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Feeling Kreyol

Les Palé

    OVERVIEW: Strut present the first ever international reissue of in-demand ‘80s zouk LP ‘Las Palé’ by Feeling Kréyol, out of Guadeloupe.

    Producer Darius Denon explains: “This was 1988 and bands like Zouk Machine and Kassav were huge. I had met producer Frankie Brumier when I was performing at festivals and parties and he wanted to record a girl group so we began scouting venues, mainly around the Grande-Terre district in the island’s capital, Pointe-à-Pitre. I ran auditions and picked out the best three voices – Fabienne, Leïla and Yolande. One was singing in a choir and none of them had met each other previously.”

    Recording at a studio in Le Gosier, Denon trained them to sing the songs and spent around 6 weeks recording the album: “I gave them a couple of compositions that I had planned for my own solo album. I remember that we all got on really well; the sessions were fun.”

    The title track ‘Las Palé’ was the lead track pushed as a single and achieved modest success domestically. The band did a few promotional performances in the island’s discotheques but, in the end, the album stalled. “Studios were expensive and there was no cheap technology as we have now. So, the producer ended up cutting corners with the production – the mix was not completely finished and the voices were not synchronised right to some of the tracks.”

    For Denon, he continued his career to the present day, successfully moving to Paris and breaking through with the hit ‘Je t’emmene’ in 1998. Meanwhile, although ‘Las Palé’ turned out to be Feeling Kréyol’s only recording, the interest in the album has grown in recent years with the title track’s lo-fi charm finding its way into sets by Invisible City and onto Red Light Radio and more. This first full reissue is remastered by The Carvery and features full original artwork along with a new interview with Darius Denon.


    Strut present an exclusive new compilation curated by Optimo’s JD Twitch, ‘Kreaturen Der Nacht’, bringing together classics, rarities and oddities from Germany’s original post-punk and DIY scene.

    1979 to 1984 was an era of particular artistic upheaval in Germany as strong subculture scenes formed in many German cities. Emphasis was placed on expression rather than technical perfection, artistic impact rather than skill. DIY self-organisation prevailed with the establishment of small record labels and independently produced records and cassettes. Bands experimented across genres and consciously abandoned the English-speaking mainstream with German band names and lyrics. “Although we had a small underground scene, it was very vibrant,” explains Gudrun Gut of Malaria! “Bands like Die Haut, my first band Mania D., Malaria!... we organised gigs ourselves or friends would open a gallery and have bands playing. We hung around together in a handful of clubs like Risiko or Dschungel and went to gigs at SO36. West Germany had other regional scenes too: Düsseldorf and Köln around Der Plan and the Ata Tak label and there was the Hamburg side with Abwärts. Germany didn’t have a real music industry like the US or England back then."

    This new collection is a personal selection from JD Twitch, built over years of playing the tracks in club sets. “It is not designed to tell a definitive story of what was going on in Germany in this era,” he explains. “Rather, it is simply an arbitrary collection of records I adore from a specific era with a specific attitude that hopefully together sum up some of the musical undercurrents in Germany at that time.”

    The package features a host of rare and unseen photos from the period along with extensive interviews with artists including Beate Bartel (Mania D.), Christoph Dreher (Die Haut), Michael Hirsch (P1/E) and Thomas Voburka (Weltklang). All tracks are remastered by The Carvery with artwork by Optimo’s in-house design man Andrew Beltran.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Those ever reliable folks at Strut enlist the curatorial skills of Optimo selector JD Twitch for a 16 track trip into the angular world of NDW. A distinctly German hybrid of post punk, synthpop, dub and tape experiments, the NDW scene burned bright at the dawn of the 80s, and this flawless set presents that unique sound at its most expressive.

    Oneness Of Juju

    African Rhythms (2018 Reissue)

    Strut present a brand-new edition of Oneness of Juju’s Afro-jazz classic ‘African Rhythms’, originally released on Black Fire in 1975 and first reissued on Strut in 2002.

    For bandleader James “Plunky” Branch, ‘African Rhythms’ marked a significant return to his home town of Richmond, Virginia after a politically charged five years based on the East and West coasts. His personal journey had taken him from activism at Columbia University to San Francisco where Zulu musician Ndikho Xaba used theatre to “resurrect” Afro-Americans with a new African identity. The first incarnation of Plunky’s band, Juju, drew attention to the struggle in South Africa under apartheid, layering heavy Afro rhythms under uncompromising avant garde jazz.

    Back in Richmond, Plunky tapped into the mid-Atlantic preference for Southern R&B and gospel: “Juju had always been blues-based and it was a natural progression to add R&B and dance rhythms. It didn’t change our message.” Produced by Jimmy Gray of Black Fire Records, the new sessions included the title track (“We wanted a song to dance to with a message – ‘you are dancing to African rhythms’”), the positive message of ‘Don’t Give Up’ and political commentary on ‘Liberation Dues’.

    Originally just a regional hit on the East coast and in Washington DC specifically, the album gradually spread, influencing the nascent DC go-go scene. The UK revived the album during the rare groove era of the late ‘80s and the title track has since become a soul-jazz favourite worldwide.

    Remastered from the original sessions and featuring rare photos and extensive liner notes, this new repress also features Part 1 and Part 2 of the original 45 version of ‘African Rhythms’ and the previously unheard ‘Afrobeat’, recently unearthed from the original tapes.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Jeepers! Oneness of Juju's Afrocentric jazz-funk great "African Rhythms" gets a nicely remastered, repackaged reissue from the fine folks at Strut. Quality stuff...

    Strut continue their essential work with the “Godfather Of Ethio Jazz”, Mulatu Astatke, with the first official reissues of his early classics ‘Afro Latin Soul’ Volumes 1 and 2 from 1966, recorded as The Ethiopian Quintet.

    Arriving after Astatke’s life-changing years studying at Berklee College in Boston, the albums were the first experiments in his pioneering sound, fusing Ethiopian cultural music with Afro Latin and jazz forms. “I have always felt a deep connection between Latin and African music,” he explains. “I travelled to Cuba and listened to their musicians; the tempo, rhythm and feeling was very similar to different African forms. In the mid-‘60s, I formed a band called The Ethiopian Quintet in New York comprising Ethiopian, Latin and Afro-American musicians - the band included trumpeter and pianist Rudy Houston who later played with Yambu and Felix Torres who played with La Sonora Poncena.”

    Supported by Worthy Records’ Gil Snapper who offered to record the quintet, Astatke began to experiment during two separate sessions: “We created a different feel and different arrangements. On the first recording, I played an adaptation of an ancient Ethiopian warrior song, ‘I Faram Gami I Faram’ - the lyrics were translated so that the singer could sing it in Spanish. Some compositions were important steps for me: ‘Mascaram Setaba’ (‘Summer Is Coming’) ‘Shagu’ and ‘Almaz’. With the second album, a personal favourite is ‘Girl From Addis Ababa’ which worked very nicely as a fusion of Ethiopian modes and R&B rhythms.”

    Astatke would start to perfect his Ethio jazz sound on his later album for Worthy in 1972, ‘Mulatu Of Ethiopia’ (STRUT129) but the two volumes of ‘Afro Latin Soul’ stand as important recordings documenting his early career. “It was a very interesting time to be in New York during the mid-‘60s. I was there at the same time as Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Fela Kuti and we each tried to play our part in putting Africa on the map of contemporary jazz.”

    ‘Afro Latin Soul’ Volumes 1 and 2 come in their full original artwork and are painstakingly remastered by The Carvery. All formats feature personal liner notes by Mulatu Astatke.

    Lloyd Miller & The Heliocentrics

    Lloyd Miller & The Heliocentrics (OST)

    Recorded following their award-winning collaboration with Ethio jazz pioneer, Mulatu Astatke (Mojo magazine Top 50 of the year 2009, Sunday Times World Music Album of the year), pioneering UK collective The Heliocentrics resurfaced with another fascinating jazz enigma, ethno-musicologist, jazz maestro and multi-instrumentalist, Lloyd Miller.

    Learning various instruments and immersing himself in New Orleans jazz through his father, a professional clarinet player, Lloyd Miller first trained himself in the styles of George Lewis and Jimmy Giuffre and cut his first Dixieland jazz 78 rpm record in 1950. During the late ‘50s, his father landed a job in Iran and Miller began to develop a lifelong interest in Persian and Eastern music forms, learning to play a vast array of traditional ethnic instruments from across Asia and the Middle East.

    He toured Europe heavily, basing himself in Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Germany (where he played with Eddie Harris and Don Ellis) and, most famously, in Paris where he worked with leftfield bandleader Jef Gilson, a phenomenon in French jazz during the early ‘60s. Miller returned to the Middle East during the ‘70s, landing his own TV show on NIRTV in Tehran under the name Kurosh Ali Khan. His show became a national fixture and ran for seven years. More recently, his mid-‘60s album ‘Oriental Jazz’ has become a collector’s favourite.

    Emerging from an acoustic jazz session in 2007 set up by Jazzman, the Heliocentrics collaboration was recorded at the band’s Quatermass Studios in East London during January and February 2010, a fresh, freeform mix of Eastern arrangements, jazz and angular psychedelics. The recordings involved a number of ethnic instruments that Miller played and studied throughout his career including the oud, Phonofiddle, Indian santur, Chinese shawm and wooden flute.


    Strut present the first ever compilation series to access the archives of one of the greatest of all French Caribbean labels, Disques Debs out of Guadeloupe. Set up by the late Henri Debs during the late ‘50s, the label and studio has continued for over 50 years, releasing over 300 7” singles and 200 LPs, covering styles varying from early biguine and bolero to zouk and reggae. Debs played a pivotal role in bringing the créole music of Guadeloupe and Martinique to a wider international audience.

    Volume 1 of this series marks the first decade of the label’s existence and takes in big band orchestras, home-grown stars, touring bands and a new generation that would emerge at the end of the ‘60s. Early releases were recorded in the back of Henri’s shop in Pointe-a-Pitre, from his own sextet playing percussive biguines to young saxophonist Edouard Benoit, leader of Les Maxels and regular arranger for Debs bands. Other artists ranged from big bands like Orchestre Esperanza and Orchestre Caribbean Jazz to poet and radio personality Casimir “Caso” Létang and folkloric gwo ka artist Sydney Leremon. Debs also capitalised on recording foreign touring artists visiting Guadeloupe during the early ‘60s including Haitian trumpeter Raymond Cicault and Trinidadian bandleader Cyril Diaz.

    Compiled by Hugo Mendez (Sofrito) and Emile Omar (Radio Nova), ‘Disques Debs International’ is released in conjunction with Henri Debs Et Fils and Air Caraibes. The package features a host of rare and unseen photos from the Debs archive with both formats featuring extensive sleeve notes and interviews with Philippe Debs and Max “Maxo” Severin of Les Vikings. Volumes 2 and 3 follow in 2019.

    The Beginning Of The End

    Funky Nassau: The Definitive Collection

    Strut presents the definitive reissues of two all-time classic Caribbean soul and funk albums, The Beginning Of The End’s "Funky Nassau" (1971) and "Beginning Of The End" (1976).

    Emerging from Nassau in the Bahamas in 1971, the band was formed around the Munnings brothers (Ray, Leroy and Frank) and the first song they recorded, "Funky Nassau", became a No. 1 Billboard R’n’B hit, selling over a million copies. 'We wanted to create something new,' remembers Ray Munnings, 'something that was truly Bahamian. We loved funk but wanted to include elements of junkanoo, the indigenous music of The Bahamas.' An album was written within a week and recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami. 'We brought in more Bahamian themes, like "Monkey Tamarind", a wild fruit that grows there.'

    By the time of their second album in 1976, the band was managed by Don Taylor, also Bob Marley’s manager. 'Don took us to Byron Lee’s studio in Jamaica and used Teddy Randazzo (Little Anthony & The Imperials) to direct the sessions,' recalls Munnings. 'He gave us more of an uptempo jazz funk sound with Chicago-style horns.' The album led to a run of incredible bad luck. Booked to support Marvin Gaye’s 'What’s Goin’ On’ tour, the US Musicians Union stepped in and ordered a US group to fill the slot. They were then added onto a major Bob Marley tour in 1976 before he injured his foot, cancelling all dates.

    These definitive official reissues of "Funky Nassau" and "Beginning Of The End" are remastered by The Carvery from original tapes and feature full length tracks from the studio sessions. Both albums feature a history of the albums and the band by vocalist Ray Munnings, alongside rare photos. "Beginning Of The End" appears on loudpress 2LP for the first time. The CD edition features both albums + all extra singles recorded by the band.


    The Beginning Of The End

    The Beginning Of The End

    Strut presents the definitive reissues of two all-time classic Caribbean soul and funk albums, The Beginning Of The End’s ‘Funky Nassau’ (1971) and ‘Beginning Of The End’ (1976).

    Emerging from Nassau in the Bahamas in 1971, the band was formed around the Munnings brothers (Ray, Leroy and Frank) and the first song they recorded, ‘Funky Nassau’, became a No. 1 Billboard R’n’B hit, selling over a million copies. “We wanted to create something new,” remembers Ray Munnings, “something that was truly Bahamian. We loved funk but wanted to include elements of junkanoo, the indigenous music of The Bahamas.” An album was written within a week and recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami. “We brought in more Bahamian themes, like ‘Monkey Tamarind’, a wild fruit that grows there.”

    By the time of their second album in 1976, the band was managed by Don Taylor, also Bob Marley’s manager. “Don took us to Byron Lee’s studio in Jamaica and used Teddy Randazzo (Little Anthony & The Imperials) to direct the sessions,” recalls Munnings. “He gave us more of an uptempo jazz funk sound with Chicago-style horns.” The album led to a run of incredible bad luck. Booked to support Marvin Gaye’s ’What’s Goin’ On’ tour, the US Musicians Union stepped in and ordered a US group to fill the slot. They were then added onto a major Bob Marley tour in 1976 before he injured his foot, cancelling all dates.

    These definitive official reissues of ‘Funky Nassau’ and ‘Beginning Of The End’ are remastered by The Carvery from original tapes and feature full length tracks from the studio sessions. Both albums feature a history of the albums and the band by vocalist Ray Munnings, alongside rare photos. ‘Beginning Of The End’ appears on loudpress 2LP for the first time. The CD edition features both albums + all extra singles recorded by the band.

    Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids

    An Angel Fell

    Strut presents the brand new album from cosmic jazz travelers The Pyramids, led by saxophonist Idris Ackamoor, "An Angel Fell". 'I wanted to use folklore, fantasy and drama as a warning bell,' explains Ackamoor. 'The songs explore global themes that are important to me and to us all: the rise of catastrophic climate change and our lack of concern for our planet, loss of innocence and separation... but positive themes too, the healing power of music, collective action and the simple beauty of nature.'

    Produced by Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics, the album was recorded during an intense week at Quatermass studios in London and is one of the deepest, richest works yet from a band reaching their highest creative peak since the early ’70s. Some of the many highlights include the poignant title track depicting a fallen angel in purgatory, outrage and grief on the powerful, hard hitting "Soliloquy For Michael Brown" and the lilting, beautiful album closer, "Sunset".

    The Pyramids originally came together in 1972 at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio where teachers included renowned pianist, Cecil Taylor. After forming in Paris and embarking on a 'cultural odyssey' across Africa, the group recorded three independent albums, "Lalibela" (1973), "King Of Kings" (1974) and "Birth / Speed / Merging" (1976) and became renowned for their striking live shows, mixing percussive, spiritual and space-age jazz with performance theatre and dance. After migrating to San Francisco, they disbanded in 1977. 35 years later, the band reunited in 2012 following growing demand for their music from vinyl collectors. German label Disko B released the freeform album "Otherwordly" and in 2016, they released their first album for Strut, the acclaimed "We Be All Africans".


    The Beginning Of The End

    Fishman

      Strut presents an exclusive release for Record Store Day, an 11-minute previously unreleased version of folk-soul gem Fishman from 1972 by legendary Caribbean funk band The Beginning Of The End.
      Unearthed recently from the band’s tape archives, Fishman paints a warm picture of life in Nassau. As The Beginning Of The End’s bandleader Ray Munnings remembers, “There was this guy that would walk through the streets early morning – you’d hear him calling ‘Fishmaaan, Fishmaaan!’ He had the catch, fresh from the boats so you could buy grouper, goggle eye and snapper there on your doorstep. The song is a nice way of remembering that slice of island culture from the early ‘70s.”
      This newly unearthed version builds from the 45 version, with the band solo-ing and jamming freely: “it’s great to hear this version after 55 years,” Munnings continues, “we would always stretch out in the studio. We were a tight unit with my two brothers and I at its heart. We just naturally played long during our sessions and it’s great to hear the end part here too – we just started talking together, laughing about cooking up some conk stew!” This new release features the rediscovered full length version and the 45 version, originally released as a B-side to Doin’ The Funky Do. It also includes the in-demand full length edit of the band’s rare groove classic, Funky Nassau built from the Part 1 and Part 2 versions. Fishman is released on Strut on Record Store Day (21st April 2018) featuring a strong new cover design by Bethany Porteous. All tracks are remastered from the original reel to reel tapes by Peter Beckmann at Technology Works.

      Strut presents the new album from the modern day leader of Afrobeat, Seun Kuti. The youngest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti is as incensed by injustice as his father ever was and, with his mighty new album Black Times including a feature from Carlos Santana, he honours the revolutionaries who have gone before and rallies the torch-bearers to come.

      Black Times is the fourth album by Seun & Egypt 80, the extraordinary dance orchestra created by Fela as a conduit for the common people. Inherited by the 14-year-old Seun in 1997, the younger Kuti has been building to this, his most accomplished and honest album yet. “Black Times is a true reflection of my political and social beliefs,” says Seun, 34. “It is an album for anybody who believes in change and understands the duty we have to rise up and come together. The elites always try to divide the poor people of the world. The same oppression felt by workers in Flint, Michigan is felt by workers in Lagos and Johannesburg.”

      Here, then, are tracks designed to spark conversation and realign priorities. The elegant ‘African Dreams’ insists that commercial success counts for little. Pay no heed to examples set by “accepted” African-American celebrities, says Kuti, and marvel instead at the philosophies of great thinkers like the late Pan-Africanist Doctor Amos Wilson. “The message,” Kuti sings, “is free.” ‘Black Times’, featuring Carlos Santana, gives us truth. Lyrics such as “Understand your history / rise to be free” shine a forensics-style black light on that which is otherwise hidden. ‘Bad Man Lighter’ is a horn-heavy track calling out duplicity and defending the right to smoke the good weed; the politically charged ‘Corporate Public Control Department (C.P.C.D)’ is a roiling protest anthem directed at Muhammadu Bahari’s Nigerian government and indeed, at deceitful politicians the world over. Co-written with veteran Egypt 80 saxophonist Abedimeji ‘Showboy’ Fagbemi, the frenetic, fingerpointing ‘Kuku Kee Me’ borrows from a Nigerian saying (“When someone is always on your case, you’re like ‘Save yourself the stress and kuku kill me now’”) while ‘Theory Of Goat And Yam’ ridicules a homily invented by former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, who justified corruption by likening politicians to goats tempted by yams: “By taking money meant for a hospital or to build roads, they are actually costing human lives.” ‘Last Revolutionary’ is a paean to authentic leaders past, present and future, name-checking homegrown African revolutionaries and freedom fighters like Kwame Nkrumah and Thomas Sankara. “I say the names of these men who died for us without any promise of resurrection,” says Seun Kuti. “Maybe people will Google them, then set out on a journey whose destination is unknown.”

      Orchestre Les Mangelepa

      Last Band Standing

      Nationale, based in Lubumbashi in the Eastern Congo. During the ‘60s and ‘70s, Congolese Rumba had become the dominant musical force across Africa ad Nairobi became a magnet since PolyGram, EMI and other international companies had studios and pressing plants in the city. In 1973, Baba Gaston’s band recorded in Kenya and relocated there permanently in 1975. Evany (Kabila Kabanze) and Bwamy Malumona were the bandleaders and held a residency at the Aquarius Club in Ngara but within Baba Nationale there was unhappiness about how Baba Gaston was treating them. A breakaway faction recorded 'Mbungu' and 'Kijana' under the name Les Mangelepa as a side project and a split became inevitable. Led by the Evany and Bwamy, the majority of the members of Orchestre Baba Nationale soon quit and formed Orchestre Les Mangelepa.

      Developing a regular residency in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park at the Park Inn, Mangelepa began to draw huge crowds. Their early recordings helped them to establish their authority, released on contemporary labels like Jojo and Tobina. Alongside a spectacular horn section they were known for their tight vocals and bittersweet, poetic lyrics and, during the late ‘70s, Mangelepa’s stage shows were an unsurpassed breath-taking circus. They held a wide appeal across a spectrum of Kenyans; Congolese (Lingala) music was hugely popular and Mangelepa’s Swahili lyrics used the genre and brought Kenyans together across ethnic divisions. The popular music of Kenya at that time included Benga from the shores of Lake Victoria and Chakacha from the coast; Les Mangelepa became skilful and adept songwriters, harnessing the energy from these other music styles.

      The band’s fame spread across East Africa, scoring household hits in Kenya with songs like 'Maindusa' and 'Embakasi'. In the late ‘70s, under George Opiyo’s management, they embarked on lengthy tours of Uganda and Malawi and returned to their long-running Nairobi residency at Garden Square. In 1982 they headed to Zimbabwe via Tanzania and Zambia and, after breaking into two factions, made several acclaimed albums including 'Safari Ya Mangelepa' and 'Madina' for PolyGram.

      Their popularity began to wane during the mid-‘80s until, in the early 2000s, Tom Kazungu took over their management and began to help breathe new life into the band, recording 'Mangelepa Millennium'. They took up new residencies at Tents Club on Mombasa Road and Simmers, right in the centre of Nairobi. In 2016, Les Mangelepa finally made it out of Africa, touring Europe including the Afrika Festival in Hertme, Netherlands. This new album, recorded by No Nation’s Guy Morley, encapsulates some of their best-loved material, re-recorded and brought up to date using the current personnel of their Nairobi Vibro residency. They represent a wonderful era of African music and justifiably warrant the title ‘Last Band Standing’.

      - First ever new international studio album by legendary African rumba big band
      - Band features several original members
      - Album includes covers of huge East Afrcan hits ‘Maindusa’ and ‘Kanemo’
      - Physical format includes definitive band biography and interviews

      Trevor Jackson (Playgroup / Underdog / Output Recordings) returns with the eagerly awaited second instalment of his 'Metal Dance' compilation series, following widespread critical acclaim in the wake of 'Volume 1'. Drawing from Jackson’s deep collection of original industrial, post-punk, EBM and new wave, the album is an inspired mix of sounds and styles, mining classics, dub versions, oddities and secret weapons inspired by his formative clubbing years at many of London's seminal nightlife haunts.

      Alongside more familiar names like Visage, Chris & Cosey, Front 242 and Ministry, the compilation includes unexpected outings by 80s artists Godley & Crème (with the obscure B-side "Babies") and an early incarnation of Sheffield’s ABC, Visa Versa, with "Riot Squad". As before, Jackson also places the spotlight onsome of the less heralded bands of the time and casts the net far and wide: Germany’s Plus Instruments, Spain’s Diseno Corbusier offshoot Esplendor Geometrico, Italy’s Neon and Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Haruomi Hosono out of Japan all feature. The selection even travels as far as Lebanon for the outrageous "Tanki Tanki" by Rene Bandaly Family, a truly one-off slice of intense political Arabic proto-techno (here re-edited by fellow Lebanese artist Rabih Beaini aka Morphosis). Rarities include tracks from pre-Liaisons Dangereuses / DAF group CHBB, Craig Leon & Arthur Brown, and Trevor's own re-edit of Rusty Egan’s "Twilight Zone," all receiving their first official release on CD.

      'Metal Dance 2' is another essential selection of anarchic machine music which remains hugely influential on today’s generation, informing the sound of groups and labels such as The Knife, Factory Floor, Gesaffelstein, COMEME, DFA and L.I.E.S.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Mega selection of synthwave bangers, Industrial rumblers and skewed EDM cuts plucked from the archives by Trevor Jackson. If you're tuned into the likes of Bahnsteig 23, LIES and Macadam Mambo, you need to cop this disc.

      Canada’s fastest moving and hardest working collective are back with one of their finest albums to date, a brand new journey into tropical, soul and jazz styles on their scorching new release, ‘Under Burning Skies’.

      Turbulent times call for strong voices and The Souljazz Orchestra’s new set packs a suitably heavy lyrical punch, with wry observations and an urge for progressive change. Musically, the band continue to push the limits, dusting off ‘80s vintage synthesizers and early drum machines for the first time, bringing lo fi disco, boogie and electro touches to their trademark horn arrangements and earthy analogue sound. The fruits are a-plenty and the group sound at their confident and versatile best from start to finish.

      Opener ‘Dog Eat Dog’ powers in with Mabinuori Idowu and Philippe Lafrenière lambasting the powerful and the corrupt over an infectious Afro-disco groove; ‘Lufunki’ takes the group right back to their B-Boy roots, bringing the Afro vibes to Beat Street and ‘Is Yeelyel’ delivers a killer rework of an obscure original by Somalian super-group Dur-Dur Band.

      The band go on exploring their passion for French Caribbean styles on the beautiful, lilting ‘Oublier Pour Un Jour’ and ‘Tambour À Deux Peaux’ and they take time for reflection on the potent instrumental title track and poignant closer ‘Aduna Jarul Naawo’, featuring the vocals of Élage Mbaye.

      The Souljazz Orchestra continue to be an unstoppable force. Nominated for a Canadian Juno award for the third time in 2016, the band regularly tear up venues worldwide through their punishing touring schedule – they have played to audiences in over two dozen countries across the globe and have shared bills along the way with heavyweights as varied as Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, and Femi Kuti. Not many bands out there have been going for 15 years with their original line-up still intact while still sounding as fresh as this. As saxophonist Ray Murray says, “Souljazz is more than just a band for us, it’s a way of life.”


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Brimming with influence from all over the globe, this soulful mix of jazz, Afrobeat and disco hits hard, but with a sensibilty rarely seen in dancefloor groovers. Defly balanced grooves meet head-first with swimming vocals and silken rhythms.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: The LP is pressed on bright yellow vinyl.

      Mulatu Astatke

      Mulatu Of Ethiopia

      Strut present the first official reissue of a landmark album in the field of African music, Mulatu Astatke’s ‘Mulatu Of Ethiopia’ from 1972. Recorded in New York, the album arrived at a time when Astatke had begun to master the delicate fusion of styles needed to create Ethio jazz. “I left the UK for America and studied at Berklee College in Boston. I learnt the technical aspects of jazz and gained a beautiful understanding of many different types of music. That’s where I got my tools. Berklee really shook me up.”

      Journeying regularly to the Big Apple to play and watch live shows at the Cheetah, the Palladium and the Village Gate, Astatke met producer Gil Snapper on the circuit. “Gil was a nice and very interesting guy. He produced music and worked with all kinds of musicians.” The meeting would lead to a series of albums on Snapper’s Worthy label. The first, ‘Afro Latin Soul’, documented Astatke’s new-found directions. “Mulatu has created a new sound,” enthused Snapper on the album jacket. “He has taken the ancient five-tone scales of Asia and Africa and woven them into something unique and exciting; a mixture of three cultures, Ethiopian, Puerto Rican and American.”

      A second volume of ‘Afro Latin Soul’ followed before Astatke began to hone his sound further, infusing funk and cultural influences into the mix. Returning to a downtown Manhattan studio with Snapper and working with some of the city’s top young jazz and latin session players, ‘Mulatu Of Ethiopia’ began to take shape. “We rehearsed for 3-4 weeks,” remembers Astatke. “it took them a while to get the right feeling in the music.”

      The resultant album represented the first fully formed document of Astatke’s trademark Ethio jazz sound. It features ‘Kulunmanqueleshi’, ‘Dewel’, and ‘Kasalefku-Hulu’, tracks that Mulatu would return to regularly on singles and in live shows, the Ethio-Latin workout ‘Chifara’ and the self-titled groover ‘Mulatu’ (“I wanted to make a track for... myself!”).

      This definitive reissue of the album comes in a limited edition 3LP 6-panel gatefold set featuring the stereo album master, a pre-mix mono master and a selection of out-takes from the sessions, giving the listener rare access to the DNA of the studio process. Also available are standard 1CD and 1LP formats.

      All formats feature a new interview with Mulatu Astatke and rare photos.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Martin says: If ever there was an example of the positive consequences of an open mind and the potential within cross-cultural pollenization, Mulatu Astake is it. Born in Western Ethiopia, he settled in Wales, then London, before moving on again to Boston (U.S.). He worked with musicians schooled in Latin tradition while in New York; it was absorbing these influences that led him to approach his own traditions in a new way, and "Ethio-jazz", with it's western instrumentation, funk and Latin spice and evocative Ethiopian scales and structure was born. Genius might be an overused word, but I don't have another.

      Sun Ra

      Singles - The Definitive 45s Collection - Volume 2: 1962-1991

      Following 2016’s definitive collection of singles released by Sun Ra from across his illustrious career, Strut present the second volume of the vinyl edition on 3LP format which focus on Ra’s later 1962-1991 period. Released sporadically during the three decades and primarily on the Saturn label, the 45s offer one-off missives from Ra’s prolific cosmic journey, tracing the development of his forward-thinking 'Space-Bop' and his unique take on jazz and blues traditions which remains unlike anything else from the period. As with the first volume vinyl editions, the collection is hugely varied, ranging from Ra’s spoken word recitations and some of his R&B recordings to alternative versions of Arkestra staples like "Love In Outer Space", "Enlightenment" and "Rocket No. 9". The singles are also unpredictable vehicles for Ra’s music, combining different tracks from different sessions and occasionally making available music which was recorded many years beforehand. On the volume 2 vinyl editions, we find tracks that have only ever been seen via a small handful of copies including "Love In Outer Space" b/w "Mayan Temple" and "The Blue One" b/w "Orbitration In Blue"; some were planned and pencilled but allegedly never made it to vinyl and some appeared as limited one-off magazine singles including Ra’s very last single release, the reflective "I Am The Instrument". Sleeve note writers Chris Trent and Paul Griffiths brilliantly illustrate the role of the single within Ra’s career and break down each release with detailed track by track notes. Working with Sun Ra LLC and Sun Ra archivist Michael D. Anderson, Strut has also assembled the best possible master sources for each track.

      "Singles Vol. 2" features fully remastered tracks, rare photos, original 45 artwork, Chris Trent sleeve notes and detailed track by track and session notes by Paul Griffiths.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: Sun Ra used to fall asleep mid-sentence, with his eyes open no less, only to wake up hours later and carry on exactly where he'd left off. This second set of Sun Ra singles packs all the esoteric cosmic power that anecdote suggests - take the trip!

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      7" Box Set Info: Very limited edition 10 x 7" box set.

      Sun Ra

      Discipline 27-11

        THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2017 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

        Strut and Art Yard present a special release for Record Store Day 2017, the first ever official reissue of Sun Ra’s revered Discipline 27-II LP from 1972.

        The recordings for the album took place on the 19 and 20 October 1972 at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, with the largest Arkestra line-up Sun Ra had yet taken into a studio session. The date was produced by Impulse! and Riverside veteran Ed Michel and, for the first time, the Arkestra was recorded in quadraphonic sound.

        Of the two releases eventually prepared from the session, Space Is The Place initially stole the limelight, becoming one of the Arkestra’s most celebrated records. Discipline 27-II, by contrast, would remain a somewhat mysterious occult twin. Although it was one of the few Saturn releases to feature a full colour cover, the album featured slight differences to the master, cover and labels on a series of different pressings.

        The album opens with ‘Pan-Afro’, a chugging, skittering post-bop excursion in 6/4, featuring a solo by John Gilmore followed by the dirge-like ‘Discipline 8’ and the smoky, avant-blues classic ‘Neptune’, blessed by a scrawling Marshall Allen solo. Perhaps the album’s main event is a stately performance of ‘Discipline 27-II’, launching the listener into the deep poetics of the astro-black mythos. Echoed closely by June Tyson, and then by the rest of the Space Ethnic Voices, Ra moves from an explanation of his mission and a reproach to the people of Earth, before offering incantations to the angel realm. ‘We got some news for you,’ he advises wryly: ‘the world ended three thousand years ago.’ We are all stranded on ‘the other side of the end of time’, in a world that already ended three millennia back, at the end of the Egyptian New Kingdom. It’s after the end of the world!

        This first official reissue of Discipline 27-II was prepared in conjunction with Art Yard and Sun Ra LLC. The album is restored from the original master tapes and features complete original artwork and new sleeve notes by Francis Gooding.

        - First ever official reissue of classic Sun Ra album

        - Officially licensed from Sun Ra LLC and restored from original tapes

        - includes the full 25 min. title track

        - new package features all original artwork and new sleeve note by Francis Gooding

        Sun Ra

        Singles - The Definitive 45s Collection - Vol. 1 1952-1961

        Strut present the definitive collection of singles released by Sun Ra across his illustrious career, spanning 1952 to 1991. Released prolifically during the 1950s and more sporadically thereafter, primarily on the Saturn label, the 45s offer one-off meteorites from Ra’s prolific cosmic journey, tracing the development of his forward-thinking “Space-Bop” and his unique take on jazz and blues traditions. The collection is hugely varied, ranging from Ra’s spoken word recitations and his early work with Chicago vocal groups to the different phases of his Arkestra, small group and duet recordings. The singles are also unpredictable vehicles for Ra’s music, combining different tracks from different sessions and occasionally making available music which was recorded many years beforehand.

        As with his LPs, most 45s were only pressed in small runs and have since become extremely rare and sought after. Only a small handful of copies of ‘Love In Outer Space’ b/w ‘Mayan Temple’ and ‘The Blue One’ b/w ‘Orbitration In Blue’ have ever been seen; some have only been discovered in physical form in recent years; some were planned and pencilled but allegedly never made it to vinyl (including ‘Saturn’ and ‘Velvet’ from the Jazz In Silhouette LP) and some appeared as limited one-off magazine singles and posthumous releases, including ‘Hell #1’ aka ‘Out There A Minute’.

        All formats feature fully remastered tracks, rare photos, original 45 artwork, Francis Gooding’s extensive sleeve notes, an interview with Saturn Records founder Alton Abraham by John Corbett and detailed track by track and session notes by Paul Griffiths.

        The set is the most comprehensive collection of Ra’s singles to date. Sleeve note writers Francis Gooding and Paul Griffiths brilliantly illustrate the role of the single within Ra’s career and break down each release with detailed track by track notes. Working with Sun Ra LLC and Sun Ra archivist Michael D. Anderson, Strut has also assembled the best possible master sources for each track.


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Patrick says: Free jazz innovator, Afrofuturist pioneer and possible (probable?) alien Sun Ra transmitted a lot of cosmic wisdom before his eventual return to the mothership. Harnessing an unorthodox compositional style and complex personal mythology, he cultivated a devoted army of followers, fans and acolytes, while forever changing the course of jazz and experimental music. This lavish compendium collects together ten years of Sun Ra singles in one specially remastered package, complete with in depth liner notes, unpublished interviews and original artwork. A triumph of detail and devotion, Strut’s ‘Singles’ is a spaceflight to Saturn away from perfection.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        7" Box Set Info: 10 x 45 box set in flip top box with 32 page bound booklet - extremely limited!


        Sun Ra

        In Some Far Place: Roma '77

          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

          1977 was a transitional time for jazz enigma and self-proclaimed member of an “angel race“, Sun Ra. During the Summer of 1976, he had stormed Montreux and toured West Africa with one of the greatest of his full-sized Arkestras before embarking on occasional solo concerts for the first time, emphasising his prowess at the piano. Although he had always played the blues within Arkestra sets, he now summoned up the rolling tradition of blues piano, recalling Otis Spann, Avery Parrish, stride and ricky-tick styles.

          He made two solo albums for Paul Bley’s Improvising Artists label (’Solo Piano’ and ’St. Louis Blues’) before travelling to Rome. For the concert, featured here, Ra brought in drummer Luqman Ali, who had been part of the Arkestra during the band’s early Chicago years, and vocalist Thomas Thaddeus aka Eddie Thomas. Thomas was a percussionist, dancer and “incense dude“ with the Arkestra throughout the late ‚70s period. He would appear again on Ra’s ’Lanquidity’ album for Philly Jazz in ’79.

          During this intimate concert, Ra takes us through piano and synthesizer renditions of Arkestra staples like ’Love In Outer Space’, ’Space Is The Place’ and ’Calling Planet Earth’ but also explores a selection of jazz standards. Among them, we hear the first ever released Ra version of the 1930s staple ’I Cover The Waterfront’ alongside a dissonant version of ’Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child’ and ’St. Louis Blues’. Ra’s ties to Italy would continue the following year as he recorded three acclaimed albums for Horo Records, run by filmmaker turned label owner, Aldo Sinesio.

          Following 2014’s Marshall Allen compilation, ’In the Orbit Of Ra’ and 2015’s Gilles Peterson-curated ’To Those Of Earth... And Other Worlds’, Strut and Art Yard join forces once more for the first release anywhere of ’In Some Far Place: Roma ’77’. Recorded direct from the sound board and mastered from first generation reel to reel tapes, this is one of the very few trio albums by Sun Ra ever to be released and is exclusively available for Record Store Day 2015. The release features rare photos from recently deceased photographer H.L. Lindenmaier with sleeve notes by the Sun Ra Arkestra’s Knoel Scott.

          - first issue of anywhere of this 1977 recording from Rome.
          - continuation of Strut and Art Yard’s Sun Ra release programme following successful compilations by Marshall Allen (2014) and Gilles Peterson (2015).
          - official reissue mastered from first generation reel to reel tapes.
          - LP features photos by H.L. Lindenmaier, sleeve notes by the Arkestra’s Knoel Scott and new cover design featuring work by Lewis Heriz.


          ‘Aloha Got Soul’ encompasses a vibrant era of contemporary music made in Hawai’i during the 1970s to the mid-1980s as jazz, rock, funk, disco and R&B co-existed alongside Hawaiian folk music. Hawai’i’s identity had undergone huge change: statehood into America in ‘59 and the Vietnam War were the backdrop as Hawai’i’s youth found inspiration in a new wave of international music led initially by The Beatles and Stones and, later, by US R&B bands like Earth Wind & Fire and Tower Of Power. Garage bands flourished during the ‘60s and, by the ‘70s, live music was at its peak.

          For the ‘70s generation of artists, some came through the talent contest ‘Home Grown’ and its accompanying compilation LP. Singer Nohelani Cypriano won it with her instant radio hit, ‘Lihue’. Other winning songs, like Marvin Franklin’s soul surfer jam ‘Kona Winds’, burned more slowly but have endured with DJs today. Many records also packed a powerful message. In 1978, Hawaiian was made the official state language and a huge movement arose to revive hula and traditional music. Steve & Teresa’s ‘Kaho’olawe Song’ longs for an island long gone: the US military had used Kaho’olawe as a bombing range since Pearl Harbor. Nohelani Cypriano sang about the once sleepy town of Kailua, now a popular tourist destination: “Kailua needs no high-rise with her blue skies, not for our eyes. Can you realize?” Leading Hawaiian artists like Aura, Mike Lundy and keyboardist Kirk Thompson’s Lemuria took time in high quality facilities like Broad Recording Studio to make albums. Others grabbed studio time when they could: Tender Leaf’s Murray Compoc worked for the city bus by day and recorded an album during night sessions. Other albums were spontaneous. In 1983, Steve Maii & Teresa Bright recorded an acoustic set in just 3 hours after being invited to a studio following a gig.

          For the artists of the ‘70s, the climate for music changed rapidly during the mid- ‘80s as DJ culture grew and live venues shut down. Hawai’i’s R&B era shone brightly and relatively briefly but, despite brilliant musicians, regular gigs and LP releases, most of the music barely made it to the mainland. Thanks largely to Aloha Got Soul’s Roger Bong, a new interest in this fertile era of Hawaiian music has grown, culminating in this new compilation of overlooked gems. ‘Aloha Got Soul’ is compiled and annotated by Bong and features rare photos and original artwork.


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: A smooth and funky combination of traditional Hawaiian music and groovy beachgazing soul. Sunny weather head-nodders abound.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          CD Info: - First ever compilation documenting Hawai’i’s varied R&B, AOR, jazz and disco scene
          - Rare tracks, mostly never reissued since their original release in Hawai’i
          - sleeve notes by Aloha Got Soul’s Roger Bong featuring exclusive artist interviews, rare photos and original LP artwork


          Following up on 2014’s collection 'In The Orbit Of Ra' Strut dive headfirst back into the vast universe of Sun Ra with a newly curated set from the Ra’s immense 125 LP back catalogue, compiled by Gilles Peterson. The BBC 6Music / Worldwide DJ is a long-time champion of Ra’s music and the UK’s leading tastemaker for jazz-based sounds. It serves as perhaps the best introduction yet to the music of Sun Ra for a whole new generation of converts.

          For the CD version, Peterson picks personal favourites, classics and unreleased tracks and weaves them into a flowing piece across 2CDs, showcasing the incredible variety of Ra’s work. The 2LP edition features full-length versions of selected tracks from the mix (and also includes the full CD mixed version). Sleeve notes on physical formats come from Gilles Peterson with a full Ra career biography by author Robert L. Campbell. The album also features previously unseen photos from the archives of Val Wilmer alongside full musician line-ups and session details.

          Kanaku Y El Tigre

          Quema Quema Quema

          'The only people for me are the mad ones, mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved and desirous of everything' - Jack Kerouac, 'On The Road' (1957). If 'On The Road' lead characters Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty were modern day beatniks, they would find spirited company in Kanaku y El Tigre, a Peruvian collective who release their sophomore album (and first internationally), 'Quema, Quema, Quema', on Strut / Tiger's Milk.

          Back in 2010, their debut album 'Caracoles' brought Kanaku's creative duo Nico Saba and Bruno Bellatin considerable success in Peru with a set of quirky songs inspired by American folk. Five years on, 'Quema Quema Quema' has a whole different atmosphere - euphoric, unapologetically feel-good hooks littered with electronic jitters, ghostly delays, serene Hawaiian slide guitars and a chorus of other-wordly vocal harmonies.

          Featuring 10 songs including two sung in English, 'Quema Quema Quema' is led by the tortured, Impassioned vocals of lead singer Nico Saba and the musical relationship between he and Bruno is key. 'With the new album, we have focused consistently on the melody and the song despite a multiinstrumental approach,' explains Bruno. 'We have always shared this process of dreaming up ideas - we both bring light and darkness into the room and use each other as creative mirrors.'

          'Quema Quema Quema' features some illustrious guest vocalists adding to the Kanaku palette: Almodovar actress Leonor Watling (star of 'Talk To Her'), Peruvian singer-songwriter Pamela Rodriguez and Cecimonster frontman Sergio Saba.

          Their strong musical partnership stems from the '90s, when, in their early teens, they were kicking the dust together in a punk band in downtown Lima. Now in their late 20s and both now bilingual having lived for periods in the UK and the States, their sound owes much to western music forms. Despite being very different characters with near opposite tastes in music, as life-long friends, they see the fruits of their creative partnership as a mutual appreciation living life charged, intense and always ready to 'Burn, Burn, Burn'. The lyrics of lead single, 'Si Te Mueres Manana' encapsulate the Kanaku philosophy: 'if you die tomorrow, make sure you you've done everything you ever wanted'.

          To complement the fluid production and sonic oddities peppering 'Quema Quema Quema', Argentinian graphic artist and cartoonist Ricardo Liniers brings his unique childlike surrealism to the album artwork.


          Rodion G.A.

          Misiunea Spatiala Delta (Delta Space Mission)

            THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

            Strut teams up once again with Rodion Rosça, Romania’s rejuvenated electronic music pioneer, to make available an intriguing lost film soundtrack for the first time anywhere. Inspired by early ’80s Star Wars mania‚ Victor Antonescu had first created ’Misuinea Spatiala Delta’ (’Delta Space Mission’) as a domestic animated TV series in 1983. Despite recording a 15-minute prototype score, Rodion’s music was tragically shelved at a late stage, remaining an unreleased oddity in his archive until now.

            - first ever release for Rodion G.A.’s prototype sci-fi soundtrack, commissioned but never used
            - Album mastered from original reel to reel tapes
            - Follow-up to 2013’s acclaimed Rodion G.A. compilation ‘The Lost Tapes’
            - Continues to position Rodion Rosça as an important player in Eastern European electronic music history

            FOR FANS OF: Can, Kraftwerk, krautrock, Goblin, Death Waltz Records, Silver Apples, Conrad Schnitzler, Brian Eno, Neu!, psych rock, Robert Rental.

            Strut's first collaboration with Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton’s DJ History celebrates Bob Blank’s time at Blank Tapes with an exclusive compilation, covering the many facets of the producer's work. They feature the very first track ever recorded at the studio, Milton Hamilton’s "Crystalized", anthems including Fonda Rae’s "Over Like A Fat Rat" and lesser known Blank classics from the vaults from Debby Blackwell and Mikki. The first ever album retrospective of one of New York’s most revered of all producers, Bob Blank, this album traces the history of his independent studio, Blank Tapes, one of the city’s most important creative dens during the vibrant arts scene of the mid-70s to mid-80s.

            Blank started out in New York in 1973 as a guitarist before producing one of the first 12" disco records in 1975 – Jimmy Sabater’s "To Be With You". He opened his own Blank Tape studios a year later. He quickly became an essential port of call for New York’s diverse artistic community, honing the freeform, anarchic visions of August Darnell, Cristina and Lydia Lunch for ZE Records and, with producers Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael, helping to shape the sound of many disco classics. Musique, Inner Life, Instant Funk and Salsoul Orchestra all recorded classics at Blank Tapes. Arthur Russell also recorded much of his most celebrated disco-related output at the studios under pseudonyms Dinosaur L, Indian Ocean and Felix, as well as "Wax The Van" with Blank’s wife, Lola. Other regulars at Blank Tapes included Latin producer Tito Rodriguez, whose Charanga 76 and Eddie Palmieri recordings with Blank would receive Grammy nominations. Not only that, but jazz and blues heads like Sun Ra and James Blood Ulmer also passed through the Blank Tape mixing desk. An awesome compilation, and another essential from Strut.

            Strut deliver Grandmaster Flash's first high profile studio album in over 20 years! Recorded at Flash's own Adrenaline Lab studio in New York during 2007-2008, the over-riding theme of the album is the global language of hip hop. Throughout the album, Flash mixes up the flow and features some heavyweight guests and intriguing collaborations. Familiar faces appearing on the album include KRS One, Big Daddy Kane, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest frontman Q-Tip and Snoop Dogg alongside mixtape hero Red Cafe and Lynn Carter. Flash sets up an all-female soundclash between MTV favourite Byata, Hedonis Da Amazon and electro queen Princess Superstar for a Miami bass-style party joint. He presents his son, J-Flo on his debut recording alongside Def Jam MC Lordikim Allah and Almighty Thor. Last but not least, Lost Boyz' Mr. Cheeks teams up with old skool heroes Grandmaster Caz of Cold Crush Brothers, and Tito of Fearless Four. An essential album for old and new school hip hop heads!

            Tracklisting
            1. Intro
            2. Shine All Day - Feat. Q-Tip, Kel Spencer & Jumz
            3. We Speak Hip Hop - Feat. Krs One, Afasi, Kase-O, Maccho & Abass
            4. Here Comes My DJ-Feat. DJ Kool & DJ Demo
            5. Bounce Back - Feat. Busta Rhymes
            6. Swagger - Feat. Red Cafe, Snoop Dogg & Lynda Carter
            7. What If-Feat. Krs-One
            8. Interlude
            9. Tribute To The Breakdancer - Feat. Supernat
            10. Grown & Sexy - Feat. Lordikim Allah
            11. When I Get There - Feat. Big Daddy Kane & Hedonis Da Amazon
            12. Interlude
            13. I Got Sumthin' To Say - Feat. Lord Ikim Allah, J-Flo & Almighty Thor
            14. Can I Take You Higher - Feat. Mr Cheeks, Grandmaster Caz & Tito
            15. Unpredictable - Feat. Syndee & Big Daddy Kane
            16. Those Chix - Feat. Byata, Princess Superstar & Hedonis Da Amazon
            17. Bronx Bombers - Feat. Lordikim Allah, Almighty Thor & Mann Child
            18. Zuka
            19. Oh Man - Feat. Syndee & Natacha Atlas
            20. Swagger - Feat. Red Cafe, Snoop Dogg & Lynda Carter (Grandmaster Flash Street Leak Remix)
            21. Shine All Day - Feat. Q-Tip, Kel Spencer & Jumz (Sloth Remix)

            Amp Fiddler & Sly & Robbie

            Inspiration Information

            Strut launch a new series, "Inspiration Information", which sees the label take a break from their usual (excellent) compilations, and come up with a series of studio-based works instead. The series brings together current artists and producers with their musical heroes for a mouth-watering one-off collaboration. With each album centred around an intensive five-day writing and recording session, the emphasis is on spontaneity, musicianship and an open A&R brief. The series kicks off with Detroit soul maverick Amp Fiddler in a head-to-head collision with reggae legends, Sly & Robbie. Arriving at Anchor Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, armed only with a handful of acoustic vocal ideas, Amp and the Riddim Twins recorded the album in just three days during June with overdubs laid down a week later in Detroit. The result is a confident, laid back set that brings a whole new twist to Amp's trademark vocal style: Sly builds innovative digital and live rhythms, Robbie underpins the tracks with solid bass foundations and original generation guests 'Sticky' Thompson (percussion) and Dalton Browne (guitar) add plenty of colour. Back in Detroit, Amp knitted together the finishing touches, adding extra keys and backing vocals. The tracks are never predictable, at times echoing Sly & Robbie's 80s days with Island Records at Compass Point studios, at others structured around more mood-based keyboard pads and new patterns re-inventing the established dancehall template.

            Isaac Hayes / Brainstorm

            I Can't Turn Around / Journey To The Light

            The Beedle boy gets to re-edit some choice disco gems for Strut. Isaac Hayes' anthem, "I Can't Turn Around" was famously covered by Farley Jackmaster Funk and "Journey To The Light" is an ace slice of jazz funk / disco. Both tracks on 12" for the first time ever!


            Latest Pre-Sales

            207 NEW ITEMS

            Not long now until our end of year booklet launch party. November 22 The Pink Room @yes_mcr 6pm - 10:30pm DJ set… https://t.co/g5txc8gXbN
            Wed 14th - 12:18
            RT @wordsandstories: The Fernweh - The Fernweh / Skeleton Key from Piccadilly Records https://t.co/j39ODCO5ra via @PiccadillyRecs
            Fri 9th - 7:32
            Free @KurtVile beer mats available on the counter whilst stocks last. Music and beer is always a good combination.… https://t.co/E7ETBtxcWF
            Fri 9th - 12:42
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