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

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


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.

Rappcats T-shirt: J Dilla, Madlib, Stussy

Rappcats — September 13, 2015 | Comments (3)

Click the thumbnail below to go to the product page. Stock is limited, and these will not be reprinted. Rappcats ships worldwide.

Trouble Knows Me – “Streetsweeper” – Madlib Remix

Madlib — September 1, 2015 | Comments (0)


Record out now; Here’s a new Madlib remix of “Streetsweeper”

Limited edition vinyl for the Sam Herring & Madlib project is now shipping. Thanks to everyone who came out to our events in Los Angeles and Chicago for the first round of records, and to everyone who patiently waited for the rest of them.

Produced by Madlib / A&R: Eothen Alapatt / Mixed and mastered by Dave Cooley for Elysian Masters. / Thanks to the Herring Family, Future Islands, Ben Gaffin, Ben Dickey, all the good teachers. The artwork is by Gustavo Eandi & Jeff Jank, printed by Hit & Run. There are 15-20 variations on the covers, each printed by hand.


Sep 04: Deviation, London
Sep 06: Outlook Fest, Pula, Croatia

KMD – Black Bastards – Deluxe Vinyl

MF DOOM — August 14, 2015 | Comments (8)


Picture disc, Red Vinyl, Pop-up Gatefold Sleeve, 32p Booklet.

MF DOOM’s first group and their controversial sophomore release Black Bastards (Bl_ck B_st_rds) is being reissued by DOOM’s own Metalface Records imprint on vinyl.

This includes a popup gatefold sleeve, 32p. booklet with liner notes, and two 12-inch records – one picture disc with the group’s iconic “sambo” mascot, and one red vinyl.

In Brian Coleman’s recent book Check the Technique, he wrote extensively about the album and it’s critical role in shaping the persona of MF DOOM: “There are few releases in hip-hop history with as much mystery behind them as KMD’s second full-length, Black Bastards. The album, whose cover boldly depicted a cartoon ‘Sambo’ being hanged, didn’t even receive the insult of being shelved or pushed back by Elektra Records upon its completion in 1994. Instead, it was outright refused, with very little above-board explanation as to the reason, or even much of an apology, as they ushered the group’s leader out the door.”


Below: early 90s photo of Zev Love X (Photo by Pete Nice)

The 2015 “Record Store Day” Edition was in the form of a children’s popup book with 2 CDs and a 7-inch single – NOW SOLD OUT.

Trouble Knows Me


Here’s the new Madlib joint, released by Madlib Invazion on limited run of vinyl with one-of-a-kind screen-printed covers. Three rap tracks + three instrumentals on Side A. Flip side has instrumentals for the rap tracks.

Future Islands’ Sam Herring Teams With Madlib for Rap Project Trouble Knows Me, Shares Track – Pitchfork

The record made it’s debut with a few copies available at events in Chicago and Los Angeles, the weekend of July 17-19, 2015. The rest of them are available on the Rappcats shop, a pre-order for September 1st release.

Produced by Madlib / A&R: Eothen Alapatt / Mixed and mastered by Dave Cooley for Elysian Masters. / Thanks to the Herring Family, Future Islands, Ben Gaffin, Ben Dickey, all the good teachers. The artwork is by Gustavo Eandi & Jeff Jank, printed by Hit & Run. There are 15-20 variations on the covers, each printed by hand.

Bonus track, not on the record – “Streetsweeper (Madlib Remix)”

Rest in Peace Sean P

MF DOOM — August 13, 2015 | Comments (1)


Marvel Debuts Madvillain Inspired Comic Cover

Rappcats — July 31, 2015 | Comments (3)

By Joe Lynch for Billboard | In the comics realm, crossovers are as common as a superhero delivering a cheesy riposte while fighting a bad guy. There are crossovers between titles, universes and even different comic book publishers.

This year, however, saw the ultimate collision of awesome when Marvel met hip-hop via a series of comic covers that paid homage to classic rap albums.

Today, Billboard revealed three new covers in that series. Above, cast your wondering gaze upon Contest of Champions recast as GZA’s cover art for his classic Liquid Swords album (one of the finest solo Wu-Tang Clan outings ever). This cover art was done by Denys Cowan (pencils), Bill Sienkiewicz (inks) and Chris Sotomayor (colors), and will be available in October.

Above, see The Mighty Thor rendered as MF Doom & Madlib’s underground masterpiece Madvilliany; below, check out Hercules done in the style of Lil B’s Black Flame mixtape. Theotis Jones created the Lil B art, while Mike Deodato Jr. did the Madvillian homage. Both of those will be on sale in November.

“The outpouring of love from hip-hop fans, global music-centric websites, as well as musical luminaries like Nas, Run the Jewels, Posdnuos, Questlove, DMC, and Pete Rock speaks volumes about the ongoing cross-cultural dialog that prompted these homage covers,” Marvel Comics EIC Axel Alonso tells Billboard. “That dialog will only increase as readers get the full picture of Marvel’s offerings in the coming year, and see what lurks beneath the covers.”

Announcing Max Whitefield’s Polyversal Souls – INVISIBLE JOY

Philophon — July 23, 2015 | Comments (0)


During the mid to late ’00s, Max Whitefield (Poets of Rhythm, Whitefield Bros) was in deep study: after spending five years with Krautrock legends and “world music” pioneers Embryo on a 500 concert European and African bus tour, he visited South East Asia, where he studied classical Burmese Saing Waing music. This trip was followed by a time in London, living and playing with fellow Now-Again artists the Heliocentrics. He had studied with former Sun Ra Arkestra members in the USA before, in 2010, taking his first trip to Ghana, the deciding point to create his Philophon label. And to record all the music for his Ghanaian counterparts, Max formed a new Berlin-based band, The Polyversal Souls. The city’s vital music scene gave him the chance to bring together excellent musicians with a common passion and interest for sounds from all around the world. And now, Polyversal Souls’ debut album Invisible Joy – a manifest of what Max calls “21st century soul power.”

The album’s first track “Yelle Be Bobre” features Ghanaian griot Guy One on vocals.

Tropicalia in Furs comes to Los Angeles

Rappcats — July 20, 2015 | Comments (0)

Joel Stones is bringing record store Tropicalia in Furs, from NYC to Los Angeles for a 2-day popup shop at Rappcats

Sat & Sun, July 25-26, 12-8 PM
Rappcats, 5636 York Blvd, L.A. CA 90042.

“I will bring tons of Brazilian records, 45s, LPs, some jazz, funk, soul, prog, psych, garage, boxes of 45s with good French, Turkish, African, Northern Soul, tons of crazy stuff.”

Tropicalia in Furs, East Village NYC, was a record store like no other, a spot for rarities, psychedelic sounds and unparalleled chit chat. The shop closed in 2013.

Here’s a new mix from Joel called Abobora Mechanica.

Photos: Madlib, Sam Herring in Chicago

Madlib — July 18, 2015 | Comments (2)

These two just dropped a record together, Trouble Know Me. These photos were taken Friday, July 17, at The Mid in Chicago, where the record made its debut, with Hit & Run silk screening the covers there live. Thanks to Jesse Lirola for the black & white photos; color photos by Egon / Now-Again.