Captain Planet’s Mystery Trip Vol.1 is burnin’ up the hi-fi right now. With obscure sounds ripped from vinyl, then sliced, diced, chopped and skewed with a hefty injection of original production, programming and homegrown field recordings from his travels around the world, this 45-minute multi-generational sonic journey touches on sounds from Senegal, Jamaica, Ghana, Puerto Rico, Peru, Brazil, Italy, Korea, Guadeloupe, and Zimbabwe.
Inner Fire, the latest offering from The Souljazz Orchestra is set to be released on 25th February. Check a sneak preview with “Celestial Blues”, a cover of an Andy Bey track first recorded with the Gary Bartz NTU Troop. Highly anticipating this one!
Quantic’s Luanda Sonó mixtape which he describes as “…a selection of a handful of Angolan 45s that have proven their spirit & longevity in my record collection. Here’s to the slap-echo guitars, scratchy dikanza, hope, aspiration and musical beauty that flowered from Luanda. This sound has long informed the systems of Barranquilla and parallels cumbia, samba & compas in sonic ancestral synchronicity.”
Quantic – Luanda Sonó; 2013
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings deliver more of their trademark funk and soul sound on their fifth LP, Give the People What They Want. Another winner!
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – Give The People What They Want; Daptone, 2014
MC/producer Ohmega Watts’ LP, Pieces of a Dream, is the long-awaited, six years to be precise, follow-up to his previous solo albums, The Find (!) and Watts Happening. Check the wax to hear his latest vibes and how his sound has evolved over the last few years!
Ohmega Watts – Pieces of a Dream; Mellow Orange, 2013
Trifecta of Liam Bailey vibes. Sweet!
Been following Analogue Studies and the man called Question for quite some time now. Jazz-heavy beats that have kept my head noddin’ for days.
For the New Year, he dropped the Favela EP which is an ode to Brazilian sounds. Despite being a short set, clocking in at just under 13 minutes, everything is on point from start to finish. Got my fingers crossed that he’ll dish out more Brazilian Jazz-, Bossa Nova- and Samba-laced grooves in the months to come. In the meantime, I’ll be vibin’ to this!
Question – Favela EP; Mellow Orange, 2013
Just found out about and picked up Roger Rivas’ latest pressing, Autumn Breeze. The set features Rivas, from the Aggrolites, Los Bullets and more, on organ and melodica; Style Scott, from Roots Radics, Creation Rebel, Dub Syndicate and more, on drums; and Noe Santana, from Los Bullets, on guitar.
Unlike his Organ Versions Vols. 1 & 2 which were versions, these tunes are all original. Heavy Roots Dub! Wicked vibrations!
Roger Rivas – Autumn Breeze; Rivas Recordings, 2013
Brooklyn Rocksteady delves into the Ska and Rocksteady scene found in this New York City borough. It stretches back to the early days when Moon Ska reigned king, then shares some history of Version City during its time in the city and finally takes a look at the present-day scene.
King Django, Vic Ruggerio, Dave Hillyard, Victor Rice, Marcus Geard, Glen Pine, Eddie Ocampo, Bucket, Dave Barry, Agent Jay are featured along with some fresh faces from up-and-comers The Forthrights, The Frightnrs and more.
NYC Ska and Rocksteady was foundation music for me growing up in the ’90s and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have found this film. Especially the Moon Ska and the Version City content. Fantastic to listen to these heroes of mine chat about the old days and to hear the stories of how the shows, recordings and growth of the scene developed.
Respect and appreciation to all involved in the film and, of course, the director Samuel Gursky. Thanks for all your efforts!
Brooklyn Rocksteady – Directed by Samuel Gursky; 2013
Soul Cal is the definitive survey of Americaâ€™s best, independent, ’70s soul-ensembles. Profiled within this album 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 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.
Various Artists – Soul Cal – Funky Disco & Modern Soul (1971-1982); Now-Again, 2012
A huge stack oâ€™ wax from Paris DJs! That was my Christmas present to myself this year!
As an avid follower of all things Paris DJs for years, my well of their unmatched sounds has been dry for the past two years at least in terms of the cost-based compilations/singles they’ve released. With no Internet connection at home (meaning no streaming of the vibes), no money in my PayPal account (meaning no purchasing of vibes) and no desire to pay the associates fees related with using my credit card from the U.S., a serious hole has existed in my crates for some time now. Itâ€™s long overdue, but Iâ€™m thrilled to finally delight my ears with their sensational tunes and to help spread the word!
The four Tropical Grooves and Afrofunk International compilations; Dis Is Good For You, We Are The Fire Inside Your Mind, Rise of the Troubadour Warriors,Â and Have You Ever Been to Electric Afroland?; a variety of Grant Phabao originals and reworks with various artists including Jungle Fire, Afrodyete, Brownout, The Cactus Channel, Echo Minott, Carlton Livingston, Pompidoo, The Grits, Popsanova, The Jays and many more, and last, but certainly not least, the Grant Phabao and The Lone Rangerâ€™s Sweet Talking LP. Heavy rotation on these top choice vibes.
Highest praise to the Paris DJs crew. Continually amazed at the level of consistency, attention to detail and, most importantly, the sound of their production output. Impressive is an understatement!
For all those with no Paris DJs in your life, itâ€™s time to navigate to their site and get yourself well-acquainted. Over 400 free mixes, a host of free singles via their Virtual Releases, and all the newer releases found at their Bandcamp page await you! Simply stellar sounds!
This one is the 50th set of LPs/EPs/45s. You can check all the others here. 300 records in all. Eclectic throughout. Enjoy!
August 2014: Plenty of broken links now across all the Lost in the Crates posts. If you want something, then drop me a line.
More Black Ark gold unearthed from Pressure Sounds. These tracks, originallyÂ issued on Scratch’s Black Art label, come mostly from a single master tape along with few from lost dub plates. Dig it!
Lee Perry and His Upsetters – Roaring Lion; Pressure Sounds, 2013
Been a huge fan of the Colman Brothers since their debut platter dropped a couple of years back. Glad to have come across this recently-released acoustic version of the track “Some Other Wonder” off their self-titled debut. The cut’s available for free here, so be certain to add to your crates.
Colman Brothers â€“ “Some Other Wonder” (Acoustic Version); Wah Wah 45s, 2013
I have Zara McFarlane’s beautiful Jazz rendition of “Police & Thieves” on the hi-fi as a tribute to Junior Murvin who passed away in early December. Jah bless this true original!