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Athens Of The North

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Well Good (limited 7") (1 per customer)
Cat: AOE 017. Rel: 25 Feb 16
Funk
  1. Well Good (3:30)
  2. Bells (4:07)
Review: Destination Youngstown Ohio, 1973: A young troupe of musicians gain local notoriety through their on-point covers and originals. While they never make it past the local legend status, they did record one 45" on a very limited run... And here it is. "Well Good" is a slinky slab of sizzling Hammond-led funk that builds with the help of some interesting time signature switches and electrified guitar. Think Booker T crossed with Shuggie Otis. "Bells" shows the band's softer side as they lay down some slow burning, soulful harmonic heaven that's made all the more poignant by the fact that the band didn't continue recording. Fittingly, this reissue is highly limited too.
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 in stock $7.18
Cat: ATH 12003. Rel: 26 Jan 17
Funk
  1. Party & Get On Down (Full Length mix) (5:37)
  2. Party & Get On Down (3:51)
Review: Original pressings have been previously spotted passing hands for well over L1000: Big Apple Band's 1976 deep funk classic has been rarer than hen's teeth for most of its 41 year life. Its sought-after status accelerated by Keb Darge for last 15 or so years - that and the fact it's an out-and-out soul-stirring, honey-vocalled, low and slow funk burner - AOTN have finally unleashed it in it full length for all of us. And we should all be eternally grateful.
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 in stock $5.51
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 $11.03
Stop (7")
Cat: ATH 052. Rel: 24 Aug 17
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Stop (3:54)
  2. Doin' It Our Way (3:32)
Review: The Broomfield family troupe - led by Aaron Broomfield - laid down a sweet series of rare groove 45s during the late 70s, this Keb Darge-championed 45" from 79 (originally on Taurus) being one of the most popular. With its high energy, slick keys and sparkling percussion "Stop" sits slap in the middle of disco and boogie while "Doin' It Our Way" hits with much more of a jazz funk feel with bold harmonies hitting hard on the chorus. Previously spotted passing for L400 - it's another expert democratisation by AOTN.
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 in stock $11.03
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 $11.03
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 $7.18
Cat: AOE 029. Rel: 22 Feb 18
Soul
  1. Drown My Heart (2:59)
  2. My Foolish Heart (3:00)
Review: Not to be confused with the sports commentator, David Coleman was behind the scorching boardwalk vocals that graced Hector Rivera's debut 1966 album At The Party. The right levels of swoon and croons over vital Latin orchestration - led by the renowned pianist and regular Tito Puenta collaborator - David exudes some serious emotion. "Drown My Heart" lilts with a soft samba while Coleman scatters powerful heartbreak tales, "My Foolish Heart" takes a much more stripped back rhythmic arrangement with yearning, soaring strings that break out into the full orchestra on the chorus. Both cult attractions on the northern soul and popcorn scenes, it's another hearty reissue from them up north.
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 in stock $11.03
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 $11.03
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 $7.18
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 $7.18
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 $10.76
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 $7.18
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 $10.76
Cat: AOTN 42. Rel: 26 Jan 17
Funk
  1. What You Gonna Do (3:47)
  2. Life Is A Challenge (4:20)
Review: One of 2016's finest funk stories was, without question, when AOTN suddenly dropped this incredible unreleased album by criminally slept-on Jacksonville troupe Fruit. A stunning piece of work, even by Fryer's standards it was a coup-de-grace. Now two of the album's finest, funkiest, sweatiest jams are available on limited 45. Instant floor burners, just like the rest of the album, before the tracks are over you'll feel you and your floor have known them forever.
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 in stock $7.18
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 $7.18
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 $11.03
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 $10.76
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 $11.03
FORTHCOMING
Nightshade
Cat: AOTNCD 018.
Broken Beat/Nu Jazz
  1. Jasmine
  2. Mariposa Lily
  3. Antonio's Theme
  4. Coastal Drive
  5. Lost In Nostalgia
  6. Introduction
  7. Nightshade (Echo Flute & Bowed Bass)
  8. Nightshade (main theme)
  9. Nightshade (Solo Strings & Solo Fender Rhodes)
  10. Nightshade (Pizzicato Strings & Walking Bass)
  11. Nightshade (Multi-Tracked Piano)
  12. Main Theme (reprise)
e-mail me when released
coming soon $9.93
FORTHCOMING
Nightshade
Cat: AOTNLP 018.
Broken Beat/Nu Jazz
  1. Jasmine
  2. Mariposa Lily
  3. Antonio's Theme
  4. Coastal Drive
  5. Lost In Nostalgia
  6. Introduction
  7. Nightshade (Echo Flute & Bowed Bass)
  8. Nightshade (main theme)
  9. Nightshade (Solo Strings & Solo Fender Rhodes)
  10. Nightshade (Pizzicato Strings & Walking Bass)
  11. Nightshade (Multi-Tracked Piano)
  12. Main Theme (reprise)
Played by: Scratchandsniff
e-mail me when released
coming soon $21.25
Cat: AOTNLP 010. Rel: 14 Jun 18
Broken Beat/Nu Jazz
  1. Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand (6:12)
  2. Lullaby (4:49)
  3. The Solar Winds (& Cadenza) (4:15)
  4. A Long Way Home (2:42)
  5. End Song (4:37)
  6. All Washed Up (11:45)
  7. How The Nights Can Fly (7:55)
  8. End Song (reprise) (1:56)
Review: This release marks something of a departure for Athens of the North, a label predominantly known for reissuing ludicrously rare funk and soul sevens. For starters, it's a brand new album, written, performed and produced by jazzman Greg Foat and Warren Hampshire, who's best known for being a member of The Bees. Then there's what it sounds like. While there are nods to the organic, immaculately produced soul of Rotary Connection, for the most part Galaxies Like Grains of Sand is a luscious fusion of hazy, Cinematic Orchestra style jazz, folksy downtempo compositions, and the blissful, head-in-the-clouds bliss of new age influenced ambient. Surprising or not, it's an utterly beguiling album
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 in stock $23.17
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 $5.51
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 $11.03
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 L5000, 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 $11.03
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 $10.76
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 $10.76
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 $19.32
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
$10.76 SAVE 20%
 in stock $8.61
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 $11.03
  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 $11.03
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 $12.42
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 $21.80
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 $11.03
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 $9.66
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 $15.44
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 $5.51
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 $11.03
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 $11.03
Cat: AOTNLP 006. Rel: 05 May 16
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Love & Happiness (8:14)
  2. Get Down (3:32)
  3. Oo Girl (3:44)
  4. Dance With Me (3:30)
  5. Dark Moon (4:59)
  6. Everybody's A Masterpiece (2:31)
  7. Sweet Vibe (3:25)
  8. Party lights (3:08)
  9. Boogie (3:28)
  10. Confusion (4:57)
  11. Pick Up The Apple (4:01)
Review: Following BBE's release the Chicago troupe's Devil Made Me Do It earlier this year, Athens Of The North ensure the criminally over-looked/under-paid band continue to remain in the spotlight with an entire album of unreleased material. Recently excavated from a Chicago warehouse, complete with masters, the songs were written and recorded in the mid '70s not long before the band eventually split. If you know their material, you'll already know how funky the band are. If not, dig deep at the soonest opportunity. From the toxic-levels of cosmic funk on "Boogie" to the dreamier, space ballad "Dark Moon", this is the sound of a super-tight, incredibly talented funk band who really should have been up there with Cymande or Average White Band.
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 in stock $18.22
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 $5.51
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 $7.18
Feeling Good (limited 7") (1 per customer)
Cat: ATH 030. Rel: 25 Feb 16
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Feeling Good (3:43)
  2. Land Of Leaping No No (Ha Ka Cha Ka Ha Ka Cha Ka) (3:14)
Review: Devilishly rare Philly soul funk from 75: Santiago were a Mandrill off-shoot headed up by Neftali Santiago, they only released one official single and it was rumoured to have only been pressed a few thousand times. Which is crazy considering how beautifully funky these originals are: "Feeling Good" lives up to its name with such positivity, harmony and soulful band orchestration (including some of the most beautiful jazz flutes of the era). "Land Of The Leaping No", meanwhile, is a raw carnal funk jam that's as sweet and sweaty as the original pressings are expensive.
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 in stock $5.51
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 $10.76
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 $11.03
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 $11.03
Cat: AOE 027. Rel: 23 Nov 17
Funk
  1. Say Brother (edit) (3:52)
  2. Bustin' Out Of Doors (4:03)
Review: For Athens of the North's latest release, Euan Fryer has turned re-editor. The acclaimed digger has taken a scalpel to his two favourite "DJ sides" from Stark Reality's notoriously heavy catalogue. As he explains on the Athens of the North website, Fryer's version of 1968 single "Say Brother" - a psychedelic pop era funk anthem in some quarters - was inspired by a desire to get rid of the famously freaky ending, which tended to scare rather than inspire dancers. Elsewhere, his tweaks are mostly on the mastering side of things (he's made it noticeably louder without losing any of the original flavour). Over on side B Fryer delivers his snip of warm-up favourite "Busting Out of Doors", lopping off the random ending while allowing the original's trippy instrumentation room to breathe.
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 in stock $11.03
Henry STONE/VARIOUS
Cat: AOTNLP 002CD. Rel: 25 Jun 15
 
Funk
  1. Little Beaver - "Concrete Jungle"
  2. Milton Wright - "The Silence That You Keep" (version 1)
  3. Lynn Williams - "It Takes Two"
  4. Raphael Munnings - "Sleep On, Dream On"
  5. Wildflower - "You Knock Me Out"
  6. Jimmy 'Bo' Horne - "Hey There Jim"
  7. Leno Phillips - "Confusion"
  8. Phillip Wright - "Keep Her Happy"
  9. Willie Johnson - "Lay It On Me"
  10. Johnny K - "I Got Bills To Pay"
  11. Funky Nassau - "Bahama Soul Stew"
  12. Formula 1 - "Walking With My Eyes Closed"
  13. Stevens & Foster - "I Want To Be Love"
  14. Oceanliners - "Cutting Room (Hot Pants)"
  15. Jimmy 'Bo' Horne - "If You Want My Love"
  16. Brand New - "Thousand Years"
  17. T Connection - "Do What You Wanna Do"
  18. Beginning Of The End - "Super Woman"
  19. Robert Moore - "Tears Of The World"
  20. Friday Saturday & Sunday - "There Must Be A Better Way"
Review: Back in the mid 1970s, young engineer Terry 'T.K' Kane and Harry Stone joined forces to launch a studio and record distribution business in Miami. It would spawn a huge number of in-house labels, and even greater number of funk and disco releases, and even a string of million-selling artists. Given this legacy, it's little surprise to see Athens of the North paying tribute to the funk side of Henry Stone's impressive legacy with this superb collection. While there are a few tried-and-tested cuts to be found - see the T Connection and Little Beaver cuts - for the most part The Miami Sound focuses on more obscure - but no less hard-hitting - gems from the likes of Jonny K, Stevens & Foster and Leno Philips.
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Played by: Scratchandsniff
 in stock $5.51
You (7")
Cat: ATH 039. Rel: 24 Nov 16
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. You (4:46)
  2. Space V (4:18)
Review: Christopher Sprains and The Strange Band recorded a whole heap of material in a hazy, drug-fuelled 19178, but their - surprisingly - never gained enough traction with the NYC disco crowd. Perhaps this work was too ahead of its time and, while it does share some qualities with the music of Rick James, it contains something dark, sexy, a little bit twisted and, of course, strange. The lead track "You" is a synth-heavy, electrifying boogie cut with a rugged percussion swing and an air of post-punk to its mix down, not to mention those utterly freaky vocals; our favourite, though, is actually "Space V", an insanely nutty electro cut that would have undoubtedly been on The Electrifying Mojo's playlist should it have landed on his lap. Totally recommended...
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 in stock $8.27
If You Dance Tonight (limited 7")
Cat: ATH 031. Rel: 26 May 16
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. If You Dance Tonight (4:46)
  2. Say Yea (3:49)
Review: Last spotted on AOTN in November 2015, DJ Fryer addresses the final two nuggets in Billy T'Spoon Bruner's short-but-perfectly formed with the final collection of tracks from Billy's own Oil Capital imprint. "If You Dance Tonight" is unashamed boogie fusion with fun lyrics and a slap bass line so rude it will make you blush. "Say Yea" is a classic 80s ballad delivered with Lionel levels of smoothness. A proper end-of-night, grab-your-coat gem. Limited to 500 copies, no represses.
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 in stock $7.18
  1. Satellite-Love (3:22)
  2. Branch-In-Out (3:20)
Review: This dinked 7" marks the debut of new Athens of the North offshoot Ocean of Tears, a label dedicated - in their words - to "deep ballads". In typical fashion, the imprint's first release is thrillingly obscure in origin; so much so, in fact, that original copies are even more rare than rocking horse droppings. "Satellite-Love" was Boston-based psychedelic funk man, Tri-Speed Moog Keytar Synthesizer inventor and one-time Original Black Sheep member Forest Terry's attempt at solo success. It flopped first time round, but is certainly a rare treat - all trippy lo-fi soul vibes, sweet guitars and suitably blazed vocals. There's a more up-tempo feel to flipside "Branchin' Out", which boasts wild guitar solos, Hendrix-esque vocals and bustlin' psych-funk rhythms.
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 in stock $6.35
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