Soul & Funk

Soul & Funk2020-03-09T21:03:03+00:00
Thundercat “It Is What It Is” (Brainfeeder)

Thundercat “It Is What It Is” (Brainfeeder)

Thundercat is set to release his new album “It Is What It Is” on Brainfeeder Records on April 3, 2020, and shares the first music; ‘Black Qualls (featuring Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington)’. The album, produced by Flying Lotus and Thundercat, features musical contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BADBADNOTGOOD, Louis Cole and Zack Fox.

“It Is What It Is” follows his game-changing third album “Drunk” (2017). That record completed his transition from virtuoso bassist to bonafide star and cemented his reputation as a unique voice that transcends genre. “This album is about love, loss, life and the ups and downs that come with that,” Bruner says about “It Is What It Is”. “It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but at different points in life you come across places that you don’t necessarily understand… some things just aren’t meant to be understood.

The unruly bounce of new single ‘Black Qualls’ is classic Thundercat, teaming up with Steve Lacy (The Internet) and Funk icon Steve Arrington (Slave). It’s another example of Stephen Lee Bruner’s desire to highlight the lineage of his music and pay his respects to the musicians who inspired him. Discovering Arrington’s output in his late teens, Bruner says he fell in love with his music immediately: “The tone of the bass, the way his stuff feels and moves, it resonated through my whole body.”

‘Black Qualls’ emerged from writing sessions with Lacy, whom Thundercat describes as “the physical incarnate of the Ohio Players in one person – he genuinely is a funky ass dude”. It references what it means to be a black American with a young mindset: “What it feels like to be in this position right now… the weird ins and outs, we’re talking about those feelings… Part of me knew this [track] was where Steve [Arrington] left us.”

Thundercat forms a cornerstone of the Brainfeeder label; he released “Golden Age of Apocalypse” (2011), “Apocalypse” (2013), followed by EP “The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam” featuring the modern classic ‘Them Changes’. He was later “at the creative epicenter” of the 21st century’s most influential hip-hop album Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly”, where he won a Grammy for his collaboration on the track ‘These Walls’ before releasing his game-changing third album “Drunk” in 2017. In 2018 Thundercat and Flying Lotus composed an original score for an episode of Golden Globe and Emmy award winning TV series “Atlanta” (created and written by Donald Glover).

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Various Artists “Instrumental Gems Vol. 2: Spanish Funk & Groove 1973/1977” (Adarce)

Various Artists “Instrumental Gems Vol. 2: Spanish Funk & Groove 1973/1977” (Adarce)

This compilation features the rarest and unknown instrumental tracks of that funky groove early sound. Light music along with wind section and keyboard ready to hit the dancefloor, that might be called Spanish-grooves. Composers, musicians, and arrangers like Gregorio García Segura, Rafael Martínez, Antonio Barco, Antonio Latorre, Jaime Botey, etc. During the ’70s, an important number of orchestras and dance bands popped up in Spain but not many of them released their own songs or covers on vinyl, so it can’t be said that the country’s music library has bulky volumes, rather it’s just the opposite. You have to dig deep in the catalog of obscure record labels to find some quality pieces, which Adarce Records will usually attribute to Tinglado 13, Conjunto Nueva Onda, The Matches, Conjunto Don Pelegrin, Rafael Martínez, Carlos de Ros, Salgado y su Grupo, Mesié Bató, Pedro González, Jorge Enrique. Most orchestras played bossa nova, soul, some lounge, and easy listening, and a usual mix of light music with wind section and keyboards, something like “Spanish-soul” or “rhythm’n’blues-pasodoble”. It was a time when the bands survived playing shows with a repertoire based, mostly, on Spanish popular songs and international hits. Many artists recorded with nicknames, many others used licensed songs paying rights to the original authors and some orchestras changed their names when they pressed their records, in an attempt to appear modern or simply for pure commercial purposes, that’s why it is difficult to trace accurately the musical path of many of these artists. This scene was especially intense in Aragon and Catalonia, where a bunch of labels emerged, often simply as platforms for bands to promote their own music. This compilation aims to discover to a wider audience some of the most sought-after instrumental gems by DJs and disco music collectors, eager for soul, groove, and hot sounds. Vol. 2 features Red-Key, Ray Martin, J. Tenafly, Nick Wilson, Blas And His Friends, Conjunto Olivino, El Conjunto De Rafael Martínez, Conjunto Nueva Onda, Greg. Segura Y Su Orquesta, Jorge Enrique, Orquesta Miramar, Dany Roy And His Band, Sarr Incony, and Mesie Bató.

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Various Artists “Instrumental Gems Vol. 1: Spanish Funk & Groove 1973/1977” (Adarce)

Various Artists “Instrumental Gems Vol. 1: Spanish Funk & Groove 1973/1977” (Adarce)

This compilation features the rarest and unknown instrumental tracks of that funky groove early sound. Light music along with wind section and keyboard ready to hit the dancefloor, that might be called Spanish-grooves. Composers, musicians, and arrangers like Gregorio García Segura, Rafael Martínez, Antonio Barco, Antonio Latorre, Jaime Botey, etc. During the ’70s, an important number of orchestras and dance bands popped up in Spain but not many of them released their own songs or covers on vinyl, so it can’t be said that the country’s music library has bulky volumes, rather it’s just the opposite. You have to dig deep in the catalog of obscure record labels to find some quality pieces, which Adarce Records will usually attribute to Tinglado 13, Conjunto Nueva Onda, The Matches, Conjunto Don Pelegrin, Rafael Martínez, Carlos de Ros, Salgado y su Grupo, Mesié Bató, Pedro González, Jorge Enrique. Most orchestras played bossa nova, soul, some lounge, and easy listening, and a usual mix of light music with wind section and keyboards, something like “Spanish-soul” or “rhythm’n’blues-pasodoble”. It was a time when the bands survived playing shows with a repertoire based, mostly, on Spanish popular songs and international hits. Many artists recorded with nicknames, many others used licensed songs paying rights to the original authors and some orchestras changed their names when they pressed their records, in an attempt to appear modern or simply for pure commercial purposes, that’s why it is difficult to trace accurately the musical path of many of these artists. This scene was especially intense in Aragon and Catalonia, where a bunch of labels emerged, often simply as platforms for bands to promote their own music. This compilation aims to discover to a wider audience some of the most sought-after instrumental gems by DJs and disco music collectors, eager for soul, groove, and hot sounds. Vol. 1 features Gregorio García Segura, Los Brandis Con María Nevada, Lin Barto, Blas And His Friends, Jorge Enrique, Roberto Serrano, Rafael Martínez, Orquesta A. Latorre, Orquesta Miramar, Conjunto Nueva Onda, Ramón Gil, Mesie Bató, Red-Key, and Unidades. Edition of 500 (numbered).

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Decadence “On and On (Fears Keep On)” (Mannequin)

Decadence “On and On (Fears Keep On)” (Mannequin)

Mannequin Records present a new press of Decadance’s “On And On (Fears Keep On)”, one of the most iconic underground Italo-wave tracks ever. Produced by Franco Rago and Gigi Farina, the masterminds behind cult Italo disco projects ‘Lectric Workers, Wanexa, Expansives, Atelier Folie, Peter Richard, and many more, the single was originally released in 1983 by Proto Records. Permeated by a dark and eerie synths, a perfectly programmed Roland TR-808, and an outstanding analog production, “On And On (Fears Keep On)” belongs to dark Italo disco or Italo wave. Remastered by Rude 66, 2018, Berlin.

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Flamingo Pier “Flamingo Pier” (Soundway)

Flamingo Pier “Flamingo Pier” (Soundway)

2020 repress. Following their self-released debut EP, Flamingo Pier (DJ residents Luke Walker, Dominic Jones, and Bradley Craig) have crafted four dance floor-worthy tracks influenced by the boogie, disco, Afro and classic house. Slick, rolling disco synths and punchy drum machines are woven in with Afro-centric percussion and dreamy vocal chants, for an exotic disco-boogie journey from start to finish. Early support for the EP is already coming from Bill Brewster, JD Twitch (Optimo) and Ray Mang. The EP is being released to coincide with the Flamingo Pier Festival in Waiheke, New Zealand.

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Matao and Atilla Engin “Turkish Delight” (Arsivplak)

Matao and Atilla Engin “Turkish Delight” (Arsivplak)

Arsivplak present a reissue of Matao with Atilla Engin’s Turkish Delight, originally released in 1979. It’s a Turkish jazz-funk delight! Some hard-hitting rhythm section blending into a prime example of the swingin’ sound of the cool influences of jazz, funk, and folk music, with a Turkish flavor. Its fantastic funk jazz groove built on a titanium synth bassline! An instrumental library of traditional Turkish jazz session reaching a great climax in drums and percussion sets, plus electro-bass breaks with Moog and synthesizers from the beginning to the end. Traditional Turkish songs based on drums and synth bass over moody 5/8 fuzz guitars… Album recorded and released in Denmark, 1979, and it has never been released in Turkey. Hard cardboard sleeve; obi.

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Mystery Kindaichi Band “The Adventure of Kohsuke Kindaichi” (WEWANTSOUNDS)

Mystery Kindaichi Band “The Adventure of Kohsuke Kindaichi” (WEWANTSOUNDS)

Repressed; LP version. Obi; includes four-page insert. Wewantsounds present the first official release outside of Japan for The Mystery Kindaichi Band’s The Adventures of Kindaichi Kosuke, originally released in 1977. The “imaginary” soundtrack to the cult detective book series by writer Seishi Yokomizo is on many DJ want-lists. Arranged by soundtrack master Kentaro Haneda and featuring a mysterious group of the best ’70s Japanese Funk musicians, the album is pure undiluted disco funk. Writer Seishi Yokomizo is an institution in Japan. He could be compared to Agatha Christie with his series of novels based on the adventures of detective Kosuke Kindaichi. The fictional character was born in 1946 with Yokomizo’s first novel in the series and solved mysteries until the late ’70s under Yokomizo’s pen before the death of the writer in 1981. Yokomizo’s novels have been a prime source for film and TV scenarios, so when, in 1977, Japanese label King Records decided to record a concept album based on the Kindaichi novels, it made complete sense. The writer was slightly surprised though. The concept album was arranged by pianist Kentaro Haneda, a key TV and film composer who has worked on many anime films and is also famous outside of Japan for composing the music for the video game Wizardry. For the album, he assembled a supergroup of some of the best Tokyo funk and city pop musicians. The long list includes jazz pianist Hideo Ichikawa who played on the 1971 Joe Henderson In Japan album, drummer Jun Moriya, who is on Joe Hisaichi’s cult Wonder City Orchestra album (1982), percussionist Tadaomi Anai who played with disco singer Eri Ohno, trumpeter Koji Hadori who’s featured on Haruomi Hosono’s Pacific album (1978). Also present on the album are saxophonist Takeru Muraoka who plays on many Tatsuro Yamashita cult albums including For You (1982) and Spacy (1977), Kimiko Yamauchi (koto) who’s on Akiko Yano’s landmark 1976 album Japanese Girl (WWSCD 017CD/WWSLP 017LP), and last but not least, French hornist Koji Yamaguchi who plays on Yazuaki Shimizu’s Kakashi (1982). Together they lay the funk on ten instrumentals filled with pure disco and funk breakbeats, making the album one of the highly-coveted Japanese LPs on international cratedigger scene. Remastered from the original tapes. Faithfully reproduced original artwork; Artwork by renowned illustrator Ichibun Sugimoto. New introduction by Anton Spice.

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Instant Vintage

Instant Vintage

Raphael Saadiq did not rest on his laurels after bringing his famed R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné! to a close in 1997. In the coming years he was a highly sought after producer and session musician, leaving his mark on tracks by D’Angelo, The Roots, and Erykah Badu, and briefly formed the supergroup Lucy Pearl with Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest, and Dawn Robinson of En Vogue. After nearly a decade of working in the realm of New Jack Swing, Saadiq’s interests gradually gravitated towards the burgeoning musical subgenre of neo-soul.

2002 marked Saadiq’s debut as a solo act with the release of Instant Vintage, a record so titled to joke on the fleeting nature of pop culture. It proved to be an album many years ahead of the curve, with its singular focus on organic, instrumentation-driven soul. (With guest appearances from D’Angelo, T-Boz of TLC, Angie Stone, Calvin Richardson, Hi-Tek, and the South Central Chamber Orchestra, among others.) A record that foresaw the arrival of the neo-soul revival, and the mainstream success of nostalgia-mining artists like Amy Winehouse, John Legend, Mark Ronson, and many more.

Instant Vintage underperformed commercially upon its release, having the misfortune of being released at a time when pop audiences were more inured with the electro-infused sounds of The Neptunes and Timbaland. In spite of this the record was an absolute marvel to critics, who praised Raphael Saadiq’s shimmering sounds, and effortlessly warm reproduction of the classic 70s soul of acts like Curtis Mayfield, merged with a then modern neo-soul sensibility. Heavy praise from the likes of Chicago Sun-Times, The Village Voice, USA Today, and many more. Instant Vintage would also go on to earn a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album in 2003, and would be ranked as one of the Best R&B Albums of the 00s by Rhapsody.

In the nearly two decades since the album’s release in 2002, Instant Vintage has never been reissued on vinyl. Get On Down aims to change all that in 2020 with this sterling LP reissue, featuring remastered audio and an intricately re-created Gatefold sleeve of the original, enigmatic cover art.

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Ikebe Shakedown “Stone by Stone” (Ubiquity)

Ikebe Shakedown “Stone by Stone” (Ubiquity)

Originally released in 2014.

Ikebe Shakedown’s powerful instrumental soul takes “big unison horns, slinky bass lines, tight little guitar licks—and blends them with tasty grooves culled from ’70s-style horn-driven funk (WNYC Soundcheck).” The Brooklyn-based collective is set to follow up their well-received self-titled debut album with the heavier, more mature sound of their second full-length Stone By Stone.

The self-produced album was recorded at the famed “House of Soul” Daptone Studios in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Notes bassist Vince Chiarito, “Thinking of all the great music that has come out of the Daptone Studio really pushed us to refine our songs and grow as a band. It was really inspiring to record there.” The band adds that, “Stone By Stone is a much more layered and arranged album. The self-titled debut captured the raw energy of us playing live and the new record is much more of a studio effort. Psychedelic textures weave in and out of the grooves while the horn section offers an explosive response. The songs are heavy and danceable and show our moodier, more melodic side.”

The seven-piece band—named after a favorite Nigerian boogie record and pronounced “ee-KAY-bay”—formed in 2008 and has developed a mighty horn section anchored by tight, deep-pocketed grooves. Following 2009’s debut EP Hard Steppin’, the band released their self-titled debut full-length LP on Ubiquity Records in 2011 that Okayplayer called “an adventurous trip through time” and “one of the best releases of the year.” Their music has also been featured on a number of television shows and commercials including HBO’s Eastbound and Down, Mini Cooper and Vans.

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Brownout “Berlin Sessions” (Fat Beats Distribution)

Brownout “Berlin Sessions” (Fat Beats Distribution)

Brownout’s legendary status as a “Funk Powerhouse” (Stereogum) is a reputation well deserved. The band of musicians have an impressive resume performing with Prince (RIP), GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, Bernie Worrell (RIP), and accolades from Ozzy Osbourne for their Brownout Presents: Brown Sabbath project. The latter helped grab the attention of Fat Beats Records, who worked with the band to release the critically acclaimed Public Enemy instrumentals project Fear of A Brown Planet in 2018. The Austin 9-piece is back with their first full length album of original music in over 8 years. The album, aptly titled, Berlin Sessions (out March 6, 2020 on Fat Beats) was produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos and is the first with lead singer Alex Marrero, whom they originally collaborated with on their wildly successful Brown Sabbath records. Berlin Sessions finds the group merging a multitude of styles, from rock to psych and of course the Latin Funk and Breakbeat on which they have built their sixteen-year career and reputation as Austin’s premier party-starters.

NPR recently featured the band on their heralded “Tiny Desk Concert” series, performing songs off the new album. NPR described the diversity of the band, stating, “One of the things you need to know about this band is that they can change traditions or genres almost on a dime. The core members dip into soul, Latin funk, a form of Peruvian cumbia called chicha, and funk covers of both Black Sabbath and Public Enemy. What each configuration has in common is the almost telepathic bond the band has developed after 15 years of working stages across the country. As you can see on the video, it’s so infectious that Prince once used them for a while as a back-up band.”

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Ratgrave “Rock” (Black Focus)

Ratgrave “Rock” (Black Focus)

Max Graef and Julius Conrad are Ratgrave. ‘Rock’ is their second LP ~ ongoing transmissions of Electronic P-Fusion from Earth. It follows a stellar debut on Funkineven’s imprint Apron. The duo’s sound pallette draws inspiration from 80’s funk, soul, rock and electronic but through a contemporary lens from two versatile multi-instrumentalists. In their own words: “Rock is the essence of energy and vibration we felt in different styles of music, almost like a parallel component connecting all things we like. In the process of recording the new album we kept coming back to this essence no matter what style the original idea was. There was the raw and brutal energy of Jazz-Rock, a lot of video game influences that somehow adhered this essence just as well as quieter Pop and Psychedelic passages that we recorded. Among other things we absorbed a lot of heavy music during the time of the recording like Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath, Frank Zappa or Jimi Hendrix and realized while writing our own music how much impact they had even on quieter songs. This is why “Rock“ felt like the perfect title although the music ranges from P-Funk and Spiritual Jazz to various styles of Pop and beyond.“ Max Graef has previously collaborated with Glenn Astro on records for Ninja Tune and both artists have previously released on Tartelet. This marks the fourth official LP on Black Focus, a London label founded by Kamaal Williams

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Various Artists “Whispers: Lounge Originals” (Numero)

Various Artists “Whispers: Lounge Originals” (Numero)

Ten incredible albums culled from the deepest, weirdest co-op of record enthusiasts ever gathered under one banner.

“We’ve spared no expense packaging these, pairing the idea of the Art of Compilation with living and breathing art, creating little fortune cookies baked in a factory of forgotten dreams. Video games, pyramids, trading cards, matchbooks, mazes, lottery tickets, film canisters, yearbooks, and various other exercises in design absurdity.

A lounge in the Poconos located just inside a Holiday Inn, 1973. The smoky haze clears to reveal a middle aged couple on a one-foot high stage, prattling on about the weather or Watergate before launching into a serviceable cover of Burt Bacharach’s “Do You Know The Way To San Jose?” Tens of thousands of such combos littered restaurants, cruise ships, casinos, lobbies, and cocktail bars throughout the ’60s and ’70s, but far fewer cut a record worth buying from the stage, much less listening to on the home hi-fi. Gathered here are 14 lounge originals from across the entire easy listening spectrum. A spent matchbook’s worth of crooners, bossa nobodies, seafood jazzers, and Donca-Matic enthusiasts all in search for their ticket out of a red leather booth hell.”

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Nick Of Time

Nick Of Time

In Stock March 17, 2020

The James Hunter Six are back with another sublime offering of no nonsense rhythm and blues. Recorded and produced by Bosco Mann, Nick of Time is a shining example of how a master song-smith can continually draw fresh water from a bottomless well. In addition to the uptempo, swinging R&B that has put JH6 on the map, Nick of Time explores so much more! The opening track and lead single, “I Can Change Your Mind”, is a beautiful, mid-tempo rumba that tips the hat to the sound of many early King/Federal releases, but executed with a vibrancy that propels the tune into the 21st Century. The lush arrangements on “Till I Hear it from You” and ” He’s Your Could Have Been” sound like lost tracks from an early ’60s Burt Bacharach session. The straight forward soul of “Brother or Other” (whose timely message is only tantamount to its groove), and the sparse “Paradise for One” (that finds James channeling his innermost Nat King Cole), enrich the album with sounds one may not readily associate with James and Co. – culminating in James’ most exciting full-length release to date.

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Express Yourself

Express Yourself

The hit title track alone makes this 1970 release worth having, but it’s the other cuts on this record that make it one of the greatest psychedelic soul/funk albums of all time. Charles Wright’s beautiful falsetto kicks off the opening track (and #16 pop hit) “Love Land,” in which this L.A. band takes a page from Philly soul, and “I Got Love,” with its oh-so-funky descending bass line, is a stone groove. But the fun really starts with the first slice of “High as Apple Pie,” which offers just the first six minutes of what turns out to be a 23-minute jam. Adventurous production touches, loose-limbed arrangements, and a bit of old-time gospel make this the love child of Dr. John’s “I Walk on Guilded Splinters,” James Brown, Sly Stone, and the Chambers Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today” (and you can bet George Clinton listened long and hard to this record)! Previous issues of this classic LP have never been up to snuff sonically, so we went in and had it remastered (by Mike Milchner of SonicVision) from original tape sources especially for this release. Pressed in brown vinyl limited to 750 copies!

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Little Beaver “Party Down” (Real Gone)

Little Beaver “Party Down” (Real Gone)

Willie Hale a.k.a. Little Beaver (so dubbed as a child because of his prominent front teeth) was one of the extraordinarily talented musicians Henry Stone assembled at his Hialeah, FL-based T.K. Records label and its assorted imprints. Among the artists who recorded for Stone were K.C. & the Sunshine Band, Timmy Thomas, Gwen McCrae, Betty Wright, and Benny Latimore…and backing them on a lot of those records was Hale, laying down mellow ‘n’ funky, jazz-influenced licks on his hollow-body Gibson. Hale’s talent was so distinctive that when Stone finally let Hale step out of the studio shadows to record his own album on the Cat imprint, the effects were immediate and long-lasting. Featuring contributions from Thomas, Wright, Latimore, and Jaco Pastorius (under the name Nelson “Jocko” Padron), 1974’s Party Down scored a #2 hit with its title track and has been repeatedly sampled by latter-day rap artists ranging from People Under the Stairs to Jay Z. himself (the “Party Life” track on his American Gangster album). Our Real Gone reissue of this nonstop groove-athon features a fresh remastering by Mike Milchner at SonicVision, and comes in a metallic gold vinyl pressing to honor the gold record Little Beaver has hanging on his wall on the front cover…limited to 1000 copies!.

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Bobby Patterson “It’s Just A Matter Of Time” (Real Gone)

Bobby Patterson “It’s Just A Matter Of Time” (Real Gone)

If this 1972 record for the Paula label was the sum total of Dallas, Texas soul man Bobby Patterson’s career output, then he’d still be reckoned a cult figure among R&B fans. In fact, it’s so good that the fact that he went on to cut five other albums and produce artists ranging from Fontella Bass to Chuck Jackson to Little Johnny Taylor almost seems besides the point. This is a stone soul masterpiece, full of grit and groove, with a breathtaking stylistic breadth stretching from funky soul (“If You Took a Survey”; “How Do You Spell Love”) to romantic soul balladery (“I Get My Groove from You”) to James Brown-style workouts (“Make Sure You Can Handle It”) to socially-conscious, wah wah-drenched commentary (“The Whole Funky World Is a Ghetto”) and all points in between. But what really makes this record mind-blowing is that Patterson wrote all but one song (the one he didn’t write, “Right On Jody,” is an answer song to Johnnie Taylor’s big hit “Jody’s Got Your Girl and Gone”). For its first-ever LP reissue, we’ve pressed up 700 copies in transparent purple vinyl and re-created the original album art complete with lyric sheet. Every soul searcher needs this one!

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Victor Cavini ‎”Japan” (Be With)

Victor Cavini ‎”Japan” (Be With)

Be With Records present a reissue of Victor Cavini’s Japan, originally released in 1983. The first Be With foray into the archives of revered German library institution Selected Sound is one of Be With’s favorites on the label. Rare and sought-after for many years now, this is one of those cult library LPs that never turn up. With Daibutsu the giant Buddha of Kamakura’s presence gracing the hefty front cover, this is a record bursting with dope samples for adventurous producers: it’s koto-funk madness! Victor Cavini was the library music pseudonym of prolific German composer and musician Gerhard Trede. He was known for exploring instruments and styles from around the world (he played over 50 different instruments himself) and Japan is his collection of 14 musical sketches painted with traditional Japanese wind and string instruments. These are the sounds of traditional Japanese folk music re-interpreted through Western ears, with the occasional contemporary twist. Contemporary for 1983, of course. These “Pictures Of Japan” are hypnotic, sometimes frantic, but always beautiful. The first twelve tracks offer airy explorations of koto and flute, with other strings and percussion being added and then given their own space. Indeed “Pictures Of Japan XII” is just drums. And then “Pictures Of Japan XIII” seems to come out of nowhere. But the subtle sleaze of its full band sound still doesn’t quite prepare you for the towering climax of “Pictures Of Japan XIV”. This is Japan’s undoubted standout piece, completely and wonderfully at odds with the rest of the album. It’s the reason this has become such a must-have record. It keeps the traditional Japanese instruments but combines them with shuffling funk breaks, electric bass high in the mix and a Godzilla-sized psychedelic fuzz guitar sound that might actually be a traditional reed flute pushed to its limits. Recalling both Rino de Filippi’s 1973 album Oriente Oggi (CNLP 042LP) and Giancarlo Barigozzi’s Oriente also from 1973, the track’s a real head-nod groove for b-boys and b-girls alike that sounds straight out of a late-70s Yakuza film. Indeed, if you were told The RZA or Onra had cooked this up in the lab this century, you’d be convinced. It’s crazy that this dates from 1983. Audio remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. Richard Robinson has handled the careful restoration of the original Selected Sound sleeve.

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Ajate “Alo” (180g)

Ajate “Alo” (180g)

“Three years after their critically acclaimed and sold out Abrada LP the great and joyful Japanese afro groovers Ajate are back with their much awaited brand new album Alo!

Ajate is a Japanese band who plays a unique blend of afro-groove dance music mixed with Japanese traditional festival music called “”Ohayashi””. Formed in 2011 by the band-leader John Imaeda, Ajate consists of 10 Japanese musicians.

Another unique feature of the band is the use of hand-made bamboo instruments as well as traditional Japanese percussion. The “”Jahte”” is a bamboo-made xylophone or balafon with a piezo pick-up mic attached to each key, connected to a pre-amplifier to obtain a loud sound and to add some touch of dirty distortion to its warm and natural acoustic sonority. The “”Piechiku”” is also a bamboo-made string instrument inspired by the west-African “”Ngoni”” or Moroccan “”Guembri”” instruments. The Piechiku uses strings of the Japanese traditional “”Shamisen””. This instrument is also played through a pre-amplifier and John sometimes adds some wah-wah effect to it. All these bamboo instruments are designed, made and named by John Imaeda himself.

On Alo you will also be amazed by the exceptional sound of the Japanese Shinofue flute, which was not on the previous Abrada LP.

Now, add to this unique sound some well-crafted Japanese female and male singing and you get a killer mix of Afro-Funk flavored grooves with traditional Japanese music!

Since the release in 2017 of their Abrada LP on the 180g label Ajate has toured Europe twice and has played a memorable concert at the world famous Trans Musicales festival in France in 2018, which has been followed by another great KEXP Live session.

Here is some music you will not be able to hear anywhere else, by one of the most joyful Japanese band to hear on record and to listen live!

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LaRombe “From Philly” (Athens Of The North)

LaRombe “From Philly” (Athens Of The North)

LaRombé is one of the most talented songwriters I have come across in my years of working for Jazzman and Athens of the North. Having gone through much of his tape archive it obvious what a powerhouse of song writing and composition this man is. LaRombé music is of the strongest calibre all the way, from his first release in 1979 to present day. All of his Soul, Disco & R&B stands the test of time. It’s easy to have one record that with luck ends up great but another thing to write record after record with great hooks you can’t leave alone. Athens of the North is very proud to present ‘From Philly’, Vinyl comes with sleeve notes featuring interview and photos.

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Piper “Summer Breeze” (Ship To Shore)

Piper “Summer Breeze” (Ship To Shore)

Led by guitarist/vocalist Keisuke Yamamoto, Piper was formed in Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. A move to Tokyo was followed by the release of their first single on Yupiteru Records, thanks to original guitarist Yuji Suzuki who had became an A&R man for the label. Citing British bands like Wishbone Ash and Camel as influences, Yamamoto and Piper nevertheless conjured up classic American sounds on Piper’s recordings, utilizing unusual recording techniques and new technologies like Linn drums to effortlessly blend styles of funk, soul and fusion and simultaneously evoking summer vibes, autumnal breezes, and wintery shimmer.

Summer Breeze is Piper’s second album, originally released in 1984 on Yupiteru. Inspired by the sounds of Masayoshi Takanaka and Tatsuro Yamashita, as well as the concept of “BGM” (background music) championed by YMO, Summer Breeze was a conscious about face from their debut to create a new signature sound and become masters of summery resort vibes. Its smooth sounds belie the bevy of experimentation utilized on the recording, from vocoders and drum programming to recording guitars direct through the board. Even the iconic cover art, with the surfer wearing an impossibly short crop top, is deceiving in its simplicity – it was one of the most expensive jackets produced by the label at the time, due to its use of special spot colors and custom handlettering. The original album featured the marketing copy “Good Weather! Good Sounds!” which perfectly encapsulates the sounds contained on the album.

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Dae Han “Blue” (Aloha Got Soul)

Dae Han “Blue” (Aloha Got Soul)

Dae Han is the unsung backbone behind progressive Honolulu acts and international artists. He’s the go-to drummer whenever Japanese rapper Shing02 tours the US and Asia with a full band. In 2019, Takuya Kuroda tapped Dae to organize a band to support the Brooklyn-based trumpeter’s gig at Blue Note Hawaii. Dae also recently teamed up with guitarist Gilbert Batangan and bassist Mark Tanouye to open for Khruangbin. And every year he organizes an always impressive jazz-forward tribute to the late J Dilla.

On the drums, Dae’s swift, technical style compliments every situation, from jazz and funk to R&B, reggae, and hip hop. Much the same, Dae has approached the compositions and arrangements for his debut with craft and purpose.

BLUE, coming in February 2020, came to fruition over the past 12 months with the help of Nelson Cho, the musician and recording engineer behind Lightworks Recordings in Wahiawa, Oahu. Together, the two spent countless hours honing a sound that travels across hip hop, jazz, and house.

The resulting songs act as a diary of the artist’s fateful journey from Washington D.C. through New York to Honolulu, where he resides today. Reflecting on joyful highs and the lowest lows, Dae creates a collage for the listener to hear, appreciate, and understand the path he’s traveled thus far.

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Broken Lamps “Metropolis” (Electric Nerve Music)

Broken Lamps “Metropolis” (Electric Nerve Music)

Introducing Eric Bowr’s third installment to the Broken Lamps music catalog. Like its predecessor Kaleidoscope, Metropolis continues its journey through 70s production music by experimenting with sounds reminiscent to British music libraries like KPM, Chappell and De Wolfe. While maintaining a feel for retro urban counterculture, the album weaves its way through various film genres like Crime Drama, Eurospy,Exploitation and more! By combining bass driven rhythms and funk horns with organ fueled 60s surf tones, Metropolis transports you to the “odd corners” of a vintage film set with an atmosphere soaked in nostalgia. Consider this record to be the soundtrack to your next need-to-know-only mission or late night rendezvous. Brought to you on 180 gram vinyl by Electric Nerve Music in association with Two Headed Dog.

Various Artists “The Best Of Jicco Funk – Vol. 1” (Dig This Way)

Various Artists “The Best Of Jicco Funk – Vol. 1” (Dig This Way)

Possibly the best thing a compilation can do is open the door to a world of music that aside from being unknown to you, is high grade in quality, diverse and open to interpretation in as much as you are left with some if not many questions… particularly when the selected tracks are all from the same record label… When did they start? Why did they start? Who was behind it? Where did the artists come from? What was their inspiration? These are only a few… by the time you get to the end of the eight tracks included on ‘Jicco Funk Volume One’ there may be more. Some background or at least as much as we know: in the early 1970s thru to the ’90s, Onitcha was one of Nigeria’s most important cities sat on the banks of the river Niger about half way between Benin City and Enugu. Aside from the commerce Onitcha was also an important centre for music production, live music thrived and in turn the city had a nightlife which embraced music. It’s where labels like Tabansi and many other smaller companies had their headquarters. It’s where in the late ’60s, the label Jicco was established, an enterprise which would commercialize Kenyan and Congolese music in Nigeria. By the mid to late ’70s Jicco opened itself to new projects, launching a number of sub-labels, from Vox Africa to Guy, more specialized in highlife, native and soukous music to Jicco Funk which was producing small local groups playing reggae, rock and funk. Dig This Way realised they had found something special after discovering the first few releases on Jicco Funk. It’s less about a particular style of music and more about a raw emotive production quality that runs through each of the records. There is a mood and feel to the delivery that expresses a consciousness that’s rooted in a deep soul. The origins of which with hindsight would be near impossible to determine. It’s known that many of the records were produced at the same studio. There are a number of musicians who appear on more than one record. Following an extended period collecting music from the label including a number of months in Nigeria trying to trace family and friends of former band members including the Jicco family, Dig This Way decided to produce a compilation highlighting some of the near unknown music released by Jicco Funk. On the first volume in the series the focus is reggae and funk, particularly the intersection where the two genres converge as a hybrid production that at times is neither one nor the other. Limited to 500 copies.

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Monophonics “It’s Only Us” (Colemine)

Monophonics “It’s Only Us” (Colemine)

With a timeless sound that blends heavy soul and psych-rock, Monophonics have built a reputation over the past decade as one of the best live bands in the country. Led by singer Kelly Finnigan, the band of has drawn on their colorful history — both their experiences as veteran touring performers and as individuals growing up in the Bay Area — to create “It’s Only Us,” their fourth release since 2012.

A reflection of what they see as the current state of the world, the record touches on difficult subjects such as broken relationships, mental health issues, gun violence and power struggles, all with an underlying message of unity, resilience and acceptance. The band’s signature style of arrangement has been expanded with top-notch production and creative instrumentation to round out the Monophonics’ trademark soul sound, while Finnigan’s vocals are more powerful than ever. At times these tracks can feel classic, as familiar as an old song you grew up with, while simultaneously raising questions about the state of music in 2020 and what the future might hold.

“It’s Only Us” is the sound of a group continuing to grow as songwriters, musicians, performers and people — reflecting on where they’ve been, and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the years to come.

LP is packaged in high quality Stoughton Tip-On gatefold jacket, LP stored in an anti-static innsersleeve, and includes a download card. Pressed at Gotta Groove Records in Cleveland, OH.

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Ayyuka “Sömestr” (Shalgam)

Ayyuka “Sömestr” (Shalgam)

BACK IN PRINT! Turkish collective Ayyuka delivers an exciting mixture of genres such as Anatolian Rock, arabesque, Afrorock, surf, punk, spaghetti western, psychedelia and funk. This is the band’s third studio album, originally released in 2015.

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Cry Babies “Cry Babies” (Far Out)

Cry Babies “Cry Babies” (Far Out)

Far Out Recordings present the first ever vinyl reissue of Cry Babies’ self-titled debut album, originally released in 1969. An early formation of Brazilian funk greats Banda Black Rio, Cry Babies took inspiration from the iconic US soul records of James Brown, The Isley Brothers, and Kool & The Gang, all of whom are covered on their first and only album. Pioneering Brazil’s funk fascination, Cry Babies paved the way for the likes of Jorge Ben, Dom Salvador, Trio Mocotó, and Azymuth: with fat, funky drum breaks, big round bass, touches of psychedelic Brazilian surf, and the kind of hazy soulful arrangements that could only emerge from Rio de Janeiro. Produced by one of Brazil’s most prolific musical minds, Durval Ferreira — whose songwriting and production credits also include Sergio Mendes, Deodato, Emilio Santiago, Ed Lincoln, Joao Bosco, Quarteto Em Cy, and Dila — the Cry Babies sound, while distinctly North American in influence, carries all the sunshine warmth of the samba jazz and bossa nova records that were coming out of Brazil at the time. With saxophonist Oberdan Magalhães responsible for the album’s arrangements, it’s no surprise that when Warner Music established themselves in Brazil in the mid-seventies, Magalhães was the man they asked to form a group (Banda Black Rio) to develop this new merging of stateside soul and Brazilian influences. Yet while Banda Black Rio’s tight, groove-heavy sound has awarded them cult status amongst lovers of instrumental Brazilian music, their first formation as Cry Babies is a lesser-known story. Since its first and only release, the original record has remained impossibly expensive and hard to find. This first ever vinyl reissue has been remastered and pressed to 180 gram vinyl, with a high-quality replica sleeve.

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Mike James Kirkland “Doin’ It Right” (Ubiquity)

Mike James Kirkland “Doin’ It Right” (Ubiquity)

Doin’ It Right was originally released in 1973 and re-issued by Luv n’Haight in 1999. Considered a sacred gem in the soul and rare groove canon, it would fetch $500 and upward on the collectors’ market. Mr. Kirkland’s sweet soulful voice floats off the turntable and into the collective consciousness on killer joints like “Got To Do It Right,” “Love Insurance” and “The Only Change,” plus five other groovy tracks.
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The Sorcerers “In Search Of The Lost City Of The Monkey God” (ATA)

The Sorcerers “In Search Of The Lost City Of The Monkey God” (ATA)

ATA Records are proud to announce the follow up to the critically acclaimed debut album from The Sorcerers. Conceived as a soundtrack to an imagined lost European exploitation film, ‘In Search of The Lost City of The Monkey God’ covers a wide range of influences: Ethiopiques Ethio-Jazz rubs up against European library music of the 60s and 70s. The Sorcerers seamlessly blend these disparate elements into one cohesive sound.

Based in ATA Records’ home of Leeds, The Sorcerers form the backbone of the ATA Records house band including drummer Joost Hendrickx (Kefaya, Shatner’s Bassoon, Abstract Orchestra) and ATA label heads Neil Innes (Bass & Guitar) and Pete Williams (Woodwinds & Percussion). Bass clarinets, flutes, and esoteric percussion that sit alongside bass, guitar and drums are essential to The Sorcerers sound providing cinematic textures on top of a solid rhythmic foundation.

The Sorcerers began working on the new album during the winter of 2018 and it was during the writing sessions for this album that the concept for the LP began to take shape. The name for the album was taken from the title of a National Geographic article read by Bassist Neil Innes and was used as the starting point for the entire concept. The library music scene of the 60s and 70s has always been an intrinsic part of the sound of ATA Records and so it made perfect sense to envisage the album as a soundtrack, given the cinematic quality of The Sorcerers music.
Each track was written with a particular scene in mind and the music was then shaped in the studio to best reflect the essence of that scene. Drums, Bass and Percussion provide the solid foundation onto which Flutes, Bass Clarinets, Xylophones and Vibraphones add the atmospheric and melodic counterpoint, deftly weaving between one another to conjure up images of the unforgiving environment of the dense jungle, unknown eyes watching the protagonists of the imagined film as they make their way towards their ultimate goal, their pursuit by unseen assailants, the arcane mysticism of undiscovered cargo cultists and
the ancient ruins of long passed civilisations.
The original debut album rapidly sold out on release and became a highly sought-after LP, commanding prices of up to £85 on the second-hand market. Receiving praise from the likes of Mulatu Astatke, Gilles Peterson, Stuart Maconie & Jazzman Gerald, it has become a cornerstone of ATA Records roster and an intrinsic element of the ATA Records sound.

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Magic In Threes “Three” (KingUnderground)

Magic In Threes “Three” (KingUnderground)

The music would make the perfect fit in movies like the recently released Dolomite revamp, and the now cult classic Black Dynamite. But it doesn’t fit into a blaxploitation soundtrack style box alone. You could imagine iconic rappers like Ghostface or Black Thought using these soundscapes. ‘3’ would even fit comfortably next to classic KPM or De Wolfe library releases from the mid 70’s, just as well as current indie trio, Khruangbin.

A heavy drum break intro and trippy wah-wah guitar licks accompany cinematic strings and stirring horns on ‘Finnish Funk,’ followed by the killer sleazy bass and fuzz guitar of ‘Breezy Day’, two standout cuts both included on previously released 45’s by KU that swiftly sold out.
Contributing to the scene of classically-tinged soul and funk beats with contemporary class, MI3 display a smooth burst of colourful moody grooves with lush Rhodes keys and soulful head-nod breaks.

With stellar musicianship throughout, the band present top shelf tunes for the crate digging Dj and discerning music collector alike. Formed just shy of a decade ago, the group shows skills far beyond their years together.`

The Star Beams “Play Disco Specials” (Mr. Bongo)

The Star Beams “Play Disco Specials” (Mr. Bongo)

The Star Beams album is a bit of an enigma. When we first came across their epic dance-floor monster ’Disco Stomp’ it was on a Disco Calypso compilation, so we assumed it originated from the Caribbean. Years later we worked out how wrong we were and that this nugget was actually from South Africa and taken off an ultra scarce album on JAS Pride records from 1976. The next problem was tracking down an original copy and we don’t think we’ve ever seen our Bongo team member Gary Johnson as happy as the day he turned up clutching a copy under his arm.

‘Play Disco Specials’ was produced by Ray Nkwe who also worked with Mankunku Quartet and The Soul Jazzmen, with all writing credits on the album going to Ray, the recording credited to engineer Robin Ritchie and the artwork to Carol Knowles. Other than this, the personnel of the record remains a mystery, but sometimes a bit of mystery is a good thing. Aside from the disco-jazz-funk of ’Disco Stomp’, which has found it’s way into the DJ sets of Theo Parrish, ’Play Disco Specials’ will appeal to fans of The Star Beams South African contemporaries The Drive, Batsumi and Pacific Express.

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Various Artists ” Soul Sega Sa! Vol.2 Indian Ocean Segas From The 70’s” (Bongo Joe)

Various Artists ” Soul Sega Sa! Vol.2 Indian Ocean Segas From The 70’s” (Bongo Joe)

The gradual appropriation by the Creole populations of Western instruments and European melodic traditions (quadrilles, waltzes, polkas, scottish, romances, mazurkas), as well as the cultural contribution of committed workers from India laid the foundations of the modern sega.

This crossroads of influences was to continue to grow, especially from the 1950s, when the Birst phonographs arrived, playing all kinds of varieties but also jazz, soul, rock’n’roll, and even Cuban or Brazilian music.

For the Sega, these were the first steps towards a period of intense creativity that would cover the 1960s and 1970s. Amplified instruments arrived, and electric guitars, basses, drums and keyboards quickly replaced violins and accordions. Record production exploded and saw the advent of many micro-labels featuring genius arrangers such as Marclaine Antoine, Gérard Cimiotti, Eric Nelson, Claude Vinh San, or Narmine Ducap who explored the Sega in its many facets. Psychedelic keyboards, fuzz guitars and undulating basses invited themselves on the furious ternary polyrhythms of drums, ravannes, bongos, claves, triangles and maracas, to produce a unique style.

Here are some pearls from this golden age of the segas of Mauritius, Seychelles and Reunion Island that are compiled in this volume 2 for our greatest pleasure!

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Sidiku Buari “Revolution (Live Disco Show In New York City)” (BBE)

Sidiku Buari “Revolution (Live Disco Show In New York City)” (BBE)

Revolution (Live Disco Show In New York City) is the fourth and final BBE reissue of Sidiku Buari’s unique and sought-after body of African Disco albums.

Side 1 is (possibly!) ‘live’ throughout, from a 1979 show at the (possibly mythical!) La Cheer Nightclub, NYC, but very well recorded for a ‘live’ album with clean, bright top notes, sharp percussion and heavy bass-lines. Keep The Rhythm Going segues into Ofey Karambani reminiscent of the Kongos’ massive Loft Club floorfiller Anikana-O, whilst This Is Music and Disco Soccer keep up the 120-140bpm pace to complete a side that rocks enough for the lazier DJ to play from start to finish without lifting the needle!

Side 2 consists of four very varied tracks all recorded at Aire L.A.Studios, the two openers Revolution and Together We Can Rebuild It (Ghana Motherland) being polemics against government and army corruption, and a battle-cry for Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings, who ruled the country for a brief period in 1979 when this recording was made, later serving as Ghana’s President from 1981 to 2001. Then there’s a perennial crowd-pleaser Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Side 2 rounding off with the super-heavy Afrobeat-Disco groover, Happy Birthday.

Originally a national athlete, winning silver and gold medals in the Senegal All Africa Games and West African Games in 1963 and a bronze in the All African in Congo Brazzaville in 1965, Sidiku Buari then moved to America on a music scholarship at The York Institute, obtained as a result of his athletic achievements. When one of York’s music teachers, Irvin Mechanic, heard him singing in the Ga language- he suggested putting a rhythm section behind the songs, recording them, and seeing what the American record buying public thought of them. Four classic albums followed in quick succession, after which Buari’s solo output abruptly ceased.

But it was an ending that held within it the seeds of greater musical achievements to come. In 1990 he was appointed to the board of the Musicians’ Union of Ghana, later becoming its President from 1999 until 2007. In 2019, he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Pan-African Republic Honorary Award Society for ‘meritorious contribution to the development of music and movie industries in Ghana’.

Rare ‘live’ album from Ghanaian Disco legend Sidiku Buari, never before reissued. In-demand from collectors across the world, this is a heavyweight Afro-Disco album. Full global press and radio campaigns.

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Various Artists “Kearney Barton: Architect of the Northwest Sound” (Light In The Attic)

Various Artists “Kearney Barton: Architect of the Northwest Sound” (Light In The Attic)

When Seattle-based recording engineer Kearney Barton died in 2012, the 80 year-old studio veteran had spent the past 50 years recording the cream of the Seattle music scene through the decades. The Fleetwoods, Quincy Jones, The Ventures, The Wailers, The Sonics, Ann Wilson (Heart), The Frantics, The Kingsmen, and Dave Lewis to name a few. Barton also captured Seattle’s vibrant 1960s-70s R&B and soul scene, including Black On White Affair and Soul Swingers, among others, as documented in Light in the Attic’s Wheedle’s Groove series. In his later years Barton’s old school reputation drew in contemporary bands like Young Fresh Fellows, The Smugglers, The Minus 5, and The A-Bones into his studio. Essentially, when a local unknown band wanted to make a demo tape, or record their debut album, or perhaps someone just wanted to capture their uncle playing banjo or their kid sister’s first songs, they’d go to Barton’s studio.

There were 7,000 reel-to-reel tapes piled up in Barton’s house at the time of his passing. The University of Washington carefully cataloged these tapes, and former Sub Pop employee Dan Trager (who had learned the art of recording from Kearney years earlier as a student) began listening and taking notes. With input from a team drawn from the university and Light in the Attic, Dan compiled a shortlist of essential tracks that would form the basis of this compilation.

Kearney Barton: Architect of the Northwest Sound is a comprehensive document of Seattle in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. It is also a testament to Barton’s life-long dedication to the art of recording. It includes long out of print recordings originally released by local labels such as Jerden, Topaz, Piccadilly, and Etiquette Records. It covers a wide range of genres: sitar and balalaika players, gospel church choirs, unknown garage bands, steel drums, obscure soul artists and teenage a cappella singers. There’s also some familiar names here: Sonics, Wailers, a young pre-Heart Ann Wilson, Larry Coryell making his first ever studio recordings with Chuck Mahaffay, the Hudson Brothers long before they were on TV.

“However diverse, there is a commonality that stands out among his recordings: hardcore analog fidelity,” says University of Washington archivist John Vallier. “It sounds like you are in the room with the drums, bass, guitar, and vocals. The mix is minimum. It’s a raw, sonic reality, even if the band is poppy and jangly. It’s an honest sound that doesn’t sugarcoat what’s being performed. That’s Kearney, too.”

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Afrodesia “Episode One” (Best Record)

Afrodesia “Episode One” (Best Record)

Mystic Jungle & Whodamanny present their Afrodesia project born from a close collaboration between Periodica Records and Best Record Italy. Afrodesia took inspiration from the italian afro-movement that lasted for few years during mid-eighties expecially from those songs produced at the legendary Les Folies Studios in Milan.

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Bobby Patterson “The Storyteller” (Tidal Waves Music)

Bobby Patterson “The Storyteller” (Tidal Waves Music)

Bobby Patterson’s (born 1944) life in music has had many facets. Whether as a DJ in Texas (he had a popular show at the Dallas-based radio station KKDA until 2012), a producer for artists like Fontella Bass & Roscoe Robinson, a writer whose work has been covered by everyone from Albert King to Jeff Tweedy, or as a recording artist – Bobby always brings the soul! Mr. Patterson’s career résumé includes every aspect of the business as a recording artist, singer, songwriter, producer, label owner and promoter.

Bobby Patterson began performing when he was ten, playing guitar and drums. In his early teens his band (The Royal Rockers) won many talent contests, including one in 1957 which earned him a trip to California to record a single for Liberty Records. In 1962, Patterson recorded for Abnak Records and convinced the label’s owner to start a soul division, called Jetstar Records. Bobby Patterson recorded for them for the next six years, becoming a talented songwriter, producer, and promoter in the process.

Bobby wrote numerous hits (all self-penned) and next to recording under his own name, he also went on to produce and promote records made by other artists…he was even awarded with gold records for his work as a promoter for LL Cool J and RUN DMC. In 1972 Bobby signed with Paula records and recorded another milestone of his, the album: It’s Just A Matter Of Time.

To this day Bobby continuous to delight his longtime fans (and first-time listeners) with his stage presence and overall high-spirited performances. Patterson’s personality, combined with his nostalgic aura, produce an unforgettable live experience…bringing his energy and vibrancy to audiences wherever he appears. Bobby is engaging and stunning audiences around the country with his charm and unique showmanship.

On the album we are presenting you today (The Storyteller, recorded under his alias Bobby Story) you’ll find elements all of the above and more! The LP is classic “storytelling” Modern Southern Soul, with so many magical moments all the way through. The tracks on here were actually recorded in 1976-1977 but were only released in 1982 (on Bobby’s own label Proud). All the songs were produced by Bobby Patterson himself and are the perfect mix of sensitive ballads and dance tracks to let you boogie all night long. What we have here is THE perfect blend of soul, funk and blues… The Storyteller is deep soul done right and it has been fascinating DJ’s, fans & collectors since the very start.

Tidal Waves Music now proudly presents the first ever vinyl reissue of this fantastic funk/soul album (originally released in 1982 on Mr. Patterson’s own Dallas-based Proud Records). This rare classic (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.

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Ofege “How Do You Feel” (Tidal Waves Music)

Ofege “How Do You Feel” (Tidal Waves Music)

Ofege was formed in the early 1970s by a bunch of teenagers at the St. Gregory’s College in Lagos Nigeria. They were largely influenced by the guitar solos of Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck & Jimmy Page while closer to home, they were influenced by the music of ‘BLO’, ‘Monomono’ (led by Joni Haastrup), ‘The Funkees’, and ‘Ofo The Black Company’.

Due to their vibrant combo of sweet harmonies, hooks & fuzz, Ofege would become one of the most legendary Nigerian groups of all time, with expressive sales and national stardom. At the turn of the century (and because of tracks appearing on various psychedelic music compilations) Ofege would receive international acknowledgment for being the first of their kind and the ultimate West-African psychedelic funk band!

Their first album (Try and Love – 1973) was recorded while the band members were still in high school (average age of 16). It took some years before other albums saw the light since some band members still had to finish school. Further astonishing recordings include ‘The Last of The Origins’ (1976), ‘Higher Plane Breeze’ (1977) and ‘How Do You Feel’ (1978).

How Do You Feel (released in 1978 on Polydor Nigeria) is Ofege’s fourth (and final) album. On this amazing record, the listener is treated to the trademark Ofege sound, but you can also hear the band absorbing some of the other things that were happening at the time (like disco & reggae). By 1978, North American bands like Funkadelic and the Ohio Players that had formerly purveyed raggedly funky rock were shifting their output exclusively towards slicker, more dancefloor-oriented material. These shifts also applied to bands on the European and African continent…and Ofege was no exception. The difference in sound from their earlier recordings sounds organic and can be attributed to the band’s burgeoning maturity & said changes in their musical environment.

Next to the regular band-members, this album has some serious ‘all-star’ guest musicians featured on it as well…Kofi Ayivor (Eddy Grant) on congas, Robert Bailey (Osibisa) on keyboards …and of course the legendary Jake Sollo (The Funkees) who’s trademark solo-guitar work is all over this Ofege record.

How Do You Feel is a an Afrobeat club-classic with some serious funky & spacey disco (of the good kind) mixed through its tracks…a faithful snapshot of what was actually happening in the African soul music scene at that specific period in time. This album shows a perfect glimpse of the late 70’s afrobeat works combining soul, jazzy rhythms & fluid danceability…but when you listen to songs like ‘World Peace’ and ‘Frustration,’ that’s just the basic, rootsy and raw Ofege sound.

Tidal Waves Music now proudly presents the first reissue of this landmark Nigerian album. This RARE classic (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 and exclusive liner notes/pictures provided by Ofege’s founding member ‘Melvin Ukachi’ who also supervised this reissue.

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Marumo “Modiehi” (Mr. Bongo)

Marumo “Modiehi” (Mr. Bongo)

We were first introduced to Marumo’s ‘Modish’ album via DJ Okapi’s amazing resource the ‘Afrosynth’ blog, which archives South African bubblegum/disco from the 80s & early 90s. Aside from this blog, this music would otherwise remained unknown outside of South Africa, apart from the most hardcore of
digger and record collector.

‘Modish’ was originally released on Spades Record in 1982 and was recorded by producer West Nkosi, who was a member of supergroup ‘Mahlathini & The Mahotella Queens’. He worked with the big hitters in South African music such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Teaspoon & The Waves, Patience Africa and many more. Marumo were made up of a group of musicians from the Athlone School for the blind in Bellville, close to Cape Town. The band members, John Mothopeng, Munich Sibiya, Simon Falatsi and Marks Mbuthuma, had previously played in the groups Batsumi, All Rounders and The Orations and came together to record this versatile album. It covers a wide number of genres from Sotho soul, Mbaqanga, disco-funk, gospel & spacey-synth slow jams.

Flash forward 30 or so years later and lost dead-stock copies of the album start to appear and Marumo’s music begins to be heard across the world in the DJ sets of Motor City Drum Ensemble, Invisible City Editions, Floating Points, DJ Okapi and others.

We included the afro-disco-funk beauty of ’Khomo Tsaka Deile Kae?’ on our Mr Bongo Record Club Volume Three compilation, but felt ‘Modish’ needed to be available and heard in it’s entirety. We hope you enjoy!

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Black Market Brass “Undying Thirst” (Colemine)

Black Market Brass “Undying Thirst” (Colemine)

Black Market Brass’ sophomore record, Undying Thirst, is a noxious brew of diesel and bleach; a special long-player full of wasteoid rippers for skullduggerous hover-bike gangs peddling fugazi relics and snake oil tinctures. Hellacious guitars, nitrous-charged percussion, a brass section harsher than paint-thinner, and a special batch of short-circuited electronics and synthesizers will leave your head buzzing into the 31st century. Blasting Undying Thirst from your home speaker system is like going over a waterfall in a rusted out oil barrel, long after the sun has boiled the falls dry.

LP is packaged in high quality Stoughton Tip-On gatefold jacket, LP stored in an anti-static innsersleeve, and includes a download card. Pressed at Gotta Groove Records in Cleveland, OH.

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Steve Spacek “Houses” (Black Focus)

Steve Spacek “Houses” (Black Focus)

Now doing it for burgeoning UK jazz and beats label Black Focus Records (Kamaal Williams), Spacek dishes up what he calls “a bunch of house riddims” in the distinctive style that he’s ploughed for over 20 years. But where his early band recordings with Spacek were elaborate studio affairs, in recent years he’s favoured a peripatetic mode of productions, making beats on his iPhone with apps that allow him to work organically and free-flowing, whenever he likes.

As found on 2018’s ‘Natural Sci-Fi’ album, he continues to get great results from the instant iPhone method of creation on ‘Houses’, trading on a classic brand of jazz-funk inspired dance music, but doing it with a tiny fraction of the kit used in the records he references. Its production values may not necessarily make for “club bangers”, but it does allow him to catch amn all-important vibe between the percolated shimmy of ‘Waiting 4 You’, the natty step of ‘Where We Go’ his sweetly off-kilter roller ‘Tell Me’, and the rude rag of ‘Love 4 Nano’, while lending an unusual, even surreal intimacy to the likes of his soulful downstroke ‘Single Stream’.

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Prophet “Don’t Forget It” (Stones Throw)

Prophet “Don’t Forget It” (Stones Throw)

Don’t Forget It is the third album from Prophet, produced by Prophet himself. Prophet’s cult following began from his 1984 album Right On Time, a record collector gem that was followed decades later by his 2018 album Wanna Be Your Man, produced by Mndsgn and released on Stones Throw Records. Fans of Prophet include Tyler The Creator, who sampled Prophet’s “Wanna Be Your Man” to create “PEACH FUZZ”. Prophet produced and recorded this latest album in Los Angeles at Stones Throw Studios.

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