Release Date: 19th February 2021
In the shadows of the Renaissance Centre in downtown Detroit 1979, producers Jimmy Hall and Ralph Leach founded independent record label Ren Cen Records. Predominately used as a outlet for their roaster of local artists, over a ten year period Jimmy & Ralph tried to make their name releasing anything from electro-boogie to synth pop and soul.
One of the first artists released on the label was Rita Joyce. Little is known about Rita and like many of the label’s other artists, this single was her only brush with a recording career. Dancing Close and Back Home Again are two incredibly powerful tracks with Rita’s voice effortlessly gliding across each track. Tough drums and a deep synth hook provides a concoction that has led to this single becoming highly sought-after by soul & hip-hop collectors alike.
Miles Away are delighted to reissue this deep cut once again on in its original 7” format. Remastered and repressed brandishing the Miles Away teal green label. The release is set for 19th February on vinyl & digital platforms.
a1. Rita Joyce - Dancing Close
b1. Rita Joyce - Back Home Again
Release Date: 16th October 2020
In the 1960’s when Atlantic, Stax and Motown were at their peak; a little-known label in Norfolk, VA headed up by Noah H. Biggs, called Shiptown, was also giving young kids a chance to perform.
Mr Biggs owned many labels locally and viewed many of the releases as a chance to showcase young, talented artists and performers in order to get them placed at larger national record companies. As a result, many of Shiptown’s releases can be extremely hard to track down with most pressings limited to 200 or less.
One of the last releases on Shiptown came in the mid 1970s by The Grooms, a few years before the passing of Mr Biggs. The only single the band ever released consisted of a phenomenal A Side, a mid-tempo funk track with amazing vocals and a killer horn arrangement called ‘Slow Down’. This is a track that’s hard to define - it takes inspiration from so many soulful genres.
On the flip is a devastating beat ballad called ‘I Deserve A Little Bit More’. This track builds to a spine tingling crescendo. Raw soul at its best, with a wonderfully gritty mix of tight harmonies and unhinged emotion.
If this one doesn’t move you, check your pulse.
a1. The Grooms - Slow Down
b1. The Grooms - I Deserve A Little Bit More
Release Date: 9th July 2021
Ungodly War is one of the many stand outs from our 2020 reissue of Lamont Butler’s one and only album It’s Time For A Change. Taking inspiration from jazz, soul and funk, Ungodly War is a dynamic track recorded some 50+ years ago in Lousiville, Kentucky.
“People have always loved that track (Ungodly War), people would always want to talk to me about it and you know it’s more relevant now than ever before…it’s stood the test of time” Lamont Butler.
For this release we wanted to try something a little different and so, for the first time on Miles Away, we’ve enlisted the help of a musician to add a little somethin’ somethin’. Someone who has spent a lifetime hoarding, editing and compiling rare soul and disco records. There’s was only really only one person at the top of our list and he goes by the name Al Kent.
Al’s sound is big and his edit flows from the off, allowing everything we love about the original to shine through perhaps even more brightly than before. With a little beefiness added to the drums and a subtle restructuring in parts, the result is an exemplary 7” bullet ready for the dancefloor.
On the flip is a deep cut Get Up And Praise The Lord, which features on the album and was a track many a DJ reached for from the album.
a1. Lamont Butler - Ungodly War (Al Kent’s Heavenly Edit)
b1. Lamont Butler - Get Up And Praise The Lord
Release Date: 21st May 2021
For our 7th release we are delighted to be reissuing a single that has brought us a lot of joy in recent times. We first came to hear Delores Fuller’s beautiful single One More Chance Lord in the same way we have heard a lot of new music over the last year and a half – through a friend’s lockdown recommendation. Ever since, the single has been a staple in our collection and permanently on our turntable.
Perfectly transcending the genres of gospel, modern soul and disco. One More Chance Lord kicks it off with a piano riff that’ll be stuck in your head for days, building to a soaring chorus with lyrics that would fit any uplifting category. My Greatest Desire on the flip, is a ballad reflecting Delores’ vocal talents. Stripped back with only the piano for accompaniment. Delores singing about values of life - “not searching for riches, not hungry for fame”. Perhaps inadvertently explaining why this single has never had the prominence it so deserves.
The single was originally released in 1983 on Intro Records, a US based label predominately active throughout the 1980s. After a little diggin’ we reached out to Dwain Jones who duly licensed us the both sides and informed us that the single features a truly amazing arrange of musicians. Stanley Banks; bassist on classics albums such as George Benson’s Breezin’, Jonathan DuBose, guitarist with renowned gospel group The Clark Sisters and not to mention Pee Wee Ellis; James Browns band leader in the late 1960s who’s sax can be found peppered throughout Delores’ album God’s Love.
Remastered and now available again on the teal green label of Miles Away. Limited 500 pressing and set for release on 21st May. Get one quick!
a1. Delores Fuller - One More Chance Lord
b1. Delores Fuller - My Greatest Desire