(Re)Announcing – Our Nigerian Fuzz-Funk Anthology

Now-Again, in conjunction with Uchenna Ikonne (the man behind the award-winning William Onyeabor anthology on Luaka Bop and the perennially-dope Comb & Razor blog) and with help from Sound Way’s Miles Cleret and New-Zealand based psych-zealot Heavyfuzz, can now announce that we are “this” close to finishing the anthology of the best Nigerian psych-fuzz-funk tracks from the country’s rock era of the early to mid 1970s. The anthology will tell the story of rock in the wake of the Nigerian Civil War and trace its genesis in the highlife scene of the 1950s through its demise in the 1980s.

Yes, we’ve been working on this anthology for going on seven years. But, as we noted back in 2009, this compilation is officially licensed through the bands themselves – a first for a Nigerian comp of this sort, so far as we can tell.

Included in our ever expanding track list: selections from The Hykkers, The Hygrades, Tirogo, Faces, Forge Your Own Chains’ The Strangers, P.R.O, Question Mark, Warhead Constriction and Wrinkar Experience. Wrinkar’s leader, Ginger Forcha (pictured above with some adoring fans in the early 70s), licensed us his breathtaking “Ballad Of A Sad Young Woman.” You’ll have to wait till our comp comes out (later this year – yes, we promise you) to check that tune. In the meantime, we’re posting Wrinkars’s biggest hit, “Money To Burn,” here.

More information – format(s), full track list(s) and, yes, a release date coming soon.

Download: Wrinkar Experience “Money To Burn”

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Heavy Indian Psych-Funk: Atomic Forest “Obsession.”

The collected recordings (1973-1977) of India’s best-known psychedelic rock ensemble, and the story behind their genesis in an extensive booklet full of rare photographs and ephemera. Out NOW!

Now-Again Records presents an important document of India’s little know psychedelic rock period. Obsession collects a wealth of rare and unreleased psychedelic rock and funk from the various incarnations of the Atomic Forest.

The Atomic Forest’s mix of blistering, fuzzy rock and synth-lead funk inspired collectors the world over to fork over thousands of dollars for original copies of their solitary release, Obession ‘77. Part of the interest certainly stemmed from its liberal doses of searing fuzz guitar. Part of it sprung from the oddity of it all: India, a country that had, quite literally, churned out tens of thousands of albums during psych- and hard-rock’s heyday, only produced this one, lonely psychedelic album? Part of it sprung from the album’s rarity: unknown for years, Obsession ’77 suddenly became a top want on every global-rock collector’s short-list. Now, packaged in a paste on CD Sleeve with O-Card and a in a deluxe 2LP slip case, this ungodly fusion of funk and psychedelia – along with Egon’s extensive liner notes and annotation – is available to all.

Download an example of Atomic Forest’s fury below – the title track “Obsession ’77 (Slow)” from our Obsession anthology. Pictured above – the incarnation of Atomic Forest that recorded Obsession ’77 at the Jonny Castle rehearsal space in Mumbai, India. 1978.

Buy: Atomic Forest: Obsession
Download: Atomic Forest “Obsession ’77.”

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Christophe Lemaire Presents – “Where Are You From?”

Buy here.

This anthology took root in a most unusual meeting of the minds: Christophe Lemaire, then creative director at French sportswear giant Lacoste, contacted Eothen “Egon” Alapatt, then general manager at L.A. indie Stones Throw Records, to inquire as to a collaboration between his eponymous clothing line and two of Stones Throw’s most well known talents – Madlib and J.Dilla. A collaboration did follow, and a friendship between the two was born – one stemming from a mutual respect for each other’s craft, and a conjoined goal to celebrate the classic while pushing forward into the future.

This anthology took form after one of many meetings at Lemaire’s boutique in the Marais district in Paris. The designer wondered if some of Egon’s Now-Again titles would be available for purchase, for sale in his shop? Egon – aware of Lemaire’s deep knowledge of the past forty-some-odd years of musical innovation and impeccable taste – proposed something more fitting: another collaboration, whereby Lemaire would pick songs from Now-Again’s vast catalog, which they could present as something unique… something new… as Lemaire puts it in his liner notes to this anthology – “a psychedelic journey of delicate perception.” While the worlds of fashion and music often meet, the missions of Christophe Lemaire and Now-Again – to break down the barriers that exist between genres; to entice those who might be interested not by force, but by subtle suggestion – mirror each other almost directly.

This project took some years to bloom. In the interim, Lemaire replaced Jean Paul Gaultier at the iconic French fashion house Hermès; Egon took Now-Again on a slightly different path than he’d originally envisioned for the label – obtaining the rights to catalogs from all over the world and releasing new music that addressed four decades of cultural and rhythmic change. This breadth gave Lemaire the room to maneuver as he selected tracks from the USA to Europe, from the Middle East to the African continent, which all included, as he wrote “influences that have traveled in the shape of a mysterious form that juggles space and time.”

And now: Where Are You From? “16 tracks of global psychedelic rock, funk and folk grooves from 1968 until the present day,” as procured by Now-Again, selected and annotated by Lemaire, and handsomely packaged for your enjoyment.

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Indonesian Psych, Prog and Funk Comp

Now-Again, in conjunction with Canadian producer Jason “Moss” Connoy and Indonesian rock legend Benny Soebarjda, will release an anthology that represents an extensive survey into the Indonesian psychedelic and progressive rock scene that flowered in Jakarta in the early 1970s. The release is planned for early 2010 and will include masterpieces by bands such as Golden Wing, pictured above.

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Forge Your Own Chains

Now-Again’s Foray Into Funky Psychedelia: American gospel, paranoiac soul, loner folk, East-Nigerian fuzz, Thai rock, Iranian ballads and more….

This compilation introduces a new direction for Now-Again Records and its owner, Stones Throw Records GM, A&R and producer Egon. With the same detailed, no-stone-unturned approach he used for Deep Funk (The Funky 16 Corners, Cold Heat ), he tackles beat-heavy global psychedelia with Forge Your Own Chains.

Forge Your Own Chains showcases music from all corners of the world: Colombia, Nigeria, Sweden, South Korea, Thailand and Iran. The focus – in keeping with Now-Again’s tradition – is on melody, driving rhythms and accessibility. Not one song is included on this compilation because it is from a “rare” album. Certainly, many of these songs do spring from albums that exchange hands for many thousands of dollars. Certainly, many of these songs have never seen reissue. But these songs are all beautiful in their own right and work to form a coherent album.

Psychedelic records, long the mainstay of older, grizzled collectors and seemingly quaint, are, in the hands of Egon and those of his generation, giving up new ghosts. And, with comps like Forge Your Own Chains, inspiring new investigations into our not so distant (and still very much alive) musical past.

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