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Athens Of The North

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Ecology (7")
Cat: AOE 024. Rel: 25 May 17
Soul
  1. Ecology (3:58)
  2. Anubis (3:28)
Review: The Bobby Hamilton Quintet Unlimited changed paid homage to the Greek gods in the mid 70s with this unique one-off offering. "Ecology" is a sweet, rolling soul slice with glistening guitars and a velvet almost Sun-Ra style jazz aesthetic. "Anubis" is more of a driving, evocative Troubleman-style groove with vocals that build and gather momentum around each other with an almost gospel-like sensation. Powerful... As always from Athens Of The North.
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 in stock $10.43
Time For A Change (7") (1 per customer)
Cat: ATH 055. Rel: 16 Nov 17
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Time For A Change (3:25)
  2. Time For A Change (Hot mix) (3:24)
Review: In the sales notes accompanying this latest slice of 7" gold from Athens of the North, boss man Euan Fryer admits that he spent a good "four or five years" trying to locate an original copy of "Time For Change" before finally tracking down original singer Benita. She was more than happy for him to reissue the record, which is one of the most inspired and well-made disco-soul records you're ever likely to hear (how it remained a lost classic, we'll never know). Benita's lyrics and vocals are superb, the horns are punchy, and the B-side "Hot Mix" contains one of the best slap-bass solos you'll ever hear. In a word: essential.
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 in stock $10.69
Rock On (12")
Cat: AOTN 12006. Rel: 20 Sep 18
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Rock On (Bob Blank remix) (6:29)
  2. Rock On (4:20)
Review: More unreleased gold from Lafayette Afro congressman Bobby Boyd on Athens Of The North. Big 80s boogie funk, "Rock On" delves deep into Boyd's later material with a light Latin flare and a little p-funk sleaze and a full flavoured guitar solo. The main hit, however, is the dancefloor blunderbuss remix by decorated engineer of the time Bob Blank. With a discog that includes the likes of Larry Levan and Arthur Russell, he adds strong shades of proto house to the mix with big kick drums and an arrangement and dynamic that still boots floors and doors down to this day.
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 in stock $10.43
Cat: ATH 068. Rel: 26 Jul 18
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. I Like What You Do To Me (3:27)
  2. Girl Like You (4:19)
Review: The second 45" of unreleased material from Lafayette Afro Rock Band member, highly talented and criminally overlooked instrumentalist and singer Bobby Boyd; both tracks show how relevant and ahead of the music he was deep into the 80s; "I Like What You Do To Me" is a synth boogie jam with both feet planted firmly on the dancefloor while "Girl Like You" is unabashed proto house with a great drive and strutting sense of soul. While it's amazing Athens Of The North are working with Boyd to release his music now, it's a shame these never saw the light of day when he wrote them 30 years ago.
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 in stock $10.43
Cat: ATH 066. Rel: 26 Jul 18
Funk
  1. Love Goddess (4:30)
  2. Good News (Tired Of Bad News) (4:44)
Review: Athens Of The North have worked with some OGs and veterans in their time but Bobby Boyd is by far one of the biggest and influential. Cutting his teeth in the Lafayette Afro Rock Band before going solo, he recorded a whole host of material that remained unreleased. Until now. "Love Goddess" kicks off the collection with a northern soul stomp, big harmonies backed by a tight, slippery funk groove while "Good News" is golden era Boyd funk with its bright horn work, positive sentiment and driving soul energy. This is an amazing piece of investigatory work by Fryer and co. And there's more, too...
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 in stock $10.43
Where Will I Go (7") (1 per customer)
Cat: ATH 070. Rel: 02 Aug 18
Soul
  1. Where Will I Go (4:09)
  2. Always (4:34)
Review: North Carolina's Brief Encounter were one of the bands to define the 70's US soul sound but, unlike many of their peers, the group remained in the sights of crate diggers and specialists, straying away from significant commercial success. This particular single, for instance, wasn't even released officially and has remained the stuff of legends until now, so it's thanks to the reliable Athens Of The North that we're able to give it a spin on our turntables. Put simply, "Where Will I Go" and "Always" are two unmissable soul ballads that are simply impossible not to appreciate and get excited by - they encapsulate a particular note of optimism and romance that represented the 1970s in America, taking us on a journey into the past. Don't miss it!
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 in stock $10.43
Cat: ATH 050. Rel: 25 Jan 18
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Aaron Broomfield - "I'm Gonna Miss Ya" (4:32)
  2. Broomfield Corporate Jam - "Does Anybody Really Know" (4:01)
Review: For their latest trip into "in-demand collector cuts" territory, Edinburgh's Athens of the North shines a light on the work of obscure Miami artist Aaron Broomfield. "I'm Gonna Miss You" originally appeared on Mountain Records in 1981 and has become something of a sought-after record in recent years. It's a brilliant chunk of rubbery Miami synth-funk rich in mazy synthesizer solos, elastic slap bass and the urgent hustle of P-funk. Over on side B you'll find the cosmic soul bump of "Does Anybody Really Know", which appears to a previously unreleased vocal workout featuring some deliciously fuzzy electric guitar solos.
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 in stock $10.69
Cat: ATH 067. Rel: 26 Jul 18
Funk
  1. Bip Bam (Thank You Ma'am) (Part 1) (3:07)
  2. Bip Bam (Thank You Ma'am) (Part 2) (3:02)
Review: So good it spills over into two parts, Bill Brown's cult 1974 Brownstone release "Bip Bam" has been known to pass hands for triple figures in the past. Now you can enjoy its sweeping MGs style lavish organ and horn fusion at a fraction of the price. Deep, soulful, laced with infectious percussion and Bill's swooning scat vocal textures, this still sounds of its world and time to this day.
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 in stock $10.43
Everything That Looks Good (limited 7") (1 per customer)
Cat: AOE 016. Rel: 25 Feb 16
Funk
  1. Everything That Looks Good (2:32)
  2. You Don't Deserve (3:03)
Review: A serious self-press rarity from the heart of Clarksville, Suggs never achieved the recognition he deserved during his tenure as a band leading soul man. Still in Clarksville and now a missionary, the sentiments of this recording history peak resonate with what he does now: "Everything That Looks Good" is a JB style message on the lure of temptation while "You Don't Deserve", an instrumental that sees Bubba switching his vocals for equally commanding sax, is a moment for poignant, soul-searching reflection. Lord have mercy.
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 in stock $6.96
Wish Upon Love (limited 7")
Cat: ATH 021. Rel: 22 Oct 15
Funk
  1. Wish Upon Love (2:17)
  2. Nightime On The Beach (3:46)
Review: Dreamy mid '70s funk from Caribbean (St Maarten to be precise) trio Cool Creations: "Wish Upon Love" struts with a Boz Scaggs-style confidence and a deep, cloudy finish that would make Faze-O proud. Flip for a straight-up cloud burst as "Night On Beach Island" lives up to its name with measured pace, cosmic trumpets, sandy pianos and lavish, lolloping wave-lapping double bass. Beautiful.
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 in stock $6.96
Cat: ATH 058. Rel: 22 Feb 18
Soul
  1. Just You & Me (4:26)
  2. Blame It On Me (5:47)
Review: Another tape extracted from the Sony vault for the first time since the record was released in 1980. A floaty disco masterpiece by an American group that has been on the soul scene for time, but deserves a broader appreciation. Edinburgh's Athens Of The North (premium licensed rare music done right!) present this in a rare issue format, with the emotive and uplifting soul power of "Just You & Me" on the A side and the beautiful ballad "Blame It On Me" on the flip - apparently most original copies are missing this track. How the band never made it past one single is a complete mystery, as both of the tracks are incredible.
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 in stock $10.69
Cat: ATH 042. Rel: 29 Jun 17
Soul
  1. Let Your Light Shine (3:28)
  2. Somebody Help Me (2:31)
Review: Athens of the North founder Euan Fryer has described Willie Dale's "Let Your Light Shine" as "one of the best discoveries in the last 15 years". Only five copies of the original 7" single have surfaced to date, with the most recent changing hands for eye-watering sums of money. You can see why Fryer was so excited by "Let Your Light Shine": while rooted in both funk and soul, the track also draws heavily on psychedelic rock and the fuzzy, funk-rock fusion brilliance of Sly Stone. Original B-side "Somebody Help Me" is an altogether more laidback affair, with Dale offering impassioned and melancholic lyrics over a psychedelic era take on old rhythm & blues ballads.
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 in stock $6.96
FORTHCOMING
Keep On Dancin
Cat: ATH 073. Rel: 30 Nov 18
Soul
  1. Keep On Dancin
  2. You
e-mail me when released
coming soon $10.69
This Time (7")
Cat: AOE 026. Rel: 22 Jun 17
Soul
  1. This Time (2:51)
  2. Don't Let Yourself Get Carried Away (2:41)
Review: Athens Of The North triumph once again with two incredible slices of crossover, feel good soul from the early 70s. Douglas & Lonero enjoyed a good vein of major form on Columbia for a while, including a live album Live At Charley Brown's, but this 1975-released RCA 45 has been the most collectable (with OG copies of the double-sided pressing fetching over 500 pounds sterling in the past) Fully remastered from the original tapes, this is the clearest, sharpest and sweatiest Douglas & Lonero have ever sounded.
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 in stock $6.96
Cat: AOE 025. Rel: 25 May 17
Funk
  1. Super Black (2:59)
  2. Is It Really That Bad (2:34)
Review: Originally out in a distant but very relatable 1971, what we have here is perhaps one of the rarest funk 7"s that has ever graced our charts. No lies, no exaggerations. This two-track beauty by Everyday People, out through the timeless Forte label way back when, has been the dream of many a digger, and it's kind of surprising that we're sat here writing this review while the record is still in stock. "Super Black" is a monstrously rolling funk gem that's adaptable to any sort of room or dancefloor, backed by those majestic vocals, and "Is It Really That Bad" acts as the neat instrumental to top it all off. We know the A-side has been remastered from the original tapes, while the B-side might be a direct lift from one of the few original copies in existence. Either way, you ain't gonna find it anywhere else.
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 in stock $10.43
Cat: AOE 021. Rel: 22 Sep 16
Funk
  1. When You Have Love (1:51)
  2. Run For Cover (2:48)
Review: Another week, another masterful 7" reissue from the unstoppable Athens Of The North. Moreover, it's another sublime find from the label, and it sticks closer to their usual trick of finding one-off soul singles from much coveted artists of the '70s and '80s. Felony Theft only released this one single back in 1972, "When You Have Love", but you can understand why AOTN would want to resurface its dusty percussion for the modern audience; it's one of those rare tunes that sounds like nothing else from the genre, a quirky piece of magic for the diggers. "Run For Cover" is fun, upbeat but less alluring than its A-side sibling, but that is not to say that it isn't also a fine slice of soul-funk mastery. Go.
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 in stock $9.72
Cat: AOE 010. Rel: 23 Jul 15
Funk
  1. Walking With My Eyes Closed (2:59)
  2. Life Is A Beautiful Feeling (3:14)
Review: Previously spotted passing hands for $1000, this Rodney Matthews doublet has been hot property since funk selector Ian Wright unearthed it. "Walking With Eyes Closed" oozes the slick falsetto funk Average White Band always aspired to; well-polished, super-tight, big highs and emphatic harmonies. "Life Is A Beautiful Thing" gets even funkier as the Miami troupe lay down cement-like dollops of bass-led funk over a stick beat and more rifle-like nagging vocals. Look up the word belter and you'll find this record.
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 in stock $6.96
Cat: ATH 044. Rel: 23 Mar 17
Soul
  1. Watchin' You (4:09)
  2. To The Sky (4:39)
Review: Little is known about Friction Band's hyper-rare 45" besides the fact it's a brilliant example of outsider, slightly experimental style of modern soul, it's passed hands for strong triple figures in recent years and it's just been injected with a whole new lease of life by Fryer. "Watchin' You" is a footloose boogie jam with unabashed use of freeform keys while "To The Sky" flips for a softer, more sentimental soul affair that's fringed by just the right amount of dreamy cosmicity. Another precision find by AOTN.
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Played by: Dan Mela, Soul Music
 in stock $10.43
Cat: AOTNCD 008. Rel: 27 Oct 16
Soul
  1. Today Is The First Day
  2. Trade Winds
  3. Rain Sometimes
  4. Lady Day & John Coltrane
  5. That's All Right With Me
  6. He's Come Back
  7. Too Soon You're Old
  8. Slow Hot Wind
  9. What's Goin On
  10. Amazing Grace
Review: According to Athens of the North's useful liner notes, Penny Goodwin is Milwaukee's "unsung queen of jazz". Accompanied by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she recorded her one and only album, Portrait of a Gemini, in 1974. Since then it's become something of an in-demand item, hence this timely CD reissue from Euan Fryer's laudable imprint. It features a mix of original songs and covers - including a fiendishly up-tempo jazz interpretation of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" - with Goodwin's impeccable, emotion-rich voice coming to the fore. Musically, there are as many nods to conscious soul and Hammond-heavy funk as classic jazz, but that's no doubt part of the album's enduring appeal.
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 in stock $6.96
Too Soon You're Old (7") (1 per customer)
Cat: ATH 038. Rel: 24 Nov 16
Soul
  1. Too Soon You're Old (4:49)
  2. Lady Day & John Coltrane (3:25)
  3. What's Going On (interlude) (0:45)
Review: Penny Goodwin's material is hard enough to come by in LP format, but the 7"s really are a sight for sore eyes. Luckily, we got Athens Form The North on our side, a stupendous soul and funk reissuer that has been delivering some serious heat over the last three years. "Too Soon You're Old" is a 1973 soul charmer, full of mystique and sensuality, the track moves slowly but with a great deal of funky swing to its bass. "Lady Day & John Coltrane" is a different kind of swinger, an uptempo funk ballad backed by flurries of organs and drum rolls, whereas "What's Going On" heads down a spiritual jazz tip to complete what is the most diverse soul single we've got to offer this week!
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 in stock $10.69
Positivo (LP)
Cat: AOTNLP 020. Rel: 20 Sep 18
International
  1. Vulcano V El Gato (Medley) (4:31)
  2. Papa Was A Rolling Stone (2:54)
  3. Papa Fue (4:05)
  4. Te Lo Digo Yo (3:24)
  5. Vampiras (4:26)
  6. Hermanos Latinos (3:49)
  7. Bailalo Y Maevelo (4:10)
  8. The Sun From Above (4:56)
  9. Enciendelo (5:04)
  10. Somos Latinos (4:47)
Review: Edinburgh is perhaps not the place you'd look for authentic 1950s and '60s style New York salsa, but that's exactly where Grupo Magnetico earned their stripes. The collective regularly performed in a small cellar bar before cutting their first record, which was released last year by Athens of the North. This debut album, which boasts contributions from singers and musicians from across South and North America and was mixed in New York by legendary Latin producer Aaron Levinson, expands on that single, offering a wonderfully authentic tribute to the glory days of Eddie Pamieri, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, classic NYC salsa and the infamous Fania label.
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 in stock $20.07
Positivo (CD)
Cat: AOTNCD 020. Rel: 20 Sep 18
International
  1. Vulcano V El Gato (Medley)
  2. Papa Was A Rolling Stone
  3. Papa Fue
  4. Te Lo Digo Yo
  5. Vampiras
  6. Hermanos Latinos
  7. Bailalo Y Maevelo
  8. The Sun From Above
  9. Enciendelo
  10. Somas Latinos
Review: Edinburgh is perhaps not the place you'd look for authentic 1950s and '60s style New York salsa, but that's exactly where Grupo Magnetico earned their stripes. The collective regularly performed in a small cellar bar before cutting their first record, which was released last year by Athens of the North. This debut album, which boasts contributions from singers and musicians from across South and North America and was mixed in New York by legendary Latin producer Aaron Levinson, expands on that single, offering a wonderfully authentic tribute to the glory days of Eddie Pamieri, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, classic NYC salsa and the infamous Fania label.
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 in stock $8.29
Vampiras (7")
Cat: ADN 001. Rel: 28 Sep 17
International
  1. Vampiras (4:26)
  2. Hermanos Latinos (3:51)
Review: Here's something of a surprise from the normally funk and soul-centric Athens of the North label: a "heavy salsa" 7" featuring two killer cuts from contemporary outfit Grupo Magnetico. It's a taster for their forthcoming debut album; if these two straight-to-tape cuts are anything to go by, that set will be well worth picking up. Both tracks sound like they could have been recorded by Colombian musicians in New York during the heyday of Boogaloo, with A-side "Vampiras" - a typically undulating salsa groove which is enlivened by group male vocals and heavy horns - just edging out the gentler but punchier "Hermanos Latinos" in the "standout" stakes.
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 in stock $10.43
Cat: AOTNLP 013. Rel: 29 Mar 18
Broken Beat/Nu Jazz
  1. The Promise (2:33)
  2. Call Of The Forrest (3:14)
  3. Crows Feet (4:37)
  4. The Fly & I (1:37)
  5. Winter Bound (6:25)
  6. The Hive (4:16)
  7. The Elderflower (4:26)
  8. Honey Dreams (2:58)
  9. Rain Clouds (3:32)
  10. Honey For A Penny (2:22)
Review: Just when you thought Athens Of The North couldn't be more versatile and innovative, along comes another imagination-arresting, heart-melting concept piece from Warren Hampshire & Greg Foat. Following last year's Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand comes The Honey Bear, an album written to a fictitious children's story where every track tells a new chapter. Ranging from the lilting twangs and pastoral beauty of "The Promise" to the much darker, filmic synth-striking "Winter Bound" and natural soundscapes such as "The Hive", once again it's another fully immersive album that genuinely enshrouds you from start to finish. Not that we'd expect anything less from any of the mavericks involved in this release.
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 in stock $21.39
FORTHCOMING
The Mage
The Mage (CD)
Cat: AOTNCD 016. Rel: 22 Feb 19
Funk
  1. Of My Hands
  2. Endless Love
  3. Drifting
  4. The Magic Radish
  5. The High Priestess
  6. Incantation
  7. The Mage
e-mail me when released
coming soon $10.17
FORTHCOMING
The Mage
The Mage (LP)
Cat: AOTNLP 016. Rel: 22 Feb 19
Funk
  1. Of My Hands
  2. Endless Love
  3. Drifting
  4. The Magic Radish
  5. The High Priestess
  6. Incantation
  7. The Mage
e-mail me when released
coming soon $22.46
Cat: AOTNCD 013. Rel: 29 Mar 18
Broken Beat/Nu Jazz
  1. The Promise
  2. Call Of The Forrest
  3. Crows Feet
  4. The Fly & I
  5. Winter Bound
  6. The Hive
  7. The Elderflower
  8. Honey Dreams
  9. Rain Clouds
  10. Honey For A Penny
Review: Here's an intriguing proposition: a new concept album from regular conspirators Warren Hampshire and Greg Foat (best known for 2017's brilliant Galaxies Like Grains of Sand), inspired by fictional book of their creation, The Honey Bear. It's an intriguing proposition, especially when you factor in the duo's insistence that each track is meant to represent a book chapter. It is, then, a serious attempt at musical storytelling, albeit one with an inherent sense of fun. It's largely pastoral in tone, combining folksy elements (acoustic guitars, fluttering flute motifs, attractive string arrangements) with neo-classical tropes (recurring melodies, subtly-changing movements), subtle electronics and atmospheric field recordings, mostly of the English countryside. Most importantly, it sounds great and captures the imagination from start to finish.
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 in stock $10.69
Cat: AOTNLP 018. Rel: 21 Jun 18
Library/Archive
  1. Jasmine (3:48)
  2. Mariposa Lily (3:19)
  3. Antonio's Theme (4:07)
  4. Coastal Drive (4:12)
  5. Lost In Nostalgia (Nightshade (Themes & Variations)) (3:12)
  6. Introduction (1:22)
  7. Nightshade (Echo Flute & Bowed Bass) (2:04)
  8. Nightshade (main theme) (1:45)
  9. Nightshade (Solo Strings & Solo Fender Rhodes) (2:13)
  10. Nightshade (Pizzicato Strings & Walking Bass) (2:55)
  11. Nightshade (Multi-Tracked Piano) (3:14)
  12. Main Theme (reprise) (5:08)
Review: Greg Foat and Warren Hampshire are two the UK's most interesting minds when it comes to contemporary jazz experimentation, and their recent partnership for Athens Of The North feels like exactly the right thing at exactly the right moment. With both artists capable of producing many alternate forms of jazz and additive rhythm, Nightshade: Library Music Vol.1, feels like one of their more introspective pieces of work to date, and allows both of them to stretch their aesthetic to its very limits, focusing more on the subconscious atmosphere created by the instruments rather than cheap thrills based on beats and 'dance'. This is a connoisseur's album, and we're glad that this kind of gear is still landing on our shelves. Bless.
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 in stock $20.60
Mr Magic (7")
Cat: AOE 020. Rel: 22 Sep 16
Soul
  1. Mr Magic (Fryers edit) (4:23)
  2. Talking About My Baby (3:34)
Review: John Heartsman and Circles are precisely the sort of fellas you'd expect to see land on Athens Of The North, the most recent boogie-jazz reissuers to come out of the US of A. This material from the late 70's is like gold on the second hand market, and more like a mirage given the fact that original copies are her impossible to come by. Anyhow, this is proper soul-jazz goodness at its best, so if that's your thing, then get on it real fast. "Mr Magic" appears here as an edit from Fryers, but it's not million miles away from the original, its subtle organs still intact and that catch, funky swing still very much at the core of the tune. Heard the Idris Muhammad version? Check it to compare. "Talking About My Baby" is looser, more soulful affair with a faster tempo and Heartsman's rugged vocals in its underbelly. Quality.
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 in stock $5.34
Cat: ATH 051. Rel: 07 Dec 17
Soul
  1. Let Love Enter (2:55)
  2. Come To Me (3:33)
Review: Incredible late night smoochy stuff right here from one of the most decorated bassists of all time. A major figure in the bands of Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder, Henderson was also a killer solo artist amassing eight artist albums between 76-86. This AOTN "45 showcases his true breadth as "Let Love Enter" lilts on a soft bossa with rising horns, velvet backing vocals and an unabashed come-to-bed message. "Come To Me" gets even deeper under the sheets with as he goes toe-to-toe, cheek-to-cheek with Rena Scott with smoking results.
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 in stock $10.69
Reality (7")
Cat: ATH 062. Rel: 15 Feb 18
Funk
  1. Reality (3:36)
  2. Hey Hey (3:19)
Review: Previously spotted passing hands for over 5000 quid, this one-off 45" from North Carolina troupe Ice has enjoyed cult status over the years in both the deepfunk and northern soul scenes. Straight from 1980, there's a great balance of classic soul motifs and modern production as "Reality" swoons and sways unhurriedly but emphatically while "Hey Hey" ups the boogie ante with firm focus on the party, sharp switches on the chorus and some insane bass runs. Another ice cold reissue from AOTN.
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 in stock $10.69
Cat: ATH 063. Rel: 14 Jun 18
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Queen Of My Universe (3:15)
  2. Up (3:59)
Review: The first of two major Infinity licences from AOTN this month, this is a significant excavation even by renowned digger label founder Fryer's standards. Usually seen passing hands for well over L500, this second and last single from the relatively unknown troupe Infinity is a stone cold jam that's been sought after for many many years. Absolute rare groove sleaze on the bass and horns, "Queen Of My Universe" sparkles with soul in every element. Meanwhile "Up" strips things back even further with an uptempo disco twang and tight Q&A vocal play between the band. Infinite love for this one!
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 in stock $10.43
Party Man (7")
Cat: ATH 064. Rel: 14 Jun 18
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Party Man (3:41)
  2. Put Everything In Place (4:00)
Review: The second of two AOTN Infinity 45s, AOTN dish out another superb reissue from the late 70s US seven-piece. Serious funk soul once again; "Party Man" lives up to its name with a thumping groove, slinky slap bass licks and big call and response vocals. Instant feels. "Put Everything In Place" is a little more restrained but still very much party minded with its absurdly lavish bass walks, jaunty piano and delicious Faze-O style falsettos. To Infinity and beyond!
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 in stock $10.43
Cat: AOTNLP 015. Rel: 07 Dec 17
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Copacabana Sadia (4:08)
  2. Obvio (4:05)
  3. Que Signo Voce E? (2:49)
  4. Agre Doce (3:24)
  5. Rio Sinal Verde (3:32)
  6. Super Sensivel (2:29)
  7. Hora H (3:08)
  8. Pedras De Cristal (3:47)
  9. Via Aerea (3:05)
  10. Entrego A Deus (2:54)
Review: Under the Junior Mendes alias, Luiz Mendes Jr was a key figure on the Brazilian funk/soul scene of the '70s and early '80s. As writer, composer and producer, he had a hand in a variety of releases by such big-hitting Brazilian artists as Banda Black Rio and Tim Maia. In 1982 he recorded and released his sole solo album, Cococabana Sadia, a set that remains virtually unknown outside of his native Brazil. As this Athens of the North reissue proves, it's something of an overlooked gem. Musically, it's typically of boogie-era Brazilian soul and funk, mixing native rhythms and instrumentation with elements borrowed from disco, jazz-funk and bouncy dancefloor soul. It's unashamedly sunny and positive, too, and should be essential listening for anyone who loves Latin disco and boogie.
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 in stock $20.07
Kashmere (7")
Cat: ATH 072. Rel: 15 Nov 18
Funk
  1. Kashmere (5:00)
  2. Scorpio (4:43)
Review: Athens Of The North strike gold once again as we head to Texas, circa early 70s, for two more big funk gems from the Now Again vaults. Only previously available on albums (which were all known to be limited to about 1000 units) both "Kashmere" and "Scorpio" get the full 45" treatment. The former ignites with a lavish horn salvo before dropping into a trumpet led blues groove, while the latter leans back on a smoother jazz boogie groove. Both absolutely crunch.
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 in stock $10.69
Cat: AOTNCD 004. Rel: 24 Sep 15
 
Soul
  1. Black Fairy Meets Johnny
  2. Please Give Me Some Magic
  3. Black Fairy Meets Black Bird
  4. Tell Them They Are Beautiful
  5. Travel To Afrika (instrumental)
  6. Black Fairy Meets Queen Mother
  7. Afrika's My Home
  8. Black Land Of The Nile
  9. Trip To America
  10. Go Down Moses
  11. Did You Feed My Cow
  12. The Streets Of Harlem
  13. Afrikan Children
  14. Black Men Can Be Beautiful
  15. Black Fairy
  16. Eulogy For Black Fairy
  17. Black Fairy Returns
  18. Hey Black Child
  19. Johnny & Black Fairy
 in stock $7.82
Listen (7")
Cat: AOE 019. Rel: 26 May 16
Funk
  1. Listen (3:18)
  2. Party (3:16)
Review: When you talk about 'kid funk', it's always long-lost B-sides that record collectors talk about like myths. But, Athens Of the North have managed to get their hands on the masters of a super-rare Virtue 7" that goes for no less that L1000 on the second-hand market in its original form. "Listen" is a deep, sublimely odd little funk tune that is as deep as you can get for boogie and funk; "Party" on the flip is no less of a gem, backed by Little George's supreme vocals and a tight little break, too. Sick.
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 in stock $6.96
Cat: ATH 061. Rel: 08 Feb 18
Soul
  1. Love Tempo (3:35)
  2. Somebody Help Me Be Fair (4:22)
Review: Athens Of The North strike again. A big spinner for the likes of Floating Points, this rare-as-pigs-shoes 1980 45 from Ohio troupe Love Company has gone for big sums in the past. It's not hard to hear why; "Love Tempo" raises the heat with an unrelenting disco beat, coastal guitar textures and harmonies to swoon to. "Somebody Help Me Be Fair" flips for a much more sentimental story as Love Company unravel the problems of a menage-et-trois. Steamy.
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 in stock $10.69
Cat: AOTNLP 017. Rel: 10 May 18
International
  1. Marraio (3:03)
  2. Mais Kriola (4:15)
  3. Cidadezinha (2:07)
  4. Meu Diario (3:50)
  5. Camisa 10 (3:30)
  6. Briguenta (2:42)
  7. Meu Mando De Monstros E Fantasias (3:43)
  8. Voce Se Foi (2:43)
  9. Meu Segredo (4:35)
  10. Ausencia (2:48)
 in stock $21.39
Cat: AOTNCD 017. Rel: 10 May 18
International
  1. Marraio
  2. Mais Kriola
  3. Cidadezinha
  4. Meu Diario
  5. Comunicacao
  6. Camisa 10
  7. Briguenta
  8. Meu Mundo De Monstros E Fantasias
  9. Voce Se Foi
  10. Meu Segredo
  11. Ausencia
 in stock $12.04
Cat: AOE 031. Rel: 22 Feb 18
Soul
  1. Say It With Feeling (2:16)
  2. Conscience (2:48)
Review: Excavated from vaults of the Weiss Brothers' longstanding NYC imprint Old Time Records, Beverly McKay's gutsy tales have massaged soul floors for those lucky to have a 200 pound 45. "Say It With Feeling" hits with big backing vocal harmonies before breaking into a classic midtempo bluesy arrangement while "Conscience" strikes with a little more eastern allure, staccato strings and a cat-prowling narrative. Timeless soul.
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 in stock $10.69
Cat: AOTNCD 015. Rel: 21 Dec 17
Soul
  1. Copacabana Sadia
  2. Obvio
  3. Que Signo Voce E?
  4. Agre Doce
  5. Rio Sinal Verde
  6. Super Sensivel
  7. Hora H
  8. Pedras De Cristal
  9. Via Aerea
  10. Entrego A Deus
 in stock $10.43
Nassau Funky (double 7")
Cat: ATH 002. Rel: 29 May 14
Funk
  1. Opportunity Knockin
  2. Sleep On, Dream On
  3. Takin' You Higher (Just Like Climbing A Ladder)
  4. Loneliness
Review: Rare funk and soul connoisseurs Athens Of The North uncover four gems from one of the most interesting men in funk history. The man behind "Funky Nassau", Raphael Munnings really should have had a much bigger career than he did. Fortunately AOTN have recovered these four near-misses to ensure they're big hits for us... From the warm horns and Bahaman lilt of "Opportunity Knocking" to the organ and guitar heavy "Sleep On, Dream On" (think Booker T meets Hendrix) via the Gaye-style funk soul vibrancy of "Takin You Higher" this is a very special selection that pays respect to an unsung hero.
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 in stock $14.97
I Saw You (7")
Cat: ATH 033. Rel: 28 Jul 16
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. I Saw You (4:47)
  2. Heaven's Love (3:32)
Review: Fizzy boogie from Minneapolis circa 1982; Nobody cut through with a raw, energetic sound and countered with soothing, evocative soul that shimmers with their gospel roots. "I Saw You" sits somewhere between Prince and Rick James but polished with super freaky female front vocals, it's wholly unique and backs up the first pressing's pricetag of $500. "Heaven's Love" is the perfect counter with its emphatic harmonies and stately instrumentation. A serious timepiece from AOTN.
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Played by: G&D, I Love Disco!
 in stock $5.34
Cat: ATH 045. Rel: 29 Jun 17
Funk
  1. The Time Is Right (3:23)
  2. Feeling Funky (3:55)
Review: If this fine 7" is anything to go by, the crate digging and detective skills of Athens of the North founder Euan Fryer are as sharp as ever. The two tracks featured here originally appeared on a private press single that currently changes hands for large sums online. Fryer manager to track down the original writer/producer, Chicago-based George Riviera, who not only have his blessing to the reissue, but also sent over the master tapes. Stylistically, A-side "The Time is Right" sits somewhere between Latin soul, jazz-funk and sumptuous downtempo disco, with blue-eyed soul vocals and subtle vibraphone solos rising above superb had percussion. Fipside "Feelin' Funky" is a more up-tempo affair: an undulating chunk of jazz-funk/disco fusion laden with neat musical touches.
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 in stock $10.69
Get It On (7")
Cat: ATH 060. Rel: 22 Feb 18
Soul
  1. Get It On (3:09)
  2. You Can Be (3:32)
Review: Edinburgh's Athens Of The North present more soul-funk rarities, following up that hot one by Love Company a little while back. Now it's over to The Prophets Of Peace - a short lived band that released this little gem back in 1975. After graduating from Mankato State College, Walter Scott came back to Minneapolis to forge a career as a musician alongside Earl 'Sonny' Williams, Larry Loud, Bill Lubov, Dan Dahlgren, John C. Curly, Bruce Pallagi, Jimmy Wallace, Ron Atkinson, Donald Thomas, Doris Johnson, and Ed Garrett. "You Can Be" was recorded at Audiotek Studios Inc in 1975. David Z: who engineered Lipps Inc's "Funkytown" and several Prince productions, piloted the session. A year later, the group would secure its legacy on page 181 of Minnesota's Black Community.
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 in stock $7.95
Let Go (7")
Cat: ATH 053. Rel: 24 Aug 17
Soul
  1. Let Go (5:42)
  2. Will You Be There (4:33)
Review: Following the excellent excavation of the Miami band's unreleased album Best Kept Secret, AOTN's Fryer treats us to his two favourite cuts on a 500-only never-to-be-repressed 45. Seeped in powerful vocal harmonies, "Let Go" is rare groove gold with smooth sax and a dynamic that keeps on surprising while "Will You Be There" is an end of night soul shakedown with a tenderness that's tangible in every element. Don't sleep on this... Or the album. One of AOTN's most exciting releases this year.
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 in stock $5.34
I'm Alive (7")
Cat: ATH 017. Rel: 06 Aug 15
Soul
  1. I'm Alive (3:59)
  2. Song For Yvonne (3:18)
Review: Athens of the North continue their irrepressible march towards the title of most active funk and soul archivalists of 2015 with the focus here on a band with a scarcity of recorded output. Formed in 1969, eight piece act Sage preferred the live stage to the studio, building a reputation for a full on blast of soul and funk. According to the Edinburgh label, this I'm Alive 7" popped up out of nowhere some eight years ago, with obscure label Head Records originally pressing it in 1977. Our thanks go to AOTN for granting the two track release a much wider audience! The Latin horns and sunshine soul sound of the title track are complemented nicely by the flipside ballad "Song for Yvonne".
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 in stock $6.96
Cat: ATH 024. Rel: 01 Oct 15
Funk
  1. Keep On Keeping On (4:26)
  2. Wise Up (2:41)
Review: Joe Tex's backing band (and occasional co-writers), Second Resurrection are one of the most successful bands you've never heard of. Having performed and toured with the likes of the Isley Brothers, Shalamar, Rufus & Chaka Khan and many more, it's no surprise they only released one record... They were too busy. These unearthed recordings prove they should have recorded more. Never released before, both "Keep On Keeping On" and "Wise Up" are unrelenting, pumping slices of upbeat disco funk. The former is mildly psychedelic with bold harmonic touches while the latter slows things down just a tad, switches synths for horns and gets preachy with a full spoken word vocal. Apparently AOTN have more Resurrections planned in the near future too. We can't wait.
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 in stock $10.43
Cat: AOE 030. Rel: 22 Feb 18
Soul
  1. Try Love (One More Time) (2:06)
  2. That Boy Of Mine (2:10)
Review: Spotted changing hands for upwards of 800 quid, demand for this rare one-off from the mysterious Sparkels has been intense since it became a strong staple in both the popcorn and northern soul scene. Apparently first demoed by Norma Jenkins to Motown, who declined it, Herb Bernstein took this on but dropped it when it failed to gain attention. Both sides sprightly girl group soul with subtle touch of blues and a beautiful piano fill on "Try Love" and a bubble gum sing-along twist on "That Boy Of Mine", your floor won't stop moving when either side is dropped.
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Played by: I Love 45's!
 in stock $10.69
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