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Soundman Records was started in the 1991 recession.
This was a direct result of many years of various degrees of hard work with record labels, island street – Jumbo, Mickey and Trevor, Virgin 10 – Tim Reeves, Jack Traxs – Damien and Warriors Dance – Tony Addis, Carl Colins.
Antonio Straughn pka Raggafunk aka Soundman a humble Composer/Producer & Sound Engineer ran the label from Hi Tech House, 18 Beresford Avenue, Stonebridge, London NW10 where the offices and studio were based. Together with Ashley J from island records and Racheal Hislock from BBC radio 1xtra, who looked after various acts and No.1 performers on the label from the Press office Main Source.
The label’s unique sound started as an underground project with Tony Addis from Warriors Dance Records so making money was not the most important issue as long as each record found itself onto the dance floor.
A long time friend and hero in the championing of independant chart success was MC Micro who was the strike force for Production House Records in Willesden and the then sole distributer for Soundman.
This un orthodox approach led to a seris of top ten records each selling pass gold status.
During the last 25 years Soundman Records have concentrated on issues in the community such as poverty, the environment, work experience for school leavers, home help for the elderly and school governance, whilst producing music for well known TV programme’s such as Eastenders, CSi, Wish You Were Here, Top Gear etc,just to name a few.
The label focus is to make classic music and with that said have been at the forefront and cutting edge of electronic music since 1991. One of the founders of Jungle music, numerous hits and sync’s later have remained true to the Jungle artform and now brings forward the upgraded style.
As one of the most in demand trend setters on the planet, Antonio Raggafunk is poised to take electronic music out of the confines of the global underground, where he reigns as the No.1 Jungle Dub producer. Joining hands and forces with some of the biggest names on the urban scene, while introducing some undiscovered talents, another level beckons.
Already a multi-platinum selling producer in Europe, with three chart-topping albums to his name to date his signature sound of quirky, electro, jungle, dub and dirty pop, is igniting across the rest of the world, where it was kept a club-land secret. Until now.
In celebration of Soundman Records 26th anniversary we’ve selected 6 of the most resounding releases from the forth coming compilation album ‘Magna Carta 2017’ which feature tracks from various artists, with special guest appearances from the late great John Harris R.I.P, Santos Bonacci, Sacha Stone, Mark Ceylon and Roger Hayes. Being true innovators within their prospective fields, prepare yourself for a history lesson.
Raggafunk’s mission is to share the love and connection Roots music has built on while bringing together music scenes that co-exist but don’t often mix – like Photek, Noel McCoy and Joesph McGowan – but significantly, from another perspective. Call it Electro-Hop, R&B Dance,Hip Dub , whatever you want, but it’s the sound that will define 2017.
As Urban label Soundman Records makes music that rocks the coolest clubs and yet sits proudly on pop radio and MTV. The producers at the label uniquely and boldly tread a tightrope most producers wouldn’t dare to traverse too: the line between being an underground producer and having huge crossover success.
“We’re not trying to be credible,” label manager Raggafunk admits with a smile broadening across his soft, open face. “We’re trying to be incredible. It’s very easy to be underground because you just have to obey a set of codes. It’s very formulaic. But it’s also very easy to be totally pop,because it’s very formulaic too. We’re trying to do something different.”
To see Raggafunk wind a room into frenzy is something special. Technically Raggafunk is one of the most impressive producers/DJ’s in the Jungle Dub scene. Almost remixing records live, he makes loops, slams tracks together that you’d never think would go and uses vocals over other instrumentals. His sets are so dynamic that at times it’s difficult to see how he can keep the energy up. To put it simply, Raggafunk creates moments.
“Everything we’re trying to do at Soundman Records is about sharing emotion. When we’re producing classic music in the studio that’s all we’re looking for. It’s what matters the most.!”