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Strut Records Aloha Got Soul (180g) Vinyl 2LP+CD

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Vinyl 2LP+CD $29.95
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Hawaiian Soul rarities compiled! Strut Records in collaboration with the purveyors of all things Hawaiian and Funky, Aloha Got Soul, have made this OUTSTANDING compilation of wantlist rarities and some secret weapons. I've never been to any of the islands but have always been intrigued with the cross pollination of cultures that formed on such a small amount of space. Of course as history oh so often dictates, the natives are always the ones providing the flavor. I've come to learn that Strut sometimes misses the mark with their compilations. No dis, just being honest. However, the guys over at Aloha Got Soul did a BANG UP job sourcing and curating the comp to the point of this easily being an early contender for year's best. While the ocean breeze can almost be conjured while listening to the selections, it is the downright soul that is most appealing. Similar to Japan's City Pop sounds in the context of reimagining American Soul, Hawaii holds much more of a grit than their JP counterparts. It's not for everyone, however, the trick to understanding the music is not to think of it as outsiders (yeah I know Hawaii is in the US but cmon, it's its own thing) copying Funky music but to appreciate it as true Soul music. Recent reissues of Nohelani and Mike Lundy (both on here albeit different material) albums and singles have been Lab favorites and to deny those sweet AOR sounds or the loose Jazz Funk rhythms of artists unknown to us would be a crime. Beautiful black and white, matter finished jacket with liner notes on the inside cover and of course the music is spread over 2 LPs with a bonus Cd version that Strut lovingly throws in. Shout out Roger Bong and crew for shining light on one of the sunniest places on the planet. Recommended

  • music label: Strut 2016
reviewed by Smitty 3/2016