Various Artists

Super Cool California Soul Vol. 2 (Ubiquity)

In this era of Internet omnipotence, where immortality means little and scarcity less, it's both comforting and quaint to imagine there's still great music hidden in dusty basements and lost in record store bins. The vinyl archaeologists at Luv N' Haight have been resurrecting that feeling for a minute, and their latest collection compiles the best, rarely heard nuggets of Golden State funk, soul, and jazz tracks from '68 to '82. With their bluesy overtones, Buddy Connor's "Halfway Loving" and Pat Hunt's "Supercool" sound like outtakes from a mid-'60's Stax session, while Joey Jefferson's "Revolution Rap" and Rodney Trotter's "Space Nigga" point toward that early-'70s window when soul, funk, black futurism, and agitprop collided. But the best tracks are the oddities. Spank Wilson's exuberant "Fancy" is a little slice of a paradise lost, and Darondo's gossamer falsetto on "Such a Night" is brittle and seductive. Most of these tracks were forgotten the second they were released, becoming the sole province of record collectors with deep pockets. Compilations such as this one democratize the soul obsessives' sport, and for that we should all be grateful. Sam Chennault

 
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