Contrary to popular belief, not EVERYTHING is new in Los Angeles. Soul Cal: Funky Disco & Modern Soul, 1971-1982 is a perfect example of that. After ten years of anxious, dear-god-Egon-when-will-this-come-out nailbiting, Los Angeles based Now Again Records releases THE seminal collection of the bands that pioneered the ground between funk and disco. ‘You Can be A Star!”, the lead single from the compilation, is a perfect example of that transition of American popular music. Rhythmically structured in the funk but rolling in the melodic and instrumental bliss of disco, the song’s guitar solo is a perfect example of the bliss one feels when they play what they love.
Now Again is one of my favorite labels of all time. They don’t just appreciate the music – they care about the era, the feeling, the aesthetic and art that came with it. This compilation… well… This is no-joke. It’s a beautiful product that label manager Eothen put his heart and soul into. The double LP is accompanied by an 80 page book with rare photos of the musicians and their songs. Utilizing the licenses, master tapes, and the stories of the musicians themselves, Soul Cal is a completely analog audio/visual experience from a forgotten age. So put the needle on the record and open the book – this stuff is deep.