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Big Crown Vinyl, CD & Tape 32 Artikel

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El Michels Affair - Return To The 37th Chamber
El Michels Affair
Return To The 37th Chamber
LP | 2017 | US | Original (Big Crown)
25,99 €*
Release:2017 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Return To The 37th Chamber” is being issued on vinyl with four unique cover designs as pictured above. Which cover art you will get will be picked at random.The wait is over, „Return To The 37th Chamber” is El Michels Affair’s highly anticipated follow up to 2009's underground cult classic “Enter the 37th Chamber”. Churning out classic records since then for the likes of Lee Fields, The Arcs, The Shacks, and tons more, it is clear that EMA's signature sound is stronger & sharper than ever.This time, in addition to re-interpreting the Wu compositions for a live band, EMA pays homage to the production and sonic fog that makes a RZA beat so recognizable. Producer and bandleader Leon Michels recorded the album completely analog, sometimes hitting 6 generations of tape before it was ready for mixing, giving the “Return to The 37th Chamber” it’s own hazy sound. Adding to the unique fidelity, the record is laced with psychedelic flourishes, “John Carpenter” synths, heavy metal guitars, triumphant horns, and traditional Chinese instruments that make up for the lack of the Wu’s superlative vocals. From start to finish it’s a dark trip that walks the line between RZA’s timeless hip-hop aesthetic and the cinematic soul EMA has become known for.El Michels Affair tackles some classics like “4th Chamber” and “Wu Tang Aint Nuthin to Fuck Wit”, as well as some deeper cuts like Ol Dirty Bastard’s “Snakes”, Raekwon’s “Verbal Intercourse”, and “Shaolin Brew”, Wu-Tang’s contribution to the St. Ide’s Hip Hop endorsement campaign from 1994. This time El Michels brings some of the Big Crown family along for the ride. Lee Fields handles vocal duties on “Snakes” and is joined by Shannon Wise of The Shacks for their version of “Tearz”, which pays as much homage to the Wendy Rene sample as it does to the Wu-Tang Clan. Lady Wray makes an appearance on the cover of Method Man’s hit, “All I Need”, lending her vocal prowess to what gave the Wu one of their biggest hits of all time. Interspersed throughout the record are some original interludes that are like the “rug that ties the room together,” giving “Return To The 37th Chamber” a cinematic narrative that makes it a proper El Michels Affair record and not just a collection of covers.The vinyl version of “Return To The 37th Chamber” is presented with 4 different hand painted covers. The originals were painted on two sewn together flour sacks in Accra, Ghana by Heavy J and Stoger, two artists who are legends in the Ghanaian Mobile Cinema scene and regular contributors to the Deadly Prey Gallery’s collection in Chicago.From the music to the presentation, this album is a perfect example of what can only be achieved through diversity. The end result is as much a kaleidoscope of influences and multiculturalism as the city it was recorded in. El Michels Affair is once again, “Sounding Out The City” that raised them, pulling elements of art and culture from across the country and around the globe to create an album truly unique in its own right.
Danny Akalepse - Impressions Of Impressions Parts 1 & 2
Danny Akalepse
Impressions Of Impressions Parts 1 & 2
Tape | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
7,99 €*
100Bonus Coins
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Bonus Coins
Big Crown Records is proud to launch Big Crown Radio, our label curated podcast of DJ mixes. First up, our own Danny Akalepse takes us for a listen to his Impressions of Impressions Part 1 mix, paying tribute to The Impressions with a mix of Soul & Rock covers of their tunes. To celebrate the launch of the podcast we pressed up a limited edition cassette tape of Impressions of Impressions Part 1 and the forthcoming Part 2 (all reggae covers of Impressions tunes). Expect to hear mixes from Big Crown artists as well as a ton of heavy weight DJs and record collectors that we are happy to call friends and colleagues. From Danny:“The Impressions, as Curtis, Fred, and Sam are one of my favorite groups ever. I’m really into collecting covers, I have been at it for a long time. I came up with the title for these two mixes and that really got me going, from the artwork to the tunes I really like the way this came out and it seemed fitting to commit it to a tape, two sides worked really well for the genres. This project definitely sent me on a trip digging and digging for more versions to add to what I already had, and I had to leave off some killers so I wouldn’t repeat songs. Some of the records on here aren’t straight covers but tunes that someone jacked Impressions melodies and arrangements and wrote their own verses over them. At the end of the day this mix has a heady level to it, but I am hoping that even with no context at all, and for people who don’t know who The Impressions are it will still be a good listen just the same. Curtis is a god in reggae, there’s way too many covers to get onto one mix, so I pulled some of the more known ones and some of the more obscure. I collect a lot of reggae records, something most folks don’t know me for, this is the first time I am releasing a reggae mix publicly. I hope everyone enjoys the vibe”.
El Michels Affair - Tearz Feat. Lee Fields & The Shacks / Verbal Intercourse Feat. EMA
El Michels Affair
Tearz Feat. Lee Fields & The Shacks / Verbal Intercourse Feat. EMA
7" | 2017 | US | Original (Big Crown)
9,99 €*
Release:2017 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
With the full length, “Return To The 37th Chamber” dropping April 2017, El Michels Affair releases another flawless two sider to hold us over.Side A’s cover of “Tearz” is as much an homage to the Wendy Rene sample as it is to the classic Wu-Tang Clan track.The song starts as a glazed over cover of "After Laughter" with Shannon Wise of The Shacks singing Wendy Rene's timeless mantra. Halfway through, the mood dramatically shifts and the drums and organ that drive the original RZA sample, take over. A dubbed out Lee Fields taps in like only he can, and the song spirals into outer space.Side B finds EMA dipping into the deeper side of the Wu catalog with Raekwon’s “Verbal Intercourse”. Mixing the grimy, gritty production aesthetic of the original with elements of dubbed out reggae, El Michels Affair once again pushes the definition of a “cover” and truly makes it a tune of their own.
Sunny & The Sunliners - Should I Take You Home / My Dream
Sunny & The Sunliners
Should I Take You Home / My Dream
7" | 2017 | US | Original (Big Crown)
9,99 €*
Release:2017 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Check out this essential garage Zamrock/Soul/Funk single as the first official reissue of the celebrated band’s one and only album!The musical style that became known as Zamrock came to embody the economic despair that followed the 1973-1974 oil crisis, which flung Zambia into recession and exacerbated a wide range of social tensions. Much of Zamrock also captured the controversy of wider politics in Africa and the world. Perhaps the finest example of this is Black Power by The Peace. - The Guardian The Boyfriends, from Kitwe’s Chamboli Mine Township, supplied the founding members for Zamrock’s most famous band, Witch, and kick started one of Zamrock’s best bands, Peace. Their sole Zamrock entry, “Black Power”, recorded at Malachite Film Studio circa 1973/4 and issued circa 1975, sounds like nothing else in the Zamrock canon: a lost message drifiting from the flower power era, imbued with a fiery Zambian voice.
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band - P.I.M.P. / Police In Helicopter
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band
P.I.M.P. / Police In Helicopter
7" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
9,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Big Crown Records presents the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band’s smashing cover version of “P.I.M.P.”. Following up on the smashing success of their debut album “55” and a string of essential 45s, this is the third label to press this staple tune. Three labels, three times, three different B sides. Back in 2008 Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band released its smashing cover of 50 Cent's P.I.M.P. which was long thought to be the original sample for the tune. The Mocambo pressing already hard to come by and fetching top dollar on the internet has become an underground classic. Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band treat the tune to their signature smashing drums and bass heavy production, taking the original loop and turning it into a full composition. Brass and steel pan parts putting it somewhere between reggae, steel funk, and the “Superfly” Soundtrack. Side B is the proper reggae offering from Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, a cover of the legendary John Holt’s classic “Police In Helicopter”. Another must have two sider, another Big Crown sure shot.
Lee Fields & The Expressions - Special Night
Lee Fields & The Expressions
Special Night
LP | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
24,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
"There are a few terms that get thrown around loosely, two of which are legend and retro-soul. One of these fits Lee Fields hand and glove, one of these doesn’tfit at all. Very few people in music have both earned the status of legendary and continue to solidify it. 50 years in the game and only getting better, gaining morefans, and evolving his sound on each album, Lee is in fact a Living Legend. This brings us to the misuse of the term ""retro-soul"" when talking about Mr. Fields.You don’t have to look far to find a younger generation emulating the essence and styles of an era the’ve only experienced through music and movies. It seemsunfair to tag Lee with a term that implies imitation when he is part of the generation that actually defined the genre. Plain and simple, this is not that. ""SpecialNight"" is a masterclass in soul music past and present.“I feel that every human being’s purpose is to do what their inner voice says to do,” says Lee Fields. “And my inner voice, my driving force, wants me to put outmusic and keeping making better records.”Produced by Leon Michels and Thomas Brenneck, and brilliantly performed by the Expressions, Special Night was written, recorded, mixed, and masteredentirely to tape in three weeks at the legendary Diamond Mine Studios in Queens, NY. A sense of urgency, equal parts fun and inspiration, and a decent amountof beer and Jack Daniels were the driving forces during the sessions that produced Lee Fields & The Expressions latest offering.Special Night is also the first record in the Expressions catalogue in which every song was written jointly by Lee Fields and The Expressions. “When I record, Imake every song like I actually mean it. I mean every word I say. On Special Night I’m talking to my lady — literally, expressing the way I feel.” says Lee Fields.“You can tell if a song is real or not, and every moment I’m recording, those moments are real, this is a record about what people do in real life”. For one example,he cites the song “Work to Do,” which tells the story of “a guy going to counseling, drinking too much, apologizing to the old lady and trying to keep familytogether, doing the manly thing.” On “Make This World”, Lee makes a nod back to his early funk roots with a cautionary tale about the health of the planet. Theworld was designed to last indefinitely,” says Fields. “We’re the only living species on Earth who can alter that process. I’m hoping that song has a chain reaction,helps somebody put into action whatever contribution they can to change what the world is going through.” As always, sticking to the formula but pushing theboundaries “Never Be Another You” from the first note doesn’t sound like something you would hear on a Lee record, that is until he starts singing anyhow. Alow tempo ballad with a head nodding drum track, sparse piano lines, and all the space Lee needs to lay down what is sure to be one of the flyest love songs of2017.Whether tackling a tune about love lost, found, or broader topics like the state of humanity, Lee has a very unique and honest perspective that is on display witheach unforgettable performance. Also, The Expressions have never been sharper, they, along with Lee, have created a collection of music on Special Night whichholds court with pretty much any soul music that came before it."
El Michels Affair - 4th Chamber / Snakes Feat. Lee Fields
El Michels Affair
4th Chamber / Snakes Feat. Lee Fields
7" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
9,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Big Crown Records is proud to present the first single from El Michels Affair's forthcoming full length "Return To The 37th Chamber".
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band - 55
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band
55
2LP | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
24,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Shrouded in mystery, hailing from Hamburg, Germany, Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band (BRSB) releases their long awaited debut “55” onBrooklyn’s own Big Crown Records. Long time multi instrumentalist and band leader Bjorn Wagner spent a few months in Trindad & Tobagowhere he became fascinated with Steel Drums. His initial intrigue with local steel pan music culture led him to learning the instrument boththrough help of local players and on his own. After he became proficient on the pans Bjorn had his own instrument built from a used oilbarrel by legendary pan man Louis C. Smith. Upon returning home to Germany, Bjorn set out to blend the Tropical Steel into his alreadysharply honed Funk, Soul, and Hip Hop sensibilities. The outcome is an updated take on a classic format, a truly unique sound. Their firsttwo recordings were covers of The Meters “Look A-Py-Py” & “Ease Back” which they self released on a 45. Looking back on these two sidesyou can tell they were just getting their chops up for what was to come next. This is evidenced by how all hell broke loose when they wenton to cover 50 Cent’s hit PIMP taking the DJ and vinyl collecting communities by storm. Many people thought the recording was the originalsample and probably still do to this day when it is played. The original Mocambo pressing sold out quickly and is now a collector’s itemfetching heavy prices when it changes hands. It was this tune that made the introduction between Bjorn and Danny Akalepse of Big Crown.They immediately hit it off and starting making plans to do a full length project with the band.Keeping in the tradition of Steel Drum records, 55 is a journey through re-interpolations and covers with an updated approach, pushing SteelPan music to uncharted territory. Flawlessly bringing previously untouched genres into the steel pan cannon ranging from Underground HipHop tunes to staple Funk tracks and some of all that falls in between. From the smoothed out Reggae cover of John Holt’s “Police In Helicopter”to the DJ sure shot cover of Faith Evan’s “Love Like This” BRSB’s 55 is reinvigorating tunes both well known and helping to shed somelight on tunes still largely undiscovered. However, some of the strongest tunes on the album are original compositions, from spaced outDisco vibes on “Beetham Highway Ride” and “Port Of Spain Hustle” to the ugly face inspiring drums of “Laventille Road March”. Recordedto analog 8 track tape at The Mocambo Studios in Hamburg, 55 is a gritty, punchy journey in sound drawing on music from around the world,using production aesthetics from across both eras and genres, all coming together seamlessly. If the 45s that have already come out onMocambo, Plane Jane, and Truth & Soul are an indication, this full length is going to be a staple to both casual listeneners and Disc Jockeysalike. Catch BRSB live in Fall as they tour the world with the mysterious heavy sound that is in fact, all their own.
Okonkolo - Rezos
Okonkolo
Rezos
10" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
16,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Rock / Indie
Big Crown Records is proud to present Okonkolo’s debut EP Rezos.
Lady Wray - Underneath My Feet / Guilty (Cold Version)
Lady Wray
Underneath My Feet / Guilty (Cold Version)
7" | 2017 | US | Original (Big Crown)
11,99 €*
Release:2017 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Following up on the success of Lady Wray’s solo debut album Queen Alone, we areproud to give you another 45 offering, this time showing another side of Nicole.Known worldwide for her early career as a Hip Hop / R&B singer, then more recentlyfor her more matured Soul inspired writing, the A side of this one “Underneath MyFeet” shows just how hard it is to put Lady Wray in a box. If you haven’t seen her liveshow, you may have no idea that she has a healthy bad ass Rock and Roll side to her,commanding crowds with a raucousness that likens Betty Davis. Underneath My Feetis a tough blend of glam rock drums and guitar stabs that Nicole takes to like a fish towater. A self proclaimed voodoo woman, putting a spell on the listener, warning all ofher unbridled power.The B side is the heart wrenching Guilty, a song Wray wrote to cope with theincarceration of her brother. One listen and it is impossible to doubt the sincerity,again showing Cole’s songwriting prowess with imagery of no one to cheers with, andnot wanting to experience the comforts of home knowing her brother was locked up ina cell. A solid 2 sider showing a different side of Lady Wray than she is typically knownfor all wrapped up in a beautiful picture sleeve cover.
Paul & The Tall Trees - Once In A While / The Little Bit Of Sunshine
Paul & The Tall Trees
Once In A While / The Little Bit Of Sunshine
7" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
3,59 €* 11,99 € -70%
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Big Crown Records presents the debut single from Paul & The Tall Trees, “Once In A While” b/w “The Little Bit Of Sunshine”. Hailing from Staten Island, Paul Schalda’s music seems to embody the unexpected overlap of The Band’s Americana, Ian MacKaye's unhinged emotion, and the doo-wop melodies his father, Bill Schalda Sr. (a member of Brooklyn vocal group, The Montereys), raised him on. The first single from his forthcoming full length, produced by Tommy Brenneck, “Once In A While” is a testament to Paul’s sincere and raw emotional song writing. Running the gamut of the forever changing conviction of a man in love, Paul goes from never again to maybe pleading for mercy on his soul. Musically going from a mellow strut to a frantic crescendo carrying the lyrics along for the ups and downs of addiction. The B Side “The Little Bit Of Sunshine” is the soul tearing admission of defeat and the long road to surrender. Easily interpreted as a story about a disfunctional relationship with a unkind, inconsiderate woman, yet truly a story about Paul’s giving up on a career in music.
El Michels Affair - Sounding Out The City
El Michels Affair
Sounding Out The City
LP | 2005 | US | Reissue (Big Crown)
21,99 €*
Release:2005 / US – Reissue
Genre:Organic Grooves
Over 10 years ago, Leon Michels released his first full length record, Sounding Out The City. It was Michels' first full length record underthe moniker El Michels Affair. At the time, the budding retro soul scene consisted of mostly organ quartets a la The Meters and of course,Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings were in the early days of their ascent to world domination.Leon Michels, who was 18 when recording Sounding Out The City began, had just released Thunder Chicken, the first record by his highschool band The Mighty Imperials. At the time of SOTC, Michels was just discovering early rocksteady, afrobeat, and 60's garage rock,which inevitably crept its way into the songwriting. He purchased a Tascam 388, an 80's 1/4" reel to reel 8 track intended for homerecordings, and began recording music in a 10x10 box with no windows that also doubled as his childhood bedroom. Along with fellowMighty Imperials Nick Movshon, Homer Steinweiss, and Sean Solomon, and Michael Leonhart, Thomas Brenneck, and some of themusicians from The Dap Kings, Michels recorded the LP over a two year period.Upon it's release, it received some rave reviews and the small deep funk community ate it up, but due to the lack luster promotion anddistribution the rest of the world was slow to catch on to the instrumental gems featured on SOTC, which Michels appropriately labeledas "cinematic soul". However, in 2005 it found it's way into the hands of the people who were organizing a series of concerts for Scionthat paired bands with MC's. El Michels Affair was contacted about playing one show with Raekwon The Chef of Wu Tang Clan fame. Theshow was such a success it led to a tour, and then to another set of concerts that featured multiple members of the Wu-Tang Clan. Thiseventually led to the release of El Michels Affair's second record, "Enter the 37th Chamber" which introduced them to a much largeraudience and has been their most successful release to date.Michels has since gone on to produce and co-produce numerous records for powerhouse soul artists like Lee Fields. He sharessongwriting credits with Adele, Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, Aloe Blacc, and has played on records by Ray LaMontagne, Lana Del Rey, TheBlack Keys and Dr. John.
Lady Wray - Do It Again / In Love With You
Lady Wray
Do It Again / In Love With You
7" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
9,89 €* 10,99 € -10%
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Big Crown Records is proud to present Do It Again the first single from Lady Wray’s new album Queen Alone. The 45 and upcoming album is produced by Leon Michels and Thomas Brenneck.
Shacks, The - The Shacks
Shacks, The
The Shacks
10" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
18,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Rock / Indie
When you listen to the Shacks' self-titled debut EP, you might imagine that Shannon Wise and Max Shrager are mucholder than their respective 18 and 20 years. But when Shannon’s whisper-vocals breeze through the speakers, you hearthe youthfulness of their sound which then in turn explains the fearlessness of their songwriting. Both vaguely familiarand completely fresh, The Shacks are one of the most interesting NYC bands to surface in a minute.Since the release of their first single, "Strange Boy," which they recorded with El Michels Affair, The Shacks have beencompared to 90’s indie icons like Mazzy Star, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Broadcast. As good as those bands are, youwouldn’t find a single one of their records in Max and Shannon’s music collection. All these bands are drinking fromthe same well, just 20 years apart.Highlights from The Shacks EP include a cover of the Ray Davies-penned "Strange Effect," which Shannon sings as ifit were written for her, giving the song an unnerving edge that’s way more interesting than Dave Berry’s tepid original.Also included on the EP is "Orchids," one of Leon Michels and Max Shrager's first co-productions, recorded at thelegendary Diamond Mine studios. "Orchids" is a truly original piece of music that showcases The Shacks’adventurousness in the studio. "Left It With the Moon" is a lo-fi lullaby written by Shannon and recorded to 4 trackcassette at Max’s home studio in Princeton, NJ. And "Hands In Your Pockets" features the Frightnrs rhythm sectionlaying down a pitch-perfect rocksteady backing track behind Shannon’s deadpan delivery a la Jane Birkin.
Lady Wray - Queen Alone Instrumentals
Lady Wray
Queen Alone Instrumentals
LP | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
19,19 €* 23,99 € -20%
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Lady Wray’s newest full-length, “Queen Alone” is a showcase of Nicole Wray’s inarguable vocal talent. Behind that talent is a musical force deserving of its own recognition. And that’s where the spotlight shines on this release, “Queen Alone” Instrumentals. The record was written and recorded in 10 days at the legendary Diamond Mine Studios, in Queens NY with Leon Michels and Thomas Brenneck handling production. Michels and Brenneck are both multi-instrumentalist. Leon Michels contributes his talents on keys, guitar, sax, flute as well as drums and percussion throughout the project. Brenneck handles guitars and bass as well as percussion. Additional contributions from Nick Movshon, Homer Steinweiss, Dave Guy, Max Shrager, and more help to create a sonic landscape that’s a perfect complement to Wray’s vocal prowess...and also stand as a monumental work all its own. Almost echoing her new record, Nicole says, “You have to go through something for it to be real.” She has been living with one foot in fame and the other in real life. The result is clear: she’s feeling something real in her music again. In no small part due to the incomparable talent and musicianship assembled by Michels and Brenneck for the Queen Alone sessions
Lady Wray - Smiling / Make Me Over
Lady Wray
Smiling / Make Me Over
7" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
6,99 €* 9,99 € -30%
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Big Crown Records presents the second single “Smiling” from Lady Wray’s “Queen Alone” album. The single is an instant feel good anthem, “Smiling” finds Lady Wray reminding us to keep our heads up and keep a smile on our faces through whatever life deals us. With production from Leon Michels and Thomas Brenneck that rides the line between bubblegum pop and lo fi tough grit, Nicole lays out with a voice as encouraging as the lyrics she is singing. Listeners will be hard pressed not to find themselves singing along after the first listen. A proper good vibe tune guaranteed to move dance floors the world over. The B-side “Make Me Over” is a lushly scored tale of letting your guard down and letting the one who loves you take care of you when you are down and out. A relatable tale of having expensive taste and empty pockets, Nicole finds herself asking for a little help so she can get a break from being strapped for cash promising to take care of her man as soon as her check comes in.
Lee Fields & The Expressions - Special Night Part 1 & 2
Lee Fields & The Expressions
Special Night Part 1 & 2
7" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
6,99 €* 9,99 € -30%
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Class is in session and all the youngins out there shaking a tail feather and playing dress up are about to be schooled by the ageless, timeless, and always present, Mr. Lee Fields. “Special Night” is the latest offering from a man whose career has spanned 50 years and as Oliver Wang of NPR once said, “In a curious case of musical evolution, the older Fields becomes, the closer he gets to perfecting the sound of soul that he grew up with as a young man”. Special Night is no exception. An epic 6 minute jam split into parts one and two on the 7", Special Night is a story of love and loneliness told from the perspective of a man with extreme life experience and deep wisdom. The tune is the perfect storm of production duties handled by Leon Michels and Thomas Brenneck alongside the inimitable musicianship of The Expressions, and recorded at the legendary Diamond Mine, Special Night is in the humble opinion of the Big Crown team, one of the greatest pieces of soul music Lee has put to record thus far.
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band - Scorpio / 8th Wonder
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band
Scorpio / 8th Wonder
7" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
11,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Big Crown Records is proud to present Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band’s new 45, “Scorpio” b/w “8th Wonder”. Coming after the smashing success of their debut full length “55” they drop 2 B-Boy classics back to back on this tough two sider that comes in a beautifully illustrated picture sleeve.The A side “Scorpio” is a killer cover of the Dennis Coffey breakbeat staple. BRSB turn up the tempo a touch on the original doing the tune justice with crushing drums they have become known for. This is sure to be in every breakbeat enthusiasts box. The B side features the non album cut, BRSB’s cover of The Sugarhill Gang’s 8th Wonder, a tune that lends itself to pans like it was written for them. Another dance floor winner sure to be in DJs sets the world over shortly.
Lady Wray - Queen Alone
Lady Wray
Queen Alone
LP | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
23,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Virginia-born singer/songwriter Nicole Wray has everything you’d want in a singer: an infectious Jackson-5-family-member flare, a range like Aretha’s, and a church upbringing that’s brought a pure, healing texture to her voice. But the struggle she’s been through has made her more than a singer. Nicole Wray is an artist. To know her soul, you have to go back to the beginning. Growing up in Portsmouth was tough at times for Nicole. However, at the age of fifteen, life opened up quickly when Missy Elliot paid a visit to Nicole’s family home to audition her on the spot. Missy was there on the rumored strength and quality of her voice. Instantly blowing her away, she signed and left with Missy that night. Two years later, at age 17, she had a hit gold single off a solid debut album (“Make It Hot”). Suddenly she was part of a team that included late ‘90s R&B and rap royalty: Missy, Aaliyah, Ginuwine, Playa, Timbaland and Magoo. She made it, and fast. However, as rapidly as she achieved success, Nicole then found herself needing to re-make it. By late 2001, her time with Missy and company had run its course. They amicably parted ways and Nicole, once on top of the R&B world, was unsure of what was next. It was a very low, but important, point in her life. While neck-deep in this struggle, Damon Dash and Roc-A-Fella Records called. They signed an album deal and by 2004, in what was starting to be a pattern, just as things were looking up Roc-A-Fella suddenly (famously) split. Once again, industry factors beyond her control took charge. Like a recurring dream, Nicole found herself in a familiar situation. Having just been in the spotlight, and then again back living the “real life.” In 2013, Nicole paired up with London vocalist Terri Walker and released the album “Lady”. Terri parted ways with the group to pursue her own projects shortly after the album’s release–despite rave reviews and upcoming travel dates. Fast forward to now–the transformation from singer-for-hire to pure artist is evident in this new full-length solo release, “Queen Alone”. The record was written and recorded in 10 days at the legendary Diamond Mine Studios, in Queens NY with Leon Michels and Tom Brenneck handling production. Today, after stutter-stepping in and out of the industry, there is a new soul and substance to her songs–all of it from her life. “They Don't Hang Around", tells the story of her post Roc-a-Fella days, “Guilty", is about her brother’s incarceration, “Make Me Over" tells the relatable story of being broke with expensive taste, and ‘Let It Go”, a perfect way to end the record, is about the simple act of letting go and moving on. Almost echoing her new record, Nicole says, “You have to go through something for it to be real.” She has been living with one foot in fame and the other in real life. The result is clear: she’s feeling something real in her music again. And it’s hard for us as listeners not to follow suit.
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band - Jungle Fever / Tender Trap
El Michels Affair - Strange Boy / No Surprise
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band - Love Like This / Dog Was A Doughnut
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band
Love Like This / Dog Was A Doughnut
7" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
9,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
With their highly anticipated debut full length “55” hitting in early May, Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band hits us with another killer two sider 7” sure to be in every DJ’s box. The A side is an incredibly catchy cover of Faith Evan’s smash hit “LoveLike This”. Instantly recognizable from the first note they work their way through the tune in proper BRSB fashion. Advance “Test Press” copies were sent to tastemaker DJs across the globe, the results have all been the same. This one is a dance floor killer and has crowds captivated and curious. The B side is a gritty punchy interpretation of the classic Cat Stevens tune “Dog Was A Doughnut”. BRSB really pushing the genre envelope with this one, using steel pans on an otherwise dark electro backdrop sprinkled with killer open drum breaks.
El Michels Affair - Return To The 37th Chamber
El Michels Affair
Return To The 37th Chamber
CD | 2017 | US | Original (Big Crown)
17,99 €*
Release:2017 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
The wait is over, „Return To The 37th Chamber” is El Michels Affair’s highly anticipated follow up to 2009's underground cult classic “Enter the 37th Chamber”. Churning out classic records since then for the likes of Lee Fields, The Arcs, The Shacks, and tons more, it is clear that EMA's signature sound is stronger & sharper than ever.This time, in addition to re-interpreting the Wu compositions for a live band, EMA pays homage to the production and sonic fog that makes a RZA beat so recognizable. Producer and bandleader Leon Michels recorded the album completely analog, sometimes hitting 6 generations of tape before it was ready for mixing, giving the “Return to The 37th Chamber” it’s own hazy sound. Adding to the unique fidelity, the record is laced with psychedelic flourishes, “John Carpenter” synths, heavy metal guitars, triumphant horns, and traditional Chinese instruments that make up for the lack of the Wu’s superlative vocals. From start to finish it’s a dark trip that walks the line between RZA’s timeless hip-hop aesthetic and the cinematic soul EMA has become known for.El Michels Affair tackles some classics like “4th Chamber” and “Wu Tang Aint Nuthin to Fuck Wit”, as well as some deeper cuts like Ol Dirty Bastard’s “Snakes”, Raekwon’s “Verbal Intercourse”, and “Shaolin Brew”, Wu-Tang’s contribution to the St. Ide’s Hip Hop endorsement campaign from 1994. This time El Michels brings some of the Big Crown family along for the ride. Lee Fields handles vocal duties on “Snakes” and is joined by Shannon Wise of The Shacks for their version of “Tearz”, which pays as much homage to the Wendy Rene sample as it does to the Wu-Tang Clan. Lady Wray makes an appearance on the cover of Method Man’s hit, “All I Need”, lending her vocal prowess to what gave the Wu one of their biggest hits of all time. Interspersed throughout the record are some original interludes that are like the “rug that ties the room together,” giving “Return To The 37th Chamber” a cinematic narrative that makes it a proper El Michels Affair record and not just a collection of covers.The vinyl version of “Return To The 37th Chamber” is presented with 4 different hand painted covers. The originals were painted on two sewn together flour sacks in Accra, Ghana by Heavy J and Stoger, two artists who are legends in the Ghanaian Mobile Cinema scene and regular contributors to the Deadly Prey Gallery’s collection in Chicago.From the music to the presentation, this album is a perfect example of what can only be achieved through diversity. The end result is as much a kaleidoscope of influences and multiculturalism as the city it was recorded in. El Michels Affair is once again, “Sounding Out The City” that raised them, pulling elements of art and culture from across the country and around the globe to create an album truly unique in its own right.
Lee Fields & The Expressions - Make The World
Lee Fields & The Expressions
Make The World
7" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
10,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Mr Fields is back with a funk burner sure to light up every dance floor itplays to. There couldn’t be a better time for an optimistic anthem from theseasoned wisdom of Lee. The Expressions tearing this track apart withdriving horns and guitars over monster drums and the slick arrangementswe have all come to love them for. Leon Michels & Tommy Brenneck’sproduction bringing together some of the finest players doing it today withLee’s inimitable voice reminding and encouraging us to get together andmake some changes, changes that are ours to make.Another Big Crown sureshot.
79,5 - Terrorize My Heart / Terrorize My Heart (Disco Dub)
79,5
Terrorize My Heart / Terrorize My Heart (Disco Dub)
7" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
9,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Big Crown presents the debut single from 79.5 “Terrorize My Heart”. Hard to categorize, easy to love, 79.5 has been making tons of noise around New York City for the past year. With three lead vocalists, Kate, Nya, and Piya and a band that pulls influence from every corner of a record store, it’s no wonder they are already taking the scene by storm. They are an act that gets put on as an opener and shortly thereafter is asked by the venue to do a month long residency. That residency leads them to a full page write up in The New Yorker before they even have a single out. The long and short of it is that 79.5 wins over the listeners wherever they play with an infectious energy. Between the arrangements of bandleader Kate Mattison and the prowess of all the players, their sets run a gamut of energies and tempos, whether breaking it down to a capella, turning it up to disco, or mastering the middle, they run the groove, and the crowd follows suit. Take all of that and put it in the studio with Big Crown’s own Leon Michels on production duties and you get a record we can’t wait to put out in the world, a record on which every song was recorded live to tape in one take. “Terrorize My Heart”, a tune leaving no room for gray, finds the ladies of 79.5 walking the line between vulnerability and forthrightness. Setting out with admonishments of love and infatuation that are checked by the bluntness of women who’ve lived in the Big Apple for years, “is it her or is it me, that’s how it’s gotta be”. A smashing rhythm section covered in punching Rhodes chops, flute parts, and dubbed out reggae rhythm guitar sets the perfect vibe for the ladies to trade off leads and come back together in three part harmonies: All the while taking the whole tune from half time to double time. The B side, coined the Disco Dub mixed by Jens Jungkurth, finds Michels’ production taking “Terrorize My Heart” from the change where it goes to four on the floor and lacing it with drums and a clap track that absolutely pushes this tune over the edge into the realm of dancefloor banger. Tombstones fall over, the earth cracks open, and dead people get up and dance when this comes on...
Soul Explosives - Tryin' To Get Down / Ain't No Sunshine
Soul Explosives
Tryin' To Get Down / Ain't No Sunshine
7" | 1972 | US | Reissue (Big Crown)
11,99 €*
Release:1972 / US – Reissue
Genre:Organic Grooves
Big Crown Records presents a reissue of the highly sought-after, very rare, and only release by Texas funk band, The Soul Explosives. Active in 1971 and 72, The Soul Explosives were a high school group from Kingsville, TX led by high school senior Skip Frazier. Their main goal was to play a neighborhood know as the"The Cut" in nearby Corpus Christ, where there were a number of Soul & R&B clubs. They paid for the recording and pressing of the 45 which was done by a tiny local Tejano studio/label, Bormeh. Copies of the record were given to friends and sold at shows. In '72 Skip decided to leave the group to pursue his college studies and they disbanded not long after. The A Side “Tryin To Get Down” is a lo-fi funk gem with all the makings of an underground classic. Driving drums and blown out vocals somewhere between encouraging and liberating are sure to peak funk fans ears.The B Side, a absolutely smashing cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine”, is nothing short of a must have. The Soul Explosives nearly instrumental cover might just be the toughest version on a 45. Another Big Crown sureshot.
Max Shrager - Thoughts Of You
Max Shrager
Thoughts Of You
10" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
18,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Rock / Indie
Max Shrager’s debut EP “Thoughts Of You” is a collection of songs Max recorded over the past 7-8 years, at the ripe young of 20, it’s clear. Max was born for this. Now dedicated to his band The Shacks, he spends most of his time focusing on writing and recording for their upcoming full length due out on Big Crown in 2017.These songs are what he calls “the best of everything he has recorded up to that point”. 6 songs on a beautiful 10-inch picture sleeve EP, another Big Crown sureshot.
Mickey & The Fabolous Five - Mickey & The Fabolous Five
Mickey & The Fabolous Five
Mickey & The Fabolous Five
10" | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
17,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Before Mickey and the Soul Generation there was Mickey and The Fabulous Five. As members of a Latin Soul band called The Royal Tokens, Mickey Foster and Emil Carter developed their chops playing in front of San Antonio teens at Sunday night Battle of the Bands shows. Mickey’s own band, The Fabulous Four, soon became The Fabulous Five with the addition of Gilbert Rivera on bass. In the late summer of 1967, local music entrepreneur E.J. Henke took the Fabulous Five into Jeff Smith’s Texas Sound Studio to record two sessions of funky New Breed Soul instrumentals as well as a backing session for Charles Russell’s group, The Three Dudes (BC014-45). Still a teenager, Mickey and his father both signed Henke’s recording contract. While their recordings with The Three Dudes were released as a single on Henke’s Satin Records, the superb instrumentals The Fabulous Five cut during the summer of ‘67 remained unreleased until now. Relying heavily on the rhythm section, this set of recordings captures the young band crystallizing what would become their signature sound. By 1969, The Fabulous Five had changed their name to Mickey and The Soul Generation and had begun recording their now legendary sessions with Manny Guerra’s GC Productions. These early sessions stand alone as a key chapterin the development of one of the greatest, heaviest exponents of Funk.
Lee Fields & The Expressions - Special Night Instrumentals
Lee Fields & The Expressions
Special Night Instrumentals
LP | 2017 | US | Original (Big Crown)
25,99 €*
Release:2017 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Preorder 05.05.2017
This is the instrumental version of Lee Fields’ latest album.Produced by Leon Michels and Thomas Brenneck, and brilliantly performed by the Expressions, “Special Night” was written, recorded, mixed, and mastered entirely to tape in three weeks at the legendary Diamond Mine Studios in Queens, NY. A sense of urgency, equal parts fun and inspiration, and a decent amount of beer and Jack Daniels were the driving forces during the sessions that produced Lee Fields & The Expressions latest offering.
Lee Fields & The Expressions - Special Night Translucent Red Vinyl Edition
Lee Fields & The Expressions
Special Night Translucent Red Vinyl Edition
LP | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
24,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
There are a few terms that get thrown around loosely, two of which are legend and retro-soul. One of these fits Lee Fields hand and glove, one of these doesn’t fit at all. Very few people in music have both earned the status of legendary and continue to solidify it. 50 years in the game and only getting better, gaining more fans, and evolving his sound on each album, Lee is in fact a Living Legend. This brings us to the misuse of the term "retro-soul" when talking about Mr. Fields. You don’t have to look far to find a younger generation emulating the essence and styles of an era the’ve only experienced through music and movies. It seems unfair to tag Lee with a term that implies imitation when he is part of the generation that actually defined the genre. Plain and simple, this is not that. "Special Night" is a masterclass in soul music past and present. "Special Night" is also the first record in the Expressions catalogue in which every song was written jointly by Lee Fields and The Expressions.
Paul & The Tall Trees - Our Love In The Light
Paul & The Tall Trees
Our Love In The Light
LP | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
16,79 €* 20,99 € -20%
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Staten Island is both close enough to New York City and far enough away to make it easily the most exotic of the 5 boroughs. Rza from WuTang Clan attributes the uniqueness of the Wu to it’s Hip Hop contemporaries at the time to just that dynamic. Growing up on an island that is neighbors with the capital of the world, but has no bridges to it, no trains or tunnels, only a ferry, turns out to be the perfect recipe to give a New York band a unique take on the energy of the city. Paul Schalda, the bandleader, singer and songwriter of Paul & The Tall Trees is from Staten Island.One part of a crazily talented musical family, Paul’s music seems to embody the unexpected overlap of The Band’s Americana, Ian MacKaye’s unhinged emotion, Otis Redding’s raw, warm soul, and the doo-wop melodies his father, Bill Schalda Sr. (a member of Brooklyn vocal group, The Montereys) raised him on.On Paul & The Tall Trees’ debut album “Our Love In The Light” you hear the sum of his experiences. This singular sound is helped by the fact that his father, William Schalda, Sr., and brother, Will Schalda Jr., play on and inspire the record. The album was written entirely by Paul, and produced by another Staten Island native, Thomas Brenneck of Charles Bradley, Menahan Street Band, and Budos Band fame. The combination of the two gives the record an amazing sonic range, from the powerhouse rocker “Crack Of Down” to the ethereal western vibes of “She Comes Around”. Paul pens a tune about the forever changing conviction of a man in love on “Once In A While”, and ironically “The Little Bit Of Sunshine”, is a story about Paul giving up on a career in music. One thing you hear in Schalda’s music, no matter which song, is that the road hasn’t been easy. His voice can be hauntingly harsh, yet hopeful and tender, raucous and gravelly one moment, smooth and intimate the next.
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band - 55
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band
55
CD | 2016 | US | Original (Big Crown)
17,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Hip Hop
Shrouded in mystery, hailing from Hamburg, Germany, Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band (BRSB) releases their long awaited debut “55” on Brooklyn’s own Big Crown Records. Long time multi instrumentalist and band leader Bjorn Wagner spent a few months in Trindad & Tobago where he became fascinated with Steel Drums. His initial intrigue with local steel pan music culture led him to learning the instrument both through help of local players and on his own. After he became proficient on the pans Bjorn had his own instrument built from a used oil barrel by legendary pan man Louis C. Smith. Upon returning home to Germany, Bjorn set out to blend the Tropical Steel into his already sharply honed Funk, Soul, and Hip Hop sensibilities. The outcome is an updated take on a classic format, a truly unique sound. Their first two recordings were covers of The Meters “Look A-Py-Py” & “Ease Back” which they self released on a 45. Looking back on these two sides you can tell they were just getting their chops up for what was to come next. This is evidenced by how all hell broke loose when they went on to cover 50 Cent’s hit PIMP taking the DJ and vinyl collecting communities by storm. Many people thought the recording was the original sample and probably still do to this day when it is played. The original Mocambo pressing sold out quickly and is now a collector’s item fetching heavy prices when it changes hands. It was this tune that made the introduction between Bjorn and Danny Akalepse of Big Crown. They immediately hit it off and starting making plans to do a full length project with the band. Keeping in the tradition of Steel Drum records, 55 is a journey through re-interpolations and covers with an updated approach, pushing Steel Pan music to uncharted territory. Flawlessly bringing previously untouched genres into the steel pan cannon ranging from Underground Hip Hop tunes to staple Funk tracks and some of all that falls in between. From the smoothed out Reggae cover of John Holt’s “Police In Helicopter” to the DJ sure shot cover of Faith Evan’s “Love Like This” BRSB’s 55 is reinvigorating tunes both well known and helping to shed some light on tunes still largely undiscovered. However, some of the strongest tunes on the album are original compositions, from spaced out Disco vibes on “Beetham Highway Ride” and “Port Of Spain Hustle” to the ugly face inspiring drums of “Laventille Road March”. Recorded to analog 8 track tape at The Mocambo Studios in Hamburg, 55 is a gritty, punchy journey in sound drawing on music from around the world, using production aesthetics from across both eras and genres, all coming together seamlessly. If the 45s that have already come out on Mocambo, Plane Jane, and Truth & Soul are an indication, this full length is going to be a staple to both casual listeneners and Disc Jockeys alike. Catch BRSB live in Fall as they tour the world with the mysterious heavy sound that is in fact, all their own.
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