Exclusive Daily Download: "Got to Have It," Soul President

Published June 13, 2006 7:01AM (EDT)

My favorite reissue label, the Numero Group, has a good story to go with every release. For the latest in its "Eccentric Soul" series, anthologizing the best of obscure, defunct soul labels, it turns to Detroit's Big Mack Label, which supported itself in large part by allowing anyone to come off the street, slap down $14.95 and record a song with the in-house backing band. Not all the results are worth hearing, but as with every Numero release there are some stunning songs here. My favorite is Soul President's "Got to Have It," and it's a strange one: a muddy, lo-fi version of a James Brown-style groove, improbably but beautifully topped by a steel drum, and on top of that some even more improbabe guitars, which weave in and out with stinging, whining, sometimes bizarrely dissonant interjections.

-- T.B.

By Salon Staff

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