Review: The Emotional Rescue reissue series of Noel Williams aka King Sporty working with other artists and singers on the Konduko label's roster comes to completion with the deep funk disco of The Prolifics' Boy Child. Formed in 1970 as part of "Senator" Nolan Jones' New Orleans soul and funk label Hep' Me Records, the bands early deep southern soul saw them release a series of 7"s for Hep' Me and Avco, plus an Xmas single for EMI and the minor hit A Place Called Home, recorded at the infamous Musle Shoals studios, backed by the Rhythm Section band who, from the early 60s, turned out hit after hit, from When A Man Loves A Women to Brown Sugar. Landing on the newly inked Drive label, set up in '72 by Henry Stone as a sub label of his burgeoning T.K Records empire, their developing move in to funk saw them featured alongside Funky Nassau, Jimmy Castor and Peter Brown. It is here the connection with Noel Williams was formed. While putting together the "Konduko Six Pack" showcase album, the band were invited to the Miami Sound Studios for sessions that brought us both title cut Boy Child and the accompanying You Got Me. All brass and claps, Boy Child is as funky as Williams got, backing the groups soul vocals, a story of first born's energetic path in life and a mothers love. The backing from Deep Rockers band bring the swing, the trippy keys and wide bottom end has made this a secret drop for many. You Got Me on the other hand is true King Sporty, a driving 9-minute disco boogie cut, where the warm harmonies lay down this uplifting, killer dance floor stop. To close, the flip is again given over for reinterpretation, welcoming back Felix Dickinson to expertly cut, loop and dub. A special personal song for Dickinson, his subtle extension teases the intro for DJ play, before letting things fly - "the little show-off" as the song notes. With a near 30-year DJ and production career in place, his Discomix is a fitting way to complete this cycle of reissues of this benchmark label, for now.
Review: Continuing the label's special single releases that capture the nascent 80s post punk, dub, funk and pop - as examined on releases by The Jellies, Woo, Phantom Band, 4AM and more - here a discovery of unheard demos from Dislocation Dance's Midnight Shift album. As part of the eighties Manchester scene, the band's pop and jazz sensibilities have continued to garner attention, offering a rightful place in the city's rich music history.
With the closure of Richard Boon's New Hormones label in 1982, they came to the attention of Geoff Travis' Rough Trade. Creating a home studio in the basement of an old rambling farmhouse in Withington, Ian Runacres (guitar, vocals), with lyricist Paul Emmerson (bass), set to work creating demos to garner a deal. Inspired by the funk-disco of Dr Buzzards Original Savannah Band debut album, Here Comes Love was written using Roland TR-606 drum machine, guitars, bass and (cheap) keyboard, its magical and lo-fi charmed quality melts hearts.
On Mr Zak, the fun Runacres had is evident. Written as an indie song, but with Aztec Camera and Burt Bacharrach on his mind, with Andy Diagram (trumpet) and Kathryn Way (vocals), hides a structure matching the album version, but which in its rudimentary instrumentation and production is unique and outshines the later version, to encase a specific period and innocence, of time.
Review: The super rarity disco funk Something Got A Hold On Me by Chuck Armstrong gets its first ever official reissue, as Emotional Rescue continues its series of looking at some of the artists working with King Sporty's Konduko label. A long time South Florida native, Armstrong released numerous gospel toned soul 7"s for labels across the US, starting in 1962 with Cleveland's Gemini Records before going on to release with Detroit's Black Rock and Nashville's Sound Stage 7. First working with Noel Williams on the 1973 single, Black Foxy Woman, before releasing his now sought-after album Shakin' Up in 1976, he returned to Konduko 3 years later to explore the shift to disco and boogie with William's masterly production. Coming in at 10 minutes of deep, bottom rattling disco funk, William's teamed Armstrong's vocals of hypnotising love with his in-house Root Rockers band to devastating result. Their unrelenting groove and horns, plus Betty Wright & co's backing vocals counteracting with William's studio skills, is further exemplified in a wonderful dub laden Discomix by Psychemagik. Having released a sneaky edit a few years ago, it seemed fitting to bring the duo of beat diggers, tape manipulators and world travelling DJs, into the official fold by commissioning a new rework that extends, loops and arranges this classic around a nice heavy dose of dub effects for daze.
Review: Emotional Rescue returns for a third series of Konduko lost classics. After shining a light via the King Sporty and Noel Williams reissues, we're now looking at artists who released with the label, working closely with Williams to bring his unique sound to their performance. First up are Phillip James and Lloyd Campbell, a.k.a. The Blues Busters. One of the most successful vocal duos to come out of 1960's Jamaica. Progressing from cabaret shows to touring with Sam Cooke in the space of a year, they went on to record singles with the likes of Bluebeat, Treasure Isle and Trojan. Moving onto New York, their Cooke inspired soul harmonies proved popular on albums for Dynamic Sounds and Scepter, before making the flight to Miami and letting the funk-machine that was Noel Williams loose. The resultant album, 'You've Got To Keep On Moving' offers the two highly prized songs; 'Do What You Want To Do To It' and 'Keep On Moving'. These driving disco-funk bombs are backed by the in-house Deep Root Rockers band and Betty James on vocals. The remix, as always, is given to a favoured producer - the welcomed back Dan Tyler (Idjut Boys / Noid) and his NAD moniker. He turns Keep On Moving in to an unrelenting long-form disco-dub that could just be an anthem for a new summer of love.
Review: Following the collaborative releases with DJ Duckcomb, Emotional Rescue teams with discodub specialist NAD aka Dan Tyler (Idjut Boys) in the continual documentation of the crucial role played by the Caribbean diaspora in Britain's music history. Of the many who have made a mark, Clifton 'Sonny' Roberts maybe one of the most unheralded. Upon arrival in the early migration from the Caribbean, Roberts used his carpentry vocation to build and operate the first Jamaican recording studio and then black owned record shop in the country. Working alongside and sharing offices with a young Chris Blackwell and Trojan founder, Lee Gopthal, Roberts' trailblazing through his Planetone and Orbitone labels were pivotal in bringing first Ska, then Reggae and on to Lovers Rock to prominence, as well as releasing influential Afrobeat and rising Disco sounds of the day. It is on the sub-label Cartridge that the mega-rarity I Want You appeared in summer 1982. Teaming up with vocalist Joseph 'Remy' Martin, the original 12" is a wonderful mixture of all their influences; soulful vocals, unrelenting boogie groove, afro keys, all pinned by reggae bass. A heavily saturated Discomix is then created by Dan Tyler aka NAD. A dub masterclass with live desk filter passes and flanging, all running through spring reverb for a true Tubby disco-rockers ride, this is a sound system treasure with more to follow soon...
Review: Emotional Rescue presents the first ever reissue Sugar Minott's I Remember Mama. Recorded in Soho in mid-80s London, the Boogie meets Reggae song comes in vocal and instrumental mixes, as well as a wonderfully teasing long Discomix by NAD aka Dan Tyler (Idjut Boys). Having grown up and become a star out of Kingston, JA, with over fifty albums and hundreds of singles for the likes of Studio One and Black Roots labels, the legendary vocalist was a pioneer of the Dancehall and then later Lovers Rock sounds. Based in London for much of the 1980s, a chance meeting in the Wackies offices he met producer Steve Parr, who had recently opened the Sound Design Studio next door. Hatching the idea to create a label to showcase their capabilities, Parr played all the instruments except the distinctive sax by friend Andy MacDonald, while Minott's delivery is at his prime, storytelling in the Jamaica tradition of hardship and praise. The "Sound Design" instrumental / version sees the studio team craft a disco meets reggae in a cod-style to wonderful, almost Balearic effect. The collaboration with Dan Tyler continues, as he again works his desk dubbing magic. Extending and editing between the two mixes, teasing the instrumental before finally bringing the sax and vocals together for a 'discodub' finale.
Review: Emotional Rescue returns to early 1980s Manchester with the previously unreleased music of Michael James Pollard and his beautiful distillation of indie pop in Too Confusing and bedsit cover version of Ashford and Simpson's Surrender. While studying photography at Manchester Polytechnic, (MJ) Pollard lived and played in a band in a ramshackle house in Walley Range. In the cellar studio he would write and record his own songs using their guitars, fretless bass and keys, as well as his own Casio VL-Tone VL-1 and Simmons Clap Trap to augment his drums onto a 4 track TEAC. By 1983, and now solo, he was recording out of Dislocation Dance's studio (ERC111), had secured a Peel Session and via Factory Records' Lindsay Reade, was discussing with Fundacao Atlantica about releasing an album. Working with singer Sioux Goddard as a duo, they put down 8 songs in 2 weeks in summer '84. However, Fundacao Atlantica's financial difficulties and soon closure meant the songs were lost until now. Recovered off the original tapes and lovingly restored, Too Confusing captures the optimism of the sessions, a summer love melody of forlorn youth. Surrender accompanies, recorded back in that cellar in '81, with friend Stephanie Danziger on vocals, its lo-fi simplicity is a perfect take on an all-time classic, making this a newly prized gem of British indie pop history.
Ron Next Door (dub mix - digital bonus track) - (5:35) 105 BPM
Review: Happenstance can be a fortuitous element. A union-funded single discovered in a dusty store, a long disbanded band found, leads to unreleased post punk dubs in a box of unreleased demos. Formed during the mid-80s in the downbeat town of Walsall, their music is a blend of disparate influences from 50's crooners, blues and reggae to Killing Joke and The Bunnymen; Ron's Neighbours were out of step with the perfect pop of the C86 indie generation. Their only single,
To The Fight, a split 7 inch was supported by the Trade Union Resource Centre, while many gigs were benefits for striking miners, leading to a loyal local following. Engineered by Ozzy Osbourne's brother Tony, tracks were recorded at an 8 track bedroom / home studio, while a terraced house served as rehearsal space. Here Ron Next Door was born. When a tape recorder was left running it captured the long-suffering neighbour for posterity. His outburst gave the band and song, its name. Experimenting with drum machines, the resultant jam track, here in its alternative mix, languished unheard until now. Ron's 'Black Country' tones lead to driving bass / percussion against crashing Stratocasters and repeating, refrained vox - a post punk dub turned symphony. B side Sitting On Top of the World is an indie anthem, becoming their theme, a blend of grandiose and banal that characterised their songs.
Review: The second in the series of DJ Duckcomb-affiliated reissues brings the Jamaica / London connection to light, with a reissue of the Brixton based band Red Cloud under the spotlight. Double Talk was their debut release, coming on House / Freestyle / Reggae label Dancefloor Records, first explored by Emotional Rescue several years ago. After meeting with label head, Jeffrey Collins, in his then London base, the band went on release 2 albums, a 12" and 7" with him, as well as notably being Floyd Lloyd Seivright's backing band. The original 1983 12"" - now a highly sought after digger's disco reggae bomb - Double Talk is a perfect summer Lovers jam. A tale of sweat talking, cross loving and loss, with redemption and strength, all backed by an uplifting drum and bass, with guitar, keys and piano highlighting the JA climbs instilled in dem sound. Dubble Dub brings it all down, stripping away and lifting the interplay between keys and piano, allowing guitar to ride above warm bass grooves. Duckcomb then returns with his now trademark riding the vocal'n'dub, gently teasing'n'pulling, looping'n'flipping, before letting the echoplex loose to just let the wonderful groove bump'n'grind.
Review: Emotional Rescue presents the 2nd EP (of 4) highlighting the music of International Noise Orchestra. Centered around Ulrich Hornberg and Wolfgang Sperner, aka producers Gemini Brothers, this world supergroup released 5 LPs and 2 EPs in just 4 years. Again showcasing their rhythm, calm and power, a metaphysical, real sensitivity and intellectualism, all wrapped around the groove. Starting with their own instrumental remix of Gimme Move Lovin', this little known 12" B side has long been a play for heads and allows the band's Pop Balearic, esoteric meets electronics to shine, layering Fairlight samples over a funky bass 4/4 around some '88 Amnesia pool dive. Next the anthem, Yeh Naina Yaad Hai, as Asha Bhosle's beautiful vocals from the Manzil Manzil soundtrack, are mixed with drum machines to create a dream Bollywood meeting. Again there are Glynnis Thomas (Savage Progress) vocals, now atop a sax laden Synth Pop brain, mind and body dance. Alias, Internationales Ger?uschorchester offer wonderful jazz leanings for A Lulu A Bobe Danz, where the bop takes a leftfield embrace. To close then, Mr Richard Strange returns, invoking The Driving Force, returning to the idiosyncratic, percussive Earthbeat. Listen!
Review: To close the 3 EP reissue series of Neville King and Lee Laing's King & City label, the all female group Charisma are presented with their summer infused Lovers cut, Everything Is Fine. Three Lewisham friends, Angela Richardson on lead vocals, with Geselle and Janie backing, were active from 1982 to 1990, but are really remembered for the early recordings made with Neville King. Their debut, Everything Is Fine rides the Lovers sound at its peak. Written with One Blood's Lloyd Robinson, with the rest of band of Robinson brothers providing the rhythm section, this is pure South London sound system music. Recorded again at TMC (Tooting Music Centre) Recording Studios - working alongside the likes of Dillinger, Tradition and New Musik - Everything Is Fine rides a beautiful soul reggae rhythm as Trevor (Drums) and Lloyd (Bass) Robinson set the foundations, while One Blood provide the Dub mix. A true love's lament, a song of hope, serenity and pure vibes. Label head Chuggy slides behind the mixing desk for an extended Discomix that stretches, loops and dubs the vocal and dub back forth, to close a glimpse at this uniquely British phenomenon, taking reggae closer to it's heart and soul.
Review: The King & City label is the subject of three reissues, starting with One Blood's classic Lovers Rock take of William DeVaughn's soul anthem, Be Thankful. Taking the influence of reggae from the Caribbean diaspora within the cultural melting pot of 70s London, the birth of Lovers Rock, often-dubbed 'romantic reggae', is a uniquely black British sound, developed against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems. A style suited to the London scene, it represents an apolitical counterpoint to the then dominant conscious Rastafarian sound and continued the soulful and commonly love-themed rocksteady style. Active during the scene's peak, King & City was launched by Neville King and Lee Laing to champion the sound and alongside other producers like Dennis Bovell, created genre-defining hits. Formed in 1979 One Blood was made up of the 5 Robinson brothers - Errol, Jerry, Lloyd, Trevor and Paul - and recording at the legendary TMC studios, went on to release two albums and countless singles. Be Thankful pays homage to DeVaughn's original, with smooth vocals gliding atop tight drum and bass, vocal jumping up dub pom acapella to summer perfection. The tapes here passed to cohort Lexx, crafting a wonderful discodub that is all groove, expertly cutting back and forth... diamonds in the back, sunroof top.
Review: The King & City reissue series continues with Paul Robinson's disco boogie jam Come On Sister. Moving from the Lovers sound of his early productions, his first solo recording was aimed straight at the blues, clubs and pirate stations of South London and beyond - a prolific artist on the rise. Appearing as a 13 year old protegee drummer in The Simeons, recording for the legendary Freedom Sounds label out of Kingston; to forming the influential Roots / Lovers Rock outfit One Blood; then vocalist in the Nick Straker Band; and through to a 30 year career as "dubplate" producer / singer Barry Boom, Robinson is a man of talents and serious legacy. This highly sought after debut, part of Neville King and Lee Laing's family of labels, followed releases in One Blood and productions for female Lovers groups Blood Sisters and Charisma. A pure disco boogie party cut, Come On Sister sees the Robinson family hit the Brit funk.
In label style, the track is given the Discomix treatment, here by up and coming digger, dealer and producer, Bruno (Perfect Lives). Letting the horns, dub bass and drums build in anticipation before the keys and guitar join and it all drops to Robinson's vocals - Come On Sister.
Review: After the trilogy of King Sporty & The Ex-tra's EPs in 2018, Emotional Rescue returns to the music of Noel Williams with this first ever single release of his 1976 reggae disco bomb, Safari, backed with a special discomix by Lexx.
Taken from William's debut album, Deep Reggae Roots, it can be considered a culmination of his career to date, from growing up on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, to his first singles for Studio One and Trojan, his relocation to Miami and the birth of his Konduko label and moves to incorporate the local clubs growing affiliation with funk and disco.
Review: Emotional Rescue is proud to reissue a collection of global music band, International Noise Orchestra, presented across 4 special EPs. Founded when Berlin based musician Ulrich Hornberg mixed a newly acquired Commodore 64 with visiting Algerian drummer Jol Allouche's tablas - old culture meets new technology - the fundamentals were laid. Simple, maybe na?ve, with a curiosity to combine and inspire. Old meets new starts with their cover of Gimme Your Lovin, taking Winwood's classic and molding a white funk, pop, rock, dance hybrid, with enigmatic actor / singer Richard Strange's distinctive poetic delivery. Following Dr Sarmaz, released under INO's alias - Internationales Ger?uschorchester - the global dance vibrations begin. Feel It Flow is pure 80's dance pop, with Glynnis Thomas (Savage Progress) distinctive tones leading to the jazz fusion of Ata?, before closing with the guitar / synth / tabla rhythms of Culture Rescue Service.
Review: Sometimes a record comes along that is a wonderful anomaly that really is all about the music. Silver Leaf recently appeared on the radar via obscuro diggers on both sides of the Atlantic and landed with a Hey! What is known about Silver Leaf, beyond that it was a short-lived mid-80s project out of Cincinnati, Ohio, is that it features ex-Zephyr keyboardist John Faris, working alongside the mysterious vocalist Silvia Leaf. The difference between the blues and occasional psychedelic rock of early 70s Boulder, Colorado's Zephyr and the lo-fi recordings of Silver Leaf are striking, but in Hey! and Can We Rebuild Our City?, the power of the ballad and strong playing of John, is wrapped in mid-80s, mid-States lo fi heaven. Whether a non-de-plume, Ms Leaf's searing, innocent vocals fly above John's keys and programming. Hey!'s repetitive exhalations act like a mantra to a party, while tom's chime in accompaniment. Here it comes! Can We Rebuild Our City? starts with Faris' forlorn intro before crashing percussion heads to some kind of wonderful, as Leaf questions a calls to hearts.
Review: For the second Riddims EP, collating the music of The New Morning, the label highlights further how a group based around the southern Germany Afro-Cosmic scene created a melange of music, a sound, that stepped wide of the house and techno movement then sweeping Europe.
In Global Rhythm Records, friends and producers, DJ Otti and Jay Pee, alongside DJ Thilo and DJ Fred, represented Munich "Westside", running parties and across just 11 self distributed releases, carved their own eclectic niche that were being played by the likes of scene DJs Stefan Egger and Enne.
Slowed afro-percussion, Brazilian flavours, elements of ethno folk, flighty wood instruments, trance overtures, shamanic voices and more are pieced together via heavy sample use in an early hip hop mastermix style.
Again with no track lasting much over 4 minutes, these musical vignettes are perfect tools for the eclectic DJ. Covering uplifting - almost Balearic grooves - to deeper mind-inducing spellbinds and to darker corners of trippy psychedelic invocation, this is The New Morning experience.
Review: Following on from the excellent "Scene In Mirage" reissue that broke O Yuki Conjugate to a whole new crowd, Emotional Rescue return to the archives over-looked Nottingham 'dirty ambient' outfit. Their second LP "Into Dark Water", originally released in 1987, is just as powerful as the first - a hypnagogic journey fuelled by a global stew of sound, feeding into elegant, evocative pieces. Fans of classic Jon Hassell will find much to enjoy here, but equally those appreciating the exotic post punk undercurrents of 23 Skidoo et al will easily find themselves drawn into the likes of "Ba-makala". Stunning, borderless musings from a hidden treasure of the UK's post-industrial heritage.
Review: The second EP of remixes from Man Jumping's reissue on Emotional Rescue features luminaries Bullion, Reckonwrong, Gengahr and William Doyle with their reversions of songs from the Jumpcut album.
Nathan Jenkins aka Bullion follows his recent rerub of Thomas Leer (ERC072) to provide two remixes. His remake of In The Jungle keeps the originals (leftfield) dance floor roots, but sprinkles the ubiquitous warm glow and off kilter fun(k) that he evokes; while his retake of Walk On, Bye drifts back, highlighting intricate percussion; congas, bass and vocal atmospherics along some breezy swing.
Reckonwrong is next; turning the bossa vibes of Sqeezi into his own new wave meets Italo reversion; topped with his unique 'under the cupboard stairs' vocals. Funky, driving, this overlooked star adds to his cannon for Whities, Pinkman and DEEK.
After a string of impressive releases for Trangressive / Beggars, Gengahr make a surprise addition, lifting Down The Locale from deceptive beginnings to anthemic heights, adding echo-laden guitar and vocals to the original's underbelly, before a bass break and return lifts to the heavens.
Finally, William Doyle provides perfect closure. Moving away from his East India Youth moniker (XL Recordings), his output has drifted towards ambient introspection, however, here points to addtional layers; rebuilding Belle Dux On The Beach with added bass, guitar, drums and finally vocals that culminate in a prefect 'to the skies' outrospection.
Review: To accompany the reissue of Man Jumping's Jumpcut album, Emotional Rescue offers 2 remix EPs that showcase the band's music with versions by contemporary producers.
Starting with stalwarts and friends in duo Khidja, it's not often you can put together a reissue that modern day wunder producers have requested, however, that is precisely what occurred. Badgering over several years about their love of Man Jumping and how they should be revered, when the call came that the reissue was happening, Khidja were the first names down.
After breaking through on sister label [Emotional] Especial way back in 2013, the pair have gone on to much acclaim with releases for Malka Tuti, Hivern Discs and DFA to name (drop) a few.
Handed the tapes, their love of Man Jumping's virtuoso playing is evident in these amazing remixes. Walk On, Bye takes its Reich meets Pop aspirations and drifting across 9 minutes of laidback but bass heavy rhythms, intricacies of clarinet, sax and trumpet are stretched and fused to repetition perfection.
Following, Down The Locale's jazz roots is developed, recast and updated, extenuating the bass, while piano and vocals interplay over scattered, skipping drums to become a latter day 'contemporary dance' odyssey.
Review: Emotional Rescue presents the music ensemble Man Jumping, with a reissue of their experimental, post-minimalist meets pop debut album Jumpcut, to be followed by 2 special remix EPs featuring Khidja, Bullion, Reckonrong and more. Formed in 1983 out of the disbanded The Lost Jockey (Les Disques Du Crepuscule), Man Jumping's aim was to move on from the unwieldy nature of that collective to combine the 'systems music' of Steve Reich, Terry Riley, LaMonte Young etc with rock, funk, dance and world music and create a new cross over. Consisting of studied musicians and created from theory as well as technique, the liberation from formal restrictions took shape over four years that spawned 2 albums and one 12". Released on Bill Nelson's 'Cocteau' label in 1985, Jumpcut's was critically praised but destined for more discerning ears. The 8 songs - including here a 12" mix of Aerotropics - developed from 16 stave manuscript into live recordings straight to tape, with no sequencing to keep their live feel intact. Carefully planned but made in the moment, members Charlie Seaward, Glyn Perrin, John Lunn, Orlando Gough and Shaung Tozer's legacy is demonstrably durable, a testament to their originality of thought to an idea of what might be rather than an imitation of what has been.
Review: The 1990s Afro-Cosmic scene, highlighting on Munich's The New Morning project, is the focus of an in depth reissue, collected across 3 six-track EPs.
As the influence and cult of Baldelli's Cosmic sound spread out across Italy from the late 1970s, the music expanded, mixing new wave, African, funk, electro, space rock, Brazilian, jazz and dub, all delivered in a freestyle playing that became Afro.
Adding percussion, samples and effects, the music spread north to Austria and Southern Germany, where DJs, producers, labels and parties flourished. In 1994, DJ Otti and Jay Pee started Global Rhythm Records and with friends DJ Thilo and DJ Fred released 1O EPs and 1 LP over 4 years.
The 3 EPs select the best of this output, including unreleased tracks, mixing a love of funk, disco, hip hop and house with syncopated analogue beats and live percussion. The 90-110 bpm sample heavy tracks, often running for only 3 to 4 minutes, showcase their eclectic sound collage.
More than DJ tools, the EPs were warmly received by aficionados and clubbers alike, becoming mainstays at the afro-tribal gatherings taking place throughout the scene. Secret plays for taste-making DJs since, their scarcity and value have increased considerably, bringing a new appreciation of their Afro-Funky sound.
Review: Emotional Rescue is delighted to present a collection of works by the founding father of the modern drum movement, Glen Velez. Collated from his first 3 solo albums from 1985 to 1989, Sweet Season is a snapshot in to the pioneering composing and performance of this four-time Grammy winner. Born in 1949, of Mexican American ancestry, Velez grew up in Texas before moving to New York in 1967. Playing jazz on the drums he soon gravitated to hand drums from around the world (frame drums in particular), seeking out teachers from many different musical traditions.
Among the many instruments Velez favours are the Irish bodhran, the Brazilian pandeiro, the Arabic riq, the North African bendir and the Azerbaijani ghaval. Although these instruments are similar in construction they have their own playing techniques that open new possibilities.
Sweet Season highlights this vocabulary, mixing and adapting techniques from various cultures to develop new ones. The music, often composed as cross-cultural ensembles, has a particular fondness for polyrhythms - superimposing different meters simultaneously - while incorporating Stepping Split-tone and Central Asian Overtone singing to complete the global horizons.
This new genre of contemporary drumming has been hugely influential and seen Velez work with the likes of John Cage and Steve Reich, as well as teaching his virtuosic combinations of hand movements and finger techniques to many emerging players.
Review: Emotional Rescue are doing a fine job of sifting through the considerable Vox Populi! archives to present the finest sounds from this most adventurous of French collectives. The specific period focused on here is the post-1989 sound of the band exploring more explicit world influences with stunning results. At times delicate and folky, occasionally funky and elsewhere more experimental and heavy in its atmosphere, there's so much to absorb here as core members Kyrou, Mitra and Khalatbari work with a swelling cast of musicians to take trips to distant lands both real and imaginary.
Review: Emotional Rescue again delves in the world of private pressings, with a reissue of British electronic pop meets proto-house duo 4AM. With copies of their self titled album now highly sought after, this timely reissue presents two of their songs as a stand alone single.
Consisting of multi-instrumentalist Steve Kirby - piano, guitar, bass, programming - and vocalist Kevin Finch, 4AM came together after youths filled with a love of music. Following a string of band attempts, Steve dived in to the world of midi, allowing him to build a studio set up and play solo. A meeting with new work colleague Kevin quickly developed to joining forces to expand on his early demos.
Their melodic, dance-influenced pop draws on a love of Japan, OMD and The The, but also ECM jazz and a touch of white boy soul. The TR-808 drum and hi-hats, string stabs and random acid squelches - although no TR-303 was used - highlights the influence the nascent House sounds emanating from the second summer of love of 1988/89 had in their music melting pot.
Over this, personal lyrics flow, full of honest emotions and a touch of youthful naivety thrown in - of relationships, love, sex and passions. Intended as a personal artifact, the original album was released in 1990 with no promotion or live shows and has taken until now, some 30 years, to find a cult audience. I want you with a Passion.
Throw Away The Script (instrumental mix) - (5:16) 119 BPM
Dancing The Hard Bargain (extended mix) - (6:25) 93 BPM
Bullet (Unreleased mix) - (9:08) 78 BPM
Review: Emotional Rescue return to the music of cult British group Furniture, shining a light on this unique band's extended 12" mixes and alternate takes. In the 80s tradition, these versions shrug off commercial concerns for something more exciting - long run times and space to tease FX and processes that a radio-friendly single wouldn't allow. "I Can't Crack (Broken Mix)" is an epic crescendo, while the instrumental mix of "Throw Away The Script" locks into a scratchy percussive workout anchored by a moody bassline. The sprightly piano lines and cascading sax on "Dancing The Hard Bargain" are a delight to lose yourself in, while "Bullet" strikes a somber but stirring tone to close the EP out.
Review: Some people seem like they should have been born in a different era - think of Jacob Rees-Mogg or those odd folks who dress in 1940s clothing 24/7. This EP, likewise, was really born to be played on the sun deck of your late 70s Laurel Canyon mansion, packed as it is with lazy, laidback grooves that blend soul, jazz-funk and rock influences with a sprinkling of house-y pianos and synth stabs. The Latin-tinged 'I Need Somebody' is one standout, while 'A Natural Love' captures that early 80s soul vibe nicely, but really it's an EP that's best allowed to wash over you whole while you get the cocktails ready...