Andy Allen

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t into music. As a child, like a lot of English kids of my generation, I spent most Sunday evenings taping the current pop hits from the BBC Radio1 chart show, with Adam & The Ants probably being the first band I obsessed over. Their posters covered every square inch of by bedroom wall, but I’ll never admit to that!

By the time I got to secondary school it was all about the indie pop/rock sound. The Smiths, Joy Division, Echo & The Bunnymen, and Everything But The Girl were just a few of the bands who provided the soundtrack to my teenage years.

Throughout my childhood though soul music also featured in the mix, albeit the commercial stuff that was available to me at the time. Influenced initially by my mum’s small collection of Motown records and the ‘greatest hits’ of Randy Crawford and George Benson, I found myself gravitating towards soul influenced pop groups like Haircut 100, ABC, Simply Red & Curiosity Killed The Cat. There were of course various black artists who occasionally managed to make it on to Top Of The Pops and later the Solid Soul show became essential viewing.

In 1989 I moved from Leeds to Birmingham for university where I was exposed to the city’s pirate radio stations such as PCRL and specialist black music stores. There my love affair with underground soulful music was cemented and I became hooked on collecting soul, boogie, rare groove, acid-jazz, jazz-funk, reggae, hip hop etc. It wasn’t unusual for me to spend every penny I had, even my bus fare. I didn’t care though, I walked all the way home happy in the knowledge I had a bag full of great tracks!

Around 1992 I met our very own Steve Williams, editor and creator of UK Vibe. After I searched unsuccessfully for a record he played on his radio show, I phoned him at the station to ask him about it. When we met for the first time a couple of weeks later he turned up with a copy of that record for me. We have been friends ever since and his musical taste and connections via the UK Vibe family became a major influence.

After numerous DJ spots in and around Birmingham throughout the 90s, including a stint on the pirate radio station Premier FM, I returned to my home city of Leeds in 2001. There I became part of the short-lived but respected Speak Your Peace collective and, together with Simon Harrison (Basic Soul Radio), hosted the long running weekly Abstract Soul sessions.

I relocated to Vancouver, Canada in 2007 and although my appetite for collecting shows no sign of slowing, I rarely DJ these days. I am however planning to launch Rhythm Chronicles, a new monthly podcast in early 2017. Expect to hear all manner of music rooted in soul & jazz, past to the future, so watch this space!

Andy Allen’s Best of 2016:

1. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids – Whispering Tenderness (Strut)

2. Dennis Ayler feat. Tenderlonious – Put It On (22a)

3. Badbadnotgood feat. Sam Herring – Time Moves Slow (Innovative Leisure) Review here

4. Corinne Bailey Rae – Green Aphrodisiac (Virgin)

5. Beatspoke feat. Joseph Derteano – Seed Of Doubt (BBE)

6. Miles Davis & Robert Glasper feat. Bilal – Ghetto Walkin’ (Blue Note)

7. Dtchplnes feat. Melanie Rutherford – Etching (Dtchplnes)

8. Eli Escobar – Seein’ You (Night People)

9. G Family – The Guest [Christo Remix] (Stay True Sounds)

10. Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate (Polydor)

11. Loftplayers – Outrospective (Superficially Deep)

12. J. Mcfysian – For You (Futuristica Music)

13. The Milk – Trouble Gonna Bring Me Down [Tall Black Guy Sad Story Remix] (Wah Wah 45s)

14. Ed Motta – A Town In Flames (Membran) Review here

15. Nu Guinea – NG Theme (Comet)

16. Jordan Rakei – Midnight Mischief (Soul Has No Tempo)

17. Soultechnic – Hearing [Original Mix] (Swedish Brandy)

18. Various – Beauty: A Journey Through Jeremy Underground’s Collection (Spacetalk) full album!

19. Ben Watt – Running With The Front Runners (Unmade Road)

20. Young Gun Silver Fox – Long Way Back (Legere)

Andy Allen’s Best of 2015:

1. Ambient Jazz Ensemble – The Journey [Leftside Wobble Remix] (Here & Now)

2. Lucas Arruda – Solar (Favorite) Review here

3. Atjazz – Fox Tooth [Atjazz Galaxy Aart Dub] (Local Talk)

4. BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Experience (Lex)

5. Lars Bartkuhn – Golden Age [Full Experience] (Neroli)

6. Nat Birchall – Invocations (Jazzman) Review here

7. Collocutor – Gozo [Collocutor vs The Expansions Remix] (On The Corner)

8. Dolphin – Young Black Mind (Fresh Selects)

9. The Greg Foat Group – The Door Into Summer (Jazzman) Reviews here

10. Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra – Into Forever (Gondwana) Reviews here

11. Holy Forest – Africa Calling (Mighty Fine Music)

12. Pete Josef – Live Your Life (Sonar Kollektiv)

13. Sean Khan – Muriel (Far Out) Reviews here

14. Ruth Koleva – What Am I supposed To? [Kaidi Tatham Remix] (Flat Line Collective)

15. Harold Matthews Jr / Justin Stride feat. Kym Franklin – The BBN Uplifted [Black Sonix Kinda Broken Radio Mix] (Makin Moves)

16. Tom Misch (feat. Jordan Rakei) – Wake Up This Day (Beyond The Groove)

17. Farnell Newton (feat. Jarrod Lawson & Tony Ozier) – Peace + Love (Atlanta/Ropeadope)

18. Junior Oliver – Ariel (Lack Of Afro)

19. Star Blazers – Danger Zone [Kon’s In The Zone Mix] (Star Time)

20. Earl Zinger x Ashley Beedle – Ghostdancers [Ashley Beedle’s Cock Happy Vocal Remix] (Back To The World)

…and from the archive:

Andrew Allen presents Soul Asylum – 35 Essential Tracks Of 2005
Paul Anka – Smells Like Teen Spirit – Universal
Bah Samba – Far Away – BKO
Bansuri – The Birds – Traficante
The Beauty Room – Don’t You Know [Original] – New Religion
Break Reform – Trust – Abstract Blue
Fransisco Mora Catlett – Afra-Jum Pt.1 – Premier Cru
Diesler – Burnley Wallet – Tru Thoughts
Kahil El’Zabar – Our Time Is Now [IG Culture Remix] – Deeper Soul
Ernesto – Father – Exceptional
Jukka Eskola – Timber Up – Free Agent
The Five Corners Quintet feat Mark Murphy – Before We Say Goodbye – Ricky-Tick
Gerardo Frisina – Beyond The Moon [Lava’s Step Over Afroground Remix] – Schema
Hundred Strong feat Alison Crockett – Dream On Delay – Altered Vibes
Inner Soul – Support Your DJ [Vocal Mix] – Deeply Rooted House
Jamie Lidell – What’s The Use? – Warp
Madrid De Los Austrias – Para Don Alonso [Yam Who? Rework] – Sunshine Enterprises
Mojo Project – La Tristeza [Alex Acosta Mix] – Lovemonk
Ed Motta – Balendoah – Trama
Nuwamba – Forever – Chocolate Soul
Ski Oakenfull – Zodiac – BBE
Panoptikum feat Blue Eyez – Black Land Of The Nile Pt.1&2 – Déjà vu
Theo Parrish – Capritarious #7 – Sound Signature
Phuturistix – Cohiba – Phuture Lounge
Steve Reid – Lugano – Soul Jazz
Pascal Rioux feat Mr Day – Don’t Outstay Outside 2 Night [Patchworks Deep Remix] – Rotax
Riovolt – Starjive – La Douce / Irma
Sam & Gigi – Bau-Au [Patchworks Remix] – Still Music
Bembe Segue – Effi – Visions
Soil & Pimp Sessions – Stinger – Victor
Steve Spacek – Let The Dollar Circulate – Sound In Color
Talc – Modern Sleepover – Wah Wah 45s
Tominaga feat Eska – It’s Your Time [Original Mix] – Diaspora
Unforscene feat Alice Russell – Don’t You Worry [Original] – Wah Wah 45s
V – Confusion – BBE
Yam Who? feat Christian Fontana – Wrap You Up [Rework] – Ubiquity

Andrew Allen presents Soul Asylum – 
August 2005 Essentials
Break Reform – Trust (Abstract Blue) UK CD/LP
The Five Corners Quintet feat Mark Murphy – Before We Say Goodbye (Ricky-Tick) Finnish 10″
Jazz Orkestrar Radio Televizije Beograd – Svadbena Igra Krai Bistrice (Cosmic Sounds) UK CD
Ernesto – Father (Exceptional) UK CD
Hundred Strong feat Alison Crockett – Dream On Delay (Altered Vibes) UK CD/LP
Wicked Lester – Intrigue (Bigfoot) Canadian 12″
Simon Grey – The Galactic Suite [Original Mix] (Papa) UK 12″
Blaze – All That I Should Know (ITH/Defected) UK 12″
Nuwamba – Forever (Chocolate Soul) US CD
Sam Most – Jungle Fantasy (Jazzman) UK 7″
Micatone – D-D-D-D-Dance (Sonar Kollektiv) German CD/LP
Jazzinvaders – Go Ahead (Social Beats) Dutch 12″
Fred Stone – Lawrence Of Arabia (Do Right Music) Canadian CD/LP

Andrew Allen presents Soul Asylum – April 2005 Essentials
Nonameko – Mellow Tone – Loud Minority US 7″
The New Talent Jazz Orchestra – A Meditation On Two Chords –
Fresh Sound New Talent Spanish CD
Bah Samba – Far Away – BKO UK CD
Fabio Nobile feat Lorraine Bowen & Guido Pistocchi – Zozoi [Sunaga T Experience Remix]
Déjà Vu Italian 12″
Huba – Mary – Jupiter Finnish 12″
Toudie Heath / Kuumba – Kamili – O’Be UK LP
DWH (Deeperwiderhigher) – Latter Rains – Counterpoint UK 12″
Double D feat Dianne Charlemagne – Reach Out – 2020 Vision UK CD/LP
The Sugar Beats Band – French Girl From Luton – Calm Beast UK 12″
The Rebirth – Shake It – Kajmere US CD

Andrew Allen presents Soul Asylum – March 2005 Essentials
Jukka Eskola – 1974 – Ricky-Tick Finnish 12″
Various – Folk Is Not A Four Letter Word – Delay 68 UK CD
Unforscene feat Alice Russell – Don’t You Worry – Wah Wah 45s UK 12″
Break Reform – And I [Yam Who? Rework] Abstract Blue UK 12″
Kathryn Moses – Ready Or Not – Do Right UK 12″
Terea – Pretty Bird – Jazzman UK 7″
Bah Samba – Portuguese Love [Album Version] BKO UK 12″
Chris Harwood – Wooden Ships – Akarma European CD/LP
Various – From Burbank To The Bay Area – Warner UK CD/LP
Build An Ark – Temple Jam – Plug Research US 12″

Andrew Allen presents Soul Asylum – February 2005 Essentials
Pascal Rioux feat Mr Day – Don’t Outstay Outside 2 Night [Patchwork’s Deep Remix]
Rotax French 12″
Dalindeo – Poseidon / Solifer-Lento- Ricky-Tick Finnish 12″
Soil & Pimp Sessions – Fuller Love – Face The Music Japanese 12″ / CD
Teddy Rok Seven feat Okou – Feel – What Music UK CD / LP
Dwight Trible – John Coltrane – Passin’ The Vibe US CD
Horace Silver feat Andy Bey – Won’t You Open Up Your Senses / I’ve Had A Little Talk –
Blue Note UK CD
Jazztronik – Nana – Pantone UK CD
Silhouette Brown – Just A Little More – Ether UK LP
DeLouie Avant Jr. – Cuzayou – Renegade US 12″

Andrew Allen presents Soul Asylum – January 2005 Essentials
The Rebirth – Evil Vibrations – Ubiquity US 12″
Soul Vigilantes feat Jocelyn Medina – Shy [Demo Vigilante] Love Monk Spanish 12″
Mr A.L.I. feat Carla Prather – Midnight Interlude [Original Mix] Nite Life Collective UK 12″
Harrison Crump feat Tony Ransom – Ride [Full Vocal Mix] Electric Chair / Pias UK 12″
Verna Francis – Look [Extended Vocal Mix] Chilli Funk UK 12″
Paolo Fedreghini & Marco Bianchi feat Claudia Bernath – Spread Your Love / Blu Night In Africa – Schema Italian 12″
Guida De Palma – Casa Forte – Club Brasil UK 12″
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – How Long Do I Have To Wait For You – Daptone US 7″
MaseQua Myers & JamiAyinde – Black Land Of The Nile / Mary Lou Williams –
Communion Song #3 ~ The World – Jazzman UK 7″
Bellcrash – White Jazz – Sunshine Enterprises Austrian LP
Potter & Tillman – It Must Be ESP – Woodland UK CD
Bobby Hutcherson feat Gene McDaniels – Slow Change – Blue Note UK CD
Victor Davies – Fire – Audiopharm / Afro Gigolo German CD

travelling the spaceways since 1993