Jack Tyson Charles – Restoration EP
Jack Tyson Charles has spent the last 5 years channelling the musical history and energy of his London hometown to cultivate his own unique brand of ‘Epic Soul’. Armed with a seriously enviable backing band, Jack’s musical journey has culminated in the Restoration EP, where the vintage sounds of his influences blend with his own inimitable vocal style to create a glorious modern soul sound.
The five tracks on Restoration feature harmonious backing choirs, a simple back line of drums (from Pharoah S. Russell), percussion, bass (courtesy of Tom Driessler), some funky guitar and piano/organ; the feel is that of reality, it’s not overproduced. On Hustler Jack elucidates the journey he has been on, his old man (Craig Charles) even gets a mention, and this theme of honest lyrics is repeated throughout.
This is a barnstorming statement of intent which will only add to funk and soul’s burgeoning popularity.
Restoration EP – the long-awaited solo debut release from soul singer Jack Tyson Charles, recorded at KONK studios in London.
The New Mastersounds – The Nashville Session
From their inception nearly two decades ago in Leeds, UK, The New Mastersounds have wholeheartedly embraced the “old school” label—their sound rooted deeply in those classic soul jazz, boogaloo and funk albums on labels such as Blue Note and Prestige by artists like Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Lou Donaldson.
The New Mastersounds’ latest LP, The Nashville Session, takes that devotion one step further by recording in the same tradition that many of those rare groove gems were made. The 10-track collection, cut at Welcome To 1979 studio in Nashville, was multi-tracked live onto one-inch tape in a single evening session in front of a small studio audience. Following the performance the recording was mixed down to quarter-inch stereo and then cut direct to vinyl lacquers. There are no guests and no overdubs, just bass, drums, guitar and organ—essentially pure New Mastersounds.
Hitting the studio at the tail end of their Fall and Winter 2015 cross-country U.S. tour, the band was razor sharp and vice tight. They selected material to record from across their 16-plus year career and ten studio albums. The results from top to bottom are gritty, greasy and funky to the bone.
The Nashville Session presents The New Mastersounds at their finest, utterly unadulterated by modern digital technology, full-on analog and unapologetically doing it old-school.
JetTricks Present Sam Spence – Make It Through
It was way back in 2009 that South London songsmith Sam Spence first picked up his acoustic guitar and began co-writing and recording the original demos for Make It Through with production duo JetTricks at the helm. It was obvious that the song writing process would happen naturally with the three sharing musical ideas and recording parts late into the night at JetTricks’ Shoes Off Studio. They even wrote the hooks for Round It Up & Crumble while jammin’ in the back of a car while stuck in traffic on London’s M25 motorway!
With 11 songs/demos in the bag and ready to make the record, Sam then had to leave the country and travel half way round the world to Sydney, Australia where he is now based…so, that was that. The record was put on hold. The songs remained in the back of their minds and finally late last year the three got together to update the material & record new versions. They’ve delivered an album stacked to the brim with lyrics that Squeeze and Jason Mraz would envy and music that G Love or The Fun Lovin Criminals would make your head nod to.
Sam Spence is a filmmaker and musician originally from Stockwell, London who after spending years playing on the indie band scene, found a love for hip hop and swapped the gritty city for the sunshine of Bondi beach where he is now located.
Paul Elliott and Jamie Lawrence aka JetTricks are music-aholics! Since 2007’s release of their chill-out anthem Love Hangover they have been writing, recording and producing for and with artists including Shawn Lee (Ubiquity Records), BBC radio’s Huey Morgan (Fun Lovin’ Criminals), Faye Houston (The Resonators/WahWah45s) and their psychedelic-afro-funk outfit Hot Border Special.
All in all this is an album that is a celebration of soulful, poppy, funky, rootsy tunes that are a melting pot of Sam’s and JetTricks favourite elements of laidback sunshine vibes – get ready for catchy hooks and a chorus or two that you won’t forget in a hurry!
Lack of Afro – Hello Baby
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and DJ, Adam Gibbons (aka Lack of Afro) is back in considerable style with Hello Baby – his fifth studio record and the first Lack of Afro album to be released on his own LOA Records imprint.
Described as ‘always having a knack for finding great vocal collaborations’, he has raised the bar again here! Featuring a stellar cast of guest vocalists including Grammy-award winner Joss Stone, steam-punk legend Professor Elemental & arguably the most talented young soul singer in the UK today in Elliott Cole – Hello Baby is a genre-bending colossus of an album that is packed full of Adam’s trademark multi-instrumental goodness, heavy drums, percussion-packed production, and ear for a good tune.
Also featured on the record is soul singer Juliette Ashby (who featured heavily in the recent Oscar-winning Amy documentary) – Californian rapper, regular Lack of Afro collaborator (and one half of The Damn Straights) Herbal T, and rising star of the northern soul / mod scene, dancer, model & vocalist Emma Noble.
A wide-ranging, eclectic and progressive musical outlook has always been the Lack of Afro approach and Hello Baby doesn’t disappoint. Classic R&B (I Got The Rhythm, Take Me Home), Soul (All My Love, Fires Glow), Hip-hop (One World, Walk In The Sun), Disco (Magic Together), and elements of House, Indie-Rock and a smattering of Electro (Now I Feel Good, Searching For Peace & Love) all come together to create an album that is stuffed with beautiful audio gems of all varieties.
Adam’s music has been much in demand in TV, Film and Advertising, with directors including Steven Soderbergh and companies including Disney, HBO, Sony Pictures, Adidas & Miller Lite all using the Lack of Afro sound for successful projects and campaigns. Hello Baby continues in this vein and is without doubt an even more confident, assured and mature collection than its predecessor.
Junior Oliver – Bristol Fashion
A side project from producer Lack of Afro (that features him on a few instruments as well as regular collaborators), The Unity Sextet consists of ‘musicians’ Fat Thumbs Ronnie (keys), Buddy Franco (saxophones), Junior Oliver (bass), Fats Young Jr. (guitar), Cassius Farqhuar (drums) & Chuck Waldron (electronics). Blending elements of jazz, instrumental hip-hop & cinematic themes, each member of the group will release a solo work, making up a different phase of the project. The self-titled Unity Sextet LP & Time To Shine by FatThumbs Ronnie (both 2012) represent the first two albums in the series.
Produced by Lack of Afro, Bristol Fashion is by Junior Oliver – the bass player in the fictional group. It’s the third phase in the Unity Sextet series of albums & the first in three years. Featuring Lack of Afro on various instruments, the album also features guest musicians Rory Simmons (Jamie Cullum), George Cooper (Nigel Kennedy), Chip Wickham (The New Mastersounds), Lukas Drinkwater (Lack of Afro) & Charlie Hearnshaw (Pen g). Characteristically heavy on the bass & drums, the album combines reflective jazz (Ariel, Mary Hancock), melodic quirkiness (Hey Yo Mr White!), summery Latin stomper (Cachaoito) & fuzzed out madness (The Big Muff), fusing disparate musical influences but managing somehow to make total sense.
Hot Border Special – Live And Remixed
After releasing their eponymous debut long player in the summer of 2014 the south London five piece Hot Border Special established themselves as a fresh and rocking entity on the UK club scene. Playing their blistering, mysterious and psychedelic Afro-Funk fusion has left crowds happy and baying for more all over the country.
The band headed for the Kent countryside to the sublime analogue Rimshot Studios to record three live favourites – Shockheaded Sweetheart, El Frantico and Tibetan Space Rock. This digital EP release also includes a rousing version of Monty’s Jaws recorded live at the celebrated South London venue The Hideaway as part of the London Jazz Festival 2014.
And there’s more…this EP comes with incredible remixes from three of the best in roof raising, feet tapping, head nodding producers! Mr. Bird (BBE) adds his breakbeat swing, Virgil Howe (Little Barrie/Tummy Touch) takes us on a psychedelic disco excursion and new kids on the block Tendaji & Donje bring their African and house influences together, perfectly shaped for the cool and upfront dancefloors.