Published on May 13th, 2011 | by Greg0
Our Summer Playlist: Putumayo and True Soul
It’s great to review gear. But when checking out the latest in music equipment and home audio gadgets, it’s nice to also get a handle on some of the newest music releases. Today, we’ve got albums from two sources, covering an interesting range. One set you’ve probably heard of, and the other is an anthology of some excellent tracks that are largely unknown.
We’ll start with the lesser known. True Soul: Deep Sounds From The Left Of Stax, is a “a collection of rare and unreleased funk and soul music from the fabled Arkansas indie.” Two volumes chock full of would-be classics that were somehow missed, most of these thirty-odd tracks. Now everything is great- some of the disco and and rap miss the mark- but there are a few gems in there. Released by Now Again Records, word is that the full release will include DVDs as well, but the official release date appears to be quite a while off- one source has it pegged as July! If you’re a fan of funk or soul, there are some surprisingly good pieces in here that are sure to end up in samples soon (a few seem as if they may have already). Rest assured that no one else will have these on their playlist anytime soon, and revel in some 60′s and 70′s tunes.
Or, you can chill to Putumayo. We’ve been listening to their latest three- Bossa Nova Around the World, Acoustic Dreamland, and Rumba, Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha. Preferences among staff varied widely here, with some folks enjoying them as background “coffee shop” music, and others really liking the Rumba album start to finish. Acoustic Dreamland was a little weak- it’s actually an album for kids, the fifth in the series, and features covers of songs from bands like Wilco and the Allman Brothers. The lullabies are nice, but worked a bit too well on the adults. It was nifty to see a pretty great German band, 2raumwohnung, on the Bossa Nova album, even if the included song “Melancholisch Schön” isn’t their best. This one had some strong spots and a few weak ones, but it was certainly interesting to see so many countries- South Korea! Serbia!- represented on a CD devoted to a Brazilian style. Putumayo certainly has a style- check out their wide selection and expect to spend around $15 per disc.