Egon - Egon But Not Forgotten
Thursday, 13 September 2007
Stones Throw label manager / Now-Again founder Egon (real name Eothen Alapatt) is an American music historian: a preservationist who has made a living out of unearthing and chronicling a history of black music which has spilled outside the walls of the United States and traversed as far as Ghana, Turkey and beyond.
After missing a few connections, Egon finally makes it on the phone where he’s “just recording some stuff in the studio with Percee” - referring to legendary lyricist Percee P. His newest project Now Again Re:Sounds is out and about, although not doing as well as he expected.
“Funny enough the critical response has been good unfortunately we haven’t been able to sell many of the damn thing,” he says. “I pressed 3000 of the seven inch box set and have barely sold 1000. The last box set I did, the Soul Sevens box set with Traffic, sold like 5000 copies.”
In a move that may confuse some as to what each label does, Now Again Re:Sounds mixes Stone Throw label artists like Guilty Simpson and Koushik and affiliates like Edan and Cut Chemist, up against the heavy funk and soul sounds of yesteryear.
“The reason I did Now-Again in the first place was for me to do my anthologies in a way I felt would fit the music and not clutter the Stones Throw release schedule,” says Egon. “We had way too many projects coming out on Stones Throw for me to think I could get them out but that didn’t mean I couldn’t reap some the benefits of some of the people I got to work with everyday so I thought it would be fun and creative to do some promo only 7”s and remixes and re-edits.”
So is there any difference between Now-Again and papa label Stones Throw- “The offices are the same, but everyone who works a Stones Throw record works a Now-Again record, they just work it a little less hard. That’s why I did the Heliocentrics record as a joint venture with Stones Throw, to give it that extra push. That’s gonna get a big Stones Throw push.”
About a year ago it was put to me that the deep funk scene was a bit passé and the real heat was coming from wicked Turkish rock records and Caribbean music and more exotic rhythms like Cumbias. Whilst Egon is no funk purist, he recognises how this American music has influenced the world and everyone’s individual spin has been just as exciting.
“Yesterday I got a copy of a Detroit Sex Machines record I been looking for for years. And then today I got a hard Mexican psychedelic rock called El Amor en Vivo on Capital from 1970 and I am just as happy for both records to move people in a club. One is total psych, the other is the ultimate funk record and they both have a place in the same club.”
And how does the man who’s creating hip hop history whilst he’s exposing the best of the past feel about the Historian tag- “What I’m doing just scratches the surface, the real work is yet to be done. The true work has to be done by people with the same enthusiasm and passion as I do but who aren’t scratching their head as to how to make a buck putting records out. There is a world underneath your feet, you gotta dig deep and find out what’s there.”
You can read the whole interview at myspace.com/huwston
WHAT: Now-Again Re:Sounds vol.1 out through Now Again/Creative Vibes
WHEN: Out now.
MORE: stonesthrow.com / cvibes.com