electric with it's hazy, cosmic mid-tempo lure and the closing instrumental of eastern melodics of Veena Via Video, all ends in perfection.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Volume 3 of ERC's INO retrospective lands, showcasing the hyperactive brilliance of the group to the fullest. Cosmic rock, Fairlight funk, DX7 fusion, Konnakol dub and sitar drama all tumble together in the INO mixing bowl!

TRACK LISTING

A1. The Atlantic Swimmer
A2. Far Away
B1. Listen/Gimme More Lovin
B2. I Speak Your Body Electric
B3. Veena Via Video

Emotional Rescue presents the 2nd EP (of 4) highlighting the music of International Noise Orchestra. Centered around Ulrich Hornberg and Wolfgang Sperner, aka producers Gemini Brothers, this world "supergroup" released 5 LPs and 2 EPs in just 4 years.

Again showcasing their rhythm, calm and power, a metaphysical, real sensitivity and intellectualism, all wrapped around the groove. Starting with their own instrumental remix of Gimme Move Lovin', this little known 12" B side has long been a play for "heads" and allows the band's Pop Balearic, esoteric meets electronics to shine, layering Fairlight samples over a funky bass 4/4 around some '88 Amnesia pool dive.

Next the anthem, Yeh Naina Yaad Hai, as Asha Bhosle's beautiful vocals from the Manzil Manzil soundtrack, are mixed with drum machines to create a dream Bollywood meeting.

Again side two features 3 songs and starts like EP 1 with Glynnis Thomas (Savage Progress) vocals, now atop a sax laden Synth Pop brain, mind and body dance. Alias, Internationales Gerauschorchester offer wonderful jazz leanings for A Lulu A Bobe Danz, where the "bop" takes a leftfield embrace. To close then, Mr Richard Strange returns, invoking The Driving Force, returning to the idiosyncratic, percussive Earthbeat. Listen!

TRACK LISTING

A1. Gimme More Lovin (instrumental Muezzin Mix)
A2. Yeh Naina Yaad Hai
B1. Sick Of Love
B2. A Lulu A Bobe Danz
B3. Listen To The Earthbeat/The Driving Force

The King & City reissue series continues with Paul Robinson's disco boogie jam Come On Sister. Moving from the Lovers sound of his early productions, his first solo recording was aimed straight at the blues, clubs and pirate stations of South London and beyond - a prolific artist on the rise.

Appearing as a 13 year old protegee drummer in The Simeons, recording for the legendary Freedom Sounds label out of Kingston; to forming the influential Roots / Lovers Rock outfit One Blood; then vocalist in the Nick Straker Band; and through to a 30 year career as "dubplate" producer / singer Barry Boom, Robinson is a man of talents and serious legacy.

This highly sought after debut, part of Neville King and Lee Laing's family of labels, followed releases in One Blood and productions for female Lovers groups Blood Sisters and Charisma. A pure disco boogie party cut, Come On Sister sees the Robinson family hit the Brit funk.

In label style, the flip is given the Discomix treatment, here by up and coming digger, dealer and producer, Bruno (Perfect Lives). Letting the horns, dub bass and drums build in anticipation before the keys and guitar join and it all drops to Robinson's vocals - Come On Sister.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Come On Sister
A2. Come On Sister (instrumental)
B1. Come On Sister (Bruno Discomix) 

Taking a turn to some of its roots, Emotional Rescue offers a reissue of Ramjac Corporation's UK house/breaks anthem Cameroon Massif!. First released on the increasingly cult-status Irdial Discs in 1990, this was very much the sound of the big bang explosion of Acid House morphing and splintering, as subsequent multi-genres developed, formed, imploded and reformed in new ways that still subsists today.

Within the melting pot of anything goes, chemically-enhanced optimism that spread across the UK during that return to the summers of love from 1987 onwards, the nascent sounds coming from Chicago and Detroit were mixed with a hybrid of 80s British influences, taking in European synth pop, US electro, new beat, hip hop and reggae. Out of this appeared a new sound, mixing that love of techno and house with dub bass and break beats into a proto-jungle swirl. Like many growing up through the ever-evolving 60, 70s & 80s British music scene, Paul Chivers' early years of learning piano and guitar, moved from Beatles era pop to take in punk, jazz and anything an eager musical mind could explore.

Developing a long-term interest and study of Cuban and Afro-drumming, his acquisition of an Atari and sampler soon moved to programming of both drum machines and TB303 and with that, Ramjac Corporation was born. Playing live at some of the earliest raves in 1988, as often through luck and "right time, right place", including the infamous Back To The Future and Energy parties, Ramjac went from playing from 50 to 10,000 ravers in a matter of months, as the nation was gripped, depending on your cultural standing, by either a mixture of drug apocalypse paranoia or ecstatic celebration. It was a meeting with Akin Fernandez, founder of Irdial Discs, that led some of the first studio experiments and creation of Cameroon Massif!.

TRACK LISTING

Side 1

1. "Cameroon Massif!" (Massive Mix)
2. "Cameroon Massif!" (Massing Mix)

Side 2

1. "Cameroon Massif!" (live At The Brain 09 Mix)


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