The Jagger Botchway Group – Odze Odze

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Jagger Botchway is most famous for his work with the Hedzoleh Soundz and Hugh Masekela. Jagger was also the driving force behind the highly sought-after Ghanaian afro-funk masterpiece Moving World by the Kelenkye Band. Deano Sounds, along with Voodoo Funk’s Frank Gossner, teamed up to release the Kelenkye Band’s later material, Jungle Funk, back in 2012.

Jagger went back into the studio with a group of musicians he had played with from various points in his career to record an album of unique soca and highlife sounds. What was put down on tape was a heavy mix of percussion, striking highlife guitar lines and futuristic synth stabs with soaring African voices.

Deano Sounds and Jagger rescued the original multi-track DAT tapes that were hiding in obscurity in Ghana. Cultures of Soul invited a host of today’s best remixers to give them the freedom to create their own interpretations of the material. These producers include Berlin’s Africaine 808, Manchester’s Ruf Dug, Switzerland’s Alma Negra and New York’s Names You Can Trust. Coming out on CD and 2LP on March 18th you can pre-order here!

1. Odze Odze


12. Odze Odze Alma Negra Remix feat. Luca Glausen (drums) and Samuel Sole (bass)

Behind the Art – Robert Beatty

Robert Beatty is an extremely talented artist and musician from Lexington, Kentucky. Beatty is the vision behind the highly celebrated artwork for Currents by  Tame Impala and VEGA INTL. Night School by Neon Indian. He also created the cover art for the Boston Creative Jazz Scene. Robert took some time out of his busy schedule to speak with us.
 
When did you decide you wanted to be an artist? What inspired you?
 

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I’ve made art as long as I can remember and I’ve always known that that’s what I wanted to do. I grew up in a small Kentucky town before the internet, so as a kid I was into the weirdest stuff that was easily accessible- Mad Magazine, Monty Python, whatever weird stuff I could find in the encyclopedia or on cable TV. I have always been very investigative and I’m always looking for new inspiration so I pretty quickly gravitated towards more out there stuff.

How did you get into creating album covers? What was your first project like?

I started doing record covers for bands I played in; starting out with Hair Police and Burning Star Core and my solo project Three Legged Race. From there friends I had met through touring started asking me to do art for their records. All of my early covers were for people I already knew, which made the transition very natural.

What is your process for creating album covers?

 

Usually I’ll talk with the artist to see what they have in mind and then start sketching things out to get a basic idea and then go from there. Sometimes I’ll pull ideas from my sketchbooks or sometimes things just start to come together on their own from listening to the music. The process varies widely from project to project though.

What has been your favorite album to create?

 

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The Neon Indian artwork that I worked on this year was very fun to work on. It’s not necessarily something I would have done on my own, but I got to create a ridiculous and strange language of images that we then arranged into the different single covers and album artwork. As far as my favorite covers I’ve done I still really love the Brad Laner “Nearest Suns” art and the cover I did for AIDS WOLF’s final LP.

With the huge success of the Tame Impala album cover has the phone being ringing off the hook so to speak?

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The response to the Tame Impala artwork has been overwhelming at times. The reception from fans has been really amazing, I try to respond to every email, but it’s tough to keep up. I’m definitely staying busy and have no shortage of potential album projects, but I’ve actually been trying to take some time to focus on some of my own projects- an art book of all new material, some video work, some music, and some artwork for some upcoming gallery exhibitions.

You are also a musician. Tell us about some of the bands you are playing with or have played with in the past. Does this correlate at all with the artwork you do?

 

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I have a solo project called Three Legged Race (https://threeleggedrace.bandcamp.com). Lately I’ve been calling it “volatile mixed fidelity electronic music.” The music I perform and record varies widely, but it’s mostly rooted in live electronics and improvisation which is then collaged together; musique concrete collage style.

I also play in the band Hair Police and a few other projects that aren’t as active as Three Legged Race.

What do you have planned for the future?

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I’m currently working on finishing up an art book that will be coming out later this year, making some music for a couple upcoming records, getting ready to play a few shows in Europe in the spring, and making art for a few art shows coming up. I also just started a small label called AHEM Editions (http://ahemeditions.com/) so I’ve been enjoying getting a few releases planned out for this year.

What are your top 5 favorite albums?

Not neccesarily top 5 of all time as that’s basically impossible for me, but here are 5 that I come back to often and have been listening to a lot lately

Herbie Hancock “Sextant”
White Noise “An Electric Storm”
The Incredible String Band “Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter”
Maher Shalal Hash Baz “Blues Du Jour”
Nuno Canavarro “Plux Quba”

Welcome to 2016!

It’s 2016 and we’re off!  Depsite the sad news of David Bowie’s passing things are looking up.  Releases include – electronic African Highlife from the Jagger Botchway Group with remixes by Africaine 808, Ruf Dug, GRC, and Alma Negra, Gospel Disco compiled by Greg Belson, South African Disco with remixes from Gerd Janson, Boston Free Jazz and a couple of other surprises thrown in for good measure! It’s shaping up to be another great year!

Exclusive Preview Cultures of Soul 2016 Releases by Cultures Of Soul on Mixcloud

 

Behind the Art – Zachariah O’Hora

 

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Zachariah O’Hora is the man behind the artwork for many of our releases starting with the World’s Funkiest Covers to our newly released Brasileiro Treasure Box of Funk and Soul. Zach’s unique vision for art and vast knowledge of music have helped to forman identity for our label. He took the time to speak with us about his work and some of his favorite projects with us!

When did you decide you wanted to be an illustrator? What inspired you?

It was in 4th grade. I was in a new school. I drew on all my book covers (remember the old paper shopping bag cover) and got a rep as the new kid who could draw. Soon I started drawing on other peoples book covers and getting paid in candy. My specialty was Garfields and Smurfs. I invented the Michael Jackson Smurf which would cost you extra.

 

How did you get into the children’s illustration business? Do your kids inspire ideas for your work?
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I was doing freelance illustration for magazines and newspapers and it was something I always wanted to do. I started pursuing to before I had kids, but its a very opaque business to break into and it took a long time. By the time I had a book deal my son Oskar was on the way. He was the inspiration for my second book “No Fits Nilson!”
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How did you connect with Wax Poetics to do the 7inch sleeve for the Moments?

I think I was just so excited to discover Wax Poetics, I had picked up their 4th issue in a record/coffee shop in Brooklyn (Halcyon on Smith street R.I.P) and saw their address was just down the street and I just flooded them with postcards and offered to work for free even. I was lucky to do a few illustrations with them, a cover for the Hip-hop issue and even did an interview on Grant Green with Grant Green Jr. Shout out to WaxPo!

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What has been your favorite project with Cultures of Soul to date and why?
Honestly I’ve dug them all for different reasons! I listen to the World’s Funkiest Covers record the most often. I just love covers, especially when they are made funky and soulful. I’m probably most proud of the art for Tommy Stewart’s Disco Love Affair. The continuation of the art to the labels worked out pretty nicely.  I was in a record store the other day in Buffalo, New York and I was excited to see they had vinyl of the Stanton Davis LP on the wall and they had the CD version of the Brazilian Box set on display.

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What’s been your favorite book to illustrate?

This all depends on what I’m working on. I tend to love whatever I’m working on at the moment the most. When I get done I worry that its crap. A year or two later when it’s out in the stores, I wonder how I did what I did, because it looks fresh again.

Right now my favorite is written by Ame Dyckman and it’s called “Wolfie the Bunny”. It’s a hilarious and sweet story that I wish that I wrote. Another book that came out this year that I wrote and illustrated is called “My Cousin Momo” There’s going to be a French edition coming out in January and I like the cover even better than the original. (That’s the French version below)
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What books do you have planned for the future?
Ame and I did another book together called “Horrible Bear” that comes out in April and we are working on a couple other secret projects. I have a book that I just finished of my own called “The Not So Quiet Library” that will be out next June. There’s some other stuff but I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about them yet.
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What are your favorite top 5 books?
My top 5 picture books in no particular order are:
1. Father Foxes Penny Rhymes by Clyde and Wendy Watson
2. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
3. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
4. Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson
5. Templeton Gets His Wish by Greg Pizzoli

 

And favorite top 5 albums?

This is a tough one, as there are so many desert island picks. In 20+ years of collecting records, these are five I always go back to, listen all the way through without skipping any songs.

Charles Mingus- Mingus Plays Piano
Weird one-off Mingus record- he’s not even playing bass as the title suggests. Beautiful improvisations.
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Sly and the Family Stone- There’s a Riot Going On
All the Sly records are great but this is the best and darkest.
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Various Artists
I don’t even know what you call this record- The Black Caucus record? It’s not rare but it’s slept on. Amazing live jams from everyone listed.
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John Coltrane- A Love Supreme
 I used to go to the Coltrane Church in San Francisco on occasion and their priests would play this live for hours in a little storefront on Divisadero Street.
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Grant Green- Alive!
I was fortunate to meet Idris Muhammad (R.I.P.) back in the 90’s when I worked for the SF Jazz Festival and he signed this for me. Probably my #1 record of all time!
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I’m super psyched to be a part of the extended Cultures of Soul Records family! First off, as a fan.  I love everything you guys put out. And I’m honored to be a small part of what you are doing.
Thanks for having me!
Peace
You can see more of Zachariah OHora’s work online at www.zohora.com or www.stayfuzzy.tumblr.com
Books are available everywhere books are sold.

The Boston Creative Jazz Scene Album and Book!

Boston Creative Jazz Scene

In the 1970s Boston was a fertile ground for a very creative jazz scene. Small, independent venues ranging from lofts to churches to clubs opened up to support this thriving backdrop while jazz musicians set up their own labels. One man was there through it all, playing music and documenting the musical landscape. His name was Mark Harvey and here is his story….

Mark Harvey and Deano Sounds pulled together the most comprehensive package of Boston Jazz released to date. The album has been assembled as a deluxe package that includes, in addition to the music, an 80-page book documenting the rich history of this music scene with in-depth analyses and photos of the jazz musicians involved.

The music on this album is culled from rare private press Jazz LPs that were pressed in small quantities of a few hundred for members of the band and the local jazz community at the time. The music here runs the gamut of funky jazz from Arnie Cheatham’s “Thing” to the deep free jazz of the Phill Musra Group or the spoken word brilliance of Worlds, to the complex metric structures of Stanton Davis’ “Play Sleep.” This is a collection of very rare eccentric jazz pieces for your enjoyment!

This comes out as a double LP set, packaged in a deluxe box with each piece of vinyl
housed in its own Euro-style glossy jacket or as a CD set. Also included is an 8 ½
x 5 ½, 80 page book documenting the rich history of the music with in-depth analyses and photos. This is coming out on January 22nd and you can pre-order here!

1. The Mark Harvey Group – For Margot

2. The Mark Harvey Group – Tarot: The Moon

3. Thing – Sketch Pts. 1 & 2

4. Thing – Road Through The Wall Pts. 2 & 3

5. The Phill Musra Group – The Creator Is So Far Out

6. The Phill Musra Group – Egypt

7. Worlds’ – 9 Degrees Black Women Liberation

8. Stanton Davis’ Ghetto Mysticism – Play Sleep

9. Baird Hersey With Dave Leibman – The Year Of
The Ear: Herds & Hoards

Holiday Bundle Sale

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To celebrate the holidays we’ve got some great bundles to offer you with a huge discount! For our 12″ bundle get all of the Cultures of Soul Special Disco 12inches including Shadow, Stanton Davis, Joanne Wilson, and Wild Fire all for one low price here!

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Next up is the Bombay Bundle where you get both Bombay Disco 1 and 2 LPs and both Bombay Disco 12inches. Grab the bundle here!

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For our third Holiday Bundle grab every single one of our CD releases (including all 13) for only $100! You can purchase it here.

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Also all of our CDs are just $10 until the end of the year!

Display Contest

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This amazing display came from Spenser and it inspired us to start our own display contest! Send us your photos of any Cultures of Soul Records release and you’ll be entered into a contest to win a Cultures of Soul goody pack including stickers, posters, CDs, and vinyl. To enter post your photos on our Facebook page here. Contest ends on December 9th so enter now. Contest valid only in the United States.

The Brasileiro Treasure Box Release Party at Soulelujah

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Deano Sounds and the Soulelujah Crew had an excellent time at the Brasileiro Treasure Box Release Party at the Middle East in Central Sqaure on October 23rd! You can check out more photos here. All photos courtesy of John Allen. Don’t forget the Brasileiro Treasure Box of Funk and Soul is available at all fine retailers across the global or directly from us at  our shop!

DeanoSounds by Soulelujah on Mixcloud