Deco Disco with Camp Galore (1976 DML-2)

Ha – take that you slime-bags – did not see that one comin did ya..   Another 50p buy today – and what a bleedin thing it is to behold ….

The sleeve seriously defies description – I think the look on the chicks face says it all – this must be one if not THE bestest crap sleeve on these shelves – and man – I have loads more contenders !!

The music is slick-70s-NY-disco – very reminiscent to Disco-Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes (if that means anything to you) – big orchestral scores – tight production and Ray Coniff style harmonies – make a fine listen – if you like 30s swing hits – made into disco-stompers – and who doesn’t …

Worth every penny for the second track alone – which will be played out repeatedly  – should any fool ever need my DJ services – Ballin’ The Jack – sort of says it all really – CLASSIC !!

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Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 3:00 pm  Comments (9)  
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Andy Fairley – System Vertigo (ON-U LP61)

Lovely find for 50 new-pence this lunch time in Crewkerne.  Have piles of ONU stuff on the shelves here – dating right back to the first releases and spanning all the Tackhead, Dub Syndicate, Mark Stewart releases and associated Pay-It-All-Back compilation etc – late 80s I was seriously into that stuff …   so damn nice to find something I have not heard before from this period.

The backing band is the normal suspects – basically Tackhead/DS with David Harrow on programming duties – and of course Sherwood on the desk.  What you get is a very funky/dubbed out racket – quite extreme in places and damn damn nice.  I am familiar with Fairley through the copious use of his sampled vocals on numerous other ONU releases – in particular all that late 80s Gary Clail stuff – and in fact sort of remember seeing him along with Mark Stewart live in Brighton sometime or other – man how memories fade !!

The house is currently under dub-attack – and very welcome it is too !!

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 2:09 pm  Comments (1)  
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Woodland And Garden Birds

Now here’s a record guaranteed to make my colleague green with envy…

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Originally released separately, this is actually two BBC albums combined as a double in a lovely gatefold sleeve.

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Produced and narrated by Eric Simms (in flawless clipped Queen’s English) this collects a fascinating amount of bird calls along with a few other creatures, including mice, squirrels, mosquitos and even Death’s Head Hawk-moths, grouped according to the seasons and environment – a truly beautiful sonic portrait of British wildlife.

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm  Comments (1)  
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Following on from this and this, my extraordinary run of good fortune with Average White Band albums reaches it’s zenith with this, allegedly their finest long-player…

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I hadn’t even intended to go thrifting that day;  I simply needed a pound coin for a shopping trolley at Tesco’s, so slipped into a nearby charity shop for a quick look on the off-chance there might be something worth breaking a fiver for, and hey presto, there she was right at the back of the pile.

These are the moments that make life bearable.

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm  Comments (2)  
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Heaven 17 – Fascist Groove Thang

Bleedin heck – wandered into my local emporium of thrift this lunch time – left clutching an armful of a dozen or so 12s and the odd LP from that dead-space-period 1981-ish.   So first up is this dare-I-say awesome slab of wax by none other than H17 – aka the B.ritish.E.lectonic.F.oundation.  Have always owned the LP this is lifted from ‘Penthouse and Pavement’ since it was first released – in fact for some unknown reason I actually have 2 copies !!     Damn nice to have this on 12 inch – and in fact – as I may well be DJing (gulp) a wedding party sometime soon-ish – I need all the help of 80s tracks as I can get ..

Elsewhere under-my-arm – and now on the turntable – we got China Crisis / Pigbag / Spandau Ballet / Associates / Thomas Dolby – all no doubt will be posted – man – the 80s – dontcha just miss it ???

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More Disco Twelves

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As you might’ve gathered I’ve had a bit of a run on 12 inch singles recently. Here’s another three from near the top of the pile, all from that beautiful period in time that I like to call ‘the late seventies’, for your visual arousal. And now, with half-term rapidly approaching, I will bid you adieu for a week or so…

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 5:36 pm  Comments (1)  
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Second Image – Better Take Time

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Never heard of this bunch of under-achieving Brit-funkers, but I was attracted to this one by the Tron-like computer graphic sleeve, which seemed to suggest the contents might be a bit synthy-futuristic in a retro ’83 stylee. Unfortunately it’s a rather pedestrian slice of pop-soul, though the instrumental b-side is quite enjoyable in a sub-Shakatak jazz funk kinda way. Maybe if I’d taken a closer look at the group photo on the rear sleeve I might’ve been a bit more suspicious…
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Incidentely, a quick bit of research reveals that one of these guys – Christopher Heaton, who I assume is the one on the far left – had previously been a member of synth-poppers Landscape, who I have a bit of a soft-spot for. Tragic, really…

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Loose Ends – Magic Touch (Club Mix)

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One of those ’80s groups I kinda liked at the time, then just forgot about. My favourite song of theirs was “Hangin’ On A String”, but this follow-up was pretty nifty too, though I was surprised to note that they never had a top 10 hit. Of course, that super slick sub-Jam & Lewis plastic-soul production sound is about as far away from hip as you can get right now, and as for the fashions on display in this lavish double-gatefold package…sheesh. But maybe all the kids will be dressing like this next year. Stranger things have happened.

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Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm  Comments (2)  
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Ofra Haza – Im Nin’Alu (Played In Full Mix)

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Isreali chanteuse Ofra Haza had her only sizable UK hit with this in 1988, off the back of Coldcut’s cheeky sample as featured on their remix of Eric B. and Rakim’s “Paid In Full”. With me so far?

I didn’t buy it back then, but was quite pleased to find this Dutch pressing recently, though it hasn’t aged as well as I’d imagined. Ms Haza still sounds great of course, but the production by Izhar Ashdot in Tel Aviv sounds a bit lame by today’s standards. Should’ve commissioned a Coldcut remix, innit.

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Renegade Soundwave – Biting My Nails (Club Mixes)

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I was a big fan of Renegade Soundwave when this was released back in 1990, so it’s a bit of a mystery why I never bought it in the first place. Admittedly “Biting My Nails” wasn’t one of my favourite cuts from their debut Soundclash album, but I’d assumed my devotion was rabid enough to encompass all the 12″ spin-offs. Wrong!

Well, it’s finally found it’s way into my collection 20 years later, following a chance encounter on Kingswood High Street, and I’m very pleased with it, thanks very much. The ‘Sound System Plays A Renegade Tune’ mix in particular still sounds very strong – a stripped-back booming 808 workout. And let’s not forget the graphics: another excellent example of Junior Tomlin’s distinctive airbrush work that graced many a record sleeve of the period. Good gear.

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 4:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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