Fans of authentic West African Afrobeat should be delighted with the arrival of the first digital age retrospective of Geraldo Pino 's super-funky Afro soul recordings from the 60s and 70s neatly compiled on the aptly named Heavy Heavy Heavy (RetroAfric) disc. Although James Brown-influenced get-downs of the charismatic bandleader from Sierra Leone might not be known outside collectors' circles, his banging black power anthems were an ass-kicking inspiration for the young Fela Kuti, who was still doing jazzy highlife songs about food when Pino's posse first roared through Lagos, sending Kuti to look for work in Ghana instead. Recalled Kuti, "After seeing Pino, I knew I had to get my shit together. And quick." You'll know why when you hear the title track.
It's a Wu Tang thang
The Wu Tang Clan have always had a different take on hiphop, so it only follows that their version of a mixtape wouldn't be your typical assortment of unreleased tracks and remixes. Oh, no. Think Differently Music (Babygrande) features unlikely collabos between Wu Tang members and the best of the hiphop underground, bringing together the Rza and MF Doom , Gza and Rass Kass , U-God and C-Rayz Walz and others, along with some intriguing "what if" pairings of J-Live and R.A. the Rugged Man , Aesop Rock and Del , Planet Asia and Littles with adventurous backing tracks to match. Instead of the usual phoned-in interludes, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch drops science on the creative process set to loops sampled from the Down By Law soundtrack. Crazy.
It's now 15 years since the Norton label originally released Peanut Butter Rock and Roll and Moon Over Madison, two amazing collections of the late hillbilly hotshot Hasil Adkins 's brilliantly bent home recordings from the 50s and 60s. So it's about time they finally got around to reissuing them on disc, with four bonus tracks apiece, illustrated with some interesting "Thanks, but no thanks" letters from country music stars of the day (Johnny Cash, Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, etc) who apparently had no use for the songs about decapitations and commodity meat he pitched them. While Peanut Butter Rock and Roll focuses on Haze's recklessly hunchin' sides, Moon Over Madison finds our man in a more reflective mood, howling a haunting set of bluesy late-night country ballads not unlike a hungover Hank Sr. As Adkins wisely noted, "A man can't make it just on dance music. He's got to have love songs, too." Word.