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DIGI: Menagerie – Evolution

DIGI: Menagerie – Evolution

Lance Ferguson must surely qualify as a polymath, his varied musical skills & abilities reach across genres multiple projects. The Bamboos, Cookin’ On 3 Burners, Lanu, Black Feeling are just some of the projects he has brought to the publics’ ears, not forgetting of course his record producing, DJ-ing, radio presenting, songwriting and highly admired guitar playing.

The first incarnation of Lances’ Menagerie project ‘They Shall Inherit’ saw the light of day in 2012 (Tru Thoughts Recordings) and established the simple fact that jazz of the contemporary type could reach back to it’s essential roots and present itself, refreshed and vital for a contemporary audience. As Lance himself explains;

‘The Arrow Of Time’ draws its inspiration conceptually from the themes of space exploration, human evolution and the future of humankind. It’s all pretty big stuff to be underpinning an album of modal Jazz tunes – but the main message is one of hope, and I hope that message and feeling comes across in the music. The post-Coltrane generation of musicians going into the 1970’s and the sound of record labels like Strata East, Tribe and Black Jazz has been a massive influence on the music I write for Menagerie. To me that sound is timeless, exciting and just as vibrant as a musical format in 2017 – and the proof is that we’re hearing more and more young musicians embracing it. ‘The Freedom Principle’ by definition has no limits and no use-by date

2018 will see ‘The Arrow of Time’, the second installment of the venture released on Freestyle Records – the UK label rapidly establishing itself as a major force in today’s jazz and related musics, being the home also for Courtney Pine, Jessica Lauren, and keyboard legend Brian Auger.

As a scintillating taster for the full length album – this 2 track sampler provides an exciting glimpse of the full project – Evolution features Lances’ spoken word lyrics as voiced by Fallon Williams over a simply beautiful ensemble piece and The Arrow Of Time allows the collectives various enviously gifted soloists space to stretch out.

ALBUM: Brian Auger – Back to the Beginning …Again: The Brian Auger Anthology, Vol. 2

ALBUM: Brian Auger – Back to the Beginning …Again: The Brian Auger Anthology, Vol. 2

Brian Auger, the London born keyboard genius & musical pioneer, lauded and loved by everybody from Herbie Hancock to Mose Allison, from the Brand New Heavies to The Beastie Boys, whose tracks have been sampled by Mos Def, Common, Air and Kid Loco, and his original compositions covered by Sarah Vaughan, Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes and he is the proud recipient of a US Congressional Award For Services to Jazz!

Since the 2015 release of volume one of Back To The Beginning – The Brian Auger Anthology, it’s fair to say that a whole new audience of fans and taste makers have joined the massed ranks of music lovers who were already aware of this great mans incredible, pioneering music and career that now spans over 50 years. After more sell out tours of the US, UK and Europe in the last 12 months, magazine features and an epic, 2 hour interview with Gilles Peterson on BBC 6 Music – more people than ever now grasp what a genre busting, pioneering artist Brian is.

This second volume brings together not only remastered classics from Brian’s’ career, but also super rare, and previously unreleased tracks. Check out his blistering jazz piano tracks from the early 60’s including Poinciana and Work Song, the barely known, late 60’s Hammond organ & big band versions of jazz standards Moanin’, Sister Sadie, and the incredibly gritty version by The Trinity of Jimmy McGriffs’ MG Blues, and the Big John Patton penned Funky Mama! The version of Miles Davis’ All Blues featuring Trinity vocalist Julie Driscoll needs to be heard to be believed.

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As well as Oblivion Express perennials such as Straight Ahead, Inner City Blues and Happiness Is Just Around The Bend (Brians original composition, made famous by Cuba Gooding Seniors The Main Ingredient) there is also a demo version of Black Octopus, featuring The Headhunters Mike Clark & Paul Jackson, recorded in Brians’ Bay Area garage after Herbie Hancock split that equally groundbreaking group.

You will also be swept away by Ella, the rare track Brian wrote and dedicated to his wife of nearly 50 years – and you will no doubt be up on your feet when checking out brand new, previously unreleased live versions of Whenever You’re Ready and Freedom Jazz Dance, featuring original Oblivion Express vocalist Alex Ligertwood – recorded on 2015’s epic and triumphant European tour and released here for the very first time.

Back To The Beginning..Again is a fantastic collection that demonstrates why Brian Auger is considered legendary.

ALBUM: Kylie Auldist – Family Tree

ALBUM: Kylie Auldist – Family Tree

Australian vocalist extraordinaire Kylie Auldist will be no stranger to soul & funk fans, her searing soul singing having featured on her own albums ‘Made Of Stone’ ,’Still Life’ (Tru Thoughts) also in The Bamboos, as well as Freestyle Records own Cookin’ On 3 Burners.

Her unmistakable voice is currently topping the pop charts across Europe, as the Kungs remix of Cookin’ On 3 Burners ‘This Girl’ has proven a sure fire hit with club audiences as well as pop fans. It has been playlisted on BBC Radio 1 and Capital FM, and has been Number 2 in the Official UK Chart for weeks!

For her first solo album on Freestyle, Kylie, assisted by long time friends & collaborators Lance Ferguson (The Bamboos/Lanu/CO3B/Black Feeling) and Graeme Pogson (of Aussie electronic duo GL) have honed and perfected a collection of amazing new boogie, disco & electro-funk inspired tracks that evoke the feel and sound of late 70’s & early 80’s club classics. Think of classic acts like D Train, Sinnamon, and singers like Chaka Khan, Maxine Singelton, Sharon Redd and you will already start to understand where this new project is rooted.

Waste Of Time, a shimmering, soulful and devilishly catchy mid tempo groover. Graeme Pogsons’synthesizer bass lines are so evocative of that era , they act like a musical time machine! This is perfect summer time soul.

Sensational (which has a fantastic video to accompany it) hits a little harder, the beats, bass line and Kylie’s vocals will drive you onto the dance-floor and stay there until the very last note and begging for more. Good Time Girl doesn’t let the pressure drop for a second and also features a fantastic proto-rap contribution from King Merc – whilst Family Tree is pure Saturday night, feel good disco aimed at the ears and dancing feet.

Look Away takes the tempo down to a mellow mildly introspective place, but the heavy groove still underpins some totally fantastic vocals from Kylie, who surely must now be reconsidered as one of the most soulful singers active today.

12: Kylie Auldist – Waste of Time

12: Kylie Auldist – Waste of Time

Australian vocalist extraordinaire Kylie Auldist will be no stranger to soul & funk fans, her searing soul singing having featured on her own albums ‘Made Of Stone’ ,’Still Life’ (Tru Thoughts) also in The Bamboos, as well as Freestyle Records own Cookin’ On 3 Burners.

Her unmistakable voice is currently topping the pop charts across Europe, as the Kungs remix of Cookin’ On 3 Burners ‘This Girl’ has proven a sure fire hit with club audiences as well as pop fans. It has been playlisted on BBC Radio 1 and Capital FM, and is now a Top 10 hit in the Official UK Chart.

For her first solo album on Freestyle, Kylie, assisted by long time friends & collaborators Lance Ferguson (The Bamboos/Lanu/CO3B/Black Feeling) and Graeme Pogson (of Aussie electronic duo GL) have honed and perfected a collection of amazing new boogie, disco & electro-funk inspired tracks that evoke the feel and sound of late 70’s & early 80’s club classics. Think of classic acts like D Train, Sinnamon, and singers like Chaka Khan, Maxine Singelton, Sharon Redd and you will already start to understand where this new project is rooted.

Kicking off this authentically disco style 5 track, 12 inch single and download single is Waste Of Time, a shimmering, soulful and devilishly catchy mid tempo groover. Graeme Pogsons’ synthesizer bass lines are so evocative of that era , they act like a musical time machine! This is perfect summer time soul.

Sensational (which has a sensational video to accompany it) hits a little harder, the beats, bass line and Kylie’s vocals will drive you onto the dance-floor and stay there until the very last note and begging for more. Good Time Girl doesn’t let the pressure drop for a second and also features a fantastic proto-rap contribution from King Merc – whilst Family Tree (the title track from the forthcoming album) is pure Saturday night, feel good disco aimed at the ears and dancing feet.

The last track Rewards is yet another supremely insistent and catchy song that provides a tantalising hint of the goodies to come when Family Tree finally sees release later this year…can you wait?

DIGI: Omar I Want It to Be

DIGI: Omar I Want It to Be

After a career spanning 32 years, what more can be said about Omar that hasn’t been said before? Undeniably, Omar Lye-Fooks’ totally unique, individual style and sound still marks him out as a future thinking and utterly unrivaled artist, who has collaborated with so many legendary names that it would be foolish to deny his worldwide reputation – who would dare contradict the likes of Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Carleen Anderson, Angie Stone, Common and fellow fans and followers like Maxwell and Jarrod Lawson?

Following on from 2013’s album The Man, 2016 will see his new long player Love In Beats further cement his undeniable reputation – and as a teaser for that, Freestyle Records is proud to present this brand new 4 track EP, I Want It To Be. The title track is a vibrant, syncopated groove, with one of Omar’s trademark, devastatingly catchy melodies riding on top, this is sunshine music made for the summer time. His vocal harmony skills are particularly to fore here… as we have all come to expect.

Destiny features guest vocalist Guadelope born singer Jean-Michele Rotin : I met Jean Michele on a trip to Guadeloupe and we were singing with musicians from the island and it created such a vibe we went studio and this is the result, a nice piece of Zouk mixed with soul, ‘Zouk n’ B’ if you will!. Further proof, if any were needed, that Omars’ ears are always open, and more then happy to bring lesser known artists into the spotlight that he creates with everything he does.

Sissy Pa Sissy is a brilliant & minimal, leftfield rhythm heavy number, featuring interlocking beats that will make feet stomp and heads nod whilst a solo trumpet adds some jazz feel into the mix. And the curious Sissy Pa Sissy title?, Omars explains: It’s just the name ‘Sissy Pa’ from the rhythm singing to that beat!

To round off this collection – Scratch Professer, Omars Grammy winning brother and co-producer delivers one of his trademark retwists on I Want It To Be – cut up beats, vocal samples and his utterly unique production skills take this version is a very different direction – and it is also totally exclusive to this single.

As a taster for the forthcoming Love In Beats album – this collection should create excitement worldwide, the styles and sounds are varied – but all have Omars’ unique fingerprint on them, style and substance beautifully merged!

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DIGI: This Girl Special Edition – Cookin’ On 3 Burners ft Kylie Auldist

DIGI: This Girl Special Edition – Cookin’ On 3 Burners ft Kylie Auldist

DJ/producer Kungs remix of This Girl has rocketed up the pop & dance charts right across Europe including over a month as the Official #1 in France, has just entered the Official UK Top 10, is on the BBC Radio 1 and Capital FM Playlists and also reverberated around stadiums on David Guettas’ recent tour which feature Kungs as his support act.

The original version of Cookin’ On 3 Burners ‘This Girl was released back in 2009 – and became one of the best loved retro soul hits of the last decade. Taken from the band’s album Soul Messin’, the track went onto cross over massively on the contemporary Northern and Modern Soul scenes – becoming a huge favourite around the world – from Japanese funk clubs to legendary events like The Southport Soul Weekender. Copies of the vinyl 45 began to change hands for serious amounts of money online, and each subsequent repress sold out so quickly Freestyle Records couldn’t keep them on the shelves!

Kylie Auldists’ simply stunning performance is just one factor in this songs amazing appeal, riding on top of the bands mellow, beautiful playing on this incredibly catchy song. You can watch a live performance video of the song HERE

Freestyle have decided to re-release this classic track, coupled with the previously unheard instrumental and acapella versions, which may well bring even more people under the spell of this magical piece of music!

7: Souls Come Alive (Sampler)

7: Souls Come Alive (Sampler)

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Australia’s Deep Street Soul, since signing to Freestyle Records in 2008, have earned a reputation as being right at the grittiest end of the hard funk scene who made a big impact from the outset – with even the MC5’s Wayne Kramer saying that their version of Kick Out The Jams … is the greatest version of the song ever recorded!.

From their debut self titled instrumental long player, to the 2011 follow up ‘Look Out, Watch Out’ (and the addition of vocalist mighty May Johnston) this band have delivered two extremely tough and uncompromising slabs of raw funk & soul.

2016 sees the band return with this two track teaser taken from the new album ‘Come Alive!’, and it’s clear from the outset that the group have taken it up a level with Mighty May making her presence felt on both sides of this heavy 45.

Souls Come Alive leaps from the speakers with Monique Boggia’s electric piano intro, the blistering horns kick like a donkey behind May Johnson’s simply exemplary singing – the songs’ catchy appeal will be lost on no one with an ear for genuine organic 21st century soul music. the flipside Done Me Wrong also doesn’t let the pressure drop for a second.

Without a doubt this new single proves Deep Street Soul have delivered two extremely tough and uncompromising slabs of raw funk & soul that hints at the stunning album to come.

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ALBUM: Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express – Live In Los Angeles

A brand new live concert recording by Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express..featuring original vocalist Alex Ligertwood back in the fold!

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ALBUM: Black Feeling, Vol. 3

ALBUM: Black Feeling, Vol. 3

The third instalment in Lance Ferguson’s immensely popular Black Feeling series has landed! Volume 3 includes covers of tracks by Deodato, Dexter Wansel and Herb Alpert.

Buy iTunes Amazon Junodownload Spotify

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DIGI: Omar – Simplify (Rootickal Re Twist)

DIGI: Omar – Simplify (Rootickal Re Twist)

This two-track digital double-header sees Scratch Professer’s reggae ‘Rootickal’ re twist of Omar’s Simplify partnered with a never before heard Omar track from around 1994!

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The second episode of the Freestyle Records podcast is presented by Greg Boraman and features tracks from; Martha High, The Shaolin Afronauts, Jessica Lauren Four, and much more!


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