Secretly Distributon

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2017-02-03
Syl Johnson: My Funky Funky Band

Nobody - and I do mean nobody - has a funkier band than Syl Johnson! His famous Chicago outfit cooks up such powerful rhythms that there isn't an R&B band in all the land that can come close to touching them. When Syl's out front in the spotlight, delivering his dynamic vocals while his funky, funky band lets loose with their unstoppable rhythms, I defy anybody with two working ears not to head straight to the dancefloor.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2017-02-03
Syl Johnson: We Do It Together

Will Syl Johnson ever run out of soul? No way, baby. He's got a bottomless supply! Syl's inspiring voice and his mighty band, the Pieces of Peace, are a match made in soul heaven. Hit songs "One Way Ticket To Nowhere" and "Get Ready" are just two of the highlights from this LP, adding to his sky high stash of smashes. They're joined by a super-funky "Annie Got Hot Pants Power," the uplifting "We Do It Together," and "Thank You Baby," and revivals of Jackie Wilson's "That's Why," and the Temptations' "The Way You Do The Things You Do," transformed so completely that you'd swear they were written specifically for Syl.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2017-02-03
Tommy McGee: Now That I Have You b/w Stay With Me

Having anthologized his '60s songbook with 1976's overdue long-player Positive-Negative, Grand Rapids, Michigan's Tommy McGee was eager to place something more modern into the marketplace. Brass at Brunswick and MCA failed to hear a hit in McGee's sultry-yet-assured delivery of "Now That I Have You." Unable to find a home for the romantic anthem, McGee issued his 2-step masterpiece on his own TMG Records in 1981. McGee would revisit the composition later in the decade, dressing the tune with drum machines and synthesizers for a run of 12-inch singles. However, this 45-only version from 1976 captures the progressive soul stepper at its most organic.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2017-02-03
Unwound: Fake Train

After the Pacific Northwest grunge raids of the early '90s that saw Nirvana, Mudhoney, and even the Melvins hoisted up the major label flagpole, Unwound's 1993 debut came as a welcomed reprieve for underground noise-niks everywhere. A pulsing cluster of wiry feedback, lurching bass, and single stroke rolls, Fake Train entangles the energies of frustrated backpack emo, faded Riot Grrrl back issues, and their own dash of teen spirit and unleashes it all in an earsplitting 10-song assault. "Comes on like an homage to Wire's "1 2 X U" as filtered through Minor Threat and a broken bottle of Robitussin." - Pitchfork

"It's no contest: Unwound is the best band of the '90s." - A.V. Club

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2017-01-20
Various Artists: Wayfaring Strangers: Ladies From The Canyon

By 1970, the folk revival had all but ended. Gone were the heady days of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" and "If I Had A Hammer." Hootenanny had been cancelled. Broadside was out, Rolling Stone in. Richard Fariña was dead; Bob Dylan had plugged in. Paths paved by Joan Baez and Judy Collins had led a younger, more introspective generation of songwriters into the woods, while the ethos forged in weather-beaten hills and tempered on the lower east side of Manhattan was being reborn in the canyons of California, as songs for seagulls crafted in Joni Mitchell's visage. Culled from beyond the crop of crit-revisionist darlings Linda Perhacs, Judee Sill, or Vashti Bunyan, Ladies From The Canyon examines the world of private folk via the works of 15 unlikely heroines who sang beneath the infrastructure of the music business, playing to coffeehouse chatter and church picnic silence. Each of these Wayfaring Strangers walk in the handmade aesthetic of lyrics scribbled into faded denim, of delicate movements captured and released.

Joseph Washington Jr.: Merry Christmas To You (Candy Cane Vinyl)

Joseph Washington Jr.'s 1983 holiday LP puts a soulful, funky, suave ribbon on nine frosty Christmas cuts. In that season of music's traditional descent into threadbare schmaltz, Merry Christmas to You restores joy and wonder to a blizzard of bland. Under this tree, find undiscovered classics for our cynical age: the buoyant "Jesus’ Birthday," the hot and bothered soul of "Merry Christmas," the ridiculously catchy wallet-opener "Shopping." The world of records produces just a precious few yuletide keepers: Spector's A Christmas Gift for You; Fahey's The New Possibility; Guaraldi's indelible Charlie Brown Christmas. Down another nog and file Joseph Washington Jr. comfortably next to those.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-12-02
Syl Johnson: My Gift

Every side of every 45 from Syl Johnson's formative years on the Federal Label. Recorded between 1959 and 1962, My Gift is an exemplary collection of early R&B that blends Chicago blues with fiery soul. Cut from the original master tapes, these early recordings are presented pristine fidelity.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-12-02
Syl Johnson: Do You Know What Soul Is

Culling together records from a host of short-lived indie labels, Do You Know What Soul Is? finds Syl Johnson at his most industrious. Heard here developing his chops as a writer/producer, Mr. Johnson knows what soul is.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-12-02
Syl Johnson: Complete Mythology

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.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-11-11
Various Artists: Shanghai’d Soul: Episode 4

Everybody's still talking about the good ol' days! A rough and rugged collection of Numero Group classics that have inspired swarms of killer beats. A head nod to the sounds of Shaolin, the thirteen chambers of Shanghai'd Soul have led a generation of lyrical chefs and production geniuses to compose some of their most ominous hip-hop. Bound by heavy drums, moody chords, and haunting melodies, Gods and Earths alike will appreciate the raw funk and smoother-than-a-Lexus soul that come together like Voltron on this special compilation.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-10-28
Various Artists: Bobo Yeye: Belle Epoque in Upper Volta

From his studio in central Bobo-Dioulasso, photographer Sory Sanlé 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 Sanlé'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 Léopards.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-10-14
Dry Bread: Yamar b/w Words to My Song

Steeped in Caribbean flavor and seasoned with a fistful of hand-percussion, "Yamar" was initially sidelined from 2009's Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama Goombay for feeling less like cargo than an authentic piece of pan-Americana. Phish fans may recognize this previously unattainable A-side as it as been a staple in their setlists since the late '80s, imported by bassist Mike Gordon who heard the Mustangs performing it in a Bahamian hotel. Backed with the sweltering "Words To My Song," this doubler-sider is a must for any sea side or pool side DJ.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-10-14
Them Two: Am I A Good Man b/w Love Has Taken Wings

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 City wunderkinds Johnny Pearsall and Willie Clarke.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-09-30
Blonde Redhead: Masculin Féminin

Teeming with the energy and grit of pre-Giuliani Manhattan, Blonde Redhead's long out-of-print early recordings have finally crawled their way out of the '90s basement thanks to Numero Group who will issue the set on Sept. 30. Weighing in at 37 tracks, Masculin Féminin compiles the band's first two albums for Steve Shelley's Smells Like Records (self-titled and La Mia Via Violenta), their period singles, extant demos, and radio performances across four LPs or two CDs. Dozens of previously unpublished photographs illustrate two lengthy essays on this essential New York band's formative years.

This is the latest installment in Numero Group's 200 Line series which has also included releases from Unwound, Bedhead, Codeine, White Zombie and The Scientists.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-09-16
Various Artists: Afterschool Special: 123s of Kid Soul

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.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-08-19
The Scientists: A Place Called Bad

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

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-06-17
Various Artists: Eccentric Soul: Sitting In The Park

Hear the document of one man's passion crossing over into obsession. Chicago radio disc jockey and soul archivist Bob Abrahamian was deeply devoted to celebrating and documenting unknown Chicagoland group harmony music. Upon his untimely passing in 2014, he left behind hundreds of radio programs and a daunting collection of 35,000 carefully-selected 45s. Our collection borrows its title from Abrahamian's long-running and acclaimed WHPK radio show, and it spins a tale that's cautionary, inspiring, and set to the sounds of the impossible-to-find tracks that made Bob Abrahamian's on-air playlist and animated the radio programs that were his life's work. Collected here are 12 artists (16 on the CD) featured on Sitting In The Park, in their own words and through the lens of our friend Bob.

A decade into its limitless ambitions, Numero's flagship Eccentric Soul series is effectively remapping the American soul diaspora. Each compilation explores, in exacting detail, another US city's smallest time hooks and would-be world beaters tossed into the glutted big-hole record sea of the 1960s and '70s. In Eccentric Soul's alternate universe are motley and mishandled Motowns beyond number, and the unforgettable records that could have, and should have, and never did. Find their stories here, retold for the first time.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-06-17
Young Senators: Jungle b/w Thats The Way It Is

The Young Senators are an exemplary progenitor of DC's hyper-local, hyper-celebrated Go-Go scene. Peers of Chuck Brown's Black Heat and Soul Searchers, the septet was led by energetic singer and conga player Jimi Dougans, and featured saxophonist Leroy Flemming, guitarist Calvin Charisty, keyboardist Frank Hooker, drummer James Johnson, bassist Wornell Jones, and trumpeter Phillip Guilbeau. The band issued two singles on the the tiny Innovation label, before joining up with Motown's Eddie Kendricks in 1972 for his sophomore effort People... Hold On. The Young Senators' fuzzed-out brand of psychedelic soul is often bootlegged, but finds it first legitimate release in 45 years via these remastered sides.

Young Senators: Ringing Bells (Sweet Music) Part 1 b/w Part 2

The Young Senators are an exemplary progenitor of DC's hyper-local, hyper-celebrated Go-Go scene. Peers of Chuck Brown's Black Heat and Soul Searchers, the septet was led by energetic singer and conga player Jimi Dougans, and featured saxophonist Leroy Flemming, guitarist Calvin Charisty, keyboardist Frank Hooker, drummer James Johnson, bassist Wornell Jones, and trumpeter Phillip Guilbeau. The band issued two singles on the the tiny Innovation label, before joining up with Motown's Eddie Kendricks in 1972 for his sophomore effort People... Hold On. The Young Senators' fuzzed-out brand of psychedelic soul is often bootlegged, but finds it first legitimate release in 45 years via these remastered sides.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-06-03
White Zombie: It Came From N.Y.C.

Years before Beavis and Butt-head headbanged "Thunder Kiss '65" and "More Human than Human" into the eternal rock video canon, there was primordial White Zombie - a quintessential, diabolically loud byproduct of Manhattan's underground rock scene, born of artschool rendezvous and squalid apartment circumstance. It Came from N.Y.C. is the most exhaustive attempt so far to document the band's wondrously ugly birth. Get reintroduced to White Zombie as New York noise-rock, a grotesque creation that clawed and threatened its way to crossover metal glory.

On June 3rd 2016, Numero resurrects White Zombie's eternally out-of-print early EPs and LPs as It Came From N.Y.C. spread across five LPs or three compact discs, all 39 tracks have been remastered by guitarist J. Yuenger and packaged alongside the original lurid artwork. The accompanying 108-page book painstakingly documents White Zombie's punishing progression through scores of unpublished photos, period discography, a T-shirtography, and tales from the terrifying early years that stitch together the sordid story of a band whose true power eclipsed its mainstream heyday.

White Zombie lives.

Don't be afraid.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-05-06
Joanna Brouk: Hearing Music

She was a composer who wrote scores with geometric shapes, a poet who became a pioneer of early electronic music. Joanna Brouk's little-known body of work exists at the nexus between ambient, new age, drone, and classical minimalism - stark in its simplicity, lush in its expanse. Studying under Robert Ashley and Terry Riley at the fabled Mills College Center For Contemporary Music before graduating into the margins of the 70s bay area new music scene, Ms. Brouk blazed her own trail well outside of the musical establishment to create uncompromising electronic and acoustic work of sleek beauty and primal power. Describing herself as less a composer than a channel, she took her cues from the frequencies of the natural world and the talents of collaborators like Maggi Payne and Bill Maraldo. Hearing Music collects for the first time the deepest cuts from her beguiling and rare cassette releases and her archive of previously unreleased recordings.

"I realized that, in many instances, it didn't matter what you said, it mattered how you said it: the tone of the voice, the rhythm, the sound... Because sound has an incredible effect on other people, it can make them dance, put them into trances, it can control emotions by a certain pitch, a certain depth." - Joanna Brouk

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-03-18
Various Artists: Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music

Twang reigned, the shitkickers kicked shit, and the vaguely western-sounding guitar records piled up. Country-rock became "the dominant American rock style of the 1970s," as Peter Doggett's comprehensive Are You Ready for the Country put it much later. Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music picks up and dusts off golden ingots from the dollar-bin detritus of that domination, to reconstruct events as seen from the genre's real Wild West - America's one-off private press label substructure.

The Shades: Santa Claus Is Coming to Town b/w Prancer's Got Some Red Spots

Girl group greatness for your holiday soiree! Figuring it would take a Christmas miracle to break them out of rural Indiana, the Shades -- Cindi, Jannie, and Suzi -- traveled to Chicago's RCA Studios in 1966 to cut the yuletide classic, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town". Backed with the original "Prancer's Got Some Red Spots" and released on Indiana's tiny Fujimo label, the 2015 reissue comes housed in a festive pic sleeve featuring the teen trio at their most merry.

Various Artists: Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack Entertainment

This sonic companion to Entertainment comes straight from the record collection of top-secret Neil Hamburger alter ego Gregg Turkington, an avid gatherer of privately pressed curios and the self-proclaimed #1 fan of Frank Sinatra Jr. Joining the Son of the Chairman of the Board on this limited edition LP is a cast of downtrodden personalities, including a emphatically Los Angeleno nun, an Italian-language folkie whose guitar laments the Vietnam war, and a Columbus, Ohio, civil rights activist and record man. Included are interstitial dialogue snippets, one of which lets co-star John C. Reilly supply a bizarre rendition of "Away In A Manger."

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-11-13
Medusa: First Step Beyond

You must physically hold this album, kneel at its altar; we will fail to describe it. Medusa’s First Step Beyond might have forever shifted the perception of Chicago rock history had it managed to make the leap from tape to its never-realized vinyl pressing. Instead, the conflagation of Sabbath, Hawkwind, and Amon DuulII remained petrified in the Corycian Caverns - otherwise known as the drummer's basement. Self produced on four track in 1975, this lone transmission from Medusa's repertoire appeared on the extremely mysterious Pepperhead label, whose proprietor allegedly disappeared after a bad trip and was never seen again. Forged in ceremonial mock-velvet, custom embossed in Gorgon-gold and blood-red, and art directed in accordance with the band's elaborate original stage props and artwork, we have positioned this unreleased opus to finally reach its destination: the stereos of pot-smoking and leather-clad teenagers, young and old. The expanded CD version (also ensconced in ceremonial mock-velvet with embossed artwork) boasts a wealth of new band photos and ephemera as well as three additional tracks not available on the LP.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-10-30
Various Artists: Ork Records, New York, New York

Where in the mythos of punk is there room for a frizzy-haired cinephile San Diegan? How could the defining rock attitude and look of the late 1970s get brainstormed by two go-nowheres from a boarding school in Hockessin, Delaware - a D student and kid voted Most Unknown by his senior class?

Forget the worn-out yarns about London gobbers and safety-pin piercings - the true story of the birth of punk rock on 45 is the story of Ork Records, captured by Numero Group on four hefty LPs (or two shiny compact discs) and told across 120 high-gloss pages (184 for the CD) filled with insider photos and sordid details. It is a story populated by iconic names like Television, Alex Chilton, Lester Bangs, Richard Hell, the Feelies, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Blondie and the Ramones. And it's a tale told from the hallowed grounds of CBGB, Max's Kansas City, and Ardent Studios.

It all began with Terry Ork, a Jewish SoCal film nerd enthralled by Andy Warhol's posse as they made a transgressive surfing flick, who moved cross-country to manage a movie memorabilia shop on the grubby streets of the Lower East Side. Made in the shadows of disco and dereliction in late-'70s Manhattan, Ork Records: New York, New York is not just the genesis of punk, it is the birth of the New York City scene and indie culture as we know it.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-10-16
Edge of Daybreak: Eyes of Love

Incarcerated funk has no right to feel this free. Musical convicts and actual convicts from across the Commonwealth, The Edge Of Daybreak's membership wrote and recorded Eyes Of Love while serving out sentences of six to sixty years. Set to tape inside Powhatan Correctional Center on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, these intimate 1979 sessions unlock the prison gates and peer into a collective consciousness concocted by a core of four confined artists. Assembled from distant love ballads and fanciful odes to freedom, Eyes Of Love is a prison letter composed by committee recorded hastily, and circulated regionally amongst adventurous clientele willing to take a chance on these felonious talents.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-10-02
Express Rising: Fixed Rope

One-take ambient instrumental travels, composed in strict committee by the trio of Kevin Blagg, William Suran, and Dante Carfagna. Recorded spontaneously in rural Arkansas, bulging sub-woofers lope through fissures of skeletal banjo and pitched down pedal steel, while delicately arranged basins of synth and guitar reverberate, providing a steady stream of granular epiphanies. Utterly faded, yet still possessing crystalline clarity, these twelve songs continually attain summits rarely reached within the span of four-minute transmissions.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-10-02
Mind & Matter: I'm Under Your Spell b/w Sunshine Lady

In March of 1977, Minneapolis nonet Mind & Matter booked time at Creation Audio on Old Shakopee Road in suburban Bloomington to record "I'm Under Your Spell" and "Sunshine Lady." Written by a teenaged Jimmy "Jam" Harris, these danceable numbers document the prolific songwriter taking baby steps as a budding super producer. A percussionist-turned pianist Harris's playful use of glockenspiel would reappear in subsequent productions for SOS Band, Cherrelle, and Alexander O'Neal.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-10-02