Release date: 12th November 2021 (originally 1980) | Formats: x2 12” Vinyl | Cat Nos: PINKY 1 / PINKY 2
Far Out Recordings presents a double bill of two monumental Brit funk classics. Keep In Touch and Stay were the first two 12” singles by the iconic Freeez, both self-funded passion projects of its founding member John Rocca, for his own Pink Rhythm imprint.
It all started over the counter at Derek’s Records on Petticoat Lane, London in the mid-70s. Rocca - at the time a budding teenage percussionist - met the prolific guitarist, composer, producer and all round brit funk fixer Jean Paul “Bluey” Maunick (also the father of Far Out producer Daniel Maunick). Best known as the founding member of Light of the World, Incognito, and more recently Str4ta, Bluey’s involvement in the origins of Freeez are lesser known, but no less crucial. Bluey invited Rocca to a weekly jam session in an East London basement, where they would develop their craft, form their first band Freeez and develop the idea for ‘Keep In Touch’: “Back in the basement there was this one particular track we were playing that I really loved. It had a groove that I thought I could sell” Rocca reminisces.
Left to right: Peter Maas, John Rocca, Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick
Going against the advice of all the musicians involved, who thought he was mad and set to lose all his money, John decided to go full DIY, hire out a high end studio in the West End to record ‘Keep In Touch’ and release it as a private press, birthing his now famed Pink Rhythm label. Featuring Bluey on guitar, Peter Maas on bass, Paul Morgan on drums, Jason Wright on keyboards, and John Rocca on percussion, Keep In Touch was a surprise underground hit selling over 5000 copies and reaching #49 in the UK, leading Freeez into a record deal with Pye / Calibre.
These foundational DIY 12” singles paved the way for Freeez to become a household name in the history of British funk who went on to record hits like ‘Southern Freeze’ and ‘IOU’ as well as underground cult classics like ‘Melodies of Love’ and ‘India’ as Pink Rhythm, John Rocca’s later formation of Freeez named after his imprint.
Far Out will be releasing a very limited run of exclusive Pink Rhythm T-shirts, alongside the two 12”s, both redesigned in the style of the original private presses.
Buy the releases below or from Bandcamp