These days, when you hear the name soul, and we’re talking in the modern sense, you think of Daptone Records. The label that has brought us Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, Antibalas, Lee Fields, Charles Bradley, and more got their humble start in a small basement and ended up playing in the White House as well as starting a musical revolution of their own that keeps on moving with forward progress year after year. A new book by DJ and writer Jessica Lipsky, It Ain’t Retro, explores the label and their 21st Century funk & soul Revolution.
What drew us to vinyl records and writing about them initially here at Flea Market Funk was funk and soul. The sounds of Stax, Motown, People Records, King Records, and all regional and major labels in between that produced this wonderful sound. The sound of heart ache. The gritty, raw power of drum, bass, and guitar, Vocals were cool, but if they weren’t included, it didn’t matter. The songs had to feel right. In the 90s the funk revival grabbed us and labels like Soul Fire, Truth and Soul, and Daptone were giving us the same sounds but in the modern era. This musical revolution was something that we (along with many others) grabbed ahold of tight and held on to. It was a club or crew that we belonged to. Lipsky explores how the label came about; obsessive soul collectors, producers, and musicians from Brooklyn, NY launched careers of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, and more. These musicians would infiltrate the Top 40 by lending their support to artists such as Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, and more. Staying true to themselves and true to the authentic soul sound, it’s hasn’t gone to the wayside like ’70s fashion or even vinyl records (as some people think and we all know is not true). It Ain’t Retro is a look back at the past two decades and the who’s who of players in this funk and soul revival. It’s a definitive look into the label’s history, what the sound means to the culture and how that sound infiltrated music as we know it. It features rare, and never before seen images of past and presents Daptone artists such as Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields, Antibalas, The Sugarman 3, The Budos Band, and many more. For anyone who’s lived through this revival, has obsessively collected these records, or felt the magic of the label and its music, this book is a must have, Available on August 10th via Jawbone Press, this much needed bio on one of the greatest labels in modern history is a must have. We’re waiting in line already like it was the Apollo Theater and Sharon Jones was performing.
Pre-order the book here.