Top-5+1: Conor Fenlon (Cork)

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Conor Fenlon is 1/3 of the «Not How, When!» DJ crew from Cork. He’s collecting records for 16 years now after his first trip to New York. He has since visited many places throughout Europe, the United States and Japan to see favourite DJs and to dig deep for records. His friends called Conor «house music tourist» for obvious reasons :) Check his 5+1 favorite records below!

Yoshio Suzuki — A Touch Of Rain LP [1986, JVC]
Discogs / Youtube

Firstly, my love for Japanese music is increasing week by week for many years now so I knew I had to include at least one in my top five. The cover of this super album from Yoshio Suzuki sets the mood for the musical content within. To actually listen to the album from start to finish is something to behold. The track I chose, «What Do We Do When It’s Spring», is simply beautiful. It has a real mellow, almost hypnotic element to it, something which is present throughout the whole album. My preferred tracks are «Our Sunday Morning» and the title track «Touch Of Rain» which sadly do not feature on youtube. There are a few tracks on this album you could expect to hear on a ‘Music from Memory’ compilation. Think Metheny from the East and drift away :)

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Larry Heard — Ice Castles LP [1998, Mecca Recordings]
Discogs / Youtube

Well where could one start with Larry in all honesty. Anyone who knows me and music will tell you of my obsession with Larry Heard. It was so tough to choose one Larry contribution as he is «The King» for me. His album ‘Ice Castles’ is one which in my opinion is a musical display of brilliance from beginning to end with each track as good as the next. I went with «Romantic Sway» as my youtube clip. I love its dreamy, spacey feel and those soft pads throughout are exceptional. This track always manages to feed my imagination, taking me to a remote desert island, where the sunshine is beating down on me, a cocktail in hand and thinking life is good. A must-have album should you ever be lucky enough to track it down.

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The Verdict — That’s Where I Come In 7″ [1984, Nuance Records]
Discogs / Youtube

This one is certainly in my top list of boogie favourites. The «boogie master» Dam Funk put me on to this one and straight away it was apparent it wasn’t going to be an easy one to track down. But perseverance payed off and thankfully I found a copy in France :) pheeewwwww! The track itself just oozes sophistication with its interesting intro followed by its impeccable groove and meaningful lyrics. Released only as a 7inch on the Chicago Nuance label.

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The Antilles — I’ve Got To Have You 12″ [1983, Creole Records]
Discogs / Youtube

A British Jazz Funk essential for any collector out there. Regretably, The Antilles were a one hit wonder, but for me this track has it all. Fantastic vocals, some wonderful musicianship and all from a band who formed in their school years taking influences from the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire, Players Association and Crown Heights Affair. Its a record I have been asked about quite a few times on occasions when I’ve played it and rightly so. The flip of this 12″ -Latin Dream, is also a superb track, with more of an uptempo vibe and equally as good but «I’ve Got To Have You» just has the edge in my musical opinion. I honestly and truly believed I’d never find a copy and I didn’t, until 2yrs ago my wonderful girlfriend Reggie surprised me with a mint copy of this as my Christmas gift…..what a lady!!!! :)

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Ryan Paris — Dolce Vita (instrumental mix) 12″ [1983, Discomagic Records]
Discogs / Youtube

A few years ago I was driving to work and listening to a legendary Irish radio DJ called Larry Gogan (77yrs old). He played ‘Dolce Vita’ which instantly caught my attention and boy did that make my day. On hearing this fantastic Italian Pop song I was once again reminded as to why this DJ commands a legendary status amongst the Irish masses. Recently I’ve also found a youtube clip of DJ Harvey playing this track at a party, so if its good enough for Larry G and Harvey it’s certainly good enough for me :)

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Debbie Trusty — Searching For Some Lovin (instrumental mix) 12″ [1982, West End Records]
Discogs / Youtube

On visiting New York last year I spent many hours digging in a famous record store-A1 records, which is well worth a trip for any vinyl enthusiast. Many records later I came across this ‘Debbie Trusty’ 12inch which was new to me at the time. On close inspection I saw 2 names that always bring a smile to my face, David Todd and Nick Martinelli on production, along with an instrumental mix which met the usual high standard. This was the sample used for the house classic ’33 And A Third Queen’- Searching, on Nu Groove. An ultimate Boogie Monster on a quality sound system with an unbelievable analog baseline which really comes through on this immense and prolific West End release.

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Pics and texts Conor Fenlon