Shortly after he founded Now-Again Records in 2002, then Stones Throw general manager Eothen “Egon” Alapatt founded Soul-Cal Records in 2003 to release reissues of the rare modern-soul and funky disco treasures that they both he and Stones Throw founder Chris “Peanut Butter Wolf” Manak adored. Though the label’s name references its Southern California home-base, Soul-Cal’s first release, Luther Davis’s two masterpieces “You Can Be A Star” and “To Be Free,” is the only release on the label that springs from the West Coast.
Soul-Cal’s first releases followed the path of Egon’s record collection, and cross over between the reissues on Soul-Cal and his reissues on Now-Again and Stones Throw were obvious. For instance, C.Henry Wood’s sole 45 saw release on the same label that released Bad Medicine’s “Trespasser,” one of the stand-out tracks on Stones Throw’s The Funky 16 Corners compilation. Lately however, collaborations with researchers/collectors such as Cincinatti’s Chris Burgan, New York’s David Griffiths and North Carolina’s Jason Perlmutter have placed records like Pure Essence, Key and Cleary and Mixed Feelings within Soul-Cal’s catalog.
The Soul-Cal series is now complete; a 80 page book – packaged with both a CD and 2LP – saw release on Now-Again in early 2012. And Now-Again has delved further into the music of many artists from the Soul-Cal series. The deluxe reissue of Rhythm MAchine’s mid-70s soul masterpiece started as a Soul-Cal single.