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As I get older and much further removed from the music 'scene' that I immersed myself in when I was a young man, I realise that there are whole swathes of popular music passing me by. Sometimes, playing yet again some song I loved in my youth, I realise that I am becoming fossilized. Stuck. A prisoner of his era.

I don't have the energy or the dedication to really re-engage. Besides, most of what I listen to these days is classical music which is, by its very nature, timeless.

Nonetheless, when something catches my attention – for whatever reason – and I dip into it, I find myself discovering treasures that would have otherwise passed me by.

A roundabout way of introducing the Hed Kandi series of compilations that I began to collect in the early 2000s. These feature club and house music of the late 1980s to the 1990s, music that I had no exposure to whatsoever beforehand. To be truthful, I bought the first one simply because I liked the cover art and CD design, but soon discovered a wealth of soulful music within. A whole world of unknown artists and a style that does not fail to lift me when I listen.

Here's a few songs that Hed Kandi introduced me to directly – and I am very glad it did.

(Here's a longer and even groovier Space Cowboy mix)