26 Oct 2020

Mexico

“jazz latino” Tino Contreras es un músico excepcionalmente creativo con mas de 60 años de buenas producciones. Según creo aun esta vivo y haciendo música. Felicidades Mexico

'Como no sé mucho de jazz creo que nunca le había entrado a T. Contreras pero este es un disco impresionante. Toneladas de groove, músicos de primera. Amarradísimo. Un must por la finura que maneja.' -Denghoul

Rare & sought after Mexican jazz/latin LP with many good tunes. The versions of "Caravan", "Night in Tunisia" & "Taboo" are all great for DJ's. This LP is more on the jazz tip than the latin, quality delivery all the way through.

Tino Contreras & su banda fotografiados en Estambul en 1962


TINO CONTRERAS Y SU GRUPO DE JAZZ

Una nueva dimensión de el jazz es el principal contenido de este disco Musart: el jazz tropical creado por Tino Contreras, notable baterista triunfador absoluto de los dos certámenes nacionales realizados en México.

A Tino Contreras y su "conjunto triunfador" del 2° Festival de Jazz, lo conocimos en "Jazz en Riguz"; en esa disco se apareció parte del nacimiento del jazz tropical en la población de Villa Quieta, a la que los expertos de Estados Unidos calificaron como "una rica variación del jazz nacido en México, interpretada por el conjunto de Tino".

Jazz Tropical, es la culminación de un esfuerzo continuo de superación emanado por el conjunto de Tino Contreras, indiscutible pionero de esta modalidad musical en nuestro país. En análisis de esta nueva dimensión en el jazz se divide en dos corrientes donde se mezclan los ritmos típicamente afrocubanos y la armonía aferrada al jazz más depurado de la actualidad.

1. Caravana 4:34
2. Noche En Tunisia 3:34
3. Andalucia 5:32
4. Orfeo En Los Tambores 2:47
5. Donde Esta Mi Chica 3:44
6. Taboo 4:09
7. Poinciana 3:39
8. La Malagueña 5:59
9. Conversacion 5:08
10. Perico Blues 2:31

Credits
Bass [Bajo] – Humberto Cané
Bongos, Drum [Tumba] – Silvestre Méndez
Piano – Al Zúñiga, Pedro Plascencia
Saxophone [Saxofones] – Cuco Valtierra
Trumpet [Trompeta] – Mario Contreras

England

With a career spanning four decades, Misty in Roots are one of Englands finest reggae groups. The band was one of the most powerful live reggae acts to emerge from 1970s London, and they were a major force in the Rock Against Racism movement.

'Misty In Roots are a British-based reggae band much loved by John Peel, who frequently listed their Live At The Counter Eurovision 79 among his favourite LPs and cited with strong approval the philosophy of the introduction at the start of side one:

“When we trod this land, we walk for one reason. The reason is to try to help another man to think for himself. The music of our hearts is roots music: musics which we call history, because without the knowledge of your history you cannot determine your destiny; the music about the present, because if you’re not conscious of the present you’re like a cabbage in this society; music which tells about the future and the judgement which is to come.” – Smokes (compere/mainman) in Penny Reel’s interview with Misty in Roots, published 9th May 1981 in NME.'

“MAN FROM DIFFERENT ISLANDS”

Roots reggae band Misty in Roots was formed in 1971 in Southall, one of London’s largest migrant areas. Their first album was 1979’s “Live At The Counter Eurovision”, a record full of Rastafarian songs recorded live in Belgium. It was championed by BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, helping to bring roots reggae to a white audience. Misty in Roots’ membership fluctuated, but the core of the band is Walford ‘Puck’ Tyson (lead vocals), his brother Delvin ‘Duxie’ Tyson (vocals, rhythm guitar), Chesley Samson (lead guitar), Delbert ‘Bertie’ McKay (vocals, guitar), Tony ‘Thungy’ Henry (bass), and Dennis Augustine (rhythm guitar). Along with Steel Pulse, Aswad, Matumbi, Cimarons and Black Slate, Misty in Roots are one of the most popular British reggae bands of the late 1970s.


Misty In Roots ‎– Rich Man / Salvation

Label: People Unite ‎– PU 002
Format: Digital, Vinyl, 12", 45 RPM
Country: France
Released: 1979
Style: Reggae, Dub

1. Richman 4:13
2. Salvation 4:27
Credits
Written-By – W Tyson

Notes
Sleeve says: "Double 'A' Side - Disco 45"


John Peel Session - 1979.06.05

A classic Peel session from one of John's favourite band's

1. Oh Wicked Man 3:31
2. Rich Man 4:36
3. Salvation 5:18
4. Babylon's Falling 5:54

Line Up:
Walford Tyson (Lead Vocals)
Delvin Tyson (Backing Vocals)
Antoinette Mccalla (Backing Vocals)
Chesley Samson (Lead Guitar)
Joe Brown (Lead Guitar)
Delbert Mckay (Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals)
Vernon Hunt (Keyboards)
Tony Henry (Bass, Backing Vocals)
Julian Peters (Drums)

25 Oct 2020

Jamaica

The Original Jesus Dread

'After some more thought, the Yabby You album I have listened the most to is probably the old Shanachie One Love, One Heart (also released as The Yabby You Collection on Greensleeves), that was probably the most mainstream Yabby release befor B&F started. It's slight, but has all the most important tracks.' -99thfloor

'When this retrospective collection was first released, it was the definitive document of one of the most powerful roots reggae artists of the 1970s. Despite its skimpy 30-minute length, it contains many of the songs with which Yabby You helped define the classic roots sound -- the stern "Anti Christ," the dark and brooding "Run Come Rally," the didactic but sweetly tuneful "Carnal Mind" -- all recorded at the Channel One studio with the cream of reggae's session musicians and mixed by dubmaster King Tubby. While this remarkable collection has lost none of its power, it was somewhat overshadowed in 1997 by Jesus Dread, an exhaustive two-disc collection on the Blood & Fire label which contains most of the selections on One Love, One Heart in multiple versions. Strangely, though, the Blood & Fire set does not include "One Love, One Heart," nor does it include the archetypal "Babylon Gone Down" or "Judgment Time" ("Fire, Fire" is repeated on the Blood & Fire set under the title "Fire in a Kingston"). So if you don't feel the need to spend a little extra for almost three hours of Yabby You songs in multiple versions, this single-disc overview is still a wise purchase.' -AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson

1. Deliver Me From My Enemies 2:51
2. Anti Christ 2:22
3. Run Come Rally 3:27
4. Babylon Gone Down 2:37
5. Chant Down Babylon 2:38
6. Judgement Time 3:11
7. Carnal Mind 3:32
8. Fire, Fire 3:20
9. Conquering Lion 3:21
10. One Love, One Heart 2:42

Credits
Bass – Aston "Family Man" Barrett, Clinton Barron
Drums – Ben Bow, Santa, Leroy "Horse Mouth" Wallace, Sly Dunbar
Guitar – Chinna Smith, Earl Lindo
Horns – Bobby Ellis, Tommy McCook
Mastered By [Digital] – Robert Vosgien
Mixed By – King Tubby, Philip Smart, Professor
Organ – Pablo Black
Percussion – Sticky
Piano – Augustus Pablo

Written-By, Arranged By – Vivian Jackson

Notes
Rhythm tracks recorded at Channel One.

Overdubs voiced and mixed at King Tubby's.

Jamaica

Wicked Roots! A nice pure toasting style from Big Joe!

Big Joe (born Joseph Spalding; 1955) is a Jamaican reggae deejay and record producer, who recorded extensively in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Biography
b. Joseph Spalding, c.1955, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Big Spalding began his recording career in the early 70s. His initial sessions were with Harry Mudie, when he cut ‘Run Girl’, ‘Woodcutter Skank’ and ‘Black Stick Rock’. In 1973, with Lloyd Daley, he recorded ‘Glitter Not Gold’, relating the aphorism to everyday life in Jamaica. With producer Winston Edwards he recorded ‘Weed Specialist’, ‘Hog Inna Minty’ and ‘Selassie Skank’. The latter was released in the UK through Dennis Harris’ DIP label and resulted in his biggest hit. The song recalled the celebrations generated by the visit to Jamaica of Haile Selassie, utilizing Roman Stewart’s ‘Try Me’ rhythm. Following his sessions with Winston Edwards, Big Joe moved to Studio One, where he recorded ‘Get Out Baldhead’, ‘Red Rob’ and a DJ version of Larry Marshall’s ‘Nanny Goat’ titled ‘Nanny Version’. Further hits surfaced, reuniting him with Daley and Jackie Brown, before Big Joe set up his own productions and label. He also ran his own Small Axe Hi Fi sound system, playing venues such as Chocomo’s Lawn and Jubilee Lawn. He continued recording through to the early 80s, enjoying hits with ‘Dignity And Principal’ and the Bunny Lee -produced ‘Out Of Sight Out Of Mind’. -AllMusic

1. You Must Be Mad 4:42
2. Crucial Natty Dread 4:19
3. Take It But Don't Break It 3:38
4. Playing A Waiting Game 2:46
5. Natty On Vacation 3:01
6. World Wide Kaya 3:12
7. Wicked Ah Watch And Peep 2:38
8. Wicked Down Fall 3:05
9. Don't Huff & Puff 2:30
10. Sister Out The Light 2:49
11. Better Breed 4:13
12. Fishman Skank 2:54
Bonus Tracks
13. Holiday (12" Mix with Cornell Campbell) 5:47
14. How Can I Leave (12" Mix with Cornell Campbell) 6:51

Notes
'Don't Huff & Puff' is over 'Archie Bella,' Michael Rose's 1975 recut of Ken Boothe's 'Artibella'

Credits
Backing Band – The Aggrovators
Producer, Arranged By – Bunny Lee
Written-By – Big Joe, Bunny Lee

Turin, Italy

Beauty is a subjective concept, although it can be said that italian is one of the most poetic and musical languages ever.

'sono una band immortale non hanno fatto musica, hanno scritto una fetta di storia.' -darione

Little Dreamer è il secondo album del gruppo Hardcore punk torinese Negazione, pubblicato nel 1988 dalla We Bite Records.

'..se escludiamo la finale "Serenità di un attimo" che è assolutamente estranea al resto del disco.'

'La canzone secondo me è stupenda' -darione

lyrics
Serenità di un attimo

Ora come allora
rumori lontani e soffusi
cose perse ed acquisite
ma il tempo e` veramente andato
Puoi trascrivere ogni minuto
puoi trasmettere messaggi
quello che sai e` che pochi
capiranno le sottili analogie
tra l'altezza piu` sublime
e il piu` profondo baratro
Ora come allora
granelli di polvere
in un raggio di sole
che fa breccia dal di fuori
ma non e` tutto uguale
Ora e solo ora
frammenti di passato
viaggiano dentro di me
in un'unica direzione.

1. Serenità di un attimo 2:29

Profile:
Italian punk/hardcore band from Torino formed in 1983 from the ashes of 5° Braccio and Antistato, and disbanded in 1992.

24 Oct 2020

Jamaica

''Let Me Tell You Boy by the Ebony Sisters....That is in my all time top 5 favourite riddims. That riddim is thunderous!!!'' -Dr Donald Blake

'Top producer Harry A. Mudie, one of the most under-celebrated Jamaican producers.' -Mr.T at Reggae Vibes

Mr. Mudie had a sound system in Jamaica in the 1950's called Mudie's HiFi. In the late 1950s, he then began work as a Producer and is arguably the first to record Nyabinghi drummer Count Ossie. Harry Mudie went on to record artists like Freddie McKay, Slim Smith, Cornell Campbell, Owen Gray, Gregory Isaacs, Delroy Wilson and many more. He is commonly credited as the first producer to integrate strings into Reggae music, which had a big impact. Mr. Mudie also ran a nightclub in Jamaica called Scaramouche. Harry Mudie is well known for his riddims "The Drifter and "Let Me Tell You Boy.


Harry Mudie & Friends : Let Me Tell You Boy - Moodisc Records International ‎– HMCD-50122

'Very good collection of Classic era Rocksteady and early Reggae produced by Harry Mudie from the late 1960's/early 1970's. Heavy smooth intricate rhythms, bouncing keyboards, subtle horn lines, and great Soulful songs and instrumentals, with some of the best Reggae people. Sound mastering is excellent.' -Dan

1. Dennis Walks - The Drifter 2:44
2. The Rhythm Rulers - Mudies Mood (Drifter rhythm) 2:42
3. The Ebony Sisters - Let Me Tell You Boy 3:05
4. Winston Wright & The Rhythm Rulers - Bratah 2:34
5. John Holt - It May Sound Silly 3:01
6. The Rhythm Rulers - Mannix 2:47
7. G.G. Russell - Who Who Wha 2:59
8. The Rhythm Rulers - Serious Business 3:00
9. Dennis Walks - Heart Don't Leap 3:07
10. Winston Wright & The Mudies All Stars - Musically Red (Heart Don't Leap rhythm) 3:05
11. Winston Shand - Time Is The Master 2:57
12. The Rhythm Rulers - Power Pack 4:00
13. Cornell Campbell & The Eternals - Let's Start Again 2:59
14. The Rhythm Rulers - Waking The Dead 2:32
15. Slim Smith & The Uniques - Give Me Some More Loving 2:41
16. Count Ossie & The Mudies All Stars - Whispering Drums 3:03

Credits
C+P 1970-1971

Drums: Mikey Boo Richards
Bass: Jackie Jackson
Piano: Gladstone Anderson
Organ: Winston Wright
Trumpet: Bobby Ellis & Jo Jo Bennett
Saxophone: Tommy McCook & Dirty Harry
Strings Arranger: John Bell

Jamaica

Harry A. Mudie (born 1940 in Spanish Town, Jamaica) is a Jamaican record producer.

Biography
Harry Mudie attended the St Jago High School. In the mid fifties, he launched his own sound system "Mudies Hi-Fi", before going to the UK to study electronics and photography.

Back in Jamaica in the late 1950s, Mudie began producing, mainly Jamaican R&B records; His first production was "Babylon Gone" (1962) by rasta drummer Count Ossie and saxophonist Wilton Gaynair, released in the UK in 1962 on Blue Beat. He moved away from production in the 1960s, operating his Scaramouch Garden Amusement Center in Spanishtown, opened in 1962. He returned to production in the late 1960s, launching his Moodisc label and working with artists such as Dennis Walks, Winston Wright, Winston Shand, Lloyd Jones, Count Ossie and was the first producer to put I Roy on record. In the early 1970s, Mudie was the first to record the deejay Big Joe. He was the first producer to use string sections in reggae, starting with (John Holt's 1973 album Time is the Master. Also in the 1970s, he produced several dub albums with King Tubby (the Dub Conference series). From the mid to late 1970s he had his greatest success, producing artists such as Gregory Isaacs, The Heptones, Joe White, Cornel Campbell and Prince Heron.

Mudie became based in Florida in the 1980s. He has since reissued much of his back-catalogue of productions.


1. I-Roy & The Ebony Sisters - Let Me Tell You Boy 3:05
2. Mudies All Stars - Let Me Tell You Boy (Dub) 2:10
3. Prince Heron - Spanish Town Rock 2:54
4. Mudies All Stars - African Home 2:48
5. Big Joe - Woodcutter Skank 3:08
6. Mudies All Stars - Woodcutter Dub 3:07
7. Mudies All Stars - Margaret (Dub) 2:53
8. I-Roy & Mudies All Stars - Drifter (Rap) 2:39
9. Mudies All Stars - Drifter (Dub) 2:42
10. Big Joe - Black Stick Rock 2:36
11. Mudies All Stars - Black Stick (Dub) 2:35
12. Mudies All Stars - Grass Root (Dub) 2:59
13. I-Roy & Mudies All Stars - Heart Don't Leap (Rap) 3:01
14. Mudies All Stars - Dub Them Heart 3:03
15. Big Joe - Lick Them Face 2:50
16. Mudies All Stars - Dub Them Face 2:49
17. I-Roy - Musical Pleasure 2:45
18. Jo-Jo Bennett & Mudies All Stars - Hot Pop 2:50
19. Big Joe & G.G. Grossett - Dub Girl Run 2:28
20. Don D. Junior & Mudies All Stars - T-Bone Girl 2:31

Notes
Quad Star Revolution Volume 1 (1972)
Quad Star Revolution Volume 2 (1975)

PRODUCTION 
PRODUCED BY: Harry Moodie RECORDED AT: Studio One, Harry J, Dynamic
MIXED AT: King Tubby's
ENGINEERED BY: King Tubby, Harry Moodie, Sylvester Morris, Syd Bucknor

MUSICIANS
BASS: Val Douglas, Jackie Jackson
DRUMS: Michael Richards, Lloyd Brevett
GUITAR: Hucks Brown, Jeffrey Chung, Mikey Chung
ALTO SAX: Carl Bryan, Herman Marquis 
TENOR SAX: Tommy McCook, Val Bennett
TROMBONE: Rico Rodriguez, Don D Junior
TRUMPET: Jo Jo Bennett
PIANO: Gladdy, Theo Beckford
ORGAN: Winston Wright, Robert Lyn
PERCUSSION: Danzel leing, Uzziah Thompson, Larry McDonald, Bongo Herman
FLUGO HORN: Jo Jo Bennett, David Madden

Jamaica

Recorded in 1977 and again using studios in England and Jamaica to great effect!

Check out the excellent "Marijauna Dub", "Jungle Walk Dub" and "Drifting Dub"

'Producer Harry Mudie put together some of the most sophisticated reggae and dub records of the '70s. His heavy, soulful grooves -- adorned with inventive horn charts, a variety of percussion, and even strings (Mudie was unique in this respect among reggae producers) -- graced sides by the likes of singer John Holt, the Heptones, and the DJ I-Roy, among others. And on this fine dub mix (one of four), some of Mudie's best material is given the surreal, but respectful King Tubby treatment. There are streamlined "strictly drum & bass" cuts like "Marijuana Dub," wound tight with organ and syncopated percussion, as well as horn-driven bubblers like "Heart Leap Dub." Mudie and Tubby also spice things up with exotic, minor-mood cuts like "World Dub Conference" and the effective strings excursion "Planet Dub." Assisted by fellow dub innovator Sylvan Morris, Tubby does a great job of accenting Mudie's deep rhythms while spotlighting the fine work of studio luminaries like pianist Gladstone Anderson, organist Winston Wright, guitarist Mikey Chung, and horn players Tommy McCook, Bobby Ellis, and Don Drummond, Jr. A classic and rare dub recording.' -AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook

'Greetings! One love to all Jah people reggae fans, collectors, and enthusiasts. This album is the first of its kind ever to be released in the history of reggae dub music. Produced by living legendary reggae producer Harry Mudie and mixed in conference at King Tubbys Studio, Kingston, Jamaica, W.I., with the late, great dub inventor, sound system and recording engineer Osbourne Ruddock a.k.a King Tubbys. King Tubbys, the creator of dub music in the late ’60s, mixed reggae musical tracks that the drum and bass predominated in the mix and at irregular intervals introduced echo reverbs and delay with other sound effects he conjured up at his will. Dub Conference Volume 2 was mixed in 1977. We are sure you will be thrilled with the exotic sound you will be hearing and that after listening to this album, you will be saying ‘thanks’ to producer Harry Mudie for his extraordinary imagination and superb production. As for the creator and inventor of dub music, the late and great King Tubbys, may he rest in Peace and keep mixing dub in Jah Kingdom. Thanks for the legacy you left behind on Earth. We will always think of you every time we play this album or hear dub music ringing in our ears. One love to Jah people.'

1. World Dub Conference 3:44
2. Marijuana Dub 2:56
3. Heart Leap Dub 3:49
4. Dub Inside Out 2:53
5. Melody In Dub 2:44
6. Jungle Walk Dub 3:06
7. Maga Back Dub 2:49
8. Don't Play With Dub 3:28
9. Planet Dub 3:35
10. Drifting Dub 3:03

Jamaica

Desert island material, pure Dub magic by the man himself - Killer!

Absolutely essential dub album - a funky, slinky, dubbed out masterpiece!

Recorded in England and Jamaica and originally released in 1976 - highly recommended!

'Harry Mudie issued three volumes in his Dub Conference series, of which this first volume originally issued in 1976 is essential for any self-respecting dub head. Mixed by King Tubby it contains thrilling dubs to the Heptones' Love Without Feeling, Jo Jo Bennett's Rome, Lorna's Dance and Stripping The Bone.' -Dub Vendor

'Truly one of the best dub albums your money can buy, from a long underrated producer. Released in the mid-'70s, this is old-style dub, with definable instruments and without the digital bells and whistles and slick production of '80s and '90s dub. His classic "Roman Dub" rhythm ( used to magnificent effect in Lloyd Jones' "Rome," showcased on Suffer's Choice ) has a simple guitar rhythm that is truly enticing. A uniquely appealing track is "Dub With a Difference," which utilizes classical string instruments. Along with these two songs, "Heavy Duty Dub" rounds out the best 3 cuts on Dub Conference Volume 1, but almost all of the songs are wondrous. Don't be fooled by the nondescript packaging, this is spectacular stuff.' -music-on-click

'Greetings! One love to all Jah people reggae fans, collectors, and enthusiasts. This album is the first of its kind ever to be released in the history of reggae dub music. Produced by living legendary reggae producer Harry Mudie and mixed in conference at King Tubbys Studio, Kingston, Jamaica, W.I., with the late, great dub inventor, sound system and recording engineer Osbourne Ruddock a.k.a King Tubbys. King Tubbys, the creator of dub music in the late ’60s, mixed reggae musical tracks that the drum and bass predominated in the mix and at irregular intervals introduced echo reverbs and delay with other sound effects he conjured up at his will. Dub Conference Volume 1, mixed in 1976, is making history for the second time with producer Harry Mudie’s introduction of strings to dub music as he did in reggae music with strings and flute in a classical form. We are sure you will be thrilled with the exotic sound you will be hearing and that after listening to this album, you will be saying ‘thanks’ to producer Harry Mudie for his extraordinary imagination and superb production. As for the creator and inventor of dub music, the late and great King Tubbys, may he rest in Peace and keep mixing dub in Jah Kingdom. Thanks for the legacy you left behind on Earth. We will always think of you every time we play this album or hear dub music ringing in our ears. One love to Jah people.'

1. Full Dose Of Dub 3:13
2. Madhouse Dub 2:53
3. Dub For The Dread 3:03
4. Dub With A Difference 2:51
5. Caught You Dubbing 3:34
6. Roman Dub 2:55
7. Dub Conference 3:01
8. Heavy Duty Dub 3:00
9. Striptease Dub 3:12
10. String Dub In Rema 2:53

23 Oct 2020

Nigeria

Magical

Nigerian deep edo highlife released in 1985 by High Chief Hon Vincent Ugabi the Ambassador of Etsako Musicians the Living legend.

Label: Vins & Dav Records ‎– VDR 02
Format: Digital, Vinyl, LP
Country: Nigeria
Released: 1985
Style: Highlife


1. Etsealunegbe 8:36
2. Alede-Agbo 9:06
3. Olume-Oluegbo 7:40
4. Olamakhojo 9:54

Notes
Etsako Highlife

USA

Rare classic "Old School" Gospel group album with great religious church appeal; one of Savoy Record's best! 

'The Swindell Brothers were a popular gospel group that really caught fire when (Bishop) Johnny “JJ” Wilkerson joined their ranks.'


The Swindell Brothers with Rev. Johnnie Wilkerson – This Trouble Of Mine

'This is a Great American pioneering gospel album recorded in the early 1960s by Savoy Records.'

Label: Savoy Records ‎– MG-14064
Format: Digital, Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Sortie: 1963
Style: Gospel

1. Trouble Of Mine 4:11
2. Pay Day 2:33
3. I've Tried 2:32
4. Prayer Changes Things 2:10
5. On The Banks Of The River 3:05
6. Face The Nation 2:47
7. Like The Bible Said 3:03
8. Together We Stand 2:42
9. God Spoke To Me 2:27
10. Movin' On 2:30
The Swindell Brothers And Rev. Johnnie Wilkerson ‎– Holy Train

'Rare & great gospel soul LP with the R&B banger Holy Train on it.'

Label: Savoy Records ‎– MG-14090
Format: Digital, Vinyl, LP
Country: US
Sortie: 1964
Style: Gospel

1. If I Could Make It To The City 4:16
2. Holy Train 2:29
3. Silver And Gold 2:28
4. My Soul 2:13
5. Send Me 2:53
6. Drip Drop 3:25
7. A Charge To Keep 2:19
8. Hear My Cry 2:59
9. Oh How I Love Jesus 3:00
10. Last Days 3:35

USA

The nonet with the master trumpeter is sometimes funky, spacy, or swinging, but always potent. On this LP/CD with Roy Brooks, Wendell Harrison, Harold McKinney and Phil Ranelin, the band sounds twice its size due to the expansive compositional stance of the leader. -Michael G. Nastos

'Originally released in 1974 on the independent Tribe Records, this album features many of the Detroit heavyweight artists such as Wendell Harrison and Phil Ranelin, who have both had releases on Chicago's Hefty Records where they have worked with and been re-mixed by current artists such as Telefon Tel Aviv, Morgan Geist, Prefuse 73 and Kirk Degiorgio amongst others.

Marcus Belgrave's musical career spans over 4 decades. He has worked with everyone from Sun Ra to Charles Mingus, from McCoy Tyner to Clifford Brown. He worked as part of the Tribe collective in Detroit, working with the same ideology as their musical neighbours, The Art Ensemble of Chicago. He has consistently broken down musical barriers, from playing with Was (Not Was) in the 1970s to his current work with Carl Craig in The Detroit Experiment.

There were only 1000 copies of this record pressed when it was originally released in 1974 and it has been a collector's album ever since.

Soul Jazz Records are releasing this record for the first time ever in the UK. This album follows on from other deep jazz releases on Soul Jazz Records such as Art Ensemble of Chicago, Universal Sounds of America, Tribe, Black Jazz, Marcus Belgrave and Strata-East.' -Soul Jazz


MARCUS BELGRAVE - GEMINI

Released 1974 on Tribe Records
Reviewed by dave clarkson | www.headheritage.co.uk.

After listening to this album, it is unbelievable to imagine that it was originally released in an edition of 1000 copies on the obscure ‘Gem Eye’ label in 1974 before being picked up by the ‘Tribe’ label and more recently, the ‘Soul Jazz’ label. Much like other jazz albums of the era such as those released by Lester Bowie, Steve Reid or Sun Ra, ‘Gemini’ has increased in stature with its subsequent reissues outselling the original print. Unlike many ‘space’ jazz albums of the time however, ‘Gemini’ offers sharp, soulful, spiritual and celestial tracks without deviating into cosmic slop and hippydom.

Marcus Belgrave first came to musical recognition at the age of eighteen when he took to the bandstand as part of the Ray Charles group. Four decades on and several generations later, Belgrave’s contributions and collaborations read like a compendium to the best of jazz recordings. As prolific as many of the musicians around at the time, Belgrave features heavily as a sideman on countless jazz discs and recorded sporadic sessions which resulted in work released on some of the more popular Motown discs, notably ‘Dancing In The Street’ and ‘My Girl’. Other musicians he has worked with include Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus, Sun Ra, Tony Bennett and jive talking satanist, Sammy Davis Jr. Such is the versatility of Belgrave’s music, it’s no surprise to learn that he’s played avant garde, blues, traditional and is currently engaged in experimenting with electronic based music (in a similar way to Steve Reid and Kieran Hebden). He has worked in recent years with Prefuse 73 and Kirk Degiorgio and also features on Carl Craig’s ‘The Detroit Experiment’ album.

The sound of ‘Gemini’ is laced with groove heavy rubber funk and celestial ambience which is typical of many jazz records made between the late 60s and early 70s. The band is composed of many of the Detroit ‘Tribe’ label musicians and as a result and identification of, the playing is very loose, soulful and focused. The opening track ‘Space Odyssey’ begins with the beautiful Fender Rhodes sound from Harold McKinney, accompanied by Daryl Dybka playing mini Moog patterns. Those who are familiar with the Beta Band track ‘Inner Meet Me’ would recognise where the spaced out samples originate from by hearing ‘Space Odyssey’. The space sauce created gives way to a tight funk beat and a killer bass line. After a few bars of the bass and drums setting up the rhythm, the Moog enters proceedings with a theremin voice bouncing between the beats before the powerful brass ensemble enter the sound. The band sound superb hereon in full flow. The long flowing groove of ‘Space Odyssey’ is reverb heavy and often develops into free form sections reminiscent of the sound of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The brass solos are bright and the sound underneath is haunting.

‘Glue Fingers (Parts 1 and 2)’ features a heavy swing rhythm with the three brass players sounding like they’re on a scorching creative path. Harrison’s loop playing at the beginning of ‘Glue Fingers Part 2’ adds a special highlight to the sound. A lot of soloing and improvisation occurs in these tracks but they never lose the clarity and precision. Belgrave’s trumpet is again piled with reverb which results in it sounding above the mix of the other instruments. The combined effect of these two tracks is a very rewarding listening experience.

Both ‘Marcia’s Opal’ and ‘Odom’s Cave’ have a different feel to the previous tracks. They are more evocative and have a stillness about them similar to much of Herbie Hancock’s early 70s recordings. Both tracks feature the full ensemble but a looser and less knitted structure of sound is created. ‘Odom’s Cave’ is a magnificent track which closes the album.

Marcus Belgrave, Gemini, born June 12, 1936, in Chester, Pennsylvania is indeed a person born under the sign possessing a number of outstanding attributes such as great imaginative ability, a natural teacher and someone with the ability to communicate beautifully. The collective impact of Belgrave's mind, music and vision is felt across the spectrum of music for which he has become rightfully recognised in recent years.

There is a quote on the back of the original album sleeve from the late multi-reedist, Albert Ayler, which sums up this record…. "Music is the healing force of the universe."


1. Space Odyssey 12:14
2. Glue Fingers [Part 1] 2:20
3. Glue Fingers [Part 2] 6:00
4. Gemini II 5:30
5. Marcia's Opal 6:20
6. Odoms Cave 6:23

Notes
Recorded at Pioneer recording Studio, Inc. in 1974

Musicians
Ed Pickens (bass), Roy Brooks/ Billy Turner (drums, percussion), Harold McKinney (electric piano), Wendell Harrison (tenor sax, percussion), Phil Ranelin (trombone), Marcus Belgrave (trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion), Lorenzo Brown (bongos). Produced by Marcus Belgrave and engineered by Bob Meloche.

22 Oct 2020

Jamaica

'Excellent album by the Souls, full on Roots Radics onslaught. Check 'Who No Waan Come' for that heavy dubwise vibe.' -Don Julian

'One of a string of solid early-'80s collaborations between the best vocal group around (Wailing Souls) and the best group of instrumentalists (Roots Radics), Wailing also boasted the production work of Linval Thompson and mixing by King Tubby.'

'Along with combos like The Wailers, The Royals, and The Gladiators, The Wailing Souls were one of a handful of vocal groups that began to make a deliberate lyrical shift toward expressions of political awareness and Rastafarian faith as the ‘70s dawned. Throughout that decade, The Wailing Souls cut many of their most memorable recordings and even made the jump to a major label with 1979’s Wild Suspense. Yet by the dawn of the ‘80s, lush roots productions started to give way to the brutally efficient minimalism of rub-a-dub and early dancehall. While many of the roots-era vocal combos failed to adapt, The Wailing Souls released one of their very finest full-lengths in the form of the Linval Thompson–produced Wailing. This album gains much of its power from the angular, hard-edged accompaniment of the studio band The Roots Radics, as well as from the deep, echo-laden mixing of young King Tubby protégé Scientist. But the real attraction here is in The Wailing Souls' crystalline harmonies; their performances imbue the stark rhythms of songs like “Don’t Be Downhearted” and “Face the Devil” with startling emotional intensity.'


As Jamaica stood at a political crossroads in 1980, the Wailing Souls worked with famed engineer Scientist on a magical blend of unearthly dub and traditional songcraft.

by Michael E. Veal

Jamaica had two realities then: a tropical paradise of sandy beaches, crystal blue seas, and feel-good music; the other, a nation overrun by violent drug posses, permanently scarred by a recent history of CIA intervention and subversion, and a deeper historical legacy of slavery and colonization. The question of which reality would prevail seemed to hang heavy in the air in 1980, as the Wailing Souls recorded their album Wailing—an album shaped by its earthly means and sung to the angelic spheres.

At the turn of the new decade, the post-independence euphoria that had defined Jamaica in the 1960s and the strident self-determination that defined the ’70s gave way to a new era of garrison politics, an unprecedented level of political violence (over 800 people killed in Kingston in the months leading up to the October elections), and the bloody consequences of Jamaica’s increasing role in the regional cocaine trade. The utopian vision of Rastafari—the Afro-Jamaican religion that preached a return to nature and repatriation to the ancestral African homeland—was being rapidly eclipsed by the hard local realities of the country’s position as a regional pawn in the Cold War and the effects of global free trade policies.

The music scene could not help but be affected by these shifts. If the ascension of Bob Marley and the influence of Rastafari on roots reggae were dramatic developments of the 1970s, the next dramatic turning point occurred in 1984 when producers abandoned the recording of live bands altogether, in favor of the stripped-down, pre-programmed rhythms of cheap Casio keyboards. These producers initially attempted to replicate the old reggae dancehall sound, but once the music went digital, it rapidly evolved into a radically different animal. Of course, the mechanization of Jamaican music followed a pattern that was already well underway in the United States and other parts of the world. But for those who had listened to reggae for its spiritual or political qualities or its earthy, organic sensibility, something seemed irretrievably lost.

The pre-digital early 1980s were a period of transition between these two dramatic eras of Jamaican music, an interregnum that symbolically began with the death of Bob Marley in May of 1981. Although many groups of the roots reggae era adapted to the new era and continued to make great music, the new style was largely defined by a younger generation of dancehall deejays with names like Yellowman, Charlie Chaplin, Josey Wales, Eek-A-Mouse, Tiger and others whose “slackness” lyrics of sex, ghetto violence, braggadocio and bling helped set the more aggressive tone of the new decade.

This new form of reggae, generally called “dancehall,” was associated with a number of emerging producers including Sugar Minott, Nkrumah Jah Thomas, Linval Thompson and Thompson’s protégé, Henry “Junjo” Lawes. Lawes in particular was on a hot streak during these years, best-known for the string of hits he produced with Yellowman. His unique sound was partially crafted by using the Roots Radics as his session band. The Radics were built around the rhythm section nucleus of Errol “Flabba” Holt, drummer Lincoln “Style” Scott, and guitarist Eric “Bingy Bunny” Lamont (augmented by a number of keyboardists including Winston Wright and Gladstone Anderson), and their sound was stripped-down and stark. Unlike the older, polyrhythmic roots reggae which had developed out of rock steady, the new rhythms tended to be minimalist in construction—at times martially tight and at other times heavy and lumbering—with Scott’s Syndrums garnishing the music with electronic beeps, buzzes and other quirky, futuristic sounds.

But the unique vibe of Lawes’ productions was also a result of them being mixed by Hopeton “Scientist” Brown, a young protégé of King Tubby, the acknowledged master of dub music. Scientist had initially been a mere apprentice at Tubby’s studio, only infrequently mixing until Thompson and Junjo started to use him on a regular basis. But his skills and reputation grew quickly and by 1980, he was mixing most of Junjo’s tunes and dub versions, compiling them on to the series of sci-fi and video game-themed albums that still form the core of his reputation today: Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires, Scientist Wins the World Cup, Heavyweight Dub Champion, Big Showdown, Scientist Meets the Space Invaders and Scientist Encounters Pac-Man. Unlike the warmer, more tropical sound of King Tubby’s dub mixing which had dominated the 1970s, Scientist’s treatment of the Roots Radics’ sounded as if he were suspended in the cold, stark spaces between planets, its emptiness only occasionally animated by the fleeting movements of comets, asteroids, and space debris.

Although dub music developed out of reggae as the latter music’s experimental impulse, the two approaches have generally tended to appeal to different constituencies. Inside of Jamaica, dub was most typically used in the dancehalls as a backdrop for the tale-spinning of the sound system deejays. Outside of Jamaica, it tended to appeal to listeners whose ears had been primed by the spacey soundscapes of psychedelic rock. And producers generally encouraged this bifurcation, placing vocal songs on the A-sides of singles and dub versions on the B-sides. But there were occasions when the idea of the song and the dub mix were not necessarily mutually exclusive, and there is a select group of exalted reggae recordings that unite the sonic experimentation of dub with more traditional conceptions of songcraft. The best-known example of this is probably the Congos’ 1977 album Heart of the Congos, a collection of songs gorgeously performed by the Congos and given an equally gorgeous, dubwise production by Lee “Scratch” Perry at the height of his Black Ark studio.

A lesser-known album in the same category is the Wailing Souls album Wailing. The core of the Wailing Souls is the duo of Winston “Pipe” Matthews and Lloyd “Bread” McDonald, generally augmented by one or two additional vocalists as the occasion demands. Friends of Bob Marley & the Wailers since their early days singing together in Trench Town, they were—along with the Abyssinians, the Gladiators, and Burning Spear—one of a number of roots vocal groups that began to record for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One in the early 1970s. The Wailing Souls brought a poignant, yearning sound associated on one hand with musical traditions of the Jamaican countryside and on the other, with African-American soul outfits like the Impressions and the Temptations, who inspired the formation of scores of Jamaican vocal groups. Many of the latter had perfected their gentle harmonizing singing rock steady—the romantic, soul-inspired Jamaican music that, for two or three intense years, set the stage for roots reggae. But by the early 1970s, they had abandoned the smooth crooning of rock steady for a raw, less affected vocal quality, typified by the rough voices of Pipe, Bob Marley, and Burning Spear’s Winston Rodney.

Like the other groups, the Wailing Souls typically sung themes of Rastafarian devotion alongside philosophically-tinged love songs. They cut two albums for Coxsone before moving on to Channel One studio, where they cut a string of excellent records for the Hoo-Kim brothers. Their career took a major step forward in 1979 when they recorded the celebrated Wild Suspense album for Island Records. By the time they began to record for Junjo in 1980, their experience enabled them to blend the romanticism of rock steady and the mysticism and militancy of roots reggae with the new, minimalist dub sound Scientist was crafting for Junjo’s productions. Teaming up with Junjo and Scientist when both were at the peak of their creativity, Pipe’s voice has arguably never been showcased to better effect, and Wailing was to be one of the most special albums of the Souls’ long career.

In fact, the group was initially reluctant to work with Junjo, wary of the gangster element in the producer’s business, not to mention quality control issues. Junjo was one of the producers that made extensive use of versioning—recycling a rhythm track by overdubbing a succession of deejays on it—but the Souls preferred their music to stand alone so that the messages in their song lyrics remained accessible. Furthermore, while the rhythms that Junjo was cutting with Roots Radics undoubtedly hit hard in the dancehall, they sometimes lacked the inventiveness of the rhythms produced by earlier drum & bass teams like Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare (with Peter Tosh and Black Uhuru), Carlton & Aston Barrett (with Bob Marley & the Wailers) and “Santa” Davis and Fully Fulwood (with Soul Syndicate). But the Souls’ warm four-part harmonies and Rasta themes (filled out on this album by Garth Dennis and George “Buddy” Haye) brought a sonic and philosophical depth to those rhythms that Junjo’s usual deejays never could.

From Scott’s opening drum roll, the entire album is suffused with a feeling of the otherworldly, with the pensive chorus of Bread, Haye, and Dennis mixed like phantoms behind Pipe’s lead vocals, juxtaposed against the stark, hard rhythms of the Roots Radics and spaced-out by Scientist in a haze of echo and reverberation. The lyrics are generally understated, tending toward the poetic, the oblique, and the evocative. The album’s centerpiece is “Who No Waan Come Cyan Stay” (Who Didn’t Want to Come Can’t Stay), a languid, spacey paean of Rasta repatriation. Anyone doubting the emotional power of dub need only let themselves be transported by Scott’s snare chopping up the soundscape like gunshots, his bass drum kicking up thick clouds of reverberation, and Flabba Holt’s bass ringing out with analog delay like a buoy on the sea while Pipe beckons to non-believers one last time as he departs for a heavenly African Zion:

“Oh give us a home
Where the butterflies roam
and the birds sing so sweet…

Who no waan come cyan stay
You can stay, for I am going

It’s so long, so long
I’ve been warning you
Yet you’re trying hard not to accept my word
But when the master’s calling
You will find yourself stumbling
I’ll be waiting by the wayside

Who no waan come cyan stay
You can stay for I am going…”

The other songs continue in the same vein with wistful melodies of love, mystery, foreboding, and Rastafarian devotion. The opener “Penny I Love You” is poetic and philosophical, with the Souls professing their love into the echo chamber and setting the stage for the rest of the album. “Don’t Be Down Hearted” is a jaunty, spiritual exhortation for the Rasta faithful. “Rudy Say Him Bad” is a plea to the gun-toting “rude boys” of Kingston to heed the advice of their elders and renounce their violent ways, lest they “lay down to stay.” “Face the Devil” is rooted in the Biblical book of Revelation, warning of divine retribution and apocalyptic horrors to come. The album closes with the steady, plaintive “Mr. Big More,” with Pipe and the Souls calling out the wealthy for their greed while bemoaning the plight of suffering masses. In true “showcase album” fashion almost all of the songs here are followed by their dub versions, with the vocals entirely removed and Scientist kicking around in the echo chamber, using reverberation and dropping out parts to explore every nook, cranny, and cavern of the soundscape.

The juxtaposition of the Roots Radics’ dancehall rhythms and the rhapsodic voices of the Wailing Souls seemed to encapsulate Jamaica’s arrival at the crossroads of 1980, a moment when the violent changing of the political guard foreshadowed a new era for the island as a whole. In a tense and uncertain season when the smooth harmonizing of vocal groups was giving way to the raucous chanting of the dancehall deejays, the team of Junjo, Scientist, and the Wailing Souls managed to carve an exalted dub cathedral out of the hard rhythms of early dancehall. Casting the group as voices in the proverbial wilderness, Wailing sings the glories of love, while bemoaning the violence engulfing their society and the world, an angelically-voiced clarion call as society gradually arcs toward the dark side.

Michael E. Veal is the author of Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae (Wesleyan University Press, 2007).

1. Penny I Love You 3:19
2. Penny I love You Dub 3:20
3. Who No Waan Come 3:26
4. Who No Waan Dub 2:41
5. Don't Be Down Hearted 3:11
6. Face The Devil 3:19
7. Face The Dub 2:26
8. Rudie Say Him Bad 4:47
9. Mr. Big More 4:18

USA

The '70s BOMB from James Brown And Fred Wesley & The JB's.

'James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul," To Note: This collection is not Soul! Horns to the max (FUNK). POLYDOR pulled no punches in the 90's with these "Chronicles" comps! Alternate/full versions, new liner notes, lost tracks, etc.'

"But for the veteran fan professing to appreciate the entire career, nothing is more eye-opening than the generation which defines Brown by seventies hits like 'The Payback' and 'Funky President'. The seventies - from hippies to psychedelia to disco - kept James Brown on his toes." -Alan Leeds

'Polygram tells the JB story better than anyone yet with their series of two-CD James Brown reissues, which began with Soul Pride: The Instrumentals (1960-69), continued into the mid-1960s and onward with Foundations of Funk and this set, and then ventured into the 1980s with Dead On: The Heavy Funk. This triumphant, perfectly programmed two-disc package dredges 26 neglected gems and beloved jewels from the prolific predisco years, a time when Brown's powers were in sharp form. Waist-deep in fat freaky funk, pugilistic horn arrangements, looping modal grooves, and tuff blaxploitational kitsch--primo monster funk from the source. Fans of Parliament's nonstop party jam absolutely need this to know from whence their hardcore jollies came.' --John Corbett


Bigger and Badder With Time

'For my money, Polygram can release nothing but these James Brown hits-rarities packages - well, they could also give us complete, unedited, released and *unreleased* concerts in a series, but we adherents of real/funky/Soul take what we can get. Once in a we get a honey of a package like "The Big Payback". The highlights are any of the (first-time) full-length versions listed above - particularly, "Papa Don't Take No Mess", with a first class piano passage not heard on the original release. The prev. unrel. "Mind Power" with its powerful polyrythym is anutha mutha. On the negatory side, "I Got Ants In My Pants" is strictly "Part One" only stuff on such a collection and as far as "I Got A Bag Of My Own", I still don't understand the fascination with this cut. Sure, the arrangement and instrumentation are outstanding in JB's career, but the nearly out of control vocal is too far forward and eclipses the music. Here are two spots for more of what we get as the set closer - an incredible prev. unrel. *actually live at the Apollo!* "Hot Pants" from the steamy summer of '71. Although not as sassy vocally as the originally issued version, the mix is light years ahead. (Perhaps this track was not used on "Revolution of the Mind" because the audience is mostly inaudible and that album captured the crowd perfectly on every song). It's been written that "Revolution...Apollo, Vol. 3" was produced by assembling tracks from *eight* live shows in 07-71. Although not his most creative tune on this collection it does overshadow several excellent compositions which still warrant serious attention by radio station programmers and "Rockumentary" producers. [By the way, "Stoned To The Bone" is *aka* "Stone To The Bone". Fellas, next time will ya press it as "Stone..."?]. -plsilverman


Disc 1
1. Escape-ism 4:02
2. Hot Pants, Parts 1 & 2 6:55
3. I'm a Greedy Man 7:08
4. Make It Funky, Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4 12:46
5. King Heroin 3:56
6. I Got Ants in My Pants (and I Want to Dance) 7:26
7. There It Is 5:48
8. Get On the Good Foot 5:45
9. Don't Tell It [previously unreleased complete version] 8:26
10. I Got a Bag of My Own 3:46
11. Down and Out in New York City [previously unreleased version with spoken intro] 5:21
12. Think '73 3:12
13. Make It Good to Yourself (interlude) [previously unreleased version] 2:20

Disc 2
1. The Payback 7:37
2. Stoned to the Bone 4:04
3. Mind Power [previously unreleased alternate version] 4:05
4. World of Soul [previously unreleased] 5:44
5. Papa Don't Take No Mess 13:51
6. Coldblooded [previously unreleased undubbed version] 5:05
7. I Can't Stand It "76" 8:12
8. My Thang 4:15
9. Funky President (People It's Bad) [previously unreleased original speed master] 4:09
10. I Feel Good 3:03
11. Problems 2:51
12. Turn On the Heat and Build Some Fire 6:07
13. Hot Pants Finale" (Live) [previously unreleased version] 7:20

Notes
Make It Funky – The Big Payback: 1971–1975 is the fourth of several James Brown era overviews released by Polydor Records in 1996. Expanding on the 1984 LP compilation Doing It To Death – The James Brown Story 1970–1973, it covers 1971–1975.

Barranquilla, Colombia

With La Locura de Machuca 1975 – 1980, the label compiles crazy Afro-Caribbean tracks from an old Colombian record company called “Discos Machuca”

'The new Analog Africa compilation La Locura de Machuca compiled over a time span of 10 years by Samy Ben Redjeb, Lucas Silva and Mateo Rivano. This project is the story of one man’s bizarre odyssey into the psychedelic underground of Colombian Afro-Champeta, and the creation of South America’s wildest music label – Discos Machuca.

From one day to the next, Rafael Machuca decides to leave his job as a tax lawyer to create his record company, Discos Machuca. The visionary guru devotes his life to bringing out of the shadows the most hypnotic sounds of his country. While bolero and vallenato were well placed in the charts, it was the African sounds of traditional cumbia that set the neighbourhood parties alight. Marginal music groups began to fuse Colombian and African rhythms with a strong rhythmic base of bass and percussion, taking precedence over the psychedelic rock guitar melody accompanied by vocals and synthesizer. While the label made money by releasing popular hits by legends such as Alejandro Durán and Aníbal Velásquez, this money was then reinvested in a unique series of experimental releases such as La Banda Africana, King Somaliland, Conjunto Barbacoa and Abelardo Carbono, one of the godfathers of the champeta criolla.

The tracks from La Locura de Machuca, collected in the darkest and strangest corners of the catalog of Discos Machuca, have something unique and timeless.' -Pan African Music 


'This latest release from Analog Africa further realises the ceaselessly intriguing label’s quest to shine a light on exceptional music rarely before heard in the West. For ten years now, label founder and crate-digger extraordinaire Samy Ben Redjeb has treated us to a mind-whirling array of grooves. La Locura De Machuca 1975-1980; experimental psychedelic Afro-Champeta & Cumbia from Colombia supplies exactly what it says on the tin; seventeen tracks of wigged-out dance music originating from Colombians of African descent. As much as the music, this is also the story of Rafael Machuca, the Colombian former tax-lawyer who founded Discos Machuca, the label from whose catalogue these tracks are drawn. Machuca, so the story goes, experienced his Damascus moment at Barranquilla’s ‘Plaza de los Musicos,’ a gathering-place for local musicians, and devoted the following six years of his life to the beguiling sounds which had touched his soul.

A few seconds listening to opener Eberebijara by Samba Negra should be enough to tell you that you are in for a wild ride. Built upon the hypnotic repetitions of a shakere over a dazzling soup of  hand-percussion, simple organ riffs and spiky guitar, the track virtually picks you up by the shoulders and shakes you into a world of rainbow colours and wavering, groovy lines.

From there on in this compilation never lets go. Monkey’s Dance by King Somalie, fuelled by a blipping Casio rhythm, sounds, for all the world, like a wonderful Sesame Street children’s song, washed and rinsed in pure-grade psyche. Some beautiful and fluid guitar runs weave in around simplistic lyrics which will tie your brain up in knots even as it unwinds your soul. Rio Latino by Ayu is bouncing, bright Afro-beat with shuffling drums, dancing bass, keyboard vamps and beguiling vocals, married to far-out stereo effects and wah-wah guitar.

Throughout history, cultural cross-pollinations have resulted in some of the most interesting and enduring music. Whether brought about by shifts in socio-economics, politics, migration or darker events, reverberations from the meetings of diverse groups and ideas almost always make for fascinating musical statements. The phenomenon of psychedelia, which began in the United States, found a musical spokesperson in the form of Roky Erickson and his 13th Floor Elevators (among many others) and was popularised by The Beatles, may have been a relatively brief, burning fire in the West, but, as shown here, its echoes were felt around the world.

Rafael Machuca clearly had an ear for the best. Every track here is fascinating. Juipiti by El Grupo Folclorico skips and whirls bright and melodic, like the deceptively simple flight of a butterfly. It’s a poly-rhythmic delight, flitting gracefully through a hot breeze of twinkling, winking guitars. Another of that group’s contributions, El Tornillito, brings an ear-catching mash-up of cocktail-lounge keyboards and Caribbean beats. Caracol by Grupo Bola Roja features a sparkling lead female vocal, which soars and swoops above a haze of churning percussion.

Taken as a whole, La Locura De Machuca amounts to another astounding entry in the Analog Africa catalogue. If you are not a fan of psychedelia, or you are more familiar with the lighter end of Afro-beat, you may find the distinctive delights displayed here a little overwhelming at first. Happily, this is a disc which stands repeated listens. In no way is this throwaway music. The artistic statements rendered here are joyous, enticing and a boon for the soul.' -Chris Wheatley


'The treasure hunters of Analog Africa have done it again – and they’ve unearthed an indisputable gem. How do they do it; where do they find ‘em? In this case, by exploring Colombia’s coastal music underground from the second half of the 1970s. It’s a tale every bit as weird as the music on this glorious collection of bizarre unclassifiable sounds from the Discos Machuca label. Just tune in to the opening track, Samba Negra’s demented “Eberebijara”, with its hypnotic beats, funky guitar and chanted call-and-response vocals, and you could be listening to an outtake from an early record by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band. It’s hypnotic, unhinged and utterly irresistible. In fact, you could approach this compilation as you might approach prime-time Beefheart: expect the unexpected!

Discos Machuca was named after its founder, Rafael Machuca, a successful tax lawyer who reputedly had his mind so thoroughly blown in Barranquilla by local Afro-Colombian sounds that it transformed a high-ranking tax official into a Phil Spector-like figure. He would dedicate his next six years to writing, producing and releasing the sort of African-meets-traditional-Colombian music blended with the psychedelic sounds of underground rock that had so transfixed him. Like Spector, if he couldn’t find the bands to play what was in his head, he would create groups like Samba Negra, the musical equivalent of shell companies, formed from the label’s roster of in-house musicians for the extent of an album or two. The LP covers were as garish as the music inside and Machuca’s long-time recording engineer, Eduardo Dávila, splendidly termed his boss’s productions the “B-Movies of Colombian music”.

These 17 tracks are the best B-movies imaginable. The aural equivalent of Kiss Me Deadly, perhaps. There are too many highlights to mention them all, but suffice to highlight the lunatic vocals of King Somalie’s “Monkey’s Dance”; the furious percussion and crazy synthesised sounds on El Grupo Folclórico’s “Tamba”; Aníbal Velásquez’ “La Mazamorra Del Diablo”, a ride on a ghost train with a vallenato band; El Grupo Folclórico’s singalong for Martians on “Tucutru”; or Grupo Bola Roja’s more conventional “Caracol”, which could have graced an early Miriam Makeba LP.

But don’t take my word for it. The fact that these 17 tracks apparently took almost a decade in the compiling surely makes Analog Africa’s 30th release one of the label’s crown jewels. La Locura de Machuca translates as “the madness of Machuca”. The sheer divine madness of this collection makes it an indispensable purchase.' -Mark Sampson

Super Discoteca Machuca


"La Locura de Machuca is the story of one man’s bizarre odyssey into Colombia’s coastal music underground, and the wild, hypnotic sounds he helped bring up to the surface.

One night in 1975, a successful tax lawyer named Rafael Machuca had his mind blown in Barranquilla’s ‘Plaza de los Musicos’. Overnight he went from a high ranking position in the Columbian revenue authority to visionary production guru of the newly formed record label that bore his name, Discos Machuca, and for the next six years he devoted his life to releasing some of the strangest, most experimental Afro Psychedelia Cumbia and Champeta ever produced.

The Colombian music industry was thriving in the mid-seventies, but while homegrown bolero and vallenato tunes were doing well on the charts, it was imported African records that were setting crowds on fire at the picos – the sound-systems that fuelled neighbourhood parties – and wherever those records were played there were always a handful of groups who were inspired to plug traditional Cumbia directly into the electric currents coming from across the Atlantic.

It was these obscure bands, who fused Colombian and African rhythms with the swirling organs and psychedelic guitars of underground rock, that fired Machuca’s imagination. While the label made its money releasing popular hits by legends such as Alejandro Durán and Aníbal Velásquez, that money was poured back into a unique run of experimental releases by fringe artists such as La Banda Africana, King Somalie, Conjunto Barbacoa, and Abelar- do Carbono, one of the godfathers of Champeta Criolla.

When Machuca couldn’t find groups to realise his particular vision, he simply created them himself. Drawing on a fearsome roster of musicians associated with the label, he assembled bands that lasted only as long as it took to record an album, and unleashed the results – complete with arrestingly unusual album covers – under a series of different names such as Samba Negra or El Grupo Folclórico. This unorthodox approach led his longtime recording engineer, Eduardo Dávila, to describe Machuca’s productions as the “B-Movies of Colombian music.”

The story of Doctor Machuca and his eccentric exploits tells of one of Colombia’s most atypical and peculiar record companies; a defining pillar of Afro-Caribbean psychedelia. His productions have come to represent the roots of Champeta and set the pedigree standards for Afro and Costeño avant-garde. The seventeen tracks on La Locura de Machuca, harvested from the darkest, strangest corners of the Discos Machuca catalogue, sound like little else recorded before or since." -Analog Africa

1. Samba Negra - Eberebijara 3:31
2. King Somalie - Monkey 's Dance 3:31
3. El Grupo Folclórico - Tamba 3:18
4. Los Viajeros Siderales - El Campanero 2:59
5. Rio Latino - Ayu 3:11
6. Aníbal Velásquez - La Mazamorra Del Diablo 3:12
7. La Francachela - Mosquita Muerta 3:08
8. El Grupo Folclórico - Juipiti 2:27
9. King Somalie - Le Mongui 3:26
10. El Grupo Folclórico - El Tornillito 2:31
11. Samba Negra - Long Life Africa 4:40
12. La Banda Africana - Te Clavo La... Mano 3:01
13. Myrian Makenwa - El Platano 3:30
14. El Grupo Folclórico - Tucutru 3:07
15. Grupo Bola Roja - Caracol 3:31
16. El Grupo D'Abelard - Otro Perro Con Ese Hueso 3:26
17. Conjunto Barbacoa - Wabali 3:17