Freak en français
The long-overdue second volume in the Born Bad label's Wizzz! compilation series of funky, freaky and generally fabulous overlooked French recordings from the 60s turns away from the swinging-mademoiselle stuff of Volume 1 that was all the rage eight or nine years ago. Times and tastes have changed, and wisely enough, Wizzz! Volume 2 covers more of the currently desirable psych, prog and experimental sounds of the late 60s and early 70s.
Anglophones may be troubled by the French-only accompanying notes, but the full-colour reproductions of the original single and LP sleeves are still nice to look at while getting down with the trippy tracks by Guy Skornik, Brigitte Fontaine, Serge Franklin and the Bruno Leys/Jean-Pierre Massiera-produced Jesus that you won't find so conveniently compiled anywhere else. MySpace.com/bornbadrecords.
Des Arbres De Fer by Guy Skornik
L'e?lectrocute? by Jesus
There may not be any rhyme, reason or concern for collector demand in the selection process governing which albums get released in Dusty Groove's Essential Reissue series. Anything from soul jazz to Brazilian to funk and money-losing producers' projects seems like fair game. But however oddball, the choices have been musically solid and carefully repackaged with respect for the original release, even if it would be wonderful if bonus singles tracks or studio outtakes were included when available.
Two obscurities recently recirculated by Dusty Groove are Detroit producer Richard "Popcorn" Wylie's first and last solo album, Extrasensory Perception, from 1974, and Ronnie McNeir's sweetly soulful self-titled debut from 1972. What's interesting here is that McNeir's Stevie Wonder-inspired songs (which the talented young McNeir produced, arranged and mixed himself) actually sound more like the product of Motown than Wylie's funky joint, which was recorded in Los Angeles with the cream of Motown's studio musicians who'd left Detroit when Berry Gordy Jr. moved label operations to the West Coast. Get 'em both while you can. dustygroove.com.
Both Ends Against The Middle by Richard "Popcorn" Wylie
Gone Away by Ronnie McNeir
Once again, Finders Keepers honcho Andy Votel astutely uses the deep collections of the extended B-Music DJ family to his benefit with the enjoyably diverse new Drive In, Turn On, Freak Out (Finders Keepers) double LP set. The compilation's guest contributors, including David Holmes, Cherrystones, Mahssa Taghinia, Lee Janda, Chris Geddes and Pete Fowler, actually come up with considerably more exciting progressive funk tunes from around the globe than either Votel or his selecta buddy Dom Thomas delivers.
That could be an indication that it's time Votel considered focusing more on administrative duties at the label while leaving the important song selection process to the real diggers who are passionate about uncovering lost gems. If you aren't already hip to Takeshi Terauchi, Trúbrot, Odmenn, Braen's Machine, Pegasus and Los Mismos, here's your chance to play catch-up. finderskeepersrecords.com.