Aloha Got Soul final front cover

Hear The Laid-Back Funk Monster “Kona Winds” From Aloha Got Soul

Funkier than most yacht-rock, and beachier than most funk, “Kona Winds” is three and a half perfect minutes of aural […] Read More…

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Hear A Sega Classic From Mid-70’s Mauritius

Claudio Veeraragoo is one of the biggest stars of séga music of the 60s and 70s. His stroke of genius […] Read More…

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Hear Souljazz Orchestra’s Take On A Christmas Classic In A Free Holiday Gift

We’re fully in the holiday spirit here at Strut, and what better way to celebrate the season than a blistering […] Read More…

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Strut Explores The Uniquely Funky Music of Mauritius on Soul Sok Sega

Séga is the traditional music of Mauritius (a small island off the coast of Madagascar) and is known as the […] Read More…

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Video Interview: Gilles Peterson On Discovering Sun Ra

Listening to Gilles Peterson talk about music, it’s easy to see how he’s become a trusted source for introducing challenging […] Read More…

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The Souljazz Orchestra Autumn Tour

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The Souljazz Orchestra is simply one of the hardest working, must […] Read More…

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Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band Tour Europe

The self titled debut album from legendary Ghanaian vocalist Pat Thomas and his newly formed Kwashibu Area band was one […] Read More…

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Orlando Julius Tours USA In September

Veteran Nigerian saxophonist and pioneer of Afro soul and Afrobeat, Orlando Julius, embarks on his first set of US dates […] Read More…

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The Souljazz Orchestra Take To The Streets of Montreal’s Carnival in “Courage” Video

We’re just over a week away from the release of the new Souljazz Orchestra LP Resistance, and the crew has […] Read More…

Hear The Laid-Back Funk Monster “Kona Winds” From Aloha Got Soul

Aloha Got Soul final front coverFunkier than most yacht-rock, and beachier than most funk, “Kona Winds” is three and a half perfect minutes of aural relaxation. The track originally appeared on the “Homegrown” compilation series in 1978, showcasing local Hawaiian artists. Today, the track fits comfortably in Balearic DJ sets and left-field funk mixes.

“I was out in Venice with DJ Harvey,” says Mark Barrott, “and “Kona Winds” came on the radio whilst we were sat by the beach having breakfast, looking at the early-morning surfers. I actually rang US directory assistance for the first and last time in my life to get the number of the station to get a track ID. I NEVER get bored of the spoken intro; last summer I was a little worse for wear in the middle of a DJ set by Es Vedra and I just looped the spoken intro and left it running for 30 mins… it sounded fine to me.”

“Kona Winds” appears on Aloha Got Soul, a new compilation assembled by Roger Bong, documenting the vibrant soul, AOR, jazz funk and disco scene across Hawaii in 1979-1985. Aloha Got Soul is released 18th February on CD, 2xLP & digital formats. Pre-orders are available now.

Hear A Sega Classic From Mid-70’s Mauritius

00A390Claudio Veeraragoo is one of the biggest stars of séga music of the 60s and 70s. His stroke of genius was to marry séga rhythms with qawwali and Bollywood styles. He scored his debut hit, ‘Nou Manz Nou Larak’, in 1966, playing the accordion, and broke through as a major star with his cassette release, ‘Bhaï Aboo’ which exploded across the island upon its release. His songs were subsequently covered by French star Maxime Leforestier and Bollywood singer Shaan. Claudio has since brought séga to the four corners of the globe and, of all of the ‘70s artists, has remained one of Mauritius’ biggest live draws. Today, his son Michael, a drummer and producer, manages his father’s activities via their own production house, Kabana Music.

“Bonom Chinois” is a gem from the Soul Sok Sega compilation, whic documents the heyday of séga music in Mauritius between 1973 and 1979. The album is compiled by La Reunion-based DJs La Basse Tropicale with extensive sleeve notes by Mauritian cultural authority, Percy Yip Tong. Soul Sok Sega is released 22nd January 2016.

Pre-orders are available now.

Hear Souljazz Orchestra’s Take On A Christmas Classic In A Free Holiday Gift

K7_HolidayGift_2015We’re fully in the holiday spirit here at Strut, and what better way to celebrate the season than a blistering Afro-Funk take on a classic Christmas carol? The Souljazz Orchestra has given us just that with their wonderful version of “We Three Kings.”

The track is available exclusively for free download via the !K7 Collective Holiday Gift, along with material from some of our favorite independent labels like Luaka Bop, Piranha, Mister Saturday Night, R&S, and many others.

Share the love, and have a great holiday!

Breezy Hawai’ian Disco, Funk & AOR on ‘Aloha Got Soul’

Aloha Got Soul final front coverThis February, an inspired collection of funk, disco, jazz and AOR recorded in Hawai’i shines a whole new light on the islands’ music culture. Aloha Got Soul encompasses a vibrant and varied era of recordings made during the 1970s and early 1980s, many of which never received attention on the mainland, despite brilliantly talented musicians, regular gigs and full album releases. Thanks largely to collector and DJ Roger Bong of Aloha Got Soul, a new interest in this fertile era of Hawaiian music has steadily grown in recent years, culminating in this new compilation of overlooked gems.

The influence of Western music in Hawai’i dates back as far as the ragtime era with the creation of hapa haole music (“half Hawaiian, half Caucasian”), but from the early 1960s with the island’s new American statehood status and the influx of rock’n’roll, a proliferation of new bands, night clubs and influential radio DJs like Tom Moffatt ushered in a boom in hybrid sounds. By the late ‘70s, the influence of bands like Earth Wind & Fire and Tower of Power had sparked a rich, close-knit soul scene on the islands led by jazz-funk innovators Seawind (CTI Records). Artists like Aura, Nohelani Cypriano and Mike Lundy shone brightly but relatively briefly through to the mid’-80s.

Hear a track below from Aura (pictured on the album cover), a family band consisting of eight siblings and featuring two female singers and an incredibly tight horn section.

Aloha Got Soul, out March 18th 2016, is compiled and annotated by Roger Bong and features rare photos and original artwork. Pre-orders are available now. All orders from Strut’s online store and bandcamp page will be discounted 10% in advance of the release date.

Strut Explores The Uniquely Funky Music of Mauritius on Soul Sok Sega

Soul Sok Sega cover finalSéga is the traditional music of Mauritius (a small island off the coast of Madagascar) and is known as the “blues” of the Indian Ocean. The music was born during the 17th to 19th centuries by African slaves seeking relief from harsh conditions in sugar cane fields and on colonial land by dancing to improvised music incorporating rhythms from their homelands in West Africa, Mozambique, Zanzibar or Madagascar. From these diverse African influences sprang a new, insular dance and music, the séga.

Though initially looked down upon, by the mid-1960s séga music had become a symbol of national pride and identity for Mauritius. With the advent of electric instruments, the influx of funk, soul and jazz from the West and the growth of LPs, séga went commercial. Dancefloors started grooving to a more soulful, funky séga beat and séga artists popped up all over the island with a new generation of charismatic singers becoming national stars. Séga, sung in Créole, now united all the communities of the island. Mauritians from the European, African, Indian and Chinese communities, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, all danced and enjoyed séga.

00A382Following excursions into rare tropical and island sounds with the Sofrito series, and the Haiti Direct and Calypsoul 70 albums, we’re proud to present a collection exploring the incredible séga sounds that emerged from Mauritius during the 1970s, Soul Sok Séga, compiled by DJ duo La Basse Tropicale (Natty Hô and Konsöle), based in the neighbouring island of La Reunion.

Soul Sok Sega (out 22nd of January 2016) features extensive sleeve 00A373notes from long time Mauritian cultural champion, Percy Yip Tong, including new artist interviews, photos and original vinyl artwork. All formats (1CD / 2LP / digital) are unmixed, made up completely of tracks that have never been re-issued internationally.

Pre-orders are available now, and a preview track (“Sega Lenoir,” by Les Stardust) is streaming below.

TRACKLISTING

  1. TI L’AFRIQUE – SOUL SOCK SÉGA
  2. JEAN-CLAUDE – MADEMOISELLE
  3. GEORGIE JOE – ELIZA
  4. JOHN KENNETH NELSON – MANUEL BITOR
  5. MARIE JOSÉE & ROGER CLENCY – LA VIE EN BADINAGE
  6. CLAUDIO – BONOM CHINOIS
  7. LES STARDUST – SÉGA LENOIR
  8. COULOUCE – L’AMOUR ARTIFICIEL (SOUL SÉGA)
  9. CLAUDIO – BHAÏ ABOO
  10. CHRISTOPHE – MO PARRAIN
  11. CYRIL LABONNE – POP SOUL SÉGA
  12. HAROLD BERTY – MONE LASSER DIRE TOI
  13. MICHEL LEGRIS – ELIDA
  14. CATHERINE VELIENNE – MO MARI FINI ALLÉ
  15. JEAN-CLAUDE – SÉGA SOUVAL
  16. RAMONE – NOUVEAU VENU DANS L’ENDROIT
  17. JOHN KENNETH NELSON – Z’ENFANT MISÈRE
  18. GEORGES JEAN LOUIS – AFRO MAURICIEN
  19. YOYO – COCO MAMZELLE
  20. CHRISTIAN TOSSÉ – MADAME ZEAN

Gilles Peterson Runs Down Four Favorite Sun Ra Tracks

DSC_1332 - Version 2 squareIn the second of two video interviews produced alongside his Sun Ra collection To Those Of Earth… And Other Worlds, Gilles Peterson gives the backstory to four of his favorite Sun Ra recordings. The legendary BBC6 presenter recounts how John Peel gifted him an original Saturn pressing of the track “Dreaming” on 7″, how Lanquidity never left his crate in the Mo’ Wax era, and other stories about the role specific Sun Ra recordings have played in his life and career. From a man who has had his finger on the pulse of jazz’s evolving trajectory throughout his life, it’s a fascinating viewing experience.

To Those Of Earth… And Other Worlds is out now on 2CD, 2LP (+ CD insert), and digital formats. Copies are available from fine digital retailers, and the Strut store.

Part one of the interview series can been seen here.

 

 

Free Indie Music On Label Love Vol. 7

LabelLove7Label Love is a compilation series on Bandcamp that offers free music from quality independent labels. We’re honored to take part in the 7th edition in the series where you can download tracks from our Sun Ra and Pat Thomas and Kwashibu Area Band releases, as well as some great jams from Tru Thoughts, Soundway, !K7, Finders Keepers, Five Easy Pieces, World Circuit, Erased Tapes and ZZK.

Enjoy some quality music, and support indie labels! Download Label Love Vol. 7 here.

 

Video Interview: Gilles Peterson On Discovering Sun Ra

DSC_1487 - Square medListening to Gilles Peterson talk about music, it’s easy to see how he’s become a trusted source for introducing challenging music to an open-minded audience. Peterson’s knowledge, enthusiasm and wonder are easily apparent, making him the dynamic presenter that he is on his long-running BBC6 program.

We caught recently up with the life-long jazz connoisseur to hear about his initial exposure to the music and spectacle of Sun Ra, his blossoming appreciation for Ra’s art, and the tradition of insisting that his label’s new signees experience a Sun Ra concert in person.

To Those Of Earth… And Other Worlds, lovingly curated by Gilles Peterson, is out now on 2CD, 2LP (+ CD insert), and digital formats. Orders are available from fine digital retailers, and the Strut store.

The Souljazz Orchestra Autumn Tour

souljazz_orchestra5_cropWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The Souljazz Orchestra is simply one of the hardest working, must see live bands in the business. With their incendiary new album Resistance out now, the Ottawa-based sextet lead by Pierre Chrétien is taking to the road for an absolutely epic series of dates that sees them taking their very own fusion of roots music, jazz and funk from their native Canada to Europe and back again, making converts as they go. Dress light, as these shows will be HOT!

Resistance is available now via online retail and the Strut Store.

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Full Tour Dates

Sep 12 – Port Hope, CA – All-Canadian Jazzfest
Sep 26 – Ottawa, CA – Babylon Nightclub
Oct 03 – Lausanne, CH – Holy Groove Festival
Oct 04 – London, UK – Jazz Cafe
Oct 05 – Zurich, CH – Moods
Oct 08 – Beauvais, FR – L’Ouvre-Boîte
Oct 09 – Sannois, FR – EMB
Oct 10 – Rennes, FR – Ubu
Oct 11 – Laval, FR – 6PAR4
Oct 13 – Paris, FR – New Morning
Oct 14 – Massy, FR – Paul B
Oct 15 – Lyon, FR – Marché Gare
Oct 16 – Montpellier, FR – Rockstore
Oct 17 – Chalon-sur-Saône, FR – La Péniche
Oct 19 – Bristol, UK – The Lantern
Oct 20 – Liverpool, UK – The Kazimier
Oct 22 – Milan, IT – Biko Club
Oct 23 – Barcelona, SP – Say It Loud
Oct 24 – Madrid, SP – Sala Clamores
Oct 25 – Berlin, DE – Yaam
Oct 27 – Bochum, DE – Bahnhof Langendreer
Oct 29 – Cologne, DE – Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld
Oct 30 – Pfarrkirchen, DE – Club Bogaloo
Oct 31 – Offenbach, DE – Hafen 2
Nov 03 – Vienna, AT – Andino
Nov 04 – Prague, CZ – AghaRTA
Nov 05 – Athens, GR – GazARTE
Nov 07 – Marseille, FR – Cabaret Aléatoire
Nov 14 – Gatineau, QC – Le Petit Chicago
Nov 20 – Hamilton, CA – This Ain’t Hollywood
Nov 21 – Toronto, CA – Lee’s Palace
Nov 27 – Québec, CA – Le Cercle
Nov 28 – Montréal, CA – La Sala Rossa

Gilles Peterson Compiles An Epic New Sun Ra Collection

GP Sun Ra final hi res coverFollowing up on last year’s collection In The Orbit Of Ra we’re diving headfirst back into the vast universe of Sun Ra with a a newly curated set from the Ra’s immense 125 LP back catalog, compiled by Gilles Peterson. The BBC 6Music / Worldwide DJ is a long-time champion of Ra’s music and the UK’s leading tastemaker for jazz-based sounds. It serves as perhaps the best introduction yet to the music of Sun Ra for a whole new generation of converts.

For the CD version, Peterson picks personal favourites, classics and unreleased tracks and weaves them into a flowing piece across 2CDs, showcasing the incredible variety of Ra’s work. The 2LP version features full-length versions of selected tracks from the mix (and also includes the full CD mixed version), while the digital version features a full unmixed selection with Peterson’s mix available within the album bundle. Sleeve notes on physical formats come from Gilles Peterson with a full Ra career biography by author Robert L. Campbell. The album also features previously unseen photos from the archives of Val Wilmer alongside full musician line-ups and session details.

To Those Of Earth… And Other Worlds is available for pre-order now on the Strut Store and on iTunes. Also available is a limited-time bundle featuring all three Sun Ra releases on Strut (In The Orbit Of Ra, Planets Of Life Or Death, and To Those Of Earth…), on either CD or vinyl.

Tracklisting:

CD 1
1. SUN RA AND HIS MYTH-SCIENCE ARKESTRA – CALLING PLANET EARTH
2. SUN RA – SUN SONG
3. THE COSMIC RAYS WITH SUN RA AND THE ARKESTRA – DREAMING
4. SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – INDIA
5. SUN RA AND HIS MYTH-SCIENCE ARKESTRA – SPACE LONELINESS
6. SUN RA AND HIS INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – LOVE IN OUTER SPACE (Vocal)
7. SUN RA AND HIS MYTH-SCIENCE ARKESTRA – ADVENTURE-EQUATION
8. SUN RA AND HIS MYTH-SCIENCE ARKESTRA – SPONTANEOUS SIMPLICITY (Stereo version)*
9. SUN RA AND HIS MYTH-SCIENCE ARKESTRA – BRAZILIAN SUN
10. SUN RA QUARTET FEATURING JOHN GILMORE – WHEN THERE IS NO SUN
11. SUN RA AND HIS ASTRO INFINITY ARKESTRA – MY BROTHER THE WIND
12. SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – MYSTERY, MR. RA*
13. SUN RA AND HIS MYTH-SCIENCE ARKESTRA – BLACK SKY AND BLUE MOON
14. SUN RA AND HIS MYTH-SCIENCE ARKESTRA – WATUSA
15. THE SUN RA ARKESTRA – THE WORLD OF AFRICA
16. SUN RA AND HIS SOLAR ARKESTRA – CLUSTER OF GALAXIES
17. SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – STRANGE WORLDS (Live In France)**
18. SUN RA AND HIS BLUE UNIVERSE ARKESTRA – BLACKMAN

CD 2

1. SUN RA AND HIS MYTH-SCIENCE ARKESTRA – TWILIGHT
2. SUN RA AND HIS INTERGALACTIC MYTH SCIENCE SOLAR ARKESTRA – SLEEPING BEAUTY
3. SUN RA – MOOG SOLO (Live In France)**
4. SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – THEY PLAN TO LEAVE
5. SUN RA AND HIS SOLAR ARKESTRA – REFLECTS MOTION (Part 1)
6. SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – CHILDREN OF THE SUN
7. SUN RA AND HIS MYTH-SCIENCE ARKESTRA – WE TRAVEL THE SPACEWAYS
8. SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – ASTRO BLACK (Live In Zurich)**
9. SUN RA AND HIS MYTHIC SCIENCE ARKESTRA – SOMEBODY ELSE’S IDEA (Live In Paris)
10. SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – I ROAM THE COSMOS
11. SUN RA AND HIS SOLAR ARKESTRA – ON JUPITER
12. SUN RA – THERE ARE OTHER WORLDS (THEY HAVE NOT TOLD YOU OF)
13. SUN RA AND HIS INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – THE ALL OF EVERYTHING
14. SUN RA – ENLIGHTENMENT
15. SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – MAKE ANOTHER MISTAKE
16. SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – SPACE IS THE PLACE (Live In France)**

* Previously unreleased on CD
** Previously unreleased
—————–
LP

A1 SUN RA AND HIS INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – LOVE IN OUTER SPACE (Vocal) 3.50
A2 SUN RA AND HIS SOLAR ARKESTRA – ON JUPITER 4.02
A3 SUN RA AND HIS MYTH-SCIENCE ARKESTRA – SPONTANEOUS SIMPLICITY (Stereo version)* 3.01
A4 THE COSMIC RAYS WITH SUN RA AND THE ARKESTRA – DREAMING 2.46
A5 SUN RA AND HIS MYTH-SCIENCE ARKESTRA – BLACK SKY AND BLUE MOON 3.02

B1 SUN RA – ENLIGHTENMENT 2.57
B2 THE SUN RA ARKESTRA – THE WORLD OF AFRICA 3.00
B3 SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – THEY PLAN TO LEAVE 6.08
B4 SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – CHILDREN OF THE SUN 4.28

C1 SUN RA AND HIS BLUE UNIVERSE ARKESTRA – BLACKMAN 7.44
C2 SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – INDIA 4.50
C3 SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA – MYSTERY, MR. RA 3.07
C4 SUN RA AND HIS INTERGALACTIC INFINITY ARKESTRA – THE ALL OF EVERYTHING 4.23
D1 SUN RA QUARTET FEATURING JOHN GILMORE – WHEN THERE IS NO SUN 4.35
D2 SUN RA AND HIS INTERGALACTIC MYTH SCIENCE SOLAR ARKESTRA – SLEEPING BEAUTY 11.51
D3 SUN RA AND HIS MYTH-SCIENCE ARKESTRA – WE TRAVEL THE SPACEWAYS 3.27