from the listening nook

vinyl thoughts for an analogue life

FTLN – Maurice Moore

December 10, 2017
fromthelisteningnook

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FTLN – Ramrock Records Reviews Day 7 – Ghetto Priest LP

November 19, 2017
fromthelisteningnook

 

It is DAY 7 of our 7 Day RAMROCK RECORDS REVIEW WEEK – Neil Gardner and Bob the Hat explore 7 vinyl releases from UK label Ramrock Records.

Day 7 – Ghetto Priest “Every Man For Every Man” LP

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Format: 12″ Black Vinyl LP

For the final vinyl review of the Ramrock Records Review Week, I return to the genius who is Ghetto Priest and the album EVERY MAN FOR EVERY MAN. Ten tracks of reggae bliss and perfection. An album of stories told by a master wordsmith at the height of his musical powers. Ghetto Priest has delivered a timeless gem of an LP, every song taking you on a different journey with effortless grace and a sense of rhythm and groove many other musicians can only dream of. There are no stand-out tracks because EVERY track stands out. This long-player demands a single sitting, and while your ears will always be rewarded by a quick dip in and out, the sense of completeness and message you get from listening from start to finish is immense.

There is no repetition of themes or styles here, each track is its own reggae masterpiece. The blend of vocals and instrumentation is a marvel to behold, neither one dominating, but both equally crafted to create a greater sum than its (already epic) parts. This is an LP that rewards multiple listens, and also works well both on speakers (crank it up, nod that head, jam out) and on headphones (let those rich, highly styled vocals and instruments infect your brain and soothe your soul).

A shout-out to the packaging design…this LP sleeve has a joyous and slightly sensual feeling to it, an unusual texture that makes it oh-so-pleasing to hold. But the tour-de-grace is the incredible cover art, which is part street-art, part modern classic. It shouts out at you with a Bond-villain quality, but memorises and tempts you to come closer and indulge in the miraculous music within. I want a second coy of the album just so I can hang a copy on the wall and display the cover as the modern artwork it most definitely is!

Rather than a track-by-track breakdown, let me instead just exhort you to buy this album if you have even just 1% love of reggae. This will enhance your life, pleasure your ears and lighten your day – and I wouldn’t be surprised if it also brought peace to the world, fixed that broken pipe under the sink, cleared up the cat’s lumbago and brought all the boys to the yard, it’s THAT good!

Score: 10/10

Thought: What a way to end the week! Thank you Ghetto Priest for preaching the purity of your music!

Info: Ramrock Records

P.S. This has been a great, fun experiment for me and Bob here in the nook, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it with us. Many thanks must go to Jo Wallace of Ramrock Records for supplying the vinyl and not expecting anything of me but to enjoy listening to some vinyl…what an amazing person she is. Thanks also to all the musicians who have created such luscious and deeply moving music…you are all very special people with world-changing talent, be proud! Please help spread the word about the Listening Nook and let’s see if between us we can bet those subscribers up and views increased, and then use that to continue to preach the gospel of #vinyl and #newmusic together!

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FTLN – Ramrock Records Reviews Day 6 – Soul Train

November 18, 2017
fromthelisteningnook

 

It is DAY 6 of our 7 Day RAMROCK RECORDS REVIEW WEEK – Neil Gardner and Bob the Hat explore 7 vinyl releases from UK label Ramrock Records.

Day 6 – Tom Glide & Hil St. Soul “Soul Train”

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Format: 12″ Black Vinyl

Side A: pure gold plated musical perfection embossed into a shiny spinning platter. Funky, soulful, playful and utterly beautiful. Aretha-like vocals that paint a story-scape blissfully of an evocative time and place. Great use of saxophone and modern production techniques, but with genius smaller interludes and breakdowns. You can’t help but dance, dance, dance! A simpler composition, not too busy, which allows you to focus on the astonishingly beguiling and exquisite vocal performance. This whole track is gorgeous from first note to last. A modern soul-dance insta-calssic. Like all the tracks from Tom Glide’s outstanding DIVAS GOT SOUL album, this fits perfectly within the vibe of that album but also manages to stand clear and proud…no mean feat considering the quality of the other tracks!

Side B: Another of those cheeky and astoundingly good Ashley Beedle North Street Remixes, alongside a Stripped Back Remix – both add to the track’s wealth of beauty and form the perfect companion pieces.

Score: 20/10!

Thought: Just dance…and sing…and dance some more!

Info: Ramrock Records

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FTLN – Ramrock Records Reviews Day 4 – Find A Way

November 16, 2017
fromthelisteningnook

It is DAY 4 of our 7 Day RAMROCK RECORDS REVIEW WEEK – Neil Gardner and Bob the Hat explore 7 vinyl releases from UK label Ramrock Records.

Day 4 – DB Cohen feat. D’Oxman & Mark Professor “Find a Way”

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Format: 12″ Black Vinyl

Side A: a head-nodding masterclass in warm trad-reggae song writing and performance. Big horns mix anthemically with warm rich vocals suffused in reverb. Luscious trumpets sound over staccato guitar, as a story unfurls in your ears and you are transported to a groovier, warmer place. An absolute blinder of a track and a voice sent to Earth from Reggae-heaven!

Side B: A North Street remix by Ashley Beedle, plus a Dub remix

Score: 9/10

Thought: sun shining tropical vibes with so much warmth it heats up a cold and dreary suburban living room

Info: Ramrock Records

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Tucked Into the Electronic Wave EP – Palm Honey

October 8, 2017
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Format: 12″ Black vinyl

Side A1: Palace – trippy indie punk pop anthem layers with ethereal vocals and underpinned with bouncy vibrant drums. A 90s indie feel that comes to full illumination when the horn section kicks in. Plaintive but soulful building to epicness. A real Curiosity Killed the Cat vibe.

Side A2: Stick the Knife In – thumping heavy bassy substrater and clangy plucky guitar surround a mournful lost vocal. A strange world of darkness and infinite shoe-gazing.

Side B1: Going Normal – a wide western electronic dreamscape with an Inspiral Carpets mystical trippy tone. Perfect indie festival shuffles with tribal drumming and hypnotic sweeping guitars.

Side B2: I Can Try – bright bubbly 60s styling pop. Hazy spaced out vocals with playful guitars. Blessed out in a pleasurable dream world. Immense use of keyboards, organ and piano. Builds and grows into a Bowie-esque epic with howling horns and soul crunching composition.

Score: 8/10

Thought: travelling far on a bus made of vocals and geeeetars!

Info: Palm Honey / Flying Vinyl

Old Skool Dayz – Tom Glide feat. Chidi

October 8, 2017
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Format: 12″ Black vinyl

Side A: classic early 80s summer soul rnb smooth choon packed to the rafters with soulful elegance and beautiful vocals. Mellow and relaxed with Neneh Cherry styling and chilled out beats. Stunningly gorgeous vocals from Chidi. 

Side B: two fantastic remixes by Ashley Needle and cohorts. Remix 1 brings a clean crisp feel to the track with more 70s inspired vibes and pads and a disco undertone. Remix 2 is stripped back to the bare and oh so beautiful vocals with instruments and samples sipping in and out. Perfect for headphones. A Brand New Heavies flavour throughout.

Score: 9/10

Thought: hot in the city, hot in the city tonight…where’s my Walkman and rollerskates?

Info: Wax and Stamp / Tom Glide

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