Friday, November 28, 2008

Mighty 7  

In my continuing exploration of what are in my opinion the UK's best dancefloor heavey boogie tracks I now present to you one of the rarest and most sought after, Mighty 7's 'Call Me' .

I'm not sure why this record doesn't turn up more often, as it was released on EMI, a major label, but I think the story goes that it came out as a limited promo. It was written and produced by Gee Bello, seen above on the right with Nat Augustin, who is an important figure in the UK jazz funk scene and member of still performing act Light Of The World. Mighty 7 was a studio project that he worked on after Light Of The World were on a hiatus.

I don't think it gets any more tasteful than this.

Mighty 7 - Call Me

Posted by Black Shag | 6 comments

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

You Should Have Told Me  

I will let Donna McGhee tell her own story:

"I have been a professional singer since 1974, my first singing group I joined after singing gospel all my life, was called "THE FATBACK BAND". Our first album was called Rasing hell, and the hit single off of that LP, was called "BUS STOP". I sang with Fatback for over three years, touring with such groups as "Chaka khan", "Frankie Beverly and Maze". "Crown Heights Affair", and "Tedddy Pendergrass". We traveled all over the world. After completing several albums with them, the last LP we recorded with the late great "Phyllis Hyman". In 1977, I signed with a company called Red Greg Records, and we worked with the great Producer Patrick Adams. We recorded several hit records at that time. UNIVERSAL ROBOT BAND was created along with BUMBLEE UNLIMITED, which lead to several hits such as, "DANCE AND SHAKE YOUR TAMBORINE", and "LOVE BUG". Most of the songs recorded were disco hits, and were played at The Paradise Gargage, and Studio 54. While recording with different groups, the company signed me with an Exclusive Recording contract, and my first solo album was created. It was called "MAKE IT LAST FOREVER", traveling from one side of the country to the other, the hit single "It ain't no big thing" was making a huge buzz. While the album was being played all over the country, and other countries such as Japan, England and France. "Love Bug" was up for a Grammy Award, and I was fortunate enough to do the Dick Clark New Years Eve show twice. After my contract was up, I signed under Obago Records, where we recorded "YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME", written by Phillip Thomas from CROWN HEIGHTS AFFAIRS ..."

"You Should Have Told Me" is a rare 12" released in 1979 on the very obscure Obago Label out of NYC. With a haunting mix by Ron St. Germain (who later went to work with 80's alternative rock bands the Cure and Sonic Youth amongst others) I would consider this track to be a very early example of boogie as we came to know it. The B Side "Disco Mix" relies heavily on the trippy vocals, funky keyboard lines and syncopated groove. Donna still performs to this day and you can check out her myspace page here.

Donna McGhee - You Should Have Told Me (Disco Mix)

Posted by Magnum | 3 comments

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Get Closer To You  

Gonzalez was a British funk group that got together in 1971. The group had as many as 31 members. They became a disco sensation in the late 70's and became immensely successful with the ultra cheesy tune I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet. After the disco record bonfire of 1979, the group's popularity waned and they got dumped from Capitol Records. This track, which came out in 1982, was Tooti Frooti Records' only release. The boogie feel on this Raul Dance Mix is such a departure from their other records; and it jams.

Gonzalez - (I Want To Get) Closer To You (Disconet Mix)

Posted by Joel Brüt | 5 comments

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Am The DJ  

Z-Factor was one of the many aliases of Chicago House producer Vince Lawrence. With a songwriting credit and production by the legendary Jesse Saunders as well as Risque Rhythm Team's N. Mitchbal, "I am The D.J." saw several pressings and remixes all released on Mitchbal's eponymous Chicago based record label. Featured here is the Dub Mix of the The Remix of the Remix if that is not at all too confusing. Ripped from a very worn copy, it is rather difficult to find this 12" in good condition as the majority of these singles were undoubtedly DJ copies and played to death in the clubs and house parties until they found a new status as drink coasters and pizza trays.

Z-Factor - I Am The DJ Remix of The Remix (Dub Mix)

Posted by Magnum | 5 comments

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Monday, November 17, 2008

For The Grace Of God Go I  

I am not one for dancing in the streets (I am probably more likely to dance in the sheets) but this track evokes the type of energy that would force even the most sedentary mope out the front door. This track from 1979 by Machine was produced by King Creole And The Coconuts member August Darnell. There is a playful exchange of vocal parts and a gospel feel mixed with Disco stomp and soul swagger that lights up the dance floor. I am sure a lot of the crowd can identify with the lyrics as well.

Machine - There But For The Grace Of God Go I

Posted by Joel Brüt | 5 comments

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

T. J. Johnson Band  

The best dancefloor friendly underground boogie tune is T. J. Johnson Band's 'I Can Make It (Good For You)'
I suppose we may as well shut down the blog now right? I'm disabling the 'post a comment' option as there is no point discussing it, its just fact. There are 9 places left open in the top 10 after this track that you can fight over.

T. J. Johnson is a British guitar player of Caribbean descent. He had a couple of domestic club hits in the early eighties, first with 'Pretty Lady' and then with 'Dragonfly', an incredible instrumental piece that lives on the flip of 'I Can Make It' (both of which I'am posting).

He still plays locally on the UK scene and put a new CD out last year, read a rare interview with him here:

Playing these tracks out in the USA is a real pleasure, the quality is so high they sound like they could have been a major label smash, yet the style is slightly removed from the standard American R'n'B top 40 formula of the time, boogie heads on this side of the Atlantic are left scratching their heads as they peer a look at the turntables then run home to eBay.

Posted by Black Shag | 9 comments

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Friday, November 14, 2008

What's Heppening?  

I might not be cool enough to know but I think in the '60s "hep" meant "hip" which meant you were attuned to the latest and greatest ideas, culture and music (It just wouldn't seem right if it referred to Hepatitus).  This tune squeaked out on Magic City in the end of that decade, '69 to be specific, and speaks of a "squeeze" (maybe a person or a party?) which is hep.  The term "Magic City" has been used for many a city but in this case they are referring to the once magical land of Detroit, then at the end of the Motown success.  I wasn't able to find too much information specifically on Mad Dog but I can say: screaming can often be a bad thing but the wailing vocals through nice old preamps pressed onto a 45 rpm record tickle me just right.

Posted by safetyscissors | 3 comments

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Feeling Love  

"Feeling Love" by L.E.B. Harmony is a synth masterpiece. Released on Carousel Records in 1978, this LP on pink vinyl is a gem.

L.E.B. Harmony - Feeling Love

Posted by T. Preston | 7 comments

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Flames Are Touching You  

Linx was a band from East London, so if you don't like these tracks, just blame Black Shag. The band centered around vocalist and producer David Grant. It was released in 1981. There are a couple of things that I like about this 12". First off, it has one of the best picture sleeves I have ever seen. "Sketch," the bass player is seen here fully loaded with steaze; his de-fretted vintage J bass has such a long neck it stretches into the second frame. Another great feature built into the cover is that if you play Throw Away The Key and look at the cover at exactly 4:15, you instantly feel like you are in on the scene.

These tracks feature ultra slick production and great organic modern soul flavor. The bass sound is tops and mates well with the funky guitar and dramatic drums.

Linx - Throw Away The Key

Linx - The Ice Is Melting

Posted by Joel Brüt | 3 comments

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Twin Image  

My brain is numb from a 2 year obsession with this particular US presidential race (and the ensuing party that took place last nite) so I am not capable of writing very much today. A good majority of our readers are from overseas, so I must tell all of you we are making amends and I hope we can be friends again.

This synth-boogie track from Twin Image was released in 1984 on Capitol records. It's got a nice sort of black new wave vibe to it. Dig it.

Twin Image - My Baby Loves Me (Do Do)

Posted by Magnum | 5 comments

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Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm The Best In Town  

Get on up, and give yourself a thrill. The economy sucks, but you can dance all night if you want to. Hamilton Bohannon was born in Georgia. After playing drums in Stevie Wonder's touring band, he moved to Detroit where he became a band leader and arranger for Motown Records through the late 60's to early 70's. Bohannon became a major force in disco music when he started producing tracks under his own name in the mid 70's.

This track is like a 6 and a half minute build up. The disco stomp meets a B3 and a nasty bass synth while Carolyn Crawford instructs you to move your feet. What I really like about this track is that there is a lot hidden in the mix that gives a solid, recession proof party vibe.

mp3: Bohannon - Dance, Dance, Dance All Night

Posted by Joel Brüt | 0 comments


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Blood From My Soul  

I'am writing this from a hotel in Seattle, I have been spending the weekend wandering around waterfront, dodging in and out of shop doorways to avoid the rain and digging around through punk record stores to find to find the one or two black LP's that slipped through the net. If you are a Seattle native and know where I should have been looking and are willing to share, then by all means hit the comments button.

It seems fitting that seeing as my weekend has been slightly introspective and out of context that my offering today is also.

Around two summers ago I was riding my bike deep through the avenues, heading toward sunset beach, when I came by chance accross a garage sale. A gentleman was stood inside the garage door next to untold boxes of records, mostly marked 'funk', some marked 'disco', and I was casually told that he was clearing out some records to 'make space for more records'. It was a treasure trove, I remember being sold a clean copy of the Kebekektrik ep for $2 as well as a bunch of other cuts I still play out to this day, simply so the man could have an extra bit of room in his apartment. This is how I met DJ Om, part of the Bay Area's digging royalty.

Om can be credited with discovering and breaking many of the soulful funk jams found on the slew of Bay Area reissue compilations that came out over the last decade. He has traded or sold to DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Keb Darge, Jazzman Gerald, Soul Sam, John Manship, Egon, just to name a few, as well as playing out alongside acts such as Madlib, the Gza, Flying Lotus and Pharcyde. I only mention this so the proper weight can be attributed to the selection chosen for the new mix he debut's with Beatelectric today, many of these soul 45's are so completely off the radar that even if I did have a name for them it wouldn't make any difference, your not finding them, others are truly being broken for the first time, and a couple are simply classics.

Despite my pleading to the contrary he decided to give no playlist, but if you look into the broken heart depicted on the cover you can perhaps make out the writing on some of the records spilling out from the centre. As per usual, if you do a commendable job of ID'ing the tracks there is a Beatelectric t-shirt in it for you. Here is what Om had to say:

This is a chance to look into the mind, thoughts, and feelings of Deejay OM and experience the soul-wrenching and heart-shattering experience of my "break-up" or "heartbreak" mix. A mix which has great personal meaning, and was made as a means of healing my own pain. It is intended to be a panacea, a medicine which helps to heal others going through the same struggle. I've offered it as a free download so that it may spread and help to heal the wounds inflicted by those caught in the heat, or aftermath, of the hearts battle for love. It is a concept mix which is patterned after the thoughts, feelings, mixed emotions, and changes one goes through once the break-up begins and carries through to the end by dealing with what truly came to it or not, it's about putting yourself on the line, being heart-broken, and learning to pick yourself up and move on. Each and every song has been hand picked because of content, feel, and overall message and was then placed in the mix corresponding to the stage of where one is at processing their lost love, and most importantly their own broken heals....and whether it's the music and bitter tears of Jesse James, the very rare Jackson 5 song and their hopeful search for something to fill that void in your heart, the anger of the Berwick Players, or the encouraging words of Frankie Beverly to dry your eyes and stop crying...I guarentee this mix will make you feel something deep down within. It is the blood from my for a heartbreak.

Posted by Black Shag | 16 comments

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