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Fresh in from the almighty Albina Music Trust is a previously unreleased reel-to-reel session by Slickaphonic, a nine-piece powerhouse in Portland’s lost funk scene. Recorded in 1975 at Recording Associates by engineer Bob Stoutenberg (The Wipers, Baba Yaga, Mel Brown), this carefully restored collection places the listener in the thick of a watertight disco-funk session done the Albina way.
These songs unfold like a dream. The record ignites with Andre Billingsley's custom break to “Doin’ It,” a neighborhood classic written by Pleasure guitarist Doug Lewis. From there, the blistering instrumental “Bubba” unfolds with symphonic horn arrangements setting the scene. But it’s bassist Randy Smith and Jimmy Washington’s locked-in percussion that takes you higher.
Throughout the record, this band drops the tempo and mood with ease. Milton Davis' dynamic vocal burns tracks into flames then swiftly pivots into a ballad zone, sending things out to all the ladies in the house. “Back Into My Life Again,” with its chicken scratch guitar and pithy horns, expands and contracts with Davis' vocal enmeshed in the point-counterpoint of dueling guitarists Lewis and Kit Garoutte.
"I Shot Him Down" is the group's take on a canonical Bob Marley cut and features a spoken word intro from Davis. Set to a brilliant pseudo-country waltz, Davis narrates the listener through a Green Book-themed sojourn with Southern Gothic underpinnings. In great detail, he describes a road trip and fateful interactions with law enforcement, tragically no different for Black Americans in 1975 as it is today. There are cover songs on this record but the listening experience is...well, different.
Carefully mastered by Gus Elg (Nu Shooz, Funky Drive Band, First Touch), this diamond in the rough has been rescued from a North Portland basement and returned to the conversation in which Albina's legacy music belongs. And with current members of Slickaphonic still active in the city's club circuit, this record takes the listener back, to a simpler time where the origin of these musicians, their stories, and the underrepresented Albina musical culture can once again be discovered.
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.