Jeremy Spellacey’s Crown Ruler returns with ‘Boomerang’: a slab of unreleased disco-funk from Miami’s Aaron Broomfield

Boomerang was first recorded in 1979 when the Broomfield Corporate Jam leader was attempting to go solo. It was the first cut Aaron Broomfield recorded under his own name – first, at the family band’s home studio, Kilimanjaro, and then later at professional studios in Los Angeles and Miami – but it was never released.

“I always wanted to be able to share Boomerang with my fans some day – I didn’t release it back then because I thought the time wasn’t right,” Broomfield explains. “It was so different to what was considered commercial then and felt ahead of its time.”

Broomfield had two test pressings made before he shelved the project. It was the find of the one remaining record by digger Arun Brown (the other perished when Broomfield’s Kilimanjaro studio was damaged by a fire in 1996) that set in motion its release today.

Jeremy at Crown Ruler says: “The jacket boasts a written essay by Broomfield himself, telling the story behind the song. The wax features two versions of Boomerang, of which both were meticulously restored and re-mastered by celebrated Australian sound engineer, Dan Elleson. Head to side A for the “test press” version, a cosmic, starry-eyed chunk of elastic Miami disco-funk where the Broomfield family’s killer instrumentation – all rubbery bass, deep space synths and crunchy Clavinet motifs – arcs around the sound space like a boomerang in flight. The vocal arrangement, in which Aaron Broomfield’s conscious lyrics come through loud and clear, brings it home. On the flipside, you’ll hear how dynamic the band was through the “Demo Version” – a relaxed, loose and spacey groover that sounds as ahead of its time in 2018 as it would have when it was recorded in 1979.”

Crown Ruler news: Jeremy Spellacey interview and Spacetalk compilation preview

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

Crown Ruler debut is South African smasher – Focus’ Zulu EP

focus-zulu-crown-rulerNew Australian label Crown Ruler has delivered the goods with Focus’ Zulu EP.

Sello Mmutung and Keith Hutchinson produced this in Johannesburg around 1983 originally as a six track album on cassette. Jeremy Spellacey at Crown Ruler – a renowned collector,  DJ and promoter – provides some great insight with the releases liner notes:

“Keith Hutchinson, who co-produced the skeletons which would develop into Sello’s personal sound vision, explains: “Sello; it would be nice to say I know him well. We met in Universal Studios on the day of recording… I had no idea what I would be playing or co-composing – really in the deep end. I was there for just one day laying track after track… After I left Sello went it alone, adding saxes, percussion and vocals. What else happened – I don’t know.”

Zulu includes the original version of the much coveted Picnic (Moger), later covered by Starlight and Ray Phiri side project, Kumasi.

Pre-orders are being taken at Crown Ruler and the release is also distributed by Rush Hour.