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Fat Beats founder Joe Abajian’s vinyl collection sale at Rappcats, February 25

Rappcats — February 13, 2017 | Comments (5)

Rare rap records and ephemera from NYC’s underground hip hop mecca, from its founder’s collection.

Saturday, February 25, 2017, Noon-6

Rappcats
5638 York Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90042

Rappcats is bringing the collection from Fat Beats founder Joe Abajian to Los Angeles for a one day pop up. Fat Beats, in its first incarnation in the East Village NYC in 1994, was the epicenter of the ‘90s East Coast independent rap explosion. In the days before web-stores, collectors and fans from all over the world made pilgrimages to this hip hop mecca to buy the latest vinyl releases by their heroes. Whether the release was a rare double vinyl LP on a major label or one of a five-hundred press run released by a fledgling indie, Fat Beats stocked it all. It’s hard to describe just how thrilling it was to walk down the steps at 332 East 9th St, feel the heat from the overhead lamps, and hear the likes of DJ Avee play Jay Z’s “In My Lifetime” as a new release on his self-funded Roc-A-Fella records, but that’s exactly the mise en scene of the environment. It was ’90s hip hop at its best, and the scene was welcoming. At its height, Fat Beats employed DJ Eclipse, Mista Sinister, Ill Bill, Q-Unique and other NYC hip hop staples who would happily recommend records to anyone who walked in the door. (more…)

David Axelrod, 1931-2017

David Axelrod — February 9, 2017 | Comments (7)

Photo: David Axelrod, c. 1969. All photos from Capitol Records archives, all taken at Capitol Studios, Hollywood.

By EOTHEN “EGON” ALAPATT, February 8, 2017.

Writing about the great music producer, composer and arranger David Axelrod without first acknowledging the love and respect I had for the man seems silly. I tried and gave up. Doing a third-person summary without interjecting my first-person opinions seems clinical, and I too greatly admire Axelrod – his friends called him Axe, and he always asked me to do so, so that’s what I’ll call him here – to take an approach I could barely take when I first started researching him in the late 1990s. I’m just too much of a fan, and have been since I first heard his music, to do him that discourtesy.

Axe died sometime in the early morning of February 5th, 2017, at nearly 86 years old. Terri, his wife of 38 years, didn’t want to disclose the cause of his death, saying that the only thing that really mattered is that he was gone. (She later changed her mind and decided to disclose it was lung cancer.) What do you say to a person so dedicated to another, in that first moment of loss, when that other is a force so beyond the normal that you never thought that loss possible? “He just seemed indestructible,” she said, and I knew what she meant. Axe signed off every call with an “I’ll be here.” And, like everything he said, contradictory or not, he meant it. (more…)

Fabiano Do Nascimento – Tempo Dos Mestres – Now Again Records

Now-Again — January 27, 2017 | Comments (0)

ON SALE: FABIANO DO NASCIMENTO – TEMPO DOS MESTRES

Shipping immediately from Rappcats. Official street date February 17.
1LP in a chipboard jacket with WAV download card / 1CD in a 6-panel, eco-wallet case.

Tempo dos Mestres (Time of the Masters) is the second album from the tireless, young Brasilian guitarist Fabiano Do Nascimento. It finds its roots in the depths of the Amazon rain forest, passed down through generations of Native Brasilians, and is imbibed by the Afro-Brasilian culture that arose after Portuguese colonization. It is the third Brasilian album released on Now-Again, following Seu Jorge and Almaz and Do Nascimento’s debut Dança dos Tempos. Do Nascimento’s is joined on Tempo dos Mestres by his long time percussionist, Ricardo “Tiki” Pasillas on trap drums and percussion, and Sam Gendel on saxophone and flute. Vocals are performed by Thalma de Freitas and Carla Hasset.

The album was produced and mixed by Dança dos Tempos producer Luther Russell, who recorded Do Nascimento and his band directly to a 1/2″ Ampex tape machine with engineer Jason Hiller. It was sparingly mastered by Elysian Masters to focus on the subtleties of the performances. Do Nascimento’s fans include legendary percussionist Airto Moreira, who recorded Dança dos Tempos and can be found playing live with Do Nascimento. “He’s Brazilian but (his mind is) from a place in Brazil that is not common.” Moreira states. “Fortunately, we still have some musicians who like to play music and who like to touch the instrument and who like that energy!”

Wells Fargo – Watch Out! Rock Music and Revolution in 70s Zimbabwe

Now-Again — January 10, 2017 | Comments (0)

ON SALE NOW: WELLS FARGO – WATCH OUT

Just as the hippie era came to an end in America, a second 60s was beginning. In what is now Zimbabwe, young people created a rock and roll counterculture that drew inspiration from hippie ideals and the sounds of Hendrix and Deep Purple. The kids in the scene called their music “heavy,” because they could feel its impact, and it resonated from Zambia to Nigeria. (more…)

Now-Again Reserve: a deluxe vinyl subscription.

SUBSCRIBE HERE: NOW-AGAIN RESERVE, A DELUXE VINYL SUBSCRIPTION

Custom-made LP’s delivered once per quarter, presenting some of the rarest records in their respective genres in high quality LP format. Each release is produced with the direct participation of the artist.

Subscribe now to begin with the next upcoming release. “Catch me up” to subscribe and include previous releases.

In response to subscriber comments, Now-Again has made some changes to the Now-Again Reserve subscription: Lower price ($50/quarter); more exclusive music on vinyl for subscribers; gatefold jackets are now made in North America on standard cardstock; CDs are now made in North America as 6-panel eco-wallets; vinyl manufacturing will now take place at both Quality and United Record Pressing.

We’ve discontinued the wooden case. The wooden case will only be available to subscribers who purchased the first four releases in Now-Again Reserve – or will purchase the first four releases via the “Catch Me Up” option. Supplies limited.

Now-Again Reserve in 2016:

Rob Thomsett – Yarandoo & Hara (Ship date Jan 15th). 2/LP, 1970s.
The Mark III – Marvin Whoremonger. 1/LP, 1976.
World’s Experience Orchestra – The Beginning Of A New Birth & As Time Flows On. 2/LP, 1975 and 1980.
Paternoster – 1/LP, 1972.

FULL SUBSCRIPTION DETAILS

Madvillain Figure with Madlib & Doom “Avalanche” 45

Madlib, MF DOOM — December 15, 2016 | Comments (50)

PURCHASE HERE: MADVILLAIN FIGURE AND MADLIB & DOOM “AVALANCHE” 45

Madvillain figure, released by Madlib Invazion, with an exclusive “Avalanche” 7-inch record by Madlib & DOOM.

Pre-order for March 2017 release.

The Figure was conceived and created by the same team behind the Madvillain figure by Kid Robot, including James Reitano, illustrator/animator/director of “All Caps.” Reitano also illustrated the Figure’s box and the 7” jacket and labels. The Figure was designed and sculpted by Charlie Becker. It was manufactured by Blitzway, the South Korean toy manufacturer who manufactured the J Dilla Figures, on behalf of Madlib Invazion. (more…)

MF DOOM SOLID STEEL MIX

MF DOOM — December 8, 2016 | Comments (4)

Includes new Doom & Paul Barman tracks, JJ Doom remix.

01 RE: (No Subject) – Paul Barman
02 Banished [King Geedorah remix] – JJ DOOM
03 Red & Gold – MF DOOM
04 The Glock – Lil Vicious
05 9 Milli Bros [ft. Wu Tang Clan] – Ghostface Killah
06 Fresh Cutz [ft. Hassan Chop]
07 Ray Gun [ft. MF DOOM] – BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah
08 New York, New York – Starship Orchestra
09 Snake Charmer Freestyle [ft. Kurious Jorge]
10 Between Villains – Captain Murphy ft. Viktor Vaughn & Earl Sweatshirt
11 MIC Line – Monster Island Czars
12 Deep Fried Frenz – MF DOOM
13 Frankie Sinatra – The Avalanches
14 Impending DOOM – MF DOOM & Daedelus
15 November Has Come – Gorillaz
16 In The Streets [ft. MF DOOM & BJ the Chicago Kid] – Busta Rhymes
17 Change The Beat – MF DOOM
18 Highs & Lows [ft. MF DOOM & Phonte] – PRhyme
19 Hook is Extra – MF DOOM

Quasimoto Pin Pack

Quasimoto — November 28, 2016 | Comments (2)

ON SALE: QUASIMOTO PIN PACK

Shipping worldwide

Valley Cruise Press hooked up this pack of three Quasimoto pins in a folded card. Each pin is metal, measuring 1 to 1.5 inches. Drawings by Jeff Jank.

1. Classic Quas, 2. The Brick, 3. “QE” (Quas in the Public Enemy crosshairs)

Quasimoto / Valley Cruise Press

Rappcats x Ubiquity: Boston Bob record sale, December 3

Rappcats — November 22, 2016 | Comments (1)

Saturday, December 3rd, Noon-6PM
Rappcats, 5638 York Blvd, Los Angeles 90042

Rappcats x Ubiquity Records Pt. 2: Rap, Disco and Rare Grooves and Beats from the Dealer who Influenced the Hip Hop Sound of the 90s.

Rappcats is bringing back Ubiquity Records founder Michael McFadin and key records from the collection of “Boston” Bob Gibson for a one day pop up shop in Highland Park. The first installment, in August, focused on the breadth of Gibson’s collection, which is considered by collectors like DJ Shadow, the Groove Merchant’s Chris Veltri and Chairman Mao to be one of the best of its kind ever assembled. From one-off, uber-rare Northern Soul and Deep Funk 45s to rare groove classics to heavy psychedelic rock, the shop was but the tip of the iceberg of a collection that numbers in the tens of thousands.

This installment focuses on Gibson’s rap records – and the records he collected, and often sold, that influenced every important New York hip hop producer of the 1990s and, by extent, the rap world in general. Gibson, as his name reflects, lived in Boston which, in the pre-Internet 80s, might as well have been in a different country than New York City. But Gibson was a preternatural collector and, while Lenny Roberts’ Ulitmate Breaks and Beats was the biggest direct influence on the 80s hip hop soundscape, Gibson was using Roberts’ template as a springboard, and going deep. Deeper than any collector had ever gone.

He was a collector, first, and a dealer second. He made cassette compilations which he often played, and sometimes sold, at the In Your Ear record shop where he was employed. These compilations were full of the songs that would, when sampled, become the hip hop sound of the early 90s.

Gibson was one of the top three, if not the most sought after, record dealer sat the legendary New York Roosevelt Record Conventions, Chairman Mao remembers. This convention was populated by a who’s who in the New York hip hop production scene – Q–Tip, Large Professor, Diamond D, Buckwild and the DITC crew, The Beatnuts – and the key dealers shared records that had never been considered sample fodder. Wax Poetics published a story about the Roosevelt Record Conventions by the late John Carraro – Gibson’s greatest competitor –  in 2004: New York’s golden era had hip-hop luminaries digging in the crates at the legendary Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention.

Q-Tip remembers that Gibson was the first to discover and showcase the Archie Whitewater LP, later famously sampled by Common. Mao recalls that Gibson often mailed packages to his key customers – and that Large Professor’s remix of Nas’s “It Ain’t Hard To Tell” happened the same day that Gibson sent him the source sample, the Blue Jays’ Nascence LP.

These stories go on and on – and while Gibson was buying records to sell to hip hop’s elite, he himself was buying and filing rare funk by the Detroit Sex Machines, the psychedelic version of Del Jones’s militant album “The Court Is Closed” and Demon Fuzz’s second album “Roots and Offshoots,” all holy grail pieces of wax to this day. All the while he was buying hip hop records by the people he influenced, and stretching back to hip hop’s disco-rap era in search of the next inspiration.

This is your chance to buy the actual records from the man’s collection himself. “Was “Boston” Bob an influential dealer?” asked Q-Tip, when we asked him about the legendary stories surrounding him. He immediately answered, “Oh for sure. And he listened to all of the music we were all making too.”

Also on sale during the pop up will be Ubiquity and Luv N’ Haight titles, available at 50% off.

Photos by via John Carraro / Wax Poetics, from “New York’s golden era had hip-hop luminaries digging in the crates at the legendary Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention”

Isaac Hayes & Bar-Kays – Do Your Thing – full, unreleased take coming on Record Store Day 11/25/16

Now-Again — November 4, 2016 | Comments (15)

ON SALE: ISAAC HAYES & THE BAR KAYS – DO YOUR THING

Now-Again presents a vinyl release of the full 33-minute, previously-unreleased, psychedelic funk jam session by Memphis rhythm kingpins the Bar-Kays, mixed directly from the original 2-inch tape. LP contains bonus rhythm section instrumental and booklet detailing the history of this never-before-heard version of one of Isaac Hayes’ most famous songs.

Hayes was already a cutting-edge funk master at Stax Records when he accepted the unprecedented assignment of creating a soundtrack for the 1971 action flick Shaft. At a time when R&B songs routinely timed out at three minutes and under, Hayes’ albums for Stax’s Enterprise imprint had been breaking new ground since 1969. His masterpiece Hot Buttered Soul consisted of only four tracks, two songs on The Isaac Hayes Movement clocked in at a hair under 12 minutes, and one selection on his …To Be Continued stretched to 15:33.

But his epic “Do Your Thing,” one of the cornerstones of the two-LP Shaft soundtrack, outdid them all. Occupying nearly the entire last side of the set, it concluded after 19-and-a-half grooving minutes with the overdubbed sound of a needle scratching violently across a piece of vinyl. No one knew that jarring ending masked the existence of another 13 minutes of “Do Your Thing.” Consigned to the vaults, those improvisatory extensions—somewhere in between free-jazz and psychedelic rock—were seemingly destined never to be heard.