Various Don't Stop: Recording Tap

With each release, the Numero Group goes further and further down the rabbit hole of record collection. With their latest releases, they’ve emerged on the other side of collecting, venturing deeply into long-lost performers and producers’ lives. It becomes increasingly clear that the line between musical output and non-musical activity is often cloudy and that looking at several decades of a person’s life yields a much more complex story than a simple discography. The mighty Tap label existed for about a heartbeat in the early ’80s, putting out "club” music: early hip-hop and R&B. Despite its obscurity, almost wilfully held back by perfectionist Jeremiah Yisrael, these are big budget productions. Arnie Love and the Lovettes’ material holds up best, with "Breakout” and the protest-fuelled "We’ve Had Enough.” The female vocalists aren’t of the same calibre as Love, and that’s not saying much. On the other hand, there is some excellent early rap from a trio of round-the-way girls and a sweet reggae/club hybrid. As with so many of the Numero Group’s releases, its value is far beyond a collection of music with flashes of greatness; it’s all about "behind the music.” (Numero Group)