…..news letter #770 – deep froze…..

Well, it’s a bit chilly, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping the holiday shopping. Nor is it stopping the sellers! We’ve had some nice used stuff showing up, and we are trying to keep up as best we can. If you are looking for something specific, please get in as soon as possible, we still have plenty of shipments to come before xmas, but me can only do so much. Stay warm!

…..pick of the week…..

lagos

Various: Doing it in Lagos (Soundways) LP
A little something hot, for these cold days…. Soundway Records present a new compilation of twenty one rare and mostly unavailable tracks from the slick and sassy world of Nigerian pop music and club culture of the early 1980s. Buoyed by an explosive oil boom and a return to democracy after a series of military dictatorships, Nigeria’s economy in the years of the early ‘80’s was mirrored by its recording industry as countless young artists and groups hit the airwaves and dancefloors of the capital and beyond. It was a glossy, brash new form of pop music born out of ashes of late 1970s disco and funk and, just as in America, was the soundtrack to a new generation for whom money, style and flirtation trumped the overblown psychedelia of the previous decade. Eager to sound as American as possible with no hint of the fervour for afro-beat, afro-rock and afrocentric thinking that the 1970s had thrown up, a new generation of young artists and performers turned their backs on their cultural roots in music and sought a new kind of stardom and fame firmly connected to the glossy, snazzy world of the 1980s that was erupting in the USA and Europe. The 1970s flares and cuban heels began to disappear, in their place came sleek suits, rolled-up sleeves, bow-ties, jumpsuits, leather jackets, greased hair and a firm nod in the stylistic direction of Michael Jackson. The earliest cuts on the collection are firmly rooted within the deep disco sound of 1979 & 1980 before progressing into the boogie and pop that typified the years 1982-84: falsetto vocals, synths, slap-bass, handclaps and a sharp emphasis on the groove. Steered at the helm by a handful of legendary producers who had cut their teeth in the studios and groups 1970s (Jake Sollo, Lemmy Jackson, Tony Essien, Odion Iruoje) alongside some fresh new faces (Nkono teles and Tony Okoroji) the scene was fronted by a new generation of young singers both male and female and with the economy flourishing album sales were at an all time high. This was the age of the celebrity, mobile club-DJ and with vastly improved sound equipment, recorded music quickly began to displace live bands in the discos and clubs of a quickly expanding Lagos. These were places where a seamless mix of American and local music played all night – ever more pressure for Nigerian recordings to stand up against the offerings from overseas prompting some producers and artists to record in London or the USA despite Lagos having the best studios in West Africa. With a never-ending discussion about what ‘World Music’ may or may not be and in a time where the influence of African, Latin and Caribbean music is firmly accepted as an instrumental and integral ingredient in the formation of disco and proto-house music, this compilation hopes to make a strong case for the Nigerian chapter of the story. This is disco-boogie-pop music that just happens to be from Nigeria and as such deserves to sit in the correct section of the record store and not in the restricting confines of the ‘World Music’ ghetto despite its geographic provenance. Echoes of the vast compendium of 1960 & 70s sounds from West Africa’s biggest recording industry are there if you listen carefully just as Soca and Latin music is echoed in the disco and soul of New York City but this is not music that deserves to be sidelined just because of where it’s from. Many of the original albums these tracks are taken from fetch insane prices online due to their rarity and so it’s with great pleasure that we present a selection here that evokes a golden boomtime in Nigerian music history. It’s perhaps not for the purists who think they know what African music should sound like but hey, relax …this music should make you make move, make you smile, (hopefully make some of you reminisce over your youth) …. it’s what it was made for.

File Under: Africa, Disco, Boogie
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…..new arrivals…..

seachange

Beck: Sea Change (Geffen) LP
In tomorrow… Since introducing himself to the world in 1994 with his genre-defying, multi-platinum debut, Mellow Gold, Beck has blazed a path into the future while simultaneously foraging through the past. Throughout his singular career he has utilized all manners and eras of music, blurring boundaries and shattering expectations with each album. From the world-tripping atmospherics of 1998’s Mutations and the florescent funk of 1999’s Midnite Vultures through the somber reflections of 2002’s Sea Change, 2005’s platinum tour de force Guero and 2006’s sprawling The Information, no Beck record has ever sounded like its predecessor. In the fall of 2016, UMe will begin to reissue Beck’s entire envelope-pushing DGC/Geffen/Interscope catalog on vinyl, beginning in October with the trifecta of his 1996 Grammy Award-winning game-changer, Odelay, 2002’s beautiful, brokenhearted, Sea Change, and 2005’s Guero, which saw Beck reunite with the Dust Brothers. Sea Change will be released as a double LP while Guero will be made available for the first time ever as a single LP. Mellow Gold, Mutations, Midnight Vultures, The Information and Modern Guilt will follow at a later date. Beck’s seventh album, Sea Change, signified a dramatic musical shift in sound and tone from its predecessor, the funky, R&B-influenced Midnite Vultures, and as its title suggested, was a profound transformation. Inspired by the dissolution of a longtime relationship, Beck transformed his sadness into both his most personal and beautiful record to date, trading his trademark sample-filled songs and impressionistic, irreverent lyrics for pensive melodies, sweeping strings and direct, confessional lyrics. Produced by Nigel Godrich, the album, which peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200, was made with a full band which included guitarist Smokey Hormel, keyboard player Roger Manning, drummer Joey Waronker; Beck’s father, David Campbell, provided string arrangements. While widely praised upon release in 2002, the album has only grown in stature. Rolling Stone’s David Fricke hailed it as “the best album Beck has ever made,” adding it’s his “Blood On The Tracks,” and the record was listed in their 2009 definitive list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and the “100 Best Albums of the 2000s.” In SPIN’s 10-year anniversary piece, they declared it “the best melancholy album of the millennium” while The Guardian called it “his masterpiece.”

File Under: Alt Rock
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beck

Beck: Odelay (Geffen) LP
In tomorrow… Since introducing himself to the world in 1994 with his genre-defying, multi-platinum debut, Mellow Gold, Beck has blazed a path into the future while simultaneously foraging through the past. Throughout his singular career he has utilized all manners and eras of music, blurring boundaries and shattering expectations with each album. From the world-tripping atmospherics of 1998’s Mutations and the florescent funk of 1999’s Midnite Vultures through the somber reflections of 2002’s Sea Change, 2005’s platinum tour de force Guero and 2006’s sprawling The Information, no Beck record has ever sounded like its predecessor. In the fall of 2016, UMe will begin to reissue Beck’s entire envelope-pushing DGC/Geffen/Interscope catalog on vinyl, beginning in October with the trifecta of his 1996 Grammy Award-winning game-changer, Odelay, 2002’s beautiful, brokenhearted, Sea Change, and 2005’s Guero, which saw Beck reunite with the Dust Brothers. Sea Change will be released as a double LP while Guero will be made available for the first time ever as a single LP. Mellow Gold, Mutations, Midnight Vultures, The Information and Modern Guilt will follow at a later date. Originally released 20 years ago in June 1996 on DGC, Odelay was Beck’s breakthrough follow-up to his platinum bow, Mellow Gold. Selling more than two million copies in the U.S., the double-platinum-certified Odelay featured classics that loom large in Beck’s live sets to this day, including “Where It’s At,” “Devils Haircut” and “The New Pollution.” Odelay won two Grammy Awards in 1997, Best Alternative Music Album and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for “Where It’s At,” and was Beck’s first album to be nominated for Album of the Year – the top honor his most recent album Morning Phase took home in 2015. Produced by Beck with collaborators the Dust Brothers, Odelay continued to demonstrate and expand upon Beck’s eclectic stylistic palette. It was universally praised upon its release, named Album of the Year in both Rolling Stone and the prestigious Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics’ poll, as well as the U.K. New Musical Express’ critics’ poll, where the album represented Beck’s platinum breakthrough in England. In 1998, Q magazine readers voted Odelay one of the greatest albums of all time, while Rolling Stone ranked it in its 2003 list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” and #9 on its list of the “100 Best Albums of the ’90s.”

File Under: Alt Rock
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hell

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis: Hell or High Water OST (Milan) LP
Hell Or High Water tells the story of two desperate brothers – a divorced father (Chris Pine) and hard living ex-con (Ben Foster) – who begin a string of bank robberies in order to raise enough money to protect their family farm from bank foreclosure. An aging sheriff (Jeff Bridges) tracks the robberies and attempts to hunt down the criminals in this crime drama written by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario) and directed by David Mackenzie (Starred Up). This American classic in the making features a beautiful guitar and string driven score composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (The Road, The Proposition, The Assassination of Jesse James). The soundtrack also features a great selection of country songs by the likes of Chris Stapleton, Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Colter Wall and Waylon Jennings.

File Under: OST
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cohen

Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker (Columbia) LP
In tomorrow… Columbia Records celebrated Leonard Cohen’s 82nd birthday year with the release of the legendary singer/songwriter’s fourteenth studio album, the haunting You Want It Darker. This great artist continues to astonish us. Uncompromising and urgent, You Want it Darker is the last chapter in Leonard’s significant contribution to contemporary music. Produced by his son, Adam Cohen, the startling and beautifully realized album is not one a young talented artist – even a young, talented Leonard Cohen – could have written. You Want It Darker reflects the perspective of a genius who has experienced a long, self-aware life viewed with profound honesty and expressed with expertise, authenticity, and graciousness. Cohen states, “As I grew older, I understood that instructions came with this voice. What were these instructions? The instructions were never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity and beauty.” The lead single and title track delves into an unflinching exploration of the religious mind. Cohen created this hypnotic groove with the addition of Montreal’s Cantor Gideon Zelermyer and the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir, whose voices invoke a sound from Cohen’s youth.

File Under: Rock, Pop, CanCon
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downie

Gord Downie: Secret Path (Arts & Crafts) LP/DLX LP
Finally back in with copies on the shelf tomorrow… Gord Downie began Secret Path as 10 poems incited by the story of Chanie Wenjack, a twelve year-old boy who died 50 years ago on October 22, 1966, in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ontario, walking home to the family he was taken from over 400 miles away. Gord was introduced to Chanie Wenjack (miscalled “Charlie” by his teachers) by Mike Downie, his brother, who shared with him Ian Adams’ Maclean’s story from February 6, 1967, “The Lonely Death of Charlie Wenjack.” The stories Gord’s poems tell were fleshed into the 10 songs of Secret Path with producers Kevin Drew and Dave Hamelin. Recording took place over two sessions at the Bathouse in Bath, Ontario, November and December 2013. The music features Downie on vocals and guitars, with Drew and Hamelin playing all other instruments, except guest contributions by Charles Spearin (bass), Ohad Benchetrit (lap steel/guitar), Kevin Hearn (piano), and Dave “Billy Ray” Koster (drums). In winter 2014, Gord and Mike brought the recently finished music to comic artist Jeff Lemire for his help illustrating Chanie’s story, bringing him and the many children like him to life. Secret Path acknowledges a dark part of Canada’s history – the long-suppressed mistreatment of Indigenous children and families by the residential school system – with the hope of starting the country on a road to reconciliation. The Deluxe Edition of Gord Downie’s Secret Path features the 10 song album on 180g vinyl accompanied by Jeff Lemire’s 88-page graphic novel, a set of 10 special lyric posters, digital download and custom box packaging.

File Under: CanCon, Folk
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mica

Mica Levi/Oliver Coates: Remain Calm (Slip) LP
In tomorrow… A brand new collaborative work from Mica Levi (aka Micachu) and Oliver Coates. Remain Calm showcases both musicians’ background in classical composition as well as their restless impulse to blur the boundaries between contemporary genres, from grime to techno to drone. There’s something very specifically British about the compositions, the soundtrack to a supermarket car park on a rainy weekday afternoon, whilst ghosts of pirate radio flicker in and out of earshot from passing cars. Shades of Iannis Xenakis, Aphex Twin, Burial and Scott Walker’s film music are suggested in certain passages, but the sum of its parts are a very singular soundworld and a stunning piece of work. Vinyl includes full color printed inner sleeves and download card.

File Under: Electronic, Classical
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pinkfloyd

Pink Floyd: Animals (Columbia) LP
Pink Floyd’s 1977 opus, Animals, is back on vinyl LP for the first time in more than 20 years. Even better, it is finally remastered from the original master tapes and boasts reference-quality sound. Inspired by George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Animals provides an analysis of the social-political society of 1970’s Britain and also served as a response to the era’s punk-rock movement. Anchored by Roger Waters’ pointed songwriting and David Gilmour’s stunning guitar work, the fan-favorite Animals finds the band in transition yet again offering constructs that would come to full fruition on ambitious successor The Wall. The album cover, featuring ‘Algie’ the pig floating above London’s Battersea Power Station, is amongst Pink Floyd’s most recognizable. This must-own pressing features a faithful-to-the-original recreation of the original LP sleeve. Whether you’re a longtime fan waiting for a pristine analog copy or collecting all of the band’s seminal records on vinyl for the first time, this is the copy of Animals you want to own.

File Under: Rock
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reich

Steve Reich/Terry Riley: Six Pianos/Keyboard Study (Film) LP
After the widely noticed performance at the “Acht Brücken Festival 2016” at Cologne’s Philharmonic Hall, Gregor Schwellenbach, Hauschka, Erol Sarp (of Grandbrothers), Daniel Brandt and Paul Frick (both of Brandt Brauer Frick) and John Kameel Farah release their interpretation of Steve Reich’s “Six Pianos” as a studio recording via FILM. The re-recording of this piece is an interpretation of Reich’s composition but still far more than just that – it is a modern approach to his idea behind it. The basic idea came up at the beginning of the ’70s at the Baldwin Piano & Organ Company in New York. During a rehearsal phase, which Steve Reich spent in this very piano store, the idea emerged of writing a composition for all the grand pianos available to him at the company. By the time of the finished piece, the actual number of pianos had settled down to six, where “Six Pianos” developed in 1973. On the occasion of his 80th birthday, the six pianists declare their love to Steve Reich with this release. Shaped by electronic club music as well as their classical education, they form “Six Pianos” in dignified modernity and top it off with today’s sound aesthetics and technical recording possibilities. Presented here is not the recording from the Kölner Philharmonie (Cologne Philharmonics), but the ensemble playing six different grand pianos in six different locations throughout Germany. Each pianist performed his part on his piano using his typical studio equipment and passed the recording over to the next one. Thus the six characteristic and individual timbres of the performers overlay to create the overall picture – “Six Pianos” the way it should be looked at in 2016. Jan Brauer mixed “Six Pianos” in the studio while Lukas Vogel provided delays for the “Keyboard Study #1”. “Keyboard Study #1” by Terry Riley is a worthy companion for Reich’s composition. The piece is kind of a building set of ever lengthening, repetitive patterns played against each other with the right and left hand displaced. The composition proposes various possible combinations for the performer to choose from and repeat at will. And what the performers have chosen proves Gregor Schwellenbach’s assumption: “Terry Riley’s and Steve Reich’s music are open doors for pianists socialized by pop music and their audience.”

File Under: Minimalism, Classical
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sumac

Sumac: Before You I Appear (Thrill Jockey) LP
In composing music, Sumac opts for a process of simultaneous construction and dismantlement. Long-form rock based structures are distended to the point of erosion, reiterated in continually alternating sequences, and plied with extra-musical implements of chaos and tonal abstraction. Through the practice of psychophysical exertion and sensorial disorientation the music becomes a tangible projection of the players underlying emotions and spirit. Furthering this dynamic approach, Sumac has invited similarly like-minded artists to reconfigure and deconstruct pieces from their latest album What One Becomes. Samuel Kerridge, Bleed Turquoise (aka James Ginzburg of Emptyset), Kevin Drumm and Japan’s Endon offer up beautifully bent interpretations of the original work. The results range from impossibly dense and perpetually ascending psych-noise blowouts, to subdued passages of subtly curdled drones punctuated by disembodied vocal excretions. Though stylistically differentiated from the source material, all four tracks posses a parallel predilection for combining combustable atmospherics and emotionally penetrative musical maneuvers.

 File Under: Drone, Experimental, Metal
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…..Restocks…..

William Basinski: 92982 (Temporary Residence) LP
Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: 22, A Million (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Budos Band: Burnt Offering (Daptone) LP
City & Colour: Hurry & The Harm (Dine Alone) LP
Clash: London Calling (Epic) LP
Electric Wizard: Black Mass (Rise Above) LP
Brian Eno: The Ship (Warp) LP
Jamie XX: In Color (Young Turks) LP
Sharon Jones: It’s A Holiday Soul Party (Daptone) LP
Sharon Jones: Naturally (Daptone) LP
Mitski: Puberty 2 (Dead Oceans) LP
Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar) LP
OST: Stranger Things (Lakeshore) LP
Pixies: Doolittle (4AD) LP
Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet: Sport Fishin’ (Yep Rock) LP
Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet: Savvy Show Stoppers (Yep Rock) LP
Tad: God’s Balls (Sub Pop) LP
Tad: Salt Lick (Sub Pop) LP
Tad: 8-Way Santa (Sub Pop) LP
Telefon Tel Aviv: Fahrenheit Fair Enough (Ghostly) LP
Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder) 3LP
Xiu Xiu: Plays Twin Peaks (Polyvinyl) LP
XX: s/t (XL) LP
XX: Co-exist (XL) LP

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