Johnny Paycheck: Impalaville (sampler)*
From Impalaville (Good Records, 2006)

DJs Matthew Africa + B. Cause: Soul Boulders (sampler)*
From Soul Boulders (2006)

I’m going to let you in on the realness: I’m tired of super fried funk. I mean, I like some good gutbucket, Friday night sweat box funk 45s as much as the next guy but it’s not what I need right now. I need something sweet and soulful that will relax my mind and heart in these here times.

You need it too. Really, you do. And thus, you need both Soul Boulders and Impalaville.

As someone who listens to a lot of mixtapes and compilations, the mark of a really good one is when I think, “damn, I wish I had done this.” I felt that way about both of these.

Impalaville is the creation of Johnny Paycheck aka Johnny Pacheco aka the owner of Good Records NYC. Despite being located in NY however, the album is inspired by L.A. Chicano summer anthems: Low Rider Soul 4 Real. Rarity isn’t the point here (though there will definitely be songs you haven’t heard before) – it’s all about nailing a vibe. Pacheco sets up the mix as the best radio show you never heard – something you can imagine drifting out your car stereo as you cross the bridges of East L.A., 3pm sun blazing overhead.

Believe me, you may look over the tracklisting and say, “yeah but who hasn’t heard “Groovin'” or “Evil Ways” before?” Then you’ll slip this on at a backyard BBQ one afternoon, watch a dozen people walk up and ask, “hey, what’s playing right now?” and realize how genius this is. Everyone, from you parents to your boy/girlfriend to your 11 year old nephew/niece will be feeling this. Top that.

As for Soul Boulders, it’s a new mix-CD of “slow, funky soul burners” put together by a tag team of two of my favorite Bay Area DJs: Matthew Africa and B. Cause. Between the two of them, they have crates so deep you could drown in them (and believe me, I’d want to). Seriously, the selections on here are so damn good, I’m already started to plot ways to cop a few of the titles for my own stash.

To put it another way, if you liked my CD, then you will definitely like this too. The 9 minute sampler I include here is the tippy tip of the iceberg.

Once again: both are these are fantastic. GET THEM.

*Sound files encoded at a crappy 64 bitrate. The actual CDs sound, of course, pristine.