“Now let me tell you the story of life… the story of life… the story of life…

… the Soul of Man – now watch ‘em! “

So began the very first recording for a brand-new label, created with just an Atari and a sampler in a sitting room in Shepherds Bush at the turn of the last century. Armed with that first single, Finger Lickin’ Records sprang into life in a tiny office above Bar Vinyl in London’s Camden Town, way back in 1997. Sharing the building also was record shop Vinyl Addiction, and the spot quickly became both a hub and a mecca for the infant breakbeat scene with all the main playas from all walks of dance music coming in for a beer, a gas and a shuffle through the well-stocked shelves.

Founded by Justin Rushmore and Jem Panufnik (aka Soul of Man, and at that point the only artists on the label) Finger Lickin’ immediately started to make waves with the boys’ aforementioned debut release, Love & Hate, but it was their follow-up single Between the Eyes that finally hammered in the label’s reputation for furious futuristic funk, winning support from high-profile DJs such as Fatboy Slim, Pete Tong, Seb Fontaine, Annies Mac and Nightingale, not to mention a veritable army of influential underground DJs like Adam Freeland, Freestylers, Freddy Fresh and Freq Nasty (and they’re just the ones starting with F).

Abel Reynolds was next to join the management team and it wasn’t long before a collection of other DJs and producers were welcomed into the Finger Lickin’ family: Lee Coombs, Plump DJs, Slyde, A-Skilllz and Krafty Kuts all started releasing hugely successful singles, albums and remixes on the label. Drumattic Twins (formerly rave pioneers Shades of Rhythm), Dreadzone, Stereo 8, Brothers Bud, Scott Nixon, Flint, Freaky Jalapeno, Jem Stone & JC and 2 inda Bush also contributed to almost fifteen years of pioneering hip-hop, house and breaks. Collaborations with legends such as Kurtis Blow, Gary Newman and Arthur Baker further cemented Finger Lickin’s reputation as a world leader not only of the breakbeat scene, but in dance music as a whole, its influence undeniable. With no expense spared on their lavish full-colour sleeves (created by in-house artist and co-founder Jem), each release remains to this day hot property for serious collectors and vinyl junkies alike.

In 2009, after more than a decade of prolific activity, their DJs touring the world and with 100 singles, 24 albums plus countless awards and accolades under their belt, Finger Lickin’ decided to put their release schedule on the backburner and concentrate on managing their formidable team of music-makers in their continuing quest to send their solid grooves worldwide as Finger Lickin’ Management. Welcome full-time into the fold such luminaries as Krafty Kuts, the Freestylers, Utah Saints and The Correspondents and a whole heap of past FLR remixers and affiliates, as well as a new wave of fresh blood such as Erb n Dub, Ash Walker, Father Funk, and WBBL.

The story of life continues, and the future is still looking Finger Lickin’ good…

10 Years of Finger Lickin’, containing 3 x CDs of FLR’s finest and funkiest moments is available in luscious boxset mixed by Soul of Man or as MP3 complete with digi-booklet of Jem’s illustrations