Linda Clifford – If My Friends Could See Me Now (1978), Let Me Be Your Woman (1979), Here’s My Love (1979), I’m Yours (1980) – Blixa Sounds

You know it has just struck me that Linda Clifford is one of my favourite singers. Which might sound like a strangely late realisation, as I’ve been loving her voice and records for decades, but one of the pleasures about writing about music is that it can allow you perfect moments of clarity, lacking the distractions of the world – it’s just you and sound. These remastered releases of the artist span the years between 1978 to 1980 and all are augmented by their accompanying 12” Mixes, as well as boasting that this is the first time they have appeared on CD. The first album: If My Friends Could See Me Now (Linda’s second for Curtis Maysfield’s excellent Curtom label) is nothing short of stunning beginning to end. Let’s start with the voice which has that unique ability to capture life’s ever unfolding moments, realising and then translating them. And it’s kind of impact – now tested by time – that not all R&B styled singers still resonate from that era, or certainly not conveyed with such a street-wise edge. The instrumentation provided is also first rate as are the productions themselves, which comes as little surprise when you look at the wealth of talent there. Or, more succinctly as you will hear on the albums hugely classic single, Runaway Love crystallising everything I have just said. The full length version was mixed by the iconic DJ Jim Burgess and provides a lesson in everything worth knowing. Next, Let Me Be Your Woman saw the music evolve from Disco into funkier moves with prominent slap-bass driving the faster numbers such as the exhilarating Shoot Your Best Shot, while also allowing the downtempo space created by the slower songs to express other vocal creativity. As indeed did the following Here’s My Love from the same year. I’m Yours, saw the opening of the next decade by again adopting the full range of influences on offer in terms of the song writing, the vocal delivery and of course the music itself. The more intimate Sweet Melodies and sheer funkiness of Hold Me Close highlight just how the flame was never dimmed and the ability to convey the power of emotion. Which is, in the end, what all great singers do.

Release: August 24

If My Friends Could See Me Now: goo.gl/UrU6Mk
Here’s My Love: goo.gl/VZ5JtB
I’m Yours: goo.gl/QQGzBn
Let Me Be Your Woman: goo.gl/kYhgkA

www.thelindaclifford.com
http://blixa.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Brendon Moeller – Set In Motion EP – Echo Echo

There’s something spectacularly captivating about Brendon Moeller’s self-defining title track that almost escapes description. Something about a brutal intensity that is richly rewarding as repeating layers of grainy sound overlap and underpin each other’s role in the arrangement, with thumping kick drums and understated percussion creating an involving sense of unease. If that all sounds a bit bleak, it isn’t. The warmer climes of Eastern Beach unfold next with a lighter touch sequencing gentle pads and a more blissful signature across rolling drums. Leaving the possibly topical, Economy to end with more in the way of tough rhythms and snarling stabs creating their own and very distinct impression.

Release: September 7

https://www.facebook.com/brendonmoeller.beatpharmacy.echologist
http://www.echocord.com

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The Contempo Story 1973-1977: The Original Home Of Soul – Soul Time/ Cherry Red Records

Located just off Oxford Street at 42 Hanway Street, London you would find Contempo, a record shop and mail order company opened in 1970 by Blues And Soul magazine founder John Abbey. They dealt out some of the hottest Black Music of the time as well as becoming established booking agents and promoters. This brand new compilation of their record releases pays testament to the strength of both the label and the music which existed then – like a bygone age, acting in defiance of today’s often bland, mechanical repetition. Spanning three cd’s of bliss as voices soar, feelings are realised and music transcends it seems like a strange, hidden pleasure to discover such an experience in the digital reality of 2018. The other vital thing that becomes quickly apparent is the sheer diversity of the sounds from Northern Soul’s up-tempo R&B with the likes of Major Lance etc to the low-slung Funk of The Masai’s ‘Cross The Track’ alongside Cymande’s timeless ‘Brothers On The Slide’ – which still sends shivers. Of course, the music evolved with the years and fresh styles where absorbed as the second disc flies by. 1975’s Howeefeel ‘Just Can’t Do Without Love (A Thousand Faces) feels like a long lost breezy classic and there’s a whole lot more revealed of that calibre too. Disco never was a dirty word and Crown Heights Affair delicious ‘Dancin’ testifies to the fact. Sam And Dave’s wonderful version of ‘Why Did You Do It’ is also excitingly included, as is JJ Barnes uplifting take on How Long from 1977, ending the journey on a high which you sometimes might wonder where it has all disappeared to.

Release: August 24

The Contempo Story: 1973-1977, The Original Home Of Soul, Various Artists, 3CD BoxsetVarious Artists

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My Favorite Robot – Barricade (DJ Tennis Remix) – My Favorite Robot Records

An outstanding remix in anyone’s book. DJ Tennis takes a leaf out of his own rules and rips it apart to reveal a production that verges on subtlety, yet hits hard with all the force of nature Barricade requires. Originally appearing in its own right back in 2012 this new reworking sees tough kicks battle against the righteously intense vocal that never lets emotions dip. Keys are then added which cement the darker, gothic elements into one as guitar like motifs and grainy sounds effectively render this a standalone piece of music. Due out on 10” vinyl then followed digitally.

Release: September 9

Buy https://myfavoriterobotrecords.bandcamp.com/album/barricade-dj-tennis-remix

https://www.facebook.com/tennisdj

 

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Freedo Mosho – Dub Liners – Electronic Groove Records

As the electronic drum machines create their own definition of existence dark, menacing waves of sound soon establish the agenda and are complimented by the syncopation of undulating bass on the striking Dub Liners. The mood soon lifts however as meandering, challenging synth notes soon play havoc with any delicate sensibilities on the opening, inescapably Deep Mix. Juriz Doc follows with a remix which adds warmer pads while highlighting the funkier aspects of the creative percussion, leaving a second original version to rework the elements all over again.

Release:
http://electronicgroove.com
https://www.facebook.com/freedomoshomusic

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Terranova – Let It Fail feat. Sifa & Ivory – Kompakt

Like a breath of freshly charged air Let It Fail contradicts any negativity with the promise of moving forwards. The arrangement bustles with ideas each igniting the next as shuffling, funky rhythms punctuate teasingly, repetitive stabs amide the warm glow of atmospheric pads. Totalling in the region of eight minutes this comfortably reinvigorates and refreshes tired notions of music via its fizzy electronic pulses and beautiful, building sense of wonder. So good you’ll hit repeat.

Release: August 10

Buy https://www.beatport.com/track/let-it-fail-original-mix/10755646

https://terranova.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/Sifa.music
https://kompakt.fm

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Kadosh – Ken Ken, Lo Lo – Plant 74

If you call music like this minimal then you really aren’t listening properly. Ken Ken, Lo Lo builds upon vigorous layers and repeating patterns of atmospheric sound as each idea intertwines deftly with the next. It results in a powerful, heady concoction which spells out danger if you weren’t ready for it. The drums and bass reference classic late eighties Detroit while the remainder of the rhythms and production narrative remains firmly placed in 2018 and as stimulating as required. Next, Shotef + 60 does similar things in terms of its development, although ads warmer pads plus a punctuating human voice to the equation, while eventually subsuming you in a weird, trippy soundscape that soars with rising synthesizers alongside the joyous mantra of repetition.

Buy http://classic.beatport.com/release/ken-ken-lo-lo/2317548

https://www.facebook.com/Kadoshdj
https://plant74.profelabel.com

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Javi Bora – RAW – Too Many Rules

So ok, a brand new label launched onto the world by Javi Bora. And it’s called Too Many Rules, which in my book sounds about the perfect estimation. The music, as the title indicates, provides sizzling, edgy House Music. The kind you want served up just at the right moment. The kind to get lost in. The excellent, Chicago begins by sequencing a Disco past, yet mangles it all up in the blend, with forceful drums plus chugging basslines informing a positive future. Huxley is on hand to reconstruct the intention, dropping much of the disco while adding a bit more tech, bar the drop which stabs right where it hurts. The title track, RAW then rolls out hot basslines alongside frisky, nervy drums which enviably climax out of all proportion. This time it’s Davina Moss who delivers a techier take and once again delivers a fevered set of rhythms to ignite the dancefloor.

Buy https://www.beatport.com/release/raw/2325415

http://www.javibora.com
http://www.toomanyrules.com

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Tibi Dabo – La Dorada EP – Rebellion

Seeking instant gratification? You’ve come to the right place. Tibi Dabo’s brilliant new release for Rebellion gets under your skin right from the very moment it begins. There’s something in the way those twisted, synthesized notes weave their way around the electronic pulses, which glue themselves together to the words kick and drum, that instantly reward the senses. And furthermore the way the arrangement dips and dives into different corners as disco hi-hats fight for recognition against the illuminating array of ideas plus diverse sounds on offer. Next, is the rather sublime No Mantra featuring amongst its many attributes a finely tuned piano sitting alongside a taught bass and words that feel like they’re telling you something good. Excellent.

Release: August 3

https://www.facebook.com/tibidabosound

http://www.crosstownrebels.com

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Dubble D (Moodymanc) – Evans Above – Nicetrax

The enviable warmth of emotion that greets you upon hearing the title track to this latest release from Moodymanc’s alternative guise is sheer delight. The sequence of heart wrenching, cinematic styled strings and delicate percussion are then defiantly toppled by cavernous, rumbling double-bass and plucked nirvana, amid the biting sizzle of rough and ready hi-hats. The Club Mix sees a tougher approach via the addition of a truly thumping kick drum while all the jazzy goodness remains proudly resolute. Next comes a re-visit to JCub’s excellent Mestizo and a remix care of Tony Lionni who takes things in a suitably deeper direction accompanied by breezy horn blasts, as the air of hot keys and summer days inform the rest. And as a digital bonus you’re also treaded to a final version of Evans Above in the shape of a Club Dub which does exactly that. More beautiful strings and more tinkling keys please. Thank you.

Release: August 27 (vinyl)
https://www.facebook.com/moody.manc
https://www.facebook.com/NICETRAXUKNICEDJSUK

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