World Treasures Music spoke to Jeremy Spellacey of Melbourne’s Crown Ruler (record label, shop and party collective) about the forthcoming release Crown Ruler Sound for Spacetalk. He has selected some beautiful music from around the world for this much eagerly anticipated compilation.
Jeremy’s digging has helped him gain global popularity, serving the rare vinyl wants of customers around the world. Music connoisseurs also hailed his first release on Crown Ruler in even greater numbers – Focus’ Zulu EP (from South Africa) – when it was reissued earlier this year. Now the Crown Ruler sound has been further defined on the forthcoming compilation for the London-based Spacetalk label, co-run by Danny McLewin from Psychemagik, Simon Purnell from Leng Records and Paul Mudd Murphy from Claremont 56. The New Zealander follows in the ears of Jeremy Underground who compiled a tour of his record collection for Spacetalk’s first compilation. The tracklist for the second installment of the Crown Ruler sound displays a huge depth and expanse of music and will be released later this month.
WTM – you’re a renowned digger, when did you start?
“I have been collecting records for about 20 years.”
WTM – your record collection and sales stock of the past is extremely deep and rare, what about new music?
“I do find it difficult to keep up with today. Every six months or so I say to myself I need to keep my ear closer to the ground and know what’s happening now – I read some blogs, listen to some music and buy a bunch of new things, then a week later my head is buried in old records again. However, I am a big fan of Lord Echo, Tom Noble is a fantastic producer and I would always look out for anything he has worked on, Maurice Fulton is probably the electronic music producer of my generation. We also have a wealth of talent coming off these shores, from those putting music out to some of the amazing live acts – Phil Stroud, Harvey Sutherland, Benny Badge, Winters, Public Opinion Afro Orchestra, Senegambian Jazz Band, Leo James and Rambl are just a few of the names I could reel off. We really are spoilt here.”
WTM – I read that the compilation started with about 40 tracks selected by you and then you had to whittle it down, how does that process work?
“It was made easier by what we could actually license. Some decisions were made based on selection and trying to make it a little more diverse. At times you have to tread the line between being creative and putting together a marketable product. Hopefully we managed to fill both shoes.”
Artwork for the forthcoming compilation has been selected from historical archives.
WTM – the selection is fantastic and displays a broad range of music that makes it such an interesting compilation. It’s not easily pigeonholed. It’s not all rare either. I was surprised to see Slippery People on there.
“Staple Singers! This is something that has been in my record bag a long time, I don’t always play it, you need to find the perfect time, it feels to me that energy is of the track is hotter than what the tempo may suggest. I am a huge David Byrne fan so was great to include a nod to him on the release. I’m very happy with the final selection, the tracklist was decided late last year with the exception of one late change. I have found a number of things this year that would have been great to include, more great tunes will continue to pop up so who knows, maybe volume two some day.”
WTM – You mention the issue of licensing. Did you have contact with the artists? What was that like?
“Simon Purnell did all the licensing, I had been in touch with one or two previously and spoken via email or over the phone. I have found a bunch of artists in the past and it’s great reaching out to them. Many have moved on from music, but it’s still in their blood and most have fond memories of recording and releasing music, there are cases where the piqued interest actually gets their musical juices flowing again and revitalises them. I sent Keith Hutchinson a video of Orpheu playing Hay Hay off the Focus EP at Dekmantal 2016 and his reaction was priceless, that alone made the all the hard work worthwhile.”
WTM – there is excitement having seen one of your edits on the compilation, one that Gilles Peterson has already picked up and played on his show, are there any more coming out? What’s the selection process to edit something?
“I have done loads of edits in the past but not really thought about releasing them, they are more for personal use. There was talk of maybe putting a couple out a while back but it never eventuated. There could be different reasons to edit a tune, usually its dancefloor oriented and there might be some dodgy parts of the track that could do with removing. It could also be something really short but there is enough to cut it up and give it the 12” treatment. I fell in love with the Kosmik 3 tune as soon as I heard it and thought it needed some tweaking, really happy to have it remastered and on vinyl!”
WTM – What’s next in store at Crown Ruler HQ?
“We have a few things in the pipeline on CR but I can’t say too much at the moment. 002 is very much in motion but needs some more work. We are hoping to drop it before Christmas.”
Lipelis, Jeremy and DJ Harvey talk Crown Ruler socks recently.
Listen to a preview of some of the cuts from the Crown Ruler compilation:
Tracklist on the compilation:
Ezy & Isaac – Let Your Body Move (Oba Balu Balu)
Stimela – I Love You
Kosmik 3 – I’m Gonna Pack (Jeremy Spellacey edit)
Mike Fabulous – Wang East (instrumental)
Feladey – Forest Music (Anambra Na-imo)
Larry Maluma & Kalimba – Kamusale
Acayouman – Funk Around
JK Mandengue – Afrika
The Staple Singers – Slippery People (club version)
Brother Resistance – Can I Get A Witness
Legacy – Monday Blues
La Banda De Martin – Mi Dueno
Devon Russell – Move On Up
Costa & Chyps – Detroit City Cats (instrumental long version)
Wilfred Percussion – Andei