Freestyle Records

Touching The Times

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Freestyle's run of reissues continues with the sought-after 1983 UK electro-funk of State of Grace's Touching the Times getting a freshly remastered 12" cut!State of Grace were a trio formed at the start of the 80s, releasing a handful of singles between 1981 and '84. As SoG's David Inglesfield recalls, "in early 1982 we recorded 4-track demos of 'That's When We'll Be Free', 'Touching the Times' and a third song. When we played them to Mike Collier, who'd released our first single for his Flamingo label, he offered us a contract on the spot and licensed the finished tracks to for release on the PRT label"Having released 'That's When We'll Be Free' in late 1982, 'Touching the Times' landed on 12" and 7" formats in early summer 1983. "For the demos, we'd used a TR-808 for the drums, and we kept the 808 for the final version of 'That's When We'll Be Free'", Inglesfield continues, "but for the full version of 'Touching the Times' we decided to use a Linn LM-1 for the drums. The keyboard sounds were from a Roland Jupiter 8, Roland SH-2 and Fender Rhodes" Touching the Times was recorded at The Bridge studio near Putney Bridge, then mixed at The Sound Suite in Camden. "At the time, we were into the Sloane Ranger upper-class English look" says Inglesfield "and for the photo shoot for the original picture sleeve, we wanted an aristocratic type interior, and Broughton Castle in Oxfordshire was selected for this purpose."The updated centre label image on our reissue shows State of Grace's Adrian & Pat Thomas, and David Inglesfield, in the Camden Mews outside The Sound Suite - located just a short walk from Freestyle's home in Kentish Town.

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FSR 111

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20.00
Tracklist: 

Side
1. Touching The Times
Side 2
1. Touching The Times (instrumental)

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Steppin' Out On The Groove

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Freestyle drop the first official reissue of a much sought-after UK boogie gem from Tony Jackson, originally released on the Switch label in 1983 and recorded at the legendary Landsdowne Studios!"Switch Records was started by myself alongside Bill Campbell in the early eighties", says Aaron Harry - a library music producer who began using Lansdowne Studios in Holland Park for his productions on the renowned Bruton Music label. The studios had been operating there since the late 1950s, becoming the breeding ground for some key & early UK jazz and pop records (owner Adrian Kerridge teamed up with Joe Meek to lay down the first recordings there in 1958). It was here that Harry and engineer Chris Dibble started to work together as a regular team. After spending some time at the studio observing them in acton, Kerridge and (Burton MD) Robin Phillps "recognised what a good team Chris and I had become. So, it was inevitable that I would also make pop music alongside Production Library Music."The output of the relatively obscure Switch label is the result of this work, and Freestyle has licensed 3 of the most hard to come by 12"s as part of their series of rare & foundation UK funk & soul records. This one, Steppin' Out on the Groove was written by the late Tony Jackson, "a renowned session singer/musician that I had worked with on numerous occasions" says Harry, and also a key brit-funk figure who formed part of a string of UK groups throughout the 70s and early 80s (Sweet Dreams, Midnight, Ritz & Indigo) and later went on to be successful as lead singer in Rage. He died in 2001. Backed up with a killer instrumental that really lets the solid production shine, this one is an essential in any DJ or collector's bag.

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FSR 124

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20.00
Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Steppin' Out On The Groove (Disco remix)
Side 2
1. Steppin' Out On The Groove (instrumental)

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Clap Hands/Double O One Disco

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Freestyle dig out another rarity in the form of a DIY brit-funk 7" from Highway Motion aka David Humphrey (a session drummer who played with Sparks, and with PiL on the iconic Metal Box LP & Death Disco 12"). Tinged with raw post-punk edge and 70s library music-style synth leads, this 45 is quite simply massive amounts of fun.David Humphrey's professional career as a drummer began aged 19 with Public Image Ltd, providing some of the drum tracks on their iconic Metal Box album and Death Disco single. Humphrey would then go on to work with Mike Oldfield and then Sparks, playing with the latter on their Number One Song in Heaven tour, Top of The Pops and recording sessions for Beat the Clock and Tryouts for the Human Race (those sessions were included and featured in Edgar Wright's recent film 'The Sparks Brothers).In 1980, Clap Hands and Double O One Disco were recorded under the name 'Highway Motion' - intended by Humphrey as "raw experimental tracks" they were both laid down on a 4-track and subsequently released on the DIY Star Records imprint. Rough, grooving, candid and playful; these two tracks seem to somehow simultaneously meld the burgeoning brit-funk sound of the early 80s with a riotous post-punk edge, along with a good dollop of synth-led library music.Following it's release David formed the group Reflex, recording and releasing the Funny Situation 7" in 1981 - forming the only other title in the Star Records catalogue. A more straight-up brit-funk dancer yet still pressed and sold in small quantities, Funny Situation became a sought-after record on the second hand collector's market, and finally saw reissue last September 2020 on the start-up Paint A Picture label - garnering plays from from Gilles Peterson on BBC 6 Music and Worldwide FM, StreetSounds radio and reaching No 1 in Juno records Chart. David has now started to working on new music using the name Davey H, and released his first new material in decades recently on Six Nine Records.

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FSR 7096

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18.00
Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Clap Hands
Side 2
1. Double O One Disco

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Potion

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Freestyle continues with their drive to unearth rare and classic UK funk, soul & boogie records with a reissue of a formerly white label-only, rare-as-hens-teeth debut 12" by UK soul icon Rick Clarke from way back in 1981.Sharing the same line-up of performers as the eponymous group Potion (Rick Clarke, Carlton White on bass & Everton McCalla, formerly of Light of the World and later Freeez, on drums) though credited on the OG press as Rick Clarke alone, this 12" came out originally in the same year as the also sought after Potion 12" "Catch The Feelin' (Showstopper)" - a year before we would see Rick & Everton release the classic british electro funk of "Magic" as Side On (with Peter Mass) on Beggars Banquet.This is a classic slice of British disco funk, showcasing an early vocal talent that would go on to become a key feature of the late 80s UK soul scene, alongside a tight-as rhythm section. The subtly dubbed-out instrumental mix is a real treat too, bringing those synth flourishes and soaring horns to the fore and letting us hear Carlton's bass work wonders unencumbered.

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FSR 108

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19.00
Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Potion
Side 2
1. Potion (instrumental mix)

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Remind Me

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Freestyle puts out another reissue 12" in their drive to unearth rare and classic UK funk, soul & boogie records - this time a much needed pressing of the late Candy McKenzie's heavy boogie-funk cover of Patrice Rushen's classic Remind Me. Produced by Candy's late cousin, and seasoned session bass player, John McKenzie (and licensed from the family estate) this was originally released in 1983 - and comes with an excellent dubbed-out 'Different Style' instrumental version on the flip.

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FSR 109

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19.00
Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Remind Me
Side 2
1. Remind Me (Different Style)

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Dancer

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Freestyle comes with it again - presenting the first officially licensed reissue for a previously white label-only slice of fantastic 1982 UK boogie funk, featuring the vocal talents of a then 19 year-old Caron Wheeler!La Famille were a group put together at the turn of the 1980s by seasoned reggae & jazz guitarist (and later band-member with the award-winning Jazz Jamaica) Alan Weekes. The band's main line-up consisted not only of a young Wheeler, but also a young Cleveland Watkiss - as well as the late Claudia Fontaine (who would go on to pair with Caron as Afrodiziak) & Roy Hamilton - with guitar, arrangement and production provided by Weekes.While the group was short-lived - recording only this 12" alongside a couple of singles for Leonard "Santic" Chin's Sanity label (a stellar cover of the Mary Jane Girl's classic All Night Long) and Alan's later Bpop label (the down-tempo groover Lost in Paradise, co-arranged alongside Watkiss) - there is no denying the talent on display here, as the years and decades that followed can surely attest.

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FSR 116

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20.00
Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Dancer (vocal mix)
Side 2
1. Dancer (instrumental mix)

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Tonight's The Night

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FSR 107

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20.00
Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Tonight's The Night (extended version)
Side 2
1. Tonight's The Night (Allright) (New York dance mix)
2. Breakers' Night

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The Anthology

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FSRLP 129

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38.00
Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. There's Nothing Like This
2. Last Request
3. Who Chooses The Seasons (feat Carleen Anderson)
4. Best By Far
5. Winner
6. Be Thankful (feat Erykah Badu)
Side 2
1. Tell Me
2. Syleste (Lounge Lizzard mix)
3. Feeling You (feat Stevie Wonder)
4. It's So
5. Come On (feat Kele LeRoc)
6. Treat You (feat Caron Wheeler)
Side 3
1. The Man
2. Fuck War, Make Love
3. Bully (feat The Scratch Professer)
4. I Love Being With You
5. Simplify
6. Gave My Heart (feat Leon Ware)
Side 4
1. Doobie Doobie Doo
2. Insatiable (feat Natasha Watts)
3. De Ja Vu (feat Mayra Andrade)
4. I Want It To Be
5. This Is Not A Love Song
6. Outside

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Rare Groove Spectrum

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Lance Ferguson's Raregroove Spectrum is a collection of newly recorded versions of classic funk, soul, jazz and latin vinyl rarities, which features some of Melbourne's finest musicians across the album, including past and present members of The Bamboos, The Putbacks and Hiatus Kaiyote.As the man at the helm of many musical projects over the years including Cookin' On 3 Burners, Menagerie & his solo project Lanu, Lance is no stranger to the art of imaginative musical re-interpretation, be the material soul, funk and jazz based or the works of James Blake, Roxy Music and Prefab Sprout.For Raregroove Spectrum, Lance explains that much of the inspiration for the re-works comes from his experience as a DJ; "Some of these versions can almost be looked at as DJ re-edits, sometimes we're extending what may be a really short track into something longer, or teasing out the elements in a song that really make it work on a dance-floor. It's essentially what someone does with a club re-edit, except we went the extra step and re-recorded the whole thing with a live band".In other cases, top-shelf classics have been re-imagined in different guises: James Mason's 'Sweet Power, Your Embrace' as a sun-drenched Samba, or Anderson Paak's sure shot tune 'Am I Wrong' given an 1980's style Boogie/Jazz Funk makeover. Stir into this musical gumbo stew the raw Deep Funk of 'Egg Roll', the swinging Mod R&B of Googie Rene's 'Smoky Joe's La La' to the epic, widescreen Jazz-Funk of Pleasure's 'Joyous' - Rare Groove Spectrum provides new perspectives on the obscure to the well-loved, from old-school to new sounds - this is rare grooves re-grooved... beautifully.

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FSRLP 125

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24.00
Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Joyous
2. That's Nice
3. Egg Roll
4. Smokey Joe's La La
5. Goodbye, So Long
6. Sweet Power Your Embrace
Side 2
1. Noches De Viaje
2. A Love I Believe In
3. The Panther
4. Brazilian Rhyme
5. Am I Wrong

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Cypher

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For decades, if you wanted to listen to great music all you needed to do was stare at a screen! TV and film soundtracks were often the work of US legends such as Lalo Schiffrin, Oliver Nelson & Quincy Jones, and their Uk counterpartsRonnie Hazelhurst and Alan Hawkshaw, provided the soundtrack to the 60's & 70's at a time when film and TV music was unashamedly funky and featured the ensemble of choice for the jazz arranger.. the big band!A 21st century musician with comparable skills is Andy Tolman - an astounding bass player, but also highly adept at writing & arranging for a big band and who is heavily influenced by those greatest practitioners of the art. Andy met to Nick van Gelder (the original Jamiroquai drummer) and keyboard guru Carl Hudson whilst doing a run of gigs backing artists like Leon Ware and Jean Carne. Andy played Nick You What! and he asked if he could lay a drum track down and at around the same time Carl offered his services on the record also. Nick went on to drum on the entire album and produce the recordings too.At the tail end of 2011, when Freestyle Records A&R man Greg Boramans' compilation 'Sounds From The Soul Underground' was released the glorious noise of The Andy Tolman Cartel first came to public attention. The amazing track You What! had one foot in jazz-funk & the other in film & TV themes of the 60's and 70's, found champions in Jazz FM's Peter Young and BBC 6 Musics Craig Charles who both featured it on their radio shows heavily.Andy himself takes up the story; "After You What! found it's way onto Gregs' compilation he asked me how many more tracks I had, I kind of lied (sorry Greg!) and said a whole albums worth. Having shot my mouth off I thought I had better set about delivering… a daunting prospect, and a promise I probably wouldn't have made had I been sober at the time. So I called upon the services of some of the amazing musicians I have worked with over the past few years. Move Over was the first song I heard Jo Harman sing and Stevie Watts award winning Hammond organ playing seemed like a natural fit too"'Cypher' is indeed the perfect example of a natural fit of like minded musicians and their natural talents and the delightfully natural sound of a big band cutting loose that has not been heard for a long time making a welcome and long overdue return.

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FSRLP 121

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20.00
Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Copa Libertadores
2. Pod To Pod
3. Move Over (feat Jo Harman)
4. Cypher
Side 2
1. Speedball
2. Politea Square
3. Tempo Do Sol
4. Claret & Blues
5. You What!

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Original
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