It was inevitable that some records got lost in the glut of music releases in the 1960s and 70s. The Internet era is no different; if anyone can produce and distribute music, they will. But thanks to the crate diggers at Numero Group, old sounds sound fresh again. These are the real lost tapes.
In 2005, while making his Saturday morning yard sale rounds around town, collector Blake Oliver stumbled upon a box of curiously marked tapes. At first, Oliver thought he’d found the lost masters from Clem Price and George Beter’s Columbus-based Prix label. But after a cursory listen, he realized that these were not the Prix masters, but rather demos and unreleased tracks from Prix’s Harmonic Sounds studio. Somehow, this was even better. In addition to Eddie Ray’s heart-stopping “Wait A Minute,” here were dozens of examples of what can only be described as “soul blueprints.”
Released in 2012, the reissued ERIMAJ’s Conflict of a Man album sounds as fresh as when it came out. The group’s eponymous lead single brought attention to its futurisitic, soulful vibe. Nextbop even called the group ‘next generation of jazz.’
Buttering Trio is a three piece band from Berlin and Tel Aviv who interweave bits of soul music a la Georgia Anne Muldrow and Little Dragon into playful beats. Their Facebook bio encapsulates their raw sound: “We were never born. Killing it every day.”
The track ‘Unexperienced’ appears on the group’s third album entitled Threesome, which dropped just last week. According to their Bandcamp page, they recorded the album across three different studios in Berlin, London, and Tel Aviv.
The track launches with a soft piano and a mellow flute, before the singer’s soulful vocals make way to a drum beat. The overall experimental vibe of the album seems to match up with the artist’s earthy sensibilities. Her mastery of the electric harp is also fun to watch.
Calling themselves “ambassadors for the obscure,” The Comet Is Coming was recently nominated for a Mercury prize for their funky electro-jazz album Channel The Spirits. In an interview with Bandcamp, the band said they recorded the album in a three-day sprint. Channeling the planet’s impending doom, keyboardist Dan Leavers (Danalogue the Conqueror) said:
“If it was the last day on earth, and a comet was literally coming, how are you going to play? How are you going to party? I feel like the name conjures up that [sense of] apocalypse. Once you understand that you are not going to live forever, does that change what you’re going to do? It’s been an interesting name to get our heads around.”
But The Comet Is Coming is not all doom and gloom. The track “Space Carnival” sounds like it could be the celebratory arrival song for the first manned mission to Mars.
“What are you afraid of?” That’s the sample echoing within ‘Running,’ a beautiful debut ballad from West London singer/songwriter Abi Ocia.
At first listen, the piano buildup and soft vocals may remind you of Little Dragon’s opening salvo, ‘Twice.’ The lyrics are also reflective and internal. Telling the blog Pigeons and Airplanes, Ocia said:
“I wanted to explore an inner dialog with myself, following a journey of seeking out something greater than what you are used to, even if it means purging yourself of things you hold dear.”
According to her Facebook page, this is the first of many new tracks to come.