Sdban Records have outed a teaser for their new Various Artist compilation Hip Holland Hip: Modern Jazz In The Netherlands 1950 – 1970, So Why by Kwarter Leo Meyer.
Originally drawn to the clarinet under the influence of the Dutch Swing College Band as a teenager in the mid-1950s, Leo Meyer converted to bebop after befriending pianist Rob Madna. He then switched to the alto saxophone and learned the ins and the outs of the instrument by listening to records of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Phil Woods and Stan Getz. In the early 1960s, Meyer was playing with the cream of Dutch jazz (Madna, Herman Schoonderwalt, Frans Elsen, Cees Smal) in clubs in Haarlem, Amsterdam or Rotterdam (where he played the warm-up of Eric Dolphy’s concert in jazz club B-14).
1964 was the year when his quartet won the Hartewens festival in Haarlem, which gained the band studio time for Imperial Records. Tenor saxophonist Joop van Enkhuizen, who won the soloist prize at said festival, was added to the band for the one-time recording. Both Leo Meyer and Joop van Enkhuizen consciously decided not to become professional musicians because they refused to make artistic concessions, but they each built a respectable career as amateurs. Meyer has occupied the lead alto and tenor chair in several big bands, playing concerts in The Netherlands and abroad, while van Enkhuizen has collaborated with the likes of Horace Parlan, Han Bennink and Pierre Courbois.
Sdban Records will release Hip Holland Hip: Modern Jazz In The Netherlands 1950 – 1970 on June 16th.
Music Man presents the ultimate compilation of the seminal B-Sides project by Frank De Wulf, originally released on the label in 1990. He is considered one of the pioneers of the Belgian new beat and techno scene, and also became a driving force in the European techno circuit of the nineties.
While still at school in the mid-eighties he already ran his own radio show while keeping two residencies in Ghent. He soon started to produce his own tracks and remixes, inspired by the rising new beat movement in Belgium. One of his first releases was Acid Rock under his Rhythm Device moniker on Music Man, which instantly became an underground hit at famous night club Boccaccio – one of the Belgian clubs where new beat really took off – and over the years developed into one of the classics of the first European dance wave.
Frank De Wulf’s real breakthrough came with the infamous B-Sides 12″ series on Music Man Records. All four volumes charted in several European countries becoming a firm favourite among leading techno DJs worldwide. As a result of this success Frank traveled the world as a DJ and live act, playing all major raves and clubs at the time, meeting like-minded techno pioneers like Derrick May, Joey Beltram or Sven Väth as well as R&S Records founder Renaat Vandepapeliere, whose energy and strong belief in the success of quality dance music had a major influence on Frank’s career.
The list of artists he was asked to remix is an impressive one, including names such as Model 500, The Orb, The Shamen, Orbital, Jam & Spoon, N-Joi or Biosphere, just to name a few. Frank later released a great body of work on his own labels H.P.F., Mikki House, Tribal Sun or Growth in order to gain more creative freedom to release his tracks and do production work for other artists. At the end of the nineties Frank decided to concentrate on another great love of his: the world of film and post-production. He founded GRID, a post-production company specialised in visual effects and motion design, while still doing the odd remix or occasional DJ set.
This box set includes all music originally released on The B-Sides volume I, II, III, IV, ‘The B Sides Remixed’ & ‘Beyond The B-Sides’, pressed onto 4 x 180 grams heavy weight vinyl records including a 8-page booklet with liner notes.
Limited to 500 numbered copies.
A1. Frank De Wulf – Compression A2. Frank De Wulf – Reforced A3. Frank De Wulf – Just Another Beat B1. Frank De Wulf – There Ain’t Nobody B2. Frank De Wulf – Electrain B3. Frank De Wulf – Compression (Remix)
C1. Frank De Wulf – Magic Orchestra C2. Frank De Wulf – Freestyle 909 C3. Frank De Wulf – Magic Orchestra (CJ Bolland Remix) D1. Frank De Wulf – Latino D2. Frank De Wulf – The Heat of The Moment D3. Frank De Wulf – Butterfly
E1. Frank De Wulf – The Tape (Remix) E2. Frank De Wulf – The Darkness Revisited E3. Frank De Wulf – Foreign Trips F1. Frank De Wulf – Orbital Ways F2. Frank De Wulf – The Original F3. Frank De Wulf – The Tape
G1. Frank De Wulf – Moribund G2. Frank De Wulf – Imagination G3. Frank De Wulf – Raise H1. Frank De Wulf – Traffic H2. Frank De Wulf – Moral Soundabuse H3. Frank De Wulf – I Love You
From the two towering pillars of the Arab World’s Tarab, Om Kalsoum & Mohamed Abdel Wahab, comes another cult classic of Wa Maret El Ayam
Umm Kulthum needs no introduction – along with the call to prayer, her magnanimous voice has reliably been one of the few daily constants across the Arab worlds’ sonic landscapes over the past century. From Aleppo to Alexandria, Baghdad to Beirut and Cairo to Casablanca, in 1934 and for the following forty years her live broadcasts on the first Thursday of each month would see streets and workplaces deserted as millions rushed home to tune in; Umm Kulthum triumphantly became the beating pulse of a new post-colonial Arab world order, and the embodiment of Egypt’s cultural renaissance. Perhaps most remarkably, she spearheaded the remoulding of gender norms across the Middle East by setting an example of what dignified, perseverant and unabashedly Arab women can go onto achieve – she was incredibly business-savvy, actively engaged in public circles at the highest levels, and firmly devoted to her career over traditional family life. Her formidable presence extended to her fervent voice – being a contralto and in all her glory, she would stand at least three feet away from a microphone when singing. Her exalted tone and mastery of Maqaamat (Arabic melodic scales) allowed her to sing intricately layered Arabic poetry while evoking in listeners, be they peasants or aristocrats, a trance-like state of Tarab or rapturous enchantment where time and space dissolved into the music. Egyptian novelist and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz aptly compares her to a “preacher who becomes inspired by his congregation…..when he sees what reaches them he gives them more of it, he works it, he refines it, he embellishes it” – perhaps this is why she was said to have never sung a line the same way twice! Though many have attempted over the years, Umm Kulthum’s voice has proven to be simply inimitable.
Her long-awaited and blessed union with the godfather of contemporary Arabic music, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, finally came in circa 1965 under the auspices and repeated urging of the widely adored Egyptian President Gamal Abdel-Nasser.
Egyptian King Baligh Hamdy and “The Lady” Om Kalsoum meet for the final time in her parting ode, Hakam Aleena El Hawa
There is no Western counterpart to Umm Kulthum, that much is clear. She was once described as having had “the virtuosity of Ella Fitzgerald, the public persona of Eleanor Roosevelt, and the audience of Elvis”, and the likes of Bob Dylan and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin count her among their ultimate sources of inspiration. Charles De Gaulle adorned her with the title of “the Lady” and to the Arab world, she was simply known as the “Voice of Egypt” or “Egypt’s Fourth Pyramid”. What Umm Kulthum achieved over the course of her sixty-year trailblazing career is nothing short of legendary; renowned for her ability to gracefully rise above the grandeur of instrumentation, she would reincarnate melody by deftly colouring her tone depending on each piece’s deep emotional context. Adding to her gravitas, she had perfected the diction and pronunciation of Classical Arabic, having committed the entire Quran to memory aged 12 – a feat that remains to this day unmatched by any other prominent artist. Her five-hour long performances would rapture her listeners into feeling wistful melancholy, warming jubilation and fierce trans-nationalistic pride, all at once.
Throughout Umm Kulthum’s illustrious years in the limelight, there were persistent rumours of a romantic relationship between her and prolific Egyptian composer, Baligh Hamdy. The true depths of their relationship remain a mystery, however, their collaboration as artists brought the world some of its most prized & collectible pieces in the Arabic musical canon.
Hamdy was a powerhouse who epitomised the parlance between avant-garde oriental and occidental arrangements with vigour and tenacity, and Umm Kulthum herself was deeply compelled by his compositions. After delivering her the sensation that is Alf Leila we Leila and other timeless classics, Baligh Hamdy for the final time composes Hakam Aleena El Hawa in Umm Kulthum’s parting ode before her death. In a hauntingly beautiful ballad, she speaks of the overwhelming nature of love and sincere affection, over a delicately formulated Maqam Nahawand on the Arabic melodic scale. With an intro featuring the rhythmic fireworks of Hany Mehanna, Egyptian King of the Farfisa organ and pioneer of the oriental synth, Souma Records proudly present a remastering of the original studio version for The Voice of Egypt to live on. High-quality pressing housed in delicately handmade natural paper jackets.
Musing, beckoning and triumphant as always…
Muhammad Al-Najjar, Cairo, April 2023
Wa Maret El Ayam, and Hakam Aleena El Hawa are out now on Souma Records
Arriving this May, the French icon’s first solo album since 2015 is his most dancefloor-focussed yet.
Laurent Garnier is one of electronic music’s best-known acts, a pioneering household name responsible for decades of clubland classics. From experiencing the acid-house movement first-hand as a DJ at The Haçienda through to timeless hits such as the breakout Crispy Bacon and the enduring The Man With The Red Face, his tireless enthusiasm has permeated the dance music landscape via six celebrated albums, numerous singles and a relentless touring schedule.
Vocal-led tracks tastefully borrow from a range of genre influences; from the Hip Hop inflected In Your Phase with 22Carbone, an incendiary number that will be firmly burnt into the memory of any attendee of Garnier’s recent DJ sets, to the Punk of Saturn Drive Triplex, which features vocals from the late Alan Vega, of influential duo Suicide notoriety. Elsewhere, sprinklings of broken rhythms appear in the leftfield downtempo cut …et puis s’en Va! and Drum & Bass experiment Sado Miso, offering listeners a further view into his wide-ranging taste.
Across 2022, Garnier released five EPs, each containing a special hidden code referencing a fairground ride from his childhood, alluding to the album. Now presented through various mediums upon release, including a triple Vinyl LP, cassette, and CD alongside the digital copy, each version offers a thoughtfully tailored experience towards the listener’s preferred format.
A1. Tales from the real world (version instrumentale) A2. Liebe grüße aus Cucuron B1. Reviens la nuit (DJ Edit) B2. On the REcorD (part 3) C1. Saturn drive duplex [Feat. Alan Vega] C2. Closer to you [Feat. Scan X] D1. Sake stars fever D2. Cinq o clock in le matin E1. In your phase [Feat. 22Carbone] E2. Give me some sulfites F1. Au clair de ta lune F2. Granulator Bordelum
Cod3 QR will release 33 Tours Et Puis S’en Von on 9th June 2023.
The story of the Belgian label Sdban Records began almost ten years ago with an impressive record collection. Today, there is not only Sdban, the one label for exceptional records from days gone by – with Sdban Ultra, a sister label for the current Belgian jazz and funk scene has been established too.
His own record collection as a business plan: Stefaan Vandenberghe has known the music business for a long time. As a DJ, he travelled the world, visited artists and labels, and there are various articles to his name on the internet. (Among other things, about his extensive record collection, which formed the basis for the founding of his label Sdban. Allegedly, no one wants to help him move anymore). On his travels, Vandenberghe also always visited the small local record shops to stock up on local releases.
»More than once I found cool Belgian releases but located at complete different music sections, and mostly underrated in the scene«, says Vandenberghe. It was on one of these occasions that he had the idea of founding the label. A label that specialises in these gems and makes them accessible to a new audience.
»Most of these tracks were hidden as b-sides, library music or released in small quantities without proper promotion or distribution«. The business plan? A gut feeling, “based on my passion for music and with the experience I’ve developed over the many years collecting music”. Even then, it was clear that since many of the releases had appeared in the 1960s and 1970s, it would be an adventure to get the rights for them. Or to find the rights holders at all.
Gut feeling as a business plan
The name of the label is derived from the name of the label boss: from Stefaan you make a more exotic variant and get the Spanish Esteban. From there it goes phonetically on to Sdban. And the record collection: Vandenberghe estimates that he owns over 55,000 records. »A very diverse collection containing a lot of electronic music as well as jazz, Brazil music, afro, disco,funk, dub.«
Funky Chicken, the label’s first compilation, was released in 2014 – a series of Belgian funk tracks from the 1970s. “Rather than releasing singles or re-releasing the original albums, I thought it made more sense to compile a nice selection and include liner notes so that the listener would understand the idea of the label.” A specific sound or scene did not exist in Belgium at that time, says Vandenberghe. Everyone was doing their own thing somehow. “When compiling the Funky Chicken I’ve found out that many artists never heard of each other until now”. Belgium is not a big country, and yet every region has its own clubs, its own nightlife.
“More than once I came across cool Belgian releases, but they were located in completely differentmusical genres and were often underestimated in the scene”. – Stefaan Vandenberghe
From then on, it continued with various releases and compilations. Among them: Koen De Bruyne’s album Here Comes The Crazy Man! A record pumped up with fusion, originally released in 1974. Three years later, De Bruyne died. Today, the album has cult status in the Belgian scene. An underrated record, says Vandenberghe.
Sdban belongs to the Belgian label and distributor N.E.W.S., which has been in place since 1994. The business offices are located in the northern part of Ghent. (Good conditions: nice city, not too big, but a lively scene, many creative people). 21 music lovers work here in all areas of the music industry and sooner or later also for the publications of Sdban, where Ilja Bracke also works alongside Vandenberghe.
A place to go for talents
Shortly after founding Sdban, Vandenberghe realised that there were also a number of talented Belgian artists in the current jazz scene. So what to do? Found a sister label. With Sdban Ultra, there is now a place to go for up-and-coming musicians like the soul singer Adja. “As I was afraid they could experience the same problems as the releases in the 70ies – lack of promo, bad distribution, undiscovered for many years“. That’s where the reputation of the original helps: Vandenberghe gets a lot of music sent to him or slipped to him by other musicians on the label. Today, bands like Black Flower, STUFF., ECHT, De Beren Gieren and others are part of the programme.
“I feel lucky as Belgium has such a fertile scene and while the older generation still keeps evolving, a new generation is waiting to be discovered”. With Sdban, there is a place that captures all this. Thanks to a label boss with the right gut feeling.
At the turn of the ‘90s, British dance music gave birth to two interconnected styles that put heavy sub-bass front and centre: bleep techno and breakbeat hardcore. Such was their popularity that the styles inspired countless imitations and mutations, both within the UK and far beyond.
This is the story told in a major new retrospective from Musique Pour La Danse, Bleeps, Breaks + Bass, a carefully curated and well-informed collection of rare and sought-after tracks from the early ‘90s selected by label founders Olivier Ducret and Bunkerheadz. Available on two limited-edition double LPs (each presented in heavy cardboard gatefold sleeves on 180g, half speed-mastered vinyl), compact disc and digital download, Bleeps, Breaks + Bass features artwork by legendary graphic designer Trevor Jackson and extensive liner notes from dance music historian Matt Anniss, author of the acclaimed book Join The Future: Bleep Techno and the Birth of British Bass Music.
A quick glance at the track listing will confirm the depth and variety of Bunkerheadz and Ducret’s selections, which largely sidestep celebrated anthems in favour of overlooked gems, deeper cuts and genuine rarities – all of which have been re-mastered by legendary bleep producer and engineer Rob Gordon (Forgemasters, Xon, co-founder of Warp Records) and half-speed mastered/cut by Sidney Meier at Emil Berliner.
Across the collection you’ll find lesser-celebrated gems from significant figures in the scene (Unique 3’s long-overlooked Digicality, rare tracks from 4 Hero side projects R-Solution and Tek9); surprise bass-heavy excursions from popular outfits of the period (A Man Called Adam, A Certain Ratio and The KLF’s What Time Is Love as remixed by The Moody Boys); significant but frequently forgotten underground anthems (outings from Boneshakerz, Hypersonic, Ubik and KCC); secret weapons (Three Sons, Heychild, Techno Excursion); and even a sub-heavy classic from Norwegian ambient legend Biosphere. It all adds up to a significant celebration of one of the most fertile periods in the development of dance music with bleeps, breaks and bass.
A1. The Scientist – Spiral Symphony (Sample Me Mix) 03:00 A2. KCC – Def Cõn Bass 04:36 A3. R. Solution – Blowing My Mind 04:04 B1. Biosphere – Baby Satellite 05:06 B2. A Certain Ratio – Spirit Dance 05:39
C1. A Man Called Adam – Midievil (The Inquisition) 06:46 C2. Unique 3 – Digicality 04:48 D1. Hypersonic – Dance Tones (Tekno Mix) 05:28* D2. Heychild – Heychild’s Theme 06:08
A1. Terra Incognita – Alien Element (UK Mix) 04:26 A2. Tek 9 – Space 91 03:12 A3. Boneshakers – Don’t Go Away (Original Dub Mix) 03:38 B1. Ubik – Bass Generation 06:08 B2. Break The Limits – Drums Of Freedom 05:06*
C1. Techno Excursion – Come With Me 06:01 C2. Trak 1 – For This II 04:32 D1. Three Sons – First Step 04:03 D2. KLF – What Time Is Love? (Moody Boys vs KLF Mix) 07:38
01. The Scientist – Spiral Symphony (Sample Me Mix) 03:00 02. KCC – Def Cõn Bass 04:36 03. R. Solution – Blowing My Mind 04:04 04. Biosphere – Baby Satellite 05:06 05. A Certain Ratio – Spirit Dance 05:39 06. A Man Called Adam – Midievil (The Inquisition) 06:46 07. Unique 3 – Digicality 04:48 08. Heychild – Heychild’s Theme 06:08 09. Terra Incognita – Alien Element (UK Mix) 04:26 10. Tek 9 – Space 91 03:12 11. Boneshakers – Don’t Go Away (Original Dub Mix) 03:38 12. Ubik – Bass Generation 06:08 13. Techno Excursion – Come With Me 06:01 14. Trak 1 – For This II 04:32 15. Three Sons – First Step 04:03 16. KLF – What Time Is Love? (Moody Boys vs KLF Mix) 07:38
Musique Pour La Danse will release Break, Bleeps + Bass on April 7th, 2023