No. 25—2024

Super K Sha-La-La

Luke Calzonetti

Info: Super K was a short-lived record label in the late 1960s/early ‘70s that released albums and singles by Freddie & the Dreamers, Captain Groovy And His Bubblegum Army, and The Kasenetz-Katz Orchestral Cirkus – groups many of us may not be familiar with. Long ago, far away. Except for Freddie & the Dreamers, they weren’t really groups at all, but more of a studio production, parts assigned and performed under the direction of two producers, Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz. They scored hits with the Music Explosion, the Ohio Express, and the 1910 Fruitgum Company, released on Buddha, a bigger company at the time. (Some of Super K’s records were issued in Europe by the Berlin-based Hansa label.) Certain aficionados of obscure music and not-so guilty pleasures, however, such as the artist and musician Luke Calzonetti, are well aware of Super K, particularly because of its classic ‘70s logo. Hand-drawn in bulging, rounded letters, emerging from a goofy star, ending with a giant K, as if meant for a cereal box, the logo appears prominently in the artist’s new paintings. If these works find visual resonance with the sugar-coated pop of that music – a genre, bubblegum, already on the way out as the vinyl was being pressed, replaced by the era’s psychedelic and heavier rock, funk and soul – it would be burnt sugar at the edges of a heady discordance and erasure. (…)

JUBG Luke Calzonetti ArtJunk