Interview / Deano Sounds / Cultures Of Soul
Deano Sounds` Cultures Of Soul label has been reissuing rare and obscure joints from around the globe since 2010. They recently released “The Brasileiro Treasure Box Of Funk & Soul” which collects sought after sides from artists such as Toni Tornado, Emilio Santiago, and Tom Ze across 7 x 7”. If anyone is stuck for Christmas present ideas for a vinyl-addicted lover or relative then they need look no further.
Where are you from?
Born and raised in the suburbs of Boston. I’m still based in Boston!
You`ve been running Cultures Of Soul for around six years. What was the key event that made you start?
Well it wasn’t one key event but a series of events. I remember sitting in a cafe 10 years ago with my future wife and talking passionately about how great it would be to put out Funk and Disco from places like Brazil or India. I also can remember searching for records to DJ and wondering why certain records hadn’t been reissued yet and thinking it would be great to put them out as new releases. I’ve always been passionate about music and DJing and running a label is just my way of expressing of it. I’ve done a lot of different things with music in my day. I was in bands for years and worked music retail and for a major label at one point. Its taken me all of this time to figure out I wanted to DJ and a run a reissue label.
What makes you continue?
Many things. Hearing really interesting music and sounds that no one has heard before and releasing it to the world. And then seeing DJs play it in clubs!
You`ve now released two collections of “Bombay Disco” and “Tropical Disco Hustle”. Where there be any more in these series?
Possibly. I think after two volumes the theme of a series tends to get a bit tired. If I did another one I’d want the compilation to be really special and add some to the series overall.
Do you ever find yourself in “conflict” with other labels like Invisible City Editions, I know they are or were planning a Shadow compilation for example, or Mr. Bongo?
Not really. There’s just so much great music that hasn’t been reissued. Sometimes it does happen and I usually will back off if another label is serious about it and has issued the artist a contract. Some labels do not… As for Voodoo Funk, Frank and I have already done a project together (Afro Kelenkye Band) and I find collaboration like that works really well. And in general I really try and be part of the reissue community and pay attention to who is reissuing what to make sure there is no overlapping.
How would you describe your sound?
Ever changing, always evolving, and always with the dancefloor in mind. But seriously I’m always trying to push the limits of what Cultures of Soul releases in terms of music and what my DJing sounds like. I’m always trying to unearth new sounds and ideas that haven’t been properly represented yet.
Where is your favourite place to play / party / other?
My favorite local place to play is Soulelajuh, the biggest and best Soul / Funk 45 party in Boston! But my favorite place to play to date has been the Goods in Montreal. When I played there last April the crowd was amazing and danced to everything I threw at them!
What are you most proud of?
That’s a tough one. Almost like picking your favorite child. But I’d have to say the Evans Pyramid project. First there’s great music there and then there’s Andre. The man behind Evans Pyramid who is such a sweet and kind man. Then there is also the journey that it took to find him and convince him that his music was worth putting out. Also I’m very proud of the Brasileiro Treasure Box of Funk and Soul that we just put out. I’ve always been a huge fan of Brazilian music and I’m excited to put out a project like this. Not only because the music is superb but also because of the packaging and the 7inch format. Now all these funk and soul DJs who play strictly 45s will have a chance to this great Brazilian music!
Can you tell me more about how you discovered the music of Evans Pyramid, and how you managed to track Andre down?
I first heard the 12″ of “Never Gonna Leave You” when my friend got a copy from Kon. This same friend had some contact info for a keyboard player who worked with Andre. Through him I was connected to a guitar player who played with Andre. Then I finally got in touch with Andre. It took about a year of calling before Andre returned my call and then it was another 4 months of meeting with Andre to convince him first that I was honest and would do right by his music and second that the older material from his catalog was worth releasing.
Two of my favourite tracks on the label are from fairly early in its history, The Fabulous Fugitives and the Cosmos Universal Band 7s. Again can you please tell me more about how you discovered these pieces of music?
Thanks! The Fabulous Fugitives was just one of those holy grail tracks I wanted to own in my own Deep Funk collection so I figured if I really wanted it as a DJ and collector then others might feel the same. I tracked down Michael Sharkey, songwriter and band leader of the group, through the late great Bob Abrahamian. Unfortunately pretty soon after I met Michael he past away. Cosmos Universal Band I tracked down through Andy Noble. He tracked down the group. They had like 300 copies of the 45 but threw them out when it never took off!
How long did the “Brasileiro Treasure Box” take to put together? It looks like a pretty big project.
It was a big project. I think I came up with the concept for the 7”box set about three years ago. Then I started working with Greg Caz to come up with the track-listing and I just kept working on getting all of the tracks licensed and Greg worked on researching the liner notes. I think it’s great to have all of these tracks reissued on 45 for DJs.
Who are you working with?
We’re actually working with a lot of interesting remixers and producers at the moment including Ruf Dug, Africaine 808, Alma Negra, and Names You Can Trust on a project of unreleased material from the leader of the Kelenkye Band – Jagger Botchway. And I’m also working with Rahaan and Gerd Janson on a few companion 12″s to go with some of our upcoming compilations.
What are your plans for the rest of 2015 & 2016?
Well I’ve got two big projects coming out, “The Brasileiro Treasure Box of Funk and Soul”, and the “Boston Creative Jazz Scene”. As for 2016 we’re putting out a compilation of rare Gospel Disco compiled by Greg Belson and a compilation of South African Disco / Boogie as well as the unreleased material from Jagger Botchway with the remixes. And also some new music produced in 2015 so stay tuned!