The Archive

Hand picked records important to the history of Soul Strut. This is updated (almost) daily.

Arena - Arena

  • Arena

    Arena LP (1975)

    Crystal Clear

This was a record of intrigue when information was scarce 10 years a go.  I was immediately bugged out by the creepy charcoal pencil outsider cover art adorned with two mysterious creatures peaking through a doorway.  Turns out what they were staring at was some ace Australian session musicians laying down buttery jazz funk grooves in between takes for TV commercials.   1975’s Arena LP on Crystal Clear basked in obscurity until the 90s when those pesky Aussie beat diggers started flossing it. The album reminds me of Alan Tew's Hanged Man had a baby with an underproduced Herbie Hancock.  There are lots of buttery Rhodes intercourse spiced with moogs , fuzz wah, and Bennie Maupin-like sax passages.  The caucasian Headhunters indeed.  Highlights include the "The Long One", "Scrichell Cat", and "Turkish Defunked".  Thankfully Roundtable records reissued this in 2016 so we no longer have to at the mercy of those down under. 


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