After a 14-year hiatus, Hardkandy are back with their fourth studio album, Pure Fantasy. Crafted over two years, the album has been something of a labour of love for the main writer and producer, Tim Bidwell, based on the underlying concept: what would I have done back then, if I’d known what I know now?


The album features a host of special guest vocalists and musicians, some of whom Tim was already working with on their own productions at his Clockwork Owl Studios in Brighton, others were ones he just knew he had to have on the LP. One of those was Mamas Gun vocalist Andy Platts, who appears on Stronger Stuff, the first single to be lifted from the album, where he delivers a Curtis like performance with typical panache; and the wonky psychedelic soul of the title track, coming off something like classic Lewis Taylor.

Other guest vocals come from up-and-coming singers Scarlett Fae, Phoebe Freya, Sarah Goodson and Chris Tye, who provides a somewhat tongue-in-cheek finale to the album with Beginning of the End.

With influences ranging from the classic sounds of Marvin Gaye to the down-tempo carboot soul of Nightmares on Wax, Hardkandy’s new material takes the listener on a seductive and sonorous journey where harmonious melodies meet hypnotic rhythms. Fans will still recognise the signature cut and paste sound, just reimagined for 2022 with real musicians playing real instruments.

Reactions & Radio Play

“Great release.” Juergen Jazzanova (Sonar Kollektiv, Germany)

“Gorgeous!” Colleen Cosmo Murphy (Worldwide FM)

“This is lush.” Deb Grant (BBC6 Music / Jazz FM)

“So good.” Toshio Matsuura (Worldwide FM / Inter FM / Ex-UFO, Japan)

“Too many gems to mention but did enjoy The Beginning of the End and great to hear the voice of Scarlett Fae.” Tony Minvielle (Jazz FM)

“Lovely production & great journey……YES, nice VERY NICE!!” Dr. Bob Jones (Soul legend / Totally Wired Radio, UK)

“Fabulous album. Will be playing on radio for sure.” Ben Mynott, Fluid Nation (Chill Radio / 1BTN / Totally Wired Radio / Soho Radio, UK)

“Absolutely essential.” Aldo Vanucci (Brooklyn Radio, UK)

“Enthousiaste!!” Veronique Prebolin (Radio Krim, France)

“Beautiful album!!!” Simon Harrison (Basic Soul Show, UK)

“Deep!” DJ Psycut (22 Tracks, France)

“Fantastic album!! I really love most of the songs. Respect!” Cesare Cera (Black Mighty Wax / Radio Bologna Uno, Italy)

“You can’t hear the break, everything just continues.” Måns Stromberg (Radio Helsinki, Finland)

“SO GOOD!” DJ Junior (Eavesdrop Radio / Record Breakin’, USA)

“Admittedly: my expectations for this new album by Hardkandy were high… and they have been fully met! Really a successful work – simply beautiful music!” Sven Tomschke (Radio Z 95.8 Nuernberg, Germany)

“Have been waiting for this album ! Great.” Olgierd (Sofa Surfing, Poland)

“Great album! Great production! A beautiful journey through sounds reminding us of classic downtempo with great featured vocalists.” Enrique Domenech (Freeform Podcasts, Spain)

“Brilliant album. Wears his influences well and stands squarely on those shoulders, deserves all the plaudits.” Steve KIW (1BTN, Brighton, UK)

“Killer album.” Lorenzo Aldino (Jockey Club, Ibiza)

“Wonderful! So many lovely ballads!” Olivier Cavaller (De La Bonne Musique, France)

“An excellent new cooled out album, perfect for late night listening!” Steve Johns (Solar Radio, UK)

“Great album.” Robert Lochmann (Radio X, Germany)

“Fabulous album. This should produce a couple of cross-over hits.” Dan Deep Tenor City (Soho Radio, UK)

“A journey!” Dob Marzov (The 45rpm Radio Show, Radio Varna, Bulgarian National Radio, Bulgaria)

“Fantastic – lovin this.” John Brent (Dusk Dubs / Full Spectrum Radio SHow, UK)

“The honed Afrobeat!!” Jean Marc Baehler (Couleur3, Radio Television Suisse, Switzerland)

“Just such a stunningly beautiful set of tracks and a welcome return. Will be playing this on my radio show and in my more downtempo sets.” Mr Lob (Melbourne, Australia)

“Feeling the Big Chill vibes all over again!” Chris Greenwood (SOAS Radio / Louie Louie, UK)

“Smooth and silky sounds.” Simon Garside (VolcanoRadio / Mu Bar – Christchurch NZ / Pulzar FM / Fresh FM / deephouse-radio.com / myhouseyourhouse, New Zealand)

“Sweet soulful sounds.” Alex Ruder (KEXP 90.3FM, USA)

“Wow lovely stuff. Totally different from my expectation.” Paul Knight (Reform Radio, UK)

“Very nice I enjoy it thanks, I will support.” Timos Koklas (Reverb Nation, Greece)

“Lovely, beautiful, superb. This album is gonna get worn out because of how much I’ll be playing this.” Bob Hill (Totally Wired Radio, UK)

“Nice vibes!” Nicole Finnerty (Kane FM / Flex FM, Australia)

“Full support.” Lee Bright (Tangential Music, UK)

“Very cool sound full of gems.” Dan Wesker (Detektor FM, UK)

“I really like “Four Leaf Clover”!” Marcio Martinez (BBE, Brazil)

“Love!” Amrisha Prashar (Radar Radio, UK)

“We’re being inundated with a soon-come summer of soul, so much good stuff dropping into the inbox at the moment – love this all-over. Pure Fantasy is the only track I have already heard (love it) and I’m still weighing up my favourite from this set but for the time being I’ll go with the most uptempo cut – The Honed Ranger (great title too 🙂 )” Drummie Dave, UK

“DOPE AF.” Mr Shiver (Fabric / East Village, UK)

“After 20 years from the debut album, ‘How Do You Do Nothing?’ and a mere 14 years since the WahWah45s debut album ‘Second To None’, you might be surprised to hear that Tim Bidwell (aka Hardkandy) only spent 2 years producing the current album, ‘Pure Fantasy’. Fans of the singles will know that the vocals of Andy Platts are proper soul and he’s joined by Sarah Goodson, Scarlett Fae, Phoebe Freya and Chris Tye on vocal duties across most of the 12 tracks “with real musicians playing real instruments”. It’s very Brighton Hardkandy with some stunning Bonobo-esqueness going on but you’ve got to love ‘Bob’s Theme’, glow with ‘3AM’, bop around to ‘The Honed Ranger’ and angst about the shortness of ‘Interlude’. The title track, ‘Four Leaf Clover’, ‘My Head Is High’ and ‘The Beginning Of the End’ are so good it’s ridiculous; we could be living in a modern day Big Chill Tent and not feel old.” Gerry Hectic (Futuristica Music, UK)

“Some new albums take a few plays to get really into it,but this was instant and we love it !” Aja Allsop (Ketch-A-Vibe Radio Show, UK)



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