Numero Group: By The Numbers

Own a piece of Numero History
April 10, 2014, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Belize City Boil Up, Discographies, Record Store Day


In the midst of combing through our office to find long lost goodies to share with you at our annual Numero Pop Up store, we found something exceptionally exciting. Housed in an unassuming black sleeve with the gold stamped CES logo, this 12” is the very first Numero release on vinyl. Back in the summer of 2006, our fledgling label had only nine CDs under our belts, and we were unsure of the viability of releasing things on vinyl (oh how times have changed!). After fielding many fan requests, a run of 100 copies (with no test pressings) were made featuring two of the most dance-friendly cuts on Belize City Boil Up, plus a pair of re-edits by Earwig. Each copy was hand stamped, includes a printed insert and resides inside a dead-stock CES sleeve.

Eventually re-packaged in a “Numero Disco sleeve” and released as +001 in our disco 12″ series, Lord Rhaburn Combo / Jesus Acosta & The Professionals ‎– Disco Connection / Guajida is officially out of print on that format as well.

Folks coming out to the Numero Pop Up shop can have their chance at one of the three recently unearthed copies of this true rarity for the collectors price of $50.

The Numero Pop Up Shop is taking place April 19th, 2014

2579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL


Cover Story : Alfonso Lovo
June 14, 2012, 1:42 pm
Filed under: Alfonso Lovo, Cult Cargo

Working with Alfonso Lovo on the release of his psychedelic masterpiece La Gigantona has been a pleasure, to say nothing of the history lesson one gleans through first hand accounts of communism’s Latin American land grab. It was the same Sandinista forces that sent bullets through Lovo’s young frame on a hijacked jet in 1971 that would  send Lovo packing for the hills of Honduras at the decade’s end. Once rebel forces took control of the government, Lovo loaded a van and a limo with instruments, rations, and the La Gigantona acetate, abandoning countless photos and keepsakes from his musical youth. For this reason, finding period images of the multi-instrumentalist has been difficult.

This photo was our originally intended cover shot, first appearing in the Miami Herald in August of 1987 as part of a media blitz retailing to Lovo’s political summer smash, “Freedom Fighters.” Several calls to Miami Herald alums, the first of which had been incorrectly credited as the responsible photographer, revealed nothing but a cold trail of grainy microfilm.

This recently excavated photo was taken at the Ruebén Darío Theatre in 1972. We felt it not only looked like Numero footage, but better encapsulated the musician featured on La Gigantona. Look for this image come September, when the CD/LP touches down at a democratically run record store near you.

Numero 2012 LP Subscription Part 2
June 5, 2012, 7:47 am
Filed under: Alfonso Lovo, Cult Cargo, Eccentric Soul, Newsworthy, Subscription

Attention, sonically adventurous LP subscribers! Put that Pisces record aside, tuck Belize City Boil Up back in its sleeve and try to live without Johnny Lunchbreak for a moment; the second half of the Numero LP Subscription is about to take up camp in your earhole and we are genre-rich this time around. This isn’t just something for everyone, it’s something for you. That’s right, we know who you are. As the series unfolds, you’ll be looking for five new ways to say, “holy shit.” And that’s without having to remind you you get 15% off catalog in any format.

Enough already, this is happening soon to a turntable near you:

NUM004 Buttons: Starter Kit 2LP

Our entry-level power pop compilation features 22 songs from the original, long out-of-print Numero 004, plus two bonus cuts, new liners, 22 separate sleeve repros with rare photos and ephemera tucked into a 7″ vinyl bag and housed in a spot varnished, thick-as-a-brick gatefold sleeve.

NUM044 Buttons: From Champaign to Chicago 2LP

A sugar-coated tribute to the state Numero calls home, From Champaign To Chicago is a 19-track survey of Illinois’ cheapest tricks, beginning in 1973 with Peoria outliers the Jets and ending in 1987 with Romeoville’s Julian Leal and his Dick Clark-approved “Get Away.” From Champaign to Chicago connects the various micro power-pop scenes that once pockmarked the now wrinkled face of the Land of Lincoln.

NUM046 Cult Cargo: La Gigantona LP

The son of a prominent Nicaraguan politician, Alfonso Noel Lovo was a choice target for the Sandinista rebels who hijacked his homeward flight from Miami in December of 1971, ultimately putting several rounds through the talented musician’s torso and hand. After several years, and as many surgeries, he would break new ground on this psychedelic swirl of Latin jazz and pan-American funk with his musical partner, percussionist Jose “Chepito” Areas of Santana fame. Long unavailable, La Gigantona has lived its forty years lost in the grooves of a single acetate. Imagine a Nicaraguan take on Herbie Hancock’s Afro-jazz masterpiece Mwandishi with some of the most penetrating, left-field guitar you’ve never heard.

NUM003 Eccentric Soul: The Bandit Label 3LP

Our post-nascent number two in the Eccentric Soul series, Bandit gets epic as we further dissect the improbable world of Chicago’s Arrow Brown and his near-cult of musicians, singers, pimps, prostitutes and would-be child stars. Since its original issue nearly 8 years ago, we’ve unearthed more story, more photographs and yes, more music. An extra lp’s worth of music, in fact, accompanied by a 12″ by 12″ 40 page bound book containing a 20,000 word essay and dozens of unseen photographs and ephemera. A final, definitive edition of one of Chicago’s most eccentric soul producers.

Medusa S/T LP

While it teetered from the cliff of Sabbath to the canyon of prog, Medusa’s self-titled debut LP never saw the inside of a record bin. Regulars on Chicago’s ’75 to ’78 rock club scene, this multi-gendered, semi-coven brought their dark vision on weeknights to dirt-bag pleasure palaces like Tuts and The Hanger. Housed in a black velour LP jacket with the truly amazing Medusa logo embossed in red and gold, Medusa finally gets a proper debut, bringing back acid-tinged, classic-rock riffs to Numero fans in search of blood.

Tease yourself by listening to the below:

If there is $120 in your bank account, you can sign up here.

046 Cult Cargo : Alfonso Lovo
June 1, 2012, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Alfonso Lovo, Cult Cargo

The son of a prominent Nicaraguan politician, Alfonso Noel Lovo was an obvious target when Sandinista rebels hijacked a Managua-bound flight from Miami in December of 1971, ultimately putting several rounds through the talented musician’s torso and hand. After several years, and as many surgeries, he would break ground on this this psychedelic pastiche of Latin jazz and pan-American funk, recorded in his nation’s capital in 1976. The binary stars of the sessions would be the agile Lovo and percussionist Jose “Chepito” Areas, who’s timbale work can be heard on watershed records by Carlos Santana, including the Latin-rock milestone, “Oye Como Va.” Lovo’s unreleased masterpiece, combining the talent’s of Nicaragua’s most notorious players, recalls at once the spiritual funkiness of Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi, the studio tricknology of Lee “Scratch” Perry, and the dense propulsion of Billy Cobham’s Spectrum.  Alfonso Lovo y Chepito Areas’ La Gigantona will be available this Fall as part of our Cult Cargo series.

Syl Johnson covers
August 15, 2011, 6:58 pm
Filed under: Grand Bahama Goombay, Syl Johnson | Tags: ,

Last year when we issued Syl Johnson: Complete Mythology, we pressed up a 45 of two obscure Syl covers and tossed them in free if you mail ordered the record (we still have some). We had made a short list of covers, and desperately wanted to included a smoking version of “Same Kind of Thing” by Smokey 007 & the Exciters. More studios followers of the Numero Group may recall that Smokey was both the cousin and chief rival of Jay Mitchell, battling fiercely for the crown of top performer in the Bahamas in the 1970s. Alas, Smokey is dead and the 45 was impossible to source. Today, our very own Rob Sevier brought home a copy of said 45, and we’ve added it to the Numero vault of curiosities. Give a listen below:


Ebirac Returns
July 29, 2011, 4:12 pm
Filed under: Ebirac

The recorded legacy of Carlos “Caribe” Ruiz was captured in great detail on the compilation Cult Cargo: Salsa Boricua de Chicago. What is impossible to capture is the live show. It can only be experienced live, in person. For the last few decades, since his tragic and premature passing in 1987, the orquestas Caribe sponsored, managed, and led, have remained dormant. Their members spread to the four winds (meaning, in this case, the suburbs of Chicago, for the most part) and joined or formed other orquestas and small ensembles.

This is far from the first time that former members of Ebirac orquestas gave played salsa together, but this may be the first time they are assembling to revisit some of their old repertoire. Tonight, as part of the 7th Annual Printer’s Ball at Columbia College, the Ebirac magic returns to Chicago. Featuring Tony Morales (ex-Tipica Leal) on trombone, Arturo Vasquez (ex-Union) on second trombone, Jimmy Hernandez (ex-Justicia) on keys, Willie Gomez (ex-Tipica Leal) on vocals, and David Arroyo (ex-Tipica Leal) on congas.

Check ’em out between 9:50pm and 11pm at The Ludington Building at 1104 S. Wabash Ave. tonight! And look for some future Ebirac projects.

Out now: Salsa Boricua De Chicago
March 31, 2011, 9:40 am
Filed under: Ebirac, Newsworthy | Tags:

In all the hub bub of Record Store Day, our pop-up shop, and Pressed At Boddie, we sorta spaced out that we released a record on Tuesday. At least the CD version of it anyway.

Salsa Boricua De Chicago is the first entry to our Cult Cargo series in over four years, standing the concept on its head entirely by pushing world music through an American keyhole. Culled from Carlos Ruiz’s miniscule Chicago-based Ebirac label, Salsa Boricua De Chicago features fifteen tracks from Orquestas La Solucion, La Justicia, Under The Sun, and Tipica Leal (along with the Ebirac All-Stars, Ramito, and La Calandria). Using the original master tapes, we’ve painstakingly created the alternative to New York’s Fania label.

No expense was spared in the packaging, which includes replicas of the four Ebirac LPs and a 60-page perfect bound book stuffed with photos, flyers, paintings, and an absurdly detailed essay by our own Rob Sevier.

If none of this is convincing, give this All Things Considered piece that ran yesterday a listen:

Last Call for 2011 Subscriptions. Bonus 45 revealed!
March 29, 2011, 12:48 pm
Filed under: Ebirac, Father's Children, Record Store Day, Subscription

Next Monday we’re closing 2011 subscriptions. Between our Record Store Day exclusive (included in the sub. and shipping imminently) and the subscriber-only bonus 45, we need to be able to plan how many are going to who and where.

To recap:

$100 CD subscription includes:

035.5 Local Customs: Burned At Boddie CD
037 Father’s Children: Who’s Gonna Save The World CD
035 Boddie Recording Co.: Cleveland, Ohio 3CD
039 Eccentric Soul: Nickel & Penny Labels CD

$100 LP subscription includes:

038 Willie Wright: Telling The Truth LP+45
011 Eccentric Soul: Mighty Mike Lenaburg 2LP
036 Cult Cargo: Salsa Boricua De Chicago 2LP
035.5 Local Customs: Pressed At Boddie 2LP
037 Father’s Children: Who’s Gonna Save The World LP+45

(LP subscription available in the US only)

Plus you get any bonus discs we make, a die-cast Numero pin, and the 45 playing in the above clip.
Subscribe now, or regret it later.

February 15, 2011, 2:04 pm
Filed under: Ebirac, Newsworthy, Subscription

¡¡¡ To our 2010 CD subscribers !!!

Many of you are wondering “Where In The Heck Is My Willie Wright CD Already?!”
We apologize for the delay.
We know that most of you are getting anxious because:

1] it has been a while since your last installment
2] you might be seeing Willie Wright’s “Telling The Truth” offered at your local
brick-and-mortar &
3] you generally receive your subscription installments far before the official release date.

The truth is that we were waiting for the last installment, the Ebirac salsa comp,
to be shipped to us and then we had planned to ship the two [Willie Wright/Ebirac] together.

Production was halted a couple of times due to mishaps [ALL of the jackets/sleeves were ruined during the blizzard, etc…] and so we apologize for the anxiety we may have caused.

They’ve just landed on our doorstep yesterday and this is one for the gipper.
Here is a preview of what the packaging looks like:

We guarantee, it will have been well worth the wait.

These are currently SHIPPING NOW so expect to see them landing in your mailbox within the next week or so.

For anyone else wanting this over-the-top production, it is NOW on PRE-SALE FOR SALE over at the

We expect the rest of the shipment to arrive within the next couple of weeks. Received this afternoon! Order away…

All The Best,

Meet “Caribe”.
December 28, 2010, 6:32 pm
Filed under: Ebirac

In 2005, the Numero label began what we hoped would be a series of releases to rival our Eccentric Soul series in regularity: Cult Cargo. A bit of a reference to the infamous “cargo cults” made up of indigenous peoples who adopted American or European iconography or materials as fetish objects, the implication was that American music was exported to the Caribbean and “changed” somewhat… not worshiped necessarily, but certainly reinterpreted. Don’t read too much into it: Cult Cargo was to be our look at how American culture can see its reflection, somewhat distorted, in its closest neighbors. But we haven’t revisited these coastal waters since 2007’s Grand Bahama Goombay. To bring us back to the Caribbean, we enlisted the help of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico-born Carlos Ruiz, better known by his stage name “Caribe”.

036 Cult Cargo: Salsa Boricua de Chicago is a bit of a twist on the path worn by the first two releases in the Cult Cargo series. Caribe settled in Chicago after spending time in New York and his entire youth in the Puerto Rican countryside… and all of the music on his Ebirac label has these roots in its DNA. They are more connected to the jibaritos and campesinos, people of the countryside of Puerto Rico, than anything that came out on the Fania label, which was more culturally tied to the urban nightclub scene in Manhattan. This set of recordings is like some orchestra from the sticks of Puerto Rico interpreting the sound of salsa as honed in New York City… except the musicians are all Chicago born. Still disconnected from the core of the salsa movement, they used Caribe’s homespun approach to nationalist pride in Puerto Rican folk music as their pole star. More to follow about this excellent release over the next few months until its March release.