Diggin' in the (60's-70's) - The Prix Label

What's it gonna' take to get a job with the amazing Numero Group? Month after month they keep discovering, and gloriously repackaging, crate finds that are essential puzzle pieces in the evolution of modern music. They seem to have all the bases covered, lost power pop (Yellow Pills), lost femme-folk (Wayfaring Strangers), lost world funk (various Cult Cargo comps.) and the label's biggest undertaking, the Eccentric Soul series.

Numero already unearthed the amazing Capsoul Label (their first release), so who would've thought there was another Columbus imprint that needed digging up? The Prix Label began on 921 E. Broad Street in the now defunct Harmonic Studios. Over a four year span (1969-73) they released only a small handful of singles. Pretty much all of them are compiled here, along with a batch of master tapes found only a year ago at a local estate auction (the owners apparently had no idea what a goldmine they possessed). Of course there is a bit of overlap with Capsoul, session players and band members were an incestuous bunch in the small but vibrant Columbus scene (Marion Ray, a star of Bill Moss' label, also recorded a single for Prix), but that's not to say Prix isn't an entirely unique entity.

For one, they had Eddie Ray, who began in a trio with the legendary Sam and Dave. On "You Got Me" he shines like a legitimate star over a slightly psych soul groove. The album also boasts two tracks from OFS Unlimited, who were precursors to the big-band, multi-cultural, funk sounds of the Ohio Players and Sun. Their "Mystic" is a barreling slice of instrumental jazz blasts and polyrhythm, something that wouldn't be out of place on a Tarrantino soundtrack or necromanced into a Go Team sequence.

Basically, whether you're a fan of lost soul or not, Numero has provided both a rich history few knew existed and another seamless compilation of hidden treasures that would otherwise remain buried.

1 comment:

Kevin J. Elliott said...

Aaron Beck from the Dispatch did a nice interview with Marion Ray here.