Excl. Pre-Sale – 4th Coming “Strange Things” Anthology

Now-Again | Sep. 29, 2015 | News | , ,

Eccentric soul and funk recordings from an unlikely crew of Los Angeles musical misfits – including psych-rock cult figure John Greek (Reachin’ Arcesia, Beatuiful Daze) and members of the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band. Shipping via Rappcats now, WW release date 10/23!

In and shipping at our webstore at Rappcats.

They had a catchy, but inappropriate name: there is nothing forthcoming about Los Angeles’ 4th Coming, unless one counts a copious amount of releases – on rare 7” singles – that didn’t sell farther than vocalist/principal Henry “Hank” Porter’s Datsun 1200 could take him. When 4th Coming records surfaced, they were often disregarded as novelty, for in the ‘90s, few besides 4th Coming fan DJ Shadow cared for the intriguing synth-funk of “The Dead Don’t Die Alive.” And some of their records were so rare that it took until the late ‘00s for them to reemerge, after the sinking of their initial pressing runs. Assembling a near set of 4th Coming recordings was nearly possible, until the issue of this, the lost 4th Coming album: Strange Things, The Complete Works 1970-1974.

At its core, the 4th Coming was a songwriting duo – Porter and Jechonias “Jack” S. Williams – and a rotating cast of musicians that Williams assembled at Artist Recording Studio to realize the pair’s ideas. They existed only from the latter half of 1969 until 1974; during that time they issued eight singles as 4th Coming and one as Impact!

So those four years – which coincided with the rise to international fame of Los Angeles funk ensembles like Charles Wright and soul singers like Bill Withers – must have seemed like a great time for Williams to record and release singles, in an attempt stitch his thread into the rope carrying LA’s progressive black musicians above the smog. Williams found an unlikely allegiance with Al Furth, Furth’s Artist Recording Studio and his Alpha label.

And now, Strange Things, a a thrilling listen, a mysterious trove of recordings made possible by an open minded and well-funded indie impresario – Furth – which document a very real and very weird Los Angeles of the past. It’s a city we’ll never know again, and one that might never again produce an ensemble like the 4th Coming. If Furth’s faith only rolled snake-eyes in terms of commercial success, in terms of documenting Los Angeles’ vibrant soul and funk underground, he rolled boxcars. This, the album Williams and Furth always hoped would bring them real success, now sees its complete release and allows us to ponder the might-have and the would-have beens – had a 4th Coming album come together in the mid-‘70s.

Out Now – Rodinia “Drumside/Dreamside”

Now-Again | Sep. 25, 2015 | News | ,

Ambient Krautrock in line with Cluster, Popul Vuh, Tangerine Dream by Jay Whitefield (Poets of Rhythm/Whitefield Brothers/Karl Hector & The Malcouns). Out now!

Buy it at our webstore at rappcats.com – ships immediately!

Now-Again Records has enjoyed a long and creative partnership with Munich-based multi-instrumentalist JJ Whitefield, creative force behind the Poets of Rhythm, Whitefield Brothers and Karl Hector & The Malcouns. Rodinia, his latest project, is quite different than anything that’s come from his oeuvre to date, but follows in the line of the Poets of Rhythm’s great Discern/Define, as it reaches back to Krautrock’s experimental hey day but pushes its boundaries with a post-hip-hop approach.

That’s to say that everything you read in the header above is true, but the ambient sound Whitefield and his Rodinia collaborator – saxophonist and keyboardist Johannes Schleiermacher – reached for found itself morphing over the course of a year. What was originally recorded in a two-day studio lock-in, which found Whitefield and Schleiermacher hooking up “all our vintage synths (Korg MS-20, Moog Prodigy, Roland Juno 60, Jen SX 1000, Korg Polysix), triggering everything with a vintage Korg rhythm box, absorbing some mind altering substances and jamming out,” was later turned into two, side-long suites, with over-dubbed reeds, drums and guitar, and self-made Moroccan field recordings introducing the project on its Drumside.

The result is as winesome and exploratory as those from their forebears, but respectfully distanced from the past’s trappings. With original artwork by Jason Jagel (DOOM’s Mm Food, Operation DOOMsday).

Out Now – Pazazz – The Kenny Dope Remixes

Now-Again | Jun. 10, 2015 | News |

Late ‘70s Deep Miami Disco Remixed by Kenny Dope. Includes Download Card For Remixes AND Original Versions. Out now!

Buy it at our webstore at rappcats.com – ships immediately!

This is the first official reissue of Pazazz’s deep disco two sider, originally released as an obscure, promotional-only 7” single in South Florida circa 1980. And, while it took nearly two years, this 12” contains the excellent Kenny Dope’s remixes of both tracks. Naturally, Kenny brought the funkiest parts of each track to the fore and, while they’re DJ friendly, they’re now our preferred way to listen to these tunes.
 – check out his take on “So Hard To Find,” below.

We’re using this as an excuse to relaunch our Soul Cal series (though fans of our physical releases will note that there was a Soul Cal logo on the Split Decision Band 7″ we recently issued). Hopefully we’ll have more of these types of records to reissue in the future.

More info on Pazazz here.

Out Now – Polyversal Souls “Invisible Joy” On Philophon

Now-Again | Jun. 5, 2015 | News |

Max Whitefield’s Polyversal Souls debut is available now via his Philophon imprint.

Buy it at our webstore at rappcats.com – ships immediately!

During the mid to late ’00s, Max Whitefield was in deep study: after spending five years with Krautrock legends and “world music” pioneers Embryo on a 500 concert European and African bus tour, he visited South East Asia, where he studied classical Burmese Saing Waing music. This trip was followed by a time in London, living and playing with fellow Now-Again artists the Heliocentrics. He studied with former Sun Ra Arkestra members in the USA before, in 2010, taking his first trip to Ghana, the deciding point to create his Philophon label. And to record all the music for his Ghanaian counterparts, Max formed a new Berlin-based band, The Polyversal Souls. The city’s vital music scene gave him the chance to bring together excellent musicians with a common passion and interest for sounds from all around the world. Out now, the Polyversal Souls’ debut album Invisible Joy – a manifest of what Max calls “21st century soul power.”

Out Now – 4 New Philophon 7″s, Ethio-jazz, Ghanaian-funk, more.

Now-Again | Jun. 4, 2015 | News |

Four limited edition 7s on Max Whitefield’s Philophon imprint now available at our Rappcats webstore, including Ethio-jazz legend Hailu Mergia’s first recordings in decades!

Ethiopian jazz/funk legend Hailu Mergia’s “Musical Silt” was one of the pinnacles of 70s Ethiopian music, a cornerstone in the Ethiopiques series and was recently reissued on its original album by Awesome Tapes From Africa. But it’s creator hasn’t released new music in thirty years – until now. This, his first set of new recordings in three decades, find that he hasn’t missed a beat since leaving the recording sphere. The pair of he and Philophon’s Max Whitefield (drums/producer) couldn’t be better and this 45 reflects Philophon’s overarching philosophy: to put on vinyl something precious that it makes you forget time and space and leaves you alone with the only thing that matters: awesome music. Buy here.

The Pyramids and their multi-instrumentalist leader Idris Ackamoor have revived the burning fire behind three lauded privately pressed 1970s albums and the movement that followed. The Pyramids’ honest love for music, their firm belief in its social impact have shaped their story and style: after studying with free-jazz icon Cecil Taylor, the Pyramids left for a journey through Africa in 1972 where they connected with their cultural roots and developed their own musical vision. On “Rhapsody in Berlin” their vision is still bright and unclouded: a melodic horn theme interplays with a Pygmy flute, driving guitar riffs and heavy funk rhythms. Co-produced by Ackamoor and drummer Max Whitefield. Buy here.

Roy X (ne Jimmy Taylor) is the youngest son of Ghanaian Highlife/Afrobeat legend Ebo Taylor. His inherited rhythm spills into his rapping and on this 7″ he raps over music created by Philophon label boss/producer Max Whitefield. On “Oduyewu” he pays respect to the timeless sound his father created; on “Sakawa” he meanders through dream-time, helped along by a Whitefield Brothers sample interwoven into the live music bed. Buy here.

Guy One, the most famous voice of the Frafra people in northern Ghana, is a super star among his people. He sings while playing the Kologo, an ancient two stringed banjo, mostly for traditional occasions. His words always have a strong meaning which gives him the attribute of a singing philosopher. For his Philophon debut, he teamed up with drummer/producer Max Weissenfeldt, to meld Max’s deep grooves with a haunting choir of Frafra soul. Buy here.

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