ANDY SOJKA, ATMOSFEAR AND ELITE REC.


".. the man who discovered and named LEVEL 42 .."

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ANDRZEJ (ANDY) Z. SOJKA
(July 10th 1951 - February 12th 2000)

.. in 1979 produced and recorded the five-strong music group, ATMOSFEAR
The first fruit of the liaison was their single, Dancing In Outer Space. Thus did he pioneer a new British dance music.
Dancing In Outer Space fused disco, funk, jazz and psychedelic production. It sold 100,000 copies - and the tune survives, still played and frequently sampled.

Educated at Kingsbury high school, north London, in the late 1970s, Sojka opened All Ears, a dance music shop in Harlesden. It quickly became a focus for the 12in 45rpm dance single boom, which had begun in the United States. Many of the customers at All Ears were DJs buying American imports and the British releases that followed. After Dancing In Outer Space, in 1980 Sojka discovered and named Level 42, and signed them to his ELITE RECORDS, producing their first single, Love Meeting Love, and The Early Tapes album.


In the 1980s, Elite Records became a home for the new independent British dance music, and releases by DSM (Danny D), Beverley Skeete, Projection, Atmosfear, Sahara and many others featured regularly in the dance music charts. With his music championed by the late Larry Levan at the Paradise Garage, Andy became a cult figure in New York.

Between 1986-88 he worked with Garry Hughes, producing two experimental world music crossover albums. In 1987, a rhythm and blues label was formed. Its first release was Keni Stevens's Blue Moods, a classic album of British soul music.