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SOUL JAZZ

Various Artists

Soul Jazz Records Presents Two Synths, A Guitar (And) A Drum Machine - Post Punk Dance Vol. 1

    Soul Jazz Records’ new ‘Two Synths, A Guitar (And) A Drum Machine’ is a new collection of current DIY post-punk shaped by the mutant sounds of no wave, punk funk and New York Noise bands from the late 70s and early 80s that collided with the world of underground dance music found at the Paradise Garage, Mudd Club in New York City (ESG, Arthur Russell, Bush Tetras, Talking Heads, Suicide, Liquid Liquid).

    Other influences cited here include Manchester and Sheffield’s industrial post-punk sounds of the 1980s (Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire, Gang of Four) as well as the 1970s German electronic experimentalism of Cluster, Neu!, Harmonia and Can.

    Featured artists from around the globe include Los Angeles DIY band Automatic, New Fries from Toronto, artist/music collaborators Toresch from Germany, Susumu Makai from Japan/UK, Vex Ruffin from the Philippines/California and Madmadmad, Gramme, Tom of England and other UK groups.

    That all the bands featured here manage to make distinctive contemporary music out of these 80s roots is testament to the wide range of other musics that are seamlessly absorbed into a modern melting pot of sound - hip hop, the electronic European avant-garde, rave culture and more.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive on neon green coloured heavyweight double vinyl housed in bespoke individual inner sleeves with pull-out fanzine.

    2xLP Info: Heavyweight double vinyl housed in bespoke individual inner sleeves. Initial pressing of this album comes with free pull-out fanzine on the groups featured.

    Various Artists

    Soul Jazz Records Presents Cuba: Music And Revolution - Culture Clash In Havana - Experiments In Latin Music 1975-85 Vol. 1

      ‘Cuba: Music and Revolution’ is a new album compiled by Gilles Peterson and Stuart Baker (Soul Jazz Records) that explores the many new styles that emerged in Cuba in the 1970s as Jazz, Funk, Brazilian Tropicalia and even Disco mixed together with Latin and Salsa on the island as Cuban artists experimented with new musical forms created in the unique socialist state of Cuba. The album comes as a deluxe double CD and heavyweight triple vinyl, complete with extensive sleeve notes, jam-packed with heavy basslines, synth and WahWah guitar funk combined with the heavyweight percussion, powerful brass lines and the all-encompassing Latin rhythms of Cuban music known throughout the world.

      The album is released to coincide with the massive new deluxe large format book ‘Cuba: Music and Revolution: Original Cover Art of Cuban Music: Record Sleeve Designs of Revolutionary Cuba 1959-90’, which is also compiled by Gilles Peterson and Stuart Baker (Soul Jazz Records) and which features the music and record designs of Cuba, made in the 30-year period following the Cuban Revolution. The music on this album features legendary Cuban groups such as Irakere, Los Van Van and Pablo Milanés, as well as a host of lesser known artists such as the radical Grupo De Experimentación, Juan Pablo Torres and Algo Nuevo, Grupo Monumental and Orquesta Ritmo Oriental, groups whose names remain largely unknown outside of Cuba owing to the now 60-year old US trade embargo which remains in place today and which prevents trade with Cuba - and thus most Cuban records were only ever available in Cuba or in ex-Soviet Union states.

      The music on this album reflects the most cutting-edge of Cuban groups that were recording in Cuba in the 1970s and 1980s - who were all searching for a new Cuban identity and new musical forms that reflected both the Afro-Cuban cultural heritage of a nation that gave birth to Latin music - and its new position as a socialist state. Most of the music featured on this album has never been heard outside of Cuba. Both Gilles Peterson and Stuart Baker have been involved in Cuban music for more than two decades - Gilles Peterson with his many Havana Cultura projects for his Brownswood label and Stuart Baker with a number of Soul Jazz Records albums recorded in Cuba. This Soul Jazz Records album is released in conjunction with Egrem, the Cuban state record company, and has been put together after the many crate-digging trips that both compilers have made on the streets of Havana and beyond in Cuba stretching over a 20-year period, searching out rare and elusive original Cuban vinyl records.

      Enrique Rodríguez & The Negra Chiway Band

      Fase Liminal

        Enrique Rodríguez and the Negra Chiway Band group have an instantly powerful and unique sound that is reminiscent of the ensembles of Sun Ra and his Arkestra as well as Horace Tapscott and his Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, one that channels the righteous spirits of Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp and McCoy Tyner together with a stunning Latin rhythmical and new consciousness and percussive energy. Added to this are elements of the Samurai film soundtracks of Akira Kurosawa, Popol Vuh’s musical spirituality (especially their work with film director Werner Herzog), Tibetan Buddhism and over-blowing chants, all combining to give a truly unique new sound.

        Enrique Rodríguez is a composer, percussionist, keyboardist and producer from Santiago, Chile, whose work shows many similarities with the music featured on Soul Jazz Records’ recent collection ‘Kaleidoscope - New Spirts Known and Unknown’, featuring new forward-looking jazz artists including Mathew Halsall, Theon Cross, Emma-Jean Thackray and Makaya McCraven.

        Like all these artists, Rodríguez’s work is a progressive and experimental fusion of earlier influences that combine into a new and definitely 21st Century ground-breaking sound that, on account of its South American setting, give the group its truly unique feeling. Hypnotic modal piano riffs, powerful brass and flutes, an army of Latin percussion instruments and addictive vocal chants all combine in this powerful mix of radical 60s Afro-centric jazz, Eastern spirituality and cosmology and Latin American rhythmical movement.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Soul Jazz Books Presents

        Cuba: Music And Revolution - Original Album Cover Art Of Cuban Music

          ‘Cuba: Music And Revolution - Original Album Cover Art Of Cuban Music: Record Sleeve Designs of Revolutionary Cuba 1959-90’ is a stunning new deluxe 250-page large format hardback book compiled and edited by Gilles Peterson and Stuart Baker (Soul Jazz Records) that features many 100s of stunning and unique Cuban record sleeve designs made since the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959. These albums have rarely been seen (nor heard) outside of Cuba and show a rich previously hidden history of both music and design.

          ‘Cuba: Music And Revolution’ is the first ever book about Cuban record sleeve design and has been five years in the making, made in full co-operation with the Cuban government. The record sleeve designs reflect both the rich cultural Latin musical legacy of Cuba, as well as the political and aesthetic influence of revolutionary Communism, which manifests itself both in the music created on the island and the artwork of the designs included here.

          Cuban music is the source of much Latin music in the 20th Century. Salsa, the all-encompassing Latin music that came out of New York in the 1970s and soon spread across Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and elsewhere, owes all of its success to the Cuban music on which it is fundamentally based. These record sleeves help document the dramatic change in Cuba’s identity from that of 1950s tourist paradise to socialist state. Following the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the United States imposed a trade embargo which exists to this day and, as a consequence, the many 100s of Cuban records featured here have rarely been seen outside of Cuba.

          The book is edited and compiled by Gilles Peterson, BBC broadcaster, record label owner, DJ, record collector and founder of Worldwide FM and Stuart Baker, founder of Soul Jazz Records. Together they have edited two earlier critically-acclaimed music and design books ‘Freedom, Rhythm and Sound: Revolutionary Jazz Cover Art 1965-83’ and ‘Bossa Nova and The Rise of Brazilian Music in the 1960s’. 

          Trees Speak

          Shadow Forms

            Absolutely stunning second album from Trees Speak, new on Soul Jazz Records.

            Trees Speak’s new album ‘Shadow Forms’ is a blend of 1970s German electronic and ‘motorik’ Krautrock instrumentals (think Harmonia, Can, Cluster, Popul Vuh, Neu!), haunting and powerful 1960s and 1970s soundtracks (think Italian prog rock Goblin and John Carpenter horror movies, Morricone and existential John Barry spy movies), together with a New York no wave electronic synth and guitar analogue DIY-ness (think Suicide, anything on Soul Jazz’s ‘New York Noise’ series or Eno’s ‘No New York’).

            Trees Speak segue together all these elements into ‘Shadow Forms’, which follows on from their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Ohms,’ released on Soul Jazz Records less than six months ago.

            Trees Speak are Daniel Martin Diaz and Damian Diaz from Tucson, Arizona and their music often draws on the cosmic night-time magic of Arizona’s natural desert landscapes. ‘Trees Speak’ relates to the idea of future technologies storing information and data in trees and plants - using them as hard drives - and the idea that Trees communicate collectively.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            says: 'Shadow Forms' is a perfectly balanced juxtaposition of grooving, angular kosmische and haunty, soundtrack sort of business. We get little bursts of jazzy instrumentation and smooth-flowing psychedelia, all brought together with a deftness of touch and a keen ear for melody.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Ltd LP Info: Includes bonus 7".

            Soul Jazz Records’ new album ‘Kaleidoscope – New Spirits Known and Unknown’ brings together many of the groundbreaking artists involved in the new jazz scene that has developed in the UK over the last few years.

            Featured artists include Matthew Halsall, Yazmin Lacey, Ill Considered, Tenderlonious, Theon Cross, Emma-Jean Thackray and many, many more in this ground-breaking release.

            As well as sharing a pioneering spirit in these new artists’ approach to frontier-crossing musical boundaries, a further theme of this album is that many also share a determination to independent practices – and most of these artists’ recordings featured here are either self-published or released on independent labels. While the attention of this new wave of jazz artists up until now has been London-based, this album shows how this movement is spread across the whole of Britain (and indeed beyond).

            ‘Kaleidoscope – New Spirits Known and Unknown’ shows that while there is commonality in these artists’ approach to music, there is a wide variety of styles – from deep spiritual jazz, electronic experimentalisation, punk-edged funk, uplifting modal righteousness, deep soulful vocals and much more.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            says: It’s been a breathless few years for British jazz, with essential new artists appearing by the day on a plethora of labels up and down the country. Thankfully Soul Jazz are here to help us keep track, taking stock of the scene on this bumper triple vinyl collection.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            3xIndies Exclusive LP Info: Deluxe edition with bonus 7".

            Various Artists

            Soul Jazz Records Presents Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave And Hardcore

              Soul Jazz Records’ ‘Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave and Hardcore’ is a brand new collection of heavyweight ragga influenced hardcore jungle tracks from the early 1990s. Dark and heavy. Featuring classic and seminal tracks from the likes of Levictus and Krome & Time alongside a host of rare and little-known ragga and junglist hardcore tunes, featuring the likes of Babylon Timewarp’s hypnotic ‘Durban Poison’, Rhythm For Reasons’ mad ‘The Smokers Rhythm’, The Freaky rave-y breakbeat sound of ‘Time and Age’, Trip One’s super dark ‘Snowball’ and loads more. Expect super heavy basslines, equally heavy twisted ‘Amen’ drum loops, even heavier ragga vocals. Original jungle style - roots and culture - from the earliest days of drum and bass.

              Included with the first edition of the ‘Black Riot’ vinyl and CD is a free graphic mini-novel ‘Black Riot: The Mysterons save Planet Earth from the Xatheroid Angels’. This is the third collaboration between writer Paulo Parisi and Soul Jazz Records. This new graphic story continues the story of black electronic dance music - this time set in London circa 1992 - from Soul Jazz’s earlier ‘Invasion of the Killer Mysterons’ (Jamaican electronic dub, co-compiled by Kevin Martin (The Bug)) and ‘Mysterons Invade the Jackin’ Zone’ (about Chicago acid and experimental house 1986-93).

              STAFF COMMENTS

              says: In a year when some serious questions were asked about the whitewashed narrative of Britain’s dance floor history, Soul Jazz go back to the start of the Hardcore Continuum to celebrate the black artists pushing the boundaries of system rinsing sounds.

              The Wailing Souls

              Trouble Maker / Run My People

                Two fantastic tracks from one of Jamaica's finest ever vocal groups. These heavy hitting anthems were recorded for the legendary Studio One label in the early 70s. Surprisingly, both tracks have never been released as singles, previously only appearing on two different rare and long deleted Jamaican LPs. Cut super loud on 12” single and housed in a heavyweight card Studio One sleeve, these won't be around for long.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Ltd 12" Info: *** ONE COPY FOUND ***

                Kollington Ayinla And His Fuji ’78 Organisation

                Blessing

                Kollington Ayinla’s celebrated 1978 album "Blessing" is a rare lost classic of Nigerian Fuji music and features Ayinla’s sharp political lyrics together with his new band Fuji ’78. "Blessing" blends the heavily percussive style of Fuji music with a stunning array of modern instruments, including synthesizers, Bata drums and guitars, to create one of the most forward-thinking and heavily danceable sounds ever to come out of Nigeria - a highly successful mixture of profound Fuji rhythms and Fela Kuti-style Afrobeat.

                Kollington Ayinla ranks alongside his friend and competitor Ayinde Barrister as the two most important artists to dominate Fuji music from its inception in the 1970s through to the 1990s by which time it had grown to become one of the most popular dance genres in Nigeria. At the start of the 1980s Ayinla started his own record company, Kollington Records, to release his music and remains to this day an extremely prolific artist, having recorded over 50 albums, most of which have never been released outside of Nigeria.

                This is a one-off pressing (1000 copies) of this unique piece that has only ever previously been released in Nigeria. 

                ‘Apala: Apala Groups in Nigeria 1967-70’ is the first ever collection of Apala music to be released outside of Nigeria. The album focusses on a wide selection of recordings made in Nigeria in the 1960s, a time when Apala music was at the height of its popularity. Apala is a deeply rhythmical, hypnotic and powerful musical style that combines the striking nasal-style vocals and traditions of Islamic music, the Agidigbo (thumb piano) and the equally powerful drumming and percussion rhythms and techniques of the Yoruba of Nigeria.

                The most significant figure in Apala music is undoubtedly Haruna Ishola, who features throughout this album. Ishola holds an almost mythological status in his role as populariser of Apala music in Nigeria. Ishola’s singing was believed to be so powerful that, without proper restraint, it could kill the recipient of his music. Apala is a popular music that also functioned as a form of cultural resistance - Apala music involved no western instrumentation and is sung in the Yoruba language, its aesthetic an implicit cultural rejection of the British Empire’s colonial rule over Nigeria which lasted from 1901 until independence in 1960.

                Apala music was popular and widely accepted in Nigeria due to its philosophical and profound lyrical content alongside the complex rhythmic patterns of this heavily percussive style, which highlighted many of the percussion instruments of south-west Nigeria. Apala is one of a number of popular urban styles of music that came out of Nigeria in the 20th Century and sits alongside the more well-known (in the West) styles of Fuji, Highlife, Juju and Afrobeat. Of these modern forms Apala remains perhaps the most ‘roots’ style (sometimes described as ‘neotraditional’) due to the authenticity of its sound. It has similar Islamic roots to other neo-traditional styles of Nigeria - including Waka and Sakara - examples of which are also included on this collection contextualising the music of Apala. These recordings were originally made and released locally by Decca and EMI Records as well as a variety of independent labe

                Airto Moreira

                Soul Jazz Records Presents Airto: Samba De Flora

                Soul Jazz Records re-release Airto Moreira’s classic album ‘Samba de Flora’, out of print for 30 years ever since its original release in 1988.
                The impact of Airto Moreira in both the world of American jazz and in Brazilian music is unparalleled. At the start of the 1970s Airto was invited to join Miles Davis’ groundbreaking ‘electric’ group, which with albums such as the seminal ‘Bitches Brew’ helping Davis regain his title from John Coltrane as the most important jazz artist of all time.
                Two years later Airto helped establish two of the most important jazz fusion groups of all time: Weather Report, with Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul and Miroslav Vituous; and Return to Forever, with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Flora Purim.
                Airto Moreira also began his solo career in the USA in 1970 and alongside his wife, the singer Flora Purim and Brazilian artists such as Hermeto Pascoal, Sivuca, Deodato, Raul de Souza, Azymuth, all played a major part in the Latinised sound of American jazz fusion throughout the 1970s. By this time Airto established himself in the USA in the 1970s, he had already had a formidable career back in Brazil in the 1960s as an important figure in the Bossa Nova movement, which soon after spread throughout the world. Airto played in a number of important groups during this time - Quarteto Novo Sambalanco Trio and Sambrassa Trio (all of with Hermeto Pascoal) - which proved to be three of the most ground-breaking groups of this era.
                The album ‘Samba de Flora’, including the seminal jazz dance title track, is a masterpiece of jazz and Brazilian fusion and features Airto Moreira alongside Flora Purim, fellow Brazilian artist Raul de Souza and heavyweight USA jazz musicians Alphonso Johnson, percussionist Don Alias (from Stone Alliance), Cuban conga player Cachete and Argentinian pianist Jorge Dalto.
                The album was originally released on the small independent Montuno Record label (which was run out of the unassuming Record Mart record store situated in the Times Square underground subway station!) and has been unavailable for many, many years.
                This album is fully remastered and re-released by Soul Jazz Records for the first time ever.

                Various Artists

                Soul Jazz Records Presents ‘Keith Haring: The World Of Keith Haring’

                Soul Jazz Records release this stunning new collection featuring music influential to the artist Keith Haring.

                The art of Keith Haring is today one of the most recognisable of any visual artists of his generation, defining 1980s New York during an intense period when downtown artists and musicians collaborated like never before. Haring’s musical inspiration took in the punk/dance downtown sounds of clubs like The Mudd Club, underground disco at Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage, as well the early days of hip hop and electro.

                The album is released to coincide with the opening of the first major exhibition in the UK of Keith Haring’s work at Tate Liverpool, which runs for the next six months.

                Haring’s many friends included Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Madonna, Fab Five Freddy, William Burroughs, Jenny Holzer, Yoko Ono, Grace Jones, Larry Levan, Futura 2000.

                The music here includes the work of a number of Haring’s close friends, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yoko Ono, Larry Levan, John Sex and George Condo (The Girls), as well as healthy dose of rare disco, early electro and New York punk/dance tracks.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Where a lot of Soul Jazz compilations focus on a genre, or a precursor of that genre, Haring's affiliated acts read like the toilet walls of CBGB, Paradise Garage and the Mudd Club. It's a brilliantly varied but cohesive snapshot of the 80s in music and art incorporating art-rock, electro and the burgeoning hip-hop scene. Absolutely essential.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                2xCD Info: Double CD and 48-page book.

                Soul Jazz Records present this new collection of music from the great Fashion Records, one of the most important and iconic, independent reggae labels to come out of the UK, running from 1980 for nearly 20 years. In that time Fashion released hundreds of records that successfully reflected - and indeed set - the changing styles and perspectives of reggae music in the UK, from UK dancehall and lovers rock in the 1980s through to the mighty rise of jungle in the second half of the 1990s.

                While nearly all other UK reggae labels focused on releasing Jamaican music, from the early days of Island and Trojan in the 1960s, through Island and Virgin in the 1970s and Greensleeves that came up in the 1980s, Fashion’s focus was firmly on music produced in the UK. This unique British perspective shaped both lyrical content and musical fashion. And like all the great music labels, from Studio One to Blue Note, Fashion was able to create a significant roster of its own artists. Amazingly for a small independent label, a number of Fashion artists achieved mainstream UK chart and crossover success, including Laurel & Hardy, Smiley Culture and General Levy. But although this success was welcomed, crossing over into the mainstream was never the main focus for label owners Chris Lane and John McGillivray (who also runs the successful Dub Vendor record shop), whose starting point was always primarily focused on producing quality music first.

                In the early 1980s, Fashion Records captured the rise of the emerging British dancehall scene in its ascendency. The large roster of first generation British-born artists and MCs on the label, including General Levy, Papa Face, Smiley Culture, Bionic Rhona, Asher Senator, Laurel & Hardy, Top Cat and many more, often gave a unique and sometimes humorous British lyrical perspective to Fashion releases, discussing everyday subjects, from police harassment to road safety.

                Throughout much of the 1980s and into the 1990s Fashion continued to release an almost relentless array of UK dancehall releases as well as continuing with lovers rock and the occasional dub releases. Then, in the mid-90s, with the dancehall and reggae releases still coming on strong, Fashion released a superb series of early jungle tracks linking Jamaican and British MCs and dancehall artists with young jungle mixers, remixers and producers. By this time dancehall artists General Levy and Cutty Ranks had become the staple vocal samples of literally hundreds of white label jungle records and Fashion took advantage of this, often getting young producers to work in exchange for sample clearances.

                This album is a subjective and scatter-gun ride through some of the many unique and heavyweight tracks to come out of the Fashion stable - some classics, some lesser-known, all 100% killer.


                Soul Jazz Records presents this new collection featuring the heavy 70s roots reggae of Bunny Lee - a living legend, one of the last of the great Jamaican record producers who helped shape and define reggae music in the 1970s from a small island sound into an internationally successful musical genre.

                From teenage fan to young record plugger for Duke Reid, Sir Coxsone and other early pioneering Jamaican musical entrepreneurs, Lee has spent his whole professional life inside the Kingston music industry. In the 1970s he rose up to become one of the major record producers in Jamaica alongside Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and the other ‘small axe’ producers who broke the dominance of the ‘big tree’ producers that had ruled Jamaican music in the 1960s.

                Featuring some of the heaviest Jamaican artists, including Johnny Clarke, King Tubby, Dillinger, Prince Jazzbo, Tommy McCook, The legendary Aggrovators (featuring Sly and Robbie), The Mighty Diamonds and more, the album is a rollercoaster ride of rare, deep and classic 1970s roots, dub and DJ sounds.

                During this era, ‘flying cymbals’, crashing reverbs, dark echoing thunderclap gunshots and other ‘implements of sound’ filled his record productions as Bunny Lee explored the outer limits of dub with his friend King Tubby in the mix on wild versions that accompanied any 45. A Bunny Lee record provides a creative and mysterious hidden guide to reggae music itself, a double-sided three-minute intangible history lesson etched in wax.

                Bunny Lee was one of the first Jamaican producers to travel to England in the late 1960s, at the beginning of the nascent British reggae music industry as record companies such as Trojan, Pama and others began licensing Jamaican music in the UK to supply the expanding West Indian communities living up and down England. Lee encouraged other Jamaican producers to do the same, including Lee Perry, Harry J and Niney The Observer and also became a conduit between the British music industry and numerous younger Island-based producers - a frequent flyer reggae ambassador, a musical courier exchanging tapes for royalties.

                Bunny Lee’s first recordings in the late 1960s were mainly rock steady but as the 70s approached the music soon began to mutate and slow down into ‘reggae’ as the sound became heavier, more rootsy and the sound itself began to change with the explosion of dub.

                Lee was at the forefront to this dramatic musical shift into roots reggae and by this time had become a major producer, capable of working with whoever he chose as world-famous singers, DJs and musicians lined up to work with the charismatic man. Lee also employed a fluid but stable set of crack session musicians who he named The Aggrovators.

                Most of the recordings featured here come from the mid 70s, a time when Bunny Lee was definitely in the zone, releasing heavyweight singles at an almost unstoppable rate. Bunny Lee’s career stretches over five decades and he has upwards of 2,000 production credits on vinyl.

                This album comes with extensive sleevenotes, an interview with Bunny Lee and exclusive photography.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: The 'flying cymbals' pioneer gets properly exhibited by the Soul Jazz firm here - possibly the most in-depth, all inclusive collection to date of this skilled dub creative.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                3xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                This is the second installment of deep roots Rastafarian reggae at Studio One and features classic music from some of the most important figures in reggae music - Alton Ellis, The Heptones, Jackie Mittoo, The Gladiators - alongside a host of rarities and little-known recordings, such as a truly rare Mystic Revelation of Rastafari 7” single, Willie William’s first ever recording - ‘Calling’ - and Horace Andy’s righteous (and equally rare) masterpiece ‘Illiteracy.’

                ‘Black Man’s Pride 2’ extends the legacy of Studio One’s groundbreaking path in roots reggae which began at the end of the 1960s and continued throughout the 1970s. The album tells the story of how the rise of Studio One Records and the Rastafari movement were interconnected, through the adoption of the Rastafari faith by key reggae artists - everyone from the Skatalites and Wailers in the 1960s, major singers such as Alton Ellis and Horace Andy at the end of the decade, through to major roots artists such as The Gladiators in the 1970s - and how Clement Dodd consistently recorded this heavyweight roots music throughout Studio One’s history.

                The sleeve-notes to this album also discuss the links between Rastafari and Studio One in time and place, noting how both the religion and Clement Dodd’s musical empire had their roots in the intense period of pre-independence Jamaica in Kingston, expanded in the 1960s following the visit of Haile Selassie in 1966 and how roots music then came to dominate reggae music in the early 1970s. Also discussed is how the outsider stance of both reggae music and the Rastafari movement relate back many hundreds of years to the original rebel stance of the Maroons, escaped slaves who set up self-sufficient enclaves in the hills of the Jamaican countryside. There is also a track-by-track history by the noted Studio One writer Rob Chapman (‘Never Grow Old’).


                Various Artists

                Boombox 3 - Early Independent Hip Hop, Electro And Disco Rap 1979-83

                  Soul Jazz Records’ new ‘Boombox 3’ continues their story of the first rap records to be put onto vinyl. It is a jam-packed collection of original independent old school hip hop, created with just one thing in mind - to get this party jumping.

                  After the explosion of hip hop in the parks and clubs of The Bronx in the mid-1970s, it was in Harlem where the first rap records emerged at the end of 1979 - an avalanche of superb rap tracks released on small independent labels all trying to capitalize on the success of ‘Rapper’s Delight’.

                  Like hip hop culture itself, these first rap singles are the product of their own unique set of aesthetics - exciting and innovative rap performed with Bronx block party B-Boy funk breaks, disco jams and Jamaican sound system culture.

                  The extensive sleevenotes discuss hip hop’s trajectory from the first wave of Bronx creativity - the legendary DJs Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa - through to its arrival in Harlem via the entrepreneurism of old-school African-American rhythm and blues producers and émigré Jamaican producers all living in New York. Along the way the notes discuss everything from the New York power blackout of 1977, the Italian mafia involvement in the music industry, the links between rap and Jamaican dancehall and more besides.

                  ‘Boombox 3’ features a line-up of stunning, near unknown New York rap artists, classic disco breaks (including Chic’s omnipotent ‘Good Times’, MFSB’s ‘Love Is The Message’, Queen’s ‘Another One Bites The Dust’), proto-electro and more. And by the early 1980s the first rap records outside New York began to emerge - Los Angeles, Houston, Milwaukee, Phoenix - and the first of these are also featured here in this new collection.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  2xCD Info: Double CD pack with 44-page outsize booklet and slipcase.

                  Konkere Beats

                  Yoruba! Songs & Rhythms For The Yoruba Gods In Nigeria

                  Soul Jazz Records’ latest album ‘Yoruba! Songs & Rhythms For The Yoruba Gods In Nigeria’ is newly recorded in Lagos, Nigeria. The album is co-produced by Soul Jazz Records label head Stuart Baker and Laolu Akins (founding member of the legendary 1970s Nigerian Afro-Funk/Rock group Blo).

                  ‘Yoruba!’ features an array of local master drummers led by Olatunji Samson Sotimirin and singers (featuring the lead vocals of Janet Olufanmilayo Abe) performing heavyweight Afro-rhythms, with talking drums, Bata and Dundun drums and a mass of percussion in these deep spiritual and sacred songs used to honour and worship the traditional and ancient Yoruba gods in Nigeria, West Africa.

                  The enormous impact of Yoruba and West African music and culture is worldwide - from the first Afro-centric explorations of African- American jazz musicians in the 1950s such as Art Blakey, Randy Weston and Dizzy Gillespie, the explosion of Nu Yorican Latin music in New York City starting in the 1960s - Mambo, Boogaloo, Latin funk and soul - through to the sacred and powerful Afro-derived music of the religions of Santería in Cuba, Candomblé in Brazil and Voodoo in Haiti, which all came into existence on account of the Atlantic slave trade which began over 400 years ago. On a wider scale West African music remains the primary root of all African-American musical forms - from New Orleans jazz to Bronx rap, gospel, soul and more.

                  This album features songs honouring the Nigerian gods of the Yoruba traditional religion - Yemoja, Obatala, Ogun, Sango and others - as well as a selection of instrumental cuts focusing on the Bata and Dundun drums.

                  The album comes complete with extensive text and photography. 40- page outsize booklet / gatefold double vinyl and inners showing the influence of Yoruba culture throughout the world and the social and historical context for the music contained here.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  CD Info: CD package includes 40 page booklet featuring text and photography.

                  ‘Black Man’s Pride’ is the striking new Studio One collection of deep righteous reggae, featuring Horace Andy, Alton Ellis, The Gladiators, Sugar Minott, The Heptones, Freddie McGregor, Cedric Brooks & more.

                  While the righteousness of blackness is at the heart of the Rastafarian faith, this collection illustrates how black pride remained a central theme, if not the defining essence, at the very core of all the music created at Studio One Records under the direction of Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd.

                  In order to understand the centrality of black identity in the music created at Studio One, we need look no further than Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd who created the first black-owned record company in Jamaica.

                  In similar fashion Alton Ellis’s defining ‘Black Man’s Pride’ brings up emotions that are at the heart of many of these uplifting songs. Alton Ellis’ birthplace was the Trench Town ghetto of Kingston, also the birthplace of The Wailers, Ken Boothe and many other Studio One luminaries.

                  Clement Dodd established a musical empire firmly rooted by the core musicians working at Studio One, many of whom came out of the Alpha School for Wayward Boys, essentially an orphanage run by Roman Catholic nuns, whose luminaries include Don Drummond, Johnny Moore, Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace, Cedric Brooks, Vin Gordon, Tommy McCook & more.

                  Many of the songs featured here come from the transitory phase in reggae at the start of the 1970s, after the exhilaration of Ska and following the cooling down of Rocksteady.

                  While reggae awaited the arrival of roots, Studio One’s vocalists were already producing some of the moodiest music imaginable.

                  Here are 18 heavyweight tunes, both classic cuts and super-rare tunes.

                  Soul Jazz Records release Tee Mac’s ‘Night Illusion’, a lost classic Nigerian Afro-soul meets disco-boogie-funk album originally released in Nigeria in 1980 as a private press release of 1000 copies on the enigmatic artist’s own label. Impossibly hard to find, the record remains practically unknown outside of Nigeria. Tee Mac Omatshola Iseli is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger and features on Soul Jazz Records’ recent collection "Nigeria Soul Fever: Afro Funk Disco & Boogie" alongside Joni Haastrup, Christy Essien and others, as well as on a recent compilation "Nepa Oh Nepa" released on Hot Casa earlier this year). The timelessness of this soulful, ground-breaking funk jazz lost masterpiece "Night Illusion" leads to comparisons with James Mason’s legendary lost classic album "Rhythm Of Life", with his unique individualism and intensity hinting at the boogie funk of groups such as Mass Production and Slave, so loved by artists such as Moodyman and Theo Parrish.
                  While Fela Kuti is now a cultural icon of Nigerian music throughout the world, the recent crossover success of William Onyeabor shows just how much undiscovered Nigerian music remains waiting to be explored outside of the country. Tee Mac was born in Lagos, the son of a Nigerian princess and a Swiss diplomat. He picked up the flute at age seven and ten years later was studying classical musical in Switzerland under his uncle the composer J.J. Direndirger. Returning to Lagos, Nigeria in 1970 he formed the heavyweight afro rock group Tee Mac & Afro Collection (which included Johnny Haastrup on keyboards and The Lijadu Sisters on vocals). This band were famously joined by the legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker, who came to Nigeria to play with them in 1971 (captured in the film ‘Ginger Baker In Africa’). At age 24, Tee Mac moved to Germany where he co-wrote and recorded with the European disco group Silver Convention (whose ‘Fly Robin Fly’ became number one in the USA charts). This enabled him to return to Nigeria where he formed his own label SKJ Records to release his self-financed ‘Night Illusion’ album, as well as buying two nightclubs and also investing in a number of mineral mining companies. Tee Mac continues to live in Lagos today and travels the world as a composer – one of whose pieces is ‘The City Of Mer Kailash’ (2009), a two-hour ballet featuring over 60 dancers and a 100+ piece orchestra.
                  Soul Jazz Records are releasing this lost classic Nigerian album as an exact replica artwork reproduction LP (plus sleeve notes and digital download code), CD and digital album 


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  says: Holy Smokes! After featuring the one and only Tee Mac on their recent "Nigeria Soul Fever" release, Soul Jazz go back in with a full scale reissue of his 1980 LP, thankfully reproduced with replica artwork!

                  Count Ossie And The Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari

                  Tales Of Mozambique

                  Soul Jazz Records release Count Ossie and The Mystic Revelation’s seminal 1975 album 'Tales of Mozambique' in an expanded double album format, fully remastered and with the inclusion of two bonus rare single-only tracks, full sleevenotes, exclusive photographs and interview.

                  Count Ossie is the central character in the development of Rastafarian roots music, nowadays an almost mythical and iconic figure. His importance in bringing Rastafarian music to a populist audience is matched only by Bob Marley’s promotion of the faith internationally in the 1970s. Count Ossie’s drummers performed on the first commercially released single to integrate Rastafarian traditional music with popular music: the vocal group The Folkes Brothers’ groundbreaking song ‘Oh Carolina’, recorded for producer Prince Buster in 1959. In 1966 his drummers greeted the momentous arrival of Haile Selassie at Kingston airport. His legendary jam sessions in his Rastafarian compound up in the hills of Wareika, Kingston, are famous for the many Jamaican musicians who attended including The Skatalites players - Roland Alphonso, Don Drummond, Johnny Moore, Lloyd Knibbs - and many others. The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari formed in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1970, a union of Count Ossie’s Rastafarian drummers - variously known as his African Drums, Wareikas or his Afro-Combo - and the saxophonist Cedric Im Brooks’ horns group, The Mystics.

                  The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari are the defining group in bringing authentic Rastafarian rhythms into the collective consciousness of popular music, their unique music is at once rooted in the deep traditions and rituals of traditional drumming alongside a forward-thinking, even avant-garde, artistry influenced by the likes of John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders and other pioneering African-American jazz artists radicalised and charged by the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Tales of Mozambique is a truly unique and fascinating ground-breaking album.

                  ‘Studio One Showcase’, subtitled ‘The Sound Of Studio One In The 1970s’, brings together a new fine selection of classic tracks from Horace Andy, Freddy McGregor, Johnny Osbourne, Lone Ranger, Sugar Minott, The Heptones, Wailing Souls and other seminal reggae artists all recorded at Studio One in the 1970s.

                  By the start of the 1970s, Clement Dodd’s Studio One record label was at a crossroads. The previous two decades had given the producer and record label more success than most aspired to in a lifetime. From the mid-1950s on, the Downbeat Soundsystem had conquered all opponents - from Duke Reid to Prince Buster - and shaped and led the musical landscape of the dancehall. In the 1960s the establishment of Studio One Records at 13 Brentford Road in Kingston, Jamaica, had led to a Ford Motors-esque production line of hits that similarly defined reggae music.

                  The 1970s were to be Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd’s most challenging and yet ultimately most creative decade of all. Like the most zealous and resourceful of pioneers, Studio One was about to embark on a stunning era of reinvention, adaptation, stripping down and versioning, each step of which marked new musical developments in reggae music - roots reggae, deejay, dancehall, rub a dub and more.

                  This album presents an overview of this exciting and ground-breaking decade of the 1970s at Studio One, during an era where, despite challenges from new producers, political turmoil and almost constant musical and technological innovations in reggae, Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd was able to maintain his position as the pioneering leader in reggae music and to maintain Studio One as the number one sound in reggae music.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  Featured here is a new collection spanning Studio One’s dancehall period - singers and deejays on classic Studio One rhythms, studio and electronic wizardry from the Brentford Road headquarters, lots of rare 12” singles, all effortlessly brought together to nice up the dance.

                  When Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd first ruled the dancehalls of Kingston in the 1950s, fighting off the soundsystem competition of Duke Reid, King Edwards and others, few could imagine how far the reign of Studio One would last. However, the emergence of dancehall as a distinct style of reggae at the end of the 1970s, as upstart competing producers began recording vocalists and deejays performing over replayed classic Studio One rhythms, in many ways made the influence of Clement Dodd’s vision more omnipotent than ever before (and lasting to this day).

                  Not surprisingly, Clement Dodd’s creativity and business acumen made him quick to respond to this musical phenomenon - he soon began voicing the new stable of Studio One singers and deejays, such as Sugar Minott and Lone Ranger, over original classic Studio One rhythms recorded in the late 1960s - by producing some of the most innovative, time-bending and creative music of his career.

                  This album comes as CD with slipcase, super-loud, super-heavy triple vinyl with free download code.

                  Soul Jazz Records’ new ‘Punk 45’ album charts the rise of underground punk across the United States in the years 1973- 1980.

                  The album coincides with the release of Soul Jazz Records’ massive new deluxe 400 page ‘Punk 45s’ cover art book edited and compiled by Jon Savage (author of the seminal book on punk, ‘England’s Dreaming’) and Stuart Baker (founder of Soul Jazz Records). The book includes text by Jon Savage, numerous interviews and articles from the likes of Richard Hell, Seymour Stein (Sire Records), Geoff Travis (Rough Trade), and Peter Saville (Factory), as well as exhaustive biographies, band lineups and more on the many hundreds of bands who feature in the book.

                  ‘Punk 45: Kill The Hippies! Kill Yourself! The American Nation Destroys Its Young - Underground Punk In The United States Of America’ is the first in Soul Jazz Records’ ‘Punk 45’ series of album releases coinciding with the new book and will be followed at the start of next year by ‘Punk 45 Vol. 2 Underground Punk In The UK’.

                  The ‘Punk 45’ album features a collection of seminal, classic, obscure and rare punk and proto-punk 45 singles from the likes of Pere Ubu, The Zeros, The Randoms, Electric Eels, The Pagans, The Deadbeats, The Lewd and many more - a lightning rod journey across the states of America - Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Akron, New Orleans, Philadelphia - tracing the rise of punk music in these various towns and cities. The album comes complete with extensive text, biographies on each of the bands, exclusive photos and original record artwork.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  CD Info: CD with outsize large booklet and thick slipcase.

                  The Lijadu Sisters

                  Afro-Beat Soul Sisters

                  The Lijadu Sisters released a series of albums in the 1970s in Nigeria that blended heavyweight Afro-beat with psychedelic Afro-rock, high-life, disco and soul in a truly unique combination. These albums are impossibly rare to find and this collection brings together the best of those recordings.

                  The Lijadu Sisters were the most successful female group in Nigeria in the 1970s and managed to overturn many stereotypes and attitudes as they carved out a unique space for themselves in a predominantly male arena. Their influences ranged from female soul singers such as Aretha Franklin, The Pointer Sisters and Miriam Makeba to the Afro-beat of Fela Anikulapo Kuti as well as the juju music of IK Dairo and the highlife of Victor Olaiya.

                  The Lijadu Sisters - identical twins Taiwo and Kehinde Lijadu - grew up in Ibadan, Nigeria. They recorded their debut album for Decca Records in 1969. At the start of the 1970s the two singers joined ex-Cream drummer Ginger Baker’s short-lived all-African group Salt (which also included future members of the Afro-Rock group Blo). This album brings together the best of their tracks from the four albums recorded for the Afrodisia label in Nigeria - ‘Danger’ (1976), ‘Mother Africa’ (1977), ‘Sunshine’ (1978) and ‘Horizon Unlimited’ (1979).


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  says: Fuzz guitars, talking drums, funky rhythms and African vocal harmonies... What more could you want?!

                  Various Artists

                  Invasion Of The Mysteron Killer Sounds

                    Kevin Martin (aka The Bug / King Midas Sound) and Stuart Baker (Soul Jazz Records) have put together a unique project bringing together new, exclusive and in demand digital music by electronic futurists Harmonic 313, Diplo, Roots Manuva, South Rakkas Crew,The Bug and more, alongside a killer selection of Jamaican digital and electronic scientific dub and dancehall. Exclusive new tracks and mixes by Harmonic 313, Stereotyp, Federation; in demand tracks from the likes of Roots Manuva, Diplo and South Rakkas Crew; the toughest digital and twisted rhythms from legendary producers King Jammy, Steely and Clevie, Sly Dunbar, Prince Jazzbo, King Tubby, Firehouse Crew and more all feature on this unique release.

                    The double album comes in special edition heavyweight deluxe hardcover 2CD card casing complete with a deluxe graphic novel by Italian comic book designer Paolo Parisi (whose books include subjects as diverse as John Coltrane and Chernobyl). This specially commissioned graphic novel is a science fiction vision of the future of digital music, featuring King Tubby, Steely & Clevie, Jammy, Jazzbo, complete with Alien Sound Lord Abductors, Aural Freedom Fighters and Digi-Dub Voyagers.


                    Various Artists

                    Deutsche Elektronische Musik - Experimental German Rock And Electronic Musik 1972-83 - Part 1

                      The objectives of German experimental rock and electronic music in the 1970s were to create a new music, ‘free’ from the past. A music that gave seed out of the cultural ‘nothingness’ that young Germans felt as a consequence of Germany’s role in the Second World War. A generation who grew up stifled by the recent history of Nazi atrocities, the guilt of their parents’ generation and their disillusionment at the reintegration of old Nazis into mainstream society.

                      The first seeds of German rock and experimental electronic music were planted in 1968, as students and workers in Paris, Prague, Mexico and throughout the world demonstrated against mainstream society, the war in Vietnam, imperialism and bourgeois values. The birth of a counter-culture, drug experimentation and social change expanded musical worlds. Germany experienced its own cultural revolution fuelled by these worldwide student and worker revolts and by a generation’s desire to rid itself of the guilt of war.

                      Many German youth turned their back on mainstream society. From the opening of the first collective / cooperative in 1967, Commune 1, in Berlin, to the formation of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group and the bombings, kidnappings and killings of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (RAF), young Germans sought out new values and a lifestyle outside of ‘the system’. These cooperative and communal experiences led to a number of new radical German bands including Amon Düül, Faust and Can.

                      Many artists and musicians believed a complete rejection of everything musically that had gone before was also necessary in order to build a new identity for German culture. At this time German music meant ‘schlager’ music – insipid pop music that hardly confronted the country’s recent historical events.

                      The first recordings of groups such as Kluster (later Cluster) were extreme experiments with sound; un-music, anti-melody and anti-rhythm - attempts to destroy any musical links with the past. Holger Czukay and Irmin Schmidt of Can studied music under the radical avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and Conrad Schnitzler studied art under the conceptual artist Joseph Beuys. German rock groups were as interested in musique concrète and serial composition as they were in the psychedelia of Pink Floyd or the rock, soul and jazz music played by resident American forces.

                      From this beginning German rock music began an evolutionary journey of experimentation. Electronic music became a pathway to notions of space and the cosmos. Conversely, the emergence of communal living led to a number of musicians setting up live/work spaces in rural areas and developing a ‘pastoral’ outlook, with musical ideas engaged closely with nature.

                      And despite an aversion to the politics of American society, German rock bands were nevertheless fascinated by the emerging stateside counter-culture of psychedelic music and drug experimentation. A band such as Ash Ra Tempel even recording an album with drug guru/theoretician Timothy Leary ("Seven Up", 1973).

                      And whilst some of the bands featured here slipped by the wayside over the years, others such as Faust, Cluster, Can, Tangerine Dream are now well into their fourth decade having firmly established that which they set out to achieve – a new German music.


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