RECORD WHEEL #3 – THE MERCHANT OF GROOVES

A video posted by Oliver W./Soul Sides (@soulsides) on Jan 22, 2017 at 12:31pm PST

In honor of the Groove Merchant’s recent pop-up at RappCats in L.A., this week’s playlist is built around songs from that sale and a couple of other GM gems collected over the years.

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Playlist:

Spanish Fly: […]

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KARRIEM: HOW LOW CAN YOU PASHLO?

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Karriem: I Love You (Pashlo, 1979, 12″)

It’s cliche to suggest that all you need with disco is a good, repetitive groove but that doesn’t mean it’s untrue. This obscure-ish disco single out of Oakland is barely more than Karriem singing “I love you” over and over and that’s all you need. Actually, if you tried to put more on it, maybe it wouldn’t be nearly as endearing.

By the way, far as I can tell, this single was the […]

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7 DAYS OF SOUL: MAJOR LANCE

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Major Lance: Sweet Music (Okeh, 1963, 7″) (Available on The Best of Major Lance

There’s an entire generation of early 1960s R&B artists that I’ve yet to sit with; a huge gap in my soul knowledge. That certainly includes Major Lance who I was mildly aware of but until I picked up this pic-sleeve 7″  from the Groove Merchant in the fall, I had never owned anything by him before. I had heard “Um Um Um Um Um Um,” before but “Sweet Music” was […]

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LES BAXTER: BUGALOO IN BLUE

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Les Baxter: Yellow Sun (GNP Crescendo, 1969, African Blue)

The term “exotica” always conjures up some swank ’60s bachelor pad, the kind with a well-designed hifi system, some mid-century modern furniture and a crystal decanter of liquor. I wasn’t alive when the genre was more popular but it’s hard to imagine that exotica wasn’t much more than a slightly sexed up variation of easy listening: something more often heard in banal suburban living rooms than a downtown corner condo. It was also one of the more prominent examples […]

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PERUCHIN: A FIERY ROMANCE

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Peruchin: Laura (GNP, 1961, The Incendiary Piano Of Peruchín!)

Another Groove Merchant pick-up, this comes from one of Cuba’s most accomplished Latin pianists of the 1960s. Normally, I would have gone with the delightful little descaraga, “Pa Gozar,” but I find “Laura” to be mesmerizing as this mix between a straight forward romantico cha cha cha with that killer piano montuno midway through.

365 Days of Soul, #165

JUNIOR DELAHAYE: SO MANY REASONS

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Junior Delahaye: I Love You (Wackie’s, 1982, Showcase)

Cool Chris at the Groove Merchant put me up on this one. What’s not to like about a reggae cover, produced out of the oustanding Wackie’s Studio, covering The Fuzz? Same album also has a solid cover of “Sittin’ In the Park.”

365 Days of Soul, #162

DOUGLAS AND LONERO: LOUNGIN’

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Douglas and Lonero: Right Place, Wrong Time (Haji, 197?, Live at Charley Brown’s)

This album has been described to me as “the best lounge soul album ever.” High praise but not insane; it is an exceptionally good lounge album, filled with all kinds of covers + good stage banter + solid instrumental interludes. It was hard to pull just one track off here but this was one of the first songs in the set and I dig how thunderously funky they go on this Dr. John classic.

[…]

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MATTHEWS SOUTHERN COMFORT: JUST THE WAY I WAS FEELING

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Matthews Southern Comfort: Sylvie (Decca, 1971, Later That Same Year)

Truly, I know nothing about the band except for the fact that it was fronted by Ian Matthews after he left Fairport Convention (and again, I only know this because of a thing called “google”). What I do know? “Sylvie” is some sublime shit (and while not nearly as good, “And When She Smiles” is rather glorious folk pop).

365 Days of Soul, #149

GARY NUMAN: WITH MY WOES

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Gary Numan: Are ‘Friends’ Electric? (Beggars Banquet, 1987, 12″)

Once upon a time, before I got into hip-hop, I listened to a lot of new wave (translation: I was an Asian dude growing up in the SGV in the ’80s). All said, this still sounds pretty good to me. Also: can’t you imagine Kanye or someone flowing over this? We need more modern rock sampling.

365 Days of Soul, #147

THE DISCO FOUR: ADD HARMONY

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The Disco Four: Move To The Groove (Enjoy, 1980, 12″)

At some point, I bought into some bullshit logic that “only hip-hop after 1986 is good” and when I finally dropped that childish belief, I finally got to enjoy, uh, the Enjoy catalog in all its disco rap glory. I can only assume that’s Pumpkin on the drums (undersung beat baron of this era).

365 Days of Soul, #145