The musical universe is full of surprises. Each day we are discovering new records, which, although they are from the past, appear to us as "musical novelties". Good music is timeless.
UK Street Soul (Early 90s, UK)
UK Street Soul was a low budget, poorly distributed, downtempo, UK black music from the urban areas of early 90’s, a mix of drum machine, breaks, cheap synth, massive bass lines and heartfelt singing.
Towards the mid 90s the support for the scene in the UK decreased and to the end of the 90s the Street Soul scene all over Europe was nearly not existing anymore with hundreds of production (mainly on white independent labels) felt into the obscurity.
We immediately got the charm from these hidden gems and started diggin’ on them.
On our Instagram page we pick up 6 tracks from our private collection. Other gems can be found in section “Hard to Find” and “Obscure” or in our full set below:
City Heat - Strange How It Goes
Ashaye - Too Many Dreams (1991)
Featuring 3 tracks from UK Producer Ashaye, this UK street/garage/house compilation is an unmissable piece for any lover of the UK underground scene. Our pick is on this dreamin’ downtempo street soul which remain totally underground, not being released but in this compilation.
Trevor Julian Ashaye started his music career in group "Earthline Connection" which charted in the UK. Later he teamed up with musicians/songwriters Robert Chandler, Nick Austin and Alex Palmer and under the new label V4 Visions more hits followed: 'What's This World Coming To' and the garage track 'Fantasy', licenced to label Strictly Rhythm and becoming a smash hit in the US charts.
Lot of his production have been lost into the obscurity. Check it out our section “Hard to Find”.
Stooge – Secrets (1992)
Heavens Desire is a sublime late night style street soul stepper tucked away on this gem of a more deep house, garage styled EP. Production techniques were consistent of the period, pretty basic, but effective. This dropped in 1992. Find it in our full set.
Perfect Taste feat. Raishe Yanba - It's Over (19??)
An hypnotic dub downtempo gem from UK. No info about release date, most likely end of 80s, early 90s. Some beautiful piano riff break here and there the hypnotic bassline. Instrumental version on our YouTube channel! Enjoy!
Lorraine Barnes - I'm Your Lady (Part 1)
Construction - Change Your Attitude - 1991
Our UK Street Soul retrospective ended up with an obscure 1991 record from the UK hip-hop group Construction (just Upload on our YouTube channel, link bio for the full track).
This track is an hybrid between Street Soul and Britcore, of course from UK the Britcore is a subgenre of Hip Hop which stands for British Hardcore Hip Hop. The genre was way faster than “usual” hip hop often about 110 130 bpm and based on funk breaks and often using samples from movies. Towards the mid 90s the support for the scene in the UK decreased and to the end of the 90s the Britcore scene all over Europe was nearly not existing anymore with hundreds of production (mainly on independent labels) felt into the obscurity.
ISR brings back to life this little gems which perfectly feet the soul vibe of the twin movement UK Street Soul.
Dazzle - On Second Thoughts - 1990
A killer album from 1990 which include, on one side, some downtempo Street Soul vibes and, on the other, a couple of hidden early UK Garage House track with killer vocal and bassline. Two of this hidden gems have just been posted on our YouTube channel (link bio). The album “On Second Thoughts” was recorded by the two twins sister Paulette & Claude Patterson who formed the duo called Dazzle in 1985.
The album was produced in a limited edition of 500 white labels released in a white album sleeve with pasted-on A4 sheet featuring a photo of the duo. Each sheet individually hand numbered. All the track listing and album info were printed on a A4 paper insert.
Serious Chocolate Featuring Claudia Fontaine – If You Wanna Lover - 1989
Continues our retrospective on UK street Soul, here another undiscovered gem from 1989 when the genere was at his beginnings. The three mixes, Vocal, Instrumental and Dub have just been uploaded on our YouTube channel (link bio).
As for other artists of this movement we do not have any info about Serious Chocolate, the white label tell anything but the title, but we know a bit more about the featuring, Claudia Fontaine, UK singer from Peckham, London, who did lot of collaboration and among all she performed backing vocals on Pink Floyd’s “the division bell tour” back in 1994 plus hundreds of more underground collaboration which we love to discover and dig into it!
Check out the amazing saxophone instrumental version of this little gem and Stay tuned!
Jill Francis - Do Me Right - 1994
Yet another hidden gem from early 90s UK, “this track was recorded around 1994/1995 but the record company felt it was “too intelligent for the underground market” and never officially released it.
On the B side a remix by Derek “demondo” Fevrier, lovely guy, great producer and engineer, still out there on the British reggae and lovers scene”. via Jill Francis on YT. Soon a full UK set on ISR.
Gold In The Shade – Over You
As you may tell from the name of the label, TSR (Top Secret Recordings), really few information are available about the record. We know has been released in 1991, we know is from UK and nothing else. Who is “Gold In The Shade”? Is from London? From Manchester? The label itself is surrounded by mystery being active from 1989 to 1992 with 7 different 12’ releases and one (hard to find) LP. UK street souls is a little universe that really worth to be explored... Soon a full set by ISR. Stay tuned!
En-To-End – You Could Never Change
We are moving from South Africa to UK, early 90s, here we are with an obscure UK street soul from 1992 from even more obscure talented Brit band En-to-End. The monster vocal and the killer instrumental are just been uploaded on our YouTube channel (link in bio).
UK street soul was a low budget, poorly distributed, downtempo, UK black music from the urban areas of early 90’s, a mix of drum machine, breaks, cheap synth, massive bass lines and heartfelt singing. New retrospective and full set soon on ISR.