Hoooooboy. If it wasn’t enough that I was swamped all day, when it came time to throw this news letter together some of the back end integrations that make this nice and slick weren’t syncing… making it a total gong show. So… at the top I’ve added a list of stuff that is in, and up on the site, but not included with a nice photo etc below because the internet hates me.
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 4people in the store at a time
– Wear a mask(if you don’t have one, we’ll have some)
– Sanitizeyour hands(we’ll have some)
..…picks of the week…..
Wasted Cathedral: I’m Gonna Love You ‘Til the End of Time (Cardinal Fuzz) LP
Wasted Cathedral is the solo project of Saskatoon-based musician Christopher Laramee (Shooting Guns, The Switching Yard, and The Radiation Flowers). This new album is the latest in an impressive line of releases that have explored a variety of sounds, from ambient drone and electronic disco to experimental chaos and downtempo electronica. I’m Gonna Love You ‘Til The End Of Time is made up of seven songs and is undoubtedly influenced by the starkness of the Canadian Prairie and long Saskatchewanian nights. It serves well as a soundtrack to the setting of any number of listening experiences, particularly when experienced with headphones. No matter the direction Laramee has chosen to guide Wasted Cathedral, the result has always been intriguing and captivating. I’m Gonna Love You ‘Til The End Of Time is certainly no exception. Laramee describes Wasted Cathedral as incidental music, improvised soundscapes created in passing moments, like musical snapshots. This makes perfect sense, considering the likes of Sarah Davachi, Peter Kember, Terry Riley, and Augustus Pablo inform Laramee’s approach to composition, as well as tone-setting and mood. According to Laramee, this collection of songs is a continuation of his previous work, albeit in a more stripped down fashion. Wasted Cathedral is recommended for listeners of Flying Saucer Attack, DJ Shadow, Spiritualized, and Portishead.
File Under: Psych
Nyssa Musique: Comme au Moulin (Ici Bentiot) LP
After NEF’s album in 2019, Ici Bientôt is happy to present today the reissue of “Comme Au Moulin” by Nyssa Musique. Paris 1985… ‘Extra-European’ Traditions meet Jazz and Minimal Music. An unusual array of instruments turn music into a dialogue. For a unique record … vivid, full of texture, somewhere between Midori Takada, Don Cherry and Jon Hassell. Beginning of the eighties, 5 musicians rehearse in a contemporary dance class hall, upstairs from the ‘’New Morning”, renowned Music venue in Paris. Nyssa Musique is born. Passionate for a long time about traditional music, like those of the Middle East, India and East Asia, but also about African traditions, they throw a bridge between Jazz and ‘Extra-European’ traditions, resulting in what would be called “Spiritual Jazz” today, a little bit in the style of Don Cherry’s Organic Music or Pharoah Sanders. With the notable difference, however, that their creations are strongly infused by contemporary classical and repetitive music, notably Steve Reich’s work with whom they share a great interest for the traditional cultures of Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and its gamelans. In the original group we have Armand Amar, Ballet Music composer and John Boswell. Both specialists of traditional hand percussion which they had been studying for a long time in India and the Middle East, they are also very fond of synthesizers. Three other talented musicians quickly join them: Jean-François Roger, percussionist, marimba and vibraphone specialist, Henri Tournier, multi-flutist and Renaud Garcia-Fons, double bass player, who has a passion for the Middle East and has developed a virtuosic play of the bow, reminding that of Cecil Mc Bee. Each of them enriches the ensemble with their personality, originality and musical generosity. The rehearsal hall is rapidly invaded by the phenomenal instrumentarium put together by Armand Amar. A great opportunity for the musicians, for the dancers, to have access to an endless choice of instruments, offering infinite possibilities for mixing different colors and timbres. Their sense for being a group and their great capacity for improvising culminates, in 1986, in the composition of their first and only album Comme au Moulin (« As by the windmill”), testimony of years of creating without hidden agenda. Authentic, free and vibrant, still today, this album has no real equivalent. Even though it recalls the Fourth World current by its combination of traditional instruments with a subtle use of synthesizers, Comme au moulin gives more space to improvisation. It may also recall those of Midori Takada, less the New Age esthetics. An album that should delight as well lovers of “Love Supreme” by John Coltrane, of “Vernal Equinox” by Jon Hassell, as those of Moondog, an artist who, like them, invented a music based on the use of untypical percussions, at the confluence of ‘Extra-European’ traditions, Jazz and Classical, all together complex and hypnotic.
File Under: Jazz, Minimalism, Fourth World, Electronic
Ø (Mika Vainio): Oleva (Sahko) LP
Mika Vainio (1963-2017) was best known as half of Finnish cutting edge experimental electronica duo Pan_sonic. Ø is Vainio’s original solo pseudonym dedicated to his native label Sähkö Recordigs since 1993. Where Pan_sonic uses pure, industrial and sometimes harsh sound elements, Ø reveals Mika Vainio’s deeper, passionate and sometimes even romantic side.
File Under: Electronic
Tony Allen & Afrobeat 2000 : N.E.P.A. (Comet) LP
Comet Records presents from Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen, N.E.P.A Reissue LP Vinyl remastered and coming in an heavy Deluxe Tip-On Jacket. In 1979, Tony Allen decided to leave Fela Kuti & Africa 70 and moved to London in 1982. Originally Released in 1984 on Earthworks Records, this reissue holds an extra track previously unreleased on vinyl called “Olokun”. N.E.P.A (Never Expect Power Always) is a searing critique of the Nigerian Electric Power Authority, an organisation that governed the use of electricity in Nigeria. It starts out with the title track, with a definite Afro-beat punch. Electro-claps stand as part of the percussion line, adding to a more modern look at what Afro-beat was becoming. This is followed by an even further modernized piece of Afro-beat, as the title track is given a dub mix. “When One Road Close” has a similar pace, and is similarly followed by a dub remix, complete with the necessary space-effects reverb. And to make this reissue extra special the track “Olokun” was never released on vinyl before. Blending the nascent rise of electronica into Afrobeat production, it’s tighter than any Fela album and became a definitive project in shaping Allen’s future sound. Whether it’s the electro beats or the punchier, multilayered arrangement, it instantly stands out in Allen’s vast and expansive discography.
File Under: Afrobeat
Tony Allen with Afrika 70: No Accommodation for Lagos (Comet) LP
Comet Records presents the Tony Allen & Afrika 70 reissue series with the classic late seventies first four solo albums of Tony Allen remastered and restored: Jealousy, Progress, No Accommodation for Lagos & No Discrimination, all coming in an heavy Deluxe Tip-On Jacket. 1978’s No Accommodation for Lagos, Tony Allen’s third solo album, is an effortless Afrobeat masterpiece. The Afrika 70 band floats through two of Tony’s heaviest and most churning compositions. With this album, we start to hear Tony Allen’s unique style of Afro-Funk that he would explore for decades to come as a solo artist – it is groove-focused, a rolling meditation on rhythm. The first track, “No Accommodation for Lagos” is one of Tony’s most pointed and churning songs, recorded in a chaotic period following the army raid of Fela’s compound. There is a seriousness to the funk, a real burning purpose in the performance of every instrument, from the horns to the shekere. Tony’s performance is supercharged – he clearly showed up to the studio that day with a fire in his heart. The followup track, “African Message,” is an Afrobeat compositional staple. Tony sits back in the cut through most of the supremely funky track until about seven minutes in, when he steps into the spotlight to express himself fully – his emotions, his frustrations, his convictions – in a fiery duet between his drumkit and his voice. The percussionists coalesce around him in support, lifting Tony up as he gives it his all. Tony Allen was a musical and compositional visionary, and this album finds him beginning to explore that vision outside of Fela’s immense gravitational pull. They are the start of a new era in Tony’s fruitful career as a solo artist, opening the floodgates for his distinctive Afro-Funk sound and laying the foundation for the next generation of Afrobeat musicians to come.
File Under: Afrobeat
Tony Allen with the Afro Messengers: No Discrimination (Comet) LP
Comet Records presents the Tony Allen & Afrika 70 reissue series with the classic late seventies first four solo albums of Tony Allen remastered and restored: Jealousy, Progress, No Accomodation for Lagos & No Discrimination, all coming in an heavy Deluxe Tip-On Jacket. Tony’s solo album, No Discrimination, marks an important turning point in Tony Allen’s musical life. Tony had recently left Fela’s band, which was clearly an emotional yet necessary change as Allen sings of love and brotherhood throughout his fourth solo album. No Discrimination, both in composition and sound, is a blueprint for the future of Afrobeat, decades ahead of its time. The songs are a mixture of old and new – fusing the classic Afrobeat compositional style with modern production and ideas. Classic tunes like “No Discrimination” and “Ariya” pushed boundaries for what Afrobeat could be, which a wave of Afrobeat bands would pick up on decades later. With No Discrimination, Tony begins to move Afrobeat into the future, which he would continue doing for the rest of his career. Tony Allen was a musical and compositional visionary, and this album finds him beginning to explore that vision outside of Fela’s immense gravitational pull. They are the start of a new era in Tony’s fruitful career as a solo artist, opening the floodgates for his distinctive Afro-Funk sound and laying the foundation for the next generation of Afrobeat musicians to come.
File Under: Afrobeat
Nathan Bartell: s/t (Athens of the North) LP
Georgia-born soul singer Nathan Bartell cut a number of obscure deep funk, soul and disco singles in the 1970s and early ’80s, most of which are on the wants-list of some of the world’s most enthusiastic and knowledgeable record collectors. Athens of the North is therefore doing a good deed by collecting these sought-after “sides” together on an album for the very first time. The self-titled set does a great job of introducing us to Bartell’s soulful world via a mixture of righteous funk floor-burners, emotional slow jams, Southern soul numbers, slick boogie numbers and ’80s soul treats. In other words, it’s a much-needed retrospective of one of underground soul’s genuine forgotten talents.
File Under: Soul
Beatles: Let It Be: Special Edition (Capitol) LP
The Beatles’ chart-topping 1970 album Let It Be receives a range of beautifully presented Special Edition packages in October 2021! The new Special Edition follows the universally acclaimed remixed and expanded anniversary editions of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (2017), The Beatles (aka The White Album) (2018), and Abbey Road (2019). All of the new Let It Be releases feature a new stereo mix of the album, as guided by the original “reproduced for disc” version by Phil Spector, sourced directly from the original session and rooftop performance eight-track tapes. The new stereo mix is presented here on 180g vinyl LP. While recorded in 1969, Let It Be remains the Beatles’ final salvo due to its release in 1970 and the internal tensions that mark the album. Filled with a litany of underrated gems, it also hosts the universally recognized gospel-laden title track, on a par with the best material the Beatles ever recorded. Controversial due to its involvement of Spector, Let It Be marks a return to a drier, back-to-basics live-in-the-studio sound. Seldom, if ever, were the Beatles so raw and direct, as the folksy harmonies on “Two of Us” and straight-ahead charge of “I’ve Got a Feeling” demonstrate. And the orchestral and choir arrangements on the Spector-treated “The Long and Winding Road” simply soar.
File Under: Pop
Black Marble: Fast Idol (Sacred Bones) LP
On Fast Idol, LA-based Black Marble reaches back through time to connect with the forgotten bedroom kids of the analogue era, the halcyon days of icy hooks and warbly synths always on the edge of going out of tune. Harmonies are piped in across the expanse of space, and lyrics capture conversations that seem to come from another room, repeat an accusation overheard, or speak as if in sleep of interpersonal struggles distilled down to one subconscious phrase. At the same time, percussive elements feel forward and cut through the mix with toms counting off the measures like a lost tribe broadcasting through the bass and tops of a basement club soundsystem. Fast Idol is Stewart’s fourth full-length album and his second for Sacred Bones. Melodies roll with the fizz and charm of Jacno and phrases repeated are electric torchlight ballads sung after hours in William Gibson’s San Francisco. “Somewhere” opens in somber herald, before dropping into a fast freeway tempo; the glassy synths and crisp beats cut through the anxious moods on “Bodies” and “Try” sits in a lineage with cult bands like Asylum Party. “The Garden” is a journey through a post-apocalyptic cityscape, earthed by the pulse of a drum machine whereas “Ship To Shore” could be a lost Oppenheimer Analysis B-side, and the album’s closer “Brighter and Bigger” catches a sentiment like The Dadacomputer has learned to feel emotions. Fast Idol sees Black Marble face the rising tide of uncertainty, leaving our future selves to trace its signal as its frequencies echo into an interstellar expanse, looking for a receiver. He says: “I want my music to stick with you after I leave, even though you might not feel like you’re any closer to knowing it.”
File Under: Electronic, Indie Rock
Black Pumas: Capitol Cuts (ATO) LP
Recorded direct to acetate – all live, no overdubs – Capitol Cuts: Live from Studio A captures a powerful moment in time. After months of cancelled shows Black Pumas went to Los Angeles in Fall 2020 and laid down eight explosive tracks at the famed Capitol Studio A. The recording brims with pent up energy, nearly bursting through the grooves on the expansive and mind-blowing seven minute rendition of “Colors.” A few weeks later the song would receive a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year. Colored vinyl LP.
File Under: Soul, Rock
N’Draman Blintch: Cosmic Sounds (Hot Mule) LP
Tired of reading the words ‘classic’, ‘masterpiece’, ‘missing link’, ‘cult’, in every press release? Just trust us on this one: We have no choice but to use those words and urge you to (re)discover one of the ultimate Afro-Disco lost classics. How could such a masterpiece stay in obscurity for so long? Well, no one knows where N’Draman is. He’s presumed dead, and so is Mr Patrick, the label owner, an ex-football player who turned his focus into fashion after suffering a career ending injury. Selling jeans from an outlet in Monrovia (Liberia), he only ventured in the music business for a short period of time, releasing a handful of incredible albums on his Cosmic Sounds imprint. The word on the street was that Nigerian legend William Onyeabor was somehow involved with the production of the album, or maybe playing synths on it. Both were inaccurate, although N’Draman Blintch’s previous and first record Cikamele, was indeed recorded at Willfilms, Onyeabor’s studio. And some of the musicians playing here were also key members in his pool of session musicians. Cosmic Sounds is many things: Psychedelic, politically engaged, funky to death, full of synths, with an artwork to die for, a perfect crossover of African and Western culture: Music for the body and soul, Cosmic disco before the genre even existed. Did DJ Danielle Baldelli hear it? Was it ever played by Larry Levan or Mancuso? In a pre-internet era, it’s unlikely but not impossible. We are extremely honored in carrying the reissue of this gem and have treated the task with utmost respect: both artwork and audio were restored by specialists, and liner notes were written by Temitope Kogbe, Afro-Funk expert who runs the Odion Livingston label, founded with legendary producer Odion Iruoje. 38 years after its original release, the world is finally ready to hear Cosmic Sounds in all its glory.
File Under: Afrobeat, Disco, Funk
Coast to Coast Band: s/t (Athens of the North) LP
The second LP on Athens Of The North (Edinburgh) this month is an unreleased soul LP from the American band Coast To Coast, who only released two singles between 1982 – 1983. Core members Mark Beiner and Ben Iverson were involved with acts such as ‘The Hornets, Nue Dey Express and Crown Heights Affair in the early ’70’s. Other band members consisted of Joe Crowley, Carl (Woody Wood) Morton and Jimmy Johnson. Woody and Jimmy used to play together in the early days of seminal rap outfit Run DMC in St. Albans, Queens. Worth a listen for the soothing soul power of ‘Paila Marie’ alone.
File Under: Soul, Funk
Joseph Schiano di Lombo: Musique de Niche (Cracki) LP
After a reinterpretation of Jennifer Lopez and Mylène Farmer themes’ on the piano, Joseph Schiano di Lombo releases his first personal music pieces, designed for Human’s best friend, whether they are pet, sheep dog, guide dog or rescue dog. His first record Musique de Niche is composed with malice, mannerism and a particular flair. It is a broad public love song to doggies but also to their bipedal companions, made with a keyboard – no piano this time. Instead, a whole lot of warm-hearted timbres, playful and melancholic, partly fine ambient and partly old-fashioned TV movies soundtracks paying tribute to those masters of tenderness. Different stages of a dog’s life are told : puppies dreams, those never-ending hikes in North American forests, long afternoon napping in empty houses, and not to forget (as they are still needed), a short advertising for low price dog food.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Dos Santos: City of Mirrors (International Anthem) LP
City of Mirrors is a bold new collection of music from Chicago-based alt-Latinx band Dos Santos, which is comprised of bandleader/ singer/ lyricst/ guitarist/ keyboardist Alex Chavez, drummer Daniel Villarreal, percussionist Peter “Maestro” Vale, bassist Jaime Garza, and guitarist/ multi-instrumentalist/ vocalist Nathan Karagianis. Cinematic in its journey, the album was produced by multimedia artist and long-time friend of the band Elliot Bergman (NOMO, Wild Belle), and reflects sounds from across the Americas combined with Chavez’s compelling poetic narratives. Its 13 tracks consolidate the band’s unique identities, creative and cultural roots, and their penchant for honoring traditional Latinx music with contemporary compositional expressions and production techniques. It achieves the band’s mission to push against their own musical boundaries while also exploring themes of social justice, immigration, and contemporary human struggle.
File Under: Jazz, Latin, Cuban
Jukka Eskola Soul Trio: Steamy! (Timmion) LP
With “Steamy!” Jukka Eskola Soul Trio reaches its second album on Timmion and delivers another sure-shot for the soul jazz thirsty masses. As with his first self titled debut, this troupe of premium Finnish jazzers turns all the relevant corner stones of soulful and progressive jazz, never running too far up the deep end, but always harnessed with expressive sensitivity and professional cool. It’s like the 1960’s and 1970’s global jazz movement got condensed into a radiant ball of hipness, heady and completely unpretentious. In addition to the two single releases “Tiny B” and “Stick Of A Branch” Soul Trio dip their groove jazz chops into numbers such as “Five On Three”, the shuffling “Jongo Street” and the fatback funky “Steamy”. There’s also a strong strain of Brazil on several tracks from bossa nova to richly percussive rhythms. On the over 7 minute long “Smash” they mellow out into a beautiful mood that sounds like John Patton swinging with a bunch of European cats. There’s even a few studio tricks that we’ll leave for the listener to discover. Calling the Soul Trio a group of virtuosic players is an understatement as all of them have been working at it on a professional level since the 1990’s. Trumpetist Eskola and drummer Teppo Mäkynen were both a part of the Helsinki nu jazz movement of the time, which later evolved into the now iconic Five Corners Quintet, while organist Mikko Helevä has hammered his Hammond in underground Finnish jazz funk groups for as long as his two band mates. Together they cook up a stew, which is like a bowl of perfect bouillabaisse, rich with flavour and with nice bits to chew on.
FIle Under: Jazz, Funk
Esperanto: s/t (Favorite) LP
Favorite Recordings proudly presents a reissue of the first and eponymous LP by Esperanto, a Venezuelan Jazz-Fusion masterpiece originally released in 1980. This rare and sought-after album recorded in Caracas by talented musicians could be likened to the best of the South American scene with strong Funk & Latin influences. Following the recent reissue of Sacbé, this one is a little wonder and a must-have for anyone interested in Latin Jazz-Funk & Fusion. Fully remastered and available as Gatefold Tip-On Vinyl LP and CD. Like most bands, the story first started as a series of jam sessions. Multi-instrumentist Jorge Aguilar and his drummer Pablo Matarazzo were playing in a band, covering a various number of Latin genres from Merengue to Salsa and playing at parties, even though they were mostly influenced by Jazz or Funk, but also British Rock or Brazilian music. Still, they were dreaming about a real band. Thus, while some of their friends were on vacations in Venezuela during their studies at Music school in Boston and New York, they immediately organized jam sessions. First impros quickly became songs and Pablo and Jorge were finally joined by Roldan Peña, Gustavo Arranguren, Ezequiel Serrano, Marcus Vinicius and Nenè Quintero. With the help of a friend, they recorded songs and brought those tracks to radio stations. Without realizing it, the group gained a certain notoriety in Caracas and began to give shows that became quite famous. Sometimes, they had to play two times in the same night with people still waiting outside! With the money earned, they kept recording their songs but now in a quite better studio. The album was taking its final shape, with an exciting blend of Funk, Fusion and Jazz-Rock elements, all mixed with Latin music influences. With an extensive use of synthesizers, the tracks sounded like a fresh wind blowing over the city of Caracas. After bringing a few friends to record their parts, the album was then offered to CBS for distribution – some of their executives had just become fans after experiencing one of their amazing gigs! But in exchange, they also had to record two more commercial songs, a cover of “Ticket To Ride” by The Beatles, and “Vereda Tropical”, a classic in the Latin market. Jorge reminds: “The rest of the songs were compositions by myself and by other members of the band. The album was recorded in its entirety almost live, that is, all of us playing together and without many overdubs because we did not have many tracks nor money to pay studio time. Certainly, we were one of the bands that started the Fusion jazz movement in Venezuela and the most recognized because we managed to be played a lot on the radios and we filled the largest number of concerts as well as obtained the largest number of sales”. The band kept recording other albums, notably with Warner Bros after the label was again really impressed by their opening show for Peter Frampton Comes Alive Tour one night in Caracas. Jorge adds: “Today if you ask people around 60 years old in Venezuela about a Fusion group, they will tell you that Esperanto is the band they remember! I think the most significant thing about the Esperanto band is that it was quite naïve since we were all in our early 20s and we did everything just for the pleasure of playing without thinking about the economic aspects of the industry”.
File Under: Jazz, Latin, Funk
Eve: Canto Aberto (Komos) LP
Everaldo Marcial aka Évé, born in 1951 and raised in Sao Paulo, fled the Brasilian dictatorship in 1974 to settle in France. Canto Aberto, originally released on the Free Lance label in 1979, is his one and only sought-after recording, made before he moved to the US in the early 80s and decided to quit music. Recorded with Parisian musicians, noteworthy fellow expatriate Manduka on one song and the African-American saxophonist Bruce Tobe Grant as musical director, the music of Évé will please fans of Egberto Gismonti, Nana Vasconselos, Milton Nascimento, Edu Lobo… This first vinyl reissue is remastered from the original master tapes by Frank Merritt at The Carvery.
File Under: Jazz, Brazil
Serge Gainsbourg: Initiales BO (Decca) 5LP BOX
A flagship release of the Collection Écoutez le cinéma!, in 3CD format in 2001 then 5CD in 2015, Serge Gainsbourg’s Cinema finds a new lease of life through this box set, called Initials BO, a five-dosc vinyl box set with three hours and 20 minutes of music. Vinyl variation enriched with new shattering including the full version of L’Eau à la bouche, freshly mixed for the occasion from the original multitracks, or several purely vannieresque slows from Sex shop. In three hours plus of music, Initiales BO leads to the obvious: the great Serge was also a composer for the image.
File Under: French, Pop
Sam Gendel: DRM (Nonesuch) LP
DRM recreates a sound akin to contemporary R&B using vintage synths and acoustic instruments. It is futuristic electronica made using antiques; space-age soul music created on wobbly guitars, and 1970s drum machines: a post-apocalyptic blip-hop reconstructed by the last man on earth using whatever wreckage Sam Gendel could find. DRM features just one cover version: Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” is transformed into a delicate, aqueous instrumental, with Gendel playing the melody on an old German analogue synthesizer, using a pitch wheel to bend notes as he would on the saxophone. On other tracks he taps into the experimental spirit of latter-day R&B using a forty-year-old Electro Harmonix DRM32 drum machine, two antique synthesizers, and a sixty-year-old nylon-string guitar – all the time singing or chanting rhythmically, sometimes interpreting barely audible lyrics written by his friend Scott. On slow-motion ballads like “Times Like This” and “Wolves is Back” you can hear Gendel play bass lines and neo-soul progressions on his heavily detuned nylon-strung guitar, pitch-shifted through an octave pedal. “It’s tuned so low and falling apart – and playing so heavily behind the beat – that it sounds like it’s on its last breath,” he says. On “Oowee” that same wrecked instrument plays spacey jazz chords over a fidgety breakbeat. On “FFLLYYDADA” you can hear him chanting over wobbly chords played on a thirty-year-old Japanese keyboard called a Suzuki Waraku III. (“It’s this electronic koto that I picked up in a second-hand shop in Tokyo,” he says. “You hear it a lot on this album”). “WAA” features Gendel singing a haunting melody in a disjointed falsetto voice over a breakbeat that sounds like it’s been assembled by glitchy systems noises. The final track, “Walt’s”, takes a heart-wrenching Brazilian-style melody and sets it to waltz time, slowing down towards the song’s conclusion, as if every instrument has melted in the 120-degree heat of Death Valley. Started not long after the release of Satin Doll – at a time when Gendel should have been promoting that album with an international tour, if the world hadn’t gone into lockdown – DRM was recorded in one, feverish sixteen-hour session. It was then manipulated by Gendel with the electronic percussionist from Satin Doll, Philippe Melanson, mixed by his friend and collaborator Blake Mills, and mastered by Grammy-nominated engineer Mike Bozzi.
File Under: Jazz, Funk, Soul, Electronic
Warren Hampshire: Language of Birds (Athens of the North) LP
‘Language Of The Birds’ LP was recorded solo shortly after completing ‘Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand’ and ‘The Honey Bear’ with jazz pianist Greg Foat. ‘Language Of The Birds’ is noticeably influenced by Warrens love of walking the countryside and woodlands on the Isle of Wight. It’s also influenced by his interest in Catastrophism/ Extinction events and the use of Symbolism employed in the Art, Architecture and Writings used to communicate knowledge of such events to subsequent civilizations. Warrens personal folk musings hint at 60s Psychedelic Folk but with a deeper connection to nature and the part we all play within it, it’s impossible not to be drawn into his music and artwork which provokes memories of old children’s books, Fairy tales, and the transportive paintings associated with them.
File Under: Folk, Psych
Freddie Hubbard: Ready For Freddie (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. The Indianapolis-born trumpeter Freddie Hubbard introduced his prodigious talent on Blue Note Records with a run of remarkable albums recorded thru the early 1960s. At first rooted firmly in hard bop, Hubbard began to broaden his approach on his masterwork Ready for Freddie, recorded in August 1961. “The way in which I’m most interested in going is Coltrane-like,” Hubbard told liner note writer Nat Hentoff. Hubbard had recorded with Coltrane earlier in the year on the saxophonist’s Atlantic album Olé Coltrane and Africa/Brass for Impulse. Hubbard further explained, “I mean different ways of playing the changes so that you get a wider play of colors.” To paint with those colors Hubbard assembled a band that included three musicians from Coltrane’s orbit: bassist Art Davis, pianist McCoy Tyner, and drummer Elvin Jones. The date also marked the first collaboration between Hubbard and Wayne Shorter, a startlingly original saxophonist and Hubbard’s soon-to-be bandmate in The Jazz Messengers when the trumpeter replaced Lee Morgan in Art Blakey’s flagship band later that year on seminal Blue Note albums including Mosaic and Buhaina’s Delight. Rounding out the unique sextet on Ready for Freddie is Bernard McKinney on euphonium, a mellow-toned brass instrument that enhanced the ensemble’s tonal palette. The album opens with Hubbard’s sprightly tune “Arietis,” a nod to his astrological sign Aries, before down-shifting into the sublime ballad “Weaver of Dreams,” a stunning performance by Hubbard where both his brilliant tone and awe-inspiring technical command of his horn are on full display. Following Shorter’s jaunty tune “Marie Antoinette,” the band pays homage to Charlie Parker with Hubbard’s fleet-footed tune “Birdlike.” The album comes to a close with the expansive and explosive “Crisis,” a Hubbard original that sought to capture some of the simmering tensions of the early-1960s.
File Under: Jazz
Invisible Session: Echoes of Africa (Space Echo) LP
After several years of silence since their eponymously titled 2006 release, Schema Records co-founder Luciano Cantone in collaboration with Gianluca Petrella and a new group of musicians, present The Invisible Session’s second album Echoes of Africa, published on the newly created Space Echo label. This new chapter is born out of a deep appreciation of African music. The impeccable rhythmic execution of the Ethiopian drummer and percussionist Abdissa “Manba” Assefa, the musical and spiritual contribution of the Gambian kora player Aruna “Jalimansa” Kuyateh, as well as the Afro-American Joyce Elaine Yuille, were an inspiration during the recording for other musicians who took part in it, giving rise to a unique emotion and sense of landscape. The points of departure are afrobeat, the recordings of Africa 70 and the drumming of Tony Allen which together inform the rhythmic scope of “Echoes of Africa”. Other influences come into play, with melodies centred on Eastern pentatonic scales, as well as funk, afrobeat, psychedelia, modal and Ethio jazz. There are even forays into pop and cinematica. But it is the ancestral melodies that intersect and weave that form the basis of this album, encouraging escape and deeper feelings. With the influence of greats such as the vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke and an educational study of Ethiopian music, the composition “Journey To The East” was born, with a melody built on the major Bati Lydian scale –a pentatonic scale with particular intervals whose influence comes from the Middle East. Ethiopia is also present in “Entoto” and “Breathe the Rhythm” – two new works written entirely by trombonist and multi-instrumentalist Gianluca Petrella. Although it may seem speculative given the recent news events that took place on May 25 in Minneapolis, “Hearing The Call” was conceived and written in 2018 from the inspiration of the poem present in “Children” by Haki R. Madhubuti on the Medasi album called “Nation”. A theme that in the eyes of the producer had been floating in the air for some time and that, beyond colours or political parties, involves everyone if oppressed by racism, homophobia and policies that do not protect human rights. Here improvisation is replaced with ancestral and mythical sounds and combined with modal sounds. Mystical effects and percussion attract and hypnotize the listener, while the performance of the poem, written and interpreted by the young African American / Finnish artist Benjamin “Bentality” Paavilainen, floats with relaxed naturalness. The Invisible Session dealt with themes of climate change with “To the powerful” from the self-titled debut album released on Schema Records in 2006. This track was a prayer of sorts with an Afro-jazz hypnotic groove, addressed to the leaders of the world to preserve our Mother Earth, reinforcing the need to keep the right balance of the elements. The new songs “Ideas Can Make the World” and “People All Around The World Can Make It”, with their strong afrobeat/funk personality, are intoxicants, choral aphorisms, reminiscent of American funk bands of the ‘70s. It doesn’t take much to change direction, to erase the negative effects caused by the recent years’ globalisation… We can Make it! Further reflections on this theme can be found in “Mother Forgive Us”, with lyrics and interpretation channelled once again through the young Bentality.
File Under: Ethio-Jazz, Funk
Jr. Thomas & The Volcanos: Beware (Colemine) LP
Colemine Records is proud to present a reissue of the debut album from Jr. Thomas & The Volcanos entitled Beware. Junior Thomas aka Thomas McDowall is a songwriter, musician, vocalist and producer born north of Minneapolis, MN. He developed a sincere devotion to classic Jamaican music at a young age, listening to such artists as Dave Barker, The Bleechers, The Wailers, Phyllis Dillon and Alton Ellis. “I wanted to make a record that was honest and true to the golden era of Jamaican music” says Thomas. After several conversations with reggae producer Brian Dixon, they both realized they were on the same page. Thomas showed up to Dixon’s Volcano Lounge studio in Los Angeles a few weeks later ready to record. With Thomas and Dixon as the brainchildren and nucleus of the project, they began assembling the musicians now known as The Volcanos. The Volcanos are a collective of Southern California’s most dignified musicians, specializing in Jamaica’s “Golden Era” sound. Members of the Volcanos have worked with countless reggae legends, most notably Jimmy Cliff’s 2012 Grammy award winning album Rebirth. Other notable works include The Aggrolites debut Dirty Reggae and The Aggrolites, Hepcat Push n’ Shove and Right on Time, Western Standard Time’s debut A Big Band Tribute to the Skatalites and Tim Armstrong’s (Rancid) debut A Poet Life. Pressed from the original masters at Gotta Groove Records and housed in a Stoughton tip-on jacket.
File Under: Reggae
Khruangbin: Mordechai Remixes (Dead Oceans) LP
Khruangbin are no slouches when it comes to the remix. They’ve been reworked before, in 2016, with the highly collectible EP on Boogiefuturo. But this time, they’re taking it a step further with an album dedicated to the art. Entering the tight-knit world of a Khruangbin song can be a little daunting. They have created this entire universe in which the trio seem to function telepathically in the way the music is composed, arranged and played. To mess with their delicate eco-system can invoke feelings similar to that of an unwanted guest crashing a good-time party. “We write our music to be interpreted; this is another wonderful interpretation of the music,” reassure Khruangbin. “There is something very vulnerable about letting others work on your music. But through the correspondence with the different artists, we gained a bigger connection to the songs themselves.” The choice of remixers for this album is neither arbitrary nor accidental. They’re not names picked randomly out of a hat or chosen via a throw of the dice. All have some connection to the band, sometimes personal friendships, musical connections, or simply mutual musical appreciation. Harvey Sutherland and Ginger Roots have both toured with the band, Kadhja Bonet and Ron Trent had their own mutual fan club going on, Knxwledge sampled “White Gloves” on a recent mixtape, Natasha Diggs and Soul Clap’s Eli’s are recent buddy-ups, and Quantic is a mutual friend of Bonobo (crucial in the KB origin story). Some of these remixes were specifically made so you can dance your ass off while getting down to the Khruangbin sound, while some might better be appreciated horizontally with headphones on. The choice is yours. But all were made with love and respect for Khruangbin. “A good remix deconstructs, recontextualizes, or simply extends a good time,” say the band.
File Under: Funk, Soul, Remix
Lykke Li: Wounded Rhymes (Warner) LP
Produced by Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn & John and recorded in Stockholm, 2011’s Wounded Rhymes is the follow up to Lykke Li’s critically-acclaimed 2008 debut, Youth Novels. Channeling the demise of The Shangri-La’s “Leader of the Pack,” women under the influence, ladies and gentlemen of the canyon, a Kung-fu Marianne Faithful, and an armed Nancy Sinatra on peyote, Lykke Li created a ten song cycle here that sounds like no other. Wounded Rhymes is packed full of pounding, voodoo drums, girl group gang vocals, sparkling guitar lines, woozy keyboards, love unrequited, hope reignited and her own very powerful voice, sounding bigger and bolder than ever before. From the hazy 60’s organ driving opener “Youth Knows No Pain” to the sparse toe-tap-solo-guitar-swing of “Unrequited Love” to rollicking single “Get Some” to the dense drums of the propulsive “Jerome,” Wounded Rhymes is a testament to Lykke Li’s singular musical voice. This 10-year anniversary reissue includes the standard album plus: both The Magician and Tyler, The Creator’s remixes of “I Follow Rivers” and three Lost Sessions demos of tracks from the album.
File Under: Pop
Cecil McBee Sextet: Music from the Source (Pure Pleasure) LP
Recording with a sextet at the New York jazz club Sweet Basil in August 1977, McBee’s band included Chico Freeman on reeds, Dennis Moorman on piano, Joe Gardner on trumpet, Steve McCall on drums, and Famoudou Don Moye on percussion. Two complete albums of music were released by Enja Records from this engagement, the ground breaking recordings Music From the Source 1978 and Compassion 1979. “Few groups today sound as fresh, generate as high an emotional charge, or leave as lasting an impression as McBee’s sextet,” Chris Albertson wrote upon the release of these recordings. “It is as if each member were a unique piece of a puzzle, carefully placed to complete precisely the breath taking picture intended. The music is adventurous enough to satisfy any aural daredevil who has not completely lost his or her sense of beauty, yet all the basic jazz values have been preserved with due reverence.” – Chris Albertson
File Under: Jazz
Kendra Morris: This Life (Karma Chief) 7″
Kendra Morris recalls singers who straddled soul and rock during the early ’70s, such as Ruth Copeland and Chaka Khan. After touring with Dennis Coffey and releasing singles that she did with collaborator Jeremy Page including “Concrete Waves,” with b-side remixed by DJ Premier, Morris released the album Banshee (2012). In 2013, Morris returned with the covers album Mockingbird, with both Banshee and Mockingbird garnering successful followings and impressive film/tv placements. Morris also worked on a project-band with friends Scarlett Johansson, Julia Haltigan and Holly Miranda. With Este Haim joining on drums, they released one single, “Candy” and a cover of “Bizarre Love Triangle” for AMFARs The Time Is Now record. Now presenting her debut 45 on Karma Chief Records, a division of Colemine Records, Kendra showcases a textured and contemporary take on R&B, all while retaining the old-school flavor. The A side track ‘This Life’ is a 70’s soul super dive carrying you through fuzzy guitars, lush harmonies and straight into the old Vegas casinos of the main strip. Who We Are, the B side, counters the upbeat side A with its epic introspective look at the human psyche. Combining Kendra’s wide vocal range and a partnership of solid drum and thick bass, ‘Who We Are’ provides the perfect backdrop for it’s carefully-threaded lyrics.
File Under: Soul, R&B
Mouse Rat: The Awesome Album (Dualtone) LP
For years fans have been eagerly waiting for the release of “The Awesome Album” by Pawnee, Indiana rock band Mouse Rat. The band is fronted by Parks and Recreation Shoeshine Department employee Andy Dwyer, who has led many local acts through the years such as Angelsnack, Everything Rhymes With Orange, Department of Homeland Obscurity, Just The Tip and Scarecrow Boat, among others. The hits are all here: “5,000 Candles In The Wind,” “The Pit,” “Two Birds Holding Hands,” “Catch Your Dream (feat. Duke Silver)” and two additional tracks by the Scott Tanner-fronted band Land Ho!. “The Awesome Album” is sure to satisfy the millions of Mouse Rat fans across the globe. The Awesome Album features music from the Universal Television original series “Parks and Recreation”.
File Under: OST, Comedy, Rock
My Morning Jacket: s/t (ATO) LP
On their self-titled ninth full-length album – the first new music since 2015’s The Waterfall – My Morning Jacket reaffirm the rarefied magic that has made them so beloved, embedding each song with moments of discovery, revelation, and ecstatic catharsis. It comes after a near permanent hiatus for the band until performing four shows in summer 2019 left them with a new energy. Jim James engineered/produced the 11-track collection at 64 Sound in LA where the band spent weeks in intentional seclusion. “I hope this album brings people a lot of joy and relief, especially since we’ve all been cooped up for so long,” says James. “I know that feeling you get from driving around blasting music you love, or even lying in bed and crying to the music you love. The fact that we’re able to be a part of people’s lives in that way is so magical to us, and it feels really good that we’re still around to keep doing that.” And on lead single “Regularly Scheduled Programming” he adds, “This song really hits home for me after what we’ve gone through with the pandemic. But even before then, it felt like so many of us were trading real life for social media, trading our own stories for the storylines on TV, trading our consciousness for drugs. We need to help each other wake up to real love before it’s too late.” Colored vinyl 2LP-set housed in gatefold packaging featuring artwork by Robert Beatty plus custom inner-sleeves with lyrics.
File Under: Rock
Old 97s: Fight Songs (Run Out Groove) LP
Old 97’s 1999 follow up to their acclaimed 1997 release Too Far to Care displayed tremendous growth in their charismatic songwriting and brought about a new accessibility to the Texas alternative country rockers’ material. The band made an initial impact as part of the “No Depression” scene, but their powerful rock/pop sensibility and lyrical depth wouldn’t be contained by that genre’s narrow confines. More polished and pop-leaning than previous efforts, Fight Songs was recorded at Kingsway in New Orleans and delivered the signature single “Murder (Or a Heart Attack).” For Fight Songs’ deluxe worldwide debut on vinyl, Run Out Groove had six-time Grammy award-winning producer and engineer, Vance Powell, remix the 12-track album as the band originally intended; stripping off the slick ’90s-style production and sheen. With assistance from the band ROG also offer previously unreleased 1998 pre-production demos on a third LP that helps to round out the complete story of this classic 1990’s alternative country record. The packaging comes complete with never-before-seen photos and new liners by Rhett Miller and band archivist Tom DeSavia.
File Under: Alt Country
OST: Inglourious Basterds (Warner) LP
“Academy Award-winning director Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 World War II epic, Inglourious Basterds, starring Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Daniel Brühl, Eli Roth. A group of Jewish-American soldiers known as ‘The Basterds’ are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. The Basterds soon cross paths with a French-Jewish teenage girl who runs a movie theater in Paris which is targeted by the soldiers and becomes the destination for their ultimate revenge. For the accompanying motion picture soundtrack, this time Tarantino is not only using quirky artists and songs as in the past, but also implements previously-released scores from the likes of Ennio Morricone, Dimitri Tiomkin, Charles Bernstein as well!” – A Band Apart
File Under: OST
OST: Performance (Rhino) LP
Performance is a 1970 soundtrack album to the film Performance by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg. It features music from Randy Newman, Merry Clayton, Ry Cooder, Jack Nitzsche, Buffy Sainte-Marie, The Last Poets and Mick Jagger.
File Under: OST
OST: School of Rock (Rhino) LP
Orange vinyl! Roctober 2021, Limited edition, double orange vinyl LP pressing. Original soundtrack to the 2003 motion picture. This is a soundtrack that rocks as hard as the laugh-out-loud hilarious film starring Jack Black and Joan Cusack. Featuring old-school hits from icons like Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, AC/DC, The Doors, and Black Sabbath – and teaching listeners a thing or two with newcomers The Darkness (“The greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of the last twenty years”-Kerrang!) and two songs from Jack Black and his chorus of students. Rock Enroll… and educate yourself with a collection that plays like a virtual Cliff Notes of major hits.
File Under: OST
Albert Alan Owen: Following the Light (Libreville) LP
Recorded in 1982, Following The Light is the third album british composer Albert Alan Owen recorded for the Apollo Sound Label. Originally a Library oriented Music label, Apollo Sound by the mid 70s commissioned contemporary musical pieces from new composers, aiming presumably to provide atmospheric backgrounds for film, television and advertising, and to feed the burgeoning demand for ‘New Age’ music. Therefore comes Following The Light. While certainly melodic, Owen’s music makes no concessions to mid-afternoon mindfulness or commercial use and reuse. Instead, Following The Light – whose title is taken from the Tao. Number 27 – is a deep and immersive listening experience, clearly the work of a singular musical imagination following its own rules in its own way. With the help of Katherine Sweeney on violin and Milada Polasek on electric piano and organ, Albert Alan Owen recorded Following The Light in “live” condition, taking profit of a strong use of the digital effects which were in its infancy at this time; the music was written to make the most of what technology was available, resulting a singular piece of music of sheer beauty. The record demands to be considered as a stand-alone unit, its three sections unfolding elegant and propulsive by turns, as reoccurring themes answer each other through the layers. There are echoes of Reich and Riley in the use of delay, that warm rolling repetition and those bass pulses. But this is not in the service of a system. There is something more lyrical, more humane at work in the music. With Following the Light, Albert Alan Owen has given us a record that stands outside of time and place, it’s familiar elements made strange and new, all bathed in magic hour light.
File Under: Ambient, Classical
Bernard Parmegiani: Memoire Magnetique Vol. 2 (Transversales Disques) LP
Transversales is very glad to announce the release of Mémoire Magnétique Vol. 2 spanning 1966-1993, revelatory collection of short and secret music by electronic music pioneer Bernard Parmegiani. Since the late 50’s, Bernard Parmegiani, a major figure of electroacoustic music and a founding member of GRM has created some eighty two concerts music. From the start, Parmegiani’s work was closely linked to the screen, with dozens of documentaries, films, long features, animation films but also musical pieces for dance, stage or television. If many of his pieces are landmarks in the history of electroacoustic music (De Natura Sonorum, La Roue Ferris…), his application music compositions are strongly embedded in the subconscious landscape of the French public (Stade 2, Roissy Paris Airport…). The second volume of this compilation allows us to discover some of unreleased rarities from Bernard Parmegiani’s personal archives and unpublished recordings which were composed for the screen or the performing arts.
File Under: Early Electronic, Avant Garde
Lee Perry: Black Art from the Black Ark (Pressure Sounds) LP
In the film ‘Roots, Rock, Reggae’ there is extraordinary footage of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry producing a session at the Black Ark. The sequence shows Junior Murvin collaborating with members of the Congos and the Heptones on a song improvised on the spot for the film crew. Before the vocals are recorded, the Upsetters lay down the backing track. The musical director of the session is the afro-haired bass player, Boris Gardiner. Gardiner was one of Jamaica’s top bass players and arrangers in the 60s and 70s creating a run of classic tunes at Studio One. Gardiner’s contributions to the music produced at The Black Ark are featured here on this 16 track 2xLP (CD features 2 bonus tracks) that features work from The Upsetters, Junior Murvin, Jimmy Riley and more. “Black Art from the Black Ark” contains features two previously unreleased dubplate mixes, several 12″ mixes and and extended mix of Scratch’s “What A Sin”.
File Under: Reggae
M Ross Perkins: Wrong Wrong Wrong (Karma Chief) 7″
The first 45 from M Ross Perkins on Karma Chief Records features the catchy “Wrong Wrong Wrong” as the A-side. A classic blend of psychedelic and rock & roll with songwriting that’s progressing into a slightly darker tone to reflect the times. M Ross Perkins released his debut album on SofaBurn Records, an Americana-centric Ohio record label. Now armed with a growing team including the indie record label darlings at Colemine/Karma Chief, M Ross is ready to stretch out with regard to his songwriting and production.
File Under: Psych
P.O.D.: Satellite (Rhino) LP
Satellite is the fourth studio album and the second major label release by the American Christian nu metal band P.O.D. The album was originally released on September 11, 2001.
File Under: Metal
Pond: 9 (Spinning Top) LP
In Pond’s universe nothing stays still for long. Although no one who heard 2019’s Tasmania could possibly describe its pulsating psych – pop as straight, Pond wanted to try a more spontaneous way of working for their next record. Taking a leaf out of krautrock outliers Can’s book, at the start of 2020, Pond embarked on a series of totally off-the-cuff jam sessions from which songs and ideas could be pulled out. Given the pace at which ideas whizz past your head, it makes for a dizzying listen. Opener “Song For Agnes” explodes out the speakers like an intergalactic rock opera, running a synapse-tingling gauntlet through bubbling synth pop, 80s hair metal and blissed out saxophone before you know what’s hit you. It’s an apposite curtain-raiser for an album that can encompass pounding techno (“Human Touch”), elastic hipped robo-funk (“America’s Cup”), tripped out motorik (“Czech Locomotive”) and acres more besides without even topping for breath. Take lead single “Pink Lunettes,” which opens up thumping like ESG eight hours into a session at Berghain before climbing aboard a gargantuan synthship and disappearing off over the horizon. Lyrically, too, 9 takes Pond into uncharted territory. Nick Allbrook’s songs here take a more impressionistic tack than before, resulting in both the hilarious one-liners within “Human Touch’s” gonzoid thrash (sample lyric: “she was jacking a car but she seemed quite nice so I let her use the toilet in my place”) and the social and environmental concerns of blissed out closer “Toast,” which addressed both 2020’s bush fires and the appalling wealth divide in Allbrook’s childhood home in Western Australia. Above all though, what you get from 9 is a sense of creative abandon and just plain fun. If it was only a fraction as enjoyable to make as it is to listen to then they must have been having a hoot.
File Under: Rock, Tame Impala
Pharoah Sanders: Live in Paris (1975 ) (Transversales Disques) LP
NEVER RELEASED BEFORE! Transversales Disques proudly presents Pharoah Sanders – Live in Paris (1975). A never-before released ORTF recording performed live at studio 104, Maison de la Radio, Paris. First official release with the full permission and cooperation of the National Audiovisual Institute. Deluxe edition, Classic Tip-On Gatefold jacket, including exclusive liner notes and pictures. Mastered from the original master tapes.
File Under: Jazz
Selenites Band: Behind the Mask (Stereophonk) LP
After a first album released in 2019 on the labels Stereophonk (France) and P-Vine Records (Japan), The Selenites Band are back with a new recording, Behind The Mask. The Selenites Band is a French music group created in 2018 around the artist and musician Obi Riddim. Drawing the sources of its music from the Ethiopian music of “Swinging Addis”, Ethio-jazz, but also rock, Afro-jazz or psychedelic grooves. After playing the “classics” of Mulatu Astatke or Girma Bèyènè, the band offers us nine new songs. Original compositions where we find the melodies and rhythms of the Ethiopian music of “Swinging Addis” mixed with their kraütrock influences, psychedelic music and afro jazz. An atmosphere of trance on bewitching Ethiopian scales, tracks that invite you to travel and explore. Recorded during the pandemic, between two confinements and successive curfews, in a vital impetus, this album sounds like the big need to create.
File Under: Jazz, Funk, Ethio-Jazz
Archie Shepp: Live in Paris (1974) (Transversales Disques) LP
NEVER RELEASED BEFORE! Transversales Disques proudly presents Archie Shepp – Live In Paris (1974), a never released before ORTF recording performed live at Studio 104, Maison de la Radio (Paris), remastered from the original tapes. The musicians at the recording session were Archie Shepp (Saxophone), Noël McGhie (drums), Bob Reid (Double Bass), Pablo Kino (Percussion) ans Siegfried Kessler (Piano). These exclusive recordings will be available as Deluxe Gatefold Tip-On Vinyl LP.
File Under: Jazz
Kaidi Tatham: An Insight to All Minds (First World) LP
‘An Insight To All Minds’ is Kaidi’s 3rd solo album under his own name, following several EPs and two albums for First Word; 2018’s acclaimed ‘It’s A World Before You’ and the re-press of his seminal 2008 sophomore album ‘In Search Of Hope’ last year. For those that don’t know, Kaidi Tatham is a legendary multi-instrumentalist. Once dubbed “the UK’s Herbie Hancock” by Benji B, he’s a virtuoso on the keys and a true innovator in sound production as one of the original creators of the Broken Beat sound. Over the years his musical prowess has blessed numerous projects, initially with the likes of Bugz In The Attic and The Herbaliser, and more recently with DJ Jazzy Jeff (through the PLAYlist projects), Andrew Ashong (on the acclaimed ‘Sankofa Season’ EP last year) and with longtime accomplice, Dego. This in addition to session work for artists such as Mulatu Astatke, Slum Village, Amy Winehouse, Soul II Soul and Leroy Burgess, along with First Word label mates such as Eric Lau, Children of Zeus and Darkhouse Family. Kaidi is also a revered DJ known for rocking parties globally, whilst his solo catalogue spans tons of EPs and releases for labels such as 2000 Black, Eglo and Theo Parrish’s Sound Signature. On ‘An Insight To All Minds’, Kaidi says it’s “not about a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going. Nothing in this world can torment you as much as your own thoughts… We are all going through it. We can all feel what the next person is feeling, believe it or not. It’s learning how to tap into it”. The album is comprised of an assortment of Kaidi’s unique flavours – uptempo jazz-funk bruk, laced with rhodes, flutes, live bass and delicious percussion. Using that blueprint he moves effortlessly through latin and samba, half-step, deep afro house and a sprinkle of curveballs, all presented in Kaidi’s inimitable way. ‘Intergalactic Relations’ brings with it some 110bpm synthed-out spacey electro-breaks, ‘Could It Be’ sets off sounding like a Morricone film score, whilst ‘Rodney’ is some serious heads-down business; stark and punchy off-kilter broken beat and vocal stabs. There are a few guests too – ‘Chungo’ sees the return of Uhmeer (who previously appeared on ‘Cupid’ on the album ‘It’s A World Before You’); here the young Philly MC deftly rides a 9/4 time signature beat. Meanwhile ‘Stro Kyat’ invites in another supreme talent, Stro Elliot (The Roots), who provides a suitably crisp & crunchy riddim to accompany Kaidi’s key play over a mind-bending 5/4 time signature. With this new album, Kaidi Tatham adds further to his already impressive catalogue, a body of work that falls within the cracks of jazz and dance music, exemplifying modern British black brilliance once again; uncompromising, innovative, groundbreaking, intricately sophisticated and deeply funky. His fanbase expands on every release and it’s no surprise that that fanbase includes peers such as Madlib (“ahead of his time”), Gilles Peterson (“a key part of an entire movement”), K15 (“a limitless source of inspiration”), Alexander Nut (“a true virtuoso”) and Kyle Hall.
File Under: Hip Hop
Type O Negative: October Rust (Run Out Groove) LP
Type O Negative is an American goth-metal band formed in Brooklyn in 1989 by Peter Steele (lead vocals, bass), Kenny Hickey (guitar, backing vocals), Josh Silver (keyboards, backing vocals), and Sal Abruscato (drums, percussions), who was later replaced by Johnny Kelly. October Rust is the band’s fourth studio album, released on August 20, 1996. This is the first album with Johnny credited as the band’s drummer. The album has more ballads and less of the doom metal sound of previous and subsequent Type O albums. It also features a heavy cover version of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl.” It is the first of the band’s albums to include a “joke intro”—in this case, “Bad Ground,” which is 38 seconds of low-level buzzing, meant to sound as if the listener’s speakers are incorrectly set up. The second and fifteenth tracks are humorous untitled spoken word intros and outros to the album, respectively, with the band downplaying the recording of the album. Another technique employed on the album is the heavy use of abrupt endings and segues to a few of the songs, heard on the tracks “Green Man,” “Red Water,” and “Haunted.” The album has been certified Gold in the U.S. and peaked at #42 on the Billboard 200.
File Under: Metal
Vaudou Game: Noussin (Hot Casa) LP
African, funky, sarcastic, bewitching, green, ecstatic: these words collide to describe Vaudou Game and all of them are true. Noussin is the fourth album of the french Afro Funk band. Forced into lockdown, like much of the planet, Peter Solo and his Vaudou Game had no choice but to retreat into the studio. A reunion to once again invoke the spiritual forces of the Voodoo Deities. A reunion that was Initially imagined for an EP…yet these spiritual forces behind that imagination yearned for something more, and as we all know, these forces are impossible to push away once they have decided to stay. Under the strain enforced by the current socioeconomic climate, as much as by the environmental peril that faces us all today – they diverted the course of the groove towards daring new vibrations. Without extinguishing or diminishing its highly communicative power, they released Vaudou Game from its origins of pure Afro-Funk to gradually engage into compositions which crystallized themselves into tones resembling more rock than funk. On this fourth album, with an entirely revisited line-up, Peter Solo separates for the first time in his career from his brassy guard, leaving saxophone, trumpet and trombone outside to invite an arsenal of keyboards to define, with him, this new voodoo sound. A sound, as usual, built on vintage and precise analogical material – grime even on the white side of the tape, a blunt instrument used to blanket anything that strived to shine too much in the mix. Graced with tapered guitars stringing out rhythmic bumps or withdrawing a few beats to indulge in infectious solos, this album is boisterously alive with vintage 70’s Funk, infused with a few digressions into other ethers of the funk timeline, nicking different sounds and frequencies to render the black and white keys of an inspired keyboard to reach new euphoric levels of melodic acidity. Tearing off the enigmatic mask to reveal his true face: on a few titles, Peter Solo ventures outside of his sacred voodoo range to reconnect with his London years, these titles feature small nods to the time he spent in “The Smoke” where the incantations of British music culture were written within him. Noussin which means “Stay strong” in Mina, a dialect spoken in the south-west of Togo. Noussin, a message of hope as much as a call to come together to weather the turmoil and to come out better on the other side. Don’t let them grind you down…Noussin!
File Under: Afro Funk
Andrew Wasylyk: Fugitive Light & Themes (Athens of the North) LP
Andrew Wasylyk completes a trio of beautiful albums with this latest reoccur don ‘Athens of the North’. Across all of the music, he has concerned himself with unearthing, reshaping and conveying the rugged landscapes of Eastern Scotland with lush instrumental music that shimmers inventively. The influence of greats like David Axelrod, Alice Coltrane and Mark Hollis looms large, but never to the detriment of Wasylyk’s own exquisite playing. Light often shines through his mellifluous piano chords and dreamy wind sounds. There are subtle spiritual elements and hints of library music also colouring this most accomplished of works.
File Under: Jazz, Library
Xeno & Oaklander: Vi/deo (Dais) LP
East Coast minimal wave institution Xeno & Oaklander’s seventh full-length further distills their iconic noir synth pop into a streamlined suite of gleaming, graceful retrofuturism. Inspired by ideas of synesthesia, scent, star worship, and obsolescent technologies, the duo of Liz Wendelbo and Sean McBride began conceiving the blueprint of Vi/deo while sequestered at their Southern Connecticut home studio during the pandemic. The context of isolation, streaming, and remote dreaming seeped into their chemistry, manifesting as both homage to and meditation on a certain cinematic strain of technicolor fantasy: the screen as stage, distance disguised as intimacy, where tragedy and glamor crossfade into one. Opening with the precision synthetic melancholy of “Infinite Sadness,” the album marks a peak fluidity between the pair’s fusion of analog electronics and poetic melody, both refined and oblique, classic but contemporary. Wendelbo modeled her singing on “a young boy in a choir,” alternately holding notes and whispering them, with the lyrics clear, the voice elevated. McBride’s synthesizers serve as the perfect counterpart, tiered and polished, threading fluorescent architectures of a lost audio-visual age. Theirs is a darkwave of reverie and flickering city lights, swooning and sleek, romantic anthems for concrete bohemia, cigarette smoke in rainy gardens, and sound as color (“blue is fast and red is slow”). Vi/deo captures the bittersweet beauty of youth and utopias, the wistful transformation from miracle to memory, where love turns unreal and music becomes myth: “Sounds of the underground / Will echo in future days / Feelings of misery / Will fade into the haze.”
File Under: Electronic, Minimal Wave
Young Gun Silver Fox: Canyons (Karma Chief) LP
Canyons are places of mystery and beauty. The interesting thing is, while they are one of the great wonders in the history of planet earth and attract scientists of all kinds of disciplines, they have also been a popular retreat for artists and musicians. You will have heard of Topanga Canyon, Rickie Lee Jones and Chicago recorded here. Laurel Canyon is even more well known, a mythical place where Crosby, Stills & Nash developed their unique vocal sound while hanging around Mama Cass’ place. Or was it in Joni Mitchell’s house on Lookout Mountain? Ok, you get the picture. There is something unexplainable, almost magical going on in canyons. Maybe that’s why Andy Platts and Shawn Lee were thinking of “Canyons” when they wrote and recorded their third album as Young Gun Silver Fox. With “West End Coast” and “AM Waves” these two very talented musicians, singers, songwriters, arrangers and producers already explored all things West coast, AOR, Soft rock and Boogie. But – especially if you are a into the golden age of this sound running from circa 1976 to 1984 – you will be aware that there is no return once you started digging these unconditional musical delights with their timeless compositions, untouchable musicianship and refined arrangements. The great albums from that era appeared when punk broke and the musical establishment was shaken to the ground. Today they sound more up to date than ever. Who would have thought back then? On “Canyons” Young Gun Silver Fox turned it up to eleven. They are nothing but “Kids” cruising in the fast lane, totally over the top searching for the “Dream Woman”, touching down in Tokyo caught in a “Long Distance Love Affair”, imagining the theme for a lost 70s TV series starring “Danny Jamaica”, being on the winning side in a “Private Paradise”, getting deep and soulful in “Things We Left Unsaid” and wondering how to spread “All This Love”. Their bass lines, sound layers, brass arrangements and harmony vocals are immaculate. Everything fits perfectly. Just like this. “Who Needs Words” when everything is crystal clear? Exactly!
File Under: Rock, Soul, Boogie
Various: ATA Records: The Library Archive Vol. 1 (ATA) LP
The spirit of KPM, DeWolfe & I Marc 4 distilled in a lockup garage in Leeds. The funky, atmospheric, evocative and sometimes downright weird output of companies such as DeWolfe, Cavendish, Burton and the ubiquitous KPM have always been a guiding inspiration for ATA Records, as evidenced in the spooky soundtrack works of The Sorcerers, the big band brass of The Yorkshire Film & Television Orchestra and even in the soul-jazz of The Lewis Express (‘Theme From The Watcher). Everything released on ATA is written and guided by the label heads Neil Innes and Pete Williams, who frequently dip their toes in the Library pond while working on other projects. These occasional one-off tracks have accumulated over the past few years and have now found a home on the first volume of an ongoing series : The Library Archive. Recorded using the same techniques and equipment used to create the now legendary catalogues of music sold to the film and television industry of the 60’s & 70’s, The Library Archive could easily sit alongside the plain minimalist covers of KPM or Telesound. The fierce Brass of ‘Whack, Slap & Blow’ and ‘Kaye Okay’ could both be a Keith Mansfield cut, acting as a theme tune to a glamorous saturday night tv show circa 1972. ‘Duck Strut’ is a cheeky slice of Bass driven Brit-funk, Muted horns and flute adding an element of Quincy Jones amongst the grooving drums and percussion. ‘The Needle Nose’, ‘Midnight Heist’ and ‘Wiretap’ are amongst the more cinematic tracks on the album. Moody and atmospheric, they conjure up images of dark alleys, shadowy figures and dead letter drops. ‘Wigged out’ channels the wonky organ weirdness of Italian library legends I Marc 4 while ‘Nuclear Wind I & II’ use Moog and Mellotron as electronic counterpoint to ethereal voices. ‘Siren’s sea’s’ acoustic interlude conjures up images of distant clifftops, gossamer vocals enticing you onto the rocks before album closer ‘Planet Nine’ traverses the cosmos.
File Under: Library
Various: Leon Gardner’s Igloo Records – Soul on the Fringes (Athens of the North) LP
Dancer and B3 Hammond player Leon Gardner moved from his Texas to Los Angeles sometime in the mid ’60s. Soon after arriving he set up his own Igloo records. While in LA, Gardner befriended arranger and pianist Arthur Monday, Monday had settled in LA with his friend and co-musician Gabe Fleming, and they shared arranging credits for a few of the igloo releases. Fleming was credited for ‘Farm Song’ while Monday was credited for ‘Honest Song’ on the flip. ‘Igloo Records’ ie Leon Gardner was credited as producer. In reality, it’s likely that the three of them worked together on both sides of the record and others on the label. Leon also arranged and produced other bands on the label such as the deep soul classic by the Jhamels ‘I’ve Cried’ and Wallace Petty Combo’s Petty Cash but never reached the success he had hoped for. A Decade later and Gardner became frustrated by his lack of recognition, and became increasingly more reclusive, which in turn led to a rift between him and his family. Drummer Edward ‘Apple’ Nelson (see Tracks 2 and 12), remembers his first impressions of Leon, “I met Leon a few times here and there as him and Monday were real tight. I didn’t get to know him that well or nothing as he could came across as very much into his own thing”. Leon’s son Darrell recalls his father’s music, saying “I always knew his music was special even back then and am truly surprised that he never really got any recognition for it until now”. Looking back, LA bandleader Charles Wright concurs, “We didn’t think of him as being very significant but I guess he was. He did come out with some good lyrics”. As well as his other 45s released on Igloo, there were other recordings made for several other independent labels between 1965 and 1974, after which Gardner seemed to disappear under the radar.. The general consensus is that he is currently was no fixed address and living somewhere in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, yet all attempts to contact at this point were unsuccessful. This Leon Gardner / Igloo records LP was originally a project Gerald Short of Jazzman Records. Gerald worked on this over 10 years ago and spoke to many involved with the label who are no longer with us. He finally managed to track Leon down to a care home in LA but unfortunately, Leon passed away soon after Gerald reached out to him. Gerald decided not to continue with the LP out of respect, the information and text here is kindly supplied by Gerald so thanks to him for that.
File Under: Soul, Funk
Various: Disco Reggae Vol. 4 (Stix) LP
Stix Records, a sub-label of Favorite Recordings, proudly presents Disco Reggae Vol. 4, following three precedent acclaimed editions. Imagine the biggest classics from Roy Ayers, Chemise, Lyn Christopher, Gerswhin, A Taste Of Honey, Keni Burke, Patrice Rushen or Kraftwerk reworked and re-arranged as Reggae & Dub killer tunes. Dream no more, the best producers from the Stix roster cooked some magic over these essential tunes: Soul Sugar aka Booker Gee, Taggy Matcher, Blundetto, Mato, Rosemary Martins and Wolfgang signed here the perfect soundtrack to extend the summer and rock the dancefloors! Massive!
File Under: Reggae, Disco
Various: House of Riviera 1991-1993 (Mona Musique) LP
Over 25 years of digging, and more than 2 years in curation. Nick V’s debut compilation pays homage to forgotten gems of the classic Italian House scene, circa 1991-1993. In the early 1990s, Italy hosted one of the most flourishing scenes in the burgeoning world of House music. Whilst the majority of Europe was only just beginning to digest the arrival of this new musical genre born in the US, Italian clubs, DJs and labels were hot on the heels of their counterparts in the already established scenes of New York and London. The clubs of the Adriatic coast – also known as the Italian Riviera –were full every weekend. The soundtrack was provided by the major US and UK acts from the day but also local resident DJs that had been honing their trade since the early 80s. By the early 90s, Italian House music was regularly exported around the world with labels such as UMM, Zippy, D-Vision, MBG, Flying, Palmares, DFC and Irma releasing tracks inspired by the original New York House and Garage sound, but with a very different, unique and emotional take. Distinct from both Italo-Disco and Italo-House, this was the specific aesthetic that was to become the House sound of the Riviera, the soundtrack of the golden era of Italian House music. Nick V’s compilation on Mona Musique brings together 8 iconic tracks from this specific period, covering the whole spectrum of the riviera sound. From the powerful vocal tracks by Korda and Be Noir to the dubbier cuts by Syncopate and Underground Ghosts, without forgetting of course the characteristic Riviera deepness with tracks from Subway Ground Master, Centric House, Groove Sense and Optik. Artists featured include legendary DJs and producers from the day Ricky Montanari, Alex Neri, Enrico Mantini, MBG and Ivan Iacobucci. The compilation comes in a double gatefold sleeve with liner notes by Nick V illustrated by flyers and photos from the original Riviera days. This is a DJ friendly 45 RPM vinyl only release, all tracks have been remastered with the sound staying true to the dynamics of early 90s production.
File Under: Italo, Disco
Various: Lost Maestros Collection (Deviation) LP
To reveal to the world all the musical riches of Mali, and more particularly the music of the Mandé region, cradle of the great griot families, is the highly laudable purpose of this LP The Lost Maestros Collection. To perpetuate and transmit this ancestral musical history, The Lost Maestros Collection brings together 8 wonders of Mali who have each in their own way managed to develop this tradition towards more modern and electrified countries and associates pioneers of Mandingo music and actors of the young post generation. The Lost Maestros Collection is the result of the collaboration between Deviation Records, newly created by Phil Margueron and the independent Malian label Mieruba, which has been working since 2010 to ensure that this golden age of Mande music does not fall into oblivion. Aware that these nuggets are not eternal, Mieruba, based in Ségou on the banks of the Niger river and capital of the former Bambara kingdom, undertook for eight years the preservation of this musical heritage by putting these 16 pieces on tapes at the Kôré studio de Ségou as well as at the famous Bogolan studio in Bamako.
File Under: Africa
Tony Allen & Afrika 70: Jealousy (Comet) LP
Tony Allen & Afrika 70: Progress (Comet) LP
Amyl & The Sniffers: Comfort to Me (ATO) LP
Lou Barlow: Reason to Live (Joyful Noise) LP
Blonde Redhead: Fake Can Be Just As Good (Touch & Go) LP
Dean Blunt: BLACK METAL 2 (Rough Trade) LP
Phoebe Bridgers: Stranger in the Alps (Dead Oceans) LP
C418: Minecraft Volume Alpha (Ghostly) LP
C418: Minecraft Volume Beta (Ghostly) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle 1965 (Impulse) LP
Cortex: Troupeau Bleu (Trad Vibe) LP
Miles Davis: Steamin’ (OJC) LP|
Decemberists: Castaways & Cutouts (Kill Rock Stars) LP
Martin Denny: A Taste of India (Pleasure for Music) LP
Ragnar Grippe: Sand (Dais) LP
Hampshire & Foat: Galaxie Like Grains of Sand (Athens of the North) LP
Khruangbin & Leon Bridges: Texas Sun (Dead Oceans) LP
King Crimson: Discipline (Panegyric) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
Lingua Ignota: All Bitches Die (Profound Lore) LP
Madvillain: 2 (Stones Throw) LP
Mogwai: As the Love Continues (Temporary Residence) LP
Neu!: s/t (Groenland) LP
Jeb Nichols: Jeb Loy (Timmion) LP
Lee Perry: Fish, Collie Weed & Corn Bread (VP) LP
Daniel Romano: Mosey (New West) LP
Daniel Romano: If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ (New West) LP
Pink Siifu & Fly Anakin: FlySiifu’s (Lex) LP
Yauaki Shimizu: Kakashi (Palto Flats) LP
Sufjan Stevens/Angelo De Augustine: A Beginner’s Mind (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Talk Talk: Laughing Stock (EMI) LP
Tangerine Dream: Electronic Meditation (Tiger Bay) LP