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FREESTYLE RECORDS

Elvis Veira was born on the Carribean island of Nevis and moved to England alongside his pianist and music teacher mother at the age of 2, quickly becoming profficient on piano, guitar & bass by the time he was in his early teens. His love for playing music and singing in choirs propelled him on this musical journey, and his late teens to 20s saw him supporting top acts such Heatwave, Wham, Second Image, Katrina and the Waves, Mezzo Forte, Chris Rea, Shakatak and many others.

In 1983 he started working under the alias VeiraKrew, and a couple of years later in 1985 laid down this 12" at Bedford's Thatch Cottage Studio on a shoe-string budget. Backed up with the title-track's killer instrumental version and the b-side "Welcome to a Dream" it was self-released by Elvis on a x1000 run (since becoming quite the collectors item, with clean copies changing hands for up to £150 a piece).

Following the release of Sexy Lady, Elvis continued playing and working as a session musician and vocalist, going on to release a further 12" in 1988 signing to Stevie V's Beatbox International label for the house-inflected track "Good Stuff". Fast forwarding to present day, Elvis has had some time away from music but is now back actively playing and producing, alongside working with the OMG (Outreach Music Group) - helping to provide support and music therapy within the NHS.

TRACK LISTING

1. Sexy Lady
2. Sexy Lady (Instrumental)
3. Welcome To A Dream

A mainstay of the UK's reggae, soul, funk & rock circuits since the early 1970s, Eddie Capone has played with a diverse and revered collection of acts; Chairmen of the Board, The Foundations, Black Velvet, The Elgins, Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come, Arthur Lee's Love, Billy Preston and Edwin Starr to name but a few. Eddie was also part of short-lived group Casablanca, with David Costa & Barry Clarke of early 70's folk-rockers Trees, signed to Elton John's Rocket Record Company.

Eddie founded the Treatment band in the early 1980s bringing in a revolving cast of singers and players, and created the Treatment Records imprint out of his own Black Rock studio in South East London in 1982. Releasing a string of singles - with efforts from Eddie Capone's Treatment, a side-project with singer Beryl Marsden as Salt & Pepper, and a single from Norwegian group Wave - Treatment Records then followed this up in 1985 with the 12" release of "I Won't Give You Up" with Diane Jones brought in on vocal duties for what has since become a much sought-after slice of UK boogie-funk, and backed up with the sublime "We Would Like To Spend Some Time With You". I Won't Give You Up picked up decent support pre-release with favourable reviews in Echoes, plays from Tony Blackburn on his BBC Radio London slot, and regular club rotation - though the label's distributor started having from problems at the time of release which put paid to any further progress.

Treatment Records continued through the 1980s through to early 1990s releasing Eddie's music, both as a solo artist and as part of collaborative side-projects, and Eddie has continued to write, perform and produce music from his home studio right through to the present day. As a committed community figure & activist in South East London, Eddie has since 2014 re-started Treatment Records under the name of 3G Treatment - bringing together three generations of people from the local area to ensure young artists & musicians have access to the expertise and experience of their elders for support and encourage successful careers in the industry.

TRACK LISTING

1. I Won't Give You Up (feat. Diane Jones)
2. We Would Like To Spend Some Time With You

"Good music never dies!"

This was Diane Ellis' mantra when she set out to produce this, her first record, in 1979. She recalls hearing the Rose Royce classic Love Don't Live Here Anymore on the radio and instantly thinking it would make for a great reggae cover, immediately envisioning the sound she was looking for. Drafting in the legendary Boris Gardiner and vocalist Sharon Forrester they created this timeless version of a perennial classic - now available here in it's full extended discomix glory for the first time on 12" since it's original outing, and backed with hornsman cut placing Dean Fraser's sax front row center.

The record was made when Ellis was studio manager for the world-famous Tuff Gong studios, but wanted her outing as a record producer to be a totally independent venture - gaining the great Bob Marley & the TG team's blessings in the process. And so Aquarius Studio in Half Way Tree was where it was all laid-down. Diane credits the Legendary owner and pioneering producer, Herman Chin Loy, as also being of great help on the record, providing a guiding ear throughout the process.

Despite this the evident strength of this first production, Ellis would follow up with only one other production, Junior Tucker's cover of "One of the Poorest People" (this time one recorded at Tuff Gong studios, and releasing the 56 Hope Road subsidiery). While both records performed well on local radio and charts, Diane exited the music industry shortly after. Now 43 years later, Diane is overjoyed her production is having a comeback, saying that "the support and love felt during the project can never be replicated, and I give thanks to all who supported then and now".

TRACK LISTING

1. Love Don't Live Here Anymore
2. Love Don't Live Here Version (feat. Dean Fraser)

Highway Motion

Clap Hands / Double O One Disco

Freestyle dig out another rarity in the form of a DIY brit-funk 7" from Highway Motion aka David Humphrey (a session drummer who played with Sparks, and with PiL on the iconic Metal Box LP & Death Disco 12"). Tinged with raw post-punk edge and 70s library music-style synth leads, this 45 is quite simply massive amounts of fun.

David Humphrey's professional career as a drummer began aged 19 with Public Image Ltd, providing some of the drum tracks on their iconic Metal Box album and Death Disco single. Humphrey would then go on to work with Mike Oldfield and then Sparks, playing with the latter on their Number One Song in Heaven tour, Top of The Pops and recording sessions for Beat the Clock and Tryouts for the Human Race (those sessions were included and featured in Edgar Wright's recent film The Sparks Brothers).

In 1980, Clap Hands and Double O One Disco were recorded under the name 'Highway Motion' - intended by Humphrey as "raw experimental tracks" they were both laid down on a 4-track and subsequently released on the DIY Star Records imprint. Rough, grooving, candid and playful; these two tracks seem to somehow simultaneously meld the burgeoning brit-funk sound of the early 80s with a riotous post-punk edge, along with a good dollop of synth-led library music.

Following it's release David formed the group Reflex, recording and releasing the Funny Situation 7" in 1981 - forming the only other title in the Star Records catalogue. A more straight-up brit-funk dancer yet still pressed and sold in small quantities, Funny Situation became a sought-after record on the second hand collector's market, and finally saw reissue last September 2020 on the start-up Paint A Picture label - garnering plays from from Gilles Peterson on BBC 6 Music and Worldwide FM, StreetSounds radio and reaching No 1 in Juno records Chart. David has now started to working on new music using the name Davey H, and released his first new material in decades recently on Six Nine Records.

TRACK LISTING

1. Clap Hands
2. Double O One Disco

Spoilsports

You Gotta Shout / Love And Romance

Freestyle Records reissue a DIY 7" from 1980 by short-lived all-female group Spoilsports. Existing at the intersection of post-punk, jazz-rock and modern soul - these two political yet playful numbers were laid down by a band formed from a range of players active in London's feminist and improvised music scenes at the time, and represent the groups only recordings.

Spoilsports began in 1979 with the aim of having an all-female band that could be actively feminist and playful at the same time, with an eye toward gaining an appeal beyond that of the wider women's lib movement of the time. The line-up originally consisted of Carole Nelson on keys, Angele Veltmeijer on saxophone, Sheelagh Way on drums, Lesley Shone on bass, Isabel on congas and with Laka Koq providing vocals. After a short while this would become just Carole, Angele & Sheila - with Ruth Bitelli being brought in on bass, and Barbara Stretch topping things off on vocals. The band played at Gay Pride '79 in Hyde Park, a Women's Music Festival in Neimegen, Holland; lots of benefits, and maintained a weekly residency at The Earl of Aberdeen in Mile End (now sadly demolished).

Unfortunately the group lasted only 18 months or so all in all, and this is their first and last record - in fact, they intentionally laid it down to tape in order to provide a memory of the group before they called it a day, and we are so glad they did! Recorded in Pimlico's Archipelago Studios in the same year that Elvis Costello would record his album Get Happy there, the original 7" gained a review in the NME, whom dubbed it "a cross between Steely Dan and The Joy of Cooking".

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Nice curveball ear-grabber from this all-female group which kicked hard and stood up for what they believed in. Their only single and it's beautifully! Summery, soulful, well voiced and well lyricized - I love it!

TRACK LISTING

1. You Gotta Shout
2. Love And Romance

Freestyle puts out another reissue 12" in their drive to unearth rare and classic UK funk, soul & boogie records - this time a much needed pressing of the late Candy McKenzie's heavy boogie-funk cover of Patrice Rushen's classic Remind Me. Produced by Candy's late cousin, and seasoned session bass player, John McKenzie (and licensed from the family estate) this was originally released in 1983 - and comes with an excellent dubbed-out 'Different Style' instrumental version on the flip.

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Candy McKenzie (1953-2003) was a North West London-based vocalist from a Guyanese family heavily steeped in musicianship . She began learning the piano at a young age, picking up vocal harmony from her father, a jazz bass player. Her brothers Bunny & Binky, were also celebrated bassists.

Candy would marry young in 1970 at the age of 17, though just one year later her brother Binky (who played with the likes of Cream, Alexis Korner & John Mclaughlin in the late 60s) tragically took the lives of her mother and father, along with Candy's husband in an attack at the family home to which Candy was present. Candy was also injured but escaped with her life.

In the years that followed the tragedy Candy, regularly accompanied by her brother Bunny, would find reggae vocal session work - often at the Chalk Farm Studios frequented by many key producers & acts. She found her way onto Aswad's first album and Keith Hudson's legendary Flesh Of My Skin Blood Of My Blood LP - and a little while later on a couple of sessions with Bob Marley for Island, under the supervision of Lee Perry.

The latter two parties took a keen interest in Candy, with Island wisking her away to Jamaica in 1977 to record an album at the legendary Black Ark. Her vocals found their way onto The Congos seminal Heart of the Congos LP, but the album she recorded with Perry was shelved - with just the Black Art holy grail 12" Disco Fits / Breakfast in Bed finding it's way to release at the time.

Back in London, Candy spent the early to mid 80s recording various lovers and funk/soul 12"s, including this fantastic cover of Patrice Rushen's Remind Me, produced by her cousin John. She went on to record singles for labels like Elite & Cooltempo throughout the '80s and early '90s, and appeared as backing vocalist with the likes of Leonard Cohen, Whitney Houston, Elton John and Diana Ross. She passed away in 2003, with her one and only album recorded at the Black Ark finally seeing release on Trojan in 2011.

Candy's cousin John McKenzie got his starts in the music industry in the mid 70s as part of prog group Man and communal festival rockers Global Village Trucking Co., as well as playing with the likes of Annette Peacock and Steve Hillage. His father Mike McKenzie was also a key Carribbean jazz figure in the UK throughout the early 1950s, through to the '60s and '70s. John would become a heavily in-demand session musician - playing with everyone from the Eurhythmics to Bob Dylan - while also finding time to produce this record, alongside a couple of excellent 12"s with Mel Gaynor as Finesse, between 1982 and '83. He would regularly tour the world as a live musician for a huge array of headline acts, appearing on multiple chart hits, and in his later years was a member of the excellent group Ibibio Sound Machine. He lost his battle with cancer in 2020.

This reissue is dedicated to the memory of both John & Candy McKenzie.

TRACK LISTING

1. Remind Me
2. Remind Me (Different Style)

Freestyle digs deep to reissue this rare UK boogie 12" by Take Three, originally released back in 1983. Forming the first drop in a new reissue directive from the label, focused primarily on unearthing rare and classic UK funk, soul & boogie.

Fronted by former South London lovers rock vocal harmony group, Alpha (sisters Jackie & Jean Heron and Marlene Richardson), Take Three was the brain-child of writer/producer trio "S.H.E." - Steve Sinclair, Peter Hinds & Kevin Ellis.

Meeting each other at The Factory community centre in Paddington (now known as the Yaa Asantewa centre and in the last few years, The Yaa Centre) Steve & Kevin began a partnership writing and directing their own theatre productions as part of The Black Theatre Co-Op, which called the centre home at the time. When a song they had written together for one of their productions received praise and plaudits, the path toward writing and producing records began, bringing in more seasoned hand Peter Hinds - formerly a member of key brit funk groups Light of the World and Beggar & Co, and player with Incognito, Imagination & Loose Ends - to complete the circle.

The Tonight's the Night 12" was pressed up on their own label Fast Forward with distribution provided by Andy Sojka's Blackmarketing, and would be the first commercial outing for a creative partnership that would spawn multiple projects/aliases spanning the UK soul, funk & dance scenes, and still continues to this day.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Re-issue of a ultra rare disco twelve, Tonight's The Night! Pasta has already nabbed one after holding out for so long without, now you don't have to pay an eye watering amount for this absolute tune!

TRACK LISTING

1. Tonight's The Night (Extended Version)
2. Tonight's The Night (Allright) [New York Dance Mix]
3. Breakers Night

Lance Ferguson

Got Myself A Good Man / Mango Meat

Lance Ferguson is back for a killer follow-up 7" to his second volume of classic re-works and re-imaginings, Rare Groove Spectrum Vol. 2 - released on Freestyle in late January on LP, CD and digital formats.

We just couldn't resist putting this take on Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers cover of Gladys Knight's Got Myself a Good Man on a 45. Keeping true to the source, yet somehow simultaneously sounding like no-one else, this version is 100% guaranteed to put a spring in the step of any crowd as the sun starts gradually to come out from hiding. Aside from the faithfully executed and expertly recorded drum-track, which sits pretty higher up in the mix than it's precursor, the star of this particular show comes midway through when Lance's lilting and sun-kissed guitar solo comes gliding in. If you can't move to this, even just a little bit, then you might actually be lacking a pulse. Backing things up is the undeniable latin-funk strut of Mandrill's Mango Meat. Given an instrumental work-out here with Remco Keijer's Flute and Daniel Mougerman's keys putting in work over a heavy-as-lead rhythm section, those delectable salsa-inflicted horns upping the spice levels.

Lance's work across the Rare Groove Spectrum series can often be looked on as something akin to a "live re-edit" on the originals, at times switching up sections or extending the groove. These two choice cuts however are a masterclass in subtly teasing out some of the original elements on the tracks that really make them work on a dance-floor, and bringing those to the fore while retaining 100% respect for the OG arrangements.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Ultra funky 7" here to help those feel good vibes flow, covers of some classics Lance Ferguson always delivers with the goods putting his own spin on it.

TRACK LISTING

1. Got Myself A Good Man
2. Mango Meat

Following a move to London and an immersion in the city's deep house scene, Dan Berkson's subsequent rediscovery of his earliest musical foundations and the drawing of inspiration from London's buzzing contemporary jazz scene would lead to Dialogues - an accomplished and rewarding body of work pulled together during his final days in London before relocation to California.

"It was inevitable that Dan Berkson would make a jazz album like Dialogues: joyful, danceable, entertaining, driven by the pleasure principle, and filled with virtuosity. It represents Berkson's experiences in London, where jazz is a living, breathing, dancing scene. It's his love letter to the city, bristling with British talent such as bassist Andrea di Biase (Heidi Vogell, Maria Chiara Argiro, Bruno Heinen) and drummer Jon Scott (Kairos 4Tet, Sons Of Kemet, Mulatu Astatke) and recorded in his final days in the city before relocating to California. It's also rich with history: the musical journey that brought him to this point covers almost 40 years and 4,000 miles.

Berkson received lessons from Chicago boogie-woogie veteran Erwin Helfer - who in turn had learned alongside foundational legends such as Mahalia Jackson and Glover Compton. In 2001 he came to the UK, throwing himself into the deep house scene of East London, his duo with James What signing to Steve Bug's legendary Poker Flat.

But eventually he felt that he'd achieved what he could in the house format. Rediscovering the piano and discovering that jazz provided him the opportunity to keep learning, he enrolled in Trinity College in South London just as South London's jazz scene was exploding into the public consciousness.

Dialogues is a jazz album, not an electronic one – but all the groove-based influences, from the rootsy blues and ragtime of his youth, through the funk he played at college and the house he imbibed in London can be heard, as can his love of the studio as an instrument and mixdowns that suit a club soundsystem. Detroit dons Theo Parrish and Moodymann are every bit as important to this record as Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Keith Jarrett, Ornette Coleman, Jimmy Giuffre, and Herbie Hancock. There's 50s and 60s cool modernism (just listen to the elegant ripples of "Sketches"), there's 70s funk fusion ("Unity" kicks things off with a spring in its step), and of course there's the pumping blues heart of "Live Bait". Above all else, though, it's a personal document: a life of music and collaboration crystalised in a magical, transitional moment. Where Dan goes next musically is as uncertain as anything in these times... but this one record tells you everything you need to know about where he's been."

TRACK LISTING

1. Unity
2. Momentum
3. Maggie's Last Day
4. Live Bait (For Dave Wickins)
5. Remember Me
6. Sketches
7. The Court


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