The latest compilation by cultures of soul gathers together little known boogie, electrofunk and J-pop released in Japan between 1981 and 1988… Strong compilation!
Following successful disco excavation from the Caribbean to South Africa, Boston-based label Cultures of Soul booked a first class ticket to Narita to bring you the latest release, Tokyo Nights: Female J-Pop Boogie Funk: 1981 to 1988. This compilation presents 12 of the most memorable and sought-after songs of the era recorded by female artists. The music is a reflection of the unbridled optimism, technological achievement, excess and exuberance of Bubble-era Japan. More than catchy melodies and funky baselines, these are reflections of a time when Japan was the center, and future of the world.
The Bubble can be characterized as an endless, extravagant party where personal and corporate wealth soared through the explosion of real estate and stock prices. Scores of young Japanese men and women moved to cities in search of affluence, transforming them into neon wonderlands. Changes in morals, values and gender roles followed suit. Prosperity leads to indulgence, and the taste for nightlife, from flashy restaurants to glitzy discotheques, was unquenchable. A soundtrack to this new, lavish lifestyle was necessary and the latest sound, City Pop (urban pop music for those with urban lifestyles), epitomized these attitudes.
While influenced by American R&B and boogie, elements of fusion, YMO style Technopop, and adult-oriented rock (AOR) are front and center. Sung primarily in Japanese (with a word or two of English sprinkled in), City Pop is Japanese music for Japanese people. Producers like Tatsuro Yamashita, Toshiki Kadomatsu, and Haruomi Hosono were quick to embrace the latest studio equipment and technology. Synthesizers like the Yamaha DX7, Roland Juno-60, ARP Quadra, Moog Polymoog and Oberheim OB-8, as well as drum machines like the Linndrum, were prevalent. Digital reverb was applied liberally.
Compiled by Eli Cohen (Alliance Upholstery) and Deano Sounds
(Cultures of Soul), Tokyo Nights includes tracks by Hitomi Tohyama, Junko Ohashi, Mizuki Koyama, Kaoru Akimoto, Aru Takamura, Mariko Tone, Rie Murakami, RA MU, Kikuchi Momoko and Yumi Seino. Each selection celebrates the unique traits and meticulous production that define the sound. Think sandy beaches and metropolitan skylines; illumination and romance. Embrace the feeling of movement, from a coastal highway stretching towards the horizon or the city sprawling into the future. Turn on the hi-fi and slip into these Tokyo Nights.
Re-release of Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s rural Canadian new age suite for DX7 and TR707 …keyboard fantasies… with new carefully reconstructed glasswork design by Alan Briand
Beverly Glenn-Copeland is already known amongst collectors and music heads for two sought-after albums of folky jazz in the key of Joni. But it was this album, originally self-released on cassette in 1986 that really caught our attention. The album, entirely recorded on DX-7 and TR-707, lies somewhere between digital new-age and (accidentally) early Detroit techno experiments. The inimitable style of BGC here is both peaceful and meditative while simultaneously rhythmic and bass heavy. The album was recorded in the northern Canadian town of Huntsville where BGC was living at the time and is a beautiful fusion of personal vision, technology and place.
A mix of Turkish female funk / psych soul – the mix was created for the Amsterdam-based Dekmantel organisation & released as a podcast: https://soundcloud.com/dkmntl/selectors-podcast-007-andy-votel.
Double cassette version, ltd run.
Ltd. Andy Votel mix cassette.
A collaborative project from Melbourne’s Andras Fox and Oscar Key Sung…
The label says “Like it’s predecessor, ‘Café Romantica’ started out as raw cassette tape demos, this collaborative project blends Andras Fox’ deep house productions with the sensual vocals of Oscar S. Thorn. Mixing phrases or straight cuts from experimental jam’s with lush rhythm tracks, Café Romantica is a surprising mix of dance floor material alongside slow 80s funk grooves.
‘Café Romantica’ is a smoothly urgent house plea, with Oscar’s yearning vocals soothed by Andras’ warm, lightfooted production. For fans of that early 90’s house vibe by Larry Heard, Frankie Knuckles and Kenny Dixon jr.”
An all-hits compilation of late 1960s – early 1970s Ethiopian soul and R&B. Very intensely groove oriented material by some of Ethiopia’s top musicians. Includes songs by MULATU ASTATKE, SEYFOu YOHANNES, AYELEW MESFIN, GETACHEW KASSA and the mighty ABBEBE TESSEMMA. A non-stop party. Old school “tip on” sleeve.
Delroy Edwards has shared a 20-minute mixtape of “exclusive remixes and instrumentals”.
Slowed Down Funk Vol. 1 takes its cues from the chopped and screwed sound invented by Houston’s DJ Screw, with syrup-laced vocals, crusty bass vibrations and G-funk squeals rolling along at a groggy tempo.
The first installment of our compilation series titled RAW SILK, features eight artists from around the world , who came together to put down some of the most sophisticated funk gems of the year. Starting with Sweater Funk’s K-MAXX – “Wanna Play Hooky”, K-MAXX’s soulful voice over his intricate production, professing what’s on every fellas mind when Monday comes a little too fast, this jam makes every day a holiday! East Liberty Quarters alumni, Bus Crates 16 bit Ensemble – “In Gear”, sonically captures the look of love with a solid funk gem that allows a beautiful dialogue between the talkbox and female harmonies to connect the spirits to get in gear ! Toni Clarke’s – “Let’s Do It” draws us out to the floor with G Funk baselines and silky harmonies that will have you two stepping with your partner or boogaloo throughout the universe, either way lets do it to Toni’s debut vinyl appearance ! Grand Ear and Bus Crates join forces again for East Liberty Quarters – “The 206” , A dance floor stepper that baptizes you in that “206” funk that we been enjoying for the last few years ! Sasac’s – “Spring Jam” drops infectious baselines with raw inverted guitar chords, that sweeps us away with a funk that is all his own, leaves us feeling refreshed every time. Benedek’s “Saturday Jam” hits us with melodic synths and intricate baselines over a silky groove has us gliding up and down the block anticipating the nighttime! Henning’s vinyl debut – “Peak of Summer” electrifies us with his intensity , blistering synth and talkbox arrangements that creates a dialogue that is most commonly felt on the hottest days of the year, dripping wet modern funk ! Turquoise Summers’ “All Over Again” seals this compilation up with a sonic baptism, walking us into the light and showering us synthesizer magic leaving us wanting more of what we now call modern funk !
Family Circle’s 1973 LP draws a tight ring around the most beguiling soul tropes of its era, with its full house of ambitious players and hook-laden originals. Newark, New Jersey’s Simmons siblings—George, James, Mary, Don, and David—rallied around journeyman arranger George Andrews and business maven/producer Randy Irwin, whose industry ties brought studio luminaries into the Simmons orbit: session guitar giant Cornell Dupree, guitarist/songwriter Billy Vera, and the inimitable Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on drums. Charles Simmons’ “Well Runs Dry” dipped several toes into Jackson 5-saturated waters, while “I Hope You Really Love Me” stayed together with the Al Green ethos. Where the bowling, basketball, and karate-obsessed Simmons fivesome was hitching to—thumbs unfurled and dressed to impress in Central Park on Family Circle’s back cover—is anyone’s guess, but their sparkling, layered sound, gospel-honed vocal chops, and instantly relatable melodies should’ve dropped them off on everybody’s turntable. Give Family Circle a lift, drive ‘em around awhile.
7 Days of Funk – Dam-Funk and Snoopzilla aka the legendary Snoop Dogg. The album is set for release December 10, 2013 on Stones Throw Records.
“We’re the babies of the Mothership,” says Snoop. “I’ve had funk influences in my music my whole career. Dam-Funk is cold. He’s keeping the funk alive and I knew I had to get down with him.”
The King of Modern Funk meets the smoked-out scion of G-Funk on the 7 Days of Funk album, where Snoop performs under the name Snoopzilla, the homage to the legendary funk master, Bootsy Collins, who often went by the moniker Bootzilla. After an initial chance meeting two years ago, Dam and Snoop began to collaborate when Snoop invited Dam to perform with him at a 2011 SXSW show — the musical connection was inherent.
“Snoop knew what I was thinking without me having to articulate it. That’s how you know when you gel artistically with someone,” Dam-Funk says. “These beats were made for him and he laid down some of the smoothest harmonies and melodies I’ve ever heard. It’s hip-hop, but you can also hear what we grew up on, from Zapp to Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King and Patrice Rushen.”
As an entertainment icon, there is little Snoop hasn’t accomplished. The Long Beach legend has sold over 30,000,000 albums, and received 15 Grammy® nominations, but at heart, the funk has inspired many tracks through his career.
Growing up at the other end of L.A. was Pasadena’s Dam-Funk. Since his 2009 debut, Toeachizown, the Stones Throw-signed visionary has defined modern funk music—this isn’t a fad for him, it’s a way of life. He’s the new vanguard of a tradition encompassing George Clinton, Roger Troutman, Prince and Snoop Dogg himself, who helped pioneer G-Funk with Dr. Dre.
Bubbling up from the snow-blanketed land of 10,000 lakes, the Minneapolis Sound defied expectations, emerging late in the ‘70s as a slick, black, technologically advanced fusion, poised to storm the charts. In relative silence, the Twin Cities had been harboring a tight-knit community feverishly at work in radically manipulating American dance music, varnishing futurist funk with guitar rock’s glamorous sheen. Purple Snow, the Numero Group’s ambitious 50th mainline release, chronicles false starts and follow-throughs toward Minneapolis Sound, on 4 LPs and 32 rare and unreleased recordings from the years just prior to, and just after, one gifted Nelson was crowned Prince. At some 30,000 words, our 144-page hardbound book meticulously directs the listener through two hours of music, and a decade dotted by adept producers, combos, and characters—like 94 East, Flyte Tyme, and Alexander O’Neal, whose less celebrated groundwork put Minneapolis’ purple launchpad on the map. From Jimmy Jam’s extroverted Mind & Matter collective to André Cymone’s polish-free bedroom demos, Purple Snow gathers as the sprawling, nonfiction prequel to Purple Rain’s cultural takeover. In image-rich splendor, funk-informed hordes of unsung Twin Cities talent bask for a spotlit moment, out of that persistent violet shadow, to shine.
Almost 10 years ago, Light In The Attic and DJ Supreme La Rock compiled the first ever set of vintage Pacific Northwest soul on Wheedle’s Groove: Seattle’s Finest In Funk & Soul 1965-75 (LITA 009) featuring such rare sides as “I Just Want To Be (Like Myself)” by legendary funk outfit Robbie Hill’s Family Affair. Nearly a decade on, more unheard Seattle soul gems continue surfacing. This November 29th, Light In The Attic is honored to release, for the first time on vinyl, Gotta Get Back: The Unreleased L.A. Sessions from Robbie Hill’s Family Affair.
Originally recorded at RCA Studios in Los Angeles in January 1975 with Executive Producer Cuba Gooding Sr. and The Main Ingredient (the Family Affair were the Ingredient’s backing band at the time), these five tracks remained lost until the recent discovery of the original multi-track masters. The tapes were carefully mixed by renowned engineer and producer Steve Fisk. To say it’s a miracle that these tapes surfaced would be a massive understatement.
Robbie named his band “Family Affair” for a reason – his band is his family and what you hear is proof that the blood really is thicker than the mud. What you’re now holding in your hands is a pinnacle recording from a band that continues on to the present day, surviving in Seattle’s Central District, carrying on a decades’ long tradition.
Numero 047 Eccentric Soul: The Forte Label charts Kansas City
yeoman’s work, the Carpets and the Derbys, dapper clothiers
mysteriously murdered, and marriages made and broken. In
28 LP tracks or 21 on CD, plus a trove of promo headshots and
every-hued label scans detailing all iterations of Forte’s logo in
print, this 16th Eccentric Soul sojourn hands over vivid floor
shakers and lost dance craze records alike—though what moves
“The Hen” required remains anyone’s guess.
review coming soon…
review coming soon…