Out now – 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. Out now!

Buy it via 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.

Announcing: Richard Marks “Never Satisfied”

Now-Again | Mar. 31, 2015 | News | , ,

Legendary soul and funk singles from Atlanta guitarist/singer/songwriter Richard Marks. Includes previously unreleased tracks. Book w/ CD, 2 LP w/ booklet. Out now!

Seven years in the making, Never Satisfied is our collection of legendary soul and funk singles by Atlanta Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter Richard Marks. This 21 track anthology follows Marks’ stylistic development, from his earliest work for the legendary Tuska label, from 1968 until approximately 1972, through his more mature releases on the Shout label and smaller regional labels like Note, Free Spirit and RSC. It also includes two tracks never released in any form, found on reels Marks had maintained in his Atlanta home.

Marks’ story is that on an unsung soul and funk hero; a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter whose number was in Al Green’s, Barry White’s and Eddie Kendricks’ rolodexes, but whose talents have only been heard in sporadic bursts since his 45s were released and disappeared into Atlanta’s urban expanse. This is the story of a father and husband who managed to keep his family together as he gigged the third shift six nights a week. The story of a man who wished for more and whose talent is overdue for reassessment.

Marks and his music are unknown to the majority, but to an obsessive minority, he is a lightning rod, that singular point at which numerous Southern soul and funk musicians converged and exploded, spreading wondrous music in all directions. Marks’ impeccable run of 7” singles, released largely on tiny, local labels, are the stuff of legend, and are hen’s-teeth-rare.

Marks died of cancer in May of 2006, never having issued an album, either in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when many of his peers were able to find a way to issue an LP, or in anthology form in his later years. He never granted an interview. Given the caliber of his recordings and the near complete lack of information available about him before the issue of this anthology, Marks stands out as the most mysterious talent to originate from Atlanta, a city that birthed no shortage of genius, from acclaimed worldwide (the Mighty Hannibal), obscure yet celebrated (Lee Moses) and local, but well documented (Tommy Stewart). Never Satisfied aims to illuminate the life and career of this all-too-talented musician.

56 page perfect bound 9″ x 6″ book with CD and 2LP with 20 page booklet. Book/Booklet contains extensive essays on Marks’ career and is full of never-before-seen photos and ephemera from this crucial Southern soul and funk epoch. Download card included with LP version.

Apple And The Three Oranges – Free And Easy

Now-Again | Dec. 4, 2012 | Catalog | ,

Buy it here.

What Goes Around Comes Around 2:42
Free And Easy Pt. 1 2:52
Free And Easy Pt. 2 3:14
Down Home Publicity 2:57
True Love Will Never Die 3:09
My Baby 3:12
Love Brings Out The Best Of You 1:57
Curse Upon The World 2:58
Moon Light 3:05
Gotta Stand For Something Pt. 1 3:03
Gotta Stand For Something Pt. 2 2:59
My Love Needs Your Love 3:20
I’ll Give You A Ring (When I Come, If I Come) 3:14

This compilation produced, researched, annotated and with liner notes by Eothen Alapatt; additional transcription and coordination by Henoch Moore.
All songs licensed courtesy Edwards “Apple” Nelson
Restoration and remastering by Dave Cooley and Kelly Hibbert for Elysian Masters, Los Angeles.
Art direction by Errol F. Richardson.

CD, LP and Digital. 2013. NA 5093.

Out Now: Loving On The Flip Side, Sweet Funk and Beat-Heavy Ballads, 1969-1977.

Now-Again | Sep. 25, 2012 | News | ,

Loving On The Flip Side – Sweet Funk and Beat-Heavy Ballads, 1969-1977. 21 rare and unreleased tracks; 2LP or CD with 80-page book filled with rare photos and each band’s story. CD/book, 2LP/book, digital album Out NOW!

Loving On The Flip Side collects the overlooked ballads from the flip sides of the funk 45s in the Now-Again and Truth and Soul vaults and is presented in the same format that we developed for our Soul Cal anthology. The music contained on Loving On The Flip Side is too damn good to be anonymously relaunched, decades after musical visionaries blended the best of heavy funk and sweet soul into a unified whole. Thus, Loving On The Flip Side again offers the enthused a chance to listen to, read about and reflect on another great burst of black American creativity: the creation of the sublime genre we like to call “sweet funk.”

It was the Darling Dears and Funky Heavy’s beautiful two-sider that set this record in motion, nearly ten years back. Those two songs precipitated the sweet funk genre: the dichotomy of Funky Heavy’s skull snapping rhythm section and the teenage Dears’ angelic harmonies didn’t sound like anything we’d heard before. That discovery set off a decade long search for the band and culminated in their discovery, the documenting of their stories, the emergence of their master tapes and the inclusion of their songs on Loving On The Flip Side.

The excitement we felt while listening to the Darling Dears and Funky Heavy’s masterworks forced us and the New York-based production team known as Truth & Soul back into the field, in search of other sweet funk swooners and beat-heavy ballads to round out this anthology. The opportunity to present anew such wondrous soul music made the exhaustive process that produced Loving On The Flip Side worthwhile, and allowed us to collect one-offs that escaped prior investigations into the deep funk and sweet soul genres.

Loving On The Flip Side is presented as both a gatefold 2LP and a CD – both formats come with a perfect-bound, 80 page book printed on heavyweight, uncoated paper stock. You can purchase the CD/book anywhere good music is sold and on Itunes. You also get Loving On The Flip Side as one of three albums if you subscribe to Now-Again Deluxe at drip.fm.

Buy On Rappcats: Loving On The Flip Side
Get Loving On The Flip Side When You Subscribe: https://drip.fm/nowagain
Download: Darling Dears And Funky Heavy “And I Love You.”

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Out Now – Soul Cal: Disco and Modern Soul Masterpieces, 1971-1982.

Now-Again | Apr. 10, 2012 | News | ,

The definitive survey of America’s best, independent 70s soul-ensembles. 15 rare and unreleased tracks; 2LP or CD with 80-page book filled with rare photos and each band’s story. Out NOW.

A decade in the making, Soul Cal is the definitive survey of America’s best, independent, 70s soul-ensembles. Profiled within this album and book are the bands that transitioned from funk to disco; the bands that kept up the backbeat as rhythm moved to the backseat. Against the odds, they left recorded artifacts for we at Now-Again to dig out, dust off and restore. Collected here for the first time are the musical dreams of dozens, dreams that were deferred but were never discarded.

Soul Cal is presented as both a gatefold 2LP and a CD – both formats come with a perfect-bound, 80 page book printed on heavyweight, uncoated paper stock. Photos of each format are presented below; you can also download Luther Davis’ “You Can Be A Star” – the song whose reissue kick started the Soul Cal series ten years ago.

Buy: Soul Cal
Download: Luther Davis “You Can Be A Star.”

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