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LUAKA BOP

Pastor Champion

I Just Want To Be A Good Man

    This album is a tribute to Pastor Wylie Champion, who died while we were in the process of releasing this, his first record, and his wife, Mother Champion, who died a few months earlier.

    We met Pastor Champion a few years ago while we were putting together another release, The Time for Peace Is Now: Gospel Music About Us. We found him in a collection of YouTube videos from the 37th Street Baptist Church in Oakland, California, put together by the pastor there, Bishop Dr. W.C. McClinton. There was quite a lot of talent in those videos, and among them was Pastor Champion whom we liked so much that we decided to make a record with him.

    Pastor Champion wasn’t like any other pastor you’ve ever met. As an itinerant preacher, a carpenter, and a father of five, he made a name for himself traveling up and down the California coast with his electric guitar. He travelled alone and he played alone, well into his seventies. The easiest way to describe him would be as an outsider gospel artist. Other than these bare facts, we never learned much about him—except that he was also the brother of the well-known soul singer Bettye Swann. In fact, most of what we knew about him we got from his sister’s Wikipedia page.

    We decided that because we met Champion through the 37th Street Baptist Church, we would record him there too. We recorded him live on a two-track Nagra reel to reel, as we wanted the album to be analog in the style of traditional gospel recordings. Over the course of two evenings (when the workday was done), Champion taught his band—musicians who had never played together before—a handful of songs, a small selection of the nearly 2,000 fragments of songs and sermons that he regularly performed. We listened in as they all got more familiar with the material and each other over time.

    At some point, we mentioned to Champion that he would have to be interviewed by someone to write notes for the album. He wasn’t too pleased with this idea, saying he’d had a hard life and he didn’t want to talk about it. Over the next few months, we kept asking Champion to talk to someone about his life. He told us that he didn’t want to talk about growing up in Louisiana, his mother being accosted by the Klan, or that his father was a gambler. He didn’t want to talk about being jailed for 90 days for using a whites only bathroom, being in gangs or having a street name. We told him that was fine—he could talk about what he wanted to talk about. And he told us that he didn’t want to talk about anything.

    You know, there are times when you make a record where it’s already made in your mind before you start. But then in the end, the record you thought you were making is not the record you made. We spent years puzzling over this one, trying to figure out what it was saying, who it was for, and how to get people to pay attention to it.

    But Champion knew that this record wasn’t going to be for everyone. He didn’t really care. The important part for him was just getting the message out there in the same way that he always had, travelling alone with his electric guitar. “I want to say what I mean,” he said, “be practical, precise, to the point, and, at the same time, diplomatic.” In other words, he just wanted to be a good man.

    God bless Pastor Champion and Mother Champion, peace be with them and their family. Love to all

    TRACK LISTING

    01 / A1. Intro
    02 / A2. I Know That You’ve Been Wounded (Church Hurt)
    03 / A3. He’ll Make A Way (Trust In The Lord)
    04 / A4. Talk To God
    05 / A5. In The Name Of Jesus (everytime)
    06 / B1. To Be Used By You (I Want To Be A Good Man)
    07 / B2. Who Do Men Say I Am?
    08 / B3. Storm Of Life (Stand By Me)
    09 / B4. In The Service Of The Lord
    10 / B5. I Just Want To Be A Good Man (To Be Used By You) 

    Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra

    Promises

    All formats come with a free Piccadilly Records EOY Sampler CD whilst stocks last.

    Promises is the result of three distinct musical worlds colliding. Pharoah Sanders’ jazz improvisation and Flo Po’s twinkling electronics are layered over the string section of the LSO, bound together by a loose symphonic structure. These are textures that rarely sit together in a single composition, yet somehow they seamlessly knit into a cohesive whole. It’s quite a feat, one that could only be pulled off by artists as accomplished as these.

    The entire album revolves around a recurring phrase played by Sam Shepherd on the piano, harpsichord and celesta. This phrase becomes the central pulse around which the other textures float, suspended in the space inbetween. The loose tempo allows for the improvised saxophone passages to flow freely and for Pharaoh to lean into the most tender moments of his performance.

    At the beginning of the album the string section gradually emerges like a delicate silver thread before building through a series of sweeping chord progressions and moments of bittersweet dissonance. This leads into the third movement where Sam Shephard’s deft synth arrangement becomes the focal point. And later on we hear a hushed vocal performance from Pharoah. It’s one of the most touching moments of the album, with years of lived experience seeping through every crack and bend of his voice in a captivating way.

    Promises is an album of subtle expression which invokes a feeling of boundlessness. It’s a wide open sonic space where each note is allowed to resonate to its full conclusion. There’s a constant feeling of push and pull, of tension and release, though it never really resolves fully. Something is always left hanging in the air - a question, a prayer, an inexplicable feeling. It’s perhaps one of the most surprising and profound releases of the year. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: A beautiful orchestral piece that while both resplendent with FP's and PS's wonderful idiosyncrasies; recalls the gorgeous depth of Prefab Sprout's "I Trawl The Megahertz" but without the vocal parts! Epic!

    TRACK LISTING

    Side 1
    1. Promises (Movement 1) (1:16)
    2. Promises (Movement 2) (3:56)
    3. Promises (Movement 3) (3:16)
    4. Promises (Movement 4) (3:39)
    5. Promises (Movement 5) (6:06)

    Side 2
    1. Promises (Movement 6) (8:25)
    2. Promises (Movement 7) (3:26)
    3. Promises (Movement 8) (9:57)
    4. Promises (Movement 9) (5:43)

    Various Artists

    Brazil Classics

      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2019 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

      30 year anniversary box seT of David byrne’s legendary brazil Classics series. This is one of the first compilations of pop music from Brazil, and one of the most important compilations of music from anywhere. It became the beginning of a shift to music in other languages and from places other than where you are now. And, it was the beginning of Luaka Bop, which we are pretty happy about. New sleeve notes from David Byrne!

      William Onyeabor

      Tomorrow

      William Onyeabor was born outside Enugu, a small, rural town in Eastern Nigeria, he created his own genre of African electronic funk in the late 70s and early 80s, making music completely unique for his time. Today, he is reaching cult status among a growing list of admirers, including everyone from Damon Albarn and Hot Chip to Carl Craig and Madlib, with some likening him to the Kraftwerk of West Africa, or a precursor to LCD Soundsystem.

      Among the crate-digging few that knew of him, he is considered a complete myth. While he has never performed live and almost never given interviews, his fantastical biography is scattered and has to this day not been verified. And, though he is still alive, he refuses to speak about anything regarding the past.

      According to various rumors, he left home following the Biafran War and went to study cinematography in the Soviet Union, returning in the mid-70s to start his own film company and record label, Wilfilms. He then self-released eight remarkable records from 1978-1985. He wrote and produced everything on his own, and possibly played every instrument himself. Then, at some point of his life, he became born again and denounced his earlier music, deciding it is something he would never speak about.


      TRACK LISTING

      A1. Tomorrow
      A2. Why Go To War
      B1. Love Me Now
      B2. Fantastic Man
      B3. Try And Try

      William Onyeabor

      World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor?

      THE PICCADILLY RECORDS REISSUE/COLLECTION OF THE YEAR 2013.

      Through its World Psychedelic Classics series, Luaka Bop has succeeded at introducing long-forgotten artists including Os Mutantes, Shuggie Otis and Tim Maia to the world at large. William Onyeabor is as obscure as these other artists were before their Luaka Bop releases, although his recordings from the 70s and 80s are beloved by die-hard record collectors and artists such as Damon Albarn, Devendra Banhart, Four Tet and Caribou, to name a few. The music ranges from synth-heavy electronic dance music to Afrosoul with saxophones and female backup singers, to psychedelic funk with wah-wah guitar and fuzzy keyboards - and often combines all of these elements.

      'Who Is William Onyeabor?' may be the most complicated, if also one of the richest, undertakings in Luaka Bop's (rarely straightforward) 25-year history. Following the eight albums Onyeabor self-released between 1978 and 1985, he became a Born-Again Christian, refusing ever to speak about himself or his music again. Various biographies can be found online. Some say he studied cinematography in the Soviet Union and returned to Nigeria in the mid-70s to start his own film company, Wilfilms. Some say he was a lawyer with a degree from a university in Great Britain. Others portray him as a businessman who for years worked on government contracts in Enugu, Nigeria.

      By attempting to speak with Onyeabor himself, and by talking to people who seem to have firsthand knowledge, Luaka Bop has been trying to construct an accurate biography of him for the past 18 months...without success.

      One thing that's undisputable is that Onyeabor's music is utterly unique and ahead of its time.

      The vinyl release comprises 13 tracks spanning Onyeabor's body of work and will include artwork by John Akomfrah, Njideka Akunyili, Harrison Haynes, Dave Muller, Odili Donald Odita and Xaviera Simmons. 

      "The world might just be better off not hearing [Onyeabor's "Atomic Bomb"], which will burrow and propagate its seed exponentially by the second, into the hearts and souls of all humanity. It's the catchiest song I've ever heard; when it gets in my brain, I can't sleep...He's a mythical character from Nigeria." - Devendra Banhart in Uncut

      "Anyone out there who is making music at the moment...will be quite excited by this..." - Damon Albarn on BBC Radio One

      "LCD Soundsystem sounds like an American William Onyeabor." - Peaking Lights

      "Talked to Luaka Bop about details of the William Onyeabor comp they are working on... Gonna blow minds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" - Four Tet

      "People are really going to freak out!" - Caribou

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Body And Soul
      2. Atomic Bomb
      3. Good Name
      4. Something You Will Never Forget
      5. Why Go To Ware
      6. Love Is Blind
      7. Heaven And Hell
      8. Let’s Fall In Love
      9. Fantastic Man

      LP EXCLUSIVES – NOT AVAILABLE ON CD OR DIGITALLY:
      10. When The Going Is Smooth & Good
      11. The Way To Win Your Love
      12. Jungle Gods
      13. Love Me Now

      Os Mutantes

      Live At The Barbican

        In terms of their status and influence Os Mutantes are often referred to as the Brazilian Beatles. How did 60s Brazil produce the wildest, most psychedelic rock'n'roll group of them all? And why, three decades on, has the rest of the world gone crazy over them? Kurt Cobain, Beck, Super Furry Animals, The Bees and David Byrne are just a few of the musicians that have flown the flag for Os Mutantes. Against all odds, in May 2006 the band reunited for the first time in over 30 years for a euphoric show at the Barbican's Tropicalia Festival. The recording of this historic concert, with special guests Devendra Banhart and Noah Georgeson, is now released on CD and DVD. The live album features the best-loved tracks of this legendary group and the full-length DVD includes the entire Barbican concert plus documentary, backstage footage, video clips and photos.


        Happy Saturday everyone 🙌 https://t.co/KL1FeNcZ4F OPEN 10 - 6 https://t.co/lEcV4lS6NV
        Sat 29th - 9:42
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