Delay's big score
This month's pure dumb luck award goes to Brooklyn mix master Doc Delay, aka Tom Thumz, for his hip-hop mashup Eastern Block Party CD, which enhances classic cuts by JVC Force, Kool G. Rap and others with grooves lifted from psych and prog LPs recorded in the 70s on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain.
While most remix producers clued to the break treasures of Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia spend large amounts of time and money tracking down the original artifacts in leaky basements of cutthroat European record dealers, Delay just happened to mention his interest in this music while getting a trim at Alina's Cut & Style. Polish owner Alina recalled that her husband had loads of those records collecting dust at home, so when our man returned for a subsequent appointment, two boxes of rare LPs were waiting for him.
Delay wasted no time in strip-mining the dopest breaks for Eastern Block Party, but because he doesn't know Sarolta from shinola, there's no track list or biographical notes on the artists he jacked - just some bullshit essay written by one of his blogger nerd pals. That won't stop your head from nodding to the Breakout-bolstered revamp of Bone Crusher's Never Scared. myspace.com/docdelay.
Capitalism Catch Speed Knots (Eastern Block Party)
Always Scared (Eastern Block Party)
Cop Kim's stuff
Before sensational deep soul singer/songwriter Kim Tolliver was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she had long since given up on the dirty business of music and was doing well in the Cleveland real estate market. Throughout her recording career, Tolliver seemed to release her best work on singles like the sister funk bumper Cop My Stuff for Rojac and the country soul classic Standing Room Only on Pathfinder, while Tolliver's albums were patchy affairs like her 1973 debut for Chess, Come And Get Me, I'm Ready, posthumously reissued by Reel Music. As with their Bettye LaVette, Yvonne Fair and Esther Phillips LP reissues, they've done an excellent tape transfer/digital remastering job, as well as preserving the swank original artwork and adding authoritative sleeve notes.
Although it's wonderful that Tolliver's powerful voice can be heard again, some sharp reissue operation really needs to compile the best of her fab 45 sides, along with the unreleased mid-70s recordings sitting on a shelf in a closet. myreelmusic.com.
Takin' A Woman's Stand (Kim Tolliver)
Some 15 years ago, when I began searching for a copy of the elusive Eastern Horizons album recorded by New Zealand-born jazz saxophonist/flautist Charlie Munro back in 1967, original Australian Philips label pressings were already well over two bills and rising - and that was before UK DJ Gilles Peterson "discovered" the record.
Luckily for those of us without a car to sell, Melbourne's Votary label has kindly reissued Eastern Horizons on CD (a limited vinyl version will follow shortly) so we can all marvel at Munro's strange prescience in recording a contemporary dance-floor-ready East-meets-West modal jazz collision more than 40 years ago.
Along with its Oz jazz and soundtrack re-releases, Votary is also putting out a series of singles aimed at rare-groove hounds, starting with Col Nolan Soul Syndicate's Buckingham Palace b/w What's The Use from the Live At Jason's LP, and Sven Libaek's Dark World and Danger Reef, the two best tracks from his sought-after Inner Space soundtrack. votarydisk.com.
Islamic Suite (Eastern Horizons)