Best Product Notes Hype

Colin is a brilliant dj. Saw him a few years ago do a set of Northern and later a set of jazz funk/disco, during both of which he gave very brief but informative intros before each track.

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I really like the look of these Colin Curtis comps - I hope they signal some renewed interest in jazz-dance and jazz-funk.

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On the subject of hype sheets, I used to feel that the quality of the product was usually inversely proportional to the breathlessness of the hype.


Series of three releases now. Last one just out.

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Take that, Shazam! Who needs your AI?

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Having said earlier that the quality of a track would usually be inversely proportional to the breathlessness of the hype, I just found my original 1991 promo copy of Finally complete with hype sheet - interesting to note how mercifully free it is from hyperbolic nonsense (“check both sides as mixes vary” is hardly overselling the product, is it?!).

Edit: For a few short weeks in 1991 I thought this was possibly the best thing I’d heard all year…until EVERYONE began to play it EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME with the result that I stopped being able to ‘hear’ it. I don’t think I’ve bothered listening to it since then.


Seems to me a lot of the disco djs are now playing 130+ bpm jazz funky disco… I’m all for it.

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That’s good to hear. Jazzy funky disco is one of my strengths, so maybe I’m not as much of a dinosaur as I imagine myself to be!

Loads of bars in my area seem to be favouring ‘authentic’ non-western music - ‘zouk’ seems to be flavour of the month, closely followed by ‘island’. It all feels like some sort of reaction to afrobeats and house.

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State of the art here from our host.

When tasked with compiling his first After Dark compilation for eight years, musical font-of-all-knowledge Bill Brewster decided to go “slow and low”, picking an impressively eclectic collection of low-tempo outings old and new. The results are undeniably impressive, with Brewster serving up an entertaining and eye-opening mixture of twinkling, jazz-flecked electronica (T.O.E), synth-laden proto-Balearic dreaminess (Island Band), Weatherall-esque dark disco psychedelia (Brewster’s Hotel Motel project remixing Jeb Loy Nichols), squelchy nu-disco deepness (Ray Mang dubbing out Khruangbin), acid-flecked revivalist proto-house (Rhythm Plate), little-known, 80s soul era synth-pop (Debbie & The Code), future Balearic anthems (Nail re-editing Gilbert O’Sullivan), saucer-eyed, piano-sporting space house (Gus Patterson) and ultra-deep electro (Carl Finlow). As usual, Brewster has largely avoided familiar favourites, instead showcasing obscurities that deserve wider attention.


Beyond further description I think.

The Hurdy Gurdy Song is a deep drone heard through time.
It is a masterpiece of psycho-cosmology that fuses the ancient music of the British Isles with the frenetic sound of now.
It is the sound of euphoria and melancholia, locked together in constant battle that neither wants to win.
It is an elemental sound, like a sped up version of this country’s weather.
It is an anthem of disruption, of playful provocation and sonic sedition.
It is relentless and restless, like all good music should be.
It sings down through all eternity, the crying of humanity.
It channels the two greatest forms of folk music this country has produced: that of the peasant’s lyre and drum’n’bass.
It is the Luddites turning up to Metalheadz after a day of smashing stuff.
It offers power tools for the people. They just need to pick them up and use them.

Features the return of Jimmy Cauty, KLF.

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From the email:

If you ever wondered what organic dem-bow sounded like, this is about as close as you could get! After years of mutual admiration, Brujería sees El Búho and Bomba Estereo ’s Li Saumet collaborating for the first time and it doesn’t disappoint. El Búho trademark floating flutes, weave in and out of the reggaeton rhythm while Saumet ’s lyrics call for the need to cleanse and heal, embracing the brujería or witchcraft of her ancestors.

El Buho’s fifth studio album may be his most personal yet. Strata draws from Robin’s attempts to grapple with the tension of experiencing happiness, joy and gratitude in our daily lives with loved ones or through sharing music while the world falls apart around us. This dynamic of trying to live in the moment and enjoy the privileged life we have yet in the back of your mind there is an overwhelming sense of dread that the world will never be the same and, as climate change really starts to hit home, there are incredibly difficult times ahead. It is about our attempts to find a place of peace, balance and fulfillment between these powerful strata above and below us.

Isn’t that second para really what it’s all about? And I love the cover art.

Ha ha! This one may step on a few DJ toes. Not that I know of a DJ Toes, but if there’s a Mr. Fingers, why not?

There was one irrepressible Chicago club act that refused to be replaced by any DJ’s sound system. Soul septet Maxx Traxx (and Third Rail before them) commanded a scene unto themselves in the early 80s, playing live five-plus nights a week somewhere in the 312. Their two LPs, both recorded in 1982, are a sheer energy-ride almost too explosive to be captured by studio tape. And yet these two stone-cold classics would remain unanswered by a city, as it moved determinedly toward the motorik sound of house. Hop the turnstile and move with this complete document of Chicago’s last great club band told in detailed text, newly revealed photos and complete studio recordings painstakingly remastered.

Probably not really appropriate to send death threats and abusive screeds to Numero Group US! But you could push them on to the third rail. Poetic justice.

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