AQUARIUS RECORD .. SOUL FUNK POWER GROOVES

album cover STATON, CANDI His Hands (Astralwerks) cd 16.98
A few years ago Honest Jon’s/Capitol released a collection of Candi Staton’s classic southern soul sounds from her prime, 1969-1973. It was a collection that for many of us was an introduction to a Candi Station we never knew. Best known later on as a disco diva, these songs were a totally different and much more rewarding affair then her glitzy disco years. Such rich and right on soul packed with emotion and flare. This, her brand new album is a nod back to that past. It’s really nice to see how her influence has begun to finally fall on new ears. On their recent visit to San Francisco, The Gossip couldn’t stop drooling over their love of Candi during their guest DJ set at KUSF. Lambchop’s Mark Nevers was such a big fan that he found a way to become the producer of this new record, which also boasts lyrics from Will Oldham on the powerful title track which he wrote specifically for Candi. With Cat Power recently releasing her take on Southern soul, it’s so nice to hear from one of the originators of that sound/style. His Hands is a collection of tales of love gone so wrong. If you’ve recently had your heart hurt bad, then listening to this, alongside Edith Frost’s latest heartbroken outing, could just be the good cry you need. It’s done the trick for some of us who’s hearts have been broken around here lately. Staton’s ability to carry so much pain and power in her voice is what always keeps you coming back for more.
MPEG Stream: « His Hands »
MPEG Stream: « In Name Only »

album cover SUGARHILL GANG, THE VS. GRANDMASTER FLASH The Greatest Hits (Earmark / Get Back) 3lp 36.00
A 180 gram vinyl colection of greatest hits from two groups that brought hip-hop from the streets of New York to global hit status. These guys took rap to a multi-billion dollar business forever changing the concept of popular music. Remember when MTV finally started showing hip-hop videos? Remember Yo! MTV Raps with Fab Five Freddie and Ed Lover? These guys paved the way for hip-hop to break ground into popular consumption. And here they are, a show-down between the two bands. Great hip-hop! Not the first of the time, but the biggest! And some of the best! Hells yes.

SUN RA & THE BLUES PROJECT (SENSATIONAL GUITARS OF DAN & DALE) Batman and Robin (Universe) lp 21.00
Amid the constant, welcome flood of reissued Sun Ra treasures, this is certainly an oddity (and that’s saying something). Apparently Sun Ra (who plays Hammond B-3 on here), Marshall Allen, John Gilmore and other Arkestra greats decided to cash in on the national Batman and Robin mania back in 1966, and this LP was the result! It’s got Neal Hefti’s famous Batman theme, and about a dozen other Batman-inspired toons (« Joker Is Wild », « The Bat Cave », « Batman’s Batmorang », you get the idea), all of ’em bouncy, jazzy, garagey fun stuff for the kids. Not your typical Sun Ra fare, but quite a novelty, very kitsch. Also features Al Kooper on organ…

SWAMP DOGG Best of 25 Years of Swamp Dogg…Or F**k the Bomb, Stop the Drugs (PointBlank/Virgin) cd 14.98

SWEET SWEETBACK’S BAADASSSSS SONG (Payback Press/Yeah Inc.) book and soundtrack cd 25.00
Melvin Van Peebles’ 1970 film was a landmark event for black cinema. Finally, the screenplay, his diaries about shooting the film, and much else is collected in this fascinating hardback book. AND, the equally amazing, twisted soundtrack is included on a cd that comes with it. Earth, Wind & Fire like you’ve never heard them before or since: total lysergic funk shamolism. Feets, do your thing!

album cover TATE, HOWARD s/t (Koch) cd 12.98
Reissue of an LP that Atlantic originally put out back in 1972. Howard Tate (« one of the top ten R&B singers of all time » sez Jerry Ragovoy, who incidentally produced this album and Tate’s lone other LP for Verve) quit the music biz in ’74 for a career in insurance (and, later became a minister) but has been enjoying a renaissance of late, getting back on stage with some new music, again collaborating with Ragovoy! Our friend Nick Tangborn turned us on to this guy — he actually saw him on his « comeback » tour, at a bar in New Orleans, and described the experience as akin to seeing Otis Redding!
This LP features 12 tracks of relaxed funk and soul, always groovin and showcasing Tate’s undeniably star-quality vox, with material by Ragovoy and Tate (and covers of Dylan and The Band!). Tate’s other album is supposed to be even better, but this is pretty fine for what it is. Despite his talent, Tate never really « made it » but it’s nice to know he’s not forgotten.
RealAudio clip: « Keep Cool (Don’t Be A Fool) »

album cover TENOR, JIMI AND KABU KABU Joystone (Ubiquity) cd 16.98
Is this a soundtrack for a porno film? Jimi Tenor and his funk lounge rhythm section Kabu Kabu are certainly laying it on hot and heavy on this new outing on nu-soul label Ubiquity. We’ve been entertained in the past by Tenor’s eccentricies whether they be working with a drunk Polish orchestra or channeling Prince via his own Finnish techno-cabaret style musings. Not sure what people will think with this one. While the rhythm section is tight, with some full on seventies blaxsploitation « schwing », Tenor’s creepy lothario persona can either make folks swoon or cringe. You decide.
MPEG Stream: « Hot Baby »
MPEG Stream: « Smoking »
MPEG Stream: « Horror Water »

album cover TIMBERLAKE, JUSTIN Futuresex / Lovesounds (Jive) cd 16.98
We all kinda secretly like Justin Timberlake, don’t we? Some of us not so secretly.
MPEG Stream: « Damn Girl »
MPEG Stream: « SexyBack »

album cover TOPH ONE, DJ Live Loud & Dirty (Red Wine) cd-r 11.98
This tireless veteran DJ is certainly no stranger to SF party-goers or regulars to his weekly Red Wine Social. The omnipresent DJ TophOne (psst, not to be confused with the other Bay Area Toph aka Gold Chains!) has released a mix cd-r so that you can take the good times home with you! How ’bout a peek at what he’s spinning? It really runs the good time gamut from current locals such as Lyrics Born and Paradise Boys to classic rock Steely Dan, John Cougar Stevie Winwood, Eddie Money and Queen to a multitude of other tracks by other DJs such as DJ Zeph, DJ Shadow, DJ Marz, DJ Smash and Z-Trip. 33 tracks total.

album cover TRENIERS, THE They Rock! They Roll! They Swing! (Collectables) cd 14.98
What we’ve got here might just be the first-ever rock n’ roll band. The Treniers, a black R&B combo led by twins Claude and Clifford, got their start in the 1940s with their music soon evolving from jump blues to an equally jumpin’ new fangled sound they liked to call rock n’ roll. By the early ’50s when the tracks on this cd anthology were recorded for the OKeh label, they could certainly say (and sing) « Rockin’ Is Our Business ». And check out their other subject matter: drugs and sex! Sure, they couldn’t indulge in the explict language of today’s rock and rap acts. But you could get away with a lot nonetheless, as their classic side « Poon-tang! » suggests. With such risque lyrics and a hard-rockin’ stage act, they inspired more than the bland Bill Haley that’s for sure. Any history-minded rock fan oughta have room in their collection for the real old school. This is actually a reissue of a cd issued on Epic/Legacy in ’95. Sadly this Collectables version has got crappier, colorized cover graphics, and inexplicably does away with the original disc’s liner notes, but it does tack nine bonus tracks onto the twenty found on the earlier disc. Wild stuff from over fifty years ago!
MPEG Stream: « It Rocks! It Rolls! It Swings! »
MPEG Stream: « Hadacole (That’s All) »

TROUBLE FUNK Droppin’ Bombs: The Definitive Trouble Funk (Harmless) 2cd 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.UK import.

TROUBLE FUNK E Flat Boogie (Swollen) cd 15.98

album cover TROUBLE FUNK Live / Early Singles (2 13 61) cd 12.98
Yay, back in print (and now as a two-fer) are these two AWESOME documents of the legendary Washington DC band Trouble Funk’s outtasite funkatology. Previously they were reissued as two individual cds on Hank Rollins’ Infinite Zero imprint, but have been out of print for some time, so if you don’t already have those versions, you’ll want this. That is, if you have a rhythmic bone in yer body. Trouble Funk were prime proponents of what’s known as Go-Go, a strain of funk that flourished in the DC area exclusively. Go-Go is all about the rhythm, with lots of rolling percussion being the basis for long jams that couldn’t be much funkier. Indeed after parts A-B-C-and-D of the non-stop Live album (disc one) you’ll be so funked out, especially if you’ve been behaving like the crowd on the recording, that you might have to take a nap or something before you put on disc two, Early Singles, and have to deal with the likes of « Super Grit » and « Get Down With Your Get Down ». Early ’80s DC Go-Go at its finest, and that’s pretty fine!
MPEG Stream: « Live part A »
MPEG Stream: « Super Grit »

album cover UNAGI Keepin’ It Eel (self-released) cd 10.98
Here’s the second album from SF’s Unagi. For this follow-up to his well-received 2003 self-titled first album, he’s set aside his vocals and overall DJ Shadow-ish stylings in favor of smoooth soul jams and diva samples. This makes for a rather unexpected shift in focus. Folks who dug Unagi’s debut and who were eagerly expecting more might be in for a bit of a jolt. Whereas his previous full length was a totally funky hiphop album, Keepin’ It Eel is pretty much a luv-yer-lady-down type of soundtrack! You almost expect Barry White to slip in for a nightcap.
MPEG Stream: « Condorman’s Revenge »
MPEG Stream: « Relocation Blues »

album cover V/A Disco Deutschland Disco (Marina) cd 16.98
Oh how we’ve adored the Germans’ take on various musical styles over the years, and we’re not just talking about their obvious kosmiche krautrock brilliance. No, it’s German musicmakers’ handling of the more unexpected genres that have deepened our love affair tenfold. The hip ’60s kitten heeled go-go pop of the In-Kraut compilations? The spaghetti (er, sauerkraut?) westerns of the Wig Wam Weste(r)n Weisse Wolfe collections? Yes and yes! Those two genres are unquestionably more commonly associated with French chanteuses and American cowboys, so the unmistakable German inflections that surface always make for a delightful twist on the familiar.
Now Marina Records, who brought us those In-Kraut comps, takes it (or is it retakes it?) to the dancefloor with this compilation of German disco and funk music circa 1975 thru 1980. They’re not messin’ around. This is straight-up boogie wonderland business. Awesome.
Some highlights include the 8+ minute Supermax track, a lowdown I’m so sexy unstoppable groover… the Giorgio Moroder studio band Munich Machine’s classic « Get On The Funk Train »… and a disco-era hit from In-Kraut alumnus Peter Thomas and his Sound Orchestra… among 15 other mainly killer, glitterball dazzlers. Now, if the weird thing is, this isn’t really that weird. Heck disco’s even back « in » now. Don’t go expecting krautrocky craziness, instead just get yer dancing shoes on and yer ass in gear. Seriously, this has been getting spun in the store by AQ staffers just as much or more than anything else lately, and when it’s on we’ve been getting our work done with just a little more groove.
Includes a 14-page booklet of informative liner notes, with such interestin’ tidbits as that Berry Lipman’s track « Sex World » was used as the theme song for an American porno film, but originated as an instrumental from the German sci-fi TV series Star Maidens…
MPEG Stream: SUPERMAX « Love Machine »
MPEG Stream: LIPMAN, BERRY « Sex World »
MPEG Stream: PETER THOMAS SOUND ORCHESTRA « Opium »

V/A Africafunk: Return to the Original Sounds of 1970s Funky Africa (Harmless) cd 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

V/A Africafunk: The Original Sounds of 1970s Funky Africa (Harmless) cd 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover V/A Afro Baby – The Evolution Of The Afro-Sound In Nigeria 1970-79 (Sound Way) cd 19.98
In addition to reissuing their Ghana Soundz collection, Sound Way has put together an additional 12 rare tracks of afro-beat from Nigeria. Included along with mainstays Fela Kuti and Orlando Julius are several lesser known (this side of the pond anyhoo) groups like The Mebusas, The Don Issac Ezekiel Combination, The Martins Brothers Dance Band and more. Like Ghana Soundz, this CD comes with a thick booklet of info, including artist bios, and album art repros.
MPEG Stream: THE MEBUSAS « Son of Mr. Bull Dog »
MPEG Stream: DR. VICTOR OLAIYA’S INTERNATIONAL ALL STARS « Omelebele »

V/A Afro Funk Explosion (Explosive Entertainment) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Yet another collection of classic 70’s afro-funk. Subtitled « Motherload From the Motherland », the 13 tracks here are certainly a goldmine of afro-funk. Some are in the vein of Fela Kuti, some are bizarre interpretations of the James Brown sound, and some are akin to the instrumental tracks you might find in a seventies film score. Featuring cuts by the likes of Manu Dibango, Matata, Dick Khoza, Assagai, and much more. All the tracks were mastered directly from vinyl sources, so along with the usual surface noise anomalies you get a couple songs where the lp’s hole was punched off center and the track is a bit warbled. Rather charming, I think. The bad or, to be sure, truly sucky thing about this compilation is its complete lack of liner notes whatsoever — you get a track listing and that’s it. I’m not opposed to quasi-bootleg re-issues, but if someone’s going to go through the trouble of archiving the tracks they should at least give a little background info as to their origin, maybe even some bios on the more obscure artists.
RealAudio clip: AFRO FUNK « Afro Funk »
RealAudio clip: ASSAGAI « Cocoa »
RealAudio clip: MFALME « Maku Penda »

V/A Afro Funk Explosion (Explosive Entertainment) 2lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Yet another collection of classic 70’s afro-funk. Subtitled « Motherload From the Motherland », the 13 tracks here are certainly a goldmine of afro-funk. Some are in the vein of Fela Kuti, some are bizarre interpretations of the James Brown sound, and some are akin to the instrumental tracks you might find in a seventies film score. Featuring cuts by the likes of Manu Dibango, Matata, Dick Khoza, Assagai, and much more. All the tracks were mastered directly from vinyl sources, so along with the usual surface noise anomalies you get a couple songs where the lp’s hole was punched off center and the track is a bit warbled. Rather charming, I think. The bad or, to be sure, truly sucky thing about this compilation is its complete lack of liner notes whatsoever — you get a track listing and that’s it. I’m not opposed to quasi-bootleg re-issues, but if someone’s going to go through the trouble of archiving the tracks they should at least give a little background info as to their origin, maybe even some bios on the more obscure artists.

album cover V/A Anti NY (Gomma) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Subtitled « Rare Music from the Early 80ies New York Underground », this is a really good collection of no wave / stark electro funk material from a variety of notable sources. There’s an early Jim Jarmusch (the filmmaker) track, and one from Gray, the band formed by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. The absolute high point is Sexual Harrassment’s « If I Gave You a Party », which is from 1983 and is odd paleface electro, stripped down and sort of stiff in a funny way, like the Flying Lizards, and this song alone is worth the price of the disc! Speaking of Flying Lizards, that band’s Vivien Goldman contributes a song here, produced by John Lydon and Keith Levene. And Konk’s « Love Attack » is prime post-punk disco with a heavy Latin rhythmic vibe; its quality reminds me of the Arthur Russell tracks from that other esteemed early ’80s punk / no wave / disco compilation Disco Not Disco.
Contributing selected remixes are Psychonauts, Funkstorung, and Syrup (people from Poets of Rhythm and Beanfield) etc, but they’re forgettable for the most part (the Funkstorung is good); the original tracks are the prime attraction here.
RealAudio clip: SEXUAL HARRASSMENT « If I Gave You a Party »
RealAudio clip: KONK « Love Attack »

V/A Anti NY (Gomma) lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Subtitled « Rare Music from the Early 80ies New York Underground », this is a really good collection of no wave / stark electro funk material from a variety of notable sources. There’s an early Jim Jarmusch (the filmmaker) track, and one from Gray, the band formed by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. The absolute high point is Sexual Harrassment’s « If I Gave You a Party », which is from 1983 and is odd paleface electro, stripped down and sort of stiff in a funny way, like the Flying Lizards, and this song alone is worth the price of the disc! Speaking of Flying Lizards, that band’s Vivien Goldman contributes a song here, produced by John Lydon and Keith Levene. And Konk’s « Love Attack » is prime post-punk disco with a heavy Latin rhythmic vibe; its quality reminds me of the Arthur Russell tracks from that other esteemed early ’80s punk / no wave / disco compilation Disco Not Disco.
Contributing selected remixes are Psychonauts, Funkstorung, and Syrup (people from Poets of Rhythm and Beanfield) etc, but they’re forgettable for the most part (the Funkstorung is good); the original tracks are the prime attraction here.

V/A Barrio Nueva (Soul Jazz) cd 21.00

V/A Barrio Nueva (Soul Jazz) 2lp 24.00

V/A Barry 7’s Connectors Vol. 2 (Lo Recordings) 2lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
For those who devoured the first delightful volume of Barry 7’s Connectors: Rare Italian Library Tracks, here’s an entire second volume! A cornucopia of sonic frolics very much in the same spirit as Luke Vibert’s Nuggets and many of the Crippled Dick Hot Wax compilations. Unfamiliar with any of those? Well then, strap on your seatbelt ’cause you’re in for a treat! Over the top Euro kitsch, melodrama and campiness! So perfect if you’re on the lookout for a diverse array of rather flamboyant theatrical music ’cause these tracks – originally catalogued for ’60s and ’70s television and radio production backing use – are overflowing with bontempi-esque organs, analog synthesizers, choral singers, and flutes! And four of them come from a gent named Ennio Morricone (very much of the delirously wonderful Danger Diabolik period). Curious who this Mr. Barry 7 is who wants you to hear the unheard music? Why, he’s one third of that analog synth jammin’ UK group Add N To (X) who clearly have drawn much inspiration from these works. Splendid!

album cover V/A Bay Area Funk 2 (Luv N’ Haight) cd 16.98
Oh yeah! With so many great collections of golden-era soul/funk coming out in the last couple years chronicling the wonderful sounds that came out of scenes in different parts of the country and abroad it makes perfect sense that there should be some collections detailing the amazing soul & funk that came out of our very own backyard, right here in San Francisco and throughout the bay-area during the ’60s and ’70s. Like their great collection of soul & funk from Michigan on the Searching For Soul comp, Luv N’ Haight have once again hit solid gold with a totally stellar collection of should have been big time hits that mostly slipped under the radar on a more national scale. From the heartbroken soul of Mary Love, the always reliable Sugar Pie DeSanto, the tripped out funk of San Francisco T.K.O.’s, the charismatic hip shaking sounds of Little Denise Stevenson and the gut wrenchingly gritty funk of Primevil, this collection is pretty much super solid from start to finish. We can’t get enough of the raw good stuff, from a time when Soul & Funk was done so totally right. Fans of the Eccentric Soul series and of all vintage soul & funk, this is a definite must have!
MPEG Stream: MARY LOVE « Born To Live With Heartache »
MPEG Stream: LITTLE DENISE STEVENSON « Hip Breakin' »
MPEG Stream: PRIMEVIL « Stop Look Listen »

V/A Best Of Shaft (Hip-O) cd 15.98
16 tracks from the soundtracks to the various Shaft movies, some material otherwise not easily available on cd. Isaac Hayes (with his classic theme of course), The Four Tops, Bernard Purdie & Johnny Pate all contribute.

album cover V/A Between Or Beyond the Iron Curtain (Crippled Dick Hot Wax!) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
From the masters of dredging up obscure euro-pop and jazz, Crippled Dick Hot Wax takes you on a time warp behind the iron curtain to listen to late 60’s & mid 70’s jazz grooves — mostly tracks from Poland and Czechoslovakia are represented here, though there is one from East Germany. The music on this disc generally ranges from electro-jazz funk, to lite prog rock and for some reason I can’t get episodes of CHiPs out of my head whenever this gets put on. It’s like a parallel universe where Ponchski and Johnovich must stop the decadent imperialist no goodnik from lowering the workers’ productivity level. Includes several pages of detailed liner notes on the bands and tracks featured on this collection.
RealAudio clip: MARTIN KRATOCHVIL’S JAZZ Q « A Dance »
RealAudio clip: WOJCIECH KAROLAK « A Day In The City »
RealAudio clip: LABORATORIUM « Funky Dla Franki »

V/A Between Or Beyond the Iron Curtain (Crippled Dick Hot Wax) 2lp 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
From the masters of dredging up obscure euro-pop and jazz, Crippled Dick Hot Wax takes you on a time warp behind the iron curtain to listen to late 60’s & mid 70’s jazz grooves — mostly tracks from Poland and Czechoslovakia are represented here, though there is one from East Germany. The music on this disc generally ranges from electro-jazz funk, to lite prog rock and for some reason I can’t get episodes of CHiPs out of my head whenever this gets put on. It’s like a parallel universe where Ponchski and Johnovich must stop the decadent imperialist no goodnik from lowering the workers’ productivity level. Includes several pages of detailed liner notes on the bands and tracks featured on this collection.

album cover V/A Black Rio: Brazil Soul Power 1971-1980 (Strut) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Oh boy, can the stellar reissue label Strut do no wrong? Doubtful, cos they just keep coming out with amazing compilations and reissues, unearthing the most forgotten genres and movements mostly taken from the seventies. There’s the Disco Not Disco comp, the two Club Africa collections, and collections from Blo (’70s Nigerian funk), Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo band (sampled up the wazoo), the four mighty Tony Allen (Fela percussionist) albums finally on disc, and the recent Grandmaster Flash party mix.
Now they’ve compiled the first ever look back at the best of Black Rio, that movement in the seventies that saw young black Brazilians getting political and turning away from the far-too-commercial samba in favor of James Brown. This is funky soul music, and the tracks here are so fun. There’s everything from hard gritty funk to smooth soul to an unlikely instrumental cover of « Rapper’s Delight » (the last sample below)! And as with all the Strut releases, there are voluminous liner notes placing the entire musical movement in a clear context, as well as lots of photos. Highly recommended.
RealAudio clip: MIGUEL DE DEUS « Cinco Anos »
RealAudio clip: JORGE BEN « Comanche »
RealAudio clip: GANG DO TAGARELA « Melo da Tagarela (Rapper’s Delight) »

V/A Black Rio: Brazil Soul Power 1971-1980 (Strut) 2lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Oh boy, can the stellar reissue label Strut do no wrong? Doubtful, cos they just keep coming out with amazing compilations and reissues, unearthing the most forgotten genres and movements mostly taken from the seventies. There’s the Disco Not Disco comp, the two Club Africa collections, and collections from Blo (’70s Nigerian funk), Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo band (sampled up the wazoo), the four mighty Tony Allen (Fela percussionist) albums finally on disc, and the recent Grandmaster Flash party mix.
Now they’ve compiled the first ever look back at the best of Black Rio, that movement in the seventies that saw young black Brazilians getting political and turning away from the far-too-commercial samba in favor of James Brown. This is funky soul music, and the tracks here are so fun. There’s everything from hard gritty funk to smooth soul to an unlikely instrumental cover of « Rapper’s Delight » (the last sample below)! And as with all the Strut releases, there are voluminous liner notes placing the entire musical movement in a clear context, as well as lots of photos. Highly recommended.

V/A Blax-Plosion: A Collection of Classic Funk (Charly) 2cd 17.98
Indeed. ’70s funk/jazz/proto-rap comp, with some not-so-big names as well as famous folks (but tending towards their more obscure output of the latter). Curtis Mayfield, Sly Stone, The Last Poets, The Meters, Lightnin’ Rod, JB-refugees Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo Parker, Jimmy McGriff, Bobby Womack, Skull Snaps, Ripple, Mavis Staples, The Jungle Band, Sir Joe Quarterman, Jean Knight, and others — even Buddy Rich (doin’ Herbie’s « Chameleon »). We haven’t tested it out yet, but we’re sure it’d be great for a party if you didn’t have the time to make your own mix discs…

album cover V/A Bosporus Bridges: A Wide Selection of Turkish Jazz and Funk 1968-1978 (The World Is My Oyster Records) lp 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

V/A British Hustle (Soul Jazz) cd 21.00

album cover V/A Broasted or Fried: Latin Breakbeats, Basslines, and Boogaloo (Harmless) cd 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
You know how everyone thinks they can be a DJ now, right? Maybe one of the unlooked-for benefits of this trend is that there are that many more people sifting through dusty ole record bins in dusty ole record stores worldwide, searching for the good breaks to sample and scratch. And perhaps that explains the sudden number of recent, very tasteful, well-done compilations that have graced the shelves here at Aquarius, comps filled with original source material utilized during or created for the breakbeat era’s heyday (mid to late ’70s). And hey, now that these amazing tracks are collected in one place on cd or vinyl, we can listen to them in the safety of our own living rooms — instead of having to brave yuppies and cigarette smoke and $6 drinks to hear perfectly good tunes mangled by DJs of mediocre skills.
« Broasted or Fried » is another lovingly executed collection from the UK label Harmless. Wonderful ’60s and ’70s Latin music largely produced by musicians from New York, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. While mot of these artists produced more purely latin music during their careers, this comp focuses on the influence black music — jazz, funk, soul– had on their sounds. With Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Joe Bataan, Kako and his Orchestra, etc. Very extensive, well written liner notes.
RealAudio clip: BOBBY VALENTIN « Use It Before You Lose It »
RealAudio clip: THE ST. VINCENT LATINAIRES « Broasted or Fried »
RealAudio clip: TITO PUENTE « Black Brothers »

album cover V/A Carolina Funk: First in Funk: 1968-77 (Jazzman) cd 15.98
We know, we know… at this point you’re probably as skeptical as we are of yet another compilation of ultra-rare, super heavy funk 45s from the dustiest corners of small-town USA, but believe us when we say that the crate diggers behind UK reissue label Jazzman have outdone themselves with this look at the undiscovered funk gems of North and South Carolina. You might recall how excited we here at aQ were about the Florida Funk compilation from last year and this installment is every bit as satisfying.
You’ll hear a wide range of styles represented on this collection, from straight up deep funk to tracks that touch on psych, jazz and smooth soul — 22 tracks in all of fuzzed out guitars, horn hits, break beats, flute solos, shouts, wails, and powerfully soulful vocals. However, where Jazzman really stands out from other reissue labels is in the meticulously assembled liner notes that accompany the record. You’ll learn not only about the songs and artists themselves, but also information about the different parts of the Carolinas from which they came. It’s a lovingly assembled package of songs, stories, background info, label scans and rare photographs on par with any of the reissue comps to come from Soul Jazz or Numero (and that’s saying something!).
We’ve been spinning this one a lot in the store as of late, and it’s been the perfect way to heat up these grey February days. So good!
MPEG Stream: SUNDIA « Stand Up And Be A Man »
MPEG Stream: MONGOOSE « King Cobra »
MPEG Stream: SHIRLEAN WILLIAMS & THE TEMPO’S BAND « Ease It To Me »

album cover V/A Cherrystones Hidden Charms (Family) cd 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
DJ Garreth Goddard (aka Cherrystones) is back, having dug up another disc’s worth of totally rad ’60s/’70s psychedelic rarities. His previous compilation entitled Cherrystones Rocks was an excellent, eccentric collection of freaky fun mostly from bands we’d never encountered before. Cherrystones Hidden Charms focuses a bit more on funkier, groovier fare (psychefunk says the sticker on the front), and also delves into realms of obscurity unknown to us. Sure, you’ll likely recognize names like Ennio Morricone and The Shadows and Shocking Blue and Cher (yes, Cher!) but what about Mashmakhan, Shadow Mann, Dynastie Crisis, Roosevelt Fountain (And The Pens Of Rhythm) and Bugsy?? Wow. He’s been diggin’ all right. And it’s (almost) all killer, no filler. I mean, we’ve got our faves: the garagey fuzz mania of Die Anderen’s « Neurotic Reaction » (which would also have fit nicely on Cherrystones Rocks) is a discovery worth the price of this disc alone, we think, and we’re also partial to the surprising grunt of The Shadows’ « Scotch On the Socks ». And if you dig the genre of what might be termed « stripper music » you’ll find a bunch of acid-burlesque treats on here as well! As with the first comp, Cherrystones/Goddard provides blurbs in the liner notes about each band which is always appreciated. Again, awesome.
MPEG Stream: ENNIO MORRICONE « Svolat Definitiva »
MPEG Stream: DIE ANDEREN « Neurotic Reaction »

album cover V/A Cherrystones Rocks (Lo) cd 10.98
A very original, wonderfully varied collection of uber-rare international « psych and progressive gems » of the ’60s and early ’70s presented by Lo Recordings, who’ve always brought us the cool cutting edge modern electronica. Lo has previously also delved into the past for library music / acid funk compilations…now they go waaaay out with these bizarro rock tracks, picked by British hip hop DJ Garreth Goddard (who records as Cherrystones for the Twisted Nerve label). Obscure artists on here indeed — we had previously only heard Brazil’s Rita Lee (of Os Mutantes) and Detroit R&B hard rockers Frijid Pink (with « Crying Shame », one of their best songs). Garreth’s obsessive crate-digging has paid dividends here, making this the kind of comp you’ve got to get ’cause you’ll never find these records OR reissues. It’s all groovy, psychedelic, crazed stuff. Some other names: Taiconderoga, Black Cat Bones, Klaus Doldinger, Niagara, Breakout, Mecki Mark Men, Sunbirds, The Mogol, and more. Veering from free-jazz inspired horn soloing to heavy fuzz guitar riffs to spoken beat poetry, the stuff on here is all over the place yet is freaky, funky, fried fun that really seems to belong together — kudos to the DJ. Awesome.
RealAudio clip: PUGH « Love, Love, Love »
RealAudio clip: FRIJID PINK « Crying Shame »
RealAudio clip: ROLF AND JOACHIM KUHN AND THE MAD ROCKERS « Funny Bird »

V/A Cherrystones Rocks (Lo) lp 15.98
A very original, wonderfully varied collection of uber-rare international « psych and progressive gems » of the ’60s and early ’70s presented by Lo Recordings, who’ve always brought us the cool cutting edge modern electronica. Lo has previously also delved into the past for library music / acid funk compilations…now they go waaaay out with these bizarro rock tracks, picked by British hip hop DJ Garreth Goddard (who records as Cherrystones for the Twisted Nerve label). Obscure artists on here indeed — we had previously only heard Brazil’s Rita Lee (of Os Mutantes) and Detroit R&B hard rockers Frijid Pink (with « Crying Shame », one of their best songs). Garreth’s obsessive crate-digging has paid dividends here, making this the kind of comp you’ve got to get ’cause you’ll never find these records OR reissues. It’s all groovy, psychedelic, crazed stuff. Some other names: Taiconderoga, Black Cat Bones, Klaus Doldinger, Niagara, Breakout, Mecki Mark Men, Sunbirds, The Mogol, and more. Veering from free-jazz inspired horn soloing to heavy fuzz guitar riffs to spoken beat poetry, the stuff on here is all over the place yet is freaky, funky, fried fun that really seems to belong together — kudos to the DJ. Awesome.

album cover V/A Chicago Soul (Soul Jazz) cd 21.00
Soul Jazz are really the king of comps now, and this latest is another excellent entry in their catalog, subtitled « Electric Blues, Funk & Soul: The New Sound Of Chicago In The 1960s ». Everything here was originally released on Chess — presumably you’ve heard of Chess Records, the Chicago « black music » label that was home to Muddy Waters, Etta James, Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley and others… You hear from all of those big names here, but also other ’60s greats of lesser fame (Dorothy Ashby, The Stereos, Phil Upchurch, Eve Barnum, The Soulful Strings, etc.). That decade was an exciting time for music everywhere of course but Chess was one of the it labels, releasing tons of now classic electric blues, urban jazz, soulful singers, and even some psychedelic r&b. Packaged in a slipcover with a big ol’ book of text and photos for your edification, whilst yr ears enjoy the Chicago soul sounds.
MPEG Stream: THE STEREOS « Stereo Freeze »
MPEG Stream: ROTARY CONNECTION « Memory Band »
MPEG Stream: FONTELLA BASS « Leave It In The Hands Of Love »

album cover V/A Chicago Soul (Soul Jazz) 2lp 24.00
Soul Jazz are really the king of comps now, and this latest is another excellent entry in their catalog, subtitled « Electric Blues, Funk & Soul: The New Sound Of Chicago In The 1960s ». Everything here was originally released on Chess — presumably you’ve heard of Chess Records, the Chicago « black music » label that was home to Muddy Waters, Etta James, Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley and others… You hear from all of those big names here, but also other ’60s greats of lesser fame (Dorothy Ashby, The Stereos, Phil Upchurch, Eve Barnum, The Soulful Strings, etc.). That decade was an exciting time for music everywhere of course but Chess was one of the it labels, releasing tons of now classic electric blues, urban jazz, soulful singers, and even some psychedelic r&b. Packaged in a slipcover with a big ol’ book of text and photos for your edification, whilst yr ears enjoy the Chicago soul sounds.
MPEG Stream: THE STEREOS « Stereo Freeze »
MPEG Stream: ROTARY CONNECTION « Memory Band »
MPEG Stream: FONTELLA BASS « Leave It In The Hands Of Love »

album cover V/A Cold Heat: Heavy Funk Rarities: 1968-1974 Vol. 1 (Stones Throw / Now-Again) cd 15.98
Man, this is some gritty ’70s funk. Or should I say gritt-ay? Really, the grit to the tracks is from the remastering transfer of these old songs but in spite of it, they’re all totally listenable cause they are so so SO good. I mean, THESE ARE PURE FUNK SONGS: no cheese, no glamour, just amazing songwriting, awesome musicianship, great ideas, tons of soul, and just full-on soul n’ funk jammin’. F’ing awesome! Contains rare and never-before-heard tracks by many artists including Carleen and The Groovers, Kashmere Stage Band, Soul Seven and Ebony Rhythm Band (their track « Drugs Ain’t Cool » from their Soul Heart Transplant disc recently reissued by Now-Again), all of which were remastered from old 45’s and aging master tapes. Packaged with a pretty extensive 28 page archival booklet, and the cd features a handful of bonus tracks. Now, we have to say that the first time we heard this it didn’t make such a huge impression, but after a few listens we realized that this was a seriously amazing compilation of PURE funk and funky soul songs. We can’t stress enough how awesome these tracks are. Give it a few listens and you’ll see what we mean.
MPEG Stream: LIL’ LAVAIR AND THE FABULOUS JADES « Cold Heat »
MPEG Stream: AMNESTY « Free Your Mind »
MPEG Stream: DAYTON SIDEWINDERS « Slipping Into Darkness »

album cover V/A Cold Heat: Heavy Funk Rarities: 1968-1974 Vol. 1 (Stones Throw / Now-Again) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Man, this is some gritty ’70s funk. Or should I say gritt-ay? Really, the grit to the tracks is from the remastering transfer of these old songs but in spite of it, they’re all totally listenable ’cause they are so so SO good. I mean, THESE ARE PURE FUNK SONGS: no cheese, no glamour, just amazing songwriting, awesome musicianship, great ideas, tons of soul, and just full-on soul n’ funk jammin’. F’ing awesome! Contains rare and never-before-heard tracks by many artists including Carleen and The Groovers, Kashmere Stage Band, Soul Seven and Ebony Rhythm Band (their track « Drugs Ain’t Cool » from their Soul Heart Transplant disc recently reissued by Now-Again), all of which were remastered from old 45’s and aging master tapes. Packaged with a pretty extensive 28 page archival booklet. Now, we have to say that the first time we heard this it didn’t make such a huge impression, but after a few listens we realized that this was a seriously amazing compilation of PURE funk and funky soul songs. We can’t stress enough how awesome these tracks are. Give it a few listens and you’ll see what we mean.
MPEG Stream: LIL’ LAVAIR AND THE FABULOUS JADES « Cold Heat »
MPEG Stream: AMNESTY « Free Your Mind »
MPEG Stream: DAYTON SIDEWINDERS « Slipping Into Darkness »

album cover V/A Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama Goombay (Numero) cd 16.98
The Numero Group strike gold again with another great lost soul collection. This time it’s the second in their Cult Cargo series. The first one, Belize Boil Up quickly became an AQ favorite. This time out they have extracted the sounds of Bahaman soul mostly around the early-mid ’70s. Much Goombay music as it was called, captured the sound of the island with touches of Caribbean influence as well as the equally sun soaked golden Miami sound. All the tracks here are killers, with backbeats that would sound at home on Studio One and breaks that still sound so damn fresh now. Some of these bands were playing hotels and poolsides and backyards and that undeniable charm resonates throughout the collection. Some nods to the past for sure, soaking up the sweetness and warmth of doo-wop, but at the same time, these tunes begin to walk in funkier shoes, capturing that raw beautiful essence of how soul should sound. Dripping with warmth and sparkling with color, somewhere between doo-wop and funk, with the island’s tropical warm wind keeping everything flowing and fresh!
MPEG Stream: CYRIL FERGUSON « Gonna Build A Nation »
MPEG Stream: SYLVIA HALL « Don’t Touch That Thing »
MPEG Stream: WILLPOWER « People Won’t Change »

album cover V/A Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama Goombay (Numero) 2lp 19.98
The Numero Group strike gold again with another great lost soul collection. This time it’s the second in their Cult Cargo series. The first one, Belize Boil Up quickly became an AQ favorite. This time out they have extracted the sounds of Bahaman soul mostly around the early-mid ’70s. Much Goombay music as it was called, captured the sound of the island with touches of Caribbean influence as well as the equally sun soaked golden Miami sound. All the tracks here are killers, with backbeats that would sound at home on Studio One and breaks that still sound so damn fresh now. Some of these bands were playing hotels and poolsides and backyards and that undeniable charm resonates throughout the collection. Some nods to the past for sure, soaking up the sweetness and warmth of doo-wop, but at the same time, these tunes begin to walk in funkier shoes, capturing that raw beautiful essence of how soul should sound. Dripping with warmth and sparkling with color, somewhere between doo-wop and funk, with the island’s tropical warm wind keeping everything flowing and fresh!
MPEG Stream: CYRIL FERGUSON « Gonna Build A Nation »
MPEG Stream: SYLVIA HALL « Don’t Touch That Thing »
MPEG Stream: WILLPOWER « People Won’t Change »

album cover V/A Darker than Blue: Soul from Jamdown 1973-1980 (Blood & Fire) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Soulful, funky reggae trax from Jam-aica circa the mid to late seventies. Most of the cuts here are covers of R&B or funk hits, stuff originally by Curtis Mayfield, Kool & The Gang, War, Bobby Bland, Isley Brothers, and others — even Randy Newman (by way of Nina Simone). There’s even a Sugarhill Gang inspired rap track! Needless to say, in the hands of Alton Ellis, John Holt, Ken Boothe, Lloyd Charmers, and the others on this comp, these are killer, reggae-fied versions, mostly down-tempo and emotion-filled. The Blood and Fire label did a handsome job compiling this, and with the packaging too: the thick booklet not only includes commentary on every artist/track but is also full of beautiful, evocative black and white photos, courtesy the Magnum photographers collective. This has simply been flying out the door (even before we put a tag on the display copy). Recommended! (If you dig that Studio One Soul comp, doubly recommended!)
RealAudio clip: CARL BRADNEY « Slipping Into Darkness »
RealAudio clip: KEN BOOTHE « Is It Because I’m Black »
RealAudio clip: IN-CROWD « Mango Walk »
RealAudio clip: DELROY WILSON « Get Ready (12″ mix) »

V/A Darker than Blue: Soul from Jamdown 1973-1980 (Blood & Fire) 2lp 29.00
We finally got some of these in on LP. Nice, thick slabs of vinyl. The cover art looks really nice also — they chose not to use the blue filter, and left off all the text, which makes the photo much more impressive looking. Here’s the description again from when we listed the cd: Soulful, funky reggae trax from Jam-aica circa the mid to late seventies. Most of the cuts here are covers of R&B or funk hits, stuff originally by Curtis Mayfield, Kool & The Gang, War, Bobby Bland, Isley Brothers, and others — even Randy Newman (by way of Nina Simone). There’s even a Sugarhill Gang inspired rap track! Needless to say, in the hands of Alton Ellis, John Holt, Ken Boothe, Lloyd Charmers, and the others on this comp, these are killer, reggae-fied versions, mostly down-tempo and emotion-filled. The Blood and Fire label did a handsome job compiling this, and with the packaging too: the thick booklet not only includes commentary on every artist/track but is also full of beautiful, evocative black and white photos, courtesy the Magnum photographers collective. This has simply been flying out the door (even before we put a tag on the display copy). Recommended! (If you dig that Studio One Soul comp, doubly recommended!)
RealAudio clip: CARL BRADNEY « Slipping Into Darkness »
RealAudio clip: KEN BOOTHE « Is It Because I’m Black »
RealAudio clip: IN-CROWD « Mango Walk »
RealAudio clip: DELROY WILSON « Get Ready (12″ mix) »

album cover V/A Dis-Jointed (Dis-Joint) cd 14.98
About a year ago we wrote about a 12″ split of a couple of Wackie’s tracks that were both amazing in their own ways. The A-Side was Horace Andy’s « Musical Episode », an extended 12″ mix which is probably one of the best disco mixes we’d ever heard and the B-Side was an absolutely bizarre extended mix called the « Wack Rap » from 1979 and featuring some completely off kilter impersonations of the Sugarhill Gang. Well, Dis-Joint records, the fellas who released that 12″, have put together a nice compilation of tracks featuring the aforementioned along with several singles — new and old — that their label has released. Now the vinyl-ly challenged can also join in on the enjoyment of these two tracks and then some. There’s quite a few rare tracks here, including an instrumental mix of Ronnie Gee’s « Raptivity » from 1980, Zap Pow’s reggae homage to Kool & The Gang « Lottery Spin » recorded at Dynamic Sounds way back in 1976, plus some new dance floor cuts inspired from the old school by the likes of DJs Cool Chris & Romanowski, Ben Cook & Deep Fuzz, Dub Diablo and more.
MPEG Stream: HORACE ANDY « Musical Episode »
MPEG Stream: SOLID C., BOBBY D. & KOOL DROP « Wack Rap (Version Mix) »
MPEG Stream: HUMAN RACE « Human Race »

album cover V/A Dis-Jointed (Dis-Joint) 2lp 14.98
About a year ago we wrote about a 12″ split of a couple of Wackie’s tracks that were both amazing in their own ways. The A-Side was Horace Andy’s « Musical Episode », an extended 12″ mix which is probably one of the best disco mixes we’d ever heard and the B-Side was an absolutely bizarre extended mix called the « Wack Rap » from 1979 and featuring some completely off kilter impersonations of the Sugarhill Gang. Well, Dis-Joint records, the fellas who released that 12″, have put together a nice compilation of tracks featuring the aforementioned along with several singles — new and old — that their label has released. Now the vinyl-ly challenged can also join in on the enjoyment of these two tracks and then some. There’s quite a few rare tracks here, including an instrumental mix of Ronnie Gee’s « Raptivity » from 1980, Zap Pow’s reggae homage to Kool & The Gang « Lottery Spin » recorded at Dynamic Sounds way back in 1976, plus some new dance floor cuts inspired from the old school by the likes of DJs Cool Chris & Romanowski, Ben Cook & Deep Fuzz, Dub Diablo and more.

album cover V/A Disco Deutschland Disco (Marina Records) 2lp 19.98
NOW ON VINYL!
Oh how we’ve adored the Germans’ take on various musical styles over the years, and we’re not just talking about their obvious kosmiche krautrock brilliance. No, it’s German musicmakers’ handling of the more unexpected genres that have deepened our love affair tenfold. The hip ’60s kitten heeled go-go pop of the In-Kraut compilations? The spaghetti (er, sauerkraut?) westerns of the Wig Wam Weste(r)n Weisse Wolfe collections? Yes and yes! Those two genres are unquestionably more commonly associated with French chanteuses and American cowboys, so the unmistakable German inflections that surface always make for a delightful twist on the familiar.
Now Marina Records, who brought us those In-Kraut comps, takes it (or is it retakes it?) to the dancefloor with this compilation of German disco and funk music circa 1975 thru 1980. They’re not messin’ around. This is straight-up boogie wonderland business. Awesome.
Some highlights include the 8+ minute Supermax track, a lowdown I’m so sexy unstoppable groover… the Giorgio Moroder studio band Munich Machine’s classic « Get On The Funk Train »… and a disco-era hit from In-Kraut alumnus Peter Thomas and his Sound Orchestra… among 15 other mainly killer, glitterball dazzlers. Now, if the weird thing is, this isn’t really that weird. Heck disco’s even back « in » now. Don’t go expecting krautrocky craziness, instead just get yer dancing shoes on and yer ass in gear. Seriously, this has been getting spun in the store by AQ staffers just as much or more than anything else lately, and when it’s on we’ve been getting our work done with just a little more groove.
Includes a 14-page booklet of informative liner notes, with such interestin’ tidbits as that Berry Lipman’s track « Sex World » was used as the theme song for an American porno film, but originated as an instrumental from the German sci-fi TV series Star Maidens…
MPEG Stream: SUPERMAX  » Love Machine »
MPEG Stream: LIPMAN, BERRY « Sex World »
MPEG Stream: PETER THOMAS SOUND ORCHESTRA « Opium »

Une Réponse to “AQUARIUS RECORD .. SOUL FUNK POWER GROOVES”

  1. SoulFunkLifestyles Says:

    NICE !!!!!

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