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Monday, July 8, 2013

Aura - Sativa (1976 us, groovy fiery funky psych, 2011 reissue)



Aura was a San Francisco psych-funk band that formed in 1974 and played extensively throughout Northern California. By 1976, the band recorded their first and only album at Pacific Recording Studio in San Mateo. The original title of the album was Sativa, but out of fear that promoting the joys of marijuana would be too controversial, the band omitted the title and just left it as Aura. 

Over the ensuing decades though the Aura album has grown in stature to become a collector's item. In 1991, the Oakland hip-hop band, Oaktown's 357 (MC Hammer's Salt-N-Pepa type band) sampled 'Mess Up Your Mind' for their song 'Turn It Up,' which raised the Aura album to cult status. The Lemon Drops producer Reggie Weiss wrote the psych-funk title track, 'Sativa' (a parody of The Champs hit song 'Tequila,' with water pipe sound effects and blistering guitar leads by former Lemon Drops guitarist, Eddie Weiss) and 'Skyrocket' (with manic fuzz guitar). 

The lead singer in Aura was Paulette Collins who still performs around the Bay Area today with an all-girl group called The Taylor P. Collins Band. Replete with rare band memorabilia and previously unreleased bonus tracks, Aura is now available from the original master tapes for the first time on CD. The album is a piece of Bay Area history and a psych-funk masterpiece that cannot be overlooked in today's pervasive hip-hop world.
from CD Liner-notes


Tracks
1. You Got Something (P. Collins) - 3:20
2. Clap Your Hands (P. Collins, R. Kutulas) - 2:43
3. First Taste of Love (P. Collins, R. Kutulas) - 3:14
4. It's a Feeling (E. Weiss) - 2:18
5. Gonna Make It (P. Collins) - 3:22
6. Sativa (E. Weiss, A. Taylor) - 2:47
7. Mess Up Your Mind (P. Collins, E. Weiss, R. Kutulas) - 2:47
8. Don't You Worry (C. Haskell) - 3:17
9. Trying to Hold it Down (E. Weiss) - 2:38
10.Skyrocket (R. Kutulas) - 3:22
11.Catch a Falling Star (D. Harley) - 3:32
12.Evil That Brings You Down (E. Weiss) - 2:40
13.It's a Feeling Early Version  (E. Weiss) - 2:16

Aura
*Paulette Collins - Vocals
*Eddie Weiss - Guitar
*Jeff Ervin - Saxophone
*Jean Hintermann - Trumpet
*Robin Kutulas - Piano, Organ, Mellotron
*Rick Kutulas - Drums
*Al Taylor - Conga
*Cobe Haskell - Bass

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