You could call the Numero Group a reissue label, and that would be factually correct, but it would also miss a big piece of what the Chicago-based label has been doing since 2003. While, yes, everything Numero puts out has “come out” before, much of their source material was, in its previous life, known only regionally or to superfans of a very specific microgenre (and often both). In that light, Numero is succeeding where, say, our local libraries and universities may have failed us: Bringing us whole musical perspectives on 20th Century life in America that might have gone otherwise unheralded. So whether we’re talking 70’s Chicago blues or lost regional soul classics from the South and the midwest or the context of local Minneapolis music that gave the world Prince (see above playlist, or this one for a bigger overview), Numero Group is, in its very special way, something more than a label. It is a kind of public service.
Listen: The Numero Guide to Prince's Minneapolis Sound