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Record Store Day UK, 2020, Mr Bongo

As an independent label and retailer, Record Store Day remains an exciting time of year for us. Each year we see more involvement across the globe and more exciting releases worldwide. With this, it is our absolute pleasure to announce our 3 Mr Bongo releases for this year's Record Store Day UK, available on the 18th April...

Brazil 45 Boxset, Curated by DJ Format - 5 x Vinyl 7"

We've been toying with the idea of collaborating with a guest selector for the Brazil 45 series since its inception in 2014, but up until now, the timing has never been quite right. That all changed following a recent digging trip to Brazil, whereupon our return DJ Format was first into the office, full of excitement and enthusiasm (portable record player in hand), ready to bust open the boxes and see what treats we had unearthed. Straight away we knew that alongside being one of the UK's premier record collectors, producers and DJs, he had the passion and knowledge that would result in a totally unique take on a Brazil 45 collection.

Brazil has such a rich multi-genre musical heritage that sometimes it can be hard for curators to decide on where to focus. DJ Format has a very distinct stamp to his own productions and mixtapes, and that can be clearly seen in the coherent theme he has applied to his selections for this release. He has chosen 10 funk-psyche-break-beat Brazilian nuggets from the '60s and early ‘70s, and included wonderful artists such as The Modern Tropical Quintet, Manito, Free-son, and Marisa Rossi, to name a few. It is a body of work that fits together perfectly and shines a light on some perhaps forgotten artists that deserve attention and praise. This collection will appeal to fans of DJ Format, those with a knowledge of Brazilian music, and even the first time buyer just wanting to discover something new.

MRB7160A. Oz Brazoes – Momento B/8 / Marisa Rossi – Deixa Eu Te Amar. MRB7160B: Free-son – Grande Poder / Toni Tornado – O Journaleiro MRB7160C: Manito – The Gang’s Back Again / Agnaldo Raylo – Sumaúma MRB7160D: The Modern Tropical Quintet – Gamboa / Antonio Adolfo & Brazuca – Vôo De Apolo 
MRB7160E: Free-son – Daruiz / Os Novos Bahianos – Colegio De Aplicacao

Mr Bongo Record Store Day 2020 Brazil 45s Boxset DJ Format

Asha Puthli – Asha Puthli – Blue Vinyl LP

“I'm spiritually 6,000 years old, I'm mentally 98, and emotionally five.’” - Asha Puthli.

Whilst flicking through the racks at Mr Bongo’s record store we curiously pulled out a copy Asha Puthli's self-titled album from 1973. Initially attracted to the striking sleeve (a classic Mick Rock portrait of Asha), we became instantly hooked upon hearing the album’s opening track, ‘Right Down Here’. This spark of interest in Asha and her music led to an interview and feature on our website, followed by a personal meet-up with the great lady herself. Plans for this reissue were hatched, and we are very proud to present it to you now.

There are not many artists whose discography includes working with Ornette Coleman and Goblin, crafting celebrated New York underground disco classics and being sampled by 

Jay Z, 50 Cent and The Notorious B.I.G. Furthermore, there are not many artists as inspiring and creative as Asha. She played by her own rules, whilst surfing genres like a musical space-cadet, fashioning a career in her own unique mold.

Asha's debut self-titled album is a wonderful fusion of jazz, soul, blues, and disco. It includes an outstanding cover version of J.J. Cale's ‘Right Down Here’; a track which Asha has made very much her own by flipping it into a deep-funk groove with sultry ethereal vocals and a drumbeat almost ready-made for samplers of the future. The record was produced in the UK by Del Newman, who had worked with Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, and Elton John to name a few. It was released on London CBS records in 1973. Shortly after the release of the record, Asha (who was born in Mumbai), was banned by the Home Office from working in the UK for a period of time due to visa issues. These obstacles along with problems with her recording contract did not hold her back. Asha moved on and continued her musical journey elsewhere. This resulted in further astounding creative works that Mr Bongo will also be presenting soon.

For this special RSD special edition, we have pressed on sky blue vinyl to bring out the colours of Asha's stunning dress that she wears for the cover portrait.

A1.Right Down Here / A2. Neither One Of Us Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye / A3. I Dig Love / A4. This Is Your Life B1: Love / B2: Lies / B3: Let Me In Your Life / B4: I Am Song (Sing Me) /B5: Truth 

Mr Bongo Record Store Day 2020 Asha Puthli Blue Vinyl LP

Joe Quarterman & Free Soul - Joe Quarterman & Free Soul - Vinyl LP

The lyrics of Sir Joe Quarterman's 'I Got So Much Trouble In My Mind' resonate now as much as they did back in 1972. Problems at work, pollution, confusion, and addiction are universal stresses regardless of time and place. By encapsulating these social injustices within an anthemic song there is little wonder this powerful soul-funk production has become a much-loved and timeless classic. Whether it be in its infancy being played live on the Washington D.C scene back in the early 70s, over the pond in the '80s for the UK rare-groove crowd, in the MPC's of hip-hop producers, or on today's discerning dancefloors, the song has hit a chord.

The self-tiled Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul album from 1973 was the only album recorded by the group. The success of the hit song and album enabled the band to share the stage with big-name acts such as James Brown and Earth Wind & Fire. The album track '(I've Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind’ even became a regular feature on the legendary TV show, Soul Train. These triumphs also drew the attention of record company executives who wanted to sign Joe as a solo artist; an offer he refused as he was not willing to abandon the band. The group members for the recording were neighbourhood musicians and school friends from the Washington D.C area - George "Jackie" Lee (Guitar), Gregory Hammonds (Bass), Charles Steptoe (Drums), Karrissa Freeman (Keyboards), Johnny Freeman (Trombone), Leon Rogers (Sax/Vocals) and Joe (Trumpet/Vocals).

The simple cartoon-like almost pre-Basquiat style record cover artwork has become iconic in its own right, but this was not the original intention. Joe had prepared a quick illustration for a photographer to depict in a collage for the album art, however, the label ended up using his original sketches for the final cover. Whatever was in the water, things all came together and aligned at the right time, and a true soul-funk classic record was born.

For this re-issue on Mr Bongo, we present a replica edition with gatefold cover.

A1. (I Got) So Much Trouble On My Mind / A2. I Made A Promise / A3. The Trouble With Trouble / A4. The Way They Do My Life B1: Find Yourself / B2: Gotta Get Me A Friend / B3: Give Me Back My Freedom / B4: I Feel Like This / B5: Live Now Brothers

Mr Bongo Record Store Day 2020 Joe Quaterman & The Free Soul Vinyl LP