This new reel to reel discovery committed to vinyl has our heads spinning! For Secret Rendezvous' first installment of the Discovery Series, Super Disco Edits head honcho Russell explains how "I'm So Lucky", a beautiful mid-tempo soul cut came to be signed as a new release 30 years later. This one has the potential to be a big favorite for many lovers of the sound. So in his own words, I'll let Russell tell his story...
***Back around 2008 I'd say, or there about's I decided I'd have a go at tracking down Moses Tribbery, this was after I got to hear the boys over at Oslo Soul Experience play Infinity "Queen of My Universe" on their website. It was credited to Moses Tribbery and Alvin Walker, and anyone on the soul scene would have heard it and instantly gone, "damn!" as its a killer slice of modern soul music, just ripe for playing out at events across Europe.
I managed to find Moses who had now packed up bags from his native Richmond Va and moved over to Asia to teach English. He was shocked to hear from me, and after we chatted said he may have a few recordings by Infinity back home. Maybe a year passed and being a man of his word Moses sent me a copy of Infinity's other only 45rpm INFINITY "party man"/ "put everything in place" Whitehorse. Unfortunately he didn't have a copy of "Queen of My Universe" , and I must admit at the time I hadn't really heard of the Whitehorse cut. But after I stuck it on the turntable I instantly fell in love with "Put Everything In Place", and realized Infinity and its members were some serious musicians.
Along with the 45rpm he also sent a rare Whitehorse flyer from around the late 70's. This had a picture of the group and the band members' christian names. So being a bit of a detective freak, I thought I'd chase some of the members down. It wasn't long before I was in connection with Ray Crawley, a member of Infinity. Ray was also from Richmond Va, and had also written "Party man", along with his long time playing partner Ray Dorsey. Ray Crawley had also written the flip to "Queen of My Universe", a monster disco funk cut called "Up", which at this moment is firmly stuck on my turntable.
Quite a good few years had passed and Ray had told me about a group he was in before Infinity called Ebony Diamonds, along with Ray Dorsey and their other friend Carroll Ellis Jr. They recorded a bunch of cuts at the famed Alpha Audio studios in Richmond, that was owned and run by Nick Colleran. None of these tracks ever made it past the reels, and as time went on Infinity was born and the tracks left to sit dusty in the home of Ray Crawley.
Whilst checking Ray's personal Facebook page I see he had uploaded a video onto YOUTUBE. Luckily it hadnt had many views, they had transferred what they could of those early 1975 recording sessions by Ebony Diamonds into a WAV and stuck it on the net. Only one track survived the decaying reels, that were nearly 40 years old, a track called "I'm so lucky". Man I was hooked on the track the very first few bars. I contacted Ray and said lets get this beautiful slice of modern crossover soul music out on a 45rpm. I told him about my record label www.superdiscoedits.com which really only started out last year as a bit of fun to put out a disco edit I had made. Now 8 releases on its become a full time hobby.
Ray and the other members were really excited about the project, and that their track was gonna be heard again. I designed the EDI label to give it that 1975 feel, and even used the sort of Font that Alpha Audio used to use back in the day. I think they kind of had a generic style associated with their releases. This may not be completely accurate but from my own experience it seemed like a lot of the text was similar on the labels..
Super Disco Edits pressed 500 copies,and with initial clips getting mad likes and comments, and then a bit of a push from our friend Mark Allbones at www.mediahut.co.uk we decided to have a go at pre-order. Wow, the response was amazing. Upon release of the 45rpm in mid-October every copy had been accounted for. I'd say its gonna have that future rare record status in years to come. I could go and press some more copies, but being a collector of records myself I like the fact that in years to come people will probably be searching for Ebony Diamonds like I did Infinity's "Queen of My Universe", well I'm hoping that may happen!