VA – Early Works: Funk, Soul & Afro Rarities from the Archives [ATA019]

ATA Records announces the release of Early Works: Funk, Soul & Afro Rarities From The Archive, a compilation of tracks that were recorded at the very outset of the label and haven’t been available since the initial limited run (Released as Funk, Soul & Afro Rarities: An Introduction To ATA Records on Here and Now Recordings) sold out 5 years ago. The compilation features 12 tracks that include the very first 3 tracks from The Sorcerers that led to their self-titled debut LP & the first proper release on ATA, as well as the first recordings by The Mandatory Eight and The Yorkshire Film and Television Orchestra.

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VA – Early Works: Funk, Soul & Afro Rarities from the Archives [ATA019]

The Sorcerers – In Search of the Lost City of the Monkey God [ATALP018]

The Sorcerers began working on the new album during the winter of 2018 and it was during the writing sessions for this album that the concept for the LP began to take shape. The name for the album was taken from the title of a National Geographic article read by Bassist Neil Innes and was used as the starting point for the entire concept. The library music scene of the 60s and 70s has always been an intrinsic part of the sound of ATA Records and so it made perfect sense to envisage the album as a soundtrack, given the cinematic quality of The Sorcerers music. Each track was written with a particular scene in mind and the music was then shaped in the studio to best reflect the essence of that scene. Drums, Bass and Percussion provide the solid foundation onto which Flutes, Bass Clarinets, Xylophones and Vibraphones add the atmospheric and melodic counterpoint, deftly weaving between one another to conjure up images of the unforgiving environment of the dense jungle, unknown eyes watching the protagonists of the imagined film as they make their way towards their ultimate goal, their pursuit by unseen assailants, the arcane mysticism of undiscovered cargo cultists and the ancient ruins of long passed civilisations.

vinyl / CD

The Sorcerers – In Search of the Lost City of the Monkey God [ATALP018]

The Sorcerers – Summoning the Monkey God [ATA017]

‘Summoning The Monkey God’ covers a wide range of influences: Ethiopiques Ethio-Jazz rubs up against European library music of the 60s and 70s. The Sorcerers seamlessly blend these disparate elements into one cohesive sound. Based in ATA Records’ home of Leeds, The Sorcerers form the backbone of the ATA Records house band including drummer Joost Hendrickx (Kefaya, Shatner’s Bassoon, Abstract Orchestra) and ATA label heads Neil Innes (Bass & Guitar) and Pete Williams (Woodwinds & Percussion). Bass clarinets, flutes, and esoteric percussion that sit alongside bass, guitar and drums are essential to The Sorcerers sound providing cinematic textures on top of a solid rhythmic foundation.

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The Sorcerers – Summoning the Monkey God [ATA017]

The Lewis Express – Clap Your Hands [ATA016]

Primarily based in Leeds, The Lewis Express is comprised of many of the musicians that have graced previous ATA releases: George Cooper, Piano (Abstract Orchestra) Neil Innes, Bass (The Sorcerers, The Magnificent Tape Band, Tony Burkill), Sam Hobbs, Drums (Dread Supreme, Tony Burkill, Matthew Bourne) and Pete Williams, Percussion (The Sorcerers, The Magnificent Tape Band, Tony Burkill). Recorded over an intense two-day session, ‘Clap Your Hands’ is heavily influenced by the classic soul jazz recordings of The Young Holt Trio / Young Holt Unlimited, and Ramsey Lewis, from who this group take their name. As with many of the classic Ramsey Lewis cuts this album was recorded live, capturing the rich inter-relationship between the players and leaving in some of that chunky room noise. The band’s intention was to produce an album of dancefloor friendly, uplifting, funky soul-jazz with a stripped back line up of Piano, Bass, Drums and Percussion. ‘Clap your hands’ builds on the template set by their eponymous debut album and further explores the 60’s soul-jazz of Ramsey lewis, Young-Holt and Ray Charles as well as the latin boogaloo of Eddie Cano and Pete Terrace.

vinyl / CD

The Lewis Express – Clap Your Hands [ATA016]

The Mandatory Eight – Soul Fanfare #3 [ATA014]

From the opening drum pick up of ”Soul Fanfare #3” it is clear that The Mandatory Eight are here to make you move. With proud horn lines reminiscent of something that you might find in the Stax vaults, Soul Fanfare definitely takes it’s lead from backing bands such as the Barkays and the funkier side of Booker T and the MGs. One can imagine that this was definitely a set opener for the group, guaranteed to put foot to floor. Guitar and bass have a care free movement and feel, conjuring up tones of late 60’s summer soul hits. The B-side ”Turn It Out” has a darker, moodier feel to the previous side. Still a dance floor filling groove, the band take a direction more similar to below the radar funk outfits such as Amnesty or LA carnival. Biting minor horn lines set the tone backed by a bubbling bed of congas, rhythm guitar, unruly bass and drums which don’t dip below boiling for the duration. ”Turn It Out” features a manzarek-esque farfisa organ solo which sets the sonic tone of a band without funds but with plenty of soul in the bank. Both sides will reflect well for different moods on the same dance floor.

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The Mandatory Eight – Soul Fanfare #3 [ATA014]

Abstract Orchestra – Madvillain, Vol. 1 [ATALP012]

Abstract Orchestra’s Madvillain Vol 1. explores the jazz, TV soundtrack and film score aspect of the original work, combining it with classic big band writing and a focus on improvisation. Bandleader and arranger Rob Mitchell says of the record: ‘”Madvillain’ is a jazz album as much as it is a hip-hop album and I wanted to explore this reciprocal territory there has always been between jazz and hip-hop. 70’s cop show soundtracks have always captured my interest and imagination, and I discovered so much amazing music through TV themes, Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin in particular. They explored sounds that were menacing, angular, dissonant, frantic and yet captivating. They were also able to write music that was the flip side of all that dark chaos, and write lush and beautiful music. Arranging and scoring up Madvillain Vol 1. Has allowed me to explore these sounds that I’ve always loved, yet keeping a strong hip-hop identity as the core of its sound.”

vinyl / CD

Abstract Orchestra – Madvillain, Vol. 1 [ATALP012]

The Lewis Express – The Lewis Express [ATA011]

Released on Leeds Jazz & Soul label ATA Records, the debut LP from The Lewis Express takes the rich legacy of the soul-jazz outfits of the 1960s as the initial blueprint of their sound. They present a collection of tracks that range from introspective spy film themes to burning Brazilian jazz. Primarily based in Leeds, The Lewis Express is comprised of many of the musicians that have graced previous ATA releases: George Cooper, Piano (Abstract Orchestra) Neil Innes, Bass (The Sorcerers, The Magnificent Tape Band, Tony Burkill), Sam Hobbs, Drums (Dread Supreme, Tony Burkill, Matthew Bourne) and Pete Williams, Percussion (The Sorcerers, The Magnificent Tape Band, Tony Burkill). Recorded over an intense two-day session by the band of the same name, “The Lewis Express” is a nod to the classic soul jazz recordings of The Young Holt Trio / Young-Holt Unlimited and Ramsey Lewis, from who this group take their name. But, delivered with a distinctly European feel. As with many of the classic Ramsey Lewis cuts, this album was recorded live, capturing the rich inter-relationship between the players.

vinyl / CD

The Lewis Express – The Lewis Express [ATA011]

The Sorcerers & The Yorkshire Film And Television Orchestra – In Pursuit Of Shai Hulud [ATA007]

Leeds soul and funk label ATA Records announce the new single from The Sorcerers. This single is a driving Ethiojazz track aimed squarely at the dancefloor, backed by the Yorkshire Film & Television’s original recording of “The Anderson Spectrum”. Taking influences from Ethiopiques Ethiojazz as well as the soundtracks to the European horror films of the 60s and 70s, The Sorcerers seamlessly blend these disparate elements into one cohesive package.

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The Sorcerers & The Yorkshire Film And Television Orchestra – In Pursuit Of Shai Hulud [ATA007]

Tony Burkill – Work Money Death [ATALP008]

A stalwart of the Leeds music scene for the best part of 3 decades, Tony Burkill has so far maintained a low profile nationally, choosing to favour continued study and development of the instrument over the attainment of success or recognition within the music industry. Working as a sideman for hire on the local circuit, he has impressed audiences with his powerful and gutsy approach to improvisation and has been a well-kept secret amongst both musicians and audiences in the north of England since the 1980s.Recently featuring as a guest soloist on the debut album by The Sorcerers, Tony has been on the radar of ATA Records since the inception of the label. Impressed by his exuberant and earthy performance style they decided to embark on the writing and production of what was to become ”Work Money Death”, choosing to frame his playing in the context of the performers that have helped to shape his sound, most notably the spiritual jazz of the 60s and 70s.

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Tony Burkill – Work Money Death [ATALP008]

Abstract Orchestra – Dilla [ATA006]

“Dilla” by Abstract Orchestra has been generating a buzz since it’s inception in 2016 and subsequent UK tour, during which the album was presented to the public in its live form. Led by Saxophonist Rob Mitchell, Abstract Orchestra seeks to reflect the diversity of music sampled by Hip-Hop producers by presenting music that has the complexity of jazz, framed within the simpler structures of Hip-Hop. Complex harmonies are framed within simple loops and complex bar structures and time signatures can pass by unnoticed. “I selected the tracks on the album with very much the live performance in mind” says band-leader and arranger Rob Mitchell “So the album is a reflection of the tour and the music we performed”. Inspired by the legendary live performances of The Roots with Jay-Z and the 40 piece orchestral arrangements by Miguel-Atwood Ferguson of the work of J Dilla, classic arranging techniques underpin modern loop-based structures.The band itself is based on the classic jazz big band instrumentation of saxes, trumpets and trombones and features the cream of the north of England’s jazz scene who collectively have played with Jamiroquai, Corinne Bailey Rae, Mark Ronson, Martha Reeves, John Legend & the Roots, Roots Manuva and Amy Winehouse. “Dilla” by Abstract Orchestra is a tribute to the work of the highly acclaimed and influential producer.

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Abstract Orchestra – Dilla [ATA006]