Here’s another unique release – the first official reissue of Pazazz’s deep disco song “So Hard To Find.” Recorded in 1979 when this Miami-based band was working for the Norwegian Cruise Line, “So Hard To Find” was supposed to bring the band regional acclaim – and perhaps a record deal – but, after two failed press runs, bandleader Tony Castellanos shelved his dreams and decided against any sort of release.
The band split in 1981 and forgot about their single until Los Angeles record collector Mike Vegh found a random copy of the record and, impressed by the steady funk of Pazazz’s soulful disco, tracked down Castellanos and brokered the purchase of the last remaining copies of his records. Vegh connected us with the man and we’re happy to represent Pazazz’s excellent – and before now, never heard – soulful disco.
Download: Pazazz – So Hard To Find
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It’s a great pleasure that we can present one of our favorite garage-psych records of all times – the self titled, and only, record by the Puerto Rican band Kaleidoscope, who recorded their album in the Dominican Republic and saw it issued in a promotional run of two-hundred copies on Mexico’s Orfeon label. It’s gone on to become one of the sought after artifacts of the late 60s world-rock scene, with clean copies – when the surface – selling for upwards of $8,000.
The German reissue label Shadoks – with whom we’ve issued a number of Zamrock titles – licensed the album through the band’s leader, guitarist and vocalist Frank Tirado, and issued it on CD and LP. We approached Frank and got the rights to license Kaleidoscope’s impossible to imitate music on both master and publishing sides.
Download: Kaleidoscope – Kaleidoscope
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This album came about as studio wiz Chop whittled down hours of recordings created over a period of years to a selection of the most inspired moments. Heliocentrics drummer Malcolm Catto’s rhythm tracks were edited off-the-grid until they became more Neu than James Brown, more driving than syncopated; Bill Ryder Jones from The Coral stepped in for the lead guitar parts, which lent a powerful psychedelic 60s rock sound to the proceedings; Chop repurposed a range of obsolete musical gear to renewed ends, in line with his desire to search for a future imbued with the innocence of the past.
Unsurprisingly, Illuminate traverses a number of moods. The jackhammer pounding of ‘Building Blocks’ segues into the moody but serene ‘Picture Box’. The futuristic soundscape ‘Arcane Future’ takes an uplifting melodic turn, revealing Chop’s hopes for a more perfect tomorrow. These songs have a life of their own – equally electronic and human.
Download: Chop – Illuminate
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Linked below: Egon’s newest Funk Archaeology post at Red Bull Music Academy’s website, this time digging into jingle funk – funk (and other) novelties issued with corporate backing.
The exclusive download this time around: HAIR composer Galt MacDermot’s Melba Moore-voiced promo for Contac Cold Pills. Hey – it is summer: if you catch that “hot summer cold” you might find yourself stumbling around the aisles of your local pharmacy with this tune ringing in your cranium. That was, after all, its design.
The New Series: Jingle Funk – Egon’s Funk Archaeology at Red Bull Music Academy.
The Old Series: Egon’s Funk Archaeology at NPR.
Download: Galt MacDermot w/ Melba Moore: “Cool It With Contac”
We’re excited to announce that we have – after nearly six years of persistent negotiations – inked a deal with the family of the late, great Georgia singer, songwriter and all around soul and funk legend Richard Marks and will issue a comprehensive anthology of his solo work in early 2014. More news to come in the future. In the meantime, check out the only verified picture of Marks circulating on the internet. Yes, that’s right: for some strange reason, that French issue of his “Funky Four Corners” that you bought because of the photo on the front? That’s some other random dude.