I did my pick of the official 2018 Record Store Day lists a week or so ago. But a few essentials reached my in-box yesterday.
Archeo Recordings have plunder from a couple of Italy-only, CD-only, releases from 2004. Two tracks apiece from Tony Esposito`s Viaggio Tribale, and sometime Esposito collaborator Antonio Nicola Bruno`s self-released, Danza E Ridanza.
Esposito`s Dove c`e Luce dances to the beat of crashing Hip Hop (via When The Levee Breaks) drums. Mixing gated sequences, pre-electric Miles blue horn, and Tony`s timbales. While Helicon-ed backing vocals search for Sufi heights. Recalling the Middle-Eastern, East African, tones of Sinead O`Connor`s incendiary Fire On Babylon. Veteran, Florence-based DJ, LucaEffeSunset, delivers a subtle remix / extension. Adding the sound of gulls, children playing in the surf, to soothe and smooth out the track. Veronica Song fixes flute and flamenco guitar to a break-beat. Creating Balearic Pop to rival Ottmar Leibert.
Bruno`s recordings feature a total of seventeen players. Clarinet, Cornet, Saxophone, Trombone, and tuba. Guitar, Mellotron, Organ and piano. Producing a tumbling, story-telling gypsy-Jazz, that recalls Les Negresses Vertes. Eyes closed, I`m imagining a hardened, Benzedrine-Chewing, up-all-night, dressed-in-slept-in-suits, and behind-dark-glasses, bordello band. Privy to countless midnights countless transactions. Fucks, fights, cons, and betrayals.
The first 100 (of 500) copies come on clear vinyl.
Last RSD Mr Bongo reissued Ghanan band Marijata`s sought after sophomore LP. This year they`re doing the same for the trio`s debut, Pat Thomas Introduces Marijata. Originally released in 1976 on local label, Gapophone Records. Seeing Pat Thomas in the title I was expecting music in the vein of the Highlife superstar`s own. But if I`d been listening blind-folded, I would have guessed that this set came from Jamaica, rather than Ghana. Papa`s Little Boy is straight-up Ska. Complete with Jackie Mittoo-esque organ solo. That`s The Way skanks, loosely, like The Wailers jamming with Cedric Im Brooks at Lee Perry`s Black Ark. Black Beautiful Race and Don`t Blame Us could be sonic siblings of Peter Tosh`s You Can`t Fool Me Again. I Can Say is the only conventional Afro-Funk track here. While the frantic Mother Africa sounds like a dusted James Brown covering Mickey & The Soul Generation`s Iron Leg.
Mr Bongo also two of Cymande`s – the legendary UK band made up of expats from Guyana, Jamaica and Saint Vincent – LPs ready for tomorrow. Second Time Round, from 1973, includes the classic For Baby Ooh. Plus the baked groove of Fug (a source of inspiration for the thai-stick-loaded Stone Roses). Promised Heights, from 1974, has the mighty, Brothers On The Slide.