Golden State of Mind

A couple great new releases happen to focus my home state. The first is the newest in Now-Again and Jazzman’s Funk Compilations. The entire series is a compendium of rare, regional songs, notably Carolina Funk, Florida Funk, and Texas Funk. California Funk is a collection of twenty-one 45s from San Francisco, Berkeley, San Bernadino, LA and San Diego. The liner notes add scope and are great themselves. Here are snippets of some choice cuts.

‘Smokin’ Tidbits’ by The Edwards Generation

A cover of ‘What’s Going On’ by Mr. Clean & the Soul Inc.

If there’s continuity of Californian funk, than Orgone fits tangentially somewhere. From the evergreen Los Angeles area, they’ve played with some of my favorite LA funk driven groups, Breakestra and Connie Price and the Keystones. A nine piece band, they play soul and funk with a little afrobeat too. Some songs have vocals, most are instrumentals. Here’s the first track off their latest, Cali Fever, (Ubiquity) out next month.

‘The Last Fool’

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Afrobeat Goes On

“Comencemos” by Phirpo Y Sus Caribes

“Woman Pin Down” by Dan Satch and his Atomic 8 Dance Band

It’s fitting Fela gets the deluxe treatment now considering his work experienced a revival of sorts in the last decade or so (and continues to). But Black Man’s Cry: The Inspiration of Fela Kuti is much more than a project of “Fela covers”. In fact, besides a couple tracks, these covers and interpolations themselves are from rare Nigerian 45s and other international LPs.

The boxset includes 4 x 10-inches and the book it comes with—written and researched by Egon—is a great, quick primer on Fela and partly why the project’s so strong. Above are a couple snippets. The deluxe boxset comes out on Now-Again late next month.

Off The Chain

ForgeYourOwnChainsHighRes

D.R. Hooker – “Forge Your Own Chains”

The Strangers – “Two To Make A Pair”

From start to finish, Now-Again’s new comp Forge Your Own Chains enthralls you with 15 psych-sodden tracks. Besides a song or two that were reissued already, the rest are from records that were culled from all over; Sweden to Nigeria, Colombia to Iran, these songs incorporate screams and shouts, fuzz, funk, folk, and weird touches of improvisation. It was a global era (1968-74) where artists sought to sound different and it showed in their music. Forge… comes with detailed liner notes (written by Egon) that respectfully contextualize the tracks and its makers. To hear and learn more about the project, visit Now-Again’s site. Dig the snippets above—the project comes out in a couple weeks.