Desmond Dekker recorded some of his best-known songs together with his backing group the Aces. Their single “007 (Shanty Town)” made him Jamaican music’s first outernational superstar, reaching the 14th place in the UK charts. The Leslie Kong produced Double Dekker was first issued in 1973 and consists of the best material Desmond recorded during his early years. In 1969 he scored a number one hit with the legendary song “Israelites”. You’ll hear how the Ska music from the mid-60s developed to the Rocksteady sound. This was “Ska” or “Blue Beat”— (or its new name for the slower tempo “Rock Steady”), and the lyrics come from the Calypso-Mento method of telling about current events in music. He was really at his prime from 1969 to 1971, a recorded classics such as “It Mek” (1969) and “You Can Get It If You Really Want” (1970), which you’ll both find on this record. Even before Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff Jamaica already had their own international superstar, Desmond Dekker was his name

Pre-order new reissue double vinyl LP here.

Coming soon, pre-order here. Go Mod! heavyweight vinyl set by Charly Records is an overview of the original Mod era. From that, you can guess that we are talking less ‘crate digging’ and more mod classics. Ok, perhaps not the obvious classics, but tunes at that end of the range. According to Charly, this is music from ‘the decade that defined the sound of Mod’, which is down as 1957 through to 1967.

Pre order vinyl double LP here.  

How does one pay homage to A Tribe Called Quest? The seminal rap group brought jazz into the genre, resurrecting timeless rhythms to create masterpieces such as The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders. Seventeen years after their last album, they resurrected themselves with an intense, socially conscious record, We Got It from Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service, which arrived when fans needed it most, in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib digs into the group’s history and draws from his own experience to reflect on how its distinctive sound resonated among fans like himself. The result is as ambitious and genre-bending as the rap group itself.

Abdurraqib traces the Tribe’s creative career, from their early days as part of the Afrocentric rap collective known as the … More

Born OTD in 1953, English singer-songwriter of Irish descent and frontman for the Dexys Midnight Runners, Kevin Rowland. ‘Searching for the Young Soul Rebels’ is the debut studio album from Dexys. Recorded during April 1980, the album combines the aggressiveness of punk rock with soul music, particularly influenced by the Northern soul movement.

During their time with EMI Records, the band consistently experienced troubles with their contract: upon their initial negotiations only three … More

Born OTD in 1920, German-American poet, novelist, and short story writer, Charles Bukowski. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambiance of his home city of Los Angeles. A nicely produced edition bringing together the collected wisdom of the legendary Charles Bukowski, illustrated with photographs and line drawings and containing a free CD of the man himself speaking in New Orleans in 1970. Each page features Buk’s take on a variety of different aspects of modern life, including women, cats, & loneliness, with each accompanied by a mix of photographs, sketches and cool international book covers. While short, every page is golden and there’s enough quotable material in here to satiate even the most diehard Bukowski fan. Also included is an bootleg audio CD, ‘Happy Hour’, which is a live poetry reading from a New Orleans appearance in 1970.

ZIne & CD combo available in store and online £7.99.

Known primarily as the label of soul groups the Superbs, Whispers and Entertainers IV, it has taken at least 40 years for Dore’s fluttering feather on the light blue background to reveal its full Northern Soul content. The Entertainers IV’s ‘Gettin’ Back Into Circulation’ was soon noticed, as it shared the same backing as the Whispers’ original of ‘Doctor Love’. Kenard Gardner was Lew Bedell’s right-hand soul man and his ‘Do The Skin’ also crossed the Atlantic in the 70s; the raucous dance-craze oozed soul and sported an irrepressible beat. Then came the Northern Soul behemoth – Rita & the Tiaras’ ‘Gone With The Wind Is My Love’. Released in 1967 in very small numbers, it took a decade to be discovered by the rare soul scene. It grew from a Wigan Casino floor-filler into a byword for all that is best in uptempo US soul. Plaintive vocals, atmospheric, imaginative production, a relentless beat and a melody and lyric like no other.

By the early 70s, the Fidels already had the classic stomper ‘Try A Little Harder’ under their belt, so it … More

Ska was the name given to the music that came out of Jamaica between 1961 and ’66, based on the American R&B and doo-wop records that the sound systems in Kingston used to play. But the American records’ style started to mellow out while the Jamaicans preferred a more upbeat sound. So the sound system bosses became record producers to cater to this demand. Sir Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid led the way, putting the top musicians on the island in the studio to make music, with the emphasis on the offbeat making the music unmistakably Jamaican.

WIRL (West Indies Records Limited) was set up by the Jamaican politician Edward Seaga in the late 1950s. He had … More

Out tomorrow. In association with Soul Shack DJ’s, Club Soul present the “Time” and the “Place” to Shake the Shack! The Soul Shack manifesto is stark – let your body take the place of your mind, and this new compilation on the Club Soul label is a tough-as-nails route to keeping the groove. The popular Soul Shack sessions in the Midlands being run by Neil Rushton are a homage to mind-blowing and spine-tingling black music gems. They encompass the preciseness of cerebral jazz fusion, the simple rawness of New Orleans funk, Nuyorican Latin Strut frenzy, the rhythm-driven angry polemics of Gil Scott-Heron, the sheen of Philly Soul, Big Apple Soul Disco and the Soul and Funk of Detroit’s many music alchemists. These are all integral parts of a time and place called Soul Shack – and this record is the soundtrack.

This LP edition of ‘Time & Place’ is presented on heavyweight audiophile 180gm vinyl in a single sleeve with Club … More

Out Friday. The All-Nighter has been an integral part of “the scene” since the phrase Northern Soul first came into popular use following the now legendary Blues & Soul article entitled “The Up-North Soul Groove” in June 1970 by journalist Dave Godin. During the heyday of the Northern Soul scene the ‘All-Nighter’ was the preferred format for the travelling soul fan. It separated the scene’s top venues from the hundreds of regional soul nights in pubs, clubs and community halls across the land. The All-Nighter was the ultimate experience and the only place to hear the best, the rarest and the breaking sounds spun by the leading DJ’s.

All 16 ‘All-Nighter’ tracks on this newly curated compilation have been remastered from analogue tapes and original vinyl. It is … More

By 1970, Lee Scratch Perry was firmly established as one of Jamaica’s premier producers, having issued a series of local hits on his Upsetter imprint, including the international best-seller, ‘Return of Django’. His no-nonsense, hard-hitting sound won him numerous fans, both in his native land and the UK, where legions of young skinheads snapped up every record they could find that bore the Perry hallmark sound. Originally issued by Trojan at the start of 1970, ‘Scratch The Upsetter Again’ illustrates Perry taking a contemplative glance further into the realm of instrumental sound.

New reissue vinyl LP available in store and online.