Ultraflex are a band who find their strength in combination. The band is, eh, a combination of two people, Kari Jahnsen of Farao and Katrín Helga Andrésdóttir of Special-K, and their musical style combines Farao’s pop shine and synth muscle and Special-K’s glittering charm and bubbling mix of sincerity and sneer. Their inspirations are drawn from a combination of sport’s speed and sweat and disco’s glamour and excess, and the latter comes to the fore on their exclusive Lush Disco Mix for NBHAP.
The band released their debut album Visions Of Ultraflex at the end of October, and so we asked them to celebrate that by making us a mix with some of the songs occupy Ultraflex headspace, and hold a special place in their hearts. The end result is this mixtape, which you’ll find, along with stories of some of the songs and why the band chose them, below.
Clifford White – Into The Blue
Clifford White is our favourite new age artist and his chord progressions and song structures are more like pop songs than traditional new age music. If you listen closely you might recognise the chord progression from this song … Enlightment – Up and Away Founded by a bishop in Washington DC in the early 1980s, Enlightment were among the first groups to fuse modern R&B production with gospel themes. Unfortunately, the release of their 1984 debut album Faith Is The Key was torpedoed when both their distributor and pressing plant went out of business. This lost classic was finally reissued a few years ago.
Professor Rhythm – Professor 3
‘Professor 3’ is a playful track with a pumping beat under a slick and confident bass line. Professor Rhythm is the alias of Thami Mduli, a prolific musician and producer from South Africa. The album ‘Professor 3’ was recorded in Johannesburg during 1991 as Apartheid was ending.
Uku Kuut – Cool M
Uku Kuut is one of our biggest inspirations. He was an Estonian funk producer, recording and releasing music from his studios in LA, Sweden and the Soviet Union in the 80s. It’s an unusual and funky mix of American and Eastern European flavours.
Rupa – Aaj Shanibar
This track resurfaced only a few years ago and quickly became a YouTube sensation. Indian disco diva Rupa recorded this on a whim on holiday in Canada in 1982, and didn’t even know she had become a cult hero until her son randomly googled her.
So, what are you waiting for? Rearrange your furniture, make space for your personal living room dancefloor and dance the lockdown frustration away. Thanks Ultraflex for bring us these much needed good vibes. Their wonderful LP Visions Of Ultraflex is out now on Street Pulse.
Tracklist – Ultraflex’ Lush Disco Mix for NBHAP
01. Clifford White – Into The Blue
02. Uku Kuut – Cool
03. Yam Who? – Tokyo Space Lab
04. Enlightment – Up and Away
05. Bernie Worrell – I’ll be with you (A’KARI edit)
06. The RAH Band – Out On The Edge
07. Antoine Rocky-Horror – Machine Gun Boogie
08. Hiroshi Satoh – Say Goodbye
09. La P’tite Fred – Stormy Love Affair
10. Professor Rhythm – Professor 3
11. Fingers Inc – Shadows
12. Steve Monite – Only You
13. International Music System – Dancing Therapy
14. Rupa – Aaj Shanibar