New heat from Secret Stash
by Andrew Mason
While the rest of the country was celebrating Labor Day, Brooklyn—as usual—was doing things a little differently, closing down several miles of Eastern Parkway for the annual West Indian Parade, a carnival that can proudly match excesses with London and Rio’s versions. Along with Soca and Calypso from Trinidad, a major component of the day’s music is from Haiti, with bands like Scorpio, DP Express and the mighty Tabou Combo getting lots of love. For those who might’ve missed the festivities, the dedicated diggers at Secret Stash Records have just reissued a firecracker of an LP from Tabou Combo, 1973’s Respect. A blinding mix of intertwined guitars and fierce percussion that balances heavy Haitian Kompa with a strong dose of American funk, it’s irresistible psychedelic island party music.
Secret Stash, a group of diehard wax fanatics from Minneapolis, have been creating gorgeous vinyl-only releases for several years now, quietly constructing high-quality, limited edition pressings of some tremendous unheralded music. Afrofunk enthusiasts shouldn’t miss their recent George Danquah reissue Hot And Jumpy (“New Dimensions in African Hustle!”) while the upcoming release of the landmark Peruvian Cumbia LP Constelación from guitarist Enrique Delgado’s group Los Destellos is an absolute must for anyone who picked up the great Roots of Chicha compilations or simply can’t get enough acid-drenched guitars and tight percussion.