While most labels are just starting to get back up to speed after the holidays, Chicago's Numero Group has been busily readying the next two releases in their Asterisk album reissue series - the remarkably great Intuition and Mock Up albums independently recorded in the early 70s by singer/songwriter Caroline Peyton, Bloomington, Indiana's answer to Joni Mitchell.
Jazzy folk fiends will know that Intuition has previously been reissued on disc (and the song Just As We appeared on the Gilles Peterson Digs America set), but the Asterisk version adds seven bonus demos of otherwise unavailable tracks, and none are throwaways. The ante on Mock Up gets upped with a two-song live video clip recorded at Bloomington's Hummingbird Café. The performances and production quality will leave you wondering why Peyton isn't a household name today.
In other Numero Group news, the label is going live with the Eccentric Soul Revue - a belated launch party for the stellar Twinight's Lunar Rotation compilation at Chicago's Park West Theatre (322 West Armitage) on April 4. Slated to perform along with Twinight star Syl Johnson are the Notations, Nate Evans, Renaldo Domino, the Kaldirons and the Final Solution. Tickets are $22 U.S., available now at the label site numerogroup.com and Ticketmaster. Park West has only 750 seats, so don't sleep.
Just As We by Caroline Peyton
Try To Be True by Caroline Peyton
Upon hearing that JD Twitch of Optimo fame was retouching some mid-80s crusty punk from the Crass UK catalogue of non-hits, I needed to check what the cheeky bastard's been messing with. I tracked down a copy of his limited-run 10 Inches Of Fear four-track EP for RVNG, and I'm happy to report that Flux Of Pink Indians' Tube Disasters, Honey Bane's Guilty, The Mob's Witch Hunt and Zounds' War all benefit from the Twitch tweak, which is not a drastic overhaul so much as simply stripping away the fat to get at the essential power of the originals.
Since Twitch admits that it was actually the stuff coming out of the U.S. at the time that turned his crank, he's added a 22-track mix 60 Minutes Of Fear designed to enlighten a new generation of cosmic disco fans about the wonders of the Minutemen, Black Flag, Butthole Surfers, Flipper and Sonic Youth. Although anyone who was buying records back in the day won't be impressed by the obvious song selection, there are a few lesser-known corkers from the Screamers, Poison Girls and Honey Bane's group Fatal Microbes to help maintain interest. Fewer than 1,499 copies are left, so get cracking. igetrvng.com.
She Is Beyond Good And Evil - Pop Group (JD Twitch)
122 Hours Of Fear - The Screamers (JD Twitch)
C.I.A. Man - Sun City Girls (JD Twitch)
When my friends and I return from record-digging jaunts, we typically compile discs of our best finds, scribble out track listings and burn copies for each other. It's not so much to gloat about cool come-ups, but more to share in the head-nodding delight of some crazy new discoveries. That's not unlike what Madlib has done with his Speto Da Rua (Mochilla) mix of vintage northeastern Brazilian funk, folkloric, jazz, psych and prog joints he picked on his 2007 trip to Recife. Only, if you're Madlib, dudes come out of the woodwork to ply you with amazing junk, so he accumulated a huge load of dusty delicacies in just three weeks. Consequently, this hour-long random selection of tight and trippy tunes - thrown together onto a single track with no song list, sleeve/label images or notes - is just the first of a projected six-CD series for the label arm of the Mochilla film and video production empire run by photographer pals B+ and Eric Coleman.
Mochilla is also behind the Timeless concert series, which launches February 1 in Los Angeles with a performance by Mulatu Astatke and orchestra featuring DJ sets by Cut Chemist and Quantic at the Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex. Next up is Carlos Nino's tribute to J Dilla February 22, followed by Brazilian producer/arranger Arthur Verocai with Madlib and DJ Nuts spinning on March 15, before the visionary David Axelrod ends the festivities with a bang April 5. Mochilla.com.