Ever since hearing Keb Darge drop the delightfully disco-twerked funk bomb Wake Up People by Heem the Music Monsters , I've been on the hunt for that elusive Philadelphia 7-inch with the stylishly gruesome Blood Leaf label design. Good luck, right? Well, happily, the search is over, since Jazzman just reissued the insanely rare joint as a 12-inch EP boasting a club-ready extended version of Wake Up People along with the original and the non-throwaway B-side, Piece Of The Rock. Yes! Coincidently, Soul Jazz is also feeling the Brotherly Love and just put out a stellar Philly scene survey that avoids the obvious TSOP hits in favour of choice burners like Frankie Beverly 's pre- Maze classic Love (Your Pain Goes Deep), Howard Tate 's Glad I Knew Better and Nat Turner 's You Are My Sun Sign. Super soul sweetness.
Revenge of the Upsetter
One particularly odd quirk of 70s reggae culture was the surprising influence of spaghetti western cinema, particularly the films of Sergio Leone , Duccio Tessari , Sergio Corbucci and Giulio Petroni . Rather than the accompanying scores, it was the violent imagery, underlying themes of honour and vengeance, choice dialogue and the whole outlaw mystique that resonated within the Jamaican music scene. The astutely compiled Trojan disc The Big Gundown presents an insightful overview of the subgenre's high points, from the Upsetters ' Return Of Django to King Stitt 's Lee Van Cleef and Joe White 's They Call Me Trinity. It's a fascinating ride.
Now that most, if not all, of Fela Kuti 's recorded riches have been plundered for reissue and opportunistic archivists are already looking outside of Nigeria for Afrobeatish alternatives, Honest Jons has shrewdly begun digging up the music Fela produced for his Africa 70 bandmates, like the grinding two-track Low Profile (Kalakuta) LP by baritone saxophonist Lekan Animashaun and the explosive Mr. Big Mouth (Afrodesia) session led by trumpeter Tunde Williams . Since both were cut with the full Africa 70 orchestra and Fela can't help but add sax blasts and keyboard runs, they're virtually indistinguishable from Kuti's own peak-period killers. Kudos for the dope repro covers.