Expansion Records, the UK’s longest-running soul label, is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a special commemorative event at the Brooklyn Bowl in The O2, London.
On Friday, September 30, Expansion presents the debut appearance by soul artists Alton McClain, supported by Tracy Hamlin, with live music and DJ appearances. DJs on the night include Bobby & Steve (Zoo Experience), Luke Howard (Horse Meat Disco/Rinse FM), the exciting Vietnamese sensation Lotus Disco, Terry Jones, Ralph Tee (Disciples of Soul), and JM from Mi-Soul.
Launched in 1986, the label has provided a home for several international soul performers, including the likes of Tracy Hamlin, Kenya, Aaron Parnell Brown, Marc Staggers from the States and Dutch band Tristan.
Commenting on the company’s milestone, Expansion co-founder Ralph Tee told Music Week: “Expansion was conceived from a love of soul combined with the knowledge of how important this music is to so many. Richard Searling (co-founder) and I grew up with the music as fans, record collectors, club DJs, radio presenters, event organisers, and consultants, living and breathing soul music. If we love something ourselves, we believe there is a market for it. As businessmen, we also keep a watchful eye on industry changes and for over 25 of our 30 years we have been affiliated with the appropriately named Passion Music Ltd.
“With Les McCutcheon we have survived the crash of distributors, the demise of chain stores, the vigors of manufacturing and distribution issues and the relentless demands in maintenance and accounting statements to our artists and licensors. Balancing new artist releases with the support of reissues and 3rd party projects we do with (for example) Soul Brother Records and Jazz FM Records has been important to our security, we survive through caution and diversity, each one of us involved active in the music business outside of Expansion.”