…..news letter #724 – rip starman…..

Well, that was a rather terrible way to start the week…

So, some pretty massive shipments this week with some pretty major releases. The This Heat records are beyond essential and have been hotly anticipated so don’t sleep on those! And while you’re at it, there’s a ton of other killer wax in this week too. And our dollar is the worst in years, yay!

…..picks of the week…..

this heats

Hell yes! These are some of the most essential albums ever released, from one of the most singular and innovative bands you’ve barely ever heard of! So far ahead of their time, nothing ever sounded like This Heat, before or after. We’ve stocked up on these badboys, but do not sleep, we expect these to fly out the door..

This Heat: s/t (Modern Classics) LP
Isn’t it so often the case that the most innovative works of art – the ones that break the ground where others follow – are the ones that seem to reach only the ears of those who take those ideas and run with them? So it is with This Heat and their eponymous debut album frequently referred to as ‘blue and yellow’ for its ultra-minimal jacket. Within its 48 minute run time, the seeds of post-punk, avant rock, noise rock and post-rock can be found. Formed in Brixton, a multicultural, and – at the time – down-at-heel part of south London, This Heat were born into a music scene in rapid flux, first thanks to the punk explosion and then via new wave and its myriad offshoots into pop, rock and art-rock. But while many sought to apply punk attitude to chart-friendly sounds, This Heat were concocting some of the most experimental ideas ever committed to tape, taking influence from musique concrète, krautrock, the burgeoning industrial scene and even the dub reggae blasting out in their home borough. Their debut album had – for the time and for the DIY scene – an unusually long gestation, recorded in sessions between February 1976 and September 1978 in a variety of studios including their own Cold Storage, a converted cold storage room in the Acme Studios complex. Innovating throughout, they combined loops and tape manipulation with live performance and haunting vocals to a complex, dissonant whole. The band recorded everything they ever did – including gigs – and tracks such as “Water” were entirely improvised in the studio. Given the difficult, abrasive, and involved nature of their sound, This Heat never found anything approaching mainstream success, but patronage by the influential Radio 1 DJ John Peel meant they reached a national audience – whether that audience was ready for them or not. Celebrating This Heat’s 40th anniversary in 2016, Modern Classics Recordings will re-issue the band’s catalog – 1979’s This Heat, 1980’s Health and Efficiency, and 1981’s Deceit – with full co-operation of surviving members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward. Four decades on, the tireless efforts of This Heat’s process can once again be a revelation for new audiences.

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This Heat: Health & Efficiency (Modern Classics) LP
With their self-titled debut, This Heat sowed the seeds of post-punk, avant rock, noise rock and post-rock. The album took the trio – Charles Bullen, Charles Hayward and Gareth Williams – two years to create, and placed them at the forefront of experimental music. The follow-up, the 20-minute Health and Efficiency, proved to be a less labored – and more conventional – record to make. Bridging the gap between the debut and their masterpiece, Deceit, the 1980 release found the band settling into a groove at their Cold Storage Studio. The eight-minute title track, remembers Charles Hayward, “was improvised pretty much fully-formed,” and included the sound of the neighboring school’s playground and the band rolling bottles around in the gallery space next to their studio. That’s where they found the maxi-single’s sleeve too – Pete Cobb’s blue and white image was on display in the same gallery. The track was recorded using a mobile unit found in the back of Melody Maker – the 16-track Zipper Mobile studio – and elements of second album Deceit were laid down at the same time. As Charles Hayward notes: “Everything seemed to fall into place.” On the B-side, the drone for “Graphic/Varispeed” came from the song “24 Track Loop” on the first album, albeit manipulated, slowed down and sped up. “In the process, we realized that we liked the morphing of the sound from one state to another as the vari-speed combed the sound across the equalization, like a microscope. So we recorded the process itself, which is what you hear here,” says Hayward. The intention was for the single to be able to be played at 33, 45 or 78 RPM – which you’re welcome to do with this reissue, too. This Heat were feeling their way around the recording process, trying things that had never been done before. And though they had just one album left in them before Williams departed on another voyage of discovery to India, there was still much experimentation to come from the Brixton trio. Celebrating This Heat’s 40th anniversary in 2016, Modern Classics Recordings will re-issue the band’s catalog – 1979’s This Heat, 1980’s Health and Efficiency, and 1981’s Deceit – with full co-operation of surviving members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward. Four decades on, the tireless efforts of This Heat’s process can once again be a revelation for new audiences.

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This Heat: Deceit (Modern Classics) LP
With their debut album and follow-up maxi single Health & Efficiency, This Heat sowed the seeds of post-punk, avant rock, noise rock and post-rock, placing the trio – Charles Bullen (guitar, clarinet, viola, vocals, tapes), Charles Hayward (drums, keyboards, vocals, tapes) and Gareth Williams (keyboard, guitar, bass, vocals, tapes) – at the forefront of experimental music. However, 1981’s Deceit is the one that truly deserves its reputation as a classic of the post-punk era, tying up the myriad threads of their work so far and adding accessibility and melody to the still furiously forward-thinking sound. “At the beginning of the ’80s, global events were taking a bad path with the USA defense policy Star Wars against Russia’s Evil Empire and the aptly named Mutually Assured Destruction,” remembers Hayward in the liner notes accompanying this long-overdue remaster. “We made a shift towards song.” Recorded in a variety of studios including the band’s own Cold Storage and the Zipper Mobile unit hired from an ad in British paper Melody Maker, the 11 tracks put that sense of social anxiety and global paranoia to the fore. Some lyrics were “harvested” from TV commercials (“Sleep”), others described the curtain-twitching of surveillance society (“Triumph”), and some were screamed with raw, ragged abandon, like on “Makeshift Swahili”. “Makeshift was a big learning situation for me,” says Hayward. “I learned to let go with my voice, to release the energy that each song required, no matter where that might lead. The song, about the collapse of language, was central to the Deceit idea.” Musical innovations abound too – drum tracks were recycled from other recordings, albeit in manipulated and mutated form, and “Independence” reverses the melody of earlier track “Fall Of Saigon”. It’s an album whose themes and sounds unfurl before the listener, the mood of edgy, pre-apocalyptic tension growing throughout. Says Hayward: “I still think of this record as a dream within a dream.” This Heat split a year after the release, with Bullen and Hayward completing the final tour without Williams. Hayward went on to form Camberwell Now and Bullen recorded as Lifetones. A tentative 2001 reunion came, tragically, too late – Williams died of cancer within a month of them meeting to rehearse. Celebrating This Heat’s 40th anniversary in 2016, Modern Classics Recordings will re-issue the band’s catalog – 1979’s This Heat, 1980’s Health and Efficiency, and 1981’s Deceit – with full co-operation of surviving members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward. Four decades on, the tireless efforts of This Heat’s process can once again be a revelation for new audiences.

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File Under: Art Rock, Post Punk, Experimental, Rock, Essential Grooves


Two new volumes of these killer comps from the same folks who brought us the Ecstasy of Gold series…

Various: Library of Sound Grooves: Action Beat & Psycho Grooves (Semi Automatic) LP
Action Beat & Psycho Grooves is yet another sensational explosion of audio excitement from the 1960s/1970s Italian cinema and library scene. Landmark recordings of top-shelf compositions by Ennio Morricone, Nora Orlandi, Cipriani, Fidenco, and others from the pantheon of the genius Italian composers pool. Performed by some of the best studio musicians on earth at the time, the works on this volume range through shimmering psych, mod-pop nuggets, breathless Euro folk-rock, sinister crime hard-rock, and a host of other addictive tracks that will blow your mind! Full-color gatefold sleeve bearing collage artwork with still shots from Italian films of the period. Limited edition of 750. Also includes tracks by Stefano Torossi, Loredana Mongardini (as Valeria Mongardini), Guido & Maurizio de Angelis, Francesco de Masi & Alessandro Alessandroni, Gerardo Iacoucci, Berto Pisano & Jacques Chaumont, Piero Piccioni, Roberto Pregadio, Armando Trovajoli, Salvatore lo Turco & Walter Rizzati, Bruno Battisti d’Amario, Augusto Martelli, Piero Umiliani, Carlo Pes, Peppino de Luca, Gianni Ferrio, Girolamo Ugolini, Marcello Giombini, and Franco Campanino.

Various: Library of Sound Grooves: Erotic Vibrations & Bossa Moods (Semi Autoatic) LP
Erotic Vibrations & Bossa Moods is the definitive alchemical mix of seductive lounge, sensual moods, and breezy bossa from the never-ending well of the Italian composers’ genius. These velvet arrangements are imbued with sexy vocals, impeccable melodies, and tight instrumentation hailing from all points “erotique” from deep inside the Italian soundtrack/library scene of the 1960s/1970s. Many of the greatest composers of the time (Nicolai, Morricone, Alessandroni, Bacalov, and many others) are featured here in this gorgeous collection, which has been lovingly assembled to provide the most pleasurable listening experience possible. Gatefold sleeve bearing lavish full-color collage artwork with still shots from Italian films of the period. Limited edition of 750. Also includes tracks by Bruno Battisti d’Amario, Armando Trovajoli, Daniele Patucchi, Chico Buarque, Piero Umiliani, Mostra Colletivvo, Gianni dell’Orso & Gianni Oddi, Stelvio Cipriani, Gianni Ferrio & Mina, Ennio Morricone & The Sorrows, Gianfranco Plenizio, Antonio Amurri, Franco Pisano, and Giovanni Fusco.

File Under: Library, OST, Italian, Rare Grooves
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…..new arrivals…..

billy bao

Bao Billy: Lagos Sessions (Munster) LP
Munster Records, Billy Bao, and Night School Records present Lagos Sessions, featuring Billy Bao, Ambido, Diana Bada, Duro Ikujenyo, Mark Ido, Oduyomi Isaiah Oluseye, Joel Isioma Okoh, Orlando Julius, Mendo, and Emeka Ogboh. Presented in gatefold sleeve with liner notes by Kunle Tejuoso and Ed Emeka Keazor. “Experimental; Conceptual? That’s what these sort of things are usually called, when references are anything but immediate: in the feeling, hearing, and seeing, especially by many. Even more troubling, when the accustomed in us gets ajar… We lack articulation of the seemingly unfamiliar! Even at that, I think the most charitable review of this live electronic exploration will suggest the four sections bordering on insanity. How else? Even when not a few self-styled patriots were booking their flights out of the country, with an election looming to signal the end of a nation, and a band of modern day faith-heads detonating grenades in every other street corner, two dreamers swim against the currents and sneak through the lagoon into the country collecting inputs of derelict art; of garbage can noise; of hooting; honking horns on screeching brakes squelching tar; rackety generator booms? For an imagined program! What’s that? Who, what do these doods think they’re doing with Lagos?! I’ll call it rebirth. That simple. How to find a centre here? The output? The hum-drum of the street’s daily accent compels the sense of the immediate, the terrestrial; and then those primitive, primeval-seeming echoes of the earliest beginnings of the big bang and its wavesound simultaneously releasing Sun Ra’s reverb sensation of end time! This should not be danceable but these guys are suggesting the possibility of rhythm in the inchoate. Believe me, you can’t miss the Lagos Faaji, Sakara flow, Awurebe, Afrobeat slices; its jazz, highlife/Euro-Afro funk/rock/rap and seedy night echoes too. But in their otherworldly dimension. No matter the accolades, I will encourage a therapy of some sorts to the creators of this production.” –Sola Olorunyomi (poet, bassist, co-editor of Glendora Review) & Kunle Tejuoso, Jazzhole, Lagos

File Under: Punk, Afrobeat
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Miles Brown: Séance Fiction (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Originals is proud to present Séance Fiction, the debut solo album by composer and musican Miles Brown. Coming after the success of Pavor Nocturnus by Brown’s gothtronic trio The Night Terrors (released on an exclusive colourway by Death Waltz), Seance Fiction is a haunting dystopian work that refracts the future through the past, evoking emotional reflection via striking synth melodies. Brown’s unique textures convey a sense of conflict, of the common thread of humanity struggling against the robotic claws of technological superiority, with the results sounding like the combined efforts of a choir from a religious cult whose deity is the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Seance Fiction represents that dichotomy; a cavalcade of amazing electronic melodies with vocals that both fight and support the synthetic, the latter in a terrifying display of Orwellian influence. Repetitive chanting and moodier material convey claustrophobia, but Brown retaliates with stunning operatic vocals, a life-affirming human response to light the darkest hours. Seance Fiction is a spectacular journey, whether you want a deep and resonant narrative to follow or you just want to infuse your brain with some of the greatest chiptunes known to man. Just don’t be surprised if it inspires your Mega Drive to conquer the world, or at least your bedroom.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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Mike Cooper: White Shadows in the South Seas (Sacred Summits) LP
“A blend of ambient, exotica and field recordings, inspired by Frederick O’Brien’s travel book. ‘Twilit dreams spanning Pacific shores in pulsing waves of richly-coloured rythyms, tropical sound fields and Polynesian-inspired slide guitar. Moving deconstructively beyond a passion for Islander kitsch, this is a unique, self-questioning kind of Blues, infused with other musics, bearing witness to the complexities of relationships between Islander people and visitors.’ First time out on vinyl; in silk-screened sleeves, with metallic ink.”

File Under: Ambient, Guitar, Blues, Exotica
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Patrick Cowley: Muscle Up (Dark Entries) LP
Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem Records have teamed up again to release another volume of gay porn soundtracks by San Francisco-based musician and producer, Patrick Cowley. Perhaps one of the most revolutionary and influential people in the canon of disco music, Cowley created his own brand of Hi-NRG dance music, “The San Francisco Sound.” Born in Buffalo, NY on October 19, 1950, Patrick moved to San Francisco at the age of 21. He studied at the City College of San Francisco where he founded the Electronic Music Lab. During this time, Patrick, along with his classmates Maurice Tani and Art Adcock, would create radio jingles and electronic pieces using the school’s equipment: first a Putney, then an E-MU System, and finally a Serge synthesizer. He would make experimental soundtracks by blending various types of music and adapting them to the synthesizer. By the mid-70’s, Patrick’s synthesizer skills landed him a job composing and producing songs for disco superstar Sylvester, including hits like “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”, “Dance Disco Heat” and “Stars.” This helped Patrick obtain more work as a remixer and producer. His 18-minute long remix ofDonna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and his production work with edgy New Wave band Indoor Life were both of particular note. By 1981, Patrick had released a string of dance 12″ singles, like “Menergy” and “Megatron Man”. He also had founded Megatone Records and released his debut album, “Menergy”. Around this time Patrick was hospitalized and diagnosed with a then-unknown illness: that which would later be called AIDS. Throughout 1982, he recorded two more Hi-NRG hits, “Do You Wanna Funk” for Sylvester, and “Right On Target” for Paul Parker, as well as a second solo album “Mind Warp”. On November 12, 1982, he passed away. In 1979 Patrick was contacted by John Coletti, owner of famed gay porn company Fox Studio in Los Angeles. Patrick jumped on this offer and sent reels of his college compositions from the 70s to John in LA. Coletti then used a variable speed oscillator to adjust the pitch and speed of Patrick’s songs in-sync with the film scene. Muscle Up is a collection of Cowley’s instrumental songs recorded between 1973 and 1980 found in the Fox Studio vaults. This compilation also includes bonus compositions found in the basement of Megatone Records owner John Hedges and the attic of former bandmate Maurice Tani. Influenced by Tomita, Wendy Carlos, and Giorgio Moroder, Patrick crafted an electronic sound from his collection of synthesizers, percussion, modified guitars, and hand-built equipment. The listener enters a world of forbidden vices evocative of Patrick’s time spent in the bathhouses of San Francisco. The songs on Muscle Up are divided into four sides, each showcasing a different facet of Cowley’s work. Side one opens with an ambient journey through the Amazon. Tension builds on side two, with the instrumental demo version of the slow-chugging masterpiece “I Need Somebody To Love Tonight”. On sides three and four things go interstellar with ecstatic space-funk and galactic workouts. Featuring 75 minutes of music, this compilation contains soundtrack music from two Fox Studio films, “Muscle Up” and “School Daze”, plus additional songs from the same era, never before released on vinyl. The tapes were restored and transferred using the same speed and pitch settings, then remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. The vinyl comes housed in a extra wide spine jacket and giant fold-out poster featuring a handmade collage using photography and xerox graphics of classic gay porn imagery from the Fox Studio vaults by Berlin-based artist Gwenael Rattke. Each double album also contains a 8×11 glossy promotional “Muscle Up” replica poster with original VHS artwork plus an essay from Maurice Tani. For Patrick’s 65th birthday, Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem Records present a glimpse into the futuristic world of a young genius. These recordings shine a new light on the experimental side of a disco legend who was taken too soon.

File Under: Electronic, Funk, Ambient
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Eddie Detroit: Shock-A-Lock-A-Lickum (Assophon) LP
Where to start with Eddy Detroit? Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, it was there, in 1966, that he was in attendance for the first Iguanas gigs (Iggy Stooge’s first band). He joined the White Panther party in Detroit and was “there” for the pre-punk sounds of The Stooges and MC5 (“We all smoked dope on the state Capitol and got beat up by the cops”). In the early ’70s he traveled to London, where he stalked Marc Bolan and tried to seduce Tony Visconti’s then-girlfriend Mary Hopkin. It was with Ms. Hopkin, when he was dropping off a demo tape at the Apple store, that he witnessed the moment when Ringo found out that The Beatles had broken up! (We’ve got the pictures to prove it!) In the mid-’70s, Detroit settled in Hollywood and started The Terminal Wave Band (bongo/synth/punk) which was the soundtrack to the hippy/biker/S&M/satanic/polyamorous scene that Detroit ruled in dingy, underground LA — that’s when he wasn’t trying to seduce Nico (The Velvet Underground) to become one of his muses and lovers (“True story bub”). When rents in LA got too much for an acid-fried biker/S&M/punk, Eddy moved to Phoenix, AZ, and was seminal in fostering one of the most interesting underground musical scenes of the early ’80s. He was an unofficial member of the Sun City Girls, toured with the Meat Puppets and Mighty Sphincter, and was the pith-helmeted shaman-in-residence at his club The Grotto! This LP contains recordings made from 1979 to 2010. They run the gamut of Detroit’s musical landscape, from the UK acid-folk of Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Incredible String Band through bongo-fueled satanic calypso to his new phase as a troubadour recounting tales of hobos, whores, and one-eyed jacks from the old west. Limited edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Underground, Exotica
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epic sound

Epic Soundtracks: Sleeping Star (Mapache) LP
“I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was playing in Koln, Germany when I heard Sleeping Star – I was so cynical about “new” music by then that it took a lot to catch my ear. But I was so enamoured of Epic’s blend of Todd Rundgren meets Carole King piano based ballads that I called Bar None the next day and made arrangements to release the CD in Europe…..you need to hear this, it’s the missing link between Pet Sounds and Big Star’s Third.” (Pat Thomas. Writer, musician and music archivist.) “A laconic sweetness and oblique humor mixed with melancholy characterises Sleeping Star’s shaggy blue-eyed pop-soul, which is filled with echoes of Laura Nyro, Carole King and Wild Honey era Brian Wilson. He writes songs at the piano, fooling with chords until they suggest a lyric fragment. (Request magazine, 1995) “Sleeping Star is a more spare album than Rise Above adorned with haunting violin and cello. A devastating romantic break up inspired songs on both LPs” (Holly George Warren, Option magazine)

 File Under: Alternative, Rock
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Epic Soundtracks: Rise Above (Mapache) LP
“Rise Above is an album that fell through the cracks – in 1992, records by singer-songwriters were more likely to be ignored than they were 20 years before in the early 1970’s or would be 20 years later in the early 2010’s. It was certainly critically acclaimed but unnoticed by the world at large. Time, surely, for these dozen classic songs to be re-assessed. (Chris Coleman) “Rise Above is a work of pensive autumnal fragility and of such high quality, that it would be a monumental injustice to halt the fresh flow of Epic’s muse.” (Melody Maker) “one of the “10 Best Albums Of The Year” (Spin) ” a gem out of left field….a bounty of delightfully anachronistic rock tunes here, in league with the best of Alex Chilton.” (Billboard) “….it’s even Mr Soundtracks’ version of Dennis Wilson’s “Pacific Ocean Blue”. People will come across “Rise Above” in ten years’ time and wonder where the hell it came from. For now, here’s the out-of-the-blue album of 1992.” ( Select magazine’s Andrew Perry)

File Under: Alternative, Rock
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Francoise Hardy: Tous Les Garcons Et Les Filles (Future Days) LP
Between 1962 and 1966, Françoise Hardy released one French-language album per year. Each, strictly speaking, was eponymously titled and each was collected from a series of contemporary four-track, seven-inch, picture-sleeve EPs–pop music’s main format in France, known as le super 45. In them, we see the maturing of one of the decade’s most singular talents– a pop singer with the heart of a chanteuse, a singer-songwriter in an age before such a thing was known, and a style icon who valued privacy and modesty. Remastered from the original tapes, we present the first five Françoise Hardy albums in their original French format, on deluxe LP and CD. Raised by her mother in Paris, Hardy’s upbringing was strict, and she was, she notes today, “a very, very shy person.” Records and Radio Luxembourg provided escape and inspiration–her two loves were Chanson Française, the Gallic style of Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour, and rock‘n’roll. The Everly Brothers, she says, were a “lightning bolt.” Sent to The Sorbonne to study political sciences, Hardy instead pursued a career as a singer, auditioning for a number of labels before Johnny Hallyday’s Disques Vogue snapped her up, intending to market her as a female rocker–the track “Oh Oh Chéri” here gives you a window into their vision. Hardy had other ideas and was determined to record her own songs, written in French, too. The runaway success of one of her own tracks, the iconic “Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles,” proved Hardy right. Hardy soon captivated the rest of the world–she was immortalized in 1964 in a poem by Bob Dylan, she associated with The Stones, and dined with Beatles Paul McCartney and George Harrison. She also soon gained more creative control over her music, and she now distances herself from these early recordings where this was not the case. “Even if I had been able to say something about the production,” she says now, “maybe I would have been listened to, but I didn’t know anything.” In the album’s title track, Hardy sang about being a soul in torment, and this is the Hardy that emerged–a complicated, pensive outsider, part pop singer, part chanteuse, and utterly unique. And she will forever personify a particularly French brand of cool.

File Under: French, Pop, Chanson
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Francoise Hardy: Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour (Future Days) LP
Between 1963 and 1966, Françoise Hardy released one French-language album per year. Each, strictly speaking, was eponymously titled, and each was collected from a series of contemporary four-track, seven-inch, picture-sleeve EPs–pop music’s main format in France, known as le super 45. In them, we see the maturing of one of the decade’s most singular talents–a pop singer with the heart of a chanteuse, a singer-songwriter in an age before such a thing was known, and a style icon who valued privacy and modesty. Remastered from the original tapes, we present the first five Françoise Hardy albums in their original French format, on deluxe LP and CD.  Like her 1962 debut, the cover of the following year’s Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour had Hardy staring enigmatically at the listener. On the album itself, the sound had changed in line with Hardy’s solidifying vision and voice; where Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles was produced by a series of collaborators who struggled to understand her style, Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour gave fans the most significant insight so far into the identity of Françoise Hardy. In 1963, at a time when Serge Gainsbourg was tentatively dipping a toe into pop and the term yé-yé was only just being coined, Hardy was a rare thing: a singer-songwriter with heaps of her own material but not a folk singer in any sense. Hers was pop music that took the weight of chanson on its shoulders. Here, “Comme Tant D’Autres” says, “I know well that life is short, and I’ve been around”–hardly “She loves you, yeah yeah yeah.” For the tracks on Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour, Hardy was produced by arranger Marcel Hendrix. As well as her own compositions, “L’Amour D’Un Garçon” saw Hardy adapt Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “The Love Of A Boy.” In a contemporary interview, she said she would not perform songs where there was no sense of the words touching her intimately. “A song–it is your own story, or it is nothing,” she said. It was another year before Hardy’s records were issued in Britain and another year before she started to brush up against the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and The Stones, but life was changing for the 19-year-old. Her unique sound would take her far, despite admitting now that she “had no ambition. At the beginning, my ambition was to record something. I thought anything outside France was an impossible dream, but I did what I could to make it come true. It was like a current that carried me.”

File Under: French, Pop, Chanson
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mon am

Francoise Hardy: Mon Amie la Rose (Future Days) LP
“Includes exclusive interview with Françoise Hardy and liner notes by Kieron Tyler. Following the French success of 1962’s Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles and 1963’s Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour, 1964 was the year Hardy went truly international. Having competed in the Eurovision Song Contest and acted in a Roger Vadim film, this was the year Dylan dedicated a poem to her on the sleeve of Another Side and the year she ventured to Britain to record English language songs for the first time. Hardy’s first three French EPs of the year, from which just ‘Pourtant Tu M’aimes’ appears on Mon Amie La Rose, were largely recorded on home soil with Paris-based arranger Mickey Baker. After the third, Françoise changed tack, abandoned French studios and arrangers, and headed to London’s Pye Studios. She would not record again in France until 1968, instead employing a series of British producers and musicians that even included then-studio guitarist Jimmy Page. ‘It was very difficult for me to convince my record company to go to London for the production because my artistic director was having lots of success with very bad arrangements,’ she says dryly. ‘Since they were having success with bad arrangements, they could continue like that.’ Hardy got her way and, working with arranger Charles Blackwell, a former protégé of Joe Meek, set about creating a new interpretation of her glacial, existentially yearning music: part pop, part chanson, part soul music. On one hand, she was marrying yearning melodies with lyrics examining feelings of otherness. On the other, she was interpreting the music coming from Britain and America — both that of Phil Spector and country, too. Blackwell was the first arranger with whom Hardy was happy, and Mon Amie La Rose was the first album she thought of as more than an afterthought. ‘She chose her own songs and was very in control,’ says Blackwell. ‘She was very much a perfectionist.’ As Hardy’s sound was changing, so was her life; the British were enchanted by her Parisian style and sophistication and didn’t see her as the shy, sad soul that those at home painted her as. A new era was beginning, and Hardy’s music was traveling further than ever.”

File Under: French, Pop, Chanson
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lamitieFrancoise Hardy: L’Amitie (Future Days) LP
Between 1963 and 1966, Françoise Hardy released one French-language album per year. Each, strictly speaking, was eponymously titled, and each was collected from a series of contemporary four-track, seven-inch, picture-sleeve EPs–pop music’s main format in France, known as le super 45. In them, we see the maturing of one of the decade’s most singular talents–a pop singer with the heart of a chanteuse, a singer-songwriter in an age before such a thing was known, and a style icon who valued privacy and modesty. Remastered from the original tapes, we present the first five Françoise Hardy albums in their original French format, on deluxe LP and CD. By 1965, Françoise Hardy was truly international. She’d hung out with The Beatles and The Stones, played high-profile shows in London, established a working relationship with British producer Charles Blackwell, and appeared in the film What’s New Pussycat? She was also a fashion icon seen in the pages of Marie Claire and Vogue and on the cover of Elle, and her first US album was issued that year. In France, Hardy was to release album number four, the second album to be recorded in London, where her celebrity was rapidly growing–at odds with her natural shyness. “In London, it was the first time I’d been made to think I had a certain charm or charisma,” she says now. “Thanks to the time in England, I became aware I could be seductive.” L’Amitié, with its evocative, close-up album cover and late-night sound, is the result. Produced by Jacques Wolfsohn alongside arranger Charles Blackwell, the sessions were notable for some distracting visitors. “Mick Jagger was there a few times with various entourages of his at Pye [Studios],” recalls Blackwell. “There was a long seat in front of the mixing desk where they used to sit.” Hardy was, however, not the epitome of the swinging ‘60s idyll; she was an intellectual, into yoga and Buddhism and astrology, and she still noted French chanson singers George Brassens and Jacques Brel as favorites alongside Elvis, Dionne Warwick, and The Rolling Stones. Despite her new links to the world of fashion, the tentative steps into film, the growing international awareness, and the attention she brought sheerly through her presence, music remained Françoise’s focus, and her fourth album more than demonstrated this. A mix of Hardy’s own songs, Blackwell’s songs, and tracks from writers including Jean-Max Rivière and Gérard Bourgeois (who wrote the title track), the sound focused on stirring, heavy pop, not least in the yearning “L’Amitié.” “I’m still very proud of ‘L’Amitié,’” says Françoise, who’s wont to undervalue her own work. “The French lyrics are so very moving.”

File Under: French, Pop, Chanson
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Francoise Hardy: La Maison ou J’ai Grandi (Future Days) LP
“Includes exclusive interview with Françoise Hardy and liner notes by Kieron Tyler. Hardy’s fifth album was a collection of English-language recordings. For her next, released in October 1966, the focus was back on her home market in France, where things were changing quickly. Writing much of her own material was no longer a novelty — her future partner, Jacques Dutronc, was doing the same, and artists like Antoine were following Dylan’s lead. 1966 was the year Hardy met Dylan, who demanded an audience with her at his Paris gig and later performed for her at a party. ‘It was only later that it occurred to me that he was singing “I Want You” because he actually wanted me,’ she says. Françoise said Dylan was not part of her world. As La Maison Ou J’Ai Grandi proved, Hardy’s world was perfect and fleshed out and set — five albums in, she had a sound, mood, and feel all her own. Recorded in London, the hit ‘La Maison Ou J’Ai Grandi’ solidified what Hardy did best: marrying French chanson songs to epic production influenced by Phil Spector, Dusty Springfield, and George Martin; the toweringly powerful ‘Je Changerais D’avis,’ which opens the LP, is a prime example. Though Hardy had formed a strong working relationship with producer Chris Blackwell, nine of the twelve tracks were arranged by Johnny Harris, known for his work with Petula Clark and Tom Jones. Although the artist and language were French, the album drew from an internationalist, polyglot world — six tracks were penned by Hardy, the remainder cherry-picked from French, British, and Italian songwriters. And despite its varied sources, the album was a cogent artistic statement. Françoise had returned to acoustic sounds like with her earliest songs, accompanying herself on a Spanish guitar, and was reasserting her own vision of her music. These were yearning songs delivered with an intimate authority, at odds with the perception of Hardy in Britain and beyond, where she was seen as an ultra-fashionable, ultra-hip Parisian sophisticate, but totally in line with everything she’d ever striven for musically.”

File Under: French, Pop, Chanson
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Intersystems: s/t (Alga Marghen) 3LP
First historical edition! Three-LP box version. One-time limited edition of 500. Remastered by Intersystems founding member John Mills-Cockell; mastered for vinyl by Giuseppe Ielasi. Includes Number One Intersystems (1967), with the correct side sequence and (for the first time) the original tracks’ sub-section divisions, in the original 1967 avant-press sleeve designed by Intersystems founding member Michael Hayden; Peachy (1967), with (for the first time) the correct track separations, timings, and titles; and Free Psychedelic Poster Inside (1968), with (for the first time) the original (double) track titles, in a silkscreened envelope reproducing the original 1968 sleeve. Also includes a 132-page book with the detailed chronology of all the Intersystems Presentations and 110 full-page images illustrating for the first time ever the story of this essential collective, as well as the following texts: “How the Mind Excursion came to be” by Michael Hayden, covering details on Intersystems Presentations and meetings with Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, John Cale, Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, Ralph Metzner, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, and Allen Ginsberg; “Intersystems” by John Mills-Cockell, introducing his sonic adventures from the early encounters with Ann Southam and Udo Kasemets to the accomplishment of the Intersystems multimedia works; “Selected Poems” by Intersystems founding member Blake Parker; “Notes” by Michael Hayden; “Network” by Bart Schoales and John Mills-Cockell, on the early mixed-media Presentation of the same title and meeting with Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, founders of the Yippie movement; “Intersystems” by Nick Storring, including a short introduction to Blake Parker as well as analysis of Intersystems’ sonic productions in relation to their historical context; “Radically Rethinking Art” by Dennis Reid, analyzing the chronology of Intersystems Presentations in relation to contemporary art; “Intersystems and Allied” by Jack Boswell (founder of Allied Records); “Intersystems and Moog” by William Blakeney; “Recalling Intersystems” by Tom Recchion; “The 60s: something happened but what?” by Ed Fitzgerald; “Memoir” by Russ Little, on John Mills-Cockell; and “Notes on the mastering of Intersystems recordings” by William Blakeney.

File Under: Experimental, Early Electronic, Can Con
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Jarvis Street Revue: Singles (and More) (Lion) LP
Jarvis Street Revue’s only album (1970), “Mr.Oil Man,” is an absolute heavy psychedelic monster that leaves no one who hears it untouched by it’s sheer avalanche of psychedelic heaviness, wasted acid leads and great vocals. After recording it, Jarvis Street Revue toured for three months. “We were treated like gods,” Jarvis leader and Neil Young running mate Tom Horricks said. The band did a cross-Canada tour to promote the album but unfortunately for them, as was often the case in those days, the album was not released until after the tour. So much for stardom. The band soon broke up. But tucked somewhere in the band’s murky history were recording sessions that produced three stupendous psychedelic singles, plus tracks for an unreleased second album, “Strands of Time.” Sure, those singles and strays appeared on our Jarvis Street Revue CD, but most tracks make their vinyl debut here; as for the incredible, rare singles, they’ve never been compiled until this very moment! Insert includes band history, photos, and images of sheet music for several songs. “Back in 1970, up in the cold North of Ontario, Canada hailed a group that had already had prophetic visions of the corporate, strictly-business, profit-driven, polluting, oil addicted, don’t let the environment-get-in-the-way-of-a-buck bullshit world that we currently live in.” —Helios Chrome

File Under: Psych, Can Con
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John’s Children: Orgasm (Radiation Deluxe) LP
The sole album from unhinged UK psychedelic mod rock outfit John’s Children, recorded in 1966, right before Marc Bolan joined the band. Produced by The Yardbirds’ manager Simon Napier-Bell, who referred to them as “positively the worst group I’d ever seen,” John’s Children’s debut LP was shelved for three years due to its then-unthinkable title, Orgasm, and released only in 1970, on the US White Whale label. Acclaimed by many as precursors of glam rock for both their theatrics and music, John’s Children quickly disbanded in 1968, leaving behind a half-dozen singles ranking among the most collectible British ’60s rock artifacts ever.

File Under: Psych, Rock
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Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Tomorrow! Finally an actual shipment with copies to go on the shelf! Seven months after it debuted atop the Billboard 200 in March 2015 West Coast rapper Kendrick Lamar’s third studio album To Pimp A Butterfly is finally getting the vinyl treatment with a 180g 2LP pressing housed in a double gatefold jacket. Following the success of his major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d. city, in 2012, the acclaimed rapper’s highly anticipated follow-up, To Pimp a Butterfly is about carrying the weight of that clarity: What happens when you speak out, spiritually and politically, and people actually start to listen? And what of the world you left behind? Home to the dark and distinct singles “i,” “The Blacker the Berry,” “King Kunta” and “Alright.”

File Under: Hip Hop
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Mantis: Turn Onto Music (Universal) LP
“PLAY THIS ALBUM MANTISSIMO (That means loud baby).” So it says on the back of one of the rarest NZ pressed albums, by the greatest Fijian rock band ever. Mantis recorded the legendary Turn On To Music LP during a four month visit to Wellington, New Zealand in 1973. Some serious FIJIAN funk with a garagey-Santana feel , and sometimes almost Stooge-like in parts, the album was released in NZ only on local Vertigo in a limited run of 300 copies. Lead guitarist was famed albino Fijian guitar hero Waisea ‘Wise’ Vatuwaga who had cut his teeth in the Suva rock scene of the sixties. Originally named The Dragon Swingers, they were the in-house band at Suva’s Golden Dragon night club run by Ken Janson who still owns the establishment to this day. In 1973 they took up a casual offer from a NZ film crew to make the three hour flight back to Wellington. Snapping up the invitation they were hosted by renown NZ producer Eddie O’Strange who secured them live work at his nightclub Ziggys. He also got them signed to Polygram NZ. O’Strange would produce their Pacific blend of funk and super hard rock for their only album Turn On To Music. While side one was live favourites, including a bone crunching rendition of Mississippi Queen, and a sacrophiliac scrunching version of Jo Jo Gunne’s Shake That Fat, it was on side two where MANTIS literally brings the noise. Three out-of-control, percussive instrumentals ! All clocking in at over six minutes with strong lashings of fuzz, wah wah and dominating power chords of violent volcanic proportions. Eddie would add insane theramin like action with an ARP synthesizer while the band replicated the sound of the hurricanes that would regularly batter their tiny islands. The three instrumentals are sonic interpretations of modern Fijian culture of the time from the tiny Pacific nation that had only recently gained independence. This is the first official re-issue of the album from master tapes.

File Under: Rock, Funk, Soul, New Zealand
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nwwNurse with Wound: Surveillance Lounge (Norton North) LP
“4 tracks, one for each side: on the first ‘Close to you instantly’ opens a different dimension made by slow piano sound waves, 15 minutes of pure rarefied atmosphere, a spiritual vision of a ritual focused on a dusky note in this hypnotic broken record. The second ‘The Golden Age Of Telekinesis’ trembles in the deep listening of mysterious reverberations, a clear attempt to breathless run after the flash of a nightmare to drop into a chaotic hole made of screaming voices. The third titled ‘The Part Of Me Which Is That Part In You Is Now Dead’ calmly introduce the listener in a peaceful landscape to make him experience a dissonant reality. The last ‘Yon Assassin Is My Equal’ announces the end of a mental voyage towards whispers of recurring litanies and slowed voices in continuous metamorphosis. This is, without doubt, one of the most representative album by Nurse With Wound and it is recommended to use the best care for your acoustic sound system to maximize the pleasure of this experience. Artwork: Babs Santini. Voices: Freek Kinkelaar, Maude Swift, Melon Liles, Miranda Kinkelaar, Nadja Belabidi, Olly Louis Mathura O’Keeffe, David Tibet. Double vinyl, deluxe gatefold cover in tobacco’s paper.”

File Under: Experimental, Noise, Ambient
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OST: Turbo Kid (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Recording Company is proud to present another contemporary classic from the depths of genre cinema with Quebec-duo Le Matos’ score to acclaimed science fiction picture Turbo Kid. A stirring tale of a boy, a girl, and a BMW amidst a post-apocalyptic landscape, the film is a delightful throwback to the teen wish-fulfilment fantasy films of the 1980’s through the prism of modern splatter, complete with a deliciously villainous performance by legendary genre character actor Michael Ironside (Scanners, Total Recall). Propelling this insanity is an incredible score that cherry picks its influences from the best of electronic film music from the past thirty five years, running the gamut from the inevitable John Carpenter bleedthrough – with some beautifully malevolent atmospheric pieces – to riffing off of the classics of Van Halen all the way through to Modern French electronic music from the like of Daft Punk & Ed Banger Records. Turbo Kid is diverse but not disparate; it plays fast and loose but not at the expense of cohesion, so there are moments where you can just lie back and relax to the mesmerising ambience and dream of authentic alien landscapes, or freak out to the best of the 80’s hedonistic synthpop, or let yourself be inhabited by an eerie chill from the evocative electro-goth vocals. Turbo Kid – A place beyond your dreams, a record beyond your imagination.

File Under: OST, Electronic
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OST: Super Hang-On (Data Discs) LP
For our fourth release in partnership with Sega, we are proud to present the soundtrack to one of the defining arcade games of the 1980s: Super Hang-On. Using audio sourced directly from the original 1987 arcade machine sound board, this carefully restored and remastered edition presents the unforgettable soundtrack to SEGA and Yu Suzuki’s classic racer on vinyl for the first time outside of Japan. Housed in a meticulously designed custom die-cut sleeve, on 400gsm matt finish cardstock, with 300gsm printed inner sleeve and a traditional OBI strip. 180g vinyl cut at 45rpm for maximum driving power! Music by Koichi Namiki, Katsuhiro Hayashi and Shigeru Ohwada.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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OST: Tetsuo (Kaijyu-Theater) LP
“23 years after its first release on CD, the Original Soundtrack of the first two episodes of the famous trilogy Tetsuo, composed by Chu Ishikawa, is being released on vinyl record. This classic of Japanese underground cinema, directed by Shinya Tsuakamoto, first hit the big screen in 1989. Its mix of gore and science fiction paved the way for the cyberpunk movement in Japan. Tetsuo does not follow a classical film narrative but rather consists in a series of twisted sequences, which makes it unique and considered by many as a height of experimental cinema. It opens on a car crash where a man – the anti-hero of the film — is hit by a car. His body then becomes a sort of magnet that inexorably attracts all the metal objects present in our society, slowly transforming him into a monster made of flesh and steel! The trilogy’s uncompromising and violent directing, supported by its original score, soon contributed to make it a classic. As a matter of fact, director Tsukamoto and composer Ishikawa managed to produce a sensory experience in which visual and hearing assaults go hand in hand to make it a total work of art. The film is at the crossroads of Metropolis, Videodrome and Blade Runner in its depiction of a post-industrial world where machines have surpassed humans and taken possession of their bodies. Chu Ishikawa, born in 1966, started his musical career in various bands when he was only 15 years old. He then gained some success as a founding member and percussionist of two industrial bands: Zeitlich Vergelter and Der Eisenrost. That is when he came to the attention of Tsukamoto, who asked him to compose the soundtrack of his film. Ishikawa’s transgressive and provocative music is the perfect sound illustration of the Tetsuo trilogy. Mixing techno drum loops with a dark ambient mood flirting with harsh noise, the Japanese composer translates the convulsive and metallic quality of Tsukamoto’s images into oppressive sound blasts that will delight the fans of Test Dept. Foetus and Esplendor Geometrico. Limited to 1000.”

File Under: OST, Industrial
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love of

Swans: Love of Life (Young God) LP
Love of Life, the band’s eighth studio album, followed soon after in 1992. According to Allmusic’s Ned Ragget, “Love of Life continues the astounding creative roll Swans found themselves on … yet another Swans masterpiece.” The vinyl version of this album has also been unavailable since its original release.

File Under: Art Rock, Post Rock
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swansSwans: White Light…/Love of Life (Young God) Box
Limited Edition Box Set Includes the 2LP-gatefold White Light album from 1991, Love of Life LP from 1992 and a CD of Outtakes & Live material. + Download Card!

File Under: Art Rock, Post Rock
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teethTeeth of the Sea: Highly Deadly Black Tarantula (Rocket) LP
Since their debut in 2009, the iconoclastic four-pronged force of Teeth of the Sea has traversed from its origins in North London pub gigs and basement rehearsal rooms to far-flung locales that its members could scarcely have considered possible when they first began. Yet this band has never lost sight of its original vision to reconcile a fearless experimental drive with a primal lust for noise and to exist outside of all or any compromise, yet never to lose sight of the crucial irreverence of their inception. Their fourth album, Highly Deadly Black Tarantula, in all its malevolent glory, may well be the apex of their mission thus far, following in the wake of the 2013 release of their mind-melting third album Master. As 2015 dawned, the band set about reinventing themselves once again, both returning from the ornate and expansive sounds of Master to their gnarled roots and pushing firmly forward in search of adventure anew. What resulted was Highly Deadly Black Tarantula, their most focused and aggressive album yet. Machine-driven yet melodically abundant, the widescreen industrial expanses of this album combine the influence of long-time band favorites like Aphex Twin, Angelo Badalamenti, and Throbbing Gristle with new inspiration that spans from Chicago footwork to black metal. What’s more, it’s a collection as rich in scope as it is powerful in intent. While the pummeling and incisive “Animal Manservant” and the kinetic dancefloor attack of “Field Punishment” maintain an audial assault both concise and corrosive, the monomaniacal “Have You Ever Held a Bird of Prey” represents a fearless plunge into the experimental deep end. Elsewhere, the bleak cinematic drama of “All My Venom” strikes like hammer to anvil, and “Love Theme for 1984” may be the most richly emotive work the band has yet created. This is no less than a vital reinvention, abusing technology and warping convention to arrive at a monochrome psychedelia as stylish as it is savage. Yet even while ushering in delight and deliverance for both fans of this band and the uninitiated, Highly Deadly Black Tarantula — a fearsomely coherent assault of post-everything dementia — sounds like no one but Teeth of the Sea. The amazing album sleeve image is courtesy of photographer Oli McAvoy.

File Under: Experimental, Kraut Rock, Psych
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theilBob Theil: Songs from the Margin (Strawberry Rain) LP
Bob Theil’s self proclaimed opus, ‘Songs from the Margin’ was supposed to be the follow-up album to ‘So Far’ which debuted in 1982. The project spanned seven years with ‘Fading Ways, Fadings Faces’ being written as far back as 1977, and the remainder of the album being written between 1982 and 1984. Sadly this project was finished but never went as far as being released until now. The material on ‘So Far’ didn’t translate well to the climate of the folk club scene of that time, so the Margin songs that Bob was writing at the time (along with other material) were an effort on his part to create music that reflected his admiration for the Sandy Denny/Richard Thompson area of modernized folk and rock. It was also an attempt to have material that would be more suited to performing at folk clubs. With ‘So Far’ being considered one of, if not the best folk records from the 80’s, this is a sure buy for many collectors. Top shelf material.

File Under: Folk
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tinariwen_live_paris_615Tinariwen: Live in Paris (Anti) LP
Traveling to exotic lands is nothing new for Tinariwen. The Saharan blues band have performed the world over bringing their signature mix of hypnotic rock guitar with the traditional instruments and vocal stylings of their native Tuareg roots to their adoring fans. But this night in Paris would be different, and this live recording captures the magic. That night, under the auspices of this festive celebration of Tamashek culture, the Malian group invited everyone to celebrate the earthy, electrifying nuptials of the guitar and the tindé (small drum): A unique soirée normally reserved for more intimate spheres – around a fire in the desert in southern Algeria perhaps, or in the yard of house somewhere in the northern Mali. Touareg culture donned its finest apparel, there in the heart of Paris, in the name of communion, emotion, dance and trance. Tinariwen pay an extraordinary homage to the grandeur and vitality of Tamashek culture. The recording of that night will no doubt remain in the annals of music, just as it will remain carved in the head and heart of its audience.

File Under: Tuareg, Desert Blues, Mali
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umiliamiPiero Umiliani: Fishiando in Beat (Schema) LP
A true icon of the world of soundtracks, Piero Umiliani (1926-2001) and his rich discography have enchanted several generations of listeners. His modern sound, famous and imitated, was a trademark of Italian movies from the end of the 50s through the 70s. Umiliani, which already had worked with Jazz Men like Gianni Basso and Oscar Valdambrini, signed the first Italian Jazz soundtrack in 1958 (I soliti Ignoti). It was just the beginning of an unrivalled career that brought him signing soundtrack like ‘Smog’ with the participation of Chet Baker and Helen Merrill, ‘Una Bella Grinta’ with Gato Barbieri, and ‘Accattone’ by Pier Paolo Pasolini where Umiliani worked with Maestro Rustichelli and Ivan Vandor. Umiliani’s versatility enabled him to work with a great variety of styles and directors, for all kinds of movies. Umiliani recorded music for radio and tv, playing a pivotal role in bringing Jazz to Italian households. In 1969 the Maestro conquered music charts all over the world, when ‘Mah nà Mah nà’ became the theme of the famous Muppets’ Show created by Jim Henson. Umiliani wrote more than 150 soundtracks, let alone the music he composed for documentaries, theatre and television. He was also a great collector of music instruments from all over the world, and in 1970 was one of the first in Italy to experiment with the Moog and other electronic keyboards. The last two decades have seen the rediscovery of lounge music and the revival of Italian soundtracks from the 70’s, especially thanks to directors that loved Umiliani’s music, like the American director Quentin Tarantino. Many labels have came across the rich production of the Maestro, allowing many fans, old and new, to encounter his music.

File Under: Italian, OST, Library
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synthiPiero Umiliani: Synthi Time (Schema) LP
Synthi Time is perhaps one of the most suitable albums – within Umiliani’s incredibly vast discography – to fully appreciate the composing and experimental genius of the Maestro. For once away from the classic soundtracks that made him popular, this project veers away also from refined works of library music such as Genti e paesi del mondo (People and countries of the world) or Problemi d’oggi (Today’s issues), released under the moniker of Zalla. In this case, we like to imagine him absorbed in his Sound Work Shop studio, experimenting with synthesizers with the same enthusiasm of a newbie in search of the perfect sound. Without renouncing to pop(ular) elements, Umiliani seems almost to anticipate (or at least to be fully consistent with) the sound research that will characterize the careers of musicians such as Roedelius and Moebius in Germany. As the same subtitle reveals, this was ‘a new way of making music’ through the use of the electronic synthesizer – this happening in 1971 – with occasional interventions by the spinet and the Hammond organ. And, with the exception of other little masterpieces such as Il mondo dei Romani and Tra scienza e fantascienza, the most ‘avant-garde’ Umiliani can be found here, among tracks such as Synthi grottesco, the outstanding Synthetic Water, Synthi pianola and Synthi pastorale, excellent examples of a Maestro exploring new sounds and the future of the music. Often forgotten and overlooked even by those self-proclaimed Umiliani lovers and fans, Synthi Time is actually one of his best works.

File Under: Italian, Library, Synth
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Various: Alright in the City (Universal) LP
Thunderous! Mammoth! And thats just the drum breaks! Add fuzzy guitars, full on wah-wah action, deep grooves and that KLASSIC KIWI D.I.Y attitude – ALRIGHT IN THE CITY is a collection of late sixties / early seventies F-U-N-K-Y hard rock from New Zealand. Post-Woodstock, the NZ rock scene accelerated from the beat years of the mid sixties, gobbling some psychedelics on the way and concentrated on the G-R-O-O-V-E. With the availability of even-louder locally made amps and sympathetic producers, rhythm sections of the time could now easily compete with the screaming guitars. Bass players who had cut their teeth on many a garagey nugget in the NZ sixties scene Neil Edwards from The Underdogs, Dave Orams (ex Breakaways, Underdogs, & Bitter End) with Quincy Conserve, Rick White (ex Tom Thumb) in Farmyard all lay down some philthy bottom end action in their respective combos. The NZ guitar gods of the time are all present on Alright In The City: Billy TK with his self penned track Highway for the Human Instinct; Jesse Harper / Doug Jerebine from his legendary UK recordings of 1969; Eddie Hansen blazes with Ticket on their 4+ minute monster Highway Of Love; and Harvey Mann leads The Underdogs on It’s A Blessing. Co-compiler Grant Smithies writes … “With its rhino heavy drum breaks … Harvey Mann sounds seriously seedy throughout, with his petulant nasal whine and grubby off mic groans, and his treble heavy guitar solo is sharp enough to draw blood” Quincy Conserve provide the title track and to quote Grant Smithies – “it’s a miraculous pile up of blaring horns, syncopated handclaps, and (singer) Hayman’s distinctive husky howl all nailed to the floor by drummer Richard Burgess, who just won’t quit banging out those funky breaks.” This is the same Richard Burgess who would go on to produce Spandau Ballet and have some hand in starting the New Romantic movement.

File Under: New Zealand, Rock, Fuzz

britxoticaVarious: Britxotica! (Trunk) LP
So you thought exotic recordings only came from Hawaii or the USA? Well, you’re wrong. Here’s a collection of amazing, far-flung sounds from the UK. Rare, wild, and just itching to turn your turntable into a strange pagan place of sonic worship. Just try to keep those cocktails from flowing and your clothes on. “Britxotica” (pronounced “Britzotica”) is a word you may never have come across before. Trunk hadn’t either until DJ and tastemaker Martin Green made it up in 2014. This term neatly describes an odd and yet undocumented pre-Beatles musical scene in which famed UK composers, singers, and bandleaders threw convention to the wind and went wild wild wild! Drawing influences from Hollywood, Hawaii, and holiday (any hot and frantic destination would do) they conjured up sounds to suit a modern but fledgling escape from the gray trudge of postwar London. The result is a bunch of rare, mod, wild, and naïvely experimental trips into the tribal, but keeping the white suit, shirt, and tie firmly in place no matter what the temperature. Fascinating, sometimes fierce, and often absolutely bananas, this new album of old toss is an absolute trip! All cues mastered and sequenced by Jon Brooks aka The Advisory Circle. Single LP. Standard black wax. None of this dicking around with 180-gram tip-ons, multi-colored wax, obis, useless inserts, or unwanted novelty extras. Just rare and interesting music. Performers include Lyn Cornell, Ted Heath, Allan Bruce, Rawicz and Landauer, Lucille Mapp, Sounds Incorporated, Nadia Cattouse, Brian Fahey, Tony Mansell and Johnny Dankworth, Reg Owen, Harry H Corbett, Laurie Johnson Orchestra, Edmundo Ros, Maxine Daniels, Cherry Wainer, and Jerry Allen.

File Under: Exotica, Jazz, Pop
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hillbilliesVarious: Hillbillies in Hell (Iron Mountain) LP
Largely unknown and unheralded, this collection of Hell-Bound Hayseeds will come as a revelation. Mostly cut on microscopic or private-press labels and distributed in minuscule amounts, these Tortured Troubadours tell of torments, temptations and tumults – Satan, drugs, murder, suicide, demonic visions, infanticide and redemption – all in one handy LP package. A labor of love – years in the making – ‘Hillbillies In Hell’ presents 18 timeless testaments of transgressions, tribulations and moral turpitude. Originally issued on forgotten 45s, some of these sides are indescribably rare and are reissued here for the very first time, all for your listening pleasure.

File Under: Country


Alessandro Cortini: Forse 2 (Important) LP
Current 93: Swastikas For Noddy (Spheres) LP
Cursed: II (Deathwish) LP
Daphni: Jiaolong (Merge) LP
Destroyer: Poison Season (Merge) LP
Destroyer: Kaputt (Merge) LP
Earthless: Meets Heavy Blanket: (Outer Battery) LP
Earthless: Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky (TeePee) LP
Earthless: From the Ages (Tee Pee) LP
Ex-Hex: Rips (Merge) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Quarters (Castle Face) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Float Along (Flightless) LP
Kinks: Arthur Or The Decline… (Sanctuary) LP
Ksiezyc: s/t (Penultimate Press) LP
Ksiezyc: Rabbit Eclipse (Penultimate Press) LP
LCD Soundsystem: s/t (DFA) LP
LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver (DFA) LP
LCD Soundsystem: This is Happening (DFA) LP
Les Rallizes Denudes: Heavier Than A Death In The Family (Phoenix) LP
Dean McPhee: Son of Black Peace (Blast First) LP
Mogwai: Rock Action (Rock Action) LP
Moondog: Story of Moondog (4 Men With Beards) LP
Moondog: Viking of 6th Avenue (Honest Jons) LP
Joanna Newsom: Divers (Drag City) LP
Joanna Newsom: YS (Drag City) LP
Not Waving: Voices (Not Waving) LP
Rancid: And Out Come the Wolves (Epitaph) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
Rodriguez: Searching for Sugarman (Light in the Attic) LP
Arthur Russell: Calling Out of Context (Audika) LP
Arthur Russell: World of Echo (Audika) LP
Mamman Sani: Taaritt (Sahel Sounds) LP
Sleep: Dopesmoker (Southern Lord) LP
Spelljammer: Ancient of Days (Riding Easy) LP
Kurt Stenzel: Jodorowsky’s Dune (Cinewax) LP
Andy Stott: Luxury Problems (Modern Love) LP
Andy Stott: We Stay Together (Modern Love) LP
Andy Stott: Passed Me By (Modern Love) LP
Sun City Girls: Torch of the Mystics (Abduction) LP
Willie Thrasher: Spirit Child (Future Days) LP
Titus Andronicus: The Most Lamentable (Merge)
Unwound: No Engery (Numero) LP
Unwound: Empire (Numero) LP
Various: Native North America (Light in the Attic) 3LP
Various: Son Cubano: NYC (Honest Jon’s) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticals (Numero) LP

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