THE FIFTY BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2014-PART 4.

THE FIFTY BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2014-PART 4.

NEW ORLEANS SOUL: THE ORIGINAL SOUND OF NEW ORLEANS SOUL 1960-1976.

Over the past ten years, Soul Jazz Records have been documenting the history of New Orleans’ funk. They’ve released a number of lovingly compiled, and critically acclaimed compilations. These compilations were some of the best compilations of New Orleans’ funk released during that period. They were a labor of love. Having eloquently told the story of New Orleans’ funk, Soul Jazz Records have decided to move onto New Orleans’ soul. The starting point is New Orleans Soul: The Original Sound of New Orleans Soul 1960-76.

It’s no exaggeration to describe New Orleans Soul: The Original Sound of New Orleans Soul 1960-76 as littered with hidden gems and soulful surprises. New Orleans Soul: The Original Sound of New Orleans Soul 1960-76 features twenty-one tracks from the soul men and soul sisters of New Orleans. This is just the first of series of  lovingly compiled compilations of New Orleans’ soul from Soul Jazz Records. Having documented the story of New Orleans’ funk, now it’s the turn of New Orleans’ soul. New Orleans Soul: The Original Sound of New Orleans Soul 1960-76 is just the beginning. Many more compilations will follow from Soul Jazz Records. I’m sure that just like New Orleans Soul: The Original Sound of New Orleans Soul 1960-76, they’ll be full of hidden gems and soulful delights.

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1970S ALGERIAN FOLK AND POP.

1970s Algerian Pop and Folk documents an underground, musical counterculture. This music brought together a generation of Algerians. They all had one thing in common, their shared love of music. Lifelong friendships were born through music. Music was both a means a way to protest against the authoritarian regime, and a way to escape it. After all, music is escapism. It takes the listener to another place, where the trauma and drudgery of daily life is forgotten. That was the case back in the seventies, and when Rachid and Fethi, Les Djinns, Kri Kri, Idir, Ahmed Malek and Abranis were playing an important role in the development of Algerian music. They all feature on 1970s Algerian Pop and Folk.

The music on 1970s Algerian Folk and Pop was released during one of the most turbulent times in Algerian history. Life was tough under the leadership of President Houari Boumediene. His authoritarian rule saw much of Algerian industry fall under state control. Anyone who spoke out against what was happening, was at risk. Especially from the military police and censors. They were constantly on the look out for anyone opposed to the policies of the state. Political dissidents and radicals’ lives were at risk. Yet musicians, who could voice the fears of ordinary people weren’t perceived as a risk to the state by Algeria’s military police. Ironically, the Algerian music scene thrived during the seventies. Everything from folk, pop, psychedelia, rock and soul was released. It can be heard on 1970s Algerian Folk and Pop. The music on 1970s Algerian Folk and Pop is best described as beautiful, eclectic, ethereal lysergic and melancholy and an enchanting introduction to Algerian music’s past.

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1970s ALGERIAN PROTO-RAI UNDERGROUND.

For anyone with a passing interest in Algerian music, then 1970’s Algerian Proto-Rai Underground is the perfect starting place. It was released by Sublime Frequencies and features eight tracks, from four artists, who played a huge role in the rise and rise of Rai music, during the seventies. These eight tracks are sure to whet your appetite. 

After immersing yourself in 1970’s Algerian Proto-Rai Underground, you’ll want to hear more music from one of the most important decades in the history of modern Algerian music. There’s much more to Rai music in the seventies than these eight tracks. 1970’s Algerian Proto-Rai Underground is just the start of this musical journey. Surely, further compilations of Rai music from the seventies must follow?  I hope so. After all, 1970’s Algerian Proto-Rai Underground is a truly memorable musical journey, that’s bound to appeal to music lovers with eclectic and adventurous musical tastes.

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PERU BRAVO-FUNK, SOUL AND PSYCH FROM PERU’S RADICAL DECADE.

Never before, has a record label reissued a compilation of Peruvian psychedelic, soul and funk. That’s until earlier this year. Tiger’s Milk Records, an imprint of Strut Records, released Peru Bravo-Funk, Soul and Psych From Peru’s Radical Decade in October 2014. It features fifteen funky, soulful and psychedelic tracks, from what was one of the most traumatic times in Peruvian political history.

The music on Peru Bravo-Funk, Soul and Psych From Peru’s Radical Decade is a glorious musical melting pot of influences and genres. That’s why Peru Bravo-Funk, Soul and Psych From Peru’s Radical Decade is one of the best compilations of 2014. Tiger’s Milk Records seem to concentrate on quality, rather than quantity. That’s no bad things. Too many labels churn out mediocre compilations. Not Tiger’s Milk Records. They dig deep into the treasure trove that’s Peruvian music and compile genre-melting compilations of quality music like Peru Bravo-Funk, Soul and Psych From Peru’s Radical Decade.

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RARE PSYCH MOOGS AND BRASS 1969-1981-MUSIC FROM THE SONOTON LIBRARY. 

Earlier this year, the aptly names Buried Treasures’ label released a compilation of Rare Psych Moogs and Brass 1969-1981-Music From The Sonoton Library. It’s the latest compilation of library music that was released during 2014.

Nearly fifty years after the Sonoton music library was founded in 1965, it’s become one of the biggest independent production companies in the world. Its back-catalogue is truly eclectic. There’s a myriad of cult classics, hidden gems and rarities awaiting discovery. I say awaiting, because for some reason, many sample hungry producers and crate diggers have managed to overlook the Sonoton music library. Hopefully not any more. The many, and varied delights, contained on Rare Psych Moogs and Brass 1969-1981-Music From The Sonoton Library will whet your appetite to the delights awaiting discovery within the vaults of the Sonoton music library.

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RHYTHM ’N’ BLUESIN’ BY THE BAYOU-ROMPIN’ AND STOMPIN’

For anyone who likes  “low down, dirty, greasy blues” R&B and zydeco,” then Rhythm ’N’ Bluesin’ By The Bayou-Rompin’ and Stompin,’ which was released by Ace Records was for them. This was the latest instalment in the By The Bayou series. Rhythm ’N’ Bluesin’ By The Bayou-Rompin’ and Stompin’ featured twenty-eight tracks, including nineteen tracks that have never been released before. The twenty-eight tracks were produced by some of the most important producers in Louisiana’s musical history. This includes J.D. Miller and Eddie Shuler. Their productions featured Boppin’ By The Bayou-More Dynamite.  Other tracks on Rhythm ’N’ Bluesin’ By The Bayou-Rompin’ and Stompin’ were produced by Sam Montel, Floyd Soileau and Carl Graffagnino. These producers are responsible for what was billed as more “low down, dirty, greasy blues” R&B and zydeco “from Louisiana.” 

Rhythm ’N’ Bluesin’ By The Bayou-Rompin’ and Stompin’ is just like its predecessors. They’re the perfect introduction to the music of Louisiana during the late-fifties and early sixties. They conjur up images of Louisiana, during another musical era. This means music that’s emotive, evocative and atmospheric. It paints pictures of what life was like in Louisiana, back then. Especially late at night in a juke joint, with a bourbon in one hand and Lucky Strike in the other. However, now you don’t need to go to Louisiana to hear this music. Instead, let the music come to you on Ace Records’ Rhythm ’N’ Bluesin’ By The Bayou-Rompin’ and Stompin.’

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SPIRITUAL JAZZ 5: THE WORLD.

In the four previous volumes of their Spiritual Jazz series, Jazzman Records have mostly, focused on European jazz. For Spiritual Jazz 5: The World, Jazzman Records have travelled far and wide. They’ve been on what can be best described as a worldwide crate digging expedition. Hidden gems and rarities have been unearthed during this crate digging expedition. There’s tracks from artists as far afield as Argentina, Australia, India, Japan, South Africa, Turkey on Spiritual Jazz 5: The World.  This includes the Charlie Munro Quartet, Jazz Work Shop, Jazz Semail, Ahmadu Jarr, Paul Winter Sextet and Aquilla. Many of the tracks on Spiritual Jazz 5: The World have never featured on CD before.

Spiritual Jazz 5: The World features a glittering array of jazz gems. This includes contributions from the Charlie Munro Quartet, Louis Banks, Jazz Work Shop, Jazz Semail, London Experimental Jazz Quartet and  Horacio “Chivo” Borraro and Aquilla. These tracks are just a tantalising taste of the music on Spiritual Jazz 5: The World. There’s much more. In total, there are seventeen tracks to discover on Spiritual Jazz 5: The World. Each one has something different to offer. With a a mixture of hidden gems, rarities and underground classics,  Spiritual Jazz 5: The World is a worthy and welcome addition to Jazzman Records Spiritual Jazz series.

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STUDIO ONE DANCEHALL-SIR COXSONE IN THE DANCE: THE FOUNDATION SOUND.

After founding Studio One in 1963, Sir Coxsone Dodd’s legendary label went on to play a huge part in shaping the sound of Jamaican music. Everything from lover’s rock, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub and dancehall was recorded in Studio One by the great and good Jamaican music. That’s why Studio One is remembered as one of the most influential and innovative Jamaican record labels. This is apparent on Soul Jazz Records’ recently released compilation Studio One Dancehall-Sir Coxsone In The Dance: The Foundation Sound.

Dancehall was quite different to much of the music recorded at Studio One. It saw a new breed of producers take classic Studio One rhythms, and got vocalists and DJs to add a vocal or rhyme. The result was a cross between disco and hip hop. This new musical genre was christened dancehall. Before long, dancehall was growing popularity. It was well on its way to becoming a musical phenomena. That’s when Sir Coxsone Dodd climbed onboard the dancehall bandwagon. Before that, much of the dancehall being released were good, but Sir Coxsone Dodd’s dancehall releases were showstoppers. No wonder. Sir Coxsone Dodd had a keen eye for a talented musician or vocalist. He brought onboard some of the best up-and-coming musicians and vocalists. The result was a rejuvenated Studio One. It enjoyed an Indian Summer, during the late-seventies and early eighties. That’s thanks to Sir Coxsone Dodd’s determination to innovate, and ensure that Studio One stayed relevant.

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STUDIO ONE ROCKSTEADY.

Soul Jazz Records released Studio One Rocksteady, back in February 2014. It saw compiler Lloyd Bradley return to the vaults of Studio One Records. Previous visits to the Studio One vaults have resulted in rick pickings for Soul Jazz Records. No wonder. Studio One Records was one of reggae legendary labels. Comparisons have been drawn with both Motown and Stax. Indeed, Studio One Records was once described as the Motown of Jamaica. That’s why Soul Jazz Records have released a string of compilations of music released by Studio One Records. Studio One Rocksteady was just the latest compilation to be released.

Ever since they released their first compilation, Soul Jazz Records have concentrated on quality over quantity.  Each of their releases must meet their exacting standards. That’s why it’s so fitting that Soul Jazz Records are the keeper of the flame for Studio One Records. So, if you’re a newcomer to rocksteady, then Studio One Rocksteady is the perfect place to start. Indeed, for anyone wanting to discover the music Studio One Records released, the Soul Jazz Records’ series of compilations is a perfect starting place. It’s another lovingly compiled, quality compilation from Soul Jazz Records.

SPIRIT OF MALOMBO: MALOMBO JAZZ MAKERS, JABULA AND JAZZ AFRIKA 1966-1984.

Four years have passed, since the last instalment in Strut Records’ critically acclaimed Next Stop Soweto series. At last, however, the wait is over. Recently, Strut Records have released Spirit of Malombo: Malombo, Jazz Makers, Jabula and Jazz Afrika 1966-1984. This is a double album, which celebrates the life and music of influential drummer, and political activist, Julian Bahula.

His time as a political activist, and then in exile cost Julian Bahula. His family were persecuted. They suffered at the hands of the secret police. Julian was forced to flea South Africa, and until apartheid was defeated, he was unable to return home. This was a huge sacrifice. Another sacrifice was his career. Who knows what height he might have reached if he hadn’t become involved in the antiapartheid movement? He was a truly innovative and pioneering musician, who was capable of creating groundbreaking and genre-melting music. However, for much of his career, Julian sacrificed critical acclaim, fame and riches, in an attempt to change South Africa for the better. This he did. Julian Bahula was part of the antiapartheid movement, who transformed South Africa, and made it a better place. Only now, is Julian Bahula and his music receiving the recognition he deserves. Strut Records released Spirit of Malombo: Malombo, Jazz Makers, Jabula and Jazz Afrika 1966-1984, which is a celebration of Julian Bahula’s music.

Recently, Strut Records released Spirit of Malombo: Malombo, Jazz Makers, Jabula and Jazz Afrika 1966-1984. This twenty-five track double album celebrates the life and music of musician and political activist, Julian Bahula, who played a an important role in transforming South Africa.

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