Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cleo McNett :: Let The Music Guide You & Life

I had Let The Music Guide You for a year before I realized I know the guy that engineered these sessions. Even then, McNett still remains somewhat of a mystery as the response I got when I asked if he knew how to get in touch with Cleo: "Man I didn't even know how to get a hold him then, he would just show up for his sessions, play and leave."

Despite the low-fi sound, both EPs have a lot of charm and you can't help but to be endeared to them. Life has a little bit more polished sound but the songs on Let The Music Guide You are better all-around songs. There's a 3rd EP that's a variation on Let The Music Guide You with killer pictures of Cleo and his lady by the pool. Sample spotters should be able to place Snap pretty quickly. File this under Real People Basement Lo-Fi Modern Soul.

Cleo McNett | Let The Music Guide You | McNett Records| Early 80s

Cleo McNett | Snap | McNett Records| Early 80s

Cleo McNett | I Believe In You | McNett Records| Early 80s

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Round Robin And Brimstone :: Plenty Good Lovin'

On the same label as Doc Gibbs but worlds better and infinitely more difficult to track down, this LP was produced by Dallas local semi-legend Arris Wheaton and was released in 1980. Plenty Good Lovin' is the clear standout cut but there are a couple of other noteworthy songs on the 6-song LP as well. I've only known a couple of these to turn up other than a few that came from Arris himself a couple of years back and my copy ended up coming from New Orleans.

Round Robin And Brimstone | Plenty Good Lovin' | Platinum City | 1980

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Alien :: Changing Times

I gotta give it up for the dude Jeff in Houston for trading me this slice of Deep South space boogie that is new to my ears. Mostly instrumental with an occasional chorus of Changing Times, this one relies heavily on the bass and rhythm guitar to keep the head nodding. Oddly enough, it contains an identical mono and stereo mix on each side. From Memphis and the only release on the label from what I've been able to determine so far.

Alien | Changing Times | Score Records | early 80s

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Italo Beat Tracks

Italo beat tracks proved to be an important bridge between disco and Chicago house music as they served as long repetitive beat tracks with a consistent BPM that DJs could rock longer mixes without the worry of clashing vocals or chords and they could be used to either come out of a disco set or move back into 1 seamlessly. They're ingrained into the fabric of house music, and you can't listen to a WBMX tape without Farley playing 1. As Chicago house producers caught on, they began making their own with Fingers & Vince Lawrence, among others, releasing their brand of what a friend of mine used to call "kick and clap" music. These are 6 of my favorites.

Alessandro Novaga | Faces Drums 3 | Shake Italy | Early 80's

Alessandro Novaga | Eletronic Drums | No Label | Early 80's

Mix Your Own Stars | 119 | TTR Netherlands | 1981

Virgo | Go Wild Rythm Trax | Other Side | 1986

Traks | Tracks | Best Record Italy | 1982

Bongos Gang | Oye Como Va (Bonus Beats) | Best Record Italy | 1982

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jah Jah Children :: My Disco Darling

The term Island Disco gets thrown around way too much and more often than not what you're listening to is some weak steel band version of some mediocre disco song. This release from Barbados though is different. Hidden on the B-side of a pretty average reggae cut, My Disco Darling is as deep as it is poorly recorded - but that's kind of it's charm too. The vocals sound like they were recorded in the same mic as some of the instruments. Clocks in at an even 6:00; this is 1 of the records you find but don't really expect to ever see again.

Jah Jah Children | My Disco Darling | Roots to Man | 1981

Soul Liberation :: Who Are You?

So I'm out on my normal weekend dig, heading East to an outdoor monthly flea market about an hour away. Problem is, I get there and discover that it was last weekend so I drove an hour for nothing. Or did I? Without that failed trip, I wouldn't have stumbled across what could possibly be Dallas' rarest soul LP or certainly 1 of them. To boot, it's a gospel album on the Dallas Rainbow label though this looks to be 1 of their much later releases from '82. It clearly didn't sell and it's hard to gauge how many were pressed but it just doesn't turn up and I wasn't even aware of its existence until a year ago. Musically you can tell they were influenced by the Capitol modern soul sound of the time mixed with some Ashford and Simpson. These 2 cuts are the clear winners but the album is a solid listen all the way through.

Soul Liberation | Touch Me Again | Rainbow Records | 1982

Soul Liberation | Heavenly Places | Rainbow Records | 1982

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Walkers :: Van Nuys Blvd. 10pm

Not a particularly difficult record to track down even if on an indy Gucci pressing, I've liked this record a lot since acquiring it in a trade from High C over at Rehash and always thought it was a bit underrated. It's got a vibe that I envision would have been a big Idjut Boys type record with heavy emphasis on the bass and a mid-tempo BPM with a few changes mixed in. Get a copy before someone blows this thing up. The 2 cuts on the other side aren't terribly interesting.

The Walkers | Van Nuys Blvd. 10pm | Gucci Records | late 70s

Bob Chance :: It's Broken!

Somewhere along the way this lounge disco LP takes on a life of it's own, and probably by accident 2 really hot cuts emerge from the usual fodder that encompasses most lounge records. It's Broken spans 9:30+ and you'll have to endure Bob's vocal's a bit but the last half of the song is like a white man's lounge-y Peter Brown/Patrick Adams P&P production. Jungle Talk is just a mid tempo dirty synth jungle instrumental head trip at 5+ minutes but needs an inclusion. A couple of more LPs on the label exist and I've got the one by Tony Rizzi but it doesn't come close to this.

Bob Chance | It's Broken | Morrhythm Records | 1980

Bob Chance | Jungle Talk | Morrhythm Records | 1980

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Joan Ashe :: My Life

Probably 1 of my favorite discoveries over the last year or 2; I first came across a copy of this through Friends of Sound in Austin and found a 2nd copy buried in a stack of 12s in South Carolina last Summer. I can't get much information on who Joan Ashe was other than that this is from the Atlanta area and that the label put out a couple of early rap 12s. Although listed as a promo, I presume that this wasn't released any other way. The B-side has an instrumental of the same length.

Joan Ashe | My Life | Gold Mine Records | early to mid 80s

High Fidelity :: Magic Carpet

Another Peter Brown production that gets better with each listen; only problem is that the red vinyl brings down the audio fidelity a bit. The purple label/black vinyl version is however even rarer than this pressing and will cost you 3 to 4 bills, but what on Queen Constance is easy to find really? Magic Carpet is the best cut to my ears.

High Fidelity | Magic Carpet | Queen Constance | 98 | late 70s

Sunday, January 24, 2010

K-Hollywood Hollis :: K-Hollywooda-Rap

One of the earliest disco rap 12" from the West Coast, this record was once trading hands for several hundred dollars before some sealed copies turned up recently and a copy of this essential release has come back to the more reasonable price of about $50. In traditional disco rap style, there's not really much of a chorus so you've got to pick your place to mix out. The B-side has an interesting but mostly forgettable lounge ballad by Vickie Hollis.

K-Hollywood Hollis | K-Hollywooda-Rap | Central City Records | 1982

Reanna Coleman :: You're In My Pocket

Possibly the rarest release on Noel Williams' Miami-based label, You're in My Pocket includes additional production by Tommy Stewart of Bump and Hustle Music fame and is about the smoothest release on the label, nestled in nicely between the electro rap releases and the edgier electronic stuff like Connie Case. There's an instrumental included on the flip.

Reanna Coleman | You're In My Pocket | Konduko | 3035 | 1984

Friday, January 22, 2010

Skip Jackson & The Natural Experience :: Micro Wave Boogie

No, that's not me turning the bass up really high in the mix, that's on the record. A known and desired 12" for awhile, Micro Wave Boogie has New York written all over it, but they trick it up a bit with the phasing percussion throughout the record and dub it out towards the end of the record with lots of scat-styled vocals. This yellow label copy is considered the remix and there's a white label/red text version that I've never come across.

Skip Jackson & The Natural Experience | Micro Wave Boogie | Catamount | late 70s

Thursday, January 21, 2010

John Greek and The Limiters :: I'm Hot For Your Body

With flanging effects and swirling synths, this is the kind of record I would envision being a Baldelli Cosmic Disco kind of record, clocking in at under 90 bpm with that prog disco feel; but from what I can tell, this is ungoogleable, unpopsikeable, unknown. Some may cry for an edit to chop out the rock-ish vocal, but that's just the kind of record it is and I ain't mad at it. This copy came from Waco Texas of all places.

John Greek and The Limiters | I'm Hot For Your Body | Wall of Sound Records | 1979

Lotti G. :: What It's Worth

Class boogie 12" produced by Lenny Underwood of Unlimited Touch; this is 1 of those records that seems like it should have been big when it was released and 1 you'd expect to be easier to find. The regular release has red labels, both releases have long and short versions as well an instrumental. Interesting side note is that appears to have some involvement from Next Plateau though this appears to be the sole release on the label.

Lotti G | What It's Worth | C Sharp Records | Early 80s

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kasso :: One More Round (Remix by Frankie Knuckles)

US remixer of an Italian artist on a German label - maybe that's why this remix is so damn tough to get a copy of. Similar in vein to Knuckles' nearly as tough remix of Unfinished Business' Out Of My Hands, this remix of One More Round has some early house elements to it but infuses enough disco elements in it that it, like Out Of My Hands, stands alone as a classic. The version on the US LP doesn't even come close. Some may also recognize the sample from Derrick Carter's Blue Cu release under Shock Therapy.

Kasso | One More Round | Haristol Records & Tapes | 1986