It is indisputable fact, DADS WANT RECORDS FOR FATHERS DAY. So, we’ve got you covered. Loads of great stuff in this week, both new and used. Come dig for dad.
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…..picks of the week…..
Kuniyuki Takahashi: Early Tape Works (1986 -1993) Vol. 2 (Music From Memory) LP
The Japanese producer and DJ Kuniyuki Takahashi is the subject of Music From Memory’s latest retrospective compilation with Early Tape Works (1986-1993). Composed of two volumes, the compilations gather together a selection of tracks from a tiny run of privately released tape only albums, highlighting a fascinating early period in Kuniyuki’s musical output, one of which little is known. After discovering the world of nightclubs in Japan around 1986, and the seemingly boundless freedom expressed there through music as well as art, Kuniyuki became inspired to experiment with electronic music. Excited by the possibilities of new music technology, he would begin to gather together a number of, at that time, reasonably accessible and inexpensive local keyboards, drum computers, and recording equipment. This became for a way for Kuniyuki to explore music not as such made for nightclubs, but certainly inspired by them. Setting up a home studio in his hometown of Saporro, Kuniyuki would record extensively during this period with the equipment he had gathered together, equipment such as Roland’s Juno60, TR-606, TB-303, Casio FZ-1, Korg 770, Boss DE-200, Foster A8, and a Yamaha MT44 track cassette recorder. Driven to develop a musical language derived as much by an exploration of music technology and a desire to create new sounds, Kuniyuki was also looking to evolve the possibilities of what he refers to as a “new Oriental sound”. Early Tape Works )1986-1993) then brings together two albums of material which not only highlights the evolution of Kuniyuki’s own work but also of Japanese electronic music as a whole.
Various: Spider-Jazz (Trunk) LP
If you hadn’t already ordered or confirmed a hold on this we are sold out, but we do have a restock coming real soon. If you want one, let us know ASAP to ensure you get one!
Subtitled: … That We Are Not Allowed To Mention For Legal Reasons. Rare and brilliant music as used in the late 1960s amazing animated series we are not allowed to mention for legal reasons. And the same music was used in all the NFL clip shoes throughout the ’60s and ’70s too. Way back in 1967, an animated superhero cartoon was released into the world. It was created by Grantray-Lawrence Animation and was based on a web-spinning, crime fighting blue-and-red dressed character that had originated in 1962, through Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. This amazing series ran on ABC TV in the USA, then Canada, then a few years, it ran in the UK. The series was notoriously low budget. After Series One the company Grantray-Lawrence went bankrupt, so the amazing spider series was taken on by producer Steve Krantz. He brought in new talent, including animation director Ralph Bakshi who later went on to turn a Robert Crumb strip cartoon into the feature Fritz The Cat (1972). Krantz also slashed the already cripplingly small spider budget and brought in the idea of using economic library music. Here, thanks possibly to an independent sync agent production turned to the KPM catalog. This was one of the few really established library catalogs around at the time with a modern edge; it was full of fabulous, modern dramatic music tracks — often all on the same LP. But more importantly all the tracks were far longer than the one-minute musical cuts that many of the fledgling USA library companies were issuing at the time. Krantz produced two amazing spider series, and both were smothered with KPM music. In fact barely a spider second goes by without music playing in either the background or foreground. For many enthusiasts this really is formative music — a junior foray into hip swinging crime jazz and esoteric musical grooviness. So, what features on this Spider-Jazz LP? Well it’s music from the amazing TV series, but, not music from Series One. No, but it is all from Series Two and Series Three. From looking at archival cue sheets, over 50 tracks from various early KPM 1000 series albums were used across the episodes. It’s all distilled down into one exciting and enthralling LP. Features Syd Dale, Johnny Hawksworth, Bill Martin/Phil Coulter, David Lindup, Johnny Pearson, Keith Mansfield, and Alan Hawkshaw.
File Under: OST, Library
Joshua Abrams: Excavations 1 (Feeding Tube) LP
“The Chicago-based string genius Joshua Abrams first talked to us about the idea of this album a while back. It took a couple of years to get together, but in a way, it’s cool that it’s being released in 2018 — the 50th anniversary of the recording of the first free bass solo LP, Barre Phillips’ Journal Violone. Issued by Opus One in the U.S., Music Man in the UK (as Unaccompanied Barre), and Futura in France (as Basse Barre), Phillips’ groundbreaking album was a gorgeous and gritty exploration of textures that are usually bound deep inside the creative flow of unit improvisation. Hearing these sonorities explored, at length, without extraneous gabble was revelatory, but not easy to replicate. I could only think of a dozen other LPs of the stuff that have been done in the intervening years (CDs don’t count)*. But Abrams is undaunted by such shit. Anyone who has seen him play or listened to him on record knows he has an aggressively wide palette and a fearless drive to explore new regions of sound. The tones on Excavations 1 have a much gnarlier feel than many of the tones Joshua explores inside group dynamics. Almost more like some of the bassists associated with avant garde composition (Bertram Turetzky, Fernando Grillo, etc.), Abrams’ work here is about pushing against accepted precepts of melody and rhythm, freeing the bass from its accepted role, and allowing it to scream for real.” –Byron Coley, 2018 Edition of 500.
File Under: Jazz
Against All Logic: 2012-2017 (Other People) LP
Nicolas Jaar shows he is paying attention to the masses by issuing a widely called for vinyl press of his A.A.L. (Against All Logic) album 2012-2017. Originally issued as a digital-only release back in February of 2018, it’s slowly grown to become one of the most cherished releases in the entire Other People discography. Much like Kerrier District did to disco, A.A.L. (Against All Logic) borrows heavily from the samples and sounds ingrained deep within Jaar’s listening habits and evidently a record collection packed to the brim with classic soul, house, and most importantly, funk hooks. Keenly twisting these sounds and filtering them through a studio set up that’s leaning heavily on the beefed-up kick drums and reverb units to make a well-executed homage to these sounds, pieced together with the inherent idea of making the listener unable to resist the urge to move, be it in a bedroom, basement, or just sat in work staring at a computer screen. A.A.L. (Against All Logic) is both a well-executed homage to all of the above references, yet also just a really strong and enjoyable record from Nicolas Jaar. Its undeniable popularity digitally is sure to see the vinyl evaporate in no time at all.
File Under: Electronic
Ambarchi/Jaeger/Rushford: Face Time (Black Truffle) LP
Face Time is the second release from the trio of Oren Ambarchi, Kassel Jaeger, and James Rushford, following on from their 2016 debut Pale Calling (BT 020LP). Recorded at the GRM studios in Paris in June 2017, the record immediately returns to the idiosyncratic sound-world of the trio’s first release, a simmering stew of electronic smears, pitched-down animal moans, and mysteriously emotive microtonal organ chords. But before long the record takes an unexpected turn, as sounds that initially enter as occasional percussive pitter-patter build to a halting rhythm. Equally reminiscent of Basic Channel-style dub techno and the sound of a microphone loose in a pocket, these stumbling rhythmic figures provide the framework for the remainder of the record’s two sides, occasionally receding into the background to allow squelching electronics, chiming bells, distorted autoharp, inchoate grunts, and the sound of a Cristal Baschet to take center stage, but each time returning with the inevitability of an idée fixe. Eschewing any clear sense of form, the two side-long pieces move seamlessly through episodes with the organic flow of improvisation, embracing the happy accidents of events conjoined by chance and lingering on liminal moments. Gradually washing out into a cavernous roar, the record’s final moments are suddenly enlivened by shimmering metallic percussion and a sequence of woozy synth chords, combining with the muted rhythms and a distant thunderstorm to become a sort of oneiric tribute to the work of Wally Badarou. Bringing together three of contemporary experimental music’s most individual voices, Face Time is an essential slice of outsider electro-acoustics. Cover design by Stephen O’Malley. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Comes on neon orange vinyl.
Baschet/Deneuve: 4 Espaces Sonores (Transversales) LP
Transversales Disques present a reissue of Bernard Baschet and Michel Deneuve’s 4 Espaces Sonores, originally released in 1982. Rare 1979 recording of Bernard Baschet performing on his Sound Sculptures. The Baschet brothers are known worldwide as creators of Sound Sculptures, fantastic shapes of molded metal and glass, which combine the visual arts with music. François Baschet had always been fascinated by acoustics, by the relationships between the shape and material of an instrument and the beauty of its sound. Bernard Baschet was passionately interested in contemporary music and firmly believed that such instruments were the proper tools for modern music, for they offered, to the artist and performer, a personal means of expression denied by electronic devices. Together the brothers began to design and produce Sound Sculptures, which could also be regarded as musical instruments. Circa 1965, Bernard worked alongside Pierre Schaeffer as a member of the GRM (Musical Research Group) on the elaboration of what was to become Schaeffer’s Traité des objets musicaux (“Treatise on Musical Objects”). The Baschet brothers also created structures and instruments of all sizes, including bell towers, windmills, and fountains, using the natural elements of wind and water to make music. Bernard Baschet was especially proud of his pedagogical work amongst deprived and handicapped children, with the instrumentaium made up of fourteen pieces. Double-LP comes in gatefold sleeve.
File Under: Avant Garde
Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar: Ragas Abhogi & Vardhani
(Ideologic Organ) LP
“Around ten years ago, deep into a cozy and hazy night following a concert with my sound brothers Daniel O’Sullivan and Kristoffer Rygg in London (as Æthenor), they graciously introduced me to a recording of rudra veena (a kind of noble deeper bass relative to the sitar, in a way) as performed by dhrupad master Zia Mohiuddin Dagar. Dhrupad, for those who do not know, is a branch of Hindustani classical music said to ‘show the raga in its clearest and purest form’. It’s pacing concentrates heavily on the slow, contemplative alap section and works with specific microtonal gestures and deep characteristics of resonance . . . In early 2015 I was able to make contact with Zia Mohiuddin Dagar’s son Bahauddin and some of his American students/disciples, primarily Jeff Lewis. Over time we developed a friendly and educational exchange, access to a massive archive of recordings and developed these two paired titles for my label . . . I’m proud to be able to reveal these to date unreleased archival recordings of one of the masters of dhrupad, Z. M. Dagar, to the public for the first time. Zia Mohiuddin Dagar was the nineteenth generation in a family tradition known as Dagar gharana, a rich lineage which continued and performed the musical form of dhrupad. Initially, dhrupad was a rigorous, austere, devotional genre that was sung in Hindu temples. But between the 16th and the 18th centuries, it became the preeminent genre in royal courts in North and Central India, and the Dagar gharana developed and continued publicly following the eventual loss of court patronage for dhrupad in the 19th century. The French ethnomusicologist Renaud Brizard covers the story of Zia Mohiuddin Dagar’s life and teaching (a long story also in Seattle, my hometown!), the Dagar family and gharana, the rudra veena and more topics in an extensive set of liner notes in this release. Ragas Abhogi & Vardhaniwere recorded in a private house concert in Seattle at the home of the Benegals in March 1986 (the week before the accompanying release, Raga Yaman, was recorded). The Benegals were friends (and Shantha Benegal was also a student) of Dagarsahib who sometimes hosted Hindustani music concerts in their home. It’s a rare glimpse of a more intimate, personal and perhaps different kind of performance considering the form of dhrupad.” –Stephen O’Malley, March 2018, Paris, France Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.
Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar: Raga Yaman (Ideologic Organ) LP
“Around ten years ago, deep into a cozy and hazy night following a concert with my sound brothers Daniel O’Sullivan and Kristoffer Rygg in London (as Æthenor), they graciously introduced me to a recording of rudra veena (a kind of noble deeper bass relative to the sitar, in a way) as performed by dhrupad master Zia Mohiuddin Dagar. Dhrupad is a branch of Hindustani classical music said to ‘show the raga in its clearest and purest form’. It’s pacing concentrates heavily on the slow, contemplative alap section and works with specific microtonal gestures and deep characteristics of resonance . . . In early 2015 I was able to make contact with Zia Mohiuddin Dagar’s son Bahauddinand some of his American students/disciples, primarily Jeff Lewis. Over time we developed a friendly and educational exchange, access to a massive archive of recordings and developed these two paired titles for my label . . . I’m proud to be able to reveal these to date unreleased archival recordings of one of the masters of dhrupad, Z. M. Dagar, to the public for the first time. Zia Mohiuddin Dagar was the nineteenth generation in a family tradition known as Dagar gharana, a rich lineage which continued and performed the musical form of dhrupad. Initially, dhrupad was a rigorous, austere, devotional genre that was sung in Hindu temples. But between the 16th and the 18th centuries, it became the preeminent genre in royal courts in North and Central India, and the Dagar gharana developed and continued publicly following the eventual loss of court patronage for dhrupad in the 19th century. The French ethnomusicologist Renaud Brizard covers the story of Zia Mohiuddin Dagar’s life and teaching, the Dagar family and gharana, the rudra veena and more topics in an extensive set of liner notes in this release. Raga Yaman was recorded at a public concert in Seattle at the HUB Ballroom at the University of Washington in March 1986 (the week after the accompanying release Ragas Abhogi & Vardhani(SOMA 028CD/LP) was recorded) at the end of his last tour of the United States. Yaman was a special raga for Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, one of his signature raags. For centuries, Yaman has been considered as one of the most fundamental ragas in Hindustani music and is one of the first ragas which is taught to students.” –Stephen O’Malley, March 2018, Paris, France Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.
The Flu: Patsy: A Collection of Absolute Insanity (Artoffact) LP
“Artoffact Records is proud to offer a this reissue of what is the absolute rarest cEvin Key-related album of all time. Between 1986 and 1989, cEvin Key (Skinny Puppy) and the late Alan Nelson (Hilt) spent countless hours recording out of Nelson’s third story apartment in Toronto as The Flu. The music they produced in those sessions is quite remarkable, blending electronics, guitars, live drums, drum machines, live singing by cats, and recordings from tele-personals, all with Al’s inimitable lyrics and vocals.”
Emmylou Harris: Ballad of Sally Rose (Rhino) LP
One of the singer’s most personal albums, Emmylou Harris once called her concept album, The Ballad Of Sally Rose a country opera. Released in 1985, the song cycle is loosely based on her short time with influential singer-songwriter Gram Parsons, who died in 1973. Known more for singing songs written by others, this was Harris’ first self-composed album and it remains one of her favorites. Rhino/Warner Bros. revisit this underrated gem with a 2LP Expanded Edition that features a newly remastered version of the original album along with unreleased demos for most songs on the album. For years, Harris used the name Sally Rose as an alias on tour. So when she started writing songs about a singer whose lover and mentor – a hard-living, hard-drinking musician – is killed while on the road, the name Sally Rose was a natural fit. Harris says the idea for the album had been brewing for years, but she needed time away from the road to write. “That happened in 1982, when, after hearing and being stunned by Bruce Springsteen’s masterpiece, Nebraska, I realized it was time to leave my comfort zone as interpreter, and follow Sally’s muse into the unknown territory of full-time songwriter.” Highlights from The Ballad of Sally Rose include the singles “White Line” – which reached No. 14 on the country charts – and “Rhythm Guitar” with Waylon Jennings on lead guitar. In addition, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt sing harmony throughout the album. Two years later, the friends and frequent collaborators would release their first album together, Trio, which sold more than four million copies and won two Grammy Awards. The Expanded Edition’s bonus LP introduces unreleased demo recordings for 10 tracks. Most feature Harris accompanying herself on acoustic guitar giving these versions a stripped-back intimacy. In the liner notes, Grammy-winning music writer Colin Escott says the demos are the Nebraska edition of Sally Rose. “Stark and haunting. Vulnerability and resilience, always her hallmarks, were never closer to the surface.”
File Under: Folk, Country
Jenny Hval: The Long Sleep (Sacred Bones) LP
The follow-up to Jenny Hval’s acclaimed 2016 album Blood Bitch is The Long Sleep, an adventurous new EP that sees the Norwegian multidisciplinary artist embracing an instinctive, even subconscious, approach to creating meaning. In contrast to Hval’s more explicitly conceptual work, The Long Sleep foregrounds the act of composition itself, letting the melodies and structures reveal the other elements of the songs. All of the songs on the EP recycle the same compositional motives, but manipulate them into very different shapes that take them further and further out of their original, “life-like” context. Hval recorded The Long Sleep with longtime collaborator Havard Volden and producer Lasse Marhaug, along with an ace new supporting cast of talented players from the jazz world – Kyrre Laastad on percussion, Anja Lauvdal on piano, Espen Reinertsen on saxophone, and Eivind Lonning on trumpet. Hval calls them some of her favorite contemporary musicians, and their musical background helps to give the songs on The Long Sleep their intuitive, improvised feel.
File Under: Indie Rock, Experimental
Long Branch: Found the Setting Sun (DWR) LP
“Members of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, the Good Family and Adaptor 45 Announce Debut Album as Long Branch” “The band brings together a number of music vets, including Lisa Myers and Laura Pitkanen of Adaptor 45, D’Arcy Good of the Good Family, Don Pyle of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, and Sally Lee of Venus Cures All (and Myers’ all-girl punk group Chicken Milk). After crossing paths at various times and places over the decades — from seeing each other play to rallying together to fight “evil” landlords in Parkdale — the group are finally set to unveil their first full-length. ” – Exclaim!
File Under: Alt-Country, Shadowy Men
Leon Lowman: Liquid Diamonds (Music From Memory) LP
2018 repress. Following on from co-compiling one of 2012’s best-received compilations Into the Light: A Journey into Greek Electronic Music, new Amsterdam-based record label Music From Memory sets sail with a compilation of lo-fi beach funk and lazy synth jams from the Rhode Island keyboardist and ocean-loving Leon Lowman. As well as a devoted painter and East Coast surfer, the synthesizer-loving Lowman privately released two albums Syntheseas (1980) and its follow-up cassette-only Sound Horizon (1982). Something of a homage to his love of the local seashore and the women he was trying to woo there, the albums also express Leon’s pure love of the sound of the synthesizer and reflect his unique melodic wanderings. With Leon’s albums meeting little commercial success at the time of their release, both albums have in recent years become highly sought-after. Along with previously-unreleased material from the time, Liquid Diamonds highlights Leon Lowman’s unique blend of lo-fi synth-funk and surf ambience.
Piero Piccioni: Al Cinema Con Piero Piccioni (Sonor) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Piero Piccioni’s Al Cinema Con Piero Piccioni, originally released in 1968. Originally composed of two volumes and released on the famed RCA SP series in 1968, compiled with a curated selection of the best tracks and presented with renewed striking artwork. Two absolutely cult and impossible to find albums of Italian discography released in a unique LP edition and carefully remastered by from the original RCA master tapes. Includes original soundtrack of the films Il Terrorista (1963), Le Mani Sulla Città (1963), Nude, Calde E Pure (1965), La Donna E’ Una Cosa Meravigliosa (1964), Chi Lavora E’ Perduto (Tinto Brass) (1963), with the huge jazz imprint of maestro Piccioni. 180 gram vinyl. Heavy cardboard sleeve, like the originals; Limited to 300.
File Under: Library
Protomartyr: Consolation (Domino) LP
Protomartyr follow-up their critically acclaimed Domino debut, Relatives In Descent (2017) with the Consolation EP, a 4-track collection of new material recorded in collaboration with Kelley Deal (The Breeders) and Mike Montgomery (R. Ring, Ampline). Captured at Montgomery’s own studio, Candyland, the EP encapsulates the breadth of mood and stylistic variety of a full-length Protomartyr album – from the short sharp shock of the opener “Wait,” through the mutant pop of “Same Face In A Different Mirror,” the epic “Wheel of Fortune,” to the beautiful closer “You Always Win.” Add to this Montgomery’ss recording skills, Deal’s unparalleled vocals, and the arrangements that see the inclusion of Jocelyn Hatch (viola), Evan Ziporyn (bass clarinet), and Lori Goldston (cello), and the EP becomes a truly unique prospect in Protomartyr’s discography.
File Under: Punk
Enzo Scoppa & Cicci Santucci: Mirage (Sonor) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Enzo Scoppa and Cicci Santucci’s Mirage, originally released in 1971. Absolute mythical Italian library LP out of the New Tape micro-label vaults. Mirage is an album signed by SCOEN, aka Enzo Scoppa, and actually composed and arranged by Francesco Cicci Santucci, originally released in 1971 in an edition of 100 copies only. Dreamy collectors’ item and super obscure gem, this outstanding LP is another must-have jewel from the unlimited Italian music library production of the ’70s and easily one of the top of this game. What we have is mental jazz-funk beats with fat basslines and killer drum breaks, bewitching exotica groove, and dope lounge moods, all driven by a solid groovy key for the whole album. Another monster Italian library is just filed. Edition of 500.
File Under: Library
William Selman: Musica Enterrada (Mysteries of the Deep) LP
What if music had no beginning, no end? Can music exist “for itself” or “of itself”, without structure constraining it, defining it? Can music be non-linear, non-narrative, simply experiential, existential? The second full-length album on Mysteries Of The Deep, Musica Enterrada from Portland’s William Selman, neither answers these questions nor supposes them. But in listening, one can’t help but wonder: What if I disappeared into this record forever? In another time and place, William Selman was known as Warmdesk, an alias through which he issued a series of sharply precise minimal techno records. In recent past, Selman shifted gears, shedding the dynamics of tension and release that characterized his previous alias’s output. Under his own name, Selman began releasing process-oriented, freeform experimental music on cassette-focused outlets like Digitalis and Hausu Mountain. Now comes Musica Enterrada, a diaphanous, weightless musical vision not unlike the theoretical square root of GRM and Popol Vuh’s early electronic forays. Split into six tracks across two sides of vinyl, Musica Enterrada bubbles, churns, drifts, and dozes. Dulcet tones pile up gently like waves on shore. Patterns repeat and reconfigure, as if heard from different angles. Rhythms appear, shift the frame, then disappear, into the ether whence they came. Play Musica Enterrada on repeat. And if you disappear into it, fret not — you have drifted into solace. Full color jacket — deluxe printed sleeve; 140 gram vinyl; Includes download code.
Snail Mail: Lush (Rough Trade) LP
Lindsey Jordan is on the brink of something huge, and she’s only just graduated high school. Her voice rises and falls with electricity throughout Lush, her debut album as Snail Mail, spinning with bold excitement and new beginnings at every turn. Recorded with producer Jake Aron and engineer Johnny Schenke, with contributions from touring bandmates drummer Ray Brown and bassist Alex Bass as well, Lush sounds cinematic, yet still perfectly homemade. “Is there any better feeling than coming clean?” sings the 18-year-old guitarist and songwriter halfway through the sprawling anthem that is “Pristine,” the album’s first single. You can’t help but agree with her. It’s a hook that immediately sticks in your head – and a question she seems to be grappling with throughout the record’s 10-songs of crystalline guitar pop. Jordan’s clear and powerful voice, acute sense of pacing, and razor-sharp writing cut through the chaos and messiness of growing up: the passing trends, the awkward house parties, the sick-to-your-stomach crushes and the heart wrenching breakups. Jordan’s most masterful skill is in crafting tension, working with muted melodrama that builds and never quite breaks, stretching out over moody rockers and soft-burning hooks, making for visceral slow-releases that stick under the skin.
File Under: Indie Rock
The Thing: Again (The Thing) LP
The Thing, recorded July 2nd and 3rd, 2017. Personnel: Mats Gustafsson – tenor and baritone saxophone; Ingebrigt Håker Flaten – electric and double bass; Paal Nilssen-Love – drums, percussion. Recorded July 2nd and 3rd, 2017 by Øyvind Gundersen at Studio Paradiso, Oslo. Mixed October 2017, by Andreas Werliin at Repeat Until Death, Stockholm. Mastered by Lupo at Calyx mastering, Berlin. Liner notes by Brian Morton.
Piero Umiliani: Al Cinema Con Piero Umiliani (Sonor) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Piero Umiliani’s Al Cinema Con Piero Umiliani, originally released in 1969. One of the true rarities of Italian discography out there and an absolute grail of Italian film music. Originally released in 1968 on the legendary RCA Italiana SP 8000 series (promo-only) in an edition of 100 copies, here’s an impossible jewel by maestro Piero Umiliani that contains various themes from original scores of the ’60s: Il Comandante (1963), Extraconiugale (1964), Tutto Il Bello Dell’uomo (1963), La Bella Di Lodi (1963), Controsesso (1964), La Celestina P… R… (1965). Carefully remastered from the original RCA master tapes. 180 gram vinyl; Heavy cardboard sleeve like the originals; Limited edition of 300.
File Under: Library
Kamaal Williams: The Return (Black Focus) LP
Whether re-defining experimental fusion sounds with the hugely acclaimed Yussef Kamaal, or his catalog of 12″s for imprints such as MCDE, Eglo, and Rhythm Section as Henry Wu, South London’s Kamaal Williams has been a key figure in his thriving international scene for the past few years. The Return is a natural evolution from the Yussef Kamaal project, mining the influence of visionary jazz but blended with all kinds of texture, sounds and signals from the over-saturated London streets. At times the keyboard work evokes the classic ’70s fusion work of Lonnie Liston Smith or Roy Ayers, but underpinned by rhythms more reminiscent of blunted hip-hop and arrangements subliminally laced with the cut-ups of pirate radio. Progressive, funky, cosmic, exploratory and effortlessly musical, this is the sound of a musician honing his craft into thrilling new shapes. In the US the like of Kamasi Washington and Thundercat have made great strides in opening a whole new dialogue between jazz and hip-hop, drawing in a young, highly engaged new audience in the process. Kamaal Williams mines a similar seam on the other side of the Atlantic alongside other exciting London talents such as Ezra Collective, Ruby Rushton and Shabaka Hutchings. The Return is exactly that: a return and refinement to the sound Yussef Kamaal were progenitors of, and first set the scene for one of the most exciting musical movements London has had in years. Notable tracks for old and new listeners are “Slow,” “Situations,” “Medina,” “London Shuffle” which features Mansur Brown (of Mansur’s Message) and for those die hard Yussef Kamaal fans – they should hear the interpolated roots of “Strings of Light” in the title track “The Return.” And that signature Wu funk can be heard on “Broken Theme” and “High Roller.”
Various: African Scream Contest 2 (Analog Africa) LP
Who knew that some of the most exciting Afro-funk records of all time were actually made in the small West African country of Benin? Once Analog Africa released the first African Scream Contest in 2008, the proof was there for all to hear; gut-busting yelps, lethally well-drilled horn sections and irresistibly insistent rhythms added up to a record that took you into its own space. Ten years on, intrepid crate-digger Samy Ben Redjeb unveils a new treasure trove of Vodoun-inspired Afrobeat heavy funk crossover greatness. Right from the laceratingly raw guitar fanfare which kicks off Les Sympathics de Porto Novo’s pile-driving opener, it’s clear that African Scream Contest 2is every bit as joyous a voyage of discovery as its predecessor. Ignace De Souza & The Melody Aces’ “Asaw Fofor” would’ve been a killer instrumental but once you’ve factored in the improbably-rich-to-the-point-of-being-Nat-King-Cole-influenced lead vocal, it’s a total revelation. The screaming does not stop there, in fact it’s only just beginning. Already familiar to fans of the first African Scream Contest as a mainstay of ruthlessly disciplined military band Les Volcans de la Capitale, Lokonon André vanished in a cloud of dust at Ben Redjeb’s behest with a list of names and some petrol money, only to return a few days later having miraculously tracked down every single name he’d been given. The source of this Afrobeat bounty-hunter’s impressive people-finding skills — his training with the KGB — highlights the tension between encroaching authoritarian politics and fearless expressions of personal creative freedom which is the back-story of so much great African music of the ’60s and ’70s. Happily, in this instance, Lokonon was tracking the artists down to offer them licensing deals, rather than to arrest them. Samy Ben Redjeb’s determination to track this amazing music to its human sources pays huge karmic dividends. Features Stanislas Tohon, Elias Akadiri & Sunny Black´s Band, Picoby Band D´Abomey, Antoine Dougbé, Orch. Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, Black Santiago, Lokonon André et Les Volcans, Sebastien Pynasco and L´Orchestre Black Santiago, Super Borgou de Parakou, Cornaire Salifou Michel et L´Orchestre El Rego & ses Commandos, Gnonnas Pedro and His Dadjes Band, and Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou. African Scream Contest 2 includes meticulously researched text and effortlessly fashion-forward photography, supplied by the artists themselves.
Various: Boombox 3 (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records’ new Boombox 3 compilation continues their story of the first rap records to be pressed to vinyl. It’s a jam-packed collection of original independent old school hip hop, created with just one thing in mind – to get this party jumping. After the explosion of hip hop in the parks and clubs of The Bronx in the mid-70s, it was in Harlem where the first rap records emerged at the end of ’79 – an avalanche of superb rap tracks released on small independent labels all trying to capitalize on the success of “Rapper’s Delight.” Like hip-hop culture itself, these first rap singles are the product of their own unique set of aesthetics – exciting and innovative rap performed with Bronx block party B-Boy funk breaks, disco jams and Jamaican sound system culture. The extensive sleevenotes discuss hip hop’s trajectory from the first wave of Bronx creativity – the legendary DJs Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa – through to its arrival in Harlem via the entrepreneurism of old-school African-American rhythm and blues producers and émigré Jamaican producers all living in New York. Along the way the notes discuss everything from the New York power blackout of 1977, the Italian mafia involvement in the music industry, the links between rap and Jamaican dancehall and more besides. Boombox 3 features a line-up of stunning, near unknown New York rap artists, classic disco breaks (including Chic’s omnipotent “Good Times,” MFSB’s “Love Is The Message,” Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust”), proto-electro and more. And by the early-80s the first rap records outside New York began to emerge – L.A., Houston, Milwaukee, Phoenix – and the first of these are also featured here in this new collection. Heavyweight triple vinyl with download code and full notes.
File Under: Hip Hop, Electro
Various: Welcome to Paradise (Italian Dream House 90-94) Vol. III (Safe Trip) LP
Safe Trip is taking one final deep dive into the warm waters of Italian dream house with Welcome To Paradise Volume III, the concluding chapter in the label’s journey through the previously overlooked world of one of dance music’s most vibrant and influential underground movements. While the influence of dream house continues to echo through the ages, the style was at its peak between 1989 and 1994, when producers across Italy delivered a high volume of loved-up, wavy, and occasionally blissful productions that fused contemporary deep house tropes — most notably from Chicago, New York, and New Jersey — with elements borrowed from ambient, jazz, and Balearica. It’s this six-year period that provides the focus for Welcome To Paradise Volume III, which draws together a spine-tingling mixture of sought-after classics, unheralded gems, and little-known delights from the original Italian dream house movement. Thrillingly, Welcome To Paradise Volume III co-curator Young Marco has managed to source two previously unreleased tracks during the dream house period: the gently unfurling, sunrise-friendly bliss of Jacy’s “Resounding Seashell” and a special “Longer Edit” of Neurostate’s brilliant “Dance To The House”, a track that — somewhat surprisingly — has never previously been issued on vinyl before. Elsewhere, there are plenty of treats to set the pulse racing, from the must-have deep house brilliance of Leo Anibaldi’s “Universal” — a rare foray into dream house territory from the Italian techno pioneer — and the Afro-bleep-goes-dream-house trip of Golem’s “Sun City”, to the cowbell-driven, New Jersey garage-influenced warmth of Deep Choice’s “Children Trip” and Cosmic Galaxy’s “Walkin’ On The Moon”, a Detroit techno-influenced outing with a deliciously saucer-eyed, extended ambient intro. You’ll also struggle to find a more inspired house record than Green Baize’s “Tramp Heart”, which mixes familiar dream house elements with spacey electronics and tribal chants that recall Italy’s early ’80s Afro-cosmic scene. It all adds up to another essential selection of rich, glassy-eyed dream house treats tailor-made for sound-tracking drawn-out Adriatic sunsets, Mediterranean sunrises, and loved-up parties the world over. Also features Optik, Deep Blue, Lonely Dance, and Don Carlos.
File Under: Italo, House
Various: Yoruba! (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records’ latest collection Yoruba! Songs and Rhythms for the Yoruba Gods in Nigeria was newly recorded in Lagos, Nigeria. The album was co-produced by Laolu Akins, founding member of the legendary 1970s Nigerian Afro-Funk/Rock group Blo, and label head Stuart Baker. The 2LP-set features songs honoring the Nigerian gods of the Yoruba traditional religion – Yemoja, Obatala, Ogun, Sango and others – as well as a selection of instrumental cuts focusing on the Bata and Dundun drums. It comes complete with extensive text and photography showing the influence of Yoruba culture throughout the world and the social and historical context for the music contained here. The enormous impact of Yoruba and West African music and culture is worldwide – from the first Afro-centric explorations of African-American jazz musicians in the 1950s such as Art Blakey, Randy Weston and Dizzy Gillespie, the explosion of Nu Yorican Latin music in New York City starting in the 1960s – Mambo, Boogaloo, Latin funk and soul – through to the sacred and powerful Afro-derived music of the religions of Santería in Cuba, Candomblé in Brazil and Voodoo in Haiti, which all came in to existence on account the Atlantic slave trade which began over 400 years ago. On a wider scale West African music remains the primary root of all African-American musical forms – from New Orleans jazz to Bronx rap, gospel, soul and more. Yoruba! features an array of local master drummers led by Olatunji Samson Sotimirin and singers (featuring the lead vocals of Janet Olufanmilayo Abe) performing heavyweight Afro-rhythms, with talking drums, Bata and Dundun drums and a mass of percussion in these deep spiritual and sacred songs used to honor and worship the traditional and ancient Yoruba gods in Nigeria, West Africa.
File Under: Africa, Percussion
Air: Moon Safari (Parlophone) LP
Bad Religion: No Substance (Epitaph) LP
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust (RCA) LP
Breeders: Title TK (4AD) LP
Tim Buckley: Hello & Goodbye (Rhino) LP
Che’-SHIZU: A Journey (Black Editions) LP
Cinematic Orchestra: Every Day (Ninja Tune) LP
Ornette Coleman: The Atlantic Years (Rhino) LP
Dead Moon: Strange Pray Tell (Mississippi) LP
Julie Doiron: Desormais/Heart & Crime (Jagjaguwar) LP
Brian Eno & Jon Hassell: Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Musics (Glitterbeat) LP
Fleetwood Mac: Rumors (Rhino) LP
Hot Snakes: Automatic Midnight (Sub Pop) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Rhino) LP
Madvillian: Madvilliany (Stones Throw) LP
Merzbow: Noisembryo (Hospital) LP
Metallica: Garage Days (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Ride the Lightning (Blackened) LP
Roberto Musci/Giovanni Venosta: Water Messages on Desert Sand (RER) LP
Parker/Bailey/Bennink: Topography of the Lungs (Otoruko) LP
Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians (Nonesuch) LP
Klaus Schulz: Cyborg (Brain) LP
Sisters of Mercy: Vision Thing (Warner) LP
Sisters of Mercy: Floodland (Warner) LP
Sisters of Mercy: First and Last and Always (Warner) LP
Smog: Dongs of Sevotion (Drag City) LP
T. Rex: Electric Warrior (Rhino) LP
Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch) LP
Zazou/Bikaye/CY1: Blanc et Noir (Crammed) LP
Various: Shaolin Soul 1 (Because) LP
Various: Shaolin Soul 2 (Because) LP
Various: Shaolin Soul 3 (Because) LP