Updated: Jul 31
God, it's good to be back behind the decks and playing music to folk that are joyous to be out and about with a drink in hand!
Before I launch into this month's €50 well spent on Bandcamp, I'd like to shed some light on my current mindset.
I'm sure I'm not alone in the knowledge that we need human contact now & again, and sitting at home for months on end is not the mental health gymnastics we should all be practising.
Curfew in France meant that I had some very weird gigs starting at 5pm and playing to a sober crowd that just wanted to unwind after work and then run off home before they got fined. I was playing a lot of album tracks and acoustic music that should be reserved for motel swimming pools. That nonsense is now over and it's a much more euphoric occasion with more smiles and booze involved, and my musical selections are a wider smorgasbord of aural delights these days.
Now we've cleared that up, can you all get out your vaccine passports and I'll ask the bouncer to let you in one by one....STOP PUSHING AT THE BACK
The idea of this blog is to spend 50 bones on Bandcamp every month and freely share the choices. It's free digging advice from myself and a collection of guest authors.
Streaming is essentially renting music and the artists are badly remunerated, so by splashing out on an ethical platform you're helping keep musicians afloat.
This track was released in 2014 but has such great production values that it can be classified as "timeless".
It's written by Faze Action's Robin Lee and wriggles between blues and soulful psychedelia. Ed Begley delivers a great vocal on this folk inspired, laid back gem.
The vinyl is only £4,99 or the digital is £4,50
I can safely say I've been flogging this to death over the past month. I have around five gigs a week and I'm not getting tired of this one. Every time, like clockwork. Valique delivers another one of his classic edits and, I know, as soon as the penny drops that it's Fleetwood Mac, someone is going to come running over to pull a face of disbelief (and joy). There's a Rolling Stones track - Fingerprint File which is also pretty cool, and some strange euro-pop track by Dr Adolf? - but just listen to the wind blow - magical.
If you bagged a copy of Mercury Rising you'll know that Harvey is not afraid to weave lanes and let the car go off the road. Having started his legendary DJ career with Tonka in Brighton and moving onto the Gardening Club in Covent Garden, Ministry of Sound, Pikes, Space and other mythic venues, he has played all over the world and pretty much smashed it everywhere.
Recorded live in LA @ Rumours.
Don't expect to know many of these tunes - beautifully crafted by a pro.
Won't be around for long - limited downloads for charity.
Came out last year and I missed it, so ultimately happy to stumble across this beauty.
The band are from Washington DC and that's about all I know.
World music with great horns and percussive beats. Gorgeous stuff.
I could waffle on about which cheeses go well with a dry white Macon, but that's besides the point.
First heard the vocals of Bonga thanks to Jon sa Trinxa in 2014 on a trip to Ibiza (that I don't remember too much more about). His effusive rasp is that of a haunting story teller from Angola, totally unique and easily recognised.
So when you get Pablo Fierro from the Canary Islands onboard to do a remix, the results are astounding.
Bit of fun now. The wonderful French label Favourite Recordings have been knocking out Disco Reggae albums for several years - there's a Volume 4 in October.
The original Disco Reggae compilation is somewhat of a collector's item (although recently repressed). Anyway, I digress.
Inner City came up with this club classic at the end of 1988, and it was pure Detroit house music, so obviously begging for a reggae cover.....well perhaps not, and it took 33 years for some clever Trevor to come across the idea. Enter Taggie Matcher (3rd cousin of Maggie Thatcher?) and it works surprisingly well.
Some subtle lyric changes but all within artistic license.
Now we get into the realm of deep dirty funk. I'm already well attached to the Kapana label, with the likes of Captain Planet, Aroop Roy & Felipe Gordon, so it was no surprise that I loved the new Vanilla release with its digital freebie - Aroop Roy killing the remix.
Three perfectly balanced tracks for a very decent price.
This album contains perhaps the greatest disco re-edit ever made.
That's a big statement coming from a man that runs a disco edit label.
Tony Orlando's - Don't Let Go PH edit is the litmus test of a great party.
Tickle the crowd with this baby at 112bpm and just see what happens....
It's not main room, middle of the night material but it's pure gold, as are most of these tracks.
Pete has also done some great collaborations with Dicky Trisco for Disco Deviance, but that's another story.
Can't go wrong for a tenner. Buy the whole album.
I've just finished Harold Heath's book Long Relationships, which is highly recommended and was happy to see this track get a mention, because an old friend used to run this label. Just to prove that the Universe is a cosmic game conceived to mess with our minds, I get an email from Stu Mac to say that Pacific has been relaunched in 2021 and he kindly sends me the promo code for the remastered hit from the 90s.
Sounding fresh, and the soulful keys and fat kick still combine well to take you on a spiritual 10 minute journey into bliss. Very cool tune from an era of decent club music.
I still have this on white label vinyl with an 0171 phone number on it. Can't get more vintage in the world of tech house if you try!
It's rare that new reggae turns me on these days. I spent several years working in Jamaica in the 90s and the advent of slackness really put me off. I love a bit of roots revival and rocksteady and I'll always try and slip in a reggae tune whenever I play out.
Fat Freddy's Drop from New Zealand, and Jahtari from Germany managed to take a new direction that's fresh and pushed dancehall into an acceptable arena, and here we have a Scottish team of veterans dropping bombs.
It's an old Joe Gibbs rhythm (Heavenless) that's been completely revamped and given a filthy bass line that'll get even reticent feet tapping.
Funny lyrics for all ganja smokers - reggae as it should be.
A few months back I pointed some of you in the direction of The Born Messengers LP.
Since then I've secured a remix of their cover version of Let Love Flow (old Sonia Spence track from 1981) by the talented Art of Tones and Olivier Cavaller. This is on my label, so apologies for the shameless plugging. It is, however, a fabulous release and selling faster than half price hand sanitiser.
There's a Prince edit by Bruno Belissimo and Instant Funk get the Lego Edit treatment.
I finish the EP with my dub version of the Jackie Moore classic, This Time Baby.
Normally I only press vinyl, but due to Bandcamp pressure and general demand, you can grab a digital copy for your listening pleasure.
Wow, I've spent the budget. Add local taxes and that's €50
Feel free to share this blog to your music loving friends.
You're far better off buying music than renting it.
Support your favourite artists properly by using their Bandcamp stores.
Over & out