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Athens Of The North

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Athens Of The North

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Tell Me Baby
Cat: ATH 088. Rel: 01 Oct 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Tell Me Baby (3:54)
  2. I Remember (4:01)
Review: Back in June, a copy of Akira Freeze's hitherto unknown single 'Tell Me Baby' appeared on an online auction site and ended up selling for well over $2,000. It sparked Athens of the North boss Euan Fryer into action, as he tracked down the rights to the record in order to reissue it. Little information exists about the record, but we can confirm that it is utterly beguiling. A-side 'Tell Me Baby' is superb, with slick, soulful lead vocals rising above squelchy synth-bass, spacey chords, luscious electronic melodies, twinkling keyboard solos and unfussy drums. Flipside 'I Remember', an even more intergalactic-sounding affair, is arguably even better, making this a very desirable 45.
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 in stock $12.31
Party & Get On Down
Cat: ATH 12003. Rel: 26 Jan 17
Funk
  1. Party & Get On Down (Full Length mix) (5:37)
  2. Party & Get On Down (3:51)
Review: Original pressings have been previously spotted passing hands for well over L1000: Big Apple Band's 1976 deep funk classic has been rarer than hen's teeth for most of its 41 year life. Its sought-after status accelerated by Keb Darge for last 15 or so years - that and the fact it's an out-and-out soul-stirring, honey-vocalled, low and slow funk burner - AOTN have finally unleashed it in it full length for all of us. And we should all be eternally grateful.
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 in stock $11.20
Love Goddess
Cat: ATH 066. Rel: 26 Jul 18
Funk
  1. Love Goddess (4:30)
  2. Good News (Tired Of Bad News) (4:44)
Review: Athens Of The North have worked with some OGs and veterans in their time but Bobby Boyd is by far one of the biggest and influential. Cutting his teeth in the Lafayette Afro Rock Band before going solo, he recorded a whole host of material that remained unreleased. Until now. "Love Goddess" kicks off the collection with a northern soul stomp, big harmonies backed by a tight, slippery funk groove while "Good News" is golden era Boyd funk with its bright horn work, positive sentiment and driving soul energy. This is an amazing piece of investigatory work by Fryer and co. And there's more, too...
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 in stock $5.59
We Want To Play
Cat: AOTNLP 019. Rel: 23 May 19
Soul
  1. Rocking (4:02)
  2. Since I Met You Girl (2:33)
  3. Now I Know I Love You (3:04)
  4. Just For Love (2:47)
  5. Always (6:33)
  6. We Want To Play (4:16)
  7. Sweet Tender Loving (4:14)
  8. Open Up Your Heart (3:09)
  9. Together In Love (3:31)
  10. If You Want My Love (4:22)
Review: Throughout the 1970s, North Carolina outfit Brief Encounter released a string of fine, but largely overlooked, funk and soul 45s. Their most significant and celebrated release, though, is 1981 album "We Want To Play", a warm and groovy collection of boogie-fired soul songs that regularly changes hands for significant sums online. As this Athens Of The North reissue proves, the LP has lost none of its luster over the years. Highlights include the inspired string-drenched ballad "Now I Know I Love You", the groovy dancefloor heat of "Rocking" and the soaring gospel-disco brilliance of "Always".
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 in stock $14.84
Stop
Stop (7")
Cat: ATH 052. Rel: 24 Aug 17
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Stop (3:54)
  2. Doin' It Our Way (3:32)
Review: The Broomfield family troupe - led by Aaron Broomfield - laid down a sweet series of rare groove 45s during the late 70s, this Keb Darge-championed 45" from 79 (originally on Taurus) being one of the most popular. With its high energy, slick keys and sparkling percussion "Stop" sits slap in the middle of disco and boogie while "Doin' It Our Way" hits with much more of a jazz funk feel with bold harmonies hitting hard on the chorus. Previously spotted passing for L400 - it's another expert democratisation by AOTN.
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 in stock $11.76
I'm Gonna Miss Ya
Cat: ATH 050. Rel: 25 Jan 18
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Aaron Broomfield - "I'm Gonna Miss Ya" (4:32)
  2. Broomfield Corporate Jam - "Does Anybody Really Know" (4:01)
Review: For their latest trip into "in-demand collector cuts" territory, Edinburgh's Athens of the North shines a light on the work of obscure Miami artist Aaron Broomfield. "I'm Gonna Miss You" originally appeared on Mountain Records in 1981 and has become something of a sought-after record in recent years. It's a brilliant chunk of rubbery Miami synth-funk rich in mazy synthesizer solos, elastic slap bass and the urgent hustle of P-funk. Over on side B you'll find the cosmic soul bump of "Does Anybody Really Know", which appears to a previously unreleased vocal workout featuring some deliciously fuzzy electric guitar solos.
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 in stock $11.48
Billy Bruner
Cat: AOTNCD 038. Rel: 28 May 20
Soul
  1. The T-u-l-s-a Song
  2. T'spoon - "Sweetness"
  3. The Dream
  4. T'spoon - "Say Yeah"
  5. Cats Meow (previously unreleased)
  6. T'spoon - "School Dance"
  7. Amazing (previously unreleased)
  8. Never (Give Up On You)
  9. T'spoon - "If You Dance Tonite"
  10. The Davis Family - "Genesis"
Review: Athens of the North originally contracted obscure 80s boogie artist Billy Bruner about reissuing two of his rare, sought-after singles - "The Tulsa Song" and "The Dream" - but instead raided his tape archives and putting together what's effectively his debut album. Combining previously released tracks (including some made as part of similarly obscure outfit T'Spoon and the gospel-leaning band The Davis Family), unheard extended versions and previously unreleased songs, the album is warm, soulful, slick and summery. Highlights include the stuttering P-funk flex of "Cats Meow", the sizzling dancefloor heat of "School Dance" and the deliciously extended version of glassy-eyed '80s soul jam "Never". If sparkling, synth-heavy '80s soul is your thing, this is one surprise retrospective you won't want to miss.
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 in stock $11.20
Just You & Me
Cat: ATH 058. Rel: 22 Feb 18
Soul
  1. Just You & Me (4:26)
  2. Blame It On Me (5:47)
Review: Another tape extracted from the Sony vault for the first time since the record was released in 1980. A floaty disco masterpiece by an American group that has been on the soul scene for time, but deserves a broader appreciation. Edinburgh's Athens Of The North (premium licensed rare music done right!) present this in a rare issue format, with the emotive and uplifting soul power of "Just You & Me" on the A side and the beautiful ballad "Blame It On Me" on the flip - apparently most original copies are missing this track. How the band never made it past one single is a complete mystery, as both of the tracks are incredible.
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! low stock $11.48
The Game Of Music
Cat: AOTN 12013. Rel: 23 Jul 20
Indie
  1. November 18, 1983 (4:16)
  2. November 18, 1983 (ECLA dub) (4:39)
  3. Hard Black Glass (3:09)
  4. Riding Seasons (2:30)
  5. Meteora (2:46)
  6. Eyes Tell All (2:29)
  7. Red Train (4:09)
 in stock $11.76
La Massagiste
Cat: ATH 054. Rel: 16 Nov 17
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. La Massagiste (3:39)
  2. Exotique (2:18)
Review: Steamy Brazilian disco soul from provocative dancer/actor Wilma Dias. "La Massagiste" takes off where Painel De Controle's "Relax" left us three years before in 1979. Sultry and slinky with Wilma's breathy French purring over a shiny, loose-strummed funk groove "La Massagiste", it sits sweetly between euro disco and pure Latin soul. "Exotique" raises the heat with a throbbing funk riff, vibrant horns and more direct spoken dulcets from the cult figure herself. Scorchio.
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 in stock $10.64
This Time
This Time (7")
Cat: AOE 026. Rel: 22 Jun 17
Soul
  1. This Time (2:51)
  2. Don't Let Yourself Get Carried Away (2:41)
Review: Athens Of The North triumph once again with two incredible slices of crossover, feel good soul from the early 70s. Douglas & Lonero enjoyed a good vein of major form on Columbia for a while, including a live album Live At Charley Brown's, but this 1975-released RCA 45 has been the most collectable (with OG copies of the double-sided pressing fetching over 500 pounds sterling in the past) Fully remastered from the original tapes, this is the clearest, sharpest and sweatiest Douglas & Lonero have ever sounded.
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 in stock $7.57
Funny Feeling
Cat: ATH 085. Rel: 01 Oct 20
Funk
  1. Funny Feeling (3:28)
  2. Shake Your Body (At The Disco) (2:54)
Review: Athens of the North has barely put a foot wrong of late, but even by their high standards the label's latest 45 is rather special. It sees them flip a thoroughly obscure modern soul seven-inch originally released in 1980 on a "tiny local label" in the U.S called Shore Records. It was, and remains, the sole release by the mysterious E.S Funk. A-side 'Funny Feeling' offers a delicious fusion of floor-friendly grooves - check, in particular, the crunchy, snare-heavy beat - immaculately played and produced instrumentation and a catchy chorus. 'Shake Your Body (At The Disco)' is an altogether funkier, club-focused affair whose most prominent features are a rubbery slap-bass line, dancer-friendly drum-breaks and horn and synth lines that seem to be playfully sparring with each other.
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 in stock $12.31
The Dreaming Jewels
The Dreaming Jewels (LP) (1 per customer)
Cat: AOTNLP 033. Rel: 22 Jun 20
Jazz
  1. Sapphire Dreams (5:15)
  2. Eric's Breakdown (3:05)
  3. The Door Into Summer (4:56)
  4. Not That It Makes Any Difference (5:14)
  5. Lake Kussharo (4:11)
  6. Kushiro River (3:02)
  7. This Is Not Necessarily My Answer, But... (5:39)
  8. The Dreaming Jewels (6:08)
Review: After spending so much of their career to date releasing on Jazzman, it's interesting to see The Greg Foat Group make their way over to Athens Of The North for this cool and deadly new record. "The Dreaming Jewels" keeps the grooves simmering low down - all the sweeter to sink into. Just lock in on "Eric's Breakdown" and ask yourself if the track needs any more than that sweet conga flex. "The Door Into Summer" is a beautifully mellow jam too, all sultry Rhodes and sax to signal the start of lazy days. There are more tender moments and some breezier affairs, but the vibe remains chilled throughout this wonderful set from an accomplished band.
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 in stock $23.24
What About The Child
Cat: ATH 084. Rel: 30 Apr 20
Funk
  1. What About The Child (2:44)
  2. Now I Know (4:17)
Review: "What About The Child" by Avelino Pitts' obscure band GOLD has long been a sought-after deep funk rarity, with copies of the 1977 seven-inch single being extremely hard to come by these days. Helpfully Athens of the North's Euan Fryer knows the score and has decided to offer-up a much-needed reissue. The track is a fine slab of psychedelic soul in the vein of leading San Francisco groups of the period - Vehicle, Tower of Power and so on - with plenty of rhythmic shuffle and fine group vocals. Fryer has unearthed a gem for the flip, too: a previously unreleased cut that's on a similar sonic tip to Rotary Connection. It's worth the entrance price on its own.
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 in stock $9.52
Lies
Lies (limited 7")
Cat: ATH 011. Rel: 27 Mar 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Lies (4:27)
  2. Is It Cool? (4:07)
Review: We've become accustomed to Athens of the North delivering 7" singles packed full of obscure gems. Interestingly, the two tracks here - as great as they are - are relatively easy to come by, both being featured on GQ's overlooked by readily available 1980 album GQ Two. Even so, they're more than worthy of the reissue treatment, with A-side "Lies" - previously re-edited by Theo Parrish for his Ugly Edits series - offering a particularly sweet dose of warm and fuzzy disco/soul fusion. Flispide "Is It Cool" is almost as essential, with soaring horns and a killer bassline combining perfectly with the band's urgent, attractive vocals.
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 in stock $10.63
The Honey Bear
Cat: AOTNLP 013. Rel: 29 Mar 18
Broken Beat/Nu Jazz/Nu Soul
  1. The Promise (2:33)
  2. Call Of The Forrest (3:14)
  3. Crows Feet (4:37)
  4. The Fly & I (1:37)
  5. Winter Bound (6:25)
  6. The Hive (4:16)
  7. The Elderflower (4:26)
  8. Honey Dreams (2:58)
  9. Rain Clouds (3:32)
  10. Honey For A Penny (2:22)
Review: Just when you thought Athens Of The North couldn't be more versatile and innovative, along comes another imagination-arresting, heart-melting concept piece from Warren Hampshire & Greg Foat. Following last year's Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand comes The Honey Bear, an album written to a fictitious children's story where every track tells a new chapter. Ranging from the lilting twangs and pastoral beauty of "The Promise" to the much darker, filmic synth-striking "Winter Bound" and natural soundscapes such as "The Hive", once again it's another fully immersive album that genuinely enshrouds you from start to finish. Not that we'd expect anything less from any of the mavericks involved in this release.
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 in stock $19.88
Since I Was A Little Girl
Cat: ATH 040. Rel: 23 Feb 17
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Since I Was A Little Girl (3:33)
  2. Straight Talk (3:28)
Review: For their latest dive into the depths of funk history, Athens of the North travels back to 1978 and the debut of John Hawes and Velma Bunch's obscure Hard Drivers project. The record initially appeared on Hawes' own short-lived imprint, and his since become a sought after 7" amongst serious collectors. "Since I Was A Little Girl" is a disco-era funk gem, with guest singer Vivian Lee providing a brilliantly confident vocal to compliment Hawes and Bunch's driving, horn-heavy backing track. On the flip you'll find original B-side "Straight Talk", a touching torch song full of harmony backing vocals, impassioned builds, and lyrics capable of melting even the stoniest of hearts.
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 in stock $6.71
Beautiful Day
Cat: AOE 036. Rel: 28 Mar 19
Funk
  1. Beautiful Day (2:52)
  2. Beautiful Day (Drums) (3:00)
Review: Athens Of The North celebrate the longstanding contributions of host, presenter, writer, personality and occasional singer Bernard "Spider" Harrison. Recorded sometime around 1970, and fetching large triple figures between collectors, the feel good bluesy soul cut "Beautiful Day" first landed on Lulu Records and has barely seen the light of day since... Until now. And it's loaded with a never-before-released drum cut. Don't sleep, though. Only 500 of these have been pressed.
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 in stock $11.20
Mr Magic
Mr Magic (7")
Cat: AOE 020. Rel: 22 Sep 16
Soul
  1. Mr Magic (Fryers edit) (4:23)
  2. Talking About My Baby (3:34)
Review: John Heartsman and Circles are precisely the sort of fellas you'd expect to see land on Athens Of The North, the most recent boogie-jazz reissuers to come out of the US of A. This material from the late 70's is like gold on the second hand market, and more like a mirage given the fact that original copies are her impossible to come by. Anyhow, this is proper soul-jazz goodness at its best, so if that's your thing, then get on it real fast. "Mr Magic" appears here as an edit from Fryers, but it's not million miles away from the original, its subtle organs still intact and that catch, funky swing still very much at the core of the tune. Heard the Idris Muhammad version? Check it to compare. "Talking About My Baby" is looser, more soulful affair with a faster tempo and Heartsman's rugged vocals in its underbelly. Quality.
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 in stock $5.59
Reality
Reality (7")
Cat: ATH 062. Rel: 15 Feb 18
Funk
  1. Reality (3:36)
  2. Hey Hey (3:19)
Review: Previously spotted passing hands for over 5000 quid, this one-off 45" from North Carolina troupe Ice has enjoyed cult status over the years in both the deepfunk and northern soul scenes. Straight from 1980, there's a great balance of classic soul motifs and modern production as "Reality" swoons and sways unhurriedly but emphatically while "Hey Hey" ups the boogie ante with firm focus on the party, sharp switches on the chorus and some insane bass runs. Another ice cold reissue from AOTN.
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! low stock $11.48
Party Man
Party Man (7")
Cat: ATH 064. Rel: 14 Jun 18
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Party Man (3:41)
  2. Put Everything In Place (4:00)
Review: The second of two AOTN Infinity 45s, AOTN dish out another superb reissue from the late 70s US seven-piece. Serious funk soul once again; "Party Man" lives up to its name with a thumping groove, slinky slap bass licks and big call and response vocals. Instant feels. "Put Everything In Place" is a little more restrained but still very much party minded with its absurdly lavish bass walks, jaunty piano and delicious Faze-O style falsettos. To Infinity and beyond!
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 in stock $5.59
Life Is A Miracle
Life Is A Miracle (7") (1 per customer)
Cat: ATH 037. Rel: 22 Sep 16
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Life Is A Miracle (unreleased Full version) (4:55)
  2. Life Is A Miracle (part 1) (3:36)
Review: Southern soul star Jeff Floyd was just 18 when he provided vocals for this Michael Floyd-produced single in 1978. "Life Is A Miracle" was Jax Transit Authority's only single, and has since gone on to be an in-demand item amongst Northern Soul DJs, in particular. Given that original copies fetch upwards of L5,000, this Athens Of The North reissue is certainly welcome. Brilliantly, this pressing not only features the sought-after original 7" A-side (here tucked away on the flip), but also the previously unreleased full-length version. Predictably, it's a thing of great beauty, with Jeff Floyd's brilliant vocals soaring above a wave of undulating disco-funk bass, spiraling synth solos and clipped guitar riffs.
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! low stock $11.20
Copacabana Sadia
Cat: AOTNLP 015. Rel: 07 Dec 17
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Copacabana Sadia (4:08)
  2. Obvio (4:05)
  3. Que Signo Voce E? (2:49)
  4. Agre Doce (3:24)
  5. Rio Sinal Verde (3:32)
  6. Super Sensivel (2:29)
  7. Hora H (3:08)
  8. Pedras De Cristal (3:47)
  9. Via Aerea (3:05)
  10. Entrego A Deus (2:54)
Review: Under the Junior Mendes alias, Luiz Mendes Jr was a key figure on the Brazilian funk/soul scene of the '70s and early '80s. As writer, composer and producer, he had a hand in a variety of releases by such big-hitting Brazilian artists as Banda Black Rio and Tim Maia. In 1982 he recorded and released his sole solo album, Cococabana Sadia, a set that remains virtually unknown outside of his native Brazil. As this Athens of the North reissue proves, it's something of an overlooked gem. Musically, it's typically of boogie-era Brazilian soul and funk, mixing native rhythms and instrumentation with elements borrowed from disco, jazz-funk and bouncy dancefloor soul. It's unashamedly sunny and positive, too, and should be essential listening for anyone who loves Latin disco and boogie.
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 in stock $14.84
Black Fairy
Cat: AOTNLP 004. Rel: 24 Sep 15
Soul
  1. Black Fairy Meets Johnny (1:44)
  2. Please Give Me Some Magic (3:09)
  3. Black Fairy Meets Black Bird (0:38)
  4. Tell Them They Are Beautiful (1:52)
  5. Travel To Afrika (instrumental) (1:42)
  6. Black Fairy Meets Queen Mother (0:57)
  7. Afrika's My Home (3:55)
  8. Black Land Of The Nile (2:56)
  9. Trip To America (0:57)
  10. Go Down Moses (3:04)
  11. Did You Feed My Cow (1:30)
  12. The Streets Of Harlem (0:24)
  13. Afrikan Children (3:42)
  14. Black Men Can Be Beautiful (2:04)
  15. Black Fairy (2:31)
  16. Eulogy For Black Fairy (0:23)
  17. Black Fairy Returns (1:48)
  18. Hey Black Child (2:39)
  19. Johnny & Black Fairy (2:37)
Review: Reissued to mark its 40th anniversary, Black Fairy is as unique a document as they get: a jazz funk musical that tells the tale of Africa American history for children. Penned to help alleviate or counter a strong sense of injustice and inequality felt by black children the 70s, the Chicago community group La Mont Zeno Theatre tackle the brutal past - from Egypt to slavery to racial segregation - with clarity and empowerment. Musically it's at once raw and soulful, sitting somewhere between Hathaway and Scott Heron but lyrically the story has never been told like this before or after.
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 in stock $11.20
You're The Best
Cat: ATH 078. Rel: 26 Sep 19
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. You're The Best (4:28)
  2. Train Of Thought (4:29)
Review: Many disco-era modern soul collectors regard, Larom Baker's "You're The Best", which initially appeared in 1978 on an impossible to find, single-sided 7" single, as one of the style's genuine "Holy Grail" records. It's good news, then, that Athens Of The North has secured the rights to reissue it, releasing the full studio version (rather than the shorter edit that was released all those years ago) for the very first time. It's a genuine gem, with Baker's deliciously breezy West Coast soul vocal seemingly floating over a killer backing track rich in hazy horns, bustling slap bass and crunchy Clavinet lines. Turn to the flipside for the more disco-minded "Train Of Thought", one of a string of recently discovered Baker recordings that form the basis of a forthcoming album of previously unreleased tracks.
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 in stock $11.20
From Philly
Cat: AOTNCD 029. Rel: 06 Feb 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. All In Your Mind
  2. Right On Time
  3. You're The Best (alternate version)
  4. U R The 1
  5. The Ultimate
  6. Sweet Sensation (feat Kia Hamm)
  7. In The Light
  8. Spread My Wings
  9. Love Will Make It Better
  10. Train Of Thought
  11. You're The Best
  12. Somewhere Someone
Played by: Dynamite Cuts
 in stock $10.36
From Philly
Cat: AOTNLP 029. Rel: 30 Jan 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. It's All In Your Mind (3:18)
  2. Right On Time (4:03)
  3. You're The Best (alternate version) (6:28)
  4. U R The 1 (3:32)
  5. The Ultimate (4:10)
  6. Sweet Sensations (feat Kia Hamm) (4:22)
  7. Love Will Make It Better (3:51)
  8. Spread My Wings (4:35)
  9. Somewhere Someone (5:39)
  10. In The Light (4:20)
Review: Over the years Athens of the North founder Euan Fryer has heard a lot of incredible music, so when he says that La Rombe is the best singer/songwriter he's heard we sit up and take notice. To prove his point, Fryer has trawled through the Philadelphia musician's archive of recordings (it stretches back to 1979) and put together this essential retrospective. There's much to admire throughout, with the assembled cuts mostly mining the overlooked artist's soul, disco and 1980s rhythm and blues work. We'd highlight individual tracks for praise, but such is the quality throughout that naming favourites seems pointless. Take our advice: grab a copy while you can.
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 in stock $19.88
(It's A) Rat Race
Cat: ATH 093V. Rel: 01 Oct 20
Funk
  1. (It's A) Rat Race (vocal) (4:19)
  2. (It's A) Rat Race (instrumental) (4:14)
Review: Athens of the North's Euan Fryer is not the only collector and selector who believes that the Leaders' obscenely rare 1971 single '(It's A) Rat Race' should be considered a genuine deep funk classic. In fact, it was deep funk specialist Keb Darge who first brought the record to the attention of DJs and dancers in the UK in the early 2000s. Happily Fryer has tracked down the band and got their permission to reissue their sought-after classic. Formidably funky, the A-side version features fantastic group vocals rising above a bed of hazy horns, bustling drums, warm bass and razor-sharp, Blaxploitation style guitars. The accompanying instrumental take is superb, too, with a variety of woodwind and brass solos - often drenched in reverb - replacing the group's fine vocals.
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 in stock $13.16
Our Love
Our Love (7")
Cat: ATH 086. Rel: 01 Oct 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Our Love (4:23)
  2. It's Up To You (3:57)
Review: It was back in 1986 when obscure UK electrofunk band Leval released their sole 7" - a sparkling slab of pop-boogie brilliance that has long been a secret weapon for dusty-fingered diggers and Brit-funk collectors. As this Athens of the North reissue proves, the record remains a brilliant Brit-boogie gem. Check first 'Our Love', a confirmed earworm that sees the band wrap duetting male/female vocals around a deliciously bustling blend of rubbery slap-bass, eyes-closed soft rock guitars, warm synthesizer chords and a dewy-eyed, jazz-funk style breakdown. Flipside 'It's Up To You' is a little more eccentric thanks to an unusual time signature and drum track, but boasts the same addictive blend of male and female lead vocals, slap bass and synths.
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 in stock $12.31
Linkwood & Foat
Cat: AOTNCD 032. Rel: 27 Feb 20
Deep House
  1. Es Vedra
  2. Marina
  3. Pressure
  4. Bentley 101
  5. Sa Talaia
  6. Neutrino
  7. Push It
  8. Mysterious Richie
 in stock $10.64
Face The Facts
Cat: AOTNCD 042. Rel: 26 Nov 20
Deep House
  1. Theme For City
  2. First Take
  3. Porty
  4. Face The Facts
  5. 3VSR
  6. Meet In The Middle
  7. Don't Throw It
  8. Gold Leith
  9. Down Right
  10. Varial
  11. Shapes
  12. Silver Nows
  13. Up Wrong
 in stock $10.93
Face The Facts
Face The Facts (gatefold 2xLP)
Cat: AOTNLP 042. Rel: 26 Nov 20
Deep House
  1. Theme For City (5:58)
  2. First Take (4:46)
  3. Porty (4:27)
  4. Face The Facts (5:08)
  5. 3VSR (2:32)
  6. Meet In The Middle (5:52)
  7. Don't Throw It (5:06)
  8. Gold Leith (4:23)
  9. Downright (3:05)
  10. Varial (2:38)
  11. Shapes (8:42)
  12. Silver Nows (5:35)
  13. Up Wrong (4:02)
Review: Given their shared musical heritage - both are members of the extended Firecracker Recordings crew - it's perhaps something of a surprise to find that Face The Facts marks the first serious collaboration between Linkwood and Gav 'Fudge Fingaz' Sutherland AKA Other Lands. It's less surprising that the album is really, really good. Touching on warming synth-boogie, head-nodding downtempo jams, mutant beatdown, Balearic beats, sunset-ready soundscapes and warming analogue deep house, the 13-track set is notable for the pair's extensive use of dusty old drum machines, tactile instrumentation (think smooth Rhodes solos, languid guitar solos and blissed-out synths) and Sutherland's hazy, sometimes seductive singing voice.
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 in stock $21.56
Love Tempo
Cat: ATH 061. Rel: 08 Feb 18
Soul
  1. Love Tempo (3:35)
  2. Somebody Help Me Be Fair (4:22)
Review: Athens Of The North strike again. A big spinner for the likes of Floating Points, this rare-as-pigs-shoes 1980 45 from Ohio troupe Love Company has gone for big sums in the past. It's not hard to hear why; "Love Tempo" raises the heat with an unrelenting disco beat, coastal guitar textures and harmonies to swoon to. "Somebody Help Me Be Fair" flips for a much more sentimental story as Love Company unravel the problems of a menage-et-trois. Steamy.
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 in stock $11.48
Everyone Needs Somebody
  1. Everyone Needs Somebody (2:47)
  2. Crazy About You Baby (3:05)
Review: Straight out of Kansas via Solo in LA circa late 60s, this rare-as-hens-teeth 45" has passed hands for bionic bundles almost striking four figures in recent times. Now liberated by AOTN sister label Owls Of Athens, its loose soul funk can be felt by everyone. "Everyone Needs Someone" sees Leroy Tucker guide his troupe amid brazen horns and rolling toms. "Crazy About You Baby" flips the tone for a more bluesy ballad led by a more heartfelt Leroy backed by lonely strums and warm organs. Two sides, two stories, AOTN strike gold once again.
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 in stock $5.59
Keep On Dancin
Cat: ATH 073. Rel: 29 Nov 18
Soul
  1. Keep On Dancin (3:34)
  2. You (3:23)
Review: While Luther Davis is undoubtedly best known for his sought-after disco smash "You Can Be A Star", many collectors and deep funk DJs have long insisted that the more obscure "Keep On Dancin" is even better. Thanks to Athens of the North's timely reissue of the latter, you can now decide for yourself. Certainly, it's a ludicrously infectious, full-throttle disco-funk affair whose extreme dancefloor intensity is helped by Davis and company's liberal use of studio effects, psychedelic backing vocals and some serious eyes-closed guitar solos. This reissue comes with B-side bonus soothing slow jam "You", which is a serviceable chunk of deep soul.
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 in stock $11.48
Never Satisfied (reissue)
Cat: AOE 034. Rel: 28 Nov 19
Funk
  1. Never Satisfied (3:19)
  2. Did You Ever Lose Something (2:24)
Review: Athens Of The North digs out this red-hot slice of vintage soul funk from Richard Marks, giving you some fodder for your jukebox to get fired up to. "Never Satisfied" is a crunchy, riffing workout that sounds like an over-driven JBs. Flipside "Did You Ever Lose Something" is no slouch either, all bright horn stabs and a sweet rhythm section. In the long and winding history of US soul, the service labels like this offer in picking out the gems for a fresh airing is invaluable - no need to question it, just grab one!
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Played by: Originals
 in stock $11.20
Say It With Feeling
Cat: AOE 031. Rel: 22 Feb 18
Soul
  1. Say It With Feeling (2:16)
  2. Conscience (2:48)
Review: Excavated from vaults of the Weiss Brothers' longstanding NYC imprint Old Time Records, Beverly McKay's gutsy tales have massaged soul floors for those lucky to have a 200 pound 45. "Say It With Feeling" hits with big backing vocal harmonies before breaking into a classic midtempo bluesy arrangement while "Conscience" strikes with a little more eastern allure, staccato strings and a cat-prowling narrative. Timeless soul.
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 in stock $5.59
James McKenzie & The McKenzie Brothers
  1. James McKenzie - "Lady Is Love" (3:16)
  2. James McKenzie - "Live Again" (4:10)
  3. James McKenzie - "Two Ladies" (3:59)
  4. The McKenzie Brothers - "Hope She Don't Hurt You" (5:06)
  5. James McKenzie - "Wonderful To Be In Love" (3:45)
  6. The McKenzie Brothers - "Felt Her Fire" (4:00)
  7. James McKenzie - "I've Got To Go" (3:37)
  8. James McKenzie - "Birth Is Love" (6:46)
  9. The McKenzie Brothers - "Joni's Little Song" (2:02)
  10. The McKenzie Brothers - "Lonley Girl" (4:00)
  11. The McKenzie Brothers - "Tomorrow Is Your Own" (2:48)
 in stock $14.84
Play With Me
Play With Me (7") (1 per customer)
Cat: ATH 080. Rel: 07 Nov 19
Funk
  1. Play With Me (4:22)
  2. In Action (4:16)
Review: Athens Of The North hitting us with big fat juicy slap bass feels right here as an ultra-rare joint from Miami's Frank Cornelius and Gary King aka Myth comes our way. "Play With Me" comes live and direct from 1985 and you can tell in every direction. The production is fat and roomy and the boogie flavours are off the Scoville scale. Meanwhile on the B we have the duo's first single "In Action". Equally funky, salubrious and widescreen but with a little more vocal action, it's another boogie triumph from the Scottish reissue kings.
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 in stock $11.48
Relax
Relax (limited 7")
Cat: ATH 013. Rel: 27 Mar 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Relax (3:30)
  2. Malandrinha (4:09)
Review: The Brazilian disco and boogie scene of the late '70s and early '80s has been in the spotlight of late, with several labels releasing celebratory compilations of killer material. Here, Athens of the North get in on the act, re-issuing Painel De Controle's relaxed, jazz-funk influenced jam "Relax", a single B-side and album track originally released in 1979. Like many of the greatest Brazilian disco/boogie records of the period, it's loose, lovely and really rather sumptuous, inviting you to dance while offering a saucer-eyed hug with arms outstretched. Flip for the less celebrated, but no less potent, 1978 cut "Malandrinha", a bossa-tinged number that's almost unfeasibly sunny.
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 in stock $11.20
Color Me (reissue)
Cat: AOE 035. Rel: 22 Aug 19
Funk
  1. Color Me (2:32)
  2. Misty Shade Of Pink (2:35)
Review: Way back in 1970, People In The News released their sole single on Knap Town, a tiny label based in Indiana. Original copies of that funk "45" are notoriously hard to find, thanks in no small part to the quality of both cuts. Step forward Athens Of The North boss Euan Fryer, who has secured the rights to reissue the single for the first time. A-side "Color Me" is the real bomb: a down-low chunk of mid-tempo funk with politically charged group vocals, rasping guitar licks and hip-hop style drum breaks. Over on side B, "Misty Shade Of Pink" is the kind of rock solid instrumental funk workout you'd expect to hear from the Meters.
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 in stock $11.20
Dreaming Our Lives Away
  1. Dreaming Our Lives Away (3:36)
  2. A Feeling Inside (4:22)
Review: In early 2019, Athens of the North put out a new edition of an obscure, private press modern soul album from 1976 by People's Pleasure with Alive & Well, an alias of a band better known for their 'World Full of People' 45 as Everyday People. This "45" boasts two tasty cuts from that set. On the A-side you'll find 'Dreaming Our Lives Away', a heady crossover soul/funk tune whose reverb-laden female vocals, punchy horn lines and tactile grooves should appeal to all serious '70s soul heads. Over on the flip you'll find starry-eyed, loved-up slow jam 'A Feeling Inside', a no less potent but far more laidback affair.
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 in stock $10.93
Don't Act Like A Fool
Cat: ATH 083. Rel: 30 Apr 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Don't Act Like A Fool (4:25)
  2. In Love (3:47)
Review: Athens of the North boss Euan Fryer recently described Premonition as "the best obscure New York boogie act you've never heard of". He'll be releasing an entire album of their rare and unreleased material later in the year, but first he's treating us to a reissue of their best-known moment - impossible-to-find 1986 soulful boogie slammer "Don't Act Like A Fool". The track ticks all the right boxes -rubbery slap bass, mid-80s FM synth sounds, passionate male lead vocal, needless but delicious sax and electric guitar solos etc - and is little less than an overlooked dancefloor heater. On the flip you'll also find original B-side "In Love", which Fryer brilliantly (and accurately) describes as a "mid-tempo floater".
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 in stock $11.48
Hidden Stash
Cat: AOTNLP 006. Rel: 05 May 16
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Love & Happiness (8:14)
  2. Get Down (3:32)
  3. Oo Girl (3:44)
  4. Dance With Me (3:30)
  5. Dark Moon (4:59)
  6. Everybody's A Masterpiece (2:31)
  7. Sweet Vibe (3:25)
  8. Party lights (3:08)
  9. Boogie (3:28)
  10. Confusion (4:57)
  11. Pick Up The Apple (4:01)
Review: Following BBE's release the Chicago troupe's Devil Made Me Do It earlier this year, Athens Of The North ensure the criminally over-looked/under-paid band continue to remain in the spotlight with an entire album of unreleased material. Recently excavated from a Chicago warehouse, complete with masters, the songs were written and recorded in the mid '70s not long before the band eventually split. If you know their material, you'll already know how funky the band are. If not, dig deep at the soonest opportunity. From the toxic-levels of cosmic funk on "Boogie" to the dreamier, space ballad "Dark Moon", this is the sound of a super-tight, incredibly talented funk band who really should have been up there with Cymande or Average White Band.
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 in stock $22.69
Sittin' On It
Cat: AOTNCD 034. Rel: 30 Jul 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Sha-Na-Na
  2. All My Love For You
  3. I Need Your Love
  4. Waiting For A Sign
  5. Sitttin' On It
  6. Strung Out On You Love
  7. I Need You Baby
  8. Answer
 in stock $10.36
Sittin' On It
Cat: AOTNLP 034D. Rel: 23 Jul 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Sha-Na-Na (5:16)
  2. All My Love For You (4:47)
  3. I Need Your Love (5:20)
  4. Waiting For A Sign (4:39)
  5. Sitttin' On It (6:51)
  6. Strung Out On Your Love (7:00)
  7. I Need You Baby (4:16)
  8. Answer (3:12)
Review: Floridian modern soul band Rivage recorded just one single and a sole album during their early '80s heyday, and both are apparently amongst Athens of the North boss Euan Fryer's favourite records of all time. It makes sense then that he has decided to reissue their album, "Sittin' On It" - an ultra-rare affair from 1981 that is here presented for the first time with an alternative photo cover (apparently the band hated the original cover). There's plenty to get the juices flowing across the eight tracks, with our highlights including "Sha Na Na", a punchy call for "soul for the people" blessed with brilliant horn arrangements, the Clavinet-sporting disco-funk cheeriness of "I Need Your Love", the deliciously celebratory title track and sweet, flute-laden closer "Strung Out On Your Love".
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 in stock $19.03
Try Love (One More Time)
Cat: AOE 030. Rel: 22 Feb 18
Soul
  1. Try Love (One More Time) (2:06)
  2. That Boy Of Mine (2:10)
Review: Spotted changing hands for upwards of 800 quid, demand for this rare one-off from the mysterious Sparkels has been intense since it became a strong staple in both the popcorn and northern soul scene. Apparently first demoed by Norma Jenkins to Motown, who declined it, Herb Bernstein took this on but dropped it when it failed to gain attention. Both sides sprightly girl group soul with subtle touch of blues and a beautiful piano fill on "Try Love" and a bubble gum sing-along twist on "That Boy Of Mine", your floor won't stop moving when either side is dropped.
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Played by: I Love 45's!
 in stock $11.48
Watchin' Out
Watchin' Out (limited 7")
Cat: ATH 005. Rel: 20 Mar 20
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Watchin' Out (3:17)
  2. Dazed (3:44)
Review: More dusty-fingered funk and reissue fun from DJ Fryer's prolific Athens of the North imprint. As usual, these tracks are pretty darn obscure; they both dropped on the Split Decision Band's 1978 debut on the obscure Network Records imprint. "Watchin' Out" is a tight-but-loose chunk of hazy disco-era funk with a sturdy backbeat and particularly rousing horns. It will slip into both funk and disco sets with ease. Flipside "Dazed" is altogether slower, with sparser production emphasizing the quality of the parping, razor-sharp horns. It's a superb alternative to the equally admirable A-side. Another winner from Athens of the North.
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 in stock $11.20
Don't You Know I Love You
Cat: ATH 057. Rel: 07 Dec 17
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. Don't You Know I Love You (part 1) (2:59)
  2. Don't You Know I Love You (part 2) (2:36)
Review: Georgia troupe Star Quake gave the world just one record... And boy is it special. Slick pumping disco funk with focus, momentum and shimmering chimes on the chords as the track climaxes, there's an air of Stevie to the vocals and unashamed funk throughout. So good it comes in two parts, there's a reason original copies of this have passed hands for almost $2000 in the past.
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 in stock $11.76
You
You (7")
Cat: ATH 039. Rel: 24 Nov 16
Disco/Nu-Disco
  1. You (4:46)
  2. Space V (4:18)
Review: Christopher Sprains and The Strange Band recorded a whole heap of material in a hazy, drug-fuelled 19178, but their - surprisingly - never gained enough traction with the NYC disco crowd. Perhaps this work was too ahead of its time and, while it does share some qualities with the music of Rick James, it contains something dark, sexy, a little bit twisted and, of course, strange. The lead track "You" is a synth-heavy, electrifying boogie cut with a rugged percussion swing and an air of post-punk to its mix down, not to mention those utterly freaky vocals; our favourite, though, is actually "Space V", an insanely nutty electro cut that would have undoubtedly been on The Electrifying Mojo's playlist should it have landed on his lap. Totally recommended...
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 in stock $6.71
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