Recent News

Liz Clarke album reviewed

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Liz Clarke’s solo album DESTINY, which we released in May has just been reviewed by a long time supporter of Plankton Records, top UK CCM website CrossRhythms.

The review was good and once again (and as always), Liz’s voice and vocals were praised – quite right too!

To read the full review, click on the link: http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/products/Liz_Clarke/Destiny/151168/

From that link you can also order the CD from the Cross Rhythms direct website and there is also a direct link to the album on iTunes.

The album is available in digital format from all major music download and streaming sites Worldwide and the CD is also available from this website. Click on the link: https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/discography/destiny/

Ben Okafor classic song recognised

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For some time now top UK  CCM website CrossRhythms have been running a series called “The Spirit of Rock & Soul”. The idea of the series is to ultimately name their top 1,000 favourite CCM songs. They are doing this by periodically publishing new additions to the list on the website and the latest selections includes a song from BEN OKAFOR that features on his classic Plankton Records release GENERATION. A big thanks to CrossRhythms for including Ben’s song. Here’s what they said about “Sanctify My Soul”:

BEN OKAFOR – SANCTIFY MY SOUL, 1992. From the album ‘Generation’, Plankton.
It took me a long time to really enjoy Ben Okafor. When I first heard him outside a small tent at Greenbelt a couple of years before he made his first record I rather dismissed him as a Bob Marley copyist. Being, before my conversion, a black music purist (a strange affectation for a white boy) I believed that only black Americans could sing “real” soul music and only black Jamaicans could perform “real” reggae. The Spirit had some work to do before my cultural prejudices could be completely demolished. So in my early years as a music critic and journalist for Buzz magazine I theorised that Ben’s growing popularity at Greenbelt was due to the fact that for years Ben was the ONLY exponent of gospel reggae in Britain and with many young British churchgoers keen to hear something that at least got close to “Exodus” or “No Women No Cry” the Nigerian-born Ben filled the need. It wasn’t until the remastered version of the ‘Generation’ album was released that I had to radically revise my opinion of Mr Okafor. He still offered some of those insidious lopsided riddems of JA but he’d found his own creative focus. Propulsive Afro-beat, raw Ritchie Havens-style acoustic rock and worldbeat reggae were all evident on the album to make something completely his own. Ben’s vocal stylings may still have owed much to Marley but now on this joyful number, they were heard over jangly guitars, a finely recorded bassline, some delicious congas and a drummer who showed on the chorus an on-the-fours drive which unexpectedly, and probably unwittingly, replicated the driving rhythm of Northern soul. Seldom has a track so successfully woven together such an eclectic musical potpourri and with its celebratory chorus “Sanctify my soul/I love you more than gold” it’s easy to understand how this song would get any crowd on their feet and dancing.
Tony Cummings

If you want to read the full article (and see the other songs included on this latest selection) then click on the link: http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/articles/music/The_Spirit_Of_Rock_And_Soul_Numbers_831_to_840/33238/p1/

GENERATION was originally released in 1992  but in 2006, long after the album was officially out of print and following discussions with Ben and the re-launching of Plankton’s activities following a few years of silence it was agreed to re-release a remastered version of this classic album. Ben also re-recorded 3 additional songs that he had written and (originally) recorded around the time of the original release and these new recordings fitted in seamlessly! This is the remastered version of the album referred to in the review. The release was met with critical acclaim and joy from his fans. This remastered version is available on all leading music download and streaming sites Worldwide, or on CD from this very website: Click on the link https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/discography/generation/ 

New Echo video on YouTube

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We’ve posted a new video of ECHO featuring the opening track from their brilliant ‘Bought Not Souled’ album – BEST OF MY LOVE.

The footage used in the video was filmed on a hand held camera during the setting up and final rehearsals of the live recording session for the live songs featured on the album.

We think it captures some of the fun, personalities and spirit of the band – as well as featuring a great song!!!!

Link to the video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/f0VzvYBIiN0

Liz Clarke latest CD availability

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As well as buying the CD version of Liz Clarke’s recently released album DESTINY from this website you can now purchase it from our friends at Cross Rhythms Direct (along with several other Plankton Records CD titles).

The DESTINY album is also available in digital format from all leading download and streaming sites Worldwide

Here’s the link to the CD on Cross Rhythms Direct: http://direct.crossrhythms.co.uk/product/Destiny/Liz-Clarke/151168

New album receives another glowing review

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Plankton’s latest album release “What A Friend We Have” by Vivienne Neville, Liz Clarke, Jackie Morris Bates and Mary-Kathryn has received another great review. This time not only earning 9/10 from UK CCM site NFN (Never For Nothing) but also being named ALBUM OF THE MONTH.

The review was posted in the October NFN emailed newsletter. Here’s the full review:



When these four ladies got together to record the charity single “What A Friend We Have in Jesus”, earlier this year, Vivienne was keen to explore the possibilities of releasing a compilation album, featuring them all. This release is the result, and what a fine album it is too. Mary Kathryn opens the album, with the far-eastern sound of ‘Incense and Praise’. There’s lots of drums to give a hypnotic rhythm, and also a sitar, that is pleasing on the ear. As an opening song, it’s really catchy and very strong. Vivienne’s first contribution is the euro-pop ditty, ‘Up Close & Personal’. This song reminded me a lot of German duo Swimming With Sharks, and her voice, reminiscent of singer Annette Humpe. The song itself is about finding that personal relationship with God, and the love that it brings.  All four of the ladies present three songs each, and Liz Clarke’s best, for me, is the lullabye ‘A Mother’s Love’. Her vocals are so sweet, and the marriage with the accompanying accordion is pure delight. There’s a gospel style about Jackie Morris Bates’ ballad ‘What Sin’, while later on, she provides a swing number, called ‘Jesus is Mine’. Both are very listenable. Mary Kathryn returns with more eastern sound of ‘Only One’ (which I wasn’t too keen on) and the chanting ‘Tehiliah’, which is simply beautiful. The album ends with the charity single, and brings to a close, a quite exquisite collection.   9/10.

The album is available on digital format only and it is available from ALL leading music download and streaming sites Worldwide, including iTunes and Amazon. Here’s the link to the album’s section on our discography page https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/discography/what-a-friend-we-have/ 

Echo feature in festival video

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A “mash up” video has been posted on YouTube which features excerpts of some of the wide variety of artist performances from this year’s KingStock Festival which took place at the end of August in Cambridgeshire.

The first band featured is our very own ECHO delivering their usual soul packed versions of “You’re All I Need To Get By” and “I’ll Take You There” from the main stage on the Saturday evening. Here’s a link to the video: http://youtu.be/mmgxAbn6cFA

Both featured tracks feature on Echo’s highly acclaimed “Bought Not Souled” album which we released early this year. The album is available on every major music download and streaming site Worldwide and also on CD from this very website. Click on the link to go to the CD page: https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/discography/bought-not-souled/

Another great review for new album

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The new Plankton Records  “What A Friend We Have” album by Vivienne Neville, Liz Clarke, Jackie Morris Bates and Mary-Kathryn has garnered another great review. The album features 3 solo tracks from each of the 4 artists as well as their great collaboration on a fantastic version of the classic “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” which was released as a single in its own right earlier in the year.

Top UK CCM website CrossRhythms gave the album a very credible  8/10. You can read the full review here http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/products/Vivienne_Neville_Liz_Clarke_Jackie_Morris_Bates_MaryKathryn/What_A_Friend_We_Have_/153111/ 

“What A Friend We Have” is available as a digital only album. You can find it on every major music download and streaming site WORLDWIDE, including iTunes and Amazon

Fab ECHO interview posted

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Leading UK CCM website CrossRhythms interviewed Greg from ECHO at the recent KingStock Festival, where they performed on the big stage.

It’s been a busy year fro the band, following the release of their well-received album “Bought Not Souled” in January with the band having played over 40 gigs so far in 2014. Unless more gigs are booked in before then, December sees the band playing their 100th gig! A noteworthy achievement – Echo we salute you!

It’s a great article and in it, Greg discusses the band’s history to date, what their aims and objectives are and their future plans and hopes – including some possible insights into the next album’s track listing!

Click here to read the full article http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/articles/music/ECHO_The_covers_band_Extending_Christs_Heart_to_Others/54682/p1/

Echo’s album ” Bought Not Souled” is available on CD from this very  website https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/product/bought-not-souled/

Alos available as a download from all major sites Worldwide, including iTunes and Amazon

New album reviewed

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Leading UK CCM website Louder Than The Music has reviewed our new “What A Friend We Have'” album by Vivienne Neville, Liz Clarke, Jackie Morris Bates and Mary-Kathryn.

It’s a great and extensive review for our album (thanks guys!),  which is available Worldwide now  from all leading music download and streaming sites.

Click here to read the review: http://louderthanthemusic.com/document.php?id=4535


Producer posts new Liz Clarke video

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Mr Paul Mcilwaine, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, co-writer and producer of Liz Clarke’s latest album DESTINY has posted a video he’s made for one of the album tracks to YouTube.

“Burnin’ With the Blues” is a great slow blues which highlights both Liz’s voice and Paul’s great guitar playing. As well as all of his musical skills, Paul is a gifted photographer too and he certainly combines this gifting with his love of guitars on this video!

Here’s the link to the video for you to enjoy too: http://youtu.be/h7-P1c_IzY0