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Various Artists

Jazz – Timeless Classics From The Queens Of Jazz

    Various Artists

    Noël Crooners

      How can you resist a bit of Deano "Let It Snow!" or Ol' Blue Eyes jazzin' up "Jingle Bells"? Surely everybody loves Louis Armstrong, right? Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles are all in there, and you've got a choice of a white or blue Christmas from Elvis. Sam Cooke has sneaked on there too, with "Wade In The Water" - not exactly a Christmas song, but good none the less.

      Various Artists

      Noël Gospel

        Christmas gospel gems from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole and Elvis Presley.

        Various Artists

        Funk Greatest Hits

          Wagram for the win here, assembling a must have selection of funk hits for anyone looking for the perfect party soundtrack, or a vinyl introduction to the genre. Representing the slick street style in all its many guises, the tracklist ranges from the raw and raucous sound of Lynn Collins, Fatback and Gwen Mccrae to the smooth discoid sounds of Oliver Cheatham and Instant Funk, early hip hop from Flash & co, boogie winners from Midnight Star and Change, and the soulful style of the Temptations and Gil Scott-Heron. It's even got "I Want You Back" on it! What more could you ask for?

          Throwing back to drive in theatres and the wonderful marriage of sound and vision, this comp hits us with some of the most memorable musical moments to land on celluloid. Not only do we get a whole load of excellent songs, but we also get to play the great game of naming the film from the song. Super fun! 

          Right here we have a classy compilation of unforgettable soul serenades from the fiercest females ever to do it. The briefest run through of this flawless set on the shop stereo had me lost in my own personal lip sync for your life, belting out blinders from Aretha, Nina, Mary Wells, Dionne, Peggy Lee, Etta, Esther and Dinah. Tender, touching but so powerful, these songs, like the women who sang them, have stood the test of time.

          In the 1950s a new kind of music jolted the American mainstream; rock 'n' roll, a loud, fast, liberating sound that primarily appealed to teenagers. Rock 'n' roll was an offshoot of the rural blues and urban rhythm and blues music that for years had entertained and stirred the spirits of Black America. Incorporating the hillbilly sounds of the rural South, upping the tempo and replacing the melancholy of the blues with a youthful optimism, rock n roll blasted through diners, car radios and high school proms, changing music forever.
          Here we have a flawless tracklist of the genres finest moments, brought together in celebratraion of dancing and laughing, feeling carefree and having good old-fashioned fun. 

          Time to salute the strong, sassy and soulful women of funk with a double vinyl set of all time classics. Featuring a who's who of fierce females, you're in the company of Lyn Collins, Minnie Riperton, Gwen Mccrae, Gladys Knight, Diana Ross and Donna Summer amongst others. On the first disc you can shake your tailfeather to super jams like "Think (About It)", "All This Love That I'm Givin'", and "Thank You (Falettin Me Be Mice Elf Agin)", while the second vinyl takes us through the disco era with personal favourites like Taana Gardner's "Heartbeat" and the Arman Van Helden sampled "Dance With You" by Carrie Lucas. Top stuff.

          Wagram take us on a journey through the decades to deliver a great collection of blinders from the finest soul sisters. The tracklist is a who's who of soul royalty from the 60s to the present day, delivering their most powerful moments. There are too many sublime songs on here to list, but any record with Dionne Warwick's "Walk On By", Etta James' "I Just Want To Make Love To You" and Dusty's "Son Of A Preacher Man" is fine by me. And while most of these comps cut off at about 1980, this platter keeps on going, packing the tail end with hits from Neneh Cherry, Amy Winehouse, Mary J. Blige and Ibeyi. 

          In addition to this week's Nova Classics Hip Hop comp, we also get a tight double vinyl set of classic and lesser known soul. Alongside familiar favourites like Gil Scott Heron's "Home Is Where The Hatred Is" and William DeVaughn's "Be Thankful...", we get killer cuts from Al Green, Syl Johnson, Bobby Wright and a personal favourite, Little Ann's Detroit classic "Deep Shadows".

          Killer comp here which gives us a great overview of backpacker, underground and golden age hip hop, with a focus on the artists and tracks which sat just under the mainstream. Opening with Q-Tip's lesser known but super dope "Let's Ride", the two disc collection bumps through cuts from the likes of Rakim, Funkdoobiest, Dilla, Pharcyde and Oh No. All killa, no filla folks.

          Nice, low budget, high quality compilation of the finest moments from the funk spectrum. Plenty to get those hips wigglin' and feet movin'!

          A who's who of funk royalty grace these well-priced grooves with a luxurious collection featuring Kool & The Gang, Imagination, Oliver Cheatham, Shalamar, Barry White and many more!

          Perfect for weddings, birthdays or bah mitzvah's there's no reason why every music loving home shouldn't have a prized copy on its shelves....

          Tasty, all encapsulating, budget-priced compilation of hip-hop's finest formative years here. Perfect for weddings, birthdays and bar mitzvah's, the comp covers the roots, the b-boy and the gangsta styles of rap music and features some of its most prolific, colourful and adored figures.

          For eleven quid I challenge you to find a more comprehensive and genre-spanning collection of hits!

          Every home needs one! 

          The Wailers cover Marley songs, recorded with the guitarist Lloyd « Guitsy » Willis at the Harry J Studio in Kingston, Jamaica in 1976. A really strong and surprisingly overlooked set, with some expressive dub fx supplementing the incredibly strong riddims. The material is high grade, with some of the best songs from Bob's repertoire given completely new leases of life through these spacious and experimental dubs. Check!

          Hot on the heels of their ‘Sampled Funk’ selection, the folks at Wagram apply the same approach to soul, lounge and easy listening, raiding the crates for those smooth grooves, gospel scorchers and tearjerkers that generations of producer have flipped for high quality hip hop and house. Perfect for wax nerds, sample spotters and bar DJs, this collection features jamz from Ray Charles, Timmy Thomas, Dusty Springfield and Etta James.

          Those reliable chaps at Wagram drop another essential bit of wax for the nerds, bar jocks and sample spotters here - putting together a flawless collection of funk killers (both classic and otherwise), which have become better known in their sampled form. Take a quick peek at the tracklist and you'll find nothing but gold from the likes of Eddie Johns, Ike Turner, Gwen McCrae and Bob James, all of which come approved by a who's who of contemporary hip hop and dance music. 

          Brisa Roché


            With Father, her sixth album, American Brisa Roché delivers her most personal and accomplished album to date. A gem of minimalist folk, haunted by the unique voice of the singer and produced by the grand John Parish- who directed among others the magic To Bring You my Love of PJ Harvey, a record with which Father shares common points: a twilight ambiance, fantomatic, something of Gothic Americana, a disquiet climate underlined by mythic Jean Babtiste Mondino’s cover photos.

            In this album, written half in Paris where the singer lives and half in the small town in Northern California where she grew up, the timbre of Brisa Roché reveals itself more bewitching than ever. She inscribes herself in the line of great folk singers of the 60’s such as Karen Dalton or Vashti Bunyan and artists today like Alela Diane, shaman-singers, daughters of water and fire, capable of reviving the dead and reminding us of family operas, passion and the passing of seasons.

            As its title indicates, Father is an out-of-the-ordinary project. In it Brisa Roché sings the immense, impossible quasi-incestuous love she lived, as a child and teen in Northern California, for her father (who died when she was 16), a dealer who recited poetry and lived at a hundred miles per hour, a charismatic and sulphurous adventurer, a man of endless conquests.

            Far from being too personal or too centered around the artist’s own story, these songs reveal themselves to be universal, exploring all facets of love: longing, fascination, sadness, seduction, the desire to save the beloved. Songs everyone can see themselves in. And in them Brisa plays all roles: the tearful child seeking to hold her wildfire of a father back from death (the poignant Trying to control and Carnation), the role of a mother/wife (the marvelous Patience), or even the role of the unsettling dealers surrounding her pater (Holy Badness and its powerful refrain like an impious canticle).

            Each sketch takes us further, into cabins lost in the forest (48) or onto backseats of cars parked in front of liquor stores, as Brisa Roché proves herself an accomplished songwriter, capable of the most beautiful texts, stories magnified by the work of John Parish. We rediscover the spare, pure production that is the signature style of the English musician: folk chords rough as old pieces of wood, strident electric guitar riffs (Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs lent a strong hand), a few epic bass drum hits… Midnight full of Nature’s rustling, where rises the lustral voice of the Inconsolable.

            If Dean Moriarty, the hero of On the Road, by Kerouac, had had a daughter, SHE would have recorded this album. Curled in the back of the Buick, criss-crossing America she would have scribbled these lyrics while watching the tanned neck of her “badass” father. In the career of every artist, there’s a piece of work that brings us into the depths of his/her heart, into its internal womb, where is crafted the need for expression, the very desire to sing. “Father” is of this kind. We are the closest one can get to lava. And, fuck, how it burns.

            Marilyn Monroe

            I Wanna Be Loved By You

              Great compilation, featuring classic Marilyn songs including “I Wann Be Loved By You”, “Some Like It Hot” and “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend”.

              Rock solid and timeless selection of reggae classics from Wagram here. Featuring a who's who of JA talent alongside THAT lovers rock collab between Gregory Isaacs and Simply Red and the chart topping Sister Nancy anthem. We go right back to 1971, with a variety of moods and styles explored. From the feel good stomper of Toots' "54-46 Was My Number" to more dancehall flavoured offerings from Max Romeo, and to the riotous dread of Black Uhuru. This is a wonderfully varied and ridiculously strong collection of hits! And look at the price tag! A no brainer surely...

              Various Artists

              Wanted Hip Hop

                The always affordable Wanted series returns this week with another set of beautifully presented, expertly selected comps covering a variety of genres. Here we have a set of overlooked and under the radar Hip Hop heaters including the lyricism and flow of De La Soul, Bubba Sparxxx and RZA & GZA from Wu Tang Clan and the production talents of Pete Rock, Jazzy Jeff and Timberland. Beats to make your head nod til your neck snaps.

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