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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

Heliocentrics – FROM THE DEEP

Heliocentrics — February 1, 2016 | Comments (0)

ON SALE: HELIOCENTRICS – FROM THE DEEP

Following Last Transmission, their collaboration with Melvin Van Peebles, the Heliocentrics finish off their trawl through the vaults of tracks recorded at their old digs – Quatermass Studios – with psychedelic tinged funk and jazz instrumentals first heard on Gaslamp Killer’s HELIO X GLK EP, tracks Rolling Stone describes as “sprawling, with percussive patterns that suddenly morph into extraterrestrial sound blasts and opaque, detouring patterns.”

Wake Up You: The Rise & Fall of Nigerian Rock

Now-Again — January 18, 2016 | Comments (4)

ON SALE NOW: WAKE UP YOU, VOL. 1
ON SALE NOW: WAKE UP YOU, VOL. 2

Rock in the wake of war: Now-Again Records’ decade long investigation into Nigeria’s rock music scene during the 1970s culminates in the release of two album and books.

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 (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.

Karl Hector & The Malcouns – Can’t Stand the Pressure 4LP Box Set

Now-Again — November 30, 2015 | Comments (3)

BOX SET: KARL HECTOR & THE MALCOUNS – CANT STAND THE PRESSURE
EP: KARL HECTOR & THE MALCOUNS – KA RICA TAR

Following their deft handling of musics from Eastern and Northern Africa alongside Western psychedelia, jazz and funk on the Now-Again album Unstraight Ahead, Karl Hector & The Malcouns combine the previously available only on vinyl tracks from four EP’s – Tamanrasset, Ngugna Yeti Fofa, Coomassi and their latest, Ka Rica Tar — into an album as Krautrock as Afro Beat, as Multi-Culti-Psychedelic as Deep Funk.

Can’t Stand The Pressure is available as a CD that contains the entirety of Ka Rica Tar, and all of the other EP tracks that haven’t come out on CD. And if you missed those limited edition EP’s, don’t trip: Now-Again is issuing a made-to-order set that will contain all four EP’s in their entirety, packaged in a hand silk-screened, chipboard sleeve.

Ka Rica Tar and the Can’t Stand The Pressure CD ship immediately.
Can’t Stand The Pressure 4LP set will be tallied in a month and put into production. Expect your set to ship early March 2016. Anyone who orders the box set will receive a download link for all 4 EP’s shortly after placing their order. We know you don’t want to wait for your funk.

Video: 4th Coming’s Strange Things

Now-Again — October 20, 2015 | Comments (1)

ON SALE: 4TH COMING – STRANGE THINGS: COMPLETE WORKS 1970-74

A short film about Strange Things, the lost album by the Los Angeles band, 4th Coming. This was shot and edited by Bennett Piscitelli. The album is being released by Now-Again as 4th Coming — Strange Things: The Complete Works 1970-1974, Eccentric soul and lost funk recordings from an unlikely crew of Los Angeles musical misfits – one of the finest and deepest examples of Los Angeles soul in the 1970s.

Rodinia – Drumside/Dreamside

Now-Again — September 25, 2015 | Comments (1)

ON SALE: RODINIA – DRUMSIDE/DREAMSIDE

Ambient Krautrock in line with Cluster, Popul Vuh, Tangerine Dream by JJ Whitefield (Poets of Rhythm/Whitefield Brothers/Karl Hector & The Malcouns).

Now-Again Records has enjoyed a long and creative partnership with Munich-based multi-instrumentalist JJ Whitefield, creative force behind the Poets of Rhythm, Whitefield Brothers and Karl Hector & The Malcouns. Rodinia, his latest project, is quite different than anything that’s come from his oeuvre to date, but follows in the line of the Poets of Rhythm’s great Discern/Define, as it reaches back to Krautrock’s experimental hey day but pushes its boundaries with a post-hip-hop approach.

That’s to say that everything you read in the header above is true, but the ambient sound Whitefield and his Rodinia collaborator – saxophonist and keyboardist Johannes Schleiermacher – reached for found itself morphing over the course of a year. What was originally recorded in a two-day studio lock-in, which found Whitefield and Schleiermacher hooking up “all our vintage synths (Korg MS-20, Moog Prodigy, Roland Juno 60, Jen SX 1000, Korg Polysix), triggering everything with a vintage Korg rhythm box, absorbing some mind altering substances and jamming out,” was later turned into two, side-long suites, with over-dubbed reeds, drums and guitar, and self-made Moroccan field recordings introducing the project on its Drumside.

The result is as winesome and exploratory as those from their forebears, but respectfully distanced from the past’s trappings. With original artwork by Jason Jagel (DOOM’s MM FOOD, Operation Doomsday).

4th Coming – Strange Things: Complete Works 1970-74

Now-Again — September 14, 2015 | Comments (0)

ON SALE: 4TH COMING – STRANGE THINGS: COMPLETE WORKS 1970-1974

Eccentric soul and lost funk recordings from an unlikely crew of Los Angeles musical misfits – one of the finest and deepest examples of Los Angeles soul in the 1970s.

At its core, the 4th Coming was a songwriting duo – Porter and Jechonias “Jack” S. Williams – and a rotating cast of musicians – including members of lauded Los Angeles funk ensemble the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band – that Williams assembled at Artist Recording Studio to realize the pair’s ideas. They existed only from the latter half of 1969 until 1974; during that time they issued eight singles as 4th Coming and one as Impact! on Al Firth’s Alpha imprint.

When 4th Coming records surfaced in the ’90s, they were often disregarded as novelty. And some of their records were so rare that it took until the late ‘00s for them to reemerge, after the sinking of their initial pressing runs. Assembling a near set of 4th Coming recordings was nearly possible, until the issue of this, the lost 4th Coming album: Strange Things, The Complete Works 1970-1974.

So those four years — which coincided with the rise to international fame of Los Angeles funk ensembles like Charles Wright and soul singers like Bill Withers — must have seemed like a great time for Williams to record and release singles, in an attempt stitch his thread into the rope carrying LA’s progressive black musicians above the smog. Williams found an unlikely allegiance with Al Furth, Furth’s Artist Recording Studio and his Alpha label.

And now, Strange Things, a thrilling listen, a mysterious trove of recordings made possible by an open minded and well-funded indie impresario — Furth — which document a very real and very weird Los Angeles of the past. It’s a city we’ll never know again, and one that might never again produce an ensemble like the 4th Coming. If Furth’s faith only rolled snake-eyes in terms of commercial success, in terms of documenting Los Angeles’ vibrant soul and funk underground, he rolled boxcars. This, the album Williams and Furth always hoped would bring them real success, now sees its complete release and allows us to ponder the might-have and the would-have beens — had a 4th Coming album come together in the mid-‘70s.

Stark Reality

Now-Again — June 2, 2015 | Comments (0)

ON SALE: STARK REALITY DISCOVERS HOAGY CARMICHAEL’S MUSIC SHOP | ROLLER COASTER RIDE

Stark Reality were a group led by Monty Stark, with John Abercrombie on guitar, performing an impossible-to-categorize fusion of psychedelic rock, jazz and funk. In 1970 they recorded a heavily-improvised reinvention of a 1958 children’s album by songwriter Hoagy Carmichael, to be used for the show Hoagy Carmichael’s Music Shop which aired on PBS in Boston. The album, Stark Reality Discovers Hoagy Carmichael’s Music Shop, is now available reissued on 3/LP vinyl in its entirety. The group’s non-album recordings are collected on the 2/LP set Roller Coaster Ride.

“Stark Reality: Now is Starkers!” – Jazz Times
“Reality check. How Hoagy Carmichael, children’s music, and a TV station combo played into one of the most collectible records in hip-hop.” – San Francisco Bay Guardian

Richard Marks – Never Satisfied, The Complete Works 1968-1976

Now-Again — May 18, 2015 | Comments (3)

ON SALE: RICHARD MARKS – NEVER SATISFIED, COMPLETE WORKS 1968-1976

Legendary soul and funk singles from Atlanta guitarist/singer/songwriter Richard Marks. Includes previously unreleased tracks.

Seven years in the making, Never Satisfied is Now-Again’s collection of legendary soul and funk singles by Atlanta Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter Richard Marks. This

Amanaz – Africa

Zamrock — March 10, 2015 | Comments (3)

IN THE SHOP: AMANAZ – AFRICA

Available Record Store at Rappcats Pop-Up Shop.
April 18-19, Saturday & Sunday, Noon-6PM
RAPPCATS. 5636 YORK BLVD, LOS ANGELES CA 90042

Essential 1970s African rock album, definitive reissue on Now-Again

Issued in 1975, this is the articulation of Zambia’s “Zamrock” ethos. While other albums – Rikki Ililonga’s Zambia, WITCH’s Lazy Bones!! – are competitors, it’s hard to best this album as it covers each major quadrant of the Zamrock whole: it came from the mines; its musicians were anti-colonial freedom fighters, it envelops Zambian folk music traditions. And it rocks.

The album was given two separate mixes and two separate presses: one version is dry, with the vocals and drums mixed loud, the other slathered in reverb, with the vocals and drums disappearing into the mix, and with the guitar solos mixed much louder. Now-Again has presented them both in this anthology. This is a highpoint of the Zamrock scene and this is its definitive reissue.

2/LP, 2/CD set contains both released versions of the album: a dry, drums-up mix and reverb-drenched fuzz-guitar dominated mix and an extensive booklet containing an essay on the album and detailing the history of the Zamrock scene and this album, with notes from Amanaz’s Isaac Mpofu and Keith Kabwe and rare photos. Download card included with LP version.

This is a Record Store Day release. It will be available Apr 18 2015 at Rappcats.com, at the Rappcats Pop-Up Record Shop – address TBA – and at participating record stores around the U.S.

Fabiano do Nascimento – Dança dos Tempos – with Airto Moreira, from Now-Again Records

Now-Again — February 24, 2015 | Comments (1)

ON SALE NOW: FABIANO DO NASCIMENTO – DANCA DOS TEMPOS

Fabiano do Nascimento’s debut album: folkloric Brasilian/Afro-Brasilian, featuring Airto Moreira.

Dança dos Tempos is the debut album from Brasilian guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento, featuring legendary percussionist Airto Moreira in his first album project in over ten years. Dança dos Tempos follows folkloric Brasilian music as experienced through the mind and able fingers of an expansive musician, not yet thirty years old, and combines the heady ‘60s and ‘70s experimentalism of Hermeto Pascoal and Baden Powell with the childlike elegance of music played and passed down by native Brasilians for generations. It is the second Brasilian album released on Now-Again, following Seu Jorge and Almaz.

Moreira, the bandleader, songwriter and producer, plays percussion on the album and is joined by Fabiano do Nascimento’s long time drummer, Ricardo “Tiki” Pasillas on trap drums. Do Nascimento and Kana Shimanuki handle vocals on what is otherwise an airy instrumental album that allows the guitarist’s virtuosity to shine through originals, folkloric Brasilian songs, and select covers by the likes of Pascoal and Powell, both formative influences on the guitarist.

These duets show the camaraderie that two master Brasilian musicians – of two different generations, but of the same spirit – share with comrades of ages past as they imagine music for the years to come. These tracks were recorded live in the studio with no overdubs by producer Luther Russell and engineer Jason Hiller – straight to 2-inch analog-tape, and only sparingly mastered to focus on the subtleties of the performances.

Here is a short film about the project shot and edited by Bennett Piscitelli.

THESE ARE THE JB’S, the lost James Brown / Bootsy Collins album, second edition.

Now-Again — January 20, 2015 | Comments (1)

IN THE SHOP: THE J.B.’s – THESE ARE THE J.B.’s (Second edition)

By popular demand, a second edition of the lost James Brown/Bootsy Collins album. 1LP, Standard LP jacket, booklet. Now shipping

Last year we quickly sold out of the J.B.’s album These Are The J.B.’s, released by Now-Again Records. We sold out so fast that we and the label were inundated with requests from funk fans who couldn’t fathom that a record that was meant to sell for $25 wasn’t available in their local store and was appearing on the secondary market for between $35 and $50.

They asked us to remedy the situation and we did. We’re pleased to announce the second edition of the album, which is now in production and will be released sometime in late February.

The second edition has a different color scheme on the cover (seen in the photos above), and a standard LP sleeve rather than the old-school thick cardboard “tip-on” sleeve of the first edition. The second edition is labeled “second edition” in the label and copyright line on the back.

All else remains the same: same quality of wax, same booklet, same funk. But we wanted to make sure the folks who bought the first edition had something special and there would be no confusion between the two issues.

The history of this album:

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 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. The album includes a booklet with liner notes by Leeds and Alapatt and unpublished photographs.

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.

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.


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 (11)

IN THE SHOP: THE J.B.’s – THESE ARE THE J.B.’s (second edition)
IN THE SHOP: THE J.B.’s – THESE ARE THE J.B.’s SOLD OUT

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. ?First edition: 3000 pieces, vinyl only. SOLD OUT.

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.

Ngozi Family – Day Of Judgement

Now-Again, Zamrock — August 5, 2014 | Comments (2)

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.

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.”

Damon – Song of a Gypsy

Egon, Now-Again — June 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

Sixteen Things We Know About Damon is a short film by Andrew Gura: a voice and music driven story that uses animated archival stills, stock footage and typography, lo-fi textures, left-field sound design to tell the nearly impossible backstory behind Damon’s Song of a Gypsy

ON SALE: DAMON – SONG OF A GYPSY

Damon’s Song of a Gypsy, underground psychedelic rock from the late 60s – reissued album from Now-Again Records

Damon’s Song of a Gypsy is regarded as one of the finest privately-pressed psychedelic rock records ever made. It has, for over twenty years, been one of the most sought after late 60s rock artifacts in the world, with the scant original copies that exist exchanging hands for thousands of dollars. Bad bootlegs and scrappy reissues have spread the music a little but left Damon’s story untouched, leaving Song of a Gypsy high on its own plateau: out of reach and indescribable.

This edition investigates Song of a Gypsy’s seemingly impossible story – one that encapsulates the last bloom of the flower power movement before it decayed into the haze of the

Stephen David Heitkotter – Black Orckid

Now-Again — May 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

ON SALE: STEPHEN DAVID HEITKOTTER – BLACK ORCKID

Deluxe reissue of a legendary ’70s California bedroom-made psychedelic album.

Restored/remastered transfer and never-before-heard demos. The CD/LP book contains dozens of unpublished photos and images and a thorough investigation into this exceedingly rare artifact.

Psychedelic rock record collectors have been repeating the name Heitkotter as if it were a mantra ever since the first copy of a hand-made demo LP turned up in a Los Angeles music publisher’s reject bin, with nothing more than that word scrawled across a plain white jacket (see it in the photos below).

The world has never heard something like Heitkotter – it is a unique piece of art unlike anything that came before or has come after it.

Now-Again Records embarked some years ago to find out more about Heitkotter’s music and his story, and in the process, visited the house where his album was recorded, found his musicians, rescued the demo-recordings that paved the way for this album, uncovered unpublished photos and paintings by the man behind the visionary album.

Stephen David Heitkotter was a Fresno, California kid who came of age in mid ’60s. He was the drummer for the Fresno garage wunderkinds the Road Runners, and even wrote a song for the band – “Pretty Me” – for one of their lauded 7-inch singles. Nobody really knows what happened after the band split up, becoming victims of the Vietnam War draft like many garage rock bands.

Stephen never made it to Vietnam – his meeting with the draft board is when he first started showing signs of mental illness. He stayed in Fresno and became a bedraggled post hippie who left the Age of Aquarius defiantly proclaiming that he would become a singer, songwriter and visual artist: Black Orckid.

The bizarre LP known as Heitkotter – recorded in around 1971 and pressed in a run of less than twenty five copies – was culmination of his artistic career. Ross Dwelle, Stephen’s childhood friend and the drummer on the record, describes the bedroom sessions in a handsome Craftsman home in Old Fresno as this young trio “trying to play five songs written by a man losing his mind … probably stoned the whole time.”

Stephen’s schizophrenia worsened in the ’70s. Towards the end of the decade, his parents – loving yet exhausted – institutionalized Stephen, and he has been the State of California’s ward ever since. His older brother William – who licensed Heitkotter for release on Now-Again – still sees his Stephen once a month, but he never mentions Heitkotter or its legend to him – Stephen himself is incapable of fathoming it in context, and it might tear him away from the fragile rope that still moors him to this earthly reality.

Heitkotter, this time issued as Black Orckid, as we assume Stephen would have wanted it – is too complicated to be written off as a symptom of a greater ill, or lionized by a few (and dismissed by the majority) as “outsider” art. It’s a rare and vital look at 60s and 70s American rock through the sad story – and incredible music – of an untethered soul. And as Now-Again shows in enlightening more of Stephen’s backstory, it can also be considered sweet, kind and optimistic. The Heitkotter tale is cautionary, but Stephen’s music is as close to the sublime as American rock has ever ventured.

Photos from the LP book showing Heitkotter’s photos, paintings, and original hand-signed album cover.

Random: March 3rd

Egon, Madlib, Now-Again — March 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

Madlib in Japan with Now-Again and a couple from Black Wax Digger.

Chop – RAASH HOUR MIX

Now-Again — September 23, 2013 | Comments (0)

Chop puts together a mix of on the heels of his Now-Again 2013 release, Illuminate

We’ve been hearing the sounds of Chop (formerly “Mr. Chop”) for some time – from his first EP on Now-Again, the retro-futuristic Lightworlds, to his work on DOOM’s Born Like This, to his reworkings of Pete Rock’s hip hop classics on For Pete’s Sake. He’s got a new album: Illuminate on Now-Again. Chop’s studio is a temple to gear the likes of which is fetishized on message board posts by those who master your favorite musician’s album, and it’s located on a dirt road, abutting an estuary in Northern England. Chop just loves him some crazy gear and some weird processes to make music: those processes lead to the types of tunes you hear in this mix – which draws from Illuminate, and previously unreleased Chop music. Featuring the usual lot of Chop collaborators, including The Heliocentrics Malcolm Catto.

Chop – “Building Blocks” from Illuminate

Oh No – HEAR ME

Now-Again, Oh No — September 3, 2013 | Comments (5)

Here’s another track from Oh No vs. Now-Again Vol. 2, a 19-track beat album by Oh No. Available on CD, and digitally at Now-Again’s subscription service at http://drip.fm/nowagain

Download MP3: Oh No – “Hear Me”

Kids photo by B+ and the others by unknown muthas.

Oh No Vs. Now-Again Vol. 2

Now-Again, Oh No — August 26, 2013 | Comments (6)

Oh No’s debut album for Now-Again Records was also the first in Now-Again’s “music library” series, one of the label’s most successful exercises in creating modern “library music” for easy synchronization for film and TV. It also stood alone as an instrumental album for this lauded producer. For this entry, the seventh Now-Again Music Library, Oh No combs through a now-much-more-vast catalog from American soul, funk and jazz to Iranian folk to Zambian hard rock. Fans of the variety of projects that Oh No is a part – from his Gangrene project with Alchemist to his production for the likes of Talib Kweli and Danny Brown – will be pleased with the variety of beats contained within.

This album is 19 tracks, running 40 minutes. As with all of Now-Again’s library releases, comes as a limited edition is CD is packaged in a “mini-LP” thick cardboard “tip-on” sleeve and is only available digitally at Now-Again’s subscription service at http://drip.fm/nowagain

Gaslamp Killer Mixtape – HELIO GLK

Heliocentrics, Now-Again — August 9, 2013 | Comments (9)

Update: HELIO GLK is now released on 12-inch vinyl by Now-Again Records.

On Sale: Gaslamp Killer – HELIO GLK

Gaslamp Killer is one of our favorite DJs and a big supporter of the Heliocentrics, recently saying that Heliocentrics producer and drummer Malcolm Catto “is the reason I got into all of this shit.” That inspiration comes through in this mix of GLK re-edits of some of the best tracks from their new album 13 Degrees of Reality, and the series of EPs that Now-Again will launch in 2014. He also mixes in some music from 60s ensembles that influenced the band. GLK writes:

“In 2008 Jeff Jank asked me to make a Heliocentrics podcast for stones throw to help promote the guys 1st album. It was one of my most fun & unique mixes. Here we are 5 years later in 2013 & again, I was asked to make a mix of some of the bands newest material from their superb album entitled “13 degrees of reality” that was just released & i was even granted access to some of the unreleased sessions that I had been hearing so much about for so many years from Egon. It is an honor that I present this, (my newest mix) HELIO GLK to the world. My chopped up / re edited madness from the band they call The Heliocentrics!”

Download Mixtape MP3 | HELIO GLK