Prince Street Record Forum Presents: New Wax (August ’18)
Written by Kelvin Slesser-Marriott on 7th September 2018
Prince Street Record Forum are back for their second edition of the Melodic Distraction New Wax! If you’re yet to get in the know, PSRF is a pop-up record store and mail order distributor based in Liverpool. Fresh on the scene, and packing serious heat into a couple lil crates, the burgeoning Liverpool record seller brings in a tasteful selection of new releases from across the world and houses them right in our very own corner of the Baltic Triangle.
Scope out what goodies Kelvin SM has on offer, and be sure to pop by the studio to cop ’em before they fly.
Various Artists – DOYOURECORDS001 [Do You Records] (27th August)
Previewed in our August radio show, this record is one that has been highly anticipated for quite some months now, circling online magazines and record store pages expectantly.
A veteran of the internet radio scene, Charlie Bones has turned his hand to label management with a stellar debut EP that features previously unheard music from three diverse producers. Bryce Hackford is a New-Yorker who’s current music is mostly sincere, experimental and thought provoking – seemingly made on commission to score contemporary gallery exhibitions. Though through his appearances on New York’s Lot Radio and a sprinkling of deeper, four-four productions on earlier works, he’s clearly always in check with the dancefloor.
On this EP he reconnects with the latter in unexpected fashion, delivering a knockout rework ‘You Get High in NYC’ that bounces between peak time party choruses and extended disco breaks on an infectiously uplifting club track.
On the B-side there’s ‘Who Gets The Cows’, a track from Charlie’s ‘Readers WAVs’ section where he plays listener’s submissions on the radio – it’s an intense, wonky piece that brings the diversity of the breakfast show to this debut release for Do You Records, described by Bones as a “futuristic philosophy banger”.
Finally we’ve got Seiji Ono (not the Japanese table tennis champion), the esteemed partner of Mafalda running operations at Melodies International. Seiji’s brother Koji debuted on French label Chuwanaga records earlier this year with a standout feel-good jazz-funk track, ‘So High’. Seiji’s now bringing what might well be the most captivating sibling rivalry since the Williams sisters at Wimbledon 2008. He’s rounding off this EP with ‘Celebrate Your Life’, an uplifting jazz-funk number that’s perfect to round off the start of something really, really good with Do You Records.
Previews: Do You Records 001
Prince Street Record Forum: Radio Promo
Len Leise / Jura Soundsystem – Dear Adrian / Udaberri Blues [Temples of Jura] (6th April 2018, August Repress)
Isles of Jura are an Australian label focused on ‘reissues of forgotten musical gems’, its sister label Temples of Jura debuted in April this year, giving label boss Kevin Griffiths an output for original productions from the artists he loves.
Len Leise is the first to feature on this new consignment, the producer from down under whose releases are typically deep and atmospheric. Here the Melbourne based artist delivers ‘Dear Adrian’, a cosmic-balearic A-side that’s a tribute to dub pioneer Adrian Sherwood – featuring glitchy computer textures, ethereal synth stabs and a drum track built for heavy soundsystems.
Kevin Griffiths (aka Jura Soundsystem) covers the other three tracks with three separate mixes of ‘Udaberri Blues’. Before now, you may be more familiar with Kevin’s dancefloor focused Tsuba Records, the label synonymous with underground house music and a prolific output of over one hundred records since 2006 and most recently featuring Gerd Janson’s edits of ‘Westworld’. We don’t know how long he’s been set to diversify, but perhaps a move to Adelaide set the precedent for his productions to deccelerate. ‘Udaberri Blues’ is first presented as a bridge from the A-side, with reggae references similar to ‘Dear Adrian’. Our favourite version though is the beatless ‘Space Mix’; its coastal field recordings, shimmering windchimes and electric blues guitar really take you to someplace far from distraction.
Belpaese – Belpaese 001 [Belpaese Edits] (31st August)
“Straight Outta Belpaese, disco – exotica – balearic for the demanding digger”.
Besides snippets of the tracks, this tagline is all we’re given on a debut release that’s quite deliberately shrouded in mystery. Next to nothing exists in terms of information on the artist(s) or label behind this record, so I’m reaching for good old journalistic speculation in order to feature it here. That’s because above all the music prevails, without preconception and context we get a rare opportunity to take in the record without expectation. What unfolds is a double sided record that’s unique on each face and hard to timestamp.
Italian music adopted the popular sounds of disco music coming from late 1970’s America and pioneered Italo (or Italo-Disco) – the evolving European club sound defined by drum machines and synthesizers.
The originals used on the A-side of Belpaese 001 could well have been a return export, its guitar licks and extended conga breaks typical of the rhythm focused disco dance music of that era, repackaged here for the edit lovers. Flip it over and the EP’s title falls into place. ‘Belpaese’ is a romantic adornment for the motherland most commonly used in reference to Italy’s fair weather and natural beauty. ‘Di Chi Sei’ and ‘Para Para’ are two balearic pieces that take you to a place of coastal serenity, a very useful tool as the Liverpool summer sun reaches its twilight.
What’s most special about this record is that the lack of references leaves you feeling like a seasoned digger who’s unearthed a dancefloor rarity – I’ll keep the secret if you do too.
Rick Wilhite – THE GODSON IV [Mahogani Music] (10th August)
Rick Wilhite, AKA The Godson, is one of the lesser present figures in recent years when compared with his richly celebrated peers from the 313. There’s a five year pause between this outing for Kenny Dixon Jr.’s Mahogani Music and his previous single, though there’s no danger of slipping under the radar here with a record that represents his signature sound, a classic blend of Detroit house and techno from one of the most qualified musicians in the scene.
Wilhite is one of the few DJs to have established himself within two eras of Detroit electronic music, first as a student of techno pioneers Juan Atkins and Derrick May. Those early tastemakers are held in the highest regard by anyone doing electronic music in the Motor City today; though far from just earning respect from a distance, Wilhite walks alongside the next wave as he joins company with Marcellus Pittman, Theo Parrish and Kenny Dixon Jr. as one leg of Three Chairs – the turn of millennium heavyweight DJ collective.
Besides production, there’s a stint as record buyer for Buy Rite records through the 80s – the specialist record store servicing DJs across Michigan where the likes of Dez Andres and Moodymann also cut their teeth. That experience led to opening his own downtown store, Vibes New and Rare Music in the 90s. Today those experiences and an ability to unearth new music materialises in the form of compilation albums for Amsterdam’s Rush Hour Recordings, releasing rare cuts of deep and soulful house music from his hometown friends and neighbours in New York and Chicago.
That history provides a melting pot of influences for the brand of underground house music engineered by The Godson and championed by Mahogani Music. The EP moves through the industrial, rumbling techno of Xanadu 3.0 and minimal house of Sonar Funk, both with a tormenting undercurrent of jazz samples that are taken away just as quickly as they creep into the mix. Fear not, the B-side satiates that need for jazz as we take on ‘Godson’s Cosmic Soup Mix’ of Moodymann’s ‘Technologystolemyvinyl’, rounding off with a mix of Folson & Tate’s ‘Is It Because I’m Black’ – the more dance orientated track driven along by a Wilhite kick that’s been beating for more than twenty years.
Teddy Pendergrass – Believe In Love [Athens Of The North] (31st August)
If you’re a 90s kid, this one’s something of a precursor to the sultry R&B that we grew up with on MTV. Teddy Pendergrass’ voice was so uniquely soulful that he’s largely responsible for propelling Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes to rhythm & blues success in the 1970s, joining the band as a drummer only to be promoted to lead singer after a few live backing performances impressed the powers that be. Surviving the disco-funk era with a few crossover hits, Teddy emerged into the 90s with this “stone cold party joint”. They’re the words of Athens of The North head honcho Euan Fryer, the man responsible for digging out the master tapes of countless classics with his reissue label. It’s the A-side Fat Philly mix that really steals the show, the sort of love song for groovers that shows you exactly why Pendergrass demanded the first female-only crowds. It’s a dynamite piece of 7” vinyl that belongs in your record bag.
As always, if you would like to add any of the above releases to your collection then please contact the Melodic Distraction team or Kelvin at Prince Street Record Forum – we’re stocking this and much, much more in the studio and would love to invite you down for a dig.