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 (five months ago) Permalink

garden of life is GOAT

brimstead, Monday, 15 October 2018 21:54 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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

Siegbran, Monday, 15 October 2018 23:28 (five months ago) Permalink

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

https://youtu.be/YAMtlnvJeo4

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 02:14 (five months ago) Permalink

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

Tib, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 02:20 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

i like this stuff too

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

the late great, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 03:47 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

Innocence - Natural thing?

Tib, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 04:51 (five months ago) Permalink

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

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

breastcrawl, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 07:11 (five months ago) Permalink

Smith & Mighty DJ Kicks is U&K

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

Neil S, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 07:27 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 15:31 (five months ago) Permalink

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

Jill Francis - Make Love To Me (Gangster Mix)

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 15:45 (five months ago) Permalink

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

Irini ‎– 24/7 Love

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:00 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:17 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:20 (five months ago) Permalink

that stuff was 1987-ish i think

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:22 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

just an excuse to post that fantastic track really

Neil S, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 16:43 (five months ago) Permalink

ok lol turns out the one i posted is american too

the late great, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 19:29 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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

Rosaline Joyce - I Will Never Be Your Lover

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 20:20 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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

Joanna Law / Soul 2 Soul connection

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:17 (five months ago) Permalink

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

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:18 (five months ago) Permalink

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

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:19 (five months ago) Permalink

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

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

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:36 (five months ago) Permalink

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

Fifth Of Heaven - Just A Little More

Herb Achelors (NickB), Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:41 (five months ago) Permalink

https://youtu.be/KaA7kt5DLLE

mmmm, Tuesday, 16 October 2018 21:48 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

big tune:

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

Rick Clarke - Perfect Lady

Herb Achelors (NickB), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 05:44 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

^ 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 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

Bygraves - Do the Right Thing

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

mmmm, Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:13 (five months ago) Permalink

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 (five months ago) Permalink

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

Everis - Love Has Arrived

Herb Achelors (NickB), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:31 (five months ago) Permalink

Sweet Harmony was 1992 so I think was concurrent with the early 90s UK soul scene. It was one of the UK Hardcore chart hits so v. popular whereas I think the UK Soul wasn't covered on most commercial radio stations.

mmmm, Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:34 (five months ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX86JQGz7Dc

Projection - Lovestruck

Herb Achelors (NickB), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:40 (five months ago) Permalink

Can this one go in here.. SUAD / heavy on the breaks.. Nicolette - Waking Up

http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Tu14joqyqP4

mmmm, Wednesday, 17 October 2018 13:46 (five months ago) Permalink

? and then Peter Bouncer - Love is All We Need

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

mmmm, Wednesday, 17 October 2018 13:48 (five months ago) Permalink

NickB doing sterling work in this thread, that Everis is divine and he is practically giving away the track in the comments too

boxedjoy, Friday, 19 October 2018 14:49 (five months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

https://soundcloud.com/soft-rocks/piers-soft-rocks-promises-high-notes

a mix of this stuff posted at Test Pressing a few days ago, includes some stuff posted here already

boxedjoy, Thursday, 8 November 2018 20:06 (four months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

really enjoying the new Smith & Mighty compilation of unreleased material, even if one of the tracks is a bass-heavy take on the funeral march

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 22:40 (two months ago) Permalink

i'm listening to an old Mike Woods Legends warmup mix and it fits this thread to a t!!

brimstead, Thursday, 10 January 2019 03:04 (two months ago) Permalink

Link us up please?

boxedjoy, Thursday, 10 January 2019 09:11 (two months ago) Permalink

here you go, it was posted on the now defunct cosmicdisco.co.uk blog

https://www.mediafire.com/file/9h2u9nbzjcixzbz/mike_woods_legends_tape_1_classics_march_2011.mp3/file

brimstead, Thursday, 10 January 2019 19:05 (two months ago) Permalink

ty

also ty boxedjoy for the soft rocks mix, missed it first time round

the late great, Thursday, 10 January 2019 19:40 (two months ago) Permalink

yes this Mike Woods mix is exactly the thing, Pleasure's "Please" near the start is another favourite

boxedjoy, Friday, 11 January 2019 10:57 (two months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Latest Trushmix has definite 90s UK street soul vibes, good times!

https://soundcloud.com/trushmix/trushmix-135-amichay-matyas

Neil S, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 09:32 (one week ago) Permalink


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