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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Del Jones' Positive Vibes, USA

Del Jones' Positive Vibes - s/t (psych mix). 1972 Hikeka.

Long time Dallas friend Mark T introduced me to this album in 2003, and it's one of the best personal discoveries in the last 15 years. I found the reissue LP shortly thereafter.

The single most intense Black America album ever. Basically Del Jones is the Philadelphia ghetto version of the Berlin based Cosmic Couriers clan. Intense does not even begin to describe this album. The anger that comes through will melt your mind. And all the freaked out vocals, wah wah guitar, flute and heavy rhythms will make you grab for your Ash Ra Tempel albums and hold on tight. Given the economic conditions of the housing projects of the early 1970s, it's surprising more albums didn't seep through like this. 'Cold Turkey' has some of the most anguished freaked out madness since John L. on 'Flowers Must Die' from Ash Ra Tempel's "Schwingungen"!

Like Velvert Turner, Del Jones released two versions of the same album: A "soul" mix and a "psych" mix. The soul mix is available on CD and appears legit. The psych mix has only been reissued on LP so far, and did involve Del Jones, so we'll consider that legit. But no one has issued it on CD to date. The soul mix is not that much different really - there's an additional horn section and some of the guitar work has been moved into the background. It's still a monster and highly recommended. On both albums, there are a couple of throw away soul numbers that are fortunately short - but most of the album will fry your brain!

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