Thursday, 26 November 2015

Boca 45 feat. Louis Baker - Soul on Top (45 Live Records)

Our debut featured article on Curious Music for Curious People gives shine to another debut - the first 7" release from 45 Live, stable to a fleet of pedigree beat-wranglers and disc-jockeys, from DJs Food and Format to Smoove, Shepdog and many, many more...

We caught up with 45 Live founding member, Peter Isaac:

Thanks for your time Pete - I imagine things are pretty busy at 45 Live HQ right now! What's going down?

It is pretty crazy right now with the launch of 45 Live Records, 3 festival shows in planning for next year, as well as our regular Bristol night, the radio show in Los Angeles and trying to keep on top of the web site, social media, plus all the artwork etc. Personally, I've been running club nights and DJing for 23 years, and have got very comfortable in those processes, but the sheer amount of new stuff I have to learn for the label in particular is quite daunting! But with the help of my partner Scott (Boca 45), who's been making records for years, I'm sure we'll get our heads around it all. We've certainly bitten off a large chunk with respects to workloads, and as with any new business, making any kind of living from it is a long long way off, so we both have to keep our other jobs/projects on the go too, it's a very big juggling act right now.

Tell us about the origins of 45 Live. Was it an 'on the back of a beermat' idea, or something you've always wanted to do?

Scott had already started a night in Bristol called 45 Live, but it was purely a club night and nothing else. We got talking in the pub one day and started crafting the concept of making it into something bigger, so yes, it was a 'beermat idea'! Between Scott and I, there is a pretty broad base of experience in many aspects of music and promotion, and we reasoned that we could bring this together, learn a load of new stuff and create something with gravitas and longevity.

Initially you started as an agency/event promoter. What prompted the decision to become a record label?

Starting a label was always a prime goal from the get-go, a celebration of the 7" format demands that we actually release records! We maybe took a little longer than I wanted to get our first record out, but we've had a very busy year. Firstly, we needed to create a bespoke hand coded website, so with N9 Design in Plymouth, we got that launched earlier this year. Then it was all about building the team and getting some events on the go. We had our first full 45 Live stage at The brilliant Masked Ball festival back in May, that was amazing, we got to make a load of giant 45s to hang all over the tent and with a kickin' line up rocked 100% 45s for 12 hours straight! We knew then that we had got the recipe right! We then followed that with 3 parties at Glastonbury and the Halloween Masked Ball event in Cornwall with the biggest line up so far with another all night session - featuring a surprise guest set with D&B royalty London Elektricty! That was wicked.

Amongst a stellar cast of artists (Andy Smith, Jon More, Ollie Teeba, Format, Food and more), was it hard to choose the artist to pen your debut release? Tell us a bit more about what Boca 45 brings to the table, for anyone unfamiliar with his work.

Having Scott make the first record was the obvious and most probably the easiest choice as we're both heavily motivated to drive it forward. Scott is on fire at the moment with his production and DJing, as an artist he is maturing with great finesse which can be seen especially on one of his recent music project with Ben Salisbury, 'Dolman'. Although a huge departure from what he is mainly known for, namely funky as hell breaks and beats, this really really impressed me. He's also had his most recent Boca LP out on Digga Please which is chock full of dancefloor bangers. As far as I'm concerned, having Scott make the first tune was a no-brainer.

The record features a collaboration with RBMA protege Louis Baker. How did that come about?

Scott and Louis met in Amsterdam earlier this year whilst both playing shows there, basically they hit it off and got talking about a collaboration, which resulted in 'Soul On Top', a classic sounding joint with modern production, it's a total winner in our book!

Now, don't take this the wrong way, but your roster is on the experienced side... let's call them grizzled veterans. I think we can all appreciate that the cultivation of suitably impressive 45s collection is a lifetime commitment, but are you seeing many younger DJs coming through with the requisite talents and dedication for future inclusion? 

I will say that this aspect has drawn one or two comments, i.e. we're all, shall we say, slightly older gentlemen, white and mostly balding! But it's like this, we all know each other through many years of gigs, record releasing, festivals, etc, so it was just natural for Scott and I to ask our mates to be part of 45 Live. But in the longer term, a primary goal of 45 Live is that it IS inclusive to all, we want to grow the agency and most definitely welcome anyone (whatever their gender, colour and age) who wants to be part of the wider aspects of this, so creative input like films, stories, DJ mixes, interviews, anything to do with 45s basically. The idea is that it's a base for all to celebrate our shared passion/obsession with the mighty 7". It's going to take time to build it into what we imagined... starting a magazine, record label, radio show, festival events brand, regular club night all from scratch takes a phenomenal amount of time and effort. We are thrilled that so many people around the world do want to join the team or get involved, and we promise that we will gradually expand things out as soon as we can, bear with us!

The roster reads like a Who's Who of legendary crate-diggers and beatsmiths. Is there anyone out there you'd really love to add that you haven't yet?

Cut Chemist, DJ Shadow and Mr Thing would be very welcome!

Now you've entered the vinyl market, what are the next steps for 45 Live?

We will be nailing down the next release asap, and right now I'm working on events mostly. As mentioned above, we have UK 3 festival shows in planning for 2016. And we want to expand this aspect further, especially outside of the UK. This is in fact where we can better bring DJs who live elsewhere into the team through collaborations on shows abroad. I am planning to move to Los Angeles next spring (just for a couple of months), so will be hooking up with Greg Belson who's hosting the 45 Live radio show on Dublab there and hopefully we can get something happening in town with another one of our US members, Monk One from Wax Poetics, as well as invite Cut Chemist along!!

Anything else you'd like to add?

I'd like to tell the taxi driver in France to get his damn cab serviced more regularly! I say this as we unfortunately lost 2 of our DJs - Aeon Seven and DJ Suspect - for The Masked Ball event in October because his cab broke down on the motorway, hence missing their flight from Paris. Next time I'm gonna drive over and pick them up personally!

Boca 45 feat. Louis Baker - Soul On Top/Diego

Well, that's the taxi drivers of Paris told... thanks Pete!

We better move on to the record itself. As mentioned, the A Side is a collaboration with up and comer Louis Baker, whose soulful drawl lends Boca's looped, loping beats some Motown-esque feeling. the beats themselves are expertly refined, managing to hark back to golden era breaks and simultaneously sound brand new; think Mayer Hawthorne with Cut Chemist chopping dope loops underneath. With Louis Baker sounding like a modern day Marvin Gaye we are served a confident and accomplished slice of robust soul with a strong hip-hop aesthetic. 
The flip is an older Boca cut, the Apache-sampling and mighty Diego - Scott gave me a copy years ago and it still gets many a spin.
Congratulations to Scott and Pete for a mighty fine debut record. It'll be in my crate for a while, that's for sure - well, as soon as payday comes anyway!

Check out the audio and buy it below:

If it's sold out via Bandcamp try Juno

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Brasileiro Treasure Box of Funk and Soul 7inch Box Set (Cultures of Soul)

I'm having a massive case of Deja vu right now. I feel like I'm in the car trying to leave that town in The Returned but every time I turn the corner I'm right back where I started. Or I'm Bill Murray's news anchor in Groundhog Day. Either way, I have fucking blogged this already! I swear it... am i going mad? Have I lost my mind and started fabricating memories of inconsequential activities?
Maybe GCHQ snooped on me and deleted it in the night for inciting booty-shaking. Maybe the CIA are planting memories in my mind as part of a wider experiment on unsuspecting proles. Someone call Mulder and Scully!

Since the only record of my blog post exists in my mind, let's try again.

I want to tell you about a wonderfully tempting box set of Brazilian funk from those good folks at Cultures of Soul. If the CIA let it past, maybe this time my post will stick.

To my shame, I've run out of enthusiasm for writing a dedicated piece (and it's nearly home time) so here's what they have to say about it:

Greg Caz and Deano Sounds have teamed up once again to bring you another fine package of vintage Brazilian music. This one stretches across the scope of funk, soul, and psychedelic music from Brazil. Some highlights include: the extremely rare and funky "Labirinto" by 2001 & Beto, the blistering psychedelic funk of Antônio Carlos & Jocafi's "Quem Vem Lá," the essential rare groove track "Bananeira" by Emilio Santiago, Osmar Milito E Quarteto Forma's rare "América Latina" sampled by Madlib, Tom Zé’s unstoppable riff on “Jimmy, Renda-Se,” and many others. Here are some words on the project from co-compiler and Brazilian music aficionado, Greg Caz:
"Without necessarily having a central theme other than funky nuggets from the first half of the 70s, we believe this compilation displays its own particular sense of logic, and that these songs ultimately all sound fantastic together. Regardless of one's familiarity, or lack thereof, with artists like Antonio Carlos & Jocafi, Os Incríveis, Toni Tornado or Celia, the material on these 45s speaks its own truth and justifies their inclusion here. Many of these were originally available as singles, while others were taken from albums, but all are guaranteed to find their way into many DJ boxes and playlists."
The 45 box set version comes in a durable glossy case with 7 x 45s, a poster containing the original artwork for the album, and a booklet printed on thick paper. 

All I will say is that it's beautifully packaged and ultra-funky...

Have a good old listen below or buy it here (UK) or here (worldwide)

Nik WESTON presents KIKI GYAN/TUNJI OYELANA (Mukatsuku Records)

Mukatsuku Records are one of my personal favourites - I've bought so many releases over the years and almost all of them are still regular selections. A heady blend of really, really good remastering and a great ear for a funky gem make Nik Weston's releases essential purchases for many Funk, Soul, Jazz, Afrobeat and Disco DJs. If, like me, you play a lot of all those genres, you'll be hard pushed to find a more consistently excellent label for your needs. Some tracks are hitherto unknown, but what i like is that the first criteria seems to be 'is it really fucking good?' rather than 'is it really fucking rare?' - so we also get Fela Kuti, Grant Green and other well known artists featuring in the catalogue.
Every purchase comes with some stickers and a genuine-sounding note from Nik that displays a heartfelt gratitude to his customers. It's the little things, and marks Nik out as the sort of chap one would enjoy a good pint with. I've never met him though, He could be a psychopath. Or a Tory voter.

The latest offering is a welcome installment in my Afrobeat/Afro-Funk education, featuring, as it does, a couple of artists whose work is new to me. Kiki Gyan delivers an extremely happy slice of Ghanian Disco with Love To Love You, which is followed on the flip by Tunji Oyelana's wonderfully jaunty It's Not Your Fault. Both are Nik Weston edits and his sure touch make for killer afro-funk cuts. Get in my basket.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Our DJ set from Dead Wax Social is available to listen to now!

We managed to record 4 1/2 hours of our DJ set at Dead Wax Social last week. Which means that you can relive the magic... all you have to do is find some 70s school furniture to sit on and go outside every time you want a fag...

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Freak of the week - 9 - Classroom Projects

It's records like this that I live for. A compilation of 'incredible music made by children in schools', the record features only a handful of the saccharine choral works you might expect, opting instead for some rather wonderful juxtapositions. Children singing about children dying? Check. Children interpreting John Cage? Check. Children fronting Bradford's 'Don't drink and drive' campaign? You betcha. Almost all the tracks are excellent, and all are performed by or written by primary school children, brought to life by a series music teachers with surprisingly avant-garde/dark tastes. We get bits of choral stuff, a cover of Bright Eyes, some tape-manipulation and some solo-cymbal pieces that might have been penned by Alvin Lucier. The CD, annoyingly, has a whole bunch of extra tracks not found on the record, but even so, this compilation stands out as a truly odd, and oddly experimental album.

Buy it here 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Free Records!*

*Probably crap ones

Vinyl Pimp in Hackney recently stumbled upon a 24,000 strong collection of 80s and 90s dance records. Jackpot! Except, of course, even a large record store might struggle if it suddenly won such a gargantuan stock increase... and you could be the beneficiary!
Admittedly, these records aren't necessarily the best - many are simply ones that didn't make the grade or are damaged. However, some will be duplicates of decent records from a pioneering and exciting time in the evolution of dance music, so you never know!

You can pick up 10 free records every Friday this month if you like and share this Facebook post.

Good luck!

Charity Shop Gem of the Week 10 - The Neutrons - Black Hole Star

Not to be confused with Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun, I stumbled across The Neutron's Black Hole Star on a recent flea-market rummage, and mainly bought it because tyhe cover is all silvery and spacey. Current obsession with space-pop and synthy-psychedlia meant I was compelled.
What actually comes out of the speakers when needle hits groove is quite unexpected. Where I expected to hear Moogs and Mellotrons I basically get traditional Prog Rock arrangements. Which is fine, and some of the songs are really good. But I was a bit disappointed.
It is, nevertheless, a gem... the album works as an opus, each song leading into the next in a really pleasant way, and there are some lovely changes of pace. It's not John Keating, but it is rather good. Plus it's got a song called Dance of the Psychedelic Lounge Lizards. Which can't not be a good thing.
Best track: Mermaid and Chips

Pick up a copy yourself here

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Plastic Dance 1: Domestic Synth Pop & Plugged In Punk

Andy Votel and Doug Shipton need no introduction to record collectors and oddity-aficionados. They've long been mining the seams of undiscovered, ultra-rare and freakishly different musical plunder from bygone times and distant lands. They have a rare knack of stumbling across music that was out of place, out of fashion or simply too out of its mind for the time it was released in... stuff that died ingloriously but is resurrected to fervent acclaim a few decades later.
Plastic Dance 1 is a collection of such music - a few buck the trend, such as the celebrated space-pop pioneers Cybotron, but the rest are an obscure and unheard of crop of wildly original artists from the late 70s and early 80s. mostly, the music ploughs a very psych-synth-rock furrow... like the B-52s on strong sedatives. We have the plaintive, Germanic barking on Plastiktanz Mir Geht Es Danke Gut - which I believe translates as 'I'm fine, thank you' while sounding like they aren't fine at all. The afore-mentioned Cybotron deliver a robust, pulsing slice of spaced out disco, which Zed's The Premen outdoes for jazzy, synthesized psychedelia. At least 5 of these tracks could be modern day synthwave tracks and I don't think I'd have known - probably only the acoustic drums really set them apart, while there are some flashes of glam-punk with Andrezej Korzynski's Tylko Punk Rock and Don Gere's There's a Star In You.

Buy it here

Baballah Loves Turkey

An excellent mix for your ears here, from a chap known as Baballah.
Here's what he has to say about it:

"Since I started to try and collect vinyl records from a large array of cultural spaces around the globe, I've had a couple of big surprises. The music of Turkey's 70's has been one of the biggest ones. So modern, so funky, so psychedelic and yet sofaithfull to its roots!! As usual the tracks you will discover in this selection are not taken on compilations or re-edits, although I am sure that some of the tracks here have been reedits by labels doing a wonderfull job... Electric Saz, Mad darbukas, sometimes Davul or Zurna, Big Breaks, sick Hiphop samples...the list of the discoveries is long for the ones who do not know yet how it's like to listen to Turkish Psych. For the others, I hope the selection will be good enough to please the good connoisseurs. Enjoy!!"

We think the selection is very much good enough and entreat you to give it a listen. 

If you check out Baballah on Mixcloud you'll find many more wonderful mixes. This guy knows his records!

17.Akla karayi sectim

byErsen ve Dadaslar