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Ubiquity Records Turns Fifteen

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It’s Ubiquity’s 15 year anniversary! Well, technically it’s 15 years since Michael and Jody McFadin high-tailed it from Southern California to San Francisco with a dream of starting a record label out of their new-born record store called The Groove Merchant. They had visited San Francisco on their honeymoon, and despite being caught up in the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake they fell in love with the city. Investing the last of their savings into a business that would combine their passion for music and provide an income to live on they opened the Groove Merchant record store on Haight Street in early 1990.

Within a year the small shop had built a reputation the world over as a place to find rare records and learn about new sounds. A haven for collectors, DJs, and producers looking for soul jazz, musical obscurities, and break beats, the Groove Merchant even earned a toast on the Beastie Boys song “Professor Booty", “This one goes out to my man the Groove Merchant, comin' through with the beats that I've been searchin'," rapped Mike D. on 1992's Check Your Head album. During these early days an English kid studying at the University of San Francisco wandered into the store and struck up a friendship with the McFadins. Andrew Jervis wound-up scoring a part time job in the store and as a fill-in DJ for their club nights.

With start-up capital of one thousand dollars and little knowledge of the record business, the Luv N' Haight record label (named after the Sly and The Family Stone song) was launched. In 1993 the company incorporated as Ubiquity Recordings releasing an instant hit-record from a then unknown DJ called Greyboy.

Since then Ubiquity has grown into a company with several imprints: Luv n' Haight remains the home for re-issue of rare groove gems with close to 50 releases, CuBop is the Latin jazz arm with just over 40 releases, and Ubiquity has over 180 releases ranging from hip-hop to funk to cutting edge club music. With a worldwide distribution network, and around 300 releases the label is constantly striving to live up to it’s name, originally chosen because the label wanted to make unheard music available everywhere. In 2005 Ubiquity moved to Costa Mesa where Co-Founders Michael and Jody McFadin head a team of 4 employees, while Vice-President Andrew Jervis handles A&R up in the Bay Area. In addition to a wide-ranging music catalog the label also runs a merchandise and apparel company, and an in-house promotions company.

Over the past fifteen years, Ubiquity has developed into a strong, definitive brand. Customers often purchase Ubiquity CDs without knowing the band, their decision based solely on the label's reputation. The company remains the only record label to guarantee their releases for customer satisfaction with musical content. As a result, a cult-like customer base has developed that appreciates quality and diversity in the ever-growing marketplace.

Artist LPs/Compilations (Fall 2005): Ubiquity & Luv N' Haight Releases from August-November

Ohmega Watts The Find CD / LP - Ubiquity Records (URCD/LP174) Available September 13, 2005
MC & Producer Ohmega Watts makes organic and energetic hip-hop, funk and soul. It’s original, from the heart, straight no chaser music. Offering both quantity and quality The Find is 22 tracks deep and jumps from laid-back sunshine stylings to rare-groove fueled instrumentals to party rocking anthems. Inspired as much by hip hop legends like Eric B & Rakim and DJ Premier as well as contemporary electronic producers like RJD2 and The Herbaliser, The Find pushes industry-standard boundaries. Hailing from Flatbush, Brooklyn, brought-up by Jamaican parents Milton Campbell pka Ohmega Watts moved to Florida and now resides amidst a bustling Portland, Oregon scene.

Various Artists - HVW8: Music Is My Art - Ubiquity Records (URCD/LP179) Available September 13, 2005
Compiled by the HVW8 Art Installation Crew (pronounced heavyweight), Music Is My Art is an album of next level electronic, soul and hip hop acts from around the world including many exclusive, unreleased and hard to find tracks. Expect full spectrum sonics from established faves like Plantlife, Seiji, Spacek, and Osunlade to up n’comers like John Arnold, DJ Language, Rich Medina, and new head-turning tracks from the likes of Black Spade, Radio City and Owusu and Hannibal. It’s raw hip hop, rough broken beat, left field soul, future funk, and house that works together and typifies the kinds of sounds you’d hear at a HVW8 curated event. Many of the (musical) artists created these tracks in exchange for artwork. Both the CD and LP will feature cover art and bonus artwork from the HVW8 crew.

John Arnold - Style and Pattern - Ubiquity Records (URCD/LP180) Available October 11, 2005
A comprehensive new album of heavyweight future funk, charged with great songs and irresistibly cheeky and chunky instrumentals. Helping him along the way are label mate Jeremy Ellis and Amp Fiddler band mate Paul Randolph who guests on “Rise Up” and “1234”. Crowned Best Artist at the second annual UK Hip Hop Awards, Ninja Tune recording artist Ty flexes his lyrical dexterity over frantic beats and rude bass line on “Style and Pattern” (Nuff Version), the title track. Since the release of his debut Arnold has developed a completely live, non-stop electronic show bridging the gap between DJ and producer. This “freestyle” technique was developed with label mate and Detroit neighbor Jeremy Ellis. Performing and creating tracks live allowed Arnold to test run music on the dance floor and in front of a crowd. These improvisational moments were the inspiration for Style and Pattern album.

Various Artists - Searching For Soul: Rare and Classic Soul, Funk and Jazz from Michigan 1968-1980 - Luv N' Haight Records (LHCD/LP046) Available October 11, 2005
Detroit was the epicenter for the soulful revolution the world now knows as Motown. However, the city and the surrounding cities making up Michigan were also home to an unparalleled underground music scene that supported, propelled and fed off the Motown machine. Included here are absolute rarities from The Black Aces of Soul and the Eyes of Ebony next to now funk classics by The Detroit Sex Machines. Most of these records have never been on CD, and you’d have to mortgage your house to buy all the originals. Raw breaks and beats from Jake Wade and the Soul Searchers sit next to the melancholic charm of Dee Edwards, inter galactic big band funk from Wendell Harrison drops down next to freaky synth-driven soul of Aged In Harmony. This is a heavy comp indeed & might just be our best one to date... stay tuned though, it's a busy fall for Luv N' Haight w/ some serious nuggets about to be released!

Breakestra - Hit the Floor - Ubiquity Records (URCD/LP178) Available October 25, 2005
Released on Stones Throw in 2001 “The Live Mix part 2” put Breakestra on the map as a monster live raw funk band from LA (selling 50,000 copies worldwide) and garnering the attention of everyone from Carson Daly (MTV) to ?uestlove (The Roots). While their debut album predominantly paid homage to breaks n’beats gone by, Hit The Floor goes a step further as Breakestra create an album of entirely new tunes. Bandleader, Miles Tackett's new (heavily soundproofed) Funky Tilt studio allowed for many late night sessions setting it up from scratch, and his attention to musical. In addition to a new album and studio, Tackett and co. host the weekly 8 yr old Rootdown party in LA. They perform regularly to capacity crowds along side hip hop luminaries such as Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples, Black Eyed Peas, Freestyle Fellowship, Company Flow, Cut Chemist, Nu-Mark and DJ Shadow.

Various Artists - Brownswood USA: Gilles Peterson Digs America - Luv N' Haight Records (LHCD/LP047) Available: November 8, 2005
The first in our new series of compilations rading the record racks of some of the world's most outrageous collections. BBC's Gilles Peterson's collection is so serious he keeps it in a separate house!!! For him music is not simply a hobby or even an obsession, music is life. Over the years he’s delighted dancefloors and listeners to his radio show around the world by joining the dots between musical styles and eras. This compilation is a collection of some of his favorite rarities from the USA. From the sweet soul of Dorando to the manic breakbeat funk of 47 x It’s Own Weight this comp packs punch. Swinging vocal jazz selections slide into ultra-rare funk nuggets in the way that only Peterson can do it.

12" Singles (Fall 2005): Ubiquity 12" Releases from August-November

Yam Who? - Wrap You Up - Ubiquity Records 12" (UR12176) Available: August 23, 2005
This is the 2nd outing on Ubiquity for Yam Who. Amazingly it’s only the second or third time they’ve released something that's not been a remix, such is the demand for their studio magic. “Wrap You Up” is a cover of an LA Boppers tune, an obscure jazz-funk and soul act from LA that featured members of Side Effect. It’s a mid-tempo boogie tune (think down tempo house) with a chunky summer groove, essential hook and laid back but DJ friendly vibe with buttery vocal stylings by Christian Fontana. Included are original, dub version, and acapella + a new Yam Who instrumental. This track also will appear on the HVW8: Music Is My Art Compilation.

Breakestra - Family Rap w/Chali2Na & Soup (Jurassic 5), Double K, + Cut Chemist edit - Ubiquity Records 12" (UR12177) Available: August 23, 2005 Includes 4 exclusive 12" mixes! A hip-hop mix, extended mix, and instrumental versions of “Family Rap” featuring Chali2na and Soup (of J5) and Double K (of People Under The Stairs), plus Munyongo Jackson on percussion rocking the old school posse cut in the spirit of the live-band old school rap jams. There’s also an exclusive Cut Chemist edit of “How Do You Really Feel" where Breakestra meets CTI as the breaks and funk chops enter the realm of jazz fusion. The Breakestra Hit The Floor album is due for release late October.

John Arnold featuring Ty - Style and Pattern (Nuff Version) + Moonstarr remix - Ubiquity Records 12" (UR12175) Available: August 23, 2005
First his “Rise Up” tune on the HVW8 12” was a broken beat hit for the summer and now Arnold returns with a storming club joint featuring Ninja Tune's Ty on vocals. Crowned 'Best Artist' at the second annual UK Hip Hop Awards, Ty flexes his lyrical dexterity over frantic beats and rude bass line. The resulting “Style and Pattern” track is top drawer DJ ammunition. Meanwhile, Moonstarr adds a rugged Afro-tech meets broken beat vibe which goes straight for the juggular….” Style and Pattern is also the title track from the new album, scheduled for release this Fall.

Platinum Pied Pipers feat. Jay-Dee, Invincible & Med - Shotgun + Fever DJ Spinna Remixes- Ubiquity Records 12" (UR12181) Available: September 27, 2005
PPP will be touring Europe and America this Fall in support of the first new single since the release of “Triple P”. Guest appearances on the bangin’ “Shotgun” include Jay Dee (as on the album version) and exclusive to this mix are Med (Stones Throw) plus PPP conspirer Invincible. On the flip are 2 mixes of the r&b/soul groover “Fever” in hip hop/club friendly mode via DJ Spinna.

Nino Moschella - Ubiquity 12" / 7" Available: November TBA, 2005
The first time we heard Nino Moschella we knew he had that magic touch. Gritty, soulful, honest, and unique, his vocal stylings and lo-fi funk productions were a must-have for Ubiquity. Imagine our surprise when we learned that this golden voice belonged to a scruffy Irish-Italian-American bar fly from down the block. This 12” sampler is our intro to the world of Nino Moschella, Ubiquity's new Bay Area signing.

Radio City Ubiquity 12” Available: November TBA, 2005
First causing a buzz with “The Hop” on the HVW8 12” and compilation, Radio City will have an album ready to drop in early 2006. Ridiculously charming vocals from Bajka ride over free-wheelin’ funky beats, while wild jazz breaks contrast against stunning cinematic pieces. Hailing from Berlin, Radio City were brought to our attention by none other than, Will Holland aka Quantic / Quantic Soul Orchestra fame. Their sound is a mix of DJ friendly, listenable and film score-worthy music, with a new electronic edge that is inspired by everything from sixties jazz, funk 45s, soul, dub, hiphop, afrobeat, electronic, d&b, early eighties avantgarde, surf, arabian music, p-funk, latin, boogaloo, rocksteady, and...

Owusu & Hannibal Ubiquity 12” Available: November TBA, 2005
The new Danish modern sound belongs to Owusu and Hannibal of Copenhagen. With Ghanian, Danish, German and American heritage the pair are set to take 2006 by storm with an amazing album of unique soul productions. The most forward thinking beats we’ve heard in a long time power along some amazing musicianship and fantastic songs and the end product sounds amazing on your iPod or in the club. “Delirium” and “Blue Jay” are already getting serious nods on CD-r, wait ‘til you hear what else is in the bag. They’ve got cosmic freak-outs, street smarts, and crossover ballistics packed into each next level track. Think Moodymann meets Steely Dan meets Scritti Polliti meets Dilla meets Jorge Ben meets Spacek and you’re getting kinda' freakin close.

Greyboy Ubiquity 12” Available: November TBA, 2005
Ubiquity's first born has been brewing a new batch of tunes for a while. Hold tight for his best work yet including collaborations with the Mighty Ryeders and Ikey Owens of Mars Volta!

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