Groovin Recordings: Immortalising House & Disco Classics

Prince Street Record Forum
Groovin x PSRF

Groovin Recordings – Words by Kelvin Slesser-Marriott (Prince Street Record Forum)

‘House Music Will Never Die’ could only really have been reissued by Alex De Ponti and Paolo Rey, its message quintessential of their mission to immortalise the sounds of 70s/80s funk & soul, disco and 90s house.

Alex and Paolo run Vinylbrokers, a record store in Milan founded in 2006 that turns over tens of thousands of original US pressings on a monthly basis. With an ethos to connect new listeners to affordable old music, the Italian duo have used their exposure to bring fully licensed reissues of classics from the biggest names in US dance music history.

 

Here are just a few of the more iconic to give you a taste of Groovin’s catalogue:

 

Peven Everett – Put Your Back Into It

Throw yourself back to Dekmantel Festival 2014 and a certain Motor City Drum Ensemble loosening up the Sunday afternoon crowd with this killer soulful house track from Peven Everett. Shortly afterwards copies of the original were changing hands for well in excess of £100 and you’ll be hard pressed to find a decent copy for any less today. Up step Groovin Recordings with a 2017 reissue and you can now bag this beauty in full vinyl quality for less than £20!

 

 

Glenn Underground – House Music Will Never Die

Groovin aren’t alone when it comes to preserving one sound in particular. Glenn Underground found his way to European acclaim via a love affair with 90s US garage house (idolizing Kerri Chandler), this track is a particular highlight from the selections at Dimensions Festival 2015. As a Chicago native, brought up when Larry Heard and Ron Hardy were pioneering the sound, Glenn Underground has a pedigree for deep house that’s exemplified on the record. Its jacking rhythms and hedonistic vocals from debut collaborator Cei-Bei make it one of his finest releases, brought to new light by that set in Croatia. Hence we have another timeless house record that commands a heavy price as it is between second hand dealers. Groovin again satiate the demand of a new audiences in bringing back this 1996 classic, untouched with all four original mixes.

 

 

Dunn Pearson Jr. – Groove on Down

Time for a slice of 1978 disco. Like a vintage car or an up-cycled armchair, sometimes an old record just needs a little TLC to give it new life. Dunn Pearson Jr. is a multi-instrumentalist that’s had as much commercial success scoring films and soundtracking McDonald’s adverts as he has producing records for soul legends and creating disco classics. Renowned as ‘The Black Beethoven’, this record from the height of US disco showcases a masterful arrangement of strings, brass and female group vocals – remastered and polished in 2018 by Groovin to tease the modern dancefloor into a 70s groove.

 

 

Gino Soccio – Try It Out / Dancer

This one’s perhaps a personal nod from Alex and Paolo to the Italo-Disco sounds of Gino Soccio, a Canadian born record producer of Italian descent. The EP is a mini-compilation of Gino’s greatest hits from the turn of the 80s, bringing together three key releases on one handy 12”. ‘Dancer’ gives you a minute long extended intro before releasing the tension with the funkiest bassline around, whereas Try It Out offers a steadier shuffler as chic-like guitar riffs and trumpet solos set the foundations for another disco hit. Although the originals don’t demand as high fees as the above, this release is exemplary of the refinement Groovin Recordings are able to present by filtering out the gold from their day-to-day operations in the Milan store, then repackaging these classic sounds at an affordable rate for discerning new collectors.

 

 

The work of Alex and Paolo, like Euan Fryer with Athens of the North and many others, is essential in creating longevity for classic dance music amongst collectors. At the time of writing, original and good quality copies of these four records would cost in excess of £600, whereas the Groovin endorsed equivalents are often a tenth of the price.

There’s also a much greater back catalog to discover than those cherry-picked above. With ten reissues already to hand in 2018 the boys are on a relentless upwards trajectory and definitely one to keep an eye on.

 

Groovin Recordings

Prince Street Record Forum

 

 

B&M’s Favourite Music Discoveries of 2017

Rare it looks so good as this
Newry Canal would you believe

For the second and final part of our 2017 round up series we’ve divulged a bit about some of the things we discovered in the last year that we most enjoyed music-wise. Music discovery isn’t always about finding new music, rather it can more often than not be about back-tracking and learning of older stuff that is fresh to you. As such the majority of what’s included here is aged to some degree.

It’s important to stay current and to not lose track of some of the great music coming out in the present but we’d argue it’s equally important to learn a bit about its context and the art that laid the groundwork for what’s around now. Enjoy!

Raymond:

Vril – Torus XXXII

This is one track in particular I found last year which stands tall above the rest, released in 2015 as part of Vril’s Torus full length. I remember finding this track early in the year and thinking it was nice but nothing else, it was only later on in the year when I listened to it again by chance and was really captured by the melancholic beauty presented in the tunes lead melody. For a period of time this helped me in a big way, and I’d often have it on repeat, never getting sick of that melody line. It’s one of those rare tracks that will bring about tears on the dancefloor, and a track I now consider to be an all time favourite.

 

Bicep – Bicep

This selection isn’t something older that I’ve found during the past year but it was a landmark bit of music for me.

Bicep’s self-titled debut album Bicep was my standout full length in a year with many great efforts. It was a long wait for fans of the Belfast duo but thankfully this was worthwhile as the album definitely lived up to expectations for me (I know Aiden will argue with me on this haha). Drifting nicely between breakbeat and ambient, the record provided some of my favourite musical moments of the year with tracks such as Orca, Glue, Drift and Vespa which could show a lighter side to Bicep as opposed to the usual 4×4 stuff they’ve become renowned for. The album really stood up for me in its replay-ability and diversity. I often found myself returning to it listening to a particular track if I was feeling a certain way, something I gladly found solace in. The album also acted as the main crux of the Bicep live show which I got to see twice this year. Tracks such as Spring were really given another dimension on the dance floor and I found I enjoyed that track in particular after hearing it out. Orca actually turned out to be one of my most listened to tunes this year and is one I love due to the emotion invoked – a track which is the perfect example of something that is suited for the home environment and a live experience, and I found a lot of the album to share this quality.

 

Lauren Garnier- Electrochoc

I’d been meaning to buy this for ages, and when I finally got it in October I was satisfied it was well worth the purchase. Tracing the roots of dance music as told through the eyes of Mr. Garnier, it is a truly fascinating read with some great anecdotal material and funny at times as well. My favourite part of the book though, was when Laurent visits Detroit for the first time in the early 90s and meets his heroes. I found this not only interesting, but also so inspirational. So much so, that I’ve pinned up a quote from that chapter in my room:  “That first trip to Detroit wasn’t life-changing. I didn’t like the music from Detroit more because I had breathed the city air. But what Detroit did teach me was the importance of putting your heart and soul into your music. The reason why Detroit techno strikes a chord with me is because its producers lay bare their souls in their music. They lay bare their sorrows, their resentment, their wounds and their hope. Derrick May’s words kept going round inside my head, ‘You don’t make a record for fun, man.’

If the music of Chicago shoots from the hip, the music of Detroit has always spoken straight to the heart. It can bring tears to my eyes. It produces an intense emotional reaction. Records like “World 2 World” or “Strings Of Life” are the soundtracks to my life. I can listen to them time and time again and still feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. This cannot be manufactured. This is real.

Electrochoc is available for purchase here

 

Aiden

Durutti Column – Return of the Durutti Column

Before familiarising with Durutti Column my knowledge of the ‘Madchester’ era was a lot more superficial. I didn’t realise how significant that period of time was in shaping music and club culture in the UK. Post 1970s Manchester had a remarkable impact on how different genres of music are positioned alongside one another. The lines between them blurred, with the introduction of new genres such as new wave and electro and the birth of DJ culture as we know it today.

The Return of the Durutti Column perfectly exemplifies this catalysing time. The Column’s Vini Reilly described the album as “an attempt at experimental things and an attempt to challenge what is considered rock and roll.” I got onto this back in the spring based on a friend’s recommendation and it sucked me in immediately. The opening track Sketch for a Summer has a quite floaty, almost dream-like atmosphere to it. This light-hearted naivety recurs on tracks such as Jazz and Katherine.

However the album also has much darker tones and textures, both parts of Aspects of the Same Thing and Sleep Will Come are great examples.

The album certainly mounted a successful challenge to traditional perceptions of rock and roll. With the help of Martin Hannett, Reilly was able to use sounds that no one else was at the time. The delicate melodies heard throughout Return are a far cry from the typical use of electric guitar at the time.

In his youth Reilly received classical musical training and this is integral in the way he constructs his music. The record listens much more like a series of classical compositions than rock or ‘guitar music’.

One of Factory records’ great left-field gambles, this perhaps my favourite album that’s emanated from the post-punk period in Manchester.

 

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – SOUVENIR

This is actually a bit of a rediscovery for me. I had the chance to plunder the family record collection and came across this track which I hadn’t heard in years. I’m guilty of nostalgia being a large part of my attachment to this track. It was a staple at family BBQ’s when I was younger. On every listen, I’m revisited by the image of a sandy red sunset.

Self-indulgent sentimentality aside, this is a great tune. It’s got a tolerable amount of cheese to it and the melodies craft a really romantic, bittersweet atmosphere. There’s something endearing too, in the workmanship of OMD’s music. Limited financially, a lot of their work supposedly used the korg micro-preset, choosing it simply because it was “the cheapest money could buy.” Best enjoyed on the tail-end of an evening consisting of: Heineken, barbecue sausages and good company.

 

BBC RADIO 6

This is a party that I’m undoubtedly quite late to but I’ve been enjoying Radio 6 Music massively for the past five or so months since first tuning in. There’s a plethora of online radio stations with a vast amount of musical diversity, however it’s rare to encounter that same level of variation on offline radio.

With programming spanning across a wide array of genres, the offering on Radio 6 caters to the tastes of all music lovers.

Gilles Petersen and Lauren Laverne’s shows in particular have been giving me major kicks over the past few months. Petersen’s weekly Saturday show encompasses, not exclusively; jazz, soul and electronic music. With a consistent selection of quality music supplemented by astute commentary and great guest musicians, something is always learned when to Gilles’ Join The Dots.

A great breadth of music can be found too, in Lauren Laverne’s programme which runs daily during the week. Playing electronic, rock, hip-hop to name a few, it tends to have an upbeat energy to it for great daytime listening. Her Monday Motivation show is great at doing exactly what it says on the tin.

You can catch Radio 6 on digital radio at DAB 12B or channel 707 on Freeview.

B&M’s Favourite Tracks of 2017

late night street lights

You blinked and now it’s gone. The new year is round the corner but before we start getting too caught up in the future,  it’s always nice to do a little reflection. As part of our reflection we’ve put together a little summary of our favourite tracks of 2017, supplemented by a playlist for your listening pleasure.

Coming in at 20 tracks, this wasn’t easy picking! So much great music comes out year on year that it’s nigh on impossible to remember it all never mind whittle it down to roughly ten tracks. Nevertheless, we’ve had a go anyway and we hope you do enjoy it.

A massive thank you to everyone who has supported us this year. To those who helped us set up the sight, sent in tunes & guest mixes, read our words, listened to our selections, came down to our Eglantine party and continue to show us love. We love you all.

 

Aiden

This year I’ve had the pleasure of listening to some wonderful music. An easier list would be my favourite releases of this year, but that wouldn’t make much of a playlist by comparison. It was hard pinning down my favourite tracks from albums of such consistent quality as Loyle Carner’s and Melanie De Biasio’s.

I had a bit of an on/off relationship with dance music this year, on occasion going weeks at a time without listening to any. I filled this gap by catching up on some hip hop I had missed throughout the year and by discovering some new blues and jazz. An area which I wasn’t very well versed in previously.

Melanie De Biasio’s Afro Blue and Zara McFarlane’s Fussin and Fightin are two of the tracks from this kick that have stuck with me most. Somewhat different in mood and tone, Afro Blue is a slow and soft track well suited to a late night. Fussin and Fightin is chock full of soul but is much more energetic and rather busier (to great effect) than the former in the rhythm section.

Jorja Smith’s Carry Me Home is one of the most beautiful tracks I’ve listened to this year, perfectly capturing the feeling to yearn for companionship. It’s fortunate that the version on YouTube includes the interlude, as it and the track itself are heard best in that seamless succession.

The same class of honest emotion exuded in Smith’s track can be heard on Loyle Carner’s Sun of Jean. Scrumptious lyricism throughout, as is to be expected ‘We just supported Nas, whose world is this bruv, of course it’s ours.’ The track ends with a poem read by Carner’s mother, it speaks for itself.

On the electronic front, some massively diverse music has come to the fore this year. Rough electro sears across Helena Hauff’s Do You Really Think Like that. Although I haven’t listened to dance music much this year I keep coming back to this track. A lot softer is Morning Shift from Project Pablo, a great track for a daytime stroll.

However, I think my favourite dance track of the year is _Asstnt & Roll Dann’s Chronicle of a Love Foretold. I only just came across this tune a few weeks ago but it’s absolutely fantastic. It has some absolutely beautiful melodies which are supplemented by a hefty breakbeat rhythm, would love to hear it played out somewhere. This one’s from Involve Records’ 5 Years In Love with Involve Compilation, one of the best techno records I’ve heard in a while.

Elsewhere on the electronic front I’ve included Four Tet’s Scientists, The Cyclist’s Antiexist and Lanark Artefax’s Touch Absence. In moments of downtime when feeling a little bit spent it’s always good to listen to some slightly more downtempo and at times melancholy stuff to soothe the soul. These three tracks come from three great albums which have more of the same. Four Tet has not faltered even a little over the years, whilst The Cyclist and Lanark Artefax are definitely ones to watch.

 

Raymond

Keeping in with my listening habits this year, my choices are kept 100% electronic with a decent split between club music and more ambient tunes. I must admit that a lot of the stuff I’ve had in my playlists hasn’t been released this year, but I did boil down my choices to 9 solid tracks to complement Aiden’s 11. COSH’s “30 years under the waves” EP only came out last month, but I’ve had it on repeat ever since and Waven has definitely been my pick of the lot from that release. In moments of sadness or despair, I’ve found this to provide me with some relief. The same can be said for Drift from Bicep’s self-titled debut album. It was just impossible for me to not include something from their debut full-length, and Drift was my top pick. It showed a deeper side to the Belfast duo that we’ve not really had the chance to hear before but it’s something I’d definitely love to see them explore in more depth in the future. Keeping on the ambient side of things is the Daniel Avery and Alessandro Cortini collaboration Water. One that just never gets old, it was interesting to see how this collab worked out so well and produced one of my favourite electronic moments of the year, a tune to easily and readily get lost in. Perhaps my favourite ambient selection of the year though came from 36 with his tune Hold On. I must admit, this tune originally came out in 2015 but it received a remastered re-release this year and was just too hard to not include on this list. A mind-altering piece of music that is purely life-affirming, I don’t think I’ve heard anything so lush in a long, long time.

 

Moving onto slightly more clubby cuts, Orissa from Wayward was an outstanding piece of dance music that sits nicely between pop and house while maintaining a definite originality. My favourite part of this tune has to be the melody line, evoking a lovely bit of melancholy. I picked up a fair few breaks tracks this year, and V3R5U5 by Phon.o  was a tune I had on repeat when practicing my DJing. A real deep roller for peak time, this is an unadulterated bomb. Kölsch dropped a slightly underwhelming album this year for me, but LP closer Goodbye is one of my favourite productions from him. Emotional, unique but also club ready. I can just imagine with pure bliss this track being dropped as the sun is coming up on a beach somewhere. Steffi was another artist with a new album out this year that I really enjoyed. Going for the record closer again, Cease to Exist is an electro-tinged weapon ready for taking things up a notch. Finishing things off on my list is Voiski’s techno-trance weapon Tin, There. A rework of an old underworld tune, a doofy, melodic and intense bitta techno which quickly rose to one of my favourites from 2017.

Nils Frahm Xmas Mix 2017

 

To all of our followers out there, we wish you all the best over Christmas and hope yas have an enjoyable few days with family and friends. This mix should certainly help you get in the festive spirit and features an assortment of jazz, classical and blues to make ya feel all warm and joyful on the inside. I especially love how Frahm and Torsten Posselt use really old, slightly damaged records that give off that warm feeling from the vinyl crackling.

We’ve a couple of end of year round ups coming up over the next few days and then we’ll have some big tings planned for the new year too.

To everyone who’s supported, viewed, shared, loved/hated everything we’ve done over the past 9 or so months since we started the blog – thank you. Sharing music is a beautiful thing and it’s amazing to see the love we’re putting on tunes being reciprocated back to us from everyone who views the site and shares our stuff.

Here’s to the next 12 months of music.

Happy Christmas x

FRIED EGGS #4


As the year creeps on and sunlight is in short supply it becomes increasingly harder to keep the cruel cold out. To help, we’ve whipped up a short but punchy 9 track playlist.

There are some new tracks from King Krule and The Cyclist on there, joined by some old favourites and some new to us entirely. Boards of Canada and Aphex are (perhaps, too) frequently featured in these playlists but that simply cannot be helped.

Keep an ear out for El Kid’s track. A well deserved name!