Travis Biggs

Solar Funk

Regular price £26.99
This product is a Record Store Day 2024 exclusive title

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Travis Bigg’s first album, released in 1976, was called Challenge. Initially pressed on independent Detroit imprint TB&C enterprises, the record had little impact on the wider landscape of contemporary black music – save for local radio play. Three years after the release of Challenge, Source Records picked up on Biggs’ underrated talents, a multi instrumentalist and synth merchant whose list of instrumental credits on this release numbers 14, from harp to clavinet. Biggs would also rack up writing, production and instrumental credits among an assortment of funk, soul and disco names from Linda Clifford, Betty Lou Landreth, Isaac Hayes, Hamilton Bohannon and Michael Henderson. Solar Funk would eventually be released on Source, a mixture of new compositions and revamped versions of earlier material from Challenge, such as After The Storm (previously recorded as a cover of the Steve Miller Loft classic ‘Fly Like An Eagle’) and ‘Ven A Bailar Conmigo’, a Latin lilted stepper that too existed in a more stripped back guise on Challenge. Solar Funk also features ‘Tibetian Serenity’ – a track that was revived in the hip-hop scene as sampled by J Dilla in ‘Jay Dee 39’. Expressive, ethereal shades of spiritual jazz linger, with mandolin and harp imbibing an Alice Coltrane / Dorothy Ashby aesthetic. The intro to Tibetian Serenity would also be sampled by Italo-house impresarios Black Box in their rendition of the Earth, Wind and Fire anthem Fantasy.

This, the first ever full reissue of Solar Funk, packages the ‘79 release in its full glory for the modern crate digger as a limited RSD ’24 run on translucent solar speckle vinyl. The original has climbed up in price on Discogs in recent years, averaging at 60 dollars per copy. So grab our reissue this RSD, with newly mastered audio from Phil Kinrade at AIR Studios, and an exclusive liner essay with fresh insights from Will Fox. Solar Funk: Reissued with Soul!