Monday 15 April 2013

Record Kicks 10: 2003-2013 [Album review]

It wasn’t too long ago on this blog that we talked about the staggering achievement for the Record Kicks label reaching the milestone of ten incredible years as an independent record label specialising in the soul and funk music it garners from scouring all four corners of the globe.  Well, I say ‘staggering achievement’ but when you put music out of the quality and calibre that Record Kicks do, it isn’t ‘staggering’ at all, it’s inevitable.

This inevitable achievement has been marked by the label in 2013 with something of a ‘best of’ as they revisit 21 nuggets of funky delight from their catalogue.  Record Kicks certainly know how to put a good compilation together, and for a label with a discography as extensive as theirs, their compilations serve as great launching pads by which to explore other acts and albums they’re proud to boast.

[As a side note, their compilation from 2011 deserves special mention: ‘Mo Record Kicks, Act 2’ (helmed by Smoove, the producing half of contemporary soul duo Smoove & Turrell fame), was singularly responsible for having secured me as fan].

The track list is made up by current flag-wavers including Dojo Cuts and Hannah Williams & The Tastemakers who each appear with ‘I Can Give’ and ‘I’m a Good Woman’, respectively (impossible to have selected a bad song from either band!), and, excitingly, ‘previously unreleased’ tracks from The Liberators, The Baker Brothers and Nick Pride & The Pimptones hopefully all indicate new albums from each act this year.  Reminiscent of 2011, each of the aforementioned three bands served amongst Record Kicks’ front line assault in that year of releases, and could potentially be doing so again this year.  Specifically, Nick Pride & The Pimptones have built exceptional standards for future material by delivering an absolute scorcher for the summer, ‘Everything’s Better in the Summertime’.

Further album highlights include the Nostalgia 77 Remix of The New Mastersounds’ ‘Your Love Is Mine’ (featuring Corinne Bailey Rae), the TM Juke Remix of Gizelle Smith’s ‘June’, ‘Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover’ by The Hawk & Little Hannah Collins and ‘Much More’ by Milano Jazz-Dance Combo featuring Colonel Red.  Baby Charles covering the Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor’ is also a notable highlight, proving there’s really little reason not to have this amongst your collection.

In the blog I mentioned at the outset of this article, I included a line in that particular post with ‘Here’s to another ten’, but in this case I’ll amend that to ‘Here’s to the review of ‘20 Years of Record Kicks’ I’ll be writing in another ten!’

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