Adele Sebastian - Desert Fairy Princess
Jazz / Afro
LP - PMG001LP
Adele Sebastian was an Afro American jazz flutist and singer, active from the early 70s on (when she was still a teenager) until her untimely death at the age of 27 (!) in 1983 from a kidney failure. In fact she had been depending on monthly dialysis to stay alive for years. She lived through and for the music and you can hear it on her only solo album “Desert fairy princess” , which was first issued in 1981. The mostly acoustic instrumentation brings a very natural and therefore rather retrospective sound considering the year the album has been released. Adele and her band pull it off right from the start as if it had been 1966 and it was time for a revolution to shake the dust from the old time jazz. In a perfect way she mixes classic American vocal jazz elements with playful and more free passages, Latin music and tribal African sounds in the lengthy and quite rhythm oriented “Man From Tanganyika" and makes the title track start with a mystical „Allahu akbar“ chant while it turns more and more into a dark and gloomy song with something like a psychedelic edge reminiscent of Pharoah Sanders on his early works. Wild rhythms from drums, percussions with tons of bells and chimes weave a thick groove carpet and conjure a magical atmosphere. And it is only one of the cool tracks here for there are six all in all. Those jazz aficionados who love the mid 60s John Coltrane, his sidekick Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane will go crazy for this album.
Niagara - Niagara
Afrobeat / Fusion
LP - PMG002LP
This was more a project than an actual band formed by German jazz drum legend Klaus Weiss. He formerly worked with another jazz legend from his mother country, Klaus Doldinger and gained fame in the German jazz circuit of the 60s and 70s. His 1971 works with NIAGARA was the offspring of the vision to create an orchestra made entirely of drummers and percussionists. Despite the fact that there is definitely no regular melody instrument to be heard on this album, the two lengthy compositions are arranged in such an enthralling way, that they have a rather catchy and memorable feel. Among the cult drummers featured on this album are Udo Lindenberg (yes, this icon of German rock and pop started as a drummer!) and session hero Keith Forsey. So what both compositions offer is an ever pulsating rhythm inferno, a maelstrom of different grooves and sounds. If you go for this album to find some pop tunes, you better change your mind. If you wish to be enchanted and hypnotized by a massive wall of percussion sounds and be dragged deeper and deeper into a state of trance, which is utterly addictive, you are welcome. This album goes deeper as most psychedelic rock with dreamy melodies and heavy organ work. You cannot compare it to anything else, so open your mind for the ultimate rhythm experience and join in if you dare. Only if you dare.
Nico - Nico's Last Concert "Fata Morgana"
Avantgarde / Alternative Rock / Post-Punk
LP - PMG003LP
Christa Paffgen aka Nico has been a femme fatale extraordinaire, a woman always searching for and always running from something. She began her career as a model and actress, but soon got addicted to music and all kinds of unhealthy relievers for her spiritual pain, which in the end caused a bad health and helped to generate the circumstances for her untimely death at the age of 50 in 1988. A few months prior to her passing due to a bicycle accident on the Spanish isle Ibiza, she performed her last show with mostly new and unheard tracks, plus one classic tune from her proto-gothic album “The end” (originally released in 1974). If you are familiar with her avantgarde type music you may guess what awaits you here but I think I should explain it to all those who have never heard of Nico before. She had one of the most captivating and outstanding voices in the whole music scene during her active years, with an utterly dark and manic expression even while performing her vocals absolutely flawless. Besides her unique voice, Nico also performed as a supermodel, which flatened her path to the hearts and music of several well known artists from that time, like Andy Warhol, Brian Jones, Bob Dylan, Tim Hardin, Leonard Cohen, Jackson Browne, Jimi Hendrix, Danny Fields, Iggy Pop and Alain Delon. Andy Warhol connected Nico to Lou Reed, who's band THE VELVET UNDERGOUND she joined for the first album as a singer on Warhol's wish. Her later backing band THE FACTION created a thick carpet of pulsating melodies and rhythms with a spacey feel and a morbid atmosphere. Peter Murphy of BAUHAUS once called Nico's albums “The marble index” (1968) and “The end” (1974) to be the first ever true GOTHIC style records and he was right. Even twenty years after her first records Nico still had this gloomy but majestic charme and the older she got, the better and more intense her music became. With these accessible but still mind twisting songs on “Nico's last concert: Fata Morgana” we get a rough idea where she wanted to go. All in all this is one of those cult albums from the 80s dark psychedelic music scene, which certainly deserves to be heard by current generations for it easily stands the test of time. Just phreakin awesome.
Dadisi Komolafe - Hassan's Walk
LP - PMG004LP
Released back in 1983, this modal to slightly free jazz outfit from California takes us on a journey back to the late 60s and very early 70s, into the spiritual realms of greats like John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, John McLaughlin and Miles Davis, among others. Only few contemporary sounds from the bass and keyboards tell you that this album is newer than expected. Listening to it with far over 30 years distance, it easily stands the test of time and even more turns out to be one of these mind bending gems with an ever pulsating flow of magic being transferred into music. With a lead guitar added this could do justice to everything the MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA had ever released, but there is no need for guitars when you have a piano player going crazy and a rhythm section that seems to dance the Saint Vitus dance with each other. Please get me right; this is utterly tight and well performed with each note and each beat sitting where they belong. There are shapes of melodies rather than lines as common with modal jazz. What Miles Davis started 24 years earlier culminates in a sheer musical eruption on this album, which hardly anybody will remember these days. The atmosphere of “Hassan's Walk” is deep and enthralling. When the band reaches its starting point, again melody wise after a fantastic roller coaster ride in the sense of an explosive musical performance and relentless improvisations you will fall on your knees. Exhausted but happy. And there is more to experience here. Souljazz of the light-footed yet highly energetic kind, and bits and pieces you can relate to Latin music meet each other on this battlefield of sounds and melodies. I cannot help but I feel totally hypnotized. For all aficionados of at least a bit far out jazz music this is exactly what you need.
Ahmed Fakroun - Mots D'Amour
Synth-Pop / Disco
LP - PMG005LP
The Arab world back in the 70s and 80s gave us quite a few very interesting rock and pop acts. Ahmed Fakroun from Libya was THE one of them. Here we have his 1983 album whose title means “Love Words” in English. And in fact his kind of ethno pop seems to go deeper than just to the charts where a song like “Soleil! Soleil!” - a typical yet outstanding synthie pop / new wave anthem that would have gone well with David Bowie or Duran Duran in the early 80s - definitely would have belonged. Other tunes are more Oriental with great string arrangements and those mystical melodies only Arab and Oriental music provides. It goes forth and back with these elements. “Mots d'amour” is a rather colorful affair, when it comes to 80s pop music and within the fine arrangements you will find a lot of solid handcraft from the instrumental section. Whoever worked with Ahmed Fakroun in the studio during the album production shall be praised and blessed for his talent as well. All in all this is one of the lost gems of 80s pop music which fetches prices up to 500,00 Euros for a nearly mint copy today. So fans of cool 80s pop with a memorable edge are now able to grab a copy of this forgotten jewel. Compared to many European releases from that year, “Mots d'Amour” can easily match up with all of them and has several outstanding evergreens on board. The sound is perfect for the time as well. So grab a copy of the reissue and make your dance party go crazy with this fascinating guy from Libya.
Watch out for more fantastic releases of Ahmed Fakroun, published and distributed by PMG!
Zdenka Kovacicek - Zdenka Kovacicek
Jazz-Funk / Disco
LP - PMG006LP
CD - PMG006CD
She is one of the most significant and eminent figures from the Croatian music scene, and her career already goes for nearly 60 years. By the age of 13 Zdenka started being a professional singer with the duo „Hani“ and later on she took a trip through the worldwide pop music scene, until her return to Croatia. By 1978 she was ready to release her first solo album, which is impossible to find and now fetches prices of 300,00 and more Euros as an original in good shape. It is a very colourful affair you are about to put on your turntable when you grab a copy of the newly released first ever reissue of this funky gem. Zdenka and her team of producers combined disco funk, haunting electronic pieces, lush soulful ballads and glam oriented power pop with a rocking edge together with one common denominator, which is the utterly distinctive and charismatic voice of Mrs. Kovačiček. She could easily be a black disco queen in the vein of Donna Summer and I certainly would consider that, if I did not have seen her picture before. The Croatian language adds a great touch of exotica to the whole album as well. The music itself is Western oriented, funky, soulish, bluesy and glammy, with modal jazzy elements. It feels honest and from the heart, from the first to the last song. You can say that Zdenka Kovačiček plays the music that was popular at the time, when this album was recorded, with a twist of her own spirit thrown in, which in the end makes it an outstanding and colourful record. Drop the needle anywhere on this black pearl and you will always be swallowed by an irresistibly hot groove and end up in a joyful mood.
Watch out for more forthcoming releases of Zdenka Kovacicek on PMG!
Steve Black - Village Boogie
Funk / Disco
LP - PMG007LP
CD - PMG007CD
After starting his musical carrer back in 1968, the Nigerian artist, drummer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer STEVE BLACK released his fantastic and unique album "Village Boogie!" in 1979. "Village Boogie!" really deserves the status of a legendary rarity and holy grail for fans of afro funk music. The original album is incredibly rare today and fetches prices of 800,00 and more USD! On this unique album Steve Black presents a new version of the smasher „Brand new wayo“, originally played by the band MIXED GRILL, in which Steve Black was also the singer. Along with that hit "Village Boogie!" gives us six other groovers and movers that make your hips shake like you were hit by an earthquake, and in fact this is an earthquake of ever pulsating polyrhythmic drum and percussion patterns, as solid platform for lush horn arrangements and swinging bass lines. A little bit of guitar and other instrumentation adds color to the whole wild steaming funky sound and on top we find the utterly distinctive voice of Mr. Steve Black. "Village Boogie!" omes as strong as the best US funk releases of that days, but in fact has this very special Nigerian power to make anyone move the hips, since this music comes from the very depth of the musicians' souls. The album spreads a joyful and jolly feeling where and whenever you make it rotate on your turntable. It's a brilliant afro funk gem that everybody needs to hear. The concentration of real anthems moves on a highest level.
PMG soon will also release Steve Black's second album "Happy birthday to 'U'" and on top of that: Mr. Black is now in studio again to record a brandnew album for you - watch out for his new funky masterpiece, released on PMG!
THE RAY CAMACHO BAND - REACH OUT
Funk / Disco
LP - PMG008LP
CD - PMG008CD
This 1979 release is one of the two albums by the disco outfit THE RAY CAMACHO BAND with bandleader Ray Camacho, exploring the field of the funky club dance music happening at that time. Original copies of this brilliant album go for about 800,00 USD among collectors. Now the brand new reissue of "Reach Out" enables us booty shakers to get into the ever pulsating grooves. The needle lowers down and hits the vinyl and a beat like flashing lights sets in. Bass guitar, regular drums and percussions weave a tight web of rhythm patterns that capture your body right away and set you into a state of trance. You recognize Latin influences here and there, which become obvious when the horns blow out lush harmonies and relaxed but hot blooded melodies hit your ears. And indeed Ray Camacho actually comes from Latin music and he mixes both worlds very well on this record. A massive collection of sheer disco funk hits that will give you a joyful time spinning the record, but leave no time for a short breath. You will dance and dance and just dance to these perfectly produced and executed songs that stick to your mind for quite a long time after the music has faded. "Reach Out" is an all in all handmade album with burning performances of all instrumentalists, with an emphasize on the extended rhythm section. If you love your funky music slick and steaming, be welcome to get this vinyl!
PMG will also reissue the fantastic album MUCHA SALSA from Ray Camacho later this year, as well as other outstanding recordings.
Niagara - S.U.B.
Jazz Rock / Kraut / Jazz-Funk
LP - PMG009LP
Rhythm master Klaus Weiss knew he had a good thing going with NIAGARA. The first album was a gathering of every outstanding drummer and percussionist he could get hold of and despite the fact that there were only rhythm instruments featured , it became quite a memorable and unique record. Now for the second album "S.U.B." he felt he had to go other ways, and recorded with a complete rock outfit plus the one or another brass instrument. „S.U.B.“ is definitely worth being traded for 180,00 Euros and more among collectors for a clean original and when the needle hits the groove you will realize why. There is a tightly woven web of rhythms from drums and percussions, as the solid and ever pulsating base with a laid back but really present bass guitar adding more depth and power to the beats and clean rhythm guitars with a nifty wah wah effect for the extra kick. From time to time the guitars fire off a memorable steaming riff on top of the rhythm pulse and the horns answer the call for arms. You really have to look at the backcover to find out that this is a German outfit instead of one of these utterly hot and hip US funk rock cult bands of the time. NIAGARA aka Klaus Weiss waive the vocals so it is an instrumental record you face with „S.U.B“, but then this band goes so wild in some of the compositions, that you will be left breathless on your knees by all these simmering performances. Each musician participating in this project is a professional, but they all let the music erupt into a climax of sound you can only achieve, when you put your whole heart and soul into it. A masterpiece of funky and utterly unleashed rock music from the early 70s.