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Under The Influence Vol.8 Compiled By Woody Bianchi

    Z Records continues its commitment to unearthing the obscure and long forgotten tracks from the last 40 years through the ever-popular Under The Influence series. Following on from Red Greg, Paul Phillips, James Glass, Nick The Record, Sean P, Faze Action and Winston. It’s now the turn of one of the Italy’s most impressive collectors; Woody Bianchi.

    The story behind U.T.I is this, being a seasoned record collector Z label boss Dave Lee (Joey Negro) has made the acquaintance of many of the worlds other vinyl junkies. People that may be unknown to the general public but are hardcore enthusiasts who have built some of the best collections of soul, funk and disco on the planet. The idea of UTI isn't about big name djs but is to give a musical platform to those who have the knowledge to put together a track listing of killer tunes.

    Woody Bianchi is a prolific DJ, producer, remixer and record collector. His International collaborations with Bob Sinclar,Todd Terry, Arthur Baker, Full Intention, Eric Kupper, Jocelyn Brown, Marshall Jefferson and many others have created an remarkable profile for him. He has released over 300 productions worldwide and has toured side by side with many of the scenes greatest names. Here we get the pleasure of delving into his vast collection and plucking some of the rarest records out there, with many of the tracks costing hundreds if you were able to find the originals.

    As always with ZR compilations a lot of time and effort has been spent on creating these masters from the original vinyl, cleaning them up, removing all the clicks and pops resulting in the cleanest sounding copy possible.

    Founded back in 1990 – celebrating their 30th birthday in 2020 – Z Records has amassed plentiful collection of singles, albums & compilations. Run by Dave Lee aka Joey Negro, the label has enjoyed success through his unique ability to foster the principles of underground dance music whilst also remaining mindful of commercial appeal. Through his many compilations, Mr. Lee has delved deep into the heart of a specific genre or era and selected lesser-known tracks that give a real insight into the spirit & energy that made that point in time so special. Whether it's GoGo, Brit Funk, Boogie, Italo house or straight up Disco, he has delved deep into his extensive bank of influences and also enlisted the help of some of his most clued-up comrades in offering unforgettable collections of classics.

    This time he’s been joined by Neil Pierce as co-compiler for this second collection of their favourite moments across a definitive decade for House & Garage: the 90’s. Volume 2 includes material from Satoshi Tomiie, UFO, Slam Mode, Joi Cardwell and Alexander Hope as well as remixes from Kings of Tomorrow, Kerri Chandler, Marshall Jefferson, Tommy Musto and Smack Productions. The compilation is packed with sultry vocal lines and the sort of slick, irresistible grooves that defined the era.

    Dave and Neil have dug out music that may have previously ‘slipped under the radar’ meaning a lot of the tracks included here are being digitised for the very first time. In searching deeper & wider than the average compilation, the package provides a thorough insight into why this was such a fertile period for production. It gives a nod to the sort of drum patterns, sampling techniques and vocal lines that have inspired the likes of Bicep, Brawther and Huxley amongst many more.

    “If there is one person who links all these songs together it’s Paul “Trouble” Anderson. Though the tunes are mainly American the sound is very much the type of soulful house that Paul played and was popular in clubs here. There are so many classic songs from the 90s I heard for the first time either at his club or on Paul’s radio show. He absolutely loved his music and clubs, that was his life and he lived that life to the full. This album is dedicated to you Paul R.I.P.”-  Dave Lee

    “It was Paul that gave me my first ever break in this industry and was a dear friend to me right up until his passing. I'll forever be grateful for the opportunities he gave to me and the musical lessons he taught me throughout the years. We finished the track listing on this compilation way before Paul's passing but if you look through the playlist it could have been an out and out tribute album to the legend such is his influence over myself and Dave. So therefore I'd like to dedicate my selection to the one and only "Trouble" RIP.” Neil Pierce


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Frequenters of our shop and website will know too well my love of Mr. Lee. Another one of his sterling house compilations mining the ever-fruitful period of the 1990s. From the tough and bumpety to sublime and deep; house music's golden era extensively dug and packaged up for your enjoyment!

    In 1978 Patrick Adams and Leroy Burgess released one of the all time classic underground disco albums under the alias Phreek. Joey Negro takes 2 songs from the album and using the original 24 track mastertape gives them both much extended and reworked versions.

    "Big Phreek" was a crazy, off kilter uptempo jam that was popular in Chicago at clubs like the Warehouse, with its chanting vocals and odd octave bassline under Adams' trademark soloing synth-work. JN strips things back a fair deal to make a very playable energetic leftfield disco cut.

    "Good Thing" is more soulful disco featuring plenty of previously unheard Burgess vocals and rich strings that weren’t on the original release. This new JN version clocks in at almost 13 mins.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Another repeat spinner at Wet Play gets some magical Joey Negro treatment extended the shelf life of this store cupboard staple for at least another 10 years.

    Various Artists

    Joey Negro’s 2019 Essentials

      Z Records' 2019 Essentials is in many respects a similar proposition to the successful Remixed with Love series, be it slightly more housey in places. This double CD contains 4 exclusive new JN remixes of disco classics from Double Exposure, The O’Jays, Tamiko Jones and Delia Renee. Along with these are a selection of the best Joey Negro remixes from what has been a great year musically including his reworks of CeCe Peniston, Horse Meat Disco feat Kathy Sledge and Sunkids. JN also originated some new music in 2019 under the aliases of Mistura, Doug Willis and Lakeshore Commission which are also included. Add to this remixes of ZR classics from Grant Nelson, Crakazat and Dr Packer. Only 1 of the 19 songs has been available on CD before.


      Joey Negro & Z Records unstoppable "Attack The Dancefloor" series powers it’s way to its 14th Volume of remixed disco gold and is still one of the most highly collected series on the market!

      First up Joey brings one of his signature reworks to Delia Renee’s - "You're Gonna Want Me Back", pure uplifting female energy with all the pizzazz of the ‘80s. Dr Packer then steps up to give a fiery re-shake of (funky house classic) Foreal People's "Shake".

      On the B side the UK Garage royalty Grant Nelson takes the classic Z Factor "Gotta Keep Pushin" to another dimension, turning it into a fist pumping disco-house hit that again, works the soundsystem in completely desirable ways.

      Joey Negro lights up the last slot with a trademark Redemption Mix of Four80East & CeCe Peniston's "Are You Ready", drenched in spiritual organs and CeCe’s untouchable vocal prowess.

      Another indispensable ATDF 12", destined to cause waves across dancefloors worldwide and ripples of investment across the discogs stock exchange. Get in there first to avoid tears later! 


      The ever-popular "Under The Influence" series continues in earnest. Following on from Red Greg, Paul Phillips, James Glass, Nick The Record, Sean P and Faze Action (phew!), it’s now the turn of one of the scenes most prolific but yet unknown collectors, Winston.

      Outside of the established record collectors Winston is pretty much unknown but those that know of him will tell you that despite his low profile he has one of the best record collections around.

      Sean P remembers his first trip to Winston’s house in the sleeve notes: 'When I visited his house for the first time, I felt like a beginner - my expectations were far exceeded by the neat rows and piles of 12"s and L.Ps everywhere; and I had brought along a foolscap notebook which after eight hours or so, expanded my wants list considerably. I thumbed through hundreds of weird and mysterious independent and major label releases. Winston played whatever I was interested in hearing, occasionally spinning random 7"s ("Space Funk" by Manzel, for example) and various LP cuts of his choice. I had perused around half of the collection by the time I left, but I'll never forget that kid-in-a-toyshop feeling, along with the realisation of Winston's buddha-like status as a master of this arcane pastime.'

      Sean continues: 'Winston is still doing the 'rounds weekly; and since the Hammersmith Black Music Record events of the mid-'80s, he's missed few record fairs, if any - trading with dealers & fellow collectors and parting with cash when necessary. Surprisingly, he has no truck with the internet – somewhat curious to the rest of us who now can't imagine life without it. And as a man with no online presence, knowledge of Winston's existence is restricted to the real world. Some justification, perhaps, for giving this fervent ambassador of all things boogie an opportunity to share some of his favourites beyond those in the know.

      So for Volume Seven of the Under The Influence series Winston has included tracks taking in soul, funk, disco & boogie with many of the tracks costing hundreds if you were able to find the originals.'

      As always with ZR compilations a lot of time and effort has been spent on creating these masters from the original vinyl, cleaning them up, removing all the clicks and pops resulting in the cleanest sounding copy possible.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: If boogie, disco and soul are your bio-fuel, then this should have you up and running in no time at all. Impeccable selection of hits, all legit and licensed - if you were to attempt to seek these tracks out individually it'd take thousands of pounds and hours! Winston does the leg work...

      Follow up to the amazing "Backstreet Brit Funk". Volume 2 has been eight years in the making and continues to showcase the best of the genre from the late 70s to early 80s, compiled once again by Joey Negro. Perhaps one of the UK’s most under-appreciated genres and emerging in the late 70’s; it takes influences from jazz, funk, reggae and pop and by the early 80s it had spread all over the UK. Chart-topping mainstream bands like Wham!, Spandau Ballet and Haircut 100 tapped into the style and sound to help launch their careers, whilst Linx, Level 42, Light of The World, The Cool Notes and Hi Tension were all Brit Funk acts who troubled the UK top 40 with their own singles.

      Brit Funk was essentially the UK’s answer to underground disco & boogie , with musicians at first imitating and eventually developing the sounds they heard on the US imports that made it across the pond. And like disco, the Brit Funk scene was significant in reducing racial boundaries in the clubs and raising the profile of black and white musicians who worked together. Back in 2010 Joey Negro complied the first volume of Back Street Brit Funk: a collection of obscure and forgotten gems of the scene that found favour across the board. The fact that it’s taken eight years for Volume 2 to see the light of day is a testament to the both the obscurity of the records included, and the logistical challenges involved in digitizing what started life as vinyl-only releases, with only a handful of 12”s remaining in some cases.
      'I hadn’t planned a Volume 2 of BSBF when putting together the first, but after a while, I started to wonder if there was potential for a follow-up. Over the past 8 years I’ve kept my ears peeled for interesting UK productions that for some reason hadn’t come to my attention before.' Joey Negro.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: We've had 'nuff resurgences in disco, Italo and boogie thus far, but no-one's really popped the lid off the whole Brit Funk cannon. Save for that wonderful "In The Red" comp on Chuwanaga (and Volume 1 of this series of course) the scene has gone relatively 'Un-comp'ed'... until now! Maestro Joey Negro can always be relied upon to present to us the first sift off the crop. Here showing us the dizzying delights of this very British operation... High energy, high musicianship - high vibe! I used to roller-skate to this shit!! ;)

      Founded way back in 91, Z Records have since amassed a lauded and plentiful collection of singles, albums and compilations. Run by Dave Lee aka Joey Negro, the label has enjoyed success through his unique ability to foster the principles of underground dance music whilst also remaining mindful of commercial appeal.

      Through various compilations, Mr Lee has consistently delved deep into the heart of a specific genre or era and selecting a lesser-known series of tracks that give a real insight into the spirit and energy that made that point in time special. Whether it's been gogo, Brit-funk, boogie, Italo house or straight up disco, he has mined deep into his extensive bank of influences and also enlisted the help of some of his most clued-up comrades in offering some unforgettable collections of classics. Next up - he pulls together a collection of his favourite moments across a definitive decade for house and garage: the 90’s. Inclusive of material from Kerri Chandler, Robert Owens and MAW as well as remixes from Mood II Swing and Ron Trent - the compilation is packed with sultry vocal lines and the sort of slick, irresistible grooves that defined the era. Sticking with the ethos of his series, Joey Negro has dug out an olio of music that may have until now ‘slipped under the garage doors’ meaning a lot of the material on this compilation is being digitised for the very first time. In searching deeper and wider than the average compilation, the package provides a thorough insight into why this was such a fertile period for production and gives a nod to the sort of drum patterns, sampling techniques and vocal lines that have inspired the likes of Bicep, Brawther and Huxley amongst many more.


      Z Records tap Nick The Record for their fourth volume of the 'Under The Influence' series. Packed to the brim with disco, boogie, electro-funk and tropical gems, it's another essential offering from Z.

      "My whole life has revolved around records. I was buying hip hop and house in the 80s as it was released and I got heavily into tracing the steps back through breaks and sample sources that were used in hip hop records. I also joined the dots between disco and modern club and house music and spread my music explorations from rare groove to rare disco. There were very few people interested in this vein of music history at the time and even fewer as obsessed as me so when the reemergence of disco exploded I was well ahead of the curve, not only in collecting but historical knowledge. The best thing about record collecting is it never ends and after 35 years of buying, after 25 years of selling and playing records there is still old stuff to discover and new releases to endeavour to keep up with. So as something of an expert in all things disco I get quite a few offers to release compilations but as a record obsessive my natural hoarding mentality makes me cautious to give up the goods. I feel this 'Under The Influence' series offers the chance to put together a more personal comp, which reflects the many different flavours of my taste and my collection and gives you a feel of my DJ style at the same time." - Nick The Record



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