Although Tramp Records is known worldwide for its expertise in soul, funk and jazz from the 1960s and 70s, label boss Tobias Kirmayer always had a deep connection to hip hop and rap music. His dream to compile prototype rap songs has existed for quite some time. In the search of quality songs, Kirmayer realized that it takes more than to simply scratch the surface. The challenge was to locate enough proper material to meet the criteria to be called prototype rap. The answer is Ancestors of Rap.
The origins of rapping (referring to “spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics”) go way back in history. Blues music, rooted in the work songs and spirituals of slavery, was first expressed by blacks in the Mississippi Delta region around the time of the Emancipation Proclamation. Historians have argued that the blues were being rapped as early as the 1920s. By the late 1960s spoken word jazz poetry artists like Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets, to name two, became predecessors of rapping.
This compilation unites the few existing soul and funk tracks from the late 1960s to early 70s that feature lyrics that are rhymed in rhythm. Alongside the famous representatives of this genre were a handful of lesser-known musicians who gave notable contributions. One of the most expressive examples is We Got The Number by comedian Pigmeat Markham. Similar in style are Billy Dee & Sugarbear. No matter what track you select, James West, Bobby & Deborreh Williams or one of the big names like James Brown or Blowfly, you can be assured of the sheer quality and relevance of each song.
And this is it. A thunderous selection of so far mostly unknown prototype rap songs, recorded way before hip hop actually got its start in 1979. The intense research combined with the first-class quality of each song makes it clear that there won’t be a Volume 2. Throw your hands in the air, and wave them like you just don’t care – you are about to experience in depth the real Ancestors of Rap.
The 12-page CD-booklet contains detailed liner notes and scans of all labels. The deluxe double-gatefold LP contains the same information as the CD-booklet and is limited to 1000 copies.
It's been a year since the magnificent 'Dark is the Sun' first enchanted listeners back in 2011, and we're thrilled to announce the next installment of mesmerizing non-contemporary jazz by the Greg Foat Group with their new album 'Girl and Robot with Flowers'.
Evading the dreaded 'second album syndrome' with consummate ease, 'Girl and Robot with Flowers' is a sonic soundscape of epic proportions that leaves 'Dark is the Sun' in the dust while propelling the listener into infinity - and beyond!
With a doff of the hat to sci-fi writer Brian Aldiss, we're whisked off on a thematic journey into the emotive and enthralling realms of cinematic jazz, seductive ambience and exciting, majestic drama. Often unpredictable and certainly never dull, British pianist/composer/arranger Greg Foat uses everything from brass bands and kettle drums to Moog synthesizer and harmonium to take us above and beyond the stratosphere of our senses. Have spacesuit? Let's travel!
As with 'Dark Is the Sun', this album was recorded in a unique, pure analogue studio in Sweden to capture the full warmth and dynamic range of the wide variety of instruments utilized. The spacious, high quality sound that was achieved by recording direct to tape through high quality vintage equipment is absolutely impeccable, revealing in stunning detail a magical atmosphere the likes of which is rarely heard in the current climate of digitalization and MP3s.
Over the years Greg Foat has collaborated withmusicians and artists such as Wendy James, Questlove of The Roots, The Black Lips, Justice and The Bees. This past year has been a busy one with tours of Europe and the UK, exposing their music to seasoned audiences: Jamie Cullum, Chris Evans, Gilles Peterson, Craig Charles, Ozwald Boateng, Helena Christiansen, Jude Law, Benicio Del Toro, Lyndsey Lohan are just a few of the many faces who have enjoyed the music of the Greg Foat Group.
For more than three decades, Adrian Sherwood has been one of the world’s finest and most consistently groundbreaking producers, artists and remixers. In the ensuing journey, he has wrought his deep, dark magic upon such internationally acclaimed artists as Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Blur, Primal Scream and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, as well as coining countless mind-melting new sounds with legendary acts such as Tackhead and Mark Stewart, whose influence is ongoing and, to this day, omnipresent.
Sherwood has always preferred to operate in the shadows, where his creative integrity is least threatened by the all-corrupting ludicrousness of the pop mainstream. Largely left to his own devices, he has built up a colossal body of work, whose staggering diversity – after launching off from reggae and dub, he duly innovated with electronic experimentation, industrial grind, various world music’s, and far more – somehow never eclipsed his own identity, nor diluted his unique bass-anchored sound.With a musical life that reads like a trans-Atlantic road map of recent music history’s important moments - from underage excursions into West London’s seminal reggae and soul parties to the frontlines of England’s punk movement and the creation of one of post-punk’s defining collectives with his legendary On-U Sound labels, producing the New York upstarts who helped create hip-hop and toiling with some of the biggest, most credible names in the pop world of the 1990s. All of this done with the spirit and grit of punk and the mystic genius of Jamaica’s dub tradition, but through the eyes and ears of a restless originator.While much of the chat surrounding Sherwood’s legend has tended towards the scope and deftness-of-touch of his innovative production and remixing work, his output as a solo artist has always woven strands of haunted polyrhythms, helter-skelter pop sensibilities and post-rave haze into some of the most unique “dub” music ever recorded. Now comes Survival & Resistance, a palpable evolution of the sounds introduced on these preceding albums, yet feeling like the perfect addition to a triptych. Dark atmospherics, creeping electronics and an almost orchestral approach to arrangement are married to brilliant melodic sense and analog technique. An exciting and long-overdue transmission of the On-U Sound.Opening with the circuit-bent reggae balladry of “Balance” the sense of agitation and unease is palpable, but by the time you’ve been drawn into the paranoid transmission of “U.R. Sound” and the plaintive optimism of “Effective” a much more complex picture comes into focus. Drawing on the upheaval of the all-too-recent London riots and staring down the current international economic crisis, the album is an earnest critique of current injustices, and like all great dub music is also potently enjoyable.The cornerstones of Sherwood’s singular production style are as strong as ever here – experimental techniques that pit noise against melody, dub as female resistance song and foregrounding the missing links between dub, blues roots and Brazilian Bossa. Equally as formidable is the post-punk lineage of the On-U aesthetic and the mythic mixing approach he has evolved over the years. A swirling maelstrom of skull-shaking, heavy electronic tones and masterful deployment of breathing space and alien echo, Survival & Resistance is the sound of avant-garde dub music in 2012.
This revered and incredibly rare 1972 Latin Rock album by South Bronx street-gang-turnedmusic-group gets deluxe reissue treatment, including remastered audio and extensive 80-page book, featuring rare photos and visual artifacts from gang members, the history of the group as written by cultural historian Jeff “Chairman” Mao, and an interview with Ghetto Brothers founder & president Benjy Melendez.
The South Bronx’s Ghetto Brothers originally consisted of the Melendez family unit (Benjy, Robert and Victor) who came from Puerto Rico to New York City in the 1950s. They had their share of incidents with violence and crime, but Benjy also pushed his crew into uplift-the-community territory.As Jeff Mao notes, by the early 70s Benjy’s social conscience was on the rise, the Ghetto Brothers soon became a force of good in the neighborhood. They eradicated junkies and pushers from their streets, cleaned up parks and garbage-strewn empty lots, and participated in clothing drives and breakfast programs.They also brought another aspect to their legacy: musicianship. The Ghetto Brothers cooked up a potent musical stew, drawing on British rock n’ roll, driving funk drums, and their Latin roots, creating a distinctly New York sound.The album’s eight tracks were recorded in one day at Manhattan’s Fine Tone Studios, produced and engineered by Latin studio maven Bobby Marin. Seven of the eight are originals written by Benjy and/or Victor Melendez. The result: a beautiful, absolutely innocent audio snapshot of three brothers, their friends and a powerful musical energy. “As New Yorkers and obsessive record collectors, we are excited to reissue one of the rarest and most unique records to ever come out of this city. Beyond the amazing music, this reissue also gives us the opportunity to bring an overlooked and extremely important era of New York City's history to a new audience.” – Truth & Soul Records
"If I'm known for anything it will probably be as a Latin Percussionist, Band Leader, Recording Artist and a DJ of different permutations and era's of Jazz, Latin, Funk and Soul, so no one was more surprised than I when Wayne Hemingway MBE contacted me and offered me a job as a curator at the inaugural and enormous 'Vintage' festival at Goodwood on the Sussex Downs in 2010. I've been a music writer, reviewer and CD compiler for years and have even written a music history book (“From Jazz Funk And Fusion To Acid Jazz”). I have a very varied 30,000 piece record collection which started in earnest in the early 1970's. I am just one of these boring people that just retains all kinds of musical facts and figures that make people glaze-over when I talk to them, so it's great to put that knowledge to some use at last. So here I am now at 'Vintage': the curator of 1940's music and entertainment in the 2,000 capacity 'Torch Ballroom'.On my journey as a musician over the last 30 years I've met many artists and musicians, and it recently occurred to me that I know virtually everybody on this compilation. It is a very small world indeed. I'm very excited that BBE have given me the opportunity of doing this album as it's something I've wanted to do for years. There are so many artists around making amazing period-influenced music that I thought it would be great to see a compilation mixing it up. This would have been the first time it'd been done but I got pipped to the post by the very friendly US Vintage connoisseur, promoter and musician, David Gasten (his CD 'This Is Vintage Now' introduced us to the delights of Caro Emerald infact), but nevertheless, I have a different take on it. With a backlash against bleak, sterile chart music, it excites me to see the huge worldwide public interest in artists such as Amy Winehouse, Imelda May, Kitty Daisy and Lewis, James Hunter, Sharon Jones, Eli 'Paperboy' Reed, Caro Emerald and (don't shoot me) even Paloma Faith in places. She was very, very ingrained in that whole underground vintage burlesque world. No one can deny that. Through their influence and exposure it means that there's a chance that thousands of other similar dedicated artists may get noticed too.That's the thing with this compilation: what I love about mixing these era's of music by current dedicated groups playing classic music is that it's the same principle as Wayne Hemingway's Vintage festivals, from a musical point of view. It's Swing, R&B, Funk, Northern Soul, Rockabilly, Mambo and Rock and Roll all on one CD/record to be discovered and enjoyed by everyone, after all, there's only one degree of separation, at most, between all the styles of music on here. You may buy this for Imelda May's track but then discover the James Taylor Quartet or vice versa. Perfect." SNOWBOY