Far be it from me to celebrate the illicit activity of bootleggers, but if no one else can be bothered to search out the funkiest club joints Serge Gainsbourg recorded for film soundtracks during the 70s and compile them all on a single vinyl LP, there's bound to be some enterprising reissue specialist who will. That's why those plain black-sleeve copies of Les Sélections Du Cinéma De Gainsbourg on the Smoke Disque label - with the killer tracks Psychasténie, Cadavres En Série, No No Yes Yes and the fabulous La Horse - have recently been making the rounds, to the delight of DJs everywhere. You don't even want to know what the originals would set you back.
Anyone who thinks the Beastie Boys have a hot percussionist in Eric Bobo really needs to check the pounding legacy of his old man, Willie Bobo . A good place to start is the just-released alternate takes of his grade-A floorshakers Broasted Or Fried and Soul Foo Young (recorded in 72 with Victor Pantoja and Reggie Andrews), put out by the Now Again division of the Stones Throw label, with stylish sleeve pics scooped from the Bobo family archive. Ace.
Lost vibes recovered
The Smithsonian Folkways label is primarily known for releasing rural blues, backwoods folk and unruly zydeco, but during the late 60s and early 70s it also documented some exciting off-the-beaten-path jazz sessions. One such venture was the East New York Ensemble de Music 's vibes-heavy Afro-Indo jazz getdown At The Helm, recorded in 74. Imagine Lennie Hibbert hooking up with the Strata East crew for a Bed-Stuy loft jam and you'll get an idea why this has long been a sought-after piece for jazz DJs who like it deep. Thankfully, Chicago's Ikef Records saw fit to rescue this amazing work from obscurity after 30 years.
Perverting the Fall
I've always thought the Fall's music sounds better when it's sung in German, so it's perfectly fitting that the two-disc Fall tribute Perverted By Mark E. (ZickZack) should be put together by knuckleheads in Darmstadt's Woog Riots . It's definitely not a typically reverential salute, as some of the covers contributed are clearly piss-takes and the numbers written about the group tend to recall the less than heroic moments in the Fall's sordid history. Toronto's own Barcelona Pavilion get busy on C.R.E.E.P. - your joke here - while the Creeping Nobodies rustle up a fine version of the Rough Trade-era track Wings. Barbara Manning , Preston School of Industry , Jeffrey Lewis and Chris Cacavas also get their shots in, but what about the Two Koreas ?