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The DESCO story & discog by Rich Jammin'

From vacuum store on 14th st. to a label of champions. DESCO.

We rewind to Paris in the late '80s, where Phillipe Lehman and a friend decided to compile some of their old, obscure funk 45's for an LP to promote an upcoming party. The response was overwhelming, and the guys figured they might be on to something. They realized there was a void when it came to acquiring some bass-slappin' goodness, so the only logical choice would be to start a record label -- and they did. Pure Records was created to keep funk afloat, releasing classic and rare reissues, plus the ever-popular compilation. As Pure Records gained momentum, the attention began to shift to production. Phillipe assembled a group of musicians for an upcoming compilation, which proved successful, and Pure Productions was born. However, after a couple of releases, Phillipe found a void in producing the funky sound he craved, so in 1995, he left France for the Big Apple in search of a "brand new bag." Gabriel Roth was also into funk and was studying music and engineering at NYU. When his then band 'Dine-O-Matic' split up in the mid nineties, Gabe went on to form the 'Soul Providers'. NYU student, Pure Records customer, and soon-to-be partner Gabriel Roth had heard through the grapevine that Phillipe was in the city, and set out to arrange a meeting. They got together for lunch and decided check out a friends' studio for a quick jam. "We knew things were coming together when we started in on Sissy Strut, explains Gabriel. "Phillipe and I just had a vision for the same style and sound -- hot and nasty, '70s funk in the James Brown tradition." Both Phillipe and Gabriel give their props to JB as the root of all things funky. "Everything since James (Brown) has been merely a variation of what he laid down in the old days. We are simply expanding on the jam." As their friendship developed, so did the desire to collaborate. The duo began producing tracks in a basement studio. And slowly but surely, a funk network was being laid -- musicians young and old were recruited, either directly or by word of mouth to become part of this loose collective. In 1997, Desco became a full-blown project. In this short time, their reach has extended to recordings of funk legend Lee Fields, boogaloo master Sugarman, and the soulful Sharon Jones, to name a few. Yet, behind the music, you will find a chemistry between Lehman and Roth whose end result is rump-shaking good! Phillipe has the sound and feel for what classic funk should be. His extensive record collection and years with Pure saw to that. Gabriel applies his NYU music theory and engineering to translate Phillipe's "vision" to the various musicians on a given project. By incorporating numerous musicians within their "stable," team Desco has the ability to assemble a group based on a particular sound they want to achieve. Roth contends that often poses a challenge from a production standpoint, but the results have been successful. For example, The Revenge of Mr. Mopoji was released as a soundtrack to a fictitious Kung Fu movie. The production, sound, and packaging were so authentic, even bona fide funk collectors were fooled, thus proving Desco's dedication to and reproduction of that which is funky. I think the text on the back of the cover of the Soul Providers' (Don't Look Back) Behind the Shack, a slab of Brooklyn-spawned retro-funk released by Desco Records in 1998, sums up the mindset during those times: "DESCO is seeking bands and musicians who are interested in recording HEAVY, HEAVY funk or boogaloo. If your influences include Parliament, Stevie Wonder, or be-bop, you need not apply. When it comes to gettin' down, James Brown is the ground."

7" 45rpm releases:


Lee Fields - Let a man do what he wanna do bw/ Steam Train ( pp-005 ) (DS-1001)

LABEL SCAN. Vocals: Lee Fields. Trombone, Guitar: Don Bonus. Drums: Clive Wilson. Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund. Guitar: Scott Mann. Bass: Bosco 'Bass' Mann.

RELAESED: 1996 Produced by Boris Johnson


Ravi Harris and the Prophets - Path of the blazing sarong bw/ Hot pants road ( Gemini#13005 ) (DS-1002)

LABEL SCAN. Sitar: Gabriel Roth. Drums: Phillipe Lehman. Bass Guitar: Mike Wagner. Overdubbed Guitar: Gabriel Roth.

RELEASED: 1996 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman.


The Other Side - You do something, I don't do nothing bw/ Diggin' up the yard ( DS-1003 )

LABEL SCAN. Trombone, Guitar: Don Bonus. Drums: Clive Wilson. Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund. Guitar: Scott Mann. Bass: Bosco 'Bass' Mann.

RELEASED: 1996 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Rich Alvy.


Sharon Jones - Damn it's hot bw/ pt2 ( DS-1004 )

LABEL SCAN. Vocals: Sharon Jones. Trombone, Guitar: Don Bonus. Drums: Clive Wilson. Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund. Guitar: Scott Mann. Bass: Bosco 'Bass' Mann.

RELEASED: 1996 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman.


Sharon Jones - Bump & touch bw/ Hook & Sling Funky Superfly ( DS-1005 )

LABEL SCAN. Vocals: Sharon Jones. Trombone, Guitar: Don Bonus. Drums: Clive Wilson. Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund. Guitar: Scott Mann. Bass: Bosco 'Bass' Mann.

RELEASED: 1997 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman.


The Soul Providers / Boscos millionaires Earls backyard barbecue bw/ Freddies ribs ( DS- 1006 )

LABEL SCAN. Drums, Organ, Bass, and Guitar: Bosco 'Bass' Mann. Trombone: Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund.

RELEASED: 1997 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman.


The Soul Providers - Soul Jasper bw/ Let the music take your mind ( DS- 1007 )

LABEL SCAN. Trombone, Guitar: Don Bonus. Drums: Clive Wilson. Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund. Guitar: Scott Mann. Bass: Bosco 'Bass' Mann.

RELEASED: 1998 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Ravi Harris and the Prophets - Thunderbird bw/ pt2 ( Gemini#13007 ) (DS-1008)

LABEL SCAN. Sitar: Gabriel Roth. Drums: Phillipe Lehman. Bass Guitar: Mike Wagner. Overdubbed Guitar: Gabriel Roth.

RELEASED: 1998 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Joseph Henry - Who's the King?(You know thats me) bw/ I feel right ( DS- 1009 )

LABEL SCAN. Vocals: Joseph Henry. Trombone, Guitar: Don Bonus. Drums: Clive Wilson. Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund. Guitar: Scott Mann. Bass: Bosco 'Bass' Mann.

RELEASED: 1998 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Sharon Jones - You better think twice bw/I got the feeling ( DS- 1010 )

LABEL SCAN. Vocals: Sharon Jones. Trombone, Guitar: Don Bonus. Drums: Clive Wilson. Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund. Guitar: Scott Mann. Bass: Bosco 'Bass' Mann.

RELEASED: 1998 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Lee Fields & The Soul Providers - "Take It Or Leave It" b/w "Hey Sallie Mae, Get Off My Feet" ( DS- 1011 ) (Promo-1001)

LABEL SCAN. Vocals: Lee Fields. Trombone, Guitar: Don Bonus. Drums: Clive Wilson. Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund. Guitar: Scott Mann. Bass: Bosco 'Bass' Mann.

RELEASED: 1998 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger. Promo release for the forth coming LP.


The Daktaris - In the middle bw/ Same (Mono) ( DS- 1012 )

LABEL SCAN. Congas, Vocals: Jo Jo Quo. Lead Guitar: Alaji Boniface Oluremi. Tenor Guitar: G.G. Vikey. Drums: Olu "Rocksteady" Owudemi. Bass: Clement Apaokgi. Alto: Joe Hrbek. Baritone Sax: Femi "Dokita" Doolittle. Trombone: Neal Pawley. Trompet: Alaji Milificent Agbede. Sticks: Abou Sylla. Keyboards: Azouhouni Adou. Shaker: Idowu Perkins. Tenor Sax: Adrian Bako. Flute: Martin Ogbene. Clarinet, Melodica, Bell: Gbenro "Mr Icee" Fakeye.

RELEASED: 1998 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Los Diablos - Los Diablos funky bw/ madre popcorn (unreleased) ( DS- 1013 )

LABEL SCAN N.A Martin Perna, Gabriel Roth. Drums: Phillipe Lehman. Bass Guitar: Mike Wagner.

RELEASED: Unreleased, was thought to be bad luck. Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman.


Naomi Davis & the Knights of forty first street - Forty first street breakdown bw/ Catapult ( DS- 1014 )

LABEL SCAN. Vocals: Naomi davis. Other players include: Phillipe Lehman, Gabriel Roth, Mike Jackson, Leon Michels, Paul Brandenburg and Joe Hrbeck. Horn section: Sugarman 3.

RELEASED: 1998 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Sugarman 3 - Cherry Pickin' bw/ Turtle walk ( DS- 1015 )

LABEL SCAN. Tenor sax: Neal Sugarman. Drums: Rudy Albin. Organ: Adam Scone. Guitar: Coleman Mellett. Flute: Daisy Sugarman.

RELEASED: 1999 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


The Mighty Imperials - Kick The Blanket bw/ Toothpick ( DE- 1016 )

LABEL SCAN Organ: Leon Michels. Drums: Homar Steinwiess. Bass: Nick Movshon. Guitar: Sean Soloman.

RELEASED: 1999 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


The Unstoppable S Robinson - Waiting for the juice bw/ Humpin' pt1 - Humpin' pt2 ( DS- ? )

LABEL SCAN N.A coming soon ..

RELEASED: Unreleased,(3 Master Copies Only?) this was going to be 3 track 45. All 3 tunes were released on 'Spikes Choice vol2' CD, and taken from live recordings at the Galaxy Lounge in Roxanna, Ohio. Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Naomi Davis - Wind Your Clock bw/ Good Thing. ( DS- ? )

LABEL SCAN N.A Vocals: Naomi davis. Other players include: Phillipe Lehman, Gabriel Roth, Mike Jackson, Leon Michels, Paul Brandenburg and Joe Hrbeck. Horn section: Sugarman 3.

RELEASED: Unreleased, this was going to be 45rpm big hole 10" super single. There is however a very small amount of white label promo copys. Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


LP & CD releases:


The Other Side - The Other Side ( DSLP/CD001 )

COVER SCAN. Trombone, Guitar: Don Bonus. Drums: Clive Wilson. Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund. Guitar: Scott Mann. Bass: Bosco 'Bass' Mann.

RELEASED: 1998 Produced by Gabriel Roth, Rich Alvy, Phillipe Lehman and Mike Wagner. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Sugarman 3 - Sugars Boogaloo ( DSLP/CD002 )

COVER SCAN. Tenor Sax: Neal Sugarman. Drums: Rudy Albin. Organ: Adam Scone. Guitar: Coleman Mellett. Flute: Daisy Sugarman.

RELEASED: 1998 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


The Daktaris - Soul Explosion ( DSLP/CD003 )

COVER SCAN. Congas, Vocals: Jo Jo Quo. Lead Guitar: Alaji Boniface Oluremi. Tenor Guitar: G.G. Vikey. Drums: Olu "Rocksteady" Owudemi. Bass: Clement Apaokgi. Alto: Joe Hrbek. Baritone Sax: Femi "Dokita" Doolittle. Trombone: Neal Pawley. Trompet: Alaji Milificent Agbede. Sticks: Abou Sylla. Keyboards: Azouhouni Adou. Shaker: Idowu Perkins. Tenor Sax: Adrian Bako. Flute: Martin Ogbene. Clarinet, Melodica, Bell: Gbenro "Mr Icee" Fakeye.

RELEASED: 1998 Produced by Gabriel Roth, Phillipe Lehman and Mike Wagner.


Lee Fields - Lets Get a Groove On (DSLP/CD004)

COVER SCAN. Vocals: Lee Fields. Trombone, Guitar: Don Bonus. Drums: Clive Wilson. Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund. Guitar: Scott Mann. Bass: Bosco 'Bass' Mann.

RELEASED: 1998 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Sugarman 3 - Soul Donkey (DSLP/CD005)

COVER SCAN. Tenor Sax: Neal Sugarman. Drums: Rudy Albin. Organ: Adam Scone. Guitar: Coleman Mellett. Flute: Daisy Sugarman. Tambourine: Bosco Mann.

RELEASED: 1999 Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Spikes Choice - Desco Funk 45' Collection (DSCD201)

COVER SCAN. Various Artists.

RELEASED: 1998 Produced by Gabriel Roth, Phillipe Lehman and Mike Wagner. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Spikes Choice - Desco Funk 45' Collection 2 (DSCD202)

COVER SCAN. Various Artists.

RELEASED: 1999 Produced by Gabriel Roth, Phillipe Lehman and Mike Wagner. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


The Mighty Imperials feat. Joseph Henry - Thunder Chicken (DSCD006)

COVER SCAN. Vocals: Joseph Henry. Organ: Leon Michels. Drums: Homar Steinwiess. Bass: Nick Movshon. Guitar: Sean Soloman.

RELEASED: In small amounts by Strut records. This is in effect a bootleg as Desco never recieved payment. Originaly recorded by Gabriel Roth for DESCO records. Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Affiliated projects connected to DESCO records.


Joseph Henry & the Mighty Imperials - Never found a girl bw/ Matador (unreleased) (DS- 1016)

LABEL SCAN N.A. Vocals: Joseph Henry. Organ: Leon Michels. Drums: Homar Steinwiess. Bass: Nick Movshon. Guitar: Sean Soloman.

RELEASED: Unreleased, this should have been (DS-1016) in the DESCO 7" catalog. This was however on 'Spikes Choice vol2' CD. Eventualy this was released on 'Daptone Records' in 2004. Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Nino Nardini & the Pop Riviera Group - Same (RM7)

COVER SCAN. Nino Nardini

RELEASED: Originaly in 1971 on Rotonde Musique. Reissued in 1997 by DESCO with psychedelic party shot picture sleeve.


Soul Providers featuring Lee Fields - Gimme the Paw... and eleven other funky favorites (LP-008)

COVER SCAN. Vocals: Lee Fields, Sharon Jones, Rhett Clarke. Trombone, Guitar: Don Bonus. Drums: Clive Wilson. Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund. Guitar: Scott Mann. Bass: Bosco 'Bass' Mann.

RELEASED: Circa 1996.This LP is a 'PURE RECORDS' release before Phillipe and Gabriel set up DESCO. Recorded by Gabriel Roth.


Mike Jackson and the Soul Providers - The Revenge of Mr Mopoji (ST5918)

COVER SCAN. Mike Jackson, Trombone, Guitar: Don Bonus. Drums: Clive Wilson. Tenor sax: Joe Hrbek. Keyboards: John freund. Guitar: Scott Mann. Bass: Bosco 'Bass' Mann.

RELEASED: 1996. Fake Soundtrack score. Produced by Mike Jackson. Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman.


The Mighty Imperials feat. Joseph Henry - Thunder Chicken (DAP - 003)

COVER SCAN. Vocals: Joseph Henry. Organ: Leon Michels. Drums: Homar Steinwiess. Bass: Nick Movshon. Guitar: Sean Soloman.

RELEASED: 2004 by Daptone records. Originaly recorded by Gabriel Roth for DESCO records. Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger.


Ravi Harris and the Prophets - Funk Sitar Man (BBE-CD002)

COVER SCAN. Sitar: Gabriel Roth. Drums: Phillipe Lehman. Bass Guitar: Mike Wagner. Overdubbed Guitar: Gabriel Roth.

RELEASED: 1997 by BBE records. Originaly recorded by Gabriel Roth for PURE/DESCO records. Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman.


Pure Funk vol 1-4

COVER SCAN. Various Artists.

RELEASED: 1998 by C&S/PURE records. Recorded by Gabriel Roth for PURE/DESCO records. Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman. Mastered by Don Grossinger. These is basicly PURE/DESCO records compilations.


Soul Providers - Soul Tequilla (C&S)

COVER SCAN. Vocals: Lee Fields & Sharon Jones, Tenor Sax: Joe Hrbek, Drums: Clive wilson, Bass: Bosco mann, Guitar + Trombone: Don bonus, Guitar: Scott mann. Also Jason Papillon and Ian Carey.

RELEASED: 1997 by C&S records. Originaly recorded by Gabriel Roth for PURE/DESCO records. Produced by Gabriel Roth and Phillipe Lehman.


In its 4 year span DESCO records released some groundbreaking funk, most noticbly of which is Joseph Henrys - Who's the King (recently reissued by daptone records). A 45 that set the 'scene' alight upon its release and became instantly collectable. As well as instrumental tunes DESCO also resurrected some artists, giving them some of the fame and attention they should have had some 30 years earlier. In 2000 DESCO records closed its doors but most of the people involved went on to start new projects, carrying the funk flag to pastures new. Gabriel Roth Set up Daptone Records together with Neal Sugarman, a label that still releases no-nosense funk & soul cuts of the highest order. The 'Soul Providers' became the now renowned 'Dap Kings'. Phillipe Lehman set up the now deceased Soulfire records together with Jeff Silverman and released an array of 45's on many sub labels. Thanks to Gabriel Roth (Daptone records) for invaluable information, Tobias Kirmayer (Tramp records) and Stephan (Rejuvenation) for some label scans. As well as my own interpretation i have taken excerpts and various statements from an article by Phillip Haire (ink19). I guess you could say that those teenage kids achieved their dream.


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