Jimmy Jam Harris was just 16 when he began writing and arranging for Minneapolis 11-piece Mind & Matter. Boasting a perfectly calibrated vocal quartet, an aggressive rhythm section, and stacks of Rhodes, Rolands, and Hammonds, the danceable act failed to win favor with frigid Midwest audiences. Tracked in 1977, this bundle of never-before-released basement demos throw Harris’ beloved Philadelphia Sound into an unfinished root cellar, pelting it with Clavinet attacks, disco skats, and infectious hooks. Named for the street address of its underground uptown genesis, 1514 Oliver Avenue (Basement) is James “Jimmy Jam” Harris’ first foray into songcraft and an organic Minneapolis-vintage alternative to a late ’70s Prince songbook gone increasingly synthetic.
The complete studio recordings of Dallas, Texas, slow-core pioneers. Every cymbal crash, guitar brush, and whisper, across five LPs or four compact discs. Deluxe box includes WhatFunLifeWas, Beheaded, Transaction De Novo, and an additional disc overflowing with singles, EPs, and outtakes, alongside a perfect bound book dissecting the quintet's nervous slouch through the '90s.
"I met them in full flower, in the depths of their mania, pursuing contemplative music with the kind of intensity normally found in psychopaths. No detail was too small to sweat, no crack in the veneer not worth gluing and clamping. We built a common language, equal parts philosophy, rock music, and disdain for the dullness around us." - Steve Albini
Pressed in a quantity of 500 and available to Bay Area stores only is the Berkeley Sampler, a vinyl reissue of the original Cometbus-issued 1987 cassette. The A-Side is Crimpshrine's first demo, while the B-side is the Rosetta Stone of Berkeley punk, with members of Operation Ivy, Samiam, Rancid, Tilt, and Wynona Riders in their earlier, teenage bands.
With a sound that was swampy, primal and modern-urban all at once - as much in the tradition of rock n' roll and punk rock as it was a rejection of those things, the Scientists' formula was as universal as it was specific to their own experience. The themes of getting wasted, driving around in hotted-up cars, being trapped in crap jobs, and paranoia were their subject matter. Machine throb bass and drums with jagged car-wreck guitars were their modus operandi. Fitting into no place or time they spurned all but the most rudimentary and elemental of rock structures to create a sound all their own.
"The Scientists proved to me that rock 'n' roll could be played by gentlemen in fine silk shirts half unbuttoned and still be dirty, cool and real." —Thurston Moore
"They wrote fantastic singles and looked like they just crawled out of the ooze. What more could you ask for?" —Warren Ellis
"The Scientists turned my head around and made a man out of me! They grew hair on my palms and made my socks stink!" —Jon Spencer
Biff! A violin bow scrapes across the strings of a guitarBang! The hiss of a an aerosol can releases paint on to canvasPow! As the violin bow pierces the canvas.
Presented here for the first time are the complete Creation studio recordings. All 42 tracks (CD version) have been remastered from the original tapes by Shel Talmy, and given fresh stereo mixes where previously unavailable. New essays by Dean Rudland and Alec Palao tell the band's story and dive into their complete studio sessions. Scores of previously unpublished photographs adorn the accompanying 80 page hard bound book (CD version). We've rounded the whole package out with four tracks by pre-Creation freakbeat quartet the Mark Four, making Action Painting the definitive collection of this legendary UK band.
The formula was simple: marry bubblegum and soul to the absolute sincerity of an enthusiastic child, cross your fingers and pray for airplay. But while the youthful sums of that formula may have grown up and walked away from their illusions of stardom, their permanent records remain.
A decade removed from our acclaimed Home Schooled compilation comes a fresh batch of talent show titans. With enterprising parents, neighbors, and teachers turning play dates into recording dates, groups like Magical Connection, Little Man and the Inquires, and Five Ounces of Soul emulated the Jacksons, who'd made grade-school stardom appear easy as ABC. Afterschool Special: The 123s Of Kid Soul contains 19 tiny tunes ranging from bilingual D.A.R.E. anthem, to James Brown bio, to young love and life beyond the playground.
Synth chutes, synth ladders, popcorn 808 beats, dirge-y chants and busted sub-woofer hums from inner-galactic soul pioneers Nathaniel Woolridge and Anthony Freeman intertwine to create this hypnotic, mythical 1984 LP from Newark, New Jersey. The most damaged party record ever set to black, or the most partied cry of the heart ever howled into personal space. Probably both.
Between Twickenham and Teddington, in the southwest corner of London just a stone’s skip down the Thames from Eel Pie Island and a dingy cradle of British rock called the Chisnall Club, grammar school mates David Cousins and Tony Hooper came of age in the mostly horizontal urban area known as Strawberry Hill. And in the shadow of Hill House—famed correspondent Horace Walpole’s stately Gothic Revival villa—Cousins and Hooper saw light in both American bluegrass and the sound of skiffle sultan and British folkie Lonnie Donegan. Just across the river, in Kingston on Thames, London native Sandy Denny was feeling her way onto that same burgeoning folk circuit. “I met Sandy Denny at the Troubadour in Earl’s Court in late 1966,” Strawbs vocalist, guitarist, and banjoist David Cousins said. “I dropped in late one night to hear an angel singing. Sandy was sitting on a stool, wearing a white dress, a straw hat, and playing a Gibson Hummingbird guitar. When she came off stage, I introduced myself and asked if she fancied joining a group. ‘Who are you?’ she said. ‘Strawbs,’ I replied. ‘OK,’ she said. I went to the pay phone and called Tony Hooper to tell him we had a girl singer.”
Following a BBC World Service session in February 1967, the group was booked across the North Sea for a fortnight, with an option to record what would be their only album. spent days in a makeshift studio set up on the theatrical stage of VanlĂ¸se Bio, breaking down the Tandberg three-track reel-to-reel in time for the movie theater’s evening screenings before heading off to their nightly gig. In all, a dozen original songs were set down, including Denny’s recently completed “Who Knows Where The Time Goes.” From the moment Sandy Denny hesitantly delivered her original “Across the purple sky...” lyric, the song took wing toward canonization. But the world would wait another two years before hearing it, on Fairport Convention’s 1969 masterpiece Unhalfbricking. Only after four more subsequent years did the Copenhagen recordings come to light.
The quartet returned to London in August 1967 and parted ways shortly thereafter. “During the summer of ’67, I got to know Sandy,” future producer Joe Boyd recalled. “She felt that she’d gotten as far as she could go doing the circuit of folk clubs, and she liked the idea of being in a group, but she wasn’t sure that the Strawbs were the right outfit for her.” Cousins put in overtime trying to hitch the Tivoli tapes to a UK label, and got bites from Polydor and Phil Solomon’s Dublin-based Major Minor, but disagreements amongst Sandy and the Strawbs caused the project to rot.
While Sandy Denny’s career and that of the Strawbs reached pinnacles in parallel, Karl-Emil Knudson followed along. Tapes for the scrapped Denny/Strawbs album were pulled from storage, and a deal was struck with premiere UK budget imprint Hallmark Records. All Our Own Work hit the marketplace midway through 1973 in a cheap sleeve with brief, offhand notes from Cousins and fell out of print by the end of the decade. This 2014 vinyl issue collects the original 12 track album, plus a series of outtakes from the VanlĂ¸se Bio sessions previously unavailable on vinyl.
A sinewy guitar, a throbbing bass, and a chorus of haunting females oohs... Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label started with one unrelenting pleader of a track:'Them Two's "Am I A Good Man." Since its 2006 rerelease, "Am I A Good Man" has appeared in dozens of films and television shows and has been sampled by the likes of Ghostface Killah and 50 Cent. Ten years later, this deep soul classic from Miami returns to its original format with it's long-vaulted B-side "Love Has Taken Wings" on the reverse. Both songs were co-written by Clarence "Blowfly" Reid and produced by Liberty Citywunderkinds Johnny Pearsall and Willie Clarke.
Known by genre aficionados as one of the greatest singers and most riveting stage presences in soul music, Jackie Shane has remained largely unknown outside Toronto, where her career briefly flowered in the 1960s. Beyond her unmistakable gift of the gab, Shane is a pioneer of transgender rights, born in a male body but unabashedly living her entire life as a woman at a time when to do so seemed unthinkable. Any Other Way is the first artist-approved collection of Ms. Shane's work, collecting all six of her 45s and every highlight from the legendary 1967 live sessions at the Sapphire Tavern, including three mind blowing, previously-unreleased tracks. Rob Bowman's 20,000 word essay is Jackie's first communication with the public in nearly half a century, telling for the first time ever Jackie Shane's story in her own words.
Who do we become when we live our dreams? It's all here - the high hairdos, the dreams and schemes, the tender camp, the wedding bell fantasias and chaste tragedies. Sister acts, studio receptionists, classmates, angelic voices of the 1960s; some legendary, many hidden in the basement of expired rainbows. Gathered on this deluxe double LP (or CD) are 28 (56 on the compact disc!) foiled escape attempts, now free to soar in girl group heaven.
Original 1996 album remastered and pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl.
"Beheaded was such a quiet record out of necessity. I was living in a small apartment. Some of the songs I did are really quiet with no drums because I couldn't think of anything to do, we couldn't practice, and I didn't want to wake up the neighbors. It's a definite case of environment affecting the creative process." - Matt Kadane
After trekking east from the suburbs of Perth to take new root in Sydney, in 1983 the Scientists hooked up with producer Chris Logan, who's credited with the album's imposing sonic girth and rumbling low end, and premier Aussie punk label Au Go Go for an album that would define their unmistakably swampy, psychotic aura. These six songs revisited band leader Kim Salmon's interest in the Cramps and the Stooges,while adding in the repetitive dementia of Suicide and elements of cow punk twang, with Salmon's distinctly unrefined Australian accent snarling tales of lust, confusion and angst.
From his studio in central Bobo-Dioulasso, photographer Sory SanlĂ© documented a nation's transformation from colonial foothold to cosmopolitan oasis. Bobo Yeye: Belle Epoque in Upper Volta provides an intimate look into the landlocked nation's pop culture explosion of the 1970s. A melange of community elders and emboldened youth spill from the brightly lit confines of SanlĂ©'s Volta Photo into the dimly lit nightclubs of Upper Volta's cultural capital. Accompanying this hardbound monograph are dozens of rare and evocative recordings spread over three discs by Bobo-Dioulasso's musical titans: Volta Jazz, Dafra Star, Echo Del Africa, and Les Imbattables LĂ©opards.
The private issue answer to Chicago's afrocentric giants Earth Wind & Fire, The Pharaohs, and the Art Ensemble, boasting an unholy conflagration of soul, funk, spiritual jazz, African rhythms, and the politics of Black Power. Come witness the invocation of death, a war for peace that black America must fight, Malcolm X's violent passing, brains already in the grave, God's damning of us all, and a glib parody of "The Star Spangled Banner," all delivered by a crawling funk fusion as eager to blast us awake with harsh words as with insistent horns.
Continuing a tradition that began with Sweet Sweetback's Badasssss Song and culminated with Shaft and Superfly, Brotherman was a blaxploitation film set to hit screens in 1975. Prior to the script's completion, the producers commissioned an original soundtrack to be performed by The Final Solution, a fledging vocal group from Chicago's west side. But it went down predictable: the plug got pulled and the movie was cancelled before even one foot of film made the can. Dragged around for 30 years by songwriter, guitarist, and arranger Carl Wolfolk, the tapes of his life's work have finally been mixed and his soundtrack album finally completed, augmented only to include two fully orchestrated instrumentals intended for the film. The Final Solution's richly complex harmonies weave in and around Wolfolk's Sebastopol-style guitar sketches, leaving the listener to imagine what might have been.
1982, Brussels: Living on busking wages and next door to Tuxedomoon, Antena manage to make a contemporary bossa nova record that provides the missing link between Antonio Carlos Jobim and Kraftwerk. The original Camino Del Sol has been given back its spacious mini-LP quarters, recasting this short-lived combo's forward-thinking mile marker as a modern-day masterstroke.
San Jose's sonic cure-all for the Y2K hangover that never materialized, Duster emerged from a cloud of lonely bong rips to take indie rock to the moon, and beyond. Scotch-taped guitars toggle between a chorus of brittle winter trees and a blanket of distorted fuzz. The low rumble of a cardboard box being kicked in a dead mall keeps pace in the background, as muffled, sung-spoken vocals ponder the great mysteries of modern mundanity. Three years of home recording accidents and blown-out 2AM studio experiments are spread across four LPs, gathering the short-lived trio's Stratosphere and Contemporary Movement albums, 1975 EP, singles, demos, and other miscellaneous debris into one escape pod, now free to drift in the endless void of space.
Inspired by the infinitely numbered harmonies transmitted by Vista, a benevolent being from a distant dimension, Iasos broke ground for a new age of electronic sound manipulation. His was pioneering work— done from a bohemian boat-slip home office—on some of the first commercially available synthesizers and, on stage, into the kaliedoscopic heart of psychedelic era concert visuals. As life-affirming and attuned to spirit as Iasos’ soul portraits were, prestigious psychology departments heard in them the tones humans hear at the precipice between life and death. Before ambient andNew Age were so named and codified, the “Paradise Music” of Iasos—represented here by 13 selections transmitted between 1975 and 1985—brought Earth-transcriptions of a vast and galactic sound-healing to a planet much in need.
The self-proclaimed "most sampled artist ever," Syl finally gets his due on this 4CD box covering his most productive period, 1959 through 1972. Collected for the first time are all of Syl's Federal, Twinight, Zachron, Special Agent, Cha Cha, and TMP-Ting 45s, plus period cuts from his Japan-only LP Goodie Goodie Good Times, and a murderer's grip of previously unreleased and little-heard out-takes. Lovingly remastered from the original source tapes, these 81 songs never sounded sharper, clearer, or funkier. And historian Bill Dahl's comprehensive track-by-track annotations bring deep-research backstory to every one. Our handsomely detailed and artfully crafted 40 page, 12" x 12" booklet also features a 13,000-word biography, scores of unpublished photos, a must-read index covering the history of every Syl-sampling artist (paid-up or otherwise), and the most complete and accurate discography you're likely to find in this universe.
"There are many great soul singers, but few has inspired hip hop from its early beginning to now. Syl Johnson is a unsung pioneer of musical fusion." - RZA
Syl Johnson began the '60s a blues singer and session guitarist and concluded it having synthesized his own brand of gritty Chicago soul. Their first signee, Syl Johnson set the tone at Twinight Records, writing and producing fifteen 45s during his four year tenure with the label. This double LP neatly bundles each side of each of Johnson's Twinight 45s, from the heavily-sampled grunts on "Different Strokes," to the ghetto-conscious "Concrete Reservation."