Light In The Attic insight into the Colorado country funk and enigma of Tumbleweed Records

This sublime compilation on Light In The Attic showcases the very best of the Tumbleweed Records label and is out on Friday. The Tumbleweed label was founded in February, 1971, by Larry Ray and Bill Szymczyk. They had fled an earthquake and a debauched L.A. music scene to claim their own slice of utopia in Denver, Colorado. The pair met at ABC-Dunhill, where Ray was general manager and Szymczyk arrived after his first hit as a burgeoning engineer/producer with BB King’s The Thrill is Gone. In Denver, Ray and Szymczyk  secured multi-million-dollar financing from Gulf + Western, where executives thought they were funding the “hippie movement’s next big thing”.

But instead of producing the next Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix, Ray and Szymczyk released music by innovators and idiosyncratic artists such as Pete McCabe, emotive songwriters like Robb Kunkel and Danny Holien, or psych-folk rocker Arthur Gee. They also released more established musicians like Albert Collins and Dewey Terry (of Don & Dewey fame), while launching the career of Michael Stanley.

Sadly, the label folded after two years and little commercial success – making it a perfect choice for Light In The Attic to shine new and deserved attention on this music.

Ray would go on to various opportunities, including producing five country albums alongside Bill Halverson, while Szymczyk would soon skyrocket to fame after producing The Eagles’ Hotel California.

This one is a funky highlight of the comp:

Tour of Mogadishu by Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb and Cameroon comp news

Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb has unpacked some finds from a recent trip to Mogadishu and is preparing to drop a new compilation of music from Cameroon.

The tracklisting for the new compilation of Pop Makossa – The Invasive Dance Beat of Cameroon 1976–1984 looks absolutely monstrous bringing together rare and in demand records from artists such as Bill Loko and Eko.

It is out on June 16 and features: (1) Dream Stars – Pop Makossa Invasion (2) Mystic Djim & The Spirits – Yaoundé Girls (3) Bill Loko – Nen Lambo (4) Pasteur Lappé – Sanaga Calypso (5) Eko – M’ongele M’am (6) Olinga Gaston – Ngon Engap (7) Emmanuel Kahe et Jeanette Kemogne – Ye Medjuie (8) Nkodo Si-Tony – Mininga Meyong Mese (9) Pasteur Lappé – The Sekele Movement (10) Bernard Ntone – Mussoliki (11) Pat’ Ndoye – More Love (12) Clément Djimogne – Africa

The Mogadishu finds are revealed in the recent and brilliant radio show for Worldwide FM by the Analog Africa main man as he passed through London to master the forthcoming Cameroon compilation and play the Love & Unity Party as Analog Africa Soundsystem.

Another solid year for Analog Africa is in store.

Awesome Tapes From Africa reissue Umoja’s 707, South African music reigns and bubblegum is back!

The Awesome Tapes From Africa label returns after Brian Shimkovitz’s recent expedition to South Africa – resulting in this much sought after reissue of bubblegum music stars Umoja and their 1988 EP 707. The label boss and DJ also linked up with Johannesburg selector and Afro Synth record shop owner, DJ Okapi, to check out his rapidly renowned emporium.

The band’s ‘Om’ Alec Khaoli turned to the pure pop form during apartheid in the mid-‘80s and Umoja’s EP 707 was a chart-topping hit in 1988 that achieved double-platinum status. Bubblegum music was an extremely catchy township music with call-and-response vocals and synthesiser-led melodies.

Umoja translates as “oneness” or “unity” in Swahili. “Bubblegum music was about escape,” explains Khaoli. “If you had grown up in South Africa at the time, there was nothing more in your life than oppression. It was even in your dreams. Anything that was a way out was welcome…When this music was playing everyone just wanted to dance, just have a good time.”

Awesome Tapes From Africa will release Umoja’s 707 on LP/CD/Digital on May 5.

And while we’re at it, Brian posted this artifact recently:

Left Ear Records celebrate Australian great again with Peter Westheimer’s Cool Change comp

Cool Change from Left Ear Records is the new compilation of Peter Westheimer and it’s a welcome examination of a musical polymath.

Westheimer is a a medical doctor, played violin in the Australian Youth Orchestra, he’s been an actor, a former deputy mayor, a street theatre performer and a documentary soundtrack composer.

The Aussie label has released a treasure trove of his music recorded between 1981 and 1993 on Cool Change. Westheimer’s debut Move was released in 1985 and sounded unlike anything else with a unique brand of distinctly Australian synth work. The second and third LPs of this intriguing artist were similarly unique (Sooner Than Laughter in 1986 and Transition in 1992). Those three releases are covered by Left Ear with six previously unreleased tracks also on this compilation.

Left Ear state: “Popular music landscapes were cultivated and subsequently redeveloped many times over during that period and certainly Peter’s sound evolved, but each track on Cool Change maintains a certain indescribable quality; a timbre that whispers Westheimer.

“If you walk into a record store you might discover Peter’s recordings filed under the usual headings: electronic, ambient, experimental or new age. Peter has long loved blending sounds from around the globe, with both Asian and European classical influences often finding comfortable spaces beside his synth pop sensibilities within his soundscapes. In the record stores of our minds you might also file some of Peter Westheimer tracks like Walking On The Edge or Elastic Smiles under mutant disco or divergent dance music.”

Check it out:

The Heliocentrics release new LP – A World Of Masks – on Soundway Records

Pre-orders are being taken now at Soundway Records for the the new LP by London psychedelic jazz collective The Heliocentrics. The band have their roots in the ‘90s when drummer Malcolm Catto recorded for Mo’Wax and Jazzman. They recorded their breakthrough album for Stones Throw, Out There in 2007 and have since collaborated with Ethio jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke, jazz and world music expert Lloyd Miller and Afro soul saxophonist, Orlando Julius.

To order, go to The Heliocentrics’ Bandcamp page or visit Soundway Records.

World Treasures Music archives (+ tracklists) and new fortnightly show for KMAH Radio

World Treasures Music will be on the radio fortnightly on Thursdays, 2pm until 4pm, on KMAH Radio. 

The next show is Thursday 27th April. Here’s the tracklist for the pilot show on KMAH Radio from April 12th, featuring new reissues from Jamwax and Odion Livingstone, new compilations from Music From Memory and Efficient Space, as well as fresh material from Larry Achiampong and Blackbones, plus some crackly OG records. Click here for the new radio section here for archived shows.

(1) Focus – Hay-Hay (2) Oby Onyioha – Enjoy Your Life (3) Pasteur Lappe – Na Real Sekele Fo Ya (4) Benjamin Ball – Flash A Flashlight (Gerd Jansen edit) (5) Group NSI – Mande Moin On Lajan (6) Pa Mande Moin Za Fe An Moin (7) Mim Suleiman – Mingi (8) Groove City – Jhazee (9) Sharon Dee – Teroko Tembere (10) Denis Mpunga and Paul K. – Criola (11) Erkin Koray – Oksuruk (12) Blackbones – For Baai (13) Livy Ekemezie – Delectation (14) Larry Achiampong – Back To Church 1 (15) Andy Rantzen – Will I Dream (16) Peter Hunningale – Untamed Dub (17) Moral Fibro – Take A Walk In The Sun (18) Nilamaye – Regresa Pues (19) BBC Sound Effects – Jet Plane (20) Akwesi Roberto – So Me Mu (21) Tony Okoroji – Akataka (Vocal) (22) Don’t DJ – Southern Shore (23) Jabali – Folk Song (Kanyoni) (24) Eloise Laws – Put A Little Love Into It (When You Do It) (25) Djavan – Nereci (26) Bovick & Co – Bazombo (27) Session – Tribute To Bob Marley