Jed talks us through some of the tracks from this month’s Galaxians mix.
Connie – Experience (Dub) (Sunnyview, 1986)
Connie, aka Consuelo Piriz, was mainly active in the mid-80s, releasing material on the New York-based Sunnyview label. Although it had a NY address, Sunnyview focused its releases on artists from Florida, and this included Connie, a native of the state.
“Experience” was Connie’s second single, released in 1986. It was produced by Amos Larkins in Miami, and features elements typical of the ‘Miami bass’ sound from the period. Connie still performs around the US today.
Craig Paradise Cooper – Boogie Paradise (Trax I) 06:29 (Boogie Paradise Records, 2014)
Craig Paradise Cooper is actually Italy’s Simone Vescovo. Harking back to the classic drum machine/Juno synth production methods of Trax Records, this track was released on Japan’s brilliant Boogie Paradise Records in 2014.
Circuitry – The Firm Funk 11:18 (Unknown; maybe – but probably not – 1985-86)
Who are Circuitry? As far as I can tell, someone uploaded this to the internet, claiming that was an “a demo instrumental from studio sessions in 1985-1986”. Discogs isn’t much more help, either. Maybe it’s always going to be a mystery. My money’s on it being a modern production. Either way, it’s great – 808s, synths and reminiscent of Dam Funk.
Kylie Auldist feat. King Merc – Good Time Girl (Original Mix) 14:25 (Freestyle Records, 2016)
Australian vocalist Kylie Auldist released her album “Family Tree” on London’s Freestyle Records this year, featuring this track with King Merc. Her previous album ‘Still Life’ came out on Tru Thoughts in 2012, which is also home to superb Australian funk band The Bamboos. And as chance would have it, both Audlist and Merc have previously worked with The Bamboos. So it’s good, is what I’m saying…
Gina – Hooked On Your Love 18:38 (NIA Records, 1984)
Cover of the classic Fantastic Aleems track of the same name. And also on the same label, NIA, as the original release. Not as raw as the original 1979 recording, but a great take nonetheless on a boogie classic.
NIA Records were based in New York and basically existed to showcase the many talents of the legendary Leroy Burgess, a central figure in the history of the development of funk, disco and dance music from the 70s through to the 90s.
Although Leroy was in the Fantastic Aleems, and despite being a multi-instrumentalist and immensely talented songwriter, he didn’t write “Hooked On Your Love”. That honour falls to brothers Albert and and Arthur Allen (Arthur sadly died in 2014). Although their names are actually recorded as Taharqa Aleem and Tunde Ra Aleem on the credits for this record, which I think everyone can agree is way cooler.
Who was Gina though?
Gus Pirelli feat. Andre Espeut – Meet In The Middle 24:44 (Gutterfunk, 2015)
Bristol-based DJ Die’s label Gutterfunk released this in 2015. Long sold out, it’s a modern funk masterpiece. Fellow Bristolian producer Gus Pirelli and superb vocalist Andre Espeut pull out all the stops with this shuffling, synth-driven groove – apparently all recorded with original equipment and no samples in sight. If it was 1982, this would be on Top of the Pops…mark my words.
Sho-Nuff – Hold On For Love 29:48 (Jamila Records, 1984)
This 7”, released on Jamila Records in 1984, would set you back about £200 if you looked for it on Ebay. And there’s plenty of reasons why: that synth bass, the super-tight horn section, that vocal hook – it’s all great. And really obscure, which is what we like, obviously.
Sho-Nuff were actually a fairly big band in the 70s – they had albums out on Stax – but by the mid-80s they’d faded from their former glory. Jamila Records was a really minor label, so it must have been a bit of a change to go from the dizzy heights of Stax to issuing the odd limited-press 7” once a year – with it all wrapping up by 1985. And it’s undoubtedly for those reasons that this production sounds so raw, which only adds to its appeal. A great and very underrated track, with exemplary musicianship.
Joan Bibiloni – Migas 34:02 (Blau, 1987)
Joan is a Spanish jazz guitarist, and this track is part of a soundtrack album for an 80s Spanish TV series called ‘Silencio Roto’ (‘Broken Silence’). Released in 1987, this track features tasty DX7s, drum machines and an acceptable amount of synth-jazz-fusion. I’ve no idea what ‘Silencio Roto’ was about, but this track gives my imagination plenty to go on…
Zenit – Waitin’ 38:10 (Spray Records, 1986)
Zenit were an Austrian jazz-funk band, who – of course – were particularly popular in the mid-80s. “Waitin’” is the final track from the 1986 album “Straight Ahead”, written by Zenit’s keyboardist, Hannes Treiber. Treiber actually worked with Donna Summer in the late 80s, with writing credits on her album “All Systems Go”.
Pink Rhythm – Melodies Of Love 43:46 (Beggars Banquet, 1985)
Some of the members of London funk band Freeez formed Pink Rhythm in the mid-80s. “Melodies Of Love” came out in 1985 – it sounds quite Italo in places, but keeps hold of that minimal bassline/drum motif for long enough to drag it firmly back into boogie territory.
T-Kut & Parkway Rhythm – FM Feeling 48:58 (Parkway Records, 2015)
Produced by Mark Seven and released on his Stockholm-based label Parkway Records in 2015. A seamless blend of old and new, with nods to classic ‘FM’ sounds produced by keyboards such as the DX7, old drum machines and strings, but with a modern production aesthetic. Actually a B-side to ‘The Feeling’, this one gets my vote over the A-side.
Tabu Ley – Haffi Deo 55:12 (Genidia, 1985)
Tabu Ley was a singer-songwriter, dancer and later politician from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was an extremely prolific songwriter, known as the African Elvis because he was so famous at the height of his popularity in the 70s.
This ‘soukous’ style track is just so infectious and danceable – Elvis himself should have released something like this and then maybe he’d be on here. The call-and-response vocals, drum machine, synths, horns and guitars are all just spot on. It seems like it could never end, and you could dance forever.