…..news letter #1069 – closer…..

Oooof another hefty week for fresh wax. Some heavy reissues and killer new slabs, along with a monster restock list, lots of stuff that has been out of stock for a while is finally starting to resurface. However, every store on earth has a lot of these things on back order so the supply likely won’t last long, so don’t sleep on anything. Firstly, two essential reissues in the Ash Ra Tempel campaign… Finally the vinyl of Caterina Barbieri’s latest opus. A killer solo record from Zacht Automaat member Carl Didur. A huge stack of Japanese jazz, electronic and pop reissues. Restocks of a bunch of long out of stock Acoustic Sounds Series reissues as well as a huge long needed reup on SST classics! Come on down for a dig!

Current operations…..

– in-store shopping/pick ups – 11 – 6 pm Monday – Friday, 11 am – 5 pm Saturday
(if you don’t want to come into the store for a pick up, call and/or use the back door)
– We will be wearing masks, if you want to, great! If not, that’s also fine, but please be respectful of other people’s space and decisions.
– Sanitize your hands (we’ll have some)

…..picks of the week…..

Ash Ra Tempel: Join Inn (MG.Art) LP
MG.ART announce the reissue of Join Inn as part three of the authorized 50th anniversary “A.R.T.” re-edition series. Join Inn is the fourth album by Ash Ra Tempel. It was recorded at Studio Dierks and originally released on LP by Ohr Musik-Produktion Each side of the LP comprises one long track. In 1972, Ash Ra Tempel teamed up again with Klaus Schulze during the recording of Walter Wegmüller’s Tarot album, and after one of the recording sessions, Ash Ra Tempel members Enke, Göttsching and Rosi, together with Klaus decided to “play it again” in a late-night session. This recording led to the birth of the Join Inn album, as well as two legendary last concerts in February 1973 in Paris and Cologne. Manuel Göttsching recalls Hartmut Enke on bass and Klaus Schulze on drums being a dream-team rhythm section for him to play his guitar, especially here to hear on “Freak n’ Roll”, that was ingenious and not to replace ever since. It was the last recording ever where Klaus Schulze (who sadly passed away in 2022) played the drums and also Hartmut (the Hawk) Enke soon after quit the bass and music forever. Join Inn marks the end of the collaboration with Klaus Schulze. However, together with Ash Ra Tempel, their eponymous first album, it is considered a highlight of the Krautrock movement. Re-cut overseen by Manuel Göttsching.

File Under: Prog, Psych, Kosmische, Kris’s Picks
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Caterina Barbieri: Spirit Exit (Light Years) LP
The musical vortexes of Caterina Barbieri rewire time and space. Listening to the Italian composer and modular synth virtuoso has felt like traveling at light-speed and slow-motion all at once since 2017’s breakthrough Patterns Of Consciousness. 2019’s acclaimed Ecstatic Computation pushed even further with the lead single “Fantas”. Far beyond any new age trope or modern synth trend, her music stands alone in its ecstatic intensity and cataclysmic emotional impact. Marking the debut album on her new label light-years, Barbieri now delivers her most profound work yet — a journey through inner-space as vast as a universe and as intimate as a heartbeat. Spirit Exit is Caterina Barbieri’s time machine, primarily composed with a modular synth rig she thinks of more like a mechanical fortune teller. Whereas previous releases were constructed on lengthy tours, capturing only snapshots of continually evolving works, Spirit Exit represents the producer’s first album fully written and recorded in her home studio amidst Milan’s two-month pandemic lockdown in 2020. It was during this extended isolation she found inspiration from female philosophers, mystics and poets spread across time, but united in their strength at cultivating vast internal worlds. St. Teresa D’Avila’s foundational 16th century mystical text The Interior Castle, philosopher Rosi Braidotti’s posthuman theories and the metaphysical poetry of Emily Dickinson act as thematic anchors throughout Spirit Exit. Spirit Exit crystallizes Barbieri’s densely layered, blindingly bright synth arrangements while introducing stunning new elements that feel as if they’ve always belonged. Strings and guitar flawlessly thread into the composer’s web of modular patches, while her revelatory singing voice often cuts right through them. Melodies remain Barbieri’s great passion and obsession and on Spirit Exit they grow as large as planets before cracking into atoms. The sweeping “At Your Gamut” perfects the producer’s dramatic, slow-burning openers, but in her first ever use of sampling, it later gets crushed, accelerated and unrecognizably transformed into the ghostly hook surging through “Terminal Clock”. As the album closes on “The Landscape Listens” — a song that approaches death with all the gentle grace of Brian Eno’s “An Ending (Ascent)”.

File Under: Electronic, Classical, Ambient, Kris’s Picks
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Carl Didur: Maybe Next Time (Idee Fixe) LP
Hailing from Ancaster, Ontario, Carl Didur has been an enigmatic fixture of Toronto’s underground music community for close to two decades. Originally traversing the Golden Horseshoe with The Battleship, Ethel, a band which sprung from his first outfit CEDRUMATIC, Didur soon moved to Toronto. Throughout the mid-2000’s he could be spotted playing his trademark ace-tone organ as a member of No Dynamics and Rozasia in the city’s crammed rogue venues, such as The Bagel and the infamous and transient Extermination Music Night. During these years The Battleship, Ethel continued to tour, often performing as backup band for Damo Suzuki, while at other shows inviting Dave Byers (Simply Saucer) and Bob Bryden (Spirit Of Christmas) to perform alongside the band. Perhaps the most enduring legacy of “The Battleship, Ethel”, which dissolved in 2009, is that it laid the creative foundation for Carl and bandmate Michael McLean’s next project, the prolific, studio focused, Zacht Automaat. As Zacht Automaat released music at a frantic pace, Carl continued to collaborate with members of a tight-knit group of Toronto’s downtown scene including touring with U.S. Girls and Slim Twig, performing and recording with Colin Fisher as Fake Humans, guesting on Absolutely Free’s Currency EP and producing New Fries’ most recent album The Idea of Us. Throughout the last decade Didur’s purely solo output has served to document his unimpeachably singular approach to music making. I Cannot See You Too Well (2011), Nothing is the Secret to Anything (2014) and Is It Yesterday? (2020) all released on cassette were followed by a digital album of gentle minimalism called Natural Feelings Vol I (2020). His solo shows consist of multiple tape machines running loops through various analog devices (a Certified Electronics Technician Didur now spends his non-piano playing hours of the day repairing all manner of tape echoes and synthesizers) or solo Wurlitzer electric piano improvisations, his performances gracing both stage and gallery. With his latest release Maybe Next Time, Didur further establishes himself as a singular artist with a unique methodology honed from years of music-making and listening. The album’s compositions swing from lush Axelrod-ish affairs filled with Mellotron strings to the album’s spiritual jazz influenced centerpiece The River Meets The Sea. “I was inspired by Eno’s Here Come the Warm Jets, Crazy Horse but only when they are sad, Alice Coltrane, Jessica Pratt, McDonald and Giles, and so many others…” states Didur. Infused with a melancholic tone throughout, tracks such as Close My Eyes and Autumn’s Here invoke cinematic memories with tape echo and reverb applying a softened focus to the proceedings. Carl explains the context for the tone and the setting for the record’s gestation: “Maybe Next Time is a record I made after the world lost a sweet person that many in our community loved. Unlike most of my albums this one never seeks to shock or surprise you. It is about sadness, confusion, dissolution, transformation and ultimately a deeply forgiving sense of love. It is a concept record about being a human being!”

File Under: Pop, Experimental, Zacht Automaat, Kris’s Picks
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Esplendor Geometrico: El Acero Del Partido / Heroe Del Trabajo (Geometrik) LP
Vinyl reissue celebrating the 40th anniversary of Esplendor Geométrico´s first LP: El Acero Del Partido / Héroe Del Trabajo, originally released in 1982. Considered a masterpiece of industrial music from the eighties, it’s the record where they started to define their unique style. Already devoid of aggressive lyrics and even titles for their tracks, the sound begins to acquire a personality of its own, with an astounding austerity. Repetitive litanies infected by impossible machine sounds, noisy buzzes, organized metallurgy, and newscasts from the East Europe, that glare by moments. Seven instrumental tracks of repetitive mechanical rhythms than paint a landscape of abandoned factories and rusty machinery. Remastered in 2022 and unavailable on vinyl for more than ten years. The original cover is preserved and includes an exclusive collage-insert with rare photos and texts. Edition of 600 (numbered).

File Under: Industrial, Ian’s Picks
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Elkhorn: Distances (Feeding Tube) LP
“Brilliant new instrumental fork-bending from the always amazing Elkhorn, presented here in a quartet setting I had not heard before. The basic band remains Drew Gardner on electric guitar and Jesse Sheppard on acoustic, but as often seems to happen with these guys, there are a couple more faces in the studio. This time it’s two drummers. One is Ian McColm, a Virginia tub monster who has played in many excellent situations, including a 2012 Feeding Tube duo cassette with Daniel Bachman. The other drummer is DC-based Nate Scheible who does his own records and has also worked with everyone from Mark McGuire to Matt Wascovich. The wide foundational base these two provide allows Drew and Jesse to climb higher than they have ever dared before. By shifting the basic conceptual thrust closer to rock-qua-rock, this formation is capable of psyching-out with pure guitar force. The Ouroboran elements of open-form improvisation-based music really gel when the snakes are encouraged to eat their own tails. The drumming adds shimmer to the acoustic passages, and power distensions to the electric ones. Holding the strings accountable to forces of rhythm forces both the note and chord lines to twist in ways they otherwise mightn’t. It’s like the percussion challenges the guitars to not get too comfortable with a groove. Be prepared, fellas. Anything could happen. That said, Distances is a beautiful-sounding record. The core of Elkhorn has always known how to get to a real special musical spot, where acid flash meets acoustic burn. I’m just saying, the drums take this sound even deeper. You will get a lot of spins out of this one. Or I’ll eat my hat.” –Byron Coley, 2022

File Under: Folk, Psych, Piyush’s Picks
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…..new arrivals…..

Alice in Chains: Dirt (Legacy) LP
Black vinyl, coloured version in November. Alice In Chains’ 5x Platinum 1992 masterpiece Dirt was a milestone of the early ’90s grunge-genre and it stands up tall against anything else from that era. The dark 13-song set finds enigmatic frontman Layne Staley and his afflictions perfectly matched by the moody songwriting and tuned down guitars of Jerry Cantrell and company. The band’s ability to document their torment was like no other and most of the rumors that surrounded the album and Staley’s lifestyle have proven to be true which makes it as captivating a listen today as ever. Includes the hit singles “Would?,” “Them Bones” and “Down in a Hole” plus fan favorites “Rooster” and “Angry Chair.”

File Under: Rock
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Ash Ra Tempel & Timothy Leary: Seven Up (MG.Art) LP
MG.ART reissue Seven Up as part two of the authorized 50th anniversary “A.R.T.” re-edition series. Seven Up is the third studio album by Ash Ra Tempel and their only album recorded in collaboration with American Ph.D. in psychology, Dr. Timothy Leary. Cover art by famous Swiss artist Walter Wegmüller. Recorded in August 1972 at Sinus Studio in Berne, Switzerland, remixed September 1972 at Dierks Studios in Stommeln, Germany. First release in spring 1973 by OHR Musik — the first release on the new sub-label “Kosmische Kuriere”. Seven Up in a re-cut carefully overseen by Manuel Göttsching himself. Features the full original text for the “7 Levels of Consciousness” by Timothy Leary in English, i.e. “Instruction Manual for Pleasure Panel” plus a previously unreleased glimpse view of the original scripts including notes and mark ups as well as partly unreleased photos from the recording session. Gatefold; four-page inlay.

File Under: Prog, Psych, Kosmische
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Steve Bates: All the Things that Happen (Constellation) LP
Musician and sound/video installation artist Steve Bates presents a striking solo ambient/noise album of melodic smear, radiostatic blur, panoramic noise clouds and dissolving tones. Made primarily with the self-imposed limitation of a Casio SK-1, All The Things That Happen showcases the more deliberate, intensive, maximalist side of Bates’ wide-ranging sonic aesthetic and practice. An isolation record (like so many), it combines an ineffable melancholy with claustrophobic tension and simmering political rage. Constructed from layers of glistening distortion-drenched melody, pulsing and droning oscillation, bursts of blown-out chords, sweeps of static and sheets of crackling hiss, Bates has made a dynamic, ardent, iridescent noise album of impressive depth and underlying devastation.

File Under: Experimental, Electronic
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Birth Control: Operation (OHR) LP
Ohr present a reissue of Birth Control’s Operation, originally released in 1971. Re-release of the second album of the Berlin outfit on the original Ohr label. Produced by the famous photographer Didi Zill in 1971 at Hansa Studios. “Birth Control’s second album, Operation, stands as one of the band’s finest recordings, getting the vote as the second-best album of 1971 by one of Germany’s leading music magazines. Operation has Birth Control employing a nine-piece string section as well as a smaller brass entourage in order to produce a larger sound, and while their progressive air is just beginning to flourish, a rather large difference in musical strength and instrumental craft is noted right away. Not fully abstract or left-of-center just yet, the powerful crunch of Bruno Frenzel’s guitar surely leads the way, dominating the rhythms of every track while complimenting the aeronautics of the keyboard passages…” –Mike DeGagne, AllMusic

File Under: Prog
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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: Hard Bop (Impex) LP
Some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time have passed through Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers: Horace Silver, Hank Mobley, Kenny Dorham, Wayne Shorter and Donald Byrd, among many others. However brief their stay, working with the demanding and full-throttle drummer not only increased their visibility, but also their chops and interpretive capacity. Blakey’s ability to drum up the best players in the game may have even eclipsed his superhuman ability to play drums. Altoist Jackie McLean, trumpeter Bill Hardman, bassist Spanky deBrest, and pianist Sam Dockery deliver whole-bop goodness on five propulsive, fiery tracks. True to its title, this LP bops hard, with a ferocious swing, boundless energy and telepathic communication between players – especially Blakey and Hardman. Considering the rhythmic demands of Blakey’s locomotive playing style, this was an incredible achievement. Impex Records has cut this gorgeous 180-gram LP with the original analog mono master tapes and without computer processing of any kind. You hear all the vivacious interplay that occured on that weekend in 1957 when Blakey and crew forged a bold new vision of muscular, funky jazz. This is music that still resonates over 50 years later. Not to be missed!

File Under: Jazz
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Peter Brotzmann/Keiji Haino: The Intellect Given Birth to Here (Eternity) is Too Young (Black Editions) BOX
“It’s common for these musicians to be labelled muscular (and other testosterone-laden terms), but it is perhaps more fitting to register them with the female archetype Kali, who enacts destruction in order to make way for new life. As we embark on a new century amidst socio-political upheaval, the Brötzmann/Haino duo feels like an artistic expression of the moment we are living in and experiencing every day.” –Philip Greenlief, “Ode to Destruction”, ART FORUM, August 2018 on Peter Brötzmann/Keiji Haino Duo at the Chapel, San Francisco. Two complete performances recorded in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the summer of 2018. The intellect given birth to here (existence) is too young presents the artists traversing a sprawling range of sound and modalities to achieve a stunning alchemy that can’t be replicated. Both Brötzmann and Haino have spent their lives creating music that defies easy categorizations — phrases such as “free jazz/improvisation,” “rock,” or “avant garde” seem to only scratch at the surface. What can be said is their works have a nearly unmatched intensity and restless spirit — always uncompromising and only fully understood in their own unique terms. When performing together, the two push each other to entirely new and beautifully alien territories. Keiji Haino’s Purple Trap imprint and Black Editions are proud to present the defining work of their decades-long collaboration. Presented in a deluxe four-LP boxed set edition of 800 including full-size, full-color art prints by both artists.

File Under: Jazz, Improv
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Come: Rampton (Susan Lawly) LP
Limited vinyl edition of Come’s Rampton reissued by Susan Lawly. The year 1980 saw release of this iconoclastic debut LP, first album on the highly collectible Come Organisation label, and first chapter in the long musical career of a then teenage William Bennett after leaving Essential Logic, which subsequently led to the pure electronic Whitehouse and present-day Cut Hands projects. Also notably featuring synthesizer bass performed by The Normal’s Daniel Miller. 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Industrial, Noise
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Gloria de Oliveira & Dean Hurley: Oceans of Time (Sacred Bones) LP
Time is a beguiling, indistinct entity…sometimes standing still, sometimes bending back upon itself in premonitory memories of the future. Growing out of a musical pen-pal style correspondence that took place over the course of a year, separated by the Atlantic Ocean, Gloria de Oliveira and Dean Hurley passed thoughts and music back and forth that would eventually form their collaborative album Oceans of Time…all without ever meeting or speaking. The result is a sonic tapestry of that exchange: woven from conceptual threads of the celestial within, mortality and the realm beyond the stars. The duo’s partnership is an effortless merge, with the steady presence of de Oliveira’s vocals endowing the record with its sense of potency. Throughout the album, there is an innate understanding of how a lyric across a chordal color can sharpen an emotional truth. Much like a sunbeam that pierces a spiderweb to reveal its intricacy, her lyric and melody are purposely aimed in order to illuminate the truths deep within one’s self…a process that ties us all to the universal. The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, a professed influence, wrote about concepts of truth and faith in a way that illuminate the hidden depths of the soul amidst an individual’s earthly trials of experience. Much of this feeds into the album and threads its quilt of themes. With its impressionistic synths, shimmering guitars, and ethereal sonics, Oceans of Time at moments recalls the foundational dreampop of 4AD acts and early 90’s New Age pop. Frequent David Lynch collaborator Dean Hurley sets the tonal and sonic backdrop of each track on the album, lending a layered ether that envelops, frames and spotlights de Oliveira’s vocals. The album feels especially attuned to the connections between the physical and transcendental realms, and like the best dreampop, has a way of making the veil between two worlds feel just a little bit thinner. Oceans of Time is a key that has the power to release its listener from the handcuffs of reality, however briefly…

File Under: Electronic
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Electro Keyboard Orchestra: s/t (HMV) LP
Masahiko Sato, Masao Yagi, Hiromasa Suzuki, Yuji Ohno, Kentaro Haneda, Hideo Ichikawa, Shigehito Ohara, Sadayasu Fujii. 20 synthesizers operated by eight of Japan’s leading keyboard players. The album “Electro Keyboard Orchestra” that has captivated a wide range of people from Japanese jazz-rare groove-hip hop with the inspiration and sparkle of the groove to the keyboard orchestra music. “The Heated Point” with a wide variety of keyboards, the theme song “The Iron Side” of the US detective drama “Ohno Police Department Iron Side”, which is often called the strongest version, Carlos desperately in agony in the heavy groove crawling on the ground ・ All songs such as “Mother Of The Future” by Garnett are outstanding!

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Funk, Japan
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Faust: Faust Tapes (Bureau B) LP
Reissue, originally released in 1973. There’s something perversely fabulous about the thought of this warped masterwork wandering into 60,000 unsuspecting British homes in 1973. Faust’s second-and-a-half album hit the shops to celebrate their signing to the nascent Virgin Records, who were looking to take advantage of the zeitgeist for German music at that time. Undeterred by the fact the band’s unwillingness to engage with the commercial landscape had seen them dropped from Polydor, Branson and co. cooked up a suitably spectacular marketing strategy, selling the LP for 49p, the bargain price of a single. What was lurking within the grooves was a condensed collage of outtakes, oddities, sketches and samples previously known to the band’s nearest and dearest as The Faust Party Tapes — and how you wish you’d been to those parties. Cacophonous keys and roaring drones splinter into a deranged hybrid of tumbling toms and yelping vocals; committed experimentalism which in no way prepares you for the beautiful ballad which follows. Armed with acoustic guitar, playful piano and panning vocals, Faust fashion a pastoral idyll imbued with the most profound yearning. “Flashback Caruso” brims with Byrds-ian jangle and Syd’s psychedelia, its non-sensical English lending the piece a Confucian lyricism perfect for expanded minds. Sliced and spliced between TV snippets, dissonant trumpet and the sound of someone pissing, the utterly freaky fuzz-rock of “J’ai Mal Aux Dents” sounds positively radio-friendly, far less far out than if it were encountered alone. Compared to the non-musical madness beside it, this thrash-jazz trance dance makes perfect sense, as does the corrosive breakbeat of “Two Drums, Bass, Organ”, a mutant funk workout which rivals Can in an all-German dance off. The progressive and symphonic “Dr. Schwitters”, dissected by fragments of dissonant process music, haunted vocal takes and the proto-industrial grind of “Elerimomuvid”, charts a course for the dark side of the moon more suited to the serious cosmonauts of the world. Then the record freefalls into disorienting drum workouts, mixing desk experiments and a wicked premonition of no-wave jazz (“Hermann’s Lament”) before taking slight respite in the beauty of “Rudolf Der Pianist” and “I’ve Heard That One Before”. The particles of prepared piano, power tools and tape echo continue to cascade through the soundspace, gradually building into the final trilogy of “Stretch Out Time”, “Der Baum” and “Chère Chambre”, which return to conventional song structure, albeit in the group’s typically twisted style. Once again though, in comparison to the wonderfully weird pieces which precede them, these three tracks are entirely accessible, and in this lies the brilliance of the album.

File Under: Experimental, Prog, Psych, Krautrock
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C.R. Gillespie & Gareth Quinn Redmond: Exquisite Corpse Shall Drink the New Wine (Hidden Harmony) LP
C.R. Gillespie and Gareth Quinn Redmond on the album: “‘The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine,’ wrote the French Surrealists almost 100 years ago, and from this missive stems the parlor game in which we partake here. Through obscuring the tower itself, they cobble together meandering staircases in which to ascend with absent-minded haste; spontaneous line-weaving amasses figures and phrases into new planes of thought, therefore holding captive the illusion of creative reciprocity. Although housed in unrecognizable quarters, dull rain now tallies itself upon your window panes just as it once kept count on theirs. Apparitions unknown sound instruments of winding origin in celebration of the ink dry in the well. A graffito of tea leaves stains the porcelain cup. This cloven tall-tale traces an epistolary journey between id and consciousness upon a page that has been adorned and wiped clean again and again and again. The wet meadow expands and contracts within a breath, moving through the windpipe to expel upon the glistening dew. From this dew rises anthills of diminishing complexity, and busying themselves within insanity, the occupants labor to hold fast against the unseen wave of oblivion. An exercise in aleatoric sentence-finishing between two aligned performers, The Exquisite Corpse Shall Drink the New Wine mimics the economics of unconscious beauty-making to such a degree that light will neither pass through it nor divert its path. Draw upon it what you will, and ready yourself for the unrelenting ataraxy. The job’s oxo.” 180-gram vinyl record. Edition of 300 numbered copies. Die-cut cardboard outer sleeve, color print inner sleeve + poly-liner sleeves.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Gnawa Music of Marrakesh: Night Spirit Masters (Zehra) LP
Remastered vinyl reissue of this 1990 Bill Laswell/Richard Horowitz production of local Gnawa musicians, recorded in the Medina of Marrakesh. According to AllMusic it is “a must for fans of both African and Middle Eastern music” and voted one of the “10 essential Gnawa albums” by Songlines. The Gnawa are an ethnic minority in today’s Morocco, descendants of slaves from West Africa who were brought to Morocco in the 16th century and who (although they quickly converted to Islam) nevertheless brought with them remnants of their animistic practices. The Gnawa perform a complex ceremony (called lila or derdeba) that over the duration of several hours recreates the genesis of the universe by the evocation of the seven main manifestations of the divine, represented by seven colors. Those ceremonies, led by a master or “maleem”, are still taking place today privately while Gnawa music in general has clearly been modernizing and thus become more profane, but witnessing a performance is still an astonishing experience. With the exception of a handful of recordings by Paul Bowles and Philip Schuyler (more ethnographic documents in a field recordings style), Gnawa music was barely heard outside of Morocco before 1990 — one of the first westerners to come and record the music was Bill Laswell, back then running his Axiom label that portrayed a wide range of ethnic music and musicians like The Master Musicians Of Jajouka or Maleem Mahmoud Ghania, to name just two. Night Spirit Masters, recorded in the Medina of Marrakech, delivers soulful tracks of lead and group singers in call-and-response mode, fired by sentirs, drums, hand clapping, and qrakechs, while others are drum features or sentir/vocal pieces. Over 30 years after its initial release, this essential Gnawa album is finally available again. Gnawa, bottom heavy trance music of North Africa. Repetitive bass lines, generated by the gimbri or sintir with metal clappers, hand drums and voice. Seven trances, seven colors, seven scents, Gnawa not only moves, it can remove. 180 gram vinyl; includes download card.

File Under: Africa, Folk
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Vince Guaraldi: It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Craft) LP
While Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip appeared daily in newspapers across the world, Vince Guaraldi’s music helped bring the gang to wider audiences through his jazzy television and film soundtrack recordings. In the 1966 animated special It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween, with Linus hoping that, finally, he will be visited by The Great Pumpkin, while Charlie Brown is invited to a Halloween party. As usual Guaraldi’s integral score drives the proceedings and steals the show. It’s one of the most desired soundtracks in the beloved collection of music from the iconic Peanuts animated TV specials. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Music from the Soundtrack) features some of the most iconic tracks in pop culture, including the instantly recognizable “Linus and Lucy,” as well as the languid, lyrical “Great Pumpkin Waltz.” The music was recorded on October 4, 1966 at Desilu’s Gower Street Studio in Hollywood, California by Guaraldi (piano) and his longtime friends and trio sidemen – bassist Monty Budwig and drummer Colin Bailey – joined by Emanuel Klein (trumpet), John Gray (guitar) and Ronald Lang (woodwinds). The entire scoring process was overseen by composer, arranger and conductor John Scott Trotter, well known for a three-decade run as Bing Crosby’s music director and close friend. Following the astounding popularity of the Peanuts comic strip and the first two successful Peanuts television specials – A Charlie Brown Christmas and Charlie Brown’s All-Stars – It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown debuted October 27, 1966 with a phenomenal 49 percent audience share, meaning 49 percent of the people watching television during those 25 minutes had tuned in to see Charlie Brown. On Halloween night, this pumpkin-shaped translucent orange LP will rise from sincere vinyl collections the world over and bring audible presents to all the good girls and boys. Previously thought lost to time: this album contains remasters from the original session reels for It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. This definitive 33 1/3 rpm version of the soundtrack also includes the cues as recorded by Vince and crew before they were edited for the television special, as well as a selection of alternate takes. New expanded liner notes round out the reissue.

File Under: Jazz, OST
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Yutaka Hirose: Trace: Sound Design Works 1986-1989 (WRWTFWW) LP
WRWTFWW Records announce the release of Yutaka Hirose’s never-heard before 11-track collection Trace: Sound Design Works 1986-1989, with liner notes from the artist. Trace is a collection of 11 unreleased tracks produced by Yutaka Hirose between 1986 and 1989, during the Sound Process Design sessions, right after the release of his classic Soundscape series album Nova. Sound Process Design was Satoshi Ashikawa’s label, home of the Wave Notation trilogy (Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Music For Nine Postcards, Satsuki Shibano’s Erik Satie 1866-1925, and Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way). Following Wave Notation, Sound Process Design worked with museums, cafes, and bars to create site-specific soundscapes, starting with the sound design of the Kushiro Museum. Yutaka Hirose was called to work on these projects. Rather than simply providing pre-recorded compositions, Hirose sought to create a “sound scenery”. To achieve this, he participated in the conception of the space and paid particular attention to the accidental combination of sounds by placing the speakers, using a multi-sound source, and following the concept of “sculpturing time through sound”. The composer explains: “sculpturing time through sound means that time, the space itself, the sound played in it, and the audience all become one sculpture. It is close to the idea of a Japanese tea ceremony where you use all of your five (or six) senses to taste the tea.” Trace: Sound Design Works 1986-1989 is divided into two parts. The Reflection segment is based on an ambient soundscape. It narrates “a sleep that starts with the sound of water droplets at dawn and slowly disappears into darkness” and feels like a natural and soothing progression of Nova. It was played in entrance halls, at events, in cafes and bars. The “Voice From Past Technology” segment expresses the dream world born out of that sleep and is based on what Yukata Hirose calls hardcore ambient, environmental music with a noise approach. It was played in museums and science centers. All in all, Trace is a crucial addition to every Japanese environmental music fan’s collection, alongside Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green, Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way, Motohiko Hamase’s Notes of Forestry, Inoyamaland’s Danzindan-Pojidon, and Yutaka Hirose’s very own Nova.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Japan
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Akira Ifukube: War of the Gargantuas OST (Waxwork) LP
Waxwork Records is beyond thrilled to release THE WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Akira Ifukube! Available for the first time officially outside of Japan, we are bringing you the complete soundtrack as a monstrous 2xLP set! Collaborating again with iconic director Ishirō Honda (Godzilla 1954, Destroy All Monsters), Ifukube creates a wonderfully chaotic world in which the impacts of nature vs. nurture are examined through battling humanoid monsters. The film is regarded as one of the darkest and scary Japanese Kaiju films. Since its release, the film has been regarded as a cult classic, drawing admiration from artists such as Tim Burton, Quentin Tarantino, Guillermo Del Toro, and Brad Pitt. The epic score sets the perfect tone of mayhem, balanced with relentless foreboding, as the monsters wreak havoc across Tokyo and scientists try desperately to save their Frankenstein-like creation. This record is the perfect addition to any kaiju lovers’ collection! Waxwork Records is honored to present THE WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS as an official double LP with 180 gram “Sanda” & “Gaira” colored vinyl, deluxe packaging, new artwork by Ken Taylor, heavyweight gatefold jackets with matte satin coating, a 12”x12” art print, and more!

File Under: OST
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Ikebe Shakedown: Adonai (Colemine) 7″
Enjoy the highly anticipated new 45 from Ikebe Shakedown! Featuring a phenomenal cover of a rare Ennio Morricone track as the A-side, and a brand new banging B-side!

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media: In The Groove (Nippon Columbia) LP
Since its formation in 1969, Soul Media had been advocating a fusion of jazz and rock. The next step along that line was this album, “In the Groove,” recorded in 1973. The sharpness of jazz is brought to the forefront, with rock melting in to give it an edge, and funk injected to imbue it with power and resilience. The result was a strong, sophisticated, and simply “cool music” that could not be categorized within existing genres such as jazz rock, jazz funk, or fusion. This work is also described as a response to The Crusaders, a group that Jiro Inagaki was paying attention to at the time. His aim was right on target. With this album, Soul Media acquired a “sophisticated black feeling” and headed for their final destination, “Funky Stuff.” Text by Yusuke Ogawa (universounds)

File Under: Jazz, Japan
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Seu Jorge & Almaz: s/t (Now Again) LP
Originally released in 2010. “Listening to this remarkable album for the first time you’ll surely be struck first by the deep, soul-piercing voice of that great Brazilian singer, Seu Jorge. Yes: he’s a singer first and foremost. Many may know him as an actor for his screen-stealing performances in the likes of Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic and Fernando Meirelles’ City Of God but Seu has known since he was a child that we was destined to sing. He’s a Brazilian singer who speaks the truth through samba, to paraphrase a well-known Seu Jorge quote. But this project is about a band: Almaz. Drummer Pupillo and guitarist Lucio Maia from the stalwart Nação Zumbi; bassist and composer Antonio Pinto from the soundstages of movies starring Seu Jorge. They came together naturally to record a song for a Walter Salles film; they enjoyed the experience so much that they recorded an entire album of music that inspired them. Songs famous within the Brazilian diaspora (Tim Maia, Jorge Ben) mesh with classic American (Roy Ayers, Michael Jackson) and European (Kraftwerk, Cane and Abel) soul songs begging for a bit of psychedelic samba. They enlisted producer and fellow Brazileiro Mario C. (Beastie Boys, Jack Johnson) to put the finishing touches on the project. Their album is both warm and dark; psychedelic and yet grounded, uplifting but at times somber. To listen to it is to join them in the studio, where the only bandleader is the music and the only agenda is to follow your heart.”

File Under: Brazil
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Jungle Fire: Slipshot (Colemine) 7″
Two killer afro-funk tracks from Jungle Fire’s 2020 self-titled LP!

File Under: Jazz, Funk
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Jura Soundsystem: Return to the Island (Temples of Jura) LP
“When not overseeing A&R and label operations for Isle Of Jura, label boss Kevin Griffiths makes time for music creation in his garden studio in Moana, a sleepy suburb of Adelaide in South Australia. It’s an idyllic location surrounded by palm trees and tropical birdlife and an inspiring spot to fire up the machines, typically with the studio door left wide open to soak up the soundtrack provided by mother nature. The LP was recorded in the midst of the pandemic with no gig distractions and the sessions were heavily influenced by this backdrop of tropical birdsong, field recordings of which made it into most of the tracks. The album traverses Deep house, Nu-disco, Balearica and Ambient along with some leftfield samples and a sprinkling of Dub throughout. “

File Under: Electronic
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Kayo Konishi & Yukio Kondo: Elfen Lied (Tiger Lab) LP
The Elfen Lied score is back after being sold out for 3 years. The orchestral score is composed, arranged, and produced by Kayo Konishi and Yukio Kondo. The stringed compositions are full of haunting, beautiful melodies with lush textures. Fans of all film scores, not just anime, will fall in love with this release, which includes the opening track “Lilium.” The Elfen Lied repress is presented in a brand new package with its classic design.

File Under: OST, Anime
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Mica Levi: Under the Skin (Milan) LP
Based on the novel by Michael Faber, Jonathan Glazer’s new film follows the journey of a voluptuous woman (Scarlett Johansson) of unknown origin combing the highway in search of isolated or forsaken men. They are seduced, stripped of their humanity, and never heard from again. The music, which plays a critical role in the film and has been mentioned numerous times in reviews, is by British-born Mica Levi, known by her stage name Micachu. She is classically trained and is best known for her band Micachu & The Shapes and for experimental music in a variety of genres.

File Under: OST
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Megadeth: The Sick, The Dying, and the Dead! (Universal) LP
Megadeth’s explosive new album The Sick, The Dying… and The Dead! features twelve new songs from the titans of thrash metal! Produced by Dave Mustaine and Chris Rakestraw, the follow-up to the critically acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning album Dystopia will melt Megadeth fans’ minds worldwide with songs like “We’ll Be Back,” the new radio hit “Soldier On!” and “Night Stalkers” – the latter of which features icon Ice-T.

File Under: Metal
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Monster Magnet: 4-Way Diablo (Napalm) LP
Recorded in four different studios (Sound City Studios, American Studios, The Sunset Lodge and Hydeaway Studios) throughout 2006-2007, 4-Way Diablo is the seventh offering from legendary riff masters Monster Magnet. Featuring rippers such as “Wall of Fire,” “You’re Alive,” and a cover of an obscure Rolling Stones song “2000 Lightyears From Home,” 4-Way Diablo is a true gem in the Monster Magnet catalog. Don’t sleep on an album Blabbermouth called: “A mix of Magnet styles old and new, it still bears the unmistakable stamp of oneof stoner rock’s most identifiable and unique voices.”

File Under: Metal
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Motorhead: Iron Fist (Sanctuary) LP
Iron Fist is repositioned as a vital snapshot of Motörhead at a crucial period when they found themselves caught in the tornado ignited by success and, in true Motörhead style, careered into their next phase at such velocity it transcended logic or reason to become this trio’s final kamikaze joyride. Forty years later, with fall-out long dissipated and a proper mastering job that avoided it at the time, Iron Fist sounds like prime Motörhead with the gloves and seat-belts off. For sheer velocity, it could be fastest of them all, the ferocious title track earning such an accolade in Kerrang! in its tribute spread to Lemmy after he passed away. By 1982, punk had been and gone, the new wave of heavy metal sounded squeaky and cliched next to its grubby godfathers and, while still trouncing all opposition, Motörhead retained that essential ability to laugh at everything, including themselves as they made lightning raids on every sense and orifice with everything cranked to overload. 40th anniversary colored vinyl LP reissue remastered from the original tapes!

File Under: Metal
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Motorhead: Iron Fist (Sanctuary) 3LP
Iron Fist is repositioned as a vital snapshot of Motörhead at a crucial period when they found themselves caught in the tornado ignited by success and, in true Motörhead style, careered into their next phase at such velocity it transcended logic or reason to become this trio’s final kamikaze joyride. Forty years later, with fall-out long dissipated and a proper mastering job that avoided it at the time, Iron Fist sounds like prime Motörhead with the gloves and seat-belts off. For sheer velocity, it could be fastest of them all, the ferocious title track earning such an accolade in Kerrang! in its tribute spread to Lemmy after he passed away. By 1982, punk had been and gone, the new wave of heavy metal sounded squeaky and cliched next to its grubby godfathers and, while still trouncing all opposition, Motörhead retained that essential ability to laugh at everything, including themselves as they made lightning raids on every sense and orifice with everything cranked to overload. This 40th anniversary triple vinyl LP edition boasts a brand new remaster created from the original tapes, a full live show from Glasgow Apollo released for the first time and previously unreleased album demos plus a 20 page bookpack.

File Under: Metal
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Muslimgauze: Chechnya Over Dub (I Shall Sing) LP
Chechnya Over Dub was originally released by Staalplaat as a part of Fatah Guerrilla in 1996. Written, played, and recorded by Muslimgauze. Release produced by Dmytro Fedorenko. Design by Zavoloka. “There is not a single misanthropic ideology in the World, even in theory, acting more cruelly and cynically than russism … No moral principles — they are all like animals. I don’t want this war to stop. I need this war, its continuation. This war will go to the territory of Russia — whether Russia wants it or not … And the Western countries, the world community will not let it be stopped in order to completely isolate Russia and destroy it as a state, so that this predatory beast on Earth no longer exists.” –Dzhokhar Dudayev, the president of free Chechnya. April 1995. On the front cover, there is a “Coat of Arms” of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria during the First Chechen War for Independence.

File Under: Industrial, Electronic, Tribal
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Muslimgauze: Shekel Of Israeli Occupation (I Shall Sing) LP
Originally released in 2019 on Ultra-Mail Prod. Written, played and recorded by Muslimgauze. Release produced by Dmytro Fedorenko. Artworks by Dmytro Fedorenko. Design by Zavoloka Mastering by Yuriy Bulychev. “You cannot blame Palestinians for actions taken against an occupation force. You have to use force to free your land, full stop.” –Bryn Jones

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Tribal
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Muslumgauze: Muhammadunize (Staalplaat) LP
Listeners who know much of anything about Bryn Jones’ work as Muslimgauze know that he was prolific in both his work and Muhammadunize, has what could be called a classic feel to it, with a very familiar blend of drones, string instruments, and synths, and varying percussion/break-beat patterns, in turn mixed with a number of hard-to-catch vocal samples. It’s a formula used many times in the past by Jones, yet somehow he still manages to keep things just fresh enough, investing songs like the first and second “Khalifate” and especially both slamming versions of “Imad Akel” with enough unexpected touches. He incorporates the basic power of his work in the tracks as well, with both beauty and a nervy, hard-to-define tension as the songs progress. The sound palette of Muhammadunize is very similar to his ambient-techno albums such as Mullah Said and Gun Aramaic, down to the rhythms and the trademark tanpura drones and keys in C minor. The difference is that it’s a bit more aggressive and faster-paced than the aforementioned albums, thus utilizing a similar dark atmosphere to a more immediate and in-your-face effect, especially as noted by the drum-kit urban-sounding pulse of “Imad Akel”, one of the high points on this album. However, a favorite track here is the closer “Fatah Guerrilla” (also title track of the whole triple album), featuring a rapid echoed rhythm along with a barrage of percussion popping up and echoing every so often, sounding like they’re flying through the room at a quick pace; the piece also features a beautiful flute melody which combines with the busy rhythm section in an interesting way.

File Under: Electronic, Tribal, Industrial
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Nurse With Wound: Ladies Home Tickler (And Other Exotic Devices) (Dirter) LP
USA exclusive clear/blue splatter edition. This expanded collection is the definitive version of The Ladies Home Tickler, originally released in 1993. An essential historical document for the new and lifelong Nurse With Wound follower. Classic tape cut-ups, radio sludge, surrealism, and abstract chaos. The birth of NWW, a project that is now in its fifth decade. Recorded back in 1980, the NWW line-up for these recordings was: Steven Stapleton – record player, cassette machine, noise; Jim Thirlwell – bass, ergonomic jack plug, WASP; William Bennett – guitar, WASP. Remastered by Andrew Liles.

File Under: Industrial, Experimental
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Bill Orcutt: Music for Four Guitars (Palilalia) LP
“In a trajectory full of about-faces, Music for Four Guitars splices the formal innovations of Bill Orcutt’s software-based music into the lobe-frying, blown-out Fender hyperdrive of his most frenetic workouts with Corsano or Hoyos. And while the guitar tone here is resolutely treble-kicked — or, as Orcutt puts it, ‘a bridge pickup rather than a neck pickup record’ — it still wades the same melodic streams as his previous LPs (yet, as Heraclitus taught us, that stream is utterly different the second time around). Although it’s a true left-field listen, Music for Four Guitars is bizarrely meditative, a Bill Orcutt Buddha Machine, a glimpse of the world of icy beauty haunting the latitudes high above the Delta (down where the climate suits your clothes). I’ve written before of the immediate misapprehension that greeted Harry Pussy on their first tour with my band Charalambides — that this was a trio of crazed freaks spontaneously spewing sound from wherever their fingers or drumsticks happened to land — but I’ll grant the casual listener a certain amount of confusion based on the early recorded evidence (and the fact that the band COULD be a trio of crazed freaks letting fly, as we learned from later tours). But to my ears, the precision and composition of their tracks were immediately apparent, as if the band was some sort of 5-D music box with its handle cranked into oblivion by a calculating organ grinder, running through musical maps as pre-ordained as the road to a Calvinist’s grave. That organ grinder, it turns out, was Bill Orcutt, whose solo guitar output until 2022 has tilted decidedly towards improvisation, while his fetish for relentless, gridlike composition has animated his electronic music (c.f. Live in LA, A Mechanical Joey). Music for Four Guitars, apparently percolating since 2015 as a loosely-conceived score for an actual meatspace guitar quartet, is the culmination of years ruminating on classical music, Magic Band miniatures, and (perhaps) The League of Crafty Guitarists, although when the Reich-isms got tossed in the brew is anyone’s guess. And Reichian (Steve, not Wilhelm) it is. The album’s form is startlingly minimalist — four guitars, each consigned to a chattering melody in counterpoint, repeated in cells throughout the course of the track, selectively pulled in and out of the mix to build fugue-like drama over the course of 14 brief tracks. It’s tempting to compare them to chamber music, but these pieces reflect little of the delicacy of Satie’s Gymnopedies or Bach’s Cantatas. Instead, they bulldoze their way through melodic content with a touch of the motorik romanticism of New Order or Bailter Space (‘At a Distance’), but more often (‘A Different View,’ ‘On the Horizon’) with the gonad-crushing drive of Discipline-era Crimson, full of squared corners, coldly angled like Beefheart-via-Beat-Detective. Just to nail down the classical fetishism, the album features a download of an 80-page PDF score transcribed by guitarist Shane Parish. And while it’d be just as reproducible as a bit of code or a player piano roll, I can easily close my eyes and imagine folks with brows higher than mine squeezing into their difficult-listening hour folding chairs at Issue Project Room to soak up these sounds being played by real people reading a printed score 50 years from now. And as much as I want to bomb anyone’s academy, that feels like a warm fuzzy future to sink into.” –Tom Carter Recorded Winter/Spring 2021 at the Living Room, San Francisco. Mastered by James Plotkin.

File Under: Experimental
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Alanna Royale: Fall In Love Again (Colemine) 7″
Alanna Royale has long searched for a way to marry her life-long reverence for classic soul and modern R&B influence and has finally found it with her newest single “Fall In Love Again”. Teaming up with producer Kelly Finnigan, Alanna was able to fully access the depth of her songwriting abilities bringing a lush vocal arrangement and pointed lyricism that digs deep into the pain of an aging relationship. “Fall In Love Again” is a low and slow groove with an irresistible hook that will keep you coming back listen after listen.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Masahide Sakuma: LISA (Victor) LP
The reissue of Masahide Sakuma’s 1st solo album “LISA” released in 1984 has been decided! LP reissue of Masahide Sakuma’s 1st solo album “LISA”, which has been active as a member of Yonin Bayashi and Plastics and produced for many famous artists. A work released from the ambient music series “Music Interior” by sound engineer Seihiko Ono. It is often called a Japanese ambient masterpiece, and it is soaring in the second-hand market, making it one of the coveted fans.

File Under: Ambient, Japan
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Seaside Lovers: Memories in Beach House (Great Tracks) LP
Green vinyl! Originally released in 1983 and never reissued on vinyl until now. With music by legends Akira Inoue, Hiroshi Sato and Masataka Matsutoya (performing under the name Seaside Lovers), the album weaves a tapestry of island beats and rhythms that will transport you to another place and another time. From the lush production of Lovers Paradise to the emotionally stirring strings of Blue Memories, if you close your eyes and listen very closely, we’re sure you’re bound to hear a wave or two in the background. Highly sought after on the vinyl aftermarket since it was released, we are happy to offer this under-recognized gem to the public again! Newly remastered by Sony Music for this release, after spinning this one you’ll agree it’s never sounded better!

File Under: Japan, Electronic, Jazz
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Shigeo Sekito: Special Sound Series Vol. 1 (Holy Basil) LP
Reissue, originally released in 1975. “Considered by many one of the most gifted and outstanding players in the Electone community thanks to his fresh, energetic, rhythmic and sometimes humorous style of playing, from 1975 to 1977 Shigeo Sekitō released a four-LP album set titled Special Sound Series for the iconic Nippon Columbia. On the first chapter of this series, Sekitō revisits, in his own colourful style, compositions such as ‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life’ by Stevie Wonder, ‘Oh, My Love’ by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, ‘Andalucia’ by Ernesto Lecuona, alongside some of his own composition such as ‘My Sweet Girl’ and the title track ‘Catch In Alice’, creating a blend of easy-listening jazz with funk and soul influences. Long out of press, we are very proud to bring this ‘brilliant electone’ album back on vinyl under exclusive license from Nippon Columbia. Licensed to Holy Basil Records by Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd.”

File Under: Jazz, Funk, Japan
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Kiyoshi Sugimoto: Country Dream (Nippon Columbia) LP
The scent of fresh green seems to rise from the plucked strings. “Country Dream” is the first album by Kiyoshi Sugimoto, one of Japan’s leading jazz guitarists. Since turning professional in 1960, Sugimoto has been active in many sessions and recordings, and in the late 1960s he attracted attention by joining the groups of Hideo Shiraki, Akira Ishikawa, Terumasa Hino, and others. He has put everything he has cultivated up to that point into his music, and his enthusiasm for moving beyond hard bop is palpable. “Country Dream” spins the original Japanese landscape, “The Apple” is sharp and thrilling, and “D-51” is exhilarating and full of energy, like a gust of wind. This power, this suppleness, this freshness. All songs are masterpieces and masterful performances. Text by Yusuke Ogawa (universounds)

File Under: Jazz, Japan
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Masayoshi Takanaka: An Insatiable High (Universal Japan) LP
Another Universal Music Japan/HMV repressing of the 1977 classic from the absurdly talented Takanaka.  This LP shows off his skills with smooth but funky tracks.  We love this LP here, but we’re biased since we love most of the stuff Takanaka is involved with! Takanaka enlisted many LA musicians to play on this LP including Harvey Mason, Chuck Rainey, and Lee Ritenour.

File Under: Jazz, Funk, Japan
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Horace Tapscott Quintet: The Quintet (Mr. Bongo) LP
This previously unreleased album by the Horace Tapscott Quintet was unearthed from master tapes in the Flying Dutchman archives. Recorded in 1969 and was intended to be a follow-up album to the classic ‘The Giant Is Awakened’ which was released that year. The iconic pianist and composer Horace Tapscott was one of the most unique and important figures in LA’s jazz world. This lost recording was produced by one of the pivotal figures in jazz, Bob Thiele, a leading behind-the-scenes star who worked with many of the greats in jazz, such as Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Della Reese, Shirley Scott, Gil Scott-Heron, the list goes on. His name can be seen gracing, arguably the best, Impulse! releases and those released on his own Flying Dutchman imprint set up in 1969. Joining Horace for this three-track, deep, heavy, avant-garde session are the same stellar cast featured on ‘The Giant Is Awakened’; Arthur Blythe on Alto Sax, Everett Brown Jr on Drums, with David Bryant and Walter Savage Jr. on Bass. Kicking things off we have ‘World Peace’, which starts with an almost baroque-esque melody, leading to an eruption in sound, it then ends in the same manner it began. The beautiful ‘Your Child’ is the jewel in the crown, skirting modal, deep jazz and introducing elements of free jazz. ‘For Fats’ with its bow bass and piano intro takes you on a journey, dropping into, at times dark, stormy melodies and developing a driving energy as the composition progresses. After recording this album, Horace was said to be wary of the music industry, so he retreated and distanced himself from this world, recording only for the independent labels UGMAA, Interplay Records, and Nimbus West Records. He set up The Pan-Afrikan People’s Arkestra and reintroduced the pan-African-roots sound back into the heart of jazz. He also developed and promoted the art form through performances and recordings. Thankfully, this session from these wonderful musical pioneers was preserved and finally has its time to shine.

File Under: Jazz
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Pat Thomas: Stage Two (Tidal Waves) LP
The legendary Ghanaian singer-producer Pat Thomas needs little introduction, he is a globally recognized vocalist and songwriter, famed for both his solo works and that with the highlife bands The Blue Monks, Broadway-Stargazers Dance Band, The Satellites, The Sweet Beans, Marijata, The Kwashibu Area Band and The Uhuru Dance Band. Between 1974 and 2019, he issued more than two dozen recordings offering a unique take on highlife, funk, reggae, soul and Afro-beat/pop. Pat Thomas’ work was sampled many times and continues to be featured on compilations by renowned reissue-labels across the globe. The album we are presenting you today (Stage Two from 1976) comes swinging right out the gate with a set of nine monster tunes, heavy drum-breaks, reggae infused afro-beats, funky bass lines, Wah-wah-psyche guitars and lyrics that straddle between a sense of melancholy and frantic urgency. This is a quintessential Pat Thomas (backed by the Marijata band) record that every serious collector or fan needs to have in his collection. Originally released in 1976 on Gapophone Records Ghana, Tidal Waves Music now proudly presents the first official reissue of this rare album (original copies tend to go for LARGE amounts on the secondary market…that is if you’re lucky enough to come across one). This is also the FIRST time Stage Two is being released outside of the African continent. This North American vinyl version is limited to 500 copies on 180g Clear Vinyl and also comes with an obi strip.

File Under: Afrobeat
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Tops: Empty Seats (Tops) LP
TOPS were formed in Montreal when song-writing duo David Carriere and Jane Penny decided to join forces with drummer Riley Fleck. Since then they have become one of the most influential underground bands of the past decade, creating a space for sophisticated pop music in the indie world. Their tendency to opt towards making straight-forward, stripped down and honest recordings lets their pop songwriting shine out in the open. With a heart firmly attached to their sleeves, their songcraft delves into the emotional intricacy of personal relationships, asking questions about power and desire. Riley Fleck’s measured drumming and David Carriere’s trademark guitar licks mesh with Marta Cikojevic’s lush keyboards. All these elements work in tandem and in service of Jane Penny’s unmistakable, wistful voice. The result of this mixture is a collection of four self-produced records and a handful of singles that cover a range of moods and a complex emotional realm while maintaining a groove and musicality. Soft rock infused pop hits flow easily, surrounded by their signature moody ballads.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Toure, Vieux Farka & Khruangbin: Ali (Jade) (Dead Oceans) LP
Ali Farka Touré is well known as one of the most influential and talented guitarists that Africa has ever produced. His legacy and impact are hard to overstate. Ali’s sound merged his much-loved traditional Malian musical styles with distinct elements of the blues, singing in the local languages of Fulfulde, Tamasheq, Songhay and Bambara. The result was the creation of a groundbreaking new genre, now well known as the ‘desert blues’, earning him three Grammy awards, widespread reverence and the nickname of the ‘African John Lee Hooker’. Though he transcended in 2006, Ali’s musical legacy lives on through his son, Vieux aka “the Hendrix of the Sahara,” an accomplished guitarist and champion of Malian music in his own right. On Ali, his collaborative album with Khruangbin, Vieux pays homage to his father by recreating some of his most resonant work, putting new twists on it while maintaining the original’s integrity. The result is a rightful ode to a legend. Ali isn’t just a greatest hits compilation. It’s a lullaby, a remembrance of Ali’s life through known highlights and B-sides from his catalog. It is a testament to what happens when creativity is approached through open arms and open hearts. “To me, music is magic, it is spontaneous, it is the energy between people,” Vieux says. “I think Khruangbin understands this very well.” The genesis of the album dates back to 2019, when Khruangbin, coming off their breakthrough album Con Todo el Mundo, was beginning to play to bigger crowds. The record was finished in 2021, as a global pandemic shuttered businesses and forced us to take stock of what Earth was becoming. Indirectly, Ali captures this as a moment of peace within a raging storm, a conversation between past and present without allegiance to suffering. Now, given Khruangbin’s reach as a unit with legions of fans (including the likes of Jay-Z and Paul McCartney), they’re poised to bring Malian music to broader groups of listeners. Ali is a masterful work in which the love surrounding it is just as vital as the music itself, driving it to unforeseen places; Vieux and Khruangbin are spreading the good word to a completely new generation. “I hope it takes them somewhere new, or puts them in a place they haven’t felt or heard,” Lee says. “It is about the love of new friendship and making something beautiful together,” Vieux continues. “It is about pouring your love into something old to make it new again. In the end and in a word it is love, that’s all.”

File Under: Funk, Afrobeat
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Unwound: Future of What (Numero) LP
Unwound’s third album in as many years, 1995’s The Future of What is an unrelenting, constructivist masterstroke. The Olympia, WA trio’s signature sound – grinding bass, syncopated drums, and fragmented guitar over measured yelps – ratchets past the thread into a stripped out metallic slurry. Equal parts noise and adrenaline, the album opens with a simple question: “Where’s your energy?” It’s been over 25 years and we’re still searching for the answer.

File Under: Punk
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Eddie Vedder: Ukulele Songs (Monkeywrench) LP
2011’s Ukulele Songs, Eddie Vedder’s second studio album, includes 16 original songs and new arrangements of classic standards. Featuring a number of songs that Vedder penned and first played live, Ukulele Songs also boasts a ukulele version of Pearl Jam’s 2002 track “Can’t Keep” and guest vocalists on two tracks: Glen Hansard on “Sleepless Nights” and Cat Power on “Tonight You Belong To Me.”

File Under: Rock
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Otomo Yoshihide’s New Jazz Orchestra: Out To Lunch (Aguirre) LP
Reissue, originally released on CD in 2005. Eric Dolphy’s final studio album is hailed as one of the finest examples of mid-60s post-bop. Dolphy, having recorded the album in February 1964, was in Europe less than six weeks later and his all-too-brief life ended less than two months after that. It marked his last flurry of original compositions and is considered his apex. It is fascinating to consider whether he would have moved past or away from the album in 1965, had he lived. Though Dolphy should not be considered an avant-garde musician by the term’s most common definitions, most interpretations of Out To Lunch have been done by players working squarely in that area. So it is with this album, the most ambitious in its recreation of the five-tune disc (with one original added to the final “Straight Up And Down”, extending the piece to almost thirty minutes). All five compositions from the original quintet LP are revisited in the same order, the record sleeve even duplicates the old album jacket, although a photo taken by Daidō Moriyama inside Tokyo’s Shinjuku railway station replaces the enigmatic “Will Be Back” sign. Otomo Yoshihide first came to international prominence in the 1990s as the leader of the experimental rock group Ground Zero, and has since worked in a variety of contexts, ranging from free improvisation to noise, jazz, avant-garde, and contemporary classical. Recognizable themes (“Hat and Beard,” “Out to Lunch,” “Straight Up and Down”) appear, and individual players — including Alfred Harth on bass clarinet — don’t carry forward echoes from the past in the spirit of a sincere and heartfelt homage. However, a good deal of the time all bets are off; in addition to the usual brass, reeds, bass, and drums (and of course a bit of vibraphone, here played by Takara Kumiko) are such sonic paraphernalia as sine waves, contact mike, no-input mixing board, and, of course, “computer.” Otomo himself plays electric guitar. From composition to composition and even during episodes within compositions, the band takes radically different approaches. There are blasts of free jazz energy not too far removed from the Peter Brötzmann Tentet, an impression reinforced by the presence of spluttering wild man Mats Gustafsson on baritone sax. Not surprisingly and often in contrast with the Dolphy original, the music is dense and filled to overflowing with sounds — sometimes due to fundamental reworkings in structure rather than just the larger size of the ensemble. Dolphy is transported into the 21st century and allowed to romp through modern developments in music.

File Under: Japan, Jazz
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Various: It’s A Good, Good Feeling – Latin Soul of Fania (Craft) LP
Craft Latino/Fania Records present It’s a Good, Good Feeling: The Latin Soul of Fania Records (The Singles), a sizzling vinyl 2LP collection showcasing Fania’s era-defining output of Latin soul and boogaloo music spanning 1965-1975. The set compiles single versions of 27 tracks from such best-selling artists as Ray Barretto, Joe Bataan, Bobby Valentín, Ralfi Pagan and Larry Harlow, plus rarities and b-sides. An eight-page book features new in-depth liner notes by compilation co-producer and DJ Dean Rudland, as well as photos and ephemera. Lacquers were cut by Phil Rodriguez at Elysian Masters. In the ’60s, a unique musical moment was brewing in New York City, as young Latin American artists – many of them second-generation – found themselves split between the traditional music they grew up on and the rising sounds of soul, doo-wop, and R&B. They began experimenting in the clubs, blending Afro-Cuban beats, Latin jazz, and soul with predominantly English lyrics. The result was a delectable new genre with broad appeal that epitomized the cultural melting pot of New York. While boogaloo and Latin soul was a short-lived craze (peaking in the late ’60s and early ’70s), it popularized Latin music in America and established the careers of many internationally beloved artists. Fania Records was founded just prior to the rise of boogaloo in 1964 by bandleader Johnny Pacheco and his lawyer, Jerry Masucci. Over the next few years, Fania would sign and nurture a variety of emerging Latin soul artists. By the mid-’70s, the popularity of boogaloo had widely given way to salsa – and Fania quickly rose to become a leader in the genre. While salsa ultimately proved to be the more enduring style, the success of boogaloo and Latin soul was instrumental in paving the way for its mainstream appeal.

File Under: Latin, Soul, Funk
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Various: Too Slow to Disco Vol. 4 (How Do You Are?) LP
After smooth detours into soul covers, French neo-disco, modern sunset disco, and Brazilian AOR, in 2022 DJ Supermarkt’s Too Slow to Disco series makes a joyous return to its original west coast AOR/yacht roots. Celebrating the tenth Too Slow to Disco compilation. Who would have thought… The Berlin curator releases a killer fourth edition of the original compilation art form, Too Slow to Disco, featuring forgotten and overseen gems from the mid-70s to the early ’80s from a global world of smooth, brilliant lost and overproduced tracks from Finland via London and L.A. to Trinidad and beyond. The great “un-vanisher” of lost lazy classics, DJ Supermarkt once again unearthed some incredible music that labels, publishers (in many cases also those, who actually own the rights to those tracks…) and streaming services have often long overlooked. Features The Dukes, Prime Time Band, Kenny Nolan, Peter Skellern, Marc Jordan, Severin Browne, The Faragher Brothers, Alan Price, James Felix, Hirth Martinez, Max Leake, Stephen Encinas, Eric Andersen, Jimmie Spheeris, Jeannine Otis & Heikki Sarmanto, and Pleasure.

File Under: Disco, Soul, AOR, Brazil
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Ataraxia: The Unexplained (Sacred Bones) LP
Beatles: Rubber Soul (Apple) LP
Bedhead: Transaction De Novo (Numero) LP
Black Flag: Damaged (SST) LP
Black Flag: In My Head (SST) LP
Black Flag: Loose Nut (SST) LP
Black Flag: My War (SST) LP
Black Flag: Slip It In (SST) LP
Art Blakey: Buhaina’s Delight (Blue Note) LP
Blonde Redhead: La Mia Vita Violenta (Numero) LP
Blonde Redhead: Melody of Certain Lemons (Touch & Go) LP
Blood Incantation: Timewave Zero (Century Media) LP
Brian Jonestown Massacre: Fire Doesn’t Grow on Trees (A Records) LP
Caribou: Andorra (Merge) LP
Calexico: Garden Ruin (Quarterstick) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Acoustic Sound Series) (Impulse) LP
Miles Davis: Workin’ (OJC) LP
Deathprod: Sow Your Gold In the White Foliated Earth (Smalltown SuperSound) LP
Descendents: All (SST) LP
Descendents: Milo Goes to College (SST) LP
Digable Planets: Blowout Comb (Modern Classics) LP
Duster: Contemporary Movement (Numero) LP
Bill Evans: Trio ’64 (Acoustic Sound Series) (Verve) LP
Faust: Punkt (Bureau B) LP
fiREHOSE: FromOhio (SST) LP
fiREHOSE: Ragin’ Full On (SST) LP
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto: Getz/Gilberto (Acoustic Sound Series) (Verve) LP
Goatsnake: 1 (Southern Lord) LP
High Vis: Blending (Dais) LP
Home Front: Think of the Lie (La Vida Es Un Mus) LP
Husker Du: Land Speed Record (SST) LP
Daniel Johnston: Welcome to My World (Eternal Yip Eye) LP
Kenji Kawai: Ghost in the Shell (WRWTFWW) LP
Ryo Kawasaki: Juice (Mr. Bongo) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio: Close But No Cigar (Colemine) LP
Minutemen: Double Nickles on the Dime (SST) LP
Mdou Moctar: Afrique Victime (Matador) LP
Mdou Moctar: Ilana: The Creator (Sahel) LP
Nirvana: Incesticide (Geffen) LP
NOFX: White Trash… (Epitaph) LP
Pink Floyd: Meddle (Pink Floyd) LP
Rich Ruth: I Survived, It’s Over (Third Man) LP
Roxy Music: Avalon (Republic) LP
Satellites: s/t (Batov) LP
Nancy Sinatra: Start Walkin’ 1965 – 1976 (Light in the Attic) LP
Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) LP
Yukihiro Takahashi: Neuromantic (Great Tracks) LP
Turnstile: Glow On (Roadrunner) LP
Vangelis: Blade Runner (Warner) LP
Sarah Vaughn & Clifford Brown: Sarah Vaughn (Acoustic Sound Series) (Verve) LP
Patricia Wolf: See-Through (Balmat) LP
Women: Public Strain (Flemish Eye) LP
Various: No New York (Lilith) LP
Various: Pacific Breeze (Light in the Attic) LP