…..news letter #958 – heat…..

The long awaited El Michels Affair has finally arrived and is FLYING out the door. A new Numero comp is always a good time too. And as usual the used action on our site is out of a blast. 

Some scheduling notes… We will be closed Aug 3rd for the long weekend. Might be closed on the 10th as well, jury is still out on that one. 

Lastly, as you probably know, the first RSD Drop is coming up on Aug 29th. We are debating HOW this will work. RSD draws a pretty big crowd, which we are not looking for these days. We’ll keep you posted.

Still closed. It seems our customers are pretty happy with this decision. We seem to be getting busier and busier with new customers ordering through the website every day. If you haven’t yet ordered through the site, you should check it out! Loads of new and used stuff going up every day. 

As always, big thanks to everyone who’s been hitting up our webstore and placing orders! It’s getting competitive around 5pm when we post up fresh used stock. If you haven’t hit up the WEBSTORE, MAYBE YOU SHOULD! If you can’t figure out the site, or don’t like to use computers, you can always call the store and we can do an order over the phone. I’ll be at the shop 11-4 week days. Stay safe!

Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.


…..picks of the week…..

El Michel’s Affair: Adult Themes (Big Crown) LP
Big Crown presents Adult Themes, the latest full length offering from El Michels Affair. This album takes the band’s “Cinematic Soul” aesthetic literally and sends the listener on a journey through a whirlwind of moods and energies. With their 2005 debut Sounding Out The City, EMA spearheaded an instrumental funk/soul movement that inspired a slew of bands and even lead to the creation of a few independent record labels. El Michels has since lent his signature sound to artists from Adele to Dr. John, Lana Del Rey to Aloe Blacc, and a who’s who list of others. In 2016 he co-founded Big Crown and has since produced the lion’s share of its output. A short stint as the touring band for Wu Tang Clan in 2007 led to the cult classics Enter The 37th Chamber (2009) and Return To The 37th Chamber (2017). Adult Themes marks the long awaited, highly anticipated return to an album of original compositions from El Michels Affair. In 2017 in between producing, playing, and recording on other artists’ records Leon Michels began creating compilations of short interludes intended to be sampled by hip hop producers. Some of these wound up becoming songs by Jay Z & Beyonce, Travis Scott, and Don Toliver. These minute-long snippets were inspired by the dense moody work of ‘60s composers like David Axelrod, and Francois de Roubaix, as well as Moondog’s brand of classical jazz. Michels was having so much fun creating these instrumental / orchestral nuggets that he decided to expand on some of the ideas and create what would become the soundtrack for a movie that has yet to be made, an imaginary film entitled “Adult Themes.” The album plays like the colors on an artists pallet. Songs like “Rubix” and “Villa” are densely orchestrated with the hard-hitting drums that El Michels Affair is known for. On “Life of Pablo,” Leon’s son makes his first appearance on record and intros a song with an epic arrangement and a moving mood. “Hipps” is a drum heavy ballad that could’ve easily fit on Sounding Out the City. Other compositions like “The Difference” and “Kill The Lights” are bare, melodic mood pieces with sparse drums and sophisticated chord movement. All of these tunes come together to make perfect backgrounds for dialogue and action. One of the beautiful things about instrumental music is that the listener can decide what the narrative is. With Adult Themes El Michels Affair has created a “choose your own adventure” in musical form.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Various: Nu Leaf (Numero) LP
As the rift between academic jazz, new age, and pop narrowed in the 1980s, DI.Y. practitioners of metronome driven riffs found new growth in a burgeoning managerial middle class, a commercial audience held captive in dentist offices and waiting rooms across America. Session players took to midi-banks stocked with every instrument imaginable and delivered on a road rage-induced demand to stay cool, relaxed, and focused all at once. The extra-wide cuts packaged here will be mint for years to come. Go ahead, break the seal on a fresh pack of Nuleafs. There’s only one sensation this smooth.

File Under: Jazz, Smooth Jazz
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…..new arrivals…..

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: Just Coolin’ (Blue Note) LP
A never-before-released studio date by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s Hackensack, New Jersey studio on March 8, 1959, and featuring the legendary drummer – whose centennial was celebrated in 2019 – along with trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, pianist Bobby Timmons, and bassist Jymie Merritt. The six-song set includes two previously unissued compositions: “Quick Trick” and “Jimerick.” Blue Note presents the essential collection on all-analog 180g vinyl LP mastered by Kevin Gray. The session for Just Coolin’ finds The Jazz Messengers’ saxophone chair in transition. The band had last recorded in October 1958 when they cemented their place in jazz history with the classic album Moanin’ featuring Benny Golson on tenor saxophone. By July 1959, Blakey had recruited tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter who would remain a fixture of the band until 1964. The interim saw the return of Mobley, who was a charter member of The Jazz Messengers when the band first formed in 1954 and appeared on their debut recording The Jazz Messengers At The Café Bohemia in 1955. Mobley also filled an important role as the band’s resident composer. In fact, three of the six tracks on Just Coolin’ were written by Mobley: “Hipsippy Blues,” “M&M,” and “Just Coolin’.” However, five weeks after the studio session Blue Note founder and producer Alfred Lion decided to record the band again at the legendary club Birdland in New York City on April 15, 1959, capturing an assured live recording that included four of the six titles that had been recorded in March. The Birdland sessions ended up superseding the studio date when Lion instead released the two-volume live album Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers At The Jazz Corner Of The World later that year. “In 2020, it’s great to find more Morgan, Mobley and Timmons in their prime,” writes Bob Blumenthal in the liner notes for Just Coolin’. “The music had clearly settled in during the month that separated studio and live versions, but the fire of these six tracks has an appeal of its own.” Now, 61 years later jazz fans all over the world will have the chance to listen for themselves!

File Under: Jazz
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Bloc Party: Silent Alarm (Universal) LP
Silent Alarm is the debut studio album by Bloc Party. Recorded in Copenhagen and London in mid-2004 with producer Paul Epworth, it was originally released in February 2005 on Wichita Recordings. There are thirteen tracks here spread over 50 minutes, but not once does the quality or pace dip below thrilling. Every track is bursting with ideas and inspired moments. Unlike so many of their Gang of Four-worshipping peers, Bloc Party are that rare band that can actually transcend their influences and press clippings, crushing the fervor surrounding their arrival in a hail of splintered guitars and sumptuous despondency.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Bob Dylan: Rough & Rowdy Ways (Columbia) LP
Internationally acclaimed and the highest-charting global success of Bob Dylan’s unparalleled career, Rough and Rowdy Ways is the singer-songwriter’s first album of original material in eight years and first since becoming the only songwriter to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 2016. Its 10 tracks include the three new songs released in the spring of 2020: the album’s lead-off track, “I Contain Multitudes,” the nearly 17-minute epic “Murder Most Foul” and “False Prophet.” “Murder Most Foul” became Dylan’s first and only No. 1 Billboard chart hit. Dylan is joined on the widely acclaimed recording by Charlie Sexton (guitar), Bob Britt (guitar), Donnie Herron (steel guitar, violin & accordian), Tony Garner (bass) and Matt Chamberlain (drums).

File Under: Folk, Country
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Evening Hymns: Heavy Nights (Shuffling Feet) LP
Evening Hymns is the ever-evolving musical project of Jonas Bonnetta, a musician/artist/potter who lives in rural Eastern Ontario. Heavy Nights is the fourth long-playing record he has released and represents a dynamic shift in songwriting and arrangement, with wandering sax, sweeping strings, and a deep late-night feel all anchored around the Rhodes piano. His songs continue to explore grief, love, and introspection through the pop form.

File Under: Indie Rock
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PJ Harvey: Dry Demos (Island) LP
Critically lauded both on release in March of 1992 and retrospectively, PJ Harvey’s seminal debut album Dry was recorded at The Ice House in Yeovil and features the singles “Dress” and “Sheela-Na-Gig.” Dry saw Harvey burst onto the global stage to begin her unique path. The Los Angeles Times’ Robert Hilburn described the record as “… a seductive calling card that signals the arrival of an extraordinary new artist.” NME wrote, “Polly dredges these sounds from the pit of her dissected soul and drags them out of her mouth with clenched fists,” while Pitchfork said, “On her debut, Polly Jean Harvey matched Patti Smith’s incandescence with Bessie Smith’s lasciviousness, outplayed everyone on the British indie circuit, and became an instant star.” Released in correlation with a new 2020 reissue of Dry is this 11 track collection of album demos, available for the first time since 1992, and previously unreleased as a standalone album. Features brand new artwork with previously unseen photos by Maria Mochnacz.

File Under: Indie Rock
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PJ Harvey: Dry (Island) LP
Critically lauded both on release in March of 1992 and retrospectively, PJ Harvey’s seminal debut album Dry was recorded at The Ice House in Yeovil and features the singles “Dress” and “Sheela-Na-Gig.” Dry saw Harvey burst onto the global stage to begin her unique path. The Los Angeles Times’ Robert Hilburn described the record as “… a seductive calling card that signals the arrival of an extraordinary new artist.” NME wrote, “Polly dredges these sounds from the pit of her dissected soul and drags them out of her mouth with clenched fists,” while Pitchfork said, “On her debut, Polly Jean Harvey matched Patti Smith’s incandescence with Bessie Smith’s lasciviousness, outplayed everyone on the British indie circuit, and became an instant star.” Released in correlation with a new 2020 reissue of Dry is this 11 track collection of album demos, available for the first time since 1992, and previously unreleased as a standalone album. Features brand new artwork with previously unseen photos by Maria Mochnacz.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Joe Henderson & Alice Coltrane: Elements (Fantasy) LP
The 1970s were a decade of discovery for Joe Henderson, a time to set aside the post-bop instrumentations and repertoire he was identified with and branch out into other realms. One of the most successful and challenging of these efforts that the Milestone label documented was the present four-part improvisation on the basic themes of “Fire,” “Air,” “Water,” and “Earth.” Assisting the tenor saxophonist was a group of sympathetic explorers – Alice Coltrane on piano and harp, violin original Michael White, bass giant Charlie Haden, and the multi-talented percussionist Kenneth Nash. Latin American, Indian, and Native American strains enter the mix as Henderson applies the heat and mercurial invention of his more conventional work to these open-ended settings. While the magic is enhanced with overdubbing in spots, the true magic of The Elements emanates from the musicians’ collective genius at listening and responding to each other. 180-gram vinyl pressed at QRP from lacquers cut by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and housed in a single-pocket old-school style tip-on jacket.

File Under: Jazz
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Fela Kuti & Roy Ayers: Music of Many Colours (Knitting Factory) LP
Music of Many Colours is a joint album between Roy Ayers and Fela Kuti, recorded after a three week tour of Nigeria’s major cities in 1979, during which Ayers performed as the opening act for Fela’s band. The two artists decided to record the album as a round-up to the tour. Ayers describes the experience saying, “I met Fela Kuti in Nigeria in 1979, and we fell into a great relationship, good personal and music vibes, and we recorded that album together. Fela also came to USA in the eighties and we performed at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. Amazingly energetic, Fela Kuti had a very original concept that was called Afro Beat – a genre with a very unique identity and exceptional music. One of Fela Kuti’s most impressive qualities was that he was undeniably a brilliant show man, as a musician and as a huge dancer as well. His African concept was truly original…The tour was about two black men together coming together, one from Africa and other from USA, a very exciting collaboration.”

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
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Jessy Lanza: All the Time (Hyperdub) LP
All The Time, Jessy Lanza’s first album since 2016’s Oh No, is the most pure set of pop songs that she and creative partner Jeremy Greenspan have recorded, reflective and finessed over time and distance. Innovative juxtapositions sound natural, like rigid 808s rubbing against delicate chords in “Anyone Around,” subtle footwork flutter giving a nervous energy to “Face,” unusual underwater rushes underpinning “Baby Love.” The songs also sound more ‘live’ than ever before. Jessy’s voice is treated, re-pitched and edited on songs like “Ice Creamy” and gestural sounds seem to respond to her lyrics in songs such as “Like Fire,” which reward the listener on repeated plays. More than previous albums, the lyrics on All The Time became an important focus for Jessy too, channeling the negativity of anger and frustration arising from some significant changes in her personal situation into the text. These lyrics sometimes process raw feelings, which aren’t obvious to begin with, but are soon felt, standing in stark contrast to the cushioned settings of the music. All The Time has ended as a triumph and an abstracted diary of a sometimes difficult, but enduring friendship and creative relationship, and it’s their best work yet.

File Under: Electronic
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Man Man: Dream Hunting in the Valley In-Between (Sub Pop) LP
Honus Honus (aka Ryan Kattner) has devoted his career to exploring the uncertainty between life’s extremes: beauty and ugliness, order and chaos. The songs on Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between, Man Man’s first album in over six years and his Sub Pop debut, are as intimate, soulful, and timeless as they are audaciously inventive and daring. The 17-track effort, featuring “Cloud Nein,” “Future Peg,” “On the Mend” “Sheela,” and “Animal Attraction,” was produced by Cyrus Ghahremani, mixed by S. Husky Höskulds (Norah Jones, Tom Waits, Mike Patton, Solomon Burke, Bettye LaVette, Allen Toussaint), and mastered by Dave Cooley (Blood Orange, M83, DIIV, Paramore, Snail Mail, clipping). Dream Hunting… also includes guest vocals from Steady Holiday’s Dre Babinski on “Future Peg” and “If Only,” and Rebecca Black (singer of the viral pop hit, “Friday”) on “On The Mend” and “Lonely Beuys.” The album follows the release of “Beached” and “Witch,” Man Man’s contributions to Vol. 4 of the Sub Pop Singles Club in 2019.

 File Under: Indie Rock
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Thurston Moore: Trees Outside the Academy (Dreamday Library Series) LP
Originally released in 2007, “Trees Outside The Academy” was Thurston Moore’s first solo outing since 1995’s “Psychic Hearts”. Thurston recorded primarily on acoustic guitar and bass, laying down the core of the tunes with drummer compatriot Steve Shelly and violinist Samara Lubelski, a noted player from MV/EE and The Golden Road, Hall of Fame and other awesome gatherings as well as solo artiste. Thurston grabbed John Agnello to record and mix the sucker after having a helluva good time with the bro from working on Sonic Youth’s 2006 album “Rather Ripped”. They decided to work in J Mascis’ Bisquiteen studio, which worked out very nicely as it allowed Thurston to yell down the stairs every time he needed a shredding guitar solo and J would trundle up, plug in and BURN. Other guests are Christina Carter, she of Charalambides, and she of the most beatific, beautific voice on land, sea and air. The otherworldly Canadian musician Andrew MacGregor aka “Gown” plays some spectacularly understated and incredible guitar and Sunburned Hand of The Man’s John Moloney takes over the drum stool to absolutely flail on the pit snarling “Wonderful Witches”. And then there’s the 20 seconds or so of primal noise wave courtesy of American noise underground genius Leslie Keffer on Off Work.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Oranssi Pazuzu: Mestarin Kynsi (Metal Blade) LP
Uncovering the intensity and the metal inherent in non-metal, the avant-garde and anti-traditionalist inclinations of Finland’s Oranssi Pazuzu have always had transcendental goals at heart. Through the rabbit hole and out the other side to 2020 with the release of their fifth album Mestarin Kynsi (“The Master’s Claw”). Inking a deal with German-based industry giants Nuclear Blast, Oranssi Pazuzu subvert the idea of world domination to open a conceptual discourse on indoctrination and propaganda itself. Their psychological nightmare evolves a philosophical and earnest tone, where occult future meets troubled reality. On Mestarin Kynsi the doors of perception are not only evoked but off their hinges. Working again with their co-producer Julius Mauranen, who also helped craft their acclaimed 2018 Roadburn Festival commissioned, Waste of Space Orchestra collaboration live show/album Syntheosis, in their home-city of Tampere, Finland, the familiarity served a greater purpose towards the evolution of the album. As singer/guitarist Jun-His puts it, “there is a city heart pumping on this album somewhere.”

File Under: Metal
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Psychedelic Furs: Made of Rain (Cooking Vinyl) LP
From its exhilarating opening bars, Made Of Rain – the first Psychedelic Furs album in nearly 30 years – sounds like them and them alone. It’s a joy to hear again, fresher than ever, that unique mesh of sounds and layers, that fusion of smooth and stark, of restraint and abandon, of melancholy and rage, of optimism and nihilism, of tough and tender. Their ageless charisma flows anew. The six-piece line-up has gelled into a groove-some, guileful beast. With, of course, fellow founder Tim Butler (Richard Butler’s brother) on bass, it features Mars Williams on saxophone, Rich Good on guitar, Paul Garisto on drums and Amanda Kramer on keyboards. The album was produced by Richard Fortus (with The Psychedelic Furs), a Love Spit Love alumnus who’s also played guitar with Guns ‘N Roses and Thin Lizzy. “His band had opened for The Furs once and I liked his playing and his personality,” says Richard. “So when I wanted someone to write with after we first split up, I brought him to New York. His input on the songwriting (for Love Spit Love) was huge. So that’s where I knew him from. We kind of co-produced on this, in terms of ideas, but he was inspirational, led the way.” Mixing duties were handled by Tim Palmer (David Bowie, U2, Robert Plant). What crystallized the title Made Of Rain? “There’s…a lot of sorrow and darkness in it,” Richard adds. “A while ago I read the book-length poem The Man Made Of Rain by Brendan Kennelly. A person who was dying was visited by “a man made of rain” and I liked that idea; it fit. For some reason, when writing, I always seem to tend towards the melancholic. Or sometimes, also, anger. There have been very few “celebratory” songs…I suppose perhaps Love My Way, possibly Heaven. But for the most part it’s safe to say the songs are tinged with melancholy.” Richard hears echoes of the first two albums in the existential pop song “Don’t Believe,” the first single. “It’s very Psychedelic Furs-sounding.” “You’ll Be Mine” boasts a “very John Cale-sounding” Velvetsy violin. And as the album later slows the tempo, arching the atmosphere across tracks like “This’ll Never Be Like Love” and “Ash Wednesday,” he points out that the band have always teased out songs like that – he cites “Sister Europe” and “Imitation Of Christ” as examples – as part of the mix. Discussing the spooky “Come All Ye Faithful,” he acknowledges an unexpected influence in David Essex’s Seventies hit “Lamplight.” Andy Warhol’s book From A To B And Back Again gets name-checked in “Tiny Hands.” The band’s peerless permutations of art, aggression and ambience drive the dynamics on Made Of Rain, and it’s always been this originality which has set them apart, a cut above. Many moons after “Pretty In Pink” (sort of) inspired that John Hughes movie, “Love My Way” has featured in Oscar-winning film Call Me By Your Name and “The Ghost In You” in sci-fi smash Stranger Things, Psychedelic Furs are sounding stronger than ever. As the closing track on Made Of Rain sighs, “these are the days that we will all remember.”

File Under: Rock
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Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers: Half Speed Masters (Interscope) LP
The Rolling Stones’ swaying 1971 opus Sticky Fingers captures the band at the absolute peak of its powers on timeless tracks such as “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” “Bitch,” “Sister Morphine,” and “Dead Flowers.” Sticky Fingers was recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Mick Jagger’s country home Stargroves, and Olympic Studios in London, and produced by regular confidant Jimmy Miller. Sticky Fingers is awash in the band’s trademark combination of swagger and tenderness and continued the incredible outpouring of creative energy that had produced 1968’s Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed in 1969, showcasing the ever more inventive song writing of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and formidable guitar licks from Mick Taylor. The album was released shortly after the Stones became exiled in the south of France, leaving Britain after a sensational farewell tour. It also featured some of the most groundbreaking artwork in rock history by Andy Warhol, with its famous working zip on the front cover. Remastered and cut at revelatory Half-Speed at Abbey Road Studios from vinyl specific original tape transfers designed to get the very best possible sound from the format. Pressed on heavyweight 180g LP with lyric sheet insert.

File Under: Rock
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Rose City Band: Summerlong (Thrill Jockey) LP
It is impossible to talk about modern psychedelic music without mentioning Ripley Johnson. As bandleader of Wooden Shjips and one half of Moon Duo, Johnson has continually charted new cosmic paths that expand on the language of the genre. With Rose City Band, Johnson’s songwriting and beautiful guitar lines take center stage, the veil of psychedelia notably drawn back. While his vocal treatment would be recognizable to any Wooden Shjips fan, the sparseness of the instrumentation lays bare the beauty of his writing. Shimmering guitar lines are free to shine, buoyed by driving rhythms. New to the mix are arrangements and instruments drawn directly from classic country, resulting in songs with more than a hint of twang. The aptly named Summerlong, born of Johnson’s own fondness for the season, delivers an emotional lift – an expression akin to the joy of getting out there on a warm day, be it gathering for a BBQ, hopping onto a bike, leaping into a swimming hole, or simply reading in a park. Rose City Band started purely as a recording project, with Johnson’s role mostly obscured for the self-titled debut. Released with no promotion, in the style of private press records, it was a liberating act, a focus on music without any expectations. Explaining it with a chuckle, Johnson elaborates, “I always would threaten to my friends that I’m gonna start a country rock band so I can retire and just play down at the pub every Thursday night during happy hour. I love being able to tour and travel, but I also like the idea of having a local band…more of a social music experience.” Freedom from expectation and obligation gave Johnson the space to experiment with new instrumentation and arrangements. The introduction of lap steel, mandolin, and jaw harp enhance Johnson’s lean guitar work with radiant overtones, placing Summerlong more overtly within the country tradition than its predecessor. Work on the album began at Johnson’s home studio in Portland during the summer, but, interrupted by touring, it would not be finished until the winter season. The dark isolation of winter and the pining for summer’s easier days can be felt in the album’s few quieter moments. Summerlong was mixed by John McEntire (Stereolab, Broken Social Scene, Tortoise) at his newly minted Portland Soma Studios and mastered by Amy Dragon at Telegraph Mastering, also based in Portland. Buoyant and joyous, Summerlong is a captivating listen that leaves the listener yearning for more. The record is an ode to freedom, born of a musician stepping out of all routines and whose own liberation is communicated so completely in his music. Summerlong is a record that, taken in its entirety, is an emphatic statement on the songwriting power of Ripley Johnson. Johnson’s joy in every aspect of this album is delightfully infectious.

File Under: Psych, Country
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Sonic’s Rendezvous Band: Detroit Tango (Svart) LP
Svart Records is proud to present the vinyl debut of the legendary Sonic’s Rendezvous Band’s Basement Tapes from 1976! Previously only available as part of a six CD box set released 15 years ago, Detroit Tango includes some outstanding live rarities as a bonus on the second disc, original photos, new liner notes and a new vinyl master! Released on deluxe band-approved double LP with gatefold sleeve packaging. “To say that Sonic’s Rendezvous Band has been a big influence for a me as a musician would be an understatement. Crank it up and feel the power of the greatest band no one ever heard of,” exclaims Nicke Andersson.

File Under: Rock
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Spoon: Soft Effects (Merge) LP
With amped-up acoustic guitars, jumpy song structures, and a punk attitude, Telephono (1996) was the shot across the bow from Austin, Texas’ fledgling rock heroes Spoon. The follow-up, Soft Effects EP (1997), features five of Spoon’s strongest songs and marked a leap forward in the band’s repertoire, signaling the great things to come on subsequent albums. Both of these long out of print auspicious early efforts are back on vinyl in 2020 courtesy of Matador Records!

File Under: Indie Rock
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Spoon: Telephono (Merge) LP
With amped-up acoustic guitars, jumpy song structures, and a punk attitude, the John Croslin-produced Telephono (1996) was the shot across the bow from Austin, Texas’ fledgling rock heroes Spoon. The follow-up, Soft Effects EP (1997), features five of Spoon’s strongest songs and marks a leap forward in the band’s repertoire, signaling the great things to come on subsequent albums. Both of these long out of print auspicious early efforts are back on vinyl in 2020 courtesy of Matador Records!

File Under: Indie Rock
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William Tyler: Music From First Cow (Merge) LP
In First Cow, Kelly Reichardt once again trains her perceptive and patient eye on the Pacific Northwest, this time evoking an authentically hardscrabble early nineteenth century way of life. A taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune; soon the two collaborate on a successful business, although its longevity is reliant upon the clandestine participation of a nearby wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow. Reichardt again shows her distinct talent for depicting the peculiar rhythms of daily living and ability to capture the immense, unsettling quietude of rural America. William Tyler composed the music for First Cow almost entirely on several of his guitars and a dulcimer.

File Under: Folk, Country, OST
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Chad VanGaalen: Soft Airplane (Flemish Eye) LP
Repressed! While his first albums hinted at musical reference points (that even Chad seemed to be reluctant to embrace), Soft Airplane reveals an artist utterly in stride – confident enough to span genres, while working with a determined and deliberate focus. Freed somehow from expectations or restrictions, Chad’s musical expression seems both focused and unfettered. The songs trace stories of birth and death, reflecting changes in his life over the two years since Skelliconnection, and cocoon the listener in a distinctive and unique world. Layered with a lush and complex mix of found sounds, vibraphone, corrupted synthesizers and drum machines, accordions, cello, clarinet, guitars and many others, Soft Airplane remains spacious and surges with pop-informed sophistication despite its lo-fi recording origins.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad: Jazz is Dead (Jazz is Dead) LP
Music exists in movement and change, but before any part of it can be pinned down for analysis, it’s often moved and taken on a new face. The transformation is often driven by culture as forward-thinking people avoid the proverbial paths in search of revolution. Even though our pioneers prophesied that the revolution would not be televised, the message has permeated. It’s spreading like wildfire and leaders are defined by those that speak first: Jazz Is Dead. Music is the universal language and we are the interpreter of sound, a message that has been lost in transcription. Under Jazz Is Dead, younger artists are elaborating upon conversations started decades ago; jazz icons are utilizing vintage equipment to create new masters with Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad; the same equipment that recorded their coveted catalogs. The vitality embedded in the new masters epitomizes our quest for new life in music: Jazz Is Dead. This compilation features legendary artists Roy Ayers, Gary Bartz, Marcos Valle, Azymuth, Doug Carn, Joao Donato, and Brian Jackson, who will each have their own individual release, working alongside Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.

File Under: Jazz
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Various: Ghostly Swim 3 (Ghostly) LP
Ghostly International has now pushed beyond two decades of genre-agnostic operation and ten years since its first collaboration with [adult swim]. A roster-clashing 2009 compilation – featuring the likes of Matthew Dear, Tycho, Dabrye, and School of Seven Bells – Ghostly Swim encapsulated the label’s founding spirit of playful darkness and irreverence. The follow-up, released in 2015, Ghostly Swim 2 isolated its focus, inviting quiet introspections from Heathered Pearls, AceMo, Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler and more. To cap its 20th year in 2019 and suggest a characteristically wayward path forward, Ghostly reconnects for a third round with the Cartoon Network nighttime institution, a bastion of free thought and independent creation. Under the collective mindset that the only way out is through, Ghostly Swim 3 revels in the reliable catharsis that movement can afford. Dynamic, freeform body music as kinetic therapy, as entertainment, as a triumph courtesy of up-and-comers and established talents affiliated with techno, electro, breaks, and the uptempo unclassified et cetera. Fans will recognize a range of rising stars outside of Ghostly’s roster, outlining several corners of the underground dance community; Black Noi$e (Portage Garage Sounds, Vanity Press), Yak (R&S, Orson), LNS (Wania, 1080p), DJ Python (Incienso, Dekmantel), lock and jitter across the comp alongside Ghostly and Spectral Sound label mainstays like Ouri, Todd Osborn (here as Superstructure), and Tadd Mullunix under his X-Altera alias. 14 tracks in total, this is a choose-your-own-adventure showcase befitting [adult swim]’s bold programming mission.

File Under: Electronic
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Various: Jazz Rock (Mr. Bongo) LP
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, and going by ‘Jazz Rock’, nor a record by its title. Though entering into jazz territory and featuring some distorted guitar, ’Jazz Rock’ is more a beautiful marriage of funky breakbeat drumming and spiritual jazz instrumentation, combined with traditional Min’yō music performed on the koto and shakuhachi. Originally released in 1973, the record sounds simultaneously vintage and contemporary. It is akin to something Madlib might dream up whilst lost in Japan collaborating with Min’yō players at a recording session. The record features some amazing shakuhachi (bamboo flute) playing by Hozan Yamamoto, which gives the music a haunting, dreamlike atmosphere. You can almost visualise the long grass blowing in the wind, and hear the bamboo rustling in the distance on a long hot summer’s day. Takeshi Inomata, Tadao Sawai and Kazue Sawai anchor the session. Takeshi’s exceptionally funky-drum work will almost certainly get some producers dusting off and firing up their MPC’s. Whilst Kazue and Tadao work their magic on the koto (a traditional string instrument). Though certainly not an ambient record, ‘Jazz-Rock’ has the same meditative, other-worldly quality that invites you to sit back, listen and be transported somewhere else. Unfortunately, until now the ‘Jazz Rock’ album is a scarcity that commanded a high price-tag only for the most hardened of record collectors. So it is pleasure to make it accessible to all, and we hope you dig this lost, obscure future-classic as much as we do.

File Under: Jazz, Japan
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Arcade Fire: Everything Now (Sonovox) LP
Big Thief: Two Hands (4AD) LP
Black Market Brass: Undying Thirst (Colemine) LP
Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Patchouli Blue (Ipecac) LP
David Bowie: Blackstar (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis: Sketches of Spain (Legacy) LP
Miles Davis & John Coltrane: Final Tour (Legacy) LP
Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left (Island) LP
Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks (Columbia) LP
Ryo Fukui: My Favorite Tune (Slow Boat) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (Westbound) LP
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib: Bandana (Keep Cool) LP
Al Green: I’m Still in Love With You (Fat Possum) LP
Al Green: Let’s Stay Together (Fat Possum) LP
Al Green: Get’s Next to You (Fat Possum) LP
Grouper: AIA: Alien Observer (Kranky) LP
Haim: Women in Music pt III (Columbia) LP
Roland S. Howard: Teenage Snuff Film (Fat Possum) LP
Ikebe Shakedown: Hard Steppin’ (Colemine) LP
King Crimson: Larks Tongues in Aspic (Pangyric) LP
King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black (Pangyric) LP
King Crimson: Three of a Perfect Pair (Pangyric) LP
Mystery Kindaichi Band: The Adventures of Kindaichi Kosuke (Wewantsound) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (XL) LP
Raincoats: s/t (We Three) LP
Saada Bonaire: s/t (Captured Tracks) LP
Shabaka and the Ancestors: We Were Sent Here by History (Impulse) LP
Paul Simon: Graceland (Legacy) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (Thirty Tigers) LP
Slits: Cut (Island) LP
Sonic Youth: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star (Geffen) LP
Moses Sumney: grae (Jagjaguwar) LP
A Tribe Called Quest: Low End Theory (Jive) LP
A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders (Jive) LP
Wooden Shjips: V (Thrill Jockey) LP
Sven Wunder: Eastern Flowers (Piano Piano) LP
Sven Wunder: Wabi Sabi (Piano Piano) LP
Hiroshi Yoshimura: Green (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: Pacific Breeze (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: Pacific Breeze II (Light in the Attic) LP

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