Well Happy New Year to all our fine friends out there! Hopefully you survived the holiday season and had some time off to spend with family and friends and your turntable. We here would like to thank all of you who chose to shop locally last month and made December our best month ever, by a long shot. It was absolutely bonkers here, so THANK YOU! Anyway, now hopefully we’ll have some time to breathe and tidy up a bit. Meanwhile, here’s some stuff that came in late last year, mostly while I was out of the shop so it’s just hitting the shelves today, enjoy….
…..pick of the week…..
White Noise: An Electric Storm (Island) LP
Originally issued in 1969 on Island Records, An Electric Storm is the ambitious debut album from electronic music groupWhite Noise. Cited as an influence by Aphex Twin and Chemical Brothers, An Electric Storm was the work of American-born David Vorhaus, Delia Derbyshire (who had created the electronic version of the Doctor Who theme for the BBC) and Brian Hodgson. 1969 was a year which saw the world of popular music blossom. Musical freedom was the watchword and experimentation was welcomed by an ever increasing underground audience who were eager to feed their heads with ambitious albums by acts who embraced the worlds of rock and the avant garde. It was also a year in which independent record labels began to make their commercial mark in Britain. Of these companies, Island was undoubtedly the biggest player. Of all the albums released that year by Island, White Noise’s An Electric Storm was by far the most experimental and ground breaking. The album was equally surprising in that two of the three members of White Noise were not long haired rock musicians, but were respected pioneers of electronic music who worked at the BBC’s legendary Radiophonic Workshop. Initial recording work was undertaken by Vorhaus, Derbyshire and Hodgson at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in Maida Vale during the night after staff had gone home. “It was all very unofficial and the BBC was unaware of us using the studio and equipment for our own ends,” recalls Vorhaus. “However, it’s common knowledge now that the first couple of tracks recorded by White Noise were actually recorded at the BBC, so I think it’s safe to come clean!”
File Under: Electronic, Library Pop, Essential Grooves, Delia Derbyshire
Les Baxter: Barbarians (So Far Out) LP
The soundtrack to the 1959 Italian peplum/sword-and-sandal film Goliath and the Barbarians starring American bodybuilder and mega-star in Europe at the time, Steve Reeves, Barbarian is about a million times better than the movie it was made to accompany. Featuring Les Baxter’s signature percussion sound and moody arrangements, Barbarian is one of Baxter’s finest titles of the late ’50s/early ’60s. Back in print on 180-gram LP courtesy of the exotica enthusiasts at So Far Out.
File Under: Lounge, Exotica
Black to Comm: s/t (Type) LP
Hamburg’s Marc Richter has been busy with his Black To Comm project since his last appearance under that name on Type, 2009’s genre-bending and critically acclaimed Alphabet 1968. Aside from helming the prolific Dekorder imprint, he’s put out a number of musical curios, including 2012’s excellent film soundtrack EARTH. Now Richter is back with Alphabet 1968’s proper follow-up, a self-titled double album pieced together from crumbling samples, vocal snippets, and an arsenal of noise generators and filters. Richter’s material has always been characterized by an air of surrealism, but it’s never been more obvious than on the pulsing, chattering opener “Human Gidrah” or in the delirious, fractured pop of “Hands.” There are real songs hidden in here somewhere, but they’re disintegrated by Richter’s sound manipulation techniques and dissolved into soupy, extended drone marathons. The centerpiece is undoubtedly “Is Nowhere,” which builds slowly over 20 minutes with rumbling organ sounds and buzzing filters, never losing the listener’s attention for a second. Black To Comm is a deeper, more challenging record than its predecessor, but one which repays the patient listener. Richter’s dusty, unique sound has never sounded so well-honed and pointed, and it’s a patchwork of ideas and fragments that only improves over time. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. Artwork by Andreas Diefenbach.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Bolder Damn: Mourning (Guerssen) LP
Bolder Damn’s 1971 album Mourning is an absolute monster among U.S. hard rock private pressings. Hailing from Florida, Bolder Damn boasted an ultra-heavy, “raw-in-your-face” sound with devastating fuzzed-out guitar, a solid rhythm section, and manic vocals. First discovered and reissued by the legendary Rockadelic label in 1990, the album has gained a cult status among new fans of ’70s proto-doom and hard rock sounds since then. Bringing it back into print after many years, Guerssen presents the definitive vinyl reissue of Mourning, featuring original artwork and fold-out insert with liner notes, interview with singer John Anderson, and rare pictures. Remastered sound. Highly recommended if you like Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Pentagram, MC5, Sainte Anthony’s Fyre…
File Under: Hard Rock, Fuzz
Peter Brotzmann & Jason Adasiewicz: Mollie’s In the Mood (Bro) LP
BRÖ presents Mollie’s in the Mood by Peter Brötzmann & Jason Adasiewicz, the label’s third LP since its revival in 2003 and the sequel to the Brötzmann/Adasiewicz 2012 tour-only CD. Recorded in “you-are-there” fidelity, the LP captures a performance at Chicago’s Hideout on the duo’s 2012 U.S.A. tour. Brötzmann played alto and tenor saxophones, b-flat clarinet, and tárogató; Adasiewicz played vibraphone. This is what happens when the most original vibraphonist of his generation slams into a force of nature. Vinyl cut at Sterling Sound by Steve Fallone and manufactured by Record Technology, Inc. Hand-pulled screen-printed covers on heavyweight Stoughton “laser disc” sleeves by Alan Sherry (Siwa). One-time pressing in an edition of 600, vinyl only.
File Under: Free Jazz, Jazz, Skronk
Gala Drop: II (Golf Channel) LP
Golf Channel Recordings presents II, the first full-length recording from Lisbon, Portugal-based Gala Drop in six years, and their first release since 2012’s Broda, an acclaim split with Ben Chasny of former tour-mates Six Organs of Admittance. For this release, Gala Drop joined forces with Detroit ex-pat Jerrald “Jerry the Cat” James to pull together the variant strands of the Motor City’s aural lineage with the more off-the-cuff Balearic grooves of their native Lisbon in a hypnotic melting pot of sound. From percussion work with Parliament-Funkadelic, to live performances with John Lee Hooker, to collaborations with Derrick May, Theo Parrish, and Moodymann, James’ involvement in the great rise of black music through the mid-to-late 20th century cannot be understated. It’s as a vocalist that he makes his mark on II, with his dub-smeared murmurs and galvanizing cries pushing Gala Drop even further away from the introspective delay-pedal drone that they started out with nearly a decade previously. Seductive 808s and samplers sit alongside Afonso Simões’ drumming, allowing the lighter tissue of the track, shimmering synths and soulful vocals, to weave and wind their way around the foundations — never more apparent than on the pirouetting Mediterranean disco of the final track, “Samba da Maconha.” The track closes an album that shows definite Jamaican reggae and dub influences, while at the same time drawing deeply from the progressive Afrofuturism aesthetic that’s come to typify the Lisbon club scene of the past few years. That scene has certainly had an influence on Gala Drop’s development, as Simões says: “I was going out to a techno club at the weekend but going to see a garage rock show or some free jazz band in the week. The post-millennium Lisbon has been very fertile musically speaking.” It’s that eclecticism that’s allowed the group freedom to be similarly unhemmed. Their music takes on the bustling heat of the streets of Lisbon but, like the city itself, remains tied to the open seas and panoramic scenery beyond. A song like “Sun Gun” is a perfect example, built around intricate basslines and restless drumming that eventually stretches out into the distance as the track races along, with Gala Drop skipping through their alluringly idiosyncratic world.
File Under: Electronic, Dub, Disco, Rock
Grits ‘n Gravy: Second Shot (Stag-o-Lee) LP
14 months after their debut release, German duo Grits ‘n Gravy returns with Second Shot. Grits ‘n Gravy still consists of drummer and singer Mighty Mike (The Juke Joint Pimps, Voodoo Rhythm) and Cat Lee King, a young and skinny piano player with a big voice. Who knows where he gets it, but he has the soul of Ray Charles and the mean attack of Bunker Hill. The guys spent two days in the studio to lay down 12 tracks, 10 of which made the final cut. Musically, Grits ‘n Gravy still stands for ’50s rock ‘n’ roll, raw rhythm ‘n’ blues, and early soul. While their first release consisted mainly of covers, this time the duo has written seven originals, which appear alongside interpretations of “Tell a Whale of a Tale” (Wynonie Harris) and “Act Right” (Wynona Carr), as well as an inspired re-working of “I Put a Spell On You” (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins). In order to broaden their sonic palette, Mike and Cat invited a few friends from Ray Collins’ Hot Club to add double-bass, guitar, and saxophones on selected tracks.
File Under: Blues, Boogie Woogie
Johann Johannsson & BJ Nilsen: I Am Here (Ash) LP
Based on the original score for the film I Am Here (2014), written and directed by Anders Morgenthaler, starring Kim Basinger, Jordan Prentice and Sebastian Schipper. Written and produced by Jóhann Jóhannsson and BJ Nilsen. This is the first collaboration between Jóhann Jóhannsson and BJ Nilsen — very much a mix between their two worlds, you can hear both their signatures, and with the help of additional musicians, including Hildur Guðnadóttir on cello and the remarkable voices of Elfa Margrét Ingvadóttir and Guðmundur Vignir Karlsson, they together create a world of great beauty and mystery. Hildur Guðnadóttir (cello), Daniella Strasfogel (violin and viola), Elfa Margrét Ingvadóttir and Guðmundur Vignir Karlsson (vocals), Jóhann Jóhannsson (piano, guitar and electronics), BJ Nilsen (electronics). Recorded and mixed by Jóhann Jóhannsson and BJ Nilsen in Berlin, December 2013-January 2014. Mastered and cut by Jason at Transition August 20th, 2014.
File Under: Ambient, OST, Neo-Classical
Elodie Lauten: Transform (Wilde Calm) 12”
Wilde Calm Records is honored to present new work from the late Elodie Lauten, New York City-based composer and recipient of the 2014 Robert Rauschenberg Award. Lauten had been exploring microtonality and alternative temperament since the early 1980s, first with a Fairlight CMI synthesizer and more recently with the Klio, her custom modular Reaktor software synthesizer. Many Wilde Calm fans will be familiar with Lauten’s music from her numerous collaborations with fellow downtown luminary Arthur Russell. Lauten and Russell met through their mutual poet friend Allen Ginsberg and shared a similar sensibility, evident in their spiritual club classic In the Light of the Miracle and Russell’s appearance on Lauten’s seminal post-minimalist masterwork The Death of Don Juan. This EP includes five remastered selections from Lauten’s 2013 album, Transform, and a Wilde Calm remix. Lauten’s synth explorations are essential for fans of Laurie Spiegel and Suzanne Ciani. Limited edition of 500 in hand-stamped and numbered silkscreened jackets with full-color insert and liner notes by Jayson Greene. Cover and insert artwork by Josh Gurrie.
File Under: Electronic, New York Downtown, Arthur Russell
Lubomyr Melnyk: Evertina (Erased Tapes) 10”
Erased Tapes first introduced Lubomyr Melnyk and his unique continuous music technique to a wider audience with Corollaries, (an album produced by Peter Broderick in 2013. Now he returns with a 24-minute mini-album entitled Evertina. Featuring three newly-composed solo piano pieces, the long-form EP showcases another side to Lubomyr Melnyk — his more gentle and melodic work. In 2012 Lubomyr’s ears began to notice the remarkable tonal depth of upright pianos. To Lubomyr the upright piano sound is like a natural forest of microcosmic colors. “Evertina” and “Awaiting” were created on a middle-aged upright piano at a friend’s home in New York in October 2012 — just before Hurricane Sandy hit the city. Some children were listening to Lubomyr as he played in a hotel lobby in Cologne and “Butterfly” is the piece that he made for them. It was recorded on a battered grand piano somewhere in Switzerland in late 2013, with the lid closed down to soften the effect. “The piano for me has so many different faces, so many personalities and wonders, it is like life itself, ever-changing yet always holding to a permanence of beauty. Like butterflies that never fly in a straight line but always carry their loveliness with them in their multi-angled paths. I want people to hear these pieces, that are always hidden from the world. I keep them locked away in a quiet place, far from the concert hall. Why do I do that? I guess it is because they are so easy to play, so effortless, I can do them while sleeping. Whereas my more demanding abilities on the piano come out in the forceful nature of continuous playing. There, the new ground is being broken and a new door is being opened for the world. But that does not mean that I am bound by nature or by god to do only continuous music. My heart moves into these pieces just as it moves into the continuous modalities. So here, for the very first time, I am bringing three of these little miniatures to the public view.” Lubomyr Melnyk is a true innovator, exploring new directions for contemporary music. Classically-trained and greatly affected by the minimalist movement in the early 1970s, the Ukrainian pianist developed his own unique language for the piano, named after the principle of maintaining a continuous, unbroken stream of sound. Melnyk has shown a remarkable devotion to the instrument, always striving to discover new ways of composing music in the continuous mode. His focus is on the actual sound of the piano as much as the harmonies and melodies of the music. Playing rapid and complex note patterns made Lubomyr one of the world’s fastest concert pianists. His virtuoso piano technique forms overtones that blend, collide or even create new melodies in rare moments, and thereby shape the composition beyond its original form. To accomplish this requires a special technique, one that has taken Melnyk many years to master. To witness one of his rare live performances is nothing short of a mind-opening experience.
File Under: Piano, Neo-Classical
OST: The Music of Grand Theft Auto V (Mass Appeal) 6LP Box
One of the most popular upcoming games (widely revered for it’s killer “car-radio” soundtracks) is now available as Deluxe 6 LP soundtrack boxset! There will be less than 5,000 copies worldwide. The soundtrack features 59 songs including original music from A$AP Rocky, Tyler The Creator, Twin Shadow, Wavves, Flying Lotus, Yeasayer and more. The original sore was composed by Tangerine Dream, Woody Jackson, The Aclhemist and Oh No mixed by DJ Shadow. This limited edition three color – 6LP Vinyl collection features a high end collectible box that houses a color booklet and lithograph poster!
File Under: OST, Video Games, Hip Hop
OST: Transformers (Music on Vinyl) LP
Soundtrack of the classic 1986 Transformers movie. First pressing of 1000 numbered copies on transparent blue vinyl. Set to a soundtrack of synth-based incidental music and hard-driving metal music, composed by Vince DiCola, the movie has a decidedly darker tone than the television series. Stan Bush’s song “The Touch”, which prominently featured in the film, was originally written for the Sylvester Stallone movie Cobra. The movie also feature other well known songs including “Instruments of Destruction” by NRG, Stan Bush’s song “Dare”, two songs by Spectre General, “Nothin’s Gonna Stand In Our Way”, “Hunger” as well as “Weird Al” Yankovic’s song “Dare to Be Stupid”. The Transformers theme song for the movie was performed by the band Lion. “Beyond good. Beyond evil. Beyond your wildest imagination.” The 1986 animated feature film The Transformers: The Movie was based on the animated TV series by the same name. The film was directed by Nelson Shin, who produced the original Transformers television series, and features the voices of Eric Idle, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Casey Kasem, Robert Stack, Lionel Stander, John Moschitta, Jr., Peter Cullen and Frank Welker. It also marked the final roles for both Orson Welles, who died just days after his last voice recording session for the film, and Scatman Crothers, who died months after its release.
File Under: OST, Cartoons
Else Marie Pade: Electronic Works 1958-1995 (Important) 3LP
Pressed on audiophile grade heavy duty vinyl in an edition of 500 copies. Else Marie Pade, born in 1924 in Denmark, is a precious golden gem in the world of contemporary electro-acoustic music. She is a true pioneer of electronic music and musique concrète. Pade is Denmark’s first lady of electronic music and her piece “Syv Cirkler (Seven Circles)” became the first electronic piece performed on Danish radio. Pade’s fascination with sound began in early childhood. Isolated in her bed for long periods due to illness, she began listening and intensively observing the sounds around her. As a teenager being imprisoned for spying on Nazi compounds in Arhus, she had a similar experience of isolation and sharpening her awareness of sound. Once released from prison, she became a piano student at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen. When she was introduced to Pierre Schaeffer in 1952, she instead chose to pursue the nuances of her inner sound-world. Shortly after beginning her studies with Schaeffer, she had her first electronic composition premiered in 1958. Else Marie Pade’s Electronic Works 1958-1995 is a three LP set of Pade’s most important compositions which was restored, mastered, and cut at Dubplates & Mastering in 2014 in Berlin under the watchful ears of curator Jacob Kirkegaard. These monumental works are presented, for the first time, pressed on audiophile-grade heavy-duty vinyl. Pressed in an edition of 500 copies. “The sounds outside became concrète music, and in the evening I could imagine that the stars and the moon and the sky uttered sounds and those turned into electronic music.” –Else Marie Pade
File Under: Early Electronic, Musique Concrete
Eugene Robinson & Zu: Left Hand Path (Trost) LP
Zu has always been a mercurial and ever-changing entity: unafraid of cross-genre explorations, eager to break down barriers between musical styles. Despite playing traditional instruments, major influences on Zu’s music have always been sonic explorers like Coil, Throbbing Gristle, or early Neubauten. The sound of The Left Hand Path is the somewhat hidden side of Zu, though latent in all of its previous music. It’s like digging out a box from the earth, containing everything the band had wished to highlight in previous works: ambient and droney landscapes; acoustic explorations in obscurity. The album starts programmatically with the sound of a shovel digging the earth — a soundtrack for a descent into the underworld. It’s moon musick. All of the members played electronics and Massimo focused mostly on guitars. The recordings were then sent to Eugene S. Robinson of Oxbow fame. Zu knew he was the right person to add vocals to it, and to transform the music again, into a sort of contemporary post-everything voodoo blues.
File Under: Electronic, Avant Garde
Slow Season: Mountains (Riding Easy) LP
Press “play” on Slow Season‘s second full-length album Mountains, and you might just forget what era you’re in. It could very well be the sixties, seventies, or now. It almost doesn’t matter though because this is hypnotic, heavy, and howling rock ‘n’ roll that defies both musical and temporal categorization. The Central California quartet – Daniel Rice (vocals, guitar), David Kent (guitar), Hayden Doyel (bass), and Cody Tarbell (drums) – scale new heights, while recognising where it all began. “I’d love for people to wonder if this record is actually from 1969,” grins Cody. “We wanted to capture that spirit. That was the goal.” In order to do so, the musicians holed up in Cody’s home studio, which actually doubles as his parents’ garage, and cut Mountains ten tracks throughout the course of early 2014. Hayden had just returned home from a short detour at college in Idaho before recognizing he belonged jamming with his brothers. Officially back in the fold, excitement to record proved pervasive. Moving when inspiration struck, they actually recorded the songs live on reel-to-reel tape. Eschewing the digital mindset of today and not even uttering the words “Pro Tools”, everything was caught on analog, giving the music a crackling kinetic energy. “I like everything associated with reel-to-reel,” Cody goes on. “I love the sound. I like the mojo that comes along with it.” “Working with the limitations of tape really pushed us to play our best,” adds Daniel. “You have to prioritize your ideas. You can’t layer too much on there. You also have to nail the takes. You don’t get to go back and cut paste. You have to feel it when you’re playing it. When everything comes together, it really shines because we’re all playing together on tape.” They lock in during the album opener and first single, Sixty-Eight. It snaps into a bluesy riff and bombastic beat before Daniel lets out a soaring refrain and a screeching solo roars. “We wanted to nod back to Led Zeppelin,” the vocalist says. “We managed to get this really big sound in the garage. It’s very organic and natural. The subject matter is pretty gnarly, and I’d encourage everyone to take a close listen to the lyrics.” That mystique carries over to the hazy Synanon, which details the exploits of a mountain cult nearby where the boys reside. Meanwhile, Endless Mountain drives forward on robust guitars and propulsive drums. It also reflects the overarching theme inherent within the title. “Mountains embody a few things,” explains Daniel. “They’re difficult, seemingly insurmountable, and bigger than us. They’re both foreboding and beautiful at the same time. I had been doing a lot of hiking and backpacking in the higher Sierra Nevada. It all fit together. We live right next to Sequoia National Park, and we go up there all the time. We connect with the idea of man versus nature.” Slow Season first emerged in 2012 with their self-titled debut. Supported by shows throughout California and nationally, they began to garner palpable buzz. Now, Mountains kicks off their next chapter. However, they’ll continue to exist within an epoch of their own. Daniel leaves off, “I want people to walk away knowing there’s integrity behind the music, the process, the words being sung, and the notes being played. We love what we do, and we hope that listeners do too.”
File Under: Blues Rock, Stoner Rock
Juma Sultan’s Aboriginal Music Society: Father of Origin (Eremite) 2LP
Deep archeology into a long buried and previously undocumented chapter in the history of the early ’70s loft era brings forth the revelatory Father of Origin, Eremite’s box set retrospective of percussionist and bassist Juma Sultan’s Aboriginal Music Society. Drawn from Sultan’s mammoth private archive of recordings, this groundbreaking set includes two audiophile LPs and a CD, a 28-page 12″ x 12″ book featuring previously unpublished photographs and ephemera, and a detailed historical essay by jazz scholar Michael Heller, all manufactured to highest quality-freak standards. This old school multimedia extravaganza exposes some of the most extraordinary and explosive free jazz of the period to the light of day for the first time. Established by Sultan and percussionist Ali Abuwi in Woodstock in 1968, Aboriginal Music Society was both a radical arts organization and a killer band. For ten years, Sultan and the loose alliance of like-minded musicians in AMS produced independent concerts, owned and operated their own recording studio, and collaborated with legendary artist-run New York loft space Studio We on performances and educational programs. But during that whole time, they never released a record. Inspired by an emerging understanding of African cultures and the political ideas of the black power moment, AMS synthesized an African approach to percussion and collective performance with the revolutionary jazz of its day. In open-ended free improvisations they played an incendiary mix of massive trap kit, hand drum grooves, and heaven-storming free jazz. The first of the set’s two LPs, a 1970 Boston studio date, features a New York-Woodstock sextet — including Sultan, Abuwi, Gene Dinwiddie, Philip Wilson, Ralph Walsh, and Earl Cross — engaged in a characteristically percussion-heavy improvisation. The other vinyl disc features a private jam session by Sultan, Abuwi, and saxophonist Frank Lowe at the Broadway headquarters of AMS. Recorded in April 1971, it predates by several months Lowe’s recording debut on Alice Coltrane’s World Galaxy. The CD features yet another historic meeting — an undated concert with the Woodstock crew and a trio of midwesterners recently relocated to New York — saxophonist Julius Hemphill, cellist Abdul Wadud, and drummer Charles “Bobo” Shaw, all members of the St. Louis music and arts collective, Black Artists Group. Father of Origin is presented in a heavyweight telescoping box in paper wraps screen-printed by Alan Sherry at Siwa, who also screen-printed the LP sleeves, CD jacket, and additional loose memorabilia.
File Under: Free Jazz
Verckys Et l’Orchestre Veve: Congolese Funk, Afrobeat & Psychedelic Rumba 69-78 (Analog Africa) LP/CD
Congo’s turbulent and exhilarating ’70s: Nightclubs and dancefloors were packed to the brim in the capital, Kinshasa. Exuberant crowds, still giddy from independence achieved a decade prior, grooved to the sounds of the country’s classics. In fact, the whole continent was submerged in the Congolese rumba craze. Encouraged by the fantastic productions of the Ngoma label, vibrant radio waves had been spreading the Congo’s sounds from Léopoldville across the continent, making these tunes the country’s top export. This unexpected success nurtured a wealth of talented musicians. One of them was Verckys, born Georges Mateta Kiamuangana. At age 18, he became a member of the country’s most dominant and influential band: Franco Luambo’s OK Jazz. This relationship was short-lived, however, as Verckys, now a versatile and potent multi-instrumentalist, had plans of his own: the formation of Orcheste Vévé in 1968, with the aim of reinventing and modernizing the Congolese sound. Blending the ever-influential prowess of James Brown with Congolese merengue, rumba, and soukous, Verckys stripped away the conventional approach that OK Jazz had pioneered, allowing his saxophone-laced melodies to dominate. Verckys also began recording young urban artists with guitar-driven cavacha sounds and releasing their work on his label, Les Editions Vévé; Les Freres Soki, Bella Bella, Orchestre Kiam, and others shot to stardom overnight, making Verckys quite wealthy. But that wasn’t enough for a man with a vision. He built a sprawling entertainment complex called Vévé Centre and oversaw the construction of the Congo’s most modern recording studio in Kinshasa, in which he recorded the legendary Tabu Lay Rochereau. Orchestre Vévé’s popularity poured across borders and in 1974 the band traveled to Kenya for a two-month tour. James Brown, upon seeing Verckys perform that year, was moved to dub him “Mister Dynamite.” “Bassala Hot,” “Cheka Sana,” and “Talali Talala” were some of the tracks recorded in Nairobi for the Kenyan market, songs which are now available to the ears of the world for the very first time. Analog Africa now has the privilege to present 11 tracks by Verckys et L’Orchestre Vévé at the height of their most funky capabilities, compiled over the course of many years in a land of hardship. Analog Africa welcomes you to the grooviest era of the Congo with a CD accompanied by in-depth liner notes and vintage photographs.
File Under: Afro Beat, Funk, Rumba, Africa
Peter Zummo: Lateral Pass (Foom) LP
Peter Zummo’s Lateral Pass suite continues on stylistically from where Zummo With With an X left off, with four unique and arresting movements: “Sci-Fi,” “Slow Heart”, “Song VI,” and the original quintet version of one of the most acclaimed of Zummo’s collaborations with Arthur Russell, “Song IV.” Originally written as the score for the Trisha Brown Dance Company production of the same name, Lateral Pass prominently features Russell on amplified cello and vocals, as well as regular Russell collaborators Bill Ruyle on tabla and marimba and Mustafa Ahmed on marimba and percussion, the acclaimed accordionist Guy Kluvecsek (collaborator of John Zorn and Alvin Lucier), and Zummo himself on trombone. Peter Zummo is best known for his work with John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, Peter Gordon’s Love of Life Orchestra, and Arthur Russell. Zummo’s signature trombone style, renowned for its rich and soothing tone, has become one of the most beloved features of Russell’s celebrated sound. As well as being close friends, their musical symbiosis was so complimentary that they almost seemed to form a single entity at times, to the point where it would be hard to imagine one’s music with the other. Lateral Pass provides another example of the fruits of this relationship, as well as a further insight into Russell’s cello-dominated World of Echo period. Recorded live at Battery Sound, NYC, in 1985, Lateral Pass was mastered in Brooklyn by Paul Gold from the original ¼” tapes in the summer of 2013, exclusively using analog equipment for the vinyl edition and foregoing compression in order to preserve the original dynamics of the recording. In contrast to the version released by New World Records with Zummo With an X in 2006, these arrangements are previously unreleased and exclusive to Foom. Lateral Pass is now presented on vinyl for the first time, accompanied by American artist Nancy Graves’s artwork from the original shows.
File Under: Arthur Russell, Neo-Classical, Experimental
Various: Bombay Disco 2 (Cultures of Soul) LP
“Welcome to our second celebration of the sounds of Bombay Disco, which digs deeper into the recordwallah shops in the bazaars of India. As fans of our first collection will recall, disco arrived in India in 1979, shortly after its mainstream popularity had peaked in the West. Disco songs remained in vogue throughout the subcontinent for a dozen years, in many ways because of the ‘cabaret scene’ or ‘item number,’ a mainstay in South Asian cinema that dates back to the 1920s. Back then, these scenes depicted traditional courtesans or nautch (dancing) girls, but by the early 1960s dance sequences became much more surreal, with visuals inspired by Busby Berkley and music infused with jazz, Latin, and rock ‘n’ roll. This tradition continued with an East-meets-West fusion of funk, disco and electro, to the hip-hop and EDM influences popular in South Asian films today. Disco songs continued to flourish after its early ’80s ubiquity, often in the more tawdry films such as the horror movies that were immensely popular as the decade wore on. As the ’90s continued, the cabaret sequences began to bear a closer resemblance to MTV videos. The music in these scenes changed to a similar style, while the perennial love songs continued to entrance listeners. We haven’t delved into the more massive film hits here, since the majority of those songs have been anthologized elsewhere. We prefer to dig deeper into the thousands of dusty, mold-encrusted records found in the back alley shops in India’s teeming cities. For your dancing pleasure, we’ve cleaned off and polished up these vintage disco delites for your manoranjan (entertainment). Enjoy a cocktail and get on the dance floor!”
File Under: Disco, Bollywood, India
Various: Brazilian Disco Boogie Sounds 1978-1982 (Favorite) LP
Brazilian Disco Boogie Sounds is a compilation that brings together nine of the most important and obscure hits of the Brazilian funk-boogie-disco scene during the years of 1978 to 1982. Junior Santos has been a carioca drummer since he was 15 years-old, and is today a respected vinyl collector and music researcher. More than anything, he is carried on by the love of Brazilian music, which has never been forgotten. Favorite Recordings’ initiative of seeking a unique project with Brazilian music spurred Junior to dig into old record companies’ files and bring out pearls from what he sees as the end of the samba-rock period. At that time, musicians and arrangers such as Lincoln Olivetti, Robson Jorge, and Oberdan Magalhaes, along with Banda Black Rio, were responsible for the new music scene. They had dominated the studios with sophisticated and original arrangements that have forever transformed Brazilian musical perspective. This music, at that point, had gained a new style and great world respect that has remained up to contemporary times. Brazilian Disco Boogie Sounds pays tribute to this great era. Artists include Cristina Camargo, Solange, Sandra De Sa, Rabo De Saia, Claudia Telles, Carlos Dafe, Famks, Painel De Controle, and Paulo Ramos.
File Under: Disco, Brazil, Boogie
Various: For the People Part 1 (Get on Down) 5×7″ Box
“Continuing Get On Down’s People Records deluxe reissues series – which launched on Record Store Day in April 2014 with the release of the JB’s classic 1972 album Food For Thought – this unique box is the celebration of James Brown’s People label and some of the imprint’s most famous singles. Each 45 has been lovingly re-created with visuals taken from the original artwork. And beyond the singles themselves, this set includes a deluxe, cloth-covered carrying case with a People Records logo on the exterior and purple People embossing throughout the interior. Featured 45s include James Brown’s ‘Escape-ism’ (1971); Lyn Collins’ ‘Think (About It)’ (1972); Fred Wesley & The JBs’ ‘Same Beat’ (1973); The Devils’ ‘X-Sorcist’ (1974); and Maceo & The Macks’ ‘Cross The Track (We Better Go Back)’ (1974). This is a soul, funk and hip-hop DJ’s dream!”
File Under: Funk, James Brown, Soul
Various: Slow Grind Fever 3 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Stag-O-Lee presents the third volume of Slow Grind Fever, compiled by Richie1250 and subtitled YET MORE… Adventures in the sleazy world of POPCORN NOIR… The decade between 1953 and 1963 offers an endless supply of danceable, up-tempo tunes. We’re talking rhythm ‘n’ blues, and the phase in the early ’60s when it morphed into soul (now called new breed), as well as popcorn — Belgian music with a mid-tempo style and a high groove-factor. The Slow Grind Fever series highlights the slower side of this period, and takes its title and inspiration from an Australian club night billed as “Melbourne’s only slow dance party.” These events would include only the “slowest, spookiest, sweetest records” the DJs could find, with folks dancing “real slow in a haze of smoke and dim red light.” Stag-O-Lee was convinced that this was a great concept for a compilation series, and have collaborated with those behind the Melbourne club night to present Slow Grind Fever, the third volume of which includes tracks by The Notes, The El Torros, Eddie Cooley & The Dimples, Isley Brothers With Ray Ellis & Orch., Donna Dee, Charlie Williams, Henry Thome, Bob Lee, Little Willie John, Elizabeth Waldo, Bobby Rebel, Jessie Hill, The Flamingos, and Jimmy Scott. The fourth volume in the series, compiled by DJ Diddy Wah, will follow in 2015, with the third and fourth volumes to be then presented as a single CD release.
File Under: Rhythm & Blues, Dance, Saucy
Kevin Ayers: Joy of a Toy (Vinylisssimo) LP
Bitchin’ Bajas: s/t (Drag City) LP
Christian Bland: The Lost Album (Reverberation) LP
Christian Bland: Pig Boat Blues (Reverberation) LP
Dead Rider: Chills on Glass (Drag City) LP
Earth: Primitive & Deadly (Southern Lord) LP
Faust: Just Us (Bureau B) LP+CD
Nils Frahm: Spaces (Erased Tapes) LP
Grouper: Ruins (Kranky) LP
Grouper: The Man Who Died In His Boat (Kranky) LP
Etta James: Tell Mama (Bear Family) LP
Konstrukt/Allen: Vibration (Holiday) LP
Love: Black Beauty (High Moon) LP
Thee Oh Sees: Carrion Crawler (In The Red) LP
OST: Oldboy (Milan) LP
Relatively Clean Rivers: s/t (Phoenix) LP
Solidarity Unit: Red, Black and Green (Eremite) LP
Twink: Think Pink (Sunbeam) LP
Various: Planet Earth Vol 2 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Various: Travelling Archive (Sublime Frequencies) LP