Nowadays, when a record company releases a successful compilation, the followup follows hot on its heels. Sometimes, only six months or a year has passed. However, it’s a case of striking while the iron hot. After all, it’s not easy for record companies to make money nowadays. So a successful compilation is like mana from heaven. Especially for independent labels. 

For many independent labels, the difference between success and failure is minute. Even a relatively small sum of money like £300 can make all the difference. That’s the difference between profit and loss. And loss is the word that all label managers dread hearing. It sends shivers down their spine, and causes them to have sleepless nights. 

During these sleepless nights, the worried label manager wonders how to balance the books? They don’t want people to lose their jobs. Nor do they want to make cut backs. If only they think, they had a successful compilation series to fall back on? It could ride to the rescue like a white knight.

That’s many independent record label’s trump card, in what’s proved to be a turbulent time for many smaller labels. For these  labels, a successful compilation mops up all the little losses they’ve made throughout the year. It allows them to keep releasing music they believe in. This isn’t necessarily music that’s going to make anyone rich. Instead, it’s music everyone believes in, and is passionate about. There’s countless albums like this released each week. Their losses are offset against successful compilations.

There’s certainly plenty successful compilations series. Some have released anything between six and twelve volumes. Others have only released two or three. BBE Music’s Private Wax compilation series is just about to release the long-awaited and much anticipated second volume. 

Private Wax Volume Two will be released on BBE Music on the 30th October 2015. This is another compilation of “Super Rare Boogie and Disco Compiled By Zaflovevinyl.” Given their rarity, it’s no wonder it’s taken three years to compile Private Wax Volume Two. However, if anyone was going to hunt down the vinyl on Private Wax Volume Two, it was going to be Zaf Chowdry. 

He’s a veteran crate-digger and record collector whose been collecting records since the mid-seventies. Zaf however, takes crate-digging to a new level. Like a crate digging superhero, Zaf dawns his cape and prepares to dig where others fear to tread.

His mission in life is to seek out rarities and hidden gems. He’s journeyed to small towns in search of backstreet record shops. Other times, he’s clambered down into dusty basements. Even though the owner passes a striking resemblance to Norman Bates.  It could be worth it he keeps telling himself. There could be piles of long-forgotten, unloved music. 

Zaf tells himself the same thing when he’s searching through damp, dark warehouses crammed full of ageing vinyl. Maybe, just maybe, there will be long-forgotten private press that somehow, has escaped other crate-diggers’ attention. That however, is the life of a veteran record collector and crate-digger. 

They’ve many a tale to tell. They can tell stories bagged bargains in thrift stores. Then they remember finding vinyl gold in second hand shops full of commodes and three-legged chairs. These are the crate-digger’s equivalent of war stories. Instead, of Basra and Kabul, they’ve survived trips to Chigwell, Clacton, Cannock and Cambridge. During these trips, Zaf has a sixth sense for vinyl. 

Zaf knows if its in the vicinity, and is soon on the scent. he’s a bit like Scooby Doo with a series case of the munchies. Soon, Zaf’s off in search of thrift stores, flea markets and second hand shops. There’s always the possibility that some hidden gem may be lurking in the bargain bins? It could be that one slice of boogie or rare disco that he’s been looking for for years? Who knows, maybe that’s how Zaf found some of the tracks on Private Wax Volume Two. They’re the equivalent of campaign medals for the veteran crate digger.

Maybe that Starvue cut that opens Private Wax Volume Two is the equivalent of a Purple Heart for Zaf? Was it won in a crate-digging expedition in deepest, darkest Kent. Does Zaf still have the flashbacks about that particular campaign? Certainly don’t mention the  Infinity, Lou Johnson and Executive Force singles. That was one trip behind enemy lines that nearly got messy. Every track has a story to tell. That’s the case with singles from The Moods and Royal Flush, to the cuts from New Experience and Nina Dunn. Then there’s that time he unearthed True Feelings. He still gets the shivers about that one. Wes Black’s I Feel Good, well let’s not go there. That was one that nearly got away. However, it didn’t and found its way onto  Private Wax Volume Two. It’s the long-awaited followup to Private Wax, and is the result of sixteen tours of duty from Zaf Chowdry.

There’s no better place to start than Starvue’s Love Affair, which opens Private Wax Volume Two. It’s a track from Starvue’s 1980 album Upward Bound. It was released on the little-known and short-lived, Chicago based Midwest International Records. Sadly, the album wasn’t a commercial success, and nowadays, copies of Upward Bound fetch up to €305. That’s beyond the reach of most record collectors. However,Love Affair is a tantalising taste of slice of uber soulful boogie funk which features Starvue in full flight.

After releasing their debut single Put Everything In Place in 1979, Infinity returned with the followup in 1980. This was  Queen Of The Universe, which was released on Willkerr Records. They only released a handful of singles between 1980 and 1981. Queen Of The Universe was penned by Alvin Walker and Moses Tribbey. George Kerr took charge of production, and combined elements of funk, soul, boogie and disco. The result was a  soulful disco single, that even today, would fill any dance-floor.

Lou Johnson’s career began in 1962, when he released hank You Anyway (Mr. D.J.) on Big Top. Seventeen years later, the former Southern Soul singer had jumped onto the disco bandwagon. He wasn’t alone. Many artists were reinventing themselves, and Lou Johnson was this. He released Keep That Fire Drama Burning on his own Lou-j label. The version included isn’t the original. Instead, it’s the ‘Sean P Edit. This means a delicious mixture of disco strings, soaring gospel tinged harmonies and funky bass combine, as Lou rolls back the years on this long-lost, hidden disco gem. It’s a real find and one of the highlights of Private Wax Volume Two.

Executive Force only ever released a quartet of singles. Their finest moment has to be Drop That Body. This Frank Young penned track was released in 1981 on New Age Records. Sadly, it was Executive Force’s swan-song. What better way to bow out than with this irresistible fusion of funk, soul and boogie?

Moods released their one and only album in 1978. It as released on Soiree Records, and nowadays, is a real rarity. If you wanted a copy you would have to search long and hard. You would also need to part with nearly £300, $450 or €390. Once you put the needle on the record, you would discover the delights Live Today. It’s another funky, soulful, dancer that’s hard to resist. 

Charles Beadle, Jerline Shelton, Maurice Commander and Sherline Shelton formed Royal Flush in the late-seventies. They only ever recorded one album, Hot Spot in 1980. It was released on the GEC label and featured Funk Power. It’s a horn driven slice of P-funk with more than a hint of boogie. Rather than the album version, the Sean P Edit has been included on Private Wax Volume Two. Despite its boogie leanings, it still remains a contemporary sound.

New Xperience released Frisco Disco in 1979. Disco was breathing its last, and on the 12th July, lost its fight for life. As a result many singles released in 1979 were overlooked. This includes Frisco Disco,  which was penned by Vince Jones. He co-produced the single with Rickenbacker, and the single was then released on Joy Ride Records. Given the climate for disco, Frisco Disco crashed and burned. It was later when crate diggers later discovered this hidden gem, that it belatedly found  a wider audience.

Space invader synths open Karizma’s sassy sounding Will You Dance With Me? It was released in 1984 on FRP Records. Will You Dance With Me was an Arthur Ford and Melvin Winn composition. Melvin Winn produced this mesmeric and sassy fusion of funk, soul, boogie and hip hop.

Nina Dunn released Stay and Dance in 1978 on the Franco FD Inc. Stay and Dance is described as a rare slice of disco from Montreal, in Canada. It’s certainly rare. A copy will cost anything up to £300, $450 or €390. However, there’s a hint of boogie courtesy of the clavinet. Mostly though, it’s disco all the way, as a killer vocal combines with the lushest of disco strings. 

My final choice from Private Wax Volume Two just happens to the final track. It comes courtesy of Wes Black featuring The Star West Orchestra. I Feel Good (Feeling Good) was the B-Side of I’ll Always Be In Love With You which was released on Star West, in 1980. This goes to show, always flip over a single. There may be gold on the B-Side. That’s the case with I Feel Good (Feeling Good), which is funky, soulful and dance-floor friendly. This ensures that Private Wax Volume Two ends on a high, leaving you wanting more.

That’s what I consider to be the highlights of Private Wax Volume Two. Although I’ve only mentioned ten tracks, there’s nothing wrong with the other six. Far from it. It’s quality all the way. Zaf has chosen well. The sixteen tracks rarities are funky, soulful and dance-floor friendly. There’s also disco and boogie on Private Wax Volume Two, which will be released by BBE Music on 30th October 2015. 

The music on Private Wax Volume Two is the result of a lifetime dedicated to crate-digging. They’re the result of past campaigns routing through backstreet record shop, dusty basements, damp warehouses and thrift stores. That’s the habitat of the crate-digger searching for long lost rarities and hidden gems. Zaf Chowdry has spent five decades digging for vinyl. During that time, he’s struck gold.

Some of the results of Zaf’s crate-digging escapes cane be heard on Private Wax Volume Two. They’re the result of sorties behind enemy lines, where Zaf has raided bargain bins, basements and dusty warehouses. Sometimes, it’s all worth it, and Zaf finds that one slice of boogie or rare disco that he’s been looking for for years? Maybe that includes some of the tracks on Private Wax Volume Two. They’re the equivalent of campaign medals for the veteran crate digger.

That’s describes Zaf Chaudry perfectly. He’s the veteran crate-digger with a nose for rare vinyl. Zaf is a crate-digging equivalent of Scooby Doo with a series dose of the munchies. He seems to be able to find elusive and rare vinyl in the unlikeliest of places. Some of it has found its way onto his long-awaited and much anticipated compilation, Private Wax Volume Two, which Zaf deserves the crate-digging equivalent of a Purple Heart for. Let’s just hope Zaf has no flashbacks from his latest campaign, Private Wax Volume Two.










Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: