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KALEIDOSCOPE – Puerto Rican garage rock classic

Now-Again — August 30, 2016 | Comments (4)

ON SALE: KALEIDOSCOPE – KALEIDOSCOPE

One of the great psychedelic rock albums is finally back in print on vinyl in a band-licensed reissue. Its roots are in Puerto Rican teenage garage rockers; it was recorded in the Dominican Republic at the high-point of the flower power era; it was only ever pressed in a miniscule run in Mexico in 1969.

Now one of the most sought after rock artifacts on the planet, Kaleidoscope is remastered and reissued with an extensive, photo-filled booklet with the story of the band and their album by historian Enrique Rivas Viniegra.

P.S. If you dig trivia, Kaleidoscope’s “Let Me Try” was sampled for Beyonce’s “Freedom”

The original album release:

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.

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.

Peace – BLACK POWER (1975)

Zamrock — May 4, 2016 | Comments (0)

ON SALE: PEACE – BLACK POWER

Shipping now. This is the first official reissue of this essential Zamrock album.

Peace was one of of Zamrock’s best bands, kick-started by groups The Boyfriends and WITCH from Chamboli Mine Township, Kitwe, Zambia. Black Power was their sole release, recorded at Malachite Film Studio circa 1973-74 and issued circa 1975, sounds like nothing else in the Zamrock canon: a lost message drifting from the flower power era, imbued with a fiery Zambian voice.

The Mark III – Marvin Whoremonger

15-17 year old Las Vegas high school kids doing X-rated basement funk. This rare private press from 1976 is being reissued for the first time by Now-Again Records this fall as a part of Now-Again Reserve: a deluxe vinyl subscription.

SUBSCRIBE: NOW-AGAIN RESERVE

Here’s the story of one of funk’s most sought-after albums: Marvin Whoremonger is a concept-piece executed by a Vegas hustler, pairing the troubled musings of a transient vocalist (Marvin Neroes) with the exuberant funk of a teenage trio. Much of the album was recorded in a single take, then embellished by session musicians in Hollywood with synthesizers and a large horn section.

Producer Cholly Willians declared in the liner notes that the album would lead to international stardom for all involved. When Whoremonger was released in 1976, behind a garish, anonymous jacket, it failed immediately. Forty years later it has aged well, and stands as an immediately accessible – yet bizarre – exercise in late-period, real funk music.

Marvin Whoremonger is the third release of Now-Again Reserve.

Wake Up You – Vol. 2 – The Rise and Fall of Nigerian Rock, 1972-1977

Now-Again — April 27, 2016 | Comments (0)

ON SALE: WAKE UP YOU – VOL. 2 – THE RISE AND FALL OF NIGERIAN ROCK, 1972-1977

Wake Up You! is presented in two 100+ page books full of never-seen photos and the story of the best Nigerian rock bands told in vivid detail by musicologist and researcher Uchenna Ikonne (Who Is William Onyeabor?).

Each volume is presented as both a hardbound book with CD in a resealable plastic sleeve, and as a double LP with a soft-cover book included in a custom-made 12″x 12″ book holder.

Read: ‘Wake Up You!’ Explores The Transitional, Post-War Rock ‘N’ Roll Of Nigeria – NPR’s All Things Considered.

Video: Wake Up You! The Rise and Fall of Nigerian Rock, 1972-1977

A short film about Wake Up You! The Rise and Fall of Nigerian Rock, 1972-1977. Produced by Uchenna Ikonne and Eothen Alapatt with narration by Uchenna Ikonne. This video was shot and edited by Bennett Piscitelli. Wake Up You Vol. 1 is out now. Wake Up You Vol. 2 comes out May 20, 2016

War-Head Constriction “Showers of Stone” – Nigerian rock from the 70s

Now-Again — March 18, 2016 | Comments (0)

Now-Again Records’ decade long investigation into Nigeria’s rock music scene during the 1970s culminates in Wake Up You: The Rise & Fall of Nigerian Rock. Vol. 1 comes out on Record Store Day.

Here’s a track from Wake Up You, Vol. 2, coming in May: War-Head Constriction’s “Shower of Stone”

Pitchfork.com – Record Store Day 2016’s Best and Weirdest Bets: “#1. Various Artists, Wake Up You V.1 : The Rise And Fall Of Nigerian Rock Music, 1972-1977. This 2xLP compilation of scene that catapulted Fela Kuti to global renown looks to be the type of carefully packaged set that will be well worth checking for at your local store. Nigerian-born writer Uchenna Ikonne, who helped make William Onyeabor’s 2013 album Who Is William Onyeabor? a reality, provides liner notes in a 104-page book that also includes previously unpublished photos.”

The Western world was in the throes of peace, love, and flower power as Nigeria descended into Civil War in 1967. The rock scene that developed during the following three years of bloodshed and destruction would come to heal the country, propagate the world-wide ideal of the Modern Nigerian, and propel Fela Kuti to stardom after conflict ended in 1970.

Wake Up You! tells the story of this time, pays homage to these now-forgotten musicians and their struggle, and brings to light the funk and psychedelic fury they created as they wrested free of the ravages of the late 1960s and created thrilling, original Nigerian rock music throughout the 1970s.

Wake Up You! is presented in two 100+ page books full of never-seen photos and the story of the best Nigerian rock bands told in vivid detail by musicologist and researcher Uchenna Ikonne.

Listen to Ify Jerry Krusade’s “Everybody Likes Something Good” (Wake Up You! Vol. 1)

African garage rock compilation by Christophe Lemaire and Now-Again Records

Now-Again — March 7, 2016 | Comments (2)

ON SALE: CAN’T YOU HEAR ME? AFRICAN NUGGETS AND GARAGE ROCK FROM NIGERIA, ZAMBIA & ZIMBABWE

Paris release party: April 2, 11PM at L’Entreé des Artistes, 30 Rue Victor Masse

Globetrotter of parallel subcontinents and digger of rare, forgotten records, Eothen “Egon” Alapatt tracks sounds from the dawn of time to the four corners of the world. On the other side of the globe, French designer Christophe Lemaire stays forward thinking and audacious in his choices: far from our deified present, he cultivates a love of timeless designs and mixed influences; a passion for iconoclastic music hidden in the dark corners of a global cultural industry.

This extraordinary openness has been at the heart of their friendship since 2007. Their exceedingly eclectic, fierce rock discoveries gave birth to a first anthology, Where Are You From? (Now-Again, 2010), the fruit of Lemaire’s excavating Alapatt’s archives. That was a post-geographic exploration in psych, rock and funk territories from 1968 to now; this second anthology celebrates their impressionist vision and explores garage rock from the 1970s, voicing the struggles of independence in Zambia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Can’t You Hear Me comes from a track by charismatic Zamrock icon Paul Ngozi, a Lemaire favorite. Ngozi’s title track sets the tone for a drastic selection of seventeen songs with rebellious undertones, riddled by an infectious groove, the forsaken writing about a forgotten chapter in the history of music. Ngozi, WITCH, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, Amanaz, Wells Fargo, Eye Q and the Funkees represent a generation fighting for their freedom, armed with fuzz guitars, symbolic objects of a new movement. They played in Fela’s kingly shadow, were influenced by Hendrix’s psychedelic solos, Jefferson Airplane’s penetrating chords and Cream’s repetitive melodies. The music of their colonial oppressors they reassembled and reinterpreted with pure energy, without nod to hymn or flag.

A halo of cosmic design and pure lines, the cover for the anthology by Sanghon Kim transports us in this whirling odyssey in space and time while composer/producer Pilooski concludes the album with an edit of WITCH’s “No Time,” an expression of the critical need to open up to new perspectives, new imaginations and to keep unearthing riches of our universal heritage.

“Through these tracks we can feel the communicative energy, this pure vitality, not only of Africa , but of youth and hope,” Lemaire states. “And I find it quite universal and timeless. It is not about music as an industry , or as product , but music as a craft . And one can immediately recognized when music is created with heart and soul.”


World’s Experience Orchestra

Now-Again — February 25, 2016 | Comments (6)

Now-Again is reissuing the 1975 and 1980 albums by World’s Experience Orchestra this summer as one specially packaged 2/LP set, the second release in Now-Again Reserve, a deluxe vinyl subscription.

Subscription details here: Now-Again Reserve

The essence of Underground, Spiritual Jazz, figuratively and literally: their first album was recorded in a Boston church’s basement. Both World’s Experience Orchestra albums were committed to vinyl by a visionary, bassist/composer/arranger John Jamyll Jones. He’s a magical type, who communicates with his instrument, his ensembles, and jazz’s ancient lineage in a manner so profound that his late-‘70s album are out of time with jazz’s trajectory, but timeless when presented today.

RELEASE DETAILS

• Packaged in a hand-made, extra-thick “tip on” gate fold jacket, with obi strip and resealable polybag
• Download card for WAV files of the album
• Includes a 2 CD version of the album, packaged as a “mini-LP” inside a cardboard O-card encasing a perfect-bound booklet.
• Booklet with extensive liner notes detailing the history of the album
• Remastered by Elysian Masters head engineer Dave Cooley in Los Angeles, delicately lacquered by Electric  Mastering in London and perfectly pressed by Quality Record Productions in Salina, Kansas.
• Includes a hand done silk-screened album insert by Hit & Run.
• Produced with the direct participation of their creators.

Photos: bassist John Jones, drummer Chauncy Hutcherson