In the early 1970s, Yorkshireman Peter Bagshawe was living in Zambia, pursuing an interest in steam trains. He ended up as the de facto manager for one of the greatest Afro Rock bands of the era. How all of this came to pass is story you’ll have to hear him tell. Thankfully, he sat down via Skype recently to recount his time managing Sunburst.
Our Ave Africa compilation, which collects the Tanzanian band’s entire recorded output, is available now on CD, LP & digital formats.
In 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.
Listening 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.
Long-time members of the Sun Ra Arkestra Marshall Allen, Danny Ray Thompson, Michael Ray and Knoel Scott reflect on the life and influence of Sun Ra in a rare new interview with Art Yard’s Peter Dennett. Includes footage of the fabled Sun Ra house in Germantown, Philadelphia.
In The Orbit Of Ra, presented by Marshall Allen and mastered from the original tapes, is out September 22nd. Orders are available on iTunes, Amazon, and the Strut Store.
The music of Nigeria’s reclusive synth funk innovator William Onyeabor has reached a new level of exposure via Luaka Bop’s excellent Who Is William Onyeabor? compilation last year, yet many hard facts about Onyeabor’s biography remain elusive. In their new documentary “Fantastic Man,” Noisey speaks with musicians and champions of Onyeabor’s music, including our own Quinton Scott and Duncan Brooker who included the sublime “Better Change Your Mind” on the first Nigeria 70 compilation, about their appreciation for his music, and the search for the facts about his life.
Despite differences in nationality, age, and personal history, Soothsayers and Cornell Campbell seem to have a natural chemistry together, which comes through on their collaborative project Nothing Can Stop Us. You can also see it in their interaction with each other in the studio, where the two artists discuss their initial introduction via well-known Jamaican producer, and their work together on the Nothing Can Stop Us project.
When it comes to the career of legendary session musician Alan Hawkshaw, it’s best to let him do the talking. He’s been involved with more amazing projects than we can count, and practically everything he’s had a hand in has become prized by collectors of heavy funk. We were lucky enough to sit down with Hawkshaw recently to discuss his incredible career in music, spanning his earliest groups, the KPM period, his involvement in the breakdance classic “The Champ” by The Mohawks, the transition to the disco era, and the embracing of his music by modern DJs and producers.
Our collection of essential library music on the KPM label, Music For Dancefloors, is available now.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s in Communist Romania, Rodion Ladislau Roșca and his band Rodion G.A. created a hybrid of electronic music, psychedelics, and progressive rock that, decades later, has revealed itself to be remarkably ahead of its time. After years of obscurity, and only a handful of singles ever released officially, Rodion’s music is finally getting the recognition it deserves. This is the story of the music, conducted as an interview with Ion Dumitrescu of Bucharest’s Future Nuggets crew. Rodion speaks from his home in Romania about way he created his music, the creative climate in Communist Romania, and the sad fact that he feels that even the renewed interest in his work is coming too late to make a difference in his life.
The Lost Tapes, the first ever commercially released album of Rodion G.A.’s music, is due May 28th on Strut Records in association with Future Nuggets and Ambassador’s Reception.
Here’s the second half of our video documentary on Celluloid Records. Bill Laswell and Grandmixer DXT, part of Celluloid’s production brain trust, speak on some of their production work together outside of the label, including Herbie Hancock’s groundbreaking song “Rockit,” and PiL’s Album with Ginger Baker. Label founder Jean Karakos also speaks about signing Fela Kuti to Celluloid. Hearing info on these projects and more from the mouths of their creators is one of the reasons we love what we do! Change The Beat: The Celluloid Records Story is out now on double CD, double LP (w/ CD insert) and digital download.
The story of the Fangnawa Experience collaboration is one best told by the artists themselves, and that’s exactly what we’ve done in this video feature on the project. The guys in Fanga and Maâlem Abdallah Guinéa & his musicians don’t speak the same language, but they were able to connect via their dedication to music. Watching them perform together is a real treat, as is the closer look at the instruments (the qraqab and the gimbri) used by the Gnawa players. Fangnawa Experience experience is out November 13th.