Review of Ordered from the Catalogue Album by Various

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12. Various "Ordered from the Catalogue" (Album - Grand CentralRecords)
From new boy Riton (with his current single "Habib") to their first released artist Tony D this is an album that follows the success story of Manchester's own Grand Central Records. Since it's launch in 1995 the label has managed to accrue an impressive back catalogue including, amongst others, the highly acclaimed Only Child "Satellites and Constellations" album, the Central Heating compilations plus a plethora of inspired and inspiring singles.

Such a history has placed this crew firmly at the top of the tree amongst beat heads, soul fiends and hip-hop boys alike. So, six years and over 50 independent releases on, after creating legendary club nights such as "Counter Culture" and "Friends and Family", after an never ending list of choice collaborations with heads such as Bobby Womack, The Jungle Brothers and The Pharcyde, we come to this. The current pinnacle release.

A "100% live mix" with "no overdubs or computer twankery" (apparently he answered the phone twice and made a sandwich during the recording) by head honcho Mark Rae. A selection of favourite tracks from his own well nurtured label. Although the man's turntable dexterity isn't exactly up to a Tipper showdown he manages to pull the album together perfectly. The junctions are suitably tight and subtle..

After all who needs the trickery, it's the tunes that really matter here. And what tunes they are, a truly eclectic melange of beats, hip-hop, soul and funk. From Rae and Christian's bass-heavy, beats-laden "Catch A Rude Awakening" to Only Child's too cool "Getting It On" to Fingathing's bebop beauty "Come On Girls".

If that short resume hasn't somehow managed tickle your fancy or convince you that this is an album worth hearing then why not take some of Monsieur Rae's priceless advice. Go and buy their "entire collection and have a go yourself!"