A monthly insight into the best records coming through one of Liverpool’s most treasured record emporiums, Dig Vinyl. Carefully curated by Elliot Hutchinson, proprietor of the Bold Street based shop, this is your definitive guide to what’s new down in their musical basement…
Since opening, Dig Vinyl have been a consistent purveyor of the highest quality, second-hand, musical selections. Sifting through their crates, punters can expect to find everything from Brazilian boogie to 80’s Jamaican dancehall…all via a killer soul, funk and disco collection. Check in each month as Elliot sheds light on some of the best records coming through the store…
Lu Janis – “Speed Racer”
(from Or Durvs LP) 1978
This groovy little number combines the flavours of rock, funk and soul, with a tag on Discogs also citing it as “Glam”. The tune comes off the 1978 album Or Durvs by Lu Janis, which is an alias of Dick Monda, AKA Daddy Dewdrop, who released on such labels as TK Disco, Buddha Records and Sunflower Records. This however comes off the obscure Inphasion Records, which also features music from the Chi-Lites and Mary Love. The track follows a slow breakbeat, accompanied by a funky baseline and some rock style spoken vocals.
Aquarian Dream – “Fantasy”
(title track from LP) 1978
Formed by Norman Connors, Aquarian Dream were rampant with cult disco sounds throughout the mid to late 70’s. They were originally signed to Buddha Records, though also released frequently on Elektra. Getting a release in 1978, the album is a real love-child of jazz, funk and soul. The track in question (which is also the name of the album) is rarely seen, since most copies are firmly stacked in the bags of discerning DJs. The track itself opens with some cosmic keys and descends into pure feel good disco, with a frankly spine tinglingly high vocal.
Bombers – “Shake”
(from Bombers 2) 1978
A Canadian group, Bombers is led by disco producer Pat Demario and pop-rock producer, George Lagios. A mixture of these styles can be found in both their albums; Bombers (1977) and Bombers 2 the following year. This lovely jam comes from the latter. Whilst also being re-released multiple times as a single on labels such as the mighty, West End Records. The track centres around a hypnotic baseline, and builds its way into cosmic synths and deep strings – perfect dancefloor fire-starter.
Freda Payne – “Master Of Love”
(from Stares And Whispers LP) 1977
This feel good love song comes from a slightly mature Freda Payne. Off her Stares and Whispers LP released in 1977 on Capitol Records. The nearly 8-minute tune swoops and sways through high string melodies, with a constant piano and horn riffs underlying everything. A track that could be described as deep rare-groove style boogie, it begins slow and sultry, picking up speed and energy throughout, before finishing on a hard disco vibe with some seriously speedy bongos.
Freeez – “Freeezin”
(from I.O.U) 1982
Formed in London, and recognised as one of the UK’s main jazz-funk bands of the early 1980’s, Freeez put out a whopping 6 albums from the period of 1980 to 1985. The track “Freezin” appears on the 3rd of these, entitled I.O.U and released in 1983. This record had a focus on synth-pop, with an undercurrent of balearic vibes which whilst still maintaining some elements of disco, also took from the more electronic side of things, possibly even paving the way for techno sounds which were soon to come. The track itself follows a squelchy bassline, futuristic synths and some neat high note vocals.
Bauhaus – “Kick In The Eye”(from Mask LP) 1981
This one is from Bauhaus, the post-punk heavyweights from Northampton. Released in the year they were formed, 1981, the tune consists of a rather simple yet infectious baseline, with tinny drums and new-wave tinged vocals. Talking Heads meets Joy Division on the dancefloor.
Roy Reid – “Jive Time”
(from Whap’n Bap’n LP) 1980
Coming from his Whap’n Bap’n LP from 1980, this is a rare Jamaican disco-rap cut, produced by Dennis Bovell from the British reggae band, Matumbi. Noticeable influences on the track include Sister Sledge’s “He’s The Greatest Dancer” for the intro…“He’s the greatest Jiver”, as well as the Sugarhill Gangs’ “Rapper’s Delight”. If you listen close, the hip hop heads among you may even be able to pick out a subtle Madlib sample.
A Certain Ratio – “Knife Slits Water”
This interesting amalgamation of synth-pop, post-punk, jazz-dance and disco was dropped on the Factory label in 1982. A Certain Ratio hail from not so far away from us…in Manchester, and in this tune give us a rather head scratching combination of droney textures, shuffling drums and new-wave style vocals. The end result is moody and interesting, surely one to turn heads on a dancefloor.
Devo – “(I Can’t Get Me No) Satisfaction”
On their 1978 debut, the new-wave legends Devo give us a funky post-punk cover of the colossal Rolling Stones tune “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. Formed by a group of arts students at Kent State University, the group killed it in the late 70’s with this track being re-released several times as a 7” single. Much more on the classic rock vibe than many of the other tracks in this list, the tune sits at just under 3 minutes and is carried along by chugging guitars, distant vocals and some frazzled hi-hats.