“Village Thing’s releases have gained cult status.”
Equipment was good but basic — at least one album was recorded with a pair of mics
plugged straight into a Revox tape recorder in my flat in Clifton Village, and the maximum was a pair of tape machines, multi-mics through a small mixer and a simple reverb unit.
Anything more complicated than that, on the few occasions when it was needed, we took over to record at Rockfield near Monmouth. It was also very much a family of artists and musicians, as will be apparent from the way that names crop up on each other’s recordings.
More recently, there was a ‘best of’ Village Thing compilation CD called Ghosts From The Basement, still available as download only from the Ghosts From The Basement shop.
And so we became one of the pioneers in producing albums in the field that eventually got called ‘World Music’, among them the first UK releases by Bulgarian singer Nadka Karadjova (on the FMS imprint);
Somewhere in the middle we switched from vinyl LPs & cassettes to CDs (there was a brief period when had to do all three formats!)
It soon dawned on me that we could release other things as well
“Tarika regularly topped the World Music charts.”
You can buy CDs and downloads at our online shop.
Lately, as there are so few record shops left with decent ‘specialist’ sections, there seems less and less reason to go through conventional record distributors. So my current micro-label is Ghosts From The Basement, selling CDs and downloads direct to the public via Bandcamp and Amazon, the physical copies in environmentally friendly, plastic-free digipaks.
The releases so far include my two 50+ year compilations Onwards! and Onwards Vol.2 – A Crown Of Crows, my solo album Deathfolk Blues Revisited from 2017, the CD of my duo The False Beards with Ben Mandelson and an EP to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my Royal York Crescent LP.
There’s an EP of English traditional icon Bob Copper on which Ben Mandelson and I accompanied him singing the blues (oh yes!); expanded re-issues of the Village Thing albums I produced by Derroll Adams and Al Jones; and Almost The Country Blues, an exhumation of my very earliest blues EPs, compilation tracks and a couple of previously unissued live recordings.
There are also DL-only re-issues of albums by Dembo Konte & Kausu Kuyateh and Pascal Diatta & Sona Mané, and an EP of Tarika’s greatest hits.
You can find all of these plus some of the Weekend Beatnik compilations and more in the Ghosts From The Basement shop.