One of my favourite labels in the UK which ticks all the right boxes for me (deep soul, conscious hiphop, afrobeat, funk, leftfield jazz, abstract beats, reggae, brass bandism and electronica), have been celebrating 10 years in the game in 2014.
First Word Records was born in 2004 when DJs/promoters Aly Gillani and Andy H wanted to give a platform to the ridiculous amount of young and new talented bands and musicians performing at the time at the New Bohemia Leeds and Tuesday Club Sheffield clubnights they DJ’d at.
Their first signings and releases were homegrown Leeds/Yorkshire talent but as the label’s reputation grew, the roster grew to include national signings and international artists.These include past and present Tall Black Guy (Detroit), The Haggis Horns, Kid Kanevil, Riot Jazz Brass Band, Frameworks, Yosi Horikawa (Japan), The Fontanelles, Comfort Fit, Homecut, Souleance (France), Debian Blak, East Park Reggae Collective, Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra, Essa, Ye Mighty….great artists making quality boundary breaking music! Check their full catalogue/new releases at :
The best release for me for 2014 from them is rapper Essa’s excellent conscious hiphop album “The Misadventures Of A Middle Man” which has been one of my car soundtrack hits for this summer. Also check out the new “First Word Is 10! Celebrating Ten Years Of First Word Records” compilation, out now and featuring 26 tracks from the label’s roster of artists for just £5! Both available at the lablel’s website.
Congratulations to Aly, Andy and all the First Word Records team and here’s to the next 10 years!