…..news letter #1081 – bed…..

Just over a week until Christmas and the new arrivals keep flooding in! I’m not sure how one is to make a year end list when stuff keeps coming in. Loads of great stuff this week, but the first thing isn’t even a record, we finally have tape players! That’s right, now you can dig out all your old mix tapes and relive your teens, or start buying tapes again, because they cost less than records do nowadays. But who are we kidding, records still sound way better right? So you’ll want to check out all hot new slabs in this week… Some killer Japanese reissues, late 60s garage/psych from Jacks, sitting on the more song oriented end of the VU spectrum (as opposed to Les Rallizes Denudes) and then there’s the early 70s heavy rock vibes from Flower Travellin’ Band. Satori is a through and through masterpiece, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath on steroids. And a bunch of Japanese Jazz & pop reissues as well. We finally have received Carla dal Forno‘s newest lo-fi dream pop slab. The fifth instalment of Jac Berrocal, David Fenech & Vincent Epplay‘s experimental weirdness. A new krauty experimental electronic slab from Oiseaux-Tempete. And that’s just our picks which we really have trouble picking just a few! The new Jeff Parker, while pricy is a monster. Loads of other killer jazz reissues, both Blue Note, and not. Important finally gives us the second of Tod Dockstader’s Aerial series. Black Editions reissues the mid-80s psychedelic pop gem from HallelujahsPanda Bear‘s seminal Person Pitch is finally reissued as well as Sage Francis’s Personal Journals. Lots to read and hear. Or just come on 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…..

We Are Rewind Cassette Player
We Are Rewind
Tapes are slowly making a comeback, but one of the biggest obstacles has been the players. Unlike turntables tape decks have tons of moving parts and after years of storage no longer work, or don’t work for very long. We are super excited that someone is finally making a new tape deck, and it has some really great upgrades over your original walkman! “Our new player retains all the features that make us love and recognize this object. Its rectangular in shape, has familiar buttons and of course a window on the front to watch the magic of the tape work. But don’t worry, the minimalist design has been modernized to such an extent that it fits perfectly on a shelf among your decorative items. We Are Rewind cassette players also offer a whole new listening experience. Thanks to the rechargeable battery, you can enjoy your favourite songs for up to 12 hours. The integrated Bluetooth function and the jack connector 3.5mm also allow you to connect the cassette player wirelessly or directly to the speakers of your choice. High-quality stereo sound is an essential feature of our devices and the record function makes it easy to create your own mixtapes.”

File Under: Gear, Tapes, Ian’s Picks, Kris’s Picks
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Jacks: Vacant World (Mesh Key) LP
Arriving on the Japanese music scene during the Beatles-inspired cover band boom of the late ’60s, Jacks instantly distinguished themselves from their fluff-peddling, copycat peers with stripped-down, original compositions, nihilistic lyrics and raw performances. Their tenure was short – ’67 to ’69 – but Jacks managed to cut a handful of singles and two albums in that time, the first of which, Vacant World, is now widely considered in Japan to be one of the greatest rock albums the country has ever produced. The combination of Yoshio Hayakawa’s arresting baritone and austere guitar work, drummer Takasuke Kida and upright bassist Hitoshi Tanino’s jazzy, loose interplay, and lead guitarist Haruo Mizuhashi’s searing fuzz leads was alchemical, and Vacant World captured the band at the peak of their powers. Some have described Jacks as the Velvet Underground of Japan — a singular, revolutionary group that had little commercial success in their day but whose influence and legend grows exponentially with each passing year. The comparison is apt. Unlike V.U., however, Jacks remain largely unknown outside Japan, and Mesh-Key hopes this first-ever officially licensed international release does something to fix this injustice. “The album that gave birth to Japanese underground/psychedelic rock, and the one that influenced me the most when I was young.” — Shintaro Sakamoto

File Under: Japan, Garage, Psych, Kris’s Picks
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Carla Dal Forno: Come Around (Kallista) LP
Carla dal Forno resurfaces with the news of plans to release her third album, Come Around, via her own Kallista Records imprint. Now, based in the township of Castlemaine, Central Victoria, the Australian artist returns self-assured and firmly settled within the dense eucalypt bushlands. Dal Forno grapples with ideas of home, disorder and insomnia in the swift pop structures of her DIY/post-punk forebearers such as Young Marble Giants, Virginia Astley, and Broadcast. Three years since the launch of her label, Kallista Records, dal Forno finds stability in Castlemaine (pop. 6,750), her third home city in as many albums. After nearly a decade of moving, recording and touring out of Berlin and London, Come Around embodies a newfound solitude born of/in elemental pop hooks and enlightened songwriting. The title track, “Come Around,” offers the best example of this confident, fresh candor. It’s an elegant invite into dal Forno’s sharp new focus beckoning old friends, relationships and audiences into her resettled home. This meandering pop hit strikes between the melodic simplicity of Anna Domino and YMG and the arrangement hooks of The Cannanes and Movietone, capturing dal Forno at her most welcoming with arms wide open. Other tracks like “Mind You’re On” recalls the bass driven heft of dal Forno’s previous work but where past albums projected the pastoral idyll from the urban jungles of Berlin and London, the lyricism and production on Come Around embody her current lived experience in the Australian regions where space, strong bonds and solitude are in high supply. Returning to rekindle relationships with people and places and joining in trysts amidst the foreboding badlands cuts through the whole record, as on “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” a cover of The United States of America’s 1968 track. There is joy if you look for it but, as dal Forno warns on “Caution”: “I sell caution word of you.” Mistrust and doubt are not completely vanquished. Having embarked on such a radical physical and creative journey since the last record, dal Forno lays bare the passing of time and the oscillating waves of energy and ennui that go with it. This is plain to see on “Stay Awake” and instrumentals like “Deep Sleep” and “Autumn,” which gives rise to anxiety and insomnia in her new sunburnt home. Yet “Slumber” offers a glimmer of respite sitting within the chaotic circus of production that channels Kendra Smith, General Strike, and The Flying Lizards. This track, a duet with English artist, Thomas Bush, searches for solace in the arms of another. Nothing is left unsaid on Come Around. Having finally found limitless time and space, dal Forno does well not to waste any bit of it.

File Under: Lo-Fi, Dream Pop, Synth Pop, Ian’s Picks, Kris’s Picks
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Jac Berrocal/David Fenech/Vincent Epplay: Transcodex (Akuphone) LP
Jac Berrocal, David Fenech, and Vincent Epplay are back with a true gem of an album: Transcodex. Turning more towards pop than in their beginnings, this fourth record follows the footsteps of their previous album, Exterior Lux (AKU 1026LP, 2021). The trio seems limitless: they experiment with a large variety of styles (pop, dub, electronica, dark jazz), always colored by their very own touch. Jac Berrocal’s trumpet, richer than ever, plays over an ever-changing sonic landscape engineered by the duet of musicians/producers Vincent Epplay and David Fenech. For this album, they invited two amazing musicians: Jah Wobble (founding member of Public Image Ltd and collaborator of African Head Charge, Brian Eno, Holger Czukay, Jaki Liebezeit, Evan Parker, Sinéad O’Connor) plays deep bass lines on two tracks and Jean-Hervé Peron (founding member of the German band Faust, and who recorded with Tony Conrad, Nurse With Wound, Pascal Comelade) brings his prowess to two tracks as well. Peron writes lyrics in French, German, and Russian — and plays the French horn like no one else/ The closing track of the A side is a tribute to Christophe Bevilacqua (1945-2020), friend to Jac Berrocal. The song summons the place Bevilacqua used to live in: an Art Deco flat on Boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris. Even if its intentions are clear, Transcodex does not reveal all its secrets right away. It’s up to you to find the solution, the key, the Transcodex yourself. It must be revisited over and over again for its beauty to be fully revealed.

File Under: Experimental, Ian’s Picks, Kris’s Picks
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Oiseaux-Tempete: What on Earth (Que Diable) (Sub Rosa) LP
Double-LP version. Gatefold sleeve. With their sixth studio album, Oiseaux-Tempête unveils a new facet of its mythology through a dense work that carries darkness towards the light of day, that rumbles, calms down and warms up again. Like the silhouette of a lighthouse that reveals itself as its torch rises and shines, the powerful beauty of What On Earth (Que Diable) radiates into an expanding musical cosmos. From the mammoth riffs of “Partout Le Feu”, progressively thickened by explosive sound textures and sirens ringing the alarm, you levitate on “Terminal Velocity”, a minimalist interlude with a crepuscular feel that is jostled by the hypnotic pulsations of “Voodoo Spinning” and then the call of the dungeon “The Crying Eye – I Forget”, an electro mystical trance that deploys its philters in a troubled moat haunted by the psalmodies of Radwan Ghazi Moumneh. The tempo speeds up in “A Man Alone in a One Man Poem”, a meeting of body and mind, of mechanical energy and burning breath where the spoken word of G.W.Sok sneaks in, before the pastoral crossing of “Waldgänger” and its forest of electronic chimeras.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, Krautrock, Piyush’s Picks
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…..new arrivals…..

Chris Abrahams: Follower (Room40) LP
For more than three decades now Sydney pianist and composer Chris Abrahams has developed a singularly iconic body of work. Known widely for his work with trio The Necks, Abrahams solo works have carved out an entirely otherworldly realm in sound. His explorations of organ, electronics, and piano capture a restless curiosity and timbral interrogation that only deepens with each of his releases. With Follower, his compositional language further expands. Melodies cascade with a cinematic pacing, spilling out over the top of harmonic electronics and unsteady percussive elements. He creates a sense of opening and space, a field within which we become lost and utterly consumed by the evolving states he casts into focus. On the opening track, “Costume”, bass piano meanders through a wilderness of de-tuned bells and organ swells; a strange sort of festival. Low frequency sighs evenly punctuate, like a pump or a heartbeat. It’s a procession that takes it time as it wanders the terrain, brought to a close with transcendent distortion. On the second piece, “New Kind of Border”, muscular modal piano surfs among waves of percussion and analog synthesizers. A buffeting travel. Follower is Abrahams’s sixth album for Room40 and it showcases his continuing interest in the ambiguous spaces between music and noise; tonality and atonality; rhythm and texture. All four tracks have piano as a key factor: in one instance, high-pitched and atonal; in another, emotive yet distant as if projected on to a screen. Follower presents the listener with a sound world of colorful juxtapositions, rich orchestration and organically open forms.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, The Necks
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Michiko Akao: Yokobue: The World of Michiko Akao (Universal) LP
Yokobue player Michiko Akao’s 1983 publication “Yokobue: Michiko Akao’s World”, which was also published in the “New Age Music Disc Guide” (published by DU BOOKS), is reproduced for the first time! A new age work that greatly transcends the realm of pure Japanese music, created with Shigeaki Saegusa as the composer and arranger. It’s definitely recommended for listeners who are chasing the current new age/ambient.

File Under: Japan, New Age, Ambient
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Derek Bailey, Charlie Morrow & Friends: New York 1982 (Recital) LP
Recital publish an album of lost Derek Bailey sessions recorded with his friend and collaborator Charlie Morrow. In 1982, Bailey and Morrow organized a series of live concerts and studio sessions around New York. This new LP is a boiled-down rendering of the master tapes that lived dormant in Charlie’s archive, until now. Throughout the album, Bailey and Morrow are joined by a rotating cast of New Wilderness players including frame drum percussionist Glen Velez, sound poet Steve McCaffery, publisher and artist Carol E. Tuynman, composer Patricia Burgess, and multimedia artist Michael Snow. The results are surprising and marvelous. The energy of the live concert, which makes up the first half of the record is particularly exciting, with Morrow and McCaffery’s visceral sound poetry and Glen’s frame drum echoing off of Derek’s fret stabs, and Carol, Patricia, and Michael’s horns swirling through the air between. A very raw and intense recording. The second side of New York 1982, is a session recorded at The Record Plant, and is clearly more “produced” with panning and tape echo processing, plus experiments with water whistles and other devices. Derek Bailey stands out for personal achievements as a guitarist and for his way of bringing together performance meetings ranging from duos to large ensembles. Working across style and genre, his music and musical unions have inspired the breakdown of boundaries, embracing all flavors of musicians as improvisers. Players focusing on the moment, “without memory.” Personnel: Derek Bailey – acoustic guitars; Charlie Morrow – trumpet, ocarina, voice; Glen Velez – percussion; Patricia Burgess – saxophone; Steve McCaffery – voice, saxophone; Carol E. Tuynman – trumpet; Michael Snow – trumpet. Includes eight-page booklet with program notes and artwork; edition of 400.

File Under: Jazz, Improv
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Robbie Basho: Bouquet (Lost Lagoon) LP
“Robbie Basho’s 13th album is now available on vinyl.. Remastered from the original master recording, it has never sounded better. Robbie Basho’s innovative pieces for the steel-string acoustic guitar incorporated American, European, and Eastern influences, while his unique voice appeared to emanate from another world. Along with John Fahey and Leo Kottke, Basho was a part of the triumvirate of guitarists on the legendary Takoma Records, and one of the foremost proponents of elevating the steel-string acoustic guitar to the level of a concert instrument. In his brief and troubled life, he laid the foundations for radical changes to the musical landscape of America during the 1960s and ’70s but reaped little more than a sparse (if fervent) following during his lifetime. Almost 40 years since its original issue on cassette, Basho’s 13th album Bouquet is available on vinyl. Affording us a greater insight into his remarkable vision, this long-awaited release is a critical piece of the puzzle that was Robbie Basho. With lyrical themes traversing famous mystics and arcane symbols, Basho’s conceptual focus on Bouquet roves through Catholic, Sufic, Hopi, and otherwise nebulous terrain in search of the choicest blooms, while his approach to composition sees him veering ever further from the long-form instrumentalist of earlier days, becoming something of a troubadour. Remastered from the original master recording (discovered during the production of Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho), it has never sounded better. The 24-page booklet includes rare photos and images from Basho’s illustrated songbook, as well as texts from Glenn Jones, Henry Kaiser and others. Bonus tracks include an epic 13-minute solo version of ‘Land of Our Fathers’.”

File Under: Folk, Blues, Soli Guitar
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Belong: October Language (Spectrum Spools) LP
October Language is the debut album by New Orleans based duo Belong, comprised of Turk Dietrich and Mike Jones. Since its release in early 2006, Belongs debut masterpiece has accumulated a dedicated cult following, with comparisons to the work of Christian Fennesz and Gas, with some claims that it plays like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless (1991) sans the songs. While these comparisons are useful for filing this album into a particular bin in the record shop, time has proven that October Language is a unique album which remains unmatched by its contemporaries. Despite the warm and welcome accolades of the albums arrival, there was no vinyl pressing until 2009, of which a limited one-time pressing vanished immediately. Spectrum Spools present a pristine vinyl cut to go with reimagined album art for the definitive edition of this legendary classic. Includes download card with three extra tracks from the impossibly rare Tour EP from the same era (2006). These tracks are exclusive to the vinyl purchase and are not available through digital outlets.

File Under: Ambient, Shoegaze
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Dave Brubeck Quartet: Debut in the Netherlands 1968 (Lost Tapes) LP
With the support of the American State Department, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, including new members Joe Morello and Eugene Wright, began a major tour of Europe early in 1958. Their first concert in the Netherlands was held on 26 February in the legendary Concertgebouw Hall in Amsterdam, usually reserved for performances of classical music. Since 1951 and the collaboration between Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond, the band had gained a stunning reputation. In 1954, Dave Brubeck was featured on the cover of Time magazine. Rumor has it that Duke Ellington knocked on Brubeck’s hotel door to congratulate him. Brubeck is said to have responded, “It should have been you.” He dedicated one of his most famous pieces, “The Duke”, included on this album, to his fellow pianist. That winter evening of 1958, the four American musicians, all in their late thirties, took the stage of the Concertgebouw. Picture the packed auditorium murmuring expectantly, and four musicians overcome with stage fright yet eager to perform. After some timid applause, Desmond kicked off with the melancholy, sophisticated theme of “Two Part Contention”. The piano came in, sounding out a counter-melody that revealed Brubeck’s classical training and knowledge of counterpoint, acquired when he studied under Milhaud and Schoenberg. He had an inventiveness that was not only melodic but also rhythmic, and he knew how to win over an audience. This was followed by a Disney piece, “Someday, My Prince Will Come” introduced by the piano, three years before the great Miles Davis brought out his eponymous album. They continued with a 1930s standard, “These Foolish Things”, by Jack Strachey, a song that had helped make Ella Fitzgerald famous. Paul led the show in his flowing, ethereal style, with sporadic brassy, dissonant contrasts, proving – if proof were needed – his consummate skills in harmonic phrasing. The saxophone then announced the theme of “One Moment Worth Years”. Eugene, who liked to be called “the Senator”, seemed to lead the private dialogue with an unseen hand, dexterous and sensitive. In the same vein, they led on with “For All We Know” – to thunderous applause. It was now Joe’s turn to take the limelight. When he played “Watusi Drums”, the audience discovered an exceptional drummer who had started out as a virtuoso violinist: fifteen years previously, he had been playing Mendelssohn’s Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. After hearing Jascha Heifetz, he decided he could never reach the maestro’s heights and switched to drums. The band went on to play “The Wright Groove”, a short piece written by Eugene. The concert concluded with “The Duke”, a tribute to Ellington, and then a superb rendition of “Take the A-Train”, a 1940s classic and the hallmark piece of Ellington’s orchestra, played here in a whirlwind of energy and innovative rhythms. With their rhythmic patterns, interspersed with one or two bursts of resounding laughter, the musicians displayed the creative spirit that was to result in the legendary album “Time Out” a year later. Sadly, the original tape comes to a halt before the end of this piece could be recorded. Nevertheless, we have chosen to retain the surviving part to bear witness to the groundbreaking creativity then bubbling under the surface in this exceptional quartet’s timeless art. The concert inaugurated a triumphant career in Europe. It announced, loud and clear, the communicative enthusiasm that was the lasting hallmark of these four exceptional musicians.

File Under: Jazz
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Cluster: Cluster II (Bureau B) LP
50th anniversary edition reissue, originally released 1972. Cluster can be counted among the most important international protagonists of the electronic avant-garde. Some credit them with having invented ambient music, others as pioneers of synthesizer pop, whilst to some they are firmly embedded in the krautrock universe. There is some truth in all of these notions. Cluster (or Kluster as they were in the beginning) were founded in 1970 in Berlin by Conrad Schnitzler, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, and Dieter Moebius. A change in direction and musical differences moved Moebius and Roedelius to split from Schnitzler after which the duo recorded ten regular studio albums between 1971 and 2009. Their debut album (Cluster 71) was in Wire Magazine’s “One Hundred Records That Set The World On Fire” list. Follow up, Cluster II, has now reached its 50th anniversary and to celebrate Bureau B are releasing a limited anniversary edition, vinyl only in a gatefold sleeve.

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock
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Crys Cole: Other Meetings (Black Truffle) LP
Following on from 2021’s acclaimed Sylva Sylvarum (BT 077LP), the epic double LP from Ora Clementi (her collaborative project with James Rushford), crys cole returns to Black Truffle with Other Meetings. Originally commissioned and released on cassette by Boomkat Editions in 2021, Other Meetings is a major addition to the body of carefully hewn solo work cole has released over the last decade, offering up two side-long suites of her radically intimate approach to sound. After many years dominated by touring and travel, cole found herself in lockdown in her Berlin apartment, working in a limited space with minimal equipment. Digging through archives of recordings taken overseas and exploring the sonic potential hidden in the objects surrounding her (including a coffee pot and a vase of dying flowers), she crafted what she calls “an internal dérive, a journey that drifted through many places without a defining compass.” Totaling over 50 minutes, the two pieces unfold at an unhurried pace, each containing four individually titled subsections. Beginning with a sequence of the highly amplified small sounds characteristic of much of cole’s work, the opening moments of “The time between two durations of sleep” are underpinned by a gentle rocking motion, weaving together contact mic crunch, metallic resonance, glimpses of bird song, and isolated drum machine hits, the sonic space expanding and contracting as focus moves between elements. Briefly side-lined by a tactile but unplaceable sizzling, this complex weave of voices then returns in a kind of dubbed-out “version”, the percussive accents echoing around the stereo space. In one of the record’s most beautiful and unexpected moments, these sounds are joined by a sparse melodic line performed on a broken 1980s digital synth, the vaguely new age timbres being taken on a long, tonally ambiguous wander. Cole’s immersion in memories of travel comes to the fore in the final section of the first side, titled “Wat Paknam” after a royal temple in Bangkok, where snatches of voices, ringing bells and distant waves of chanting blur together with synth tones into an increasingly abstracted wave of sound. The second side, “Slices of cake”, opens in a similarly hallucinatory outdoor space of echoing bird song and liquified traffic before abruptly zooming in on a microscopic world of subtly processed and highly amplified objects, explored with a starkness and quiet insistence that calls to mind the fringe not-quite-concrète of outsiders like Paul A.R. Timmermans or Knud Viktor, whose obsessive interrogation of dripping water might also serve as a point of reference for the following sub-section, the aptly titled “magischer Abfluss” (magic drain). Radically reductive yet deeply musical, Other Meetings is a major work from an artist driven by an uncompromising and idiosyncratic vision. Presented with an inner sleeve with photos and liner notes from the composer and remastered audio.

File Under: Experimental
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Miles Davis: Ascenseur pour l’Echafaud OST (Sam) 10″
In 1957, Miles Davis is in Paris for an engagement at the ‘Club Saint-Germain’ and a wonderful concert at the Olympia Theatre. Once in Paris, Miles came into contact with many members of the modern existentialist cultural environment in the neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Près. These include the director Louis Malle who had just finished his first movie : ‘Ascenseur Pour L’échafaud’. Jean-Paul Rappeneau, a Jazz fan and Louis Malle’s assistant at the time, suggested asking Miles Davis to create the film’s soundtrack. A private sceening has been organized. On December 4 1957, Miles Davis brought three French Jazzmen – Barney Wilen on tenor saxophone, René Urtreger on piano, Pierre Michelot on bass and his american compatriot Kenny Clarke on drums – to the recording studio ‘Le Poste Parisien’ without having them prepare anything. Miles Davis only gave the musicians a few rudimentary harmonic sequences he had assembled in his hotel room. This recordings was made at night in a most informal atmosphere. The soundtrack was not released on it’s own in the USA but ten songs from this soundtrack was released as one side of the album Jazz Track which received a 1960 Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Performance, Solo or Small Group. ‘Ascenseur Pour L’échafaud’ has become a great achievement of artistic excellence.

File Under: Jazz
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Tod Dockstader: Aerial II (Important) LP
Tod Dockstader’s Aerial series, an electronic/drone masterpiece, is cherished among fans of the artist’s work and this second volume is available in an audiophile quality double LP. Tod Dockstader’s Aerial series is sourced from his life-long passion for shortwave radio. Dockstader collected over 90 hours of recordings, made at night, and comprised of cross signals and fragments plucked from the atmosphere. Opening with airwave drones, Dockstader gradually allows elements to slowly come and go, summoning an ominous atmosphere of ethereal cloud clouds. Malignant placidity continues, giving the feeling of eavesdropping upon late-night audio activity not unlike discovering number stations while sweeping the dials. These sounds pull you in as their density and rhythms come and go. Backward voices, deep echoing choruses of conversations flowing under the surface, ocean sounds, pulsing electro-rhythms, all seem to be created via the collaging of many hours of source recordings. A masterwork of collage and juxtaposition by an overlooked pioneer of American electronic music. Artwork by John Brien (Imprec) is inspired by the propagation of shortwave radio signals throughout the earth’s atmosphere. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Drone
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Echo & the Bunnymen: Evergreen (London) LP
In 1997, after a lengthy hiatus, Echo & The Bunnymen returned to the fore with Evergreen , revealing the brighter side of the band, and standing up with any of their earlier work. The self-produced album was recorded at The Doghouse in Henley-On-Thames with additional strings, horns, and vocal arrangements recorded at Abbey Road. The album saw the band rightfully return to the UK album charts at #8, with three singles (“Nothing Lasts Forever”, “I Want to Be There (When You Come)”, and “Don’t Let It Get You Down”) entering the UK top 50. “Nothing Lasts Forever” (with backing vocals and tambourine by Liam Gallagher ) has grown to become one of the band’s most enduring and well-loved songs — a UK Top 10 and a fan favorite to this day. To celebrate its 25-year anniversary, London Records releases Evergreen . LP version pressed on white vinyl.

File Under: Rock
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Flower Travellin’ Band: Satori (Warner Japan) LP
Released in 1971, this is the first album produced by a Japanese artist with the overseas market in mind. It was released simultaneously in the United States, Canada, and Japan, and in particular, the single “SATORI PART 2” reached No. 8 in Canada. There is also an oriental thought trend in Europe and the United States, and the work is characterized by incorporating more oriental and Japanese sounds. Japan at this time was also a turning point from GS to folk, and there were still few people who accepted rock, but it continues to be supported by its advanced sound. Of course, it is very popular overseas and its name recognition is still undiminished. The jacket reproduces the original as much as possible with the W jacket, rock age band, and enclosed postcard.

File Under: Japan, Psych, Essential Grooves, Kris’s Picks
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Kyouko Furuya: Cold Water (Nippon Columbia) LP
Kyouko Furuya began her career as a piano student in Tokyo’s Kunitachi College of Music. Debuting in a duo dubbed Virgo with future actress Yumi Mizusawa, they quietly became a popular thing in the acoustic Tokyo folk scene. With time, though, Kyouko Furuya pursued other opportunities. First released off of the Japanese label, Better Days, in 1982, “Cold Water” features a kaleidoscopic vision of what Japanese Pop can be when it ties its influence to something like reggae, funk, R&B, and disco.

File Under: Japan, Pop
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Ron Geesin: Sunday Bloody Sunday (Trunk) LP
Sublime unreleased soundtrack by Ron Geesin for one of the most important and controversial films in British cinema history. Side one is the score for Sunday Bloody Sunday, the controversial 1971 drama directed by John Schlesinger. Starring Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson, and Murray Head, it tells the story of an open love triangle between a gay Jewish doctor, a divorced woman and a bisexual young male artist who makes glass fountains. Daniel Day Lewis also makes his uncredited screen debut as a yobbo scratching up posh cars. The films significance at the time of release lay in the depiction of a mature gay man who was both successful, well-adjusted and at peace with his sexuality. Features Bridget St. John on two tracks. The music on side two comes from two different sources: tracks one to four are from the 1985 Channel Four documentary about Viv Richards. Simply called Viv it was directed by Greg Lanning, with words and narration by Darcus Howe. It was (and still is) a fascinating film recounting Richards’s rise from young talented Antiguan to global cricket superstar. It also explored the long history of West Indian players through the English game. Howe later recalled how seeing Viv Richards walking out to bat at the Oval (just down the road from where Howe lived in Brixton) without a helmet on no matter how fast the bowler was — and wearing his Rasta sweatbands of gold, green and, red, was inspirational. The documentary was later re-titled Viv Richards – King Of Cricket for the video market. The last six cues of side two are from a 1970 BBC Omnibus film Shapes In A Wilderness. Directed by Tristram Powell, this was a documentary about the importance and influence of art therapy in mental hospitals, tracing its origins from a painting hut in a wartime military hospital to its successful and widespread incorporation in institutions. It featured fascinating medical insights, disturbing imagery and Ron’s finely tuned accompaniment. The music confirms the fact that Ron Geesin is one of the most underrated, inventive and versatile composers (and musicians). Sleeve art taken from the 1971 film poster.

File Under: OST
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Hallelujahs: Eat Meat, Swear an Oath (Black Editions) LP
Reissue, originally released in 1986. A dreamlike dispatch from mid-80s Japan, the first and only Hallelujahs album is an entrancing and gentle work of psychedelic pop brilliance. In a series of informal studio sessions between 1985 and 1986, Shinji Shibayama (Nagisa Ni Te) gathered a group of friends, emerging luminaries from the burgeoning Kansai underground rock scene including Naoki Zushi (Hijokaidan, Spiral Stairs / 螺旋階段), Ken Ichi “Idiot” Takayama (Idiot O’Clock), and Chie Mukai (Ché-SHIZU) to form what would become known as Hallelujahs. The result was a music of deep feeling and wonderment created through simple song craft and imbued with a sort of guileless magic. Their sole album presented a set of unvarnished songs, filled with vulnerable, intimate moments, caught on reel to reel, most often in single takes never to be repeated. The album was self-released in 1986 in a micro-edition of 300 copies. It was the first record by Shibayama’s now revered ORG Records which would go on to introduce the world to the likes of Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Reiko Kudo as well as his own group, Nagisa Ni Te. With affinities to the sounds of the Rough Trade and Flying Nun labels, the Paisley Underground and Galaxie 500, the Hallelujahs’ Eat Meat, Swear an Oath is an utterly unique masterpiece that remains a touchstone for generations of like spirited artists in Japan and around the world. Black Editions is proud to present this all-time classic in a deluxe vinyl edition, remastered from the original tapes and presented in a heavy tip-on jacket with textured paper, mounted high quality print, foil stamped finishes and spot colors. Pressed to high quality vinyl at RTI.

File Under: Japan, Psych, Pop
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Nobuo Hara and Sharps & Flats + 1 (Takehiko Honda): Electronics! (Nippon Columbia) LP
Japan’s leading big band, Sharps & Flats, created a unique work featuring 22-year-old up-and-coming pianist, Takehiko Honda. The sound of an electric piano rolling comfortably over the powerful big band sound is absolutely incredible! In addition this record features covers of some of the the latest rock hits at the time, such as Jethro Tull’s “Bule”, BS&T’s “Spinning Wheel”, and The Beatles’ “Come Together”.

File Under: Jazz, Japan
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PJ Harvey: Is This Desire? Demos (Island) LP
Collection of unreleased demos of every track written for the fourth PJ Harvey studio album Is This Desire?, including demos of ‘A Perfect Day Elise’, ‘The Wind’ and ‘Angelene’.  Audio has been mastered by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering under the guidance of longtime PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish. Features brand new artwork with previously unseen photos by Maria Mochnacz.

File Under: Rock
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Tatsuo Hayashi: Super Percussion Vol. 1 (Crown) LP
A highly coveted record! A reissue of instructional records by talented studio musicians! Super Percussion Vol.1 is the only solo album released by Tatsuo Hayashi, who played drums for Tin Pan Alley and Caramel Mama. This album, which has historically been famous as a drum break album by Japanese DJs, has an A-side that extracts only the rhythm section from drums to percussion, and a B-side that features a fusion instrumental mix of performances by Masaki Matsubara and Tsuyoshi Kon. The tight disco track, “SUCHA ROCA” and the light mellow fusion funk track, “HI-G”, as well as the iconic beat collection on the record’s A side, are recommended for track makers everywhere.

File Under: Japan, Drums, Funk
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Andrew Hill: Point of Departure (Blue Note) LP
In Andrew Hill, Alfred Lion believed he had found another pianist and composer who had as unique and important a voice as Thelonious Monk. Hill debuted on Blue Note in 1963 with a staggering burst of creativity that produced four classic albums – Black Fire, Smoke Stack, Judgment!, and his masterpiece Point of Departure – over a period of just five months. Recorded in March 1964, Point of Departure expanded Hill’s palette with a 6-piece ensemble of diverse players that included the remarkable frontline of Eric Dolphy on alto saxophone, bass clarinet, and flute, Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone, and Kenny Dorham on trumpet, along with Richard Davis on bass and Tony Williams on drums. The robust sextet delivered thrilling performances of Hill’s extraordinary compositions including “Refuge,” “New Monastery,” “Flight 19,” and “Dedication.”

File Under: Jazz
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John Lee Hooker: The Healer (Craft) LP
The Healer is a critically acclaimed album from the “King of the Boogie” John Lee Hooker. First released in 1989, the collection features collaborations with artists including Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Charlie Musselwhite, Canned Heat, Los Lobos and George Thorogood. Hooker was 73 years of age when The Healer came out and it earned his first – of many future – Grammy accolades, winning Best Traditional Blues Performance for “I’m In The Mood.” Out of print for over a decade, this 180g vinyl LP reissue was cut by Bernie Grundman and pressed at QRP.

File Under: Blues
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Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media: Funk Party (Nippon Columbia) LP
A heavy funk party from the Japanese jazz scene of the 70s – and a set that hits a lot harder than some of the smoother fusion of the time! There’s a grit here that hearkens back to some of the best American jazz funk at the start of the decade – a nice edge that you often don’t find in Japanese recordings of this vintage – which is clearly inspired by the American soul scene of the time – as evidence in the weird-looking cover, and in the album’s choice of tracks! The notes are in Japanese, which makes it a bit hard to tell what’s going on – but the whole thing feels like a live performance, with supposedly different Japanese groups taking the lead – and some calls on the tunes that almost give the whole thing an Osaka Monaurail feel!

File Under: Japan, Jazz, Funk
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Jason Isbell: Sirens of the Ditch (New West) LP
The debut album from accomplished guitarist and songwriter Jason Isbell, formerly of Drive By Truckers (DBT), is reissued with 4 unreleased tracks from the original recording sessions. The addition of those 4 extra songs finds Sirens Of The Ditch clocking in at 15 total tracks. Sirens Of The Ditch’s mystical quality can be partially attributed to the FAME recording studio (Aretha Franklin, Duane Allman, Otis Redding) in Isbell’s hometown of Muscle Shoals, AL where the album was recorded. Co-produced by Isbell and Patterson Hood (DBT), Sirens Of The Ditch features Isbell singing lead vocals and playing guitar throughout, joined by Shonna Tucker (Formerly of DBT) on Bass and Brad Morgan (DBT) on drums. Several musicians pop in for cameos including Spooner Oldham and David Hood (Patterson’s father) on “Down In A Hole”, John Neff (Formerly of DBT) on “Dress Blues” and Patterson himself guests on “Shotgun Wedding”.

File Under: Country
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Jon Iverson: Many Worlds Interpretation (Séance Centre) LP
Many Worlds Interpretation is a collection of cosmic Americana for electronics, guitar, and percussion culled from Jon Iverson’s extensive home-studio archive. 1984, Los Osos, California. In a small cinderblock cottage, hand-painted with bright psychedelic flora, Jon Iverson created vibrant new worlds. He spent long days and nights immersed in sound, perfecting home recording on his 8-track reel-to-reel, combining his love for kosmische and Berlin School electronics with an infatuation with ethnographic sounds and expansive guitar music. In a duo with fellow sonic traveler Thomas Walters, Iverson released missives from the studio on a self-titled LP released on country legend Guthrie Thomas’ Eagle Records. That release featured three electro-acoustic compositions (“Naningo”, “River Fen”, and “Fox Tales”) as well as a gathering of guitar duo tapestries. Many Worlds Interpretation re-imagines those interplanetary works alongside several unreleased compositions that also feature synthesizer, guitar, and percussion, creating a re-visioned album which leans into Iverson’s electronic studio wizardry. All songs have been carefully transferred from analog tape to high resolution digital, retaining their vintage studio warmth, but mixed and mastered for modern ears and audio systems. The album is pressed at 45rpm, further enhancing the audiophile experience.

File Under: Electronic, Kosmische
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Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble: Drum Dance to the Motherland (Aguirre) LP
There’s not another album on the planet that sounds even remotely like vibraphonist Khan Jamal’s eccentric, one-of-a-kind masterpiece, Drum Dance To The Motherland. Thirty years after its release, the album’s tapestry of sound, fearless abstractions, relentless grooves, cool swing, flashes of ecstasy, and pan cultural embrace remain powerful and beyond category. One of only three albums released on the Philadelphia-based Dogtown label, it was barely distributed beyond the city’s limits when it came out in the early ’70s. Finally available again, a really stunning document of musical exploration, a classic session. In its improbable fusion of free jazz expressionism, black psychedelia, and full-on dub production techniques, Drum Dance remains a bracingly powerful outsider statement fifty years after it was recorded live at the Catacombs Club in Philadelphia, 1972. Comparisons to Sun Ra, King Tubby, Phil Cohran, and BYG/Actuel merely hint at the cosmic otherness conjured by The Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble and by sound engineer Mario Falana’s real-time enhancements. Clearly, the members of the Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble saw African American music as a continuum that stretched from the Motherland through the blues, R&B, jazz, and free jazz, and they prided themselves on mastering the continuum. In the early ’70s, these were fairly new ideas, but they had taken firm root in Philadelphia. The search for an African American music that is modern and culturally progressive but rooted in an African tradition is the music’s heart and soul. Its connection to the specific African American community in Philadelphia is its immediate inspiration. “My ancestors eventually show up in my music every time I play,” Jamal says. “I’ve always said that my backyard is Africa.” Originally issued by Jamal in 1973 in an edition of three hundred copies on Dogtown Records, Drum Dance To The Motherland was effectively a myth until eremite’s 2005 CD reissue. With the master tapes long vanished, the audio was transferred at Sony Music’s 54th street studio from a minty copy of the original LP. Includes an insert with Ed Hazell’s detailed telling of Drum Dance’s incredible history. Under License from Eremite Records.

File Under: Jazz
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Jive Turkeys: Bread & Butter (Colemine) LP
The LP that started it all – and the first ever re-issue pressed at Gotta Groove! “Bread & Butter”, the first full length LP on Colemine Records and the debut of The Jive Turkeys, is nothing but funky, soulful instrumental goodness from start to finish. “Bread & Butter” clearly established The Jive Turkeys as the initial benchmark for the old-school funk revival in the Midwest. Fans of The Meters, Booker T. & The M.G.’s, and the funk revival sound will surely dig what The Jive Turkeys are puttin’ down!

File Under: Funk
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Barbara Keith: s/t (Mapache) LP
Back in 1971, Barbara Keith, a singer-songwriter that started her career at Greenwich Village’s famous Café Wha? recorded this album for Warner Bros with a cast of musicians that included Jim Keltner, Spooner Oldham, Lowell George and Jim Gordon, amongst others. It’s said that after listening to the result and feeling disappointed, Barbara decided to give the advance money back to the label and walk away from the music business. Reprise released the album but with Barbara retired, the label under-promoted the record. Against all odds the album went on to become a cult classic, highlighted by exceptional writing and solid production. The album didn’t achieve much as far as sales but Keith’s songwriting skills were noticed throughout the record industry. Barbra Streisand, Lowell George, Tanya Tucker, Delaney & Bonnie, The Dillards, and many others covered songs from the album; The Bramble and the Rose and Detroit or Buffalo; being favorites. Keith’s signature style, between country-rock and folk, remains a landmark for the singer who sounds like she would’ve fit into Delaney & Bonnie’s band or passed for an American version of Sandy Denny.

File Under: Folk
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Läuten Der Seele: Die Mariengrotte Als Trinkwasseraufbereitungsanlage (Hands In The Dark) LP
The prolific German musician Christian Schoppik is dropping his second solo record of 2022 under the moniker Läuten der Seele, following up his critically acclaimed self-titled debut album released at the start of the year. Once again, ‘Die Mariengrotte als Trinkwasseraufbereitungsanlage’ (The Mother Mary Grotto as a Drinking Water Treatment Plant) is a work based on a mix of sample collages and recorded instruments that are often used sparsely but as load-bearing elements. However, this time, Schoppik came up with two long tracks where the narrative evolves in multiple and intricate movements to tell mysterious stories that have to be imagined by the listeners as the music unfolds. If the title of the tracks ‘Opferkerzen weihen das Betonbecken’ (Votive Candles consecrate the Concrete Pool) and ‘Der Heilige Geist aus der Leitung’ (The Holy Ghost from the Water Tap) give a starting point to these stories, the ethereal, mystic and dreamy sounding minimal atmospheres presented in this recordings let each one of us contemplate our own soothing experience against the continuous chaos surrounding us.

File Under: Ambient, Experimental, Kris’s Picks
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Lumineers: s/t – 10th Anniversary (Dualtone) LP
The Lumineers’ breakout debut album captured hearts of fans and critics worldwide in 2012, leading to two Grammy-Award nominations and a No. 2 Billboard chart peak. Featuring the hit singles “Ho Hey” “Stubborn Love” and “Submarines,” celebrate the 10th anniversary with a remastered and expanded 180g vinyl 2LP edition featuring six tracks previously unreleased on vinyl, new liner notes, and all-new packaging with exclusive behind the scenes photos.

File Under: Rock
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Magician: s/t (Trunk) LP
Reissue, originally released in 1977. Mythically rare British album from the late 1970s, only a handful of original copies have ever been found. This is because a 1977 British jazz album that looked like a 1970 prog album that was issued on a brand-new label that didn’t know what it was really doing, so it was never going to sell. And it didn’t. But this is a unique jazz/fusion album from the period, sounding like an incredibly hip 1973 library LP, all super funky, occasionally dark, atmospheric, and very hip indeed. Performed by a killer line-up of top musicians, including the legendary Barbara Thompson. Reproduction of classic and super rare UK only original with new and very informative sleeve notes.

File Under: Jazz
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Kifu Mitsuhashi & Kiyoshi Yamaya: Shakuhachi Mountain Poetry (Nippon Columbia) LP
First released in 1976, “Shakuhachi Mountain Poetry” is one of a two part album collaboration between Shakuhachi master, Kifu Mitsuhashi and jazz musician, Kiyoshi Yamaya. Together, the two artists blended their individual musical disciplines to compose an album that beautifully captures the spirit of both traditional Japanese folk music and jazz. Don’t miss out on this incredibly unique Japanese-jazz fusion record!

File Under: Japan, Jazz
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Kifu Mitsuhashi & Kiyoshi Yamaya: Shakuhachi: Sato no Uto (Nippon Columbia) LP
Kifu Mitsuhashi studied with Soufu Sasaki of the Kinko-style shakuhachi in 1968. He became a member of Pro Musica Nipponia and participated in many concerts both in Japan and overseas after completing the NHK Hougaku Training Program in 1972. Mitsuhashi studied with Chikugai Okamoto of the shakuhachi fukesyu meian souryuukai in 1974. He was awarded as top soloist of the 1st Pan Music Festival in 1976. Kiyoshi Yamaya is a Japanese jazz composer, band leader born in Tokyo on March 29, 1932. As a musician commonly playing the alto or baritone saxophone, he had been a part of bands like Tetsurou Takahama and Eskyer Cats and Hiromichi Yamamoto and Champagne Serenade. Originally released in 1976, “Shakuhachi: Sato no uta” is a collaboration between these two artists. The album artfully combines each musicians respective genres of expertise, resulting in an incredible fusion of both jazz and traditional Japanese folk music.

File Under: Japan, Jazz
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Mythos: s/t (Ohr) LP
Ohr present a reissue of Mythos’ self-titled album, originally released in 1972. Mythos was formed in 1969 on the initiative of Stephan Kaske (flute, keyboards, vocals, guitar), who found two comrades-in-arms in Harald Weisse (bass) and Thomas Hildebrand (drums). Various performances impressed label boss and talent scout Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser so much that the band was able to release their debut album on the Ohr label in 1972. On Mythos the band realized a mixture of art rock and psychedelic with oriental influences in lengthy pieces. This album was also re-recorded and remastered from the original analog tapes.

File Under: Prog, Psych
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Piper: Lovers Logic (Warner Japan) LP
The first analog reissue of PIPER’s 5th album “LOVERS LOGIC” released in 1985 has been decided! The 5th album “LOVERS LOGIC” released by MOON RECORDS in 1985 by PIPER, led by guitarist Keisuke Yamamoto, who worked as a backup for Kazuto Murata, will be reissued for the first time!

File Under: Japan, City Pop
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Genesis P-Orridge & Dave Ball: Imagining October OST (Cold Spring) LP
The official soundtrack to Derek Jarman’s 1984 short film Imagining October, with music recorded by Derek’s friend and collaborator Genesis P-Orridge (Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle), and Dave Ball (Soft Cell, The Grid). Recorded at DJM recording studios in Theobalds Road, London. Derek Jarman put together a program of films for the London Film Festival, reflecting the cutting edge of the London avant-garde of the time. Recorded at the same time as The Angelic Conversation, Imagining October was filmed in the Eisenstein Museum in Moscow, Vladimir Mayakovsky’s grave at Novodevichy Cemetery, the GUM department store facing red square, and the fire temples of Baku in Azerbaijan. The painting sequences with a group of soldiers (Angus Cook, Stephen Thrower, Peter Doig, and Keir Wahid) was filmed in London. Jarman considered it one of the best, if not the best, of his shorter works. It was intended as an agit-prop work and the combination of music and imagery remains powerful to this day. Features liner notes by James Mackay (Jarman’s producer, collaborator, and archivist). Limited edition 12″ vinyl featuring a beautiful etched B-side; full color sleeve.

File Under: OST, Industrial
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Panda Bear: Person Pitch (Domino) LP
Person Pitch is the third solo album from Animal Collective member Panda Bear released in 2007. Years in the making, Person Pitch marks a dramatic departure from Panda Bear’s previous solo record Young Prayer. The acoustic instruments of Young Prayer have been replaced with samplers and electronics.

File Under: Indie Rock, Animal Collective
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Jeff Parker: Mondays at the Enfield Tennis Academy (Eremite) LP
“Mondays at The Enfield Tennis Academy, x2 LPs of long-form, lyrical, groove-based free improv by acclaimed guitarist & composer Jeff Parker’s ETA IVtet, is at last here. Recorded live at ETA (referencing David Foster Wallace), a bar in LA’s Highland Park neighborhood with just enough space in the back for Parker, drummer Jay Bellerose, bassist Anna Butterss, & alto saxophonist Josh Johnson to convene in extraordinarily depthful & exploratory music making. Gleaned for the stoniest side-length cuts from 10+ hours of vivid two-track recordings made between 2019 & 2021 by Bryce Gonzales, Mondays at The Enfield Tennis Academy is a darkly glowing séance of an album, brimming over with the hypnotic, the melodic, & patience & grace in its own beautiful strangeness. Room-tone, electric fields, environment, ceiling echo, live recording, Mondays, Los Angeles. Jeff Parker’s first double album & first live album, Mondays at The Enfield Tennis Academy belongs in the lineage of such canonical live double albums recorded on the West Coast as Lee Morgan’s Live at the Lighthouse, Miles Davis’ In Person Friday & Saturday Night at the Blackhawk, San Francisco & Black Beauty, & John Coltrane’s Live in Seattle. While the IVtet sometimes plays standards &, including on this recording, original compositions, it is as previously stated largely a free improv group — just not in the genre meaning of the term. The music is more free composition than free improvisation, more blending than discordant. It’s tensile, yet spacious & relaxed. Clearly all four musicians have spent significant time in the planetary system known as jazz, but relationships to other musics, across many scenes & eras — dub & Dilla, primary source psychedelia, ambient & drone — suffuse the proceedings. Listening to playbacks Parker remarked, humorously & not, ‘we sound like the Byrds’ (to certain ears, the Clarence White-era Byrds, who really stretched it). A fundamental of all great ensembles, whether basketball teams or bands, is the ability of each member to move fluidly & fluently in & out of lead & supportive roles. Building on the communicative pathways they’ve established in Parker’s — The New Breed — project, Parker & Johnson maintain a constant dialogue of lead & support. Their sampled & looped phrases move continuously thru the music, layered & alive, adding depth & texture & pattern, evoking birds in formation, sea creatures drifting below the photic zone. Or, the two musicians simulate those processes by entwining their terse, clear-lined playing in real-time. The stop/start flow of Bellerose, too, simulates the sampler, recalling drum parts in Parker’s beat-driven projects. Mostly Bellerose’s animated phraseologies deliver the inimitable instantaneous feel of live creative drumming. The range of tonal colors he conjures from his extremely vintage battery of drums & shakers — as distinctive a sonic signature as we have in contemporary acoustic drumming — bring almost folkloric qualities to the aesthetic currency of the IVtet’s language. A wonderful revelation in this band is the playing of Anna Butterss. The strength, judiciousness & humility with which she navigates the bass position both ground & lift upward the egalitarian group sound. As the IVtet’s grooves flow & clip, loop & repeat, the ensemble elements reconfigure, a terrarium of musical cultivation growing under controlled variables, a tight experiment of harmony & intuition, deep focus & freedom. For all its varied sonic personality, Mondays at The Enfield Tennis Academy scans immediately & unmistakably as music coming from Jeff Parker’s unique sound world. Generous in spirit, trenchant & disciplined in execution, Parker’s music has an earned respect for itself & for its place in history that transmutes through the musical event into the listener. Many moods & shapes of heart & mind will find utility & hope in a music that combines the autonomy & the community we collectively long to see take hold in our world, in substance & in staying power. On the personal tip, this was always my favorite gig to hit, a lifeline of the eremite records Santa Barbara years. Mondays southbound on the 101, driving away from tasks & screens & illness, an hour later ordering a double tequila neat at the bar with the band three feet away, knowing i was in good hands, knowing it would be back around on another Monday. To encounter life at scales beyond the human body is the collective dance of music & the beholding of its beauty, together.” –Michael Ehlers & Zac Brenner Pressed on premium audiophile-quality 120 gram vinyl at RTI from Kevin Gray/Cohearent Audio lacquers. Mastered by Joe Lizzi, Triple Point Records, Queens, NY. First eremite edition of 1799 copies.

File Under: Jazz
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Sage Francis: Personal Journals (Strange Famous) LP
Originally released in 2002, Personal Journals blindsided the music industry with the deeply revealing, confessional lyricism of DIY stalwart Sage Francis. One of the best selling indie-hip hop records of all time, Personal Journals lead the charge into a fresh new era for the underground music world. Since the release of PJ, Sage has released 3 LPs on Anti-/Epitaph Records, sold over 100,000 albums, started his own independent label Strange Famous Records, and dropped two projects with his group Epic Beard Men. SFR is proud to present the 20th Anniversary limited edition reissue of this genre-defining classic on 2xLP ‘Galaxy Splatter’ red-black-and-silver colored vinyl, including a full-size 16-page booklet, featuring the full album lyrics reprinted for the first time, plus never-before-seen photos and the behind-the-scenes journal entries from the original CD version of the album. “Turns self-examination into poetry and then, harder still, turns the poems into great rap. And as dark as he gets, Francis makes sure we have a great time.” – Pitchfork Media “Bluntly put, the album is a masterpiece.” – Dusted Magazine

File Under: Hip Hop
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Wayne Shorter: Speak No Evil (Blue Note) LP
1964 was one of the most momentous years in the musical life of Wayne Shorter. Early in the year the saxophonist was still a member of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, appearing on classic Blue Note albums like Free for All and Indestructible. Shorter made his own auspicious label debut that spring with Night Dreamer and quickly recorded the impressive follow-up JuJu. That summer he joined the Miles Davis Quintet, cementing a line-up that would become one of the seminal bands in jazz history. And when Shorter entered Van Gelder Studio with Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Elvin Jones on Christmas Eve 1964 they created a masterpiece with Speak No Evil, a transcendent set of six Shorter originals including the swinging title track, “Witch Hunt,” and sublime ballad “Infant Eyes.”

File Under: Jazz
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Hiromasa Suzuki: Rock Joint Cither – Silk Road (Cinedelic) LP
Reissue, originally released in 1973. After the space-time experience and the translation into music of the Bible of Japanese civilization, the Fulukotofumi, the following year, in 1973, Hiromasa Suzuki pushes his research and experimentation beyond the borders of his own country by venturing, with the usual companions of adventure (Kunimitsu Inaba, Hideo Sekine, etc.), along the lights and shadows of the Silk Road. A backward journey in search of the musical and cultural sources of mainland Asia, from the gates of India to the roots of China. If the Biwa lute characterized the previous chapter dedicated to the profound ancestral of Japan, here, the sitar, the Asian instrument par excellence, becomes a new narrator; Suzuki plans and manages the interventions by juxtaposing it with an opera that, like the previous one, always remains strongly jazz and rock, at times very similar to Ian Carr’s Nucleus. A precious find in the endless and seminal musical archeology of modern Japanese music. Gatefold; includes insert.

File Under: Japan, Jazz
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Hiromasa Suzuki: Rock Joint Biwa – Kumikyoku Fulukotofumi (Cinedelic) LP
Reissue, originally released in 1973. The Fulukotofumi is the most important and ancient historical chronicle of Japan. The content of this work becomes an inspiration for the creation of a sound transposition of the legends and myths that most marked the spirit and inspiration of Hiromasa Suzuki, as a musician and as a high-level composer. The music that is concentrated between these grooves is a representation of the best that moved in the early seventies in the jazz-rock orbit at an international level; in addition, very strong infiltrations of tradition, characterized above all by the extremely calibrated and perfectly ad hoc interventions of the Biwa (lute of the Japanese tradition once used by blind monks to recite poems) and the Wadaiko drum. From its entirety, a highly evocative and magical sketch in nine suites emerges, a viaticum towards the most ancestral past of Japan, but at the same time also immersed in the modernity and expressive relevance of the land of the rising sun. A masterpiece that, buried for too long in the archives, is finally back reissued on vinyl with original graphics on its gatefold cover and enriched by an insert with the translations of the precious introductory essay contained in its original edition. Accompanying Suzuki’s acoustic and electric piano is the crème of Japanese jazz that gives free rein to one’s primordial instincts. Some passages come close to progressive, especially thanks to Kiyoshi Sugimoto’s Allan Holdsworth style guitar.

File Under: Japan, Jazz
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Hiromasa Suzuki: Skip Step Colgen (Universal) LP
Hiromasa Suzuki, a jazz pianist nicknamed Colgen, reprinted “Skip Step Colgen” released in 1977 as one of the [Toshiba PRO-USE series] for the first time! A cover of Herbie Hancock’s “WATERMELON MAN” is definitely one for fans of jazz/funk/Japanese rare grooves.

File Under: Japan, Jazz
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Tomio Terada: Ameagari No Machi (Universal) LP
The 2nd album “Ame agari no Machi”, which was released in 1973 by Tomio Terada, a rare melody maker who made his major debut as the first Japanese artist on the MGM label in 1972, has been highly acclaimed as a masterpiece of cafe rock. The first LP reprint! A masterpiece of Japanese folky and mellow groove that combines the sounds of Tomio Terada and Hiro Yanagida, a former April Fool’s Day.

File Under: Japan, Rock
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Frank Wright: Frank Wright Trio (ESP) LP
Reissue, originally released on ESP Disk’ in 1966. Frank “The Reverend” Wright was one of the most powerful saxophonists to pick up on Albert Ayler’s freedom and ferocious playing. Born in Mississippi and raised in Memphis, TN and then Cleveland, OH, he started in music as a bassist in blues bands but switched to tenor sax under the influence of his Cleveland friend Albert Ayler. Wright’s “energy music” approach to tenor saxophone was influenced by Ayler but at the time in the ’60s Wright’s intensity was unmatched and utterly distinctive. He followed Ayler to New York City, arriving in 1964 and fitting into the scene right away John Coltrane offered him a spot on his album Ascension in early 1965, though Wright demurred. ESP Disk’ owner Bernard Stollman signed Wright on the spot upon hearing him sit in with Coltrane, and on November 11, 1965, Wright went into a New York studio to record his debut album, considered a free jazz classic. Wright’s influence can be traced down to Charles Gayle, Sabir Mateen, and other hard-blowing tenormen, but even so, he remains unique. Personnel: Frank Wright – tenor saxophone; Henry Grimes – bass; Tom Price – drums.

File Under: Jazz
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Various: Akai Tori Nigeta? (Universal) LP
Features Japanese soft rock by genius Yasuo Higuchi (Pico)! The original soundtrack of the movie “Did the Red Bird Escape?” Starring Kaori Momoi and Yoshio Harada, was released in 1973. The soundtrack for this film reaches the highest peak of rare grooves. First time on vinyl.

File Under: Japan, Soft Rock
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Various: Animal Crossing: Totakeke Music Instrumental Selection (Nippon Columbia) LP
The Nintendo Switch game ‘’Atsumare: Animal Crossing’’ is about moving to a deserted island and living a carefree life with animals. In addition to 18 songs selected from the Instrumental version of Totakeke Music, an arranged version of ‘’Hazure 02’’ will be included as a bonus track, with the A-side featuring an upper-range song and the B-side featuring a selection of chill-out songs to relax to.

File Under: Japan, OST, Videogames
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Various: Buzzsaw Joint: Johnny Alpha & Carl Combover – Cut 8 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Buzzsaw Joint was born of a club offering Londoners the chance to revel in the sounds of good ol’ trashy rock n’ roll in all its vintage vinyl forms. Club top-cat, Fritz, then took the primitive Buzzsaw sounds online with a series of savage Mixcloud mixes created by record fiends from all over the globe. Now, the high-octane energy of Buzzsaw Joint has manifested into the physical form with a run of compilations on Stag-O-Lee. Get your ears around the wild n’ weird sounds of the extraordinary and inimitable Buzzsaw Joint! Cut 8 introduces Johnny Alpha and Carl Combover, purveyors of all things sleazy, greasy and raw. When delinquent-at-large Carl isn’t pounding drums, he’s running the Go-Go Cage, Liverpool’s most raucous ’60s night. Johnny’s Killer Diller radio show, broadcast from a bunker in Wigan, unearthed so many exclusive 45s, it defined a genre. For years this pair have slung records at Europe’s coolest clubs and fuzziest festivals. Now they’ve stewed up a heady mix with pungent notes of tonic wine and spiced rum. Slurp! Features Lee Castle, Ernie Fields, The Champs, Dynamics, Tarheel Slim, Bobbie Smith, Swan Silvertones, Goodie Rene, Lee The Big Masher Lilly, Plas Johnson, Nite Caps, The Rollers, Secrets, Majestics, Richard Anthony, and Johnny Fisher. Violet vinyl; edition of 500.

File Under: Exotica, Rock n Roll
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Various: Electronic Jugoton Vol. 1 – Synthetic Music from Yugoslavia 1980-1989 (Everland) LP
The galloping technical progress in the second half of the last century dominated all spheres of daily life, art and culture. In the music industry machines took over the role of classical instruments and did not stop at RnR, punk nor industrial music. No one could resist the challenge, but also the prevailing trends in the 80s. The music industry was influenced by the electronic virus globally, not sparing even the remotest corners of the planet, producing bands like Depeche Mode, New Order, Soft Cell or lesser known ones like Liquid Liquid, Section 25, The Wake as well as the pioneers of the electronic music Silver Apples, Pierre Henry, etc. What was going on in the music industry of former Yugoslavia and at Jugoton, the biggest YU music label at that time? The all over answer is given by a new release of Everland Music: Electronic Jugoton – Synthetic music from Yugoslavia 1964. – 1989. Vol. 1.  Electronic Jugoton is the first part of two double albums, where the second part will even go back to pre-electronic music from 1964. Both double albums were initially released by Croatia Records (ex-Jugoton) in 2014 on a 2CD set with no less than two and a half hours of material (47 songs, 35 performers), showing the contemporary trend of Jugoton at that time towards avant-garde and provocative directions in electronic music. This untimely compilation is released for the first time on vinyl now on two double LPs, housed in gatefold sleeves by Everland Music, where part 2 will be released in 2023. The brave and insightful creators of the compilation Electronic Jugoton, veteran crate diggers Višeslav Laboš and Zeljko Luketić, have excelled at reconstructing the musical past of electronic music in Yugoslavia from 1964 – 1989. Jugoton’s extensive research included the most exciting and progressive moments of pop and disco music, early rap, electronic responses of new wave, RnR, post punk and industrial bands to the current trend of the 80s, but also pioneers of avant-garde electronic music. Electronic Jugoton part 1 is officially opened by the band Laboratorija with the song Devica 69, which opens a window to a completely new and experimental world in former Yugoslavia.Laboš and Luketić have boldly chosen the material without reservations, suggesting that for the first time in one place we have a section of forgotten, unique underground bands like Beograd, Data, Brazil, The Master Scratch band, DU DU A and beyond. Besides the excellent underground bands, we find popular performers of the time performing less well-known songs: Denis & Denis, Oliver Mandić, Slađana & Neutral Design. Electronic Jugoton part 2 is partly dedicated to unique electronic music in the performance of important Yugoslav punk, new wave, RnR and industrial bands: Zana, Pekinška patka, Električni orgazam and Borghesia, while the second part of the material is focused on avant-garde early electronic music in Yugoslavia, where the works of composers Igor Savin, Branimir Sakac, Igor Kuljerić and Miroslav Miletić were presented. Luketić and Laboš rescued the obscure electronic tune Elektra by Zdenka Kovačiček, who was at that time Jugoslovska Soul and funk diva. The uniqueness and quality of this compilation are also audio stories for children, which were extremely fertile ground for an experimentation with electronic sounds, as they should be highly imaginative to attract the attention of the childrens. Electronic Jugoton is also the first compilation in which the listener will find fragments of interviews with actors from the time gave for Jugoton Express. This was a series of promo vinyls printed in extremely small quantities in the 80’s and intended to be exclusively for radio stations. An average of 30 minutes of promotion material and interviews with musicians were available for the first time through this compilation. The value of this compilation is time and priceless. The only question is whether you will be fast enough to catch your copy of the limited double vinyl editions!

File Under: Electronic, Europe
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Various: Grave of the Fireflies: Image Album Collection (Studio Ghibli) LP
“Grave of the Fireflies”, directed by Isao Takahata in 1988, is now available as a part of the analog edition series of popular Studio Ghibli works! Both the image album collection and soundtrack collection of the movie “Grave of the Fireflies” have been remastered with the latest technology. Included with the album is a 12-page book of liner notes that features round-table talks by the director and composers, Michio Mamiya, Masahiko Sato, and Kazuo Kikkawa.

File Under: Japan, OST
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Various: Grave of the Fireflies: Soundtrack Collection (Studio Ghibli) LP
“Grave of the Fireflies”, directed by Isao Takahata in 1988, is now available as a part of the analog edition series of popular Studio Ghibli works! Both the image album collection and soundtrack collection of the movie “Grave of the Fireflies” have been remastered with the latest technology. Included with the album is a 12-page book of liner notes that features round-table talks by the director and composers, Michio Mamiya, Masahiko Sato, and Kazuo Kikkawa.

File Under: Japan, OST
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Various: Piombo: The Crime-Funk Sound of Italian Cinema (Cam Sugar) LP
“PIOMBO – Italian Crime Soundtracks from the Years of Lead (1973-1981)”, the new collection by CAM Sugar. Sprinting Alfa Giuliettas and blazing P38s, balaclava-clad flares-wearing terrorists, heists and kidnaps, coppers tougher than bullets, PIOMBO sheds a light on the music of the Italian cinema that captured the socio-political turmoil of late 1960s-to-early-1980s Italy, in a crucial historical period known as the Years of Lead. Featuring music by the likes of Stelvio Cipriani, Guido & Maurizio De Angelis, Riz Ortolani, Luis Bacalov, Manuel De Sica, Bruno Nicolai, Filippo Trecca, Roberto Pregadio, Franco Campanino, Paolo Vasile and more spanning from tense crime funk to groovy disco breaks and clavinets, from prog guitar licks to cinematic orchestral highlights.

File Under: OST, Italy
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Various: Sintesis Moderna: An Alternative Vision of Argentinean Music (1980-1990) LP
Soundway’s telescope to forgotten and lesser known musical realms extends to Argentina on the triple vinyl compilation, Síntesis Moderna; An Alternative Vision Of Argentinian Music 1980-1990. A digital rewilding of computer and synth powered music, dripping with an impressive variety of influence, from Italo disco, electro-funk, post punk, tango, ambience, jazz-fusion, Afro-folk and techno pop. The record is a cultural document of a musical decade transformed after the lifting of restrictions of English language music post Falklands War, and the end of Argentina’s military dictatorship.

File Under: Argentina, Electronic, Piyush’s Picks
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