Kendra Steiner Editions

July 18, 2014

The New Untouchables presents MODSTOCK: 21st Century Club Classics, compiled by Rob Bailey (Detour Records, UK, cd/lp)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:52 pm

The New Untouchables presents MODSTOCK: 21ST CENTURY CLUB CLASSICS

compiled by Rob Bailey for Detour Records UK                   released 24 April 2014

 

track listing for CD version (LP version has 5  fewer tracks, missing the tracks marked ***):

1. It’s Gonna Rain – Gentleman June Gardner

2.Too Far To Turn Around – The Sty-Letts

3. I Ain’t Gonna Take You Back – Brenda Holloway And The Carrolls

4. I Don’t Know Why – The Gass

5. Shotgun – Johnny Deen And The Deacons

6. Take A Look At Me – The Mergers    ***

7. Love’s A Workin’- Dean Carter

8. I Fell In Love (For The Very First Time) – The Undertakers

9. Line And Track – The Aquamen

10. All The Rage – Secret Affair     ***

11. Emily’s Gone – The Apemen    ***

12. Madison Agent 005 – Les Cappuccino     ***

13. The Love I Need – Frank Butler

14. Please Grow Up – Harlem Kiddies

15. Step Down – The Ranglers

16. Voo Doo Man – Quartet Tres Bien

17. Hey Hey Gypsy Woman – Teddy Mack And The Mackinteers

18. Nicky’s At The P.C.- The J.J.Band

19. Baby Shake Your Whoop Whoop – The St James Group

20. You Know You Turn Me On – The Monzas

21. The Right Place At The Right Time – The Stone Foundation      ***

(note: the tracks marked  ***  are NOT 1960’s recordings, they are recordings by still-working bands (in the case of Secret Affair, well-known as a fine band from the late 70’s/early 80’s Mod revival, a band that’s been around for decades) who are playing this year’s Modstock….these non-60’s tracks are NOT on the LP version of this release, but are bonus tracks on the CD version…if you are a purist who does not want later material in your mix, buy the LP version)

modstock_master_CD-500x500

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Compiled to coincide with 2014’s international MODSTOCK celebration in the UK (compiler Rob Bailey describes the album as containing “sixteen future mod club hits”), MODSTOCK: 21ST CENTURY CLUB CLASSICS is in some ways an extension of the aesthetic found in Bailey’s five-volume LE BEAT BESPOKE series, though with a more R&B/soul-jazz flavor, which perfectly fits the Mod orientation of this set and the event it is celebrating/reflecting. Think of it as existing somewhere between a MOD JAZZ comp on Ace-Kent and a LE BEAT BESPOKE comp (with a twist of the “UK Floor Fillers” series and of Acid Jazz’s “Rare Mod” series)—-that’s pretty high of a rating in my book!

As someone in South Texas who has never been east of Maine, I don’t know a thing about the British sub-culture that this album or this movement grows out of. As I do with British compilations of US “Northern Soul,” I take the advice of Berry Gordy, “It’s what’s in the grooves that counts.” And by those standards, this album works beautifully. Played loud, it turns my South Texas living room into a fantasy version of some sweaty Mod club with a pumping MAXIMUM R&B vibe. Too many Americans equate Mod ONLY with feedback-drenched Freakbeat bands such as the Who or The Creation (amazing as they are!)….they forget the Georgie Fames or the Tamla 45’s or the soul-jazz singles that were an essential core of the scene. Also, let’s not forget that any 1965 Mod worthy of the name was seeking out obscure 45’s and spinning them for friends (or having his band cover them), so Rob Bailey is just keeping that proud tradition alive!

As with his fine LE BEAT BESPOKE comps,  Mr. Bailey casts his net rather wide, pulling in tracks that are super-obscure local 45’s along with both UK and North American soul/soul-jazz/beat/R&B from a variety of sources, including Liverpool’s UNDERTAKERS (with the recently departed Jackie Lomax), but instead of using one of the band’s UK 45’s, the album uses one of the raw garage-y punk R&B sides Lomax and crew cut during their ill-fated period working for Bob Gallo in NYC. When he uses material from an artist we know, like for instance the QUARTETTE TRES BIEN, who recorded a number of fine soul-jazz piano based albums in the Ramsey Lewis/Ray Bryant vein, he chooses a rare post-Decca 45 on the “Royal Tone” label, a single I’d never heard of. We also get the Harlem Kiddies, from Sweden (although most of them are American), the Monzas, from Tennessee, The St. James Group, from France, The Aquamen, from Arizona, and little-known British combos such as The Ranglers and Johnny Deen and The Deacons (who recorded in Germany). Also included are jazz musicians Frank Butler and June Gardner and 1963 proto-soul sides from the Sty-Letts and from Brenda Holloway (on the west coast, BEFORE her Motown involvement).

Bailey’s ace DJ touch blends it all together with nice changes in tempo and mood, but never letting up the groove and the flow. The later (non-60’s) tracks are peppered throughout the album (as you can see above from the track listing), which was a wise thing to do instead of bunching them together at the end, and although most listeners will be able to spot them fairly quickly, if only because of recording quality and the equipment used by the musicians, I did not find them too intrusive, and the recent bands certainly all have the right spirit. If this is a sticking point for you and you want only the vintage material, buy the LP version instead of the CD version.

A boatload of fresh mod-flavored beat/soul/jazz/garage-rock/R&B that shows how much overlap there was and how lame categories are in the first place. It’s either got that magical “it” or it doesn’t. Grab this one now….an instant Maximum R&B Party awaits, so why wait?

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You can read more about the album here at the New Untouchables website: http://www.newuntouchables.com/nutstores/index.php?route=product/product&path=26&product_id=73

Let’s hope Mr. Bailey will get to work on LE BEAT BESPOKE Volume 6 soon…

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