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Ayalew Mesfin

Che Belew (March Forward)

    Ayalew Mesfin stands aside the likes of Mulatu Astake, Mahmoud Ahmed, Hailu Mergia and Alemayehu Eshete as a legend of 1970s Ethiopia. Mesfin’s music is some of the funkiest to arise from this unconquerable East African nation. Mesfin’s recording career, captured in nearly two dozen 7” singles and numerous reel-to-reel tapes, shows the strata of the most fertile decade in Ethiopia’s 20th century recording industry, when records were pressed constantly by both independent upstarts and corporate behemoths, even if they were only distributed within the confines of this East African nation. Though Mesfin was forced underground by the Derg regime that took control of Ethiopia in 1974, he has returned almost 50 years later with this triumphant set albums the first time that his music has been presented in this form. These albums give us a chance to discover a rare and beautiful moment in music history, in anthologies built from Mesfin’s uber-rare 7” single releases and from previously unreleased recordings taken from master tapes. Che Belew gives us a chance to discover a rare & beautiful moment in music history, in an anthology built from his uber-rare 7” single releases. Contains an oversized 11” x 11” 16 page book that tells the story of modern Ethiopian music and Mesfin’s role within it. 

    Ayalew Mesfin

    Good Aderegechegn (Blindsided By Love)

      Ayalew Mesfin stands aside the likes of Mulatu Astake, Mahmoud Ahmed, Hailu Mergia and Alemayehu Eshete as a legend of 1970s Ethiopia. Mesfin’s music is some of the funkiest to arise from this unconquerable East African nation. Mesfin’s recording career, captured in nearly two dozen 7” singles and numerous reel-to-reel tapes, shows the strata of the most fertile decade in Ethiopia’s 20th century recording industry, when records were pressed constantly by both independent upstarts and corporate behemoths, even if they were only distributed within the confines of this East African nation.

      Though Mesfin was forced underground by the Derg regime that took control of Ethiopia in 1974, he has returned almost 50 years later with this triumphant set albums the first time that his music has been presented in this form. These albums give us a chance to discover a rare and beautiful moment in music history, in anthologies built from Mesfin’s uber-rare 7” single releases and from previously unreleased recordings taken from master tapes. Good Aderegechegn gives us a chance to discover a rare & beautiful moment in music history, in an anthology built from his uber-rare 7” single releases. Vinyl Contains an oversized 11” x 11” 16 page book that tells the story of modern Ethiopian music and Mesfin’s role within it

      Amanaz

      Africa

        Back in print for the first time in ages on vinyl. 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 - hard. Amanaz were serious, and they made a serious stab at an album. They titled their album Africa, according to original band member Keith Kabwe, “because of how it was shared and how its inhabitants were butchered and enslaved, its resources stolen… all the atrocities slave drivers committed. “ Thus, their “Kale,” a blues sung in Nyanja, that traced the continent’s arc from slavery to Zambia’s independence closes the album. Kabwe and rhythm guitarist John Kanyepa have a winsome softness to their vocals, which sit politely aside the feral growl of drummer Watson Baldwin Lungu, bassist Jerry Mausala and bandleader/lead guitarist Isaac Mpofu.

        Africa’s vibe ranges from anxious (“Amanaz”) to escapist (“Easy Street”) to straight-up pissed-off. On the “History of Man,” his voice whiskey-burned, his distorted guitar buzzing like swarming hornets, Mpofu indicts his species. There’s a darkness to Africa not found on any other Zamrock records, and a melancholy drifts throughout, specifically on Mpofu’s more restrained “Khala My Friend,” which stands as an effective, bleak situation for the Zambian everyman, the average citizen of a struggling, new nation, who might have had relatives in conflict-torn countries on the horizon, who might have been struggling to find his next meal, who might have seen a bleaker future than his president promised. Then there’s the clear Velvet Underground-influence on the nostalgic “Sunday Morning,” which, as Kabwe recalls, was the first song written for the album, back in 1968, when Velvet Undergound and Nico was a new release - and the underground funk of “Making The Scene.”

        The album also tackles traditional Zambian music and early-‘60s rock – punctuated, of course by Kanyepa’s wah-wah and Mpofu’s fuzz guitars. But every time Amanaz get too deep, too violent, they come back with an accessible song and woo their listener back to the groove. “Green Apple” is a civil song, featuring Kanyepa’s sighing guitar. It is a perfectly arranged album, from the dichotomy of Mpofu’s and Kanyepa’s lead and rhythm guitars, to the vocal harmonies, to the rhythm section’s sense of space and time, which allows Africa’s funk to build. Inexplicably, Africa 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. We’ve presented them both here as they each have their appeal: it’s up to the listener to pick the one he or she prefers. This is a highpoint of the Zamrock scene and we hope that this can be seen as its definitive reissue. 

        Prelúdio is the third album from the thrilling, young Brasilian guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento, and once again it's on Now-Again Records. Produced by Mario Caldato, Jr. and Luther Russell and engineered and mixed by Caldato and Jason Hiller, this album features do Nascimento’s longtime drummer Ricardo “Tiki” Pasillas. It is the first album of solely do Nascimento’s own compositions and, like his previous albums Dança dos Tempos and Tempo dos Mestres, follows folkloric Brasilian music, Brasilian jazz, bossa-nova and samba as experienced through the mind and able fingers of an expansive musician, combing 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.

        Do Nascimento was born into a musical family, from lineage that stretches back to his great-grand-fat her Ladario Teixeira, a blind saxophonist who contributed to the re-creation of the instrument by adding more keys to the older incarnation of the instrument in the early 20th century. He was born in Rio de Janeiro and grew up there and in Sao Paulo, where he found inspiration in his uncle, the late Lúcio Nascimento, bassist and composer in Leny Andrade's band Bom de Três. While he came from a musical pedigree, he’s largely self-taught, largely in the service of an overarching mission to showcase the folkloric music of his home country as he continue to develop possibilities for language of the guitar itself. His studies ramped up after he moved to Los Angeles in 2001. His first champion was Aloe Blacc, who worked with do Nascimento over the years, including his work on his debut album Shine Through for Stones Throw Records. His collaborators now include Madlib, multi-instrumentalist Sam Gandel, Innovative Leisure chanteuse Claude Fontaine and legendary Brasilian percussionist, bandleader, songwriter and catalyst Airto Moreira.

        Moreiera states that Nascimento is "Brazilian but (his mind is) from a place in Brazil that is not common. Fortunately, we still have some musicians who like to play music and who like to touch the instrument and who like that energy! You see, because that’s the most important thing in music. The energy. That’s why I love to play live. And that’s why I’m playing with Fabiano.” The Brazilian guitarist’s third album for Now-Again, featuring 10 original compositions. Shades of Baden Powell, Hermeto Pascoal, Carioca, Tenorio Jr., Rosinha de Valença. Produced by Luther Russell and Mario C. Featuring Ricardo “Tiki” Pasillas.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Patrick says: I have my good friend and musical mentor Jason Boardman to thank for tipping me on Fabiano Do Nascimento when his first LP landed. Now on his third LP his emotive, rhythmic and expressive playing has somehow matured and intensified. A gorgeous LP.

        JB's

        These Are The JB's

          First Ever CD Issue For This Recording From James Brown’s Backing Band: The Bootsy Collins-lead JB’s. This album is the Rosetta Stone of funk’s dominant idioms, yet its existence has barely been a rumor. In 1970 James Brown perfectly captured a definitive moment in modern music when he ordered Bootsy Collins into the studio to record the tracks that would be test pressed on King Records as These Are The J.B.’s. 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. And if there is any funk ensemble as influential as Brown’s, in the post-“Cold Sweat” musical landscape, it’s the 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 pre-dates their obscure but important work as the Houseguests ensemble and embodies the essence of the psychedelic-flavored music that would propel them into the orbit of George Clinton and his mothership, where they poked cosmic holes in funk’s polyrhythmic ozone layer in the mid-1970s. There are only two extant copies of the original King Records test press LP of These Are The J.B.’s.

          The first commercial issue of this album, was overseen by Now-Again’s Egon 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.

          Oneness Of Juju

          Chapter Two : Nia

            Limited edition, one time pressing. Essential Spiritual Jazz originally issued on the lauded Strata-East label. Magical, mystical, Afrocentric, progressive – words that could be used to describe any number of musical compositions by Sun Ra or his cosmic brothers and sisters, from John to Alice Coltrane, early ‘70s projects on record labels like Detroit’s Tribe or Houston’s Lightin’ or the interests of one Washington, DC native named Jimmy Gray that centered under one, perfect moniker: Black Fire. Gray spent nearly three decades pushing boundaries as a Black American promoter, distributor and, finally, record label owner. Together with Oneness of Juju’s leader James “Plunky Nkabinde “ Branch, Gray oversaw sixteen releases on Black Fire Records between 1975 and 1996. These are the definitive reissues of five of the label’s key titles; all were lacquered – most directly from master tape - by legendary Los Angeles mastering engineer Bernie Grundman, With this set, Oneness Of Juju and Black Fire’s story burns forth into its fifth decade, its message not tempered, its sound pure. It’s cycle, once again, complete. Each release is packaged in a thick, tip-on sleeve and includes a deluxe booklet with extensive notes on the album, the Black Fire collective, and the musical and cultural revolution they created

            Oneness Of Juju

            African Rhythms

              Oneness of Juju’s Debut. Magical, mystical, Afrocentric, progressive words that could be used to describe any number of musical compositions by Sun Ra or his cosmic brothers and sisters, from John to Alice Coltrane, early ‘70s projects on record labels like Detroit’s Tribe or Houston’s Lightin’ or the interests of one Washington, DC native named Jimmy Gray that centered under one, perfect moniker: Black Fire. Gray spent nearly three decades pushing boundaries as a Black American promoter, distributor and, finally, record label owner. Together with Oneness of Juju’s leader James “Plunky Nkabinde “ Branch, Gray oversaw sixteen releases on Black Fire Records between 1975 and 1996. These are the definitive reissues of five of the label’s key titles; all were lacquered – most directly from master tape - by legendary Los Angeles mastering engineer Bernie Grundman, With this set, Oneness Of Juju and Black Fire’s story burns forth into its fifth decade, its message not tempered, its sound pure. It’s cycle, once again, complete. Each release is packaged in a thick, tip-on sleeve and includes a deluxe booklet with extensive notes on the album, the Black Fire collective, and the musical and cultural revolution they created. Limited edition, one time pressing.

              Oneness Of Juju

              Space Jungle Luv

                Oneness of Juju’s Cosmic Second Album. Featuring Joe Bonner. Magical, mystical, Afrocentric, progressive – words that could be used to describe any number of musical compositions by Sun Ra or his cosmic brothers and sisters, from John to Alice Coltrane, early ‘70s projects on record labels like Detroit’s Tribe or Houston’s Lightin’ or the interests of one Washington, DC native named Jimmy Gray that centered under one, perfect moniker: Black Fire. Gray spent nearly three decades pushing boundaries as a Black American promoter, distributor and, finally, record label owner. Together with Oneness of Juju’s leader James “Plunky Nkabinde “ Branch, Gray oversaw sixteen releases on Black Fire Records between 1975 and 1996. These are the definitive reissues of five of the label’s key titles; all were lacquered – most directly from master tape - by legendary Los Angeles mastering engineer Bernie Grundman, With this set, Oneness Of Juju and Black Fire’s story burns forth into its fifth decade, its message not tempered, its sound pure. It’s cycle, once again, complete. Each release is packaged in a thick, tip-on sleeve and includes a deluxe booklet with extensive notes on the album, the Black Fire collective, and the musical and cultural revolution they created. Limited edition, one time pressing.

                The re-discovered third album by India’s best known psychedelic-rock ensemble, presented in its entirety. The companion piece to Atomic Forest anthology "Obsession". Covers of Deodato, Stevie Wonder and “Spectrum,” the heaviest Indian psych-funk jam unearthed to date. Over the course of four years, culminating in 2011, Now-Again Records assembled the Atomic Forest anthology "Obsession", which delved into and told the story of India’s 70s rock underground and this psychedelic ensemble’s story. At the time they issued "Obsession", they were not aware of the third album that the Atomic Forest had recorded, issued under Kanga’s name as "Disco Roar".

                'That Disco Roar album was the first time we were doing anything like that. It was the first thing we did. It progressed into the "Hit Film Themes" album. Then these guys came with more commercial potential songs (which became "Obsession ’77"). But originally it was just a band, the live performances that we did, that made us very popular, these simple songs,' guitarist Abraham Mammen recalls. Atomic Forest’s story stands in for the untold stories of many of India’s underground bands, bands remembered vividly by those who witnessed their performances, bands that often homemade, cassette recordings – that have been lost to time. Mammen, now a traveling preacher splitting his time between India and the United States, reflects on the unlikely reissue of the Atomic Forest’s recordings: 'What’s left of the Atomic Forest? It’s just like smoke: smoke on the water.’ With the release of Disco Roar, that smoke keeps rising.


                "Earth Rot" is visionary composer / arranger / producer David Axelrod’s third album, and the last of his Capitol trilogy. Recorded as a concept album about the decrepit state of the environment in 1970 Los Angeles, and scheduled for release on the first Earth Day, it features choral vocals and marks a departure for Axelrod’s signature sound, which would take on a jazzier feel in the 1970s. This definitive version of "Earth Rot", overseen by Now-Again’s Eothen Alapatt in conjunction with Axelrod’s estate is an audiophile reissue, with the vocal version lacquered directly from Axelrod’s original master tapes at Capitol Records by Ron McMaster. The master was approved by Axelrod’s son Michael, who adapted ancient lyrics for the album in one of three collaborative projects he did with his father. Contains a 28 page booklet that delves into Axelrod’s incredible life and music, replete with never before published photos and an interview. “There are very few people who see the Grand Picture of the Universe and understand the Nothingness that it all comes from. There are even fewer who can express these ideas through music - David could do it all.” T-Ray. 

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                LP Info: Comes Packaged In A Gatefold Jacket With A 28-Page Booklet!

                Gaslamp Killer

                Helio X GLK

                Repressed for the first time in years!! Gaslamp Killer chops, edits, echos and scratches The Heliocentrics in two parts. Limited to 1000 pieces. 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. Asked for some backstory to this project, GLK wrote: 'In 2008 (Stones Throw art director) Jeff Jank asked me to make a Heliocentrics podcast for Stones Throw to help promote the guys first album. It was one of my most fun & unique mixes. Here we are five years later in 2013 and 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 and 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 X GLK to the world. My chopped up / re-edited madness from the band they call The Heliocentrics!'

                David Axelrod

                Songs Of Experience

                  “Songs of Experience was supposed to have a different feel than Song of Innocence. You see, music is a great outlet. And regardless of what the titles say, and as close as I wanted it to be to William Blake, what was going on in my life took precedence.” – David Axelrod. Songs of Experience is visionary composer/arranger/producer David Axelrod’s second album; it was recorded after the death of his beloved son Scott. Experience is an ominous affair, an album concerned with mortality and spirituality – the solitary, pastoral musings of William Blake set to the urban bombast of a full Los Angeles orchestra, with Wrecking Crew vets grounding the proceedings with dark funk.

                  This is the next Now-Again issue in a series of reissues centered around Axelrod’s Capitol Trilogy – Song of Innocence, Songs of Experience and Earth Rot – which will see release through 2018. LP Contains oversized, 28 page booklet that delves into Axelrod’s incredible life and music, replete with never before published photos and an interview with Axelrod by Eothen Alapatt and Wax Poetics’ Brian Digenti. (CD 32 page booklet) “There are very few people who see the Grand Picture of the Universe and understand the Nothingness that it all comes from. There are even fewer who can express these ideas through music - David could do it all.” 

                  This is the first Now-Again issue in a series of reissues centered around Axelrod’s Capitol Trilogy – "Song of Innocence", "Songs of Experience" and "Earth Rot" – which will see release through 2018. This audiophile reissue was transferred directly from Axelrod’s original EQ’ed master tapes at Capitol Records by Ron McMaster. Axelrod’s debut, and a ‘60s masterpiece.

                  Celebrated as psychedelic, the birth of jazz-fusion, the harbinger of hip-hop, "Song of Innocence" is a hybrid that no one, not even Axelrod himself, could describe. Grounded by Wrecking Crew vets Earl Palmer and Carol Kaye’s funk, torn between the juxtaposition of musical elements, put at ease, Axelrod’s sweeping arrangements, which utilize brass and strings in a way that no one of his era did. It’s both violent and sublime. LP/CD Contains 28 page booklet that delves into Axelrod’s incredible life and music, replete with never before published photos and an interview with Axelrod by Eothen Alapatt and Wax Poetics’ Brian Digenti. 

                  Hunger

                  Strictly From Hunger

                    The latest release in Now-Again’s Reserve Series is Hunger – Strictly From Hunger: the band’s preferred version of the album, unedited, fuzz-guitar heavy late 60s psych-rock, restored and remastered from a rare test press. The CD is presented as a triple disc issue – packed with bonus material and a 31 page booklet filled with rare photos and liner notes by Clark Faville, Eothen Alapatt & Jim Cherry. Hunger arrived in L.A. from Portland in late 1967 as the Outcasts, a teenage cover band, but within a six months they had signed with a connected manager, played all over Los Angeles, embraced psychedelia and signed on to record an album of original music for the label their manager founded for them: Public! Records.

                    They showed tremendous promise – and their producers invested heavily into a band that was going to be the next marquee act at the Whiskey A Go-Go, bringing in members of Strawberry Alarm Clock, including future Lynyrd Skynyrd star Ed King, to produce an album. But Hunger broke up before their album’s release and their entry in rock’s canon was shadowed for years. This is the definitive Reserve Edition reissue of a late ‘60s psych–rock classic, overseen by Hunger’s band members John Morton, Steve Hansen and Mike Lane: the band’s preferred, unedited, fuzz-guitar heavy version of the album, restored and remastered from a rare test press. This is the first time that band’s vision for the album has been issued in full on vinyl. Contains an extensive booklet by Jim Cherry, Eothen Alapatt and Clark Faville that corrects many factual inaccuracies told over the record’s celebrated past three decades as one of rock’s holy grails. The booklet is filled with never-published photos from lead guitarist John Morton’s archive. Here’s an example of what’s in store – the full version of “Open Your Eyes” featuring Ed King’s lead guitar lines – all but absent on the Public! Records issue – and nearly double the length of the issued version!

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.


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