…..news letter #972 – stacks…..

Another hefty week of new arrivals! Some real nice slabs in. And working on another sweet used score so those should start hitting the website soon too. 

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. We’ll be at the shop 11-5 Tuesday – Friday & Saturday 11-4. Stay safe!

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


…..pick of the week…..

Ataraxia (Mort Garson): The Unexplained (Sacred Bones) LP
Limited orange vinyl! The pioneering electronic composer Mort Garson (Mother Earth’s Plantasia) takes on supernatural phenomena with lush synth grooves on The Unexplained, his only release under the name Ataraxia. Subtitled Electronic Musical Impressions of the Occult, the album explores tarot, astral projection, seances, and more with Garson’s signature Moog synthesizer serving as the listener’s tour guide to the paranormal. The exploratory, whimsical spirit of its creator is evident throughout the release, but it also takes its subject matter seriously, making it essential for anyone interested in musical conjurations of the occult. This remastered edition marks the first official reissue of the album since its initial 1975 release, and it includes all the original liner notes.

File Under: Early Electronic
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…..new arrivals…..

Autechre: Sign (Warp) LP
Veteran electronic music outfit Autechre (featuring Rob Brown and Sean Booth) returns on Warp Records with their first standard studio album since 2013’s Exai! The 11-track Sign follows the duo’s NTS Sessions, a collection of music broadcast during Autechre’s NTS Radio residency in 2018, as well as elseq 1-5 from 2016, a record comprised of five 50-minute segments.

File Under: Electronic
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Matt Berninger: Serpentine Prison (Concord) LP
Serpentine Prison is the debut solo record from The National frontman Matt Berninger. Produced by famed Memphis multi-instrumentalist Booker T. Jones, it features contributions from a wide array of notable artists, including Matt Barrick (The Walkmen, Jonathan Fire*Eater), Andrew Bird, Mike Brewer, Hayden Desser, Scott Devendorf (The National), Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz), Booker T. Jones, Teddy Jones, Brent Knopf (EL VY, Menomena), Ben Lanz (The National, Beirut), Walter Martin (The Walkmen, Jonathan Fire*Eater), Sean O’Brien, Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan), Kyle Resnick (The National, Beirut), Matt Sheehy (EL VY, Lost Lander) and Harrison Whitford (Phoebe Bridgers). Additional production on the album was provided by Sean O’Brien. Berninger, known for his distinctive voice and expansive live performances, has won praise from NPR Music for his “whiskey-soaked baritone” while Uproxx hails Berninger as “a master class in how to front a band.” According to The New Yorker, “fans of The National have had plenty of time to acclimate to Berninger’s voice, a heady, lumbering baritone, yet it’s worth reiterating its singularity. Listening to it, I often think of a deep-sea diver, weights slung low on his hips, being tugged toward the ocean floor. Berninger uses his instrument in artful and elegant ways.” “The song ‘Serpentine Prison’ was written in December 2018 about a week after recording The National’s I Am Easy to Find,” Berninger explains about the title track. “For a long time I had been writing songs for movies and musicals and other projects where I needed to get inside someone else’s head and convey another person’s feelings. I liked doing that but I was ready to dig back into my own garbage and this was the first thing that came out. The title is from a twisting sewer pipe that drains into the ocean near LAX. There’s a cage on the pipe to keep people from climbing out to sea. I worked on the song with Sean O’Brien and Harrison Whitford and recorded it about six months later with Booker T. Jones producing. It feels like an epilogue so I named the record after it and put it last.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Black Pumas: s/t Deluxe Edition (ATO) LP
Black Pumas is led by the creative partnership between Grammy Award-winning guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada and songwriter Eric Burton. The latter is a relative newcomer who arrived in Austin in 2015 after busking his way across the country from Los Angeles, while Quesada has a storied reputation for playing in bands like Grupo Fantasma and Brownout. After the two connected via friends in the Austin scene, they began to collaborate on a new sound that transmutes soul into something idiosyncratically modern. Reminiscent of Ghostface Killah and Motown in equal measure, this original sound ensured that Black Pumas’ weekly residency at C-Boys quickly became “the hottest party in town” (Austin-American Statesman). Produced by Quesada in his home studio and colored by Burton’s dark imagery and haunting vocals, their Grammy-nominated eponymous 2019 debut is equally as indebted to East Coast hip-hop as it is to classic funk and soul, resulting in a project that is of the moment rather than retro. From the roiling, solar eclipse-inspired noir of “Black Moon Rising” to the ponderous yet epic “Oct 33,” it’s stunner. This Deluxe Edition reissue of their debut features the original album plus eleven bonus tracks, three new original songs and four covers, plus unreleased live material. The colored vinyl 2LP-set comes complete with a bonus 7″ single, new artwork and unpublished studio and live photographs.’

File Under: Psych, Funk, Soul
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David Bowie: Metrobolist (Parlophone) LP
November 2020 sees the 50th Anniversary of the release of David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World in North America. The rest of the world would have to wait until April 1971 to witness Bowie’s landmark entry into the 1970s, marking the beginning of a collaboration with guitarist Mick Ronson that would last through classic works including Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane – as well as the first in a 10-year series of indispensable albums stretching through 1980’s Scary Monsters. Originally titled Metrobolist, the album’s name was changed at the last minute to The Man Who Sold The World. The original stereo master tapes were in fact labeled Metrobolist, with the title ultimately crossed out. The 2020 re-release of the album under its Metrobolist moniker has been remixed by original producer Tony Visconti, with the exception of the track “After All” which Visconti considered perfect as is and is featured in its 2015 remaster incarnation. The Metrobolist 50th anniversary artwork has been created by Mike Weller who was behind the historically controversial “dress” cover which Mercury Records refused to release (the first U.S. version utilized some of the original Metrobolist design elements). The gatefold sleeve also features many images from the infamous Keith MacMillan Mr Fish “dress” shoot at Haddon Hall that ultimately produced the cover of the The Man Who Sold The World album in the world outside the U.S. in spring of 1971. For the 50th anniversary the 1970 story of the gatefold sleeve can be told in full with unused “dress” photos. As Weller explains, “There is a story concealed in the carpet-scattered playing cards, David has thrown a plain 52 card deck in the air as though ‘casting the runes’ but in a significant break from 60s Tarot divinations such as I Ching etc he casts runes using a four-suit pack and switches man-dress, along with the Court Card of the Future from right hand to left, signifying a new decade and new cultural era.” Bowie personally delivered the Metrobolist concept and his gatefold plan to the record company for production and now with this release, it can finally be seen much closer to its original concept. Bowie speaking in 2000 said of the sleeve imagery, “Mick Weller devised this kind of very subversive looking cartoon and put in some quite personalized things. The building in the background on the cartoon in fact was the hospital where my half brother had committed himself to. So for me, it had lots of personal resonance about it.”

File Under: Rock, Pop
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Clipping: Visions of Bodies Being Burned
(Sub Pop) LP

Loser Edition in stock while supplies last! In Halloween 2019, Los Angeles experimental rap mainstays Clipping ended their three-year silence with the horrorcore-inspired album There Existed an Addiction to Blood. The following October, rapper Daveed Diggs, and producers Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson return with an even higher body count, more elaborate kills, and monsters that just won’t stay dead. Visions of Bodies Being Burned is less a sequel than it is the second half of a planned diptych. It turns out, Clipping took to the thematic material of horrorcore like vampires to grave soil. In the years following Splendor & Misery – the band’s acclaimed dystopian science fiction-rap epic – they simply made too many songs for one album. Before the release of There Existed…, Clipping and Sub Pop divided the material up into two albums, designed to be released only months apart. However, a global pandemic and multiple canceled tours pushed the release of the project’s “part two” until the following Halloween season. Visions of Bodies Being Burned contains thirteen more scary stories disguised as rap songs, incorporating as much influence from Ernest Dickerson, Clive Barker, and Shirley Jackson as it does from Three 6 Mafia, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Brotha Lynch Hung. Clipping are never critical of their cultural references. Their angular, shattered interpretations of existing musical styles are always deferential, driven by fandom for the object of study rather than disdain for it. Clipping reimagine horrorcore – the purposely absurdist hip-hop subgenre that flourished in the 1990s – the way Jordan Peele does horror cinema: by twisting beloved tropes to make explicit their own radical politics of monstrosity, fear, and the uncanny. Clipping intentionally recast their figures of monstrosity through the lens of an antiracist, antipatriarchal, anticolonial politics to address the struggles of our current era. The album’s first single, “Say the Name,” transforms Scarface’s evocative lyric from “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” into a screwed-down Chicago ghetto house loop, mixing together a palette of inspirations from 90s industrial music to a certain mirror-bound, bee-keeping, hook-handed former-slave/urban legend. The second single, “’96 Neve Campbell” is a tribute to the self-aware “final girl” character of the post-slasher film cycle, featuring Inglewood’s Cam & China, who prove they do more than survive the masked killer – they preemptive-strike his ass. The band also connected with fellow noise-rap pioneers Ho99o9 for the song “Looking Like Meat,” which more closely resembles the full-on sonic assault of Clipping’s first album, Midcity, than any of their music since. Among Clipping’s peers, Ho99o9 reveal themselves to be the perfect collaborators to fit into the album’s thematic world. Eaddy and the OGM deliver the most unhinged, viscerally alarming moment on the entire record. Each track pairs a different expression of horror with one of Clipping’s signature metamorphic takes on a hip-hop subgenre. “Eaten Alive” pays tribute to the Tobe Hooper film of the same name, aping the swampy drag of No Limit and their ilk over a jagged jazz-rap instrumental featuring Tortoise guitar genius Jeff Parker, and experimental LA drummer Ted Byrnes. “Enlacing” posits Lovecraftian cosmic terror as the result of a psychedelic drift into nothingness, played as a smeary, cloud rap haze. “Pain Everyday” uses real EVP recordings – said to be the voices of restless spirits – atop a cinematic, Venetian Snares-like breakcore collage, as a call-to-arms for the ghosts of lynching victims to haunt the white descendants of their murderers. And “Check the Lock” is a spiritual sequel to Seagram’s classic track “Sleepin in My Nikes,” describing a drug kingpin’s paranoid descent into madness.

File Under: Hip Hop
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Betty Davis: s/t (Light in the Attic) LP
Limited blue wax! One can hardly imagine the genre-busting, culture-crossing musical magic of Outkast, Prince, Erykah Badu, Rick James, The Roots, or even the early Red Hot Chili Peppers without the influence of R&B pioneer Betty Davis. Her style of raw and revelatory punk-funk defies any notions that women can’t be visionaries in the worlds of rock and pop. In recent years, rappers from Ice Cube to Talib Kweli to Ludacris have rhymed over her intensely strong but sensual music. There is one testimonial about Betty Davis that is universal: she was a woman ahead of her time. In our contemporary moment, this may not be as self-evident as it was thirty years ago – we live in an age that’s been profoundly changed by flamboyant flaunting of female sexuality: from Parlet to Madonna, Lil Kim to Kelis. Yet, back in 1973 when Betty Davis first showed up in her silver go-go boots, dazzling smile and towering Afro, who could you possibly have compared her to? Marva Whitney had the voice but not the independence. Labelle wouldn’t get sexy with their “Lady Marmalade” for another year while Millie Jackson wasn’t “Feelin’ Bitchy” until 1977. Even Tina Turner, the most obvious predecessor to Betty’s fierce style wasn’t completely out of Ike’s shadow until later in the decade. Ms. Davis’s unique story, still sadly mostly unknown, is unlike any other in popular music. Betty wrote the song “Uptown” for the Chambers Brothers before marrying Miles Davis in the late ‘60s, influencing him with psychedelic rock, and introducing him to Jimi Hendrix — personally inspiring the classic album ’Bitches Brew.’ But her songwriting ability was way ahead of its time as well. Betty not only wrote every song she ever recorded and produced every album after her first, but the young woman penned the tunes that got The Commodores signed to Motown. The Detroit label soon came calling, pitching a Motown songwriting deal, which Betty turned down. Motown wanted to own everything. Heading to the UK, Marc Bolan of T. Rex urged the creative dynamo to start writing for herself. A common thread throughout Betty’s career would be her unbending Do-It-Yourself ethic, which made her quickly turn down anyone who didn’t fit with the vision. She would eventually say no to Eric Clapton as her album producer, seeing him as too banal. In 1973, Davis would finally kick off her cosmic career with an amazingly progressive hard funk and sweet soul self-titled debut. Davis showcased her fiercely unique talent and features such gems as “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up” and “Game Is My Middle Name.” The album Betty Davis was recorded with Sly & The Family Stone’s rhythm section, sharply produced by Sly Stone drummer Greg Errico, and featured backing vocals from Sylvester and the Pointer Sisters.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different
(Light in the Attic) LP

Limited red vinyl! One can hardly imagine the genre-busting, culture-crossing musical magic of Outkast, Prince, Erykah Badu, Rick James, The Roots, or even the early Red Hot Chili Peppers without the influence of R&B pioneer Betty Davis. Her style of raw and revelatory punk-funk defies any notions that women can’t be visionaries in the worlds of rock and pop. In recent years, rappers from Ice Cube to Talib Kweli to Ludacris have rhymed over her intensely strong but sensual music. There is one testimonial about Betty Davis that is universal: she was a woman ahead of her time. In our contemporary moment, this may not be as self-evident as it was thirty years ago – we live in an age that’s been profoundly changed by flamboyant flaunting of female sexuality: from Parlet to Madonna, Lil Kim to Kelis. Yet, back in 1973 when Betty Davis first showed up in her silver go-go boots, dazzling smile and towering Afro, who could you possibly have compared her to? Marva Whitney had the voice but not the independence. Labelle wouldn’t get sexy with their “Lady Marmalade” for another year while Millie Jackson wasn’t Feelin’ Bitchy until 1977. Even Tina Turner, the most obvious predecessor to Betty’s fierce style wasn’t completely out of Ike’s shadow until later in the decade. Ms. Davis’s unique story, still sadly mostly unknown, is unlike any other in popular music. Betty wrote the song “Uptown” for the Chambers Brothers before marrying Miles Davis in the late ’60s, influencing him with psychedelic rock, and introducing him to Jimi Hendrix — personally inspiring the classic album Bitches Brew. But her songwriting ability was way ahead of its time as well. Betty not only wrote every song she ever recorded and produced every album after her first, but the young woman penned the tunes that got The Commodores signed to Motown. The Detroit label soon came calling, pitching a Motown songwriting deal, which Betty turned down. Motown wanted to own everything. Heading to the UK, Marc Bolan of T. Rex urged the creative dynamo to start writing for herself. A common thread throughout Betty’s career would be her unbending Do-It-Yourself ethic, which made her quickly turn down anyone who didn’t fit with the vision. She would eventually say no to Eric Clapton as her album producer, seeing him as too banal. Her 1974 sophomore album They Say I’m Different features a worthy-of-framing futuristic cover challenging David Bowie’s science fiction funk with real rocking soul-fire, kicked off with the savagely sexual “Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him” (later sampled by Ice Cube). Her follow up is full of classic cuts like “Don’t Call Her No Tramp” and the hilarious, hard, deep funk of “He Was A Big Freak.”

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Devo: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (Rhino) LP
Devo’s 1978 debut album that features “Uncontrollable Urge” and their cover of Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”.
1. “Uncontrollable Urge”            
2. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
3. “Praying Hands”        
4. “Space Junk”
5. “Mongoloid”
6. “Jocko Homo”            
7. “Too Much Paranoias”            
8. “Gut Feeling” / “(Slap Your Mammy)”
9. “Come Back Jonee”   
10. Sloppy (I Saw My Baby Gettin’)          
11. Shrivel-Up  

File Under: Rock, New Wave
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Devo: Duty Now for the Future
(Rhino) LP

Devo’s sophomore album, released in 1979.  Includes their cover of “Secret Agent Man”.

1. “Devo Corporate Anthem”      
2. “Clockout”     
3. “Timing X”      
4. “Wiggly World”           
5. “Blockhead”  
6. “Strange Pursuit”        
7. “S.I.B. (Swelling Itching Brain)”             
8. “Triumph of the Will”
9. “The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprize”           
10. “Pink Pussycat”         
11. “Secret Agent Man”
12. “Smart Patrol”/”Mr. DNA”    
13. “Red Eye”

File Under: Rock, New Wave
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Mort Garson: Didn’t You Hear?
(Sacred Bones) LP

Silver vinyl version! Six years before the release of his landmark Mother Earth’s Plantasia LP, composer and arranger Mort Garson met experimental film director Skip Sherwood, who was interested in an electronic score for his new movie, Didn’t You Hear? While not much is known now about the exact nature of their collaboration, Garson’s magnificent score as a record of those heady, early days after his life-changing discovery of the Moog synthesizer. Notable for being one of the earliest screen appearances by a young Gary Busey, Didn’t You Hear? also boasts one of the first-ever all-electronic movie scores. Though the score was first released in 1970, it sounds as adventurous and futuristic today as it must have then. Originally available only in the lobby of the theater at screenings of the movie in Seattle, the soundtrack LP went out of print shortly after the film’s release. It has been a sought-after record for collectors of Mort Garson and early electronic music ever since.  Sacred Bones is honored to reissue Didn’t You Hear? as it was meant to be heard, taken from the original master tapes and given a pristine remaster by engineer Josh Bonati.

File Under: Early Electronic
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Mort Garson: Music from Patch Cord Productions (Sacred Bones) LP
Purple vinyl edition! A collection of rare and unreleased recordings from the archives of electronic music pioneer Mort Garson, composer of Mother Earth’s Plantasia. The compilation plays like an ultimate Mort Garson playlist, and includes alternate takes of Plantasia tracks, music for never-aired radio advertisements, themes for science fiction films, erotic oddities, and much more from the prolific composer’s ’60s and ’70s synthesizer oeuvre. This deluxe edition includes art by Robert Beatty and new liner notes by Andy Beta (Pitchfork).

File Under: Early Electronic
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Glass, Philip & Paul Leonard-Morgan: Tales From the Loop OST (Mondo) LP
Mondo, in partnership with Hollywood Records, Simon Stålenhag is proud to present Philip Glass and Paul Leonard-Morgan’s exceptional soundtrack to the Amazon Original series Tales From The Loop. The score for TALES FROM THE LOOP, co-composed by Philip Glass and Paul Leonard-Morgan, is mesmerizing. Simultaneously otherworldly and timeless. If you’ve seen the show you know how intrinsic the music is to the overall feel of it. And still, this is a record you can equally enjoy independent of the show. The central piano melody of the main theme weaves itself throughout the entire fabric of the music, forgoing the usual sci-fi trope of electronics and synthesizers. The soundtrack is rooted in piano, cello, violin, and awash with complex orchestration. Melancholic and haunting one moment, dramatic and crashing the next. It’s a towering achievement, and the interplay between the two composers is nothing short of stunning which seamlessly takes the listener on a beautiful and emotional journey.

File Under: OST
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Greyboy Allstars: Como de Allstars (Knowledge Room) LP|
Coloured vinyl version! When The Greyboy Allstars convened in 1994, the legendary California jazz-funk revivalists flaunted the carefree essence of their collective youth. Their fabled residency at San Diego’s Green Circle Bar spiraled into a series of concerts that stretched toward dawn, as they triangulated their take on the revolutionary funk of Grant Green and Idris Muhammad, Leon Spencer and, of course, James Brown’s infamous J.B.’s. In subsequent years, they played hundreds of shows, becoming a tireless party syndicate that delivered a new brand of spirited instrumental exploration. A quarter-century later, with those late nights of abandon long since passed, past and present will again intersect for Greyboy Allstars this summer with the release of Como De Allstars, their ecstatic and elastic first new album in seven years. Recorded in a three-day burst, “Como De Allstars” is an exuberant reminder of the playful sense of power that has forever been their hallmark. It also acknowledges our anxious times. The record begins with its title track, a rallying cry for perseverance in the face of oppression, for fighting for the ability to not just survive but thrive. Delivered in unison over an undaunted rhythm section, the first track on the record “Como De Allstars” (available now) is a stirring and timely testament to the revolutionary origins and powers of jazz, funk, and their boogaloo blend—and the Greyboy Allstars’ continual ability to deliver them. Later this summer will see the first ever reissue of the revelatory and electrifying debut LP, 1994’s “West Coast Boogaloo”, recorded in a single blistering session with J.B.’s trombonist Fred Wesley.

File Under: Funk, Jazz
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Vince Guaraldi: Peanuts Portraits (Craft) LP
Craft Recordings offers two vinyl reissues in 2020 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Peanuts comic strip, which debuted in seven newspapers across the country on October 2, 1950. The first is a picture disc of Peanuts Greatest Hits, featuring the faces of Snoopy and Woodstock with window jacket packaging. The second release is the very first vinyl pressing of Peanuts Portraits. Both titles feature the enduring music of the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Peanuts Portraits, meanwhile, includes several recordings from Guaraldi and pianist George Winston which have never been available on vinyl. Featuring the vivid musical cues that Vince Guaraldi wrote for the cast of the Peanuts characters, this Peanuts Portraits LP adds new dimensions to beloved regulars like Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Schroeder and Sally. In addition to nine songs performed by Guaraldi, the album also includes two classic Peanuts tunes recorded by pianist George Winston. Eight of the selections (including Winston’s renditions of “Linus And Lucy” and “Masked Marvel”), make their vinyl debut on Peanuts Portraits. The set opens with Guaraldi’s iconic “Linus and Lucy,” a piece that was first heard on A Charlie Brown Christmas, which debuted in December 1965. The lively composition has since become firmly associated with the Peanuts characters and the holiday season. Winston reprises the piece at the very end of the sequence, thus bookending the rich and diverse series of character snapshots in between. The rest of the Peanuts cast is well represented. Charlie Brown, the strip’s hapless but resilient everyman, takes the spotlight in “Blue Charlie Brown,” a composition that Guaraldi wrote for A Boy Named Charlie Brown, a half-hour documentary produced in 1963 that was never televised. The piece wasn’t heard on a Peanuts TV special until He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown aired in 1968 (although the song was included in the 1964 Fantasy album soundtrack of the unaired documentary). Peanuts Portraits also includes “Charlie’s Blues,” one of many variations on “Blue Charlie Brown” that Guaraldi included in numerous Peanuts TV specials. Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s pooch with multiple personas throughout the life of the strip and the various animated specials, appears twice on Peanuts Portraits – first as the eternally suave “Joe Cool,” a theme written by Guaraldi that debuted in You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown, which aired in 1972; and later as “The Masked Marvel,” Winston’s version of a Guaraldi theme that first appeared in It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown in 1969. Frieda, forever primping her springy locks, appears in a previously unreleased but appropriately titled “Frieda (With the Naturally Curly Hair).” Guaraldi had written the piece for the documentary that was never televised, although it did appear on the Fantasy soundtrack LP.

File Under: Jazz
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Haroumi Hosono, Shigeru Suzuki, Tatsuro Yamashita: Pacific (Sony Japan) LP
Blue vinyl! The theme of this exceptional album is the beautiful South Pacific sea, with music written by Haruomi Hosono, Shigeru Suzuki and Tatsuro Yamashita. At this time Haruomi Hosono was just in the middle of preparing for YMO, and the three songs he was in charge of were produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yukihiro Takahashi and a few others. It’s a wonderful combination of early electronic instruments and exotic sounds. “Cosmic Surfing”, which was later included in YMO’s debut album Yellow Magic Orchestra, appears for the first time on this album.

File Under: Electronic, Exotic, Japan
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Idles: Ultra Mono (Partisan) LP
Single LP, black & white swirl vinyl version. Following Brutalism (2017) and Joy as an Act of Resistance (2018), two releases that garnered global critical acclaim, Idles return with their highly anticipated third album – Ultra Mono. Sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record (including production contribution from Kenny Beats), the album doubles down on the vitriolic sneer and blunt social commentary of their past work. Not far beneath the surface of their self-admitted sloganeering lies a deeply complex and brutally relevant album that chews up clichés and spits them out as high art for the masses. This is momentary acceptance of the self. This is Ultra Mono. Standard edition vinyl LP with single sleeve packaging.

File Under: Punk
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Reike Iko: World of Ecstasy (Teichiku) LP
The long-awaited reissue of the 1971 release work by “Japan’s first pornographic actress” Reiko Ike. If you open the spread on the cover of the monument of Japanese-style product “Okiki Jake”, you can see photos from Toei movie “Contemporary Pornography Congenital Horny Woman”. And on the original version, there is a price difference of tens of thousands of yen depending on the presence or absence of the poster. Showa Kayo is a masterpiece, Masami Kawahara and exotic sounds are played by poetry and pant voice.

File Under: Jazz, Erotica, Lounge, Japan
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Jiro Inagaki: Head Rock (Nippon Columbia) LP
From the opening “The Vamp” to the final “Head Rock”, this is a dazzling jazz rock showcase with dreadnought songs that are filled with ideas and passion you can hold. A masterpiece that has an overwhelming presence in the history of jazz in Japan, as a heresy left on the prestigious jazz label Tact.

File Under: Japan, Jazz
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Takeshi Inomata & Soudlimited: Sounds & Sound (Nippon Columbia) LP
Drummer who led the jazz scene in Japan with accurate stick work and musicality and an eye on the times, Takeshi Inomata’s first album with Sound Limited formed at the end of the 60’s. Starting with the theme song “Mustache”, which is beloved as one of the most iconic songs, it is a masterpiece full of dynamism and enthusiasm throughout.

File Under: Jazz, Japan
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Kiyoaki Iwamoto: Sougi + (Em) 10″
December 1982, Tokyo. Kiyoaki Iwamoto has a guitar, a simple rhythm box, a friend with a bass guitar, and some stripped-down songs, brazen in their post-punk simplicity, irritation and controlled aggression, yet full of sadness and resignation. Five songs, including a rearranged version of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” are recorded and released on a now extremely rare 7” record. This release, available on 10” vinyl, CD, or digital download, features those five songs, along with a previously unreleased 1980 live performance by his duo Birei, as well as a 2020 reworking of “Love …” , by the Japanese duo Chisato and Junta. Iwamoto was an enigma, active in the post-punk scene in Japan in the late 70s and early 80s, a member of Birei and founding member of Guys & Dolls with Tori Kudo (Maher Shalal Hash Baz); in the mid-80s he cut contact with his friends, disavowing his name and later performing under a different moniker.

File Under: Post-Punk, Japan
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Kraftwerk: Man Machine (Parlophone) LP
Red vinyl edition! “The Man-Machine is closer to the sound and style that would define early new wave electro-pop — less minimalistic in its arrangements and more complex and danceable in its underlying rhythms. Like its predecessor, Trans-Europe Express, there is the feel of a divided concept album, with some songs devoted to science fiction-esque links between humans and technology, often with electronically processed vocals (“The Robots,” “Spacelab,” and the title track); others take the glamour of urbanization as their subject (“Neon Lights” and “Metropolis”). Plus, there’s “The Model,” a character sketch that falls under the latter category but takes a more cynical view of the title character’s glamorous lifestyle. More pop-oriented than any of their previous work, the sound of The Man-Machine — in particular among Kraftwerk’s oeuvre — had a tremendous impact on the cold, robotic synth pop of artists like Gary Numan, as well as Britain’s later new romantic movement.” Steve Huey, All Music

File Under: Electronic
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Kraftwerk: Radio-Activity (Parlophone) LP
Yellow vinyl edition! “A concept album exploring themes of broadcast communications, Radio-Activity marked Kraftwerk’s return to more obtuse territory, extensively utilizing static, oscillators, and even Cage-like moments of silence to approximate the sense of radio transmission; a pivotal record in the group’s continuing development, the title track — the first they ever recorded in English — is their most fully realized electro-pop effort to date, while “The Voice of Energy” precipitates the robot voice so crucial to their subsequent work.” Jason Ankeny, All Music

File Under: Electronic
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Kraftwerk: The Mix (Parlophone) LP
White vinyl edition! “By the early ’90s, it was quite apparent just how far-reaching Kraftwerk’s influence had been. From techno to hip-hop to industrial music to house, numerous others were undeniably indebted to the group. Dance clubs had long been a key part of Kraftwerk’s following, and the dance market was the obvious target of The Mix — a collection of highly enjoyable, often clever remixes. While novices would do better to start out with Trans-Europe Express or The Man-Machine, hardcore Kraftwerk followers shouldn’t pass up these remixes of such classics as “Trans-Europe Express,” “The Robots,” “Autobahn,” and “Radioactivity.” One could nitpick about the absence of “Neon Lights” and “Europe Endless,” but the bottom line is that this LP was a welcome addition to the Kraftwerk catalog.” Alex Henderson, All Music

File Under: Electronic
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Kraftwerk: Technopop (Parlophone) LP
Silver vinyl edition! Originally released under the title ‘Electric Café’, this album to my mind, is the most underrated of all Kraftwerk’s albums, including the quite rediculously evocative ‘The Telephone Call’, as well as all-time classics “Boing Boom Tschak’, ‘Musique Non Stop’, ‘Sex Object’ and the seminal ‘Techno Pop’. Does it get much better then this? Nein.

File Under: Electronic
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Kraftwerk: Tour de France (Parlophone) LP
Red & blue vinyl edition! “Among electronic artists (as well as virtually the entire record industry), only Kraftwerk could construct a viable album by making only minimal adjustments to a sound they made definitive more than 30 years earlier. Tour de France Soundtracks, the group’s first record in more than 15 years, is quintessentially Kraftwerk but still fits in well with contemporary dance trends like the experimental microhouse scene (highly influenced by the group’s ultra-minimalism). The story of Tour de France Soundtracks actually begins 20 years earlier, in 1983, when Kraftwerk released the “Tour de France” single. Recorded in tribute to one of the sporting world’s most grueling events, the track was a hi-res piece of dance-pop that made lyrical reference to various biking landmarks (like the infamous mountaintop finish at Tourmalet) and an assortment of sonic references as well (including a bike chain in free spin and the belabored breathing of a bicyclist — in rhythm, of course). Techno-Pop, the album Kraftwerk scheduled to accompany “Tour de France,” was postponed and later canceled (ironically, after a serious biking accident by Ralf Hütter, one of the group’s resident biking maniacs). The track resurfaced two decades later, just in time for the centenary anniversary of the race, though Kraftwerk still missed the deadline — only the rejuvenated single was available during the race. It has little in common with the original, but the new “Tour de France” is impressive nonetheless, boasting the kinetic power of a 100-strong peloton, a guttural Teutonic vocoder of the type beloved by fans, and a recurring tag so sublime Jan Ullrich could hum it through each of the Tour’s 20 stages without fear of annoyance. Except for a closing reprise of the original “Tour de France,” the rest of the album isn’t as focused on biking; Hütter and Schneider construct sublime beatpieces with conceptual lines close to biking topics (“Aéro Dynamik,” “Titanium,” “Chrono,” “Vitamin”), but never confront the listener with yet another track dropping bike terms like peloton or a l’enfer du nord. “Chrono” is the track closest to the Kraftwerk ideal, with its future-shock synth and percussion precision, while “Vitamin” is the farthest away (a downbeat track that still could only have escaped from the Kling Klang studio). Tour de France Soundtracks is a successful record on anyone’s terms; it’s one that fans won’t need to cringe from, and one that newcomers will be able to enjoy for what it is.” John Bush, All Music

File Under: Electronic
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Kraftwerk: Trans Europe Express (Parlophone) LP
Clear vinyl edition! “Although Autobahn was a left-field masterpiece, Trans-Europe Express is often cited as perhaps the archetypal (and most accessible) Kraftwerk album. Melodic themes are repeated often and occasionally interwoven over deliberate, chugging beats, sometimes with manipulated vocals; the effect is mechanical yet hypnotic. Thematically, the record feels like parts of two different concept albums: one a meditation on the disparities between reality and image (“Hall of Mirrors” and “Showroom Dummies” share recurring images of glass, reflection, illusion, and confused identities, as well as whimsical melodies), and the other the glorification of Europe. There is an impressive composition paying homage to “Franz Schubert,” but the real meat of this approach is contained in the opening love letter, “Europe Endless,” and the epic title track, which shares themes and lyrics with the following track, “Metal on Metal.” The song “Trans-Europe Express” is similar in concept to “Autobahn,” as it mimics the swaying motion and insistent drive of a cross-continent train trip. What ultimately holds the album together, though, is the music, which is more consistently memorable even than that on Autobahn. Overall, Trans-Europe Express offers the best blend of minimalism, mechanized rhythms, and crafted, catchy melodies in the group’s catalog; henceforth, their music would take on more danceable qualities only hinted at here (although the title cut provided the basis for Afrika Bambaataa’s enormously important dancefloor smash “Planet Rock”).” Steve Huey, All Music

File Under: Electronic
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Lucifer (Mort Garson): Black Mass
(Sacred Bones) LP

Pink vinyl edition! Black Mass is an album of supernatural electronics from synth pioneer Mort Garson, the mastermind behind the cult classic Mother Earth’s Plantasia. Originally released in 1971, it’s his only release under the Lucifer moniker, and it taps into a profound darkness that may surprise fans of his sunnier work. These songs are Garson’s synthesizer interpretations of occult and esoteric phenomena ranging from the Satanic black mass, to exorcism, to witchcraft, and beyond, and they’ve inspired artists from Coil to Oneohtrix Point Never. This deluxe remastered edition presents the album in full with all original liner notes.

File Under: Early Electronic
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Memotone: Invisible Cities (Diskotopia) LP
We at Diskotopia are incredibly excited to be presenting the new album Invisible Cities from Memotone, the principal alias for Bristol-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer William Yates. As a solo artist, he has released on labels such as Black Acre, Bedouin, Project Mooncircle, and Brownswood either as Memotone or under his other alias Halfnelson. In addition to doing composition work for film and television, he works as a session musician for the likes of Dmitry Evgrafov, Connie Constance, and Phaeleh. He’s also part of the Avon Terror Corps project helmed by Bokeh Versions, Giant Swan. Noods et al., and is a member of ATC-affiliated Pheasantry Society. His music has been championed on the radio, a key influential medium for Yates growing up, by the likes of Gilles Peterson, Mary Anne Hobbs, Tom Ravenscroft, Nick Luscombe, and more. In 2019, Memotone debuted on Diskotopia with the highly-praised split single Luaka / Sidewise Dub, and we are delighted to be working together with him again for the release of the stunning full-length LP Invisible Cities. Informed by the atmosphere of the Italo Calvino novel of the same name, the ten tracks on Invisible Cities mutably shimmer somewhere between neo-classical-leaning ambient, fourth-world new-age exotica, and post-krautrock OSTs. By intermixing the different timbres of live string and wind instruments with astute synthesizer touches and skittish drum machine strokes, Yates has created an organic and ethereal magnum opus in which a brooding but graceful energy is manipulated into a delicately interwoven narrative. The album opens with the spiritualist fusion of Eusapia, where a sensorial Saint-Saënsesque cello melody gets tangled between passages of Rhodes and piano, which in turn play call and response with Messiaen-Oiseaux clarinet phrases. Shadowed Grass provides an excellent minimalist second movement, evoking a collaborative live performance from Martin Denny, Yasuaki Shimizu, and Delia Derbyshire. These two tracks provide the perfect prologue for Where Memory is Traded, a beautiful and evocative standout piece recalling the impressionistic-period soundtrack work of Alberto Iglesias, Mark Isham, and Mychael Danna that really demonstrates Yates’s exceptional composition & production skills, as well as his protean high-caliber musicianship. Other highlights include Measure for Measure, a Nurse-With-Wound-plays-the-hits-of-Weather-Report number, and two tracks that teleport us to different periods of Bristol’s modern-music history; firstly Niigghht, a forest-floor, tribal-yet-jazzy downtempo gem reminiscent of the 90s work of Hooper, Marshall et al. and later Hidden Cities with its jittery electronic percussion recalling the circa-2010 prime of the city’s dubstep scene. The album closes with the serene Wrapped One Within the Other featuring enchanting vocals from Stac Dowdeswell, a halcyon lullaby that eases us reluctantly back from the illusory world of the Invisible Cities to the stark reality from whence we came.

File Under: Electronic, Fourth World
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Toshiyuki Miyama & Newhard: Nio & Pigeon (Nippon Columbia) LP
One of the works representing New Hard released in 1972. Kosaburo Yamaki is in charge of the composition and arrangement in the whole volume, and he deeply pursues one of his long-standing themes, “Japan”. Beginning with the “Adult Ceremony” led by a strong groove, songs full of deep taste and great stimulation are lined up.

File Under: Jazz, Japan
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Monophonics: Mirrors (Transistor Sound) LP
Monophonics are back with a six-song EP that fuses the complimentary and explosive soul, rock and funk influences, proving themselves to be the rightful inheritors of the Bay Area’s impressive psychedelic soul sound. Mirrors is comprised entirely of cover tunes, except that I doubt you’ve ever heard of half the deeply funky and soulful originals that inspired these soulful, tastefully produced, and timeless Monophonics treatments. “We wanted to do a couple songs that were more familiar to people and then shine some light on groups we’re big into,” lead singer, keyboardist and co-producer Kelly Finnigan explains. It takes a lot of guts to cover your favorite songs, your van jams, that song you play as a shot of inspiration to break-up a marathon studio session. “Not only are these great songs, but these are artists that we listen to and are influenced by.” “It’s not about making records that sound old, it’s about making records that sound cool,” Kelly says. Not that he and the other five members of Monophonics mind if you confuse their albums for classic-era recordings. Even musician friends regularly mistake a sweaty and greasy Monophonics original for an unheard Bar-Kays’ side, or a deep soul cover tune might pass for an original to a novice ear, except that Kelly makes sure to give credit where credit is due, which is what they do explicitly on this EP, Mirrors. Even the familiar tunes, iconic, better said, receive a fresh treatment as instrumentals, despite their ubiquity as vocal songs. The EP opens with a ‘tip of the cap’ to The Main Ingredient’s version of “Summer Breeze” before the band unfolds a hazy, mellow-funk opus worthy of inclusion on a Bob James CTI album. The next four songs, all featuring vocals, range from the lowrider soul ballad, a cover of the The Invicibles’ “My Heart Cries” (video: youtu.be/PG107nMMCeo0) with a pleading and plaintive vocal by Nicole Smith, to the psychedelic blues stomp, “Lying,” originally by the archetypical psychedelic soul band nearly signed to Motown, Black Merda. Add in Kelly’s monster vocal take on Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons Northern Soul classic, “Beggin” (to be released as a 7” single with an instrumental version on the b-side), and the deep-funk pop-soul of Nu People’s “I’d be Nowhere Without You” with back-up vocals by Jeanine Jones and Veronica Johnson, and you have a highly-entertaining, toe-tapping, backbone-slipping, masterclass in deep funk and soul. The final tune is the band’s singular take on the Mamas and the Papas hippie standard, “California Dreaming,” as an explicit and heartfelt tribute to their fans in Greece. The discerning music lovers of Greece fell in love with Monophonics after their 2012 hit “Bang Bang” resulting in multiple tours of the Mediterranean, where these native Californians imbibed on the fine ouzo, good vibes, and Grecian hospitality. Gifted a prized bouzouki (a traditional Greek guitar) by a local fan, Monophonics’ guitarist Ian McDonald and band infused this classic pop song with a soulful cinematic air and Mediterranean flavor, evoking a tune from an imagined Fellini film with a soundtrack by David Axelrod.

File Under: Funk
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Oneohtrix Point Never: Magic Oneohtrix Point Never (Warp) LP
Oneohtrix Point Never returns with the new album, Magic Oneohtrix Point Never. It is the fourth full-length for Warp Records and follows his last, Age Of (2018). The eponymous title is taken from Daniel Lopatin’s original Oneohtrix Point Never moniker – a misheard play on the Boston soft-rock radio station Magic 106.7. Musically, the album takes in all elements of OPN’s output of the last 13 years, from the deconstructed New Age plunderphonics of Replica and R Plus Seven, to the alt rock and chamber pop songwriting of Garden Of Delete and Age Of and the symphonic, cinematic nature of the scores for Uncut Gems, Good Time and his production work for other artists; making self-titling the record both a reference to his roots while entrenched in the present. Lopatin has long been engaged with radio as a mode of aleatory listening.

File Under: Electronic
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OST: Party Girls (Modern Harmonic) LP
Don’t Miss The Party Girls – An Organ Grindin’ Funky Good Time! While the 1969 film may be lost to obscurity, thanks to the discovery of the original audio reels this funk-fueled soundtrack is finally seeing the light of day! Sexy time sounds of grooving organ, bass, drums, and brass, there’s even a down and dirty booty-shaker of a James Brown cover. The perfect accompaniment to get you in the mood for a lascivious love-in, pressed on gold vinyl and including a replica of an original pressbook that details the fabled film!

File Under: OST, Funk
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Duke Pearson: The Phantom (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
The simmering groove of the 10-minute opening title track of Duke Pearson’s magnificent 1968 album The Phantom sets the stage for one of the most under-recognized gems of the Blue Note catalog. The pianist, composer, arranger, and dBlue Note stalwart assembled a superb cast of musicians including vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, flutist Jerry Dodgion, guitarists Sam Brown and Al Gafa, bassist Bob Cranshaw and the magnificent percussion team of Mickey Roker, Victor Pantojo and “Potato” Valdes on drums and congas. Other highlights include the crisp bossa beat of “Los Ojos Alegres (The Happy Eyes)” and the tender “Say You’re Mine,” which first appeared on Donald Byrd’s album The Cat Walk. Blue Note Records has announced the continuation of the acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series in 2020. Launched in 2019 in honor of the label’s 80th Anniversary, the Tone Poet series is produced by Joe Harley (from Music Matters) and features all-analog, 180g audiophile vinyl reissues that are mastered from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio. Tone Poet vinyl is manufactured at RTI in Camarillo, CA, and packaged in deluxe Stoughton Printing “Old Style” gatefold Tip-On jackets. The titles were once again handpicked by Harley and cover the crème de la crème of the Blue Note catalog along with underrated classics, modern era standouts, and albums from other labels under the Blue Note umbrella including Pacific Jazz and United Artists Records. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest-possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. “The LPs are mastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Kevin at his incredible facility called Cohearent Mastering. We go about it in the exact same way that we did for so many years for the Music Matters Blue Note reissues. We do not roll off the low end, boost the top or do any limiting of any kind. We allow the full glory of the original Blue Note masters to come though unimpeded! Short of having an actual time machine, this is as close as you can get to going back and being a fly on the wall for an original Blue Note recording session.” – Joe Harley

File Under: Jazz
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Piano Choir: Handscapes (Pure Pleasure) LP
Handscapes is a double live album by The Piano Choir featuring Stanley Cowell, Nat Jones, Hugh Lawson, Webster Lewis, Harold Mabern, Danny Mixon, and Sonelius Smith recorded in 1972. At the time of release Ebony reviewer Phyl Garland said “One needn’t be a “piano freak” to appreciate a truly new recording. First of all imagine seven gifted and talented pianists sitting down to seven grand pianos (with electric piano, organ, harpsichord, a few tambourines for spice) and proceeding to tear up these instruments – musically, that is. …the torrrent of sound springing from their 70 fingers is so powerful and majestic as to be unlike anything one has ever heard.” In his review for AllMusic, Michael G. Nastos simply states “Brilliant”

File Under: Jazz, Strata East
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Sam Prekop: Comma (Thrill Jockey) LP
Sam Prekop’s boundless imagination is guided by his strong sense of melody. For more than 25 years, as a solo artist or as part of The Sea and Cake, Prekop creates a singular sound inventive and warm. His distinctive vocals, guitar playing and work on modular analog synthesizers are inventive, delicate, and always bear his signature sense of melody. Comma finds Prekop for the first time working extensively with beat programming, focusing his enveloping synthesizer pieces around a newfound rhythmic pulse. Prekop’s creative process is a combination of preparation and improvisation. Writing sessions for Comma began with an open-ended exploration of sounds and textures from which the first fragments of songs would reveal themselves. The introduction of drum machines and additional synthesizer units to his modular setup shifted things in surprising new directions as he worked to bend them into more traditional pop song structures. Drum tracks and emergent rhythms provided the frameworks and narrative sketches to be fleshed out with lustrous widescreen synth pads and ribboning melodies. In approaching his writing with a completely open mind and letting himself be guided by the music, Prekop maintains a delicate balance between composition and chance, control and spontaneity. Comma embraces the analogue synthesizer’s often unpredictable nature, imbuing the record with a decidedly organic feel even while working within the relative rigidity of beat architectures. Prekop’s wide-eyed sense of discovery guides his exploration of beat-driven music, pushing him to use rhythm as a narrative tool and to embrace electronic music’s romantic and emotional qualities. “Park Line” and “Circle Line” evoke the relentless forward motion of public transit and commuter routine, one propelled by juddering machine-drums, the other illuminated in glistening neon. “Summer Places” and title track are utterly transportive in their intoxicating tropical futurism, aqueous electronic loops cascading over melodic percussion. “September Remember” is notable precisely for its lack of drum track, opening up the field of sound and obliterating all but the faintest after-echoes of skittering percussion in its astral melancholy. “Approaching” achieves an incredible depth of sound and feeling using minimal constituent parts, interlocking synth-lines revealing surprising new sonorities with every repetition. With Comma, Prekop compiles an incredible breadth of ideas into a surprisingly coherent sound-world. Comma is Prekop’s modern minimal pop album that taps into the experimental heritage of the synthesizer. The album places Prekop’s work squarely in the tradition of electronic music pioneers like Brian Eno and Yellow Magic Orchestra who brought together the unrestrained ambition of the avant-garde with the immediacy and accessibility of pop music.

File Under: Electronic
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Pylon: Chomp (New West) LP
In the late 1970’s Athens, Georgia was buzzing with a raw but sophisticated music scene. The turn of the decade began producing new sounds from bands like the B-52’s, R.E.M. and Art-Rock luminaries, Pylon. Before they were a band, Pylon were art-school students at the University of Georgia: invigorated by big ideas about art and creativity. In 1980 the band released its first record, Gyrate and began touring across the country in support of the release. Following the critical acclaim of Gyrate, Pylon went back into the studio. They gleefully pulled their songs apart and put them back together in new shapes, revealing a band of self-proclaimed non-musicians who had transformed gradually but noticeably into real ones. The resulting album was, Chomp. Now, more than three decades later, both studio recordings have been remastered from their original audio tapes and are set for release on New West Records.

File Under: Art Rock, Post Punk
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Pylon: Gyrate (New West) LP
In the late 1970’s Athens, Georgia was buzzing with a raw but sophisticated music scene. The turn of the decade began producing new sounds from bands like the B-52’s, R.E.M. and Art-Rock luminaries, Pylon. Before they were a band, Pylon were art-school students at the University of Georgia: invigorated by big ideas about art and creativity. In 1980 the band released its first record, Gyrate and began touring across the country in support of the release. Following the critical acclaim of Gyrate, Pylon went back into the studio. They gleefully pulled their songs apart and put them back together in new shapes, revealing a band of self-proclaimed non-musicians who had transformed gradually but noticeably into real ones. The resulting album was, Chomp. Now, more than three decades later, both studio recordings have been remastered from their original audio tapes and are set for release on New West Records.

File Under: Art Rock, Post Punk
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Bogdan Raczynski: Samurai Math Beats (Disciple) LP
Mathematics strikes back! The second of three albums released in 1999 for the Rephlex label, Samurai Math Beats exists somewhere between the outsider jungle mined by labelmates Aphex Twin and Squarepusher (dubbed “drill’n’bass”) and the sun-bleached public information music of Warp artists such as Plone and Boards Of Canada. Whilst many listeners at the time were left scratching their heads at the full on collision of hyperkinetic rhythms and arcade game melodies, in many ways the record pointed the way towards future musical mutations, from the frenetic BPMs of footwork to the deconstructed pop music of Mica Levi. Re-cut by Beau Thomas and available on vinyl for the first time since its original release.

File Under: Electronic
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Enrique Rodriguez & The Negra Chiway Band: Fase Liminal (Soul Jazz) LP
Powerful new spiritual jazz from Chile on Soul Jazz Records! This album comes as a very limited one-off unique pressing of 1000-edition vinyl, limited editon CD and digital release. Enrique Rodríguez and the Negra Chiway Band group have an instantly powerful and unique sound that is reminiscent of the ensembles of Sun Ra and his Arkestra as well as Horace Tapscott and his Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, one that channels the righteous spirits of Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp and McCoy Tyner together with a stunning Latin rhythmical and new consciousness and percussive energy. Added to this are elements of the Samurai film soundtracks of Akira Kurosawa, Popol Vuh’s musical spirituality (especially their work with film director Werner Herzog), Tibetan Buddhism and over-blowing chants, that all combine to give a truly unique new sound. Enrique Rodríguez is a composer, percussionist, keyboardist, and producer from Santiago, Chile, whose work shows many similarities with the music featured on Soul Jazz Records’ recent collection ‘Kaleidoscope – New Spirts Known and Unknown’, featuring new forward-looking jazz artists including Mathew Halsall, Theon Cross, Emma-Jean Thackray and Makaya McCraven. Like all these artists, Rodríguez’s work is a progressive and experimental fusion of earlier influences that combine into a new and definitely 21st century ground-breaking sound that, on account of its South American setting, give the group its truly unique feeling. Hypnotic modal piano riffs, powerful brass and flutes, an army of Latin percussion instruments, and addictive vocal chants all combine in this powerful mix of radical 60s Afro-centric jazz, eastern spirituality and cosmology, and Latin American rhythmical movement. Awesome!

File Under: Spiritual Jazz
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Sammy & The Freedom Unity: Salute To Soul (Nippon Columbia) LP
Legendary female singer Sammy’s first album. The backing band is a jazz combo, Freedom Unity, which is also legendary, including musicians Akira Ishikawa and Hiromasa Suzuki.

File Under: Jazz, Soul, Japan
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Sun Ra: A Fireside Chat with Lucifer
(Modern Harmonic) LP

An F-bomb saturated hip-hop call & response club cut…from Sun Ra?! While the most renown track in this omniversal opus is the atomic expletive-filled repartee “Nuclear War,” there is so much more to this dark mysterious journey through the mind of Sun Ra. The sprawling, suite-like 20-minute title track sustains a lyrical edge in spite of an open framework and textures, which encourage sonorities to surface and emerge from the band as if there was no human intention behind them. In opposition to “Nuclear War,” Ra’s organ playing here was built less on bombast and sonic terror than it is on whispers, stutters, shivers, and swells. Fireside Chat offers a wide stylistic array, as was the artist’s intent, reflecting his eclectic, seemingly irreconcilable approach to compositional extremes. With Sun Ra you get everything… except predictability. First ever reissue of this iconic album!

File Under: Jazz
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Hiromasa Suzuki: High Flying
(Nippon Columbia) LP

Hiromasa Suzuki is a composer / arranger / key player who has been active in the Japanese music world, including jazz as well as movies, television and commercials. In the late 60’s and mid 70’s, he was deeply involved in the works of Terumasa Hino, Akira Ishikawa and Jiro Inagaki in the most radical times. The album “High-Flying,” recorded in 1976, showed his innovativeness, which was always one step ahead of the times, in the overall financial results.

File Under: Jazz, Japan
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Trees Speak: Shadow Forms (Soul Jazz) LP
Trees Speak’s stunning new album Shadow Forms is a blend of 1970s German electronic and ‘motorik’ krautrock instrumentals (think Harmonia, Can, Cluster, Popul Vuh, Neu!), haunting and powerful 1960s and 1970s soundtracks (think Italian prog rock Goblin and John Carpenter horror movies, Morricone and existential John Barry spy movies), together with a New York no wave electronic synth and guitar analogue DIY-ness (think Suicide, anything on Soul Jazz’s New York Noise series or Eno’s No New York). Trees Speak segue together all these elements into Shadow Forms, which follows on from their critically acclaimed debut album Ohms, released on Soul Jazz Records six months prior.

File Under: Psych, Kosmische, Electronic
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U2: All That You Can’t Leave Behind
(Universal) LP

All That You Can’t Leave Behind was U2’s tenth studio album and went to No. 1 in 32 countries around the world. The original 11-track set included the hit singles “Beautiful Day,” “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,” “Elevation” and “Walk On.” Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno produced the album, which was recorded in Dublin and France. The record went on to win a spectacular seven Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Album. It also has the distinction of being the only album in history to have tracks win the award for Record Of The Year in consecutive years, as it did with “Beautiful Day” in 2001 and “Walk On” in 2002. In celebration of All That You Can’t Leave Behind’s 20th anniversary, the album has been newly remastered and is presented here across four sides of vinyl as a 180g 2LP-set for the first time complete with the bonus track “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” and a 20 page 12″ x 12″ booklet.

File Under: Pop
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Horomasa Suzuki/Jiro Inagaki & Big Soul Media: By The Red Stream (Nippon Columbia) LP
Hiromasa Suzuki, a rare pianist / composer / arranger who wielded her skills in the group of Terumasa Hino and Akira Ishikawa. This work, combined with Big Soul Media, led by Jiro Inagaki, one of the best jazz rock groups of its time, is a concept that has the theme of “worldwide anti-war and peace”, which is unusual for a Japanese jazz work album.

File Under: Jazz, Japan
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Adam Wingard: Past Life Regression
(Death Waltz) LP

Who were you in a past life? Many have thought about this. Director Adam Wingard (THE GUEST, YOU’RE NEXT, DEATH NOTE) went further: He ventured into a deep hypnotic state to get answers and afterward created the inventive and aptly titled PAST LIFE REGRESSION. He uses an innovative electronic blend of cinematic and ambient that he brought to work like his BLAIR WITCH score. Still, this time the deeply personal nature of the project adds a new layer of transcendence. You feel like he’s scoring your own past life regression journey. It opens with “The Beach,” a sun-drenched splash of beautiful dissonance, pairing digitally scrambled electronics and soothing but portentous tides. You are now entranced, seeing a doorway with a deep-black pull into forgotten lives. Once you enter the door over a sea of drones, you make your way through a rich and melodic tapestry of nuanced synth-scapes. The occasional burst of propulsive rhythms maintains momentum through each successive concentric circle of discovery. By the time you hit the ominous meditations of “The Ladder Down,” the Vangelis vibes of “Deeper Recall,” and the resolute closer “Relive,” you’ve witnessed your unfamiliar but eerily recognizable lives pass you by. And then, soon, you’ll go back to the beginning and do it all over again.

File Under: OST
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Wilco: Summerteeth (Rhino) BOX
En route, should be here by now. Named 1999’s best record by preeminent Chicago Tribune rock critic, NPR “Sound Opinions” co-host, and Wilco: Learning to Die book author Greg Kot, Summerteeth is an astonishing work of melodic pop, dark introspection, and lush arrangements. Presenting an entirely different side of Wilco, the album was primarily recorded by vocalist/guitarist Jeff Tweedy and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett. Unabated by any constraints and assisted by chemicals, the pair delved head-first into the limitless possibilities of studio experimentation. The record’s gorgeous atmospheres, soaring harmonies, finite textures, and countless arrays of sound effects masterfully balanced the deeply introspective, often disturbing lyrics. Inspired by literature he consumed on tour, Tweedy’s songwriting is more courageous, dire, and personal. Shaded with violence and addiction, the surrealist narratives of “She’s a Jar” and “A Shot in the Arm” belie the beautiful arrangements, which, as the record progresses, unfold with increasingly uplifting purpose. Designed to be heard from start-to-finish, Summerteeth plays out like a fever dream, the music floating and hovering, negotiating the difficult balance between melancholy and happiness, with hope ultimately bursting through on the closing songs “Summer Teeth,” “In a Future Age,” and the hidden track “Candyfloss,” the most exuberant piece of bubblegum pop Wilco ever composed. Largely overdubbed with Pro Tools, Summerteeth remains a sonic extravaganza. Featuring everything from alarm clocks to buzzing synthesizers to brass accents and banjo strings, songs transcend genres and resonate with majestic imagination, gentle warmth, and emotional conviction. A fully realized work of sublime ambiguity and musical scope, Summerteeth gets a Deluxe Edition 180g vinyl 5LP box set reissue in 2020 featuring the original album newly remastered by Bob Ludwig as well as unreleased demos, alternates and outtake recordings. The set also contains a special, exclusive performance from early 1999 titled, An Unmitigated Disaster, a previously unreleased live in-store performance at Tower Records on March 11, 1999, just two days after the album was released. The 9-song set, which was broadcast on Chicago radio station WXRT-FM, highlights several tracks from Summerteeth (“We’re Just Friends,” “How To Fight Loneliness” and “Can’t Stand It”). This show is exclusive to the Deluxe Edition 5LP collection.

• Deluxe Edition 180g vinyl LP box set reissue
• Produced and compiled by Cheryl Pawelski and Jeff Tweedy with Tom Schick
• Original 1999 studio album newly remastered by Bob Ludwig
• Unreleased demos, alternates and outtake recordings
• Exclusive previously unreleased live in-store performance at Tower Records from March 11, 1999
• All tracks in this edition mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME, in May 2020
• Vinyl mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios, Hollywood, CA
• Bonus studio tracks and demos mixed by Tom Schick at The Loft, Chicago, IL
• Live at Tower Records/WXRT 3/11/99 broadcast engineered and mixed by Mike Konopka, assisted by Dan Glomski for Metro Mobile Recording, Timothy R. Powell. Engineered for WXRT by John Carey
• Original and deluxe edition art direction and design by Lawrence Azerrad
• Liner notes written by John Mulvey

 File Under: Pop, Folk, Rock
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Neil Young: Return to Greendale (Reprise) LP
En route, should be here by now. Return to Greendale is the next installment in Neil Young’s Performance Series (No. 16) and features a concert from the historic and unique 2003 tour supporting the release of the Neil Young with Crazy Horse album Greendale. “We took it all around North America in 2003, set up that massive set over 80 times,” Young explained. On the tour, Neil Young and Crazy Horse were joined on stage by a large cast of singers and actors to perform the story Young wrote about the small town of Greendale and how a dramatic event affects the people living there. The songs are among the most personal he’s ever penned, ranging from the dark and biting to the light and humorous. The ten songs from the powerful original album are performed in sequence, with the cast speaking the sung words – adding to the intensity of the performance. Featuring Neil Young (guitar, vocals), Frank Sampedro (guitar, keyboards, mandolin, vocals), Billy Talbot (bass, vocals) and Ralph Molina (drums, vocals), Return to Greendale is presented here on vinyl 2LP for the first time!

File Under: Rock
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Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad: Marcos Valle (Jazz is Dead) LP
Marcos Valle’s career started with the end of bossa nova. A lifelong surfer of swells, he expertly rode out the final wave of the waning international fad, landing in the U.S. for a short stay before returning to Brazil to continue his career. A proud Carioca (Rio de Janeiro resident), Valle couldn’t stay away from his beloved hometown. This seminal artist is no stranger to Los Angeles, though. Back in the mid-to-late ’60s he recorded a solo album (Samba ‘68) and was a featured member of an early, short-lived line-up with Sergio Mendes right before he landed the Brasil ‘66 deal with A&M records. He would try his luck in the U.S. again a decade later, spending a half-dozen years here, mostly in L.A. where he befriended members of Chicago and developed a prolific songwriting partnership with R&B journeyman Leon Ware. Valle never recorded his own music during those years, though. This historic collaboration with Jazz Is Dead’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge marks the first time he has recorded music in the U.S. in nearly 50 years.

File Under: Jazz
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Various: Deutsche Elektronische Musik 4 (Soul Jazz) 3LP
This is the new installment of Soul Jazz Records’ ground-breaking Deutsche Elektronische Musik series, “A near-definitive guide to some of the world’s most extraordinary music” (The Guardian). This latest edition features many of the classic German electronic and Krautrock groups from the 1970s & 80s – including Can, Amon Duul II, Harmonia, Conrad Schnitzler, Agitiation Free, Roedelius – as well as a host of lesser known artists such as Dzyan, Klauss Weiss, Gruppe Between and many more. Deutsche Elektronische rarities unearthed on the album include Kalacakra (whose fan-base included the great Moondog!) and their superb “Nearby Shiras,” taken from their super-rare spiritual/psychedelic private press concept album Crawling to Lhasa, from 1972. Deutsche Elektronische 4 includes a wealth of German electronic experimental artists – the seminal pioneering group Harmonia (Roedelius, Moebius and Michael Rother), avant-garde guru Conrad Schnitzler as well as lesser known synthetic artists such as Klauss Weiss, Deutsche Wertarbeit, E.M.A.K. (Electronische Musik Aus Koln), Gunter Schickert and others. Finally, the album also features an array of heavy and progressive German cosmic rock groups – Dzyan, Virus and the amazing Turkish/German tripped out sound of Alex’s “Patella Black,” recorded at Can’s Inner Space in 1973, produced by Holger Czukay and Jackie Liebezeit. Deutsche Elektronische 4 comes with extensive newly commissioned sleevenotes by David Stubbs, author of the seminal books Future Days: Krautrock and the building of Modern Germany, Mars By 1980: The story of Electronic Music, and Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and its Legacy. This album comes as a heavyweight triple vinyl edition with full color inner sleeves.

File Under: Krautrock, Kosmische
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