Timmion’s most prominent successes might seem to be the appearance on Jim Jarmusch’s film “Paterson” with the instrumental of ”I’m Still A Man” by Willie West and Cold Diamond & Mink, among other several movie/TV placements. Already over ten years ago Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators were awarded Track of the Year on Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide and a feature on Barack Obama’s Spotify playlist. But their less apparent achievement has been cultivating a steadily growing worldwide fan base of music lovers and beat fiends, that reaches from influencers in the Californian rare soul scene all the way to the shores of Japan.
Timmion Records, located in Helsinki, Finland, is an independent music enterprise, which is fueled with an uniquely understated passion for raw soul and funk music. It’s operated by Sami Kantelinen and Jukka Sarapää, the rhythmic force behind The Soul Investigators as well as Cold Diamond & Mink, Timmion’s current house band and song writing/production team behind most of the label’s output. In over fifteen years its operation has grown to include one main record label and various sublabels, an analog 8-track recording studio as well as a world renowned facility for cutting vinyl masters.
Timmion has published over 50 different single and album releases, including three well received albums for US born singer Nicole Willis, two albums for the Californian soul duo Myron & E, and one for the unsung master of New Orleans deep soul Willie West. Myron & E’s Helsinki based recordings were also put out by the renowned hip hop/strange gear label Stones Throw, while Willie West’s and Nicole Willis’ albums got distribution in the US by Light In The Attic. On the side, Timmion has delivered vintage rare and unreleased gems by the Honey B’s, O.C. Tolbert, and the irresistible ”Deep Shadows” album by Little Ann from late 1960’s Detroit.
The label really found their current streak in 2009 with deep ballad releases such as Willie West’s ”The Devil Gives Me Everything”, which became a surprising hit among the lowrider soul crowd in southern California. This sound has been at the core of the output on the recently founded Stylart subsidiary by acts such as Bobby Oroza, Fred, Jonny Benavidez, and Pratt & Moody.
In addition to prime soul music, during its existence Timmion has ventured into folk, popcorn r&b, and most recently to soul jazz with the release of the Finnish trumpet great Jukka Eskola’s “Soul Trip” album and latin soul single with Bardo Martinez, the lead vocalist of Chicano Batman as well as jazz funk album by Ernie Hawks. Most recent and upcoming releases feature modal jazz by Sami Linna Quartet, an album with Carlton Jumel Smith and singles with Emilia Sisco and Wanda Felicia.
Whatever Timmion will be up to in the future, will surely be soulful, beautifully unrefined, and slightly out of the box. And it will always be on vinyl.