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by Rachel Devitt

July 1, 2013

Label Spotlight: Soundway Records

by Rachel Devitt  |  July 1, 2013

You know that friend you have who's always introducing you to the coolest, most thrilling new music you've ever heard, and seems to have her finger on the pulse of all the hottest sounds you've never heard of (hey! maybe that "friend" is us!)? If you could turn that person into a record label, what you'd get is Soundway Records. British DJ and consummate crate-digger Miles Cleret founded the label after a spontaneous trip to Ghana found him returning home with armloads of rare 45s and LPs and a clutch of contacts for local musicians, primarily from the country's funk scene in the 1970s.

Starting in 2002 with first album Ghana Soundz, which was inspired by that trip, Cleret set about researching and re-releasing "lost" recordings from '60s and '70s psych-rock, acid jazz, funk, folk and trad scenes, finding and working closely with scene-makers (many of whom were out of the biz) in locales like Nigeria, Thailand, Panama and Colombia. The label came to be known for its lovingly researched, beautifully produced compilations of choice cuts and rare grooves -- the kind of stuff one might never have the opportunity to hear otherwise. Then, in 2012, Soundways expanded its focus to include original recordings by contemporary artists, starting with Angolan-Portuguese artist Batida (who samples '70s Angolan music). Several critically acclaimed releases later, Soundways was on the cutting edge of contemporary and historic global grooves. Get to know this innovative label with our introductory sampler. You'll find plenty of tracks to impress your friends with.

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