SoulTracks Lost Gem: McKenzie and Gardiner 1983 song gets new life

Share this article

    Many groups come and go in the blink of an eye—or so it seems. West London natives Earl McKenzie and Clive Gardiner were school mates throughout their primary and secondary years. Upon graduation, they formed a live band and began writing and recording demos for five years before bringing themselves to the attention of the hip eighties label Streetwave Records. Collaborating with up-and-coming talent including Jaki Graham—who would go on to score more than a dozen chart entries over the subsequent decade, the newly coined McKenzie & Gardiner released their debut single, “From Time,” in 1983.

    Many groups come and go in the blink of an eye—or so it seems. West London natives Earl McKenzie and Clive Gardiner were school mates throughout their primary and secondary years. Upon graduation, they formed a live band and began writing and recording demos for five years before bringing themselves to the attention of the hip eighties label Streetwave Records. Collaborating with up-and-coming talent including Jaki Graham—who would go on to score more than a dozen chart entries over the subsequent decade, the newly coined McKenzie & Gardiner released their debut single, “From Time,” in 1983.

    After only a few weeks of promotion and gigging in support of “From Time,” McKenzie & Gardiner were off of Streetwave and back to making music on their own, which they continued to do until 1987. Fast forward over two decades, and a newfound appreciation of the soulful “boogie” grooves from the early ‘80s resulted in a second life for the glowingly funky groove, shimmering melodies, and crisp, unaffected duet between McKenzie and Graham on their lone released single. With a small-scale vinyl reissue in the early 2010s, listeners around the world yearned to hear more material from the duo. Subsequently, a digital compilation of lost demos was realized in 2013.

    Since that time, the COVID-19 pandemic rekindled the artistic collaboration of McKenzie & Gardiner. They’ve put out a couple of limited 7” vinyl singles featuring both original and newly remixed versions of their most sought-after tunes. And now, Los Angeles-based CQQL Records is giving fans the ultimate package of the guys’ rarities with the 15-track Timestamp: The Collection available in double-vinyl and cassette configurations. The set includes both vocal and instrumental gems, as well as the original, pre-Streetwave recording of “From Time.”

    Check out the magic of “From Time” by McKenzie & Gardiner featuring Jaki Graham and discover one of England’s best kept soulful secrets.

    by Justin Kantor

    McKenzie & Gardiner featuring Jaki Graham
    “From Time

     
    Album of the Month - Maysa - "Music For Your Soul"
    Choice Cut - Fred Reed Music - "Roses"
    Choice Cut - Tristan - "Diamonds"