Bandcamp Is A Hub For Classic Soul Sounds
Bandcamp is a superb breeding ground for music communities.
The platform’s ability to let you search through other people’s purchases is a superb prop for recommendations, a means to follow up on social media and press hype in real time, allowing great music to spread organically through the system in an unforced manner.
Often pegged as a hub for a nexus of DIY indie rock and left-field electronic communities, the reality is that almost every form of music under the sun is embracing Bandcamp right now, both as a shop front as a means of promotion.
Soul – in its most classic sense – isn’t immune to this. A new generation of musicians are re-interpreting the work of Motown, Stax, and sundry other labels in a fresh way, often re-tooling vintage kit to create fresh sounds.
It’s a bona fide underground movement, one that has already produced internationally revered names such as Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and Charles Bradley.
With Bandcamp Friday rolling around once more, Clash picks out five key areas for exploring this superb soul sound.
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2020 has been a remarkable year for American label Colemine. A continual series of seven inch releases have seen them bolster their dancefloor reputation, as if that needed any further emphasis. A hub for vintage funk and soul done in a fresh manner, Colemine have already brought you absolutely essential releases from Monophonics, Ben Pirani, and the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio.
Kelly Finnigan’s outrageous full length ‘The Tales People Tell’ landed last year, and it recently spawned the sought after seven inch pressing ‘I Called You Back Baby’, a monstrously infectious slice of funky soul that is well worth seeking out.
Alongside this, however, Colemine have put their weight behind the Black Lives Matter protests, with each Friday bringing a fresh piece of consciously minded soul music. A label in tune with the times – and soul’s historic role as a vehicle of protest – their catalogue is simply impeccable.
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The Kevin Fingier Collective
The outer-national dancefloor travels of Acid Jazz took the London label to South America a few months back, linking up with crate-digger extraordinaire Kevin Fingier for this ultra-groovy seven inch release.
Renowned for his role in spreading the Mod gospel across Argentina, Kevin Fingier gathered a group of like-minded musicians to form The Kevin Fingier Collective. ‘Don’t Wanna Cry No More’ is a tasteful piece of Northern soul inclined club fare, complete with guest vocals from Gerri Granger.
You should really flip it over, too - ‘Sunglasses After Dark Part One’ is a moody, vibes-laden cut, one that connects the soul jazz roots of the Mod movement to its current 21st century stance.
Order it HERE or listen below.
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Daptone Records are arguably the definitive soul stable for the 21st century, helping to accelerate the retro-modernist attitude within soul musicians in New York. Founder Bosco Mann recently returned to the Californian town of Riverside, however, and built a new studio – time for a fresh sub-label, then, with a fresh attitude.
Breathing in those pure West Coast breezes, Penrose Records specialises in sweet soul and beat ballads, the kind of heart-renching cuts Northern Soul DJs would often ignore in favour of 175MPH fare.
Launching with a run of five superb singles, Penrose Records taps into elements of gospel, as well as nodding towards the low rider scene, so pivotal within the Latin-American culture.
Thee Sacred Souls stole our attention with the mighty ‘Give Us Justice’, but it’s also checking out hotly tipped releases from Thee Sinseers, Los Yesterdays, and The Altons.
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London’s very own PM Warson is a one man soul factory, a superb live proposition who brings his own take to rhythm ‘n’ blues. His previous singles sold out almost immediately – and currently sell for several times their cover price on Discogs – so his next drop is set to be vital.
Available to pre-order right now, ‘Every Day (Every Night)’ is a rugged soul shaker, with a hint of British R&B – think Georgie Fame or Duffy Power – in its veins. On the flip, PM Warson (and band) deliver a rugged take on the old Mod dancefloor war-horse ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’.
Truly, you can’t sit down.
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It’s one of soul’s more curious facts that some of the finest, most vital releases of the past 20 years have come not from Brooklyn or London but from… Finland.
Yep, the Nordic nation is home to Timmion Records, a stable who have built a phenomenal record for gusty soul music with a modern feel.
Carlton Jumel Smith has made headlines, and his recent seven inch ‘Help Me (Save Me From Myself)’ b/w ‘Remember Me’ is a great example of the Timmion ethos – classy, stylish, and timeless music done with a reverence for the lineage they work in. If you feel like splashing out, then Timmion Records arrange regular box sets based around their singles output – they’re currently on volume five, but in truth they’re all worth getting.
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