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Theatre West

Bow To The People

    Strut presents one of the most in-demand and significant albums from the archives of Jimmy Gray’s Black Fire Records, ‘Bow To The People’ (1976) by theatre collective Theatre West, based out of Dayton, Ohio.

    Founder Clarence Young III was a US Air Force Vietnam Vet who had been part of a theatrical troupe entertaining soldiers in 15 countries during his tour. When he returned home in 1969, he started Theatre West in Dayton, Ohio as an outlet for inner city youth to come together and express themselves. At its height, the company involved around 27 members. “Everybody played everything and did everything,” recalls bassist Sigmond Dillard. “We all had to sing, dance and act all the time. If someone messed up, you came in. It was a tight unit and we were constantly helping each other out.”

    “There were so many talented and gifted people in our troupe,” continues Dillard. “Rita Brown went on to New York, starring in the film Disco Godfather during the late ‘70s. Bruce Davis went on to work regularly on Broadway in Chicago, All That Jazz and more. Our Musical Director was Delbert Taylor and he also played with Gil Scott Heron’s Midnight Band and with Slave afterwards in the early ‘80s. Vibes player Ben Wilson and I also played regularly with Gil.”

    Recorded at Arrest studios in Washington in ’76, ‘Bow To The People’ brought together songs from several of Theatre West’s best known plays including Bow To The People, The System and Black Love and unflinchingly explored serious issues around drug addiction, mental health and cultural awareness. “The whole idea of Bow To The People was to honour our black forefathers,” explains Dillard. “It was important to do that for the kids that didn’t know.”

    Shelved following the original recording, the Bow To The People album eventually surfaced on a limited CD on Black Fire in 1993. Now receiving its first full international release, the album features the previously unreleased tracks ‘Man Of Many Means’ and ‘I Don’t Know Much About Love’.

    TRACK LISTING

    LP
    A1 Searching For Ourselves
    A2. Crossroads
    A3. Bow To The People
    A4. One Little Chance
    B1. Children Of Tomorrow's Dreams
    B2. Black Love
    B3. Big Brother
    C1. No More Junk
    C2. Della Get Down
    C3. I Am A Woman
    C4. I Really Like It
    D1. Puppet
    D2. Man Of Many Means (Previously Unreleased)
    D3. Cool Out Your Mind

    CD
    1. Searching For Ourselves
    2. Crossroads
    3. Bow To The People
    4. Black Love
    5. One Little Chance
    6. Big Brother
    7. Children Of Tomorrow's Dreams
    8. No More Junk
    9. Della Get Down
    10.I Am A Woman
    11. I Really Like It
    12. Puppet
    13. Cool Out Your Mind
    14. Man Of Many Means (Previously Unreleased)
    15. I Don't Know Much About Love (Previously Unreleased)

    Southern Energy Ensemble

    Southern Energy Ensemble

      Strut presents the first full international release for another lost classic from the Black Fire Records archives, ‘Southern Energy’, the only album recorded by R’n’B and jazz collective Southern Energy Ensemble in 1977.

      Trumpeter Marvin Daniels had been drafted into the US army in Germany during the mid-‘70s, playing in the military touring band 100% Pure Poison. Upon returning to Virginia State College, he met up with an old friend, saxophonist Al Clarke, and they began to form a new band, pulling together various students from the University including Nat Lee (keys), William “Spike” Johnson (drums and percussion) and Adolphus “Peddie” Maples (percussion and vocals). “As Southern Energy, we started playing the chitlin R’n’B circuit and ended up gigging most weekends at clubs, universities and military bases in Virginia and North and South Carolina,” remembers Daniels.

      After meeting Plunky Branch and Black Fire Records MD and producer, Jimmy Gray at a JuJu gig in Richmond, Virginia, Gray signed the band and they recorded some high energy sessions during 1977. “Southern Energy was tight,” continues Daniels. “We had great musicians and great vocalists in Judy Spears and Garrie Wayne, both vocal majors from Virginia State College. The album was all about positive messages and celebrating real people.” Tracks include the storming dancefloor jazz workout ‘Third House’, the optimistic ballad ‘Looking Ahead’ and the extended funk anthem ‘F-U-N-K-Y ‘Til The Day I Die’.

      The band would break up soon after the members left college. Daniels moved to Philadelphia to work with Evelyn “Champagne” King in 1978 before co-founding Chops horns who would go on to become one of the most in-demand US session units of the ‘80s, working with Sugarhill Gang, The Police, The Rolling Stones and more. Maples would go on to play on sessions for Oneness Of Juju.

      TRACK LISTING

      01. Open Your Mind
      02. F-U-N-K-Y ‘Til The Day I Die
      03. Third House
      04. See Funk
      05. Looking Ahead
      06. Energy
      07. The Best Part Of Me Southern Energy

      Sun Ra

      Lanquidity (Deluxe Edition)

        Strut present the definitive edition of Sun Ra’s classic ‘Lanquidity’ album from 1978 with brand new 4LP box set and 2CD editions.

        Recorded overnight at Bob Bank’s Blank Tapes on 17th July 1978 after the Arkestra had appeared on Saturday Night Live, the album is unique in the Ra catalogue. “Most critics felt that it was more of a fusion-inspired record,” explains Michael Ray. “As the name suggests, the album is liquid and languid.” Bob Blank continues, “Musically, it was very ad hoc and freeform. There were horn charts but most tracks came out of improvised jams. Sun Ra just did his thing.”

        Comprising five effortlessly fluid pieces, the album eases in with Lanquidity. Danny Ray Thompson remembers, “This was one of Sun Ra’s on-the-spot compositions. It is almost like an Ancient Egyptian Stargazing Ceremony, mapping out the stars and the planets.” Where Pathways Meet is “Sun Ra’s funky version of an Egyptian march. Pharaoh is sending his troops off to fight and this is his pep-talk!” continues Thompson. “The music seems to take different pathways but still converges.” The loping groove of That’s How I Feel, features the reflective trumpet lines of Eddie Gale with solos by John Gilmore and Marshall Allen: “Marshall comes in with that snake charming oboe.” Says Thompson. The funky Twin Stars Of Thence weaves around Richard Williams celebrated elastic bassline while the haunting closer, There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of), is pure “space music.” The poet Mama Nzinga described it as ‘The essence of light. Spirit takes a ride inside the deep dark space of just being.”

        The new box set edition of ‘Lanquidity’ features the widely distributed version of the album alongside alternative mixes by Bob Blank originally released in limited quantities for a 1978 Arkestra gig at Georgia Tech. Both versions of the album are cut loud at 45 rpm over 2LPs each.

        Housed in a silver foil box, both LP sets reflect the original Phlly Jazz artwork. The first comes in a foil / magenta sleeve while the second features 2 x yellow A4 sheets pasted onto a white sleeve. Also included is a 12-page over-sized booklet featuring unseen photos by Veryl Oakland and liner notes by Tom Buchler (Philly Jazz), Michael Ray and Danny Ray Thompson (Sun Ra Arkestra) and Bob Blank.

        The 2CD version is housed in a foil digipak.

        TRACK LISTING

        4LP TRACKLISTING:
        A1. Lanquidity
        B1. Where Pathways Meet
        B2. That’s How I Feel
        C1. Twin Stars Of Thence
        D1. There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of)
        E1. Lanquidity (Alternate Version)
        E2. Where Pathways Meet (Alternate Version)
        F1. That’s How I Feel (Alternate Version)
        G1. Twin Stars Of Thence (Alternate Version)
        H1. There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of) (Alternate Version)

        2CD TRACKLISTING:
        CD 1
        1. Lanquidity
        2. Where Pathways Meet
        3. That’s How I Feel
        4. Twin Stars Of Thence
        5. There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of)
        CD 2
        1. Lanquidity (Alternate Version)
        2. Where Pathways Meet (Alternate Version)
        3. That’s How I Feel (Alternate Version)
        4. Twin Stars Of Thence (Alternate Version)
        5. There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of) (Alternate Version)

        Miriam Makeba

        Keep Me In Mind

          Miriam Makeba’s ‘Keep Me In Mind’ was her last album for Reprise and reflected major changes in both her own personal life and politically within the USA. After becoming a national star globally following the success of ‘Pata Pata’ in 1967, she had fallen out publicly with her mentor and ‘Big Brother’, Harry Belafonte. Makeba made the decision to return to Africa following an invitation from President Sékou Touré of Guinea. In Conakry, Makeba met Stokely Carmichael, President of civil rights organisation the SNCC and they would later marry. “With the Vietnam War, the student protests and the riots in the ghettos, everyone is scared,” Makeba said. “Everyone is afraid that there will be a great black uprising.” Makeba’s concerts were widely cancelled and both her and Carmichael were followed relentlessly by the FBI.

          Reprise also terminated her contract but brought in producer Lewis Merenstein for her final recording for the label, best known for his work with Van Morrison on ‘Astral Weeks’. Merenstein suggested two Van songs for Makeba to cover, ‘Brand New Day’ from the ‘Moondance’ sessions and ‘I Shall Sing’ and further songs were added to reflect both the political climate and Makeba’s own memories including Stephen Stills’ ‘For What It’s Worth’ and Lennon & McCartney’s wistful ‘In My Life’. New compositions by Makeba and her daughter Bongi included ‘Lumumba’, a personal tribute to Congolese independence leader, Patrice Lumumba. Reflective of the times, the album is infused with a palpable despair but, as in all of her music, a quiet determination still shines through.

          This new reissue of ‘Keep Me In Mind’ is presented in its original artwork and features rare photos and new extensive liner notes by Francis Gooding of The Wire. Remastered from the original tapes by The Carvery.

          TRACK LISTING

          A1. Lumumba 2.46
          A2. For What It’s Worth 2.45
          A3. Brand New Day 3.17
          A4. I Shall Sing 3.06
          A5. Kulala 2.37
          B1. In My Life 3.08
          B2. Down On The Corner 2.32
          B3. Ibande 2.17
          B4. Measure The Valleys 3.33
          B5. Tululu 2.11

          Salah Ragab & Cairo Jazz Band

          Egypt Strut (RSD21 EDITION)

            THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2021 EXCLUSIVE AND WILL BE AVAILABLE INSTORE ON SATURDAY JUNE 12TH ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

            IF THERE ARE ANY REMAINING COPIES THEY WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT 6PM ON THE SAME DAY (SATURDAY JUNE 12TH).


            Strut present the definitive edition of a classic of Egyptian jazz, Salah Ragab's seminal Cairo Jazz Band album from 1973, blending black American jazz with Egyptian folklore and Islamic tradition.

            Plunky & Oneness Of Juju

            Make A Change

              Strut present the definitive edition of a 1977 classic, Plunky & Oneness Of Juju’s ‘Make A Change’ album featuring the international hit ‘Every Way But Loose’ and five previously unheard studio takes.

              Recorded at Omega studios in Maryland, the album marked a transition for the band with lead vocalist Jackie Eka-Ete recording her last sessions with Plunky and Virtania Tillery taking over lead vocal duties. “‘Make A Change’ was always designed as a slightly more commercial entry in our discography,” says Plunky. “We approached the sessions in the same way that we had approached all of our music since the early ‘70s. We played extended jams because we would always find something within those explorations. The songs had enough organic qualities to be considered R&B and enough rhythm to be Afro funk.

              After catching fire in Washington DC clubs through local record pools, the dancefloor favourite ‘Every Way But Loose’ famously became an anthem for Larry Levan at New York’s Paradise Garage, kick-starting international success for the track. Other album cuts like funk workout ‘Higher’ and the wistful stepper ‘Always Have To Say Goodbye’ have remained staples among soulful DJs worldwide. “The songs and lyrics on this album have come back around full circle,” continues Plunky. “With songs like ‘(Family Tree) Make A Change’ and ‘Every Way But Loose’, we don’t have to change one word for them to be relevant all these years later. The positive messages are universal and timeless.”

              This definitive edition of ‘Make A Change’ features the full original album alongside five previously unheard studio takes, all remastered by The Carvery from the original tapes. Bonus tracks include extended studio versions of ‘Every Way But Loose’ and ‘Always Have To Say Goodbye’ and a previously unheard version of ‘Time’. Package features brand new liner notes by bandleader Plunky Branch.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. (Family Tree) Make A Change
              2. Run Away Bay
              3. Love’s Wonderland
              4. Every Way But Loose
              5. Higher
              6. Always Have To Say Goodbye
              7. Plastic (Previously Unreleased Version)
              8. Time (Previously Unreleased Version)
              9. Every Way But Loose (Extended Version)
              10. Run Away Bay (Extended Version)

              Electric Jalaba

              El Hal / The Feeling

                Electric Jalaba comprises six accomplished musicians with an empathy that feels telepathic and a groove that immerses. In Arabic, the mother tongue of Moroccan-born singer and guimbri player Simo Lagnawi, a leading practitioner of Gnawa music in Britain, they call this indefinable quality, “El Hal” – “The feeling”.

                “It’s the feeling that comes when we’re playing and totally forgetting where we are,” says producer and bassist Olly Keen. “The feeling of being grabbed by the music and lost in the groove.” ‘El Hal / The Feeling’ is the new third album from Electric Jalaba and their first release in five years. It’s a multi-faceted work that finds the band tighter than ever, deploying a vast cache of influences across nine tracks improvised and developed in their south London studio then deftly produced by Keen. Some tracks pay homage to the origins of Gnawa music, whose repertoire of Arabic-language praise songs contains remnants of West African dialects – Bambara from Mali, Fulani and Hausa from the Sahel region – that point to a centuries-old migration.

                “The trance-inducing effect of Gnawa was what hit us first. It was visceral, heart stopping,” continues Olly, whose siblings – producer / keys player Henry Keen, guitarist / multi-instrumentalist Nathaniel Keen and singer / multi-instrumentalist Barnaby Keen – make up Electric Jalaba alongside revered Anglo-Italian kit drummer Dave De Rose and Simo on vocals, krakeb and guimbri. “Simo selected the chant from the traditional song suites and, as a band, we extended these short pieces of ceremonial music and experimented with sound and structure,” explains Olly. Tracks include the Juno-led dancefloor single ‘Cubaili Ba’, ‘Agia Hausa’, a multi-layered wig-out that partly takes its inspiration from Senegal’s fiercely percussive mbalax rhythms and ‘Daimla’, a gloriously dubby ode to Allah and iconic maalems including the late Mahmoud Guinea. “There’s a very strong rhythmic element within the band but because of our different perspectives but the melodic components are really unique as well,” says Henry. That feeling of being outside of yourself but totally within yourself at the same time… That’s what all of us, collectively, are striving for.”

                TRACK LISTING

                A1. Tora Tora
                A2. Cubaili Ba
                A3. Agia Hausa
                A4. Daimla
                A5. Hindewu
                B1. Fulan
                B2. Shabakru
                B3. Briando
                B4. Lagmami

                Nubiyan Twist

                Freedom Fables

                Nubiyan Twist return with their brand new album ‘Freedom Fables’ on Strut on 5th February, the follow-up to the acclaimed ‘Jungle Run’ from Spring 2019.

                Woven around soul searching, cautionary tales and parables for modern life, the new album is the most accomplished yet by the Leeds / London collective, effortlessly fusing different soul, jazz and global styles with great musicianship and lyrics. “Freedom Fables reflects on the power of narratives. Each vocalist on this record explores their own memoirs, a freedom of expression underpinning our belief that music is the ultimate narrative for unity,” explains Tom Excell. “The record references a lot of music that we all loved during our formative years; you can hear touches of broken beat, blunted hip hop, highlife, Latin, jazz and UK soul running through the tracks.”

                The album is also packed full with illustrious guest appearances: regular collaborator Cherise features on the brilliant ‘Tittle Tattle’, calling out gossip through acerbic nursery rhyming, the loping ‘Flow’ dealing with the ebb and flow of anxiety and the epic Brazilian jazz workout, ‘Keeper’; UK jazz saxman Soweto Kinch brings a burning alto solo and rhymes to the determined ‘Buckle Up’ alongside the band’s own vocalist Nick Richards as the track aims to “find the door to peace” among life’s challenges. “Soweto is a trailblazer of the UK scene both as an alto player and as a rapper with a unique flow and important lyricism,” reflects Tom Excell. “It was really important for us to invite him to contribute to the album.” Richards continues the “dust yourself off and find hope” theme on the rousing ‘Wipe Away Tears’; Ghanaian great Pat Thomas voices a gorgeous Accra meets London highlife jam; massive new vocal talent Ria Moran (a contemporary from the band’s time at Leeds College Of Music) steps up on the sensual ‘Morning Light’ tackling delicate complexities of the heart and long time friend of the band, KOG, brings his trademark full strength Afro dancefloor energy.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Funky in parts, soulful throughout and beaming good vibes and positive attitude, Nubiyan Twist could be that perfect tonic for garden parties and park gatherings once the lockdown rules are lifted.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Morning Light Feat Ria Moran
                2. Tittle Tattle Feat Cherise
                3. Ma Wonka Feat Pat Thomas
                4. Buckle Up Feat Soweto Kinch
                5. Keeper Feat Cherise
                6. If Only Feat Ruby Wood
                7. 24-7 Feat Ego Ella May
                8. Flow Feat Cherise
                9. Wipe Away Tears Feat Nick Richards
                10. If I Know Feat Kog

                "From A Love Supreme to The Sex Machine!" The personal musical mantra of the late Philadelphia reedman Byard Lancaster informed an open-minded and varied lifetime in jazz. Strut presents one of Lancaster’s lesser known classics, ‘My Pure Joy’, recorded in 1992 for Black Fire. Lancaster had initially cut his musical teeth with the avant-garde on New York’s Lower East Side in the 1960s (famously on sessions with pianist Dave Burrell and drummer Sunny Murray) and in Paris during the ‘70s after an appearance at the Actuel festival but, throughout his career, his path was built around community engagement, positivity and “the Philly jazz sound, Germantown style.” He became an ambassador for the music of the City Of Brotherly Love, starting his own Dogtown label, helping launch the Philly Jazz imprint and campaigning tirelessly to improve the circumstances of the city’s street musicians.

                Lancaster’s sessions for Black Fire were planned following a gig at Caverns Jazz Club in Washington DC. “Jimmy Gray of Black Fire and I originally met during the ‘riotous blisters’ of the late Sixties there,” explained Lancaster. “We became the best of friends.” Backed by a band of Philly musicians including percussionist Keno Speller and Baba Robert Crowder (drummer for Olatunji and Art Blakey), the album also featured the Drummers From Ibadan led by Tunde Kuboye, another influential figure dedicated to community jazz with whom Lancaster had bonded while teaching in Lagos. The result was a free-flowing set of spirituality and positivity, built around full band groove workouts, solo pieces and heavy African roots. “We had big fun documenting this music,” remembered Lancaster. The message of the album remains as relevant today as ever, “I dedicate this album to all African Americans in the USA. To the youth, I ask ‘What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?’” Originally delayed by three years because of cashflow issues within Black Fire, ‘My Pure Joy’ eventually surfaced as one of the label’s final CD releases in 1995.

                TRACK LISTING

                A1. Drummers From Ibadan
                A2. Philadephia Savage
                A3. Sweet Evil
                A4. Lancaster Brand Notes
                B1. Jazz Lady
                B2. Newest African Cities
                B3. My Pure Joy
                B4. Afro Space

                Juju

                Live At 131 Prince Street

                  Strut continue their in-depth archive reissues from the Black Fire label with a definitive edition of JuJu’s ‘Live At 131 Prince Street’, recorded in 1973 at Ornette Coleman’s gallery in New York and featuring a previously unheard recording of the Pharoah Sanders composition "Thembi".

                  After forming in San Francisco while working on the Marvin X theatre piece ‘The Resurrection of the Dead’, JuJu began to hone their uncompromising fusion of Afro-Latin rhythms with free and spiritual jazz before signing to Strata-East for the ‘A Message From Mozambique’ album in 1972. “We moved to New York and became part of the avant-garde community on the Lower East Side and Greenwich Village,” remembers bandleader Plunky Branch. Following a high profile live show at the Lincoln Center, Ornette Coleman invited JuJu to his gallery and loft at 131 Prince Street to perform there and to stay on while he left on tour. “That was life-changing for us,” continues Plunky.“It was fabulous. The recordings you hear on this album are in close proximity to each other, maybe across one day or a weekend at the gallery. “Alongside tracks written by the JuJu band members, like the 5/4 tempo ‘At Least We Have A Horizon Now’, they play choice covers from their peers. Plunky explains, “‘Thembi’ is a Pharoah Sanders piece which he wrote for his wife in 1971 and it’s one of my favourite pieces by him. ‘Azucar Pa Ti’ was written by Eddie Palmieri; we loved him too and enjoyed Latin music in general. Here we play ‘Mozambique’, based on an Afro-Cuban rhythm and we regularly played that for 10 minutes before morphing into ‘Azucar’. ‘Out Of This World’, written by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen, was inspired by John Coltrane who recorded a version of it on his ‘Coltrane’ album in ’62.”

                  JuJu’s ‘Live At 131 Prince Street’ is out on Strut on 12th February 2021 on 2LP and 1CD. Remastered by The Carvery from the original reel to reel tapes and including full sleeve notes based around a new interview with bandleader James “Plunky” Branch.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  A1. At Least We Have A Horizon Now (18:53)
                  B1. Thembi (14:57)
                  C1. Mozambique / Azucar Pa Ti (22:36)
                  D1. Out Of This World (9:22)
                  D2. Rosalie / Juju’S Door (13:04)

                  Recorded at Lovelite Studios in Berlin during November 2008 with further sessions in Finland and Paris, the Tenor / Allen collaboration whipped up a raw, heavy analogue sound mixing the full range of Allen’s Afrobeat repertoire with Tenor’s off-kilter brew of dark humour, tongue-in-cheek lyrics and tight, firing musicianship. The sessions involved key members of Tenor’s Kabu Kabu band and Berlin-based guest MC Allonymous with tracks evolving naturally from jamming ideas together over five intense days of recording, fuelled by plenty of African food and whisky. Tenor’s trademark range of home-made instruments rubbed shoulders with vintage keyboards and traditional African percussion. The resulting set became one of the best recordings that both artists produced during this period. Tracks range from Jimi’s S&M tableau, ‘Darker Side of Night’ to the apocalyptic commentary on our times, ‘Path To Wisdom’ and the hilarious lampooning of the UK immigration system, ‘Mama England’, composed on the Tenor tour bus. The album also featured fusions based around more traditional low-slung Afrobeat structures (‘Sinuhe’, ‘Got My Egusi’) and ended with the epic freestyle juggernaut, ‘Three Continents’, a life affirming, mesmeric groove built around another rough-as-nails Allenko rhythm base. 'Inspiration Information: Jimi Tenor / Tony Allen' is re-released on 22nd February 2021 and is dedicated to the memory of the great, incomparable Tony Allen.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  A1. Against The Wall (Feat. Allonymous)
                  A2. Sinuhe
                  A3. Selfish Gene
                  B1. Darker Side Of Light
                  B2. Got My Egusi
                  C1. Path To Wisdom (Feat. Allonymous)
                  C2. Cella’S Walk
                  C3. Mama England
                  D1. Three Continents

                  Hamiet Bluiett

                  Bearer Of The Holy Flame

                    Strut present the first ever international reissue of a live session for Black Fire by the late, hugely respected baritone saxman and flautist, Hamiet Bluiett, ‘Bearer Of The Holy Flame’, recorded at Sweet Basil in New York in July 1983.

                    Inspired by Harry Carney from Duke Ellington’s band, who had played the baritone as a soloist, Bluiett played with Sam Rivers’ ensemble and famously joined the Charles Mingus Quintet in New York from 1969, touring Europe and appearing on ‘Mingus At Carnegie Hall’. He then started out as a bandleader in 1975, building from work he had started in St. Louis as a co-founder of the influential Black Artists’ Group, a collective dedicated to new work in theatre, visual arts, dance, spoken word, film and music. He went on to form the World Saxophone Quartet alongside former B.A.G. members Julius Hemphill and Oliver Lake and multi-instrumentalist David Murray. Championing the baritone throughout his life, he became a go-to player for many of the biggest artists in jazz and R&B, performing with Babatunde Olatunji, Abdullah Ibrahim, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.

                    One of the few live sessions released on Black Fire, ‘Bearer Of The Holy Flame’ was originally released on Black Fire on CD in 1994, eleven years after being recorded, and is best known for a storming version of Wayne Shorter’s ‘Footprints’.

                    CD Package features Jimmy Gray’s original sleeve notes with brand new liner notes tracing Bluiett’s career. Remastered from the original tapes by The Carvery

                    Alostmen

                    Kologo

                      “Kologo there before my mother, kologo music be the root…”

                      Strut present the brand new album from Alostmen, led by Stevo Atambire, a band at the forefront of kologo music in Ghana.

                      Formed by Stevo and Wanlov The Kubolor (Fok’n Bois) at the suggestion of co-producer Percy Yip Tong, Alostmen’s music is based around the Frafra traditions of the kologo, a stringed lute and uses purely traditional instrumentation in entirely new ways. “I always like to do something “out” with my instrument, I like to force it to work,” explains Stevo. “I’m a yout’man and into different kinds of music: commercial, rap music, reggae, Malian sounds. I add all of it to the band’s sound in different ways.” Wanlov continues, “The kologo is traditionally played a certain way but Stevo will play it at the shortest end of bridge and accentuate, almost Hendrix-style! He plays with a pedal sometimes and can keep it an octave down with a bass sound. He has evolved the instrument in his own way.”

                      “I had been touring with Stevo in my band Afro Gypsy in 2017,” Wanlov continues, “and we began recording the tracks for this album on the road during one of our last tours to Uganda and the upper North West region of Ghana. I had a mobile studio unit and recorded him in his hotel rooms, in closets, wherever we could find that sounded good.” The band comprises Jo Ajusiwine, a brilliant goje (two-string fiddle) player and singer, talking drummer Aminu Amadu who has played in Ambolley’s highlife band and Sowah who plays heavy Ga rhythms on the gome box, djembe and conga. I play the kologo and give people the message. We don’t need anything else!” Stevo and Wanlov also invited selected guests to join the album sessions. Ambolley himself features on the driving ‘Minus Me’ while one of Stevo’s childhood friends and a national star, Yaa Pono, appears on the yearning ‘Fauziah’. “We just chose the right tracks for different guests and it all fit naturally,” continues Stevo. Medikal was a really nice guy with good vibes, now also a major artist, Villy is a great Nigerian singer based in Ghana and Eli Muzik has an unusual operatic vocal style. We play with him a lot. We didn’t just use ‘names’, just people that were great at their craft.”

                      The band call themselves Alostmen “because we were lost in the street, the forgotten people,” explains Stevo. “My people listen closely to my lyrics so I never just sing anything. People at home see music as a teaching so I always try to send a good message. I talk of this region, how they used to live and what they experience today. I try to bring development, peace and unity to the community, to give them hope to achieve.” Wanlov continues: “The language of the music is Frafra, a Guruna language. The Frafra people are semi-nomadic, they deal with herds of cattle, they practice goje, kologo and a type of flute. The kologo players are similar to griots. Having already played dates across West Africa and Europe, Alostmen continue their journey with their superb debut album, ‘Kologo’, out on 29th January 2021, The album was mixed by DrumTalk and mastered at The Carvery. Cover artwork is courtesy of Lewis Heriz.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      says: Ghanaian supergroup Alostmen join the Strut ranks with this future facing LP, evolving traditional sounds for the 21st Century.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Kologo Feat. Wanlov The Kubolor
                      2. Teach Me Feat. Villy
                      3. Fauziah Feat. Yaa Pono
                      4. Minus Me Feat. Gyedu-Blay Ambolley
                      5. Do Good Feat. Medikal
                      6. Bayiti
                      7. Carry Me Go Feat. Eli Muzik
                      8. Tanga
                      9. Killer Fear Die
                      10. Lorogo
                      11. Atubga
                      12. Baba
                      13. Teach Me Feat. Villy (Original Ghana Mix)
                      14. Minus Me Feat. Gyedu-Blay Ambolley (Original Ghana Mix)

                      Sun Ra

                      Dark Myth Equation Visitation

                      In the years leading up to 1971, Sun Ra wrote many compositions and poems specifically inspired by the ancient African Kingdoms and many others with associated mythological and heliocentric connotations. As such, a visit to Egypt and the opportunity for the Arkestra to play there was a matter of necessity. Ra’s first ever concerts outside of the US had occurred in late summer and autumn of 1970 with performances in France, Germany and the UK and a second European tour was arranged for late 1971. At the end of that second tour, Ra caught wind of cheap flights from Denmark to Cairo.

                      This release comprises recordings made by Arkestra member Thomas “Bugs” Hunter made in December 1971 in the streets around the Mena House Hotel, Giza, from a concert held at the house of Goethe Institute ex-pat Hartmut Geerken in Heliopolis, from a live Cairo TV channel broadcast and a concert at the Ballon Theatre in Cairo.

                      The impact and significance of these few weeks upon Sun Ra can be measured by the growth and development of his output over the next few years; the immediate post-Egypt period included new studio and live recordings on the Saturn, Blue Thumb, Atlantic and Impulse labels and the ‘Space Is The Place’ movie. Ra also edited the three LPs of the ‘Live In Egypt’ series which were subsequently released on his Saturn record label and its affiliated twin, Thoth Intergalactic: ‘Dark Myth Equation Visitation’, ‘Nidhamu’ and ‘Horizon’.


                      TRACK LISTING

                      A1. Discipline No. 27
                      A2. Solar Ship Voyage
                      A3. Cosmo-Darkness
                      A4. The Light Thereof
                      B1. Friendly Galaxy No. 2
                      B2. To Nature’s God
                      B3. Why Go To The Moon?

                      In the years leading up to 1971, Sun Ra wrote many compositions and poems specifically inspired by the ancient African Kingdoms and many others with associated mythological and heliocentric connotations. As such, a visit to Egypt and the opportunity for the Arkestra to play there was a matter of necessity. Ra’s first ever concerts outside of the US had occurred in late summer and autumn of 1970 with performances in France, Germany and the UK and a second European tour was arranged for late 1971. At the end of that second tour, Ra caught wind of cheap flights from Denmark to Cairo.

                      This release comprises recordings made by Arkestra member Thomas “Bugs” Hunter made in December 1971 in the streets around the Mena House Hotel, Giza, from a concert held at the house of Goethe Institute ex-pat Hartmut Geerken in Heliopolis, from a live Cairo TV channel broadcast and a concert at the Ballon Theatre in Cairo.

                      The impact and significance of these few weeks upon Sun Ra can be measured by the growth and development of his output over the next few years; the immediate post-Egypt period included new studio and live recordings on the Saturn, Blue Thumb, Atlantic and Impulse labels and the ‘Space Is The Place’ movie. Ra also edited the three LPs of the ‘Live In Egypt’ series which were subsequently released on his Saturn record label and its affiliated twin, Thoth Intergalactic: ‘Dark Myth Equation Visitation’, ‘Nidhamu’ and ‘Horizon’.


                      TRACK LISTING

                      A1. Space Loneliness No. 2
                      A2. Discipline No. 11
                      A3. Discipline No. 15
                      B1. Nidhamu

                      Sun Ra

                      Egypt 1971

                        In the years leading up to 1971, Sun Ra wrote many compositions and poems specifically inspired by the ancient African Kingdoms and many others with associated mythological and heliocentric connotations. As such, a visit to Egypt and the opportunity for the Arkestra to play there was a matter of necessity. Ra’s first ever concerts outside of the US had occurred in late summer and autumn of 1970 with performances in France, Germany and the UK and a second European tour was arranged for late 1971. At the end of that second tour, Ra caught wind of cheap flights from Denmark to Cairo.

                        This release comprises recordings made by Arkestra member Thomas “Bugs” Hunter made in December 1971 in the streets around the Mena House Hotel, Giza, from a concert held at the house of Goethe Institute ex-pat Hartmut Geerken in Heliopolis, from a live Cairo TV channel broadcast and a concert at the Ballon Theatre in Cairo.

                        The impact and significance of these few weeks upon Sun Ra can be measured by the growth and development of his output over the next few years; the immediate post-Egypt period included new studio and live recordings on the Saturn, Blue Thumb, Atlantic and Impulse labels and the ‘Space Is The Place’ movie. Ra also edited the three LPs of the ‘Live In Egypt’ series which were subsequently released on his Saturn record label and its affiliated twin, Thoth Intergalactic: ‘Dark Myth Equation Visitation’, ‘Nidhamu’ and ‘Horizon’.


                        TRACK LISTING

                        CD1
                        SUN RA AND HIS ASTRO-INTER-GALACTIC-INFINITY-ARKESTRA – LIVE IN EGYPT VOL. 1 (NATURE’S GOD) / (DARK MYTH EQUATION VISITATION)

                        1. Discipline No. 27
                        2. Interview With Ra
                        3. Solar Ship Voyage
                        4. Interview With Ra (Concluded)
                        5. Cosmo-Darkness
                        6. The Light Thereof
                        7. Friendly Galaxy No. 2
                        8. To Nature’s God
                        9. Why Go To The Moon?
                        Sun Ra And His Astro-Inter-Galactic-Infinity-Arkestra – Nidhamu (Live In Egypt Vol. Ii) (Original Album)
                        10. Space Loneliness No. 2
                        11. Discipline No. 11
                        12. Discipline No. 15
                        13. Nidhamu

                        CD 2
                        Sun Ra And His Arkestra – Horizon (Original Album)
                        1. Starwatchers / Theme Of The Stargazers
                        2. Discipline No. 2
                        3. Shadow World
                        4. Third Planet
                        5. Space Is The Place
                        6. Horizon
                        7. Discipline No. 8
                        8. We’ll Wait For You
                        9. The Satellites Are Spinning
                        10. Enlightenment
                        11. Love In Outer Space

                        CD 3
                        Unreleased Recordings 1
                        1. Next Stop Mars
                        2. Pleiades
                        3. We’ll Wait For You
                        4. The Bridge
                        5. Nidhamu (Part 1)
                        6. Nidhamu (Part 2)
                        7. Discipline No. 27
                        8. They’ll Come Back

                        CD 4
                        Unreleased Recordings 2
                        1. Calling Planet Earth
                        2. Imagination
                        3. Discipline
                        4. Angels And Demons At Play
                        5. We Sing This Song
                        6. Space Is The Place
                        7. Organ Interlude
                        8. Angels And Demons At Play
                        9. Egyptian Oasis
                        10. Egyptian Oasis 2
                        11. Space Is The Place
                        12. Neptune

                        In the years leading up to 1971, Sun Ra wrote many compositions and poems specifically inspired by the ancient African Kingdoms and many others with associated mythological and heliocentric connotations. As such, a visit to Egypt and the opportunity for the Arkestra to play there was a matter of necessity. Ra’s first ever concerts outside of the US had occurred in late summer and autumn of 1970 with performances in France, Germany and the UK and a second European tour was arranged for late 1971. At the end of that second tour, Ra caught wind of cheap flights from Denmark to Cairo.

                        This release comprises recordings made by Arkestra member Thomas “Bugs” Hunter made in December 1971 in the streets around the Mena House Hotel, Giza, from a concert held at the house of Goethe Institute ex-pat Hartmut Geerken in Heliopolis, from a live Cairo TV channel broadcast and a concert at the Ballon Theatre in Cairo.

                        The impact and significance of these few weeks upon Sun Ra can be measured by the growth and development of his output over the next few years; the immediate post-Egypt period included new studio and live recordings on the Saturn, Blue Thumb, Atlantic and Impulse labels and the ‘Space Is The Place’ movie. Ra also edited the three LPs of the ‘Live In Egypt’ series which were subsequently released on his Saturn record label and its affiliated twin, Thoth Intergalactic: ‘Dark Myth Equation Visitation’, ‘Nidhamu’ and ‘Horizon’.


                        TRACK LISTING

                        A1. Starwatchers / Theme Of The Stargazers
                        A2. Discipline No. 2
                        A3. Shadow World
                        B1. Third Planet
                        B2. Space Is The Place
                        B3. Horizon
                        B4. Discipline No. 8

                        Sun Ra Arkestra

                        Swirling

                          The planets align this October as the mighty Sun Ra Arkestra, under the direction of the maestro Marshall Allen, release their first studio album in over twenty years, ‘Swirling’. Recorded at Rittenhouse Soundworks in Philadelphia, the new recording represents the continuation of a heartfelt rebirth of the Arkestra under Allen’s guidance since Sun Ra left the planet in 1993, gaining new generations of followers from their regular touring across the globe. With a big band line-up featuring long-standing Arkestra members including Danny Ray Thompson (RIP), Michael Ray, Vincent Chancey, Knoel Scott, Cecil Brooks, Atakatune (RIP), Elson Nascimento and Tyler Mitchell, the album is a full-blooded celebration of Sun Ra’s legacy.

                          Tracks include brand new arrangements of Arkestra staples ‘Angels And Demons At Play’, ‘Satellites Are Spinning’, ‘Door Of The Cosmos’ and ‘Rocket No. 9’ alongside lesser known gems; the rousing blues ‘Darkness’ is recorded here for the first time, resurrected from the Ra archives by Marshall Allen. Other highlights include an epic version of ‘Seductive Fantasy’ (first recorded on Ra’s ‘On Jupiter’ LP in 1979), the freeform sonic blast of ‘Infinity / I’ll Wait For You’ and a first ever recording of the Marshall Allen swing composition, ‘Swirling’.

                          “We truly hope that this recording brings much joy to a planet which is so deeply in need of a spirit sound and vibration,” states saxophonist Knoel Scott. “We hope it contributes to a change in the ominous direction of man’s journey through the cosmos.” “This new release is the Arkestra’s love offering to the world,” concludes Marshall Allen. “Beta music for a better world.” 


                          TRACK LISTING

                          CD
                          1. Satellites Are Spinning / Lights On A Satellite
                          2. Seductive Fantasy
                          3. Swirling
                          4. Angels And Demons At Play
                          5. Sea Of Darkness / Darkness
                          6. Rocket No. 9
                          7. Astro Black
                          8. Infinity / I’ll Wait For You
                          9. Sunology
                          10. Door Of The Cosmos / Say

                          2LP
                          A1 Satellites Are Spinning / Lights On A Satellite
                          A2 Seductive Fantasy
                          B1 Angels And Demons At Play
                          B2 Swirling
                          B3 Sea Of Darkness / Darkness
                          C1 Astro Black
                          C2 Infinity / I’ll Wait For You
                          C3 Queer Notions
                          D1 Rocket No. 9
                          D2 Sunology
                          D3 Door Of The Cosmos / Say

                          Strut present the first ever compilation bringing together classics and rarities from the seminal spiritual jazz and conscious soul label Black Fire, covering 1975 to 1993. Formed by DJ and record producer Jimmy Gray in Richmond, Virginia, and following in the footsteps of other influential black-owned independent labels like Strata-East and Tribe, the foundation of Black Fire coincided with saxophonist James “Plunky” Branch returning to the city from New York to form Oneness Of Juju. The band’s ‘African Rhythms’ album in 1975 was the perfect fusion of jazz, deep African polyrhythms and empowering lyrics and bassist Muzi Branch, a trained artist, created the first of many Black Fire handillustrated sleeves for the label’s debut release.

                          The album set the tone for a series of landmark releases on the label including Oneness Of Juju’s ‘Space Jungle Luv’ (1976) and debuts from soulman Wayne Davis (1976) and early go-go pioneers Experience Unlimited (1977). Gray continued to use his influence and strong A&R instincts to bring in more key artists – great jazz players like Byard Lancaster and Hamiet Bluiett, Ghanaian master percussionist Okyerema Asante and collectives including Southern Energy Ensemble and music / drama troupe Theatre West. Due to personal and cashflow issues, many releases had to be canned and only later surfaced on CD during the early ‘90s

                          ‘Soul Love Now’ brings together some of the many highlights from the label onto one essential compilation. Opening with Theatre West’s powerful soul message ‘Children of Tomorrow’s Dreams’, the tracks include a Byard Lancaster recording with Tunde Kuboye’s Drummers Of Ibadan in Nigeria and Lon Moshe’s driving jazz dance classic ‘Doin’ The Carvin’ For Thabo’. Wayne Davis brings the explosive gospel rare groove ‘Look At The People’ while Plunky’s JuJu and Oneness Of Juju feature with three tracks spanning their career, including a storming previously unreleased version of the classic ‘African Rhythms’ recorded in DC in 1975.

                          The release features extended sleeve notes features extended sleeve notes around the history of the label alongside interviews with featured musicians. The 2LP format includes a reprint of one of the three original Black Fire magazines published by Jimmy Gray which predated the launch of the label.


                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          says: You always know you're in for a good comp with Strut, and this might just be one of their finest yet. Covering the material of legendary Richmond, VA label Black Fire. Unbeatable grooves, and warm, soulful beats meet loungy jazz and slo-mo funk. A superb compilation, and a great testament to a legendary label.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          CD
                          1. Theatre West – Children Of Tomorrow’s Dreams
                          2. Oneness Of Juju – Soul Love Now
                          3. Byard Lancaster – Drummers From Ibadan
                          4. Juju – Nia (Poem: The Complete Circle)
                          5. Lon Moshe – Doin The Carvin For Thabo
                          6. Wayne Davis – Look At The People
                          7. Southern Energy Ensemble – Third House
                          8. Oneness Of Juju – African Rhythms (Live In Washington Dc, 1975)
                          9. Okyerema Asante – Follow Me
                          10. Experience Unlimited – People

                          2LP
                          A1. Theatre West – Children Of Tomorrow’s Dreams
                          A2. Oneness Of Juju – Soul Love Now
                          A3. Byard Lancaster – Drummers From Ibadan
                          B1. Lon Moshe – Doin The Carvin For Thabo
                          B2. Juju – Nia (Poem: The Complete Circle)
                          C1. Wayne Davis – Look At The People
                          C2. Southern Energy Ensemble – Third House
                          D1. Oneness Of Juju – African Rhythms (Live In Washington DC, 1975)
                          D2. Experience Unlimited – People

                          Oneness Of Juju

                          African Rhythms 1970-1982

                            Strut kick off a brand new deal with the seminal independent black jazz and soul label Black Fire in May with ‘African Rhythms 1970-1982’, a comprehensive 2CD / 3LP compilation of Oneness Of Juju, led by Plunky J. Branch.

                            Tracing their career from the band’s earliest work in 1970 with South African exiled jazzman Ndikho Xaba in San Francisco, the compilation covers the band’s journey to New York’s loft jazz scene, forming Juju and releasing two landmark albums of hard-hitting percussive jazz on Strata-East. “I saw myself as a cultural warrior,” explains Plunky. “We studied about Africa and tried to infuse our music with an African spirit.” Moving back to his hometown of Richmond, Virginia during the mid-‘70s, Plunky drew in a superb new group of musicians and vocalists and created the band’s new incarnation, Oneness Of Juju, retaining the African influence but fusing his sound with funk and R’n’B on the classic ‘African Rhythms’ album. “We realised that, if we put a backbeat to the Afro-Cuban rhythms, people in Richmond and Washington D.C. could be drawn into it; it didn’t change anything about our message.” The change would lead to a series of enduring soul-jazz classics on Jimmy Gray’s Black Fire label, including ‘River Luv Rite’, ‘Plastic’ and ‘Don’t Give Up’ and their biggest crossover international hit, ‘Every Way But Loose’ in 1982, later famously remixed by Larry Levan. The band received renewed interest in their music during the mid-‘80s as Washington D.C.’s go-go innovators cited the band as a major influence and rare groove DJs revived their albums for London dancefloors.

                            ‘African Rhythms 1970-1982’ reprises a compilation released on Strut in 2001 and is newly remastered by Frank Merritt at The Carvery. Both formats feature a 12” sized 4pp booklet featuring rare photos and a comprehensive interview with Plunky Branch within liner notes by Chris Menist.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            3LP
                            A1. Oneness Of Juju - African Rhythms (Album Version)
                            A2. Oneness Of Juju - Follow Me
                            A3. Oneness Of Juju – Nooky
                            B1. Oneness Of Juju – River Luv Rite
                            B2. Roach Om – No Name #3 / Love Is… / My Nigger & Me
                            B3. Juju – Nairobi / Chants
                            C1. Oneness Of Juju – Chants / Don’T Give Up
                            C2. Oneness Of Juju – Be About The Future
                            C3. Juju & The Space Rangers – Got To Be Right On It (Original 45 Version)
                            D1. Oneness Of Juju – Space Jungle Funk
                            D2. Oneness Of Juju – West Wind (Previously Unreleased)
                            E1. Juju & The Space Rangers – Plastic (Original 45 Version)
                            E2. Plunky & Oneness Of Juju – Every Way But Loose (Original Version)
                            E3. Okyerema Asante Feat. Plunky – Sabi (Black Fire Mix)
                            F1. Okyerema Asante Feat. Plunky – Asante Sana
                            F2. Oneness Of Juju – Bootsie’S Lament (Unreleased Version)

                            CD1
                            1. Oneness Of Juju - African Rhythms (Album Version)
                            2. Oneness Of Juju - Follow Me
                            3. Oneness Of Juju – Space Jungle Funk
                            4. Juju & The Space Rangers – Got To Be Right On It (Original 45 Version)
                            5. Okyerema Asante Feat. Plunky – Sabi (Black Fire Mix)
                            6. Interlude: Rhythms Timelessness
                            7. Roach Om – No Name #3 / Love Is… / My N*Gg*R & Me
                            8. Oneness Of Juju – West Wind (Previously Unreleased)
                            9. Juju – Freedom Fighter
                            10. Oneness Of Juju – Be About The Future
                            11. Oneness Of Juju – Nooky
                            12. Interlude: African Rhythms
                            13. Plunky & Oneness Of Juju – Every Way But Loose (Original Version)

                            CD2
                            1. Oneness Of Juju – Bootsie’S Lament (Unreleased Version)
                            2. Oneness Of Juju – Chants / Don’T Give Up
                            3. Oneness Of Juju – River Luv Rite
                            4. Plunky & Oneness Of Juju – Higher
                            5. Interlude: African Rhythms Chant
                            6. Juju – Nairobi / Chants
                            7. Okyerema Asante Feat. Plunky – Asante Sana
                            8. Interlude: African Rhythms Ii
                            9. Juju & The Space Rangers – Plastic (Original 45 Version)
                            10. Oneness Of Juju – African Rhythms (Original 45 Version: Part 1)
                            11. Juju – The End Of The Butterfly King

                            Greg Foat

                            Symphonie Pacifique

                              Foat has become a versatile mainstay in UK jazz through an acclaimed series of albums on Jazzman and Athens Of The North, moving from soul-jazz workouts to library music to cinematic, haunting compositions and pastoral acid folk. ‘Symphonie Pacifique’ goes expansive and widescreen, building a lush soundscape using choral textures, harp and tubular bells on the atmospheric ‘After The Storm’ alongside sensual groove-based tracks like the undulating ‘Anticipation’, the album title track and Groove Merchant-channelling ‘Nikinakinu’, all driven by Phil Achille on bass, Eric Young on congas and Moses Boyd’s crisp, flowing breakbeats. Other tracks include a moving tribute to KPM library legend Duncan Lamont on the reflective ‘Lament For Lamont’ and the languid, simmering ‘Island Life’.

                              The album is a truly international collaboration, recorded analogue and produced by Greg Foat at London’s Fish Factory studios with strings recorded in Edinburgh and choir in Gothenburg. The album was mixed by Mattias Glava at Kungsten Studios in Gothenburg. Cover artwork is based on a painting by early 20th Century Algerian / Parisian artist Henry Valensi.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              says: Greg Foat has always had a firm place on the shop stereo, and 'Symphonie Pacifique' cements that likelihood with a swaying, filmic mash-up of syncopated hooks, frenetic percussion and effortless, jazzy cool. As perfectly redolent of the genre's past as it is it's future.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              A1. Prelude
                              A2. Symphonie Pacifique
                              A3. Undulation
                              A4. Anticipation
                              A5. Mu
                              A6. Yonaguni
                              B1. Island Life
                              B2. Nikinakinu
                              B3. Man Vs. Machine
                              C1. Before The Storm
                              C2. After The Storm
                              C3. Meditation On A Pedal Steel
                              C4. Lament For Lamont
                              D1. Pointe-Vénus
                              D2. Mother’S Love
                              D3. Epilogue: Three Tenors

                              Patrice Rushen

                              Posh

                                The landmark 1980 album, representing a period of consolidation for Patrice Rushen. Her studio reputation as a go-to pianist and arranger among other artists and musicians was well established and was growing exponentially. Although never originally planning a career as a solo artist, she had built this side of her work through three Prestige albums and two sophisticated soul and disco albums for Elektra, ‘Patrice’ and ‘Pizzazz’. “I was lucky to have a group of musicians that I knew well by the time of these recording sessions,” remembers Patrice. “I had my pick of really incredible players because of all of the studio work I was doing. I also played with Lee Ritenour, Harvey Mason and others almost on a weekly basis at The Baked Potato club in L.A.”

                                Tracks include the singles ‘Don’t Blame Me’, ‘Look Up!’ and ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. “’Never Gonna Give You Up’ came out of playing ideas at home. Bassist Freddie Washington was living with my family while he tried to get a foothold in L.A.’s music scene and that groove came out of those jams. With ‘The Dream’, I had been listening to Minnie Riperton’s ‘Come To My Garden’, one of my favourite albums. With Charles Stepney’s arrangements, I saw that he didn’t have to use large instrumentation to be orchestral in his approach. So, ‘The Dream’ was a homage to that kind of writing.”

                                “After ‘Posh’, we had a much better idea from the performance side what was important in our music and that informed my next album, ‘Straight From The Heart’. We took a little break after ‘Posh’ was released, although I was still writing and working regularly on scores for film and TV. That had always been my main focus in my music.”


                                TRACK LISTING

                                LP
                                A1. Never Gonna Give You Up
                                A2. Don’T Blame Me
                                A3. Look Up!
                                A4. I Need Your Love
                                B1. Time Will Tel
                                B2. The Dream
                                B3. The Funk Won’T Let You Down
                                B4. This Is All I Really Know

                                CD

                                1. Never Gonna Give You Up
                                2. Don’T Blame Me
                                3. Look Up!
                                4. I Need Your Love
                                5. Time Will Tel
                                6. The Dream
                                7. The Funk Won’T Let You Down
                                8. This Is All I Really Know
                                9. Look Up! (Extended Version)

                                Strut and Art Yard present the first compilation bringing together the modern era recordings of Tribe, Detroit’s acclaimed independent jazz collective.Tribe began as a musical ensemble in 1971 co-founded by Saxophonist Wendell Harrison and trombonist Phil Ranelin that soon expanded into a broad amalgam including a live collective and independent record label. Ignored by the mainstream, many African American jazz artists in Detroit and across the US began creating their own small imprints and Tribe emerged alongside other cultural entities to express selfdetermination goals in the city: saxophonist Ernie Rodgers with his sessions at Rapa House; John and Leni Sinclair’s Artist Workshop; Bruce Millan’s Repertory Theater; the Hastings Jazz Experience and the Strata Corporation led by Kenny Cox. Harrison’s ideas of independence, self-determination and education were central to the Tribe ethos: “I might be possessed with a drive to get the knowledge out,” explained Harrison, “because I see this as sustaining the future of the jazz diaspora, the jazz tradition.” Tribe album releases like Harrison’s ‘An Evening With The Devil’ (1972) and Harrison and Ranelin’s ‘A Message From The Tribe’ (1973) became early ‘70s milestones in Detroit jazz.

                                In 1977, Harrison teamed up with pianist/composer Harold McKinney to form Rebirth Inc., aided by Detroit cultural warrior John Sinclair, a continuation of the Tribe community ethos. Musically, it formed a link with radio station WDET and began an outreach program to teach children and to publish Harrison’s jazz instruction books. Harrison continue to record extensively as a leader with his own labels, WenHa and Tribe, documenting the collective through sessions led by Phil Ranelin, Harold McKinney, Pamela Wise and more.

                                The ‘Hometown’ compilation places the spotlight on this later era of Tribe and Rebirth Inc., with rare and previously unreleased recordings from Harrison’s WenHa / Rebirth Studios and the SereNgeti Gallery And Cultural Center. Among many highlights, Harold McKinney and his “McKinfolk” family of musicians contribute the pulsing ‘Wide And Blue’ and dance celebration ‘Juba’; Phil Ranelin re-works his classic ‘He The One We All Knew’; Poet Mbiyu Chui (Williams Moore), pianist Pamela Wise and percussionist Djallo Djakate spark on the uncompromising ‘Ode To Black Mothers’ and the rallying cry of ‘Marcus Garvey’: “If we ever get together we will astound the world.” Harrison himself evokes the power and majesty of juju on ‘Conjure Man’.


                                TRACK LISTING

                                LP
                                A1. Wide And Blue
                                A2. Freddie’S Groove
                                B1. Juba
                                B2. Ode To Black Mothers
                                B3. Conjure Man
                                C1. Libra Ahora
                                C2. Hometown
                                D1. He The One We All Knew
                                D2. Marcus Garvey
                                D3. The Slave Ship Enterprise

                                CD
                                1. Wide And Blue
                                2. Freddie’S Groove
                                3. Ode To Black Mothers
                                4. Juba
                                5. Libra Ahora
                                6. Conjure Man
                                7. Marcus Garvey
                                8. Hometown
                                9. He The One We All Knew
                                10. The Slave Ship Enterprise

                                The Souljazz Orchestra

                                Chaos Theories

                                Always known for their uncompromising social and political messages, the Canadian collective hit harder than ever on 9 new tracks, outing the hypocrisy of modern day politics, police brutality and the everyday struggle of the working man. Led by chief songwriter and arranger Pierre Chrètien, the band continue to evolve their sound, drawing on a broad palette from their trademark Latin, Afro and Caribbean styles to some of the UK’s political sounds of the early ‘80s, the era of The Clash, The Police, 2-Tone and frontline reggae. “We were basically messing around with the idea of creating our own brand of ‘Afro-punk’”, remembers Chrétien, “something with the aggressive, in-your-face energy of punk rock or free jazz, but still backed by the hypnotic, pulsating grooves of tropical music.”

                                The album takes the listener from carefully targeted sonic missiles to more reflective thought-provoking moments. ‘Police The Police’ starts the offensive: “I wrote this after my neighbour was beaten to death by Ottawa police during an arrest,” explains Chrétien. “The authorities downplayed the incident and the officers were working the next day like nothing had happened.” ‘House Of Cards’ takes a thinly veiled swipe at the current US administration on an infectious disco groove: “lies within lies within lies… like so many Russian dolls”; ‘Boat Rockers’ challenges us all to look beyond accepted norms and ‘General Strike’ documents the frustrations of the working class as the pay gap gets increasingly wider; ‘Slumlord’ shines the spotlight on dodgy landlords while the brilliant closer ‘Well Runs Dry’ laments modern day living, with its confused pace and mundane obsessions, remembering simpler days gone by.


                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. Charlie Foxtrot
                                2. Police The Police
                                3. House Of Cards
                                4. Boat Rockers
                                5. Sky High
                                6. War Games
                                7. General Strike
                                8. Slumlord
                                9. Well Runs Dr

                                Strut present a new repress of the influential first volume of ‘Disco Not Disco’ compiled by Joey Negro and Sean P as part of the label’s 20th Anniversary.

                                ‘Disco Not Disco’ was a perfectly timed compilation back in 2000. Released when interest in the myths, history and playlists of original New York clubs like Paradise Garage and The Loft was at its peak, the album drew on the outer limits of leftfield disco championed by Levan and Mancuso, bringing together unlikely dancefloor anthems by rock acts like Yoko Ono and Ian Dury, obscurities from cottage labels like BC and Splash and selected oddities from the unique mind of avant-garde hero, Arthur Russell. It was essentially a celebration of the sonic melting pot in New York during the early ‘80s, an era when punk had burnt itself out and disco had become commercial and saccharine; in its place, the post-punk movement threw up brilliant oddities which tore up the accepted rulebook.

                                Since its release, the compilation title has become a by-word for a whole genre of music and remains a landmark collection of its time. With original copies now changing hands for €100+, this new pressing is a welcome return for an essential celebration of disco’s difficult cousins. 


                                TRACK LISTING

                                A1. Yoko Ono – Walking On Thin Ice (1981 Re-Edit)
                                A2. Liquid Liquid – Cavern
                                B1. Loose Joints – Tell You (Today) (Vocal)
                                B2. Ian Dury & The Seven Seas Players – Spasticus Autisticus (Version)
                                C1. Material – Over And Over
                                C2. Was (Not Was) – Wheel Me Out
                                D1. Dinosaur – Kiss Me Again (Original Edit)
                                D2. Don Cherry – I Walk
                                E1. Common Sense – Voices Inside My Head
                                E2. Nicky Siano - Move
                                F1. Indian Ocean – School Bell / Tree Hous

                                Various Artists

                                Disco Not Disco

                                  THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2019 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                  “Strut Records were there first, well before DFA recorded The Rapture’s Sub Pop debut. ‘Disco Not Disco’ preceded the punk funk revolution by two years.” - Resident Advisor For Record Store Day 2019, Strut present the first ever repress since 2000 of the influential first volume of ‘Disco Not Disco’ compiled by Joey Negro and Sean P as part of the label’s 20th Anniversary. ‘Disco Not Disco’ was a perfectly timed compilation back in 2000. Released when interest in the myths, history and playlists of original New York clubs like Paradise Garage and The Loft was at its peak, the album drew on the outer limits of leftfield disco championed by Levan and Mancuso, bringing together unlikely dancefloor anthems by rock acts like Yoko Ono and Ian Dury, obscurities from cottage labels like BC and Splash and selected oddities from the unique mind of avant-garde hero, Arthur Russell. It was essentially a celebration of the sonic melting pot in New York during the early ‘80s, an era when punk had burnt itself out and disco had become commercial and saccharine; in its place, the post-punk movement threw up brilliant oddities which tore up the accepted rulebook. Since its release, the compilation title has become a by-word for a whole genre of music and remains a landmark collection of its time. With original copies now changing hands for €100+, this new pressing is a welcome return for an essential celebration of disco’s difficult cousins. The album features full original artwork and Kris Needs’ sleeve notes and is remastered and cut by The Carvery. • First volume of the seminal compilation series repressed for the first time since 2000 for Record Store Day • Album title became known as a style of music in its own right, when rock bands and experimental NY artists aimed at the dancefloor • Major influence on the punk funk bands and labels of early 2000s including DFA • Album remastered by The Carvery and featuring full original artwork and sleeve notes by Kris Needs

                                  Strut present an exclusive new reissue of a great (and now very rare) original album from the early career of Nigerian juju star Shina Peters, ‘Sewele’ from 1986.

                                  “‘Sewele’ represented a time of transition in my music career,” explains Peters. “I had branched out to start as a solo artist after spells with Ebenezer Obey, Prince Adekunle and Segun Adewale and I was trying to find my own voice and to play juju in a more progressive direction. This was an important time for me. Three years later, I had honed that sound into AfroJuju, and my ‘Ace: Afro Juju Series 1’ album broke me as an artist.

                                  On ‘Sewele’, Peters explores different themes on four extended juju workouts, showcasing his incredible guitar work and his sense of fun as the odd Bob Marley and Abba riff pops up in the grooves. The title track means ‘shower of blessings’: “it’s like a prayer for my fans throughout Nigeria and the diaspora.” The funky Afrobeat of ‘Yabis’ is about being proud to be African and not to follow American ways and ‘Agbe’ere De’ states proudly that Peters is coming again with something different: “I always wanted to get the message across to my fans that I was keeping things fresh and creating melodies and music that people would enjoy.” The final track, ‘Late Aboderin’, is a moving tribute to Peters’ mentor, the late Chief Aboderin: “He helped me in many ways including legal aid in a court case against a record label. He also bought a van to carry the band to concerts.


                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  A1. Sewele
                                  A2. Yabis
                                  B1. Agbe’Ere De
                                  B2. Late Aboderin

                                  Various Artists

                                  JD Twitch Presents Kreaturen Der Nacht - Free Fanzine Edition

                                  THE PICCADILLY RECORDS COMPILATION OF THE YEAR 2018.

                                  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.


                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  A1. Leben Und Arbeiten - Amanita
                                  A2. Malaria! - Your Turn To Run
                                  A3. Ausserhalb - Zeitzelle
                                  A4. Die Haut - Der Karibische Western
                                  B1. Aus Lauter Liebe - Pingelig
                                  B2. Mania D. - Track 4
                                  B3. Exkurs - Fakten
                                  B4. Christiane F. - Wunderbar (Optimo Edit)
                                  C1. Sprung Aus Den Wolken - Dub And Die
                                  C2. P1/E - Up And Above / Up And Above Dub
                                  C3. Franz Erlmeier & Fritz Köstler - Öffnen Sie Mal Ihre Tasche
                                  C4. Populäre Mechanik - Scharfer Schnitt (No. 1)
                                  D1. Andreas Dorau - Fred Vom Jupiter
                                  D2. Weltklang - Veb Heimat
                                  D3. Stefan Blöser - Voyager One
                                  D4. Matthias Schuster - An Rah Robeel

                                  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

                                  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.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  A1. Logic System - Unit
                                  A2. Psyche - The Saint Became A Lush
                                  A3. Skinny Puppy - Dead Lines (400 Blows Remix)
                                  B1. Visage - Der Amboss (Extended Version)
                                  B2. Rusty Egan - The Twilight Zone (Trevor Jackson Edit)
                                  B3. Rene Bandaly Family - Tanki Tanki (Rabih Beaini Edit)
                                  C1. Ministry - Over The Shoulder (12" Version)
                                  C2. Mile High Club - Walking Backwards
                                  C3. CHBB - Ima Iki-Mashoo
                                  C4. Esplendor Geométrico - Necrosis En La Poya
                                  D1. Vice Versa - Riot Squad
                                  D2. Crash Course In Science - Jump Over Barrels
                                  D3. Haruomi Hosono - Platonic
                                  D4. Godley & Creme - Babies
                                  D5. Front 242 - Body 2 Body (2 Trax)

                                  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.

                                    Various Artists

                                    Bob Blank - The Blank Generation Blank Tapes NYC 1975 - 1985

                                    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.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    CD:
                                    01. Debby Blackwell – Once You Got Me Going
                                    02. Charanga 76 – Music Trance
                                    03. Milton Hamilton - Crystalized
                                    04. Sun Ra – Where Pathways Meet
                                    05. The Necessaries – State Of Art
                                    06. Lydia Lunch – A Cruise To The Moon
                                    07. James Blood Ulmer - Jazz Is The Teacher, Funk Is The Preacher
                                    08. Bumblebee Unlimited – I Got A Big Bee
                                    09. Mikki – Itching For Love (M+M Mix)
                                    10. Fonda Rae – Over Like A Fat Rat
                                    11. Gladys Knight – It’s A Better Than Good Time (Walter Gibbons Mix)
                                    12. Lola – Wax The Van (Jon’s Dub)
                                    13. Aural Exciters – Emile (Night Rate)

                                    LP:
                                    A1. Debby Blackwell – Once You Got Me Going
                                    A2. Charanga 76 – Music Trance
                                    A3. Milton Hamilton - Crystalized
                                    A4. Lydia Lunch – A Cruise To The Moon
                                    B1. The Necessaries – State Of Art
                                    B2. James Blood Ulmer – Jazz Is The Teacher, Funk Is The Preacher
                                    B3. Sun Ra – Where Pathways Meet (Unreleased Acetate Mix)
                                    C1. Mikki – Itching For Love (M+M Mix / Unreleased John Morales Edit)
                                    C2. Fonda Rae – Over Like A Fat Rat
                                    C3. Gladys Knight – It’s A Better Than Good Time (Walter Gibbons Mix)
                                    D1. Exodus – Together Forever
                                    D2. Lola – Wax The Van (Jon’s Dub)
                                    D3. Aural Exciters – Emile (Night Rate)

                                    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.


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