…..news letter #1004 – dropped…..

OOOF! What a crazy day! Thanks to everyone for their orders on Saturday. Most of you have picked up your order, but if you haven’t everything is here and ready to go! It’s a bit of a lite week, but that isn’t a surprise considering how much came in last week. So, I threw some highlights from last week towards the end that you might have missed in last weeks massive list. 

….picks of the week…..

Enno Velthuys: A Glimpse of Light (Dead Mind) LP
In 1984 Enno Velthuys released his classic tape ‘A Glimpse of Light’ on EXART, the label of Veldman, who stayed in close contact with Enno after hearing one of his private tapes being played on the radio by Willem de Ridder in 1980. During a live-broadcast event random tapes were played. “From Enno Velthuys, The Hague”, was written on the package. Willem introduced the tape, played it and a serene silence filled the studio. Present was a friend of De Ridder, Rob Smit, who visited Enno and his mother a few weeks later. This eventually resulted in Enno’s first release ‘Ontmoeting’ on KUBUS Kassettes in 1982. In those years, Enno was living a solitary life and rarely left his mother’s apartment. He managed to release 6 tapes of introvert, melancholic music from another dimension. Atmospheric melodies backed with sparse percussion, showing an excellent handling of the synthesizer. The gifted musician with two souls silently passed away in 2009. Now we present, with involvement of the few once close to him, the first reissue of probably his most beloved work. Using the original master tape from the EXART vaults, carefully transferred, edited and remastered. Just Enno with his stripped-down compositions and fragile ambient sounds. An intimate experience celebrating bedroom-music and the glory days of do-it-yourself counterculture.

File Under: Ambient, New Age
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Rhythm of Cruelty: Memory Lapse (Self Release) LP
Rhythm of Cruelty presents Memory Lapse, a 6 track instrumental album meditating on the fragility and resiliency of the human mind. This duality is realized through a wider array of instruments and techniques than previous releases; the only constant throughout being Brandi’s at once mournful yet hopeful trumpet elegies.


File Under: Post-Punk, Ambient
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…..new arrivals…..

Black Sabbath: Heaven and Hell (Rhino) LP
Singer Ronnie James Dio joined Black Sabbath in 1979 which resulted in two back-to-back classic albums: Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules. On those memorable albums, Dio’s soaring tenor and gothic songwriting were the perfect foil for the band’s bone-crushing mix of razor-sharp riffs, intense grooves, and dark imagery. Rhino salutes the long shadow cast by this short-lived lineup with newly remastered versions of both albums expanded with rare and unreleased music. Dio quickly found kindred spirits in guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and drummer Bill Ward. When Heaven And Hell was released in April 1980, the album was met with effusive reviews for the band’s return to form on metal masterpieces like “Neon Knights” and the title track. The album reached No.9 in the U.K. and No.28 in the U.S., where it was also certified platinum. Heaven and Hell: Deluxe Edition adds several bonus tracks that have never been released in North America, including versions of “Children Of The Sea” and “Die Young” recorded live in 1980 in Hartford, CT. The set also features live rarities like “Neon Knights” that originally appeared in 2007 on Black Sabbath: Live At Hammersmith Odeon. The Dio-fronted lineup disbanded in 1982 but reunited a decade later to record Dehumanizer and tour before going on hiatus again. The group came together again in 2006 to record three new songs for Rhino’s era-spanning collection, Black Sabbath: The Dio Years. The collaboration led to a highly anticipated world tour in 2007 where the group was billed as Heaven And Hell. Their final album of new material, 2009’s The Devil You Know, again demonstrated the musical bond between the band members was unparalleled.

File Under: Metal
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Nick Cave & Warren Ellis: Carnage (Goliath) LP
Carnage is a new album by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, recorded over a period of weeks during lockdown. Although the pair have composed and recorded many soundtracks together, and Warren is a long-term member of The Bad Seeds, this is the first time they have released an entire album of new songs as a duo. Cave describes the album as, “a brutal but very beautiful record nested in a communal catastrophe.” “Making Carnage was an accelerated process of intense creativity,” adds Ellis, “the eight songs were there in one form or another within the first two and a half days.” Vinyl LP with 24 page booklet.

File Under: Rock, Electronic
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Lucy Dacus: Home Video (Matador) LP
Clear vinyl! This new gift from Lucy Dacus, her third album, was built on an interrogation of her coming-of-age years in Richmond, VA. Many songs start the way a memoir might – “In the summer of ‘07 I was sure I’d go to heaven, but I was hedging my bets at VBS” – and all of them have the compassion, humor, and honesty of the best autobiographical writing. Most importantly and mysteriously, this album displays Dacus’s ability to use the personal as portal into the universal. “I can’t hide behind generalizations or fiction anymore,” Dacus says, though talking about these songs, she admits, makes her ache. That Home Video arrives at the end of this locked down, fearful era seems as preordained as the messages within. “I don’t necessarily think that I’m supposed to understand the songs just because I made them,” Dacus says, “I feel like there’s this person who has been in me my whole life and I’m doing my best to represent them.” After more than a year of being homebound, in a time when screens and video calls were sometimes our only form of contact, looking backward was a natural habit for many. If we haven’t learned it already, this album is a gorgeous example of the transformative power of vulnerability. Dacus’s voice, both audible and on the page, has a healer’s power to soothe and ground and reckon.

File Under: Indie Rock
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P.J. Harvey: The Peel Sessions 1991 – 2004 (Island) LP
May 2021 sees the vinyl reissue of the 2006 collection of PJ Harvey’s The Peel Sessions collection. Harvey’s sessions with the late BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, spanned recordings from the start of her career in 1991 up to 2004. Originally released two years after Peel’s death in 2004, the record came with a tribute message from Harvey in the liner notes which read, “More than I would ever care to admit for fear of embarrassment to both sides, but I sought his approval always. It mattered. Every Peel Session I did, I did for him. It is with much love that I chose these songs, in his memory. A way of saying ‘Thank You,’ once more. Thank You, John.” Available on 180 gram vinyl, The Peel Sessions 1991-2004 was cut by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering under the guidance of John Parish. When it was initially released in 2006, it garnered considerable critical praise. Drowned In Sound wrote, “It serves as a most welcome and convincing re-reminder of exactly how good PJ Harvey is; it’s a record which has simple enjoyment merit as well as being of sound development/ obsessive collectors item interest”; Uncut described is as “Stark, often stunning”, while Pitchfork declared it to be be “A vibrant, living record…none of these performances ever feels like a throwaway, and each veritably ripples with spontaneous, one-take-only passion.” The Peel Sessions 1991-2004 is the latest in the on-going, career-spanning PJ Harvey vinyl reissue series, which has already seen her studio recordings from 1992’s Dry to 2004’s Uh Huh Her reappearing on 180 gram vinyl through UMe/Island Records.

File Under: Rock
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Interrupters: Live in Tokyo! (Hellcat) LP
Los Angeles based alt-rock quartet The Interrupters are releasing their first-ever live album “Live In Tokyo!” with a set list that captures the live power that made them one of the busiest touring bands in the world, with fan favourite songs from each of the band’s three albums. The past three years have been pivotal for The Interrupters. The band toured the world in support of their “Fight the Good Fight” album (2018), including their first ever tour stop in Japan, where they captured this energetic live performance for their first live album “Live In Tokyo!”. This recording captures the band that is know for their powerful live performances with features the band’s most popular track from their three Hellcat Records albums. “Fight the Good Fight” debuted on the Billboard charts at #1 Heatseekers, #5 Current Rock, and #5 Current Alternative Album.

File Under: Punk, Ska
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Vijay Iyer: Uneasy (ECM) LP
Vijay Iyer presents a powerful new trio, in which he is joined by two key figures in creative music, Tyshawn Sorey and Linda May Han Oh. “We have an energy together that is very distinct,” Iyer says. “It has a different kind of propulsion, a different impulse and a different spectrum of colours.” Repertoire on UnEasy, recorded at Oktaven Audio Studio in Mount Vernon, New York in December 2019, includes Iyer originals written over a span of 20 years, plus Gerri Allen’s “Drummer’s Song” and a radical recasting of Cole Porter’s “Night and Day.”

File Under: Jazz, ECM
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Quincy Jones: The Dude (A&M) LP
As an artist and impresario Quincy Jones has been the creative catalyst for nearly 70 years of American cultural phenomena whether mentoring Ray Charles, orchestrating the sounds of Frank Sinatra, setting the ambiance for award winning film scores, cultivating the talent of Michael Jackson or constructing his own rich catalog of solo releases. One of the best in the bunch being his Grammy Award-winning 1981 pop classic The Dude which produced the three hit singles “Just Once,” “One Hundred Ways,” and “Razzamatazz,” and saw the star making debut of vocalist James Ingram. The album took home three Grammy’s and also earned Ingram three nominations including a win for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “One Hundred Ways.” This 40th Anniversary reissue features remastered audio on vinyl LP with first time gatefold jacket packaging and foil finish.

File Under: Funk, Soul, Disco
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Julian Lage: Squint (Blue Note) LP
Hailed as one of the most prodigious guitarists of his generation, Julian Lage has spent more than a decade searching through the myriad strains of American musical history via impeccable technique and a spirit of infinite possibility. After notable Blue Note appearances on The Nels Cline 4’s Currents, Constellations (2018) and Charles Lloyd’s 8: Kindred Spirits (2020), the acclaimed Grammy-nominated artist makes his own Blue Note debut with Squint. Produced by Margaret Glaspy and Armand Hirsch, the dynamic 11-song set featuring 9 originals showcases both Lage’s remarkable songcraft and adventurous sense of improvisation which takes flight in the company of his trusted trio with bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King (The Bad Plus).

File Under: Jazz
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Shai Maestro: Dream Thief (ECM) LP
The first ECM leader date for Shai Maestro (following his label debut with Theo Bleckmann on Elegy) features the gifted pianist fronting his superlative trio with fellow Israeli Ofri Nehemya on drums and Peruvian bassist Jorge Roeder, and also playing alone. A solo interpretation of Matti Caspi’s “My Second Childhood” opens the curtain on a program of characteristically thoughtful Maestro originals, each one with a story to tell. “Hearing the Shai Maestro Trio is like awakening to a new world,” All About Jazz has suggested. “Expressions of joy, introspective thoughts and heightened intensity all come to the fore.” Maestro’s differentiated touch is special; he can convey a range of fleeting emotions in a single phrase. A deconstruction of “These Foolish Things,” the album’s sole standard, serves as a prelude to “What Else Needs To Happen,” a somber meditation on inner city violence and its aftermath. The Dream Thief was recorded at Lugano’s Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in April 2018, and produced by Manfred Eicher.

File Under: Jazz, ECM
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Charles Mingus: Mingus At Carnegie Hall Deluxe Edition (Run Out Groove) LP
A bigger than life icon, Charles Mingus is considered one of the greatest jazz musicians and composers in history with a career spanning three decades and collaborations with other jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Herbie Hancock. With jazz music on the wane commercially back in 1974, Atlantic Records decided to release Mingus At Carnegie Hall with just two encore songs featuring guest artists Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Charles McPherson, and John Handy. But lo and behold, discovered among the many rows of tapes at the Warner Vaults, were several analog reels containing 74 minutes of previously unreleased live performances of the Charles Mingus Group featuring Don Pullen, Jon Faddis, George Adams, Hamiet Bluiett and Dannie Richmond at Carnegie Hall on January 19, 1974. After almost 50 years, jazz fans will get the special opportunity to hear the complete concert as it was originally played and in the correct sequence, by this ground-breaking group of musicians. Originally recorded on January 19, 1974, Mingus At Carnegie Hall was released as a a single LP that only featured 2 long tracks (“C Jam Blues” and “Perdido”) from the concert; one track per LP side, and features Jon Faddis, Charles McPherson, John Handy, George Adams, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Hamiet Bluiett, Don Pullen, and Dannie Richmond. Yet the original concert in January of ‘74 included 2 hours of performances, but nearly 70+ minutes were left on the cutting room floor. With jazz music on the decline in the US in the 1970s, Atlantic Records was probably concerned about releasing a 3LP set at a higher price point that only the most ardent fans would purchase at the time. Well, after 47 years, Run Out Groove has righted the course of the ship with this deluxe 180g vinyl 3LP reissue which in addition to the bonus performances comes complete with never-before-seen photos taken by original photographer Gal Costa and new liner notes by Jazz historian and producer, Michael Cuscuna. Mastered and lacquered for maximum fidelity and housed in beautiful triple gatefold packaging. 

File under: Jazz
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Marcos Valle: s/t (Mr. Bongo) LP
Mr Bongo presents vinyl LP reissues of Marcos Valle’s 1983 self-titled masterpiece. A pure vintage that features the ultimate Brazilian-boogie cult-classic “Estrelar” and iconic ’80s cover art that sees a gloriously sun-drenched Marcos dressed in a pink v-neck t-shirt surrounded by a generous selection of deadly-looking neon cocktails. The album was produced by the legendary Lincoln Olivetti and Marcos’ brother Paulo Sérgio Valle. It showcases a real who’s who of Brazilian music at the time, with stellar performances from vocalists and musicians such as Rosana, Serginho Do Trombone, Robson Jorge and Oberdan Magalhães to name but a few. This was Marcos’ second album, after having moved back to Brazil from his time living in Los Angeles, and that US influence is evident through its prominent boogie, soul and funk sounds. It also features collaborations with the US singer-songwriter, composer, pianist, keyboardist, and record producer, Leon Ware, who co-penned three tracks including “Estrelar.” To complete the album there are tracks such as “Fogo Do Sol,” which is pure AOR / Balaeric vibes, and tracks that are more MPB and pop-inspired, making a well-balanced track list for both home-listening pleasure and dancefloor business.

File under: Brazil
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