Saturday, June 14, 2008

Some of that cosmic dust...

I first heard of Sa-Ra Creative Partners back when Pharoah’s “Agent Orange” single came out, probably the same time everyone else would’ve first caught wind of these cats. Their name itself sounds like they’re a hair salon or something, so needless to say I had no clue who they were, but then again, they were brand new on the scene. Considering how few releases they’ve put out over the years, it always surprised me how much hype they’d gotten. Still, apparently their talents were evident enough to be signed to deals with both Sound In Color and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label, though unfortunately all that would result from these two situations was a single 6-track EP (a fairly lackluster one at that if you ask me.)

For whatever reason though, I still check for these cats, and so when I came across their first full-length recently, I picked it up to see what the real deal is. Released in 2007 via independent label Babygrande, “The Hollywood Recordings” is (if nothing else) a good look at what they’re capable of. With nearly 20 tracks on the album, there is definitely a bunch of filler and just straight-up mediocre material, too much to really speak on this project as a cohesive album or even to rate it particularly high as a collective. However, there are definitely moments that stand out and suggest that some of the hype has been warranted in years past.

I want to compare them (on some level) to Organized Noize…funk, soul, intergalactic isht. Or as they describe themselves: Afro Magnetic Electronic Spiritualism. I wouldn’t go as far as to say these two groups are on the same level, but Sa-Ra is heading in the right direction, and I’m hopeful that they keep doing what they do because the future looks (potentially) bright. It sounds like they may have a major label debut ready or in the works, but who knows if/when that will arrive.

Sa-Ra - Rosebuds  (Babygrande)
Sa-Ra - And If feat. Ty  (Babygrande)
Sa-Ra - So Special feat. Rozzi Daime  (Babygrande)
Sa-Ra - Fly Away feat. Erykah Badu & Georgia Anne  (Babygrande)
Goapele - Fly Away  (Sony/Skyblaze)
Outkast - Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (ON remix)  (Laface)