In interviews, Stones Throw general manager Eothen "Egon" Alapatt often describes his obsession with record collecting as though it were a form of self-immolation. It can, after all, turn you into a purist or a total neurotic someone hell-bent on possessing that limited-edition 45 or cassette demo you can only find in Peanut Butter Wolf's personal archive. Luckily, Egon found a productive way to channel his neurosis. He currently presides over Now-Again, a satellite of Stones Throw dedicated solely to reissues. Its latest compilation features new edits of hard-to-find tracks by a mostly unknown and unheralded cast of vintage funk outfits. A smattering of Stones Throw indie rappers including the underground favorite M.E.D. and massively underappreciated Percee P. make cameos, as though deputized to extend the lineage of funk to something more contemporary. (Granted, some of the raps seem intentionally anachronistic, featuring stream-of-consciousness lyrics about sex as a galactic force or "universal energy.").
But it's really all about the funk. Re: Sounds heats up with J. Rocc's edit of Detroit Sex Machines' "Rap It Together" and a tight-snapping female vocal rendition of Leon Mitchison's "Street Scene." The zenith is Todd Terry's remix of Kashmere Stage Band's "I Wish," which combines skronking horns, thumb-slapped basslines, and crisp, interlocking drum rhythms to give it more of a garage-band feel than the Stevie Wonder version. Though some of the album's more-retro-sounding, fusion-y tracks (such as Sound in Light's previously unreleased "Free Your Mind") might have limited appeal for modern listeners, Re: Sounds serves a grander artistic purpose than placating hip-hop heads alone. Bands like Sound in Light, Amnesty, or Detroit Sex Machines hell, even a relatively obscure battle emcee like Percee P. could have easily fallen through the cracks due to lackluster promotion or a paucity of resources. Luckily, Egon found a way to restore their godlike powers.
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