At the heart of what we do at Aloha Got Soul is selecting: the careful choosing of music as timeless as the vinyl record. This act of curation informs every release on our label. It also extends to our work as DJs, hosting radio shows, creating playlists, and running a brick-and-mortar record shop. What people hear when they look to us for music is the result of a sometimes painstaking, always intentional process of selecting.
Kalapana’s catalog is vast. For us (and many others), Kalapana is the crème de la crème of local music. Their catalog, whilst expansive across decades, feels most potent in its earliest days with its back-to-back triage of eponymous albums, starting with 1975’s Kalapana I and capping with 1977’s Kalapana III. By then, Mackey had left the group and keyboardist Kirk Thompson would soon carve his own path with Lemuria, Babadu, and other soulful projects. Even the most casual listener can discern a stylistic shift with III, which opens with Malani’s “Girl” and closes with D.J. Pratt’s “Alisa Lovely”. Following Aloha Got Soul’s vinyl reissue of Kalapana’s first and second albums, we asked ourselves what we’d want to see in Kalapana’s catalog.
The idea came for a 7-inch box set.
Over the years, we’ve picked up just about every 7-inch release that Kalapana’s made throughout its career: two ridiculously rare pressings of “The Hurt” from the Philippines, one the original version and another a promo-only 1990s remix; multiple Japan-only pressings that began with their third album; and the sparse offering of US- and Hawaii-made singles, including “Dorothy Louise” accompanied by a thick cardboard jacket.
We felt there was something missing in the existing lineup of Kalapana’s 7-inch vinyl catalog: all our favorite tracks, in one place.
So we went for it.
Spanning 10 songs across five records, the Aloha Got Soul selects Kalapana 7-inch box set compiles all our favorite tunes that we love to play loud and proud, the songs that get people dancing, singing, laughing and loving.
Compiled from the band’s first three albums, each track is a certified jam. From Kalapana I, we selected the all-time classic grooves “The Hurt”, “What Do I Do”, “When The Morning Comes”, “All I Want”, and “Everything Is Love”. From their sophomore release, we chose the delightfully funky “Love Em”, and the uptempo jazz-rock tunes “Freedom” and “Black Sand”. From their third LP, we pulled our go-to tracks: the instrumental latin jazz-burner “Mana” and the ultra-catchy bop “Up To You”.
These are the Kalapana jams constantly on repeat for us. (We excluded ballads from our selection because we wanted this box set to be bangers from start to finish.)
Designed by Matt Tapia, the box set is our sole contribution to the Kalapana catalog. Our goal was to ensure this “new” release stands alongside two of the band’s most timeless covers: the classic four-photo grid in green of Kalapana I, and the psychedelic sky-meets-ocean artwork of Kalapana II. The result is a clean, simple cover featuring an original 1970s photo of the four founding members decked in lei, flower garlands that became iconic visuals for the band’s live performances.
Each box set is foil-stamped and numbered as part of a limited edition.
It contains five 7-inch records with custom Kalapana paper sleeves, and sealed with custom Kalapana tape. Each vinyl has a song lyric etched into the vinyl’s deadwax (the blank area in between the grooves and the label).
Priced attractively, the 7-inch box set is a welcome addition to any collection.
As DJs with a penchant for spinning vinyl, we’re apt to bring 7-inch records to a gig for their portability (read: less backbreaking) and sound quality (7-inch records bump louder than LPs). But the problem with 7-inch vinyl box sets these days is that few are convenient to play, let alone add into a DJ set. Clumsy clamshell enclosures, excessive packaging, hyper-collectability (to the point where no one wants to open their copy!) — all these things prevent the records from actually being played. When designing this 7-inch box set, we ensured that these records are easily enjoyed, including a simple jacket to quickly pull records out and a smaller holes to avoid the need for a 7-inch adapter.
We hope this release becomes a worthy contribution to the canon of Kalapana’s legacy.
Track selection by Roger Bong and Don Hernandez.
Designed by Matt Tapia.
Mastered for vinyl by Jessica Thompson.
Pressed at Gotta Groove Records.
Licensed from Kalapana Music.
Mahalo to the band and and all its friends, family, and musicians over the years. Special thanks to Dan Perloff for working with us on these releases. Shouts to Sticky Dojah, who planted the seed for a box set!
1A. The Hurt
1B. What Do I Do
2A. When The Morning Comes
2B. All I Want
3A. Love Em
4A. Black Sand
5A. Up To You
5B. Everything Is Love
Each copy was gold foil-stamped as part of a limited edition and sealed with custom tape.
The first 100 copies were pressed to orange vinyl, available only on Bandcamp.
All other copies pressed to black vinyl.
Order online here.