Back in the days when I carried my records in a flight case to every gig (why did it take so long to come up with trolley bags?), my main source of info about records were dj lists. The ones with added extra info like you could find in Jockey Slut, a magazine I read rigorously back then, were the ones I liked best. These days those lists have become dumb summaries on websites of online shops, only a click away from purchasing. Usually leaving out the good stuff that’s not available on the site that publishes them. So we’re doing it a l’ancienne again. No links, no embedded players because if you really want to discover the music it’s no biggie to use google yourself. The extra effort you need to invest makes the difference convenience soothes away. Not too many new records either as we don’t think that’s relevant any more. Not to us anyway as it doesn’t really make a difference in the way we appreciate it.
Dino Terrell – You Can Do It (It’s So Easy) – New Image
I’ve got a big love for late 80s soul music that’s beyond disco but not yet house. New Image is one of the to go to labels and Darryl Payne probably is my favourite producer when it comes to this particular sound. With Leroy Burgess, one of the most underrated soul music giants, involved too this is a certified no brainer. Easy to find dirt cheap if you put some effort into it.
Jine – Take It To The House (Dub 2) – Supertronics
Another label that has released some fine late 80s soul but this is far more jacking and certainly the 2 dubs on this 12” are among the best (dubbed out) early house music you can find. Again possible to find cheap as most sellers don’t know there are lazy diggers willing to pay good money for it online.
Pigbag – Getting Up – Y Records
Not their best release (not bad either) but bought this mainly for the sleeve. Probably designed by the same guy who did the “Sunny Day” one (which is musically better). Don’t know who it is but love it.
Zero Hour – The Dark Side (Dub) – Vanguard
Vanguard released really fine electro-funk in the early 80s so I always buy the 12”s with the yellow / orange labels, if reasonable priced, to discover at home if they are any good. This one was a pleasant surprise. An alias of Twilight 22 who have released some more well-known, similar tracks on the same label.
The Underground Solution – Afterthought – Strictly Rhythm
B-side of the “Luv Dancin’” 12”. Strictly Rhythm, as did Nugroove, have released a lot of garbage in their so-called heydays (nowadays they do hardly anything else). I’ve bought and resold far more of these 2 labels than that I’ve kept. A-side is a classic and from back when Roger Sanchez made music that doesn’t make you want to punch people in the face. Still, both tracks on the flip were a surprise. The reason why I still prefer digging in the crates to picking them out on discogs.
Paul Simpson Connection – Use Me Lose Me (Dub) – Streetwise
I buy anything that has got Paul Simpson involved. From his early disco days till when he made pumping, looped house on Henry Street, it always strikes a chord with me. If there’s a dub that’s the one to go for. This one is no different. Like it was made for Onda Sonora sets (even though one of us was probably not even born when this came out).
Le Club – Un Fait Divers Et Rien De Plus (Re Mix) – Vogue
Yoeri’s been playing this for some time now. Finally found the 12” myself. If there is something like punk-funk this is probably punk-disco. I also love adding a sort of French touch to our sets (see also below in this list).
Ashford & Simpson – Love Don’t Make It Right – Warner Bros
Although far from unknown I think the genius of Ashford & Simpson is not recognized enough. From one of their albums that’s not regarded as classic due to the lack of hits but a more than solid one nonetheless. This is the standout track (and most known one too) which has all the ingredients I love in their work.
Ata Kak – Obaa Sima – Awesome Tapes From Africa
This one is right up our alley. Off-the-beaten track African electronic music. Music that’s clearly made with completely different references as we’re used to but still or just because of that fits perfectly in the Onda Sonora universe. A tip I got from our friend Jonathan. Great reissue.
The Alan Parsons Project – I Robot – Arista
Not sure where I picked up the tip, somewhere in a mix I’m guessing, but this track is great. Less obvious cosmic classic than their “Mammagamma” track but equally great. While the rest of the album is standard AOR, there are a few bits I really like. Guilty, bombastic pleasures. Finding this is more about remembering to search for it when you’re in a shop than it is a work of labour as it is very common.
Mino – J’ai Jamais Dit Ça – RKM
More French disco. Again something I buy on sight. The RKM sleeves are pretty recognizable and some of the secret gems in my box wear one but it is definitely not a sure shot tactic to buy them all. Not a stand-out track buy certainly a nice one to get things going in between the peaks. Certainly if you hate the obvious like we do.
Cellophane – Super Queen – Salsoul
Over the top is something few can pull off as well as Walter Gibbons did. Wasn’t on top of my wantslist but it still made me very happy to find it. In a shop a bit out of the usual loop where you could clearly notice not many professional diggers had come before you. Again for far less than what the online standard tells you to pay. I only pay full price when I’ve convinced myself there’s no other way after many years of not finding it.