Toucan Sounds is a record label & producer crew curated by French Horn Rebellion in Brooklyn, NY, and operated out of YouTooCanWoo, an artist-owned music and production studio in Williamsburg. The label officially launched in April, 2019, and this compilation features our favorite music released from our debut year. All tracks were remastered especially for vinyl, and include titles by Yuksek, Jean Tonique, JD Samson, Patterns , and more.
Mike Sopko (Guitarist, Composer, Songwriter) was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1979. As a teen he played in various local bands while studying with local Cleveland Jazz/Fusion guitarist, Steve Gordon. After moving to Oakland, California in 2003, Sopko spearheaded numerous projects, including MCR (w/ G. Calvin Weston), Cascading Liquid Rainbows (w/ Dosh, Chris Lopes), The Golden Measure (w/ Simon Lott), and Glimpse Trio/Duo (w/ Hamir Atwal, Chris Lopes). After meeting Hamir Atwal (Tune-Yards) in 2009, the duo toured extensively, releasing four albums, the first of which was awarded Editor’s Pick by Frank Alkyer of Downbeat Magazine in 2011.
Over the years, Sopko has recorded and performed with artist’s such as Bill Laswell, Thomas Pridgen (Mars Volta), Dave King (Bad Plus), Dosh, Tyshawn Sorey, Hideo Yamaki, Dj Logic, Raoul Bjorkenheim, Chris Pitsiokos, Hamir Atwal, Los Lobos and many more. In 2015, Sopko released Sopko/Laswell/Pridgen, a trio collaboration with legendary producer/bassist, Bill Laswell and drummer phenom, Thomas Pridgen. Sopko’s upcoming release’s for 2019 and 2020 include, “On Common Ground,” a trio recording with Bill Laswell & Tyshawn Sorery, “Rituals” Mike Sopko & Thomas Pridgen, and “$pellcheck” with Dave King & Martin Dosh.
Daptone Records is overjoyed to present All My Relations – the debut solo album from long-time Dap-Kings saxophonist, Cochemea Gastelum. Cochemea’s electro-sax leads an ensemble of percussive giants (members of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Antibalas) on a psychedelic, spiritual journey, exploring his ancestral roots through melody and rhythm. As a body of work, it is an acknowledgement of oneness and harmony with all forms of life: people, animals, insects, plants, trees, and even rocks, rivers, mountains and valleys. It celebrates the sublime beauty of existence and beginnings of such. Some of the tunes were drawn from memory, imagined from a time and place Cochemea has never been, such as “Sonora” (the home of his Yaqui ancestors), and “Mescalero” (an Apache tribe from the South Central region of Mexico – ancestors of his great-grandmother). Others were born from the Musical impression of ritual, like “Mitote” (an ancient, secular round dance of the Aztecs and other tribes of the Sierra Madre Occidental – which in certain cultures can be associated with Peyote ritual). The track “Asatoma” is an ancient prayer from India. In Sanskrit, it prays for guidance to grow from darkness to light, to distinguish the real from the unreal, and to be guided from death of the physical to the immortality of the Spirit. It is a celebration of life. The musicians on the record also bring a piece of themselves and their heritage, creating a cultural cornucopia of sonic expression that allows Cochemea’s vision and spirituality to flourish. All My Relations, in a sense, is a musical prayer to the world to help recognize our one true source, our shared identity. We are one.
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