The album comes courtesy of the Numero Group, the Chicago-based reissue label best known for its soul and funk finds, but with an impressively wide reach – in 2010 they released the definitive edition of Antena‘s trippy, ’82 bossa-pop masterpiece Camino Del Sol, and this year they’re giving the same treatment to the entire catalogue of mopey indie-rockers Codeine.
We’ll let Numero themselves explain the interesting premise of Personal Space:
“If the independently-pressed record made the galaxy of recorded music that much larger, the burgeoning home studio became the black hole from which little escaped. Flowering in the mid-to-late ‘70s, affordable high quality tape recorders, synthesisers, and sample drum machines permitted the aspiring artist to never leave his home, never request the assistance of another human being.
“In the world of American Black music, name artists such as Sly Stone, Timmy Thomas and Shuggie Otis had experimented with rudimentary electronic soul with a modicum of success, but on record what remains is scant. This collection presents the unheard underground of the self-produced, often solo, electronic soul world of the ‘70s and early 80’s, offering a view into an ocean of sound that is in turn peaceful, bizarre, funky and often humbly ahead of its time.”
Most of the names featured on the album, which is presented in typically lavish Numero fashion – you can choose between deluxe book-bound CD and heavyweight double-vinyl editions – are unfamiliar, though some of you may recognise that of Jeff Phelps, whose private-press oddity Magnetic Eyes was reissued by Tomlab and Engineered For Sound to much acclaim in 2010.
1. Excerpts From Autumn – Jeff Phelps
2. Disco From A Space Show – Guitar Red
3. I Finally Found The Love I Need – Jerry Green
4. I’m A Man – Key & Cleary
5. Money – Spontaneous Overthrow
6. If You Give A Dance – Cotillion
7. Are You Ready To Come? – U.S. Aries
8. Don’t Challenge Me – The Makers
9. It’s All Over – T. Dyson
10. Master Ship (Excerpt) – Starship Commander Woo Woo
11. Love Vibrator – Johnny Walker
12. Super Lady – Jeff Phelps
13. Shortest Lady – Deborah Washington
14. One More Time – Steve Elliot
16. My Bleeding Wound – The New Year
17. Time To Go Home Otis G Johnson