Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 Top 30 Chart

As record sales continued to climb in 2014 there was a plentiful supply of new releases from both the up and coming and the time served dons. Add to that the ever expanding pool of reissues, re-edits and compilations and we had smörgåsbord of wax to go at. These are just some of the tunes that moved me in 2014. Part 2 to follow early 2015.

my link to juno records

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio #20 End Of Year Throwdown 2014

It's time for our annual End Of Year Throwdown on Cowbell Radio. Not quite sure where 2014 went but there were some damn fine records released throughout the year!

As record sales continue to climb there have been a plentiful supply of new releases from both the up and coming and the time served dons. Add to that the ever expanding pool of reissues, re-edits and compilations and we have smörgåsbord of wax to go at.

This Saturday I will be running through the Top 30 records I have been playing on the show and at the clubs and festivals over the last year. The 'maybe' pile is currently overflowing with tracks as the final list is starts to take shape.

There have been casualties and I am bound to have missed or forgotten a few but for me these are the ones that make me think '2014'.

Dig Deep On Cowbell Radio
End Of Year Throwdown
Saturday 20th December 2014

Listen Live Links:

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Dig Deep Recommends: Floor Jammers Vol 2

The excitement for me on this one is the vinyl release of one of the stand out tracks off the Rahaan Edits Volume 1 CD. I first heard Rahaan's take of Mass Production's Cosmic Lust several years ago on his Disco Boogie Women mix and I've been hoping someone would release it on vinyl ever since.

His edit of the jazz funk classic is pure genius, with nips and tucks in all the right places, this is probably my favourite Rahaan edit to date. An absolute bomb.

Andy Ash's Feel Groove is a beat ridden soul take of Teddy Pendergrass that tightens up the beats and adds some extra punch. A quality production from one of Liverpool's finest.

Beaten Space Probe revisit the Millie Jackson's We Got To Hit It Off which has previously been edited by Watson and was sampled on Carl Craig's remix of Tom Trago’s 'Use Me Again'. Their version is a bit of a teaser in the way it climbs then drops.

Out In The Sticks - A&S Dub is probably my 2nd favourite on offer. A fine slice of boogie funk with a liquid bassline and 80s synth action.

I doubt this will be around for long, my advice is to snap it up now.

Juno Records latest campaign

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Dig Deep Recommends: Dust & Grooves Adventures In Record Collecting

Eilon Paz’s Dust & Grooves: Adventures In Record Collecting project is a beautiful combination of photography and interviews with Questlove and other obsessive record collectors. The result is a stunning 436 page coffee table book about the world's most fascinating and accomplished vinyl collectors.

Readers get an up close and personal look at a variety of well-known vinyl champions as well as a glimpse into the collections of known and unknown DJs, producers, record dealers, and everyday enthusiasts.

The second revised edition of the book, available from December, profiles over 130 vinyl collectors, featuring a foreword by the RZA and interviews with Questlove, Gilles Peterson, Four-Tet, the Gaslamp Killer to name a few.

Unearthing the very soul of the vinyl community, Dust & Grooves: Adventures In Record Collecting will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers, from die-hard record enthusiasts to fans of pop culture, sharp photography, and music history.

Medium‘s April Greene, who has been part of the Dust & Grooves family since 2008, tells the stories behind a handful of Eilon Paz’s photos. She picks 11 of her favorite collector shots and asks Eilon about what it was like being behind the camera, the interviews sessions, and the full story. Read April's full interview and check out some more of Eilon's photos here.

There is also an excerpt of the new Questlove interview on the Dust & Grooves site, alongside many others including Gilles Peterson, Gaslamp Killer, DJ Food, King Britt, Frank Gossner along with a Digging in Ghana special, Rich MediaMonk One, the list goes on.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio #19 with Jamie 3:26 (Partehardy / Rush Hour / Lumberjacks In Hell)

"I like all kinds of music, so long as it has a good groove."

For the 19th show on Cowbell Radio I am honoured to welcome special guest DJ and Producer Jamie 3:26 to the Dig Deep Chicago Family.

Release wise Jamie 3:26 is one of those guys that doesn't incessantly put out a load of stuff, but when he does put something out it's usually pure gold. His less is more approach seems to be working with several of his releases now going for decent money on Discogs.

Kicking off his solo productions with a series of ace disco edits back in 2008 on Partehardy Records, Jamie has remixed House luminaries such as Jungle Wonz, Chip E and Marcellus Pittman as well as working with newer acts such as youAND:THEMACHINES and the Chromatic Filters.

In 2011 Jamie released Acid Whump on Strobelight Honey records. Full of 303, it's one of his dirtiest tracks to date and came on the B-side of Bostich Time. Whilst in 2012 he re-edited Can You Feel It by Rhythm Makers for the Lumberjacks In Hell label.

In 2013 Jamie contributed 2 tracks to the year's best selling Chicago Service EP; the 1st track being an uptempo take of Curtis Mayfield's Give Me Your Love, whilst the 2nd was co-produced with DJ Cratebug. Between them they twisted Loletta Holloway's Hit N Run into another level floor wrecker (check my full review here).

Jamie's latest release is Insanity Project / Acid Showe on Rush Hour Store Jams. With no online sales and it only being available via selected stores, people are going to have to be very quick and very lucky to get their hands on the vinyl only release.

On the DJ front, Jamie is up there with the best from the Windy City. His sets epitomize the true house sound of Chicago whilst not forgetting it's deep disco roots. Jamie loves the music he plays and it comes across in bucket loads, as he gets down as hard behind the decks as the people do out there on the dancefloor.

In November Jamie is working his way up North as part of the Lumberjacks In Hell Tour, starting off in London on 7th November and before playing Manchester on the 8th alongside Marcel Vogel and Rahaan.

So as we gear up to air an exclusive Dig Deep mix from the man on this month's show for Cowbell Radio, here is a collection of some of my favourite tracks plus a decent little interview.

Dig Deep On Cowbell Radio
with Jamie 3:26 (Partehardy / Lumberjacks In Hell)
Saturday 15th November 2014

Listen Live Links:

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Dig Deep Recommends: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence LP

The new American Intelligence LP from Theo Parrish sounds ace!

As you would expect, the hugely anticipated follow up to Sound Sculptures Volume 1 is not just a collection of dance tracks. The 3 x 12" gatefold album covers all bases from hypnotic afro grooves, jazz soaked slo-mo, dark techno, rhythmic percussion and MPC funk.

Predominantly pure gold from Theo, the only really off the wall track is Helmut Lampshade which I can only describe as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock on speed playing live on a bouncy castle in space.

The double CD version comes with extra tracks including the brilliant Thug Irony. Personally I would rather have had that on the vinyl instead of Helmut Lampshade, so I am hoping Thug Irony is planned for a future single.

Check the LP out and see for yourself. If you don't feel it you must be dead inside ;)

3 x Vinyl version

2 x CD version

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Guest DJ Mix on the Energised Radio Show

One time only trip back to Preston FM this Saturday to guest on Tim Melia's Energised Radio Show. 

Tim's show focuses on electronic music and goes out every Saturday night between 9pm and 11pm. The playlist cover house, breaks, electro and electronica and is one of the best shows on the station.

Tim will be broadcasting the mix that I did for Chicago House Radio before playing an exclusive set by DJ Izrail that was first broadcast on Dig Deep back in 2012.

It's great to be doubling up with my big brother from the Windy City Izrail Dizko to bang out the music on the FM airwaves again, like we did when we used to Dig Deep On Preston FM.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Dig Deep Recommends:Harvey Scales - Trying To Survive

Every so often I come across a soul record that blows my head off. The first time I heard Trying To Survive was one of those days. Stop you in your tracks poignant and soulful lyrics over some of the funky grooves you will ever hear.

Originally released by James Thorpe on his Magic Touch label in Chicago Illinois, the original pressing of this super rare funky soul 45 has fetched up to $2000 in recent years.

Rarity aside, it's the lyrics that do it for me. It sounds like it was released back in the 70's so it's sad to think some 40+ years they still make sense today.

Trackdown, a more Northern sounding cut, maintains the quality on the b side.

The reissue that came out earlier this year is virtually sold out in the shops, but Juno Records have just had a restock. A must-have for all soul lovers that don't want to shell out for the original (that's if they can find one).

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio #18 with BLACK (Lost Control / Now Wave)

This month I am pleased to bring you an exclusive mix from Manchester based DJ BLACK.

One of the new breed, it is quickly becoming apparent that BLACK has spot on tastes and he can always be relied upon to deliver a set of quality house, techno, future garage or nu disco.

He is resident at Lost Control where previous guests have included DMX Crew, Perseus Traxx, Youngstar and Asok. The next event at the Q Cavern is on November 7th and features special guests Alexander Robotnick, James Holroyd and Tim Morrison (check the podcast below).

BLACK has put together this set especially with Cowbell Radio in mind so it's no surprise artists include Mugwump, Depeche Mode, Sabres Of Paradise, Lord Of The Isles and Richard Sen.

As usual PT will have a wedge of his own tips and selections - breaking new music whilst not forgetting the classics.

BLACK links:

Dig Deep On Cowbell Radio
with BLACK (Lost Control / Now Wave)
Saturday 18th September 2014

Listen Live Links:

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Cream Of The Crop - October 2014 Vinyl Chart

Mixed bag as always, this month's number #1 goes Opposite People, a respectful edit of the Fela classic by Bosq.

It's rare for a track to be repeated in my charts but Discipline by Funkineven featuring Jay Daniel is still blowing me away. Harvey Scales' Trying To Survive is essential soul music. Meanwhile Lidell Townsell's Jack The House off the Party People Jack Your Body EP has been reissued on Trax.

Nick Weston's consistently strong Mukatsuku label is back on it, with Lost & Funk Soul Gems Volume Two, featuring Loleatta Holloway's 'Bring It On', but my pick is 'I'll Be Around' by Ron Henderson & Choice Of Colour on the B side.

New discovery for me, check K15's ace Hall Of Memories on Wotnot Music for one of the freshest tracks of the year. The EP also features the original of Bordeaux plus remixes by Glenn Astro & Imyrmind and Kaidi Tatham.

Christiana Essien's sought after You Can't Change A Man is a sweet piece of afrodiscosoul and comes in either black or 2 shades of blue. Always go for the black vinyl where possible!

Secret Squirrel Volume 5 maintains the high quality with two more nu disco gems. The A side turns Willie Colon's 'Set Fire To Me' into a lovely deep grower whilst the B side takes on Electric Chair classic 'The Final Time' by Steve Bender.

Detroit Techno fans may want to snap up the purple vinyl reissue of Mayday's Sinister, the Undisputed mix has been a personal favorite for a long time.

Terry Farley Presents Acid Rain: Definitive Original Acid & Deep House 1985-1991 12" Sampler 1 off the Top 10. DJ Pierre's Box Energy and Laurent X - 'Machines' both rep on the 303 classic front whist Ralphi Rosario - 'In The Night' is a new found love that slipped me by the first time.

And there are another 20 releases after that including Fela Kuti Vinyl Box Set 3, which comes 7 x 180 gram 12"s and is compiled By Brian Eno...

my link to juno records

Juno Records latest campaign

Friday, 10 October 2014

Mesmeric Launch Party

House and techno never went away for me, but over the last few years it seems there has been an abundance of decent, deep, soul laced, funk dowsed, jazz tinged, bass ridden electronic music from new and upcoming producers.

At the same time classic labels such as Trax, KMS, DJ International, Pheerce City and Harmless are reissuing many of the original Chicago and Detroit based releases that made such an impact in the UK the first time around.

Meanwhile 2nd gen producers like Omar S, Ob Ignitt, Theo Parrish, Jay Daniel, Kyle Hall, Kai Alce, Mike Huckaby, Rahaan, Jamie 3:26 etc continue to lay down some of the finest and filthy grooves ever to grace a dance floor. And let's not forget the talent from across Europe.

Add that to the amount of disco and boogie records that have been unearthed, given the re-edit treatment, then tagged Nu and we have what has to be one of the strongest and most fertile underground scenes in the world right now.

So with all that in mind, this Saturday sees the launch of a new club night for Preston.  It's called Mesmeric and it has been born to give the DJs that are booked the chance to play all the new music they are feeling right now, on a loud PA, to the decent sized core of music heads that live in and around the city. Here is the lowdown:

Upstairs, sound in, lights off, decks on.

COTTAM (Ruff Draft)
JOHN TREE (The Perfumed Garden)


Free in before 11pm // £3 after

The Adelphi,
Fylde Road, Preston

Monday, 15 September 2014

Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio #17 with Yogi Haughton (SSW)

This month Dig Deep gears up for a very special guest DJ mix from the huggable hulk that is Yogi Haughton.

Writer, broadcaster, producer and former Red Bull Musical Academy rep, Yogi is arguably the best known DJ in Scotland. Widely regarded by many as the man that took house music and techno north of the border, his thirst for rare, quality black music has never waned. The Edinburgh Evening News branded Yogi as “probably Scotland’s most important DJ”.

Yogi has worked with the biggest and best DJ’s around the world as well as some incredible live acts including, Chaka Khan, Leroy Hutson, Todd Terry, Tony Humphries, Terry Callier, Roger Sanchez, Danny Tenaglia, Roy Ayers, Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez and Giles Peterson to name just a few.

Trips to Brasil, Australia, North America, France, Sweden and numerous other countries have all been highlights in Yogi’s DJ career, as well as the hundreds of gigs he has played around Britain including 14 Southport Weekenders and numerous Prestatyn Weekenders and venues throughout Britain. Yogi was also at the arrow head of the U.K. Warp bleep sound where he played regularly with Nightmares On Wax, Unique 3 and Sheffield’s Winston during the early 90’s.

Yogi has recorded for some of the world's top labels, including the prestigious Guidance stable in Chicago, Vibe Records (Murk’s sister label in Miami) and the legendary R&S stable where his ‘Tribal Tone’ track sold by the shed load. Not to mention the numerous U.K. labels he has recorded for over many years.

There is no doubt that Yogi’s record collection, now around 70,000 strong, has stood him in good stead. He is still playing every weekend at either a northern/modern soul gig, jazz gig, rare soul or a bread and butter house night.

Always striving to break moulds, boundaries and keep pushing the scene on, Yogi now concentrates all his energy on the international event that is the SSW Weekender. A whole weekend of clubbing in the huge and plush Park Hall Hotel, near Preston, that is literally turned into a giant night club for the weekend.

With sessions each night until 7.00am, SSW boasts a line up to shame even the best Miami Winter Music Conference party! With 4 indoor arenas, plus a 5th area outside, the huge 30-50K Void Incubus sound systems ensure the tunes get the respect they deserve. With a line up of 70+ acts, SSW is an essential event for anyone with a love for rare Northern Soul, rare Modern Soul, Boogie, Disco, Jazz, Afrobeat, cutting edge House and US House.

SSW DJs and artists include: Danny Krivit, Horse Meat Disco (Luke Howard), Mad Mats (Local Talk), Anne Sexton live, Crazy P (Ron Basejam DJ set), Medlar, Cottam, Jimpster, Groove Assassin, Michael Watford live, CeCe Rogers, Graeme Park (Hacienda Set + Disco Set), Colin Tomlinson, Let's Go Way Back, plus many more including Skiddle's own TW Wizard and Simba.

More info:

Described by DJ Magazine as "The John Peel of dance Music", it is an honour and a privilege to broadcast an exclusive mix from this pioneer and stalwart of the U.K. house and techno scene.

Dig Deep On Cowbell Radio
with Yogi Haughton (SSW)
Saturday 20th September 2014

Listen Live Links:

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club returns to Preston

In around 5 week's time The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club returns to Preston's 53 Degrees. This will be the 4th time Craig has brought his legendary Trunk Of Funk to the city, and if the previous events are anything to go by, this will be another sell out night.

The atmosphere that Craig generates is 2nd to none; the crowd are always on the dance floor from the moment the doors open till the end of the night. His ever charismatic sets are a culmination of years of work as a presenter and stand up comedian fused with a life long obsession with funk and soul music.

With an explosive party feel, the place literally 'erupts' as soon as Craig gets behind the decks. A natural entertainer, anyone that can smoothly take a crowd from a peak time jump up and down anthem into a chilled out version of Bob Marley, with just a mic, and then have the whole room singing along will always get my respect. Craig loves the music that he plays and that comes across in bucket loads.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Cream Of The Crop - September 2014 Vinyl Chart

Number 1 in this month's chart goes to Madlib. It's rare to hear decent new hip hop these days and Stones Throw's finest doesn't let us down. Check Cues 2, 3, 4 and the massive soul sampling 6. The 10" vinyl comes in a lovely package, including that all important download code.

All 3 tracks on NDATL's Special Edition 2014 EP are great - Michael Huckaby's Analog, Tapes & Things moves my head the most, Simbaz Groove by Kai Alce is a sultry deep houser, whilst Jay Daniel drops a ruff Detroit floor wrecker. Originally these 12"s were only available to those that attended the Deep Detroit event back in May 2014. The 3 track white label release is already going for double money on Discogs.

The Detroit vibes continue with scattered snares and squelchy bass from Kyle Hall aka Funkineven's Discipline which features Jay Daniel. The aptly titled Abyss on the flipside takes things darker and more soundtracky.

All Under One Roof Raving by Jamie xx is finally out and gets the award for the freshest tune of the year. Check the full review here.

Amir Alexander beefs up the drums on Hanna's Moonshine for some peak time action on the strong Allied Forces EP, whilst his remix of Martin de Brig's Stop Stop keeps it bubbling and deep.

Daze's Lips EP on an amber coloured Lobster Theremin 12" is pure Detroit. The Larkin-esque Drag Ball is my pick but Drexciya fans should also check the acid electro of the Untitled track.

Max Graef, one of my favourite producers of 2013, takes on Mr Scruff's We Are Coming and delivers some jazz laced house grooves. On the flip is a Scruff re-tweak of Feel Free.

my link to juno records

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Deep Disco and Boogie tips from

Deep Disco and Boogie guru Zaf from shares the knowledge. If you have not seen this video before it is well worth a watch.

Collector, dealer, soul boy and all round vinyl enthusiast chats about the London scene, his (then) forthcoming compilation Deep Disco and Boogie Vol 1 LP on Kindred Spirits, and gives out plenty more tips along the way.


A reissue of Deep Disco & Boogie Vol  1 (Part 1) featuring the long version of China Burton's You Don't Care (About Our Love) and Razzmatazz's Set It Out is available now from all good record shops.

For a treasure trove of rare soul, disco, funk, boogie, jazz, latin and afro check out

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Dig Deep Recommends: Jamie xx - All Under One Roof Raving

Once or twice a year I hear a track that stands out from the rest. In 2013 it was North Lakes' Griswold. This year it is Jamie xx's All Under One Roof Raving that has turned my head the most.

First heard by many on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show, if you were quick off the mark you could have picked up the 1 of the 200 one sided white labels back in June. As always the vinyl extortionists jumped on it and were (re)selling promo copies for up to £30. Alternatively you could by the download for less than a quid and wait for the official release in August.

Lifting poignant samples from Mark Leckey's 'Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore', it's the arrangement that really does it for me. Mixing up infectious steel drums with serious low end and 2 step beats to create a deep edgy soundtrack that comes from the same camp as Burial and Shackleton.

Tracks such as this lend themselves to 12", as the warm sound of the vinyl compliments the bass and mid range perfectly. At a time when the world is a saturated with bland deep house, this is distinctive and fresh.

Pick up the full sleeve edition one sided 12" with etching on flip now from all good records shops.

Jamie xx - All Under One Roof Raving (Young Turks)
Vinyl: Juno Records
Download: Juno Download

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Cream Of The Crop - August 2014 Vinyl Chart (2nd Helpings)

After wading through a tonne of music over the last two weeks, these are latest vinyl highlights for me.

Lots of afro flavoured pickings, quality deep house, gospel soul, techno, [nu] disco, acid, bass, boogie, hip hop and funk. Dig in :)

my link to juno records

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio #16 with Paul Thornton (itch / Trailer Trash)

No special guest mix this month, just fresh hand picked music from the likes of John Morales, Omar S, OB Ignitt, Moodymann, Mannmademusic, Mr Mendel and Jamie xx. Funk heads can expect some new music from the Jazzman and First Word stables. Plus we will have exclusive plays of forthcoming tracks from Cottam's Ruff Draft label, a tight new production from Simba and a couple of gems from BoogieNite.

Whatever you are up to this Saturday, I hope you can join us at some point.

Dig Deep On Cowbell Radio
with Paul Thornton (itch / Trailer Trash)
Saturday 16th August 2014

Listen Live Links:

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Dig Deep Recommends: Watson - To Rack & Ruin Volume 3: Digital Release

Back in September 2012 I was giving an early heads up regarding Watson's new 12" on the El Diablo Social Club's To Rack & Ruin label. The deal was a limited run of 300 hand stamped, hand sprayed copies would be doing the rounds by the end of the month.

The vinyl release sold out quickly, gaining support from the likes of Eric Duncan, Sleazy Beats, 78 Edits, Cottam, Red Greg and Osmose, and landed at the Number 1 spot in my 2012 End Of Year Chart.

Now in 2014 those good people at Juno Download have made the 2 track release available digitally for the first time; with plays from Chris Massey, Disco B, Superbreak, Goldboy and Spain's The Groovers all bringing the sought after tracks to a new audience.

'Get It On' is superb edit of the massive Millie Jackson track which was sampled on Carl Craig's remix of Tom Trago’s - 'Use Me Again' track.  After initially breaking Watson's edit at a Paper Recordings party, Cottam closed his recent set at Lovebox Festival with what is now a nu disco anthem. The more subtle but equally good 'Thoughts Of Yesterday' is a slo-mo groover dowsed in the soulful boogie vibes that Watson has been dropping in his DJ sets for time.

Watson - To Rack & Ruin Volume 3 (To Rack & Ruin)
Available now at Juno Download

Monday, 11 August 2014