Why Sunstone Exists.

Andy Sojka

The got into music after I heard Level 42 Early Tapes. The reason Early Tapes happened was because of one guy- Andy Sojka.

In 1979 Andy Sojka, who has died of multiple myeloma aged 48, formed, produced and recorded the five-strong music group, Atmosfear. The first fruit of the liaison was their single, Dancing In Outer Space. Thus did he pioneer a new British dance music.

Dancing In Outer Space fused disco, funk, jazz and psychedelic production. It sold 100,000 copies – and the tune survives, still played and frequently sampled.

Educated at Kingsbury high school, north London, in the late 1970s, Sojka opened All Ears, a dance music shop in Harlesden. It quickly became a focus for the 12in 45rpm dance single boom, which had begun in the United States. Many of the customers at All Ears were DJs buying American imports and the British releases that followed.Advertisementhttps://90ab91b47317a2eb13036d1108cad466.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

After Dancing In Outer Space, in 1980 Sojka discovered and named Level 42, and signed them to his Elite label, producing their first single, Love Meeting Love, and The Early Tapes album.

In the 1980s, Elite Records became a home for the new independent British dance music, and releases by DSM (Danny D), Beverley Skeete, Projection, Atmosfear, Sahara and many others featured regularly in the dance music charts. With his music championed by the late Larry Levan at the Paradise Garage, Andy became a cult figure in New York.

Between 1986-88 he worked with Garry Hughes, producing two experimental world music crossover albums. In 1987, a rhythm and blues label was formed. Its first release was Keni Stevens’s Blue Moods, a classic album of British soul music.

In the mid-90s Andy established three new labels, Jump Cut, Meta4, and Chemical Discs, whose catalogue included such notable works as Atmosfear’s Trance Plants (1994) and Jangala Spirits (1997). His last major project was Altered Slates (1998), made with the US group, Masters at Work, the U2 producer Francois Kevorkian, and Dimitri from France. In 1999, he began writing Groove World, an album by Atmosfear due for release later this year.

Sojka is survived by his wife, Karen, and two children.

• Andy Sojka, record producer, born July 10 1951; died February 12 2000.

My First NFT

Non-fungible tokens (or NFTs) are unique blockchain-based tokens that can represent almost anything, including physical assets. NFTs have been growing significantly in popularity in recent years because of this potential to “tokenize” anything and provide a way to transfer ownership of digital assets to holders.

If you want The One and only NFT Master of latest track – I Don’t Give AF you can Buy it Here

George

Rabbit Hole Trigger!

I just this minute watched Phil Collins on YT sing In The Air Tonight on The Tonite Show. I remember my big brother bought it on 7″ and wore it out.

First I thought about Phil Collins. When I was in my original band BFT, my Drummer Dave Youngs who put me on to Brand X and I discovered Phil was a excellent and much respected drummer.

Then I thought of Lenny White who played on the groundbreaking album Bitches Brew with Miles Davis. In the late 90s I worked for a record company called Silva Screen, they had a spin off label called HipBop which featured many jazz artists including Lenny White.I attended a master class with Lenny White before I saw him play at the Blue Note in Hoxton…(my old haunting ground). Lenny said about drumming , “every drummer has his on signature” and he got up and walked across the room. “My walk is different from your walk, your walk is your signature.”

Then penny dropped as when I saw the Roots drummer (Questlove) play that famous fill (excuse the pun!) on In The Air Tonight. He played the fill but it had a slight swagger… Questlove applying his “signature”, his “walk”.

And that one Questlove fill triggered an entire chain of thought. The mind is incredible. What has taken me 10 minutes to write flashed the cerebrum in an instant, at the speed of light.

How To Kill a Franchise!

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

I have a theory, it just popped into my head, what makes a good sci-fi is the mystery. The question un-answered- really cooks your noodle. The mystery will haunt you, it will keep you engaged it will keep you a fan. The mystery is personal to the individual, you can make up whatever you want but underneath it all you know you will never be right. The question mark will follow you round forever and that’s what make the franchise golden ; immortal. Until of course you explain the mystery…( If you gonna kill the golden goose may as well make a cheap buck right?)

Aliens was a great mystery even after the dreaded third sequel but what really undid all the great work was Prometheus..”Oh let’s explain where they come from , let’s remove the question mark”..Great well done YOU KILLED IT.

NEXT

STAR WARS

“Let’s explain the FORCE”..WHAT?! Yeah replace mystery with bollox science..”midichlorians..yeah a count “..great JOB – KILLED! (Oh and kill Luke for good measure..) EXCELLENT!

Planet Of The Apes

“Where did the Apes come from? How is it humans are slaves? How is it Apes can Talk.”

Problem solved we’ll make two movies answering all the questions so there’s no mystery left – Excellent Franchise DEAD!

Believe it or Not – “Tell You When I’m Done” is about..

Kamala Harris..that’s right the new Vice President.

I immigrated to USA in 2014..was traumatised in 2016 and wrote Hope , my first Album in 2017 as a response.

Three years later the inspiration for the track came as I watched as Kamla in a Senate hearing grilling AG Barr and was suitably impressed. I felt she was indeed a “Bad Bitch”. When she fell out of the race for the Democrat nomination in 2020 she sprang to mind when I wrote the song. “Climbing the ranks doing it the hard way” that’s all about her. “Stacking up racks, Make it rain” all metaphors for a political win.

She has blazed a trail of achievement; being the Second Female Black Senator and prior to that was the D.A to San Francisco. Being the son of immigrants myself I could appreciate her struggle and the opportunity afforded by a country that is fair and free.

She is a bona fide badass.

My Heroes

The reason I got into music was this instrumental Brit Funk band Level 42.

A friend gave me The Early Tapes and it blew my mind, like music from another dimension. Until then I never heard instrumental music much less Brit Funk. Up to that point my brothers fed me on a diet of 10cc and Abba…then everything changed. This album literally changed my life. So thank you L42 for showing me the way.

The Way I Write Songs

There are three Methods I use:

  1. The “Do Nothing” method. This is my favourite. It’s when a song drifts into my head for no reason. I could be driving my car, in the bath or going for a walk.
    Most of my songs are written this way.
  2. Inspiration from a personal experience. For example when I wrote Starchild I’d spent the night with my kids in a Space Capsule Hotel in Saigon and the next morning the song popped into my head. The Day America Cried, a song about Heather Heyer (The Victim of Charlottesville) happened after I saw a Documentary about Emmett Till.
    Coming Through I wrote after the Parkland massacre. The speech given thereafter by Emma Gonzalez made me well up and the next day the song wrote itself.
  3. Occasionally I freestyle to a beat or try to hammer out a hook to go with a verse or vice versa. This is the most challenging method but can yield great and unexpected results.

The first line is either the hardest or the easiest line to write. Once you have the first line it’s easy, until you get to the hook that is. To me the hook is a pleasant surprise.
Imagine it’s Christmas Day, you are expecting a present but instead of a pair of slippers you get the keys to a Ferrari. If the hook doesn’t have that effect I keep trying till it does.

I never write Intros/Outros or Middle Eights, I always freestyle them on the fly. I did this on my first song as I grew impatient to finish it and it worked out very well so I have done it the same ever since.

Lyrically

I will freestyle lyrics on the fly with the melody when I’m creating the song. Normally I keep 50% then go back and touch up. Once the song title/hook reveals itself
the song comes together quickly, normally within a day.

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