Different artists, different eras, different styles, different instrumentation, (different labels)… but as we’ve spent the last few weeks listening to both these test pressings, it’s been putting the office into a warm, dreamy, summery place (as much as the open windows and billowing curtains). Today, we received a package that happened to contain both covers and it drove the point home: we’re going to have a mellow, pastoral vibe throughout this new season at Numero.
A decade ago, Dante Carfagna issued a somewhat anonymous LP under the Express Rising heading. That self-titled affair went in and out of print before 2003’s summer gave way to fall, thanks in part to its release by the frustratingly obscure Memphix label, but thanks more to how it broke new ground for the instrumental rap generation’s interest in the sub-sub-basement of record mining.
The album’s blurry boreal cover captured Carfagna’s mysterious persona. Though he’s been attached to such seminal compilations as Chains and Black Exhaust, a grip of Eccentric Soul titles, and the recent electronic soul collection Personal Space—and though his signature “Records I barely like but maybe you will” approach to writing helped build the Wax Poetics brand–Dante remains a tough man to pin down. He doesn’t even have a working doorbell.
Which may be a good thing, as he recorded his second album in the middle room of his third floor walk-up in Chicago’s Dog Patch neighborhood. A notorious homebody, Carfagna cut much of this second self titled LP after a long nights of Camel filters and bottled New Glarus—while watching his neighbors departure for morning straight-world commutes. Reaching back to 2008 and an Akai four track, these 11 songs break from the foraging tradition employed by Dante’s debut, swapping out breakbeats and samples for guitar, Wurlitzer, banjo, steel guitar, synthesizer, and an arcane drum machine.
As for packaging, this second Express Rising album treads the same vague path of the first. Shade-tree urban apartment domestics adorn the cover, and ambiguity creeps into the credits list, which nods at “Motorcycle John” for technical assistance and KK Blagg for “extraordinary contributions.” Who they are, and just what the fuck they did to make mention is left up for speculation.
Reached for comment, Carfagna had this to say about himself and about Express Rising: “My last record came out ten years ago. Much has changed and much has not.”
Express Rising has no label, but it will be distributed by The Numero Group beginning July 30th.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Dante Carfagna, Party, Toulouse Soul Club
Storming the beach of Toulouse (is there a beach there? We’ve never been to France) is Numero compiler Dante Carfagna and friend George Mahood. The flyer claims that there will be Northern Soul, Modern Soul, and Rare-Heavy Funk… however, we promise that with Dante involved the sum will be much greater than the whole of its parts. The flyer above contains all the info… if you’re anywhere and Europe and miss out on this, you are a dweeb.
Filed under: Eccentric Soul | Tags: Burgess Gardner, Dante Carfagna, Lamaar, WXRT
Our very own Dante Carfagna joined Richard Milne on WXRT Chicago last week to discuss the Gardner bros. wonderful Lamaar family of labels. Lamaar has long been a grail for Numero, something we’ve not quite cracked in our decade-long existence. Hopefully this moves the needle.
NPR’s Tell Me More recently showcased the first hand accounts of two people integral to our recent 035 Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland Ohio collection. Cleveland music matriarch Louise Boddie makes a rare trek to downtown Cleveland to tell her side of the story.
Filed under: Stone Coal White, Uncategorized | Tags: Dante Carfagna, Josh Davis, Stone Coal White
In 2005, Dante Carfagna and Josh Davis rolled up on the home of Melvin Payne to discuss his Dayton, Ohio, scuzz-funk outfit Stone Coal White. Six years later, the fruits of that drop-in are finally being realized by the upcoming Cali-Tex album that compiles the entirety of the band’s work. Davis brought a camera with him that day and snapped a few shots, and since none of them will end up in the Numero-distributed album, we thought it might be nice to share this tiny slice of master digging.
Carfagna winces at 45s stored sleeveless in a shopping bag.
Bad To The Bone/Road Runners M.C. Memorial Ride. Who the fuck is Klas Act?
Two copies of the way-scarce Ewing 45, conveniently resting next to a hot iron, natch.
As if he needed to prove how hard the band was… Payne flosses his BTTBMC jacket.
Payne uses his middle finger to point himself out.
Payne would check out a few years later, his group’s phenomenal work just another mile marker. Let the forthcoming LP be a testament not only to Dayton’s most over-the-top sex-show-cum-wild-party-funk band, but also to a dude who kept his shit real.