Zaf: My early influences were the many different styles of music being played in my household as a child, namely classical Indian music by my father & 70’s rock & soul by my elder brothers as well as popular radio.
As both my father & brothers were avid record buyers I was immersed in vinyl from the late 60’s onwards.
My first love was disco & soul but my ears were always open to all kinds of music and I started buying my own records from 1977. By the mid 80’s it was an obsession which was proving impossible to satisfy financially so I decided to leave my apprenticeship as a film editor and take a job at Reckless Records in Soho in 1988.
It was only supposed to be for a short time, but I ended staying there for 17 years and was part/owner manager.
During this time I came into contact with countless DJs, musicians, producers & collectors and also forged many long lasting friendships. I DJ-ed extensively during the 80’s & 90’s but also became a private record dealer to many hardcore collectors around the world. I travelled all over to unearth new records primarily for myself, and accumulated so many I was able to start my own website.
Mark Taylor started as a 14 year old schoolboy in the mid 70s getting into Northern Soul, and by 1977 going to All Dayers / All Nighters. This was the beginning of his love affair with black music and the dreaded collecting habit.
Mark moved to Holland in 1983 and started to DJ in 1990 in Amsterdam clubs and bars playing Jazz, Soul, Latin/Brazilian (old & new). He added a weekly two hour radio show to his roster by 1994 that lasted until 1998. Mark was a regular contributor to the Straight No Chaser International DJ charts and starting to DJ around Europe also at this time.
After moving back to U.K. in early 1999 he was asked to put together for Blue Note Records the ‘Blue Brazil 3’ compilation (came out in 2000), followed by ‘Best Of Blue Brazil’ in 2001. Mark started doing a radio show in London for Soul 24/7 in 2002, up until the station closed in 2005. He has carried on with a internet radio show called ‘Happy Jazz’ up to the present day. Since 2010 he has started working together making edits with Koh Uemura a Japanese DJ-friend, who has had a couple of releases out himself under the name of K54.
Seven years after their last ‘Americana‘ compilation for BBE Music, The Mighty Zaf and Mark GV Taylor present two more rare blue eyed soul cuts from across the pond: ‘So Close To You’ by Arthur, and ‘Reincarnation’ by Future Force.…
Taking its lead from the ‘Americana Music Association’, Wikipedia describes ‘Americana’ as “contemporary music that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in…
If you were inclined to put a location as the source of our Americana compilation – although the music here largely originates from other parts of the great union – it would be California. With its vast open-plan landscape and…