Shoutout to Hungry Ear Records — every time I walk in there, the owner, Ward Yamashita, asks politely if and when a repress of The Rhythm Of Life is happening. Generally my response has been, "Ohhh I know, I really gotta do that. Soon, soon", knowing that there are always a handful of other, new releases to press up (and therefore tie up the label's funds).
But seeing that 2020 marks the five year anniversary of Aloha Got Soul as a label (10 years as a blog), it felt right to repress TROL on the anniversary of its initial repress back in 2015, on November 28.
If you read back about the 2015 reissue, you'll find that we released it on November 28th in celebration of my and Mike's shared birthdays — born on the same day, just in different years.
I've always resonated with Mike's take on the world and, more relevantly, his philosophy that we all have our own rhythm.
Yes, that's where the album's title comes from. This album, then, is less a debut and more of a representation of Mike's experiences in and understandings of this world.
(He'll tell you, even more specifically, that that's why all of us show up to appointments at different times — because we all move to our own rhythm of life.)
Since 2015, the label has branched out into all sorts of ways — collaborations with other labels overseas (shoutout to Strut, Be With, Ultra-Vybe, Grand Gallery, and other folks I might be forgetting as I type this in haste — I believe blogging should be done quickly, akin to journaling), merchandise, sync licensing, events, sublabels. I guess those are more reasons why I didn't get around to repressing this earlier.
Regardless of all the paths AGS has taken along the way, Mike's album — and friendship — has been fundamental in the work we're doing. In 2013, I befriended him over coffee at Starbucks in Manoa, two years before launching the label. That meeting became this interview.
When the idea to launch a label arose, I wondered who to call. Who would be down to be the first release on Aloha Got Soul? I knew who: Mike.
So I called Mike that day and said, "Hey! I've got an idea" and without hesitation, Mike said yes. That's how the TROL reissue came to be.
The very first release we did, a 7" of two of the album's best songs, sold out in about a week. By November, pre-orders for the LP poured in. We spent a good several nights packing orders in makeshift LP mailers (which I'll never do again — I thought I was saving money by making my own, since shipping to Hawaii is so expensive, but the amount of time I would've saved would've been worth it).
I'm happy to finally announce this repress. To Hungry Ear and all our other fans who've been waiting, grab a copy here.
We've also pressed a limited edition color vinyl, exclusive for sound waves members on Bandcamp.