BEST OF FAR OUT 2017 (VARIOUS ARTISTS)
In the label’s 23rd year, release number 200 arrived in the form of a ridiculously ahead of its time long lost album from 1976 by the musical god Hermeto Pascoal. Mystical Brazilian psych-folk from the Quartin catalogue was unearthed in the form of Piri’s Voces Querem Mate? Sabrina Malheiros made a very welcome return with her first studio album in four years and it was well worth the wait. São Paulo’s can-do-no-wrong 10-piece Nomade Orquestra did no wrong with their earth-traversing second album EntreMundos. And the dancier side of things saw scorching heat from some ultras of underground music including Ron Trent, Dego and Ig Culture as well as newer names on top of their game like Max Graef, Glenn Astro and Contours, who each did Ivan Conti Mamao proud reworking a groove from the Azymuth drummer’s forthcoming solo album. Here’s a selection of some of our Far Out highlights of the year. Includes: Hermeto Pascoal - Danca Do Paje; Azymuth - Fenix (Ron Trent Remix); Nomade Orquestra - Jardins de Zaira; Piri - Reza Brava; Philippe Baden Powell – Chica; Sabrina Malheiros - Salve O Mar; Arthur Verocai - Bis (feat. Azymuth); Ivan Conti - Azul (Max Graef Remix); Sabrina Malheiros - Clareia (2000Black Remix); Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra - Vendetta (Al Kent Dub Mix); Dokta Venom - I Owe U Something; and Ivan Conti - Mamao's Brake (IG Culture Remix).
CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD FEATURING KEN KNOX – WORDS LEFT UNSAID
Wonderful contemporary work from the legendary Chairmen Of The Board – not exactly the same version of the group that climbed the charts at the start of the 70s, but one that definitely gets their spirit completely right! The album's a recent recording, but it features plenty of vintage talent on board – including the Philly songwriting team of the Steals Brothers, and Detroit soul legend McKinley Jackson on production work – handling things with an approach that really reminds us of the kind of group soul albums they cut back in the day! Ken Knox is the lead here, with a very different style than that of General Johnson – and in a way, the album's maybe thought of best as a criss-cross between classic Philly group and Detroit modes, rather than just another Chairmen Of The Board set. Titles include "Each Morning I Wake Up", "Words Left Unsaid", "No One Else", "I'm Ready Willing & Able", "Get Your Lovin", "All I Need Is You Tonight", and "Get Your Lovin (DJ mix)". ~ Dusty Groove
SUGARAY WAYFORD – THE WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN
Sugaray Rayford looks like a vintage soul singer on the cover, and he sounds like one too – here on an album that may well be the first time he really found his groove! Previous Rayford efforts have been a bit more blues-based, but the approach here goes strongly for a deep funk style – using a tight backing combo, and sometimes a trio of female backup singers – all to bring Sugaray's strong vocals into the territory of older southern soul! The instrumentation's never too overdone – and respectfully always leaves the tremendous vocals in the lead – on titles that include "Home Again", "Don't Regret A Mile", "Take Me Back", "Keep Moving", "What Do We Own", "The World That We Live In", "Troubles", and "Ain't Got No Business To Die". ~ Dusty Groove