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MELODIES INTERNATIONAL

Laurie Spiegel / Olof Dreijer

Melodies Record Club #002: Ben UFO Selects

The second instalment of Melodies Record Club 12"s is curated by none other than all round uber-DJ Ben UFO so you'd best sit up and pay attention.
The Hessle don drops a little science on our ass here with two total staples from his DJ sets, neither were originally produced with a club setting in mind, which is why they’ve never been available in this format before.
On one side, we have “Drums” from Laurie Spiegel’s 1980 experimental electronics album “The Expanding Universe”, a collection of tracks produced between 1974 and 1976 using a computer playing the actual sounds by controlling analog synthesis equipment under control of the GROOVE hybrid system developed by Max Matthews and F.R. Moore at Bell Labs. Drums is a percussive seven minute computer generated workout inspired by Laurie’s interest in African and Indian musics, and which brings to mind the most far out kosmiche music of the period to modern day techno. A connection Ben has tried to make explicit by including it in his first BBC essential mix back in 2013.
On the flip we have a track by Olof Dreijer from the Swedish band the Knife who’s work you might also be familiar with under the moniker Oni Ayhun. Back in 2009 his artist friend Adnan Yildiz curated an exhibition called “THERE IS NO AUDIENCE” in Montethermoso, dedicated to public imagination. Adnan commissioned a single piece from Olof called “Echoes from Mamori”, that played on loop during the exhibition and was subsequently released only on CD. A contemporary piece more clearly indebted to house music, Olof built the track around arpeggios generated using sounds of frogs he recorded in the Amazon and birds around Berlin, fed into a sampler.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: In case you're still missing the memo, Ben UFO is pretty much as good as DJs get, so the opportunity for two of his secret weapons on one 12" is especially tasty. On the A-side we get hypnotic, tribal electronics from Laurie Spiegel - think alternative kosmische for the club, while the flip sees Olof Dreijer (of The Knife / Oni Ayhun fame) turn out a masterpiece of techno-tropical, Afro-electronix joy.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Laurie Spiegel - Drums
B1. Olof Dreijer - Echoes From Mamori

Melodies International are happy to announce the long-awaited reissue of three of the most desired records from the ‘modern soul’ scene.

Privately recorded in the Detroit area between ’73 and ’78, and scarcely distributed since, the rare ‘Aged In Harmony’ 7”s have become highly sought after and much revered by soul enthusiasts around the world. The unique vibrations emanating from these very special records have resonated at the heart of the Melodies label since it’s conception, originally prompting the birth of the internationally acclaimed “You’re A Melody” party and forever inspiring generations of soul collectors to dig that little bit deeper.

All originally written, arranged and produced by Arnold Moore, the six recordings bring together Strings, Vocals, Guitars, Synths, Horns and Drums for the perfect marriage of textures; each track contributing it’s own individual energy to the warming aura which surrounds the whole collection. There’s something about these compositions that draws you closer to anyone in your vicinity - trust me.

After lovingly remastering these gems in conjunction with their creator, Melodies are proud to present the masterpieces together as a set for the very first time, accompanied by the second edition of the label’s very own Melozine, which features an exclusive interview with Arnold himself, amongst much, much more…

TRACK LISTING

7" One (MEL2)
You’re A Melody
You’re A Melody (Extended Disco)

7" Two (MEL3)
I Feel Like Dancin’
Theme For Someone Special

7" Three (MEL4)
Trust Me
Dance Awhile

Jackie McLean & Michael Carvin + Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath

Melodies Record Club 001: Four Tet Selects

“Melodies Record Club”, a string of DJ and artist curated mini compilations in loud 12” format. The first instalment was put together by Four Tet, selecting two big peak-time Jazz tracks he used to spin regularly at Plastic People.

On one side, we’ve got all time jazz greats Jackie McLean and Michael Carvin’s De I Comahlee Ah, taken from their seminal album Antiquity recorded in Denmark back in 1975. A year and a half ago, we visited Steeplechase, the original label in the outskirts of Copenhagen. They informed us that at the time, the track was cut short as it didn’t fit on the full LP. They were kind enough to provide us with the tape of the full original recording, allowing us to release for the first time the full extended version capturing twelve and a half minutes of studio magic. Speaking with Michael back in November, he told us that every song on that album was recorded without any overdubs. They had taken their shoes off and organised the studio in such a way that they could move from instrument to instrument during the take (!!)

On the flip, we have Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath – MRA. Back in 70s London, the Brotherhood had brought together musicians who had sought refuge from South Africa’s apartheid regime and the best of a new generation of British jazz musicians. Music journalist Richard Williams, who had originally reviewed the band in the 1970s tell us: “They made music that appealed in equal measure to the head, the heart and the feet, taking the jazz legacy of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus and adding to it the fantastic dance rhythms and gorgeous harmonies of the townships and untethered collective improvisations of the new free music”.

Four Tet’s instalment is out early May in 12” format and digitally (stream & download), first press comes with a folded A2 insert with words from and about the artists. Graphic design by Studio ChoqueLeGoff, illustration and animation by Nevil Bernard and for the audiophiles out there, remastered and cut at half speed by Matt Colton at Metropolis Studios!

The second instalment curated by Ben UFO is scheduled shortly, which will be followed over time by a string of releases including selections from Hunee, Mafalda, Floating Points, Anya & Julia from Javybz, Daphni, Josey Rebelle, Charlie Bones, Gilles Peterson… and more, stay tuned!

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Time to get your Jazz on, Four Tet Selects these absolute gems for the first instalment and it doesn't disappoint! Bring on the rest I say... more jazz, more jazz!

TRACK LISTING

A1. Jackie McLean & Michael Carvin – De I Comahlee Ah (extended)
B1. Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath - MRA

La'verne Washington

The Promise / I Found What I’ve Been Searching For

Melodies International are glad to be back with their latest reissue, a couple undercover soul gems from the Midwest originally self-released in 1984: La’Verne Washington’s “The Promise and “I Found What I’ve Been Searching For”. 

TRACK LISTING

A1. The Promise
B1. I Found What I’ve Been Searching For

Synchrojack

Daylight

    Originally from Portsmouth in the UK, Synchrojack is a London based production duo formed by Dean Slydell and Greg Wheeler in the mid 90s. Both deeply into records and production gear, they connected through figuring out how to set up a shared studio in Dean’s parents’ home and starting to produce electronic music in their late teens.

    They were completely taken over by the sounds of Detroit and Chicago that were getting imported at the time. Starting out trying to emulate those sounds they loved, tracks by Model 500, Glenn Underground, Lil Louis, Steve Poindexter and Mike Dunn among many others, what came of Dean and Greg’s sessions wasn’t a carbon copy but their own distinctive sound.

    They began releasing on Russ Gabriel’s mythical UK label Ferox records in 1995 and would go on to release a string of releases throughout the 90s, using the moniker Downlink as well. Melodies International now presents two tracks by Synchrojack, one from each of their two first EPs released on Ferox, both in 1995.

    Above anything, what’s clear listening to Synchrojack is their deep love, knowledge and appreciation for music and their talent as producers, channeling their many influences into their own sound. "Daylight" is a bouncy, stripped back drum heavy banger that just steams ahead with percussive synth patterns and a hypnotic deep bassline while "900th Lifetime" brings a dramatic sci-fi vibe reminiscent of some of the best out of Detroit.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Wowweeee! Where's Sam pulling these from?! The Floating Point-headed label turns its attention to classic, but rare as hen's teeth house music; queue massive applause and adoration from moi. Winner.

    TRACK LISTING

    A: Daylight
    B: 900th Lifetime 

    Hanna

    I Needed / Intercession, On Behalf

      Melodies International’s 18th release and it’s a biggie, presenting two of their favourite tracks by Chicago based house virtuoso Warren Harris aka Hanna: I Needed / Intercession, On Behalf. Blending deep house vibes with broken beat, soulful vocals creates this dancefloor anthem.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Sil says: Hanna is back. I have a Hanna 12", it is called 'Time'. I bought it after someone played at Sankey's one night. Unadultered soulful American deep house. The formula is tried and proven to work. Nothing new here but plenty of quality for y'all!

      Crustation

      Flame (Mood II Swing Remixes)

        Melodies International reissue the two highly sought after remixes from New York house legends Mood II Swing" of "Flame" by Crustation - atrip-hop group from Bristol formed by Ian Dark, Stig Manley, Mark Tayler and singer BronaghSlevin

        The vocal mix of "Flame" centers around full segments from BronaghSlevin’s chorus and an incredibly satisfying progression of synth stabs based on the chord changes from the original which alongside Slevin’s silky vocals intimately captured the melancholy in the lyrics depicting recovery from someone’s unconditional love being taken advantage of repeatedly. However, Mood II Swing’s club treatment, subtle arrangements and sequencing bring an added sense of closure which feels somewhat cathartic and liberating, therefore resolving the song’s predicament. A true anthem for emotional dancefloors!

        On the flip, we have Mood II Swing’s "Borderline Insanity Dub" mix which essentially discards the vocal version’s “'song' aspect, focusing mainly on John Ciafone’s dexterous drum programming and an extremely simple and repetitive three note bass pattern, which alongside subtle use of overarching synth lines and chopped up elements from the original bring the track to an all time creative high shining in its full 7 minutes of dark, hypnotic bliss. Both these remixes would go on to become club classics, the Borderline Insanity Dub mix in particular which embodies one of Ciafone’s brightest and most inspired moments in the studio, which would go on to influence a whole new generation of producers.

        Presented for the first time as a standalone release, remastered to the highest possible standards and cut to half speed lacquers at 45rpm, "Flame"’s Mood II Swing remixes are presented in loud 12" format! 


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Sil says: Mood II Swing doing what they do best, deep house realness for the masses. Unfettered dancefloor ecstasy.

        TRACK LISTING

        A1. Crustation - Flame (Mood II Swing Vocal Mix)
        B1. Crustation - Flame (Borderline Insanity Dub Mix)

        Shahid Wheeler

        Just One Dance Before You Go

          Melodies International brings forward its latest disco 12” reissue single and another You’re a Melody peak time classic: Shahid Wheeler – Just One Dance Before You Go. The song was written and recorded by producer James Hartnett – having studied music theory and composition back in high school and recognised back then for producing a charted northern soul spin in the UK titled “Hipit” in 1976 with his studio band “Hosanna”, it’s in 1978 that Hartnett produced and self released the scarcer and more compelling “Just One Dance Before You Go” which he refers to as his masterpiece. With a fairly stripped back line up for a disco tune including a rhythm section, hammond organ, horns and vocals, Hartnett manages to do so much through seemingly simple but clever arrangements and thumping, contagious energy. Hartnett had also invited friend and singer Leroy Shahid Wheeler to perform lead vocals, who’s signature high pitched falsetto lifts the whole operation above ground – a true feel good party anthem! 

          TRACK LISTING

          A1. Just One Dance Before You Go (Vocal)
          B1. Just One Dance Before You Go (Instr.)


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