September 6, 2009

The bizarre world that is collectable modern soul

So I have a disturbing amount of rare and collectible modern soul on my computer, notice I didnt say it was necessarily "good," but traditional good isnt always what a modern soul track is about, anyway, some are vinyl rips of myself and friends, and the majority are from the net in some form or fashion, but it seems like a lot of people are looking for this stuff and in case you are not too familiar with the whole weird scene, here is a very wide sampling of what could be called 'disco' 'boogie' 'modern soul' or by the DJs who actually played it in 1980 R&B, but thats a term used for the really slow and overly sweet stuff from the period now. *Caution*, this is not what I would consider the best of the best in the genre, though I do think some of it is really great, it is more a sampling of the most recent uber collectible stuff and some still obscure finds for the collector's who already have the known $$$ collectibles. Also, just to mention, I think OC Tolbert's Lucky Man 45 is probably the most perfect example of what modern soul is, it has the distinctive low budget 80s sound but with amazing 60s soul lyrical and song appeal. Also its very rare, so put that all together and whatdya got? modern soul. Yes, perhaps if you wanted to be really picky you could say some of what I have up is boogie, and it is, but the genres blend and well whatever who gives a shit. I generally left out the everybody know's and has that track type stuff, you know the stuff that is on all those damn goldmine cd's. Also I stayed away from the mid to late seventies stuff because even though a lot of it is better it's more of a traditional soul sound and I'm trying to focus on a newly desirable genre that is 80s soul. The weirder and more mind boggling the better, also these are all singles, no albums. Here are my picks:

T.M.S. featuring Jimmy Graham - Get the feelin' / This lonely dream. 1982. Showcase Records.
This is a fantastic example of the 1982 sound that often blended heavy midtempo funk jams with modern soul/disco song structure, a fine gem here, I rar'ed it because I offered a little bit of the bside which is not very good but if you were curious its there. This is also a great example of how a record can go from 70 dollar auction in 2006 to a 950 dollar auction in 2009. Hype is everything in modern soul! *This was reissued by People's Potential Unlimited Records, please go buy the reissue if you really like it. Easy to find on the net. try or something.

IMAGE - You're my only desire (vocal) 1983 Solid Platinum Records.
Here is a prime example of a track which I really see nothing in personally but goes for $$$ and people are wet for it. It's got the sound, its got the lyrics, and its got the home production rareness but it just isnt that great a tune, more a time piece i guess, maybe I'm being too hard on it, $250 avg I guess. Maybe because it was produced larry joseph, a legendary MS guy.

Tony Rome - What Does it Take (1981) Kency Records. N.Y.
Absolutely amazing example of how good modern soul can be. I love this track. It isnt the most rare of the bunch but it's desired by many, goes for about 200-300.00 I guess. Perfect 1981 sound.

Kombination - Accept My Love (1984) TLM Records.
A good example of uniqueness, rareness, and newness being just as valuable as goodness. Yeah the song isnt horrible, its kind of 80s trendy naive sweet lovey sounding but it's not that great, virtually unknown before 07 (which is why it went for $$$ then as these new discoveries go) its a relatively new comer to the 200-400 dollar MS scene. Probably will only find it a couple other places on the whole net if that.

May Ervin - What is it. (1984) Music International. Philadelphia.
So here's another recently discovered item, known a couple years back now, but it's a good example of what constitutes the mid 80s electro-boogie soul sound, female vocals and all, and it bridges the gap between genres, not a favorite of mine but it is certainly listenable. Usually about a 100.00 record as it isnt the most rare or sought after on the block.

Power of Attorney Band - Love For You. 1986. Star Island Records.
One of the more sought after/expensive 45s of the post 1985 modern soul scene. Its more accurately described as boogie, and it has a very catchy quality that sounds very similar to a lot of the top 40 stuff around 85, actually its better than most of the really big tracks from that era in y opinion. It's a great example of the post 1985 modern soul sound, which has essentially crossed over into the 80s dance house boogie territory while still retaining some of the early 80s lyrical structure, the vocal inflections are usually a lot stronger as you go later (which I dont like), and the hook or chorus becomes more important than the lyrics. This was comped by boogie times or someone like that and it got huge after that. Perfect example of how this track in 1986 could have smashed the RnB charts at the time, really it was just a couple years late and got no promotion, but if it had, we'd probably be hearing it on the RnB station in town. All that being said, it's not in my playlist much but serves it's purpose.

Len Rideout - Just One More Night. 1981. Hot Licks Records.
This is from the extreme bad ass that made the modern soul mega hit Someone Special, which is extrmely good, but everyone knows that already, so this is the much more rare and lesser known Rideout track, Just one more night, very recently discovered, I can;t even tell you a price because I havent seen one yet. I Like it, it's not the greatest of the great but a lot of people are loooking for this one so snatch it up. Maybe later I'll throw up "Someone Special" because I like it so much, but from a internet collector stance, this one is much more exciting to find.

Sanctuary - I am Going to Love Him. 1983. Montage Records. /// Instrumental Bside
This record fluctuates like mad on Ebay, I put mine up too early without any hype and some asshole got it for 23 dollars, and then waited about a year and hyped it on a website and sold it for 140.00 Anyway, it's one of the many examples of gospel, boogie, and modern soul coming together, seriously, gospel boogie is a real genre and it is growing fast and if not for the economy would be steadily rising in price. Collector's love when great music that is secular in origin gets blended with christian lyrics and meaning, especially Xian Psych records, which I also have a lot of on my computer and am planning to do a special on next, but more recently the genre of gospel funk came around, early to late 70s funk tracks with songs about god, now we have gospel boogie, same thing, people just eat it up, and I do too. This is not the most rare or desirable of the bunch, but I never see it offered on the net and I like the instrumentation and guitar work a lot. If the vocals are just too campy for you check the Bside instro cause it has awesome layering or tracks, damn near prog-boogie!

Admirations - Groove Town. Great Lakes International. 1982. Detroit.
Again, not my favorite and not the most valuable but it's still about a hundred bucks and it has that low low budget uptempo funk guitar with disco drums boogie sound that is representative of a huge portion of the 'modern soul' sound. Also it's not the easiest to find on the net either, quite new to the scene and this is a personal copy so enjoy.

Brass Monkey feat Fletcher Tomlin - Party When I Can. Appleray Records. 1982.
Yeah I dunno why I put this up but it's really interesting I think, goes for about 50-100 dollars, quite rare but not the most sought after, its really uptempo boogie funk but it has a really weird sound to it, quirky as hell. Not many people have it either so for the collector's here you go, for the avergae layman, I dont think youre gonna be too thrilled with this, but give it a listen and see just what a guy in France will pay 100 dollars for. I know.

Dunn Pearson Jr. - Groove on Down. 1978. Shyriden. N.Y.
This is the one late seventies disco sounding track I've got in this sampling, because it is drastically different from the rest but you can see how it preceded the others. Also it's very good, a jazzy funky disco sound that I love and is sought after by shit tons of people. So here it is, Enjoy it, it's about a 300-400 dollar record.

1st Klass Band - Nymphomaniac. 1988. Budweiser Show Down.
So I figured I had to include a budweiser record because it's such a staple of the modern soul boogie scene. Basically budweiser had an ongoing competition they sponsored with local radio stations around the US that had contests to submit indie produced RnB/dance/funk/soul tracks and they would select the best and release a special edition of them and maybe you would get signed. This one is more of an electro boogie track than anything but I really like the super lo fi production and his vocals are actually quite good. Very 1987 in style and probably the furthest thing from the previous record by Dunn Pearson, but it shows you how much the genre changed in 10 years. Also this is very hard to find and not available anywhere else as far as I know.

Spade Brigade - I'm Your Man. 1980. Spade Records.
This track really grew on me over the last year, considering at first I thought it was pretty awful and now I fuckin dig it. This track is way ahead of its time, 1980, and has some seriously impressive track layering and quiat work, drums too, sounding almost like a prog funk sound like conrad benjamin and mixing it with the modern soulful styling of the best in the genre. Extremely rare record, very sought after, easily fetching 500-1000 dollars and a standout track in the quality of the production. Complete with shimmering guitar layers and disco breakdowns, sweet soul vocal harmonies and awesome choruses. Great use of studio effects and dubbing too. This is one of the most unique of the mega hitters.

Jeff Floyd - Don't Leave Me. 1984. Big J Records. 1984. Florida.
Excellent modern soul tune, kind of a silly intro but its 'real people' quality makes it add to the record in some ways, but its really a great track, well done in every way with very little means, good lyrics, a lost classic. Comped on the 'magnetik soul 3' compilation, and I suggest if you want great modern soul cuts go for the magnetik soul comps, they are the best. Also, there is a pretty big contingency of modern soul tracks that come from florida, and they have a particular sound that is hard to describe, but most of them are quite good.

September 2, 2009

Brothers Heritage - Sin-The-Tic (RMS 1979)

Really intereesting record found by a friend at Backspin Records,, that has some awesome cosmic disco, jazz dance and modern soul crossover jazz tracks. Very rare record out of Missouri by the Heritage Brothers, who I don't think have any other albums but maybe they do, falls along the lines of the 79 era prog style disco jazz records, great synth work and a bad ass drummer. In fact, if they would have kept the jams going longer and more rhythmic as opposed to making it prog style and changing rapidly, it would be an incredible record to jam all the way through, as it is, there are a few tracks that are great, but it is more of a sample or loop digging record. I really enjoy the first side, as it has a weird cosmic disco type song first, then a crossover soul jazz record with good drums, and finally a real burner with prog elements and disco madness too. Imagine a schizophrenic cloud one record with 2 extra drummers or something.

Check it out friends.