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Digging with Madlib

Madlib — July 21, 2016 | Comments (4)

Behind the scenes: As part of a collaboration with the Red Bull Music Academy during the Academy’s New York Festival, Steve Sweatpants of Street Dreams photographed Madlib’s journey to Hoboken, NJ to dig for rare Brazillian records with Joel Stones & Egon.

Rob Thomsett’s collected works to be released by Now-Again

Now-Again — July 6, 2016 | Comments (0)

SUBSCRIBE: NOW-AGAIN RESERVE

Australian guitarist/visionary Rob Thomsett’s collected works – two LPs – will be combined into one package as the fourth release in Now Again Reserve, shipping this fall. Stream the album below.

Originally privately pressed in tiny numbers in Canberra in the mid-‘70s, Yaraandoo & Hara have become sought after examples of the best in progressive jazz/rock.

“Taking in impressionistic hazy instrumental jazz … muscular fusion moves, solo Mellotron pieces as heavenly as anything Beethoven or Handel ever concocted, extremely loose-limbed ethno-fusion soundscapes of the Don Cherry/Pharoah Sanders variety, film soundtracks … and electronic experimentalism … hair-raising, soul-searching beauty – with an overall dreamy, hazy quality that perhaps could only be written by an Australian fully conversant with the “Dreamtime” cultural feel for the myths and legends of the Outback.” – Julian Cope’s Head Heritage.

This reissue is produced with the direct participation of their creators. See all release details.

Rob Thomsett’s notes to Yaraandoo:

Yaraandoo: The Legend of the Southern Cross
Baiame: In the Beginning, Biame the All-Father also known as the Sky-King walked upon the Earth.
Moulding of Red Earth: Out of the red earth, he fashioned with hands two men and a woman.
Nameless Children: They lived and Baiame was pleased. He showed them how to live off plants and roots.
Drought – Killing: But there came a terrible drought and the once fertile land became barren. As the plants were dying, the men and the woman began to starve. In desperation, one man killed a kangaroo rat and he and the woman began to eat its flesh.
New Life – Refusal: As they became stronger they called to the remaining man to join them. Not wishing to go against the wishes of Baiame, he refused. Very weak, he staggered off into the red desert.
Shadow of Yaraan: When they had finished eating, the man and the woman started searching for their companion. They found him lying beside Yaraan – the great white gum tree.
Yowi – The Spirit of Death: As they approached him they saw a huge, black figure with red eyes lift him gently and place him in the fork of the white gum tree.
Flight of Yaraan: With a clash like thunder, the tree left the ground and flew swiftly towards the southern skies. The man and the woman could still see the eyes of Yowi – and the eyes of their companion.
Endless Search: Uttering unearthly screeches, two Mooyi – yellow crested cockatoos – flew after the tree which had been their roosting place.
Entrance to Warrambool (Parts I and II): At last, the tree came to rest at the entrance to Warrambool – the Milky Way – the world of the Sky Gods. The tree slowly vanished but the four eyes remained staring down at the Earth and forever marking the entrance to the World of the Gods. Thus Yaraandoo – the Southern Cross – was formed and the North and South points are the faithful Mooyi who fly in vain after the great white tree.
Tears of Blood – Endless Weeping: Knowing that Death had come to the Earth, the gum trees wept tears of blood and the swamp trees forever moan their sad song.

Freddie Gibbs – Shadow of a Doubt – Gatefold 2/LP

Freddie Gibbs — June 27, 2016 | Comments (5)

FREDDIE GIBBS – SHADOW OF A DOUBT – 2/LP

Standard gatefold edition of the double LP on ESGN/Empire. Pre-order for July 19 ship date.

Shadow of a Doubt is the album Gibbs following Piñata, his collaboration with Madlib. He describes Shadow of a Doubt as the soundtrack to driving around Los Angeles at night – the dark side of a supposed glamorous life, one foot in the booth, one foot in the street. Pitchfork writes “his roots and aspirations have never been clearer” and praised Gibbs’ versatility. This album taps some of today’s top talent as guest MC’s and as producers with features from E-40, Gucci Mane, Black Thought, Tory Lanez, Manman Savage and Dana Williams, with production from Kaytranda, Boi-1Da, 808 Mafia.

Vinyl + T-Shirt bundle also available via EMPIRE | On Twitter: @FreddieGibbs


In May 2016, a white label edition of Shadow of a Doubt (Rappcats exclusive) sold out in three hours. These were limited to 300 hand-numbered copies, with photo by Ture Lillegraven, jacket design by Jeff Jank.

Rappcats Popup Record Shop – Saturday, July 16

Egon, Rappcats — June 24, 2016 | Comments (1)

Egon pop up record shop at Rappcats
Saturday, July 16, 2015
Noon — 5PM
5636 York Blvd,
Los Angeles CA 90042

On July 16th, Egon’s hosting a record store at Rappcats, selling records from his collection, one-day only. This is the second pop up of 2016, and will be done every quarter, with unique records being made available at each event. For this event, he’s selling rare records from Iran – from 60s garage rock 45s to 70s funk LP’s to Iranian jazz and folk. Of course, records from African funk to space jazz to psychedelic rock will also line the walls of the new 1500 square foot Rappcats space in Highland Park.

Now-Again recently issued Iranian rock legend Kourosh’s latest album, Malek Jamshid, which was banned from release in his home country. Egon’s first Kourosh anthology, Back From The Brink, is still available in 3LP, 7″ box set and CD formats.

Also available will be the entire Now-Again catalog — for a one day discount of 25% less than our normal retail. If you can’t make it to Highland Park, all online Now-Again orders from the Rappcats store placed on July 16th will receive a 25% discount as well.

KOUROSH YAGHAEI’s album Malek Jamshid released in the west after censorship in Iran

Now-Again — June 10, 2016 | Comments (1)

ON SALE: KOUROSH YAGHMAEI – MALEK JAMSHID

Iranian rock Godfather Kourosh’s latest album, recorded 2003-2006. Banned in his country, released to the world at last with this release by Now-Again Records.

Words from Kourosh Yaghmaei:

Questions about the difficulties in and delay of releasing this album emphasize systematic censorship, cultural deletion and even cultural self-destruction, at a state level. They highlight the thoughts in the background of the media and a society hit by crisis, in which no voice of clear protest is heard in the world, not from human right organizations, let alone from the media inside Iran. No mention of this censorship, and torture on an artistic soul, along all social, technological and cultural transitions, in this current century, in a land where the world’s greatest [ancient] empire [in] Takhte Jamshid – The Gate of All Nations – or, as the Greeks called it, Persepolis was established 2500 ago.

It is impossible, in a few sentences, to explain the irreparable damages and the rubble of adversity that crumbled on me, my family and especially on my homeland in the past 37 years, with the occurrences of such cruelty – terrifying hell-like obstacles – that walking through them is not believable to others. This dark age of culture cannot be described in a few lines; there should be books written about it. Musicians were harassed and beaten in streets and their instruments were broken by boots. I, who was a leading popular artist in Iranian society, in just a few hours, was shown to be anti-culture, a perverted person. This was going on when my ability to earn any income for living expenses from my music was cut off. No light at the end of the tunnel. Iranian society was in awe watching all these horrific changes, in just a few hours.

People in Iran know me as the master, the pioneer and the king of modern and rock music, but to protest against this cultural deletion, this censorship, and the physical and mental tortures the government brings upon me, I am forced to decide not to release my works in my own homeland, for an unknown amount of time to come. This doesn’t mean I will stop working, and I will have a new album every a few years ready to present to my country.

In the end I must point that I only write these words to let the world know about this catastrophe, not to attract sympathy of others, which I hate. I believe in an unjust battle, to stand tall is better than to surrender.

In 2011, Now-Again Records released the anthology, Back From The Brink – Pre-Revolution Psychedelic Rock From Iran: 1973-1979. Here’s “Gole Yakh (Winter Sweet)” from that collection.

J Dilla – The Diary INSTRUMENTALS

J Dilla — May 31, 2016 | Comments (2)

SHIPPING NOW: J DILLA – THE DIARY INSTRUMENTALS

Beats by J Dilla, Madlib, Pete Rock, Hi-tek, Nottz, Waajeed, House Shoes, Supa Dave West, Bink! and Karriem Riggins. 1 LP vinyl with MP3 download card and booklet.

The Estate of James Yancey has revived J Dilla’s longstanding company PayJay as a functioning imprint to release Dilla’s long lost vocal album, The Diary, in conjunction with Mass Appeal Records. Initially intended for release in 2002, The Diary is the final batch of unissued material that Dilla had assembled for release during his lifetime, lending crucial insight into the producer’s prowess and thought process in the period leading up to his break with the major label system and the extremely fertile period that followed (which encompassed the making of the canonical classics Ruff Draft, Jaylib, and Donuts). The Diary features vocal performances by J Dilla, Snoop Dogg, Bilal, Kokane, Frank and Dank, Nottz and Boogie, over production by Dilla, Madlib, Pete Rock, Hi-tek, Nottz, House Shoes, Supa Dave West, Bink! and Karriem Riggins. Read more about The Diary.

The instrumentals album is available now at Rappcats and will be released worldwide on July 8, 2016.

Madlib Lecture at Red Bull Music Academy, NYC, 2016

Madlib — May 23, 2016 | Comments (2)

Madlib spoke with Chairman Mao earlier this month at the Red Bull Music Academy in New York City, touching on his upcoming collaboration with Freddie Gibbs – Bandana – and much more.

“Since the early ‘90s, the reclusive Madlib has been producing music at a relentless pace. Whether he’s working with artists like Freddie Gibbs, MF Doom or Erykah Badu, collaborating with the late J Dilla, or working under one of his own aliases, like the drugged out party creature Quasimoto, Madlib has carved out his own idiosyncratic corner in the massive hip-hop universe. Luckily, we were able to coax him out of his studio for a rare discussion at the Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York 2016 about Prince, the importance of doing taxes, the death of his Quasimoto alter-ego, collaborating with Kanye West and his love of industrial music.” – RBMA

Video: The Making of J Dilla’s THE DIARY

J Dilla — May 19, 2016 | Comments (0)

Snoop Dogg, Bilal, Hi-Tek, Nottz, Karriem Riggins and others weigh in on the record nearly 15 years in the making. The Diary is out now, available on vinyl.

The Diary was Dilla’s attempt to take advantage of the attention afforded him after his brightest period as a behind-the-scenes hit-maker and influencer. However, the project stalled and the album was literally shelved, the reels languishing in storage in Detroit as a relocated Dilla began a creative renaissance in Los Angeles. The Diary in this, its final form, was painstakingly assembled over a ten year period from two-track mixdowns and multi-track masters found in J Dilla’s archives after his death in 2006. The completion of The Diary was overseen by The Estate of James Yancey’s Creative Director Eothen Alapatt, long term general manager of Stones Throw Records and A&R for Donuts and Jaylib, whose previous archival Dilla work includes the expanded Ruff Draft issue from 2008. The Estate of James Yancey is overseen by California’s Probate Court on behalf of Yancey’s four heirs – his mother, Maureen “Madukes” Yancey, his brother John “Illa J” Yancey and his two daughters, Ja’Mya Yancey and Ty-monae Whitlow.

J Dilla – The Diary (album cover); J Dilla with Slum Village circa 2001, by Eric Coleman.

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana

Freddie Gibbs, Madlib — May 17, 2016 | Comments (5)

You may have heard something about Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Bandana. While the reports of its imminent release may be exaggerated, it is true that Gangster Gibbs & Beat Konducta have begun talking about, and maybe even working on, a followup to Piñata. Bandana was first referenced by Madlib in his talk at Red Bull Music Academy in New York, May 2016. Expect more news about the record some time later in 2016, or 2020, or somewhere in between.

Please sign up to our newsletter for further announcements and grab a copy of “Cocaine Parties in L.A.”

Revival

Rappcats — May 16, 2016 | Comments (0)

While Madlib and Egon were in New York for Madlib’s talk at the Red Bull Music Academy, they headed over to meet Joel Stones and peruse some of the records he’d staged at Revival Vintage Boutique in Hoboken, NJ. Caio Ferreira was there to document the proceedings. Even veteran collector Chairman Mao was overwhelmed. And though Madlib bought two crates, there was plenty left over to ship before Joel headed back to Brasil to buy more.