Various ‘On the Corner Versus’ LP/DIG (On The Corner) 4/5

on-the-cornerLondon’s On The Corner Records are a relatively new label set up by DJ Pete Buckenham, which comprise of various jazz influenced artists but with a contemporary outlook, and so, the label is not afraid to blend Electronica, Spiritual Jazz, House, Afro Beat and everything else in between.
And here with their recent release On the Corner ‘Versus’, which is a kind of compilation album of sorts, which includes original tracks and remixes of previously released material. But of the eight tracks featured here, five are by Collocutor; a collective led by saxophone player and flutist Tamar Osborn but also feature Simon Finch (trumpet), Josephine Davies (additional sax), Marco Piccioni (guitar), Suman Joshi (bass) and Maurizio Ravalico on percussion, along with other players for both studio recording and live work.
These five pieces are all in remix form, with ‘Gozo’ keeping its Afro Jazz stylings but some adding DJ friendly drum parts, ‘Loop Thriller’ in its FYI Chris Re-Fix, provides a slightly Detroit/Moodyman influenced groover which is very infectious, and Al Dobson Jr.’s ‘Agama’ remix maintains the jazzy looseness of the original but with dollops of added percussion. ‘Archaic Morning’ (Body Moves Remix) is a touch more electronic, but the other mix of the same track by Antoine Abayomi is a more Afro House affair and has been heavily designed for the dance floors.

The second half of the album contains the three remaining tracks; Fiium Shaarrk ‘Bogan Sunrise’ (Petwo Evans formaldehyde Dip) which has a twisted Techno-cum-Afro Beat rhythm, Group As Salaam ‘L’burh l’buh’ (Rich Thair Remix) uses a very interesting tempo increase and great use of polyrhythms, and finally, Black Classical ‘Running the Voodoo Down’ – the only original piece, is a heavy slab of African percussion influenced Jazz, from the DJ who once did a 12 hour Spiritual Jazz radio show.

So it’s a very eclectic affair but actually very accessible, with many of the remixes designed for the more refined DJs, clubs and parties. And with the album additionally available on vinyl and being quite cheap in price this is highly recommended, alongside the rest of their growing catalogue which can be found on their Bandcamp webpage. And with the number of independent record labels on the increase, this is a fantastic time and opportunity for small labels like On The Corner to flourish and establish themselves.

Damian Wilkes