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Athens Of The North

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Athens Of The North

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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 $5.13
Cat: AOTNLP 038. Rel: 28 May 20
Funk
  1. The T-u-l-s-a Song (4:35)
  2. T'spoon - "Sweetness" (4:19)
  3. The Dream (4:14)
  4. T'spoon - "Say Yeah" (3:49)
  5. Cats Meow (previously unreleased) (3:48)
  6. T'spoon - "School Dance" (2:17)
  7. Amazing (previously unreleased) (4:21)
  8. Never (Give Up On You) (5:29)
  9. T'spoon - "If You Dance Tonite" (4:43)
  10. The Davis Family - "Genesis" (4:17)
Review: Athens of the North originally contracted obscure 80s boogie artist Billy Bruner about reissuing two of his rare, sought-after singles - "The Tulsa Song" and "The Dream" - but instead raided his tape archives and putting together what's effectively his debut album. Combining previously released tracks (including some made as part of similarly obscure outfit T'Spoon and the gospel-leaning band The Davis Family), unheard extended versions and previously unreleased songs, the album is warm, soulful, slick and summery. Highlights include the stuttering P-funk flex of "Cats Meow", the sizzling dancefloor heat of "School Dance" and the deliciously extended version of glassy-eyed '80s soul jam "Never". If sparkling, synth-heavy '80s soul is your thing, this is one surprise retrospective you won't want to miss.
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 in stock $18.26
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 $6.95
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 $10.54
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 $6.95
Sam DON/VARIOUS
For The Love Of You (unmixed CD)
Cat: AOTNCD 031. Rel: 26 Mar 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Peter Huntingdale - "Rocking You Eternally"
  2. Christine Lewin - "Juicy Fruit"
  3. Pure Silk - "Don't Let Love Get You Down"
  4. Al Charles - "Outstanding"
  5. Karen Dixon - "I Want To Be Free"
  6. George Posse - "Touch A Four Leaf Clover" (feat Toyin Adekale)
  7. Misses Misty - "Mellow Mellow Ride On"
  8. Trevor Hartley - "The Look In Your Eyes"
  9. Family Love - "Do Me Baby"
  10. Michael Prophet - "Body Fusion"
  11. Michael Gordon - "What You Won't Do For Love"
  12. Simplicity - "For The Love Of You"
Review: Edinburgh's Athens Of The North label is endlessly flawless and this time around they pull together the special lovers rock covers they put out at the end of last year onto a superbly strong 12 track compilation. It arrives just in time for the warmer months and has been curated by Sam Don and overseen by label boss Euan Fryer. Standouts include Christine Lewin's lush take on the heavily sampled "Juicy Fruit" while the lo-fi bliss of Al Charles's "Outstanding" is another one to swell the heart and sooth the soul. For more sentimental moments check Family Love's "Do Me Baby." Overall, though, this is a must buy.
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 in stock $10.28
Sam DON/VARIOUS
For The Love Of You (gatefold 2xLP) (1 per customer)
Cat: AOTNLP 031. Rel: 26 Mar 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Peter Huntingdale - "Rocking You Eternally" (3:40)
  2. Christine Lewin - "Juicy Fruit" (3:56)
  3. Pure Silk - "Don't Let Love Get You Down" (4:24)
  4. Al Charles - "Outstanding" (5:51)
  5. Karen Dixon - "I Want To Be Free" (6:06)
  6. George Posse - "Touch A Four Leaf Clover" (feat Toyin Adekale) (4:24)
  7. Misses Misty - "Mellow Mellow Ride On" (8:39)
  8. Trevor Hartley - "The Look In Your Eyes" (4:48)
  9. Family Love - "Do Me Baby" (5:20)
  10. Michael Prophet - "Body Fusion" (3:43)
  11. Michael Gordon - "What You Won't Do For Love" (4:52)
  12. Simplicity - "For The Love Of You" (5:35)
Review: Edinburgh's Athens Of The North label is endlessly flawless and this time around they pull together the special lovers rock covers they put out at the end of last year onto a superbly strong 12 track compilation. It arrives just in time for the warmer months and has been curated by Sam Don and overseen by label boss Euan Fryer. Standouts include Christine Lewin's lush take on the heavily sampled "Juicy Fruit" while the lo-fi bliss of Al Charles's "Outstanding" is another one to swell the heart and sooth the soul. For more sentimental moments check Family Love's "Do Me Baby." Overall, though, this is a must buy.
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 in stock $20.56
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 $7.97
Cat: AOTNCD 033. Rel: 05 Dec 19
Jazz
  1. Sapphire Dreams
  2. Eric's Breakdown
  3. The Door Into Summer
  4. Not That It Makes Any Difference
  5. Lake Kussharo
  6. Kushiro River
  7. This Is Not Necessarily My Answer, But
  8. The Dreaming Jewels
Review: After spending so much of their career to date releasing on Jazzman, it's interesting to see The Greg Foat Group make their way over to Athens Of The North for this cool and deadly new record. "The Dreaming Jewels" keeps the grooves simmering low down - all the sweeter to sink into. Just lock in on "Eric's Breakdown" and ask yourself if the track needs any more than that sweet conga flex. "The Door Into Summer" is a beautifully mellow jam too, all sultry Rhodes and sax to signal the start of lazy days. There are more tender moments and some breezier affairs, but the vibe remains chilled throughout this wonderful set from an accomplished band.
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 in stock $21.34
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 $10.28
Cat: ATH 084. Rel: 30 Apr 20
Funk
  1. What About The Child (2:44)
  2. Now I Know (4:17)
Review: "What About The Child" by Avelino Pitts' obscure band GOLD has long been a sought-after deep funk rarity, with copies of the 1977 seven-inch single being extremely hard to come by these days. Helpfully Athens of the North's Euan Fryer knows the score and has decided to offer-up a much-needed reissue. The track is a fine slab of psychedelic soul in the vein of leading San Francisco groups of the period - Vehicle, Tower of Power and so on - with plenty of rhythmic shuffle and fine group vocals. Fryer has unearthed a gem for the flip, too: a previously unreleased cut that's on a similar sonic tip to Rotary Connection. It's worth the entrance price on its own.
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 in stock $8.49
Lies (limited 7")
Cat: ATH 011. Rel: 27 Mar 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Lies (4:27)
  2. Is It Cool? (4:07)
Review: We've become accustomed to Athens of the North delivering 7" singles packed full of obscure gems. Interestingly, the two tracks here - as great as they are - are relatively easy to come by, both being featured on GQ's overlooked by readily available 1980 album GQ Two. Even so, they're more than worthy of the reissue treatment, with A-side "Lies" - previously re-edited by Theo Parrish for his Ugly Edits series - offering a particularly sweet dose of warm and fuzzy disco/soul fusion. Flispide "Is It Cool" is almost as essential, with soaring horns and a killer bassline combining perfectly with the band's urgent, attractive vocals.
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 in stock $9.76
Cat: ATH 076. Rel: 21 Feb 19
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. We Are Here To Party (4:33)
  2. Loving You (4:25)
Review: Athens Of The North return to the disco motherland by way of this scorching groove doublet from Canadian troupe Gratitude. "We Are Here To Party" lives up to its name with vibrant horns and a thumping deep funk focus. Flip for "Loving You", as the name suggests there's a smoother tone and message at play as the band ease us into something a little comfier. Less of a B, more of an AA. Show some gratitude for the tireless AOTN crew!
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 in stock $10.54
Cat: ATH 075. Rel: 24 Jan 19
Soul
  1. I Love You (3:18)
  2. Where There's Smoke, There's Fire (3:26)
Review: Athens of the North supremo Euan Fryer was helped in his efforts to reissue this sought-after soul ballad - arguably the most in-demand cut from obscure Dallas-based artist Willie Griffin - by Brooklyn-based crate digger Brian Sears. Together, they somehow managed to locate the master tapes for "I Love You", allowing this pressing to sound even better than the original seven-inch. It's a deliciously breezy and heartfelt affair, with Griffin's impeccable vocal rising above a lo-fi soul backing track rich in gentle guitars and loose drums. Also worth a listen is the slightly heavier and more dancefloor-friendly "Where There's Smoke, There's Fire", which features a glam-rock style beat, bluesy acoustic guitars and some seriously heavy bass.
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 in stock $10.54
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 $13.63
  1. Ice - "Reality" (3:35)
  2. Cloudburst - "I'm Loving You" (3:38)
  3. Popsicles - "These Are The Good Times" (4:23)
  4. Bileo - "You Can Win" (3:28)
  5. Mahana - "She Really Needs Love" (3:15)
  6. Jerry Blackshear - "Defected" (3:29)
  7. Mr Wigg & Co - "Lot Of Living To Do" (4:32)
  8. Benita - "Time For A Change" (3:25)
  9. Darrell Johnson - "Days Gone Past" (4:12)
  10. Bordeaux - "Paradise's Love" (3:24)
  11. Split Decision Band - "Watchin' Out" (3:15)
  12. Sequence - "Disco Thing" (3:00)
  13. Strivers Show Band - "Love Episode" (3:29)
  14. Love Company - "Love Tempo" (3:36)
  15. Gratitude - "We Are Here To Party" (7" version) (3:46)
  16. Jax Transit Authority - "Life Is A Miracle" (4:56)
Review: Many of the finest independent disco 45s that Athens of the North has reissued were licensed by crate digger David Haffner, so it's fitting that AOTN boss Euan Fryer has given him a compilation of his own. "Disco With A Feeling" contains some of those picks, alongside other obscure favourites from Haffner's sizable record collection. It's absolute fire from start to finish, with the little known private press and small-run cuts tending towards the more soulful and jazz-funk influenced end of the disco spectrum. Basically, it's a must-have for anyone who gravitates towards the rare end of the disco spectrum.
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 in stock $22.12
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 $18.26
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 $17.48
Cat: ATH 040. Rel: 23 Feb 17
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Since I Was A Little Girl (3:33)
  2. Straight Talk (3:28)
Review: For their latest dive into the depths of funk history, Athens of the North travels back to 1978 and the debut of John Hawes and Velma Bunch's obscure Hard Drivers project. The record initially appeared on Hawes' own short-lived imprint, and his since become a sought after 7" amongst serious collectors. "Since I Was A Little Girl" is a disco-era funk gem, with guest singer Vivian Lee providing a brilliantly confident vocal to compliment Hawes and Bunch's driving, horn-heavy backing track. On the flip you'll find original B-side "Straight Talk", a touching torch song full of harmony backing vocals, impassioned builds, and lyrics capable of melting even the stoniest of hearts.
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 in stock $6.16
Cat: AOE 036. Rel: 28 Mar 19
Funk
  1. Beautiful Day (2:52)
  2. Beautiful Day (Drums) (3:00)
Review: Athens Of The North celebrate the longstanding contributions of host, presenter, writer, personality and occasional singer Bernard "Spider" Harrison. Recorded sometime around 1970, and fetching large triple figures between collectors, the feel good bluesy soul cut "Beautiful Day" first landed on Lulu Records and has barely seen the light of day since... Until now. And it's loaded with a never-before-released drum cut. Don't sleep, though. Only 500 of these have been pressed.
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 in stock $10.28
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 $5.13
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 $10.54
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 500 quid, 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 $10.28
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 $5.13
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 $13.63
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 $10.54
Cat: AOTNLP 004. Rel: 24 Sep 15
Soul
  1. Black Fairy Meets Johnny (1:44)
  2. Please Give Me Some Magic (3:09)
  3. Black Fairy Meets Black Bird (0:38)
  4. Tell Them They Are Beautiful (1:52)
  5. Travel To Afrika (instrumental) (1:42)
  6. Black Fairy Meets Queen Mother (0:57)
  7. Afrika's My Home (3:55)
  8. Black Land Of The Nile (2:56)
  9. Trip To America (0:57)
  10. Go Down Moses (3:04)
  11. Did You Feed My Cow (1:30)
  12. The Streets Of Harlem (0:24)
  13. Afrikan Children (3:42)
  14. Black Men Can Be Beautiful (2:04)
  15. Black Fairy (2:31)
  16. Eulogy For Black Fairy (0:23)
  17. Black Fairy Returns (1:48)
  18. Hey Black Child (2:39)
  19. Johnny & Black Fairy (2:37)
Review: Reissued to mark its 40th anniversary, Black Fairy is as unique a document as they get: a jazz funk musical that tells the tale of Africa American history for children. Penned to help alleviate or counter a strong sense of injustice and inequality felt by black children the 70s, the Chicago community group La Mont Zeno Theatre tackle the brutal past - from Egypt to slavery to racial segregation - with clarity and empowerment. Musically it's at once raw and soulful, sitting somewhere between Hathaway and Scott Heron but lyrically the story has never been told like this before or after.
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 in stock $10.28
Cat: ATH 078. Rel: 26 Sep 19
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. You're The Best (4:28)
  2. Train Of Thought (4:29)
Review: Many disco-era modern soul collectors regard, Larom Baker's "You're The Best", which initially appeared in 1978 on an impossible to find, single-sided 7" single, as one of the style's genuine "Holy Grail" records. It's good news, then, that Athens Of The North has secured the rights to reissue it, releasing the full studio version (rather than the shorter edit that was released all those years ago) for the very first time. It's a genuine gem, with Baker's deliciously breezy West Coast soul vocal seemingly floating over a killer backing track rich in hazy horns, bustling slap bass and crunchy Clavinet lines. Turn to the flipside for the more disco-minded "Train Of Thought", one of a string of recently discovered Baker recordings that form the basis of a forthcoming album of previously unreleased tracks.
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 in stock $10.28
Cat: AOTNCD 029. Rel: 06 Feb 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. All In Your Mind
  2. Right On Time
  3. You're The Best (alternate version)
  4. U R The 1
  5. The Ultimate
  6. Sweet Sensation (feat Kia Hamm)
  7. In The Light
  8. Spread My Wings
  9. Love Will Make It Better
  10. Train Of Thought
  11. You're The Best
  12. Somewhere Someone
Played by: Dynamite Cuts
 in stock $9.52
Cat: AOTNLP 029. Rel: 30 Jan 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. It's All In Your Mind (3:18)
  2. Right On Time (4:03)
  3. You're The Best (alternate version) (6:28)
  4. U R The 1 (3:32)
  5. The Ultimate (4:10)
  6. Sweet Sensations (feat Kia Hamm) (4:22)
  7. Love Will Make It Better (3:51)
  8. Spread My Wings (4:35)
  9. Somewhere Someone (5:39)
  10. In The Light (4:20)
Review: Over the years Athens of the North founder Euan Fryer has heard a lot of incredible music, so when he says that La Rombe is the best singer/songwriter he's heard we sit up and take notice. To prove his point, Fryer has trawled through the Philadelphia musician's archive of recordings (it stretches back to 1979) and put together this essential retrospective. There's much to admire throughout, with the assembled cuts mostly mining the overlooked artist's soul, disco and 1980s rhythm and blues work. We'd highlight individual tracks for praise, but such is the quality throughout that naming favourites seems pointless. Take our advice: grab a copy while you can.
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 in stock $20.84
Cat: AOTNLP 032. Rel: 27 Feb 20
Deep House
  1. Es Vedra (6:20)
  2. Marina (5:38)
  3. Pressure (6:51)
  4. Bentley 101 (2:18)
  5. Sa Talaia (5:08)
  6. Neutrino (6:27)
  7. Push It (5:22)
  8. Mysterious Richie (4:42)
Review: Jazzman Greg Foat is a born collaborator. In fact, in the last three years alone he's recorded and released four albums alongside regular studio partner Warren Hampshire. Here he adds another musical accomplice to his bow via a first joint full-length with Firecracker Recordings regular Linkwood (real name Nick Moore). It's a remarkable album, not least because it cleverly combines Moore's intergalactic electronics, deep house-influenced grooves, Balearic dub basslines and wide-eyed ambient motifs with Foat's jazz, jazz-funk and library music inspirations. It's undoubtedly more akin to Moore's output than Foat's, but that's no bad thing. Crucially, it's a superb album and one we'd heartily recommend.
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 in stock $19.29
Cat: AOTNCD 032. Rel: 27 Feb 20
Deep House
  1. Es Vedra
  2. Marina
  3. Pressure
  4. Bentley 101
  5. Sa Talaia
  6. Neutrino
  7. Push It
  8. Mysterious Richie
 in stock $9.78
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 $6.95
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 $10.54
  1. Everyone Needs Somebody (2:47)
  2. Crazy About You Baby (3:05)
Review: Straight out of Kansas via Solo in LA circa late 60s, this rare-as-hens-teeth 45" has passed hands for bionic bundles almost striking four figures in recent times. Now liberated by AOTN sister label Owls Of Athens, its loose soul funk can be felt by everyone. "Everyone Needs Someone" sees Leroy Tucker guide his troupe amid brazen horns and rolling toms. "Crazy About You Baby" flips the tone for a more bluesy ballad led by a more heartfelt Leroy backed by lonely strums and warm organs. Two sides, two stories, AOTN strike gold once again.
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 in stock $5.13
Cat: ATH 073. Rel: 29 Nov 18
Soul
  1. Keep On Dancin (3:34)
  2. You (3:23)
Review: While Luther Davis is undoubtedly best known for his sought-after disco smash "You Can Be A Star", many collectors and deep funk DJs have long insisted that the more obscure "Keep On Dancin" is even better. Thanks to Athens of the North's timely reissue of the latter, you can now decide for yourself. Certainly, it's a ludicrously infectious, full-throttle disco-funk affair whose extreme dancefloor intensity is helped by Davis and company's liberal use of studio effects, psychedelic backing vocals and some serious eyes-closed guitar solos. This reissue comes with B-side bonus soothing slow jam "You", which is a serviceable chunk of deep soul.
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 in stock $10.54
Cat: AOE 034. Rel: 28 Nov 19
Funk
  1. Never Satisfied (3:19)
  2. Did You Ever Lose Something (2:24)
Review: Athens Of The North digs out this red-hot slice of vintage soul funk from Richard Marks, giving you some fodder for your jukebox to get fired up to. "Never Satisfied" is a crunchy, riffing workout that sounds like an over-driven JBs. Flipside "Did You Ever Lose Something" is no slouch either, all bright horn stabs and a sweet rhythm section. In the long and winding history of US soul, the service labels like this offer in picking out the gems for a fresh airing is invaluable - no need to question it, just grab one!
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Played by: Originals
 in stock $10.28
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 $12.08
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 $5.13
  1. James McKenzie - "Lady Is Love" (3:16)
  2. James McKenzie - "Live Again" (4:10)
  3. James McKenzie - "Two Ladies" (3:59)
  4. The McKenzie Brothers - "Hope She Don't Hurt You" (5:06)
  5. James McKenzie - "Wonderful To Be In Love" (3:45)
  6. The McKenzie Brothers - "Felt Her Fire" (4:00)
  7. James McKenzie - "I've Got To Go" (3:37)
  8. James McKenzie - "Birth Is Love" (6:46)
  9. The McKenzie Brothers - "Joni's Little Song" (2:02)
  10. The McKenzie Brothers - "Lonley Girl" (4:00)
  11. The McKenzie Brothers - "Tomorrow Is Your Own" (2:48)
 in stock $18.77
Play With Me (7") (1 per customer)
Cat: ATH 080. Rel: 07 Nov 19
Funk
  1. Play With Me (4:22)
  2. In Action (4:16)
Review: Athens Of The North hitting us with big fat juicy slap bass feels right here as an ultra-rare joint from Miami's Frank Cornelius and Gary King aka Myth comes our way. "Play With Me" comes live and direct from 1985 and you can tell in every direction. The production is fat and roomy and the boogie flavours are off the Scoville scale. Meanwhile on the B we have the duo's first single "In Action". Equally funky, salubrious and widescreen but with a little more vocal action, it's another boogie triumph from the Scottish reissue kings.
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 in stock $10.54
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 $10.54
Relax (limited 7")
Cat: ATH 013. Rel: 27 Mar 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Relax (3:30)
  2. Malandrinha (4:09)
Review: The Brazilian disco and boogie scene of the late '70s and early '80s has been in the spotlight of late, with several labels releasing celebratory compilations of killer material. Here, Athens of the North get in on the act, re-issuing Painel De Controle's relaxed, jazz-funk influenced jam "Relax", a single B-side and album track originally released in 1979. Like many of the greatest Brazilian disco/boogie records of the period, it's loose, lovely and really rather sumptuous, inviting you to dance while offering a saucer-eyed hug with arms outstretched. Flip for the less celebrated, but no less potent, 1978 cut "Malandrinha", a bossa-tinged number that's almost unfeasibly sunny.
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 in stock $10.28
Cat: AOE 035. Rel: 22 Aug 19
Funk
  1. Color Me (2:32)
  2. Misty Shade Of Pink (2:35)
Review: Way back in 1970, People In The News released their sole single on Knap Town, a tiny label based in Indiana. Original copies of that funk "45" are notoriously hard to find, thanks in no small part to the quality of both cuts. Step forward Athens Of The North boss Euan Fryer, who has secured the rights to reissue the single for the first time. A-side "Color Me" is the real bomb: a down-low chunk of mid-tempo funk with politically charged group vocals, rasping guitar licks and hip-hop style drum breaks. Over on side B, "Misty Shade Of Pink" is the kind of rock solid instrumental funk workout you'd expect to hear from the Meters.
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 in stock $7.71
  1. Do You Hear Me Talking To You? (4:04)
  2. Dreaming Our Live Away (3:36)
  3. Lonely People (4:11)
  4. Heavenly Feeling (5:23)
  5. World Full Of People (3:06)
  6. I'd Like To Stay (5:36)
  7. A Feeling Inside (4:54)
  8. A Thank You Song (4:39)
  9. Fantasies & Dreams (4:04)
Review: Some dusty-fingered diggers may be familiar with "World Full Of People", an insanely rare and suitably sought-after 1976 7" by a little-known band called Everyday People. Most thought that was their only release; in fact, they also released a full-length the same year under the People's Pleasure alias. That album is apparently even harder to find, making this first ever vinyl reissue a must-have for fans of quality funk and soul. Much of the material sits somewhere between rubbery funk, jaunty jazz-funk and storming soul, with highlights including the laidback bliss of "Heavenly Feeling" (very Idris Muhammad), the righteous, horn-heavy "World Full of People" and the seductive, synth-laden slow jam "Fantasies and Dreams".
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 in stock $20.84
Cat: ATH 083. Rel: 30 Apr 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Don't Act Like A Fool (4:25)
  2. In Love (3:47)
Review: Athens of the North boss Euan Fryer recently described Premonition as "the best obscure New York boogie act you've never heard of". He'll be releasing an entire album of their rare and unreleased material later in the year, but first he's treating us to a reissue of their best-known moment - impossible-to-find 1986 soulful boogie slammer "Don't Act Like A Fool". The track ticks all the right boxes -rubbery slap bass, mid-80s FM synth sounds, passionate male lead vocal, needless but delicious sax and electric guitar solos etc - and is little less than an overlooked dancefloor heater. On the flip you'll also find original B-side "In Love", which Fryer brilliantly (and accurately) describes as a "mid-tempo floater".
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 in stock $10.28
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 $10.80
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 $10.54
Watchin' Out (limited 7")
Cat: ATH 005. Rel: 20 Mar 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Watchin' Out (3:17)
  2. Dazed (3:44)
Review: More dusty-fingered funk and reissue fun from DJ Fryer's prolific Athens of the North imprint. As usual, these tracks are pretty darn obscure; they both dropped on the Split Decision Band's 1978 debut on the obscure Network Records imprint. "Watchin' Out" is a tight-but-loose chunk of hazy disco-era funk with a sturdy backbeat and particularly rousing horns. It will slip into both funk and disco sets with ease. Flipside "Dazed" is altogether slower, with sparser production emphasizing the quality of the parping, razor-sharp horns. It's a superb alternative to the equally admirable A-side. Another winner from Athens of the North.
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 in stock $10.28
Cat: ATH 057. Rel: 07 Dec 17
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Don't You Know I Love You (part 1) (2:59)
  2. Don't You Know I Love You (part 2) (2:36)
Review: Georgia troupe Star Quake gave the world just one record... And boy is it special. Slick pumping disco funk with focus, momentum and shimmering chimes on the chords as the track climaxes, there's an air of Stevie to the vocals and unashamed funk throughout. So good it comes in two parts, there's a reason original copies of this have passed hands for almost $2000 in the past.
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 in stock $10.80
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