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This album has long been cherished by psych-rock enthusiasts and is considered to be one of the finest private press LPs from the sixties. Music Emporium hailed from the Los Angeles area and the members of this trio were all music majors at various universities around Southern California. Featuring an all-female rhythm section with Carolyn Lee doubling up on keyboards and vocals, their sound was an unusual mix of early Jefferson Airplane-esque male/female leads, combined with the ambitious songwriting style of United States of America. But as songs like album opener "Nam Myo Renge Kyo" or "Prelude" will attest, it's the powerful drumming of Carolyn Lee that really makes this album rather unique. This record has fetched up to $1000 for an original copy, but surprisingly it wasn't until recently that it finally saw release on CD, and now Other Music has the honor to premiere this album in download form. All fans of the above mentioned, as well as early Amon Duul, will want add Music Emporium to their collection.
Label Spotlight: Playhouse
It's easy to mistakenly assume that the still fresh sound of German techno and house begins and ends with the Kompakt label. Truth be known, Playhouse, sister-label to the great Klang Elektronik imprint, is one of the main foundations of the modern German house sound as we know it. The original shop/collective Delirium, which was started in 1993 by Playhouse founders Heiko M/S/O and Ata, served as the original office for Playhouse and Klang, and would eventually be renamed Kompakt in 1998. The label is also a collaboration with Roman Flugel (Soylent Green) and Jorn Elling Wuttke (Acid Jesus, Sensorama). From its inception all the way to the present day, Playhouse has managed to stick to its mission statement of releasing "visionary club-house and pop-house music with deep and timeless mentality."
Featuring O.G. producers like Isolee, Losoul and Soylent Green, as well as recent additions including My My, Rework and Max Mohr, Playhouse has always offered relevant, effective, forward-thinking sounds for the dancefloor. There is always a "house" element to the label's releases that's classic without coming across as retro, and new without sounding merely experimental. Playhouse releases have a way of moving with the various trends of the times while seeming to lead the way to better solutions. From edgy minimal house to electro-house to full-on club-rockers, Playhouse does it all in a unified way, with unmistakable quality control and, yes, a timelessness that defies the trends. Without a doubt, Playhouse has most likely influenced and inspired almost every German house label of note.