Athens Of The North

We Want To Play For You/Sweet Tender Loving

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The latest reissue on the constantly on-point Athens of The North imprint comes from Brief Encounter, a North Caroline soul, disco and boogie outfit from North Carolina who released two albums between 1977 and '81. "We Want To Play For You" is taken from the latter, and offers a hazy, surprisingly sweet - if undeniably floor-friendly - take on the New York boogie sound of the period. With bold pianos, fuzzy vocals and occasional percussive breakdowns, it ticks all the right boxes. Flip to the B-side for "Sweet Tender Loving", a sumptuous, string-drenched disco-soul number that boasts a particularly impassioned vocal and a huggable, feel-good groove.

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ATH 029

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Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. We Want To Play For You
Side 2
1. Sweet Tender Loving

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Original
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School Dance/Sweetness

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2015 Issue that contains one track from each of the two 7"s released by T'Spoon (Billy J. Bruner), in the 80's on Oil Capital Records.

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ATH 027

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16.00
Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. School Dance
Side 2
1. Sweetness

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Re-Issue
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Confrontation

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The Athens of the North label is a blessing for those whose tastes in soul, funk, disco and boogie tend towards the obscure and ludicrously hard-to-find. Their latest re-issue fits into both categories. Seemingly the only single they ever released, "Confrontation" came out in 1981 on Arista but copies have since proved incredibly hard to find; so hard, in fact, that original 7" singles now change hands online for nearly L300. The title track, produced by A Taste of Honey's Perry Kibble, is brilliant, though, delivering a soulful, heartfelt disco-funk jam full of smooth backing vocals, bubbling clavinet lines and deliciously righteous horns.

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ATH 019

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Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Confrontation
Side 2
1. You And Me Babe

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You Done Let The Daylght Catch You

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Rarest of the rare and holy grail are terms often thrown around all too easily. In this case both apply, incredibly rare and sought after as well as being a quality piece of music on both sides, you won't get higher up the disco food chain than this.A few weeks ago we brought you 2 unreleased track from the same band but these 2 might as well be unless you have $4000 sitting around for an O.G copy, IF you can find one.Strictly Limited and no repress on this as per our deal so get in fast.

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ATH 023

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Side 1
1. You Done Let The Daylght Catch You (feat Louis Johnson)
Side 2
1. Smoke In The Disco

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Wish Upon Love

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Cool Creations of St Maarten were formed in 1975 by Carlyle Barriteau, Funk Gumbs and Winston Macco. They were all in our last year of High School in St Maarten. The name "CoolCreations" was inspired by Kool and the Gang, one of their off Island influences. The band mainly played hotels, Local Dance Clubs and Carnival Parades and they recorded one LP. These two tracks were taken from that little know but much loved LP which was recorded in San Juan in Puerto Rico (no one can remember the name of the studio). "Wish Upon Love" is a Modern Soul Floater of the highest order that's been a favourite summer joint of mine for years and recently been getting spins by Four Tet and others. The flip is perfect for a Balearic sunset or deep warmup, this is a personal favourite, hope you love it as much as I do.

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ATH 021

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Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Wish Upon Love
Side 2
1. Nightime On The Beach

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Original
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Keep On Keeping On

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Two unreleased disco funk bangers from Joe Tex backing band THE SECOND RE$$URRECTION. Dug out from Sonny Cravers Stanson Records archive, The band did release one ultra rare disco/modern 45 which goes for $3000+ all day long also coming to Athens of the north soon.One of the most widely travelled, widely heard unknown groups in the world. A band of serious Funk musicians who have shared the stage with the elite of the elite. They have shared the stage with Jean Carne, Boston, Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, Rufus & Chaka Khan, The Isley Brothers, Shalamar, Tavares, Rufus Thomas, Tyrone Davis, Barbara Lynn, Millie Jackson, The Brothers Johnson, B.T. Express, Brick, Frank Lucas, The Drifters & Blue Magic. They won equal acclaim when they played alongside Earth, Wind & Fire at The CBS Family Affair. They performed at New York's Rialto Theatre, The Apollo, and toured East and West Germany. They performed for the movie premier of Rudy Ray Moore's, Petey Wheatstraw - The Devil's Son-In-Law at Chicago's Regal Theatre.The original name of the group was THE SIX DEGREES SOUTH (A Very rare funk45 I released when working at Jazzman Records) based out of Lawton Oklahoma. A nomadic group, they completed a 3 year trek primarily booked at military bases across the nation. They also played a variety of college and university towns, ski-lodges, various clubs and hotel ballrooms. They initially dabbled in recording producing a vinyl 45' single entitled, Loving You Is Too Far Out. Upon returning to home-base the group met the legendary soul singer, Joe Tex. Being into funk, we were not all that familiar with his soul sound. He explained what he wanted to do and the end results of what could be accomplished. The band, already being self-contained and autonomous seized the opportunity to utilize not only Tex's fame in the music/radio world but his label connections. Unknowingly, this group almost single-handedly launched Tex's career back into the spotlight allowing him to re-emerge and re-invent himself after a 5 year sabbatical.They played, wrote and produced-in-part Joe Tex's Bumps & Bruises album containing the mega-hit, Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman. This culminated into Tex's first gold album, won a Grammy nomination and was #86 on Billboard's 1978 year-end chart.On the flip side the bands own LP was shelfed after the single "Smoke in the Disco" did not live up to Stansons Records expectations, as these things go it later became a huge modern/northern soul record and is coveted by collectors all over the world, so lets share a bit more of the Lost LP...,.

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ATH 024

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16.00
Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Keep On Keeping On
Side 2
1. Wise Up

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Holding On

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First time I heard this track out was D.Jing with Adrian Gibson, booker/manager for the London Jazz Cafe in its hay day in the early 2000s, i thought it was some crazy obscusre early Jacksons 45. I had no idea what it was but i liked it and it stuck with me. As my eyes were on 45's at the time it passed me by until Numero Group reissued it on their fabulous 'Soul Messengers' compilation (essential purchase if you don't own). After quite a bit of badgering Rob Sevier, Co-owner of Numero Group, let this grace my format of choice, so here we are, both sides first outing as a single. Essential

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ATH 020

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Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Holding On
Side 2
1. Dimona (Spiritual Capital Of The World)

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The Silence That You Keep

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Athens of the north presents two of the disco floaters from our previously unreleased AOTNLP Original Friends and Buddies, both of these versions are on 45 for the first time. The Stripped down Version of 'Silence that you keep' benefits from the more direct tight Vocal. Without the synths there is much more space in the mix which suits the melancholy deep disco groove so much better. On the Flip 'Po Man' has also been stripped right back to its more basic elements also for the better, less is so much more.- Previously Unreleased Versions - Alternate Version without synths

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ATH 016

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Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. The Silence That You Keep (first version)
Side 2
1. Po' Man (first version)

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I'm Alive

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ATH 017

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1. I'm Alive
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1. Song For Yvonne

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Gangster Boy

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If you are not a top end disco collector with deep pockets you won't know this record, it's as rare as its gets. The last clean copy went for $6373. My 'Gangster boy' odyssey started for me around 12 years ago, soul collector and D.J David Ripolles played an acetate at Prestayn soul weekender and it blew me away, I asked dave what it was, he said the acetate was credited to Wanda McDaniels.Myself and Malcom Catto (Drummer in excellent band the Heliocentrics ) started tracking the record and eventually got it touch with Co-Producer Ronald Crawley. We had the opportunity to do the record but the sticking point was nobody had a clean copy of the record to make a recording from and there were no tapes. Roll on 10 years and I secured a mint copy and got perfectly clean recording so here we are.The record was not performed by Wanda McDaniel's & Ultimate choice as it has been credited up till now. The sand was 'The Reality Band And Show' from Newcastle Pennsylvania. The backing band was Ultimate Choice and the backing singer was Wanda McDaniel's (Producer Ronald Crawley sister). The lead singer was called Gladys, what happened to her we don't know but what a voice. It was recorded in 1977 at Asterix Studios in Wilkinsburg Pennsylvania, 300 copies were pressed up to test the market response which surprisingly was lacklustre. So as these things go it was forgotten about and everyone moved on to the next thing.The Label owner of 'Appleray' and its parent 'Pittsburgh Music Industry's' Ray Mitchell is no longer with us and we did not manage to find any more members of the band or uncredited chief engineer Ralph Camino. Ray recorded a couple of other decent 45s on Appleray but nothing quite touches this Disco Soul Perfection.

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ATH 014

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Tracklist: 

Side 1
1. Gangster Boy
Side 2
1. All You Need Is Time To Mess Around

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