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