Neon Heights

neon heights coverTwo years on from their second longplayer, the extremely-well received 'A Hot Trip to Heaven' (plaudits from Pete Tong, Rob Da Bank, Mary Anne Hobbs, Mixmag, DJ, iDJ, BBCi, Album of the issue in Update etc etc) Neon Heights return with ten more slices of funk/soul/jazz/pop/downtempo/

whateveruwannacallit flavaz for the 07.

With some new friends in tow - US wunderkid MC/vocalist/saxophonist J.Todd, Swedish chanteuse and 4 Hero muse Carina Andersson and local Notts diva Rachel Harris - the group have organically enhanced their sound, moving on up to what Michael Ruetten has already called 'next level' runnings.

Following recent reworkings of Stevie Wonder for Beatfanatic's Soundscape label and a remix of Fatboy Slim's Champion Sound that had Norman phoning the boys up to acknowledge how much he loved it, 'You Make Love...' once again has something for all the fam.

Kicking off with Radio 1 favourite 'I Walked Out This Morning' (multiple plays on The Blue Room to  worldwide positive feedback) a number of these tunes have been doing damage already off CDR. The dancefloor-friendly Love Hound has been getting radio plays from The Unabombers and Michael Ruetten, not to mention a remix from Italy's Nu-Frequency crew, while the response to the Carina Andersson collabo 'Beautiful Thing' which closes the album has been phenomenal: The Unabombers, Pete Lawrence, Jimpster, Gilles P and Rob Da Bank have been amongst those lining up to praise its deep soul emotion.

In between there's a hiphop jazz ode to New Orleans penned by J.Todd ('Pray For New Orleans), some slinky soul courtesy of Rachel Harris' dynamic vocals on Giving my Love, Dreamin and Someone Like You, a cool J.Todd dancefloor ditty (Hott N Freezin) and plenty more to go-go...its a an involving, funk-filled listen from start to finish.

With a launch party set for The Big Chill house on September 7th and a series of DJ/PA gigs all over the shop, Neon Heights return with a vengeance: making music for music-lovers who still believe in the world's finest artform.

Released on Nottingham's esteemed underground label Bocajito (home to Secret Stealth and various members of Crazy P, Neon Heights and Fug to name but a few) its an album of many moods and textures which should sit nicely wherever you choose to give it a spin....check it out!



Secret Stealth

Born out of one too many beers in the local, Secret Stealth is a collaboration between Jim Baron (crazy penis) and Bob Sadler (Fug). The two decided their fridays would be more fun if they left behind their serious, pressure-filled day jobs to make some fun- funk music together.

BobArmed with an anything goes mentality, a massive pile of unsampled vinyl and a sampler they weren't afraid of, Secret Stealth have created music for Bear Funk (The Ted Rogers EP BFK011) and now for the new Nottingham label Bocajito.

Both Jim and Bob have released music under many names including Crazy Penis, Ron Base Jam, Fug, Waxploitation and Fram and have provided releases on Shiva, Nuphonic, Paper recordings, Tummytouch, Session recordings, Guidance and Vertige productions. Their collective remix credits include Christina Aguilera, Terry Callier, Alicia Keys, Salif Keita, Aquanote, Mint Royale, Problem Kids, Neon Heights, Amillionsons, Bliss, P*Nut and Whitney Houston.

JimThe debut album SSSHHH! showcases the vocal talents of Holly Backler and her Chaka-esque soul, Tom Bailey and his slightly worrying vocal range and Katty Heath sublimely ending off the album, combined with loads of live instrumentation and solid grooves.



































The Bionics

Consisting of Danielle Moore and Tim Davies of Crazy P, and renowned producer Ben Davis, The Bionics have created is a sublime piece of club-disco.

bionics photoBen Davis spent the earlier part of his musical career as an indie kid, before being slapped in the face by rave in the early ‘90s. He went on to run paperecordings and Shaboom Records for a number of years, before finally picking up a copy of Cubase and locking himself in a room until he’d learnt the tools of the trade. A man of diverse tastes, his influences range from Al Green to Devandra Banhart to Moodyman, and he currently enjoys a spot of dubstep of a Saturday. There is a rumour that Ben served as an apprentice castanet player with both Los Lobos and the Gypsy Kings.

Danielle Moore is something of a tour de force. Her mother introduced her to Sister Sledge at the tender age of 8, securing a love of disco and eventually paving the way for a career in music. An original Hacienda regular and big Prince fan, she provides Crazy P with an undeniable stage presence and ensures the crowd have a bloody good time, matching her on stage antics with an incredible voice.

Tim Davies spent his teens in bands, plucking away on bass until at the age of 18 he located the funk and soul section of a grotty second hand record store on a pier in Colwyn Bay. He’s an accomplished bass player, and notes that the hoover is pitched at a constant D-sharp. He’s rumoured to have been a member of a Bangladeshi skiffle group in the 70’s

A bizarre magnetic pull lured Ben, Danielle and Tim Davies into the cellar of Flash Studios where they banged on tins, pulled on strings and poked at keys, feeding their creations into a master computer and lubricating the results with Danielle’s able vocals and lyrics. The process was an organic one, resulting in half a dozen accomplished tracks that made creating an album the logical next step. Thus was the rather splendidly raw and wonky Solid Silver borne: ten tracks of organic electronics and natural digitalism with roots in pop, house, techno and disco aimed at the heart, feet and head.




What happens when you are constantly surrounded by the cream of Nottingham’s vibrant music scene? The answer, so it seems, is stick tongue firmly in cheek and form a fictional ‘supergroup’ for the Floorman project, entitled Stack.
The ‘Floorman Presents Stack’ album is an homage to the soul, funk, rock, pop  and disco from the mid 60s to late 70s, and seeks to recreate the warmth and feeling of the sounds from that era.
Floorman supremo Tony Global beavered away in splendid studio isolation for many moons before deciding that playing alone wasn’t as much fun as doing it in a group! Casting his net for people partial to a bit of group action it seemed that Holly Backler (Secret Stealth) was the natural choice for vocals and songwriting - coming on strong like an antipodean Chaka Khan, Minnie Ripperton and even Karen Carpenter(!)
Keyboard maestro, local legend and all round man about town, Jim Baron (Crazy P, Ron Basejam, Secret Stealth) cleared his schedule of boring things like sleeping to devote himself to songwriting, ivory tinkling and melodic machinations for the project. 
Stack now seemed a bit top heavy thus the enigmatic Ming brought Bootsy (his 1964 Fender Precision Bass) to the party; with echoes of James Jamerson, Bernard Edwards, Flash Gordon and Mr Collins in his playing,. The sound had now acquired the much-needed bottom.
No supergroup is complete without a horn section and Stack could not break the mould.  The Stack Horns travelled from as far afield as Bulwell with Gareth ‘Misterlong” Bailey, Ben Lee and phenomenal saxophonist/ arranger Toby ‘PeeWee’ Kennedy (they are set to be a big feature of the forthcoming live show).
Stepping out from behind a bank of Baby Binsons, Tony sums it all up rather nicely;
“Thanks to all the amazing musicians involved, the album ‘Floorman Presents Stack’ is something I feel I can be truly proud of- a collection of soulful, stirring songs, for your listening and dancing pleasure…”

Hear Hear!


Yap Zeeland

Tom Bailey and Cal Gibson aka Yap Zeeland.

There's a faint whiff of sample terrorism to the proceedings as the duo conjure up the ghosts of Charles Mingus, quirky cocktails, Strata East, Radio 4 phone-ins, Steptoe and Son, Greta Garbo and Lindy Layton(!): all mashed-up with plenty of live instrumentation and a healthy disregard for genres and pigeonholes.

Its an album that's already had multiple Radio 1 and Norwegian daytime radio plays off CDR - forty minutes of funk that appeals to the headz and the casual listener alike with its twisted jazzual aesthetics linked to a strong sense of the bizarre. If you've ever wondered what a gherkintini cocktail tastes like or pondered how Harold Steptoe might sound immersed in dark swathes of bass then this is the album for you - from the breaks and boogie of 'Warm Sunny Days' to the dark past of 'Meditations' its a multi-faceted exploration of music in all its many guises.

As Fug Tom Bailey has released two corking LPs on Nuphonic and Shiva Records as well as remixing the likes of Terry Callier, Salif Keita, Xtina and Whitney Houston, while as Neon Heights both he and Cal Gibson have found themselves being trumpeted by the BBC as 'one of the finest groups to emerge from dance music since Massive Attack,' with their 'A Hot Trip To Heaven' album from early this year being hailed from everyone from Rob Da Bank to XFM, Mary Anne Hobbes to Pete Tong.

'Music As A Gradual Process' is a little gem - think Ninja Tune, Scruff, Shadow and Steve Reich busting a few moves in a disused carpark and you're not far off. The leftfield stylings are underpinned by a skewed lo-fi pop sensibility that ensures this is far more than a chinstroker - its an album for those who love all kinds of music and for that it should be celebrated.