Soul Jazz Records is re-releasing their seminal retrospective on Arthur Russell who holds a unique place in the history of dance music. As an artist he had the admiration of everyone from Philip Glass to Todd Terry. As well as his solo work he also formed the seminal groups Dinosaur L and Loose Joints in the 1980s. With tracks such as "Go Bang" and "Is It All Over My Face?", Russell redefined dance music in the 1980s as both an intelligent and subversive form. At the center of the New York dance scene in the 1980s, Russell was co-founder of Sleeping Bag Records along with Will Socolov. As well as releasing Russell's own material, Sleeping Bag would release seminal music from Mantronix, Larry Levan, Patrick Adams, EPMD, Joyce Sims and Todd Terry amongst others. As a regular visitor at David Mancuso's Loft, and Nicky Siano's Gallery nightclubs and even Studio 54, Russell immersed himself in the New York dance scene whilst continuing to create avant-garde experimental music. These two elements in his life and music make him truly unique. Larry Levan, Walter Gibbons and Francois Kervorkian all played pivotal roles as remixers of Russell's work and feature on many of the tracks featured here. Arthur Russell died in 1992 from AIDS leaving behind an enormous body of work. This release features both the classic tracks of Arthur Russell such as "Go Bang," "Is It All Over My Face," "Wax The Van" etc alongside impossible-to-find collectors tracks such as "In The Light Of The Miracle" and the private-pressing only "Pop Your Funk." This is the first collected work of Arthur Russell, presented here as a super-loud triple-vinyl LP edition with detailed sleevenotes discussing the respected artist's rich life.
Soul Jazz Records' latest crate-digging excursion into the Crescent City vaults delves deep into the roots and history of the voodoo world of New Orleans Funk and as ever features a stellar selection of killer rare funk and soul! The album is jam-packed with serious break-heavy, heavyweight funk tunes from classic New Orleans artists including Eddie Bo, Betty Harris, Dave Bartholomew, Johnny Adams and Eldridge Holmes (with the ever-present Allen Toussaint and The Meters as always behind the scenes). There is also a host of rare cuts from a number of lesser-known second line New Orleans artists, whose fame rarely reached past the walls of the city, including Gus 'The Groove' Lewis, James K-Nine, Norma Jean, Bob French, Chuck Colbert, Zilla Mayes and Joe Haywood. In the 1960s the syncopated beat of New Orleans Funk developed out of a gumbo mix of New Orleans local flavours -rhythm and blues, Mardi Gras Indians, the street percussion Second Line of the Jazz Funeral and Marching bands, Caribbean rhumba and mambo rhythms - all of which are in full effect. Even Zydeco, the rhythm and blues offspring of Louisiana Cajun music, had the funk as the King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, shows us here. New Orleans music and Voodoo both have their roots in the African-American free black and slave gatherings held at Congo Square from the 18th century onwards. Here Voodoo king Doctor John (the original one!) and Voodoo queen Marie Levaux held court over their followers, and here also could be heard the first sounds of New Orleans jazz music. Soul Jazz Records' latest album describes how these two cultural forms are inextricably inter-related. The album traces the path of funk from the very first glimpses of the style - Dave Bartholomew's super-tight 'The Monkey' (recorded in 1957) and James Waynes' junkie jailbird anthem 'Junco Partner' (1951, later covered by Dr John, Professor Longhair, James Booker, and The Clash) through to the 1970s heavyweight boogie funk of Chocolate Milk's rare groove classic Action Speak Louder Than Words and The Baron's 'Making It Better'. Also featured is a selection of hard-core classic funk productions from the legendary Eddie Bo (James K-Nine, David Robinson) and the genius of Allen Toussaint (Eldridge Holmes, Gus 'The Groove' Lewis, Lou Johnson). There also a number of super-rare independent New Orleans' one-off 45 single funk productions from the likes of Chick Colbert and Bob French. And lastly, New Orleans Funk female vocalists are in full effect with tracks by Betty Harris (whose 'Lost Queen of New Orleans Soul' has just come out on Soul Jazz Records), Zilla Mayes and Norma Jean. This album is released as a heavyweight double gatefold vinyl (+ download code), CD pack and digital album, and comes with extensive sleeve-notes and exclusive photography.
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Soul Jazz Records’ new ‘Boombox’ features some of the many innovative underground first‐wave of rap records made in New York in the period 1979‐82, all released on small, independent, of ten family‐concern record companies, at a time when hip‐hop music still remained under the radar. This first exuberant wave of innocent, upbeat,‘party on the block’ rap records were the first totry and create the sounds heard in community centres, block parties and street jams that initially took place in the Bronx in the mid‐1970s. But where Flash, Kool Herc and Bambaataa were back‐spinning, mixing and scratching together now classic breakbeat records like The Incredible Bongo Band’s ‘Apache’ or Babe Ruth’s ‘The Mexican’, these first rap records were all made using live bands, often replaying then current disco tunes, whilst MCs rapped over the top, creating a unique sound that later became known derisively as ‘oldschool’. And while hip‐hop started in the Bronx, rap on vinyl began in Harlem where long‐time established rhythm and blues producer‐owned record companies such as Joe Robinson’s Enjoy Records, Paul Winley’s Winley Records, Delmar Donnel’s Delmar International and Jack ‘Fatman’ Taylor’s Rojac and Tayster were the first off the mark to realise the commercial potential of rap music‐releasing early ground‐breaking records that all quickly followed in the wake of the first rap record, The Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rappers Delight’, a million‐selling worldwide hit. This collection celebrates these first old‐school rap records, bringing together rare, classic and obscure tracks released in the early days of rap.Deluxe double CD‐pack comes with slipcase, 40‐page outsize perfect‐bound booklet,extensive notes, exclusive photography and original label artwork. Triple heavy weight vinyl includes full artwork, text and notes as well as free download code.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
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