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SPACETALK

For the third volume of compilations curated by confirmed crate diggers, Spacetalk invites you to take a trip to the magical Mediterranean resort of Club Meduse in the company of Beachfreaks Records co-founder Charles Bals.

A creative director, designer and curator by trade, Bals spends the majority of his spare time searching for superb, unknown, small-run music releases made between the 1970s and 1990s. While some of these are made available for other enthusiasts to buy via Beachfreaks' mail-order service, many more make it into the racks of Bals' private collection. With Club Meduse, Bals is sharing rare, hard-to-find and just plain brilliant gems from his personal stash for the very first time.

For Club Meduse, Bals was inspired by countless magic childhood summers spent playing amongst the rocks, beaches and warm seas of the Cote D'Azur. The compilation, then, is a soundtrack to the greatest soft-focus, sunlit teenage summer holiday you've never had, with a gaggle of forgotten musicians and overlooked artists for company.

Take a barefoot stroll from the campsite to the beach with Ara Macao, whose warm and lucid "Canyon" is a softly-spun delight, before splashing in the crystal clear waters to the accompaniment of The Clean-Hands Group and their 1984 Balearic blue-eyed soul gems "Night Fly" and "Shake It On".

As the sun comes down, clamber across the cooling rocks with the tumbling, sun-kissed guitar solos and sparkling analogue synthesizer motifs of The Keyboys' leisurely "Savannah" ringing in your ears, before using the words of Gemini's "Take A Chance" – undoubtedly the most Balearic record to emerge from Sweden in the last 50 years – to get flirtatious under the moonlight.

Should you fancy a dance down the camp disco, Bals' selections will gently ease you onto the dancefloor and into the gaze of the boy or girl of your dreams. The fuzzy Italo-boogie of the C.V.Q Band's "Whatever You Do (Instrumental)" will get you going, while Miss's 1984 French electro gem "Hip Hop" should guarantee a celebratory conclusion to the night's party. 

With only a handful of sought-after private press 7” singles to their name, Morrison Kincannon are all but unknown outside record collecting circles. Yet Norman Morrison and Terry Kincannon wrote and recorded some superb songs during the 1970s and early ‘80s, desperately hoping for the break that would see them released on vinyl. Now, at last, their time has finally come. Morrison and Kincannon first started working together as teenagers almost 50 years ago. Every Saturday, they would get together to jam and write songs. This led to recording sessions at a friendly studio in San Francisco and a management and publishing deal with Manny Greenhill, a man who had previously nurtured the careers of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Sadly, their hoped-for-success never came, and by the early 1980s both members had re-focused on work and family. As the years rolled by, their original multi-track recordings lay idle in Morrison’s loft, seemingly never to be released.

All that changed when Morrison received an email from Spacetalk Records two years ago, asking about the possibility of reissuing “To See One Eagle Fly”, the B-side to one of their 7” singles that has long been a favourite of label co-founder Danny McLewin. Once a deal had been done, Morrison mentioned that he had hours of unissued recordings in his loft; a treasure trove of ultra-rare multi-track master tapes that could be freshly mixed and mastered for release. When the Spacetalk Records’ team finally got a chance to listen, they were astonished by the timeless quality of the songs. Put simply, they just had to be released.

The resultant album is a stunning set: an intoxicating glimpse into the world of two previously unheralded master songwriters whose musical vision encapsulates all that was good about Californian music during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Rooted in the American folk revival and folk-rock movement of the late ‘60s, the album’s 15 thoughtful, heartfelt songs are laden with sly nods to the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Ned Doheny, Michael Deacon, Cy Timmons, Gene Clark and Buffalo Springfield. The tracks were recorded at various times between 1970 and ’82 and gives a small glimpse of the duo’s total body of unissued work. The release comes with extensive liner notes telling the remarkable story of two lifelong friends and musical collaborators who thought their moment had passed. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Andy says: Incredibly rich soul, folk, West Coast groove-rock that inexplicably fell between the cracks. The songs are impeccable, the vibe pure, hippy, LA mellowness.How was this never released!?

Spacetalk Records’ first compilation, Beauty, offered listeners the chance to take a trip through the record collection of noted Parisian crate-digger and DJ Jeremy Underground. It was a runaway success, so the label has decided to repeat the exercise. This time, though, they’ve turned to a lesser-known hunter of rare and obscure records, namely Crown Ruler Records co-founder Jeremy Spellacey. Don’t be fooled by Spellacey’s lower profile: amongst those who know, the Melbourne-based New Zealander is widely regarded as a seriously dustyfingered digger, capable of unearthing and championing ridiculously good records from all four corners of the globe. He sells some of these exceptional finds through his Crown Ruler online store, though there are many more that he keeps hidden from the public. Spellacey has previously shied away from sharing the secrets of his extensive record collection. Crown Ruler Sound, then, is a rare treat: a gloriously colourful, sun-baked compilation of tropical treats from Africa, the Caribbean and beyond, hand-picked by the man who helped license this year’s most essential reissue, the South African boogie brilliance that is Focus’s Zulu.
From synth-laden Zambian reggae and sumptuous orchestral Afro-soul, to humid Trinidadian boogie and horizontal Italian jazz-funk, Spellacey offers a whirlwind trip through the most kaleidoscopic and exotic parts of his epic collection. As you’d expect from a man who has traveled the world hunting down records, the majority of the 15 tracks will be unknown to all but a handful of similarly minded crate diggers. In fact, some are so obscure that you’ll struggle to find any mention of them at all online. This could be your only chance to own the boogie-era reggae-disco brilliance of Le Banda De Martin’s “Mi Dueno” and the tear-jerking Afro-soul shuffle of Kosmik 3’s “I’m Gonna Pack” (here featured in exclusive Jeremy Spellacey re-edit form). Highlights come thick and fast, from the first note to the last. Check, for example, the wild P-funk of Acayouman’s “Funk Around”, the dancing marimbas and undulating grooves of Feladey’s “Forest Music” and the impeccable South African jazz-funk of Stimela’s sought-after 1983 debut single, “I Love You”. Other notable highlights include Ezy & Isaac’s spellbinding 1977 cut “Let Your Body Move (Oba Balu Balu)”, seemingly the missing link between Rotary Connection, Fela Kuta and soundscape disco, Devon Russell’s inspired reggaesoul cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move on Up”, and Mike Fabulous’ “Wang East”, a sublime chunk of summery electro-reggae from Spellacey’s native New Zealand. We could go on, but we don’t want to spoil all the surprises. Suffice to say, Crown Ruler Sound will surprise and entertain you in equal measure.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: After furnishing us with that mega reissue of Focus' tropical boogie bomb "Zulu", NZ digging king Jeremy Spellacey goes wild in the country with this double pack of body moving, jungle-grooving gems. Alongside all time classic "Slippery People" (the Staple Singers version) we have a whole host of sticky hip swinging delights. Check the clips, cop the comp!

After launching with a killer reissue of a private press gem from Morrison Kincannon, Spacetalk presents its’ first compilation: a superb selection of soul, disco and boogie obscurities curated by noted Parisian crate-digger and DJ Jeremy Underground. "Beauty" has its’ origins in a chance encounter between Jeremy and Spacetalk co-founder and Psychemagik Danny McLewin at Bestival last summer. Having completed his regular festival set - keeping the dancefloor moving with his more familiar house and US garage sound - Jeremy was treating the crowd at Maceo’s, the renowned backstage bar usually found at Glastonbury, to a tasty selection of soul, disco and boogie obscurities. Danny was impressed, introduced himself to the My Love Is Underground label founder, and several hours later the duo had hatched a plan for Spacetalk’s first compilation. A renowned digger, the Parisian is no stranger to putting together high quality compilations, having previously mined his house collection for two volumes of My Love Is Underground on Favorite Recordings. "Beauty", though, is the first collection to showcase the depth and variety of his record collection. Stuffed full of rare, hard-to-find and little-known gems, it confirms the Frenchman’s status as one of Europe’s most open-minded record collectors. Amongst its’ 15 tracks you’ll find the Creative Arts Ensemble’s spiritual soul-jazz gem “Unity”, the samba sunshine of Leila Pinheiro, the folksy, Latin-tinged breeziness of Ron Rinadli’s “Mexican Summer”, and the dewy-eyed, late night soul of Nu-Cleus’s ridiculously hard-to-find “Needing A Woman”. The beating heart of the compilation, though, is a selection of heady, heart-warming cuts that blur the boundaries between Philly soul, disco, jazz-funk and boogie. These include the sparkling, synth-laden 1981 boogie of “Do Your Dance” by Shades Of Love (whose members included future ‘80s soul/disco star Meli’sa Morgan), the jazz-funk inspired library grooves of Christer Norden’s “Lay Back”, and the smooth, post-boogie soul of Richardi Mac’s superb “Told You So”. Oh, and “Let Love Flow” by Jamaican singer Sonya Spence, a deliciously sweet and loved-up disco-soul shuffler infused with the distinctive swing of the Caribbean.
These are just some of the highlights; repeat listens will uncover new favourites, hidden gems, and impossible-to-find cuts from the crates of one of Europe’s most celebrated DJs.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: After two breathless sets of rare and raucous house for his ‘My Love Is Underground’ series, renowned Parisian digger Jeremy Underground shows off his softer side with this impeccably curated selection of soul, jazz and boogie on the newly minted Spacetalk. Swapping the stomping 4/4 of his previous work for samba sway and disco shuffle, the Frenchman raids his racks for a dozen of the deepest and most obscure soul and jazz cuts around, captivating minds and moving feet in the process.

When Psychemagik’s Danny McLewin decided to launch Spacetalk Records, he didn’t just want to reissue rare material. From the start, one of his stated aims was to deliver fresh new versions of obscure cuts from his record collection. It’s perhaps fitting, then, that the label’s second 12” breathes new life into a suitably little-known gem: Avant Garde’s 1982 Euro-boogie B-side, “Everybody’s  Lover”. The track was originally featured on the flip of the seven-piece Dutch outfit’s second and final 7”, “Walking Back To Happiness”. It has been a feature of McLewin’s DJ sets for years, inspiring countless track ID requests from excited clubbers. Earlier this year, Danny set out to track down the songwriter-turned-producer behind the record, Avant Garde mastermind Hans Van Hemert. Happily, the search was a fruitful one; not only did Van Hemert own the rights to the song, but he’d also kept hold of the tapes from the original recording sessions. With the Dutchman’s agreement, McLewin asked old friends Jaz and Party Dad, and label co-owner Paul ‘Mudd’ Murphy, to put their own spin on the supersmooth ’82 original. Predictably, they’ve done a bang-up job. On the A-side you’ll find Jaz & Party Dad’s version, which is little less than the extended 12” version that “Everybody’s Lover” always deserved. Smooth, soulful and tactile, the duo’s rework makes full use of the Dutch band’s wonderful vocals, loved-up chords, sparkling synth flourishes and killer bassline, adding a touch of delay to the beats for added ‘80s boogie effect. Murphy takes a different approach on the flip, drawing influence from the pioneering 1980s “proto-house” dubs of acclaimed New York producers Paul Simpson, Winston Jones, Boyd Jarvis and Timmy Regisford. Delay-laden guitar flashes and synthesizer flourishes echo in and out of the mix, whilst saucer-eyed pads rub shoulders with reverb-heavy beats and Avant Garde’s rolling bassline. It’s one of Murphy’s most confident remixes of recent times, and makes a fitting partner to Jaz & Party Dad’s vocal-heavy A-side interpretation.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: The Spacetalk voyage continues with a pair of prime reworkings of Avant Garde's sleazy yet soulful white funk bomb 'Everybody's Lover'. Whether you turn to the slow rolling vocal extension from Jaz & Party Dad or the beefed up bump of Mudd's Dub, you'll have everything you need to make the dance floor move. Totally essential tackle here!


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