Wednesday, November 5

Interview Nick From Record Kicks

How did you start being a record collector ?

I've started collecting 45s right after I felt in love with northern soul first and deep funk then in the 90s. Both genres are about rare and obscure american singles, so start collectig has been a natural step.

How did you decide to make your own label ?

I've always wanted to do it. Before opening RK I spent 4 years at Vitaminic a digital distribution company. I was label manager first then in the last 2 years we stated producing lounge / rare groove compilations, we set up an internal label distributed by Edel and I was taking care of the label doing both the A&R and label management. We released 20 records some very good stuff like Get Smart compilation collections. After 4 years I left Vitaminc and opened RK. All the time spent at Vitaminic gave the knowledge of the music business, it's been very usefull.

What are the difficulties for being independent?

It's really hard to survive these days. The difficulties are linked to the general situation of music market which is really poor at the moment. You need to push really hard. RK office are placed in the basement... it reminds me of a Bunker!

Italy has always been a big producer of music, will you make a compilation of Italian funk/rare groove/jazz scene in the 70's ?

You're right there's a lot of very good funky library music and jazz in this country. Great composers like Micalizzi, Ortolani, Piccioni and many more. The point is that a lot, if not all the best stuff, has already been rereleased during the lounge period at the end of the 90s by labels like Right Tempo and Irma. Also I have to say, with RK we're more focussed on contemporary deep funk, soul, groove scene... but who knows.

How is the funk scene in Italy nowadays? The Scene for jazz is quite big, what about the funk/soul scene ? Do you have some Italian new mastersounds?

We already had an Italian response to the New Mastersounds, the great Link Quartet. We had the fortune to release their last studio album "Italian playboys" before the split up... hope they're going to change their mind and do a reunion, they were great.... anyway we're still waiting for an Italian Sharon Jones :) A part from jokes the scene is growing fast. When we started back in 2003 nobody was taking care of funk and especially of contemporary funk bands here. Today thanks to planetary success of Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson, Nicole Willis the scene is growing rapidly, we have more media focussed on the scene and more bands practicing. We also run a deep funk clubnight here in milan called BOOGALOO club with a very strict music policy which is very successful since 2003. Always packed with 500 people attending. We'll do the 6th anniversary this year, we hosted many good djs/bands such as Keb Darge, Boogaloo Investigators, Jazzman Gerald, Diplomats of Solid Sound, Henry Storch, Ian Wright, Andy Smith.. Off course there's still a lot to do especially if you think that acts like Sharon Jones or Nicole Willis never played in Italy.

Can you told us a little bit more of Trio Valore ? Deep Funk from Italy?

Not really is a brand new deep funk & mod jazz super group formed by 3 monsters, Steve White (Style Council / Galliano / JTQ), Damon minchella (Ocean colour scene) and Seamus Beagnen (Madness, Supergrass, Babyshambles, Death In Vegas .. and many more). On the album appeared also as special guests Benjamin Herman (New Cool Collective), Louk Boudesteijn & Jan Van Duikeren (Paul Weller band). The Italian name comes from Steve White who loves Italy. Damon has Italian parents, so he's the only half italian.. as Damon used to say "The only Italian thing about the other 2 is that they try to avoid paying their taxes"

What are your plans for 2008/2009?

We're excited to release the new album from Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra next March, it's a james brown cover album ala Kokolo.. pure dynamite! Baby Charles are working on the new album that hopefully will be ready for end of 2009. On our sub label Soulful Torino Records we're reissuing rare deep funk from Panama, check the first Soul Fantastic 45 top notch tropical funk! Next year we'll release a Soulful Torino compilation with all the 45s released so far. We also have a bunch of new Record Kicks singles on the way... really busy ... keep an eye open!


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