Misc. Reviews

If it's kinda, sorta music-related, we'll review it. This week: Trap Door.

It's a given that on the average week more impossibly rare funk and soul wax passes through the hands of “Cool” Chris Veltri — the proprietor of record emporium Groove Merchant mentioned in the recent feature “Funk, Revisited,” (April 12) — than many avid collectors touch in a year. Dis-Joint Records, the imprint he co-founded with maven Vinnie Esparza, has mostly stuck to dance-floorÐfriendly, beat-driven fare, but its upcoming release Trap Door delves into the dustier and weirder corners of Veltri's deep crates.

Billed as an “international psychedelic mystery mix,” Trap Door takes the listener on an anarchic sonic trek to the four corners of the planet with a freshly packed hookah in one hand and headphones in the other. Recorded from original vinyl pressings, this handpicked selection of secret global oddities from Israel, El Salvador, Turkey, Korea, and elsewhere received extra tweaking with the addition of bugged-out dialog and liberal use of an Echo-Plex for the hazy, dub-style final mixdown. Trap Door literally veers all over the map, careening from synth-heavy, Euro prog-fusion throb to minor-key, Middle Eastern violin workouts to melancholy, Latin psych-pop while still coming together as a cohesive nocturnal soundtrack.

Though several of the tracks unsurprisingly spotlight the kind of breaks that make big-name producers go weak in the wallet, it's Veltri's ear for stunning tunes comparable to the best work of South American psych giants Os Mutantes and We All Together that elevates the mix to a higher level. The willful exclusion of artist info will madden detail-obsessed record geeks, but even the savviest digger would probably need several lifetimes and unlimited frequent flyer miles to track down these lost gems — even if they had all the pertinent info. Beat heads and psychedelic excavators alike will find plenty to love about the trippy yet still fundamentally funky flavors of Trap Door.

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