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STACKS OF STAX....

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 19:47 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe custodians of the grand old STAX label continue to celebrate the Memphis music icon's 60th anniversary with a new 3 CD 60 track collection tracing the label's history.

'SOULSVILLE USA – A CELEBRATION OF STAX' is a chronological survey of the Stax output. It begins with the Veltone's 1959 tune- the doo-wop flavoured 'Fool In Love' and ends with Shirley Brown's gorgeous 1974 outing 'Woman To Woman'.

In between you get all the big hitters and a selection of some of their biggest tunes alongside some lesser known names like Mabel John, The Temprees, Linda Lyndell and the Astors with their crazy but wonderful 'Candy'

The sleeve notes tell us that over its lifetime Stax issued just over 800 singles and of those 243 made the charts in one way or another. Quite an achievement!

Interestingly one release that failed to chart was the aforementioned Veltones' 'Fool In Love'. It heads off this collection because it was Stax's first proper R&B release and enjoyed the catalogue number Satellite 100. Indeed it was released on Estelle Axton and Jim Stewart's pre-Stax imprint, Satellite and was produced by Chips Moman and recorded in Brunswick, Tennessee ( 20 miles north east of Memphis). 'Fool In Love' was licensed to Mercury and though it failed to chart it brought Stewart and Axton to the attention of a certain Rufus Thomas who had his daughter, Carla sign to the label. At the same time Moman convinced the label owners to move back into Memphis. Then a hit in the shape of Carla Thomas' 'Gee Whiz', a name change to Stax (after threatened legal action from another Satellite label), a distribution deal with Atlantic and the rest is history ...that history's all here in this wonderful collection

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 October 2017 16:03

 

A CRAZY WORLD!

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 19:44 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altDespite their name , THE HAGGIS HORNS hail from Leeds and have been banging out their brand of energized soul and funk since 1999. They've worked with people like Jamiroquai, John Legend & The Roots, Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey Rae, Take That, Mark Ronson and Elbow and their own regular releases have kept their faithful fans more than happy!

Right now they're preparing their fourth long player 'One Of These Days' (due November) and to whet appetites there's a single to savour.  The tune is 'World Gone Crazy' featuring a soulful vocal from Lucinda Slim. As ever the brass is super tight and as is the modern way the cut comes in a welter of remixes ... here from Lack Of Afro, Smoove (of Smoove & Turrell) and Sam Redmore. Not much to choose between 'em though we're told that the album version will be a mammoth 8 minute effort!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 October 2017 19:56

 

BRIDGE THAT GAP!

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 19:41 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altGOLDEN BRIDGE is a brand new soul partnership between Tokyo and Boston based Japanese Soul/R&B/Jazz Producer Yuki "Monolog" Kanesaka and one of Japan's top remix producers Yuki "T-Groove" Takahashi.

The first fruit of the union is a three track EP – 'TBC- To Be Continued'. Influenced by people like Herbie Hancock, Mizell Brothers, BlackByrds, Sadeo Watanabe, Bobbi Humphrey and Marvin Gaye, the duo have tried to deliver a modern/ retro twist of 70's Jazz Funk with a nod to 80's Disco Classics.

The EP's three tracks are a house-flavoured take on the Mizell sound, 'Tribal'; a meandering 'Baby I Got Your Sugar' featuring Al Copeland and Lee Wilson; and an intriguing, jazzy, 'Charles River Drive'. With a title like 'TBC' there's obviously a lot more to come.

Golden Bridge - T.B.C. (To Be Continued) EP is out now

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 October 2017 19:56

 

YOU TO ME ARE EVERYTHING!

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 19:38 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBack in 1985 proper soul folk were quite taken with 'Love So Fine' from UK soul outfit SA-HA-RA. The iconic tune was written and produced by Peter Hinds, Steve Sinclair and Kevin Ellis. Collectively known as 'The Producers', they'd previously worked with bands like Light Of The World and Atmosfear but the hypnotic 'Love So Fine' was a tad different.

Last year the tune was reissued along with some new mixes and we were told that the Sa-ha-ra team were working on a long player.... well that album's almost here and is being heralded by a lovely retro sounding single 'You Are My Everything'.

The album is to be titled 'Love's So Fine – Past Present and Future' and we'll bring you a full review very soon!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 October 2017 19:57

 

ALL MIXED UP

Saturday, 30 September 2017 16:00 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt2017's been a good year for modern soul. Hardly a week goes by without a new tune tempting the hearts and the souls (and the soles) of the modern soul crew.... and to make things even more confusing, before you know where you are, those great cuts reappear in remix form! And just recently three special songs have enjoyed the special remix treatment.

First up is 'I Choose You' from English-born, Australian-raised singer-songwriter DAISY HICKS. In its original format the song was a sombre but plaintive ballad. Now it's re-emerged in two new versions – a "Ruff Diamond" mix that ups the tempo to danceable (not too frantic though) and a "Curious" mix. Soul buffs will know that "Curious" is a brand of DJ/producer/ performer Sir Piers and it's this mix that wins the vote here.

altNext a new mix from another Brit soulster – DECOSTA BOYCE. The young Londoner's early summer album 'Elecktrik Soul' won him plenty of plaudits on the UK scene though some found the music a little heavy in places and... well, too "electronic". Whatever, one of the LP's cuts has just won a remix. It's 'Good Music' and it's been tweaked by the Soulpersonna/G Funk who create a rather splendid hypnotic little dancer.

altThe third in the trio of new remixes is 'Speak Love' from the incomparable JAMES DAY. Day of course is a big fan of remixes and recycling. 'Speak Love' was the lead single from his last long player 'Song Soul & Spirit' and fans recognized the song right away. It originally appeared on his 2009 album 'Natural Things' and featured a cast of thousands. This new mix - "the Peace, Love and Funk mix" is a tad faster and will please the more sophisticated end of the modern soul scene. Excellence recycled!

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 September 2017 16:09

 

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