Soul & Funk

Dr. Togo “Be Free” (Best)

2020-05-21T20:50:31+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Voice of the Kano project and former percussionist of Eric Clapton, George Benson and Chaka Khan, Glen White in 1982 wrote and arranged “Be Free”, one of the most intriguing and elegant Italian disco / boogie song together with the producer Louis “Gigi” Figini (former member of project “Koxo” alongside the unforgettable Leonardo Re Cecconi). An overlooked gem by the West Indian artist brought back to the musical community!

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

RIS Featuring Celeste “Love N Music” (Best)

2020-05-21T20:50:31+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Love N Music is an original classic Italo Disco with an Hi-NRG touch. The original song starts with a sweet female voice that seemed to be an hymn to love, a strong pre-house atmosphere soon introduces an extravagant synths as a prelude to the hot bass-line combined with the Italian rap of Celeste. Many of you will recognize its melody used in 2002 by Felix da Housecat on his tune “Happy Hour”. RIS is another one superbe collaboration by Tony Carrasco (Klein + M.B.O.) and the always excellent Aldo Martinelli. Remix by the dj and Danish record collector Flemming Dalum.

Artists:  ,
Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Mulatu Astatke + Black Jesus Experience ‎”To Know Without Knowing” (Agogo)

2020-05-21T20:50:21+00:00May 21st, 2020|

To Know Without Knowing, Mulatu Astatke & Black Jesus Experience’s album, is their second together. A grooving transcontinental gem, recorded in Melbourne, Australia, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Filled with the warmth of the mentorship and friendship of their creative partnership honed over a decade of performing together in Africa, Australia, and UK/Europe. Mulatu Astatke is the father of Ethio-jazz and one of Africa’s most influential and enduring musical figures. Black Jesus Experience is a community of artists, centered around a twelve-piece global-funk-machine born of Australia’s vibrant multiculturalism. Mulatu and Black Jesus Experience met in Addis Ababa in 2009, embarking on both a musical relationship and a friendship that has led Mulatu Astake to describe Black Jesus Experience as, “My favorite backing band” and, “…they’re family.” Mulatu’s great contribution to music has been to combine Jazz and funk grooves with Ethiopia’s distinctive pentatonic scales. His musical genius is the sensuality and sophistication with which Mulatu contrasts these minimalist scales with richly chromatic harmony. But Mulatu’s equally great contribution has been to share both his enduringly unique modernity and Ethiopia’s timelessly spiritual music with the world. Black Jesus Experience treasure the special relationship of generosity, mentorship and collaboration they have been privileged to share with this master musician. To Know Without Knowing is the product of this gift.

Record Label: 

Ian Willson ‎”Straight From The Heart” (Be With)

2020-05-21T20:50:20+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Be With Records work with Ian Willson to reissue his self-released, West Coast classic Straight From The Heart, privately pressed and originally released in 1985. This is the only album Ian ever put out. A magical blend of AOR/sophisticated funk/synth-boogie/spiritual jazz and modern soul, it’s a spellbinding record of many colors. You might already know Straight From The Heart for the dubby-disco paranoid-Balearic anthem “Four In The Morning”, and it’s easy to assume this is probably just another one of those one-track LPs. But this is an impressively slick record from start to finish. Album opener “Think About It” is all sorts of right. It’s emotional. It’s tops-off. It’s funk in its purest form. And take the proto-modern-funk of the title track (half Dâm-Funk/half Dâd-Funk). The shimmering, spiritual bossa-jazz of “If I Were You” serves as the album’s soaring centerpiece. A gorgeous suite of cosmic vibes to get Gilles frothing, it sounds like nothing else on the record which makes sense given that it was recorded a couple of years earlier, and is the only track on the LP that wasn’t recorded in Ian’s own studio. Side B opens with the propulsive ode to love that is “Two Is Better Than One”. Wonderfully sparse when it needs to be, it’s also richly percussive and that special kind of California-warm. Frenetic, speaker smashing synth and horn workout “Funk Invasion” dares you not to dance and “A Game Called Love” is heavily indebted to Prince with its lush, deep funk stylings. The sweeping sax-drenched instrumental “Song For Katelyn” is head-nod, beat-heavy AOR for that melancholic magic hour. It all adds up to the ultimate BBQ record. Almost all of Straight From The Heart was recorded over a few months between 1983 and 1984 on Ian’s brand new Otari 8 track in the Oakland, California studio he built just the year before. Only “If I Were You” was recorded elsewhere, at Bay Sound in 1982. Ian produced the album himself and played all of the instruments, except for the guitar of his longtime friend, Peter Fujii. Tower Of Power, Average White Band, Earth Wind & Fire, and Stevie Wonder was the list of influences Ian gave when asked. Why did he put the record out himself? Simple, he had no idea how to go about getting a record deal. The original tapes have long since been lost. This reissue was remastered from Ian’s one-and-only pristine copy.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Various Artists “Napoli Segreta Vol.2” (NG)

2020-05-21T20:50:14+00:00May 21st, 2020|

After Nu Guinea’s LP, Nuova Napoli, and Napoli Segreta first compilation, NG RECORDS follows up with an exploration into the unknown groovy side of Naples by releasing Napoli Segreta Vol.2.
Famiglia Discocristiana, DNApoli and Nu Guinea team up again selecting more tracks from their archives, for a new compilation containing 9 mysterious Neapolitan tracks, found in the most hidden corners of remote flea markets around the Vesuvius.
But forget classical Neapolitan songs, “‘O Sole Mio” or “Luna Rossa”… Forget about what you expect to find once you land in town… oh and also forget about Google maps. Take a dodgy local guide, keep your eyes open, and follow it to enter the secret downtown, the underground, the routes that no satellite can detect, but beware there is no easy way out.
Napoli Segreta Vol.2 is a musical journey into the sonic landscapes of Naples that you have never heard of before. A variety of genres merging soul, disco, funk, blues, new wave, afro-beat and boogie, including lyrics in Neapolitan urban slang, instrumental tracks with progressive flavour, and also some unexpected covers!

Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Medline “Solstice” (My Bags)

2020-05-21T20:50:14+00:00May 21st, 2020|

When we first heard Medline doing cover versions of tracks from the La Plante Sauvage OST, we were blown away. We said something cheeky like: -this thing needs to be on vinyl.- Well wish it and will it enough and it will happen. Solstice is here, and it s a record chock full of covers of legendary original soundtrack, library and jazz funk music. Many of these records are tough or impossible to find, and Medline s concept of interpreting these killer cuts and getting them all together on one record is a rare find itself. This is definitely a record that you can go back to again and again. High quality, brilliant interpretations of these songs, most of which were sampled many times before, is not just a digger s delight, but something that needs to be in a collection. Every track was performed by Medline. He translated the compositions his way, into his world, and the end product is something we will be talking about for years

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre:  ,
Staff Picks: 

Fatima “Yellow Memories” (Eglo)

2020-05-21T20:50:03+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Eglo Records are proud to present Fatima’s highly anticipated debut album ‘Yellow Memories’.

Featuring production work from the likes of Floating Points, Theo Parrish, Oh No, Scoop DeVille, Computer Jay, Knxwledge and more… the velvet toned Swede has truly crafted something special.

Offering a modern take on classic Soul and RnB, the album strikes a beautiful balance of cutting edge, contemporary production, soulful expression, melancholic introspection and vibrant, candy coated melody. An accomplished singer /song-writer with a stunning range, her prowess and versatility are a force not to be reckoned with. As powerful and mesmerising on stage as she is in the studio, Fatima possesses a talent heard all to rarely in todays musical climate.

Two singles have so far been released from the album, including the Flako the produced double A-Side ‘Family’ and ‘La Neta’, the video’s for which can be found HERE and HERE Upfront tracks from the album are already in heavy rotation amongst musical luminaries such as BBC Radio 1’s Benji B, 6Music’s Gilles Peterson and Mary Anne Hobbs as well as wide spread support from contemporary broadcast institutions like Rinse FM and NTS. Resident Advisor recently featured Fatima on their front page having recorded a deeply emotive live performance of the album track ‘Gave Me My Name’ – which can be seen HERE.

Born of Swedish and Senegalese parentage, Fatima moved to London in her early twenties. It was here that she met Eglo Records label bosses Alex Nut and Floating Points. After several chance encounters a relationship blossomed leading to the creation of several now classic releases including ‘Mind’, ‘Redlight’ and ‘Innervision’ as well as her Award winning performances fronting the Floating Points Ensemble. Other collaborations include Dam Funk, Shafiq Husayn (SA-RA) and Scratcha DVA on Hyperdub. Currently residing in New York Fatima will be returning to the UK/EU mid April for a string of live dates and launch parties through out May accompanied by the Eglo Live Band. Her live shows are not to be missed!

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Nick Hakim “Will This Make Me Good” (ATO)

2020-05-14T23:35:38+00:00May 14th, 2020|

“Will This Make Me Good?” is a question Nick Hakim has asked himself since he was young and struggling in school. It is a reflection of what’s happening in his head as he sorts through his life and the tumult around the globe. His new album WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD articulates a sense of confusion alongside a desire for hope and clarity. It was produced by his longtime collaborator Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver), who also produced Hakim’s breakthrough debut “Green Twins”.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Woody Bianchi “Under The Influence Volume Eight: A Collection of Rare Boogie & Disco” (Z)

2020-05-07T20:41:29+00:00May 7th, 2020|

Double LP version. Gatefold sleeve. Z Records continues its commitment to unearthing the obscure and long forgotten tracks from the last 40 years through the ever-popular Under The Influence series. Following on from Red Greg, Paul Phillips, James Glass, Nick The Record, Sean P, Faze Action, and Winston. It’s now the turn of one of the Italy’s most impressive collectors; Woody Bianchi. The story behind Z Records’ Under The Influence series is this: being a seasoned record collector Z label boss Dave Lee/Joey Negro has made the acquaintance of many of the worlds other vinyl junkies. People that may be unknown to the general public but are hardcore enthusiasts who have built some of the best collections of soul, funk, and disco on the planet. The idea of UTI isn’t solely about big name DJs compiling albums but to give a musical platform to those who have the knowledge to put together a track listing of killer tunes. Woody Bianchi is a prolific DJ, producer, remixer, and record collector. His international collaborations with Bob Sinclar, Todd Terry, Arthur Baker, Full Intention, Eric Kupper, Jocelyn Brown, Marshall Jefferson, and many others have created a remarkable profile for him. He has released over 300 productions worldwide and has toured side by side with many of the scenes greatest names. Here you have the pleasure of delving into his vast collection and plucking some of the rarest records out, with many of the tracks costing hundreds if you were actually able to find the originals. As always with ZR compilations a lot of time and effort has been spent on creating these masters from the original vinyl, cleaning them up, removing all the clicks and pops resulting in the cleanest sounding copy possible.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Adrian Younge Presents Loren Oden “My Heart, My Love” (Linear Labs)

2020-05-07T20:41:18+00:00May 7th, 2020|

“I wrote this song, Is There A Way, after reconnecting with an old love. Someone who I had a deep connection with, and a very loving relationship. It felt as though it was in another lifetime. That lifetime came Almost 10 years later when we reconnected and attempted to try our hand at love again. This song is my heart pouring out to her trying to find a way back to the love that we once had to build on and to grow on and to move forward in our newfound relationship. All the sweet and loving memories that made what we had so special. For me this is a very optimistic song about love, romance, and true happiness with a person that you feel soulmate status with.” – Loren Oden

Born into a musical family in Compton, Ca., Loren Oden grew up in the church.  This served as an incredible training ground for Oden, where he not only studied gospel, but secular greats like Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke. Being that those icons were bred in the church, Loren discovered sanctity in using his voice as a spiritual guide for love: a way to express his vulnerability, passion and struggles with handling reciprocal affection.   Oden’s transparency, or in other words, connection to people is what makes him one of the most captivating vocalists of the modern era.

Oden’s fledgling career gained momentum as a prominent background vocalist for  Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Kirk Franklin, Erykah Badu and Neyo, to name a few.  Within a couple years, his long-time colleague, composer Adrian Younge, enlisted him as the lead vocalist for the cult classic,  Black Dynamite, a blaxploitation parody theatrically released in 2009.  This was the beginning of Oden becoming the melodious bedrock of Younge’s psychedelic sound.

Music has allowed him to transcribe his emotional tussles; it’s one of the reasons why Oden sings lead on most of Younge’s melancholy catalog, including but not limited, to The Midnight Hour, Something About April, and Marvel’s Luke Cage (scored alongside Ali Shaheed Muhammad).  This is also the reason why Younge has decided to produce Loren’s debut LP, My Heart, My Love.  Their collaborations have served as a means for Oden to not only harmonize his story, but to travel the world doing it with extensive touring.    Loren has also written and recorded for many artists such as Snoop Dogg, Common, The Delfonics, Ghostface Killah, and Bilal.

Oden strives to vibrate frequencies relatable to lovers from all walks of life: a forgotten tenet derivative of classic black soul.  His on-stage performance is empowered with the ability to captivate audiences with mellifluous delivery and acceptance.  Be sure to see Oden as he tours with The Midnight Hour this fall.

Record Label: 
Genre: 

Shafiq Husayn “The Loop Instrumentals” (Nature Sounds)

2020-05-07T20:41:11+00:00May 7th, 2020|

Shafiq Husayn is a talented musician, producer, songwriter, and recording artist who has defied boundaries and worked with some of the top artists in R&B, hip-hop, soul, funk, and beyond. Perhaps best known as one third of innovative Los Angeles musical collective Sa Ra Creative Partners, Husayn has produced for the likes of Erykah Badu, Andre 3000, John Legend, Kanye West, Hiatus Kaiyote, Jurassic 5, Bilal, and many more. Shafiq’s musical roots date back to when he attended parties thrown by both by the Zulu Nation and Uncle Jamm’s Army, carrying crates for pioneering DJ Afrika Islam. By the early 90s he was working under the alias SLJ, producing tracks for hip-hop luminaries like Ice T, Lord Finesse, and King Tee. In recent years, Shafiq has helped launch the careers of some of the most influential new artists to emerge from L.A., serving as an early mentor to Anderson .Paak and working with Ty Dolla $ign before his rise to fame. His solo debut “Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka” received widespread critical acclaim, and he earned a Grammy for his work on Robert Glasper’s breakthrough album “Black Radio”.

Recently, Shafiq Husayn returned with the long-awaited new project “The Loop”. The eclectic album features an all-star cast of Shafiq’s most prominent collaborators, including contributions from Erykah Badu, Anderson .Paak, Robert Glasper, Bilal, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and more. Blending lush live instrumentation with futuristic synths and otherworldly vocals, “The Loop” is a genre-defying opus incorporating spaced-out funk, raw neo-soul, free jazz, hip-hop beats, and electronic elements. This the official instrumental version of “The Loop”, showcasing the album’s stellar production on limited-edition vinyl.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

The Devonns “The Devonns” (Record Kicks)

2020-05-07T20:41:08+00:00May 7th, 2020|

Straight from the streets of Chicago, Illinois, The Devonns (pronounced “De vaughns”) are the brand new soul outfit and the latest addition of the Record Kicks’ family, whose self-titled debut album that drops April 06, is an assortment of influences taking us back to the heyday of soul.

The band started in 2016 after multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Mathew Ajjarapu dropped out of med school and found himself unemployed and drifting. Listening to music constantly at the time, he found inspiration to put a band together and create his own music. Pairing up with some of the best musicians Chicago has to offer, he founded The Devonns: the rhythm duty is entrusted to Khalyle Hagood (bass), Ari Lindo (guitar) and Khori Wilson (drums).

The result is an album filled with lavish arrangements and catchy melodies which take us on a nostalgic musical journey inspired by chic 70s soul, yet the band don’t hesitate to add their own unique and elegant contemporary stamp to the record.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Sylk “Sylk” (Tidal Waves Music)

2020-05-07T20:40:41+00:00May 7th, 2020|

Sylk was a short-lived soul & funk band from the Aiken, South Carolina – Augusta, Georgia border area (better known as the CSRA) who released just one album in 1983. Their self-titled (and only) album would become a much sought-after private pressed holy grail within the record collecting community.

Sylk was founded by Leroy Harper Jr. (sax/keyboards) and Ben Moses (bass/guitar). Soon they were also joined by key-members Keith Henderson (drums/percussion) and Michael Simpkins (vocals/trombone). The band also sought out John Howard (who was known for his funky rhythm style guitar + excellent soloing) and David Sanders (a known rock keyboardist in the local scene). Later down the line George Bright and Cathey McLaughlin also teamed up with Sylk…the line-up was now complete. All members were friends, frequented the same music scene or knew each other from high school. Leroy Harper Jr. & Michael Simpkins already made their bones playing together in the local funk band Exit Enterprises, one of the hottest bands in the CSRA area. All these talented musicians (some were playing from the tender age of 15) were ready to get funkin’…it was time to form SYLK and get busy.

Ben Moses (who is now a preacher) was the band leader and it was his idea to write and record the album before the band would start playing gigs. Ben was al tall guy with long fingers who played on a ‘Peavey Natural Wood’ bass guitar (which gave the band its classic funky-smooth sound). Rehearsing at Ben’s house, they were all green first-time song writers…but the songs were flowing in an almost organic fashion. Soon after the writing process was completed, they went and recorded the album at John Peterson’s home studio in North Augusta SC. The engineer on duty was the legendary Jim Loyd responsible for mastering milestone recordings from the likes of The Meters, Johnny Cash and The B-52’s. With a strong album up their sleeve, the live bookings started coming in and the band (wearing P-funk style outfits) made good money playing local gigs. Sadly, after a while some band members fell on hard times and this marked the beginning of the end of the band. In the end, Sylk only lasted a year before calling it quits.

When the Sylk chapter came to a close, founding member ‘‘Funky’’ Leroy Harper Jr. began to focus on his personal musical career. He’s served as a founder for several bands (including Spur of the Moment, Painted Man and Soul Power Posse). The incredible talented sax and keyboard player has also performed with Stevie Wonder, Millie Jackson, James Levi (Herbie Hancock’s The Headhunters) and Tony Cook (The J.B.’s). ‘‘Funky’’ Leroy Harper Jr. joined James Brown in 1991 and started playing/recording (and touring extensively) with the godfather of soul until Brown’s death in 2006. Over the years, harper has made appearances on Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and The Arsenio Hall Show (among many others). Currently he’s still playing gigs with his band Funky Leroy Harper Jr’s All Starz and shows no signs of slowing down!

Sylk was a true example of a bright light burning out way too quickly, thankfully we are left with the unique (and very rare) document that is their self-titled album. Although it was recorded in 1983, it has a strong 1978-1979 vibe working for it. The entire album is filled with sexy (yet strong) vocals, space-like rhythmic keyboard vibrations, groovy bass lines & fat trombones that compels the listener into a dancing frenzy…one can hear the cosmic touches and influences of The J.B.’s, Bernie Worrell (amongst other P-Funk greats) and Herbie Hancock softly slipping in. This is hot and soulful Southern Funk…smooth as sylk!

Tidal Waves Music now proudly presents the first ever vinyl reissue of this fantastic funk/soul album (originally released in 1983 on Earthquake Records). This rare record (original copies tend to go for large amounts on the secondary market) is now finally back available as a limited vinyl edition (500 copies) complete with the original artwork

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Roy Ayers ‎”Virgin Ubiquity II (Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981)” (BBE)

2020-05-02T20:50:27+00:00April 30th, 2020|

BBE Music announces the first repress of the classic Roy Ayers albums ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ 1 and 2 since 2006, on luxurious 180g vinyl with brand new sleeve notes written by Sean P. The music on ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ was selected and mixed down from previously unreleased multi-tracks recorded between 1976 & 1981, which Roy had in storage. It’s all unmistakably Ayers, but is diverse and fresh enough to be more than a mere adjunct to one of his most productive and popular periods – testament to his and his musicians’ creative abilities, as much of most revered Ayers output stems from this time. These discoveries take their place beside some illustrious company in a timeline bookended by ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’ and ‘Africa, Center Of The World’, several solo and Ubiquity albums, collaborations with Wayne Henderson & Fela Kuti, as well as guesting on LPs by Buster Williams and Herbie Mann. Out of print on vinyl and CD for over a decade now, BBE is delighted to re- present these groundbreaking Roy Ayers titles, neatly coinciding with the 45th anniversary of his classic album ‘Mystic Voyage’ and a UK tour to commemorate it during April 2020.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Roy Ayers ‎”Virgin Ubiquity (Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981)” (BBE)

2020-04-30T22:45:30+00:00April 30th, 2020|

BBE Music announces the first repress of the classic Roy Ayers albums ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ 1 and 2 since 2006, on luxurious 180g vinyl with brand new sleeve notes written by Sean P. The music on ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ was selected and mixed down from previously unreleased multi-tracks recorded between 1976 & 1981, which Roy had in storage. It’s all unmistakably Ayers, but is diverse and fresh enough to be more than a mere adjunct to one of his most productive and popular periods – testament to his and his musicians’ creative abilities, as much of most revered Ayers output stems from this time. These discoveries take their place beside some illustrious company in a timeline bookended by ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’ and ‘Africa, Center Of The World’, several solo and Ubiquity albums, collaborations with Wayne Henderson & Fela Kuti, as well as guesting on LPs by Buster Williams and Herbie Mann.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Terry Callier “Turn You To Love” (Speakers Corner)

2020-04-30T22:45:20+00:00April 30th, 2020|

When you listen to Terry Callier’s music, it really makes you wonder why it took three decades after the release of his debut album for this singer to be able to live from his music. “Turn You To Love”, »easily Terry Callier’s most underrated album« (allmusic.com), may in the first moment be somewhat astonishing for its rather disparate mix of numbers. Unlike the works by other soul mates, Callier’s songs demonstrate not how soul should be but rather what soul can be. His musical language does away with angry attitudes, and cultivates instead deep and sincerely felt sentiment. This is expressed not only in sprightly funk (“Sign Of The Times”) but also in moderately paced and soulful songs such as “Pyramids Of Love”. His vocal prowess is shown in a wide variation of numbers – from well rounded to smoky, gauze-like phrases (“Turn You To Love”), via a rhythmically freely swinging number with a lengthy text (“Ordinary Joe”), and a narrative, meditative atmosphere (“Occasional Rain”). In between we find a fine mix of diverse voices (“You And Me”) and a drop of the cultivated, indestructible groovy sound of the times (“Still Water”).

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Hector Sithole & On Paper “Love, Love” (Strawberry Rain)

2020-04-30T22:45:19+00:00April 30th, 2020|

Hector Sithole recorded a series of singles during the peak of the Zamrock era with the band On Paper. These singles did fairly well locally but over the years have been overlooked and missed by fans and collectors. Featuring rock, afrobeat and soul elements fused with proto-disco sounds that would create a bridge into Zambia’s short-lived disco scene. Hector’s music will appeal to fans of HARRY MWALE and OSAYE. Taken from the original master reels and pressed at 45 rpm for the best possible sound, we’ve limited this release to 300 copies housed in paste-on covers. Highly Recommended and released for the first time ever as a full length.

Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Nobuyuki Shimizu “Corner Top” (Bill Box)

2020-04-30T22:45:16+00:00April 30th, 2020|

Top musicians such as Yasuaki Shimizu, Pecker, Shuichi Murakami, Tetsuo Sakurai, Rei Ohara, Kenji Omura, Hirokuni Ozekata support a wide variety of songs from Jazz-Funk / Fusion to techno pop. One piece that is highly evaluated from overseas and is rare in the used market. In the cover of the super famous song “Konukaame” written by Ginji Ito and Tatsuro Yamashita, Mariya Takeuchi and EPO participated as back vocals. In addition, Latin Flavor’s Organ Fusion title song “Corner Top” and the cosmic funk “Silver Spot” with EPO vocals are exactly the Japanese sounds that are sought “now”.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Staff Picks: 

Piper “Sunshine Kiz” (Ship To Shore)

2020-04-30T22:45:14+00:00April 30th, 2020|

Riding high on the success of Gentle Breeze, PIPER was eager to put out more new material. Keeping the same members and guest musicians, the band used its excitement and forward momentum – aided no doubt by its ever-growing experience and taste for experimentation – to produce its next album, Sunshine Kiz, within the tiny span of six months. And despite seeing no change in personnel for these latest efforts, PIPER’s musicality was constantly evolving.

Perhaps most obviously, Sunshine Kiz showed the band beginning to break away from its signature style. Instrumentals were no longer the focus as more vocal-centric tracks made their way to the fore. Sunshine Kiz turned out to be a “song album,” and its lyric sheet saw a substantial increase in the number of words. A Drumulator replaced the LinnDrums, and the programmed percussion suddenly sounded more natural. Some songs actually featured live drumming, abandoning programmed beats altogether.

It could be said that this all amounted to, at least partially, a return to PIPER’s roots. Or, maybe more accurately, it was something like PIPER circa 1981 filtered through the signature sound the band had forged with their two Breeze albums of 1983. The title track on Sunshine Kiz was released as their second-ever single – their first since “Far Away” from their debut album. And with this new single there even came a music video.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Various Artists”Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1972-1986″ (Light In The Attic)

2020-04-30T22:45:13+00:00April 30th, 2020|

When Light In The Attic released Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1976-1986 in 2019, it was the first collection of its kind to be released outside Japan. It proved to be just what music fans had been waiting for—a compilation of sought-after tracks that had been nearly impossible to obtain unless you were well-connected with dealers and collectors, or traveled regularly to the countless record stores in Japan. Pacific Breeze included Minako Yoshida, Taeko Ohnuki, Hiroshi Sato and Haruomi Hosono among other key players of ‘70s-’80s Japanese City Pop, the nebulous genre that encompassed an “amalgam of AOR, R&B, jazz fusion, funk, boogie and disco, all a touch dizzy with tropical euphoria,” as we described it the first time around.

With Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1972-1986 we dig deeper into those sounds of bubble-era Japan. From the proto-City Pop funk of Bread & Butter and Eiichi Ohtaki to the crate-digger favorites Eri Ohno and Piper, the latest entry in Light In The Attic’s Japan Archival Series brings another set of sought-after tunes, most of which have never before been available outside of Japan. Tomoko Aran and Anri, also included in this compilation, are just a few of the artists who have gained popularity in recent years thanks to Vaporwave, the meme-genre that heavily samples Japanese City Pop to create its particular aesthetic.

Pacific Breeze 2 once again feature the artwork of renowned Tokyo-based illustrator Hiroshi Nagai, whose iconic images of resort living have become synonymous with City Pop. Nagai’s urban tropical imagery is a perfect match for the expertly curated tunes, evoking a certain sense of nostalgia for the leisure lifestyles of ‘70s-’80s Tokyo, while simultaneously being perfectly in tune with the current zeitgeist.

Record Label: 

Marvin Gaye “More Trouble” (Motown)

2020-04-16T20:20:01+00:00April 16th, 2020|

Marvin Gaye’s More Trouble, a vinyl-only collection of alternate and extended versions of tracks from his Trouble Man album, is out now on Motown/UMe. It marks the recent 81st anniversary of the great soul man’s birth on 2 April 1939, and is the first time these fascinating examples of his genius have been available on vinyl.

The tracks have been mixed in high resolution audio from Motown’s original 16-track session reels by the famed John Morales, and remastered by Alex Abrash at AA Mastering. Abrash mastered Marvin Gaye’s widely-acclaimed, previously lost album You’re the Man, released last year to mark his 80th birthday.

Gaye’s Trouble Man soundtrack was the ever-unpredictable next move by this creatively inquisitive and restless spirit, after the huge commercial and critical success of his 1971 staging post What’s Going On. It was a chiefly instrumental, orchestral jazz-soul soundtrack for a blaxploitation picture directed by Ivan Dixon and starring Robert Hooks, Paul Winfield and Paula Kelly.

The title track from Trouble Man was one of the album’s few vocal cuts. It became a No. 7 hit on Billboard‘s Hot 100 in January 1973, reaching No. 4 on the R&B chart.

The vinyl More Trouble echoes the design of the original album, with an alternative image of Gaye on the gatefold cover. Additional photography includes scans of the original session tape boxes. There are new liner notes by musicologist Dr. Andrew Flory, who wrote the essay for the Trouble Man: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition gatefold jacket.

The nine tracks include an alternate vocal version of ‘Trouble Man,’ featured in the film’s opening sequence but not on the soundtrack. There’s an extended take of the much-sampled ”T’ Plays it Cool,’ as well as a rare vocal version of ”T’ Stands For Trouble.’

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: