Manchester based Birds Hit Records share their ultimate Spotify playlist.
Birds Hit Records produce custom, one-off and short run vinyl records in Manchester. In April they will lead a three-day vinyl pressing course curated by Mr. Scruff during which they’ll offer six participants an introduction to the art of cutting vinyl.
“Part geeky, part playful, this course offers a real eye-opener to the craft of vinyl cutting and the creative opportunities that arise from working within this unique medium.”
Spotify Playlist — Birds Hit Records
I Got A Feeling — Barbara Randolph
Melissa: My go-to tune to start the night off, whether djing out or just getting ready. I remember my mum (a Northern DJ back in the day) playing it when I was very little and am sure the 7″ is in a box somewhere at home out of my reach! Such an uplifting, happy song – even if you’re having a proper bad day you still can’t help but smile at the sentiment and get up and shake it out.
Sara ’70 — Balla et ses Balladins
John: I could easily fill this entire playlist with west-African music, but this song from Guinea-Conakry has been like an addiction ever since I first heard it. I don’t think more than a couple of days has gone by when I haven’t listened to it… in the past 5 years!
A jazzed-up version of a traditional balafon tune, the poly-rhythmic guitars just hypnotise from the start. Lead guitarist Seckou Diabate has an awesome flow to his playing.
Madyisa Mbitsi — J J Chauke & The Tiyimeleni Young Sisters
Caroline: Found like all the best records at the bottom of a pile in a corner of a dusty charity shop. The album sleeve has a joyous picture showing that the best form of resistance is always the dancefloor. If it doesn’t make you move, you have no soul.
Move On Up (Extended Version) — Curtis Mayfield
Melissa: I would have chosen something less ‘commercial’ (Pusherman is another of his hardly off the decks) but the positive vibe and amazing drum, horn and rhythm section instrumental break on the 9 minute album version is too sublime not to share. And ‘take nothing less than the second best’ is a mantra to live by. Pure floorfiller from a musical (and social) icon.
Dem a Sus — Harlem Spirit
John: I love music that can blow up a dancefloor, yet has a message. A lot of reggae does that, but this tune has that local connection too. A protest song about the ‘sus’ stop & search law and is just as relevant now as it was in 1980. I first heard it in about 1998 and the artists name eluded me for nearly 20 years, until Caroline & Melissa dropped it on their radio show about 6 months ago.
Steve Biko (Stir It Up) — A Tribe Called Quest
Caroline: …because it reminds me of long lazy summers spent driving around Manchester suburbs not doing very much but having a great time in the 1990s. It was an amazing time for hip hop – A Tribe Called Quest were and still are amazing. I’ve listened to Midnight Marauders thousands of times and it still sounds fresh. The new album is also really good. It’s sad that Phife died.
The Beigeness — Kate Tempest
Melissa: One of the bright lights of modern British music and culture in general. The girl is so talented but keeps it humble (and didn’t chuck me out when i jibbed backstage last year!). This tune paints the gritty reality of bog-standard life but with the refrain of ‘all life is forward’. Had it on repeat for weeks and never got bored of the wordplay or the urgency.
La Samaria — Auntie Flo ft. Mamacita
Caroline: Glasgow is almost as good as Manchester and a great place for a party. I used to live in Glasgow years ago and Optimo was the first time I went to a club night and the music was so good I danced non-stop. Since then the internet has brought musicians and sounds from all over the world together. So this track is because of the way that things have changed but that the Glasgow party spirit is still the same.
Energy Flash — Joey Beltram
John: I used to be quite into techno and had a dangerous flirtation with it again last year when Optimo were in town! I’ve fond, if hazy, memories of The Orbit in Morley, Havok, even Slam at The Arches when I could get a lift up to Glasgow (and most importantly- back again, but that’s another story) and many, many freeparties. I think a lot of early 90’s dance music has aged terribly, but this is a keeper. It’s as unapologetically repetitive, driving and moody as a wet winter Sundayafternoon on the moors. I like to think that at any given point, somewhere in the world, there’s a dark, smoke-filled basement full of people dancing to this tune.
I Only Have Eyes For You — The Flamingos
Sublime, ethereal, masterful production. 62 years on it still sounds good on anything.