Release Date: 1st October 2021
We are always happy to throw you a curve ball, Athens of the North have an LP of our catalog flipped by Scottish beat Maker / Hip-Hop producer extraordinaire Jaisu.
We have always been a huge fan and sorted Jaisu with records whenever he popped down the office for a chat. One day early this year in full covid gear he came down to the studio with some beats from our previous releases and immediately I was like "Man do us an LP" and so the project was born. Jaisu took arms full of vinyl back to his studio in Niddrie and started feeding his MPC.
a2 Theme from Rockay
a3 Why I'm Thirsty
a4 Rocks Off
a6 Highway 633
a7 Hawaiian Roll
a9 Gotta Go
b2 Fancy Guys
b3 Attention Earthling
b4 In Love, In, Love
b6 Wonderful Licks
b7 Piano Factorys
b8 The Wooden Room
b9 Space with Space
b10 The Hairy May Jive
Release Date: 28th May 2021
For the 4th ECLA and the start of things opening up (maybe) we have gone full party mode, nothing too serious, just good dancefloor fun. Side one is a rebuild of a rare disco funk 45 by Homegrown Syndrome, we also have an unreleased 45 from the band on the way in the next few months.
On the flip Shake is a deeper but no less dance floor friendly affair, sampling a 45 we put out a few years back to create a whole new Belizean disco house joint, winner winner chicken dinner!
Release Date: 30th April 2021
'Without You' is the second release from Athens of the North house band, it's a lovely deep house side with obvious influences. 'Without You' came together while warming up some new gear that had landed in the studio during lockdown and as often happens when you're not trying too hard something just comes together. For the vocal we had a multitrack tape of Avelino Pitts from the band Gold (Sadly he passed a few years ago) and Edinburgh singer Lucy (more to come from her soon). While we may be known for disco and funk AOTN crew grew up in the early 90s, so house is our bread and butter, so you will be hearing more.
On the flip side is something we have been wanting to do for some time, I always loved Mary Love's 'Come Out Of The Sandbox' but felt the structure of the track was a little tricky to play out. We went ahead and restructured the track as well as adding synth parts and created a 12-inch mix that never was (but should have been). We brought to the mix to Ady Croasdell at Ace Records (who currently own the rights) and asked if he would let us release the track legitimately, thankfully Ady liked it and kindly gave us the green light, so delighted that it's not only out but licensed correctly.
a1. Without You (feat. Avelino Pitts & Roni)
b1. Come out of the Sandbox (East Coast Love Affair Mix)
Release Date 22nd February 2019
Gratitude's rare Canadian disco 12" is well know to the heads, there is also a VERY rare 7" with a slightly alternate mix that is almost entirely unknown (not even listed on Discogs).
'We Are Here To Party' is a driving Deepfunk disco banger in the vein of King Tut. On the flip 'Loving You' is a Chic influenced disco production as strong as the A-side, always good when its a solid flip as well. We have taken the 12" Versions and put it on to 45, the forthcoming David Haffner compilation will have the even rarer 7" Version on it.
Back into disco turf, loads more on the way.
a. We Are Here to Party
b. Loving You
Released 23rd September 2016
Christopher Spraggins & The Strange Band out of Rochester, N.Y released a total of one record. . A spaced out druggy disco band that had a hint of Rick James with a deeper trippier vibe that's truly unique, reproduced for you here for the first time since 1978. The band was introduced to the world by Cleveland Unlimited Records who still exist to this day, unfortunately as these things go, the record failed to gain sales needed to justify further releases despite there being more recordings. Some of said recording are on the way, don't sleep as per.
b1. If Your So In Love
Released 23rd September 2016
Before the technical and historical chat this is what we have... Super rare local Michigan disco 45 in the vein of 'Long Train Running' but better, that should be enough to click buy I would hope. Flipside were a typical local radio rock band drawn into the disco funk wave and became known locally in Michigan as the "the long Haired Disco Band Guys." The Record is notable as it was produced by David Kalmbach, this Michigan legend owned Great Lakes Recording Studio which played a very important role in the garage rock movement by offering teen bands the chance to record a 45 that could be sold off the bandstand or at local record shops, given to potential employers, and even get airplay on one or more of the many AM rock and roll radio stations that dotted the state. Band member Dave Stewart went on to be in "The Magnificent Men" (A.K.A. Blue eyed soul brothers.) who were the first ever band to open for James Brown at The Apollo Theatre and also played with Eddie Holman, Soul Survivors & The Four Tops.
a1. Havin a Party
b1. Music (Gets Me High)
Released 23rd September 2016
Two massive Unreleased 12" inch disco bangers from the obscure florida band Fruit, cut loud and deep like a true disco 12 should be. The Fruit Band's fleeting existence was only recently revealed by the discovery of a few unsold copies of their sole 1978 7" single, Say It, which quickly became a cult showpiece for savvy DJs and collectors, now we finish that untold story with the LP this 12" and a soon to be released 45.Support from Gilles and tons of other in the know Djs, this is a one time deal, so dont sleep.
a1. If You Feel It, Say Yeah (Unreleased Full Version)
b1. Say It
Played By Theo Parrish
2 Deep Disco Classics on 45 for the first time
Brand new master from Sony cut at Timmion Cutting Lab, Finland.
"G.Q" stood for "good quality", they were not joking. As well as a few top 10 hits G.Q also had a wealth of brilliant disco bangers across their 70s output. Here we present 2 favourites of my own,k 'Lies' and 'is It Cool?' . Not only of mine buy clearly Theo Parrish's also as he featured both on 'Ugly Edits' over a decade ago, great as it saved me from playing the LP in clubs and fighting the feedback. These track have always sat next to the best rare modern soul and Deepfunk classics with ease, they are some of the best records in the Genre. To top it off we got a new perfect master from Sony and cut the 45 at Timmion cutting Lab in Finland and its sounds great. A personal favorite, im delighted to be able to put this out with the care it deserves. "See that there's a party going on...;...;"
a. G.Q. - Lies
b. G.Q. - Is It Cool?
- Possibly the rarest disco 45 in the world.
- Last copy sold on eBay for $7000
- B-Side is brilliant funk 45, unknown because of its rarity.
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 band 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.
What a record, top of the stack, a perfect 10. Just Buy it.
a. The Reality Band and Show - Gangsterboy
b. The Reality Band and Show - All You Need Is Time To Mess Around
- Previously Unreleased Versions
- Alternate Version without synths
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.
a. Milton Wright - Silence That You Keep (First Version)
b. Milton Wright - Po' Man (First Version)