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Grandmaster Flash

Eastside record label still spinning out the music

Eastside record label still spinning out the music

Hector Gonzalez straps a five-string bass guitar over his belly inside a music studio on a dreary stretch of Monterey Park. He plays as a smooth, prerecorded tenor joins a funky accordion through his headphones.

Trying to bite a bullet, or sometimes count to 10,

For the sake of argument, let's just pretend,

We both agree to disagree.

Gonzalez is helping a silky-voiced old bandmate record a nostalgic-sounding soul album. But in a larger sense, the 59-year-old music producer is trying to keep alive a legacy he inherited 18 years ago.

Gonzalez is the head of Rampart Records, which earned a measure of fame in the 1960s as the...