Tag Archives: used

…..news letter #943 – rsd?…..

Hello friends! Long time no see! How are you doing? Are you all ready for Reco… oh wait, right. Tomorrow would have been Record Store Day BUT NOOOOOOO. We’re all house bound. No staying here late trying to get read. No getting up early to line up. No starting drinking at 11… well, probably still gonna start drinking at 11. Maybe even 10. But even though the big day is cancelled, we’re thinking about you, and maybe you’re thinking about us too. Fortunately, we’ve even got some new stock to tell you about this week, so there’s a nice little list below. Some really nice stuff in. And if you’ve been hitting up our site you’ll have seen, we’re adding both new and used stuff every day. Don’t sleep on the used stuff, when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Anyway, big thanks to everyone who’s been hitting up our webstore and placing orders! Every little bit will help us be able to turn the lights back on when the curve has been flattened and we are able to open the doors back up. If you haven’t hit up the WEBSTORE, MAYBE YOU SHOULD! I’ve been adding way more stuff than usual and will keep doing so, even if we go into total lock down. If that happens, our site is linked to our inventory, if you can order it on the site, we have it. If it sells out, you can’t order it. So ordering will put it on hold for you at the very least. If you can’t figure out the site, or don’t like to use computers, you can always call the store and we can do an order over the phone. I’ll be at the shop 11-4 week days, until I’m not allowed to be. Stay safe!

Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSTORE!!! 
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…..picks of the week…..

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Other Music Documentary
We are participating in the virtual screening launch of the Other Music Documentary. Click the image above to rent a 72 hour viewing window. Your rental supports the documentary, and record stores, like us! We receive a portion of each rental, so we’d love it if you used our link and watched the film. It’s about as close to RSD as you’re going to get tomorrow. And it’ll be warmer and cheaper than lining up!

“Other Music was an influential and uncompromising New York City record store that was vital to the city’s early 2000s indie music scene. But when the store is forced to close its doors due to rent increases, the homogenization of urban culture, and the shift from CDs to downloadable and streaming music, a cultural landmark is lost. Through vibrant storytelling, the documentary captures the record store’s vital role in the musical and cultural life of the city, and highlights the artists whose careers it helped launch including Vampire Weekend, Animal Collective, Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, William Basinski, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sharon Van Etten, Yo La Tengo and TV On The Radio.

Produced and Directed by Puloma Basu and Rob Hatch-Miller

Featuring: Tunde Adebimpe (TV On the Radio), William Basinski (composer), Panda Bear, Avey Tare & Geologist (Animal Collective), Matt Berninger (The National), Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai), James Chance (The Contortions), Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Benicio Del Toro (actor), Janeane Garofalo (comedian), Martin Gore (Depeche Mode), Daniel Kessler (Interpol), Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), Mac McCaughan (Superchunk), Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields), Keigo Oyamada (Cornelius), JD Samson (Le Tigre), Jason Schwartzman (actor), Regina Spektor (singer/sonwriter), Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500/Luna) and more…

Festivals: Tribeca Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, Oak Cliff Film Festival, Taoyuan Film Festival, SoundTrack Cologne, Middle Of The Map Fest, Lake County Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival, POP Montreal, Vancouver International Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, New Hampshire Film Festival, Cork Film Festival, St. Louis International Film Festival, Sound Unseen, Reel Music Festival and more…

File Under: Documentaries, Film, Viewing, Record Stores

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Loke Rahbek & Frederik Valentin: Elephant (Posh Isolation) LP
The combined forces of Frederik Valentin and Loke Rahbek first found a way into the world in 2017 with the album Buy Corals Online. Together they now present Elephant, an eight-track album that composes an inquisitive space with its parts. The economy of movement across Rahbek and Valentin’s new collaborative album makes for a gentle transmission of its abstract intimacies. This presence, which appeared in glimpses on their previous work Buy Corals Online, is shaped by the delicate interplay between acoustic instrumentation and synthetically rendered sounds. Hauntingly melodic at times, the album feels like a suite of uncanny lullabies that grant access to realities that can only be found in dreams. Rahbek and Valentin are always leading you somewhere and showing you something– one piece of the scene at a time, coming and going with different parts of a puzzle that eventually settles into a complete form. And through all this you perceive an inviting restlessness on their behalf, encouraging us to stray further and further into the private space of Elephant. Valentin is perhaps best known for his work in the exquisite atypical pop group Kyo, though his wide-reaching music and videography practices covertly underpin his flagship projects. Most recently, Valentin has been working with Yung Lean as both producer on his Nectar album (2019) as Jonatan Leandoer127 as well as on their commission for Sweden’s Cullberg Ballet. As Croatian Amor, Rahbek has made similar forays into unworldly pop and his work with Christian Stadsgaard as Damien Dubrovnik has been as critical as their cofounding of Posh Isolation. Modest interventions from processed field-recordings and semi-erupting synths invite you to zoom in enough to hear the human hand. An attention to listening, to how sounds cradle the small movements and gestures that naturally accompany the playing of guitar, piano, and viola, is acutely developed by Rahbek and Valentin. It’s in this way that Elephant persuades ou that even small stories unfurl into the most intricate and tremendous of sagas. “In Waves” features CTM.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Vox Populi!: La Catherdrale Morte (Backwards) LP
Backwards present the reissue of this amazing Vox Populi! album, La Cathedrale Morte, originally released on cassette in 1985 by Cause And Effect in the United States. Self-labeled as an ethno-industrial project, Vox Populi! is one of the most intriguing and original bands to emerge from the French underground. These recordings were made between 1980 and 1985. This amazing release presents seven tracks of analog experimental ethno industrial music. Silkscreened cover with printed inner-sleeve; edition of 400.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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…..new arrivals…..

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Chromeo: She’s in Control (Last Gang) LP
“In 2004 everything felt new. As hip hop producers in the late 90s, we were influenced by Pete Rock and Lord Finesse but by the early 2000s, the sound began to change. People wanted Triton Beats. We weren’t so into that…so we changed too: we traded our S950 (actually we kept it for the drums on Needy Girl) for a talkbox and a handful of synths and we signed to Tiga’s Turbo Recordings without a demo. “We didn’t know the first thing about electronic music, but we figured we’d try our hand at it…although we really just wanted to pay homage to Hall & Oates and Rick James. We had no idea what we were doing: we were writing lyrics for the first time, singing into mics for the first time, dusting off instruments we hadn’t touched since our high school band. We put together songs about sad robots and antiheroic trials of love, with the ingenuity of two childhood bffs who were making music in our mom’s basement. (The album was actually made in Pee’s mom’s basement). The credits on She’s In Control were simple: written, performed, produced and mixed by Chromeo. “Unbeknownst to us, our misunderstood debut album placed us amongst a new crop of electronic musicians. A project we lovingly crafted with the sole aims of conjuring Huey Lewis and making eachother laugh gave us a career. ‘Needy Girl’ and ‘You’re So Gangsta’ laid the blueprint. 15 years later, here we are.” – Patrick Gemayel & David Macklovitch

File Under: Electro, Disco
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Container: Scramblers (Alter) LP
Transparent blue vinyl with insert. Container is the project of American noise veteran Ren Schofield, originally from Providence, Rhode Island, and now based in London. Editions Mego offshoot Spectrum Spools — run by old friend John Elliott of the band Emeralds — took the punt to release his debut LP, a collection of mutated techno tracks simply titled LP. The record gained attention quickly in the electronic music scene largely thanks to Schofield’s unique production style that separates him from forms of conventional dance music. Whilst the music of Container sits perfectly fine within dance music, years on the US noise circuit have given Schofield’s brand of techno a rawness and direct intensity that stands out in the club and crosses over into other sub-sections of the underground. His modest set up of Roland MC-909, a four-track porta studio and an array of pedals allowed him to hone his scuzzy and bewildering beat music over the years, leading to three more well-received, and literally titled, LP’s. Over this time period Container also released some EPs on Morphine, Liberation Technologies, and Diagonal, did a variety of remixes for acts like Four Tet, The Body, Panda Bear, and Fucked Up, plus maintained a healthy touring schedule that reached over every continent. Almost a decade since his debut, Container arrives on Alter with his first non-LP titled album called Scramblers. The title taken from both a Baltimore street drug and a Rhode Island Diner he used to eat at with his father. Schofield elaborates: “The juxtaposition between these two Scramblers is a great one. I wanted to pay homage to a nice name that lends itself to both depraved and wholesome contexts and do my part to carry on the tradition.” The eight tracks have their origins in live performance and a more high-octane delivery is noticeable when compared with previous Container albums. “Mottle” sits in a mysterious zone between the productions of EVOL and early Ruff Sqwad. Fierce electro cuts like “Trench” and “Nozzle” work alongside the nauseous slink of “Duster”, which in typical Container fashion morphs into a frenzy in no time. A frenzy which may be linked cosmically to the fact that Scramblers was recorded, mixed, and mastered in one day, reinforcing further his unorthodox and fun approach to club music.

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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Philippe Doray & Les Asociaux Associes: Ramasse-Miettes Nucleaires (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first ever reissue of Philippe Doray & Les Asociaux Associés’ Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaires, originally released in 1977. In 1976, the Asociaux Associés (antisocial associates, TN) led by Philippe Doray (Rotomagus, Ruth, Crash), recorded the first of the two albums under their own name: Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaires. On synthesizer, Doray fires off his disturbing poetry over psychedelic pop, voodoo rock, off-kilter krautrock, approximate swing — But if the music is iconoclastic (bringing to mind as much Hendrix as Areski, Ash Ra Tempel as Berrocal…), one thing is certain: Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaires is one of the best albums of obscure experimental song ever recorded. It is no surprise that, on the Nurse With Wound list that Steven Stapleton inserted in the first album of his legendary musical project, the name of Philippe Doray can be found between that of the Doo-Dooettes and Jean Dubuffet: his music is genuinely original and, what is more, ahead of its time. It was in 1977 that the first album by Philippe Doray, Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaires, was published on Gratte-Ciel, a label created by the journalist from Rock & Folk Jean-Marc Bailleux and run by Jean-Marc Patrat and José Serré. Encouraged by his wild experience in Rotomagus, a formidable rock band which swept through Rouen, for sure, but also further afield — as Julian Cope was himself inspired, years later, by their explosivity — Doray brought a team to this album which was both untamed and ready to fight to defend it’s terrible (and trembling) poetry. Backed by his Asociaux Associés (antisocial associates, TN), the man from Rouen let his fantasy run wild and cried out again: “sing with me, and don’t be afraid to clap your hands!” And so, much of French popular music was shaken: the ball in Doray’s pinball machine had struck Jimi Hendrix then Alain Goraguer, then Ash Ra Tempel and onto Areski, then T-Rex followed by Jac Berrocal… As far as the texts are concerned, just take a listen. Doray’s poetry is schizophrenic: nurtured in the Normandy countryside, it relates paranoid tales of booby-trapped towns, Levi’s jeans, Prisunic supermarkets, and plastic dolls… Crumbs of reality which he sucked up to create the album that Souffle Continu Records and Thierry Müller, mastering (with Ruth, Crash, and Illitch too) spit out again fifty years later, with many good memories. Licensed from Philippe Doray. Remastered from the master tapes; obi strip; includes text sheet insert.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Art Rock
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Philippe Doray & Les Asociaux Associes: Nouveaux Modes Industriels (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first ever reissue of Philippe Doray & Les Asociaux Associés’ Nouveaux Modes Industriels, originally released in 1980. Between 1978 and 1980, the Asociaux Associés (antisocial associates, TN) recorded the second of the two albums which appeared under their name: Nouveaux Modes Industriels. Philippe Doray, with the help of his ‘Associés, evermore iconoclastic and numerous, backs up his anguished poetry with customized krautrock, hallucinatory pop, and rock Suicide. Much more than a memory of the then surprising (and disturbing) swinging Rouen, this album is an intergalactic ambush. Following the publication, in 1977, of the first of two albums under his own name, Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaires (FFL 058LP), on the label Gratte-Ciel, Philippe Doray didn’t waste any time before writing new obscure and experimental songs. As proof, between May 1978 and January 1980, with his Asociaux Associés (antisocial associates, TN), he recorded ten of them in the farm in which he lived (and shared) close to Rouen. In 1980, Nouveaux Modes Industriels was published thanks to the support of Invisible, the label of the Société Coopérative d’Ouvriers-Producteurs Artistiques (S.C.O.P.A., the Cooperative Society of Artistic Worker/Producers, TN) run by, amongst others, the ex-manager of Crium Delirium, Jacques Pasquier. This meant that Doray had free rein for his electric poetry, his personal delirium, to be heard. He had already shaken up French music with his mix of pop, krautrock, and free jazz; a few months later he would undergo a change which would be the precursor of his future projects. Before collaborating with Thierry Müller under the names Ruth and Crash, Doray let loose one last time, with his Asociaux Associés, his anguished poetry into the face of the urban labyrinth, his nuclear dynamite… It is no coincidence if the album cover is similar to those by Urban Sax, the spirit of the times was anguish as a creator of beauty. Doray’s version had the advantage of still knowing how to sing. Never forgetting his interest for dance, the musician gets Cluster moving to a boogaloo, foments a Suicide on synthetic jaw harp or invents elevator music for tower blocks… All of which hotchpotch feeds into his Nouveaux Modes Industriels. If the last track of the album states “no after-sales service”, it is simply because there is no need. Licensed from Philippe Doray. Remastered from the master tapes; obi strip; includes text sheet insert.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Art Rock
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Eleh/NYZ: Split (Important) LP
Split release between ELEH and NYZ (David Burraston). Released alongside a full-length from NYZ via Important Records (IMPREC 453LP). ELEH: This side is possibly the artist’s most complicated electronic composition. It navigates myriad timbral, tuning, and temporal processes while winding itself to completion. It was composed/constructed over a period of months in early 2019. NYZ: Two crunchy microtonal drone meditations in mono, using techniques of digital FM and hybrid analog/digital modular synthesis. “FM60P::fbk1#03” is from a number of sessions recorded on a battered SY99 recorded from 2013 to 2014. As the name suggests, this particular session revolved around using feedback in the FM algorithm. “EML DRNPi” was recorded as part of the 2015 Plum Island Sessions where Burraton had a host of synths on loan from John Brien at Important Records. For the recording, he used the EML ElectroComp 101 and a 4-voice digital microtonal oscillator running a Lambdoma Matrix to make a hybrid analog/digital system. Heavy-duty sleeve; First edition of 500.

File Under: Drone, Ambient
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Priscilla Ermel: Origens Da Luz (Music from Memory) LP
Music From Memory announce a retrospective of an artist long-loved by the label, Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Priscilla Ermel. Origens Da Luz brings together a selection of recordings drawn from a body of work that was originally recorded between 1986 and 1994. Priscilla was raised in a musical family in São Paulo and learned the cello and guitar at an early age. She then embarked on a deeply personal musical journey that would travel from origins rooted in Tom Jobim and Chico Buarque to recording the music of the natural world and the communities around her. A film-maker and anthropologist by training, Priscilla is a lifelong student of a universal music. Disillusioned with contemporary European classical music, she spent long periods living with indigenous populations in Brazil, collecting instruments that she would later combine with synthesizers and field recordings. After studying with the renowned Taoist master Liu Pai Lin, she integrated the slow-moving pace of Tai Chi into a music that connects intimately with a multiplicity of cultures at the same time that it unmistakably reflects her Brazilian soul. Combining sounds drawn from the history of Brazil with her own explorations of analog sound technology, Priscilla’s music opens up a mystical space, where ancient and modern evolves into a new language. Compiled by John Gómez and released on double-LP, Origens Da Luz offers a panoramic view of this artist’s unique and mesmerizing sound world.

File Under: Brazilian, Electronic, Ambient
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Fire! Orchestra: Actions (Rune Grammofon) LP
Original score by Krzysztof Penderecki. New reading and conduction by Mats Gustafsson. The first (and until now only?) recorded interpretation of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Actions For Free Jazz Orchestra took place in 1971 at Donaueschingen and featured the New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra, assembled by Don Cherry for the occasion and conducted by the great Polish composer. That orchestra also consisted of 14 musicians, including international jazz heavyweights such as Kenny Wheeler, Peter Brötzmann, Thomasz Stanko, Terje Rypdal, Han Bennink, and others. Don Cherry himself did not perform. Penderecki had heard the Globe Unity Orchestra a couple of years earlier and was fascinated by the possibilities of working with musicians from a different background and with other perspectives than he was used to from the classical world. The challenge for all involved was to find the right balance between composition and improvisation. The idea was initially met with some skepticism from the musicians, but this soon gave way to acceptance and even eagerness. The new, extended reading by Mats Gustafsson and Fire! Orchestra was commissioned by the Sacrum Profanum festival in Kraków, Poland in 2018. The idea was to place this classic piece in a contemporary setting, with a new approach and a new body of sound. However, the original score was used as a platform for the new reading, connecting history with the present. A score in this context is most often of a graphic nature to present reference points, visualized on the sleeve by Kim Hiorthøy’s cut-up adaption of Mats Gustafsson’s score. It’s also worth noticing that the instrumentation is more or less identical to that of 1971, the main difference being a tuba replacing one of the trombones. Finally, this new reading clocks in at 40 minutes, and is thus considerably longer than the 1971 version. This line-up of the Fire! Orchestra is unique in that it’s the first time without founding members and singers Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg. It’s also the first time with guitarist Reine Fiske.

File Under: Jazz
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Idjah Hadidjah & Jugala Jaipongan: Jaipongan Music of West Java + Reworks (Hive Mind) LP
Indonesian music has enraptured ears across the globe for many years, and few styles hold such a colorful history and place in the hearts of the people of West Java as Jaipongan. Hive Mind Records announce a collaboration with Kai Riedl of Javasounds to bring you these superb recordings of one of Java, Indonesia’s most famed music styles of the ’70s and ’80s, Jaipongan. The album, recorded at the famed Jugala Studios in Bandung, Java in 2007, features the incredible vocals of Idjah Hadidjah, the country’s most iconic singer of the genre, backed by members of the Jugala Studios house band. The album comes with a second disc of reworks of the original tracks by boundary pushing electronic musicians from around the world. Known for its rapid gamelan (gongs and metallophones) playing, angular and dynamic drumming, and erotically charged dancing, Jaipongan was invented by composer and choreographer Gugum Gumbira (1945-2020) in reaction to the Indonesian government’s ban on rock and roll. As a form of rebellion, Gumbira took the core elements of a local, erotically charged harvesting ritual music and contemporized the sound by adding the gamelan instruments, dynamic drumming, the speed and urbanized subject matter of rock ‘n’ roll, and sensual dance moves. Idjah Hadidjah, a professional singer with Sundanese Shadow Puppet Theatres was approached by Gugum Gumbira in the early ’80s and asked to sing with his Jugala Orchestra. Their collaboration was to last through the decade as she quickly became one of the country’s most beloved Jaipongan singers. The Javasounds recordings saw her reunited with both Bandung’s famous Jugala studio, and members of its famed house orchestra for the first time in a number of years. The Remix Project: For the past few years Kai Riedl was executive producer and curator of Moogfest, the annual celebration of experimental electronic music and of the work of Bob Moog. As a musician himself, Riedl wanted to connect the musicians in Java with others around the world, and he was keen to make multitrack recordings in Java so that other musicians could have access to high quality recordings of individual instruments to work with. For + Reworks, he gave a number of artists from around the world access to the original multitrack recordings with the understanding they had free reign to work with them in an intuitive and open-ended way. Features Bana Haffar, Bergsonist, Lightbath, Sarah Belle Reid, Signals Under Tests, Fahmi Mursyid, Kai Riedl & Suny Lyons, and Ultrabillions.

File Under: World, Folk, Gamelan, Remix
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Inoyamaland: Danzindan-Pojidon (WRWTFWW) LP
WRWTFWW Records present the much-anticipated official reissue of Japanese duo Inoyamaland’s quintessential ambient/environmental/electronic album Danzindan-Pojidon, produced by Haruomi Hosono and originally released in 1983 on his Yen Records label. Available outside of Japan for the first time, the new age classic comes as a limited LP with liner notes by band member Makoto Inoue. With Danzindan-Pojidon, Yasushi Yamashita and Makoto Inoue created what they describe as “a special place where the kingdom of summer vacation never ended.” Playful and magical, it’s a sonic landscape defined by tinkling synths, floating minimalist melodies, pastoral excursions, and mythical overtones. The ten-track adventure takes the listener on a joyful audio exploration of unknown but friendly territories, like childhood memories of an imaginary island where everything is vibrantly alive and peaceful. The original recording sessions for the album took place in an apartment filled with Inoyamaland’s “favorite things and friends” and the wonders that came out of them were handed to master Harry Hosono who added his undeniable genius touch. And thus Danzindan-Pojidon was born, an absolute must-have, sitting in the pantheon of all-time ’80s Japanese ambient greats alongside Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green, and Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way — and holding that mysterious power of “music that makes life a little easier and happier.” 350gsm sleeve with selected UV high gloss varnish.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Japan
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Rafael Anton Irisarri: The North Bend (Room 40) LP
Room40 present a reissue of Rafael Anton Irisarri’s The North Bend, originally released 2010. From Rafael: “The North Bend is about the Pacific Northwest region of the USA, where I lived at the time the album was made. Still, today I consider that region my spiritual home, even though I am now living on the East Coast. I had met Lawrence English in Poland back in 2009 and he kindly invited me to make a record for the label. I was a fan of his releases so this was really an obvious thing for me to say ‘yes’ to and a chance to create something special. I had released a few EPs and an LP under my name, all influenced by the so-called ‘modern classical’ ambient style pioneered by the late great Jóhann Jóhannsson and minimalist composers like Harold Budd and Arvo Pärt. The North Bend is the first work that dealt with ‘place’ and explored a locality, the first in a series of recordings all released with Room40. Since this album came out, I’ve left the Pacific Northwest for another location, New York state, which couldn’t be a starker contrast from the life in the PacNW. I had to start from scratch here in NY, as everything I owned until age 36 was stolen the night before I left to drive to NY. It was both a curse and a blessing. Not having the baggage & pitfalls of old ideas was wonderful, but also losing all the recorded & written works I had was harrowing at the time. Remastering The North Bend seemed like a natural thing for me. Not so much as revisionist history, but rather thinking how to make a record sound in a certain way without being able to revisit any of the mixes. In other words, the creative choices I made at the time (2010) are 100% preserved, there wasn’t any opportunity to revisit those, but rather make the record sound as good as I can framed through hindsight and a decade of separation from the period it was created.”

File Under: Ambient
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Jaman: Sweet Heritage (Outernational) LP
Available again for the first time since original release in 1974, Outernational Sounds presents one of the deepest custom press jazz recordings of all: Jaman’s spiritualized and funky Sweet Heritage. The history of jazz is often told as though it was principally a history of releases and recordings. On those terms, it’s easy to mistake a small recorded footprint for obscurity or silence. The true history of the jazz is the story of the music as it was played night after night in the clubs, bars, concert halls, and backrooms of cities and towns across America and the world. Only a tiny fraction of this living tradition ever makes it onto a recording. And even though 1974’s Sweet Heritage is James Edward Manuel’s only release, the pianist and educator better known as Jaman has undoubtedly lived it. Brought up in Buffalo, New York, Jaman studied classical piano before beginning formal jazz studies under greats including Earl Bostic and Horace Parlan. Quickly becoming a respected regular on the club scene in Buffalo, Jaman held down innumerable residencies and worked with top local musicians — one of his early trios included the renowned bassist John Heard and drummer Clarence Becton, both of whom were poached one night by a visiting Jon Hendricks; sometime Sun Ra Arkestra bassist, Juini Booth, and regular Ahmad Jamal sideman, Sabu Adeyola (also of Kamal & The Brothers), have graced his groups too. At famous night spots all over Buffalo’s East Side and on excursions to Manhattan’s storied jazz clubs, Jaman has shared the stage with some of the most illustrious names in jazz and blues: Big Joe Turner, Muddy Waters, Joe Henderson, Ruth Brown, Frank Morgan, Woody Shaw, Sonny Stitt, and many others. His eponymous group, Jaman, was formed in 1970; they toured the US and Canada steadily. He became one of Buffalo’s true jazz stalwarts, and so he remains. But despite a life lived deep within the music, Jaman only recorded a single LP, 1974’s Sweet Heritage. Pressed in tiny quantities by the Mark Records custom service, Sweet Heritage featured the regular Jaman group playing a mixture of covers and originals. The whole LP showcases an ensemble in complete control, and with the flying, spiritual sound of “Free Will” and the Latin-tinged “In The Fall of The Year” — both Jaman originals — the album has since become a legendary collector’s classic. 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Jazz
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Master Musicians of Jajouka featuring Bachir Attar: Apocalypse Across the Sky (Zehra) LP
Zehra present a reissue of Apocalypse Across The Sky by The Master Musicians of Jajouka featuring Bachir Attar, originally released in 1992. Available on vinyl for the very first time. Produced by Bill Laswell, remastered for vinyl by Helmut Erler at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. No matter if you consider the Master Musicians of Jajouka a “4,000 year-old rock n’ roll band” (William S. Burroughs) or even “6,000 years old” (Ornette Coleman) — without doubt, the music of the ensemble in all its incarnations over the centuries is deeply rooted in Sufi mysticism, paganism, and the cult of the goat-god Boujeloud. According to a myth, many centuries ago Boujeloud appeared to a shepherd called Attar, an ancestor of today’s ensemble leader Bachir Attar, and till today every year at the end of Ramadan a fire in honor of the goat-god is ignited. This pagan root aside, the music performed in several hour long rituals on traditional instruments like tebel and tariyya (drums), ghaita (a woodwind instrument), lira (flute), and gimbri (stringed instrument) reveals hypnotic, trance-inducing qualities and is considered to have magical and healing properties. In the 1950s, Brion Gysin along with Paul Bowles were among the first westerners to witness such a ceremony, and it was Gysin who invited the Master Musicians of Jajouka to play in his restaurant in Tangier, and who later (in 1967) brought Brian Jones to the small village of Jajouka where the Rolling Stones guitarist recorded the ensemble for what became the first “world music album” and that raised interest in the Master Musicians of Jajouka in the western world. Since those days, a wide number of creative minds like William S. Burroughs, Ornette Coleman, Marc Ribot, Flea, Talvin Singh, or the Rolling Stones have worked with the Master Musicians of Jajouka who are now performing regularly outside Morocco. In 1991, iconic producer Bill Laswell also embarked on a trip to the small village of just 800 inhabitants in the Rif mountains to record the group for his Axiom label — Apocalypse Across The Sky is, unlike other Laswell projects that bring together different cultures and genres, a pure document of the ensemble, raw and unpolished but exquisitely recorded, and ranks among the essential recordings according to the world music magazine Songlines. 180 gram vinyl; gatefold sleeve; includes download code.

File Under: Jazz, Folk, World
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Roberto Musci/Giovanni Venosta/Massimo Mariani: Losing The Orthodox Path (Soave) LP
Soave present a reissue of Roberto Musci, Giovanni Venosta, and Massimo Mariani’s Losing The Orthodox Path, originally released in 1997. Color vinyl; edition of 300. “How does one describe such a supremely crafted tapestry of sound and composition when there is such a rich canvas of details to appreciate it? As a homage to ancient music, Musci, Venosta and Mariani blend a powerful undercurrent of otherwordly intrigue and mysticism throughout their structures, resulting in an emotionally engaging experience unlike any other CD recording I’ve encountered. Most of the real-time playing is placed alongside and distinctly from the computer world, creating both a stimulating, dynamic and crossover references. There is much originality to reward both close and repeat listens. This isn’t jazz, nor improvised; in their words, Losing The Orthodox Path is an homage to ancient music, but through an electro-acoustic approach. Our jazz and/or rock souls do the rest.” –Michael King Personnel: Roberto Musci – sampler, prepared electric guitar, tapes, CD player, treatments, synthesizer, rain-stick; Giovanni Venosta – prepared piano, organ, spinet, voice, ocarina, mouth, percussion, Jew’s harp, sampler, synthesizer, tubes, digital percussion, pandaa (zither from Burkina Faso); Massimo Mariani – digital treatments & FX, voix, electronics, electric guitar, detuned acoustic guitar, harmonica, mouth, tapes, digital glockenspiel, mandolin, double bass, sampler, valiha (zither from Madagascar); Sandro Cerino – baritone, soprano and alto saxophones, contrabass clarinet; Moni Ovadia – Greek chant; Silvia Mandolini – violin; Roberto Zanisi – darbukas; Ciaccio De Rossi – violin; Cesare Picco – fake muted trumpet sound produced using mouth; Liliana Bancolini – voice; Laura Pone – voice; Amelie Gerson – voice and flute; Didier Aschour – voice.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, World
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NYZ: Millz Medz (Important) LP
Lose yourself in the circuitry of the original 1965 Buchla 100 with NYZ (Dave Burraston) as he utilizes Barbara Hero’s Lambdoma tuning theories to create two slow, deeply layered, subconscious, organic and meditative compositions. NYZ’s split 12″ with ELEH will be released at the same time as Millz Medz. David Burraston is an award-winning artist/scientist working in the areas of technology and electronic music, operating Noyzelab as an independent art/science music studio since 1981. His experimental arts practice encompasses field recordings, landscape-scale sound art, chaos/complexity, practice-based research, sound synthesis, and electronic music. He performs, lectures, conducts workshops, and creates art installations in Regional NSW and around the world. David also designs and builds sound synthesizers based on his theories of chaos/complexity science. David has worked with many diverse collaborators such as Aphex Twin, Chris Watson, Doug Quin, Russell Haswell, Robin Fox, Oren Ambarchi, Sarah Last, Cat Hope, Garry Bradbury, William Barton, Alan Lamb, MIT Media Lab, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In 2014m he independently published the legendary “SYROBONKERS!”, the most technical and in-depth interview ever given by Aphex Twin. First pressing of 500.

File Under: Drone, Electronic
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Carl Oesterhelt: Eleven Pieces for Synthesizer (Umor Rex) LP
Umor Rex presents Eleven Pieces for Synthesizer, a collection of synth instrumentals by German composer Carl Oesterhelt. Oesterhelt has been recording a mixture of straddling kosmische and classical traditions for years on his own reel tape machine, overdubbing stacks of analog gear to create a compelling body of work that brings fresh emotional depth and rhythmic experimentation to the syntax of the modern synthesizer. Born in Munich in 1968, Carl Oesterhelt has worked in a variety of fields throughout a long and impressive career. His discography includes tenures with Neue Deutsche Welle legends FSK, intellectual disco outfit Merricks, and German legends The Notwist. His solo work has travelled even further and wider, taking in contemporary classical and chamber music, music for exhibitions and radio plays, not to mention notable collaborations with saxophonist Johannes Enders and legendary founding member of Faust, Hans Joachim Irmler. Oesterhelt augments his own analog arsenal with synthesizers borrowed from musician friends, resulting in almost fifteen different synthesizers — some in fruitful states of disrepair — which feature on the album. Opener “La Chapelle de Francis Lai” pays tribute to the French film composer with a synthesized church organ procession, disintegrating kraut-funk-noir which emerges on “Poro Secret Society”. Then, eerie sound effects mash with minimal techno rhythms on “Makonde Pattern”, and — most surprisingly — Oesterhelt turns his keys into a sub-Saharan drum ceremony on “Trinidad Pattern”. The sheer range of Eleven Pieces for Synthesizer is an impressive achievement unto itself. Yet it is Oesterhelt’s instincts as a composer which make these (largely improvised) recordings so compelling. Tensions build and emotions stir throughout each piece with a proficiency perfected through his work for the stage. Musically associates, and directly connected to a heritage of German electronics, Eleven Pieces for Synthesizer touches upon similar ground to the likes of Musik von Harmonia (1974) in its pulsations, Klaus Schulze’s sonically adventurous Cyborg (1973), and Tangerine Dream at their earliest and most primitive. The hypnotic ritualism of early African field recordings, or the spiritual regality of European organ music also convey key reference points in the formulation of this collection. Oesterhe’s compositions here have taken the musically primitive and the emotionally raw, and woven them into a rich synthetic sound world all of his own.

File Under: Electronic
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Organisation: Tone Float (Inner Space) LP
Inner Space present a reissue of Organisation’s Tone Float, originally released in 1970. German rock band, Organisation, is often referred to as the prototype or predecessor of Kraftwerk — the godfathers of electronic music. In fact, it was the first iteration of Kraftwerk and if the band had managed to overrule its record label, RCA, Tone Float would have been credited as such. But given that the album was to be released only in the United Kingdom, the label opted for the more Anglicized name, “Organisation”. Tone Float is the only album produced under this name and is a seminal example of the genre. Audiences in West Germany were fortunate enough to watch and listen to the whole album, played live for German television station, EDF, and it is this broadcast featured here. The bonus track “Vor Dem Blauen Bock” (more accurately, “Rückstoß Gondoliere”), is a notable rarity in that it includes a later Organisation line-up consisting of Kraftwerk’s Florian Schneider and Klaus Dinger, and Michael Rother who would go on to form the band, Neu! Personnel: Ralf Hutter – organ; Basil Hammoudi – glockenspiel, conga gong, musical box, bangos-voice; Florian Scheider-Esleben – electric flute, alto flute, bell, triangle, tambourine, electro-violin; Butch Hauf – bass, shaky tube, small bells, plastic hammer; Fred Monicks – drums, bongos, maracas, cowbell, tambourine. Includes full floor insert with background notes and images.

File Under: Experimental, Krautrock
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Seahawks: Island Visions (KPM) (Be With) LP
Jon Tye and Pete Fowler have been making music as Seahawks for a decade now. Given the sounds they’ve been exploring over those ten years it was a cosmic inevitability that they would be asked to contribute to the catalog of the legendary library label KPM. They replied with Island Visions, an exploration of sound for vision where they construct “audio micro-worlds to explore and inhabit,” a way to transport the listener away from the everyday without the bother of getting on an airplane. Mostly recorded at The Centre Of Sound in Cornwall, with additional recording at Studio 34 in London, Jon and Pete’s travelling companions on this particular trip were boogie wunderkind Sven Atterton on fretless bass and keys, Nick Mackrory on percussion, and the Seahawks live team of Dan Hillman and Alik Peters-Deacon. From the grooves of Brian Bennett to the moog vibrations of Mike Vickers, the lush textures of Les Baxter to the experimental sounds of Delia Derbyshire and David Vorhaus, this new music channels sounds and moods from across the KPM universe. Like many KPM suites, this is a record of two distinct sides. The sunrise of side A brings a deep meditation, a journey within to renew the jaded self. Side B refreshes with cocktails by the pool and a chance to groove away the evening at some sunset beach party before dancing under the stars in the house of dreams. Pete’s cover for the LP is part map, part postcard; the track descriptions on the back help guide the way. 2020 marks ten years since Ocean Trippin’, the first Seahawks release, and Island Visions is the perfect distillation of the sounds, sights, textures, and moods that Jon and Pete have been exploring over the last decade — sunrise to sunset condensed to two sides of an LP. The normal rules of space and time don’t apply here. This is the first time Be With has worked with Seahawks, but individually Jon and Pete have been members of the extended Be With family since forever (Pete did those posters for our Ned Doheny tour and worked with Jon on the vinyl version of Hatchback’s Colors Of The Sun). Mastered by Balearic engineer of choice Simon Francis, cut by Pete Norman and pressed in the Netherlands by Record Industry, the sonic frequencies of these Island Visions have been precision tuned and encoded for optimum traveling conditions.

File Under: Library, Funk
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Sol Oosel: En allegeance a l’inconnaissable — Une etude en choregraphie pour le flux d’energie (Umor Rex) LP
Sol Oosel presents an album with a complex mixture of tones and structures, striking a close relation between a sort of devotional music and a trancelike state. Beyond his own specific exploration of the possibilities of electronic modular synthesis, Sol Oosel searches for hacks in different states of consciousness by way of sound. En allégeance à l’inconnaissable – Une étude en chorégraphie pour le flux d’énergie is meant as a musical aid for visualizing the ability to dance with and manipulate attainable flows of energy. Largely produced using modular synthesizers and the Roland SH-09, Sol Oosel stretches beyond the fields of ambient music, adding a special sense of drama to this psychoactive journey. Each song is built around solid structures and infused with a mystical atmosphere. Harmonically, this album is close to Hans-Joachim Roedelius’ early works; it is emotionally positive, informed by pop nuances that are rarely found in this type of ambient music. Sol Oosel also owes to the works of Klaus Schulze; however, while Schulze was concerned with space and made music of the unknown but conceivable cosmos in his mind, Sol Oosel is more interested in Earth and the force that weighs us down in this complex physical reality. His music speculates on the relationships between inner and outer worlds. En allégeance à l’inconnaissable… is a soundscape and a choreographic exercise for relaxation, intentionally disrupted by “Here (Au Bord De L’Univers)”, a deconstructive piece covered in multiple layers of repetition, progressive beats, and kosmische pulsation which detours from the flow. In a way, it represents the bridge between all these cosmic and earthly energies. This is Sol Oosel’s debut on Umor Rex. He previously self-released the album Janus, and was member of several bands and projects before focusing in Sol Oosel. He lives in the rural village of Tepoztlán, México, where he works as an artist, performer, sculptor, sonic landscaper, and dancer.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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Thundercat: It is What it is (Brainfeeder) LP
Thundercat is set to release his new album It Is What It Is on Brainfeeder Records on April 3, 2020, and shares the first music; “Black Qualls (featuring Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington). The album, produced by Flying Lotus and Thundercat, features musical contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BADBADNOTGOOD, Louis Cole and Zack Fox. It Is What It Is follows his game-changing third album Drunk (2017). That record completed his transition from virtuoso bassist to bonafide star and cemented his reputation as a unique voice that transcends genre. “This album is about love, loss, life and the ups and downs that come with that,” Bruner says. “It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but at different points in life you come across places that you don’t necessarily understand… some things just aren’t meant to be understood.”

File Under: Funk, Hip Hop, Electronic
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Various: Taiwan Disco (Aberrant) LP
Disco divas, funky queens, and glam ladies in ’70s and early ’80s Taiwan! Due to its extremely complex history, Taiwan in the ’70s saw the creation of some incredibly special music in which the sounds being created at the moment from the west collided with the special sensitivity of Taiwanese musicians, creating a delicious mixture you’ll need to hear to believe. Taiwan Disco shines a light on the music created by Taiwanese women during those years (’70s and early ’80s) to present a mind-blowing collection of songs with sounds ranging from wild funk to apace glam, exotic disco or fuzzed-out soul. Here’s the ticket to some crazy Taiwan nights, get those dancing shoes ready, it’s time to shake it! Features Wu Xiu Zhu (吳秀珠), Hua Yi Bao (華怡保), Cui Tai Jing (崔台青), Zou Juan Juan (邹娟娟), Chen Lan Li (陳蘭麗), Wang Xiang Ling (王祥齡), Tian Lu Lu (田路路), Liu Guan Lin (劉冠霖), Wu Xiu Zhu (吳秀珠), Luo Yan Li (駱豔麗), Yu San Shan (于三珊), and Zhang Bei Xin (張蓓心).

File Under: Taiwan, Disco, Duh
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…..Restocks…. 

Joshua Abrams: Mandatory Reality (Eremite) LP
Victor Cavini: Japan (Be With) LP
Alabaster DePlume: To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol 1 (International Anthem) LP
Carla Dal Forno: Look Up Sharp (Kallista) LP
Carla Dal Forno: You Know What (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Keiji Haino: Watashi Dake (Black Editions) LP
Heliocentrics & Melvin Van Peebles: Last Transmission (Now Again) LP
Heliocentrics: World of Masks (Soundways) LP
Menahan Street Band: The Crossing (Daptone) LP
William Onyeabor: Who is William Onyeabor? (Luaka Bop) LP
Orquesta Akokan: s/t (Daptone) LP
SPK: Zamia Lehmanni (Cold Spring) LP
Horace Tapscott Quintet: The Giant is Awakened (Real Gone) LP
White Heaven: Out (Black Editions) LP

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…..news letter #940 – orderin’…..

Not a PILE of new stuff this week, but some sweet stuff nonetheless. That rogue shipment finally showed up too, so lots of things from last week’s list is on the shelves now too.

As you probably know, Record Store Day is quickly approaching, honestly, I don’t see how it can possibly happen a month from now. However, until that decision is made, we have to operate as if things are happening, which right now means orders are still due… If you’ve seen something on the lists that you hope to try pick up that day, let us know ASAP as ordering cut offs are coming up in the next few days or so. That doesn’t mean we’ll get everything we order, but it helps. We will keep you posted on any other developments regarding RSD.

Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSTORE!!! 
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWS LETTER!!!!

…..pick of the week…..

LDE73512_Espers: s/t (Drag City) LP
Espers’ self-titled first release appeared in 2004, heralding an era in which there was a perception of back-to-the-roots in the underground; kids making new music that spoke strongly of folk traditions and psychedelia, in the process setting themselves apart from latter-day sounds and approaches. Espers didn’t shy away from this image, projecting a collective air, almost like a rural outpost, out of time and place in the urban environs of Philadelphia. The staid harmonies of Meg Baird and Greg Weeks, the 6- and 12-string guitars and percussion of Brooke Sietinsons, the full-bodied arrangements rife with traditional and classical details and the regular intervention of acid-toned guitar leads formed, along with the mystic and melancholy cast to their songwriting, a galvanizing identity for them among other like-minded music players of the day. Espers’ idealism was rooted in an ongoing flow of ideas that continue to this day, and their debut album retains their mystic air, nearly two decades later.

File Under: Folk, Psych
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…..new arrivals…..

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Sylvain Chauveau: Simple (Fat Cat) LP
Active since the late ‘90s, Brussels-based Frenchman Sylvain Chauveau is an unsung pioneer of a now burgeoning scene. Sylvain was making elegant post-classical compositions years ahead of the pack, getting there before much heralded current peers like Max Richter, Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds, Dustin O’Halloran, or Goldmund. His third album, the gorgeously minimal Un Autre Décembre (recorded in 2001) was the second release on FatCat’s 130701 imprint and, arriving a year ahead of Max Richter’s Blue Notebooks, and played a huge role in helping define the label’s identity. Ten years later (2012), they released Simple, a CD selection of Chauveau’s works for cinema, composed between 1998-2010 – a diverse, yet fully cohesive collection of out-of-print, rare, and unreleased tracks. Now reissued in a remastered, first-ever vinyl edition, Chauveau’s work here sounds as fresh and relevant today as it did back then and its author is long overdue for some recognition and a reappraisal of his role in helping prepare the ground for today’s scene. The album spans stark / minimal electronic drones, processed guitar explorations, variously-sized Chamber pieces, spare solo piano, and two 40-piece string orchestra recordings. Recorded for various projects, with different ensembles in various studios, what unifies the collection is an overarching sensibility of slightly melancholic, simple elegance and Sylvain’s signature sense of restraint. A measured use of space and silence augments the focused simplicity of these brief yet beautiful, lyrical works. With the majority of tracks clocking in at under or around the 2-minute mark, they coalesce into a series of vignettes – condensed, self-contained explorations of atmosphere / emotion. “It also shows the two sides of my music during all this time,” expands Sylvain. “The obsession with sweetness and melody, but also the experimental electronic side. The melodic and experimental duality has always been there for me. My decision from the beginning was not to choose between the two but to keep both.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Espers: Weed Tree (Drag City) LP
Espers’ self-titled first release appeared in 2004, heralding an era in which there was a perception of back-to-the-roots in the underground; kids making new music that spoke strongly of folk traditions and psychedelia, in the process setting themselves apart from latter-day sounds and approaches. Espers didn’t shy away from this image, projecting a collective air, almost like a rural outpost, out of time and place in the urban environs of Philadelphia. The staid harmonies of Meg Baird and Greg Weeks, the 6- and 12-string guitars and percussion of Brooke Sietinsons, the full-bodied arrangements rife with traditional and classical details and the regular intervention of acid-toned guitar leads formed, along with the mystic and melancholy cast to their songwriting, a galvanizing identity for them among other like-minded music players of the day.

File Under: Folk, Psych
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Bill Evans: Smile with Your Heart – Best of on Resonance
(Resonance) LP
Resonance Records, the leading archival jazz specialists, continues their recently inaugurated series of samplers, the Takao Fujioka Collection, with a pair of packages devoted to material from their bestselling, award-winning and previously unreleased recordings by pianist Bill Evans and guitarist Wes Montgomery. Smile With Your Heart: The Best of Bill Evans on Resonance brings together standout tracks from the company’s four sets of hitherto unheard material by the lyrical keyboard master: Live at Art D’Lugoff’s Top of the Gate (2012); Some Other Time: The Lost Session from the Black Forest (2016); Another Time: The Hilversum Concert (2017); and Evans in England (2019). Three tracks from the recently released Evans In England appear on Smile With Your Heart. The Los Angeles label’s collections of rare, unheard music by Evans and Montgomery have garnered international acclaim. Evans’ Some Other Time, a stunning Dutch radio date featuring a short-lived trio with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette, was named one of the year’s top historical releases by DownBeat, JazzTimes, the U.K.’s Jazzwise, and the NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll and topped Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart. All of Resonance’s albums devoted to Evans and Montgomery have been released with the full cooperation of the musicians’ estates. Zev Feldman, Resonance co-president and producer, says, “It’s been an honor to work so closely with Evan and Robert of the Evans and Montgomery estates over the course of the last 9 years to bring these incredible, unearthed treasures to light. These artists are really in the bedrock of our label, and it’s been remarkable to see the kind of excitement our releases generate in the press and with our fans.” In his liner notes to Smile With Your Heart, Bill’s son Evan Evans writes, “The lovely work that Zev Feldman, George Klabin and everyone at Resonance Records have done in finding these treasure troves of beauty from my father’s legacy is beyond words…Resonance has accomplished something very admirable with this release; they’ve created a compilation album with its own soul and authenticity. It’s as tender and divine as it is brilliant and swinging.” Like Resonance’s first two compilations in the Takao Fujioka Collection – Sing a Song of Jazz: The Best of Vocal Jazz on Resonance and Jazz Piano Panorama: The Best of Piano Jazz on Resonance – the newly released Evans and Montgomery samplers features the eye-catching artwork and design of Fujioka, editor of the Japanese jazz journal Way Out West; he supplied the cover art for Resonance’s 2016 Stan Getz release Moments in Time.

File Under: Jazz
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Grimes: Miss Anthropocene (Crystal Math) LP
INDIE ONLY COLOURED VINYL NOW IN! Canadian artist Claire Boucher aka Grimes follows-up 2015’s Art Angels with her highly-anticipated fifth studio album, Miss Anthropocene. An amalgamation of three albums Grimes recorded over the past three years, Miss Anthropocene is based on a neologism commonly used in scientific circles. Misanthropocene refers to both the misanthrope’s loathing of humanity and the Anthropocene era in which our planet is dominated by human activity. The 10-track collection is introduced by the breathy and beat driven “Violence” and atmospheric “So Heavy I Fell Through The Earth” and features guest appearances by 潘PAN and i_o.

File Under: Electronic, Pop, Indie Rock
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James Hunter Six: Nick of Time (Daptone) LP
In tomorrow… The James Hunter Six are back with another sublime offering of no nonsense rhythm and blues. Recorded and produced by Bosco Mann, Nick of Time is a shining example of how a master song-smith can continually draw fresh water from a bottomless well. In addition to the uptempo, swinging R&B that has put JH6 on the map, Nick of Time explores so much more! The opening track and lead single, “I Can Change Your Mind”, is a beautiful, mid-tempo rumba that tips the hat to the sound of many early King/Federal releases, but executed with a vibrancy that propels the tune into the 21st Century. The lush arrangements on “Till I Hear it from You” and ” He’s Your Could Have Been” sound like lost tracks from an early ’60s Burt Bacharach session. The straight forward soul of “Brother or Other” (whose timely message is only tantamount to its groove), and the sparse “Paradise for One” (that finds James channeling his innermost Nat King Cole), enrich the album with sounds one may not readily associate with James and Co. – culminating in James’ most exciting full-length release to date.

File Under: Soul, RnB
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Joyfultalk: A Separation of Being (Constellation) LP
Free-thinking Nova Scotia composer, musician and visual artist Jay Crocker (aka Joyfultalk) channels minimalism, Japanese environmental music, Maghrebian rhythmic modes and other numinous folkways to create his most focused, vibrant work to date. Based on a monumental, kaleidoscopic graphic score, A Separation Of Being is translated from two-dimensional page to trans-dimensional aural life using an array of homemade instruments, crowned with a majestic string arrangement written by Crocker and performed by Polaris and Juno winner Jesse Zubot (Tanya Tagaq, Destroyer). Visual scores often provoke ideas of openness, interpretation, improv and fluidity. Joyfultalk’s third album, and second for Constellation, is an altogether different beast. This three-part suite is airtight; interlocking arcs of polyrhythmic deep groove and new minimalism roll out in spellbinding propulsion, the music gathering it’s warmth from the strings and it’s peculiarities from Crocker’s bespoke instrumentation and analog clockworks. The separation of being here is not division or rupture, but buoyant freedom through conduction of circulatory energies, marked by flowing melodic rondos of gyrating strings and sonic pointillism. A Separation Of Being is a systems music feast for the heart and mind. And lest we forget the eyes: Crocker began developing ‘The Planetary Music System’, his particular methodology for visualized composition, in 2012. The score for A Separation Of Being is the pinnacle of his system to date. Impressive in scale and scope, this stunning 5’x10′ mural (acquired by Nova Scotia’s provincial Art Bank in 2019) features geometric multi-directional cycles of brightly-colored, finely-detailed sound notation. Album packaging features details on the outer jacket cover art, and a reproduction of the full score on the inside gatefold, and as an exquisite 12″ x 24″ pull-out art print, respectively. Both the intricate graphic score and the superterrestrial music distinguish and elevate Crocker as a composer/producer/performer who’s been integrating sonic, artistic and sculptural practices into unique installation, environmental and recorded works for the past 15 years. A Separation Of Being is the sound of one of Canada’s most compelling and iconoclastic contemporary musical minds sublimated into a career-defining record of mesmeric coherence and clarity.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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Leonard Simpson Duo: LSD (Jakarta) LP
Legendary Detroit MC Guilty Simpson and New Zealand producer Leonard Charles team up as The Leonard Simpson Duo to provide the one of a kind 70’s inspired, psychedelic and acid influenced album, LSD. The psychedelic sound of the album is heavily drawn from rare acid influenced records from New Zealand’s 60’s and 70’s, carefully selected, picked and sampled by musical multi-talent Charles himself and accompanied by very well placed instrumentals and interludes taking direction from late 60’s jazz/rock fusion, fuzzed out African records and compulsory David Axelrod leanings. All of that combined with the lyrics and the beloved attitude of Motor City’s finest makes this collection a beautiful, inspirational and surpassing trip.

File Under: Hip Hop
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Monophonics: It’s Only Us (Colemine) LP
With a timeless sound that blends heavy soul and psych-rock, Monophonics have built a reputation over the past decade as one of the best live bands in the country. Led by singer Kelly Finnigan, the band of has drawn on their colorful history – both their experiences as veteran touring performers and as individuals growing up in the Bay Area – to create It’s Only Us, their fourth release since 2012. A reflection of what they see as the current state of the world, the record touches on difficult subjects such as broken relationships, mental health issues, gun violence and power struggles, all with an underlying message of unity, resilience and acceptance. The band’s signature style of arrangement has been expanded with top-notch production and creative instrumentation to round out the Monophonics’ trademark soul sound, while Finnigan’s vocals are more powerful than ever. At times these tracks can feel classic, as familiar as an old song you grew up with, while simultaneously raising questions about the state of music in 2020 and what the future might hold. It’s Only Us is the sound of a group continuing to grow as songwriters, musicians, performers and people – reflecting on where they’ve been, and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the years to come.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Wes Montgomery: Wes’s Best – Best of on Resonance
(Resonance) LP
Resonance Records, the leading archival jazz specialists, continues their recently inaugurated series of samplers, the Takao Fujioka Collection, with a pair of packages devoted to material from their bestselling, award-winning and previously unreleased recordings by pianist Bill Evans and guitarist Wes Montgomery. Wes’s Best: The Best of Wes Montgomery on Resonance draws from Echoes of Indiana Avenue (2012); In the Beginning (2015); One Night in Indy (2016); Smokin’ in Seattle (2017); and Back on Indiana Avenue (2019). Back on Indiana Avenue was issued for the first time as 2LP-set in 2019, and three tracks from the album appear on Wes’s Best. Montgomery’s Smokin’ in Seattle, culled from 1966 broadcast dates with pianist Wynton Kelly’s trio, was recorded less than a year after 1965’s classic Smokin’ at the Half Note and received similar kudos from DownBeat, JazzTimes, and NPR. All of Resonance’s albums devoted to Evans and Montgomery have been released with the full cooperation of the musicians’ estates. Zev Feldman, Resonance co-president and producer, says, “It’s been an honor to work so closely with Evan and Robert of the Evans and Montgomery estates over the course of the last 9 years to bring these incredible, unearthed treasures to light. These artists are really in the bedrock of our label, and it’s been remarkable to see the kind of excitement our releases generate in the press and with our fans.” Montgomery’s son Robert writes in Wes’s Best, “It’s been a thrill to participate with Resonance Records these last nine years in getting my father’s music out to the world…I appreciate the care Resonance always takes to honor my father’s memory with each release – including interviews and essays about the music and finding rare pictures.” Like Resonance’s first two compilations in the Takao Fujioka Collection – Sing a Song of Jazz: The Best of Vocal Jazz on Resonance and Jazz Piano Panorama: The Best of Piano Jazz on Resonance – the newly released Evans and Montgomery samplers features the eye-catching artwork and design of Fujioka, editor of the Japanese jazz journal Way Out West; he supplied the cover art for Resonance’s 2016 Stan Getz release Moments in Time.

File Under: Jazz
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Mystery Kindaischi Band: Adventures of Kindaichi Kosuke
(WeWantSound) LP
Wewantsounds present the first official release outside of Japan for The Mystery Kindaichi Band’s The Adventures of Kindaichi Kosuke, originally released in 1977. The “imaginary” soundtrack to the cult detective book series by writer Seishi Yokomizo is on many DJ want-lists. Arranged by soundtrack master Kentaro Haneda and featuring a mysterious group of the best ’70s Japanese Funk musicians, the album is pure undiluted disco funk. Writer Seishi Yokomizo is an institution in Japan. He could be compared to Agatha Christie with his series of novels based on the adventures of detective Kosuke Kindaichi. The fictional character was born in 1946 with Yokomizo’s first novel in the series and solved mysteries until the late ’70s under Yokomizo’s pen before the death of the writer in 1981. Yokomizo’s novels have been a prime source for film and TV scenarios, so when, in 1977, Japanese label King Records decided to record a concept album based on the Kindaichi novels, it made complete sense. The writer was slightly surprised though. The concept album was arranged by pianist Kentaro Haneda, a key TV and film composer who has worked on many anime films and is also famous outside of Japan for composing the music for the video game Wizardry. For the album, he assembled a supergroup of some of the best Tokyo funk and city pop musicians. The long list includes jazz pianist Hideo Ichikawa who played on the 1971 Joe Henderson In Japan album, drummer Jun Moriya, who is on Joe Hisaichi’s cult Wonder City Orchestra album (1982), percussionist Tadaomi Anai who played with disco singer Eri Ohno, trumpeter Koji Hadori who’s featured on Haruomi Hosono’s Pacific album (1978). Also present on the album are saxophonist Takeru Muraoka who plays on many Tatsuro Yamashita cult albums including For You (1982) and Spacy (1977), Kimiko Yamauchi (koto) who’s on Akiko Yano’s landmark 1976 album Japanese Girl, and last but not least, French hornist Koji Yamaguchi who plays on Yazuaki Shimizu’s Kakashi (1982). Together they lay the funk on ten instrumentals filled with pure disco and funk breakbeats, making the album one of the highly-coveted Japanese LPs on international cratedigger scene. Remastered from the original tapes. Faithfully reproduced original artwork; Artwork by renowned illustrator Ichibun Sugimoto. New introduction by Anton Spice.

File Under: Jazz, Funk, Disco, OST
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Lee Ranaldo & Raul Refree: Names of North End Women (Mute) LP
Names of North End Women is a collaborative record from Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree. “If you live long enough, you see a lot of people drift in and out of your life,” says Ranaldo, explaining one of the loose themes linking the adventurous pieces that compose his and collaborator Raül Refree’s electrifying new album: that of the ineffable course of time, and the lives that pass in and out of one’s own. In a remarkable career that has seen him flourish as a songwriter, a singer, a guitarist, a noisemaker, a poet, a visual artist, a producer, and more, Ranaldo has seen many fellow quixotics – from his bandmates in Sonic Youth to this most recent collaboration with Refree, whose restless career had taken him from hard-core bands in his youth, to the vanguard of a new movement redefining flamenco. One of the most renowned producers in southern Europe, his collaboration with Rosalía on her debut album has shaped both the modern sound of flamenco and her new found stardom. Following their collaborative work on 2017’s Electric Trim which saw Refree in the guise of producer and the subsequent tours supporting that album, they went back into the studio but the duo quickly realized they weren’t recording a new Ranaldo solo album, but rather their first as Lee Ranaldo and Raul Refree – “the beginning of a new partnership, a new configuration,” Ranaldo says. “We’re a two-headed machine,” adds Refree. “We’re both talking about everything. We don’t always agree on everything, but every song, every piece, every sound you hear comes from two people talking about it.” Recorded in Los Angeles and Barcelona through late 2018 and early 2019. Artwork features the photography of Jessi Reaves.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Leo Takami: Felis Catus and Silence (Unseen Worlds ) LP
Felis Catus and Silence is a breakthrough release for Tokyo composer-guitarist Leo Takami, following the milestone albums Children’s Song (2012) and Tree of Life (2017). Takami counterpoints the soothing aesthetics of prime-era Windham Hill New Age guitar-heroism with meditative, intellectual compositions comprised of ambitious, process-oriented arrangements. While Takami largely wears his genre influences on his sleeve – jazz, classical, Japanese gagaku – the influence of ambient music is a tacit foundation of his work. Working diligently outside of any established communities for fringe musics, Takami conjures this association through a patient focus on generous musical intervals. Steady, kaleidoscopic unfolding of his compositions reflect Takami’s creative intent to “become aware of precisely the time and place I am living.” The unabashedly sweet, tuneful virtues of his music in concert with this reflective form provide an artistic relief of Takami’s thematic harmony. “Each song is based on birth and death, and moving onto the next stage.”

File Under: Ambient, Guitar, New Age
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Horace Tapscott Quintet: The Giant is Awakened (Real Gone) LP
In tomorrow…. The title of Horace Tapscott’s debut release is apt, if not self-referential, for indeed a giant of West Coast jazz had awakened with this, the pianist/composer/bandleader’s 1969 album for the Flying Dutchman label. Tapscott went on to form two groups crucial to the flowering of modern jazz in the Los Angeles area, the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (or P.A.P.A.; the name is an homage to Tapscott’s predecessor and peer, Sun Ra), which eventually became part of a larger umbrella organization, Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension (UGMAA). Out of UGMAA came a host of LA-bred musicians, singers, and poets, including Arthur Blythe (who goes by Black Arthur Blythe on this recording), Stanley Crouch (who wrote the original liner notes), David Murray, Butch Morris, Wilber Morris, Jimmy Woods, Nate Morgan, and Sinclair Greenwell, Jr. (a.k.a. Guido Sinclair). And anchoring it all was Tapscott himself; as Kamasi Washington, whose vision of a large, Los Angeles community-based ensemble echoes that of P.A.P.A. and UGMAA, said in 2015: “Horace is one of the most important figures in the foundation of music in L.A., from both a purely musically and socially conscious perspective.” Now, Real Gone Music is proud to present the first-ever LP reissue of The Giant Is Awakened (original copies go for hundreds of dollars), taken from high-resolution audio sources and complete with original gatefold artwork. Neon green vinyl pressing limited to 1000 copies…a foundational document of West Coast modern jazz!

File Under: Jazz
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U.S. Girls: Heavy Light (Royal Mountain) LP
Heavy Light is the highly anticipated seventh album by U.S. Girls, the protean musical enterprise of multi-disciplinary artist Meg Remy. While Remy has been widely acclaimed for a panoply of closely observed character studies, on Heavy Light she turns inward, recounting personal narratives to create a deeply introspective about-face. The songs are an inquest into the melancholy flavor of hindsight, both personal and cultural. Remy makes this notion formally explicit with the inclusion of three re-worked, previously released songs: “Statehouse (It’s A Man’s World),” “Red Ford Radio,” and “Overtime,” the latter of which is released as Heavy Light’s lead single. Heavy Light is produced by Remy and was recorded live with 20 session musicians – including E Street Band saxophonist Jake Clemons – in Montreal’s acclaimed Hotel 2 Tango studio. Remy worked with co-writers Basia Bulat and Rich Morel to develop the core of Heavy Light, a set of songs conceived as a balance between orchestral percussion (as richly arranged by percussionist Ed Squires) and the human voice (conducted by Kritty Uranowski). The resulting album finds Remy casting herself as lead voice among a harmonious multitude, the singers of which lend not only their voices, but also share reflections on childhood experiences that are collaged into moving spoken word interludes throughout the album.  The album is mixed by long-time collaborators Maximilian ‘Twig’ Turnbull, Steve Chahley and Tony Price.

File Under: Indie Rock
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…..Restocks…. 

Carla Bley, Steve  Swallow & Andy Sheppard: Life Goes On (ECM) LP
Caribou: Suddenly (Merge) LP
Chick Corea: Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
FKA Twigs: Magdaline (XL) LP
Mort Garson: Mother Earth’s Plantasia (Sacred Bones) LP
Beverly Glenn-Copeland: s/t (Return to Analog) LP
Robert Haigh: Black Sarabande (Unseen Worlds) LP
Idles: Brutalism (Partisan) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Gumboot Soup (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Polygondwanaland (ATO) LP
Michael Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka (Universal) LP
Oliver Nelson: The Blues and the Abstract Truth (Impulse) LP
Picchio Dal Pozzo: Abbiamo Tutti I Suoi Problemi (RER) LP
Pop Group: Y (Mute) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Universal) LP
Rodriguez: Coming From Reality (Universal) LP
Andy Shauf: The Neon Skyline (Art & Crafts) LP
Six Organs of Admittance: Companion Rises (Drag City) LP
Throbbing Gristle: 20 Jazz Funk Greats (Mute) LP
Throbbing Gristle: Heathen Earth (Mute) LP
Throbbing Gristle: Journey Through a Body (Mute) LP

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