Aquarius Records soul funk

album cover HAZEL, EDDIE Game, Dames & Guitar Thangs (Collectors’ Choice) cd 13.98
Funkadelic guitarist (of « Maggot Brain » fame) steps out solo, 1977. Includes funkadelicized covers of « California Dreamin' » and « I Want You (She’s So Heavy) ».

album cover HEMMINGSON, MERIT Queen Of Swedish Hammond Folk Groove (Amigo) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Wow! The wonderful, wonderful music of organist Merit Hemmingson combines a bunch of stuff we just simply LOVE but never heard quite like this before. The title of this « best of » collection boldly suggests as much to you too, right? Swedish Hammond Folk Groove, yeah!! We hadn’t heard of her before we came across this, but now we know she made a handful of records in the ’70s that brought together ancestral Swedish folk melodies, jazzy Hammond organ grooving, and some colorful psychedelic moves. Merit’s Hammond is at the fore, playing her own swingin’, riffin’ take on these traditional tunes, but the arrangements also variously incorporate ’70s funky wah-wah psych guitars, her lovely, wordless vocals, flutes and bongos and more… It’s all so sunshiney and delightful, reminding us of everything from Hansson & Karlsson to Turid to The Free Design to a calmer, mellower version of Aavikko! And of course modern-day Swedish folk organ duo Sagor & Swing.
Merit’s music is gentle, soulful, rhythmic — so nice! It’s total « grooving with trolls and flowers in the forest funk ». Not your everyday organ jazz that’s for sure, though Merit got her start in the ’60s playing jazz — she came over to the New York City to study, taking piano lessons from both Joe Zawinul and Lalo Schifrin and even getting to sit in with Miles Davis’s band! But soon she went in a more pop/funk direction, and then became inspired by Scandinavia’s rich history of olden folk music to create the sounds heard here.
The twenty tracks on this collection are all from albums originally released between 1971-1977 (Huvva, Trollskog, Bergtagen, Balsam, and Hoven Droven) except for a couple of recently-recorded tracks at the disc’s end done in a similar style, featuring as sidemen members of currently happenin’ Swedish retro-leaning rock bands (and big Merit fans) Dungen and The Ark! That’s right, while obscure for years even in Sweden, she’s undergone a bit of a hipster rediscovery lately and in fact this disc (the first time on cd for most of this music) is the prelude to a new album due out this year.
Queen Of Swedish Hammond Folk Groove is a nicely deluxe package, in a slipcovered jewelcase with a thick booklet full of photos, liner notes in both English and Swedish, and Merit’s own track-by-track commentary. We had to go to a bit of trouble to import these from Sweden, but it was worth it!
MPEG Stream: « Mandom Mod Och Morske Man »
MPEG Stream: « Brudmarsch Efter Lisme Per »
MPEG Stream: « Setnmarks Slalompolska »

album cover HILL, LAURYN Unplugged (Columbia) 2cd 19.98
If you wanna hear Ms Lauryn Hill’s voice in all of its unadorned power and beauty, well you’re in luck! Here’s not just one, but two discs worth for you. Yup, sorta surprising that it took so long, but she’s finally gone « Unplugged ». However, unlike many others who’ve trod through this MTV presentation, she doesn’t simply rehash her songs acoustically, but seizes the opportunity to reach out further with her thoughtful, impassioned and quite substantial between song banter (in the track listing, these are labeled as « interludes »). And the audience’s response? Of course as you’d expect, super adoring and enthusiastic, absolutely hanging on her every word both sung and spoken.
RealAudio clip: « Oh Jerusalem »
RealAudio clip: « Interlude 3 »
RealAudio clip: « Mystery Of Iniquity »

album cover HOLMES, DAVID Come Get It I Got It (13 Amp) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Two things I could never quite get into: funk/soul compilations, and David Holmes. As far as the compilations, they always seemed either too familiar, or too « Whoo, let’s dance and get funky ». Ugh. Especially when there’s so much seriously intense and dark funk and soul floating around. And as for Holmes, he always seemed on the right track, his ‘film’ music always just barely missed the mark, falling too much in the ‘chill-out music for the Kruder and Dorfmeister set’ when you could somehow tell he was capable of so much more. So imagine my surprise when one record proves me wrong on both counts. Holmes has picked out some ridiculously obscure soul gems, but more importantly, these tunes are amazing: dark and sultry and so catchy. Once in a while, he masterfully mixes beats and atmospheres into some of the soul jams turning them into modern, bumping, top-down, cruising classics. The interludes here are performed by Homes in his ‘classic soul’ guise as The Free Association. Occasionally these interludes kind of break the flow, with ‘LSD’ clips and stuttery samples and that sort of thing, but even more often, he manages to emulate the tunes found elsewhere, coming up with some dirty grimy neo-soul. Plus, this features what has to be the most amazing and intense flute tune ever, taking Roland Kirk’s speaking/screaming/hyperventilating flute solos about as far out as you can. Been listening to this non stop!
RealAudio clip: HAROLD ALEXANDER « Mama Soul »
RealAudio clip: SIXTO RODRIGUEZ « Sugarman »
RealAudio clip: REX GARVIN AND THE MIGHTY CRAVERS « Strange Happenings »
RealAudio clip: HODGES, JAMES, SMITH AND CRAWFORD « Nobody »

IMO BROTHERS Ije Love / Journey of Love (Original Music) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
If you’re looking for some punchy high life to dance you butt off to, then the Imo Brothers’ Eastern Nigerian recipe is for you. Though recorded in the early 80’s, the authenticity is still here and the good track lengths will attest to a healthy workout!

J.B.’S Pass The Peas: The Best of the J.B.’s (Polydor) cd 11.98
The best of the James Brown’s J.B.’s, now available for a low price. If you’re into the funk, you’ve gotta have some J.B.’s, and this is a nice collection of essentials.

album cover JACKSON, MILLIE Feelin’ Bitchy (Southbound) cd 15.98
All it takes is a look at Millie Jackson’s illustrious album covers to know that she is one saucy and sassy soulstress. Recorded thirty years ago, Feelin’ Bitchy is one of the better records in her long career. Feelin’ Bitchy is a mix of spoken and sung vocals, biting humor and unapologetic bluntness, hints at a hip hop world to come, and tasty gritty deep soul done just right. Folks like Missy Elliott and Lil’ Kim have for sure taken some cues from Miss Millie. With the recent explosion of great soul reissue compilations (Eccentric Soul, Bay Area Funk, Searching For Soul, Soul Gospel, Birmingham Sound, etc.) we hope that artists like Millie Jackson, Betty Davis, Bettye Swann and Betty Wright will continue to get the full attention and adoration they deserve.
MPEG Stream: « Lovin’ Your Good Thing Away »
MPEG Stream: « You Created A Monster »

album cover JIMMY CASTOR BUNCH, THE 16 Slabs of Funk (RCA) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Heavy, heavy psychedelic acid funk with some Latin vibes, stuff that could have made Funkadelic proud, collected from the Jimmy Castor Bunch’s earliest albums.
These 16 slabs of funk include almost all the really good songs (which is almost ALL of the songs) from the band’s first 2 RCA albums (« It’s Just Begun » and « Phase Two »), plus a few from their somewhat less awesome (actually quite weak) third and final RCA disc, the jazzy « Dimension III ». Jimmy and the band bounced back and recorded many more funk classics after they left RCA, not letting disco get them down, and you can find those (and a few others from the earlier doo-wop phase of his career) on the « Everything Man » best of comp Rhino released a few years back, which only has a couple of the songs found here. There WAS a 2-on-1 import cd reissue of the first two of Castor’s RCA LPs that we had a while ago, but we haven’t been able to get it lately. I like the review I wrote of that disc a lot though, so why not quote some of it here:
« Blending fat funk guitar, ’60s astrologically-obsessed psych rock, Hendrix worship (there’s a weird tribute to Jimi here, a Purple Haze/Foxy Lady hybrid cover), as well as doo wop, soul and some sappy r&b…they don’t make ’em like this anymore. « It’s Just Begun » will send you back, way back, to the time of the « Troglodyte ». The cave man theme recurs, with « Phase Two »‘s « Luther The Anthropoid (Ape Man) »… Heavy acid funk stomp, silly sexual primal urge stuff to be sure, mixed with some lighter, more ‘spiritually’ oriented cuts. As we move into album no.2, there are definitely some really bad moments of love song cheese to interfere with your enjoyment of the BAAADDD moments of troglodyte funk, but on the whole this is deep and weird enough to be essential to the dedicated funkateer. For fans of early Kool & the Gang, Parliament, B.T. Express, that sort of thing, but the best stuff here’s got a dosed and primordial edge unlike anything else excavated from the early ’70s era. »
This collection cuts out the worst of the « love song cheese » alluded to above (although the songs added from « Dimension III » aren’t any better unfortunately) and so makes for, along with Rhino’s « Everything Man » comp, a mandatory funk purchase. Not rare groove, but « everywhere groove » as it says in the liner notes.
RealAudio clip: « It’s Just Begun »
RealAudio clip: « L.T.D. (Life, Truth & Death) »

JIMMY CASTOR BUNCH, THE It’s Just Begun / Phase Two (Camden Deluxe) cd 18.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Hot damn! The first two albums by this oft-overlooked classic ’70s funk band, finally reissued as a 2-on-1 UK import disc. Jimmy Castor, he’s the guy that sued the Beastie Boys over that « Hey LeRoy! » sample. Blending fat funk guitar, ’60s astrologically-obsessed psych rock, Hendrix worship (there’s a weird tribute to Jimi here, a Purple Haze/Foxy Lady hybrid cover), as well as doo wop, soul and some sappy r&b…they don’t make ’em like this anymore. « It’s Just Begun » will send you back, way back, to the time of the « Troglodyte ». The cave man theme recurs, with « Phase Two »‘s « Luther The Anthropoid (Ape Man) »… Heavy acid funk stomp, silly sexual primal urge stuff to be sure, mixed with some lighter, more ‘spiritually’ oriented cuts. As we move into album no.2, there are definitely some really bad moments of love song cheese to interfere with your enjoyment of the BAAADDD moments of troglodyte funk, but on the whole this is deep and weird enough to be essential to the dedicated funkateer. (Those who wish to avoid any of the lame tracks are directed to the « Everything Man » best-of Jimmy Castor compilation on Rhino, which will provide the ‘hits’ as well as some swell disco cuts from later in his career.) For fans of early Kool & the Gang, Parliament, B.T. Express, that sort of thing, but the best stuff here’s got a dosed and primordial edge unlike anything else excavated from the early ’70s era.

album cover JOHN WILKES BOOZE Five Pillars Of Soul (Kill Rock Stars) cd 14.98
For those of you who missed out on the super limited handmade Five Pillars Of Soul cd-r’s JWB released one at a time over the last couple years, you can once again thank your lucky stars, you’ve been saved. And those of you who did manage to get em, well, why not get this handy disc that collects all 5 cd-r’s onto a real cd with even more extensive liner notes added.
While this is purportedly a tribute to soul music, the soul music seems to be mostly implied here, like ‘soul’ in spirit, in concept, in intention, but not in execution. Which is not a bad thing. This -is- soul music, but the way it can only be played by middle class, white, mid-western boys. All shrieking, skronking, sweaty, pounding, rocking and GROOVING. You can catch glimpses of the Make Up, the Blues Explosion, the White Stripes, New York Dolls, as well as Alice Donut (especially in the vocals). Weird and pretty wonderful. Spazzy, soulful, glammy ROCK AND ROLL. There are 5 volumes. Short and sweet (each clocking in at 10-15 minutes) and all in honor of JWB’s peculiar ideas of the pillars of soul: Melvin Van Peebles, Tania Hearst (Patty Hearst with her SLA name), Albert Ayler, Marc Bolan and Yoko Ono. They also throw in some covers of the Zombies, the Fugs, and Mission Of Burma but turn them into punky soul-fuck explosions… Good stuff. Although I’m still clinging to the belief that the sixth pillar must be BRUCE WILLIS!!!
MPEG Stream: « Sweetback’s Gonna Make It »
MPEG Stream: « See Through Sound »

album cover JOHN WILKES BOOZE Five Pillars Of Soul Vol.1: Melvin Van Peebles (Affirmation) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
While this is purportedly a tribute to soul music, the soul music seems to be mostly implied here, like ‘soul’ in spirit, in concept, in intention, but not in execution. Which is not a bad thing. This -is- soul music, but the way it can only be played by middle class, white, mid-western boys. All shrieking, skronking, sweaty, pounding, rocking and GROOVING. You can catch glimpses of the Make Up, the Blues Explosion, the White Stripes, New York Dolls, as well as Alice Donut (especially in the vocals). Weird and pretty wonderful. Spazzy, soulful, glammy ROCK AND ROLL. There are 5 volumes (we have the first four). Short and sweet (almost too short, clocking in at 10-15 minutes) and all in honor of JWB’s peculiar ideas of the pillars of soul: Melvin Van Peebles, Tania Hearst (Patty Hearst with her SLA name), Albert Ayler, Marc Bolan and the as yet to be announced 5th pillar.
Nice handmade sleeves with cool/funny liner notes. They do covers of the Zombies, the Fugs, and Mission Of Burma and turn them into punky soul explosions… Good stuff, here’s hoping the fifth pillar is BRUCE WILLIS!!!
RealAudio clip: « Sweetback’s Gonna Make It »
RealAudio clip: « Brer Soul Is On The Street »

album cover JOHN WILKES BOOZE Five Pillars Of Soul Vol.2: Tania Hearst (Affirmation) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
While this is purportedly a tribute to soul music, the soul music seems to be mostly implied here, like ‘soul’ in spirit, in concept, in intention, but not in execution. Which is not a bad thing. This -is- soul music, but the way it can only be played by middle class, white, mid-western boys. All shrieking, skronking, sweaty, pounding, rocking and GROOVING. You can catch glimpses of the Make Up, the Blues Explosion, the White Stripes, New York Dolls, as well as Alice Donut (especially in the vocals). Weird and pretty wonderful. Spazzy, soulful, glammy ROCK AND ROLL. There are 5 volumes (we have the first four). Short and sweet (almost too short, clocking in at 10-15 minutes) and all in honor of JWB’s peculiar ideas of the pillars of soul: Mario Van Peebles, Tania Hearst (Patty Hearst with her SLA name), Albert Ayler, Marc Bolan and the as yet to be announced 5th pillar.
Nice handmade sleeves with cool/funny liner notes. They do covers of the Zombies, the Fugs, and Mission Of Burma and turn them into punky soul explosions… Good stuff, here’s hoping the fifth pillar is BRUCE WILLIS!!!
RealAudio clip: « SLA Popcorn »
RealAudio clip: « A Butcher’s Tale »

album cover JOHN WILKES BOOZE Five Pillars Of Soul Vol.3: Albert Ayler (Affirmation) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
While this is purportedly a tribute to soul music, the soul music seems to be mostly implied here, like ‘soul’ in spirit, in concept, in intention, but not in execution. Which is not a bad thing. This -is- soul music, but the way it can only be played by middle class, white, mid-western boys. All shrieking, skronking, sweaty, pounding, rocking and GROOVING. You can catch glimpses of the Make Up, the Blues Explosion, the White Stripes, New York Dolls, as well as Alice Donut (especially in the vocals). Weird and pretty wonderful. Spazzy, soulful, glammy ROCK AND ROLL. There are 5 volumes (we have the first four). Short and sweet (almost too short, clocking in at 10-15 minutes) and all in honor of JWB’s peculiar ideas of the pillars of soul: Mario Van Peebles, Tania Hearst (Patty Hearst with her SLA name), Albert Ayler, Marc Bolan and the as yet to be announced 5th pillar.
Nice handmade sleeves with cool/funny liner notes. They do covers of the Zombies, the Fugs, and Mission Of Burma and turn them into punky soul explosions… Good stuff, here’s hoping the fifth pillar is BRUCE WILLIS!!!
RealAudio clip: « They Dont Like Me In This Town »
RealAudio clip: « Death Of A Jazz Musician »

album cover JOHN WILKES BOOZE Five Pillars Of Soul Vol.4: Marc Bolan (Affirmation) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
While this is purportedly a tribute to soul music, the soul music seems to be mostly implied here, like ‘soul’ in spirit, in concept, in intention, but not in execution. Which is not a bad thing. This -is- soul music, but the way it can only be played by middle class, white, mid-western boys. All shrieking, skronking, sweaty, pounding, rocking and GROOVING. You can catch glimpses of the Make Up, the Blues Explosion, the White Stripes, New York Dolls, as well as Alice Donut (especially in the vocals). Weird and pretty wonderful. Spazzy, soulful, glammy ROCK AND ROLL. There are 5 volumes (we have the first four). Short and sweet (almost too short, clocking in at 10-15 minutes) and all in honor of JWB’s peculiar ideas of the pillars of soul: Mario Van Peebles, Tania Hearst (Patty Hearst with her SLA name), Albert Ayler, Marc Bolan and the as yet to be announced 5th pillar.
Nice handmade sleeves with cool/funny liner notes. They do covers of the Zombies, the Fugs, and Mission Of Burma and turn them into punky soul explosions… Good stuff, here’s hoping the fifth pillar is BRUCE WILLIS!!!
RealAudio clip: « Academy Flight Song »
RealAudio clip: « Rock ‘n’ Roll Star »

album cover JONES, GRACE Nightclubbing (Island) cd 11.98
Lately we’ve fallen deeply under the spell of one of Grace Jones’ best outings. While she might be best known for her amazing fashion, body, charisma, overall presence, and her appearances in the Conan and James Bond films, it’s her early music that we’ve been totally obsessed with lately. So while this isn’t a new reissue or anything we thought we’d share our love of this classic with you all.
Recorded in 1981 in the Bahamas, Night clubbing is the ultimate snapshot of the greatness of Grace Jones. Musically it’s for sure her strongest moment, with Sly & Robbie as her rhythm section the mood is so totally seductive and irresistible. There are so many hits or should-have-been hits on this album. While there have been a few different collections and best ofs, we really think that this proper album blows all of them away. From start to finish Night clubbing just sizzles so hot! It’s the perfect late-night, up-to-no-good soundtrack! The title track is of course the Iggy Pop song written by Bowie that somehow Grace takes to new drugged out heights. In fact the whole album feels like the kind of drugged out, raw space disco that you can’t help but give into. Sassy, sultry and so damn sexy!
MPEG Stream: « Pull Up To The Bumper »
MPEG Stream: « Use Me »
MPEG Stream: « Feel Up »

album cover JONES, SHARON & THE DAP-KINGS 100 Days, 100 Nights (Daptone Records) cd 14.98
Amy Winehouse might have used the Dapkings as her band to gain all sorts of fame and fortune earlier this year but make no mistake, it’s Sharon Jones who is still the queen of modern day soul! 100 Days, 100 Nights is her third album and it’s three for three now, as it’s just as solid, stunning and soulful as her previous outings. In fact this could be her best yet and that’s saying a whole lot since her other two albums are big time favorites around these parts.
Her voice is as strong and sexy as ever and the songwriting remains utterly top notch. Jones has this ability to transport us back in time to the late ’60s when soul records sounded so warm, raw and punchy. It’s incredible how her sound stands up when compared to the all-time great soul singers. Just put this on after some Candi Staton, Aretha Franklin, or Betty Lavette and it will be oh so obvious, that Jones will absolutely be remembered as another all time queen of soul!
MPEG Stream: « Nobody’s Baby »
MPEG Stream: « When The Other Foot Drops, Uncle »
MPEG Stream: « Something’s Changed »

album cover JONES, SHARON AND THE DAP KINGS Dap-dippin’ (Daptone) cd 14.98
Daptone Records has been putting out some of the hardest, heaviest funk 45s this side of 1969 since emerging from Desco (responsible for the awesome afrobeat of the Daktaris) a couple years ago. This is the debut full length from Daptone staples Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Raised in the south on a diet of James Brown and singing in gospel choirs, Miss Jones is the real thing– her voice overflows with « pure soul exitement, » as per Daptone’s mission. The Dap Kings recreation of a bygone era of funk is incredibly well executed and hits you right in the hips with infectious danceability, although the intentional anachronism is taken to pretty extreme levels. You won’t find any release date on the album- and a Daptone magazine ad cheekily placed the release date in 1972. That aside, this is a great record regardless of era. « Dap-dippin' » pulls of feats such as infusing a cover of Janet Jackson’s « What Have You Done For Me Lately » with a super-sized dose of bad ass soul- nice! Definitely one juicy bit of funk.
RealAudio clip: « The Dip Dap »
RealAudio clip: « Got A Thing On My Mind »
RealAudio clip: « Make It Good To Me »

album cover JONES, SHARON AND THE DAP-KINGS Naturally (Daptone) cd 13.98
Hooooly Dap-Kings. Join Jones and her Dap-Kings on the righteous road to a Funky Soul Revival, child! If you love James Brown’s JB’s as much as I do, you’ll be smitten with Sharon Jones, her Dap-Kings and their latest full-length, Naturally. Staccato guitar lines, horns, vibes, thee tightest drumming all smathered with honey sweet n’ funky soul vocals. Jones’ lead vocals are like a hot, golden afternoon in the Bronx. A breeze of African rhythms opens up a song or two to a whole new realm of beauty that Soul proper wouldn’t necessarily touch. It’s pretty remarkable that the production suggest to nearly all first-time listeners that Naturally was recorded in 1960s Georgia. Recommended.
MPEG Stream: « How Do I Let A Good Man Down? »
MPEG Stream: « Natural Born Lover »

album cover JR. AND HIS SOULETTES Psychodelic Sounds (Vampisoul) cd 17.98
We are suckers for the sound of kids making their own rock or funk or soul or whatever. Of course we love The Langley School Music Project, and Rock Jack, and Evil Wicked Warrior, but we especially love it when little kids write, record and play their own songs. Jr. And His Soulettes were lead by the 10 year old Harold Moore Jr. and his younger brothers and sisters who ranged in age from 6-9 years old. They played around Oklahoma in the early 70’s and pressed a record that never really saw the light of day, as their uncle ruined most of them trying to shrink wrap them using a meat packing machine at the plant he worked at. Luckily someone got their hands on the recording and it’s now finally available on cd! And boy is this some seriously great raw & funky r&b, deep in the garage, complete with wah-wah organ, fuzzy guitar, driving instrumentals and some undeniably charming vocals. These were some talented and soulful kids!
MPEG Stream: « Momma, Love Tequilla »
MPEG Stream: « Sweet Little One »

album cover JULIUS, ORLANDO & HIS AFRO-SOUNDERS Orlando’s Afro Ideas: 1969-72 (Ekosound) cd 21.00
Outside of Nigeria, most Nigerian artists from the golden era of Nigerian High Life live deep within the shadow of Fela Kuti. To be fair to Fela his output alone dwarfs all comers, and he was one of the founding fathers of the modern Nigerian sound. Orlando Julius, while not blessed with as large an oeuvre as Fela is as great an architect of the music. Julius cut his teeth playing in the early high life bands starting back in 1961. By the time Fela Kuti had returned from abroad with his head full of ideas, Orlando Julius had already started his band The Modern Aces and begun revolutionizing the stagnating music scene. It was his band that Fela looked to when he started his precursor to the Africa 70, Koola Lobitos. Now available for the first time outside of Nigeria are 9 tracks of soulful Nigerian high life recorded by Orlando Julius between 1969 and 1972. Includes historical sleeve notes by Miles Cleret.
MPEG Stream: « Home Sweet Home »
MPEG Stream: « Mura Sise »

KELIS Tasty (Star Trak) cd 16.98

album cover KELLY, R. & JAY-Z The Best Of Both Worlds (Jive) cd 18.98
This is indeed the best of both worlds. Touted as the first ever superstar, hip hop/R+B collaboration, ok maybe, but whatever. The pont is, this shit is goooood and I am digging this record like crazy. Imagine any of the last two or three Jay-Z records (and we have all been going a little Jay-Z nuts lately) with R. Kelly singing all the choruses (when he’s not busy videotaping himself having sex with 14 year old girls, ummm). Reminds us of that Fat Joe/R. Kelly track from a few lists back that is still definitely one of the year’s best singles. R. Kelly’s got the most amazing voice, high and crystalline, silky and gorgeous. Definitely a case of ‘he could sing the phone book…’ And Jay-Z, what can you say? He’s got a killer voice, a wicked flow and writes some fucking funny lyrics. Definitely recommended.
RealAudio clip: « Best of Both Worlds »
RealAudio clip: « Take You Home Wtih Me A.K.A. Body »

album cover KING, PETER Shango (Afrostrut) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Nigeria-born, London-schooled bandleader Peter King started his career in the ’60s playing highlife and jazz before venturing into the James Brown inspired realms of afro-funk, of which « Shango » (named after the Yoruba god of thunder) is a prime example. These mostly instrumental tracks (there are some chanted vocal parts, often with a political message like « Freedom! ») are super jazzy and groovy, with King’s sax and flute joined by a bunch of other horns, percussion, and electric guitar/bass/drums. Recorded in 1974 but actually never released at the time, « Shango » was rediscovered when the Afrostrut label was putting together the excellent « Nigeria 70 » compilation — King’s wife remembered the recording, and it turned out the tapes had actually been sitting beneath the bed of Peter King’s son for who knows how many years! You’d think having something this funky under your bed would keep you up at night… Anyway, it’s cool they found this, anyone into the soulful sounds of the « Nigeria 70 » comp or all the other Afro-funk stuff that’s been getting reissued recently will be glad to hear this.
RealAudio clip: « Mystery Tour »

KUTI, FELA Coffin For Head of State / Unknown Soldier (Universal) cd 16.98

KUTI, FELA Expensive Shit / He Miss Road (Universal) cd 16.98

KUTI, FELA Original Suffer Head / I.T.T. (Universal) cd 16.98

KUTI, FELA Stalemate / Fear Not For Man (Universal) cd 16.98

KUTI, FELA The Two Sides of Fela: Jazz & Dance (Universal) 2cd 24.00
Two disk anthology of Fela Kuti’s grand ouevre. As the title implies, one disk focuses on Fela’s jazz oriented cuts and the other on his dance elements — though parsing those two, which are so entwined in all his music, is somewhat tough. Never the less, this is a pretty good introduction to the music of Fela Kuti, spanning twenty years of his prolific career (with tracks from as far back as 1972 and as recent as 1992) and is recommended to those who are curious about his work, but have yet to make any commitments.

album cover KUTI, FELA The Underground Spiritual Game (Quannum Projects) cd 16.98
Fela Kuti is on of those artists that’s really difficult to pull off putting together a « best of » collection. Not necessarily because it’s just too hard to choose selections for such an anthology, but because his songs are just too damn long to fit much more than four tracks on a disc. That doesn’t really make much of a greatest hits album. I’m not sure whether this was Quannum intent on putting this together, but a DJ mix running through some of Fela’s greatest tracks works really well as a best of. As a continuous mix The Underground Spiritual Game is able to retain the feeling of Fela’s extended song structure, but also give the listener a taste of a variety of Fela tracks. As such this disc makes a fine introduction to Fela for those yet to dive into his extensive oeuvre.
MPEG Stream: « Trouble Sleep »
MPEG Stream: « Unnecessary Begging »

album cover KUTI, FEMI Fight To Win (MCA) cd 17.98
New album from the son of Fela Kuti — the king himself — and I’m sure it’s just as hard not to draw comparisons to his father as it is for him to live in his shadow, but that’s the way it is. Femi’s got a big studio budget, uses all the appropriate « world beat » signifiers in his arrangements, and the result sounds like a head on collision betwixt Fishbone and Peter Gabriel… Ouch. I’ll stick with papa’s old tricks.
RealAudio clip: « Walk On the Right Side »

album cover LARSEN Rever (Young God) cd 13.98
The story of how this record came to be is almost impossible to believe, yet Michael Gira (Angels of Light / Swans) seems like a reliable enough source that it could in fact be true. Beginning sometime last year, Gira started receiving a series of arcane CD-Rs from the Italian collective / hermetic cult that simply labeled themselves as Larsen. The music within was a diverse collection of sounds that in Gira’s words included « a whispered song, accompanied by a distant accordion, as if playing in the next room, or a drone of unknown origin, or a short burst of percussive chaos — sometimes just a single sound or noise, a scraping sound, as if someone were slowly etching a piece of rusted metal with a blade of some sort, or the sound of saliva working in the mouth. » The last package that he received did not include a CD-R, but a handsome amount of money, a plane ticket to Italy, and a request for his presence to produce an album for Larsen. Intrigued by the music he had heard up until then, Gira took Larsen up on their offer. Once in Italy, Gira was never allowed to see the band who had situated themselves in the recording studio behind a screen. He described their actions as often emerging as if part of some ceremonial rite, but the liturgical music for these rites have all of the trappings of a band who are far more interested in Sonic Youth than the archetypes of ceremonial musics. Hypnotic, interlocking math rock grooves pulse from forceful minor-key guitar chords, counterpointed with accordions, trumpet blurts, mechanical tape whirrings, tectonic rumbles, and other incredibly rich textural elements. The resulting album is a stunning collection of tense musical constructions that have been gilded with a fragile sadness, recalling the likes of recent Unwound, Blonde Redhead, Ulan Bator (another exceptional band produced by Michael Gira), and bits of This Heat and fellow weirdo Italians the Starfuckers.
The one qualm with the album is on how the record ends. It has been a longstanding belief of mine that Sonic Youth’s « Daydream Nation » should have ended with the graceful haze of « Hyperstation » and done away with the unnecessary exclamation of « Eliminator, Jr. » Similarly, Larsen ends « Rever » badly, as a beautifully repetitive groove simply cuts out, making you wonder if California is returning to the days of rolling blackouts. If only every record had one thing wrong with it instead of eighty-eleven problems, and in spite of that one misgiving, this is one of the best records we have heard in quite a while.
RealAudio clip: « Akin »
RealAudio clip: « Finger Number 6 »
RealAudio clip: « Impro 2 »
RealAudio clip: « Maya »
RealAudio clip: « Radial »

album cover LAST POETS, THE The Last Poets/This Is Madness (Light In The Attic) 2cd 19.98
A double-cd release of The Last Poets’ first two albums! Their 1970 self-titled debut broke out and made its own scene, forging a way for hip hop with politically charged, African-American enlightenments in syncopated rhythm. Fans of Sun Ra will notice similarities in vocal stylings, emotion and lyrical content, though in The Last Poets this treatment is much more fierce and raw than mystical and cool. 1971’s This Is Madness got them a spot on President Nixon’s Counter-Intelligence Programming lists. These street poets’ use of graphic language (including the ‘N’ word used, oh, about five million times) pounds out their frustrations in the racial and social state of the country and at the time helped to extend their messages to a broader audience by way of its pure and utter rawness. Nicely packaged in the albums’ original artwork, these albums are fierce documents of the group’s seminal contribution to that time and still stir up some of the same emotions today.
MPEG Stream: « Wake Up, Niggers »
MPEG Stream: « New York, New York »

album cover LAVETTE, BETTY I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise (Anti) cd 14.98
Something so nice about the tradition of soul singers covering songs by an impressively wide array of artists, and usually with such strong conviction and charisma. In the ’70s Tina Turner had this amazing ability to transform Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin songs and make them her own. Aretha could always breath new life into old songs too. Now, enter the amazing voice of Bettye LaVette. A survivor of the Detroit soul scene of the 1960’s, she never really had any huge hits but that never stopped her from carrying on and using her strong powerful voice to make a handful of soulful records over the last several decades. On this outing she tackles songs by the likes of Lucinda Williams, Johnny Cash, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, etc. In using stripped down instrumentation or even entirely acapella (as on her stunning version of Sinead O’Connor’s « I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got »), LaVette finds the grit and guts of every song she covers. We love the times when her voice sounds a lot like that other Betty we love so much (Betty Davis!), and just like Davis when words come out of LaVette’s mouth they hit you hard, with passion and presence.
MPEG Stream: « Joy »
MPEG Stream: « I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got »

album cover LAVETTE, BETTYE The Scene Of The Crime (Anti) cd 15.98
An icon of the Northern Soul scene, Bettye Lavette has been making music since she was a teenager in the early ’60s. Much like Candi Staton, her career has taken many twists and turns over the decades. Many had thought she had vanished until she hit the scene again a few years back with her debut on Anti, a covers record called I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise that most definitely demonstrated her dynamic range and undying musical passion. The Scene of The Crime finds her recruiting gritty Southern rockers the Drive By Truckers as her backup band along with legendary Spooner Oldham on Wurlitzer and piano. It’s a bleak and raw outing that’s as much blues and gospel as it is soul and country. There’s an undercurrent of sorrow and despair much like Staton’s most recent album, His Hands. After all these years, Lavette’s honest delivery and strong presence are still very much intact.
MPEG Stream: « Somebody Pick Up My Pieces »
MPEG Stream: « Jealousy »

album cover LORD LOVES A WORKING MAN s/t (self-released) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Don’t know why it should be any different for this genre than for any other, but it strikes us that it’s gotta take some major cojones to tackle the badass stylings of Stax! That said, L.L.A.W.M. do so, and they do it admirably well. These folks clearly have a genuine gritty love of old soul music. These days every style of music has made its way into both the indie and mainstream circuits, hasn’t it? Guess it was only time before this goldmine was tapped. Good times.
MPEG Stream: « You Threw Out Your Lifeline »
MPEG Stream: « Yuba City Breakdown »

album cover MACEO & ALL THE KING’S MEN Doing Their Own Thing (Fuel 2000) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Reissue of this classic soul/funk album. Escaping from under the thumb of Soul Brother No. 1, Mr. James Brown (a genius, but a tyrant), tenor saxophonist Maceo Parker formed a new group of equally fed-up ex-James Brown sidemen, including trumpeter Richard « Kush » Griffith, guitarist Jimmy « Chank » Nolen, and Maceo’s drummer brother Melvin Parker. Of course, many of this crew, even Maceo, would be back with Brown within a few years, joining up with his equally incredible new band, The JB’s… but briefly, anyway, All The King’s Men struck out on their own, debuting with this disc in 1970. It wasn’t a commerical success (some say ’cause a revengeful James Brown actually paid disc jockeys NOT to play it), but it is a fine slice of funk by some of the best in the business! Essential for any funkateer’s collection.

MANTRONIK, KURTIS I Sing the Body Electro (Oxygen) cd 14.98
The genius behind Mantronix is back with kick-ass beats and breaks–bringing together the disjointed electro he helped pioneer with the sonds of new school hip-hop and electronica.

MANTRONIX Mantronix: The Album (Warlock) cd 13.98

MARY JANE GIRLS The Best Of (Motown) cd 12.98
Female Rick James proteges the Mary Jane Girls get the « 20th Century Masters The Millenium Collection » best-of treatment with this disc, featuring hits like « In My House », « Candy Man », « All Night Long » and more, all digitally remastered (whatever) long versions. Sure it’s super dated mid-’80s disco-funk-pop. But without the Mary Jane Girls, would we have today’s girl groups like Destiny’s Child? Well, yeah, we would. And Beyonce doesn’t need no Rick James to write and produce. Still, some of us have fond memories of the Mary Jane Girls — Jojo, Candi, Max, Cherri (and Cherri’s replacement Corvette) and this anthology is sure to jog ’em.

album cover MAX-B s/t (Wah-Wah) lp 18.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Awfully hard to find any information about this unique afro-funk pioneer. The first track on the album « Bananaticoco » we had heard before when we got the popular « Club Africa 2 » compilation in a year ago, but a search on google under Max B’s (Max Boulois) name only comes up with several listings for some obscure action films, and a quick visit to imbd.com shows a Max Boulois — originally of Madrid, Spain — who was an actor, writer and director (his tour de force being « Othello: aka The Black Commando »). Anyway, we do know that this lp was originally issued in 1973 by Opalo records and that Max B apparently recorded this album in Spain. The music contained herein is an interesting blend, of up tempo dance-party-afro-rock numbers with a decidedly Brazilian flavor. Lots of mixed chorus chanting and latin percussion with the occaisonal piano thrown in to boot. Then there are the two totally uncharacteristic tracks which are almost worth the price of admission alone: a heavy acid-psych track, « Poker » (a bonus track to this issue) with swishy wah-wah guitars (the label’s bias?) and sloshy organ and the following track « Free », which is another psych track, though less heavy, which features moaning female vocals to a pulsing beat. We wish there was an entire album of tracks by Max B of this sort, but alas we must be satisfied with these two. This reissue is courtesy of the Spanish label Wah-Wah, which also released that live Prince Buster lp we listed a while back, and they do an impressive job of pressing their records on nice thick slabs of vinyl.

MCDANIELS, EUGENE Outlaw (Water) cd 14.98

album cover MCNEAL & NILES Thrust (Chocolate Industries) cd 14.98
With all the DJs out there diggin’ deep, trying to one-up one another with some unknown killer dancefloor fodder, some intriguing discoveries have been made, and as a result we’ve seen more and more rare funk LPs get reissued for all to enjoy. Such is the case with this record by Ohio-based funksters Machelle McNeal and Wilbur Niles, originally released to general obscurity in 1979. I’m sure it will sell many more copies now than then, with the Chocolate Industries stamp of approval. And such tracks as « Punk Funk » and « Hypertension » sure have a tight, crisp energy that still sounds fresh — these guys could even teach the likes of The Rapture or Tussle a groove or two. Right out of the gate, we’re reminded of something off of that that Shuggie Otis album… It’s synthy, Mooged funk with a jazz-fusiony, disco-era gloss. If you like your funk raw, look elsewhere — this is smoove but so so tight. It’s definitely got that cheesy-but-hip TV show soundtrack vibe, you can imagine these tracks accompanying the action on some rad ’70s police drama. Done up in nice new packaging (apparently the original private-press LP didn’t have much in the way of graphics).
MPEG Stream: « Hypertension »
MPEG Stream: « Untitled »

METERS, THE Rejuvenation (Sundazed) cd 13.98

MIDNIGHT STAR No Parking On The Dance Floor (Solar) cd 12.98
Yes, only the best for your dance floor! Features the awesome title track from 1983 as well as Freakazoid. You need this.

album cover MIGHTY HANNIBAL, THE Hannibalism! (Norton) cd 14.98
Collected on cd for the first time, Norton unleases 75 minutes of classic R&B/soul/funk singles sides from turban-wearing singer, including such great cuts as « Big Chief Hug-Um An’ Kiss-Um », « Jerkin’ The Dog », « Fishin’ Pole », « The Truth Shall Make You Free » and 24 others — spanning Hannibal’s output from 1958 to 1973. The rockin’ earlier tracks would be great stuff for your next toga party (!) while the more soulful mid-sixties and funkifed later material gets into heavier subject matter, dealing with drugs and ghetto life. Indeed, the *extensive* liner notes (by Hannibal himself, speaking Iceberg Slim style) delve into the harsh details of his heroin addiction and recovery, as well as providing colorful anecdotes from his career in show biz about money, women, stealing an elephant from the circus, and contemporaries like Johnny Otis, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, and James Brown. One thing he doesn’t discuss is what he’s been up to since ’73, although he does promise to get back into the studio soon, and he says « it’ll be hotter than little sister’s pussy with the clap. A chef knows the formula for making good food. I know the formula for making hit records. I’m giving you the Arnold Schwarzenegger here — a total recall. That’s how I am. I don’t cut nobody no bullshit. »
RealAudio clip: « Motha Goose Breaks Loose »
RealAudio clip: « Hymn No. 5 »
RealAudio clip: « The Truth Shall Make You Free »

MIGHTY RYEDERS Help Us Spread the Message (Luv N’ Haight) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Reissued on cd and limited vinyl, this is classic 1978 Stevie-Wonder-style soul groove. The orignal vinyl is coveted by rare groove DJs the world over. Highly recommended.

album cover MODERN SOUND QUARTET Otinku (EM Records) cd 21.00
What’s the latest obsession of our friends at Japan’s weirdest, most wonderful reissues label, EM Records? Last summer, they brought us a special series of sixties surf music soundtracks, and we can thank EM for the essential selection of « singing saw » recordings stocked at Aquarius… as well as much else in the vein of incredibly strange or at least unusual music. Now, EM is excited about…the steel drums! Or, as EM more correctly calls ’em, steel pans. Now, steel pans, to us, aren’t quite as thrilling as musical saws, though we’ll admit that it’s cool that these tuned percussion instruments are made from cast-off 55 gallon oil drums. They’ve got an interesting history and all, but steel pan and calypso music isn’t really our thing… overexposure to the touristy, cheesy use of the instrument doesn’t help. What’s next, EM celebrates the pan flute? But, at least on the two steel pan oriented albums that EM has recently rescued and reissued, the steel pan sound is pretty sweet, and totally jazzed up. Afro-Caribbean jazz-funk laced with the percussive melodic chiming sound of the steel pan is what you’ll hear on this album by the Modern Sound Quintet, recorded in Stockholm, Sweden (of all places) in 1971. But the band wasn’t Swedish — leader Rudy Smith came from Trinidad, birthplace of the steel pan, and the other musicians in the group hailed from Trinidad, Ghana, Barbados, and Surinam. Smith was the pannist in the group, which also featured drum kit, congas, bass and piano. They cook up some funky originals as well as putting their own unique steel pan spin on such standards as Milt Jackson’s « Bag’s Groove », Joe Zawinul’s « Mercy, Mercy, Mercy », and Herbie Mann’s « Memphis Underground ». Perhaps in this context the steel pan does sound a bit like that more ordinary jazz instrument, the vibes, but of course with more of a tropical island flavor. No doubt there’s some grooves here that some crate-digging DJ’s would be happy to have unearthed on vinyl, now they’ll know to look for this. And while we won’t pretend this is the most amazing thing EM has ever released, it’s kinda neat if you are at all into obscure jazz-funk exotica. Pretty charming really. This is the one to get, and if you love it then check out EM’s other related steel pan release, a reissue of 1984’s Still Around by the Rudy Smith Quartet.
Oh and of course this boasts EM’s usual deluxe gatefold sleeve packaging job, with informative, illustrated liner notes in both Japanese and English.
MPEG Stream: « Otinku »
MPEG Stream: « Flower In The Rain »

album cover MOHAMMED, MOHAMMED ‘JIMMY’ Hulgizey – In Concert (Terp) cd 17.98
We joked in some past reviews that Dutch experimental world music label Terp must be paying our salaries considering how much love we give their releases, but c’mon, you’ve heard them! You’ve bought them! LOTS of them! And like us you’ve played them all to death. Every single one is amazing, so exciting musically, so emotionally resonant, some of the most unique and moving music we’ve EVER heard. And as if to drive the point home, we have not one, but TWO new releases from Terp on this week’s list, one, a live disc from legendary Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria, jamming with The Ex and friends, and this, a sadly posthumous live release from blind Ethiopian vocalist Mohammed ‘Jimmy’ Mohammed.
We raved about Mohammed’s other release on Terp, the completely mind blowing Takkabel! And as we mentioned before, his life story is just as dramatic and intense and emotional as his music. He became blind as a child, an apparent curse after his parents had him baptized against the warnings of a local fortune teller (God wanted him to be Muslim), spent years homeless on the streets, eventually rescued and cared for, enrolled in a school for the blind, where money was raised to help restore his sight, but the money was stolen, and his eyesight never restored, eventually becoming a nightclub singer renowned for his interpretations of songs by legendary vocalist Tlahoun Gessesse (who you probably remember from several volumes of the Ethiopiques series).
But whereas much of Takkabel! was tangled and angular and complex, recalling Aavikko weirdly enough, with guest drumming from improv legend Han Bennink, this live disc is much more laid back and dark, a very personal sounding and intimate recording, the band spreading out a lush tapestry of sound over which Mohammed weaves his magical moods. His voice is divine and as powerful as it is subtle, distincitive and expressive, soaring and dancing nimbly across impossible melodies, the interplay between the vocals and the instruments is divine. The guitar like krar unfurling simple melodic fragments, the percussion simple and propulsive, a simple spare framework for Mohammed to explore as he sees fit, his vocals wild and acrobatic, intense and passionate, so mysterious sounding, but also utterly warm and inviting.
The last two lengthy tracks are the most reminiscent of Takkabel!, with the addition of sax, the rhythms a bit more off kilter and danceable, the whole sound a bit more funky and groovy, VERY Ethiopiques sounding. Hard to imagine the crowd in attendance not dancing wildly in the aisles…
The proceeds from sales of this cd will go toward a just-founded Jimmy Fund, created to care for his wife and his children, one of whom was born right after his death.
MPEG Stream: « Sethed Seketelat »
MPEG Stream: « Mela Mela »
MPEG Stream: « Eywat Setenategagn »

album cover MOHAMMED, MOHAMMED ‘JIMMY’ Takkabel! (Terp) cd 17.98
It must seem like we’re on the Terp payroll or something by now, this being the second record they’ve put out that’s received record of the week honors here at aQ. And the fourth or fifth that we’ve raved about. And to be totally honest, the Terp releases that ended up -not- being records of the week, could very well have under different circumstances, as they are equally as amazing. What can we say, everything Terp has put out so far has totally and completely blown us away! The live Konono record, the gorgeous Lanaya record and this newest release from blind Ethiopian vocalist Mohammed ‘Jimmy’ Mohammed. His story is just as amazing as his voice and the music he makes. After becoming blind as a child, supposedly as a curse for his parents’ decision to ignore the warnings of a fortune teller and baptize him, as God had willed him to be a Muslim, Mohammed ran away and spent several years on the streets, homeless, begging for food, finding solace in the songs of legendary vocalist Tlahoun Gessesse (immortalized in several volumes of the amazing Ethiopiques series) who not only sang beautifully, but whose songs addressed the plight of the poor and suffering. Mohammed was eventually discovered and cared for, enrolled in a school for the blind and raised by a kind hearted surrogate father. After money was raised to help restore his sight, he was heartbroken to discover the funds were stolen and his eyesight was never to be restored. Mohammed spent a brief stint in the national theater before becoming a nightclub singer, where he became more and more popular. Mohammed mostly sings Tlahoun Gessesse’s pop songs from the ’60s / ’70s, being as those are the songs that most affected him throughout his life, but it’s his voice and the unique arrangements that make him so special.
He appeared briefly on Ethiopiques 2 but this is his first proper full length. The first track here is a mindblower. The music is so squiggly and complex, so dense and tangled, angular but so lovely, our first thought was that it sort of sounded sort of like the maniacal casio exotica of Aavikko. Part of it might be the fact that Mohammed’s band is augmented on that track by legendary European free jazz drummer Han Bennink, and Massimo Pupillo from Italian drone jazz combo Zu. SO amazing. There are plenty of immediately recognizable melodies and distinctly Ethiopian elements, but the way it is played is so strange and lovely. But it’s Jimmy’s vocals, high and clear, swooping into an impossible falsetto and back again, warm and rich and so gorgeous, that makes this so magical. Bennink drums on a handful of the other tracks as well (he apparently told Jimmy that the reason they clicked so perfectly was because, he said « I’m blind as well when I play with them ») but even when it’s just Jimmy and his band, the sound is still totally unique and so very special. Little delicate curlicues of electric krar (5 string harp), shuffling skittery drumming, smooth slithery riffs, warm smooth sax from Ethiopian legend Getatchew Mekurya, all weaving a rich intricate tangle of classic Ethiopian melody and irresistibly groovy rhythms, above which Jimmy just soars, so totally emotional and intense, so passionate and absolutely breathtaking.
MPEG Stream: « Aykedashem Lebe »
MPEG Stream: « Sethed Seketelat »

album cover MOORE, RUDY RAY Dolemite – The Soundtrack (Relapse) cd 14.98
Rudy Ray Moore was best known for his seventies XXX party records. Raw, dirty and totally exhilarating. Moore gained most of his fame and notoriety from his starring role in Dolemite, one of the baddest, most revered and often imitated films to come out of the blaxploitation era. Just as thrilling, raw and compelling is Moore’s soundtrack. Deep funk with vocals here and there but mostly scorching short instrumentals that sound exactly how you want your 70’s funk/soul to sound. The score had to be made on as tight a budget as the film, so a group of musicians called the Soul Rebellion Orchestra were hired for a minimal hourly rate and in those recording sessions came up with the raw sounds that would serve as the perfect backdrop, helping create the mystique of Dolemite, which was all about an attitude, an aesthetic, and a sound. Moore and Dolemite have had a huge impact on folks like Snoop Dog, Quentin Tarantino, Ice-T, and Spike Lee. This soundtrack has been impossible to track down for years but has finally been gussied up and reissued properly by an unexpected source, Relapse. Who knew that under all that metal they loved them some funk. We’re sure happy they do!
MPEG Stream: « Dolemite »
MPEG Stream: « The Rumble »
MPEG Stream: « The Hitman »

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