late 80s/early 90s uk streetsoul (bass and breakbeats and r&b vocals)

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through the wonder of Youtube and its recommendations algorithm this is all I seem to ever listen to these days. Everybody knows Soul II Soul and Massive Attack but it was this recent reissue of Bovel's "Check 4 U" that really switched me on to this stuff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyi2pqXDp30

there's a whole ocean out there of stuff like this: thick house basslines, slowed-down breakbeat grooves, unpolished soul divas with the sweetness of lovers rock reggae. Some of it is cheap and easy to find through the usual channels, some of it seems rare and prohibitively expensive. It's the story of Smith & Mighty and The Wild Bunch, but also all the anonymous and forgotten 12" singles and overpriced Discogs compilations that were bigger in Manchester than in London. This stuff was being released when I was barely a toddler so I have no sense of it as a "scene" or how it figured in club culture but I know that I like a lot of it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhETbyU8wo0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzsrBaRoiL8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgPkq1780vo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWqp3C0hFg0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppKK42zKRo0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVfenMeCTR0

thinking of it as a reaction to US r&b, not so much an imitation but a distinctly British take on styles, and seemingly undergoing a resurgence if you're reading the same articles and listening to the same radio shows as I am

so, this is a thread to post your own recommendations and so forth

boxedjoy, Monday, 15 October 2018 21:49 (one year ago) link

garden of life is GOAT

brimstead, Monday, 15 October 2018 21:54 (one year ago) link

Hard to find 12"s in this genre have been getting reissued a lot lately, which is likely where the chatter / airplay is coming from. Be With records maybe?

brotherlovesdub, Monday, 15 October 2018 22:36 (one year ago) link

This has a big overlap with what was labeled ‘acid jazz’, no?

Siegbran, Monday, 15 October 2018 23:28 (one year ago) link

Yeah, does Jhelisa count? Friendly Pressure sounds like these songs to me.

https://youtu.be/YAMtlnvJeo4

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 02:14 (one year ago) link

Deluxe - I've got a feeling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHBPpDfojg0

Tib, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 02:20 (one year ago) link

I love this sound. Check:

Alison Williams - I Need Your Lovin'

Fresh Four - Wishing on a Star

The Chimes - 1-2-3 (UK Raw Mix) / Heaven / I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

Beats International - Dub Be Good To Me (Smith & Mighty Remix)

Diana Brown & Barrie K Sharpe – Blind Faith (Brixton Bass Mix)

There's also a lot of stuff that feels like it fits even though it's not from the UK, such as The Family Stand's "Ghetto Heaven" (which also and appropriately got an amazing remix from Soul II Soul).

Tim F, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 02:45 (one year ago) link

i like this stuff too

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUpP_a8vAjA

the late great, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 03:47 (one year ago) link

i guess i know more about the acid jazzier end of the spectrum, which tends toward a more polished sound

i'd never heard that bovel track, it is pretty incredible and i'd love to hear more stripped down tracks like that

the late great, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 03:49 (one year ago) link

Innocence - Natural thing?

Tib, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 04:51 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHSPzry7cH8

Fresh 4 feat. Lizz-E • Wishing On A Star

breastcrawl, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 07:11 (one year ago) link

Smith & Mighty DJ Kicks is U&K

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UCIxA2qpKg

Neil S, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 07:27 (one year ago) link

Ah, Tim F already mentioned the Fresh 4 track. (Alyson Williams was/is a US singer, btw)

Love the Bô’vel track, don’t remember ever having heard it before. Is there an actual Dennis Bovell connection or is the name a homage to “Silly Games”/UK lovers rock?

breastcrawl, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 07:35 (one year ago) link

Yeah I should have specified with the Williams that I meant the extended version produced by Soul II Soul.

Tim F, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 08:23 (one year ago) link

I manage to seperate this stuff from acid jazz in my mind purely by how this stuff uses minimalism and bottom-end - to me, acid jazz is radio-friendly and home-listening whereas this is much more club-functioning. There is a lot of crossover and I can imagine this stuff was played alongside acid jazz and post-disco 80s boogie but there's a distinct sonic framework to this stuff that excites me more.

I have no idea about who Bovel is or where the name comes from, I'm not sure I even want or need to, really

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 11:49 (one year ago) link

Loafs of good recs here though! I didnt know S&M had done a DJ Kicks.

In terms of US stuff that fits I have a huge soft spot for Chante Moore's "Love's Taken Over"

https://youtu.be/wH39-zajFtE

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 11:51 (one year ago) link

A lot of this stuff, other than the obvious, seems to have been written out of history a bit, perhaps because there was so much else going on at the time, so this is a real blind spot for me. Looking forward to digging through this thread.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 11:51 (one year ago) link

People quickly realized the instrumentals were better than the vocals and Trip Hop got the fame.

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 15:31 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG8BVCCjTOw

Jill Francis - Make Love To Me (Gangster Mix)

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 15:45 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1-GrHZSCbo

Irini ‎– 24/7 Love

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:00 (one year ago) link

Love that Jill Francis!

People quickly realized the instrumentals were better than the vocals and Trip Hop got the fame

This is probably true except for me the vocals are what take a lot of this stuff from enjoyable to excellent.

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:04 (one year ago) link

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Choice-FMs-UK-Pressure-Vol-1/master/359554

This compilation I snagged for cheap recently is good, has both of NickB's selections, but everything on it has been edited down from a full-length mix.

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:06 (one year ago) link

oh i didn't know about that comp, looks like a good launchpad for further investigations

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:15 (one year ago) link

i knew about the bovel cos they've been hammering it on nts

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:17 (one year ago) link

sorry that the sound on that irini YT is so fucked, it's a good one though

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:18 (one year ago) link

maybe a precursor for this sort of thing is mantronix's productions for joyce sims?

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:20 (one year ago) link

that stuff was 1987-ish i think

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:22 (one year ago) link

or Sly & Robbie producing Gwen Guthrie with Seventh Heaven, which came up in a mix I was listening to earlier, would be another good precursor

Neil S, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:42 (one year ago) link

just an excuse to post that fantastic track really

Neil S, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:43 (one year ago) link

ok lol turns out the one i posted is american too

the late great, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 19:29 (one year ago) link

I would be remiss in not mentioning Carlton's album 'The Call Is Strong' from 1990, produced by Smith & Mighty, which I consider the overlooked pinnacle of this sound. One of my great music tragedies is losing my copy of this.

Also "Any Love", the early Massive Attack single with Carlton on vocals and S&M on co-production, fits in this thread in a way their subsequent work doesn't.

Tim F, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 20:15 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDZM4xXy17I

Rosaline Joyce - I Will Never Be Your Lover

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 20:20 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcQTOQIlKHY

Fresh Cut ft Ann Cain - Don't Rush (Remix)

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:04 (one year ago) link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=25&v=yiWghyFnasU

FM Inc. Call Me Anytime .. Dub is good too

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:14 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCngWcH0GAg

Joanna Law / Soul 2 Soul connection

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:17 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzftzlfi36U

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:18 (one year ago) link

... meant to post another Sarah Winton but the whole LP is top notch

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:19 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh2tFYgiIuU

Dazzle - Dazzle You. (Haul & Pull Up mix) 1989

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:36 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPMyV7SOgxk

Fifth Of Heaven - Just A Little More

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:41 (one year ago) link

https://youtu.be/KaA7kt5DLLE

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:48 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zGXKBRT1gk

Carla Thomas - Things Ya Make Me Do (Summer Remix) (1994)

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:49 (one year ago) link

big tune:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVBTrudXcs8

Rick Clarke - Perfect Lady

Herb Achelors (NickB), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 05:44 (one year ago) link

don't think the importance of these guys can be overstated...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdKdnCSeJwQ
Loose Ends - Slow Down

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5rqP8QTAbU
Loose Ends - Don't Be A Fool

Herb Achelors (NickB), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 11:48 (one year ago) link

^ when I saw this thread Loose Ends came to mind immediately but I couldn't remember any of their songs so wasn't sure if I was on the right track

I've got a Fresh Four 12", not mentioned yet it's this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIF7HFEYYXY

(nearly, the 12" I've got is the Smith & Mighty remix, not the version in the youtube)

Colonel Poo, Wednesday, 17 October 2018 11:58 (one year ago) link

Diane Charlemagne should get a mention. Cool Down Zone ‎– Lonely Hearts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgIZJnMSjqY

mmmm, Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:01 (one year ago) link

when I saw this thread Loose Ends came to mind immediately but I couldn't remember any of their songs so wasn't sure if I was on the right track

Hanging On A String is the obvious one and that exact same drum pattern appears in about half the clips i posted above tbh

Herb Achelors (NickB), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:10 (one year ago) link

thanks for posting these Herb. I started buying UK Soul 12's and comps from 1992 onwards so missed some of the earlier ones. Occaisional trips to Unity and Blackmarket records armed with lists from Blues and Soul magazines and scraps from Kiss FM.

mmmm, Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:11 (one year ago) link

Bygraves - Do the Right Thing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Lwt1qzypBQ

mmmm, Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:13 (one year ago) link

When I first saw this thread the first thing that came to mind was Sweet Harmony by Liquid, but the more I listen to these the more I feel like it marks the end of this subgengre, so not what you're looking for at all. Is that right?

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:18 (one year ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo4B8uo55nU

Everis - Love Has Arrived

Herb Achelors (NickB), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:31 (one year ago) link

Thanks, missed it...it's from 2007!

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 16 February 2020 21:30 (three months ago) link

Harlem Gem....another UK group

https://youtu.be/MiTnZ0Qdh_0
https://youtu.be/sMh4WbrNuRY

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 16 February 2020 21:33 (three months ago) link

Toyin is still very much the activist, currently very much involved in the campaign for justice for the victims of Grenfell. Not sure he posts much about music these days, but here's his twitter: https://twitter.com/LigaliOrg

ymo sumac (NickB), Sunday, 16 February 2020 22:56 (three months ago) link

Harlem Gem are fantastic, just magic music. Was kind of amazed to find out they were from Huddersfield. Would love to see a comp of their stuff, prices for the records seem to have gone a bit daft since 'More Than You Can Wish' was included on the Beautiful Swimmers comp last year.

Thanks for the playlist link btw MrE! Will check that out in a bit

ymo sumac (NickB), Sunday, 16 February 2020 23:03 (three months ago) link

This would be a really good theme for a Bob Stanley compilation

Wuhan!! Got You All in Check (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 16 February 2020 23:04 (three months ago) link

Annoyingly the vocal version of this one isn't on Youtube but this is kind of interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGqsY2LBUak

Massonix - Just A Little Bit More (1990)

Massonix were Graham Massey's side project outside of 808 State. Vocals on the record are by Denise Johnson who was previously in A Certain Ratio (was she Donald Johnson's sister?) and then ofc Fifth Of Heaven

ymo sumac (NickB), Sunday, 16 February 2020 23:10 (three months ago) link

xp someone needs to do one! surely gonna happen soon

ymo sumac (NickB), Sunday, 16 February 2020 23:11 (three months ago) link

that Massonix one costs a whole 90p on the cogs right now btw

ymo sumac (NickB), Sunday, 16 February 2020 23:15 (three months ago) link

wow..forgot about that massonix tune with the Barry White sample

MrEnergizer, Monday, 17 February 2020 00:08 (three months ago) link

@wuhan..this is the mix that used to get rinsed
https://youtu.be/5JKqQ8tLqJQ

MrEnergizer, Monday, 17 February 2020 00:08 (three months ago) link

https://youtu.be/kTCEiZrUpt0

MrEnergizer, Friday, 21 February 2020 22:32 (three months ago) link

Thank you for posting all this great stuff, but please be aware that if and when these YT links get broken there’s nothing to go on if you don’t also provide the track info in your post, which would be a shame.

#threadiquette

breastcrawl, Saturday, 22 February 2020 00:44 (three months ago) link

@beastcrawl. Thanks for the tip.. Will do from now on.

MrEnergizer, Saturday, 22 February 2020 13:14 (three months ago) link

That Flair tune is really one of the best things, I love that one!

Rick Clarke is always good, an actual great singer but also an incredible band - think it's basically Light Of The World playing on a lot of his tunes? Love their guitar player, always sliding in with the slinkiest little fills

I have that September record. The one I really want of theirs is 'Are You Free Tonight?' which is more of a straight up boogie cut from 84

ymo sumac (NickB), Sunday, 23 February 2020 08:48 (three months ago) link

@nick b
Yeah agree about LOTW. Never heard that'Are you free...' time before.. Nice one

MrEnergizer, Tuesday, 3 March 2020 00:52 (two months ago) link

Tune

MrEnergizer, Tuesday, 3 March 2020 00:53 (two months ago) link

Mica Paris - I wanna hold on to you
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWSGPKwCMC4

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:22 (two months ago) link

Mica paris - should've known better
My fave of hers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaA7kt5DLLE

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:23 (two months ago) link

The Project - Don't Be So Cruel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYX37n0MGxo

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:26 (two months ago) link

Julianne - Visions
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sMCVnT0eoQ&t=76s

Nazlyn Your Love My Way
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d7KprN5Nds

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:27 (two months ago) link

Lorraine Cato - How Can You Tell Me It's Over?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcSkUa_VAfw

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:29 (two months ago) link

Eternity - I Belong To You
One of those white labels I picked up by chance and was glad for it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9x_zOhZ0p0

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:30 (two months ago) link

HISTORY FEAT Q TEE AFRICA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYU6AZ1tN5c

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:31 (two months ago) link

EN TO END - Money Talks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPxWZxT-Veo

D'Swing - Love Times Love
Anything I saw on the heaven Records label I saw back in the dy got snatched up
https://youtu.be/30nhML0QRN4

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:34 (two months ago) link

I love that History one! She ended up as the voice on the UK Eurovision entry at one point

boxedjoy, Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:46 (two months ago) link

D'Swing Featuring Diane Charlemagne
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urW9g6qy1sI

D'SWING - IF I KNEW (Humper Bumper Mix)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTgDHA1eNd0

Sovereign - I Luv U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRvH-kydx_Q

GEMS FOR JEM TIME FOR LOVE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5cSEhg-Wi8

GEMS FOR JEM EVEN WHEN YOU'RE GONE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbCkF1Mhym8

Dark Knights Feat. Mary Pearce ‎– 2 Be A Friend
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUV8eYxYmHQ

MARY PEARCE STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaLU8O1RvcU

Mary Pearce - Legacy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y-agTtbnAE

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:49 (two months ago) link

Mary Pearce - Over
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8K9OzVqEEo

Pretty much everything Mary did back then was firing!

Mary Pearce - Love Away
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d5WPanSzdg

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:51 (two months ago) link

@boxed joy..ha forgot about that!

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:52 (two months ago) link

ahh yes more goodies! know and love those mary pearce ones already, 'love away' is just gorgeous

ymo sumac (NickB), Sunday, 15 March 2020 17:54 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Yeah, Mary Pearce had some serious tunes back then and love away was one of the best. That whole album was a killer tbh.

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 29 March 2020 23:48 (two months ago) link

Got this 12" given to me by a friend..big up Lee B..I missed it first time round
Doctor Woos Soul In Paradise
https://youtu.be/ECAJsonLV_U

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 29 March 2020 23:50 (two months ago) link

Doctor Woos Soul In Paradise
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECAJsonLV_U

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 29 March 2020 23:50 (two months ago) link

Another undercover one
Diane Gray - It's Closer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qppcrAAo5qI

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 29 March 2020 23:51 (two months ago) link

Ruby Turner - It's Gonna Be Alright
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCmLrb0ufmI

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 29 March 2020 23:53 (two months ago) link

Maxeen The Last Time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5kgKR69ZDc

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 29 March 2020 23:56 (two months ago) link

sindecut slow down
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SySWkOLKvdc

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 29 March 2020 23:57 (two months ago) link

Reason Featuring Leanne Golding - Try
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0wyMrdQOn4

Reason Feat Leanne Golding Heartache
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVnQrDBZ2kw

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 29 March 2020 23:59 (two months ago) link

One of those decade defining tunes for me, got rinsed on LUV NRG
MK featuring Alana - Love Changes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNSC8XhyJb0

MrEnergizer, Monday, 30 March 2020 00:01 (two months ago) link

A bit after the Street soul time but Manchester artist and brought it back to the streets when everything was about R&B
Diane Marsh - Private Party
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzQ1oRIpzUU

MrEnergizer, Monday, 30 March 2020 00:03 (two months ago) link

MASSIVE!!!
Anna Mwale - Get Free
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1MNAE3Q_E8

MrEnergizer, Monday, 30 March 2020 00:04 (two months ago) link

Took me years to hunt this one down..only ever heard Broadway play this tune. Not sure if this was originally a dubplate mix for Animal from BW..
Claudia Patrice - Forever
https://youtu.be/b-CoGVw54es

MrEnergizer, Monday, 30 March 2020 00:07 (two months ago) link

Carla Thomas - Things Ya Make Me Do
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-nZ0fGK8Gk

MrEnergizer, Monday, 30 March 2020 00:17 (two months ago) link

One of my faves
Gwen Guthrie - Eyes (You Never Really Cared)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbAb6Ub4KD8

MrEnergizer, Monday, 30 March 2020 00:19 (two months ago) link

Rose Windross - Living Life Your Own Way
Nice Jazzy tune that BW used to feature

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8diLkNcOgE

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 5 April 2020 03:41 (one month ago) link

U Touch - Don't Let Love Get You Down
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGYtbkgyjd4

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 5 April 2020 03:41 (one month ago) link

Dream Frequency - Love, Peace And Harmony
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jv8Bd9_8LI

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 5 April 2020 03:42 (one month ago) link

Higher Ground Somebody
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKmQnw9v7C4

MrEnergizer, Sunday, 5 April 2020 03:54 (one month ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogMf9GYHgFI

Bstep, Sunday, 5 April 2020 04:26 (one month ago) link

Classic @Bstep. One of the best bands to ever come out of Manchester. My mates wife used to sing with them, then Diane took over and they got successful.

MrEnergizer, Tuesday, 14 April 2020 14:38 (one month ago) link


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