Darge does disco
The idea of UK deep funk don Keb Darge assembling a collection of vintage New York disco joints would've seemed like a ridiculous notion just a few years ago, but since Darge dropped that surprisingly tight rockabilly mix, anything is possible.
True to his obscure-is-best aesthetic, the scrounging ace applies his advanced plundering skills to the P&P label archives of Patrick Adams and Peter Brown and comes up with a load of rough-cut gems for the double disc Keb Darge Digs For... P&P Records (Suss'd). Harder, raunchier and tougher than the more familiar club standards of the Studio 54 era, these super-funky beneath-the-underground soul tracks by Sons of Darkness, Wild Honey, Mary Clarke, Eddie Owen, Rudy Stewart, Smokey Brooks, Ella Hamilton and others are strong enough to turn even disco haters into disco lovers. www.deepfunk.org
Missing Pieces found!
Before becoming the Twinight label house band, Chicago-based Pieces of Peace members played on some of the most memorable Windy City soul tunes of the 60s without credit. Remember Soulful Strut? Well, that wasn't the Young-Holt Unlimited who cut it. That was the Pieces of Peace, who later played on Syl Johnson's classic Is It Because I'm Black album.
Their lone album session, originally recorded in 1972 for the Pharaoh's Scarab label, was shelved when the group dissolved after a gruelling six-month tour of Asia, and only now has the album surfaced on the Cali-Tex subsidiary of Quannum Projects. The self-titled release is a psych-funk corker that sounds like the missing link between the sweet side of Chi-town soul and the spiritual jazz of the Pharoahs and Phil Cohran's bands. Vinyl junkies should note that those 1,000 copies of the reissue LP will soon be gone. www.quannum.com
Freaks for all
The Finders Keepers crew have put together a state-of-psychedelic-folk sampler called A Kind Of Awe And Reverence And Wonder (Twisted Nerve) to spotlight the more interesting contemporary groups building on the hippie-trippy sounds of ye olde progressive rock, acid folk and Eastern-tinged psych.
Since most of this hairy horde only poke their heads out of their hollow trees to gather smokable herbs, names like Samandtheplants, Magpahi, Lispector, Asteroid Power-up! and Booger Red aren't household names, although you'll definitely be hearing more from Voice of the Seven Woods, whose If Luck Could Kill is a standout.
In fact, Seven Woodsmen Rick Tomlinson, Chris Walmsley and Pete Headley have a wonderfully hypnotic self-titled instrumental album out on Twisted Nerve, as well as a more rhythm-conscious 10-inch of Holy Harbour b/w Sailing To Byzantium. If you're really keen, there's also a snazzy 7-inch of Kafamdaki Yangin (The Fire In My Head) b/w Karanlik Nehir issued under their Turkish alias Yedi Ormanin Sesi on Finders Keepers using a faux Yonca label design. Nice touch. www.twistednerve.co.uk