‘Sound Reasoning’ is a unique photographic journey through the Dancehall scene of the 1980’s with short excerpts from interviews Anna Arnone did with a whole host of artists from the scene. Coxsone, Saxon, Macka B., Smiley Culture are just a few of the names featured. Benjamin Zephaniah’s introduction to the book is very personal. He illustrates the importance of Sound System culture and just how powerful their pull was on the youth whose roots were in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica, and how integral reggae, MC’s and Dancehall were to the continuing tradition of the spoken word as a way of spreading news, storytelling and poetry.

The book also covers much of the background and history to the Sound Systems in Anna’s images of and words … More

Soon come! New release on the Club Soul range. This new album was compiled by the late Francis T, Basil, Tim Everett and Joe Boy in celebration of 50 years of Northern Soul at Stoke’s The Golden Torch night club. It joins a growing catalogue of premium music on Club Soul- including the 16-track crossover and modern soul LP Shades of Soul, feel-good Soul Shack release Time and Place and the rest of the newly compiled records that celebrate the clubs of the original Northern Soul Scene – The Scene Club, The Twisted Wheel, Wigan Casino Soul Club and Catacombs.

Pre-order here.

In the autumn of 1976, two young British Fine Arts students travelled to New York on a university grant, but instead of merely studying ended up staying with one of the city’s pioneering punk journalists, visiting the Museum of Modern Art by day and hanging out in punk epicentre CBGBs by night. It is from this trip that Gang of Four emerged. Blending revelations from interviews with the band conducted by the author with snippets from newspaper articles and record reviews, Jim Dooley tells the history of Gang of Four as they remember it.

From their days at art school through countless tours, records and reunions, Red Set is the definitive history of one … More

Happy Birthday Kenney Jones, born OTD in 1948. As drummer with the Small Faces, Faces and later The Who, Kenney Jones’ unique sense of rhythm was the heartbeat that powered three of the most influential rock bands of all time. Beginning in London’s post-war East End, Kenney’s story takes us through the birth of the Mod revolution, the mind-bending days of the late-60s and the raucous excesses of the ’70s and ’80s. In a career spanning six decades, Kenney was at the epicentre of many of the most exciting moments in music history and has experienced everything the industry has to offer.

He jointly created some of the world’s most-loved records, hung out with the Stones, Beatles, David Bowie, Keith Moon and … More

HOLD TIGHT is the book that kick started the ‘Grime Library’. Bursting into bookshops in July 2017 to rave reviews and a sold out event at Rough Trade East.. Celebrating over sixty key songs that make up Grime’s DNA, Jeffrey Boakye explores the meaning of the music and why it has such resonance in the UK.

Boakye also examines the representation of masculinity in the music and the media that covers it. Both a love letter … More

A group of kids in the 90s had a dream to make their voice heard – and this book documents their seminal impact on today’s pop culture. DJ Target grew up in Bow under the shadow of Canary Wharf, with money looming close on the skyline. The ‘Godfather of Grime’ Wiley and Dizzee Rascal first met each other in his bedroom. They were all just grime kids on the block back then, and didn’t realise they were to become pioneers of an international music revolution. A movement that permeates deep into British culture and beyond.

Household names were borne out of those housing estates, and the music industry now jumps to the beat of their … More

Born OTD in 1941, Jamaican record producer, Bunny “Striker” Lee. Lee began his career working as a record plugger for Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label in 1962, later performing the same duties for Leslie Kong. He then moved on to work with Ken Lack, initially in an administrative role, before taking on engineering duties. Lee then moved into producing (i.e. financing) records himself, his first hit record coming with Roy Shirley’s “Music Field” on WIRL in 1967. Lee then set up his own Lee’s label, the first release being Lloyd Jackson’s “Listen to the Beat”.

Omnipresent on the Jamaican music scene for over four decades, Bunny Striker’ Lee is one of the most important figures … More

David Keenan’s first novel is populated by about 30 beautifully believable and appallingly sad local legends – including that great band (Memorial Device), that drug-dealer survivalist and that expat romantic. The book’s subtitle gives the most succinct description of the whole enterprise: “An Hallucinated Oral History of the Post-Punk Scene in Airdrie, Coatbridge and Environs, 1978‑1986”.

Ross Raymond and Johnny McLaughlin are two fanboys dedicated to the Airdrie post-punk scene of the early ’80s – the … More

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

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