With big outlet FNAC usual wrongdoings, which we warned about 7 years ago now, and Virgin Megastores closing, with some crookery from the distributors hiding their losses and rushing headlong into the wall, record labels are dying in France. Well not many have ever existed over here, but now they're disappearing at an accelerated speed. Warp Records was among the first ones. Numero Group, Daptone, Rhymesayers, Finders Keepers, G-Stone, Light In The Attic or Sofrito for example have completely fallen off the radar. "Where are they now?" would be the name of the TV show! Now-Again, Truth & Soul, Freestyle, Jazzman, Record Kicks, Strut or Vampisoul, just like many others, have stopped sending records. Ubiquity, Soundway, Stones Throw or Royal Potato Family are still there, irregularly… and for how long? Thankfully there's still some resistance from REAL INDEPENDANTS, in there for the love of music and beautifully crafted objects for the real world. This first playlist of the year does a focus on these cats. Kept Records, Family Groove Records, Cast-A-Blast, Six Degrees, Music With Soul, Tru Thoughts, Tramp Records, of course our own Paris DJs little label growing fast… and a few of our friends such as Souleance, Les Frères Smith or Shawn Lee. But enough with the ranting, here's a new selection of which records and what music is happening in our lil' universe.

Paris DJs Playlist Janurary 2013

The January 2013 Paris DJs Playlist :

01. Alpman - Tintm bw Hypnotic Redhead (Kept Records 7 inch, 2013) info | buy
02. Aurra - Perfect Date (Family Groove 7 inch, 2013) info | buy
03. Bobby Valentine - Bobby's World (Shawn Lee digital album, 2012) listen/buy
04. Jimmy 'Preacher' Ellis - The Story Of (Tramp Records promo CD for the deluxe 2LP, 2013) info | buy

There's a new style of raw and mesmerizing funk coming from the Middle East, called "spychedelic". And it happens on our of our favorite labels from Canada, Kept Records! You gotta check Turkish funkster Alpam's limited edition 7 inch asap… Or you could go and dig for some lost 1984 modern soul from the Slave offshoot Aurra, which Steve Washington reformed after departing from Salsoul, with Sheila Brody aka Sheila Washington & Mark Stevens. The record, supposed to be released on Quincy Jones' Qwest Records label, was shelved, & tapes only recently recovered. A unique blend of Funk, Boogie, Electro & R&B on this little 7 inch announcing the album later on this year. The Bobby Valentine album has been released for a full year already, but we just stumbled upon it while announcing the new Shawn Lee single, on his own bandcamp page. It's a complete self-released album of covers sold as a "reissue of the rare 1973 private press album by the obscure Easy listening/Soul crooner Bobby Valentine"… which is just a new disguise for one of the most prolific producer on this side of the funk, after Clutchy Hopkins, Eugène Harrington and many others. Expect psychedelic & orchestral 70s white soul and future retro golden oldies magic! On the reissues side, we can't advise enough the Tramp Records series, 'The Story Of', with this month an anthology from Jimmy "Preacher" Ellis, from blues, R&B and proto-funk to psychedelic funk and seventies soul, with most of the tracks re-appearing for the first time.

05. Blend Mishkin feat. Jamalski - We Are Roots (Cast-A-Blast upcoming free single, 2013) info | buy
06. Grant Phabao presents The Jays - Stepping Up In Time (Paris DJs digital single, 2013) info | buy
07. Grant Phabao presents The Silvertones - Keep On Rolling (Paris DJs digital album, 2013) info | buy
08. The Lions - Fan Club 45 (Stones Throw 7 inch, 2013) info | buy

Greek reggae/dancehall activist Blend Mishkin will have a new single out this month, 'We Are Roots' featuring MC Jamalski. The track will be out on Cast-a-Blast as a limited free download from February 18th till March 30th to support and give strength during the man's travels for the "Rewind Guaranteed Europe Tour" starting very soon. Killer dancefloor biz with Jamaican flavors, as always. Heavy heavy heavy! Our own Grant Phabao isn't resting either, with a new single from The Jays and a new album from the legendary Silvertones, following the ones he's put out from The Lone Ranger and Carlton Livingston before. Phabao is THE man whom Jamaican veterans go to today, when they're looking for the real thing they used to find at Lee Perry's or at Coxsone's! We've also received the fan club 45 from The Lions on Stones Throw Records, announcing the boxset 45 of the upcoming roots reggae/soul second album from the Los Angeles gang… But more about that, track-by-track, very soon!

09. Egyptian Project - Ya Amar (Six Degrees CD, 2012) info | buy
10. Fumaça Preta - Bruxa (Music With Soul 7 inch, 2012) info | buy
11. Fumaça Preta - Vou-Me Libertar (Music With Soul 7 inch, 2012) info | buy
12. Les Frères Smith - Opposite People (Live At Roskilde Festival 2012) (Paris DJs free single, 2013) info/download

Our first African record playlisted this year comes from Egypt through France. Egyptian Project is an blend of Egyptian melodies, voice and rhythms with European electronic beats and textures, and the album 'Ya Amar', recorded over three years, is a splendid electro-acoustic / Oriental-fusion piece. Ambitious and deep. We then go to The Netherlands and the young Music With Soul label who releases some strictly limited 45s and gently sent us two singles from Fumaça Preta, a band gathering Brazilian legend Joel Stones, who runs the Tropicalia in Furs label in New York, Stuart Carter and James Porch from raw funk UK band The Grits and Portuguese-Venezuelan producer/drummer Alex Figuera. Their music is an insane mixture of psycho garage funk with Brazilian 70s psychedelics, raw and in-your face, with their own nasty sound! Those two 45s are crazy-ass sick and limited to a handful of hundred copies each so don't hesitate any second more if you're into the mind-blowing biz!! Also in our playlist this month, a 11mn live cover of Fela Kuti's 'Opposite People' as played by Les Frères Smith last summer at the amazing Roskilde Festival in Denmark. Those guys are currently preparing their second album, to be recorded and mixed by Grant Phabao this spring for a summer release…

13. Hidden Orchestra - Fourth Wall/The Revival (Tru-Thoughts promo CDR for the digital single, 2013) info | buy
14. Natural Self - Machine (Tru Thoughts promo CDR for the digital single, 2013) info | buy
15. Shawn Lee - The Word Jam (Paris DJs digital single, 2013) info | buy
16. Souleance - La Beat Tape (First Word digital mixtape, 2013) info | buy

Uncanny Scottish four-piece band Hidden Orchestra will be releasing a new single with an exclusive b-side on February 25th, extracted from their second album 'Archipelago', one of those records that doesn't leave the area around the turntable for months after its release. 'Fourth Wall' is a new tour-de-force in cinematic beats, with James Bond images coming to mind. Those guys should be doing a movie soundtrack VERY soon! Also out soon on Brighton's Tru Thoughts Recordings, the new Natural Self single is no less majestic and sounds like a perfect mix of TM Juke's electronic soul and The Beta Band mushroomness. 21st century production at its most inventive and soulful. A new artist joining the ever-expanding rooster of the Paris DJs collective, Shawn Lee doesn't really need an introduction anymore with something like 50 albums released in an amazing career that started in the mid-90s! His new single 'The Word Jam' evoques the Cosmic Library Funk spirit of Nino Nardini and J.J. Perrey so don't hold back and grab this digital release to support your favorite music website! In 2012 R'n'B and Bass music were the big hype… but most of the albums in those genres we've heard had all something in common: they were BORING. So much boring. Even the Frank Ocean one which nealry everyone supported was something hard to swallow as a whole. No fun, no music really… what was the point? Thankfully a few innovators in both scenes have managed to rise from the cloudy airwaves, Zulu Guru for example in R&B, and the crazy French duo of Souleance in the modern beats section infested with MPC blandness, notably. The latter have a new digital album and 7 inch out this week, 'La Beat Tape', and it's pure dancefloor fire in a wild variety of styles. Freshness like this is what we're after!

Contact us to be featured in this monthly playlist or send us records at :
Julien Lakshmanan / Paris DJs
240 rue de Belleville
(gardien au 55 rue du Telegraphe)
75020 Paris, France

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