With the sweltering summer quickly fading from memory, thoughts quickly turn to frosty winter nights spent reclining by a roaring fire, ideally with the accompaniment of suitably atmospheric and evocative music. To that end, NuNorthern Soul founder Phat Phil Cooper has trawled through the label’s archives and selected a bumper selection of “winter warmers” guaranteed to provide the perfect soundtrack to snowy walks, crisp autumnal mornings and evenings spent turning the central heating up to the max.
It’s a side of the label’s output that largely gets overlooked thanks to NuNorthern Soul’s association with the sunrise and sunset-ready Balearic movement. Yet as the 13-track selection proves, there’s plenty of languid, hazy and seductive fare within the vaults capable of evoking mental images of falling autumn leaves, glistening icicles and windswept afternoons outdoors.
Beginning with the atmospheric “Aquapella mix” of Ilija Rudman’s inspired collaboration with soul man Andre Espeut, “Tears To Sound”, Cooper gently guides us through a range of inspired, slow-motion tracks that variously touch on ambient, kosmiche, slow motion soul, dubbed-out soundscapes, post dubstep beats, intoxicating Indian grooves, pitched-down nu-disco and exotic psychedelic jazz. It’s a selection guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart.
The list of contributors and remixers is impressive. Ambient soundscape hero Jon Tye delivers the shuffling, horizontal heat of “Wind Blows” as Captain Sunshine, before reuniting with his Seahawks band on an undulating, slow burn rework of Dos Palos’s “I’ve Been Around”. Claremont 56 regular Benjamin J Smith is represented by a trio of soft focus cuts rich in languid acoustic guitar motifs (one of which has been remixed by Balearic legends A Man Called Adam), while Jose Manuel offers up the compilation’s steamiest cut, “Mumbai”.
Elsewhere, Cooper has opted to shine a light on lesser-known talents from the label’s roster, with the cuts by Lowhitey, Ragz Nordset (as remixed by Ghostchant), Abimaro and the Free and Ryo Kawasaki (the off-kilter psch-jazz brilliance of LP stand out “Quasar Infection”) being amongst the most potent winter warmers on show. Order now on bandcamp.