Rodinia’s first album, Drumside/Dreamside, featured two, side-long suites, with synthesizers taking the fore on an overarching ambient approach (featuring over-dubbed reeds, drums and guitar, and self-made Moroccan field recordings introducing the project on its Drumsidewww.)
For Ex Anima, Rodinia has incorporated more of the mid-70s approach of Krautrock forebears Neu!, Cluster and Harmonia, with shorter, self contained songs. The result is winesome and exploratory, respectfully distanced from the past’s trappings while celebrating a musical spirit still very much alive and influential.
Mike Nyoni “SM” (1977) and Born Free “Mad Man” (1975) both appear on Welcome to Zamrock, Vol. 2 (Now-Again Records) now shipping from Rappcats
Born Free was founded in 1972 by bandleader, drummer and vocalist Nicky Mwanza, but the band never recorded until a complete personnel change. Star-in-the-making Mike Nyoni joined as vocalist and lead guitarist; Zimbabwean-born Peter Lungu replaced Mwanza on drums; Joseph Musonda alternated between rhythm and bass guitar. Mwanza went on to form Cross Town Traffic, and Nyoni’s Born Free signed to ZMPL, recording the album Mukaziwa Chingoi (Promotion) LP in 1975.
The album showcases Nyoni’s talents first and foremost, and betrays a study of funk: this is not a fuzz guitar showcase, but a wah-wah guitar dominated album – the instrumental “Mad Man” sounds like it could have been cut in Detroit, Michigan in the early ’70s.
After Born Free, Nyoni went solo, signing to Christopher Ndhlovu’s Chris Editions for two albums: Kawalala (c. 1977) and his most straight forward funk/soul release I Can’t Understand You (c. 1978). This last album was released in Kenya and France with different cover art as an AIT/Reprise album, and it set up Nyoni for a string of kalindula releases in the 1980s. He gigged on his own and with Sounds Unlimited and Broadway Quintet before his death in the ’90s.
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!”
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 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.
Introducing: Johnny! Ghanaian Afro-Rock from German producer/composer JJ Whitefield and an international cast of top shelf musicians.
Limited edition of 1000. Not to be repressed. Comes with download card for wav files. Die-cut dress jacket and resealable “Japanese-style” sleeve.
Whitefield, who in the early ‘90s revived the gritty, analogue Funk sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s with his Poets Of Rhythm, has been working with Now-Again Records for almost a decade, releasing a flock of acclaimed projects with Karl Hector & The Malcouns, Whitefield Brothers, Rodinia and the Original Raw Soul anthology.
He first started exploring African rhythms with the Whitefield Brothers in the late ‘90s, continuing in the ‘00s with Karl Hector & The Malcouns. He’s been instrumental in launching Ghanaian Afro Beat/Funk legend Ebo Taylor´s international career, decades after the maestro recorded the landmark albums that have inspired thousands. Whitefield recorded two new studio albums with Taylor and toured in his band between 2009 and 2013, where he met Taylor’s son Henry and percussionist/Singer Eric Owusu.
The trio now front the Johnny! band and find inspiration not only in Ghana’s hypnotic grooves, but also the full frontal fuzz guitar assault heard on the legion of 70s Zambian Zamrock albums recently reissued by Now-Again. Indeed, Whitefield credits his tours with Zamrock godfathers Rikki Ililonga and WITCH’s Jagari Chanda as instrumental in creating the Johnny’s sonic backdrop. The band is rounded out by Turkish drummer Bernd Oezsevim (Woima Collective, Rodinia) and Indonesian bassist/multi instrumentalist Tomi Simatupang (Whitefield Brothers).
This is Dance Rock at the core with the possibilities to stretch out and go into psychedelic realms. The results, spread out over three 7” singles and pressed in a run of 1000 units each, speak for themselves. Every record comes with a download card for WAV files of all six tracks (vocals and instrumentals from each release) and point at a new direction for the music inspired by the Great Continent. One that takes a direction once mocked as derivative and asserts its importance on the globe’s current musical stage.