Out now: Karl Hector & The Malcouns “Sahara Swing” LP reissue w/ bonus 7.”

Now-Again | Aug. 19, 2014 | News | ,

Long out of print, Karl Hector’s Afrodelic debut LP out again on vinyl, with a bonus 7″ containing two new songs. Available at Rappcats now!

Karl Hector & The Malcouns’ debut album Sahara Swing was out of print on vinyl for about a year and a half leading up to our issue of their sophomore album, Unstraight Ahead. We couldn’t stand to part with the dog-eared copies we still had at the office, and felt bad every time we saw a dealer get $40 for a copy on Discogs. So we decided to repress – and the band added two new tracks, both vocal and instrumental versions of “Roads of Otumpa,” as a bonus 7″.

They will only be available as part of this LP reissue, which comes with a download card, and as a digital exclusive to our subscribers at Now-Again Deluxe at Drip.fm. Stream the vocal version at our Soundcloud, now.

A note to those who purchased the first version of this album: if you send us proof of your purchase to thefunk@nowagainrecords.com we will email you a download link to the entire album and the bonus 7″.

Buy: Karl Hector & The Malcouns Sahara Swing at Rappcats.

Out Now – Karl Hector & The Malcouns “Unstraight Ahead” Album

Now-Again | Jun. 17, 2014 | News | ,

Out now – the long awaited second album by the originators of Afrodelic Kraut Funk – brand new excursions into another world of sound feat. members of Poets of Rhythm and Whitefield Brothers. Eco-wallet CD and digital album available immediately; LP preorder at our Rappcats store!

As we told you when we announced Unstraight Ahead, this album finds Karl Hector and his cohorts exploring territories even outside of the expansive scope of their debut album Sahara Swing. On this album, the West African sounds of Ghana and Mali meet the East African sounds of Mulatu Astatke’s Ethiopian jazz and are tied together with the groove heavy experimentalism of The Malcouns’ 70s Krautrock godfathers: Can, of course, but also more obscure and equally adventurous groups like Agitation Free, Ibliss and Tomorrow’s Gift.

It’s out now on CD and digitally – via our store at Rappcats, on iTunes and via our Now-Again Deluxe subscription service at Drip.fm. Preorders for the LP – with an anticipated ship date of 07.07.

Download: “Push Na Ya”
Buy: Karl Hector & The Malcouns Unstraight Ahead at Rappcats
Buy: Karl Hector & The Malcouns Unstraight Ahead at iTunes

Out Now: Karl Hector & The Malcouns “Coomassi” EP

Now-Again | May. 5, 2014 | News | ,

Out now – Third and final limited edition vinyl EP by the world-psych-funk ensemble; original artwork by Kevin Lyons, screenprinted by Anti Designs. Download a free MP3 now and buy the vinyl or digital at our new store at Rappcats!

For all intents and purposes, Karl Hector might as well be another nom-de-plume of Jay Whitefield (producer and guitarist for the Poets of Rhythm and the Whitefield Brothers) who, along with Thomas Myland and Zdenko Curlija, founded Karl Hector and The Malcouns in the early 2000s. Alongside Bo Baral, other members of the Poets of Rhythm and crack Munich-based session musicians, Whitefield, Myland and Curlija crafted nearly twenty tracks for their debut, Sahara Swing, an album that swung with influences from across the African diaspora.

The trio has since released two vinyl-only EPs – Tamanrasset was the first; Ngunga Yeti Fofa was the second. Coomassi will be the last, and is the opening volley of their Unstraight Ahead album, which will see release in Summer 2014. These seven songs demonstrate The Malcouns’ deft handling of musics from Eastern and Northern Africa alongside Western psychedelia, jazz and funk, as evidenced by “Irtijal,” which you can download below – something that wouldn’t sound out of place in Morocco or Turkey, Ethiopia or Azerbaijan.

Coomassi is available to our subscribers at Now-Again Deluxe, can be purchased directly at our webstore at Rappcats and is on iTunes.

Download: “Irtijal”
Buy: Coomassi at Rappcats

Announcing: Karl Hector and The Malcouns “Unstraight Ahead” Album

Now-Again | Apr. 28, 2014 | News | ,

Coming 06.17 – The long awaited second album by the originators of Afrodelic Kraut Funk. Feat. members of Poets of Rhythm and Whitefield Brothers. Download a free MP3 now!

It’s been some years since the first Karl Hector release, and it’s known now that Mr. Hector is indeed the German producer and guitarist JJ Whitefield, ne Jan Weissenfeldt. Whitefield is the visionary behind the Poets of Rhythm and the Whitefield Brothers, the ensembles whose rough analog sound and return to the funk archetypes of the late 60s to early 70s paved the way for labels like Daptone, Truth & Soul, Timmion.

Whitefield, along with Thomas Myland and Zdenko Curlija, founded Karl Hector and The Malcouns in the early 2000s. Their debut, Sahara Swing, saw release on Now-Again in 2008. The album swung with influences from across the African diaspora and set the stage for a cult, but influential following. Hermes designer Christophe Lemaire picked tracks from Karl Hector and The Malcouns as amongst his favorites in the Now-Again catalog, and included them on his Where Are You From anthology. Festival promoters intrigued by the possibility of resurrecting the careers of once forgotten African mavericks – from Ghana’s Ebo Taylor to the progenitors of Zambia’s Zamrock scene – brought Hector and crew across Europe playing festivals for ecstatic fans.

A grueling tour schedule made recording a follow up album to Sahara Swing quite the challenge, and as a result, the band opted to release limited edition, hand-silkscreened EP’s, which continued to show their deft handling of musics from Eastern and Northern Africa alongside Western psychedelia, jazz and funk. Whitefield gave himself 2013 to finish the album that would become Unstraight Ahead, which will see release on Now-Again this summer.

Unstraight Ahead finds the band exploring territories even outside of the expansive scope of Sahara Swing. On this album, the West African sounds of Ghana and Mali meet the East African sounds of Mulatu Astatke’s Ethiopian jazz and are tied together with the groove heavy experimentalism of The Malcouns’ 70s Krautrock godfathers: Can, of course, but also more obscure and equally adventurous groups like Agitation Free, Ibliss and Tomorrow’s Gift.

“We look to Middle Eastern funk and psychedelic fusions, and to various ethnic records for sound and phrasing,” Whitefield states. “We’re trying to combine the global experimentalism of Krautrock with the backbeat of funk.” This explains how songs in uneven meters – 5/4, 7/8 – always sound so accessible and natural on Unstraight Ahead. It’s mainly an instrumental affair, but guest artists appear throughout, from across the African diaspora to those from the worldly Krautrock forebears of their German fatherland: it’s Marja, daughter of Embryo founder Christian Burchard, whose vocals open the album.

It’s an album out of time, one that couldn’t have been made in the era its aural aesthetics reference, as its scope is so broad. But it’s an album focused by funk – and an ambition to expand funk’s reaches. The Malcouns – including Poets of Rhythm songwriter and vocalist Bo Baral – created their own instruments to fashion an album that stands alongside the great albums of its progenitors but charges Unstraight Ahead into a curious musical future.

Unstraight Ahead will be available to our subscribers at Now-Again Deluxe two weeks prior to the EP’s release date.

Download: “Push Na Ya”

Karl Hector & The Malcouns – Sahara Swing

Now-Again | Apr. 17, 2014 | Catalog |

Buy it here.

Produced by Jay Whitefield

01.When The Sun Breaks Through
02.Nyx
03.Followed Path
04.Transition >J<
05.Sahara Swing
06.Psycles
07.Transition >I<
08.Koloko Pt. 1
09.Debere
10.Transition >Z<
11.Jabore Pt. 3
12.Mystical Brotherhood
13.Timely Interuption
14.Transition >B<
15.Mellow (Version)
16.Rush Hour
17.Transition >W<
18.Toure Samar
19.Passau Run

NA5035 CD, 2LP 2008 (expanded LP version with bonus 7″ single – same catalog number, 2014).

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