The third Sources package comes from one perhaps one of the most radical of the New York underground independent labels in several different areas – Avant-Garde, Dance, Hip-Hop/Rap and Freestyle, so welcome to the one and only Sleeping Bag Records from New York. Founded in 1981 by the Avante-Garde musician Arthur Russell together with Will Socolov and Juggy Gayles, the label kicked off with the seminal “Go Bang!” by Dinosaur L aka Arthur Russell and quickly established itself with further dancefloor smashes from Class Action, the Jamaica Girls and Konk among others. However undoubtedly one of Sleeping Bag’s most significant signings would turn out to be producer extraordinaire Kurtis Mantronik, who, with rapper MC Tee under the name Mantronix, would produce many of the most cutting-edge Hip-Hip/Rap and Electro classics of the 1980s including “Needle To The Groove”, “Ladies”, “Bassline” and “Who Is It”, all of which are included here as well as producing a brace of international smash hits for Joyce Sims including the electro-funk masterpiece “(You Are My) All & All” and the super-slinky “Come Into My Life”. Sleeping Bag would remain at the forefront of dance music culture with numerous other significant dance-floor smashes from the likes of Tricky Tee, Felix, Nocera, Dhar Braxton and Kariya’s brilliant “Let Me Love For Tonight” among many others. In many ways Sleeping Bag exemplified the perfect New York independent label of the 1980s with its shrewd A&R philosophy and an interesting balance of staff who were divided between old music industry veterans together with a brace of young keen new inductees who kept the label close to the streets – a winning combination all round. Out of all the labels featured in the Sources series, Sleeping Bag was the most consistently successful in its era and was undoubtedly the label which was the most hardwired into the sensibilities of the times. This is the most comprehensive anthology available of one of the greatest independent record labels of the 1980s.
Published: 10th September 2015