Magdy el Hossainy might not be to well known to the western world. An Egyptian keyboardist who once played in the legendary  Umm Kulthum’s band.

Magdy worked alongside many of finest Egyptian musicians around in the 60’s and 70’s. Recording for bands of Abdel Halim Hafez whilst laying down his own work.

Music de Carnaval is one of Magdy’s own productions that has been rereleased by Pépite Records. Pressed onto a 7″, this record has the original track on the A side which exudes that experimental and psychedelic sound that was so rife around the Middle East at that time.

The B side is a fortified funk re-drum by Steven J who has seen the likes of Medlar remix his own original productions.

We were lucky enough to get a copy of this limited pressing so if you do stumble upon one snap it up as its already going for silly money on Discogs!!

Solid Air

A bit of a break from the four to the floor stuff we normally post but I love this record and think its worth sharing. I picked up John Martyn’s ‘Solid Air’ a while ago at Rat Records for a measly £3! An absolute bargain. Its one of my all time favourite LP’s and felt lucky to get my hands on it.

I was introduced to this album by a good friend of mine about a decade ago. My friend had the broadest musical taste of anyone I knew back then so I was always up for and respected any of his recommendations. I was hooked the moment he pressed play. This album really takes you on a journey. There was just something so enchanting about the opening track ‘Solid Air’ . I could just imagine being in a dark hazy jazz club watching this guy ooze coolness from the stage. ‘Solid Air’ isn’t the only killer track though, ‘Don’t Want To Know’ is up there, along with ‘Go Down Easy’.

John Martyn’s compositions on Solid Air shook the British folk movement and inspired generations to come but didn’t make a huge impact commercially when it was released on Island Records in 1973. Despite this big names like Eric Clapton regularly covered Martyn’s songs in their sets which speaks volumes on how great this record really is.

I tend to find myself listening to this record on a Sunday afternoon when I have nothing to do, which is perfect. We rarely take the time nowadays to listen to albums all the way through so when you can, make it special.

Like my good friend did a decade ago, I highly recommend you sit back, relax and breath in some Solid Air.

Track List:

  1. “Solid Air” – 5:46
  2. “Over the Hill” – 2:51
  3. “Don’t Want to Know” – 3:01
  4. “I’d Rather Be the Devil” (Skip James) – 6:19
  5. “Go Down Easy” – 3:36
  6. “Dreams by the Sea” – 3:18
  7. “May You Never” – 3:43
  8. “The Man in the Station” – 2:54
  9. “The Easy Blues” – 3:22

 

 

Arabian Nights

Taking you through the bustling bazaars of Marrakech and late night discos of Istanbul to the psychedelic movement in Iran. Showcasing some of the Middle East’s finest records, Arabian Nights is an eclectic mix from the BLBC vault.

Most of this music comes from Lebanon, Algeria, Turkey and Morocco with genres ranging from Jazz, Funk, Italo Disco and Breakbeat.

Tack List:
Pisi Pisi – Figen Han
Dance of Maria – Elias Rahbani
Nisyan – Ahmed Fakroun
Cantamilia – Tranquility Bass
Shashkin – Omar Faruk Tekbilek
Crystalline ( Omar Souleyman Remix) – Bjork
Der Bauch – Mc Sultan
Abu Ali – Ziad Rahbani
Yo Son ( Prince Language Edit) – Ahmed Fakroun
El Fen – Ait Meslayene
Dalkavuk – Senay
Aheste ( Baris K Edit) – Baris Manco
Love Words – Ahmed Fakroun
Edit d Algerie (Julian Horn) – Djamel Allam
Habibi ( Vocal) – Sahara Band
Zina – Ouiness
Nissim ( Feat. Amir Yaghmai) – The Gasslamp Killer

 

I’ve been travelling around SA for a few weeks now but it wasn’t until I arrived in Cali that I realised I hadn’t been to a record shop in one month. Naaaat goooood. Plus, Cali is the capital of Salsa in Colombia, so it was time for a little foray…

First up, Record shops for Salsa classics seem to be hard to come by and/or dying out in Cali. There’s little to no big stores anymore that I could find, so it’s collection based buying from people renting spaces in other shops or as part of a bookstore (librario). These places aren’t really listed anywhere so it’s best to ask around for ‘vinales’ or ‘discos grandes’.  when you find the first place, the dealer will be the best person to ask about the next stop.

Atlas Records, Cl 9 Cr8 (through bookshop and upstairs)

3000 COP – 20000 COP (£1 – £5)

Atlas was the perfect place to start off, because you can listen on their old Phillips turntable and there’s a stool. When you listen the music in the shop goes off, but as long as you’re gonna buy something the dude didn’t seem to mind. The layout was organised but at first a little confusing. Genres span Classic Colombian, through Salsa, Pop/Rock etc. Then there are around 3000 mixed records (mainly comps) on the floor, and two blue crates with the more expensive Salsa cuts. It’s worth mentioning that Salsa records are LP’s. He had a big box of 7’s on the floor but I glossed it as they didn’t have sleeves and most were completely battered.

Grupo Niche – Cali Pachanguero (1984)

The defining Cali Salsa record, from the legendary Grupo Niche. So fun, lively and and basically giving Cali the big up. Plus Cowbell!

Hermanos Lebron – Vente Conmigo (1980)

Smooth lady killing sounds from the Lebron bros. Vente Conmigo = Come With Me… Mama


Name Unknown, Cl 3 Cr 6, San Antonio

4000 COP – 10000 COP (£1 – £3)

This next shop was basically a house with the ground floor converted into a librario, with a lovely woman owner, a dog cat combination and a smallish (200 or so) collection of Salsa. She also had some older Colombian stuff. She was more than happy to help me search for specific artists and came up good with the distinctive Peurto Rican born, NYC livin Angel Canales.

Sabor y Angel Canales – Hace Tiempo (1975)

A tune which deserves the mantle of: no holds barred party banger.

If anyone has tips for digging in Colombia, please leave info in the comments.




We were fortunate enough to be in the wonderful city of Copenhagen, Denmark last weekend and managed to duck out of doing your traditional touristy things for a few hours to visit some record stores.  There are quite a few dotted about the city but public transport is a breeze so if you have the time you can spend a day checking out a chunk of them. We were most looking forward to going to a store called Dorma 21 which specialised in new house and techno from local Scandinavian producers, unfortunately it had closed down recently so we weren’t able to. Even so we did manage to find two great record stores.

Insula Music

Location

Insula Music is a tiny shop located in south KØBENHAVN N with the closest metro station Forum being a 7 minute walk away.

Pricing

20DKK (£2) – 1000DKK (£100)

Selection

Folk, Rock, Afro, Asian, Scandinavian Jazz plus more

Listening

There is one turntable in the shop behind the counter but the owner is more than happy for you to come back and play some records

Vibe

Insula music is a very discrete shop, we only found it because there were boxes of vinyl put out on a table in front of the shop! Its very small with only two racks on either side and one in the centre. Insula sells both new and second hand wax with the owners eclectic and unusual taste in music really shining through in their collection. With that area of Copenhagen inhabited by a large Middle Eastern population there was quite a lot of arabian folk music to choose from. There was also quite a lot of Scandinavian and European Jazz. Most of the records are in great condition and there are definitely a few bargains in there.

 

Copenhagen Copenhagen Copenhagen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purchases

Sidney Bechet And His Orchestra – 50DKK (£5)

Sly And Robbie – 40DKK (£4)

 

Sound Station

Location

The closest metro to Sound Station again is Forum but this time its a twelve minute walk in the opposite direction. It is in the Frederiksberg area on a main road called Gammel Kongevej.

Pricing

25DKK (£2.50) – 2000DKK (£200)

Selection

A lot !!! Mostly Rock, Jazz, Soul, Folk

Listening

There is one turntable in the shop at the counter that has quite a dodgy connection so listening was testing at times but nothing a wiggle of the wires wouldn’t sort out.

Vibe

Sound Station is a beautiful record store with a massive collection. Its warm wooden decor was very comforting coming in from the cold Copenhagen weather. Each genre takes up a huge amount of space in the shop with floor to ceiling shelves meticulously alphabetised. The guys working there were very accommodating and were more than happy to help point us in the right direction in this otherwise daunting shop. We recommend spending a whole day there as you will need a lot of time to go through just one shelving unit!

CopenhagenCopenhagenCopenhagen

 

 


 

 

 

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

 

 

 

 

Purchases

Afrique – 150DKK (£15)

Buddy Miles – 25DKK (£2.50)

 

Location
Groove Store is a bright and lovely little shop, accessible via Place De Clichy Metro in the city’s 9th district.

Pricing
€6 – €60

Selection
Funk, Soul, Rock, Blues

Listening
One turntable hooked up to the shop system for everyone to use. Ask at the counter – it’s cool to cut off a tune, just ask whoever put it on… be polite!

Vibe
It’s pretty small, probably room for 8 people comfortably browsing, with a left hand wall of crates offering up Funk & Soul EP’s (and a few LP’s) for €6 a pop. Most of this stuff is either more common or more obscure, and much of it can be found cheaper on Discogs, though it’s well curated and pretty much all NM, so to be honest you may as well save yourself the hassle and pick it up here while you have the chance. While we were in the shop the dude working there was flipping through the bins and pulling out the smoothest obscure & classic tracks alike to play to a Mum and her baby. He wasn’t looking in the storage on the right hand side of the shop.

The right hand side of the shop is taken up with either more easily recognisable names or more expensive, rarer shit which is alphabetised meticulously so that it’s a pleasure to browse. Generally weighing in at between €10 and €20, here’s a chance to score some bargains if you know what you’re looking for or have the time and connectivity to cross reference with Discogs. Most of the records they had are from the late 70’s – late 80’s.

There was also some classic rock from the same era in a couple of boxes at the front of the shop, but Funk and Soul was definitely the plat du jour here.

Purchases
Faze-O – Ridin High – €8

Ozone – Jump On It – €6

The Clark Sisters – You Bought The Sunshine – €6

Most will probably know this tune by Arts & Craft from the Walter Gibbons 12” Remix that appeared on one of the better DJ Kicks editions – in what is already a stellar series – by Motor City Drum Ensemble. I doubt many will know it in it’s original form as, like is often the case with these things, it’s pretty rare. Luckily the fantastic Al Kent included the original version on his ‘Disco Demands’ compilation – a release where the only things bigger than the tunes on it are… you see where I’m going.

It’s the intro that really makes this tune. It’s so stripped-back and raw with the odd out of time keyboard hit, it’s so real. And it build and builds. I love fading into the intro and just sitting back and watching people trying to work out what the fuck is going on. It lasts for two minutes for fuck sake! But when it finally drops, it descends into a soaring disco groove but one where everything is slightly off kilter, where the odd instrument is slightly too high in the mix. It’s none of the usual slick disco production, it reminds me of the P&P Records stuff – ‘Ghetto Disco’ they called it – and it’s fucking ace!



This is a selection of Trinidadian music, Soca, but not Soca as we know it today.
There is no EDM or contemporary groovy or power in this mix, it is a pre 90’s selection that shows off the Calypso, Soul and Disco side of things.
It shows Trini’s abilities to use a fantastic array of synths and live instrumentation to produce wild and wonderful music that is totally unique.
The records have been collected in Trinidad on various digging trips, and from many enjoyable years living on the beautiful island.
Many thanks to the Rhyner Sisters for their help, support and knowledge.