Friday, July 19, 2013

Maulawi Nururdin

Via the excellent blog Fleamarket Funk, this label is reissuing some fascinating stuff - read on, plus free DL too.

"If you haven’t been following Amir Abdullah's [of renowned duo Kon &Amir] label 180 Proof, well you are missing out. He has been reissuing music from the great Strata record label out of Detroit. His first few releases including Kenny Cox, Larry Nozero, and Sam Sanders will soon be joined by Maulawi. 180 Proof has just teamed up with Slice Of Spice Records and put up a free, unreleased track that will be featured on the 180 gram, remastered, double LP due out later this year.

If you have no idea who Maulawi Nururdin is, his S/T Maulawi LP Spiritual Jazz record is highly sought after by collectors and beat heads alike. Maulawi, a Chicago multi-instrumentalist, gathered a group of musicians to put out this gem, which died a quick death shortly after its fuzzy, funky, and deep release. A soundtrack to the times and tribute to what was going on at that moment (plus a great John Coltrane cover deconstructed), this is a record you should at least hear once. Let’s move forward though.

180 Proof have unearthed some unreleased music from the shelved Maulawi’s Orotund record and have given us a sneak preview of the official release that will come out later this year. The unreleased track is an upbeat piece of Jazz, with Maulawi keeping pace with the band feverishly on sax that is equal Sun Ra and Chicago Blues influenced Jazz..."

Amir tracked down the widow of the former label owner of Strata, and she still had all the master tapes.... from an interview with Amir for Vice...

Amir: "...Around late 2010, Scion decided to make the ScionIQ Museum, and they asked me and a few other people to submit a proposal on an exhibit based on lost youth culture from the past. I submitted an exhibit on Strata. They accepted, and now I have a Strata Records exhibit in this museum online. Throughout that whole research, they paid me to go to Detroit. When I went to Detroit, I found the actual owner, Barbara Cox. Her husband was the owner, but he passed away in 2008 and so everything was willed to her."

How do you go about bringing these master tapes back to life?
"I have a guy that I use at Wax Poetics. They said this guy Alex Abrash is the best, and turns out he was the best. We both no longer work for the Wax Poetics so I brought him along. He has every reel to reel machine you can think of in his house. He's bought them online or had them from years ago. He actually built a lot of them and added stuff to them. He's all this expensive equipment to be able to transfer directly from the analog tapes to digital and then master from there. That's really 75% of the battle right there.."

Trivia: John Lennon donated a portable recording studio and a Hammond B3 organ to the Strata collective.

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