Label Spotlight: Mad About Records

Label Spotlight: Mad About Records

It's so inspiring when bold & daring approaches pay off, and few labels pull this off with as much focus and vigour as Mad About Records. Founded by Joaquim Paulo at the beginning of the last decade, Mad About Records is a Portuguese record label specializing in re-releasing hard-to-find Jazz, Funk, Soul & Brazilian vinyl records. 

The rarities Mad About Records manages to excavate are always relatively unknown and of very high quality - a feat only achievable with an incredible amount of dedication. Educated through his work at radio stations, close friends such as Gilles Peterson (Brownswood Recordings), songwriter Ed Motta, and his never ending quest for great music, Paulo's work has landed many out-of-reach records onto the shelves of fans and collectors around the world, connecting exotic musical mavericks to a contemporary audience who are interested in Brazilian sounds beyond big names like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil or Tom Zé.

With a growing stream of releases since 2011, the label has been populating our shelves at the vault for quite some time now, and remains to be one of our favourites! The catalogue reaches far and wide, with everything between Bossa-flavoured soul to funk, folk and psychedelic tinges, zeroing in on the rare, lesser known gems and giving them a second life. Here's our attempt at highlighting some of their excellent reissues. 

Don Beto - Nossa Imaginação

This one is for all the Brazilian Soul and AOR lovers out there! Tasty grooves and easy, breezy arrangements from the legendary producer Lincoln Olivetti on full display here as well, making for a joyful listen throughout. A lovely record to bliss out to with friends and lovers, with great ups and downs, nicely wrapped in a wholesome arc. 

Poliphony - Poliphony

First-time worldwide reissue of this Ultra rare Prog-Jazz Fusion Private Press LP from the UK!

In 1973, four Englishmen who loved Jazz, Rock and Groove decided to record an independent album at Zelia Studios in Birmingham. The Result was Poliphony, which had few hard copies and became a rarity among Jazz Rock collectors. The music is blessed with strong tinges of jazz, fused with a backbone from the school of rock! Thankfully, this rarity has been brought back to life by Mad About Records, and continues to live on for all who appreciate the world of Jazz Rock. 

Leo Acosta - Acosta

One of the rarest LPs in Latin Jazz! The genius of this album lies in Leo's ability to synthesise the influence of jazz and funk fusions with Latin rhythms, well commanded by him. Unfortunately the album went unnoticed on the radio and sold poorly at first, only to be reissued for the first time ever via Mad About Records in 2021. A lovely LP to brighten up any gathering and lift those moods! 

Mike Selesia - Flavor

One of our favourites from the Mad About Records catalogue! Mike Selesia - Flavour is a literal trip to listen to. Recorded in one day, apparently while under the influence. Holding down solid soul jazz grooves and venturing into far out explorations, it’s a hybrid of early 60s Coltrane, early 70s Miles Davis and Ravi Shankar here. Check it out!

Various Artists - Disco E Cultura

Travel back in space and time with this groovy compilation of ultra-rare Brazilian Soul & Funk from the 70s and 80s. Combining the heritage of local music and the contemporary emergence of Funk and Soul around the world, each of the 10 tracks bear witness to the truly multicultural roots of Brazilian music. Above all, a super fun one to add to your collection and a great weekender to put on! - Hannah


Tete Mbambisa - Tete's Big Sound

The first international release of this 1970s South African soul-jazz album. Tete Mbamisa leads skilfully on piano in this 1976 recording session in at Johannesburg’s Gallo Studios that would become an indispensable addition to the canon of South African jazz. Tete’s Big Sound is a wholly acoustic masterpiece, paying homage to the complexities of both traditional African music and American hard bop and modal jazz. Standing tall within a genre that symbolized the struggle against the oppression of Apartheid, this is a powerful album and truly special listen. - Hannah

Jothan Callins & The Sounds Of Togetherness - Winds of Change

Released as a one and done on Triumph Records, there is a little information about Callins and almost nothing about the sessions. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Callins played with a long list of luminaries, was an educator and obtained his Masters degree at the University of Pittsburgh (where Nathan Davis directed the jazz studies program).

Drawing close links to the Strata East style of jazz in our listens, this 2022 reissue on Mad About Records is an absolute gem in the soul-jazz/jazz-funk section here at the vault. Do give it a listen! 


Browse all Mad About Records releases here.