Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Seattle's independent label Light in the Attic has made a name for itself over the past decade as a premiere publisher of lost and obscure unclassics.  They have a wonderful, varied catalogue completely liberated from pigeonholing genres. Their releases are always of the highest phonic quality, matched with equally attentive album art and erudite liner notes.  

Check out their reissues of Betty Davis' first two studio albums: Betty Davis and They Say I'm Different.  Betty Davis is often credited with planting the seeds for her husband Miles' electric renaissance by introducing the Dark Magnus to Jimi Hendrix and Sly and the Family Stone.  But Betty deserves her proper dues as funk rebel unto herself.

Also look into Gabor Szabo's sunshine-acid-soaked Jazz Raga.  Szabo cut a bunch of sides on Impulse as the guitarist in Chico Hamilton's quintet and later found success on CTI Records, exploiting his blend of pop-psychedelic gypsy jazz.  Jazz Raga stands firmly at the crossroads of these two periods.   

For the consummate bachelor or the Parisian nymphette lover inside of us all, there is Serge Gainsbourg's seductive yet understated Histoire De Melody Nelson.  The French electronic duo AIR site this album as a major influence on their ethereal style.

Finally, local rudebwoys can't bring the soundclash proper without Jamaica to Toronto: Soul Funk & Reggae 1967-1974.  This compilation features Canadian-recorded tracks made by Studio One and Trojan superstars who emigrated to our fine metropolis.

By way of this extremely long winded introduction, I mean to turn you on to a selection of five limited edition 7 inch coloured singles, which Light in the Attic released to commemorate its recent ten year anniversary.  On the b-side is a cult classic by the original songwriter or band and on the a-side is a superlative tribute from a contemporary outfit.

Betty Davis

Iggy Pop & Zig Zags

Discogs: I'll Slip Away


Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band

Wendy Rene

Sweet Tea

Discogs: Baby

Donnie & Joe Emerson

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti & Dam Funk

Discogs: Won't You Tell Your Dreams [Not on Discogs, See: Light in Attic]

Lee Hazelwood

Gold Leaves

Sorry, there's no video available.  There is, however, a short sound clip on the LITA webpage above.

Discogs: Same Old Man

Karen Dalton

Mark Lanegan

If you're down with Rodriguez, check out the Oscar-nominated documentary Searching for Sugarman while its still in theatres.

No comments:

Post a Comment