DJ EGON spinning as part of UPROC with JOHN KUMAHARA, DJ SERIOUS, Mike K and DJ KOLA at Una Mas (422 Adelaide West), tonight (Thursday, July 26). $10. alok@ kolakube.com
DJ Peanut Butter Wolf gets much of the credit for the adventurous hiphop and cool funk obscurities released on his Stones Throw label, but the crate-digging soul of the operation is really Eothen "Egon" Alapatt.
It's Egon's detective-like diligence in uncovering rare singles and tracking down the long-lost artists behind them -- like Indiana's Highlighters -- that's setting a new ethical standard for reissuing funk music, where quick and dirty bootlegs have been the rule. In the process, Egon has amassed a sprawling collection of 7-inch dance-floor bombs that he's been dropping in clubs with increased frequency lately as people discover it's him, not the Wolf, who has the dope discs.
"For years," explains Egon, putting in another late night at Stones Throw's L.A. office, "the people dealing and collecting funk music who have searched out the original musicians -- usually just to get their records -- hoarded the information they gathered, bootlegged the music and rode on the coattails of these great musicians.
"Since I started tracking them down myself and writing articles about them, I've tried to make some changes. I'd much rather be someone documenting their amazing accomplishments than a glory hog. It's one thing to play a cool record in a club and another thing to have actually recorded that thing in 68.
"Some of the musicians whose records I've reissued have since died. I'm glad they got at least a bit of recognition while they were living so they could know they weren't forgotten and that music they made 40 years before really was a big deal after all."