THESE ARE THE JB’S – Previously unheard album by James Brown’s backing band led by Bootsy Collins.

Now-Again — September 9, 2014 | Comments (7)

IN THE SHOP: THE J.B.’s – THESE ARE THE J.B.’s

Previously unreleased and unheard 1970 album by James Brown’s backing band the JB’s, led by Bootsy Collins. Release date: “Black Friday,” November 28, 2014. 
Limited to 3000 pieces – VINYL ONLY.

Exclusive pre-order at rappcats.com

LP with booklet, full annotation, liner notes by James Brown historian Alan Leeds, and never-before-published photos.

In 1970 James Brown perfectly captured a definitive moment in modern music when he called Bootsy Collins into the studio to record the tracks that would be These Are The J.B.’s, a title given to a King Records test-press LP that was never released, and only rumored to exist.

This album is the epitome of funk music, Brown’s innovation that influenced everything that came after it, from Afro-beat to disco to hip-hop.

If there is any funk ensemble as influential as Brown’s in the post-“Cold Sweat” musical landscape, it’s the Bootsy Collins/Parliament/Funkadelic contingent. Those two streams, as Grammy-winning James Brown historian Alan Leeds details in this album’s liner notes, converged for the first time here.

This link between Brown’s funk and all that followed features Bootsy and his young band running through twelve-minute instrumental take of Marva Whitney’s “It’s My Thing,” replete with blues chord changes, alongside interpretations of the Meters, Kool and the Gang and none other than Jimi Hendrix. This is a young band’s James Brown-turned-on-his-head style of funk that they nail in a one-minute vamp that embodies the essence of the psychedelic-flavored music that would propel them into the orbit of George Clinton’s mothership.

This is the first commercial issue of this album, overseen by Now-Again’s Eothen “Egon” Alapatt alongside Leeds and Universal Music Group’s James Brown expert Harry Weinger. It was mastered specifically for vinyl by Elysian Master’s Dave Cooley, from the original two-track stereo master that James Brown and his engineer Ron Lenhoff delivered to production forty-four years ago. It’s packaged in a thick, “tip-on” Stoughton jacket, with a booklet with liner notes by Leeds and Alapatt and unpublished photographs.

Also read: When Bootsy Collins Met James Brown by Bootsy Collins at RBMA

Photos: The JB’s in 1970; The JB’s perform with James Brown in 1971; Bobby Byrd and Bootsy Collins c. 1970; These Are The JB’s test-press credit sheet.


Video: The JB’s (with Bootsy and Phelps Collins) backing James Brown and Bobby Byrd in Rome on April 24, 1971.

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Harold’s (Video)

Freddie Gibbs — August 5, 2014 | Comments (6)

“Harold’s” directed by Gregory Buissereth, from Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata. August 30 through September, Freddie Gibbs tours Europe. Check the date: The Lord Frederick Tour

Ngozi Family – Day Of Judgement

ON SALE: PAUL NGOZI FAMILY – DAY OF JUDGEMENT

Zambian guitarist Paul Ngozi’s essential debut album, featuring Chrissy Zebby Tembo. His debut album – issued under the name Ngozi Family – is his masterwork: an important release not just in the Zamrock genre, but in the global rock canon.

Day of Judgement is an introduction to the most intense, raw and inimitable golden era Zamrock recorded, as it paved the way for a dozen Paul Ngozi and Ngozi Family releases (the most famous being drummer Chrissy Zebby Tembo’s My Ancestors) that straddled the line between funk and punk, of driving hard rock and Zambian folk melodies and rhythms.

Day of Judgement was released in 1976, the same year as other, now famous, Zamrock albums, from WITCH’s Lazy Bones!! to Rikki Ililonga’s Zambia to Musi-O-Tunya’s Give Love To Your Children, all reissued on Now-Again. But Day of Judgement sounds like none of its counterparts. Part of that stems from its frenzied primitivism, the Ngozi Family’s attempt to overcome a lack of musical acumen with sheer force of will.

That will allowed Paul Ngozi to overcome a humble upbringing to become the most unlikely combination: Zamrock’s most beloved star in its brief but now-well chronicled arc; the only musician to maintain his fame and recording prowess in the dark ages of the ’80s; an inspiration to not only aging but young Zambians — and now others, beyond Zambia’s borders.

But one cannot imagine Paul Ngozi without this album, a full-on aural assault that sounds as wild nearly forty years after its release as it must have sounded in the developing Zamrock landscape from which it emerged. We listen to this anachronistic yet prescient album now as a wholly original, completely unpredictable album in line with those from mavericks from across the world – from the Ramones to the Sex Pistols to Death. And, though it’s been over two decades since Paul Ngozi’s passing, his voice and vision still seem exciting, powerful, unique, unvarnished, new.

Freddie Gibbs: The Lord Fredrick Europe Tour, 2014

Freddie Gibbs — July 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

Freddie Gibbs Tour Dates – The Lord Fredrick Europe Tour 2014. Click dates for ticket links.

Aug 30: Glasgow @ O2 ABC2
Aug 31: London @ XOYO
Sep 1: Brighton @ Komedia
Sep 2: Birmingham @ Temple
Sep 3: Manchester @ Deaf Institute
Sep 4: Dublin @ The Twisted Pepper
Sep 5: Helsinki @ Tavastia
Sep 6: Vilnius, Lithuania @ Kablys
Sep 9: Malmö @ Babel
Sep 10: Oslo @ Sawol
Sep 11: Copenhagen @ Rust
Sep 12: Antwerp @ Trix
Sep 13: Cologne @ Essigfabrik
Sep 14: The Hague @ Paard
Sep 16: Heidelberg @ Karlstorbahnhof
Sep 17: Stuttgart @ CUE Club
Sep 18: Frankfurt @ Sky Club
Sep 19: St. Gallen @ Palace
Sep 20: Berlin @ YAAM
Sep 23: Lyon @ Transbordeur
Sep 24: Paris @ Nouveau Casino
Sep 25: Tourcoing @ Le Grand Mix
Sep 26: Marseille @ MarsAttak
Sep 27: Strasbourg @ Orosphere L’Artefact

Common pays tribute to J Dilla – “Rewind That”

J Dilla — July 29, 2014 | Comments (1)

Common’s “Rewind That” from his latest album Nobody’s Smiling tells a personal story of his relationships with No I.D. and J Dilla.

Verse 2:

This one’s for my man J Dilla
As I say these words, my eyes fill up
Cuz wasn’t non’ realer than James Dewitt Yancey
So I’mma dedicate this to Dilla and his family
In Q-Tip’s basement, I first met Jay Dee
I still remember the first beat he played me
He came to the Chi late three that was crazy
Didn’t even know me and gave ‘em to me for free
I got the the D, “peace yo, big love”
Cook up some hot shit, then go to the strip club
Then we made “The Light” and times got brighter
I said “turn it up” Jay’ll take it higher
One day, I noticed he was tired quick
That’s when I found out, Jay Dee was real sick
Things got worse before they got better
I said, “Come to L.A. for peace and good weather”
We got an apartment just so we could spark it
MP in the front room, records in the closet
The beats got iller, but the sickness was still there
I’m wishing I could will him out of his wheelchair
It was hard for me to come home every day
And see my homie Jay’s life fade away
I stayed away some times, in other words I ran
Til one day J brought me this TV stand
It was a gift so I couldn’t refuse it
It came from his heart, I regret I didn’t use it
The lupus got worse and, for what it’s worth
I wanted him to have a Grammy before he left this earth
Wishing we could have that time back
Oh we can, yo man, rewind that.

Egon – ROCK MIX

Egon — July 22, 2014 | Comments (6)

This is a mix of late 60s to mid 70s rock music from all over the world: America to Germany to Japan and everywhere in-between. It’s the type of rock Madlib used for the Rock Konducta records, and is a mixture of the incredibly rare and random dollar bin finds that makes crate digging in the rock idiom so much fun. A lot of this is underground – one example was literally recorded by Dusseldorf twenty-somethings in a bomb-shelter, a literally exorcising of Nazi demons through Krautrock – and some of it is from bands that had pop aspirations but recorded something heavy and probably a bit odd as the one-off awesome track on an otherwise forgettable album. Live mix using 2 CDJs, no edits, some mistakes, that’s the way it goes. Shout outs to Twink, Bunker Records, Franz Wippel, any band that spells April with a “y” instead of an “i,” state-run labels from former communist countries who had the nerve to get down with hard psych and Madlib, of course, for finding the funk in all of this.

July 22

Madlib on BONAFIDE

Madlib — July 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

On the heels of his Juxtapoz cover, Madlib (and Quasimoto) are on the cover of this month’s Bonafide Mag released in UK this month. Madlib cover interview by Kidkanevil, photo by Jimmy Mould, illustration by Jeff Jank.

Rock Konducta Pt. 1 and Rock Konducta Pt. 2 have both been released this week. The vinyl and digital are in two parts, and the CD edition as one double disc set.

Juxtapoz x Madlib

Madlib — July 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

Juxtapoz #163 (August 2014) features a Madlib cover story, with interview by Gabe Scott with Jason Jagel, Eothen Apapatt and Freddie Gibbs.The magazine cover is illustrated by Jason Jagel, featuring cameos from Lord Quas, DOOM, and world of anonymous jazz cats & rap cats. Photo by Estevan Oriol. Expect the magazine on U.S. newsstands in July.

Boiler Room Collections: EGON

Egon — June 27, 2014 | Comments (6)

Boiler Room set up shop in Egon’s office in Highland Park, Los Angeles, CA as he digs through his own collection, playing a few records.

This is currently streaming at BoilerRoom.tv and the archived video is embedded above.

Eothen “Egon” Alapatt runs Now-Again Records, he’s one of the Rappcats crew, and the former general manager at Stones Throw (2000-2010). Also check out Boiler Room’s editorial piece about the day the session was filmed: “We had the great pleasure of being let into the Now-Again Records office this month. Long before Collections was a concept, but very shortly after Egon impromptu opened for Madlib at our San Francisco show with heavy psych gems, we had the irrepressible urge to trawl through his records. Timing saw us pushing this one back quite a bit, so when the cohesive idea of Collections was introduced we eagerly re-approached the idea. We’ve of course picked up snippets here and there through the label itself as well as via his Funk Archaeology series, but nothing beat us seeing – strike that, hearing – for ourselves.”