Among the hottest bands on the psych scene at the moment are San Francisco's dementedly drony Wooden Shjips, whose limited 10-inch EP giveaway from earlier this year is already trading hands for three figures.
Thoughtfully enough, Wooden Shjips have included a six-track bonus CD with initial copies of their self-titled debut album for Holy Mountain covering the best songs from their sought-after vinyl EP and the Dance, California single issued on their own Sick Thirst label. The free disc is well worth tracking down since trance-inducing bashers like Space Clothes, Death's Not Your Friend and Shrinking Moon For You are actually better than the cleaner, more sober stuff on their album. Grab the Shjips' dope new Loose Lips single for Sub Pop before the dealers do. www.holymountain.com
Verve Ramping up
It's taken a few years, but Verve is finally getting around to recirculating some of the dance-floor-oriented recordings from the 70s in much the same way (digipak-style packages using the original sleeve art) as it's handled its jazz classics from the 50s and 60s.
But sadly, the long-overdue reissue of the enjoyably funky Roy Ayers-produced RAMP album Come Into Knowledge comes without bonus tracks. Nor are there any additional photos or liner notes to explain how the album came to be recorded for Blue Thumb and what became of the Cincinnati musicians behind it. And you'd need a microscope to read the original LP info shrunk down to fit the CD sleeve format.
Slightly better is the reissue of the hard-bumpin' Roy Ayers Ubiquity album Lifeline, which adds the extended 12-inch mix of Running Away. How difficult could it be to get Ayers on the phone to discuss his influential work? www.royayers.com
Ro Dolla on the rise
Black Jays and Big Black Lincoln crew member Ro Dolla, who has produced tracks for Redman, Kurupt, Frank N Dank and others, is readying his North Hollywood disc. But why wait until the December 4 drop date when you can get a sneak preview on North Hollywood: The Mixtape? The wide range of production concepts involved - from straight-up gangsta biz to down-tempo soul to heavy metal blowouts with a sick Dilla beat and some crazy guest drops along the way - leave it unclear what Ro Dolla might have planned for his Needillworks/Universal album. Then again, the mixtape is probably to meant to show off as many looks as possible just to keep curious headz guessing. www.myspace.com/rodolla1