Record producer, Soul DJ, life long Doctor Who fan and songwriter.
Much of what Ian Levine plays on the Mixcloud these days is definitely rare – that essential ingredient of Northern that often obscures quality especially if its more readily available; but that’s what Northern Soul tends to revolve around. On his Mixcloud site he goes exclusive, rare and approaches the obscure – close to the quintessence of esoteric – and too many boy blue eyed soulers for me. But his credentials are solid enough as a DJ and Soul song writer: I do prefer his TOP FORTY.
Ian as a kid collected Motown records, all of the UK releases, sequentially. His inspiration was a Film that that had a Motown soundtrack and dealt with black oppression and poverty in America in the early sixties. A coincidence – when 14 he met Kim Weston on a family trip to the states; on the plane!
He collected lots of rare USA soul 45’s from warehouses that held deletions, and brought them to the Twisted Wheel in Manchester, where the DJ played them. This was around 1970/71, many years after the original soul fans had moved on to pastures new.
His reputation grew and he became the DJ at Blackpool Mecca (his father also had a disco club in Blackpool). Ian started off the Northern soul scene at the Mecca. Later he became a record producer having a couple of major hits in the 80′.s This financed his dream of starting his own label: ‘Nightmare’ which according to some commentators it turned out to be.This was followed by Motorcity – fulfilling his ambition to record as many living ex-Motown artists as possible. This is documented in the six CD box set: The Strange World Of Northern Soul. What an excellent idea.
Every genuine soul fan should get these DVD’s. It shows Ian’s commitment and his real love for the music and the artists. It resulted in bankruptcy as most obsessions tend to. Soul fans should buy these DVD’s and all the Motorcity back catalogue simply to support this great man’s dream.
Ian is a shining light on the soul scene and an eclectic appreciator of the entire spectrum of soul music, not just the narrow band of what has become known as Northern Soul. Ian and friends re-recorded lots of Soul artists and their performances are brilliant, although the addition of drum and bass has to be a matter of contention for purists.
Ian’s Introduction to his life’s work
Wikipedia: Ian Levine