January 30, 2023
7/LP limited-edition vinyl box set featuring seven revered, and rarely heard gems of Latin jazz, deep soul, raucous boogaloo, and heavy salsa, from the Ghetto Records label, founded by Joe Bataan and George Febo in 1970. A collaboration between Now-Again Records and Vinyl Me Please, The Story of Ghetto Records takes listeners through the brief but bright story of a groundbreaking Latin music label.
The Story of Ghetto Records features six of the rarest and best albums to arise from the barrios of 1970s New York City and one brand new collection featuring two unreleased Joe Bataan tracks, as well as several 45-only Ghetto Records cuts, and is limited to 1,000 copies. Each record comes on 180g black vinyl and is housed in a high-quality commemorative box inspired by Izzy Sanabria’s original art direction for Ghetto Records.
“There’s a reason that it took nearly half a century for Joe Bataan to allow these records to be issued again – his label was born out of rebellion and frustration with the music industry. He refused to be burned a second time,” says Eothen “Egon” Alapatt, Now-Again. “It took years to gain his trust, and I knew I would finally earn it – because I, too, wanted to know the true Story of Ghetto Records.”
Ghetto Records’ master tapes were largely lost in the chaos of the label’s closure in the mid-70s. Alapatt and Pablo E. Yglesias (aka DJ Bongohead) sourced the cleanest copies of rare original vinyl, which mastering engineer Jason Bitner spliced, restored, and remastered. The exception was the Paul Ortiz album Los Que Son whose master tapes Bataan zealously guarded over the years, and which was cut in an all-analog transfer. The never-before-heard Bataan songs on Drug Story were found on a master tape in Spain decades after Bataan thought he had lost it forever.
Lacquers for all titles (except for Drug Story) were cut by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering. All seven titles are pressed on exclusive 180g black vinyl at GZ.
• Eddie Lebron Ghetto Records Presents... Eddie Lebron (1970)
• Papo Felix & Ray Rodriguez Papo Felix Meets Ray Rodriguez (1971)
• Paul Ortiz Y La Orquesta Son Los Que Son (1971)
• La Fantastica From Ear To Ear (1971)
• Joe Acosta The Power Of Love (1971)
• Candido Y Su Movimiento Palos De Fuego (1972)
• Joe Bataan Drug Story (2022)