Bubbling up from the snow-blanketed land of 10,000 lakes, the Minneapolis Sound defied expectations, emerging late in the '70s as a slick, black, technologically advanced fusion, poised to storm the charts. In relative silence, the Twin Cities had been harboring a tight-knit community feverishly at work in radically manipulating American dance music, varnishing futurist funk with guitar rock’s glamorous sheen. Purple Snow, the Numero Group’s ambitious 50th mainline release, chronicles false starts and follow-throughs toward Minneapolis Sound, on 4 LPs and 32 rare and unreleased recordings from the years just prior to, and just after, one gifted Nelson was crowned Prince. At some 30,000 words, our 144-page hardbound book meticulously directs the listener through two hours of music, and a decade dotted by adept producers, combos, and characters—like 94 East, Flyte Tyme, and Alexander O’Neal, whose less celebrated groundwork put Minneapolis’ purple launchpad on the map. From Jimmy Jam’s extroverted Mind & Matter collective to André Cymone’s polish-free bedroom demos, Purple Snow gathers as the sprawling, nonfiction prequel to Purple Rain’s cultural takeover. In image-rich splendor, funk-informed hordes of unsung Twin Cities talent bask for a spotlit moment, out of that persistent violet shadow, to shine.