Friday, 5 February 2016

Cream Of The Crop - All Killers No Fillers Vinyl Chart

First chart of the year and I can honestly say every one of these records is a gem. Boogie Funk Techno Soul Ethiopian Disco Broken House type thing.

This times number 1 spot goes to the North West's top funk and soul outfit, Templebys. The 7" comes as a double A Side and includes the soul shaker that is 'Good Fight' and the uptempo funk workout 'Funkaphrenic'. Already getting support by the likes of Craig Charles who featured it on his BBC 6 Music radio show in his 'What's Big' in 2016 tips list.

At number 2 we have a reissue of Brenda Harris' out and out disco dancefloor bomb from 1978, 'Making Love Will Keep You Fit'. An 11 and a half minute epic of funk licks, throbbing bass and wonderful horns that is available in both black and blue vinyl.

Number 3 goes to Connie Cases's Miami funk chugger 'Get Down'. Originally released in 1982, the remastered Electro Disco vibe fits in perfectly with the newer stuff I play, whilst 'Flowing Inside' on the flip has a nice Balearic vibe.

Apron Records new signing Shamos snaps up the number 4 slot. It's the deep and twisted groove of 'Training Day' that is doing it most for me, but also check 'Ode To Lynch' and the acid based 'Cranbourne Road' for another couple of winners.

The Melbourne-based Chicagoan Casey Rice aka Designer and Four Tet team up to steal 5th with the edgy arpeggio led 'Mothers' keeping it fresh for the slo-mo deep house and techno crew - this is where experimental electronica meets clubland. Meanwhile B Side track 'Dark' does what it says on the tin whilst piling on the funk to deliver a breakbeat laiden bass track that is as fresh as they come.

And that's just the Top 5. Start the player or follow the links to listen to this month's Top 30 picks.

my link to juno records

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Dig Deep On Cowbell Radio #29 with Phil Austin (aka Left For Love)

This month we get underway by introducing an up and coming DJ and pure music head from the North West UK.

A sucker for a good re-edit or rework of classic Soul, Funk, Disco and occasionally House tunes; a decent groove and a pulsing bassline are a must for Phil Austin (aka Left for Love).

His DJ sets are a heady fusion of classic and modern dance tunes with a strong leaning towards the soulful and funky. The emphasis is always on the dance floor with pulsating basslines, killer keys, rasping horns and soaring vocals, all lovingly laid over a foot shuffling back beat.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Dig Deep Mix Series - #2 Mark Grusane

Over the years, whilst doing the Dig Deep Radio Show, I have been lucky enough to feature some fantastic and often exclusive mini-mixes from some of the world's most respected DJs and selectors.

Presenting 3 hours a month of radio is great fun, but sometimes you just want the music straight up. That's where the new Dig Deep Mix Series comes in - pure undiluted music from a different guest DJ each time. For DDMS#2 I am honoured to present a mix from seasoned crate digger Mark Grusane...

The more I learn about Mark Grusane's history the more I realise how much I don't know. It turns out, what I did know is only the tip of the iceberg.

A pioneer of underground disco and boogie, in his time running the legendary Mr. Peabody's record shop in Chicago, Mark probably handled and heard every disco record that was ever produced in the USA. Knowledge he put to good use when compiling the Night Drive Vol.1 A Journey Into EP and the Real Sound Of Chicago LPs for BBE Records.

Delve a bit deeper into his history and his understated love of digging for and cutting modern soul bangers onto vinyl becomes ever more self-evident. Over the last 10 years Mark has released tracks on Canadian disco re-edit labels Truth Is Light and Spacedust , put out 3 EPs on CG Records Inc, and a deep houser on Amsterdam's Rush Hour.

A European tour starts in February 2016 and is followed by a 7" on Sounds Familiar. MGM Edits Vol 2 (Spacedust) and MGMV001 (Mark Grusane Music) are out in Spring.

February's Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio will feature a 2nd exclusive mix from Mark Grusane. That show will be broadcast on 20th February 2016.

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Monday, 30 November 2015

Cream Of The Crop - With 10% Off! Vinyl Chart

For Cyber Monday Juno Records have 10% off all new releases for 1 day only. The offer applies to everything released after October 1st 2015.

Start the player or follow the links to check out my top 30 recommendations. Use the code JUNOXMAS at checkout before 12 midnight to get your discount.

my link to juno records

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio #28 with Robert Tomlinson (Jelly Roll Soul)

For the last show of the year I am pleased to welcome Scottish based DJ, Club Promoter and Record Label owner Robert Tomlinson to Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio.

A time served DJ, Robert has been spinning since the 90's and is one third of the Stirling based Jelly Roll Soul club night. The close-knit crew have had the likes of Jay Daniel, Fred P, House Of Traps, Aiden D'Araujo, and Space Dimension Controller up in the headline spot. Plus Kyle Hall and Funkineven made their Scottish debuts there.

Not ones to shrink back from sharing their love of the music, the trio are about to launch their own record label - more on that in the interview below.

Possibly sometimes true to life, Robert's exclusive mix comes hot on the heels of his big brother's Dig Deep session, albeit with his own distinct style in tow. With a mix that effortlessly captures the true underground sound of Detroit and Chicago, it's fair to say listeners can expect a super smooth ride through a landscape of beautiful Deep House. Vibe wise think Larry Heard, Ron Trent and Kai Alce rolled up with tonnes of soul.

Simply put, Robert plays the kind of House music that makes you feel fine with a capital F.

Q&A with Robert Tomlinson:

How long have been buying vinyl?
Since I was about 8 years old and my brother got me into the Sex Pistols. I went and bought 'Never Mind the Bollocks' with my pocket money. After my punk phase I got into De La Soul, NWA, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and everything in between - so I was always buying records. I got into buying records seriously around 1994, going to record shops whenever I had money.

Are you a selector or a collector?
I wouldn't buy a record I wouldn't play, but saying that I quite like to collect everything on certain labels, and we all like a nice record sleeve don't we?

Lnrdcroy - Terragem (Unthank)
Lnrdcroy - Terragem (Unthank)

When did you get into DJing and why?
I got my first set of turntables in 1995. I'd always had an interest since hearing 'Tin Pan Alley' mix-tapes around 1990 (Tin Pan Alley was a night club in Glasgow) and various House/Techno mixes when I was younger. I wanted to find out more about it. Records came first though, then my brother Colin got a set of decks in about 93, so I'd go down to his and mix very badly!!

Who and what are your influences?
Where do I start... Record shop wise Rub A Dub Glasgow (everyone who works in there) have been a big influence and they have also helped with our label. I even met my wife there! 23rd Precinct when it was still mainly about DJ Billy Woods, and Underground Solu'shn and all the Firecracker mob in Edinburgh. Not forgetting a shop in my home town of Stirling that was around between 1994-1997 I think. Fourth World it was called, run by Stewart who switched me on to loads of Techno/House future classics. There is also Europa in Stirling which is a bit of an Aladdin's cave for second hand records, and it's always good to unearth a gem whenever I get the chance.

DJ wise seeing Joey Beltram at a rave in 1992, Derrick Carter many years ago, Kenny Dixon Jr playing all night in the now gone Arches, also 3 Chairs, seeing Theo [Parrish] play up here, and a couple of trips to Plastic People. Fudge Fingas is always on point, Laurence Hughes, PVK and our Jamie Alexander, and my bro Colin, too many to mention.

Labels - Relief back in the early 90's was a big one for me. KDJ, Cajual and UR. These days Downbeat, Rhythm Section, Firecracker, 22a, Must Have, Get The Balance Right, Perpetual Rhythms, Lnrdcroy, The Nuclear Family, Dixon Avenue, and ALL CAPS. Nu Guinea is also making great tracks, and The Mystic Jungle Tribe, Henry Wu....

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Cream Of The Crop - Short Days And Dark Nights Vinyl Chart

As the days get shorter and the dark nights get longer I find myself drawn to the deeper more electronic end of things. Gone is the vibrancy of summer, it's time for some heads down music...

The Number 1 spot goes to Part 3 of the new Vibes LP from Future Times. Shanti Celeste's 'Strung Up' is a lovely slice of future boogie dripping with the sound of Detroit. C'est Life (aka Jack J) rounds off the 5 tracker with 'New Years Eve 2013' and fans of his recent EPs on Mood Hut will immediately spot his distinctive style.

Floating Points snaps up Number 2 with his highly anticipated 'Elaenia' Album. And it is a proper LP too, none of this 8 bangers and we're out of here business... Whilst 'Nespole' is my personal favourite and 'For Marmish' and 'Peroration Six' stand out, the 7 tracks are intended to be listened to in full and uninterrupted. It's been a long time since I looked forward to listening to an album as much as I did with this one.

Number 3 goes to Amsterdam based don Mr Mendel for his 2nd EP on Basic Fingers. The 3 tasty slices of Disco and a Brazilian cut show why he is currently one of the world's most in demand DJs. I've been waiting to get my hands on 'Looking For A Girl' since he dropped in his mix for Dig Deep Mix back in April last year - and more than a year later Mr Mendel's edit of Little Beaver - 'Listen To My Heartbeat' still sounds great!

Levon Vincent steals 4th as he takes us into darker territory with a two tracker on Novel Sound.  On the A Side we get the deep Techno funk of 'The Fear'. The track was featured on his Fabric mix CD back in April 2012 and fans have been waiting for it to get a vinyl release ever since.  Levon has teamed up with Marcel Dettmann on the B Side for a more upbeat affair of synths and bleeps to deliver a sure fire floor worker. Released on both Pink Vinyl and regular Black, the coloured vinyl sold out in a matter of hours...

At Number 5 LNRDCROY delivers two almost ambient tracks. Both 'Freedom For Antboy II' and 'Donny On The River' are delicious pieces of string laiden chillage to ease your mind to. Whilst 'Terragem' on the B Side is one of those lovely bubbling acid House numbers that is the aural equivalent of getting into a warm bath.

And that's just the Top 5. Start the player or follow the links for the full Top 30.

my link to juno records

Friday, 6 November 2015

Dig Deep Recommends: From Hell With Love LP (LumberJacks In Hell)

The Lumberjacks are back with another essential slice of House and Disco to celebrate 5 years of the label. The first pressing of the From Hell With Love LP sold out in a matter of days. But fear not, the label appears to have duly repressed one of the year's most anticipated albums for the snoozers that missed it a few weeks ago - little known factoid, the first press printed "upside" down, which was rectified on the 2nd pressing.

Featuring a new cast of producers alongside regular jackers Marcel Vogel and Boogie Nite, the 8 tracks will no doubt keep the groovers out there happy for a long time to come. We say Future Classic!

Italy's Giovanni Damico gets things under way with 'The Break Down'. Making good use of the Trouble In The Streets vocal sample that we have heard used by the likes of Neko Neko, Vermelho and Cottam, Damico's track is all about warm basslines, synths and the funk.

Label head Marcel Vogel continues the funk with the slap bass led 'Come On'. Mixed by Bobby Van Putten and with Tim Jules on keys, you can really hear Marcel's experience coming through on the production front as the track twists, turns and drops in all the right places.

Next up Borrowed Identity's 'Queens Bridge' lifts a few samples from 'The Night the Lights Went Out' by The Trammps to deliver an almost Motor City Drum Ensemble styled House bumper. I'm a big fan of the German born producer, and fans of the mid 90's House sound should definitely check this track out.

I was lucky enough to hear a promo of Boogie Nite's 'Funk Dr Boogie' last year when he sent over a file of teasers of his new work. So it's great to be able to finally get this played out and about. Crunchy drums, speaker throbbing bass and a sprinkling of keyboard action is the order of the day. It's space-moog-funk Disco for the early hours from the loveable Chicago based digger.

Amsterdam's Tim Jules gets the 2nd vinyl underway with a track of his own that really shows off his keyboard skills. Slap bass and deep funk licks draw you into the groove and I can see this sounding ace on a loud PA.

Every track is a winner for me, but it's Hoshina Anniversary's 'Duke' that really took me aback when I first heard the sound clips. A lovely piano line, slamming drums and a proper low end give this a nice Chicago feel. That said, the keys sound like they could have been lifted straight from a Soil and Pimp Sessions track, so it comes as no surprise to learn that Hoshina is actually based in Tokyo.

The last two tracks come from producers in the UK. Mahogani Music's Dan Shake drops a proper loopy little gem in the guise of 'To The Love'. I might be wrong on this but to me the bassline sounds very similar to the one on Halloween's 'Come See What It's All About'. Uninformed speculation aside, the track is the kind of Disco flavoured House music that is massively popular again at the moment - but for me it never really went away.

Last but by no means least comes 'Banna Bread' by FYI Chris. It's a super sweet vocal cut, with keys that feel like you're getting into a warm bath whilst his trademark scattered drums and percussion bubble underneath. I'd say this is The one for the Deep House crew that likes to keep it fresh.

So there we go, a modern piece of dancefloor soul without a filler in sight.  Grab it now for £15.99 or be prepared to pay a lot more for it on Discogs if you sleep on it (again)...

What the label says: 
"Marcel Vogel has decided to celebrate the first five years of his edit-heavy Lumberjacks In Hell imprint in the only way he knows how: by putting together a sumptuous double-pack stuffed with fresh new material. In keeping with the way the label has developed in recent times, the eight tracks blend the boundaries between original productions, illicit remixes and straight re-edits.

There's a celebratory, life-affirming feel throughout, from the rubbery bass, D-Train synths and rolling house grooves of Giovanni Damico's 'The Break Down', to the bluesy deep house brilliance of Borrowed Identity's 'Queens Bridge'. Highlights are plentiful elsewhere, too, from the hustlin' electrofunk-meets-disco of Vogel's own 'Come On', to the killer synth solos and fuzzy bits of Tim Jules' thrilling 'Slap Beat'."

Check the full tracks on the Dig Deep Youtube Channel.

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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio #27 with Colin Tomlinson (Jelly Roll Soul / SSW / Magic Sun)

After kicking off the new Dig Deep Mix Series this week with a lovely House set from Colin Tomlinson, this Saturday we officially welcome the Scottish based DJ to Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio.

Colin is a regular at The Scottish Soulful Weekender, has played at Magic Sun Festival, and is associated with the Jelly Roll Soul club night.

He's dropped an exclusive 1 hour long Disco mix on us that is going to make your heart melt from the very first tune. It's one for the dancers, the lovers of soul music and the heads that dig for the roots of House.

Colin's mix was recorded on one of those great sounding E&S DJR 400 Rotary Mixers that was conceived by Jerôme Barbé & DJ Deep, so the music has plenty of warmth and we get some of those trademark bass drops which gives the set that real US DJ style feel.

With selections covering both the rarities and the classics, his influences clearly come from the modern day underground disco pioneers that continue to introduce the world to Disco's rich history.

Q&A with Colin Tomlinson:

How long have been buying vinyl?
I have been buying Vinyl for around 23 years. I started in the 90’s.

Are you a selector or a collector?
I would say I'm a collector but I try to be a selector.

When did you get into DJing and why?
I got into DJing in the early 90's, loving both the music and mixing.

Who and what are your influences?
Derrick carter was one of the first DJs that I loved. My style has changed over the years and my influences now are the likes of DJ Izrail, Sadar Bahar, and Mark Grusane.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Dig Deep Mix Series - #1 Colin Tomlinson

Over the years, whilst doing the Dig Deep Radio Show, I have been lucky enough to feature some fantastic and often exclusive mini-mixes from some of the world's most respected DJs and selectors. I hope to continue with that approach for a long time to come...

Presenting 3 hours a month of radio is great fun, but sometimes you just want the music right? That's where the new Dig Deep Mix Series comes in - pure undiluted music from a different guest DJ each time.

For DDMS#1 I am delighted to share a special mix by Scotland based DJ Colin Tomlinson. He's a regular at The Scottish Soulful Weekender, has played at Magic Sun Festival, and is associated with the Jelly Roll Soul club night.

With the promise of a Disco set for his debut mix on this month's show, he has also put together this incredible House mix that I thought was far too good to let go by the wayside.

If this tickles your fancy, be sure to check Colin's Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio mix this Saturday (17/10/15).

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Digital Desires - September 2015 Download Chart

My recommended Downloads covering the digital releases from the last couple of months. Brand new to retro, live and electronic, sometimes both...

This time around the #1 spot goes to the forthcoming download of Kai Alce's Take A Chance, which includes mixes from Larry Heard / Mr Fingers. Head straight for the Ambient Acid Dub for some highly quality House Music. Originally released in August on 2 x 12"s, the vinyl is all but sold out.

Jack J's sought after two tracker on Future Times lands at #2 - Atmosphere is the one for me. The vinyl is as rare as hen's teeth, so it's nice to see it's available digitally too.

The bliss continues at #3 with Huerco S's Transit V (See See Rider) on Anthony Naples' Proibito label providing some proper head music. Detroit vibes a plenty, this track reminds me of early Kenny Larkin.

Henry Wu steals 4th with his killer bass meets house track that is 'Croydon Debut'. At #5 we have Noema's fusion of afrovibes and techy-ish house which comes with a remix from Highlife Edits main bod Auntie Flo. I prefer the original mix though....

So that's the Top 5 but there are another 25 releases to go at! Grab a brew, click the player below and dig in.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Cream Of The Crop - Party Favours September Vinyl Chart

Too many good records out at the moment. Have a listen to these bad boys. House Disco Techno Funk Afro Balearic MPC Electro Soul Boogie Type Business. ‪

Start the player or follow the links for the full Top 30.

my link to juno records

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio #26 with Love Drop (Disco Deviance)

This month we continue the series on Cowbell Radio with another very special guest, as we welcome Brighton based Producer Love Drop to the Dig Deep Family.

Fresh from releasing his debut 12" on the mighty Disco Deviance label, his takes on Lenny Williams and Maynard Ferguson landed high in all the right charts and are all but sold out in the shops. DJ support has come from Laurent Garnier, Crazy P, Chris Duckenfield, Pete Herbert, Tensnake, Hot Toddy, Neil Diablo, Dicky Trisco and Jacques Renault to name a few; and he is already being compared to the likes of Rahaan and Frank Booker by the disco dons at Piccadilly Records.

A while back I featured Love Drop as 'Dig Deep Producer Of The Month' so it's an honour to be able to broadcast this rare and exclusive hour long recording of the man in the mix. In addition I will be putting together a raft of house, disco, funk, soul, afrobeat, techno and everything in between, plus we will have the Global Gig Guide towards the end of the show.

Q&A with Love Drop:

How long have been producing music for and how did you get into it? 
I started making music about twelve years ago because I wanted to make a career of it. However then my girlfriend got pregnant and I had to change that plan and get a proper job. I didn’t think about it again until two years ago and took it up again as a hobby.

Who and what are your influences? 
Too many influences to mention, but Norman Jay, Gilles Peterson and Joey Negro spring to mind.

Your vinyl debut has been riding high in the right kind of charts, how did the signing to Disco Deviance come about? 
I‘ve been messing about with re-editing for a couple of years just as a hobby but wasn’t taking it seriously. My friend Ben from Situation really liked what I was doing and and sent some edits to Disco Deviance for me, so I’ve got to him to thank.

I get the impression you are more of producer but you have put together a cracking mix for us, how often do you DJ out and where? 
Before I had a family I used to DJ out around Brighton quite a lot but that stopped when I had a family. It’s just one gig a year now, on the London Soul Cruise Boat Party every December, which I love. I am hoping to start DJing a bit more in the future though, maybe twice a year!

Do you buy vinyl or is it all digital?  
Before kids I was buying vinyl all the time but had to stop that for financial reasons. Since then it’s just been digital, mainly old tunes.

I have played a few of your edits on the show, what can we expect next? 
I don’t have a lot of time so there’s not much in the pipeline as tunes take a long time to finish, but there are a couple of tracks which are ready that I am hoping will get a vinyl release soon, plus I did a remix for Situation which should be out even sooner.

Where can people check you out online?
Currently my only online presence is my soundcloud page where there’s quite a few free downloads.

Dig Deep On Cowbell Radio
with Love Drop (Disco Deviance)
Saturday 16th August 2015

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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Dig Deep Recommends: Unknown - Dream Visions / Dream Version

All we really know is this is a hot 12" on a new label called Loonie Bin,  purportedly coming out of Canada. The rumor mill is already working up some steam with esteemed Deep House DJs speculating about who it might be... is it the Mood Hut crew or someone else?

Either way it's a double header of the kind of deepness I love.  Dream Visions weighs in at 15 minutes long. It has that cut up styled techno vibe that Detroit Swindle do so well, has relentless drums, low end bass and drops in all the right places.

On the flipside the shorter and slightly straighter Dream Version will please the Deep House Heads no end. It's got that old school Chicago swagger akin to the likes of Mr Fingers and the bassline instantly made me think of Secret Value by Linkwood on Shevchenko.

All allegedly based on an organ sample from Peech Boys 'Dont Make Me Wait', there is a time and a place for both mixes and there is a good chance this is going to be one of those sought after records that goes for a daft price in the future.

Grab it now for £7.99 or be prepared to pay more for it on Discogs if you sleep on it...

Available from:

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Monday, 3 August 2015

Cream Of The Crop - Hotter Than July Vinyl Chart

This month's vinyl chart packed full of essential new releases. Kai Alce retains his Number 1 position from last month with the Dubs of his Take A Chance 12" on NDATL. The pink marbled vinyl comes complete with versions from Larry Heard AKA Mr Fingers.

Number 2 goes to Dan Curtain's deep techno chugger Deserted Station from the Melodymathics 10". We return to the NDATL camp for Number 3 - this year's Special Edition 12" continues the quality with 4 cuts. Check Stefan Ringer's Fleek for some squidgy acid house.

Sofrito snatch up the Number 4 spot with an lovely slice of afro flavoured business. If Bazare D Pablo's Nassima doesn't make your neck move you may be lacking in soul...

Funk and Soul heads head straight for the 7" at Number 5. Anthem Of The North do it again with Walking With My Eyes Closed from Formula 1. Unearthed by Ian Wright, the original pressing has been known to go for $1000. Plus let's not forget the killer on the flipside.

If you like your Deep House with vocals, check the full release of Kai Alce's Take A Chance at Number 5. My rule of thumb with NDATL is buy on sight.

Razor-N-Tape's latest addition to their excellent catalogue is the much hyped Hot & Bothered EP from Junktion. Definitely one for the Nu Disco Maffia, and it comes on transparent green vinyl which is always nice.

The debut from Love Drop Edits on Disco Deviance makes a rare re-entry at Number 8. Personal favourite is The Buzz but it seems anything this guy touches turns to gold. Check Love Drop Edits in the mix on this month's Dig Deep Radio Show.

Number 9 goes to Deetron for his slamming The Believer track. A Big Room killer if ever I heard one. Meanwhile Obas Nenor's cut up of Gil Scott-Heron's Home Is Where The Hatred Is on Mahogani rounds off the Top 10 in style. Already sold out in the shops, but head to Discogs or Vinyl Exchange if you want a copy at a fair price.

And that's just the Top 10. There are another 20 more gems to go at. Start the player or follow the links for the full Top 30.

my link to juno records

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio #25 with Paul Thornton (Itch / Dig Deep)

This month we continue to bring you all that's good in the world of music. No special guest this time around, so you can expect 3 hours of hand selected gems covering old school jazz to new school techno and everything in between...

We start out with the newer disco and house stuff before digging deep in the funk & soul crates and rounding things off with a section of chilled beauties.

Dig Deep On Cowbell Radio
with Paul Thornton (Itch / Dig Deep)
Saturday 18th July 2015