…..news letter #1074 – room….

Another insane week for new slabs!!! A much needed repress of the essential AIRS by Loren Connors, an absolutely breathtaking ambient, guitar masterpiece. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, a killer collection of hair metal/glam obscurities collected by the infallible Numero Group. The new Brian Eno is a surprise treat, ‘songs’ but still ambient and wonderful. And Calgary’s Preoccupations have returned with a killer slab of their angular post punk. The latest banger from Caribou’s Daphni side project. 20th anniversary edition of Death Cab For Cutie’s Photo Album. Some more Blue Notes (obviously), and a few new Impex reissues as well. AND a whole lot of other killer slabs as well. Get reading, and come down for a dig.

OH… and we’re doing something we rarely do… WE ARE HIRING! At least one, maybe two part time positions. Weekend availability is a must! Drop a resume off at the store along with your top ten albums of all time and this year. 

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…..

Loren Connors: Airs (Recital) LP
Second pressing of Recital’s vinyl edition from 2015. Over the 22 years since Loren Connors’s Airs was first published, it has drawn a thick circle of fans. Gently recorded to cassette tape in 1999, (with wonderfully subtle multi-tracking). Airs is comprised of a series of brief electronic guitar poems. Intimately composed with the patience and purposeful hesitation that is reverently come to expect from Connors. Lyrical melodies recur in different forms throughout the LP, as shifting figures in a dream. Shadowy and sunken, the tone evokes an overcast landscape. The album feels singular; woven along as one flowing piece. Airs is perhaps the most approachable and beautiful in all of Connors’s catalog, seducing strangers and familiars just the same. Forlorn wonderment; a human quality that makes this such an enchanting record. It is the humble simplicity and the directness of the guitar inflection that conveys such truth. The stark grace of Connors’ playing resonates here for all to embrace. New transfer of the original four track cassettes. Includes an unreleased “lost” track, discovered during re-transfer. Remastered for vinyl by Taylor Dupree at 12k Mastering. 180 gram vinyl; Includes eight-page booklet of photographs and a not by Loren; second edition of 600.

File Under: Guitar, Ambient, Essential Grooves, Kris’s Picks
Buy Here

Various: Bound For Hell: On the Sunset Strip (Numero) BOX
Heavy metal? Glam? Hard rock? Make your own fuckin’ call, you poser. We’re not gonna do it for you. Bound for Hell is early ’80s L.A. rock as it actually was: a California cataclysm of drunk and horny headbangers, dressed in sharp, shiny, leather androgyny and fire, kicking crowds in the teeth to clear the way to that one big shot. Featuring 21 tracks by 21 of the Sunset Strip’s most razor-sharp heathens. Available as a vinyl 2LP box set with an ephemera-stuffed gatefold and 144-page hardbound book. Drumsticks burned. Hands were severed. Faces bled. Heavy was hell for a half decade and it was a long, long way down.

File Under: Metal, Glam, Rock, Kris’s Picks
Buy Here

Brian Eno: Foreverandevernomore (Verve) LP
FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE is inspired by the climate emergency. The ten tracks, most of which feature Brian Eno singing, were recorded at his West London studio. “Like everybody else – except, apparently, most of the governments of the world – I’ve been thinking about our narrowing, precarious future, and this music grew out of those thoughts,” Eno said. “Perhaps it’s more accurate to say I’ve been feeling about it… and the music grew out of the feelings. Those of us who share those feelings are aware that the world is changing at a super-rapid rate, and that large parts of it are disappearing forever… hence the album title.” FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE is Eno’s twenty-second studio album and comes introduced by lead single, “There Were Bells.” “These aren’t propaganda songs to tell you what to believe and how to act,” Eno adds. “Instead they’re my own exploration of my own feelings. The hope is that they will invite you, the listener, to share those experiences and explorations.”

File Under: Ambient, Kris’s Picks, Ian’s Picks
Buy Here

Preoccupations: Arrangements (Flemish Eye) LP
Yellow wax! Preoccupations return with “Arrangements”, their fourth studio album. “Arrangements” finds the band restoring their roots with the singular, guitar-driven, dissonant yet anthemic washes of intricate noise that have brought them international acclaim since their basement beginnings. The record begins with the pounding metallic slash of guitar strings of “Fix Bayonets!” It’s harsh and desolate at first, but builds into a thrilling synth sprint. The track – from its call-to-arms title and tense first guitar phrases to its whirlwind evolution – sets the stage for what is to come: a Preoccupations record that weaves their guitar-heavy origins with their newer synth-based work. The result is a record that is at once the band’s most intense, engaging, and playful work yet. With “Arrangements”, Preoccupations finally and confidently inhabit the dystopia that they have been carefully creating from their musical genesis. In a room with taped up windows, with only a tiny pinprick of light beaming from the otherworld onto the far wall – upside down and blurred, yet recognizable enough to fill you with warm familiarity and nostalgia of unknown origins.

File Under: Indie Rock, Post Punk, Piyush’s Picks
Buy Here

…..new arrivals…..

1975: Being Funny in a Foreign Language (Dirty Hit) LP
Clear vinyl! The 1975 return with their new album, Being Funny In A Foreign Language. The band’s fifth studio album was written by Matthew Healy and George Daniel and recorded at Real World Studios in the UK and Electric Lady Studios in NYC. Rolling Stone noted that new single “Part Of The Band” features “stream-of-consciousness lyrics from frontman Matty Healy against a bed of violins and soft swells, with a strong focus on self-reflection and growth.” Formed in Manchester in 2002, The 1975 have established themselves as one of the defining bands of their generation with their distinctive aesthetic, ardent fanbase and unique sonic approach. The band’s previous album, 2020’s Notes On A Conditional Form, became their fourth consecutive No. 1 album in the UK. The band were named NME’s ‘Band of the Decade’ in 2020 after being crowned ‘Best Group’ at the BRIT Awards in both 2017 and 2019. Their third studio album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, also won ‘Mastercard British Album of the Year’ at the 2019 ceremony.

File Under: Rock, Pop
Buy Here

Acid Mother’s Temple: Myth of the Love Electrique (Riot Season) LP
Sun yellow vinyl; gatefold sleeve. Continuing the “first time on vinyl” purge of the Acid Mothers Temple archives. Here’s the band’s classic 2006 album finally available on double vinyl for the first time. Myth Of The Love Electrique is another scorcher from these ridiculously prolific psych masters. This album is notable for being the debut of their newest band member: Kitagawa Hao. Kitagawa’s presence doesn’t dominate the recording by any means, but her contributions nicely complement the swirling chaos the group generates. Acid Mothers Temple always manages to find a breath of fresh air at the most opportune times, and this is no exception. While remaining a tight unit, bringing Kitagawa into the fold adds another dimension to their chaotic sprawl without having to sacrifice any of their strengths on this incendiary album.

File Under: Psych, Japan
Buy Here

Besnard Lakes: Are the Prayers for the Death of Fame (Flemish Eye) LP
Following the triumphant, epic Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings album released in early 2021, The Besnard Lakes have announced the release to an accompanying EP – The Besnard Lakes are the Prayers for the Death of Fame. The digital release is out now, followed in October by a limited edition 12” available to pre-order now. The majority of the music found on …Death of Fame were recorded in some form at the same time as their 2021 double album, but have since been either re-recorded, edited, extrapolated, and straight-up psyched out. Going even further into their drone rock influences (think Pure Phase-era Spiritualized and the mellower moments White Hills’ catalogue) the band emerge as a progressive and experimental group not afraid to take things out beyond the 15 minute mark (Silver Shadows). A band who are getting close to their 20 year mark continue to explore, surprise and excite us – it’s a trip, and we’re all on board.

File Under: Indie Rock
Buy Here

Blue Notes: For Johnny (Otoroku) LP
OTOROKU present the first vinyl reissue of Blue Notes for Johnny, a defining statement by one of the greatest ensembles in the history of jazz. Recorded in mid-1987 by Blue Notes — then reduced to the trio of Dudu Pukwana on alto sax, Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums, and Chris McGregor on piano — it encounters the band 25 years after their founding embarking on an inward meditation through collective music making dedicated to Johnny Dyani, their former bandmate and friend. Blue Notes were founded in Cape Town in 1962, and stand among the most important ensembles in the history of jazz. Artistically brilliant and groundbreaking, they were also the first widely visible multiracial band in South Africa. As a mixed-race band under apartheid, this group of friends and like-minded artists — Chris McGregor, Mongezi Feza, Dudu Pukwana, Nikele Moyake, Johnny Dyani, and Louis Moholo-Moholo — existed within a context that viewed their mere existence as a dangerous and subversive act. Following the untimely passing of Johnny Dyani in late 1986, the last three members of the original line-up — McGregor, Pukwana and Moholo-Moholo — reformed to pay tribute to yet another of their fallen brothers. Blue Notes for Johnny, the group’s second musical memorial to a band member, incorporates a considerably broader range of touchstone and practices than its predecessor, nodding toward the band’s foundations in be-bop and post-bop without abandoning where they had journeyed along the way. Internalizing equal elements of hard-bop, modalism, and free improvisation, it is a startling creative statement, imbued with a tension that renders an equally radical and sophisticated challenge; a furious tide — slow in pace and it slow to reveal itself — masquerading in gentler forms. Both Dudu Pukwana and Chris McGregor would pass away three years later in 1990, leaving Moholo-Moholo — who continues to carve a groundbreaking trajectory across the world of jazz — as the last surviving member. Transferred from the original masters and featuring an exact reproduction of the original artwork. Remastered by Giuseppe Ilelasi.

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Blue Notes: For Mongezi (Otoroku) LP
OTOROKU present the first vinyl reissue of Blue Notes for Mongezi, one of the most passionate celebrations of a life in music ever laid to tape. Recorded in late 1975 by Blue Notes, then reduced to a quartet — Dudu Pukwana on alto sax, whistle, percussion, and vocals, Johnny Dyani on bass, bells, and vocals, Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums, percussion, and vocals, and Chris McGregor on piano and percussion — and issued the following year by Ogun, the album is a kairos; the first commercial release by one of free jazz’s seminal ensembles, captured them 13 years after their founding — at the height of their powers — delivering an explosive dirge dedicated to Mongezi Feza, their former bandmate and friend. Blue Notes were founded in Cape Town in 1962 and stand among the most important ensembles in the history of jazz. Artistically brilliant and groundbreaking, they were also the first widely visible multiracial band in South Africa. As a mixed-race band under South African apartheid; this group of friends and like-minded artists — Chris McGregor, Mongezi Feza, Dudu Pukwana, Nikele Moyake, Johnny Dyani, and Louis Moholo-Moholo — existed within a context that viewed their mere existence as a dangerous and subversive act. In 1964, as the pressure mounted, they joined an exodus of musicians leaving for Europe, eventually settling in London during the following year. Not long after arriving, and facing continued economic peril, the group buckled. Johnny Dyani left to join Don Cherry’s band. Moholo-Moholo and Dyani followed suit and joined Steve Lacy on tour, and the remaining members morphed into a number of ensembles that eventually grew to become Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath. In late 1975, Mongezi Feza suddenly passed away at the age of thirty from pneumonia. Nine days later, on the December 23rd, following the memorial service to their friend, Pukwana, Dyani, McGregor, and Moholo-Moholo gathered in a rehearsal room in London and set out to play. The resulting double-LP coalesced into four long-form movements that occupy a side each, collectively unleashing an onslaught of free jazz fire, fluidly covering a remarkable range of moods and tactical approaches across its length. A frenzied funeral dirge, a cry, and catharsis, the record rises and falls between playful and joyous movements of deconstructed song, rhythmic and vocal tribalism, and churning, instrumental free expression. A decidedly African vision of free jazz, coalescing as a collective expression of celebration and loss on a cold London day. Transferred from the original masters and featuring an exact reproduction of the original artwork. Remastered by Giuseppe Ilelasi.

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Leonardo V. Boccia: Homenagem (Lugar Alto) LP
Lugar Alto presents their very first release: the incredibly rare and absolutely stunning “Homenagem”, by Leonardo V. Boccia. This is a forgotten gem from the eighties that examines traditional Brazilian themes such as choro, northeastern folk, and capoeira with touches of eighties electronics and new age. Leonardo Boccia is a musician, multi-instrumentalist, composer, researcher and university professor of Culture and Society at the Federal University of Bahia, whose interests include sound studies, manipulation of sound media, audiosphere and aesthetics, musical theatre, audio culture and neuromusic. Much of Homenagem examines the genre of Brazilian music known as Choro, or Chorinho, a genre which appeared in Rio de Janeiro in the 19th century. Choro is regarded as the first typically Brazilian urban music and, over the years, it has come to be considered one of the most prestigious genres of national popular music. Stylistically, it originates from Lundu, a percussion-based rhythm of African inspiration but also influenced by European genres. The instrumental composition of choro was based on the trinca flute, guitar and cavaquinho. Over time, other wind and string instruments were incorporated. Here, in Homenagem, Professor Boccia deliberately mixes the old and the new, the traditional and the innovative; the album is the environment of Chorinho reconsidered and recontextualized, and its melodies and harmonies still capable of surprises. Just listen to “Terra e Povo” – it has an almost proto-acid-house quality to it, while the synth washes on “Mãe Natureza” with the ethereal vocal stylings of Sueli Sodré ushering in the progressive quality of the album. Too long out of print, new label Lugar Alto now offers you the chance to reappraise this fascinating reissue of yet another forgotten chapter in Brazilian music.

File Under: Brazil, Experimental
Buy Here

Buffalo Killers: Stay Tuff/Lost Cuts (Alive) LP
Dug up from the BUFFALO KILLERS’ personal vaults and carefully remastered, this startling collection of rare and previously unreleased material showcases the brilliance of the Ohio trio, and reminds us why they’ve been the favorite band of artists such as The Black Crowes and The Black Keys.Among the stellar material included here are covers of T-Model Ford, Rocking Horse, The Nerves, and Eddie Hinton. “Buffalo Killers’ sound harks back to the late 60s/early 70s when rock bands such as CSN&Y, The Band, Poco and The Rolling Stones were beginning to tinge their rock with a touch of country, but also holds its own melodically against the cream of current college rockers.” – Duncan Fletcher

File Under: Rock, Blues
Buy Here

Jon Collin: Water & Rock Music Vol. 5-6 (Feeding Tube) LP
“Another wonderful album by this Swedish-based guitarist/carpenter. This is the fourth (and I believe final, at least for now) addition to Collin’s series of site-based outdoor recordings. The first three (FTR 399LP, FTR 418LP, and FTR 534LP) were stellar examples of Jon’s finger-thinking, and this one is as well. He seems to have embraced a romantic form of melodicism over the course of these albums, contrasting with some of the harsher blues evocations he’s explored recently. And as much as I enjoy everything Jon plays, there is something very special and satisfying about his more overt beauty-motion. There are four compact pieces on the first side. These have a certain hint of John Renbourn’s attack, but with a more harmonically scrambled bent and a soupçon of the quiet, wordless vocalizing Collin has added to other tunes in the Water & Rock sequence. As has been noted, these share a bit of conceptual similarity to Loren Connors’s earliest solo works, but Jon manages to remove the violence that seemed to animate Loren for a while. Perhaps one distinction is the setting for the recordings themselves — near the water, outdoors in the sunlight of Stockholm, rather than in a freezing, abandoned warehouse in New Haven — but I do not want to infer that either of these artists is unable to transcend physical realities in quest of sonic truth. Still, it’s a question I might ask them both. There’s some slide work in evidence here, but it’s balanced by plenty of finger picking. And each of the four pieces on side one (all entitled “Nothing”) has a distinct approach to sustained tones, some of which evoke memories of Fahey for me. The long piece on the flip is called “The Stream of the Consciousness (Prelude),” and it’s lovely through-and-through. Melodies are slowly unbound and savored before they gradually mutate into new aural visions or gentle, exploratory splendor. The only thing missing is your own big fat head! Hop to!” –Byron Coley, 2022

File Under: Guitar, Ambient
Buy Here

Denzel Curry: Melt My Eyes See Your Future (Loma Vista) LP
Coloured wax! Melt My Eyez See Your Future arrives as Denzel Curry’s most mature and ambitious album to date. Recorded over the course of the pandemic, Denzel shows his growth as both an artist and person. Born from a wealth of influences, the tracks highlight his versatility and broad tastes, taking in everything from drum n’ bass to trap. To support this vision, he enlisted a wide range of collaborators and establishes himself as one of the most groundbreaking rappers in the game along the way.

File Under: Hip Hop
Buy Here

Daphni: Cherry (Jiaolong) LP
Daphni aka Caribou aka Dan Snaith announces a new album, Cherry, his first album since 2017. Cherry will be released via Snaith’s own Jiaolong label. Whether in the studio or the club, Daphni has always been a pursuit where Dan Snaith lets the music find its own path. With Cherry this is more evident than ever, this sense of the tracks as objects with life and desires outside of Snaith’s control has now become a driving force in their creation. “There isn’t anything obvious that unifies it or makes it hang together,” Snaith says. “I think it was good that it was made without worrying about any of that. I just made it.” Recorded over a prolonged period, Snaith let the music go where it wanted to go. It wasn’t until he put everything he’d been tinkering with together that he realized what he had. “It’s weird that when the tracks were put in what felt like the right order it took on a new coherence,” he says, “where it pings quickly from one idea to the next and, at least for me, hangs together in way that feels unified. Maybe because it’s hard to avoid the musical fingerprints I leave on the music I make, whether I want to or not.” The component parts have this same sense of independence, the essence of Daphni always present over music that is more free-wheeling than it’s ever been, almost escaping Snaith’s grasp as it tumbles and spirals. “As is often the case when you’re working quickly and intuitively, new pieces of equipment played a part” he says. New gear and ways of working meant Snaith was able to sit at the center of the music but let things get away from him a bit more as equipment began to make its own decisions before reeling it back in to suit his purposes, or as he puts it “getting the snake to eat its own tail”.

File Under: Electronic, Caribou
Buy Here

Miles Davis: E.S.P. (Impex) LP
Unlike the majority of previous Davis albums, E.S.P. consisted entirely of new compositions written by members of the group. Despite the profusion of new material, only one tune (“Agitation”) is known to have appeared in the group’s live performances. “Little One” might be best known for being revisited on Hancock’s landmark album, Maiden Voyage, recorded a few weeks later. This version is somewhat more embryonic; Carter’s bass is halting, and Davis and Shorter state the theme with winding, interlocking contrapuntal lines that evoke Davis and Coltrane’s version of “Round Midnight”. Hancock’s solo on Carter’s composition, “Eighty-One”, also presages his work on that LP – particularly its title track. The title track is reminiscent of Jackie McLean’s “Little Melonae”, which Davis had recorded with John Coltrane in 1956. “Iris”, by contrast, is another Coltrane-like ballad, not too dissimilar to “Infant Eyes” on Shorter’s Speak No Evil album. Shortly thereafter, Shorter’s compositions would begin to dominate the Quintet’s recordings, though here he contributes only two of the seven songs. This was the first time Wayne Shorter recorded with Miles, and the band – in this configuration – had been together for less than a year. As you will hear, the connection between the musicians is uncanny, as if they had been playing together for decades. Especially notice Wayne Shorter’s brilliant interplay with Miles on the closing track “Mood,” the haunting ballad written by bassist Ron Carter. At over forty-eight minutes, E.S.P. is one of the longest jazz albums of its period.

File Under: Jazz, Audiophile
Buy Here

Death Cab For Cutie: Photo Album (Barsuk) LP
The 20th anniversary deluxe edition of Death Cab for Cutie’s The Photo Album — beautifully remastered by João Carvalho, cut for vinyl by Joe Nino-Hernes at Sterling Sound, and pressed at RTI on 180-gram CLEAR VINYL. Limited-edition clear vinyl (2000 copies worldwide) includes an 11.5″ 12-page booklet containing — for the first time in full LP size — all the photos from the CD artwork. MP3 download has both releases, plus all the digital-only bonus tracks.

File Under: Indie Rock
Buy Here

Dinosaur Jr.: Where You Been? (Radiation) CS
Radiation Tapes present a cassette reissue of Dinosaur Jr.’s Where You Been, originally released in 1992. Formed in 1984, Dinosaur Jr. carved a singular path through the latter half of the 1980s and early 1990s, issuing a number of highly influential albums in the process before finding a home with Sire Records. Where You Been, their fifth record, emerged in 1993, at the height of enthusiasm for grunge and the alternative American rock scene the band had long been part of. Produced by a new line-up of the group (longtime drummer Murph and new bassist Mike Johnson completing the three-piece), the album became the band’s most successful up to that point, reaching #50 in the US (where it sold over a quarter of a million copies) and #10 in the UK album charts, and spawning the hit single, “Start Choppin”. Released to unanimously positive reviews, and containing many tracks that would become staples and fan favorites, “Where You Been” continued Dinosaur Jr.’s global ascent, being issued simultaneously across the US, Europe, Australasia, Asia, and South America. Limited edition of 350 on cassette.

File Under: Indie Rock
Buy Here

Drugdealer: Hiding in Plain Sight (Mexican Summer) LP
The third and most seasoned Drugdealer album, Hiding In Plain Sight, almost didn’t happen at all. Frustrated and insecure with his own singing voice prior to the pandemic, Drugdealer founder and primary songwriter Michael Collins was nearly ready to throw in the towel. While attending Mexican Summer’s annual Marfa Myths festival, a chance encounter with artist and composer Annette Peacock changed his outlook. Collins says, “I told her my plight, then I played her a song, and she told me I wasn’t singing high enough for my speaking voice. When I returned to LA, I started coming up with new progressions, which I’d modulate up three half steps. It forced me to find a new way to sing.” Taking inspiration from a canon of gruff but soulful rock vocalists like Phil Lynott, Nick Lowe, or even Van Morrison, Collins looks back on his nocturnal meanderings through LA’s warrens of bars and clubs. He’s right up front in the mix, detailing a search for love in all the wrong places. AM Gold, down-hard love songs, cosmic country and Rhodes-driven grooves result in the most joyful and fully-realized Drugdealer album to date. Hiding In Plain Sight is the sound of Michael Collins and Drugdealer getting their groove back with guests including Tim Presley, Kate Bollinger, Bambina, Sasha Winn, Sean Nicholas Savage, Video Age, and John Carroll Kirby.

File Under: Indie Rock
Buy Here

Fennesz: Black Sea (Touch) 2×10″
Black Sea was Fennesz’s follow-up album to Venice (Touch, 2004), and was originally released in 2008; Stylus Magazine’s Nick Southall wrote: “Fennesz does with sound what Stan Brakhage did with film, altering its very fabric and texture, employing disorder and error as forms of communication and expression. He forces you to learn a different method of perception and interpretation, to look beneath the chaos that seems to govern the movements of life and find the patterns beneath.” Fennesz’s career has come a long way since Instrument, his debut for Mego in 1995, and his first solo album Hotel Paral.lel which followed in 1998. Endless Summer (2001) brought him to a much wider audience and Venice underlined his mastery of melody and dissonance. His songs usually embody the skillful application and manipulation of dense sonic textures with a genuine feel for the live, and real-time. Black Sea features guitars that rarely sound like guitars; the instrument is transformed into an orchestra. Fennesz lists the elements used to make the compositions: “Acoustic and electric guitars, synthesizers, electronics, computers and live-improvising software lloopp.” On “Glide,” Fennesz duets with New Zealand’s Rosy Parlane, whose work is also released on Touch. Fennesz also teams up with eMego artist Anthony Pateras whose prepared piano features on “The Colour of Three.” Fennesz pushes his work into a more classical domain, preferring the slow reveal to Venice’s and Endless Summer’s more song- based structures. Jon Wozencroft’s artwork makes visible this carefully hidden world resting beneath the surface of “the first impression.” A series of shots, taken in quick succession as the tide recedes, reveals a world of specific activity only visible at a particular time and place, histories appearing and disappearing.

File Under: Ambient
Buy Here

Lee Fields: I Hate I Love You Too Much (Daptone) 7″
It is our distinct pleasure to present “I Hate I Love You Too Much” b/w “Just Give Me Your Time” – two incredible sides from, the incomparable, the legend, the unequivocal GOAT, Mr. Lee Fields. Drawing from his deep, bluesy roots Lee delivers a vocal workout of soulful excellence unmatched on today’s soul scene. From the frantic intro to the grooving pocket “I Hate I Love You Too Much” drops like the very best of early James Brown but delivered with the swagger and cool that only Lee can exude. On the flip is a heavy, heavy ballad that exemplifies what a master at the top of his craft can do. In short…if you consider yourself a fan of soul music, you need this record.

File Under: Funk, Soul
Buy Here

Ghost Funk Orchestra: A New Kind of Love (Karma Chief) LP
Each song on Ghost Funk Orchestra’s third album, A New Kind of Love, resonates like the soundtrack to a scene from an imaginary movie. The music could score a romantic drama, an action thriller, or a modern twist on a classic film noir. The spare, cascading vocals accentuate the lush instrumental orchestrations composed, performed, arranged and produced by multi-instrumentalist Seth Applebaum, whose latest brainchild was conceived and conceptualized during The Great Pause of 2020, a time of tension, bewilderment and isolation. Evoking the grooviness of an era which preceded his arrival on earth, Applebaum draws upon sonic devices of mid-century exotica and the succinct but dense arranging style of the leaders of the pop orchestras which dominated the hit parades of the 60s and early 70s. He blends impressions of this bygone era with an expression of his actual experiences as a young filmmaker coming of age in the 21st century, citing influences such as Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and Antibalas. A New Kind of Love encompasses a reverence for the past without attempting to recreate it.

File Under: Funk, Soul
Buy Here

Muriel Grossman: Natural Time (Dreamlandrecords) LP
Muriel Grossmann’s album from 2016 Natural Time released for the first time on a black, double vinyl in a thick old style tip-on gatefold outer sleeve on her own imprint Dreamlandrecords. This record marked a beginning for Grossmann in terms of direction and it includes a bonus composition “Inner Fire,” recorded especially for the vinyl release. “As we began this task, we realized that we would need another song to fit in with the vinyl format. This compelled me to imagine how I could add something worthy to a record that is a complete journey in itself from beginning to end. As it turned out, composing and recording the extra track went as smooth as honey and I hope that you all enjoy this additional piece of music. I believe it adds an interesting twist and perhaps suggests what is yet to come. I am very thankful for this opportunity. I also want to give thanks to all you wonderful listeners and supporters for staying with us all this time. You are the reason we pour our hearts into this music.” — Muriel Grossmann, September 2021, Ibiza Manufactured/distributed by RR Gems.

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Haino/O’Rourke/Ambarchi: Caught in the Dilemma… (Black Truffle) LP
The renowned trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi return to Black Truffle with their 11th release. Demonstrating once again their commitment to continual experimentation in instrumentation and approach, the record begins with a long-distance collaboration made in response to a commission from New York’s Issue Project Room in 2021 during widespread lockdowns and travel limitations. A unique piece in the trio’s extensive body of work, this side-long epic finds Haino performing on metal percussion, O’Rourke on electronics, and Ambarchi on gongs and bells. Initially dominated by rapid patterns on resonant, high-pitched tuned percussion, the piece sets Haino’s dynamic and dramatic performance against a calm backdrop of cycling electronics, thrumming gong strikes and hanging bell tones. The performance develops a heightened, intensely concentrated atmosphere reminiscent of Haino’s classic Tenshi No Ginjinka or his Nijiumu project. The remainder of the double-LP documents the trio live at Tokyo’s SuperDeluxe (the location of all but their very first recording) in a wide-ranging set recorded in December 2017. The concert opens, in another first for the trio, with Haino on drums, O’Rourke on Hammond organ, and Ambarchi on his signature Leslie cabinet guitar tones. Haino’s explosively untutored approach to the drumkit will be familiar to some listeners from the radical duo iteration of Fushitsusha heard on Origin’s Hesitation. Accompanied by O’Rourke’s organ and Ambarchi’s guitar, which in their shared use of long tones and shifting modulation speeds almost blend into a single voice, the opening sections of this performance are some of the most magical music the trio has committed to tape thus far. After an interlude of spoken vocals in both Japanese and English, Haino makes a dramatic entrance on guitar. By the time you reach the third side, the guitar/bass/drums power trio is established and lurches into a passage of massive, lumbering rock that threatens to fall apart at every beat, O’Rourke’s strummed chordal work on six string bass creating a harmonic density equivalent to a second guitar. An abrupt edit throws the listener in media res into a frantic locked groove grounded by fuzzed-out bass patterns and caveman drums. As Haino moves through a variety of approaches, from massive edifices of stuttering fuzz to ominous swarms of feedback, the trio eventually stumble into a kind of Harmolodic military tattoo, Haino’s guitar weaving and slashing across the rhythm section’s irregular accents. Moving through an epic opening duet for O’Rourke on Hammond and Haino’s wailing guitar, the fourth side eventually ramps up into a frenetic finale of mad bass riffing, crackling snare hits, and guitar squall. Gatefold sleeve on heavy stock; inner sleeves containing live pics by Tsuyoshi Kamaike. Photography by Jim O’Rourke, design by Lasse Marhaug, and translation by Alan Cummings.

File Under: Experimental

Junior Boys: Waiting Game (City Slang) LP
On October 28th 2022, Canadian duo Junior Boys will release their sixth album, ‘Waiting Game’, on City Slang. Six years since their last album, 2016’s ‘Big Black Coat’. ‘Waiting Game’ finds producers Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus in a tender and contemplative mood; a switch-up from their punchy, R&B-infused dance melodics. The album’s additonal musicians are Canadians, too; Caribou collaborator Colin Fisher performs saxophone throughout and Bonjay frontwoman Alanna Stuart sings alongside Greenspan on the song “Yes 2”. In this, Junior Boys have made an album that reflects the quiet beauty of the world, so long as you’re prepared to truly listen. Junior Boys will embark on an extensive 20th anniversary headline tour in January and March 2023. “Junior Boys carry on their love affair with dance music and electronica […]” -The Guardian “The power lies in Didemus and Greenspan‘s knack for effusive melody and acute dance floor know-how, a potent combination that remarkably never becomes formulaic.” -Resident Advisor

File Under: Electronic
Buy Here

Erich Kleinschuster 6tet: Feat. Clifford Jordan & Charles Tolliver (Wallen Bink) LP
Erich Kleinschuster’s projects and initiatives played a vital role in establishing a spiritual home for jazz in Vienna. The founding of his sextet in 1966 and, in 1968, a jazz department at the Vienna Conservatory, were catalysts for a scene that attracted international stars as well as nurturing the careers of home-grown virtuosos. Many jazz exiles, admired in Europe as they never were in the United States, settled for long periods, carving out new lives on the continent. The recordings in this series – many only recently discovered and presented for their first time on these vinyl editions – provide an illuminating and long overdue testament to one of the unsung forces of modern jazz in Europe. 

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Erich Kleinschuster 6tet: Feat. Joe Henderson & Dusko Goykovich (Wallen Bink) LP
Erich Kleinschuster’s projects and initiatives played a vital role in establishing a spiritual home for jazz in Vienna. The founding of his sextet in 1966 and, in 1968, a jazz department at the Vienna Conservatory, were catalysts for a scene that attracted international stars as well as nurturing the careers of home-grown virtuosos. Many jazz exiles, admired in Europe as they never were in the United States, settled for long periods, carving out new lives on the continent. The recordings in this series – many only recently discovered and presented for their first time on these vinyl editions – provide an illuminating and long overdue testament to one of the unsung forces of modern jazz in Europe.  

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Erich Kleinschuster 6tet: Feat. Carmell Jones, Slide Hampton & Art Farmer (Wallen Bink) LP
Erich Kleinschuster’s projects and initiatives played a vital role in establishing a spiritual home for jazz in Vienna. The founding of his sextet in 1966 and, in 1968, a jazz department at the Vienna Conservatory, were catalysts for a scene that attracted international stars as well as nurturing the careers of home-grown virtuosos. Many jazz exiles, admired in Europe as they never were in the United States, settled for long periods, carving out new lives on the continent. The recordings in this series – many only recently discovered and presented for their first time on these vinyl editions – provide an illuminating and long overdue testament to one of the unsung forces of modern jazz in Europe.  

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Charles Lloyd: Trios – Ocean (Blue Note) LP
Charles Lloyd has long been a free spirit, master musician, and visionary. For more than six decades the legendary saxophonist and composer has loomed large over the music world, and at 84 years old he remains both at the height of his powers and as prolific as ever. Early on Lloyd saw how placing the improvised solo in interesting and original contexts could provoke greater freedom of expression and inspire creativity. And while he has recorded many classics of jazz in a piano, bass, and drums combination – the latest Passin’ Thru from 2017 – all the while he has been open to, and has searched for, alternative ways to frame his improvisational skills. This has formed a fascinating counterpoint to his work with his quartet; a few examples might include his early days in Memphis when he regularly jammed with pedal steel guitarist Al Vescovo. Later, during his period as music director for the Chico Hamilton Quintet he used flute (and tenor), trombone, guitar, bass, and drums. More recently there has been an album in duet with drummer Billy Higgins, while the configuration of one of his current groups, The Marvels, has both guitar and pedal steel guitar with bass and drums. As a sound seeker, Lloyd’s restless creativity has perhaps found no greater manifestation than on his latest masterwork, an expansive project that encompasses three individual albums that are connected by an overarching theme with each presenting him in a different trio setting – a Trio of Trios. The first, Trios: Chapel, features Lloyd with guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan. The second, Trios: Ocean, with guitarist Anthony Wilson and pianist Gerald Clayton. The third, Trios: Sacred Thread, with guitarist Julian Lage and percussionist Zakir Hussain. The second album in the series Trios: Ocean was recorded in the 150-year-old Lobero Theater in Lloyd’s hometown of Santa Barbara, California. It was live streamed without an audience on September 9, 2020, during the first year of the global pandemic. Lloyd was joined by Gerald Clayton on piano and Anthony Wilson on guitar, both sons of famous musician fathers – Gerald is the son of West Coast bass legend John Clayton, while Anthony is the son of celebrated bandleader, trumpeter, and composer Gerald Wilson, in whose big band Lloyd once played when he moved from Memphis to study at the University of Southern California when in his teens.

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Maston: Panorama (Be With) LP
With Panorama, Frank Maston pays homage to the classic era of library records and Italian soundtracks of the ’70s. A blissed-out, grooving collection of filmic cues, it continues the unique brilliance of Tulips and Darkland. Elegant and easy, subtle and stylish, breezy and beautiful; this is his Maston-piece. Commissioned by legendary label KPM, Panorama cements Maston as a master of modern classics and the most mesmeric of contemporary composers. In early 2020, Be With suggested to Frank that he should make a KPM record. He wasn’t aware that they were still putting out new library records — but he was super keen. Frank was visiting family in his hometown of LA in March 2020 when the world ground to a halt so the KPM project arrived at a fortuitous moment. Having fantasized about committing to a record with no distractions, with a proper budget, access to his gear and space to work in — to really dig in and try to write and arrange the best work he could possibly make — it was a real “be careful what you wish for” moment. He spent seven months on it, working almost every day. Maston had already been making library-influenced music so when KPM outlined the criteria for the tracks it was exactly what he had been doing all along. He thought the best approach would be to make a follow-up to Tulips that had a parallel life as a KPM record. Maston’s sleek retro-groove instrumentals emulate the classic KPM “Greensleeve” reel-to-reel recordings that provided mood-setting music for mid-century cinema, television, and radio programs. Apparently in close conversation with the John Cameron-Keith Mansfield KPM pastoral masterclass Voices In Harmony, Maston’s Panorama could be heard as that record’s funky follow-up. Another reference point from the hallowed library would be Francis Coppieter’s wonderful Piano Viberations. Features vocals by Molly Lewis, Eli Ghersinu of L’éclair, Pedrum of Allah Las/Paint, and more. Mastered by Simon Francis, cut by Pete Norman, and pressed at Record Industry.

File Under: Library, KPM
Buy Here

John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia & Al Di Meola Friday Night In San Francisco (Impex) LP
Friday Night In San Francisco is a 1981 live album by Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia. It was described by jazz author and critic Walter Kolosky as “a musical event that could be compared to the Benny Goodman Band’s performance at Carnegie Hall in 1938…[it] may be considered the most influential of all live acoustic guitar albums. All the tracks except Guardian Angel were recorded live at The Warfield Theatre on December 5, 1980 in San Francisco. This debut recording on Columbia Records became a landmark recording that surpassed the two million mark in sales. The three virtuosos in the Trio toured together from 1980 through 1983. This is by far one of the hottest guitar albums ever to bless sweet vinyl. Al Dimeola, John McLaughlin, & Paco Delucia play classical guitars (the kind with the nylon strings) in a flamenco / jazz style that will blow your socks off!

File Under: Jazz, Audiophile
Buy Here

Mumia: s/t (Lugar Alto) LP
Lugar Alto’s newest project is the idiosyncratic album MUMIA (portuguese for MUMMY). Never released before, it is a work that was originally recorded on cassette and combines elements of post-punk, industrial and ambient music. Kodiak Bachine and Celso Alves formed the ephemeral and eponymous duo in 1988. The partnership resulted in a single recording derived from improvised sessions using minimal amounts of electronic equipment at Celso’s country house, located in the interior of São Paulo. MUMIA brings with it extreme authenticity, managing to extrapolate the barriers of more traditional Brazilian music and interact with unorthodox elements. The lyrics are a mixture of Portuguese and English and it is still possible to identify picturesque fragments of Spanish, French and German. In addition, sonically, the record portrays aesthetics from the eighties and dialogues with themes relating to LSD. Another notable feature is the fixation on Egyptian post-mortem themes, providing a cinematic and lysergic experience of the desert landscapes from the African country. It is a recording with comic passages which provokes an unpretentious reaction from the listener. However, it still has more ethereal and atmospheric moments, such as the opening song “Ave do Deserto”. In the final two tracks, it is possible to enjoy a darker MUMIA, which with “Massacre da Serra Elétrica I” and “Massacre da Serra Elétrica II”, provide a sound experience capable of accompanying intense scenes from the macabre productions by Tobe Hooper and George Romero. Now, after 32 years in its tomb, the MUMIA has risen and it can finally be celebrated and appreciated.

File Under: Brazil, Post Punk
Buy Here

Municipal Waste: The Last Rager (Nuclear Blast) LP
Splatter coloured vinyl edition of Municipal Waste’s 2019 EP “The Last Rager”. Four ripper tracks that embrace all the band’s punk and street metal roots without clutching the past. Charged by the exotic and biting wit of vocalist Tony Foresta. Turbo charged by the dual guitar aggression of Ryan Waste and Nick Poulos. Locked in and ready for takeoff by rhythm section LandPhil Hall on bass and Dave Witte on drums. Limited to 1000 copies.

File Under: Metal
Buy Here

Ze Eduardo Nazario: Poema da Gota Serena (Lugar Alto) LP
Following on from ​Homenagem​, Lugar Alto’s first critically acclaimed project, the São Paulo label’s new endeavour is the reissue of another neglected masterpiece. This time, it’s “​Poema da Gota Serena” ​turn by Zé Eduardo Nazário from 1982. This unique work gathers elements of free jazz, Brazilian Northeastern rhythms, Asian percussive instruments and electronics. Poema da Gota Serena was Zé Eduardo’s first solo project and it was financed by the legendary Lira Instrumental, a collaboration between the ground-breaking venue, label and publisher for the São Paulo avant-garde, Lira Paulistana, along with the always interesting Continental Records, home to such luminaries as Tom Zé. The album was offered as a package deal simultaneously with the production of “​Flor de Plástico Incinerada​”, ensuring 2 studio sessions at JV studios in October 1982. Each side of the album explores different duets which, with its suite formated tracks, give the album the feel of a cohesive whole. The first half of the A side, “​Energia dos Três Mundos”​, is shared with the improvised saxophone of Cacau. Nazário delves into free jazz rhythms and plays his drums with a rolling and tumbling swing, using the kit in full, demonstrating the power of Brazilian jazz fusion. The second half of the suite takes us into a more tranquil mode. “​Só Prá Ouvir”, demonstrates Zé’s mastery on the glockenspiel, and Indian percussion instruments, such as the tabla and mridangam. Cacau, on his side, switches his saxophone for more delicate dancing flute driven passages, equal parts northeastern rhythms and deep Amazonian indigenous influences. The B side with “​Prá Pensar / Prá Sentir e Prá Contar”​, contrasts heavily with the A side’s more organic and natural feel. In ​Prá Pensar Lelo Nazários’s synth clusters and electronic blasts strangely interact with the exploring, wandering percussion. This track leads into the sublime “​Prá Sentir e Prá Contar” where South Indian inspired vocals, performed by Zé Eduardo, accompany the graceful synth chords and fluttering percussion. The result is a hypnotic, otherworldly feel to the music that is infectious and takes the listener on an extraordinary journey. With ​Poema da Gota Serena​, it is possible to hear music that extrapolates the lines of the avant-garde and popular music. It is an album the demonstrates that Brazilian jazz fusion can be both spiritual and challenging at the same time.

File Under: Experimental, Brazil
Buy Here

Nightmares on Wax: Shout Out! To Freedom (Warp) LP
Nightmares On Wax presents live recordings of his most recent album Shout Out! To Freedom…, a deeply personal project built from life-affirming realizations brought on by a period of profound change in his life. The result is an exploration of musical and personal freedom, and N.O.W’s deepest record to date. Shout Out! To Freedom… (Live at Pikes Ibiza) includes seven tracks from the original album performed at the renowned Pikes Hotel venue.

File Under: Electronic, Hip Hop
Buy here

Taro Nohara: Poly-Time Soundscapes / Forest of the Shrine (WRWTFWW) LP
WRWTFWW Records announce Poly-Time Soundscapes / Forest Of The Shrine, a brand new release by Japanese producer Taro Nohara (Yakenohara). Eight tracks of pure environmental ambient bliss. Based in Tokyo, Taro Nohara is a producer, beatmaker, DJ, and music activist who made a mark with his electronic/ambient unit Unknown Me (of Not Not Fun Records fame). His new solo project, Poly-Time Soundscapes / Forest Of The Shrine, is a unique and modern take on Japanese environmental music, a free-floating re-interpretation of the sub-genre made famous by Midori Takada, Hiroshi Yoshimura, or Satoshi Ashikawa (and more) fused with subtle nuances of various origins: downtempo, hip-hop, sound design, chill-out, experimental. Conceived as a two-part adventure of contemplative peace, Taro Nohara’s organic soundscape takes you on a mind-soothing walk-through time (or memories) and the beautiful mysteries of luscious forests — don’t resist, let yourself go, explore. Heavy 350gsm sleeve.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Japanese
Buy Here

Phew: Vertical Jamming (Disciples) LP
The longform instrumental pieces of Vertical Jamming first appeared on a self-released tour only CD in 2016. Subsequently they were issued in a mail order cassette edition by Disciples. The pieces have now been specially edited by Phew for this first time limited edition clear vinyl pressing, cut by Dubplates & Mastering in Berlin. Phew is a legendary figure in Japanese underground music. Starting out in 1978 fronting one of Osaka’s earliest punk groups, Aunt Sally, and going on to collaborate with a whole host of notable names as a solo artist in the 80s, including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Conny Plank, Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit of Can, Alex Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten, and Chrislo Haas of DAF. In recent years she has made music on record or live with Ana Da Silva of The Raincoats, Jim O’Rourke, Oren Ambarchi, Ikue Mori, and Yoshimi of OOIOO / Boredoms / Saicobab. Recorded at Phew’s place in December 2015. Music by Phew. Originally issued on CD by Bereket and sold only at “A New World Tour” in 2016.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Japan
Buy Here

Pyramids: Penetration! (Sundazed) LP
A gonzo crew of shaved-headed, sax-blowing, reverb-stomping maniacs, the fivesome tore it up on the stages of unsuspecting West Coast teen haunts and hit the big screen via the 1964 B-Movie “Bikini Beach.” The album features “Penetration,” one of the undisputed all-time surf cornerstones! Back in the 1960s, when surf music was burning up and down the beaches of the Southern California coastline, it was often a gimmick that made one band stand out from the others. The Surfaris had the laugh at the beginning of “Wipe Out.” The Chantays had the great guitar run at the beginning of “Pipeline.” The Tornadoes tried “Shootin’ Beavers”; The Pyramids simply had great surf music…and bald heads. Their big hit, “Penetration,” stayed in the top ten (Billboard) for 13 weeks reaching as high as #4 nationally. Only The Beatles kept the song from going higher. The Pyramids appeared on American Bandstand (twice), The Bob Eubanks Show, Shebang, Dave Hull’s Hullabaloo, and The Lloyd Thaxton Show. The band went on to record a handful of killer singles and one album before splitting up in 1965. Now back in print after 25 years, the Pyramids are back in action and ready to rock!

File Under: Garage
Buy Here

Reid, Steve: Odyssey of the Oblong Square (Soul Jazz) LP
Drummer extraordinaire and legend, Vietnam conscientious objector, ex-Black Panther, Steve Reid has played with everyone from James Brown to Sun Ra, Fela Kuti and Miles Davis, friend of John Coltrane, worked at Motown who in the latter part of his career worked extensively with Kieran Hebden following his path a radical, revolutionary music up until his untimely death in 2010. Soul Jazz Records re-releases this rarest release of deep heavyweight jazz by Steve Reid and The Master Brotherhood, entitled Odyssey of the Oblong Square first released over thirty five years ago on Reid’s own Mustevic Sound record label (where it came out in an edition of 1000 copies) and has been a serious collectors album ever since.

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure (Republic) LP
On their second release, For Your Pleasure (1973), Roxy Music began to explore a little more of the dark side of the glamorous world that had become their lyrical and musical playground. The power struggle between Brian Eno wanting to move toward texture and Brian Ferry wanting to stay in more conventional rock territory is coming to the surface here though and the record would be the last with Eno onboard. However, its those same differences that truly make it another extraordinary Roxy Music record, one that demonstrates even more clearly than the debut how avant-garde ideas can flourish in a pop setting. This is especially evident in the driving singles “Do the Strand” and “Editions of You,” which pulsate with raw energy and jarring melodic structures. Roxy also illuminate the slower numbers, such as the eerie “In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” with atonal, shimmering synthesizers, textures that were unexpected and innovative at the time of its release. For Your Pleasure walks a fine line between the experimental and the accessible, but unfortunately it would be the last Roxy Music record that this economy worked to perfection. This vinyl LP reissue is mastered at half-speed and cut by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. It also features revised artwork with a gloss laminated finish.

File Under: Rock, Pop
Buy Here

Simon Shaheen: Music of Mohamed Abdel Wahab (Zehra) LP
Reissue of the oud/viola virtuoso Simon Shaheen’s interpretations of pieces by one of the Middle East’s most important 20th century composers, Mohamed Abdel Wahab. Originally released in 1990. 180 gram vinyl; includes download card. Singer, actor, and composer Mohamed Abdel Wahab (1902-1991) is commonly considered “the father of modern Egyptian song.” After a visit to Paris, he revolutionized the film industry by introducing the genre “musical film” to the Arabic world, the movie The White Rose in which he starred broke all records and to this day is frequently presented in Cairo’s cinemas. But in 1950, Wahab left the film industry to focus on singing and composing — he wrote over 1800 songs (among others for Umm Kalthoum, an iconic artist in the Arabic music in her own right) that were deeply rooted in classical Arabic music but also laid the foundation for a new era of Egyptian music as Wahab was open to Western elements such as waltz rhythms or even rock n’ roll in Abdel Halim Hafez’s song “Ya Albi Ya Khali”. He also composed several national anthems (Tunisia, Oman, Libya, United Arabic Emirates) and re-composed the Egyptian national anthem “Belady Belady Belady”, based on the original by Sayed Darwish. Wahab received several decorations of Arabic states, and at his death in 1991, Egypt honored its famous son with a huge military funeral at the Rabia al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo, the six-horse carriage procession carrying his coffin was actually led by the prime and foreign ministers, followed by the ministers of defense, interior and culture. Simon Shaheen (born 1955) is the perfect choice for Wahab’s compositions. Born into a family of gifted musicians, he learned playing the oud at the age of five and the violin shortly thereafter. He earned degrees in Arabic literature and music performance at the Tel Aviv University, and later pursued further studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and after his emigration to the USA (in 1980) at the Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University. Shaheen lives in New York where he founded the Near Eastern Music Ensemble and Qantara. He also has been organizing the Annual Arab Festival of Arts called Mahrajan al-Fan since 1994. His work incorporates and reflects a legacy of Arabic music, while it forges ahead to new frontiers, embracing many different styles in the process. Shaheen’s biggest success was the Qantara album Blue Flame (2001) which has been nominated for eleven Grammy Awards. Produced by Bill Laswell, remastered for vinyl at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

File Under: Middle Eastern
Buy here

Horace Silver: Song for my Father (Blue Note) LP
Finally actually available! 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. A decade into his recording career, pianist Horace Silver made the album that would endure as the crown jewel of a catalog that boasts numerous hard bop classics. Song for My Father captured the transition of his quintet with two tracks taken from an October 1963 session with Blue Mitchell, Junior Cook, Gene Taylor, and Roy Brooks. A year later Silver entered Van Gelder Studio again with a new band featuring Carmell Jones, Joe Henderson, Teddy Smith, and Roger Humphries for a session that yielded four more cuts including what would become his signature tune, “Song for My Father,” a dedication to his father that was inspired by both his Cape Verdean heritage and the music Silver had heard on a recent trip to Brazil.

File under: Jazz
Buy Here

Mitar Subotic & Goran Vejvoda: Dreambird (Lugar Alto) LP
Serbian ambient legends Mitar Subotić (aka Suba aka Rex Ilusivii) and Goran Vejvoda are subject to worthy reissue of their blissed 1987 salvo, courtesy of ace Brazilian label, Lugar Alto – RIYL Spencer Clark! Neatly poised to precede a reissue of Subotić & Vejvoda’s rare trio work with Milan Mladenović, ‘The Dreambird’ comes from a relative blindspot in ambient annals for reissue 30 years after its release by the Brazilian Catholic label Comunicações Edições Paulinas, and some 35 since it was recorded in Paris. The immersive, hour long work came about during Goran Vejvoda’s time in Paris, when he moved there after playing a crucial role in establishing the Serbian ‘80s underground.  Pairing languorous synths with samples of a Japan-issued CD of exotic birds and waves on the shores of in the Seychelles, the raw results were passed to Mitar Subotić, who adapted the sketches for an installation soundtrack held by the Danube in Novi Sad, accompanied by a laser show. Five years later, after Subotić moved to Brazil, he convinced nuns who ran a label he was working with to issue ‘The Dreambird’ as an album he craftily sold to them as a “meditation” aid. Largely unknown outside of Brazil, the album now gets its 2nd run in the sun, bathing a new wave of ambient users with a genuinely blissed selection of FM synth tones and colourfully plumed birdcalls that settle on the mind somewhere between sublime spa music and imaginary ethnomusicological ambient. If you’re feeling it, do make sure to keep them peepers peeled for the forthcoming Uprooted 7” starring a downtempo club gem from the same guys.

File Under: Ambient, Brazil
Buy Here

Sunburned Hand of the Man: Headdress (Three Lobed) LP
20 years ago Sunburned Hand of the Man released “Headdress” and it cracked there world open. This is not hyperbole. The album resulted in the band becoming the cover children for a scene / genre-defining story titled “New Weird America” by the Wire and also saw the album given a 9.0 / Best New Music tag from Pitchfork (“…the music flows so readily with complete and utter disdain for trend and fashion that it feels simultaneously primitive and advanced…”). Largely out of print since back then, “Headdress” is back to help put the world back on a better path. Remastered for this 20th anniversary edition freshly from the original masters and housed within a gatefold bearing archival photos, this is true head music for true heads. Tune in, shake yr ass and drop out with this ever-providing slab.

File Under: Psych
Buy Here

Alexander Von Schlippenbach: Globe Unity (Corbett vs Dempsey) LP
Reissue, originally released in 1967. In 1966, pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach assembled his first large ensemble to play his compositions “Globe Unity” and “Sun.” This 14-piece band, which brought together some of the leading figures in European improvised music, would eventually expand — incorporating not only Europeans but also American and Asian musicians — and assume its rightful name: Globe Unity Orchestra. In its nascent outing, beautifully recorded at Ariola Studio in Cologne, Schlippenbach’s band was already sensational, performing at various festivals and solidifying the reputations of some of its star players. Most notably among these was a 25-year-old saxophonist named Peter Brötzmann, whose whole band — saxophonist Kris Wanders, drummer Mani Neumeier, and bassist Peter Kowald, the latter of whom would for a period assume nominal leadership of Globe Unity — was incorporated into the large Schlippenbach group. Globe Unity was Brötzmann’s first outing on LP. Kowald’s too. And future drum heroes of the krautrock genre, Neumeier (with Guru Guru) and Jaki Liebezeit (with Can) constitute the incredible rhythm section. If you factor in German early-free-music mainstays Gunter Hampel (here on flute and bass clarinet, no vibes), trumpeter Manfred Schoof, bassist Buschi Niebergall, and tenor saxophonist Gerd Dudek, Dutch saxophonist and clarinetist Willem Breuker, French trumpeter Claude Deron, the enormity of the band’s potential becomes apparent. Add Schlippenbach himself, an absolute cyclone on the piano as well as prominent tubular bells and gong, and the global scene is set. Schlippenbach’s unique position at the time, as one of the foremost players in German free music, but also as a rising young composer who’d studied with Bernd Alois Zimmermann, allowed him to serve as exactly the right conduit for several approaches to creative music, from introducing his graphically notated scores to making a perfect context for the debuts of future star improvisors Brötzmann and Kowald. Schlippenbach’s Globe Unity was first issued on SABA in 1967, then MPS a couple of years after that. It has long been out-of-print and has only ever appeared on CD in a tiny Japanese version published in 1999. Corbett vs. Dempsey’s reissue comes with facsimile cover. The music was remastered from the original tapes and is licensed directly from MPS. Anyone interested in the history of improvised music needs to hear Globe Unity, which retains a sense of urgency 56 years after it was waxed.

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Faye Webster: Car Therapy Sessions (Secretly Canadian) LP
Faye Webster announces Car Therapy Sessions, an EP of new and re-imagined songs by Webster recorded at Spacebomb Studios with a 24 piece orchestra. The orchestra was headed by Trey Pollard who was responsible for both conducting and arranging, and Drew Vandenburg produced and mixed the EP. Car Therapy Sessions will be available digitally on 29th April and on vinyl in the fall. On the EP, Webster reimagines three songs from her critically acclaimed 2021 release I Know I’m Funny haha and 2019’s Atlanta Millionaires Club. The songs “Kind Of”, “Sometimes” and “Cheers” take on a cinematic and glimmering new sheen. In addition to the title track -“Car Therapy” – she also shares a sprawling and emotional work – “Suite: Jonny” – which combines fan-favorites “Jonny” and “Jonny (Reprise).” The two songs originally appeared on the Atlanta Millionaire’s Club tracklist, two different views on the same narrative. Here they’re presented together. It’s remarkable how beautifully Webster’s work can take on this orchestral treatment. Like Cole Porter, or Judy Garland – her delicate and emotional delivery packs a gut punch when dramatized by the EP’s robust arrangements.

File Under: Indie Rock
Buy Here

Klaus Weiss: Open Space Motion (Be With) LP
They say: “Contemporary synthesizer sounds illustrating wide open space activities, environment and research.” Be With Records say: Panoramic proto-techno underwater-electro library dynamite. One of the hardest pulls on the seminal Coloursound, Open Space Motion (Underscores) isn’t just regarded as one of the best releases from library-funk overlord Klaus Weiss. It’s one of the very best library records ever. As cult as it gets when it comes to library music, the Klaus Weiss sound was built on top of sometimes funky, sometimes frenetic, but always hard-hitting drums. And yet! Open Space Motion departs from his drum-heavy approach by being completely… beatless! That’s right, the virtuoso beat smith, Mr “drumcrazy of Deutschland”, a man known for snapping necks at will, crafted one of the most horizontally sumptuous, elegantly sweeping electronic masterpieces, sans-drums, a good decade before chill-out rooms became a thing. It features organic instruments married to pulsing synth bass atop brilliantly subdued yet irresistibly funky percussion. Possessing a very special vibe, that’s at once futuristic yet cinematic, it overflows with atmosphere. The highlights — unsurprisingly — are many. The very first track — the unstoppable “Wide Open Space Motion” — is a sinister, string-fried electro bomb that rides an unrelenting bass loop. “Incessant Efforts” is more reflective, with pastoral yet probing flutes atop strutting synth chords and head-nod percussion that really swings. The heavenly, uber-kosmiche “Pink Sails” hovers over swirling neon-synthy-strings and yet more unobtrusive percussion. The beautiful “Transiency” is a dramatic piano-led underscore, its creeping unease created by patient strings, unhurried percussion and some wonderfully strident keys. “Driving Sequences” is perhaps the key tune here, and if the Detroit crew weren’t listening to this staggering piece then, well, imagine if they *were*. The bubbling rhythms of “Southern Mentality”, at first ominous, give way to a more optimistic vibe as the movement progresses. The lush, gorgeous “Bows” is deep-sea slow-motion magic whilst the bright-eyed “Outset” feels as fresh as the dawn, and no less beautiful. How these tracks haven’t been gobbled up by sample-driven producers is beyond us. Equally calming is the sweeping majesty of “Constellation”, again conjuring images of being at one with and fully beguiled by the wonders of nature, of space, of underwater worlds. “Changing Directions” is another fidgety, propulsive non-Detroit beatless bomb. As with all our library music re-issues, the audio for Open Space Motion comes from the original analog tapes. Remastered for vinyl by Simon Francis. Richard Robinson has brought the original Coloursound sleeve back to life in all its metallic silver glory.

File Under: Electronic, Library
Buy Here

Amanda Whiting: Lost in Abstraction (Jazzman) LP
Welsh harpist Amanda Whiting returns on Jazzman Records following on from her successful debut album After Dark. New explorations and global changing events have led Whiting to Lost in Abstraction. The Reynolds/Thorne/Whiting trio is joined again by the mesmerizing lines of flautist Chip Wickham, resuming their conversation reminiscent of Dorothy Ashby and Frank Wess. Lost in Abstraction was written during a period of the unknown when Whiting, like most, explored her own sense of self. The world paused, with no timeframe, and the fragility of life was laid bare. A time when humanity was left searching for purpose. Freedom and the dependable structures of familiarity were dissolved in most aspects of life. But music stayed constant. Creativity kept weaving its thread, connecting music and its makers in an indissoluble bond. The album explores the questions and realizations whilst confined. The spiritual findings, the playful curiousness and the reflective moments of loss. Whiting’s writing indulges the listener with the spiritual ethereal washes of sound demanded of the harp, whilst also embracing her influences across many genres. Classically trained, her roots are evident. But with an emotionally charged energy and spiritual questioning, a new soundscape of modernity has emerged. So often associated with Ashby and Coltrane, the harp finds itself in the hands of a new voice which tells the story of a period of time where the world was unified in reflection. So, what is that feeling when you resonate? When your breath steadies and you let go. Lines no longer restrict or choke. Energies envelop, yet set you free. Are you lost or found? Personnel: Amanda Whiting – harp; Chip Wickham – flute; Aidan Thorne – bass; Jon Reynolds – drums; Baldo Verdú – percussion.

File Under: Jazz
Buy Here

Various: Aquapelago: An Oceans Anthology (Discrepant) LP
Anthology introducing the first of a series of albums based on the concept of Aquapelago. “Since the earliest days of the planet there has been a rhythm of tides that creates coastal interzones where humans have foraged and pursued various livelihoods. Developing boats to fish from and technologies that enabled them to immerse themselves deep underwater, the aquatic realm has been one explored, experienced and imagined in various ways. In an effort to express the vitality and richness of this environment I coined the term aquapelago in 2012. The wordplay was deliberate. The neologism was designed to distinguish the liquid inbetweenness of this space from the dry, scattered, lands of archipelagos. The concept of the aquapelago coalesced around themes taken from various places . . .This compilation album takes the concept of the aquapelago into new depths and breaches it on fresh shores. The tracks are soaked with the aquatic. Bassy sonorities boom as if heard deep underwater. Bubbly textures breach the surface, water drips and seabirds soar high above waves. Sugai Kei samples fragments of text concerning the Ningen, a fantastic humanoid/whale that reflects the ‘aquapelagic imaginary’ of modern Japan and its preoccupation with industrial whaling. Andrew Pekler continues the orientation of his Phantom Islands project — a sonic atlas of imaginary places — with a soundscape as if heard by a swimmer just offshore, mixing sounds of the island and the sea together. Mike Cooper’s sonic reflection on Hong Kong’s Lamma Island is similar, combining the island’s ubiquitous barking dogs with the slurp of waves on rocky shores, conjuring a languorous time before Chinese crackdowns on the territory. Taking another tack, the Dead Mauriacs gleefully water-ski through collage of tropical island exoticisms, replete with glitchy orientalism, while Babau combines skittering idiophone melodies with resonant glissandi. Vica Pacheco moves between dense and airy sounds, as if crossing between surf lines and the space above. Yannkick Dauby’s track is also imbued with in-betweenness, evoking ambient sounds heard through a ship’s hull. Sculpture’s ‘Froth Surfer’ realizes its title, with bubbling sounds and rhythms that evoke Hawaiian surfing filtered through layers of time and distance. Reminding us of the shore necessary for aquapelagic spaces, Franceso Cavaliere and Tomoko Sauvage’s composition anchors the album, centred around shaken rhythms and resonant ringing tones and drones…” –Philip Hayward, December 2021

File Under: Ambient, Experimental
Buy Here


45 Grave: Sleep In Safety (Real Gone) LP
Alex G: God Save the Animals (Domino) LP
Aphex Twin: I Care Because You Do (Warp) LP
Chet Baker Quartet: In Paris Vol. 1 (Sam) LP
Chet Baker Quartet: In Paris Vol. 2 (Sam) LP
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile: Lotta Sea Lice (Matador) LP
Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Capitol) LP
Big Star: #1 Record (Craft) LP
Booker T & MG’s: Melting Pot (Craft) LP
Donald Byrd: & Bobby Jaspar: Cannes ’58 (Sam) LP
Donald Byrd: Byrd in Paris Vol 1 (Sam) LP
Can: Tago Mago (Mute) LP
Cocteau Twins: Heaven Or Las Vegas (4AD) LP
Dangerdoom: Mouse & the Mask (Lex) LP
Miles Davis: Walkin’ (OJC) LP
Mac Demarco: 2 (Captured Tracks) LP
Depeche Mode: Black Celebration (Mute) LP
Depeche Mode: Songs of Faith & Devotion (Mute) LP
Depeche Mode: Violator (Mute) LP
Dry Cleaning: Stumpwork (4AD) LP
Elkhorn: Distances (Feeding Tube) LP
Elkhorn: Sun Cycle/Elk Jam (Feedin Tube) LP
Emeralds: Solar Bridge (Ghostly) LP
Eno/Moebius/Roedelius: After the Heat (Bureau B) LP
Ryo Fukui: Scenery (We Release Jazz) LP
Gilla Band: Most Normal (Rough Trade) LP
Gnawa Music of Marrakesh: Night Spirit Masters (Zehra) LP
Goat: World Music (Rocket) LP
Hives: Barely Legal (Epitaph) LP
Clifford Jordan Quartet: Glass Bead Games (Pure Pleasure) LP
Khruangbin & Leon Bridges: Texas Moon (Dead Oceans) LP
John Lewis & Sacha Distel: Afternoon in Paris (Sam) LP
Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder (Blue Note) LP
Nirvana: Incesticide (Geffen) LP
Bill Orcutt: s/t (Palililo) LP
Pearl Jam: MTV Unplugged (Epic) LP
Psychic TV: Allegory & Self (Sacred Bones) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: s/t (Matador) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Universal) LP
Steve Reich/Terry Riley: Six Pianos (Film) LP
Tony Rolando: Breakin’ Is a  Memory (Important) LP
Ruth: Polaroid/Roman/Photo (Bornbad) LP
Jairus Sharif: Water & Tools (Telephone Explosion) LP
Smiths: Meat Is Murder (Rhino) LP
Smiths: Queen is Dead (Rhino) LP
Spacemen 3: Recurring (Space Age) LP
Hiroshi Suzuki: Cat (We Release Jazz) LP

%d bloggers like this: