Mighty Zaf - Mighty Great New Mix
by Herb Essntls
A month ago
We're mighty happy and excited to bring you this first mix of 2021 - from Mighty Zaf.
Our beloved Music Director Tim Overill have this time outsourced the sit down and chat to his brother Will Overill. Will and Zaf had a short but sweet conversation about this uplifting mix called "The Mighty Zaf NYC Label Mix 1975-1986".
Tell us bout your mix, how was it put together and what are the key tracks?
The directive I got for this mix was anything I wanted but it had to have some links to New York. So I went though my disco/soul/boogie 12’s which are all stored in year order starting from 1975 to 1986. I picked one track from each year, so starting with First Choice Love & Happiness 1975 on Salsoul (originally released on LP) and then going up yearly to 1987. All but one track was a independent NY label, the exception being the Charles Earland promo 12” “Singing A Song For You” which I found in a NY record shop in the ‘90s. As for the actual recording of the mix it wasn’t easy. It’s the first disco boggie mix I have done in years and seeing as I haven’t been djaying this year at all I was a tad rusty!
What are your best memories of New York, how has this city shaped your sound?
I first went to NY in 1975 with my parents....don't remember too much as we were there a few days before going to Detroit & the Niagara Falls. I was only 8 years old but I often think about the records I could have got then!
Then I went in 96, 97, 98 & 99 just for record buying trips....that was spectacular.
I used to take UK issue only records & trade with dealers & shops. Shaun Pizzonia (Sting International) was my boy. He would take me round all the shops & dealers after he had first pick of all my records. Aldo at A1 was another friend I did business with.
I used to go clubbing as well, they were golden days. I used to go with my mate Stuart Fullerton who used to work at Reckless with me & my box boy Richard Robinson came a couple of times just for the ride. Some of the best times of my life for sure. I haven't been since 1999. Crazy I know.
I know you are a massive Prince fan, who are your major influences?
Joni Mitchell, Minnie Riperton, Chaka Khan, Linda Lewis, Donny Hathaway, I could go on and on…
You have been involved in buying and selling music in London for how many years? How did you first get into it?
I was an assistant editor at a TV production company when my contract ended I needed a job for 2 months as I was going to California for a holiday in 1988. I asked the guys at Reckless Records if there was any part time jobs and by chance they said yes. The intention was to work there for 2 months but after coming back from California after a month I stayed another 18 years. In that time went back and forth to the US and became a private dealer as well as the manager/part owner at Reckless in Soho. When I left in 2006 I needed a break from retail so continued dealing privately and then starting zafsmusic.com online. Then the opportunity to start LoveVinyl came about 7 years ago and it felt right to go back into having a shop again.
You went from working in a record shop, to owning your own shop Love Vinyl. What gives you the most enjoyment?
The best thing is the social element. I am blessed I have always been able to work in something I am passionate about. The abuse is a two way street…..people travel in to give it to me as well!
You have put together various comps compiling disco, boogie and other sounds - What is the secret to a great compilation?
Putting together records that should have been bigger than they were and records that make you want to dance. There’s so many to choose from if you know where to look.
With Phil Asher, you have released various re-edits and started an 80s label - what took you so long?
Yes you’re right, we talked about it for years as we did many co productions, some finished and released and many more unfinished. All this time we wanted to start our own label but I was late to the edit game mainly because I’m inherently lazy and unambitious. I can take or leave most things now I am approaching my mid ‘50s. I will do anything for an easy life, stress free.
How are you fairing during Covid times? Have you pivoted into anything music related online now when you can’t play clubs?Yes! We're selling online through our discogs accounts, here are the links:
Discogs link 1
Discogs link 2
Discogs link 3
After Covid retreats, you get to put on a party - who is on the bill and where would you host it?
My fave DJ’s are Darryn Jones and Red Greg, so it would be with them at my Disco Shack at the back of my garden. That way when it’s time to stop I can throw everyone out and crawl into bed real nice and easy.
This mix is dedicated to the memory of Phil Asher.