Out Now – Function Underground, the Black and Brown American Rock Sound.

Now-Again | Apr. 22, 2017 | News |

On sale now at our web store at Rappcats: Function Underground – the Black and Brown American Rock Sound.

14 tracks by Jimi Macon, Black Maffia, Blacklites and more, many reissued for the first time. LP and CD with extensive booklet, filled with notes notes on an overlooked and important portion of rock n’ roll’s history. LP contains download card with WAV files.

Nearly everyone in the world can rattle off the great African-American musical forms. Jazz, blues, R&B, soul, hip-hop, house, gospel. One influential genre is always left off of the list: a folk music known as rock n’ roll. Rock n’ roll was a term originally coined to market the white-friendly version of a genre that already existed; prior to 1965, the line between rock n’ roll and R&B was thin: Ike Turner recorded and released “Rocket ‘88’ ” in 1951 and, while its Chess Records release reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart, it is regarded by many as the first rock n’ roll record.

The Great Divide between R&B and rock n’ roll came after the Beatles and the British Invasion decimated the Top 40 chart in 1964. Simultaneously, R&B entered a new phase, soon to be labeled “soul,” which upped the music’s gospel quotient and turned its frantic twang. So somewhere in the mid to late-1960s, rock n’ roll became perceived as something for the Caucasian kids. When Jimi Hendrix and Arthur Lee made the scene, they were said to be black musicians entering into a white world. While that couldn’t be farther from the truth, that false dichotomy has existed in America’s popular conscious ever since, to the point where the idea of a black rock musician is on the level with the idea of a black cowboy. (more…)

Mysterious, apocalyptic Krautrock – German Oak, the definitive reissue, LP #6 in Now-Again Reserve

Now-Again | Apr. 10, 2017 | News |

Now-Again presents the definitive reissue of a lauded and misunderstood Krautrock album – the first band-sanctioned reissue as well – in NOW-AGAIN RESERVE, scheduled to ship to subscribers in July 2017.

SUBSCRIBE: NOW-AGAIN RESERVE – there are a limited amount of “Catch Me Up” subscriptions still available to get you the entire run of NOW-AGAIN RESERVE releases.

The most mysterious Krautrock album, German Oak’s Down in the Bunker has been fetishized and demonized, lauded and misunderstood for nearly four decades. In this definitive Reserve edition of the album, the German Oak trio – together again after 30 years apart – have approved the remastering of their 70s music; finally tell the story behind the creation of their dark, brooding album – and the occult-obsessed record collector behind the original album’s release and its myth – and they share previously unreleased music and photos. 2 LP with bonus 3rd LP available only to subscribers; 3 CD – included with the subscription – contains even more music.

This reissue is produced with the direct participation of its creators. See all release details.

Announcing – Fabiano do Nascimento “Tempo dos Mestres”

Now-Again | Feb. 16, 2017 | News |

ON SALE AT OUR WEBSTORE AT RAPPCATS: FABIANO DO NASCIMENTO – TEMPO DOS MESTRES

Ships immediately via our webstore; available WW where good music is sold.
1LP in a chipboard jacket with WAV download card.
1CD in a 6-panel, eco-wallet case.

Tempo dos Mestres (Time of the Masters) is the second album from the tireless, young Brasilian guitarist Fabiano Do Nascimento. It finds its roots in the depths of the Amazon rain forest, passed down through generations of Native Brasilians, and is imbibed by the Afro-Brasilian culture that arose after Portuguese colonization. It is the third Brasilian album released on Now-Again, following Seu Jorge and Almaz and Do Nascimento’s debut Dança dos Tempos. Do Nascimento’s is joined on Tempo dos Mestres by his long time percussionist, Ricardo “Tiki” Pasillas on trap drums and percussion, and Sam Gendel on saxophone and flute. Vocals are performed by Thalma de Freitas and Carla Hasset.

The album was produced and mixed by Dança dos Tempos producer Luther Russell, who recorded Do Nascimento and his band directly to a 1/2″ Ampex tape machine with engineer Jason Hiller. It was sparingly mastered by Elysian Masters to focus on the subtleties of the performances. Do Nascimento’s fans include legendary percussionist Airto Moreira, who recorded Dança dos Tempos and can be found playing live with Do Nascimento. “He’s Brazilian but (his mind is) from a place in Brazil that is not common.” Moreira states. “Fortunately, we still have some musicians who like to play music and who like to touch the instrument and who like that energy!”

Below, a short video about the album by Bennett Pisctelli.

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Feb. 25th at Rappcats – Fat Beats and its founder’s record collection

Now-Again | Feb. 13, 2017 | News |

Rare rap records and ephemera from NYC’s underground hip hop mecca, from its founder’s collection.

Saturday, February 25, 2017, Noon-6

Rappcats
5638 York Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90042

Rappcats is bringing the collection from Fat Beats founder Joe Abajian to Los Angeles for a one day pop up. Fat Beats, in its first incarnation in the East Village NYC in 1994, was the epicenter of the ‘90s East Coast independent rap explosion. In the days before web-stores, collectors and fans from all over the world made pilgrimages to this hip hop mecca to buy the latest vinyl releases by their heroes. Whether the release was a rare double vinyl LP on a major label or one of a five-hundred press run released by a fledgling indie, Fat Beats stocked it all. It’s hard to describe just how thrilling it was to walk down the steps at 332 East 9th St, feel the heat from the overhead lamps, and hear the likes of DJ Avee play Jay Z’s “In My Lifetime” as a new release on his self-funded Roc-A-Fella records, but that’s exactly the mise en scene of the environment. It was ’90s hip hop at its best, and the scene was welcoming. At its height, Fat Beats employed DJ Eclipse, Mista Sinister, Ill Bill, Q-Unique and other NYC hip hop staples who would happily recommend records to anyone who walked in the door. (more…)

David Axelrod – 1931-2017

Now-Again | Feb. 9, 2017 | News |

David Axelrod, visionary producer, composer and arranger – and one of the patron saints of this label – died earlier this week at nearly 86 years old. He and Egon were friends for nearly two decades; Egon produced the David Axelrod anthology The Edge for Blue Note/Capitol Records in 2005 and did numerous interviews with him which were published in Big Daddy and Waxpoetics magazines, amongst others.

He wrote some words on the man, which are published in full at Rappcats. You can read an excerpt below.

Axe died sometime in the early morning of February 5th, 2017, at nearly 84 years old. Terri, his wife of 38 years, didn’t want to disclose the cause of his death, saying that the only thing that really mattered is that he was gone. What do you say to a person so dedicated to another, in that first moment of loss, when that other is a force so beyond the normal that you never thought he would leave? “He just seemed indestructible,” she said, and I knew what she meant. Axe signed off every call with an “I’ll be here.” And, like everything he said, he meant it. (more…)