If appearing on Discogs before release date was a mark of quality then this disc from new label Penrose has already been firmly stamped as a Classic. The Penrose label is a new West Coast venture from Daptone head honcho Bosco Mann run out of his new purpose built studio. California has a huge soul and lo-rider scene and the releases thus far from Penrose seem destined for that market, indeed the label design conjures up issues of tattoos and latino street culture. The 5 releases due to release on June 19th all sold out on Pre-order and have now appeared ahead of the release date on Discogs for considerably more than they released at. Strapped for cash at the time, i leapt on the Jason Joshua release but had to leave the others and at this stage it looks like i wont be getting near them anytime soon. But hey ho, must grumble.
Jason Joshua has been doing some great things over the past few years not only on his own Mango Hill imprint but also with the Beholders and Scone Cash Players (one of their 45s in the pile for review that i have to get to yet!!!) . It was the Rose gold release back in 2018 that brought him to my attention and the fact that both sides were so original marked him out as someone to keep a watch on. His subsequent releases with the Beholders all evoked that lo-rider scene with down tempo and lush productions.
So once i saw his name on this release i just had to have it and clicking into the sound file i got that giddy feeling that i was listening to something that wouldn't be hanging around for long. Sure enough i came back a day later and all copies had sold out. i guess the rest of the lo-rider, soul and northern scenes clocked the same qualities as i had. Driving beat with dense layered production that hints at a latin groove, there is a boogaloo sense to this that takes in the soul spectrum without being either and yet both at the same time. Golden Horns as one would expect from Mann, who looks after the production on this are swinging and dominate the soundscape. Vocals are deceptively sparse and take us on a trip with that groovy Miami vibe.
Flip it over for the downtempo 'La Vida es Fria' which is certain to be the favoured side on the souldies scene in California. For me though its a sunny day, cold beer and kicked back attitude with this side on the Hi-Fi drifting through the air.
Destined to be a classic on lots of different scenes, keep an eye out for copies turning up either as a re-issue or via secondary market (at sensible prices!).