va. philadelphia international – the re-edits (harmless records, 2012)

 

Over here, we pay close attention to what Harmless Rercords releases. Guaranteed quality music no matter the genre. And what is around the corner sounds exciting. A compendium of releases celebrating Philadelphia International Records fortieth anniversary, a massive fest of releases which you can’t let escape. Read the press release as it is very illuminating.

 

 The Philadelphia International Records 40th Anniversary Campaign

Harmless Records are proud to announce a campaign to celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of the greatest black music record companies of all time – Philadelphia International Records. Founded by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff in 1971, the label launched with the album “Going East” by Billy Paul in October 1971 but really hit its stride throughout 1972 with a brace of international hits from veteran Philadelphia based signings like the O’Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes and the Three Degrees. Legendary A&R visionary Clive Davis was responsible for bringing the Philly hit machine to the Columbia group for distribution – a gamble which proved to be extraordinarily successful as the major distributor struggled to keep up with the hits that were pouring out from Sigma Sound studio in downtown Philadelphia – the recording home of P.I.R. where smashes like “Backstabbers”, “Love Train”, “Me & Mrs Jones”, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” and numerous others all rolled out in 1972 alone.

Just two years later, Philadelphia International became the second largest black-owned company in the U.S.A. following Berry Gordy’s Motown, which had similarly forged its identity with a trademark sound from Detroit.

Jump forward 40 years and Philadelphia International is still independent and still owned by its original founders, Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff – an extraordinary achievement in an age where most other independent companies (including Motown) have long since been absorbed into large conglomerates.

We are delighted to be welcoming Kenny Gamble to the UK in mid November where he will doing a number of specially selected interviews to support the launch of the campaign in January through February 2012. Details of these will follow shortly.

In light of the above, we felt it was only fitting to celebrate the 40 anniversary of Philadelphia International with some brand new “Philly 40” PIR releases which have been long overdue and will be eagerly anticipated around the world…..

 

HURTXCD111 Released: 16/01/12 Philadelphia International: The Re-Edits

21 of the hottest PIR Re-Edits which have been done by PIR enthusiasts from around the world. Fully approved by Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff.

 

HURTXCD118 Released: 30/01/12 Philadelphia International: The Roots of PIR

What happened before PIR? Ace historian and compiler Richard Searling compiles the pre PIR gems from the Gamble & Huff stable plus an exclusive DVD interview with Kenny Gamble..

 

HURTXCD112 Released: 13/02/12 Philadelphia International: The Tom Moulton Remixes

The godfather of the Disco Mix and inventor of the 12” format returns to the label where he started and remixes 15 more original PIR tracks to add to 16 of his best original PIR mixes.

 

HURTBOX1 Released: 27/02/12 Philadelphia International: 40th Anniversary Box Set

PIR expert Ralph Tee goes through the complete history of PIR with a lovingly compiled 10CD deluxe box set with 60 page booklet plus an exclusive DVD interview with Kenny Gamble.

 

 

various artists – disco discharge : mondo disco (harmless, 2011)

For the past 15 years Harmless has been consistently releasing compilations and mixes of the highest quality from some of the biggest names in the world of house, disco and funk. From MAW to DJ Spinna, harmless have chosen selectors who are experts in their fields to put together unique products, with the die hard music lovers in mind. This commitment to sidestep the commercial and focus on more underground and authentic sounds gave birth to the disco discharge series, a masterwork in documenting the sounds of the disco era which have been pushed to one side in favour of the hairspray tat which soundtracks hen-nights the world over.

The series currently stands at 24 discs of full length unmixed original 12″ cuts, separated into 12 volumes, each covering a different scene or timeframe within the disco period. Starting with ‘Classic Disco’, a collection of the club hits of disco’s golden age, and moving through the gay scene (Gay Disco & Hi NRG, Pink Pounders, Cruising the Beats), the electronic sounds of Euro Disco (European Connection, Euro Beats), and making stops at ‘Disco Boogie’ and ‘Disco Ladies’ on the way, this series has successfully attempted to bring disco back to life, with a sense of completeness which does not shy away from the more extreme aspects of a genre at home with the ‘other’. I would describe this series as essential to anyone wanting to explore or understand the music of this period and scene.

Of the most recent instalments in the catalogue, the first amongst equals is the magnificent ‘Mondo Disco’. Under the catchment of the worldwide interpretation of the disco phenomenon, these two cds cover synthesised Italo oddness, afro rhythms, cabaret campness, orchestral pomp and a song called deserts of mars. The range and scope of the tracks on show is matched by the quality upheld throughout. The music is playful and uninhibited, not to mention bonkers. Within the first 5 songs there’s classic disco from Patrick Juvet, the sultry groove of ‘doctor kiss kiss’ by 5000 volts, the synth classic ‘body to body’ by Gepy & Gepy, cosmic grooves from Thomas Bangalter’s dad (‘hypnodance’ by Who’s Who) and Boney M’s mental and brilliant ‘steppenwolf’. From this point on the quality continues with great tracks from Supermax, John Davis and the Monster Orchestra, Azoto, Andy Williams and Disco Circus. I cannot recommend this release enough. You can buy it here, and if some of these tracks are new to you, here’s a couple of youtube links to the album highlights.

va. philly re-grooved – the tom moulton mixes vol. 2 (harmless, 2011)

Eric Duncan just dropped his latest C.O.M.B.I. including a majestic retouch of Tom Moulton’s ‘I Don’t Need No Music’ as preempting the arrival of Mr Moulton’s new compilation.

Last June we were blessed with a compilation released on the groundbreaking record label that is Harmless, celebrating their 100th release – not many record companies reach that milestone. They chose veteran disco dj/remixer Tom Moulton and a selection of mixes he did in early 1970s for a record label called Philly Groove, which was releasing disco material, on 7″, since it was the industry standard. Some decades elapsed and Harmless / Philly Groove decided to rescue all those 7”s and offer the man himself to extend those mixes, and in doing so, refresh an over digitalized generation with what some call ‘organic sounds’.

That happened last summer. It seems that not the whole catalogue of mixes did fit the first volume, so here we have Volume 2!

The tracks being re-edited are the kind of records which required consummate experts to craft them, and often full orchestras of 40 plus musicians to bring the songs to life. This is not a cut and paste exercise, folks.

‘Philly Re-grooved (Volume 2)’ is a continuation to the testament of the talents of Tom Moulton. Once again Tom goes back to the golden age of 70’s Philly and shows his skills on key tracks from First Choice, Quickest Way Out, Ultra High Frequency, Moment Of Truth, Loose Change, TJM and Terry Collins. The productions contain a ‘who’s who’ of musical geniuses behind the scenes: Thom Bell, Norman Harris, Stan Watson, Bobby Eli, Touch Of Class, Alan Felder and of course Reid Whitelaw and Tom Moulton.

Tracklsting:
1. Incompatible – Ultra High Frequency 5.51
2.  Smarty Pants – First Choice 5.10
3. Beware, She’s Pulling My Strings – The Quickest Way Out 7.08
4. One Step Away – First Choice 5.37
5.  Love At First Sight – Moment Of Truth 7.40
6.  Who Am I – The Quickest Way Out 6.31
7.  I’m Hopelessly In Love With You – Moment Of Truth 7.15
8.  Straight From The Heart – Loose Change 7.39
9.  Put Yourself In My Place – TJM 8.42
10.  Rising Cost Of Love – Loose Change 7.36
11.  Action Speaks Louder Than Words – Terry Collins 7.09

And if words do not say much to you, let music ring your ears. Here you have the unduly sampled musical sweetness of Heaven n Hell to water your mouth until the release of this new compendium is on sale next 30th of May.

 

Heaven n Hell – Whatcha Gonna Do (Tom Moulton mix)