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 21-track anthology follows Marks’ stylistic development, from his earliest work for the legendary Tuska label, c.1968-1972, through his more mature releases on the Shout label and smaller regional labels like Note, Free Spirit and RSC. It also includes two tracks never released in any form, found on reels Marks had maintained in his Atlanta home.

Marks’ story is that on an unsung soul and funk hero; a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter whose number was in Al Green’s, Barry White’s and Eddie Kendricks’ rolodexes, but whose talents have only been heard in sporadic bursts since his 45s were released and disappeared into Atlanta’s urban expanse.

This is the story of a father and husband who managed to keep his family together as he gigged the third shift six nights a week. The story of a man who wished for more and whose talent is overdue for reassessment.

He and his music are unknown to the majority, but to an obsessive minority, he is a lightning rod, that singular point at which numerous Southern soul and funk musicians converged and exploded, spreading wondrous music in all directions. Marks’ impeccable run of 7” singles, released largely on tiny, local labels, are the stuff of legend, and are hen’s-teeth-rare.

Marks died of cancer in May of 2006, never having issued an album, or ever granting an interview. Given the caliber of his recordings and the near complete lack of information available about him before the issue of this anthology, Marks stands out as the most mysterious talent to originate from Atlanta, a city that birthed no shortage of genius, from acclaimed worldwide (the Mighty Hannibal), obscure yet celebrated (Lee Moses) and local, but well documented (Tommy Stewart).

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib PIÑATA GIBBS T-shirt

Freddie Gibbs — May 1, 2015 | Comments (1)

ON SALE NOW: PINATA GIBBS ON BLACK | PINATA GIBBS ON WHITE

Freddie Gibbs in the Piñata/zebra style. This is a blue/orange print on black t-shirt. Photo by Peter Beste, design by Jeff Jank.

Rappcats. Los Angeles Pop-Up.

Rappcats — April 15, 2015 | Comments (4)

We have a pop-up shop that happens on no set-schedule.

RAPPCATS. 5636 YORK BLVD, LOS ANGELES CA 90042

Record Store Day, Spring 2015, we opened up with J Dilla’s Fuck the Police 10-inch die cut single, a popup children’s book edition of KMD’s Black Bastards, and Now-Again’s definitive reissue of Amanaz’s Africa.

June 2015 we had a popup art showing of Jason Jagel’s work with MF DOOM over the last 10 years.

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BEYONDOOM

MF DOOM, mos def — April 4, 2015 | Comments (30)

Mos Def (Yassin Bey) covers Doom: Rainbows, Beef Rap, Strange Ways, Accordion, Curls, All Caps, Mayo Clinic (over J Dilla’s beat for Oh No’s “Move Pt. 2”). Filmed last May at Fort d’Aubervilliers by Samuel Thiebaut, edited by Antoine Kerninon, produced by Culturebox.


ORIGINS OF THE VILLAIN

MF DOOM — March 12, 2015 | Comments (9)

This is a video & audio mix that has played as an opening for MF DOOM shows in Europe. Put together by Sims, Mass & Alan the G of French collective Now Futur, it’s plays tribute to much of Doom’s source material, flipping his beats and recreating them using original samples and videos.

Thanks again to Mr Mass, the man with the camera: Doom, Madlib, J Rocc & Gibbs turn a Newport Light to a joint right before your eyes | DOOM in Lyon


J Dilla – FUCK THE POLICE – Badge 45

J Dilla — March 10, 2015 | Comments (14)

IN THE SHOP: J DILLA – FUCK THE POLICE – BADGE 45

J Dilla’s classic, out of print for over a decade, has been remastered from Dilla’s original mixes and issued on Pay Jay Productions as a badge-shaped 9“ picture disc single. Both the vocal and instrumental come straight from mix-downs that Dilla himself created.

This limited edition 9″ badge-shaped picture disc single features Jeff Jank’s ironic take on Dilla’s message and comes in a thick, custom-made pocket fold-over, inserted into a Japanese-style, resealable clear plastic sleeve.

This is a Record Store Day 2015 release.

KMD – Black Bastards – Popup Book, CD, 45

IN THE SHOP: KMD – BLACK BASTARDS – BOOK/CD/VINYL

Available Record Store at Rappcats Pop-Up Shop.
April 18-19, Saturday & Sunday, Noon-6PM
RAPPCATS. 5630 YORK BLVD, LOS ANGELES CA 90042

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 for Record Store Day 2015 in the format of a children’s pop-up book.

This includes two CDs – the original album and second disc of bonus material – and a 7-inch picture disc of “What A Nigga Know” housed in the back cover featuring the group’s iconic “sambo” mascot. This “board book” package has a sambo pop-up on the last spread.

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.”

READ: KMD’S BLACK BASTARDS AND THE BIRTH OF MF DOOM

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. A vinyl release of Black Bastards will follow.

Below: early 90s photo of Zev Love X (Photo by Pete Nice); promotional postcard for Black Bastards c.1994 (Adler Hip-Hop Archives, Cornell University Hip-Hop Collection)



Amanaz – Africa

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.

Shipping update: J Dilla Figure & Stussy shirts

Rappcats — February 25, 2015 | Comments (7)

An update for everyone who has pre-ordered a J Dilla Figure from Rappcats: We’re happy to announce that all of our figures have now arrived at our warehouse. There is a lot to pack and ship, but we expect to have them all in the hands of USPS by the end of this week (February 28). The figures are shipping from Boston MA.

Tracking numbers: Once your order has been processed for shipping, you should receive an email from our distributor with a subject line of “TEG has sent you a package” or “Chris Jimson has sent you a package.” This email will contain your tracking number.

February 2015 release. When we announced the J Dilla Figure back in December, we estimated a February ship date. It’s been a long wait, and we’d like to thank everyone for their patience.

J Dilla x Stussy T-shirts. Theses are currently on backorder and are expected to ship sometime the first week of March.

Thanks JPrez805 for the photos.