1 of 8 in a series of Arthur King Presents records, The prolific Bill Baird brings us spacey mellow psychedelic eltctro krautrock. Mostly instrumental— guitars, bass, drums, and analog synth, and a few saturated vocals drop in here and there. This is both light and dark, heavy and mellow. He was inspired by his son’s obsession with Owls. Neat-O!
Their 1969 LP + demos and a few bonus tracks from the early 1970s.
The Flirtations (Sisters Ernestine and Shirley Pearce, along with friend Vie Billups, who also performs under the moniker of Pearly Gates) began as a 4 piece with their other sister Betty and Lestine Johnson in NYC in 1960. After recording a few singles and mild success domestically, they were convinced to relocate to the UK where Northern Soul was still very popular. They hooked up with producer Wayne Bickerton and writer Tony Waddington, and released their debt full length album on Decca. They have recorded and performed ever since, working with several different labels.
Lovely full sound! Lots of clear and well-rounded vocals, plucky horns, dramatic strings, and upbeat percussion.
FAST FACT: Their big single (Track 1) was used in a KFC advertisement campaign in 2007.
A compilation of “Deep Soul”* (soul from America that never found a wide audience in America) selected by the late Dave Godin, a UK Record shop owner and soul music enthusiast who coined the phrase*. There are a few familiar names on here…Irma Thomas, Ruby Andrews…other than that, mostly artists new to me, including some artists that there is little to no info on. Love and pain, both political and personal can be found on these recordings spanning the years of 1966-1973, which as we know was a time of turmoil and big change in this country. My personal standouts: A3, A4, and the first three tracks on side B, which cook!!
A trippy reworking of Solange Knowles 2016 critically acclaimed album, A Seat At The Table, by KO (aka LA based Producer/DJ/ Rapper, Dominique Purdy). These side-long mixes could technically be played as one really long mix with actual cuts from the album it was drawn from spliced in…or you can just drop the needle. You hear bits of Knowles vocals, spoken dialogue from the original album celebrating black pride & culture– while highlighting history & racism, and plenty of delicious looped beats. He has even taken her original cover art and added the signature wolf mask that he wears when promoting and performing as KO. He considers this work homage to an album that, while on the periphery of the mainstream, (she is the younger sister of “Queen Bey”) has been celebrated as Avant & an alternative deep modern soul masterpiece. If this grabs you, definitely check out Solange’s full album and subsequent work….This album sends that message.
Originally recorded in 1979 (a rare and valuable LP), reissued in 2018. Kiki was born in Takoradi, Ghana in 1957. He began playing music at 5, and was quickly discovered to be a keyboard prodigy, turning pro at 12. By 15, he was touring as the Keyboardist for Osibisa, after joining them in London. After playing with them for 7 years, and gaining notoriety for his skills, he went solo with this record, blending afro beat with disco, reggae, and synth heavy electronics. This record is so good, so bright an upbeat; Long grooves that just cook. Even Black Afro Punk, which is a mellowish reggae dub, got me tapping toes. The keyboards are of course the main star, since he was a genius with that instrument. After this album, and a brief marriage to the daughter of Fela Kuti, Gyan went pretty much MIA due to a tragic and debilitating drug addiction. He died from AIDS related complications in 2004.
Born in South Carolina in 1940, and Raised in Harlem, Jeanette “Baby” Washington joined vocal group The Hearts at 16 years old in 1956. The following year, she began recording solo tracks. Her voice is so rich and emotive, and these tracks are dripping with love, heartbreak and melancholy. The production is classic northern soul and very well done, with lots of strings, percussion, and horns. Dusty Springfield (who stated several times that Washington was her favorite singer) was clearly influenced, and that may explain why she isn’t better known. But hot damn!! Now’s your chance! Like a lot of 60s soul performers, disco took its toll, and she hasn’t recorded much since the late 70s. She’s now 78 years old and still actively performing mostly in Europe.
Ivory Joe Hunter – 7th Street Boogie
A compilation of tunes recorded between 1945-1960 at various studio sessions all over the US, Ivory Joe Hunter (his given name!) wrote over 2000 songs during his career (cut short by cancer at the age of 60 in 1974). Born into a spiritual and musical family, Hunter began his career young, recording music for the library of congress while still a teenager. He was less interested in the spirituals of his upbringing, and looked towards music as pure entertainment. This is Jazz, Blues, R&B, Boogie Woogie, and Rock’n’ Roll. Yet another artist who was a major influence on legendary artists ( Nina Simone), but whose work has largely flown under the radar. Piano, sax, percussion, and vocals make for a really enjoyable listen. It’s not overly energetic, and the recordings are clear and fantastic.
Early 1980s Anarchistic punk from New Zealand with spoken / shouted lyrics, driving rhythmic guitar & percussion.
Original members Roger Allen and Lindsay McKay formed in 1983 with Tim Ord, and Sam Swann joining shortly thereafter. In 1985 they added Blaise Oarsman and Dave Appleton on guitar FOG? Eventually became ?FOG City Enterprises, an art collective operating “Red House” which became a hub for underground music and art in Auckland. The national arts council of NZ helped fund the release of the original 7” (re-released here on Bunkerpop), they disbanded in 1988, and it is unclear if they ever officially released any other music as a band.
25th Anniversary LP release of a 1995 Originally hand-made cassette, now the stuff of legend. These young men of the Bay Area Hip-Hop underground are scrappy and intelligent; gifted wordsmiths rapping about life as they knew it – The San Francisco Bay Area of the early 90s, when young artists like themselves might still be able to survive by working hard and not being afraid to take credit for their success. This is a slice of life, and it listens like a series of recording sessions and street corner jams, caught on tape. Private asides, background noise, sound bites, atmospheric blips, and brilliant improvisations.
Formed in 1979 out of Messina, Italy, the duo of Antonio “Eze” Cuscinà and Carlo Smeriglio only released 1 EP (tracks A1, A2 on this double LP) in 1983, and this is a collection of demos recorded to cassette between 1983-1985. Guitar and Synth. There are vocals, however, they are swallowed by production. If you want the lyrical scoop, have no fear, there is a nice insert that explains the melancholy stories behind each vocal track in fine detail. Very of the era. Very danceable.
From 2003, this was the 5th album from the prolific musican-composer-record label founder (tigerbeat6) Rjyan kidwell, who uses the moniker CEX interchangeably to identify himself. A frequent collaborator of longtime friend and business partner kid 606, Cex is a talented wordsmith who hits hard with hip hop inspired rhymes over electronic beats. You can’t really pigeonhole this record into any one category. It’s electro hip hop with mixed with folk and fuzz guitar. There’s even some field recording-type ambiance. He was clearly dealing with one hell of a broken heart in early 2000s. and (not) hung up on his ex who may have been called Melanie? Or Katie? Or both? It’s fantastic, pain fueled, and dark, but delivered with a sense of humor that saves it from being a total sad bastard affair. Since 2003 he has recorded several more albums, and I have no doubt they’ve each been unique and that he’s continued to experiment and evolve.
Broad collection of standards from The Bey Siblings of Newark, NJ— recorded between 1964-1965. Their voices are deep and rich, and blend together like smooth cream. Andy is also a self-taught pianist, while his sisters Salome and Geraldine vocalize and harmonize. Together they pay homage to some of their greatest musical influences. Pop, Jazz, Blues, Gospel. They touch on several vocal styles…most are slow burners, but there are few upbeat bangers in the bunch. <3!!! Caddy
Here is Eddie Russ on funky electric piano, accompanied by smooth sax, electric guitar, percussion, flute, and strings. He played with many jazz greats including Sarah Vaughn, Stan Getz, and Dizzy. Recorded in Detroit in March 1974, this has that cool 70s loungey jazz vibe in spades. Mellow grooves. Very pleasant. <3!!! Caddy
A creative collab between friends REPEAT PATTERN & TA-KU,
This collection features both of them on a few traks along with other friends
And emerging artists. Dreamy bedroom beats, samples, loops.
Incoherent lyrical content. The most abrasive track is A4???s Divison,
filled with scrapes, cuts, and heavy breathing. Mostly it???s pretty mellow sound
snapshots with many layers and elements. You will catch something
new with every listen. All tracks a pretty cool, but Primm (B3) is my
personal favorite because of the 1970s easy listening flute intro
and underlying current.
3rd solo album from Michigan multi-instrumentalist Christian Berishaj.
He writes and produces his records. He directs his own music videos.
Tracks dripping with soul grooves, lush string orchestrations,
the poetry of a hard life lived, longing and heartbreak. He has
a smooth voice, easy flow, decent falsetto, and is clearly very
talented. This record is sexy, melancholy, and quite beautiful.
A real panty dropper! I loved it! FCCs on tracks 3-7; 12
1997 album from one of the original queens of ska and reggae. Recording solo albums since 1970, she often collaborated with the Skatellites starting in the mid-1960s before becoming their lead singer in 1994. This album is like a sweet breath of fresh air. Her vocals are warm and soothing, and the subject matter is pretty lovey dovey. There are elements of ska, straight reggae, and even soul. A nice cover of “Groovy Kind of Love” is just one of many sweet love tunes. This simply put me in the best mood while doing things around the house.
cadilliac margarita 2/28/2013 A Library
Improvised compositions from electric/acoustic sound artist Timo van Luijk. This is mostly experimental scratches, squabbles and noise walls that go from nearly inaudible to incredibly loud and abrasive. The last 3 tracks were easier for me to listen to than the first 3, mostly because they feature some melodic and percussive elements. This is dark and unnerving, and Im not even going to start with the cover art. My nightmares have some new featured players. That is all Im gonna say.
cadilliac margarita 2/28/2013 A Library
Together since 1993, this 2001 release from French-German duo of Franoise Cactus and Brezel (‘pretzel‘) Goring is so much fun, I didnt want it to end. Alternative electro pop-hop with video game vibes. While Cactus bangs on the drums and provides the majority of vocals in French (some in English, and German too… I think!), Goring does his thing on synth and guitar. The last track was remixed by Felix Kubin, so that should give you a good idea of what to expect. Neat-O!
James Hunter out of the UK has written and provides warm and gritty vocals for all songs on this album out on GO/ Fantasy Records. After touring for 20 years with the likes of Van Morrison (for whom he was a backup singer) Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, and the late Etta James, Hunter is back with his 5 piece band (now giving them name credit after many years of touring as his dedicated backup band). Channeling his pain from the 2011 loss of his wife Jacqueline to cancer, he has dedicated this great album of throwback classic R&B to her. For someone who has undergone such a huge loss, this is surprisingly upbeat with guitar, sax, drums, organ, bass, piano, vibraphone, percussion, and was produced by Gabriel Roth, co-founder of Daptone Records. They will be at Bimbos 365 on March 9th.
Making beautiful music together since 2007, this Brooklyn noise punk musician super-group turned funk collective formed during a jam session of Sun Ras Lanquidity. Their blend of funky baselines, clarinet, horns, rock guitar, and steady drumbeats is classic and modern at the same time. I favor side Bs A Little Planet because of its punchy intro, snake charming clarinet solo, and mellow funkiness. However, both tracks are more than worthy.
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
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