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Menahan Street Band

The Exciting Sounds Of Menahan Street Band

MSB tracks have been the foundation for some of modern hip-hop's most successful beats; their music has been sampled by the likes of Eminem, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, 50 Cent, Curren$y, to name a few.

Menahan Street Band, a veritable supergroup of some of today's most prolific songwriters, arrangers, and producers return with this beat-forward, cinematic masterpiece.

Their unique brand of instrumental soul has not only been the foundation for some of modern hip-hop's most successful beats, it has also become the perennial soundtrack and veritable vibe-generator for countless parties, art shows, and restaurants throughout NYC and abroad.

While this album carries the aesthetic torch that MSB has skillfully woven into the tapestry of their DNA, it also delves deeper into the experimental, exotic sounds that fill many of the coveted Sound Library and Soundtrack LPs of the late sixties and early seventies - an amalgamation of moog synths, electric pianos, drum machines, and a bevy of analog instrumentation, that ebb and flow in lush swells of Morriconian grandeur.


TRACK LISTING

1. Midnight Morning
2. Rainy Day Lady
3. The Starchaser
4. Silkworm
5. Cabin Fever
6. Rising Dawn
7. Glovebox Pistol
8. Queens Highway
9. Snow Day
10. Parlor Trick
11. The Duke
12. Stepping Through Shadow
13. Devil's Respite
14. There Was A Man

With a globetrotting 20-year career as a voice for the people across four decades of political and societal upheaval from the late ‘90s to today, Antibalas celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a stark return to their Williamsburg roots on its latest Daptone Records studio album, "Fu Chronicles". Pre-gentrified Williamsburg serves as the backdrop for "Fu Chronicles" – voyaging back to the early days when the 12-piece Afrobeat ensemble and revered soul label Daptone Records spawned out of lead singer Duke Amayo’s kung fu dojo. A senior master of the Jow Ga Kung Fu School of martial arts, Amayo along with Antibalas founder/baritone saxophonist Martín Perna guide listeners through an epic journey of where kung fu ingeniously intersects with Afrobeat on "Fu Chronicles".

“Lai Lai” (meaning Never, or Forever) is a gate into setting intentions and following through. In tribute to the resistance of the indigenous Africans and their sustainable practices, Amayo is spearheading a green school project in Ikeja (the capitol of Lagos) featuring a rooftop garden with rainwater harvesting and solar panels “M.T.T.T. Pt. 1 & 2” (meaning Mother Talker Tic Toc) dives back in time to when Gabe Roth and members of Antibalas studied with Amayo at his dojo in the late ‘90s. Initially composed in 1999, “M.T.T.T. Pt. 1 & 2” remains a scorching centerpiece of Antibalas’ live repertoire. Fu Chronicles is the first time it appears on tape.

Amayo opens the track referencing the African proverb, “The Truth and the Morning, becomes Daylight with Time.” “M.T.T.T. Pt. 1 & 2” is about cause and effect, and the Karmic nature of time. A soundtrack for dreamers and activists, “Fight Am Finish” invokes the spirits of Seshat (ancient Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing) and Ogun (Yoruba Pantheon of industry, technology, and war) as a means to rebuild our world with wisdom. “Fight Am Finish” prepares one for daily battles, offering encouragement to be steadfast in the dreams you have. Upon the start of “Fight Am Finish,” it’s on and get ready to rumble. Don’t ever let go! “Koto” focuses on resilience and how one can overcome any predicament. Upon being evicted from his space the Afro-Spot Temple due to acute gentrification in Williamsburg, Amayo brings to life the sense of falling into a hole and emerging even stronger. 

TRACK LISTING

A1. Amenawon
A2. Lai Lai
A3. MTTT Pt . 1
B1. MTTT Pt . 2 
B2. Fight Am Finish
B3. Koto

Released on the anniversary of her passing, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings' final studio album, Soul of a Woman is a lush, orchestral masterpiece. A true testament to the life and career of Daptone's fearless leader and one of the world's greatest performers.

In the year prior to her death from pancreatic cancer in 2016, Sharon Jones toured and performed tirelessly, and was also the subject of Miss Sharon Jones!, an acclaimed documentary by Oscar-Winning director Barbara Kopple. Yet somehow, the beloved and heroic soul singer found time to complete a studio album. Soul of a Woman features eleven songs which reveal that the emotion, dynamics, and drama of Jones' voice remained at full power until her final days. The songs on Soul Of A Woman exemplify two distinct sides of the band’s sound. Side One showcases grittier, bluesier material like "Matter Of Time" and "Sail On!," giving Sharon the room to flex her vocal prowess and creating a "liveness" that few studio albums posses. Side Two takes on a more sophisticated orchestral mood. Tracks like "When I Saw Your Face" and "These Tears (No Longer For You),” capture a soft vulnerability in Sharon's vocals that draws you deep inside, and yet they remain nuanced with the signature toughness that never allow you to forget she's steering the ship. The finished product is an album that captures a band and a singer at their peak.


TRACK LISTING

1. Master Of Time
2. Sail On!
3. Just Give Me Your Time
4. Come And Be A Winner
5. Rumors
6. Pass Me By
7. Searching For A New Day
8. These Tears (No Longer For You)
9. When I Saw Your Face
10. Call On God

Antibalas

Where The Gods Are In Place

Antibalas’ new studio album, "Where The Gods Are In Peace", is an epic Afro-Western trilogy searching for solace from American political opportunism, greed and vengeance. Through its battle cry of resistance against exploitation and displacement, Antibalas’ long-form compositions investigate oppression in 1800s America that eerily mirror the current state of the country.

Three explosive original arrangements cultivate an urgent call to heal a broken system. Ultimately, the sonic excursion lands on an island where love is our first instinct. A new ideology is born opening our hearts to the possibilities of living as one unified people, where all gods are equal and together we prevail. True to traditional form, "Where The Gods Are In Peace" pays respect to the forefathers of afrobeat with compositions spanning nine to 15 minutes in length.

With a blessing from the Fela Kuti legacy early in the band’s career, Antibalas has long been revered for re-popularizing the classic afrobeat sound while adding their distinct New York City grit to the mix. Influences of punk rock, free jazz, and hip-hop seep into their expansive works to define a truly 21st century translation of the afrobeat genre and beyond.

TRACK LISTING

1: Gold Rush (10:53)
2: Hook & Crook (8:56)
3: Tombstone Pt. 1 (5:11)
4: Tombstone Pt. 2 (5:52)
5: Tombstone Pt. 3 (4:22)

Walker Family Singers

Panola County Spirit

    In April of 2010, Robert, Bobby, Alberta, Delouse, and Patricia gathered at the home of their parents, Raymond and Joella Walker to make a recording with Michael Reilly. It would be Reilly’s third venture to record the a capella gospel tradition of Como, Mississippi for Daptone Records.

    It was during his first recording (The Voices of Panola County: Como Now) that he encountered the Walker family and learned of their great musical tradition. Raymond Walker was courted by both Fred McDowell and Sam Cooke - each asked him to sing behind them on tour. espectfully, Raymond declined, on account that the singers wanted him to sing blues rather than gospel.

    However, it was the Walkers’ voices and not their rich history that captured the attention of Daptone and inspired Reilly’s return to Como to make a full-length record of the Walker family songs. Recorded in their living room, these performances are as deep and stirring as they are unembelished. Take a moment to take in Panola County Spirit, with The Walker Family Singers.


    Soul singer Charles Bradley’s star has been on the rise since the release of his widely praised 2011 debut album 'No Time For Dreaming', and his ascent has continued long after the release of his triumphant second album, 2013’s 'Victim of Love'. Dubbed “The Screaming Eagle of Soul,” the singer will release his third album 'Changes' on April 1, 2016 on Daptone Records imprint Dunham Records.

    The album is named for his popular cover of the Black Sabbath track, previously only available as a Record Store Day 45. “I think about the lyrics very closely when I sing ‘Changes’ and get emotional,” says Bradley. “It makes me think of my mother and the changes in my life since she passed away.”


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Millie says: ‘Changes’ is a beautiful and soulful album that is brimming with passion, creating a swaying jazz sensation. Outstanding style and compelling warmth, definitely a must hear!

    TRACK LISTING

    1. God Bless America
    2. Good To Be Back Home
    3. Nobody But You
    4. Ain't Gonna Give It Up
    5. Changes
    6. Ain't It A Sin
    7. Things We Do For Love
    8. Crazy For Your Love
    9. You Think I Don't Know (But I Know)
    10. Change For The World
    11. Slow Love

    The James Hunter Six

    Hold On!

      James Hunter has been on the scene for enough years to acquire plenty of feathers in his cap. He has earned an international reputation as a rhythm and blues troubadour for his command of the microphone both on stage and in studio. This album, however, is something far deeper than just another notch in his belt. It is truly an artist’s vision come to fruition.

      This may be James Hunter's fourth album, but it is his first Daptone record. Produced by Daptone's own Bosco Mann (Gabriel Roth) at Penrose Recorders (Daptone West) near his home in Riverside, California, ‘Hold On!’ is a perfect portrait of an artist at the top of his game. 

      Though tunes like "(Baby) Hold On," "If That Don't Tell You," and "Stranded" carry the buoyant energy, crackerjack arrangements, and tough soulful pulse for which the band has become renowned, the true treasures of this LP may lie in the deeper grooves. Rumbas, boleros, bossanovas, and easy rockers, each one swinging more than the last: "This Is Where We Came In", "Something's Calling", "A Truer Heart", “Light of My Life”, “In The Dark” - no clichéd throwback nods to a-time-gone-by here.

      These are forever songs crafted with immaculate care and ingenuity, sung with an effortless balance of tenderness and grit. Many will be tempted to describe it as “authentic,” but the word really has no place here. Hunter's words are truly his own and though at moments his voice may "evoke" Ray Charles or Sam Cooke, there lies an inherent naturalness in these songs that bucks any comparison past or present.


      Saun & Starr

      Look Closer

        Following their 2014 breakout single "Hot Shot" - the biggest selling Daptone 45 ever - longtime Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings backing singers, Saundra Williams and Starr Duncan Lowe, (known as Saun & Starr) release their debut full-length album, 'Look Closer'.

        Produced by Gabriel Roth and recorded at the House of Soul in Bushwick, Brooklyn in 2014, 'Look Closer' features 10 tracks including massive hit hit “Hot Shot”. Recorded with the Dap-Kings, the track has that signature Daptone sound: hard hitting drums and those horns that producers far and wide are craving for. Airy and soulful like a summer breeze, these two harmonize and trade vocals throughout. It’s no mistaking that this is a Daptone effort, and Saun & Starr are spot on with their vocals. This is an essential uplifting retro soul gem from the Daptone stable.




        The Budos Band

        Burnt Offering

          The Budos Band return with 'Burnt Offering'; a wild, booze-fueled ride of hazy riffs and take-no-prisoners horn lines that summons the occult - an evolved sound for this mighty 10-piece band sparked by their love of Black Sabbath and Pentagram.

          'Burnt Offering' was recorded live in the studio, engineered and produced by Tom Brenneck, a founding member and guitarist in The Budos Band who runs Dunham Records and Studios. It was written at the band’s longtime Staten Island studio, where they’ve gathered for weekly rehearsals for over fifteen years. The haunting album cover was created by drummer Brian Profilio, a NYC public school art teacher.

          The new album is dripping with the psychedelic sounds of early heavy metal fused with the tight-knit propulsion of Fela Kuti. “The Sticks” kicks off with a snarling riff seamlessly doubled on bass and guitar and unfurls into sludgy breakdowns and searing guitars.


          Charles Bradley

          Victim Of Love

            Since the release of 2011’s award winning debut, 'No Time for Dreaming', Charles Bradley has transformed from a rising star in the Daptone galaxy into a bona-fide headliner, now affectionately known across the globe as The Screaming Eagle of Soul.

            The raw emotion and soulfulness of Bradley's voice lifts him up among the greats of the golden age of soul - Otis, JB, Wilson Pickett, and Darrell Banks. Anyone who has had the privilege of hearing him sing has experienced how Bradley can captivate an entire audience with a simple "Ooooo..."

            Bradley and writer / producer / multi-instrumentalist Thomas “TNT” Brenneck returned to Dunham studios and recorded the most exciting Daptone release to date, 'Victim of Love'. On this album, Bradley moves past his "Heartaches and Pain" to the great promise of hope and love. Though quite at home among the music that has affirmed Daptone as the world’s #1 authority on soul music, 'Victim of Love' proves to be a genre-bending masterpiece, picking up where the early 70s Temptations left off and edging boldly forward into psychedelic soul exploration.


            The Como Mamas

            Get An Understanding

              In 2005, Michael Reilly embarked on a journey down south with the intention to film a documentary about local musicians. Through a series of unexpected yet fortunate events Reilly was led to Como Mississippi, and ultimately to the table of Angela Taylor - where she, her sister Della Daniels, and long time friend Ester Mae Smith performed an a cappella rendition of “Peace of Mind”.

              It was this moment that inspired Michael to return to Como with proper recording equipment, and much like what Alan Lomax had done decades before, document some of the most honest, soulful music to ever be tracked to tape. The first volume of recordings, 2008’s Como Now featured the Como Mamas, as well as several other local groups delivering heart stopping a cappella renditions of songs they cherished. And though the Como Mama’s remained skeptical that anyone would want to hear them singing an entire record of acappella gospel, we at Daptone Records are proud to present Get an Understanding, 13 songs of unadulterated gospel greatness.

              There are only three instruments on this recording: The powerful, raspy voice of Ester Mae Smith, the deep soothing voice of Angela Taylor, and the energetic, spirited vocals of Della Daniels. There are no other musicians on this recording, yet the harmonies the Como Mamas create are so powerful, musical accompaniment is not missed.

              Recorded on a sweltering morning in the humble wood structure that is Mt. Mariah church, this record is sure to mirror that heat throughout your body and soul. Don’t be fooled by the term Gospel for this record will move everyone from the pious Pastor to the staunchest atheist. The Como Mamas believe whole-heartedly that these songs have the power to help and inspire people in their everyday lives. As Della put it “We just want folks to listen and get an understanding.”


              Menahan Street Band

              The Crossing

                'The Crossing' takes you on a cinematic instrumental journey through a nocturnal landscape of moods and emotions, propelled by funky, hip-hop-influenced grooves and dream-like horn and keyboard melodies.

                Despite Menahan Street Band’s deep connections to the Brooklyn soul scene, 'The Crossing' isn’t soul music per se… it’s more like “dark night of the soul” music says MSB main man Thomas Brenneck. “I recorded a lot of it from midnight until the sun came up, all the weird synthesizers and slide guitar,” Brenneck notes. “A lot of it was really moody, just me going slightly out of my head in the middle of the night. And that was the mood I wanted to evoke when people listen to it, to put them in deep thought - your mind should wander into some weird places when you’re listening to this.”

                Recorded over a period of nearly two years, 'The Crossing' is an 11-track sonic testament to the fruitful creative relationship that exists between band: Brenneck, drummer and band co-founder Homer Steinweiss, bassist Nick Movshon, trumpeter Dave Guy and tenor saxophonist Leon Michels. The five members have been playing together in one project or another since the early 2000s, when they were all members of The Dap-Kings. Antibalas keyboardist Victor Axelrod, a former Dap-King himself, played organ on two of the album’s tracks, while The Budos Band’s Mike Deller contributed piano.

                “Originally MSB was just about us wanting to make some music for ourselves that was outside of the tight-knit formula of the music we were playing in the Dap-Kings and Antibalas, and wanting to embrace the fact that we grew up on hip-hop and classic rock,” adds Brenneck. “There’s a discipline that goes into playing Fela’s music, and that goes into playing James Brown music; we love that to death, and we studied it hard in order to be able to play it with any sort of authenticity. But I love Neil Young, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, and we all love Wu-Tang and the early RZA productions as much as we all love Stax and Motown. With MSB, we can really let all these influences show.”

                'The Crossing’'s more mature and expansive sound is also the result of the place where it was recorded. Dunham Sound Studios is the all-analogue recording studio Brenneck built four years ago in Brooklyn with Steinweiss which was funded by a royalty check they received after Jay-Z sampled the title track of Make The Road By Walking for his 2007 hit, “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is…)”.


                Recorded over a two-week period at Daptone’s House of Soul Studios in Brooklyn with Roth at the helm, "Antibalas" is the first Antibalas full-length to be released on Daptone, which - given the band’s deep and long-running ties to the label - brings things kind of full-circle for the band. Antibalas has shared past and present members with several outfits in the Daptone stable (such as Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Menahan Street Band and The Budos Band), while Roth was an original member of the band, and produced the first three Antibalas albums. “Making this record was like going back and playing basketball with all your high school buddies, or something,” says Roth.

                The “family reunion” feeling on Antibalas is further bolstered by the return of original guitarist Luke O’Malley, who contributed “Dirty Money,” the album’s effervescent opening track. “Luke O’Malley has an amazing sense of music,” says tenor saxophonist Stuart Bogie, “and ‘Dirty Money’ is a perfect example of that. But he’s also such a hilarious and inspiring person, who leads with just kind of a blind energy into everything he does. He’s very much a reason why everyone in that room is there.”

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Philippa says: Afro-beat and cinematic funk from Antibalas who join the Daptone label for this LP.

                TRACK LISTING

                Dirty Money 6:15
                The Ratcatcher 8:13
                Him Belly No Go Sweet 6:56
                Ari Degbe 6:44
                Abeji 6:17
                Sáré Kon Kon 8:08

                The Sugarman Three

                What The World Needs Now

                  You know that little something you’ve been missing but can’t quite wrap your noodle around what in the world it could be? This is something of an epidemic here in sunny Bushwick Brooklyn, and if the fan mail and phone calls don’t deceive, which they never do - this is happening worldwide folks. But don’t waste another second pondering this proverbial hole in your soul, because Daptone has the solution.

                  After years of research, 10 to be exact, it came to our attention that everyone’s favorite funky instrumentalists, The Sugarman 3 hadn’t released a new LP in some time. Well, of course!!! How could we have been so neglectful to our fans? Within hours of this epiphany Daptone Brass had the boys back in the studio. With only 8 tape tracks, a handful of peanuts, and a bottle of high proof Dutch Schnapps these gentlemen flexed their musical maturity - writing and tracking the entire album in four days.

                  There were tears shed, and blood spilled over those four fateful sessions, but we’re happy to report that what went down is some of the finest instrumental tunes ever laid to tape. Dig the masterful renditions of favorites such as: The Bacharach penned opus, and title track of the album “What the World Needs Now Is Love” - quite a fitting title considering this record is practically saving the world from incomplete-itis. As well as JJ Jackson’s soul classic “It’s Alright” - and for all you Bean Town enthusiasts, “Dirty Water” by the Standells (take it easy Mr. + Mrs. Know-it-alls, we know they’re from LA). And if that ain’t enough to make you wanna Boogaloo down Troutman St, surely their newly crafted originals will have your tail feathers shakin’ all over.



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