Sound Salvation: Now-Again Records
The preservation of valuable cultural artifacts is rarely this funky.
Now-Again Records presents music from around the world—often rife with wonderfully ragged guitar tones and head-nodding drum grooves—much of which might otherwise have vanished into past decades and obscure music scenes.
“I try to find music that I think deserves a second chance,” says 33-year-old label founder Eothen “Egon” Alapatt. “It’s for the greater good. This music needs to be saved.”
Two prime examples are last year’s Texas Thunder Soul 1968-1974 —a collection of recordings by the Kashmere Stage Band—a high school jazz band from Houston that played astoundingly accomplished funk, soul and jazz and Back from the Brink: Pre-Revolution Psychedelic Rock from Iran: 1973-1979, which is an impressive 2-CD set compiling the work of Iranian guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader Kourosh Yaghmaei.
Last year, Now-Again also produced a globe-spanning compilation of funk, psychedelia and rock from Zambia, Brazil, Germany, Turkey and beyond titled Where Are You From? selected by former creative director Christophe Lemaire of Lacoste clothing and a three volume set dubbed True Soul: Deep Sounds from the Left of Stax.
And in 2010, the label released Those Shocking, Shaking Days, an aggressively researched compilation of Indonesian hard rock, psychedelia, prog and funk from 1970 to 1978.
All of the CDs are beautifully packaged with extensive notes, appreciations, mind-blowing color reproductions of album colors and promo shots of the artists, foldout cases—in some cases, with posters and DVDs documenting the making of the compilations.
Alapatt—who started the Los Angeles-based label in 2002—began collecting records at the age of 12 and approaches each re-issue with a record-fan’s zeal for deeply obscure and hard-to-find music and an eye for vinyl-hound production qualities.
If there’s a thread linking the releases—other than that the records all having a strong whiff of funk—Alapatt says its “fringe music.” It might be that the recordings display a kind of freedom and global awareness of popular culture that emerged in places where such expressions weren’t necessarily smiled upon: the conformity-minded sphere of a public high school band room or the repressive settings of countries with conservative religious elements in times of political uncertainty like Iran or Indonesia.
Golden Bloom stopped by Relix to perform a tune from their latest EP No Day Like Today.
The Chapin Sisters share an tune from their new album A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Minneapolis-based Night Moves share a song from their record, Colored Emotions, live at Relix.
Cloud Cult share a song from their latest album live at Relix.
The Giving Tree Band enjoy a spring day on the Relix rooftop, while performing a classic Grateful Dead tune.
Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden performs a duet with his sister-in-law Lou Canon. The song appears on Us Alone his first record on Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts Productions.
The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
Ron Sexsmith visits the Relix office to perform a tune from his latest record Forever Endeavor.
Crystal Bowersox stops by Relix to perform a song from her new album, All That For This.
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