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Crate Digging: Harley Beckmann-Hawksley, Theodore Music & Wake The Town


The twenty-second episode in the music discovery and discussion series from Concord Label Group

Crate Digging: Harley Beckmann-Hawksley, Theodore Music & Wake The Town

Crate Digging is a music discovery platform where contributors take home and discuss two records from across Concord Label Group’s active and historical labels.

Harley Beckmann-Hawksley, music supervisor at Theodore Music & Wake The Town, discusses her top two finds.

My Frontline find is Butcher Brown’s ‘#KingButch’

I wanted to pick albums by artists I had never listened to before because that's the whole thrill of crate digging, right? I spent some time going through the catalogues, and the moment I heard the first bar of Butcher Brown’s ‘Fonkadelica’, I was hooked. There was something so deliciously D’Angelo and Thundercat in the bass - it’s a real groover. The rest of the album kept continuing to deliver track after track. As a massive Jazz and 90s hip hop head, this album does it all for me and in such a unique way. A real pleasure to listen to.

I’d describe #KingButch as jazz grooves meets stanky funk with the odd splash of J Dilla and Robert Glasper. I dare you to try and not to groove along to this album; you’ll be nodding your head guaranteed. You’d find this artist at We Out Here Festival or on Glastonbury’s West Holts stage and I’d be there front row.

Butcher Brown’s stand out tracks for me are ‘Gum in my Mouth’ which has a lovely nod to Bossa nova in the guitar and bass, combined with a slick vocal flow; the tone of the rapper is really special. ‘Broad Rock’ is another stand out track as it has that funky wah wah guitar and bass going on, and a lovely lick of sax that’s reminiscent of Pete Rock & C.L Smooth’s ‘They Reminisce Over You’.

My Catalogue pick is John Gary Williams’ self-titled album on Craft Recordings

It was John Gary Williams’s album cover that drew me in at first, but once I heard the warm timbre of the instrumentation, something only captured on '70s recordings, and that lovely soft tenor vocal tone of his I knew this would be my second pick. I have a massive soft spot for romantic soul records and there are some real gems on here. The last time I fell in love with a record like this was with Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose’s album of the same title.

John Gary Williams is a beautiful collection of soul love songs that welcomes you into a warm '70s sonic bath. The lyrics that may be slightly on the cheesy side but ultimately that’s what makes them work with the music.

Stand out tracks on the album are ‘Loving You Ain’t Easy’ which has a really catchy top line as well as some beautiful oboe and warm string swells. My favourite track is called ‘The Whole Damn World is Going Crazy’ which has a lovely chorus and the lyrics really made me laugh. The notion that everything has gone nuts feels particularly poignant for the world right now. 

John Gary Williams would definitely work on a cool indie film soundtrack, or on a TV show or movie set in the '70s.

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Concord Label Group, Thu, 01 Dec 2022 09:43:54 GMT