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 (four years ago) link

garden of life is GOAT

brimstead, Monday, 15 October 2018 21:54 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

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

Siegbran, Monday, 15 October 2018 23:28 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

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

Tib, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 02:20 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

i like this stuff too

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

the late great, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 03:47 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

Innocence - Natural thing?

Tib, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 04:51 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

Smith & Mighty DJ Kicks is U&K

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

Neil S, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 07:27 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

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

Irini ‎– 24/7 Love

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:00 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

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

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:17 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

that stuff was 1987-ish i think

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:22 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

just an excuse to post that fantastic track really

Neil S, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:43 (four years ago) link

ok lol turns out the one i posted is american too

the late great, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 19:29 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

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

Joanna Law / Soul 2 Soul connection

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:17 (four years ago) link

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

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:18 (four years ago) link

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

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:19 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

https://youtu.be/KaA7kt5DLLE

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:48 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

big tune:

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

Rick Clarke - Perfect Lady

Herb Achelors (NickB), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 05:44 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

Bygraves - Do the Right Thing

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

mmmm, Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:13 (four years 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 (four years ago) link

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

Everis - Love Has Arrived

Herb Achelors (NickB), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:31 (four years ago) link

well, would you just look at that :D

picked up the special touch reissue last week, great stuff - meant to bump the thread!

kites aren't fun (NickB), Friday, 30 October 2020 19:03 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

Numero Group have made a playlist...

Lover’s Walk: The Numero Guide to UK Street Soul

The convergence of reggae basslines, the shuffled drum machine rhythms of New Jack Swing, & a concretely British approach to lyrics centered on love. Walk with us through the intersections of Street Soul.https://t.co/CDuMDwp3MC pic.twitter.com/s8UMx4JWFQ

— numerogroup (@numerogroup) January 12, 2021

kites aren't fun (NickB), Tuesday, 12 January 2021 16:07 (two years ago) link

In the meantime, Bassline's 'You've Gone' is just about to get reissued by Isle of Jura:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJShyWNgkGL/

kites aren't fun (NickB), Tuesday, 12 January 2021 16:12 (two years ago) link

i'm sure it's already been posted on here, but huge tune:

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

kites aren't fun (NickB), Tuesday, 12 January 2021 16:16 (two years ago) link

^ guy who produced that (Tony Henry) was also one of the brains behind 52nd Street

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUmx-zqoB4U

kites aren't fun (NickB), Tuesday, 12 January 2021 16:21 (two years ago) link

^ incredible video btw

kites aren't fun (NickB), Tuesday, 12 January 2021 16:23 (two years ago) link

thanks for the playlist!

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 12 January 2021 16:33 (two years ago) link

just spotted they're reissuing Ashaye's "Dreaming", excellent, BIG UP ALL THE CHAMPAGNE CREW

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 11:10 (two years ago) link

Holy shit! Jungle mix? Link plz!

kites aren't fun (NickB), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 11:13 (two years ago) link

http://numerogroup.com/products/ashaye-dreaming

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 11:24 (two years ago) link

TRACK LIST

AshayDreaming (Jungle Mix)
AshayDreaming (Original Mix)

sweet jesus, yesssssss! :D

kites aren't fun (NickB), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 11:28 (two years ago) link

I would not be surprised if there's someone lurking here from Numero Group picking up on your enthusiasm for this one!

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 11:31 (two years ago) link

this thread's still on the first page of results for "uk streetsoul" on google! but that record is also right up there in the "most wanted" street soul releases on discogs:

https://www.discogs.com/search/?sort=want%2Cdesc&style_exact=UK+Street+Soul

kites aren't fun (NickB), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 11:36 (two years ago) link

four weeks pass...

lol @ boxedjoy...you know!!

Love the musical journeys...just went from Numero .... https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2H9z1716keB60f8vG031Kw
Lovers Walk: The Numero Guide to Street Soul

and ended up at 24-Carat Black who I'd never heard of but loving the sounds!
https://www.discogs.com/24-Carat-Black-Gone-The-Promises-Of-Yesterday/master/177734

keep dropping those posts

MrEnergizer, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 00:35 (one year ago) link

Oh wow...just listening to Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth, not heard for years, forgot about this band!!! Classic and sampled by Rakim, Jill Scott and the rest...

MrEnergizer, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 00:41 (one year ago) link

Oh man '24-Carat Black theme' ..I love when I find music I'd forgotten about and still get the same joy from it! It was 80s Hip hop that introduced me to those samples and got me crate diggin...keep the music alive

MrEnergizer, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 00:45 (one year ago) link

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

heard this one a few days ago, I love it

boxedjoy, Sunday, 21 February 2021 23:06 (one year ago) link

A Joanna Law I don't think I've heard before !!!

Joanna Law - Love is not enough
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCngWcH0GAg

MrEnergizer, Saturday, 27 February 2021 22:53 (one year ago) link

Her big tune was Forever.. First time I heard it was by Broadway and I always thought the intro was saying Animal (Wayne - one of BW's DJ's nickname). I thought it was a special (dubplate).

Here's an undercover 12

Claudia Patrice ‎– Unknown Title
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf_AHXHQlcQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5MjHpig-Fs

MrEnergizer, Saturday, 27 February 2021 23:21 (one year ago) link

Massive tune from back in the day

Alisha Warren - Discover Me
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSTufxJPTvo

MrEnergizer, Saturday, 27 February 2021 23:31 (one year ago) link

Mica's sister!

MrEnergizer, Saturday, 27 February 2021 23:35 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...

Oh hello, V4 Visions double LP comp just announced with sleevenotes by Simon Reynolds:

https://v4visions.bandcamp.com/album/v4-visions-of-love-androids

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Saturday, 5 February 2022 23:08 (one year ago) link

I love both the Maureen Mason tracks on that

boxedjoy, Monday, 7 February 2022 10:21 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

THIS SONG:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2oERW0Hq1E

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Tuesday, 1 March 2022 00:29 (eleven months ago) link

i love that space ghost has been zoning in on this sound recently - check out eg 'emotional healer (back room mix)' from last year's album. new track on the ON LOOP comp is mega: https://onloop.bandcamp.com/track/space-ghost-used-to-it

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Sunday, 6 March 2022 12:16 (eleven months ago) link

i dunno why i briefly went all caps there btw, i don't have a shouty bone in my body tight now

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Sunday, 6 March 2022 12:18 (eleven months ago) link

right now not tight now jfc my brane

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Sunday, 6 March 2022 12:32 (eleven months ago) link

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread over the years. I know nothing about this stuff, but whenever I see it revived, I end up playing songs posted in here for an hour or more every single time. Solid jams all around, cheers.

Let's disco dance, Hammurabi! (Austin), Sunday, 6 March 2022 16:36 (eleven months ago) link

:)

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Sunday, 6 March 2022 20:26 (eleven months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdJlJh6zWOs

^ Did this ever get posted here? Probably not, because it really isn't very street at all tbh, but it is an absolute jam. Classic late 80s wine bar vibe, should be on a million comps but i've never even been able to find a decent rip of it. what a song though

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Sunday, 6 March 2022 23:43 (eleven months ago) link

I love when NickB bumps this thread <3

boxedjoy, Monday, 7 March 2022 13:30 (eleven months ago) link

this bangs and is only buttons on the cogs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0_iA97Asps

Angels And Images – Hold Me Tight

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Monday, 7 March 2022 22:09 (eleven months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi10mI0RTqc

Shades of Rhythm going streetsoul in 1988

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Wednesday, 9 March 2022 23:01 (ten months ago) link

This is one of my best finds, but the video here seems pitched down a little compared to my 12"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWJZ87gzdVU

.xlsm (P. Flick), Monday, 14 March 2022 20:17 (ten months ago) link

Or maybe this more boogie? Too early?

.xlsm (P. Flick), Monday, 14 March 2022 20:18 (ten months ago) link

nice find, sounds a bit like 52nd Street

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Monday, 14 March 2022 21:18 (ten months ago) link

tbh it was the similarity with 52nd st that led me to post that one, but playing much of the other videos here it's a little out of sync

Oddly, the b side is Lovers Rock and it seems from discogs that their earlier single is too

.xlsm (P. Flick), Monday, 14 March 2022 21:58 (ten months ago) link

yeah was looking at their discogs, they do seem to be coming from a lovers/reggae background. producer was mark lusardi (linda's brother!) who worked on loads of reggae things and was also in jah wobble's band for a while. you can actually hear kind of a reggae bassline in the tune you posted, wonder if they tried it out as a straight reggae number first and then thought fuck it, lets get the synths in!

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Monday, 14 March 2022 22:18 (ten months ago) link

If I ever start a cult our mission statement will be "fuck it, let's get the synths in"

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 15 March 2022 09:57 (ten months ago) link

four months pass...

not exactly sure where to put this Mr. Ho track I’ve been obsessed with recently. The beat seems really streetsoul-y to me and it’s got reggae vocal samples so idk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg2repuHhOo

brimstead, Wednesday, 3 August 2022 00:07 (six months ago) link

it's such a good track. the beat is of course the soul ii soul beat aka the ashley's roachclip break.

stirmonster, Wednesday, 3 August 2022 01:31 (six months ago) link

Gold In The Shade reissue coming out on Heels & Souls:

https://heelsandsouls.bandcamp.com/album/over-you-shining-through-hsrec004

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Tuesday, 9 August 2022 17:12 (five months ago) link

cheers for the heels and souls link — lot of other great stuff to look into there!

nothing to add, just another quick thank you for this thread. feel like i owe you guys money or something for all the jams. also lol "simple solution" is tagged with artist name J DILLA on spotify. even with my novice experience, that makes my inner librarian feel physical pain.

ミ💙🅟 🅛 🅤 🅡 🅜 🅑💙彡 (Austin), Thursday, 11 August 2022 03:18 (five months ago) link

one month passes...

Ashaye - Dreaming (Jungle Mix)

― the creator has a mazda van (NickB), Friday, September 27, 2019 3:50 PM

according to my last.fm-
first listen was 1 april 2022 11:33pm and have registered 62 plays total. probably one of my favorite song discoveries of the past several years.

thread delivers once again.

ミ💙🅟 🅛 🅤 🅡 🅜 🅑💙彡 (Austin), Tuesday, 13 September 2022 04:38 (four months ago) link

big up all the sunshine crew

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 13 September 2022 06:39 (four months ago) link

amazing song, no doubt about it

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Tuesday, 13 September 2022 09:09 (four months ago) link

hardly on the same level, but have been enjoying this one a lot, even though the bass sounds like pure mud:

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

Yolanda Warrington - Is This Love

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Tuesday, 13 September 2022 09:10 (four months ago) link

four months pass...

this is fantastic. thank you. DINTE always hits

adam, Saturday, 21 January 2023 18:00 (two weeks ago) link

That label totally rules

not too strange just bad audio (brimstead), Saturday, 21 January 2023 19:12 (two weeks ago) link


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