Nov 9, 2007

Into The Groove (04)

Hello, a little less electro-funk than last week, though Shango and the rare Rap It sampler from Celloloid records still do those qualifications justice. No the thread today is Material, as this band around bassplayer Bill Laswell is heavily involved in all four albums presented today . Working with Africa Bambaata they produced a great electro funk album that somehow still hasnt been re-releaed on cd, maybe current day technology doesnt do credit to what then did the business, well a vinyl rip has to do it here, all are vinyl rips btw. Back editing the tightly mixed Rap It sampler took me more time then usual as i initially missed the fact that basicly this was a 6 track album intermediated by 10 seconds raps from Shahiem (oops) Nona Hendryx sang Voulez Vous Couchez Avec Moi ? (Lady Marmelade) which got the girls always exited and subsequently the boys, she managed to take that flair into her 30 year career . Nona went on to produce successful work with a broad range range of artists, Material being the first to pick her up after she starred brightly in the Talking Heads backing line up.

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Material - One Down (82 ^ 313mb)

One of the most high-profile projects of the endlessly prolific bassist and producer Bill Laswell, Material pioneered a groundbreaking fusion of jazz, funk, and punk that also incorporated elements of hip-hop and world music well before either's entrance into the mass cultural consciousness. Formed in 1979, the first Material lineup consisted of Laswell, multi-instrumentalist Michael Beinhorn, and drummer Fred Maher, all three staples of the downtown New York City underground music scene. After Material's debut LP under their own name, Temporary Music, the group's ranks swelled to include figures ranging from Sonny Sharrock to Henry Threadgill to Fred Frith, additions which yielded 1981's superb Memory Serves.

Their next album "One Down" marked a distinct shift in sound for Material, the avant-garde downtown ensemble organized around bassist Bill Laswell and keyboardist Michael Beinhorn. The edgy experimentalism that characterized earlier efforts like Temporary Music and Memory Serves is downplayed here in favor of funk and disco tunes delivered with less weirdness. Laswell is a master of funk bass, and with guests like drummer Yogi Horton, guitarist Nile Rodgers and singers Nona Hendryx and Whitney Houston (just before she became a superstar on her own), he didn't really have much chance to go wrong. Highlights include"Take a Chance" and the strutting "I'm the One"; if you want something a little more challenging, check out Archie Shepp's squalling sax solo on the Houston vehicle "Memories." This is straight-ahead turn-of-the-80s funk at its old-fashioned best.

Laswell finally reassembled the troops in 1989 to record the atmospheric Seven Souls, which spotlighted the spoken word performances of the legendary William S. Burroughs. 1991's The Third Power brought the group back to its soulful roots, with guests including Herbie Hancock, Sly & Robbie, Maceo Parker, and the Jungle Brothers; after 1994's Hallucination Engine, another four-year hiatus preceded the release of the remix collection The Road to the Western Lands. Intonarumori followed in 1999.

01 - Take A Chance (Voc.Nona Hendryx) (4:29)
02 - I'm The One (Voc. Bernard Fowler) (5:24)
03 - Time Out (4:51)
04 - Let Me Have It All (5:24)
05 - Come Down (Voc. Bernard Fowler) (4:42)
06 - Holding On (4:43)
07 - Memories (Voc. Whitney Houston) (4:00)
08 - Don't Lose Control (4:15)
09 - Busting Out (Voc.Nona Hendryx) (8:03)

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Nona Hendryx - Nona (83 ^ 506mb)

One-third of the pop/soul act Labelle (their big hit was "Lady Marmalade"), Nona Hendryx, by far and away, made the hippest solo records of any member of that group (the others being Patti LaBelle and Sarah Dash). After Labelle called it quits in 1976, Hendryx released her self-titled debut record, which was an amazingly strong amalgam of soul and hard rock. It also went almost completely ignored by critics, soul fans, and even Labelle fans, and Hendryx took her strong, clear, booming voice and did lots of session work in the late '70s and early '80s. It was here that she fell in with a hip crowd of musicians, specifically as a result of her time singing backup for Talking Heads. In the early 80's, Hendryx fronted her own progressive art-rock group, Zero Cool. Simultaneously, she sang with experimental funk group Material, achieving a giant club hit with "Busting Out," which can be described as "disco with a hard rock edge." . Bill Laswell, who, along with his band Material, helped Hendryx put together a second solo record entitled Nona. A strong album that's not as wild-eyed as her debut, with extra musical emphasis provided by Sly Dunbar, Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Nile Rodgers.
Nona did spark greater interest in Hendryx's considerable talents, she was recruited by RCA to record songs for various soundtracks, including: the theme for Moving Violations; "I Sweat (Going Through the Motions)," a commercial hit for Hendryx from the Jamie Lee Curtis film Perfect; and "Transparent" from the Eddie Murphy vehicle, Coming To America.And after that, her solo career flourished to the point where she no longer needed studio work to supplement her income.

Although some of her late-'80s records sound a little formulaic, Nona Hendryx is a dynamic, daring, and extremely talented performer, who, as is often the case, didn't receive the credit she's due. Hendryx took a detour from commercial music with Skin Diver, new age-record produced with long-time Tangerine Dream-member Peter Baumann. The album was generally greeted with positive feedback from critics, though commercially unsuccessful. She remains in high demand for musical collaborations, both for her vocals and her songwriting. Currently, Hendryx is still touring and has written plays and formed her own record label with Bobby Banks, Rhythm Bank, in 2005

01 - B-Boys (5:28)
02 - Living On The Border (5:27)
03 - Keep It Confidential (5:46)
04 - Design For Living (5:10)
05 - Transformation (5:27)
06 - Run For Cover (4:26)
07 - Steady Action (5:11)
08 - Dummy Up (4:20)
09 B-Boys (12" Version) 6:35
10 B-Boys (Instrumental) 6:52
11 B-Boys (Single Version) 4:04
12 Keep It Confidential (Special Extended Club Version) 5:50
13 Keep It Confidential (Single Version) 3:48
14 Steady Action (Single Version) 3:55
15 Transformation (Single Version) 3:59

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Shango - Shango Funk Theology ( 84 ^ 93mb)

Shango Funk Theology is another collaboration between hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa and the "1000 project man" Bill Laswell, featuring the usual suspects like Michael Beinhorn and Nicky Skopelitis. The music is a cross between the Material disco-funk from the time and Bambaataa's hip-hop workouts, with weird chants, rapping and (for the most part) programmed breakdance beats. There's a cover of Sly Stone's "Thank You," featuring ultra-groovy clavinet playing by Beinhorn; the other tracks are originals, including the short but catchy "Soca Fever," where Nicky Marrero's percussion blends extremely well with the DMX beats, and the irresistible "Let's Party Down," which has Laswell, Beinhorn and the rest of the crew at their funkiest. Deep bass, tasty synths, bold horn charts and clever grooves -- anyone who's into Laswell's similar ' 80s music might have to track this down immediately. Unfortunately, the album has never been reissued on CD; the vinyl pressing can still be found, however. (Vocals by Amad Henderson , Bernard Fowler, Fred Fowler and Jimmy Mac)

01 - Shango Message (7:39)
02 - Thank You (7:28)
03 - Soca Fever (2:27)
04 - Zulu Groove (9:01)
05 - Let's Party Down (11:09)

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VA - Rap It ! (83 ^ 94mb)

The frontcover is a painting by Keith Haring. The record is a Celluloid label collection of 6 separetely released 12"s connected by rapper Shahiem and the music and production work from the Material Crew with Martin Bisi. Originally the backcovers of these maxi's contained a detail of a painting by Futura 2000. Putting these 6 details together gave the full painting. Most mixes here are (slightly) different than the mixes on the 12"s. I'm not sure but it must have been one of the first official mix albums aswell.

01 - Grandmixer D. ST. - Cuts It Up (7:43)
02 - Shahiem - Rap (0:09)
03 - Fab 5 Freddy (Ft Material) - Change The Beat (7:32)
04 - Shahiem - Rap 2 (0:10)
05 - Smurfs, The (Ft Bernard Fowler) - Smurf For What It's Worth (7:01)
06 - Futura 2000 (Ft The Clash) - The Escapades Of Futura 2000 (6:33)
07 - Shahiem - Rap 3 (0:09)
08 - Phase 2 (Ft Material, Grandmixer D. ST) - The Roxy (4:57)
09 - Shahiem - Rap 4 (0:14)
10 - B-Side (Ft Material) - Change The Beat (3:37)

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All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !


Anonymous said...

On Material - One Down last song
should be Busting out,and it's missing.
Any chance you can upload that song too?

Rho said...

Hello Anon,
This is a vinyl rip of the original album, no Bustin'Out on there, a 92 One Down cd release had it added. I had Bustin'Out, but the album Mutant Disco went on the road a lot and got lost. So sorry can't help you.

Best of luck,

Anonymous said...

Hi, there are links for Mutant Disco:
Mutant Disco 1&2:A Subtle Dislocation of the Norm
Mutant Disco 3: Garage Sale
Password: majorbonobo

On a first cd there is Bustin' out but i think that is not the version included on One Down CD,i think that one on cd was a bit longer


lazfan said...

Nice post.

I really love these Celluloid hip-hop releases. The Rap It! comp is a real treat - I've always been curious about that Smurfs track, never been able to find a copy anywhere.

And I've been searching for that Nona Hendryx LP for quite a while, too. I have "Art of Defense" LP and a 12" from that one, but not the LP you've posted. Quite enjoyable for me from the early Laswell/Material production perspective.

Delfisch said...

you really made a man happy! i was searching One Down for such a long time! nobody has to share it. Thank you very much!
Do you know Massacre "Killing time" - same background .. splendit stuff!
If you have any requests - dont hesitate !

cheers and rock on!

Rho said...

Hello, sorry for the late response, i dont track back that often. Thanks for all that Mutant Disco Anon the plit of track 11 of vol 3 didnt go smoothly but its minor..btw megaupload had deleted it .. i will post more ZE in posts to come.
Hello Lazfan, yes the rap it album had just a limited european release, glad you can finally Smurf For What It's Worth...(wink)
Hello Delfisch, odd that One Down isnt that available..certainly the cover is very up to date these days...As for massacre- it rings a bell but thats all i dont have it.

Best of luck to you'll


Helios C said...

I had all these 12" back in those days (except Futura) :)
The Roxy was much longer I think. All 12" had a slightly different or mostly instrumental version on the b side.
Did you listen to Nile Rodgers guitar solo on "Come Down"? Great :)

regards, Helios C

Andy said...


thanks for the post. any chance you might have Nona's 1977 LP?

Anonymous said...

Hi, how do you know, that the Rap it cover is done by Keith Haring? Thanks

Rho said...

Hello, Anon
Well for one, the colors connect and at the time he wasn't the megastar he became later, when people understood his work better, and (being cynical here)specially when they heard he had aids..which meant no price delutions from 'future'works. This attracts speculators, prices going up etc.

i came across someone on ebay selling this cover, stands at 50 dollars now. Anyway how do i know ?

The frontcover is a painting by Keith Haring. The record is a collection of 6 separetely released 12"s. All backcovers of these maxi's contained a detail of a painting by Futura 2000. Putting these 6 details together gave the full painting.
Most mixes on this record are different than the mixes on the 12"s.

So just the one source here..if you want to know more, i guess you'll have to google yourself into it .

best of luck,


The Funky Computer said...

Merci pour l' album de Nona Hendryx, "Nona". Il fallait vraiment avoir de la personnalité pour sortir un album aussi funky et non-commercial à cette époque. Elle et Prince.

Anonymous said...

you have a wonderful site!

AliBoingo said...

Hi Rho, please could you re-up the Shango LP & Rap It comp - mant thanks and great site!

Anonymous said...

Likewise. Did I miss the Flacs? And yes, thank you for a great site.

Rho said...

No Shango and rap It are vinylrips i made 10 years ago, at the time i only saved it in ogg9, and no there's no plans to re-rip it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rho, I missed the re-ups of One Down, Shango & Rap It!, any chance of re-re-up? That would be wonderful, thank you very much, congrats with the blog btw, great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, thanks!