J Dilla figure by Pay Jay

J Dilla — December 1, 2014 | Comments (77)

Buy here at Rappcats: J DILLA FIGURE J DILLA TOY

Exclusive pre-order at Rappcats.com for February 2015 release | The J Dilla Figure is an official Pay Jay Productions release, produced under the oversight of the Estate of James Yancey.

The Figure was conceived and rendered by Detroit artist Sintex, designed and sculpted by Seoul-based toy artist P2PL. It was manufactured by Blitzway on behalf of Pay Jay. It is a collaborative release with Stussy, whose logo is officially licensed.

The Figure is 7.5″ tall. The Figure’s hat, sampler and chain are removable and the Figure’s arms articulate. The Figure comes in a custom designed box, wrapped in paper to best attempt to protect the box from rubbing in shipping. The Figure comes in a clamshell case inside the box. Please note that the box is for the protection of the Figure during transportation and is not replaceable if damaged.

Pay Jay Productions was founded by J Dilla (James Yancey). The Estate of James Yancey is administered by attorney Alex Borden and overseen by the Probate Court of the State of California 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.

Note: Photos of an early prototype of this figure were leaked online last year. This is the first and only time the figure has been produced.

First edition of 2000 sold out. | Update, Dec. 5: We are currently pre-ordering the second edition of 3000. Please read this note about the edition quantities.

Now-Again 7″ Sure Shots

Now-Again — December 11, 2014 | Comments (1)

ON SALE: NOW-AGAIN 7″ SURE SHOTS

Four 7-inch singles by Now-Again. 500 copies of each 45 produced: not to be repressed. Download card for entire series included with each 45.

Deep American Funk and Soul…
Richard Marks “I’m The Man For You” b/w Buddy Cantrell “You Ain’t No Good” (NA 7027)
Two of America’s most sought after deep funk/soul sides available. Originally issued on the tiny Atlanta imprint Tuska at the turn of 1970, both of these singles will appear on our forthcoming Richard Marks anthology Never Satisfied.

Zimbabwean Fuzz Funk…
Stars of Liberty “Power To The People” b/w Eye Q “I Am Selfish” (NA 7028)
Tracks from the 1970s Zimbabwean black rock scene. Stars of Liberty and Eye Q are two of the most fiery ensembles to release fuzzy singles in funky protest of Ian Smith’s oppressive Rhodesian regime.

Zambian Proto-Punk…
Chissy Zebby Tembo “I’m Not Made Of Iron” b/w “Fisherman” (NA 7034)
Proto-punk Zamrock tracks from the drummer behind Paul Ngozi’s Ngozi Family Band whose work is focus of ongoing investigation and reissue on Now-Again. “Fisherman” was originally issued on Zebby Tembo’s My Ancestors album. “I’m Not Made Of Iron,” from his untitled third LP, has never been released in any form.

Rare Disco…
Split Decision Band “Watching Out (45 Ver.) b/w “Watching Out (Alt.)” (NA 7035)
One of the best independent disco songs ever released, out of the unlikely locale of Des Moines IA in the late 1970s. A reissue of the original 45 version of this song is paired here with an unreleased version, taken from an album that the band recorded but never released. Now-Again will reissue the full-length in full in 2015.


Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression

Some years ago, Madlib was offered the opportunity to dig into the master tapes of the legendary Blue Note Records, remix whatever he liked, and have them release the record. For a producer raised on the label, the offer couldn’t have been any better. The result was the album Shades of Blue, which was recently reissued on vinyl as a part of a year-long celebration of Blue Note’s 75th year in business.

Rounding out the birthday party is this substantial release, Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression, a heavy coffee table book documenting the 75 years of albums, credits, photos, cover art and production details.

One irony of the digital music is the continuing interest in record labels, vinyl album covers, and what seems like a flood of books about LP cover artwork. But if there’s one label who truly deserves it, whose work can fill nearly 400 pages, it’s Blue Note Records. They not only defined jazz in the 20th century, but defined several eras of jazz. Just as important to those of us who love the labels as much as the music, was their unique ability to combine the music and the recordings with photography and design in a way that presented Blue Note as an entire culture unto itself. Even their look defines jazz. Other labels did this to some extent, but never as long and with as much consistency as Blue Note. Many others tried and never came close. It’s now something of a lost art, but some still try.

It’s an honor to see Madlib’s Shades of Blue rounding out the last section of the book, and the album still sounds good today. The cover photo was shot by B+ (Brian Cross) and a couple pages of his proof sheets are also published in the book. I, Jeff Jank, designed the record, in the classic “Blue Note style.” Someone at Blue Note told me I was the only person in the history of label to design and perform on one of the records. The performance part is a stretch, since I played two notes on a broken-down standup bass which Madlib later re-processed, but I’ll accept the credit.

Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression was written by Richard Havers, published by Chronicle Books. 399 pages, 4 lbs.

Oh No – Rhythm Roulette

Oh No — December 9, 2014 | Comments (1)

Mass Appeal’s Rhythm Roulette series puts producers on the spot and has them make a beat in front of the camera. Oh No goes for three video games, playing and makes a beat out of the sounds he recorded during gameplay.

J Dilla Figure – EDITION QUANTITIES

Rappcats — December 5, 2014 | Comments (0)

First, thanks to everyone who bought a J Dilla Figure. Second, we at Rappcats want to clarify an important point about the edition quantities of this limited edition item.

We were very lucky to be offered the exclusive pre-sale of this Figure, and we published the first edition size: 2,000 units of the Figure, the amount that has been manufactured.

This is not, however, the entire edition size. The actual edition size of the Stussy version of the Figure is 5,000 units. There will be NO MORE THAN 5,000 UNITS MADE.

To reiterate: the first edition of the Figure is 2,000 units. The second edition of the Figure is 3,000 units – these 3,000 units will carry the words “Second Edition” on the bottom of the box.

We have no way of guaranteeing which edition of the Figure that you will get if you have ordered from us. All we can guarantee is that you will actually get the Figure. The first edition is now sold out, and orders for the Figure will be shipped on a first come first serve basis. That means that those that ordered earliest will have the best chance of getting the first edition.

All orders placed after this message will receive the Second Edition of the Figure. All stores who, upon release date, carry this Figure will be carrying the Second Edition.

We will issue prompt refunds to anyone who wants one – please email INAMEL@RAPPCATS.COM and allow 1 to 2 business days for a response and refund as we have been inundated with emails since this Figure went on sale.

Thank you for your support.

HOE CAKES (Art Print) Jason Jägel x MF DOOM

MF DOOM — November 28, 2014 | Comments (5)

SOLD OUT | HOE CAKES (ART PRINT) JASON JAGEL X MF DOOM

10th anniversary of MF DOOM’s MM FOOD album and Hoe Cakes single. 14.75″ x 12.75″ Print on cotton rag, numbered and signed in an edition of 180.

The year was 2004. DOOM & Madlib’s Madvillainy had just been released and the album was enjoying a glow of critical success. Scores of new people were discovering, debating, and being dumbfounded by DOOM’s brilliant wordplay, and his long time underground fan base were all making their voices heard, and there were more of them than perhaps even DOOM knew about. These people – those among us who knew DOOM from the days of KMD and Operation Doomsday – they had already been living on bootleg copies of Madvillainy for a year, and wanted his new solo album, MM FOOD, which he’d been publicly hinting at for years.

I became the art director on MM FOOD when DOOM called me up one afternoon with a problem. He had an album cover that the label (Rhymesayers) didn’t want, and a second one that he didn’t want, and no money to spend on a third album cover, because all the budget had been spent on the first two. After agreeing to work for no more than a few bucks and a “good lookin’ out,” I called Jason Jagel, a painter in San Francisco. Even before I was through asking Jason if he’d split ten bucks with me to work on the FOOD album, I had the feeling he was already sketching out ideas.

Jason knocked out the MM FOOD painting in a matter of a couple sleepless days, and then we were asked for a back cover, and then a sleeve for the 12-inch single, Hoe Cakes b/w Potholders. This one, which we see here, is my favorite because it’s deceptively simple, full of the same in-jokes and hidden references that characterize the music – the Adidas stripes on the “shoe fly pie,” the box of bling cherries, the superhero comic reference of the city in a bottle. Next too Doom is Count Bass D, who is featured on “Potholders.”

– Jeff Jank

Watch teenage MF DOOM speak on behalf of Rock the Vote in the Senate, 1991

MF DOOM — November 4, 2014 | Comments (14)

In the 1980s and early 1990s, facing a wave of music censorship that included Parental Advisory stickers on records to the arrest of rap performers in Florida, political operative Steve Barr and Virgin Records exec Jeff Ayeroff launched Rock The Vote.

The idea behind Rock the Vote was simple: get young people to vote for politicians who wouldn’t censor music.

The organized movement behind Rock the Vote focused on the “Motor Voter” bill, which would allow people to register to vote at the DMV when they got a driver’s license, and to register by mail. In short, they wanted to encourage young people to engage in the voting process by making registration easy and welcoming.

After a successful petition drive in 1992 (with help from REM), the Motor Voter bill passed Congress, only to be vetoed by president George H.W. Bush. Bush’s opponent in that election year, Bill Clinton, took up the cause of the Motor Voter bill, and signed it into law when he became president as the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

Here is video from committee hearing for the National Noter Registration Act in congress, April 17, 1991, showing 19-year old MF DOOM (Zev Love X) with his partner Onyx from the group KMD. They’re sitting with Rock the Vote co-founder Steve Barr, speaking to Sen. Wendell Ford of Kentucky.

Video: http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4513596/kmd-rock-vote

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – KNICKS REMIX EP – with Bronson, Bada$$ & Ransom

Freddie Gibbs, Madlib — October 20, 2014 | Comments (3)

ON SALE: FREDDIE GIBBS & MADLIB – KNICKS REMIX EP

Vinyl & Digital on sale now.

Following up Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Pinata – this EP contains exclusive tracks not available on the album. “Knicks,” in remixed form, now features a new verse by Gibbs alongside Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ and Ransom. The b-side, “Home,” features BJ The Chicago Kid – the velvet voiced vocalist from the duo’s earlier “Shame” – and Madlib’s two-part soul-flip carries Gibb’s narrative about a traveling man’s disregard for his woman at home. Both sides are completed by previously unheard Madlib instrumentals.

Look for another Pinata Alert in LA & NYC when we have vinyl.

TRACK LIST
A1. Knicks Remix feat. Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, Ransom
A2. Knicks Remix (Instrumental)
A3. The Dunk (Bonus Beat)
B1. Home ft. BJ The Chicago Kid
B2. Home (Instrumental)
B3. The Garden (Bonus Beat)

TOUR DATES
Oct 24 – Freddie in Montreal at Cabaret Underworld
Oct 25 – Freddie in Ottawa at Ritual Nightclub
Oct 26 – Freddie in Toronto at The Hoxton
Oct 28 – Freddie in Philadelphia at Underground Arts
Oct 29 – Freddie in Cambridge at Middle East
Nov 3 – Freddie in Brooklyn at Rough Trade
Nov 8 – Freddie in Los Angeles at that Odd Future shindig. No one over 21 allowed.
Nov 9 – Freddie Gibbs & Madlib at Fun Fest in Austin

Freddie photo by Peter Beste, group photo by Lord Such.

Madlib Doom 2014

Madlib, MF DOOM — October 8, 2014 | Comments (16)

Probably the first time these two have been photographed together in a while. Madlib is on the cover of the latest issue of Bonafide. Doom showed up while he did the interview. Photos: Jimmy Mould for Bonafide.

HELIOCENTRICS & MELVIN VAN PEEBLES – The Last Transmission

ON SALE NOW: HELIOCENTRICS & MELVIN VAN PEEBLES – THE LAST TRANSMISSION

Single LP / Deluxe 2LP / Double CD – Melvin Van Peebles with Heliocentrics, “psychedelically broken jazz soul funk” group from London.

Melvin Van Peebles, the filmmaker, musician, author behind the landmark movie Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song and the trilogy of Brer Soul albums he released in the 70s has teamed with the UK ensemble Heliocentrics to create an interplanetary space/love odyssey told in twelve chapters. The Last Transmission comes nearly ten years after Van Peebles’ appearance as the third member of Quasimoto on Stones Throw Records’ 2005 release The Further Adventure of Lord Quas. For the Heliocentrics, The Last Transmission represents their third Now-Again album, following Out There in 2007 and 13 Degrees of Reality in 2013.

Van Peebles makes for the Heliocentrics’ ideal foil: he did graduate work in astronomy in Holland in the 1950s and maintains an avid interest in cosmology. The Heliocentrics, as their name conveys, draw inspiration from both the philosophic leanings of the likes of Stephen Hawkings and interstellar mysteries, like those surrounding the Malian Dogon tribe’s knowledge of the Sirius B star hundreds of years before it was discovered. Their music is as indebted to Sun Ra’s interstellar jazz as it is inspired by psychedelia’s spiritual expanse.

The Last Transmission, presented as a vocal album and an expanded instrumental selection on a bonus disc, can be taken as both the band’s interpretation of Van Peebles’ poem and a musical voyage inspired by Van Peebles’ vivid imagery. The band considers it their defining work, the result of more than a decade of playing and recording together. They’ve found a voice as a band, one that meshes with Van Peebles,’ as he weaves an intergalactic “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

Van Peebles photos by Eric Coleman, Helicentrics’ Malcolm Catto photo by Egon.

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

Now-Again — September 9, 2014 | Comments (10)

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.”

Karl Hector and The Malcouns – Unstraight Ahead

Now-Again — June 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

ON SALE: KARL HECTOR & THE MALCOUNS – UNSTRAIGHT AHEAD Now-Again Records

Afrodelic Kraut Funk excursions featuring Members of Poets of Rhythm and Whitefield Brothers. Unstraight Ahead finds Karl Hector and his cohorts exploring territories outside of the already-expansive scope of their debut album Sahara Swing. On this album, the West African sounds of Ghana and Mali meet the East African sounds of Mulatu Astatke’s Ethiopian jazz and are tied together with the groove heavy experimentalism of The Malcouns’ 70s Krautrock godfathers: Can, of course, but also more obscure and equally adventurous groups like Agitation Free, Ibliss and Tomorrow’s Gift. It’s an album out of time, one that couldn’t have been made in the era its aural aesthetics reference, as its scope is so broad. But it’s an album focused by funk – and an ambition to expand funk’s reaches. The Malcouns – including Poets of Rhythm songwriter and vocalist Bo Baral – created their own instruments to fashion an album that stands alongside the great albums of its progenitors but charges Unstraight Ahead into a curious musical future.

2 LP comes with download card; CD packaged in a gatefold “eco-wallet.”