Hope everyone’s been having a great week. I really seem to be swimming in boxes of stuff over here again this week. So loads to read about below or come in to check out. Also loads more used to hit the site and/or the bins. It just never stops…
We will be closed on Monday for Thanksgiving and taking some much needed down time. Open 11-6 Friday and 11-4 on Saturday still.
As for the new restrictions, they don’t really effect us. According to our business association’s clarification of the new restrictions, we are already doing what is required of us, limited capacity and mandatory masks. The vaccine exemption does not apply to retail stores. So mask up and keep your visit brief if it’s busy so no one has to wait outside.
– in-store shopping/pick ups – 11 – 6 pm Monday – Friday, 11 am – 4 pm Saturday
(if you don’t want to come into the store for a pick up, call and/or use the back door)
– Max 4 people in the store at a time
– Wear a mask (if you don’t have one, we’ll have some)
– Sanitize your hands (we’ll have some)
…..pick of the week…..
Various: WAMONO A to Z Vol. 3 – Japanese Light Mellow Funk, Disco & Boogie 1978-1988 (180g) LP
Active as a professional DJ in Japan since the late eighties, DJ Yoshizawa Dynamite is also a renowned remixer, compiler and producer. An avid record collector and an expert of the Wamono style, Yoshizawa published the Wamono A to Z records guide book in 2015 which instantly sold-out. The book unveiled a myriad of beautiful and rare records from a highly prolific, but still then unknown, Japanese groove scene. After many years working as a record buyer for several stores, DJ Chintam opened his own Blow Up shop in 2018 in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. A member of the Dayjam Crew and a specialist of soul, funk, rare groove and disco music, Chintam is also an expert of the home-brewed Wamono grooves. He supervised and wrote the Wamono A to Z records guide book together with Yoshizawa. For this third chapter of the acclaimed Wamono series, Yoshizawa and Chintam unheart some of the best and rarest light mellow funk tunes and disco boogie bangers produced in Japan between 1978 and 1988. Put the needle on the record, turn up the volume and dig right now into the Wamono sound – the cream of the Japanese jazz, funk, soul, rare groove and disco music developed throughout the years since the end of the sixties in Japan!
File Under: Jazz, Funk, Japan
The Body & Big Brave: Leaving None But Small Birds (Thrill Jockey) LP
Coloured vinyl! The Body and Big|Brave are bands possessed of an unequaled ability to convey overwhelming weight with simplicity, repetition, and detailed sonic atmospheres; artists who continue to alter the definition of what it means to be a heavy band. The Body are consistently prolific while increasingly ambitious as untethered producers and collaborators. Big|Brave shape sound with dense waves of guitar and feedback, minimalist and hypnotic crashes, and emotionally exacting vocal melodies. In collaboration, The Body and Big|Brave shift the gravity of their compositions to woven layers of percussion and unspooling guitars that sprawl through stark frameworks of earthy folk. Their debut collaborative album Leaving None But Small Birds distills the two ensembles’ pioneering approach to heavy music into psalms for the forgotten, threnodies of lost love, and odes to vengeance. Typical to The Body’s creative process, Leaving None But Small Birds was composed almost entirely in the studio at Machine With Magnets with engineer/producer Seth Manchester. The Body and Big|Brave aimed to challenge themselves to craft a fully realized and cohesive work that strayed outside the boundaries of the music they make individually. The Body’s Lee Buford set up the initial challenge: collaborating to make an album that evoked the country and folk roots of The Band. Big|Brave’s Robin Wattie compiled lyrics and melodic lines from across Appalachian, Canadian, and English hymns and folk songs. Select phrases were then reworked and precisely arranged to center the experiences of marginalized characters, victims of hardship, and those yearning for love within each story. The despair and empowerment of these traditional tunes draw remarkable parallels with each group’s focus on championing people often cast aside in history. Leaving None But Small Birds takes its name from the “Polly Gosford” lyric “He covered her grave / and hastened home / Leaving none but small birds / her fate to bemoan,” an image in traditional songs evoking the alienation and isolation of the persecuted. The Body and Big|Brave, following a folk tradition, make each song their own through shifts in perspective and a synthesis of passages from kindred tales. Leaving None But Small Birds transfigures The Body and Big|Brave’s heft into a daring diversity of sounds unbridled and austere. The loping opener “Blackest Crow” implements gusts of violin and harmony against the bedrock of a droning riff and shruti box that subtly shifts timbre. “Hard Times” threads stories of indentured and child factory laborers through cascading trellises of rubato guitar as Wattie’s petitions are swallowed by the swell. The Body and Big|Brave’s maximalist rumble looms at the fringes of each song as guitarist Chip King’s (The Body) staggering drones seep into their fabric with resolute percussion from Buford and Big|Brave drummer Tasy Hudson punctuating with their steady current. Wattie and fellow Big|Brave guitarist Mathieu Ball twirl repeating phrases around one another into restrained meditations that bend and shift incrementally. Hudson joins Wattie in harmonized duets and hockets across the album, enhancing the loneliness of “Once I Had A Sweetheart” and laying bare the raw brilliance of “Black is the Colour.” “Polly Gosford” froths with persistently rising walls of violin, guitar, piano and trudging toms that only capitulate after Wattie spins the tragic song of femicide into ghostly revenge with “She broke him, she tore him / she ripped him in three / because he murdered / her baby and she.” Big|Brave’s roots as a minimalist folk band and The Body’s love of old-time, country blues, and folk music enable the quintet to strike a formidable balance between sorrowful lamentation and uplifting resolve to weighty effect. Leaving None But Small Birds thatches together two monumental innovative forces that render the emotionally profound with lucid, devastating vitality.
File Under: Metal
Jaimie Branch: FLY or DIE LIVE (International Anthem) LP
Chicago comes good again with both volumes of Jaimie Branch’s 2017/2019 sessions ‘Fly or Die Live’ repackaged as one deadly showcase of her ensemble, lead by her trumpet and vocals. “There is a moment near the top of jaimie branch’s FLY or DIE LIVE, the new album recorded by the trumpeter’s quartet at in Zurich, Switzerland on January 23rd, 2020, which feels like it bears the weight of both that specific pocket of time, and a prophecy for all that was soon to come. branch and her Fly or Die crew — cellist Lester St. Louis, bassist Jason Ajemian, and drummer Chad Taylor — had just kicked off the concert at Moods, with the opening tracks off their then-new studio album FLY or DIE II: Bird Dogs of Paradise, the second of which, “Prayer for Amerikkka” is among the best political songs written during the Tr*mp Era, and when the moment in question pops off. A week into a European tour and after three months of constant live performance, Fly or Die is at home in the music’s contours, messing with its internal machinery while guiding its meaning. By now, “Prayer” had gained a tough spoken-word intro, bringing the context as it slowly gearshifts the intensity: “It’s a song about America,” off-the-cuffs branch while the band seethes behind her, “but it’s about a whole lotta places — ‘cause it’s not just America where shit’s fucked up…” Then arrives the climax, at once site-specific and far-reaching: “…and it’s not always time to be neutral, do you know what I mean?” The gathered Swiss crowd knows, understands, and responds vocally, as Taylor’s backbeats cue branch to bring the trumpet to her lips, and let out a high-pitched wail. Her horn doesn’t know what’s about to happen to our world, and yet, somehow, it does — with only the catastrophic details needing to be worked out. “This is a warning, honey…” cries the song, and over the ensuing 70 minutes, the band echoes its sentiment, filled with glee and terror. “I didn’t have a memory of the show being an amazing show,” branch says. “But sometimes when you have zero memory of it being good or bad, those are the best shows. Because when you’re in the zone, in those moments of channeling creativity, there isn’t time for judgment. So oftentimes a memory is not created around that judgment, and that’s actually a good indication.” When branch did pop the tape in, she was unequivocal: “I think this is like the best that we’ve ever played.””
File Under: Jazz
Cannabis Corpse: From Wisdom to Baked (Season of Mist) LP
Legendary Canadian tech death wizards Gorguts probably didn’t see it coming when their 2001 album From Wisdom to Hate was mercilessly inhaled by death metal weed aficionados Cannabis Corpse in the form of their fourth full-length From Wisdom to Baked (2014). Punishing tracks like “Zero Weed Tolerance,” “Individual Pot Patterns,” “Baptized in Bud,” and “THC Crystal Mountain” are nothing short of killer metal, and give voice to insane stories of marijuana zombies, arcane pot lore and demented hillbilly cannabis farmers. Featuring Cannabis Corpse’s most powerful songs to date plus guest appearances from Chris Barnes (Six Feet Under), Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder), Digestor (Ghoul) and more, From Wisdom to Baked proved to be one of 2014’s best death metal albums!
File Under: Metal
Carcass: Torn Arteries (Nuclear Blast) LP
Ferocious and uncompromising in their execution, Carcass’s ability to intricately dissect the innards of death metal, and display them for us to sonically understand has been their point of excellence for over three decades. In December 2019 the band released their first single in over five years, “Under The Scalpel Blade,” followed by the four-song EP, Despicable (October 2020), setting a potent precedent for the full length album to come in 2021: Torn Arteries . With the album title itself referencing an old demo created by original drummer Ken Ownback in the 80’s, Torn Arteries sits as a bookend on the modern side of the Carcass discography, connecting directly back to where everything began over 30 years ago. “I think as our seventh album, it does stand out from the others both sonically and stylistically,” explains vocalist and bassist Jeff Walker. “You can definitely tell that it’s Carcass; when you drop that needle on the vinyl, when you hear that guitar tone, you can tell it’s Bill Steer, but each album is always a product of its time.” Most will find that the only real struggle when indulging in Torn Arteries is fighting the desire to start it over the second it finishes. It covers substantial new ground for a band with such a reputation, while still retaining that addictive, time honored Carcass sound that has come to represent the face of true death metal.
File Under: Metal
David Ornette Cherry: Organic Nation Listening Club (Spirit Muse) LP
The new album by ‘Cosmic Nomad’ David Ornette Cherry following his father’s tradition, the legendary jazz innovator Don Cherry. This a mosaic of healing soundscapes blending spiritual jazz, leftfield electronica, Eastern & native, indigenous sounds into musical parallels that transport the listener through doorways of ancient pathways to futurist crossroads. This is a phenomenal, unique album with Cherry working with upcoming musicians from across the globe into creating genre-defying funky, earthy, spiritual, organic soundscapes that speak to the soul!
File Under: Jazz
Explosions in the Sky: Big Bend: An Original Soundtrack for Public Television (Temporary Residence) LP
In 2019, Explosions In The Sky was approached to craft the score to a new documentary about a place with which, as native Texans, they were very familiar: Big Bend National Park. That documentary, Big Bend: The Wild Frontier of Texas, premiered on PBS in the United States as well as on a variety of networks in other countries in early 2021. The hour-long film intimately follows the lives of native animals amid expansive aerial views of the iconic desert landscape that makes up one of the grandest natural wonders in the world. The band set these sights to an inspired, melodic, and meaningful blend of acoustic guitar, slide guitar, strings, piano, bells, and drums that feels as alive and diverse–and vast and lonely – as the place it depicts. Big Bend (An Original Soundtrack for Public Television) takes that mesmerizing score and re-contextualizes it as a standalone album. Those brief cues have been expanded and transformed into a thoughtful, gorgeous full-length album that recalls some of the band’s most magical and memorable moments from their storied history.
File Under: Post Rock
Full of Hell: Garden of Burning Apparitions (Relapse) LP
We were grossly shorted on this one, hopefully more in soon! Full Of Hell return with their highly anticipated new album, Garden Of Burning Apparitions. The record, a genre-bending blitzkrieg of hardcore, grind and death metal, sees the band expand upon the very elements that have propelled Full Of Hell to the forefront of extreme music over the last decade. Produced by Seth Manchester at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Garden of Burning Apparitions also sees Full Of Hell adding new dimensions to their warp-speed hellscape. Guitarist Spencer Hazard and bassist Sam DiGristine’s monstrous riffs now have an added noise-rock influence, while drummer Dave Bland commands the rhythm section at blazing speeds. Lyrically, Garden of Burning Apparitions sees vocalist Dylan Walker exploring (anti)religion, life’s impermanence and the fear that comes with knowing death is inescapable. “Industrial Messiah Complex” grinds organized religion to a pulp in under 90 seconds, while Walker contemplates the commodification of spirituality seen in America’s vast network of garish mega-churches and how these practices are at odds with true spirituality. Meanwhile, “Reeking Tunnels” rides a strident noise rock riff down into the sewer. It’s a metaphor for the physical and mental space we become trapped in when we live in a perpetual state of fear and hate. Elsewhere, justifiable ochlophobia propels the guttural death metal blast of “Eroding Shell.” Lyrically, the song seeks to capture our fear of the violent, ignorant mob – a scene glimpsed far too often in this volatile era. In the end, Full Of Hell’s boundary smashing has paid off again. “I think it’s good that we tried not to pigeonhole ourselves early on,” Walker reflects. “Because now, 10 years in, we have the opportunity to make whatever record we want, within reason, and people will follow along.”
File Under: Metal
Jerusalem In My Heart: Qalaq (Constellation) LP
One of the most renowned and uncompromising entities working in 21st century avant-garde Arab-Levantine art and music, Jerusalem In My Heart presents a new album of vital and haunting electronics and electroacoustics, framed by founder and producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh’s spoken and sung Arabic, buzuk-playing and sound design. Qalaq is the most distilled, variegated and finely wrought Jerusalem In My Heart album to date – featuring a different guest/collaborator on every track, yet as cohesive, emotionally resonant, sonically adventurous and narratively powerful as any release in JIMH’s celebrated discography. Guests across the album’s 13 tracks include Moor Mother, Tim Hecker, Lucrecia Dalt, Greg Fox, Beirut, Alanis Obomsawin, Rabih Beaini and many more.
File Under: Experimental, Middle East
Makoto Matsushita: First Light (Warner Japan) LP
A long-awaited LP vinyl reissue that is very popular as a Japanese AOR masterpiece. Makoto Matsushita is a well-known guitarist who participated in the fusion funk group AB’s with Tomaru Yoshino. The album is full of AOR taste, originally released in 1981. The original version is recreated and the photo jacket by Kaoru Ijima is faithfully reproduced.
File Under: Japan, City Pop
OST: Cobra Kai (Mondo) LP
Mondo and Madison Gate are proud to present the premiere vinyl release of Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson’s incredible score to the Netflix streaming phenomenon COBRA KAI. This 3-disc vinyl set features music from the first 3 seasons of the hit series, curated by the composers into themed collections. This exclusive retail version comes pressed on red, white, and blue marble discs. Also featuring all new artwork from the incredible Matt Ryan Tobin and liner notes from composers Leo Birenberg, Zach Robinson, star Ralph Macchio, and showrunners Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg. Music from the first 3 seasons of the series curated into three collections of music:
Disc 1: COBRA KAI – a curated mix of music scoring the most badass dojo in the Vallely
Disc 2: MIYAGI-DO – curated selections from the music scoring Laruso Family, and its ties to the Miyagi legacy.
Disc 3: FINAL FIGHTS – the music from all three of the explosive season finale episodes.
All of the music has been hand selected, and in many cases expanded from their original form for the most definitive Cobra Kai listening experience available.
File Under: OST
OST: Day of the Dead (Waxwork) LP
Waxwork Records is beyond thrilled to present George A. Romero’s DAY OF THE DEAD Original Motion Picture Score on deluxe double vinyl. Originally released by Waxwork in 2013 and 2014, and selling out almost immediately, the score to George A. Romero’s DAY OF THE DEAD by composer John Harrison (Creepshow, Tales From The Dark Side) is 100% synth driven, dark, and blends elements of tropical compositions and atonal, droning electronic cues. In 2013, Waxwork Records and composer John Harrison unearthed the original, lost 1985 master tapes containing the complete DAY OF THE DEAD film score from the attic of a recording studio in Pittsburgh, PA. After painstakingly restoring, mixing, and mastering the complete musical cues for vinyl, Waxwork assembled a definitive and deluxe release of the film’s classic synth heavy score, approved by both the composer and director George A. Romero. After receiving many requests from both Waxwork fans, and lovers of both horror cinema and film music, Waxwork Records is proud to re-issue the 2xLP DAY OF THE DEAD score, one of their most popular titles, on deluxe 180 gram “Zombie Rot” vinyl, housed in an old style tip-on gatefold jacket with satin coating and UV spot gloss finish, liner notes by director George A. Romero, an 11”x22” art print featuring liner notes by composer John Harrison created in the form of the infamous “THE DEAD WALK!” newspaper front page featured in the film’s opening credits, and artwork by Jay Shaw.
File Under: OST
Pachyman: The Return of… (ATO) LP
The Return of Pachyman is a supernatural force from a brave new world that’s a little bit San Juan, a little L.A., and a whole lot of Studio One in Kingston, Jamaica. Designed to be a resurrection of sound systems from the past through which we can celebrate a post-Trump future, the record shows that blasting off into reggae’s deep space has never gone out of style.
File Under: Reggae
Duke Pearson: Merry Ole Soul (Blue Note) LP
Blue Note Records is pleased to present the Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissue Series, a continuation of their acclaimed Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series which was launched in celebration of the label’s 80th anniversary in 2019. The Classic Series will once again feature all-analog 180g vinyl pressings in standard packaging that are mastered by Kevin Gray directly from the original master tapes and manufactured at Optimal in Germany. The first 16 titles of the Classic Series will focus on the enduring classics of the Blue Note catalog. The Classic Series will be on-going, running alongside the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series which is produced by Joe Harley. Pianist Duke Pearson recorded his Christmas album Merry Ole Soul in 1969 with Bob Cranshaw on bass and Mickey Roker on drums, as well as percussionist Airto Moreira on several tracks. The only Christmas album recorded during Blue Note’s classic era, the set includes holiday favorites including “Sleigh Ride,” “Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night,” and more.
File Under: Jazz, Xmas
Howard Roberts: Lord Shango OST (Tidal Waves) LP
Clear vinyl! Somewhere amid the sea of pimps and tough guys, Blaculas and Blackensteins that came to characterize the films of the Blaxploitation era was a curious little oddity that defied classification. Not scary enough to be horror, too supernatural to be drama, with far too many animal sacrifices to be a romance, Lord Shango represented a solemn, contemplative, spiritual alternative to the sort of “exploitative” sex and violence-laden criminal storylines that gave Blaxploitation its name. Released in early 1975, Lord Shango’s marketing materials painted it as a horror movie…but in truth, it’s a thoughtful, deliberately paced blend of genres similar in tone and cultural content (comparable to the spirit and feel of the 1973 film Ganja & Hess…and also starring Marlene Clark) and plays like a “woke” old-timey melodrama in the mold of the “race films” of the early 20th century from pioneering black directors like Oscar Micheaux and Spencer Williams. This racial consciousness is undoubtedly a manifestation of the Afrocentrism and Black Power movement of the ’60s and ’70s. Like the movie, the soundtrack showcases a clash of different “worlds” — musically speaking, that is. Three distinct musical styles run throughout the film, each serving to set the tone for one of the primary settings: gospel in and around the church, African drumming in the Yoruba village and jazz/R&B/funk in the “real world”. The music in Lord Shango is almost a character unto itself. The soundtrack to Lord Shango has it all! Expect hypnotic Yoruba drums, call-and-response chants, spiritual belting gospel choirs with Doo-wop backings…to more contemporary R&B jams with an easy-going Al Green soul-vibe, blazing funk (the more ‘stereotypical’ Blaxploitation sound), an array of fantastic jazz permutations, soothing piano ballads combined with cool mid-tempo horns…and even ‘loungy’ Latin fusion jazz-funk. This album is a must-have piece of art that just begs for a place in every serious soundtrack collectors’ collection. Originally released in 1975 on Bryan Records (the musical division of Bryanston Pictures) it has since then become a hard to find collectable record that fetches high prices on the second hand market. Tidal Waves Music now proudly presents the first official reissue of Howard Robert’s classic soundtrack to ‘Lord Shango’. This unique album comes as a deluxe 180g vinyl edition featuring the original artwork. Also included is a double-sided insert featuring original movie stills and lengthy-exclusive liner notes by renowned Blaxploitation author Mark H. Harris. This North American vinyl version is limited to 500 copies on 180g Clear Vinyl and also comes with an obi strip.
File Under: OST, Funk, Jazz
Gianni Safred: Futuribile – The Life to Come (Four Flies) LP
This retro-futuristic Italian classic from the cosmic era is now finally reissued in a double LP edition that will surely bring joy to DJs worldwide. Underrated jazz musician and composer Gianni Safred is one of the great pioneers of Italian electronic music and had proven his talent in a couple of ultra-rare and highly sought-after library records released by renowned Italian label Music Scene. FUTURIBILE was the second of the batch, composed and recorded in 1978 in his Trieste-based studio, using Minimoog, Polymoog, Arp Odyssey, Arp Omni, Fender Rhodes, Sequencer Roland, Space Echo Roland, and accompanied by a solid drum section. The whole album is crazy, with spooky and mysterious grooves that sounds both modern and danceable. An incredible electronic disco-jazz album, full of deep breaks and beats, along with dope overlapping synths, resulting in minimalistic proto-house tunes. A record that will take you both back in time and forward into the future. These sounds are suitable for space travels, space exploration, experiments, fantastic adventures, future enterprises, interplanetary stories, important achievements, industrial accomplishments of broad implications, modern scientific discoveries, and new industrial events.
File Under: Library
Nancy Sinatra: Boots (Light in the Attic) LP
Blue swirl vinyl! “Dumb stuff, as Lee used to call it. Dumb doesn’t mean stupid. It means human and understandable. It was the sound of three guitars, drums, and bass. It was simple, very, very simple. I can still see the room, the studio. With Carol Kaye, Glen Campbell, Donnie Owens… I can still see them all sitting there and chunking away. I guess simple was the best way to explain it, uncomplicated.” – Nancy Sinatra. Light in the Attic is proud to present the next installment of the Nancy Sinatra Archival Series with a deluxe reissue of Nancy’s first album, Boots. The 1966 debut million-selling debut LP, introduced the sassy, blonde, go-go booted icon. Built around her Lee Hazlewood-penned hits, “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” and “So Long, Babe,” the folk-rock era milestone album features songs by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Hazlewood and more. The catchy and jangly pop hooks performed by the famed Los Angeles session musicians, The Wrecking Crew and Billy Strange’s innovative arrangements provided the perfect sound to help Nancy capture the attention of the world. The new reissue includes two bonus tracks recorded during the album sessions, the non-album b-side “The City Never Sleeps At Night” and the previously unreleased “For Some.” Remastered from the original analog tapes by GRAMMY®-nominated engineer John Baldwin, the reissue is complemented by a new Q&A interview with Nancy and GRAMMY®-nominated reissue co-producer Hunter Lea. The CD edition is housed in a digipak and features a 28-page booklet, while each vinyl set is presented in an expanded gatefold jacket (featuring a 20-page booklet), with special color editions available exclusively at NancySinatra.com, LightInTheAttic.net, and independent record stores.
File Under: Pop
Spirit Adrift: Forge Your Future (Century Media) LP
Already known to be one of the hardest working bands out there, SPIRIT ADRIFT once again keep the foot on the gas and announce the release of their brand-new three track EP “Forge Your Future”. While further refining their signature songwriting and composing style the band managed to even surpass its fan-hailed album predecessor peaking in the overwhelming Heavy Metal Hymn “Wake Up” which successfully accomplishes to convince the established fanbase as well as the mainstream Metal-Enthusiast.
FIle Under: Metal
Surprise Chef: All News is Good News (Mr. Bongo) LP
There is something simultaneously both brand-new and retro about ‘All News Is Good News’ – the debut album from Melbourne’s instrumental soul group Surprise Chef. It sounds like something dreamt up by lo-fi cousins of David Axelrod and Janko Nilovic, with dramatic Library-music-esque cinematic arrangements echoing both light and dark, delving into moments of dissonance and positivity. There is a meticulous education of 1970’s soul on display that touches on the legacies of the great composer / producers, yet at the same time, this is a truly contemporary record that could have only been made now. The first limited pressing of ‘All News Is Good News’ was released on the band’s own ‘College Of Knowledge’ imprint in November 2019. It slipped rapidly into the collective consciousness of underground music lovers around the world, with all copies selling out within a week and becoming a firm favourite at Mr Bongo HQ in the process. We felt Surprise Chef had made something very special, a future-classic, and that needed to be heard well beyond those lucky enough to have bagged those limited first copies. Formed at the end of 2017, Surprise Chef have grown within the fertile, creative, and supportive Melbourne music scene. Whilst the band is comprised of four core members, the album features friends and family as guest instrumentalists on flute, saxophone, vibraphone, congas, and assorted percussion; all adeptly recorded by engineer Henry Jenkins from the band Karate Boogaloo. The warm-raw-authenticity of the album was captured in the recordings live to tape over a handful of sessions in the band’s home studio in Melbourne’s inner-northern suburb of Coburg. As band member Lachlan Stuckey explains “All of the music we record is tracked live to tape, simply because so many of the records we love most were made that way”. The results are a captivating journey of instrumental cinematic-soul that will connect with the hardened Axelrod, Truth & Soul, El Michels Affair, and Daptone’s fans, as well as the open-minded first-time listener. We are very excited to share this first slice of Surprise Chef’s world, with plenty more magic from these guys coming around the corner very soon.
File Under: Funk
Eddie Suzuki: High Tide (Aloha Got Soul) LP
A beautiful album celebrating Hawaii’s warmth and spirit. Enterprising composer and musician Eddie Suzuki made his own path throughout his lifetime. Born on October 4, 1929, Suzuki worked as a young shoeshiner in 1940s Honolulu, saving enough money to take piano lessons. In high school, he led a big band orchestra of 16, and sometimes up to 40 members. By the age of 18, he owned a piano shop that pivoted to become Honolulu’s top guitar store. For Eddie Suzuki, music always came first. In 1973, after performing and composing songs for many years, Eddie Suzuki and his group, New Hawaii, recorded the now impossibly rare album, High Tide. The LP isn’t a rock-outfit, local music journalist Wayne Harada ruminated in a 1973 review. Rather, it’s one man’s vision and version of the now Hawaii. A seasoned mix of psych, Hawaiian, and pop sensibilities, the music on High Tide gave the listener a look into Eddie’s singular vision celebrating the sights and sounds (and spirit) of Hawaii.
File Under: Hawaii, Psych, Exotica
Taylor Swift: Fearless – Taylor’s Version (Republic) LP
Taylor Swift presents a colored vinyl 3LP pressing of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), a re-recorded edition of her second studio album Fearless. Originally released in 2008, the new edition marks the first of six re-recorded albums Swift plans to release. The album features multiple collaborations with her Folklore and Evermore collaborators Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff. In addition to newly recorded versions of the 19 tracks originally included on the deluxe edition of Fearless, the new album includes the 2010 song “Today Was a Fairytale” (first released on the soundtrack for the romantic comedy Valentine’s Day) and six additional songs “From the Vault.” “Fearless was an album full of magic and curiosity, the bliss and devastation of youth,” Swift shared. “It was the diary of the adventures and explorations of a teenage girl who was learning tiny lessons with every new crack in the facade of the fairytale ending she’d been shown in the movies. I’m thrilled to tell you that my new version of Fearless is done and will be with you soon. It’s called Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and it includes  songs.” “Musicians rerecording their back catalog following behind-the-scenes label disputes is an age-old music industry story,” writes Rolling Stone. “But there is little precedent for an artist undertaking the endeavor in as high-profile a manner as Swift, who has leapt into this project with the big-budget ambition and creative fervor usually reserved for a blockbuster album. In doing so, she’s positioned unromantic industry pragmatism as a retrospective celebration of her creative life: part die-hard fan treat, part legacy-artist archival reissue – think: The Bootleg Series (Taylor’s Version) – and part told-you-so pet project.”
File Under: Pop
Leslie Winer: When I Hit You – You’ll Feel It (Light in the Attic) LP
Cloudy blue vinyl! Light in the Attic is ecstatic to announce When I Hit You—You’ll Feel It: a 16-track anthology that celebrates the extraordinary work of musician, poet, and author, Leslie Winer. When I Hit You—You’ll Feel It spans Winer’s three-decade-long musical career: from her groundbreaking solo work in the early ‘90s to her latest inspired projects. Featuring musical contributions from Jon Hassell, Helen Terry, Jah Wobble, Renegade Soundwave’s Karl Bonnie, and others, the collection also spotlights Winer’s diverse collaborations, and unearths previously-unreleased recordings. Newly remastered by the GRAMMY®-nominated engineer John Baldwin, When I Hit You—You’ll Feel It will be available in multiple special 2xLP editions, on CD, and across digital platforms. The album includes a new interview with Winer, captured by the compilation’s co-producer, acclaimed author and critic Wyndham Wallace. Rounding out the package is an insightful essay by the award-winning writer and scholar Louis Chude-Sokei and an original cover collage by the renowned British photographer and artist, Linder, featuring photography by Mondino, and design by designer Christopher Shannon.
File Under: Experimental, Pop
Susuma Yokota: Symbol (P-Vine) LP
The everlastingly unique Susumu Yokota pursued a world filled with beauty and delicate expression in Symbol, the first in a series of newly remastered works to be reissued with P-VINE records. Despite having his life cut tragically short, Yokota left behind a legacy of sonically gifted works, and his mastery of trackmaking is no more so on display than with this, the 8th to be released under his own skintone record label. As he glides seamlessly between worlds occupied by angels and demons, of compositions etched into the history of classical music and his own unpredictable contemporary craft, we are reminded of the symbolism explored at the core of this work. The familiar and the dissimilar and the aesthetic relations to the world around us. This is an album that twists, turns and pirouettes through baroque and techno landscapes, and is on the verge of another grand appearance.
File Under: Electronic, Japan
Various: Metallica Blacklist (Blackened) BOX
It’s no secret that Metallica’s self-titled fifth album – aka The Black Album – is one of the most commercially successful records of all time. Its 1991 release propelled Metallica to bona fide household name superstardom, and its impact and relevance have only grown with the years: The Black Album remains the best-selling album of the past three decades, and one of only two albums that have spent 550+ weeks on the Billboard 200. The Metallica Blacklist celebrates the 30th anniversary and enduring influence of this musical milestone with one of the most ambitious projects ever conceived by the Metallica team: An unprecedented 50+ artists spanning an unbelievably vast range of genres, generations, cultures, continents and more, each contributing a unique interpretation of their favorite Black Album cut. Much more than a mere tribute, The Metallica Blacklist offers up new dimensions of the record whose gravitational pull first drew the mainstream to Metallica in 1991 – and provides new insights into the universal and timeless appeal that kept it there: the boundary-smashing influence these 12 songs have had on fans and musicians of all stripes. Blacklist’s 53 tracks find singer-songwriters, country artists, electronic and hip-hop artists sharing their love of these songs alongside punk rockers, indie darlings, icons of rock, metal, world music and many, many more. Artists participating in this epic charity project include Weezer, My Morning Jacket, St. Vincent, Chris Stapleton, The Neptunes, Juanes, Cage The Elephant, Kamasi Washington, Phoebe Bridgers, and Flatbush Zombies featuring DJ Scratch. For a special, all-star rendition of “Nothing Else Matters,” Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo teamed up with Miley Cyrus, Elton John, Chad Smith, Yo-Yo Ma, and WATT. The Metallica Blacklist is a fitting and limitless homage, one that features bands who’ve shared stages with Metallica alongside artists who are younger than the original album. It’s a truly staggering, at times mystifying assemblage of musicians, dozens of whom have little to nothing in common other than the shared passion for the music that’s united them for this album. And really… nothing else matters. All music overseen by executive producer Giles Martin. The seven LPs will be housed in die-cut jackets with a booklet in a library-style slipcase. Comes with an MP3 download card.
File Under: Metal
Various: Join the Ritual (Jagjaguwar) LP
Jagjaguwar invites listeners to Join The Ritual, as the record label begins the third quarter of its 25th Anniversary through a celebration of those who have guided its history. With a nod to the company’s roots in Dungeons & Dragons, Join The Ritual pays homage to the artists and fellow independent titans like Drag City, K Records, Too Pure, Touch & Go and more who originally inspired Jagjaguwar to take a seat at the table and enter the wild, dark magic ritual of music. On each of Join The Ritual’s 11 tracks, Jagjaguwar artists, alumni and one very close friend recreate songs that captured the imaginations of company founder Darius Van Arman and partner Chris Swanson. Angel Olsen covers Smog’s “Cold Blooded Old Times”; They Hate Change takes on Stereolab’s “The Seeming and The Meaning”; Cut Worms, Nap Eyes, Okay Kaya, Pink Mountaintops and S. Carey deliver their own renditions of formative cuts from Simon Joyner, Built to Spill, R.E.M., Teenage Fanclub and Low, respectively. As the story goes, “Jagjaguwar” came from a Dungeons & Dragons name generator. While the game played a significant role in the early lives of Darius Van Arman and Chris Swanson, they agree with the case made by writer Paul La Farge in the September 2006 issue of The Believer, positing that Dungeons & Dragons is not a game at all, but rather a ritual – one that brings about a union, or an organic connection between initially separate groups. From teaming with Bloomington, Indiana-based record label Secretly Canadian in the late 1990s, to cultivating communities and forming familial relationships with seemingly superhuman artists and their most treasured collaborators, Jagjaguwar has grown through the belief in the idea of ritual as a conjoining practice. Join The Ritual marks the third installment of Jag Quarterly, a year-long series of four projects that enter and expand the worlds built through Jagjaguwar’s 25 years of work alongside some of the most mythical artists in music. Centered around collaboration and the celebration of community, each edition of Jag Quarterly is titled by a different mantra of the label’s past, imbuing it with new meaning through creative endeavors that unite artists both within and outside of the Jagjaguwar roster.
File Under: Indie Rock
Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works (R&S) LP
Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique (Capitol) LP
Blue Stingrays: Surf-n-Burn (Epitone) LP
Sonny Clark: My Conception (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
Gal Costa: India (Mr. Bongo) LP
Grant Green: Born to Be Blue (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
Guided By Voices: Isolation Drills (TVT) LP
Aldous Harding: Designer (4AD) LP
Aldous Harding: Party (4AD) LP
Idles: Brutalism (Partisan) LP
Idles: A Beautiful Thing (Partisan) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
King Woman: Celestial Blues (Relapse) LP
Fela Kuti: Confusion (Knitting Factory) LP
Kacey Musgraves: Star-Crossed (MCA) LP
Arlo Parks: Collapsed in Sunbeams (Transgressive) LP
Pearl Jam: No Code (Legacy) LP
Radiohead: OK Computer – Oknotok 1997-2007 (XL) LP
Otis Redding: Dock of the Bay (Sundazed) LP
Sam Rivers: Contours (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
Silver Jews: Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea (Drag City) LP
Smog: Knock Knock (Drag City) LP
Don Tiki: Hot Like Lava (Aloha Got Soul) LP
Shinichi Tanabe & Alfred The Great Brass: Kikko Matsuoka’s Love Love 25:00 (HMV) LP
Tirzah: Colourgrade (Domino) LP
White Zombie: Astro-Creep 2000 (Music on Vinyl) LP
Wilco: A Ghost is Born (Nonesuch) LP
Young Gun Silver Fox: West End Coast (Wax Poetic) LP
Various: Native North America (Light in the Attic) BOX
Various: Pacific Breeze 2 (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: Sounds of Pamoja (Nyege Nyege Tapes) LP
Various: Wamono A to Z Vol. 1 (180g) LP