When the Beastie Boys proclaimed, "This one goes out to my man the Groove Merchant/Comin' through with the beats that I've been searchin'," on 1992's Check Your Head, they solidified the San Francisco record store's rightful place in hip-hop history. In the spirit of Groove Merchant and its excellent selection of soul, jazz, disco, Latin, and hip-hop, owner "Cool" Chris Veltri and his employee/friend Vinnie Esparza recently started the Dis-Joint label to bring their own tastes to vinyl. Dis-Jointed is their first compilation, a mix of exclusive tracks and hard-to-find classics that spans four decades and countless genres.
The album opens with a luscious dub-reggae tune from 1982 that showcases the legendary talents of vocalist Horace Andy. Producers Dub Diablo and Exotic Pets bring dance-floor funkiness to instrumental hip-hop with "The Shape Up" and "Bush Skank," respectively. The album ends on a mellow note with two remarkable songs: a soothing Latin-soul piece from 1971 by Human Race and a jazzy, downtempo track from 1997 by Flavornaughts.
Rarely does a compilation come along so packed to the brim with greatness, but Dis-Jointed is just that. Esparza and Veltri manage to orchestrate an album that truly captures the "soul" of Groove Merchant.
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