Numero Group: By The Numbers

New Podcast Alert: Dogpatch
May 22, 2017, 1:30 pm
Filed under: Express Rising, Methodology, Uncategorized

Dogpatch Wide

There are precious few Numero Group compilations that don’t incorporate some element from the extensive archives of Dante Carfagna. Whether it’s an entire run of soul singles from an obscure label or valuable data mined during years of microfiching and field work, Dante is one of the first people we call when there is a missing piece to a puzzle we’re trying to assemble. When we hired Jon Kirby in 2011, Dante’s landlord had an empty unit in a building adjacent to Dante’s. With that, Numero’s oldest ally and our newest became neighbors. Lodged against the interstate, amid notable hoods Noble Square and Wicker Park, Carfagna and Kirby’s neighborhood doesn’t have an official name. But older residents—who experienced the area’s dicier times—have always called it the Dogpatch.

We are just as excited as anyone that Carfagna and Kirby have launched Dogpatch—a podcast where they will offer insight and color commentary into their respective collections. Previous episodes explore the mellow micro genre of “easy glide” (to which our forthcoming Seafaring Strangers compilation is devoted), R&B outliers and defiers (akin to those found on the Personal Space comp), unreleased soul (duh), and the world of radio station compilations (to which we paid tribute with WTNG).

You can poke around in the archives at the Dogpatch homepage, or stream/DL/subscribe via iTunes. We’ll be listening right alongside, waiting to see if there’s a new Numero compilation we need to put in motion.

Photo by Josh Wildman—Ashland at Blackhawk, the western boundary of the Dogpatch, mid-’90s. 

Dante Carfagna Toasts Arranger Sonny Sanders on WXRT
January 11, 2016, 12:32 pm
Filed under: Express Rising, Uncategorized


Once a year, Numero Group ally Dante Carfagna walks into the belly of the album-oriented rock behemoth at 2 Prudential Plaza, WXRT 93.1-FM, to drop knowledge nuggets regarding Chicago’s dense music history aboard Richard Milne’s “Local Anesthetic.” In his tenth installment in as many years, Dante focusses on the refined arrangements of William “Sonny” Sanders, a studio fixture during the zenith of the Chicago Sound. A great, informative listen from an authority on Chicago soul music. Download by clicking HERE or stream below.



Dante Carfagna Scores Apocalypse Now At hollywood Forever
December 3, 2015, 10:53 am
Filed under: Express Rising | Tags: , ,


Movies at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery are a Los Angeles tradition unrivaled. Each week during the summer, the awesome folks at Cinespia entrust a different record collector/selector to set the mood for the evening’s feature presentation. Roughly a million people gather on a sea of blankets to chat, imbibe, and enjoy utter summer perfection in the heart of Tinsel Town. If you are a fan of Apocalypse Now and would like to hear a revisionist track listing for the movie’s soundtrack, look no further than Dante Carfagna’s 90-minute mix, recorded live on August 1st of this year preceding the Francis Ford Coppola classic. Undergrads! Consider watching this movie on mute while streaming these mellow selections, and let us know how the two synch up.

Click Here for Dante Carfagna’s live mix from Apocalypse Now.

For more original moods from Dante Carfagna, check out the music of Express Rising, available on CD and LP from the Numero Group.

Express Rising Southern Rap Works Cited Page
October 8, 2015, 10:59 am
Filed under: Express Rising


While discussing the recent release of Fixed Rope, we here at Numero HQ were contemplating effective ways to contextualize this modern recording to the world. In the Numero universe, Express Rising point-guard Dante Carfagna is a sagely historian and consultant, with a hand in countless Numero releases. But in the musical universe at large, he’s a gifted musician in his own right. Confusing matters further, legendary mixes like Chains and Black Exhaust and Personal Space have since developed their own cult following (and bootlegs, to boot). His original music bears little-to-no resemblance to the records he champions. So what from Dante’s resume would best make Fixed Rope make sense?

We landed on this 62-minute mix of pitched-down rap singles (mostly instrumentals), recorded live at Danny’s Bar in Chicago. When set side by side, the minimalist compositions on Fixed Rope bear a closer resemblance to the slurred productions of Lil’ Jon than the obscuro 45s gathered on any mix tape or Numero compilation. Therefore, we felt this particular live set was particularly prescient of Express Rising’s serene LP.