Over six years, Aficionado, the label, has put out twenty-seven releases. Artists from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and USA. A Vision Of Panorama, B&B, Basso, Bendith, Bodies Of Water, Brenda “Beachball” Ray, Bronze Savage, Colorama, Coyote, Dream Lovers, Eleventeen Eston, Farbror Resande Mac, Gryningen, Half Silk, Imperfect Product, Joan Bibiloni, King Clyde, Leonardo Ceccanti, Len Leise, Leo Mas & Fabrice, Max Essa, Menage A Trois, Murena, Nev Cottee, Quinn Luke, Penelope Antena, Plastic Fantastic, Prins Emanuel, San Laurentino, Shawn Lee & His Ping Pong Orchestra, Simon Cotter, Simon Peter, Steve Cobby, Stratus, Tempelhof, and The Records We Never Made. Remixes by “Names” like Andras Fox, Beatfantic, Begin, Les Crocodiles, Paul “Mudd” Murphy, Phil Mison, Ruf Dug, Rune & Oyvind. Singer-songwriters channelling Laurel Canyon. Guitars ringing with the sound of cedar, and cypress, de capo, picado, and rasgueado. Mixing Malloran tradition with tabla, on Blues for Spaghetti Western heroes. Echoing Morricone`s poignant watch chimes. Tributes to Tisno, and Axelrod. Cinematic string-soaked Songs Of Experience. With beats that Shadow would have stolen. Autumnal serenades to lost little Miss Sunshines. Lyrical nods to Swedish cowboys. Italian ambience, heavy with hope. Makeovers of McLaren`s operatic Hip Hop. Ladies with very English twists on the Dub aesthetic. “The Reggae that Laurie Anderson never made.” Earthbound angels tracing comets` tails. Holding hands and wishing. Trance shapes from Roland`s silver box. House, more sensual than jacking. Post-coital Jazz. Like Sade wading through treacle (copyright Ruf Dug). Soft focus, half-light, lip-gloss, and lingerie. Ruminations on sex and Zen. Psychedelic Raga, sitar drone, and tambura buzz. Welsh language fairy-tales. Folk adorned with cello and harp. Umbrella-ed cocktail-sipping sunshine R&B. More late Andalusian Summer, than Manchester city centre rain. From the Arafura Sea to Ibiza`s Cafe Del Mar. Definite dusk. Music that marks the day`s last burning of the sun.
As impressive as that is, Aficionado, the party, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary. Twentieth! Events peppering and colouring evening skies like fireworks throughout 2018. There was the John Stammers gig in January. Dances at The Beagle, Pilcrow and Refuge during April and May. June 22nd they launch a beer, with Blackjack Tap. Christening the event with a 7” session. June 29th Moonboots is at Red Market, with Phil Mison. While July 1st Jason will be at Love International, with the Music For Dreams crew. July 29th there`s “Aficionado Acoustic”, with Nev Cottee, at Hatch. September 29th they`ll be in Plymouth, at Vista. But the biggie is happening Saturday, July 14th. The official birthday bash, at Night People on Manchester`s Princess Street. Moon and Jason ably assisted by James Holroyd (Back 2 Basics), Annabel Fraser (NTS), and Patch (Talking Drums). With a very special guest confirmed, but kept super secret. I can only think of Harvey. But then I`ve been a cult member since before that Sarcastic Disco CD.
Please feel free to enter your guesses below.
While you do that here`s a mix of ten personal favourites from the label`s six year run.
Stratus – Tisno
Steve Cobby & Rich Arthurs – Bushfarmer
Joan Bibiloni – Pinzells
Nev Cottte – If I could Tell you (Instrumental)
Colorama – Hapus? (Begin Remix)
Half Silk – Delicious Crime
Brenda Ray – Theme From Another Space
Shawn Lee – San Diego (Phil Mison Mix)
Coyote – San Raphael (Rune & Oyvind Remix)
Tempelhof – Piano Piano