Archive for category Recent releases


Live Instore
Cactus Channel
Saturday Jan. 29

Debut 7 inch release
Pepper Snake bw. The Dap (Hope Street)

Cactus Channel are a dynamic 10-piece high school band outta Melbourne. They’ve been gigging around town for a while now and have recently appeared alongside the likes of Charles Walker and the Dynamites. The band’s new single “Pepper Snake” is out on Hope Street Recordings, and much like stablemates The Putbacks, Cactus Channel are laying down no-nonsense heavy funk. There’s plenty of heat coming off the new Cactus Channel 7 inch; The record made it’s debut last week and is getting a great response from everyone.

Northside Records is excited to welcome Cactus Channel for an instore appearance and the official launch of the new single on Saturday January 29. The full 10-piece band will be instore along with DJ Manchild spinning some warm-up tunes and dropping science. It promises to be an exciting and very busy afternoon, so get in early to get your copy of the single and claim your spot on the dancefloor. The band will play at approximately 3pm, with Manchild getting busy on either side.

SAT. JAN 29 – 3PM. 236 Gertrude St. Fitzroy. Free!

There’s more about the band on their myspace: Cactus Channel

Expect a more detailed post about the new 45 (Cactus Channel: Pepper Snake bw. The Dap. Hope Street Recordings. 7-inch. 500 copies only) in the next couple of days. Copies are available now – and are strictly limited, so if you think you want one of these hot 45’s, do it now before it’s too late.

“The Cactus Channel hit you with a hard funk groove to rival the likes of James Brown or The Meters and you find you just can’t stop moving. But what’s that? They’re still high school?! With a musical maturity beyond their years you know that this 10 piece collective will go far. And that they’ll get a whole lotta rumps shaking along the way” DJ Manchild (PBS 106.7 ‘The Breakdown’)

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Record of the Month: John Sangster

once_lpOnce Around the Sun:
Music by John Sangster

Roundtable & Votary Records are known for their attention to detail and this new release from the Roundtable team is no exception.

“The greatest ever Australian record never released – until NOW!!! The amazing soundtrack to a super dope movie (documentary) of the Ourimbah Festival held in January 1970. This movie nor the soundtrack were ever released. Dubbed as Australia’s own Woodstock, this festival was a brave and furry freak brother explosion. In contrast to the Aussie Rock and folk sounds of the festival, Sangster delivers an expansive orchestral space jazz masterpiece. Likened to Jean-Claude Vannier’s ‘L’enfant assassin Des Mouches’, OATS is a uniquely orchestrated score where passages of avant garde incidental music sit along side thumping bass heavy psych. Featuring members of the Don Burrows Quartet, SCRA, Galapagos Duck plus the Sydney Philharmonic.”

“Not for the club. This is a definite sit-down record. Reminiscent of  Roy Budd’s finest soundtrack work (Stone Killer, Final Option, Get Carter etc), with hints of Axelrod and a spattering of Herbie Hancock’s Death Wish. Check “Into the Atom”…. destined to be sampled and make this record some sought after shiz. Chris is on the money calling this The greatest Australian record never released.

A PRESSING OF 500 COPIES ONLY. If you collect records you will need this piece of Aussie history for your mantlepiece, for the kitchen and the bedroom and the back shed. Maybe even one for the neighbour.

Props to James Pianta (from Votary Records) and Jeff Wybrow, these boys are making the world a much more interesting place!

If you get excited by oddities like this record, check out the full catalogue at Roundtable and Votary
Numerous titles in stock now at Northside, including Sven Libaek’s ‘Misty Canyon’

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While you were sleeping…

Records of the Month

Lee Fields: My World

Kings Go Forth:
The Outsiders Are Back

I love these records, my 4 year old daughter loves these records, my 62 year old mother loves these records, and even my friends in Sydney like these records! Pretty much says it all if you ask me.

Neither are actually new releases – BUT, both have dropped recently and are available at Northside. This is some heavy heavy shit. They’ll tear out your heart and soul – and then they’ll do it again. This is the kind of music that is dangerous to listen to while driving – it will have you zoning out; missing turn-offs, running red lights and exceeding the speed limit. They are so f*cking good I just can’t find words to describe… but let me try…

My World is amazing! Lee Fields and the Expressions take soul above and beyond all previous attempts of the new millenium. This is serious soul music with a healthy does of funk nastiness to boot. Tunes like ‘My World’ and ‘Honey Dove’ are beautiful; rich and lush like classic Philly and Chicago Soul, raw and lean like the best James Brown, and heart wrenching like Otis Redding or the deepest funk 45’s. Then – you have tunes like ‘Money is King’ – still soul, but with a funk edge that just makes you wanna smash some fool. The Expressions are an all-star line up that features Leon Michels (El Michels Affair), Homer Steinweiss  + Tommy TNT Brenneck  (The Dap Kings),  Toby Pazner (The Olympians), Michael Leonhart (The Avrimina 7). Damn, Enough talk – buy this record today.

KIngs Go Forth follow up their succession of amazing 7-inch releases with what is perhaps the greatest funk record of the decade. The Outsiders Are Back is definitely an apt title for this incredible album. This Milwaukee-based group serves up heady mix of funk, soul and RnB with a spoon full of disco and pinch of reggae.  Every cut is a stone-cold monster. Just ask the heads around town like Miss Goldie, Callum Flack or DJ Manchild – this shit is the shit. It’s hard to pick a favourite from this record (CD), but the instant-classic ‘One Day’ and latest single ‘I Don’t Love You No More’ are definite stand outs. Other tunes like ‘Now We’re Gone’ have become standards at nights like Soul A Go Go and every other credible soul night in the world. Get up, get in to it, get involved! This is an album that anyone with any inclination towards soul or funk music should own.

The vinyl release of the KGF album is not out yet, but we should have it really soon. In the meantime we have the CD and some of the singles (on Mr. C’s).  Don’t sleep any longer – and take care when driving.

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Lagos Disco Inferno

Believe the Hype

WOW! This record and the dedication that has gone into making it happen is amazing. In doing a little research for this release, I’ve found one of the best things on the web! Check out the VOODOO FUNK blog. The info, pics and love here is hard to beat.

From the press release:

Compiled by Frank Gossner of, this record contains 12 tracks that represent the sound of Lagos in the late 1970s.

Dean Disi (Music Journalist and formerly Director of Lagos based label TYC Records) wrote the liner notes for this album: “It was the era of sheer ecstasy. The music not only represents the vibrancy of youthful expressionism of the time but is also deeply rooted in African rhythm though not traditional in phraseology… This collection of songs marks the development of Nigerian urban pop culture… There was diametric difference in the music of the discos and the music play by the groups. Disco music as played by the DJs was essentially western. The fans could connect with this easily. It was hip, urban and stimulating. The young Nigerian groups were hooked on it and tried to play it but with a distinctive African stamp of their own.”

Some of the artists on this record were stars of their times while others remained in obscurity.

And here is what makes Nigerian Disco so special:

Lagos by the 1970s was a huge metropolitan city. Due to the oil boom, there was money to be made with music and nightlife and big international record labels like EMI, Decca and Philips had set up their recording studios that for a big part got equipped with vintage hardware handed down from their European franchises. So as the sound of the late 70s and early 80s in Europe and in the US got more and more modern and from todays point of view just plain shitty, overloaded with ugly sounding Roland keyboards, the sound of Lagos was dominated by powerful horn sections, heavy drums and percussion instruments. There’s plenty of early Moog synthesizers but no synth-generated strings or fake horns.

EMI’s house producer Emmanuel Odenusi had worked with Fela for many years, defining the sound of Afrobeat. Kayode Salami who produced another couple of tracks on this album also was responsible for the incredible sound of the famous debut LP by Psych-Rock group Ofege.

Lagos, a uniquely vibrant, gritty, energetic and sometimes quite dangerous tropical metropolis has always been much more than just a city. A state of mind where third world poverty met the oil boom, where African traditions clashed with Western decadence.

Make no mistake, this stuff will have you dance in a feverish rush in no time.

Side 1: DORIS EBONG – Boogie Trip 5:28  GEALDO PINO – African Hustle 5:25  GROTTO – Bad City Girl 5:34

Side 2:  POGO LTD. – Don’t Put Me Down 4:37  ASIKO ROCK GROUP – Everybody Get Down 8:17  PARADISE STARS – Boogie Train 5:31

Side 3:  DORGU – Rover Man 4:37 MFB – Boredom Pain 5:06  ESSIEN – Take Life Easy 4:14  TIROGO – Dancing Machine 4:03

Side 4:  BLO – Root 3:24  NANA LOVE – Hang On 14:45

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New SJ&DKs @ Northside

I Learned The Hard Way…
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

If you live in Melbourne and shop for tunes at Northside or listen to any of our great indie radio stations – you already know Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, and we don’t really need to tell you what to expect…. y’all know it’s gonna be good! For those who don’t know, here’s the blurb from our distributor:

“Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings have released I Learned the Hard Way, their fourth full-length on Brooklyn’s independent Daptone Records. The record marks a bold step forward for a band who almost single-handedly stewarded today’s return of soul music to its more traditional sound. From the lush Philly-Soul fanfare that ushers in “The Game Gets Old” at the top of the record, to the stripped down Sam Cooke-style “Mama Don’t Like My Man” at the tail, the Dap-Kings dance seamlessly through both the most crafted and simple arrangements with subtlety and discipline. I Learned the Hard Way is the “Daptone Sound” at it’s finest.”

The stand out tune for me on this record is “Better Things”, written by DK’s drummer Homer Steinweiss. It’s simple, it’s raw and it’s just plain good without trying to be anything other than real soul music. There’s no fronting from Sharon Jones or the Dap-Kings – they’re just doin’ what they love, and making a whole lot of people look (and sound) like amateurs. GBTTD (Got Better Things To Do)… remember this acronym for text messaging your friends next time they want you to go see some over-rated, over-hyped, over-priced try-hard innovators of soul bullshit.*

As always – we’ve got enough copies of the vinyl to go around, but these records move fast so don’t wait too long to get yours. Available now on LP + CD.

There’s plenty more Daptone goodness instore too. Don’t forget the amazing Daptone Gold comp that pulls together all the crucial Daptone moments since the label’s inception. And, we’ve always got a tasteful selection of Daptone 45’s for those who like it with a big hole in the middle.

* The opinions expressed in this post represent only those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of management or staff of Northside Records – nor perhaps anyone else, anywhere, ever.

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“Do Anything Go Anywhere”

I’m a little slow getting to the new releases lately. Here’s one that dropped a couple of weeks ago. It’s the hip new thing after they amazed everyone at WOMADELAIDE.

An incredible debut album from this perfect Melbourne afrobeat collective. Hot on the heels of their impeccable vinyl-only release Two Sides of the Truth/Do Anything Go Anywhere, (picttured right) The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra have made an album to command the attention of world music fans, hip hop aficionados, jazz cats, funk and soul freaks and indie hipsters alike. There are strong echoes of the Afrobeat movement from the 1960s-70s, as well as the influences of the African diaspora in Australia over the past decade, yet this is boundary free, totally modern music that sounds as fresh in the clubs as on the streets of Melbourne where it was born.

Do Anything Go Anywhere delivers seven irresistibly loose-limbed, exotic jams which resonate with ferocious grooves, positive messages, conscious hip hop and gutsy soul. Lyrical odes to the power of resistance and the spirit of the African and Australian people hit home with smoking hot sing song vocals, heavy duty horns, gritty guitar grooves, jazzy solos, all snaking out on top of the infectious polyrhythms of the percussion section. EXTREME LOCAL PRIDE

12″ Cover artwork is crazy. Props to Suzie Bates. I haven’t seen the CD cover yet, but I’ll insert it into the blog once I get my hands on it.

Limited Edition 12″ still available in strictly limited quantities. Includes instrumental versions… nice.

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Gil Scott-Heron: I’m New Here

Here’s a man who needs no introduction. If you’re on your game, you’ve probably already bagged this release and checked out the amazing sounds on the record.

If you’re a little slow off the mark – or a relative newcomer to the funk/soul/hiphop world, you better listen up…

Along with ‘The Last Poets’, GIL SCOTT-HERON is the most important proto-rapper of the last five decades. ‘I’m New Here’ is his first album in thirteen years…

Produced by XL label owner Richard Russell, “I’m New Here” sees Gil reflecting on his life with his trademark vocal power and insight, sharing his visions among Russell’s flickering, electronic soundscapes; which at various times conjure up thoughts of BURIAL and THE XX, (+DJ Shadow, Portishead, Tricky) as well as a host of hip-hop influenced sounds. The album is brave, contemporary and quintessentially Gil Scott-Heron.

Check it out ya damn self! It’s in stock now – but tomorrow is a brand new day.

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Is it because I’m Syl?

Syl Johnson outside Northside Records earlier this year.

Syl Johnson outside Northside Records earlier this year.

It was the infamous Johnny Topper who once referred to Northside Records as “the centre of the known funk universe”. This is perhaps stretching the truth a little – however, the funkiest people still drop by Northside on a regular basis just to say “Yo” and make sure we’ve still got an eye on the funk.
Pictured here is real live living legend –
Syl Johnson, showing his steez outside Northside. Respect.
This pic is from a little while back – but we still got the funk. In fact we’ve got
exclusive Syl Johsnon funk. There are a limited amount of the Syl Johnson’s “Lovin on the Run” 7 inch monster still available. Don’t sleep.

::: LISTEN – SYL JOHNSON: Lovin’ On The Run :::

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New 45! Syl Johnson “Lovin’ On The Run”

SYL JOHNSON: Lovin’ On The Run
Half of Love

** Limited Press 200 worldwide **

It’s not everyday that a “Previously Unreleased” 45 pops up to get us all excited, so we are excited. This new 45 – featuring some classic sounding Syl Johnson must be from around 1971 (these details will soon be confirmed and posted here – soon as Mr. Johnson answers his phone).

This 45 is a worldwide exclusive to Northside for the moment – and it’s a strictly limited press of 200. So get in quick. Along with the previously unreleased Syl Johnson tune is a new tune by SIL-J’s NEW OLD SOUL feat. MELLOW-D (new female singer – sadly not Melo-D, World Famous Beat Junkie). More details soon.

As a favour to music lovers worldwide – here’s a 45 seconds of this tasteful new 45rpm thang!

::: LISTEN – SYL JOHNSON: Lovin’ On The Run :::

“The A-Side has Syl hitting a VERY funky groove, made for dancefloor devistation. The drums rock hard and the guitar is like it has been let out of an asylum! When they hit the groove it lets loose! The B-side features a new girl singing on a soulful groove from syl…one for the lovers!! “

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Tippin’ Uptown with Topper

New DJ Mix

TIPPIN’ UPTOWN (I am a Disco Dancer)

Erotique, sensual soul stimulus package for you & that special someone…

Original Northside taste-maker Johnny Topper brings a tip-top party mix for your enjoyment. So much enjoyment in fact it’s been split across 2 volumes – Part 1 and Part 2. Nearly 80 minutes of listening pleasure.

Guaranteed to get the party started and also a sureshot winner for entertaining by the fire with a glass of red and a tasty cuban on a cold winter’s night

Click on the links below to play – and download the audio. 

Tippin Uptown Part 1
Tippin Uptown Part 2

No tracklisting available – you’ll have to come into the store and ask JT in person.

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Funk 45 of the Month

JUNE 2009:
“Dollars”  bw.  “SWEETLOVE” feat. LADI 6

Not officially a June release – but still a hot 45. The Open Souls are a New Zealand crew who have been making waves on the funk scene for a couple of years now, reaching some tsunami-like proportions with this smoking little slice of wax. Perhaps not ‘funk’ to the purist – but still funky as hell, the A-side “Dollars” picks up where Sir Joe Quarterman and the Free Souls left off – hitting a real “So Much Trouble” kinda groove – but also evokes a “Devil Inside” (yes, INXS) feeling. I know someone is going to be offended by me using these two comparisons – but if you can mix SJQ and INXS together in your head – then add a female vocal, you might get some idea of where this tune is going…. and maybe not.

It’s probably best you just hit the Open Souls myspace page and check it ya damn self. Then you can get back on here and tell me I’m smoking crack!

The flipside “Sweetlove” is nice – but it’s not  funk. “Dollars” is def the money tune on this record. Limited pressing – get it before it’s gone. Forever.

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Record of the Month

JUNE 2009:
“Enter The 37th Chamber”
Music Inspired By The Wu Tang (t&s)

There’s not a lot we can say about this release that hasn’t already been said. We have more stock at Northside after selling more than 40 copies in 2 days!!! If that’s not an indication of a good record I don’t know what is. Don’t sleep on this amazing piece of cinematic soul/hip hop. Anyone who doesn’t rate this record is probably into shit like Buena Vista Social Club or Earth Wind and Fire – and I should probably stop there. Real music for REAL people.

The CD release includes a bonus track (PJs) not featured on the LP – but if you’re on the case when it comes to Truth & Soul, you probably already have the 12″ release of the PJ’s… from afar, featuring Raekwon from 2007. (TS-015)

Check out more on the El Michels Affair at the Truth & Soul website — cop a listen + check the word on Quincy Bright, The Olympians and The Phenomenal Handclap Band.

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