Mark's Picks

Duke Ellington “Money Jungle (Tone Poet Series)” (Blue Note)

2020-04-30T22:45:12+00:00April 30th, 2020|

On September 17, 1962, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach gathered at Sound Makers studio in NYC and recorded Money Jungle, one of the most celebrated jazz trio albums of all time. Generational and stylistic differences between the three masters led to fearless music-making of the highest order. The album was originally released on United Artists and featured 7 of Ellington’s indelible compositions including “Caravan,” “Solitude,” and a stunning version of “Le Fleurs Africaines (African Flower).” By going back to the original analog stereo master the Tone Poet Edition presents this classic album with superior sound quality.

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Sam Gendel and Sam Wilkes “Music For Saxofone & Bass Guitar” (Leaving)

2020-04-16T20:20:00+00:00April 16th, 2020|

The debut full-length album from the Los Angeles duo Sam Gendel and Sam Wilkes. Gendel plays Alto Saxofone and electronics, while Wilkes plays Bass Guitar and electronics. Pitchfork Media says “The discombobulating lines are sonically wild but technically well-mannered and seem – to go in multiple directions without losing sight of each other.”

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Wendell Harrison “Dreams Of A Love Supreme” (Tidal Waves)

2020-04-16T20:19:56+00:00April 16th, 2020|

Wendell Harrison was born in Detroit in 1942 where he began formal jazz studies for piano, clarinet and tenor saxophone. At 14, while still in high school, Harrison started performing & recording professionally with artists such as Marvin Gaye, Grant Green, Sun Ra, Hank Crawford … and many others.

In 1971, Harrison began teaching music at Metro Arts (a multi-arts complex for youth) where he also connected with Marcus Belgrave, Harold McKinney and Phil Ranelin…soon after they formed the (now legendary) Afro-centric TRIBE record label and artist collective. TRIBE used the Metro Arts complex as a vehicle to convey a growing black political consciousness. Wendell Harrison also published the very popular TRIBE magazine, a publication dedicated to local and national social and political issues, as well as featuring artistic contributions such as poetry and visual pieces.

In 1978 Harrison and McKinney co-founded REBIRTH, a non-profit jazz performance and education organization, in which many notable jazz artists have participated. Around the same time Wendell Harrison also created the WENHA record label and publishing company, which released many of his (now classic) recordings as well as those of other artists, such as Phil Ranelin, Doug Hammond and Reggie Fields (The Real ShooBeeDoo).

In the early 1990s, Wendell Harrison was awarded the title of “Jazz Master” by Arts Midwest. This distinction led Harrison to collaborate with fellow honorees and gave him the chance to tour throughout the United States, Middle East and Africa. Even to this day Wendell Harrison’s recordings for the TRIBE, WENHA and REBIRTH labels have a large worldwide fanbase.

It is on WENHA that Harrison released the opus: DREAMS OF A LOVE SUPREME (1980), which we are presenting you today.

DREAMS OF A LOVE SUPREME is a monster album that features an all-star line-up that includes Phil Ranelin (Freddie Hubbard, Solomon Burke, Mulatu Astakte) on trombone, Harold McKinney (Tribe) on Keyboards and Roy Brooks (Yusef Lateef, Chet Baker, Mingus) on percussion. Although you can hear the 80ies creeping in with a smoother sound, more synths, and disco/R&B vocals… this remains a very spiritual (and soulful) jazz record. The record’s an irresistible blend of soul jazz combined with funky electric instrumentation…a groovy sound which is very much of its time, yet overtly timeless and as relevant today as it was back when it was initially released.

Tidal Waves Music now proudly presents the first ever vinyl reissue of ‘Dreams of A Love Supreme’ since its release in 1980. This official reissue is now available as a deluxe 180g BLACK vinyl edition (limited to 500 copies) and comes with an unreleased bonus track. This release is also available as a color vinyl version (limited to 100 copies 180g CLEAR vinyl exclusively available from LITA).

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Vladislav Delay “Multila” (Keplar)

2020-04-03T01:02:03+00:00April 3rd, 2020|

Multila was the third album by Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti under the moniker Vladislav Delay. It compiles the Huone and Ranta 12″ EPs Ripatti released on Basic Channel’s Chain Reaction label in 1999 and 2000. The album features six hauntingly murky dub ambient tracks and the impressive 22-minute techno odyssey “Huone”. 20 years after its original release as a full-length CD album (Chain Reaction), these timeless recordings of modern electronic music are now finally available for the first time as a double-vinyl edition. The label Keplar has been on a long hiatus and is now back with its KeplarRev series presenting vinyl re-issues of essential electronic albums from the ’90s and ’00s, as well as new recordings by momentous electronic and ambient artists. Drawings by Kaisa Kemikoski; Layout by Marco Ciceri. Remaster by Rashad Becker and vinyl cut by Kassian Troyer at Dubplates & Mastering. Includes download code.

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Jaman “Sweet Heritage” (Outernational Sounds)

2020-04-03T01:02:02+00:00April 3rd, 2020|

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.

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Robbie Basho “Songs of the Great Mystery–The Lost Vanguard Sessions” (Real Gone)

2020-03-27T02:29:26+00:00March 27th, 2020|

Robbie Basho was one of the big three American acoustic guitar innovators, John Fahey and Leo Kottke being the other two. Basho was the least commercially successful of the three, but his influence and reputation has steadily grown since his untimely death in 1986 at the age of 45. And with good reason; for Basho’s deeply spiritual approach, intellectual rigor, and formal explorations (among his goals was the creation of a raga system for American music), present a deeply compelling, multi-faceted artist. Basho was actually a college friend of John Fahey, and his early recordings (like Kottke’s) were for Fahey’s Takoma label. Following Fahey ‘s move to Vanguard, Basho followed suit, and released Voice of the Eagle and Zarthus for the label in 1972 and 1974, respectively (his most commercially successful records were made for the Windham Hill label later in the decade). Flash forward to 2009: Vanguard contacted guitarist (and long-time Basho champion) Glenn Jones with the intriguing news that an unreleased Robbie Basho album session had recently been found, on a tape that, alas, lacked any real documentation. It was only 12 years later, when Jones, in the process of researching the liner notes for this release, discovered the truth: that not just the mysterious tape but both Voice of the Eagle and Zarthus were the result of one marathon session in 1971 or 1972 recorded in New York City by Vanguard staff engineer Jeffrey Zaraya. Songs of the Great Mystery—The Lost Vanguard Sessions, then, takes its place as the third of the triumvirat of albums Basho recorded for the label, and it is their equal in every way, exploring, in particular, some of the same Native American themes found on Voice of the Eagle. Some of the tunes showed up on later albums in much different forms; 1978’s Visions of the Country featured “A Day in the Life of Lemuria” (re-titled “Leaf in the Wind”) and “Night Way,” and “Laughing Thunder, Crawling Thunder” went through various permutations before appearing on 1981’s Rainbow Thunder as “Crashing Thunder.” But for Basho fans, the originals will probably steal the show, particularly “Song of the Great Mystery,” which, unlike some of the songs here that showcase Basho’s singing and piano-playing, brings to the fore his amazing six-string guitar technique and touch. Vanguard briefly put these sessions up digitally when they were located, but Real Gone Music’s release represents the first time they have come out in any physical form (and the alternate take of “A Day in the Life of Lemuria,” also discovered by Jones, has never been heard anywhere). Featuring track-by-track annotation, rare photos (including Basho’s own handwritten notes found in the tape box), and remastering by Mike Milchner of SonicVision, Songs of the Great Mystery—The Lost Vanguard Sessions is a timely release heralding the release of a new documentary and an upcoming Basho box set. Available on a double-LP set pressed in clear vinyl limited to 1000 copies at Gotta Groove Records and housed inside a gatefold jacket. A great American artist, finally getting his due!

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Matt Karmil “STS371” (Smalltown Supersound)

2020-03-27T02:29:24+00:00March 27th, 2020|

Made primarily while on the road, the nine-track LP spans techno, electro, deep house and ambient. It’s Karmil’s second full-length on Smalltown Supersound, following 2018’s Will.

Describing his production process, the UK artist says, “I tended to record a little here and there when I could grab some time with my gear, and then do most of the arranging and choices while I was traveling about—until the end when I went to mix in one of my favourite studios, Cologne’s incredible The Brewery.”

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The Greg Foat Group “Girl And Robot With Flowers” (Jazzman)

2020-03-27T02:29:22+00:00March 27th, 2020|

‘Girl And Robot With Flowers’ is a thematic journey into the emotive and enthralling realms of cinematic jazz, seductive ambience and majestic drama. Greg Foat uses everything from brass bands and kettle drums to Moog synthesizer and harmonium to take the listener above and beyond the stratosphere of senses.

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T2 “It’ll All Work Out In Boomland” (Lion)

2020-03-27T02:29:17+00:00March 27th, 2020|

The rise of power trio T2 in 1970 was rapid: important open-air festivals; headlining residencies at the Marquee Club; appearances at virtually every major venue in London. Then their debut album was released; they seemed poised for a breakthrough. As the band recalled, they were playing the Marquee club, with John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix hanging out backstage, which was all to the good. But people were coming forward saying, “we cant find your album anywhere.” In short order, the band fell apart. Still, their sole Decca album has become well established as an all-time classic amongst progressive and psychedelic music collectors-even the techno and dj crowds. The fact that it has done so without hype is a testament to the innate quality of the music. The album is packed with melodic acoustic passages, frenzied fuzz guitar workouts, not to mention acid-trip induced lyrical and musical content. It is, in every way, an extraordinary album, one of rock musics best kept secrets, on a par with all the other major works that form the rock music canon of the time. Hefty booklet contains extensive musicological analysis by composer and musician Andrew Keeling, which includes illuminating interviews with band members Peter Dunton and Keith Cross, as well as detailed illustrations. Included as bonus are three tracks from BBC Sessions recorded in October 1970. Licensed from Decca/Universal, UK.

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Windy & Carl “Allegiance And Conviction” (Kranky)

2020-03-20T19:48:08+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Legendary Dearborn duo Windy & Carl have been crafting inner space electric guitar and bass vistas for nearly three decades now, but their latest feels as vital and vaporous as any peak opus in their vast catalog. Written and recorded across six years, the songs swirl between shoegaze minimalism and stargaze drift, over which Windy Weber whispers veiled poetic narratives of transformation, isolation, and escape. Allegiance And Conviction is their first album since 2012’s We Will Always Be. The six compositions are something of outlier in their catalog, shorter in nature than most on their previous releases. All of the tracks are saturated with Carl Hultgren’s signature guitar work, intimate constructions of murmurs, drones and his trademark layered filigree, gently amassed into alternately lighter and heavier than air atmospheres. Despite being their first full-length in more than half a decade, the album fully belongs to the bewitching galaxy of sound Windy & Carl innovated and within which they remain the sole occupants: music of thresholds and peripheries and eternities. Allegiance And Conviction is the multifaceted, contemporary take on their sound.

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Moses Boyd “Dark Matter” (Exodus)

2020-03-20T19:48:46+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Dark Matter is a landmark record, a producer album by a young auteur, threading several thrilling musical traditions into a bold new tapestry: the raw energy of grime and afrobeats and the rolling club rhythms of the London underground, combined with the freewheeling creativity and collaborative spirit of his jazz training. With that mentality in mind, it’s no surprise that his talents have trickled over into fashion, producing original compositions for the Louis Vuitton Foundation x MoMa Archive film (2017) and most recently scoring the Men’s Dunhill Paris Fashion shows in both 2018 and 2019

A double MOBO and Jazz FM Award winner, Boyd’s live and studio collaborations have been as varied as they have been prolific, from touring with Sampha and Kelsey Lu, to drumming on Sons of Kemet’s Mercury-nominated album, to his recent collaboration with South African Gqom king DJ Lag, which made its way onto Beyonce’s official soundtrack for The Lion King. He produced Zara McFarlane ‘s 2017 full-length, Arise, in its entirety, for Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label, and released several acclaimed solo projects though his Exodus record label. Boyd has produced original scores for major Paris fashion shows, and with saxophonist Binker Golding, he’s co-leader and co-producer of the ferocious semi-free group Binker and Moses.

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1988

2020-03-19T20:32:49+00:00March 12th, 2020|

In Stock March 17, 2020

1988 is the follow up to Knxwledge’s official debut album Hud Dreems (Stones Throw, 2015). The same year Hud Dreems was released Knx worked with Kendrick Lamar on To Pimp a Butterfly, earning the producer his first Grammy. A duo with Anderson .Paak called NxWorries was formed around the same time. Their single  “Suede” became a viral hit, vaulting the singer to R&B stardom, and their album Yes Lawd! followed through on that song’s immense promise. Knx and Paak have quietly continued collaborating, and some of the new work is heard on 1988.

A prolific artist in the extreme sense of the word, Knxwledge continues to redefine instrumental hip-hop almost in real-time with a stream of beat tapes numbering in the hundreds on Bandcamp, and video remixes on Instagram.

This prolific output began early. 1988 takes its name from the fact that much of the new record was created that very year, when Knx was an infant. As the story is told, little baby Knx was left alone by his mother for just a few moments and crawled to a family member’s vintage SP–12 sampler. When his mother returned he had already produced his first beats and nearly mastered the machine. These tracks, all produced before nap time while rocking a Nike diaper, were stored over the years on floppy discs, then brought to his studio in recent months where they were finished up, mixed, and mastered.

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The Miraculous Hump Returns From The Moon

2020-03-19T20:35:50+00:00March 12th, 2020|

In Stock March 17, 2020

It was indeed a miracle that this San Francisco outfit returned to action after a hiatus of about five years with their line-up largely intact’their debut, self-titled 1967 album on the Kama Sutra label had scored the first hit to emerge from the Bay Area psychedelic scene with ‘Hello, Hello,’ but the band broke up within a year of its release. And those familiar with the groupa only from its Lovin’ Spoonful-esque hit (Sopwith Camel not only shared a label but also producer Eric Jacobsen with the Spoonful) might well have concluded that they had indeed gone to the moon (or somewhere else celestial) in the interim, for the 1973 Reprise release The Miraculous Hump Returns from the Moon was, ahem, light years ahead of its predecessor with respect to concept, scope, and musical sophistication. Here was a record that, as a 2014 appreciation in The Guardian put it, ‘sounds like it was recorded about a week ago…Taking in elements of FM schmaltz, prog-rock, jazz, showtunes, Krautrock and Indian classical music, this is an album that overflows with ideas, but never overwhelms.’ To that point, parts of this remind us of Tame Impala or even Stereolab with a self-referential, ironic edge that lends some tang to the album’s perfumed exoticism; those looking for more contemporaneous comparisons might reference early Supertramp or Steely Dan. At any rate, it’s one of the lost classics of the early ’70s, which we at Real Gone Music are thrilled to be reissuing on vinyl for the first time in 45 years with the original gatefold artwork intact. Marbled ‘smoke’ pressing limited to 750 copies!

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Herculean House Of Cards

2020-03-19T20:36:10+00:00March 12th, 2020|

A tortured songwriter and struggling addict who jolted the tired Chicago DIY scene with his own brand of primal despair, Trey Gruber and his band Parent were on track to join the ranks of Twin Peaks, Mild High Club, and Whitney. His death in 2017 at the age of 26 brought it all to a halt. In his final years, Trey wrote and recorded hundreds of previously unheard demos, dandelions in the cracked concrete of 21st-century disconnect, an alphabet’s worth of which have been compiled by his family and friends for his only album: Herculean House Of Cards.

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Express Yourself

2020-03-19T20:37:26+00:00March 12th, 2020|

The hit title track alone makes this 1970 release worth having, but it’s the other cuts on this record that make it one of the greatest psychedelic soul/funk albums of all time. Charles Wright’s beautiful falsetto kicks off the opening track (and #16 pop hit) “Love Land,” in which this L.A. band takes a page from Philly soul, and “I Got Love,” with its oh-so-funky descending bass line, is a stone groove. But the fun really starts with the first slice of “High as Apple Pie,” which offers just the first six minutes of what turns out to be a 23-minute jam. Adventurous production touches, loose-limbed arrangements, and a bit of old-time gospel make this the love child of Dr. John’s “I Walk on Guilded Splinters,” James Brown, Sly Stone, and the Chambers Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today” (and you can bet George Clinton listened long and hard to this record)! Previous issues of this classic LP have never been up to snuff sonically, so we went in and had it remastered (by Mike Milchner of SonicVision) from original tape sources especially for this release. Pressed in brown vinyl limited to 750 copies!

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Bonniwell Music Machine “Bonniwell Music Machine” (Real Gone)

2020-03-13T20:33:43+00:00March 12th, 2020|

The music business is replete with stories of outsized talents who, due to label mismanagement, misguided career advice, or just plain bad luck, never got their due. But the story of Sean Bonniwell is one of the saddest. He and his band The Music Machine broke through in 1966 with “Talk Talk” and the accompanying album (Turn On) The Music Machine. Because the record came out on the thinly-resourced Original Sound label, though, tour support, promotion, and, most importantly, royalties were in short supply, causing the band to disintegrate in short order. Undeterred, Bonniwell had the group’s contract transferred Warner Bros., and, after recording a few tracks for the next album with the original line-up, basically started from scratch with session musicians, naming the band and the album The Bonniwell Music Machine to acknowledge the fact that the record had become a solo project. After the first two singles (“Double Yellow Line” and “The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly”) tanked, Warner Bros. lost interest and the album, which finally came out in February 1968, was deleted not long thereafter (after recording a solo release for Capitol, Bonniwell left the music business altogether). Interest in the record bubbled under for years in esoteric collector circles, but for most of the music cognoscenti, the 2014 release of The Bonniwell Music Machine on CD by Ace Records’ Big Beat imprint came as a revelation. Here was an album that retained the pop-punk fire of Talk Talk yet, with each track, branched off into completely unexpected directions including folk-rock and orchestrated chamber pop. And Bonniwell’s lyrics explored dark psychological themes with Morrison-ian aplomb without the accompanying pretense. Now, Real Gone Music is very, very proud to present the FIRST-EVER VINYL REISSUE of The Bonniwell Music Machine, in an olive green pressing limited to 900 copies. Absolutely positively a ‘60s classic!

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Horace Tapscott “The Giant Is Awakened” (Real Gone)

2020-03-13T20:33:43+00:00March 12th, 2020|

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!

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Victor Cavini ‎”Japan” (Be With)

2020-03-13T20:33:44+00:00March 5th, 2020|

Be With Records present a reissue of Victor Cavini’s Japan, originally released in 1983. The first Be With foray into the archives of revered German library institution Selected Sound is one of Be With’s favorites on the label. Rare and sought-after for many years now, this is one of those cult library LPs that never turn up. With Daibutsu the giant Buddha of Kamakura’s presence gracing the hefty front cover, this is a record bursting with dope samples for adventurous producers: it’s koto-funk madness! Victor Cavini was the library music pseudonym of prolific German composer and musician Gerhard Trede. He was known for exploring instruments and styles from around the world (he played over 50 different instruments himself) and Japan is his collection of 14 musical sketches painted with traditional Japanese wind and string instruments. These are the sounds of traditional Japanese folk music re-interpreted through Western ears, with the occasional contemporary twist. Contemporary for 1983, of course. These “Pictures Of Japan” are hypnotic, sometimes frantic, but always beautiful. The first twelve tracks offer airy explorations of koto and flute, with other strings and percussion being added and then given their own space. Indeed “Pictures Of Japan XII” is just drums. And then “Pictures Of Japan XIII” seems to come out of nowhere. But the subtle sleaze of its full band sound still doesn’t quite prepare you for the towering climax of “Pictures Of Japan XIV”. This is Japan’s undoubted standout piece, completely and wonderfully at odds with the rest of the album. It’s the reason this has become such a must-have record. It keeps the traditional Japanese instruments but combines them with shuffling funk breaks, electric bass high in the mix and a Godzilla-sized psychedelic fuzz guitar sound that might actually be a traditional reed flute pushed to its limits. Recalling both Rino de Filippi’s 1973 album Oriente Oggi (CNLP 042LP) and Giancarlo Barigozzi’s Oriente also from 1973, the track’s a real head-nod groove for b-boys and b-girls alike that sounds straight out of a late-70s Yakuza film. Indeed, if you were told The RZA or Onra had cooked this up in the lab this century, you’d be convinced. It’s crazy that this dates from 1983. Audio remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. Richard Robinson has handled the careful restoration of the original Selected Sound sleeve.

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White Heaven ‎”Out” (Black Editions)

2020-03-13T20:33:44+00:00March 5th, 2020|

White Heaven’s debut album Out is one of the greatest psychedelic rock albums ever recorded. First released in 1991 by Tokyo’s P.S.F. Records and pressed in an edition of 500 copies the original LP has become a holy grail in underground circles, with only a scant few copies ever making it outside of Japan. Built on the chemistry between You Ishihara’s lysergic lyricism and the blistering leads of one of Japan’s undisputed guitar gods Michio Kurihara, Out is an absolute classic. It is one of the few albums to successfully join a deep love of classic rock n’ roll with the rapturous energy of punk and openness of the avant-garde. Each song creates its own world, raising dynamic structures that defy categorization. Meticulously re-mastered by the artists this new edition is the album in its clearest, most powerful form. Cut at the legendary Bernie Grundman studios and pressed at RTI it is now available on vinyl for the first time in almost 30 years. Black Editions presents Out in its definitive edition. Deluxe LP edition, Heavy tip-on jacket and tri-panel insert printed on black paper with metallic gold ink. Vinyl mastering by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman, high quality pressing at RTI.

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Nate Morgan ‎”Retribution, Reparation” (Outernational Sounds)

2020-03-13T20:33:45+00:00March 5th, 2020|

Outernational Sounds present a reissue of Nate Morgan’s Retribution, Reparation, originally released on Nimbus West Records in 1984. A core member of the circle around Horace Tapscott, pianist Nate Morgan was a key member of the Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra, known as The Ark. Here is the second of his two LPs for Nimbus West. His first, Journey Into Nigritia (OTR 008LP) had been a declaration of arrival laced with energies drawn from Cecil Taylor and Coltrane. One year later, in 1984, with nods to Herbie Hancock (“One Finger Snap”) and Ellington (“Come Sunday”), Retribution, Reparation was a confident statement of purpose. Politically charged with pan-Africanist Black nationalism, and titled with uncompromising directness, the album focusses the sound world of the Ark into a surging, restless masterpiece of spiritualized modal jazz. Danny Cortez on trumpet and Jesse Sharps on saxophones comprise an explosive frontline. Fritz Wise and Ark regular Joel Ector hold down the rhythm section. Morgan’s forceful, Tyner-like chords and virtuosic solos bind the music together. From the poised drama of the opening dedication to Tapscott’s U.G.M.A.A. organization, through the propulsive militancy of the title track, “Retribution, Reparation” spreads the word: “Advance to Victory, Let Nigritia Be Free!” Fully licensed from Nimbus West founder Tom Albach.

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Weldon Irvine “Time Capsule” (Pure Pleasure)

2020-03-13T20:33:46+00:00March 5th, 2020|

The sublime Time Capsule remains Weldon Irvine’s most fully realized and influential recording. A supremely talented multi-instrumentalist and composer, Irvine had a musical vision that was unerringly soulful, spiritual, and funky. Assembled as a kind of musical scrapbook documenting the thought patterns and belief systems of the early ‘70s, it nevertheless boasts a surprising vitality and timelessness thanks to luminous funk grooves that anticipate the latter-day emergence of acid jazz. Irvine also rhymes over several tracks, further cementing his influence on successive generations of hip-hop. A profoundly righteous spirituality winds through all eight of Time Capsule’s performances, assaying both the affection (“Soul Sisters”) and anger (“Watergate”) vying for control of post-Woodstock America. Irvine’s searing keyboard and piano playing further capture the moment in question, deftly balancing between beatitude and bitterness. For fans of funk, soul and jazz, it doesn’t get much better than this 1973 classic.

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Organisation “Tone Float” (Innerspace)

2020-03-13T20:33:49+00:00March 5th, 2020|

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. Four-panel digipack; includes eight-page, full-color booklet with background notes and images.

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Chi “The Original Recordings” (Astral Industries)

2020-03-13T20:34:11+00:00February 28th, 2020|

Ltd 2020 Repress – 250 copies only – CHI started in the late punk years in the early eighties. A time of change and mind-blowing albums. We started doing sound experiments in an old farm in Moordrecht (thanks to Jan van Rhee and Kees van der Veer). In the summer, all the doors and windows were open, birds flew in and out. In the distance we saw the highway to Rotterdam. In the winter we sat close together, no heating, only blankets, candles and brandy.

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Syncro Jazz “Live” (Mad About)

2020-03-13T20:34:13+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Mad About Records present the first worldwide reissue of Syncro Jazz’s Live, originally released in 1982. Recorded Live at S. Paulo in 1982 it was originally issued on Amado Maita’s small indie label in the 80s called Poitou. Featuring one of the best Brazilian sax players, the legendary Nestico and his sister composer, piano player Lilu Aguiar. Nestico joined several jazz ensembles in São Paulo, having participated in 1977 in the first Jazz festival held at the Municipal Theater, alongside the musicians Samuel (piano), Nilson (bass), and Caram (drums). He performed several times in São Paulo with Syncro Jazz group. In 1982, with the ensemble he released the LP Live, along with the musicians Lilu Aguiar (piano), Peter Wooley (bass), Vidal (sax, flute), Dagmar (trumpet), and Ronny Machado (drums). In the repertoire, the songs “Pro César”, dedicated to pianist César Camargo Mariano, “Winter Knows” and “Black Cock”, all by Lilu Aguiar, “For Guzi” (Peter Wooley), “Cruzan” (M. Santamaria) and “Revelation” (S. Fortune). The LP contains amazing Fender Rhodes solos in a heavy modal spiritual and bossa jazz a la Strata-East and Black Jazz Records. Rare Brazilian spiritual jazz. Legendary sessions produced by Amado Maita. Reissued from the original master tapes. Thick cover; obi; deluxe, numbered limited edition.

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Contemporary Jazz Quintet “The Black Hole” (180 Proof)

2020-03-13T20:34:15+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Previously unreleased recording from the seminal jazz group, Contemporary Jazz Quintet (CJQ).

Pianist Kenny Cox was the perfect singularity for this operation in late 1960s Detroit.  He had studied at Cass Tech High School and the Detroit Conservatory of Music and would perform with greats like fellow Detroiter, Yusef Lateef. He eventually wound up on the road with Etta Jones for an extended period of time. When he returned home, he found a scene that was in big trouble.  There was little music going on. His wife, Barbara Cox, remembered, “When Ken got back to Detroit he was in the George Bohannon band.  George elected to move out to California to do session work with Motown, when they moved out there.  Ken stayed in Detroit.”

In 1967, he began working with Ron Brooks at the Old Town in Ann Arbor. Kenny said, “That group started quite by accident.  Ron Brooks had a trio gig.  Stanley Cowell had been working with him and Stan left to go work with Rahsaan Roland Kirk.  Ron asked me to come up and take Stan’s place and I did. It wasn’t too much later, no more than a week or so, that Charles Moore and Leon Henderson started showing up to sit in. That was the birth of the CJQ.”

Barbara dispelled the idea that Cox was the band’s leader. “When they got a contract with Blue Note, the label wanted to have somebody as a leader so that’s how it became Kenny Cox and the CJQ. it was sort of thrust on him.” She continued, “When they initially started, the music they were playing was too esoteric for the population, so they weren’t really called to work that often. They decided to get their own place. We set up a corporation and sold stock for a dollar a share. That gave us money to set up the coffee house, Strata Concert Gallery, so they would always have a place to work. We hardly had any money, but it was cool, we got it together. I think I went to every resale shop in Detroit to get tables and chairs.  Ron Brooks and Leon Henderson built the stage. We know that they couldn’t be the only band in there.  We set up an arm of Strata so that we could get grants to bring out-of-towners like Ornette Coleman and Herbie Hancock in.”

Kenny felt that the CJQ was the apex of his creative life. “The most important thing about that group, which was together for a solid seven years, was that we weren’t all necessarily socially compatible. But we were all committed to that music. We enjoyed playing together so much that we were actually breaking the curfew during the riots to go back-and-forth to Ann Arbor to play at the town bar.  We were running the risk of being shot or incarcerated just so we could play together.”

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Byron Pope Speed Of Light “Music For Earthdwellers And Starseekers” (Tidal Waves Music)

2020-03-13T20:34:16+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Alto saxophonist Byron Herman Pope (born 1934) might be a rather unsung name on the bill despite being part of the avant-garde jazz circuit for more than half a century. Deeply committed to the ideas of John Coltrane, he has played with Alan Silva and Sunny Murray but only recorded sporadically over the course of his long career.

Coming from a musical family: Byron’s father was the band leader of his own orchestra and was a writer for Billie Holiday, his uncle Lee was the tenor sax player with Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson (until he retired & was replaced by a young man named John Coltrane) and his cousin was Darlene Love, the famous R&R Hall Of Fame singer/actress who was married to Phil Spector and godmother to Whitney Houston.

Growing up in a segregated Monroe-Louisiana in the 1940’s, at the age of 12, Byron Pope was exposed to concerts by African American bands at his high school…this became his principal motivation to become a musician himself. At the age of 19, Byron came to Germany as a US military serviceman…after two and a half years he returned to the States but was not able to accept the racism and political climate in his home country anymore.

After accumulating three professorships as a jazz teacher (including the title of professor in Jazz and Blues at University of Washington, Seattle in 1968) in the early Seventies Byron crossed the ocean again, this time he went to France. Here he met (and started performing with) the legendary Burton Greene and became friends with main players from the likes of Georges-Edouard Nouel and Chris Henderson.

Throughout his long career Byron kept close friendships with famous jazz and blues players including Sun Ra and John Coltrane (Coltrane wanted to record his song “This Way” but unfortunately passed away before he could do it). Byron Pope was a member of the Alan Silva Orchestra from 1972 to 1976, later he went on to play with Sunny Murray on a regular basis. Byron eventually settled in Geneva where he has lived ever since…dividing his time between his family, his love for spiritual yoga and his musical career.

Byron Pope’s 1982 LP Music For Earthdwellers And Starseekers (recorded at Studio Caroline, Paris) is a sublime modal jazz record with a nice cosmic spiritual touch. Enlisting a superb all-star line-up including Georges-Edouard Nouel on piano, Roger Raspail (Kassav) on percussion and Chris Henderson (Sun Ra) on drums. To top things off, the album was engineered by the legendary Jean-Philippe Bonichon (who later on went to become the engineer responsible for many of the early remixes of Dimitri From Paris).

Today we are proud to present to you the first ever vinyl reissue of this rare album (original copies tend to go for large amounts since only 1000 copies were pressed upon its release in 1982). This reissue is now available as a deluxe 180g vinyl edition (limited to 500 copies) featuring the original artwork and also comes with an insert containing pictures and liner notes.

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Moondog “On The Streets Of New York” (Mississippi)

2020-03-13T20:34:34+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Behold! A survey of Moondog’s earliest recorded works – many of them unreleased until now – through a collaboration by Mississippi Records and Lucia Records. From 1954–1962 field recordist Tony Schwartz frequently checked in with Moondog, his favorite street musician. Tony Schwartz made recordings of Moondog’s earliest compositions as they were coming into focus. Sometimes these recordings were made right on the street as Moondog busked, sometimes they were made in Schwartz’s studio, and sometimes they were made on NYC rooftops. The resulting recordings, many of which had never been released, were deposited at the Library Of Congress as part of the Tony Schwartz Collection in 2006 when Schwartz passed away, and this record was culled straight from these original tapes.

Side one kicks off with an unreleased version of Moondog’s classic composition “Why Spend The Dark Night With You?” followed by the first ever complete recording of his “Nocturne Suite,” a beautiful piece of classical music performed with members of the Royal Philharmonic. The side ends with the complete “On The Streets Of New York” 7″ EP, which was released on Mars records in 1955 and subsequently re-released by Honest Jon’s Records in 2004 on their excellent Moondog anthology. Side B features sketches of Moondog compositions never released, many with the man himself howling and chanting over his homemade percussion set.

Moondog’s music is as universal as it gets – part classical music, part Native American, part European folk, and part something completely unique. Moondog is one of the towering figures of 20th century music. This record comes with liner notes featuring never before released interviews with Moodog by Tony Schwartz and is housed in an old school “tip on” cover. All tracks fully licensed from the Library of Congress.

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Dadamah ‎”This Is Not A Dream” (Grapefruit)

2020-03-13T20:34:36+00:00February 20th, 2020|

This Is Not a Dream is a double album collection of every song released by the legendary Dunedin, New Zealand quartet Dadamah, including the This Is Not A Dream LP, and their three 7-inch singles and one unique compilation track. Grapefruit’s release is a thirteen song collection with the full album on one LP and all the 7-inch and compilation tracks on the other. Inspired by the Kranky label’s CD compilation of Dadamah’s existing catalog in 1994, this vinyl version includes two additional songs from a posthumously released 7-inch and it’s been sequenced and designed by the band. Before Dadamah, Peter Stapleton played in The Terminals, Vacuum and The Victor Dimisich Band as well as The Pin Group with guitarist Roy Montgomery. Singer Kim Pieters and organ / synth player Janine Stagg had never been in a band before Dadamah. Dadamah only played live three times, devoting their efforts to four-track recording. Nevertheless, word managed to get out about the band and they were asked to contribute to the 1991 Drag City single “I Hear the Devil Calling Me” which featured twelve songs hovering around one minute each by a who’s who of the then current New Zealand underground music scene. They released their only album in 1992. Jay Hinman (currently of Dynamite Hemorrhage) noted Dadamah’s solitary place in the NZ underground in his Superdope fanzine: “Dead C. might blare and scrape, the Terminals might twist and wind, but Dadamah positively shimmer with beautifully earthy lo-fi Velvets / Ubu sound.” Limited edition singles on the Seattle-based Majora label followed the LP, earning Dadamah praise as “one of the most overwhelmingly great exponents of layer-shifting drone-on master-rock” in the Forced Exposure catalog. Roy Montgomery’s soaring droning guitars were offset by Janine Stagg’s stabbing organ and gurgling moog synths, and Kim Pieter’s vocals ebbed and flowed, somehow evoking Patti Smith, Ian Curtis, and David Thomas simultaneously. After Dadamah, Roy Montgomery went on to form Dissolve and Hash Jar Tempo as well as maintaining his eclectic solo career which continues to feature intense collaborations like those found in Dadamah (find other Roy Montgomery titles on Grapefruit). Peter Stapleton and Kim Pieters formed Flies Inside The Sun and Stapleton continued his work with The Terminals and his independent label Metonymic which released tons of experimental and underground New Zealand music through 2009.

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Lavender Flu “Barbarian Dust” (In The Red)

2020-03-13T20:34:37+00:00February 20th, 2020|

“In contrast to their prior mobile-unit hole-ups and home-taped fryers, Barbarian Dust, the third album from Lavender Flu, marks the band’s first raid of a proper studio. Extending the formalities further, the conceptual impetus for the sessions stems from a collective meditation on cosmic biker rock. Smokey, sure—and that peculiar, chunky ether seeps into the resulting collection—but it all ultimately serves to a liquid frame, a set of parameters imposed purely to burst through. Compositionally and thematically, Barbarian Dust alternates between hope and anger, each idealized, a sway thoughtfully achieved through an often-soaring, occasionally busted version of rock heaviness (without ever approaching ‘Heavy Rock’, thank heaven / hell). In every sense of the word, it’s their most aggressive work to date.
“Barbarian Dust collects songs that move in and out of wobble and explosion, each pushing forever forward, just as the composers themselves do. Galaxies past cool-but-copyist trips, Lavender Flu—brothers Chris and Lucas Gunn, Scott Simmons and Ben Spencer—slaughter the trivial in favor of a newer, deeper, more meaningful sound, indifferent to any path other than their own. Time to transform, yet again.”

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Cold Beat “Mother” (DFA)

2020-03-13T20:34:38+00:00February 20th, 2020|

San Francisco band Cold Beat make their DFA debut with Mother, a collection of ten pop transmissions from Earth, 2020.

Wound tight with an energy that ricochets from one song into the next, Mother was made while frontperson Hannah Lew (formerly of indie trio Grass Widow) was pregnant and considering the chaotic conditions of the world she was bringing a new human into. If we consider Mother an artistic style guide through space and time, the framework Cold Beat provide is overcast by design but focused in execution; locked-in drums and synths with choir-like melodies high above it all.

“I found myself trying to describe our earth to a new human who had never been here,” says Lew. “It was a bleak year to be pregnant, but I was simultaneously filled with so much love and hope at the same time. I remember feeling a sense of wanting to show my whole range of self to this new person I was about to meet. In past albums, I sometimes held my artistic self in an ethereal place, but I found myself wanting to be very much on this earth and grounded during the creation of this record.”

The A-side of Mother presents the facts as we perceive them, while the B-side accelerates into the uncertain. Each of the first five track titles is one evocative word: the synths on “Prism” slide against the motorik guitar riffs and the plaintive saxophone on “Paper” casts the Leonard Cohen-esque melody in a melancholy shadow; “Gloves” is a real mood, all drive. Everything begins to unfurl from there. “Will it be over if there’s no sound?” Lew wonders on album standout “Double Sided Mirror,” and then ruminates, “it won’t be long until you find me in the beyond” on the more upbeat “Crimes.” The early architects of these sonic settings—Eurythmics, The Human League, Depeche Mode—act as touchstones and inspiration.

One of the most prescient things Mother teaches is that existence will not be, and has not ever been, a solitary experience. “It’s really the first album where the project felt more like a band,” Lew says. “In a lot of ways, it feels like our first album.” And though four LPs (released on Dark Entries and Lew’s own label Crime On The Moon) precede this one, Mother is Cold Beat at their most concentrated and crystalline. It’s an honest, forgiving, and ultimately optimistic team effort from a band busy being born, re-born and giving life.

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Nancy Priddy “You’ve Come This Way Before” (Sundazed)

2020-03-13T20:34:40+00:00February 14th, 2020|

Released just a year after her vocals graced Leonard Cohen’s debut, Nancy Priddy’s lone album is a sweeping odyssey across avant garde arrangements rife with experimental pop instrumentation and adorned with her sublimely delivered psychedelic poetry. Previously unavailable on vinyl for over 50 years, it’s an unpredictable and kaleidoscopic trip.

Known more for her acting work (Bewitched, The Waltons, Matlock) and her parenting work (Christina Applegate), Nancy Priddy started out as a sixties Greenwich Village folkstress, initially as a member of The Bitter End Singers. She honed her chops contributing backing vocals (uncredited) to 1967’s Songs Of Leonard Cohen.

In ‘68 she released her lone opus You’ve Come This Way Before, produced by Phil Ramone, propelled by the Funky Drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, and released by Dot Records. It’s a lush journey with a youthful tone reminiscent of Margo Guryan, but showing a wit that suggests she knows more than she’s letting on. All cuts are co-written by Nancy which speaks to its cohesion, as it’s truly a journey to be experienced in its entirety as it ventures into far corners of the musical spectrum, and with the help of Purdie they sew it into one delightful platter. Listentothis.info said of it, “A real powerhouse of a record. Good for fans of Honey Ltd., Dusty Springfield, Jefferson Airplane. Listen in headphones if you can.”

“Christina’s World,” one of the many stand out tracks, takes its name and inspiration from a painting by Andrew Wyeth. Not only did the painting inspire the song, but it also inspired the naming of Nancy’s daughter.

Possibly too wildly eclectic for the ears of 1968, or maybe too smart for the hippy dippy set, this treasure faded away into obscurity trading for hefty sums in collectors’ circles. In ‘69 Nancy was recruited by Mort Garson to contribute to his Songs of the Zodiac series. That would become her last musical endeavor before embarking on her acting career.

Modern Harmonic is proud to treat this treasure with the reverence it deserves. Mastered by Joe Lizzi, cut by Kevin Gray, and pressed by RTI. This first ever LP reissue is a true treat for ears and we’re ecstatic to share it with you!

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Juju “Live At The East 1973” (Now-Again)

2020-03-13T20:34:41+00:00February 7th, 2020|

“Now-Again Records presents limited edition deluxe reissues of the lauded black fire catalog in 2020. First up in the series, this previously unreleased live session recorded at the legendary Brooklyn venue The East in 1973. Magical, mystical, Afrocentric, progressive — words that could be used to describe any number of musical compositions by Sun Ra or his cosmic brothers and sisters, from John to Alice Coltrane, early ’70s projects on record labels like Detroit’s Tribe or Houston’s Lightin’ or the interests of one Washington, DC native named Jimmy Gray that centered under one, perfect moniker: Black Fire. Gray spent nearly three decades pushing boundaries as a Black American promoter, distributor and, finally, record label owner. Together with Juju’s leader James ‘Plunky Nkabinde’ Branch, Gray oversaw sixteen releases on Black Fire Records between 1975 and 1996. These are the definitive reissues of five of the label’s key titles; all were lacquered — most directly from master tape — by legendary Los Angeles mastering engineer Bernie Grundman. With this set, Juju and Black Fire’s story burns forth into its fifth decade, its message not tempered, its sound pure. It’s cycle, once again, complete. Each release is packaged in a thick, tip-on sleeve and includes a deluxe booklet with extensive notes on the album, the Black Fire collective, and the musical and cultural revolution they created. Limited edition, one time pressing.”

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Oliver Patrice Weder “OPW” (SA)

2020-03-02T07:01:07+00:00January 31st, 2020|

‘OPW’ is the debut album and bespoke sample library from musician and composer Oliver Patrice Weder.

Oliver Patrice Weder’s unique musicality has been heavily inspired and shaped by living and travelling through different places and cultures including Brazil, Africa and the USA, as well as his experiences making a home in various European countries.

Oliver discovered his love of keyboards after hearing the sound of Ray Manzarek (The Doors), and spent his formative years playing classical and jazz piano in the rainy foothills of the Alps. After recording and touring across Europe with various bands including psychedelic rock band Time for T, he studied at Valencia’s Berklee College of Music where he established his passion for film music. As well as composing for the BBC, Oliver is lead composer at Spitfire Audio in London. In 2017, Oliver co-scored the feature film ‘The Haunted’ and made a vlog style series Inside the Score with Spitfire Audio, documenting the entire process — from meeting the director, to seeing the film shown at various international film festivals.

Oliver’s deeply personal debut LP, ‘OPW’, took shape across Europe, between Switzerland, UK, Spain and Holland, where he lived and spent time writing and recording this intimate and powerful musical journey. It fuses a rich and unique blend of acoustic instruments and rhythms with electronic elements — from piano, Wurlitzer, experimental strings from the London Contemporary Orchestra, flugelhorn and drum machines through to spoon solos, occasional gritty synths and percussion found in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro — adding flavour and colour throughout.

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Ronald Snijders “Natural Sources” (Everland)

2020-03-19T20:09:50+00:00January 31st, 2020|

Some albums show you right away what kind of spirit backs them. Ronald Snijders solo debut from 1977, „Natural sources“, is one of these. It begins with a free improvised, sometimes scatting flute and while the flute goes more and more crazy some scat vocals join in to make this first track a kinda strange affair. Jazz, free and spirited, seems the way but Ronald Snijders, son of Surinamese composer Eddy Snijders, outwits us in all our tiny minded expectations with the next song already. An evergrooving base of polyrhythmical grooves from several percussion instruments builds the ground from which captivating flute patterns arise. The foundation is a repetitive latin beat influenced by Brazilian dance music but the free jazz flute eruptions on top make it a wicked listening experience, even though this is just the middle section of the song and the beginning and ending themes show a rather lighthearted jazz sound with latin grooves. So here we go. Ronald Snijders explores the depths of his musical heritage, the latin and the jazz and really pulls it off here. The next tune even drifts into a kind of exotica direction with a rather picturesque approach that drags images of indigenous dances in a jungle surrounding to the listener’s mind but then Snijders falls back on free jazz with reduced arrangement and his fondness for avant garde sounds wins over. This is certainly a challenge for music lovers due to the fact that next we face the return of the latin jazz with a slightly more modern fusion feel. All instruments on all the songs get played only by Ronald Snijders by the way. I think this is important to mention if you want to understand the whole width of his talent. Latin jazz the way Snijders composes and performs is far from silky elevator fusion. He plays with passion and his creations might have a lightweight appearance from time to time but all those little percussion themes, the guitar harmonies, the time changes and sounds echoing from far beyond the surface make this a real challenge for the listener. This record has an accessible side but demands full attention. A thrilling masterpiece where latin jazz, free jazz and fusion flow into another for some great new music. Even elements of 1950s electronic music find their way onto this record and although just as an interlude. For those who dare this is the sacred progressive jazz fusion grail.

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Linda Hill “Lullaby For Linda” (Pure Pleasure)

2020-03-19T20:09:51+00:00January 31st, 2020|

Linda Hill recorded this LP for Nimbus West in 1981 with fellow Arkestra members, including flautist Adele Sebastian. And it’s Sebastian’s vocal duet with Hill on the spiritual jazz epic “Leland’s Song” that opens this stunning LP. Hill’s ensemble also included the serious horn player Sabir Matteen, as well as bassist Roberto Miranda and drummer Everett Brown Jr., who would all go on to record LPs for Nimbus.

The Arkestra first started rehearsing at pianist Linda Hill’s house in the early ‘60s. “In a few months, we’d built up from seven or eight to about 18 cats, musicians started living there,” Tapscott wrote in his autobiography. “People got involved with the Arkestra like it was their life’s work.” Hill took the role seriously, earning her the name of “the Ark’s matriarch” by Tapscott.

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Gary Bias “East 101” (Pure Pleasure)

2020-03-19T20:09:51+00:00January 31st, 2020|

A beautiful, dreamlike expression of spiritual jazz recorded at a time when the idiom was completely out of vogue, Gary Bias’ East 101 remains little known even by cult-classic standards, but its free-flowing approach demands attention from listeners who believe this kind of LP ceased to exist somewhere around the late 1970s. Recorded with a stellar supporting cast including vibist Rickey Kelly, bassist Roberto Miranda, and pianist David Tillman, Bias unspools a suite of deeply soulful and profoundly far-reaching original compositions that vividly evoke the blue skies of the record’s Los Angeles origins. His flute and soprano saxophone somehow divine gravitas from weightlessness, creating music that challenges as much as it comforts.

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Pete La Roca “Basra” (Blue Note)

2020-03-02T07:04:16+00:00January 31st, 2020|

By the time drummer Pete La Roca recorded his debut album Basra in 1965 he had already appeared on 9 Blue Note sessions as a sideman and spent time in bands led by Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane. But it was another tenor titan, Joe Henderson, that La Roca brought in as the sole horn voice to front a dynamic quartet that was completed by what liner note writer Ira Gitler called “one of the most attuned rhythm sections in jazz” featuring bassist Steve Swallow and pianist Steve Kuhn. The resulting album is one of the great underrated gems of the Blue Note catalog featuring an expansive 6-track set that includes 3 compositions by La Roca (“Basra” “Candu” “Tears Come from Heaven”), Swallow’s tune “Eiderdown,” “Malagueña” by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, and a stunning ballad performance of the standard “Lazy Afternoon.”

This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.

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Coil “Stolen & Contaminated Songs” (Cold Spring)

2020-03-02T07:04:44+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Double LP version. 180 gram vinyl; glossy, 350gsm gatefold sleeve. Cold Spring Records announce the long-awaited reissue of Stolen & Contaminated Songs, Coil’s 1992 album. Stolen & Contaminated Songs was recorded and produced by Coil in 1992. It is comprised of over 60 minutes of outtakes and unreleased songs, evolved during the recording sessions for their prior album, Love’s Secret Domain (1991). A wealth of superb material showcasing the diversity of Coil: dark, violent, vivid, and fractured, yet cohesive and beautiful. Combined with the latest studio technology and Coil’s ever-evolving production skills, S&C Songs walks a fine line between tradition and innovation, continually creating semi-abstract soundscapes with a cinematic quality.

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Muslimgauze “Lalique Gadaffi Handgrenade” (Staalplaat)

2020-03-07T06:53:23+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Given Bryn Jones‘s rather slack approach to track titles (both being consistent with and sometimes even just supplying them), it’s a bit of a relief to realize that two tracks with the same name are indeed related. In the case of “Arab Jerusalem”, which makes up nearly half of the newly-released Lalique Gadaffi Handgrenade, that kinship is immediately apparent even though both tracks are clearly their own experiences. Released as the first track on the Minaret-Spearker picture disc 7″ in 1996, “Arab Jeruzalem” (spelling also sometimes being fairly slack) is nearly six minutes of effectively shifting dark ambience, wordless female vocals drifting over the hand percussion, chimes, and static of the track, with eventual conversational loops discussing… something underneath. The end of that version is especially striking for the way the woman’s wordless singing starts being sampled in such a way that it overlays the whole track (and, slightly, itself). The almost 24-minute “Arab Jerusalem” here might be called the Deer Hunter version of the same story, building with great patience and many more abstract detours towards what now seems like simultaneously an excerpt and, now, a climax. As with many of Jones’ more ambient tracks, the great length just lets it cast its spell more thoroughly and entrancingly. The other three tracks, meanwhile, suggest some of Jones’ other work but never evoke them as directly as “Arab Jerusalem”. “Jordan River” is nearly as long (a second shy of 20 minutes) but strips out the vocal elements in its predecessor, focusing instead on a more active percussive workout (analog and digital both). The title track of Lalique Gadaffi Handgrenade might bring to mind the title of “Lalique Gadaffi Jar” from Libya Tour Guide, last reissued by Staalplaat in 2015 (ARCHIVE 031CD), but if they’re sonically related Jones must have practically melted the other track to get this one. And the closing “Desert Gulag” (like the title track, a much more manageable length than the first two epic tracks here) bears a slight resemblance to “Negev Gulag” from 1996’s Fatah Guerrilla, here what was a piercing, repetitive drone is softened and looped over more of Jones’ percussion. The result is a well-rounded release that shows off many aspects of Jones’ sound as Muslimgauze, while existing (like many of these DAT tapes do) in conversation with much of his previously released work. All tracks written, performed, mixed by Muslimgauze. Recorded, engineered, mixed by John Delf. Unreleased material. Edition of 700.

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Da Lench Mob “Guerillas In Tha Mist” (Get On Down)

2020-03-02T07:05:09+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Deluxe green and orange splatter-colored vinyl “Possessing lyrics heavily focused on political and social justice, inspired heavily by West Coast gang culture and Islam, Da Lench Mob made waves throughout the hip-hop scene when they first appeared on the track ‘Rolling With Da Lench Mob’, off Ice Cube’s famed 1990 solo record AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. Initially, the titular ‘Lench Mob’ of the track namesake referred to Ice Cube as well as the other participating rappers, but J-Dee, Shorty, and T-Bone would adopt the name for their own in time. Their standout appearance on the Ice Cube track would earn the trio critical interest, (as well as shout-outs on Ice Cube’s 1991 follow-up Death Certificate) and generate palpable anticipation for a studio album of their own. Guerillas In Tha Mist, their 1992 debut record, was recorded in the wake of the Rodney King riots, taking its name from infamous comments made during the riots. The record was uncompromising and confrontational in its depictions of urban decay and an unjust system wreaking havoc on an economically disadvantaged Black population. It was starkly realistic (bordering on abrasive) in the content of tracks like the armed revolution-advocating ‘Freedom Got An A.K.’, the kill-your-idols style of ‘You And Your Heroes’, and the anti-pusher anthem ‘All On My Nut Sac’. These harsh manifestos were made all the more smooth via Ice Cube’s jazzy G-funk and Bomb Squad-influenced production, which sampled heavily from classic songs by Parliament, Kool & The Gang, The Incredible Bongo Band, and even Vangelis. Cube himself would make guest appearances throughout the record, as well as an appearance by B-Real of Cypress Hill on the track ‘Ain’t Got No Class’. Guerillas In Tha Mist was a Billboard success upon its release, reaching #24 on the Billboard 200, and rendering rap radio hits out of its title track and ‘Freedom Got An A.K.’, but Da Lench Mob would fall into obscurity over the years, eventually going their separate ways after creative differences, financial rifts, and the life conviction of rapper J-Dee for suspected murder in 1993. Despite their loss of commercial fortunes, Guerillas In Tha Mist would develop a strong reputation as an unheralded gem among hip-hop heads, and would be considered one of the great lesser-known releases of the era among critics (in 2018 Complex would declare the title track as one of the 100 Best L.A. Rap Songs). Decades after its initial release, and in tribute to the memory of Da Lench Mob member Shorty, who passed in 2019, Get On Down now presents an exclusive LP reissue of Guerillas In Tha Mist, which previously was only released officially on wax in Europe. Remastered audio and a painstakingly recreated full color jacket.”

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Woo “All Is Well” (Slowboy)

2020-03-07T06:53:38+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

“British brothers Clive and Mark Ives are WOO. They have been recording together since the 1970s. Over that time they have developed a sound wholly their own, combining acoustic instrumentation (primarily guitar and clarinet) and electronics in a way that makes their music both sound like being from past but also present and futuristic at the same time. Touching upon jazz, psychedelic, ambient and folk/pop idioms.Their work has drawn comparisons to Durutti Column and The Penguin Cafe Orchestra. They originally recorded two albums, the stunning 1981 debut “Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong” and the follow up nearly a decade later, 1989s “It’s Cosy Inside”. Inbetween they released a dozen cassette-only releases. Since the band has been redicovered by a younger generation in recent years most of these obscure releases had been re-released by various international labels. This album, entitled “All Is Well” is a new collection of unreleased material, mostly recorded in the 1980s. It´s poppy, upbeat, multi influenced music.” (label info) 200 black vinyl, Screenprint cover, handnumbered edition
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The Pharaohs “Awakening” (Ubiquity)

2020-03-02T07:05:25+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Ubiquity Records presents a limited repressing of “Awakeining” by the legendary Pharaohs which is highly sought after and has been out of print for several years.

Awakening was originally released in 1971 and re-issued by Luv n’Haight in 1996 and quickly became a must-have for collectors of spiritual, deep, Afro-centric Jazz.

“The legend of The Pharaohs starts at Crane Junior College on the West side of Chicago. Under the tutelage of James Mack a student band is formed- The Jazzmen- which in 1962 wins the best band category at Chicago’s annual Harvest Moon Festival which translated into the early members finding success at Chess Records as studio musicians.

After a while these musicians moved over to the South Side to the fledgling Affro Arts Theater where they joined the Artistic Heritage Ensemble, under the leadership of Phil Cohran and where they eventually merged after Cohran left to teach at Malcolm X Junior College. It was this version of the band: Louis Satterfield, Charles Handy, “Big” Willie Woods (Trombone), Oye Bisi (African drums), Shango Njoko Adefumi (African Drums), Black Herman Waterford (Quinto drum, alto sax), Don Myrick (saxes), Yehudah Ben Israel (guitar, vocals), Alious Watkins (trap drums, tuba), Derf Reklaw Raheem (percussion, flute), Aaron Dodd (Tuba); that in 197I recorded “The Awakening”. By 1972 when “In The Basement” was recorded the unit had expanded to include Derrick Morris (trap drums), Warren Bingham (guitar), Rahm Lee (trumpet) and Sue Conway (Vocal).

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Tenderlonious “On Flute” (22a)

2020-03-02T07:05:54+00:00January 18th, 2020|

Long awaited repress of Tenderlonious’ groundbreaking On Flute EP, originally released back in 2016. This stunning six track EP demonstrates how diverse Tenderlonious’s musicianship is as he embellishes each song with his signature flute sound.
Ghana sets the pace of the record with up-tempo afro beats, complimented by keys, strings, a distinctive lead synth and of course a soaring flute solo. Autumn Leaves follows with a more UK broken-beat flavour, revealing a darker sense of atmosphere. Other tracks include the modern classic Song For My Father (as featured on Kamaal Williams forthcoming DJ-Kicks compilation), an upbeat number fusing funk and disco to create the perfect dance floor filler that builds to a climax with a wild flute solo from the man himself. In A Sentimental Mood follows and, as the title suggests, shows the listener how this producer came by his name. Tender flute inflections and sensitive lead synths, backed by quiet whispers. The EP finishes with Dale’s Corner, another broken feel on this one with delayed Rhodes supported by tasteful flute lines throughout – it leaves the listener feeling uplifted and wanting more!

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En Attendant Ana “Juillet” (Trouble In Mind)

2020-03-02T07:06:13+00:00January 17th, 2020|

With the release of Juillet, Parisian quintet En Attendant Ana make good on the promise of their album Lost and Found (2018, Trouble In Mind), diligently crafting a set of ten songs that shimmer, glide and sway with a sophistication only hinted at by their debut.

Recorded by Vincent Hivert and Alexis Fugain over the course of one week at Studio Claudio, an isolated studio in rural France, Juillet is the sound of a band reshaping itself, adapting to numerous transitions both within the band and in life. Whereas the tunes on Lost and Found felt wild and reckless, the songs on Juillet feel focused, composed by the band over six months, working a much as possible on arrangements, structure to create a set of songs that feel bonded together by the magnetic pull of each other; each shines on their own, but viewed as a whole, they dazzle.

Songs like Do You Understand? and the first single Words point toward a new frontier for the group, effortlessly sharpening their razor-sharp hooks to such a fine point, you almost don’t realize their complexity. Elsewhere, songs like Flesh or Blood and opener Down The Hill revel in the push/pull dynamics they teased at on Lost and Found while earworm tunes like In / Out’s poetic lyrics bounce atop a toe-tapping pulse (courtesy of rhythm section of bassist Antoine Vaugelade and drummer Adrien Pollin). Finally, songs like From My Bruise To An Island and the sparse When It Burns bridge a confessional narrative atop an amorphous ambient float

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Rap “Export” (Jolly Discs)

2020-03-07T06:54:01+00:00January 9th, 2020|

Free, fresh, rowdy-cum-wistful rave/blooz mutations from Thomas Bush and Guy Gormley (Special Occasion, Enchante), improbably applying hardstyle tempos to breezy, dub-scuffed pop songs with soca/funky-derived rhythms and eerie, ambient/folk textures (what?). Hashed out over a few sessions at GG’s studio over the road from us back in December, it’s a looser, spacier excursion than the duo’s last RAP outing, the brightly lit and tightly wound ‘Originals’ – and in true Jolly Discs fashion it goes down so easy it takes a few listens before the true extent of its craft and daring and attention to detail becomes apparent. Those of us craving more from Bush after last year’s banging Old & Red ought to be first in line – his distinctive young-druid vocals are used sparingly, but very effectively, here, while as co-producers he and Gormley deliver something more than the sum of themselves, folding upful, bashy UK house tropes into a more private, moody, crepuscular sphere – a world where floatation-tank techno chords, steel-drum vamps and LFOish sub-bass plasma-bursts co-exist with eldritch swirls of woodwind and stately, high-lonesome piano nocturnes. It could be music imagined from a point so far in the future, or by a civilisation so far away, that they perceive the temporal and cultural distance between Gareth Williams and Karizma to be effectively zero. Or just people making stuff to suit themselves, and kindly sharing the spoils with you>>>>

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Itchy Bugger “Double Bugger” (Low Company)

2020-03-02T07:06:56+00:00January 9th, 2020|

Supremely hungover, red-eyed-and-can’t-quite-be-arsed but utterly LIFE-AFFIRMING bedroom/loner-pop masterpiece from the Itchy Bugger. May this record bless your miserable existence like it has ours.

Songs that somehow combine punk concision and psychedelic whimsy with a fluency accessible only to THE GREATS. The songs are lusher and more intricately arranged than on the first LP (maiden voyage on our shoppe label), even as they double down on the DIY, drug-scrambled weirdness, and that unmistakeably PRIVATE, nocturnal, kitchen-creeping, don’t-wake-the-flatmates vibe… oh yeah and still with that same sadsack fucking drum-machine beat on every song.

The custom bonehead riffage he contributes to Heavy Metal and Diat is here repurposed into something more textured and introspective and jangling and DAZED, mekkin me think of The Moles (especially ’Sometimes’), Pip Proud, subtly OUT early 90s Flying Nun gems like David Kilgour’s Here Comes The Cars or John Kelcher’s Personal Disorganiser… if you’re feeling saucy you can throw in bits of Razorcuts, Afflicted Man, Solid Space, Beauty Contest,Television Personalities +++ while yer at it (‘An Adorable Graveyard’ not only makes me BAWL, it is also the best song Privilege-era Dan Treacy never wrote.). It’s just… so good. Not sure I’ve felt this ALIVE since I lost my virginity and a few mins later narrowly escaped death trying to ride a bicycle the wrong way down a dual carriageway (“But that was only two weeks ago!” ARF).

Ach, REALLY floundering here trying to describe the best album of the decade – which somehow WE dumb cunts are releasing. Not gonna waste our breath any more…THOSE WHO KNOW DON’T SAY AND THOSE WHO SAY THEY JUST DON’T KNOW

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Boreal Massif “We All Have An Impact” (Pessimist Productions)

2020-03-07T05:27:37+00:00January 9th, 2020|

Proper stunning 12-track LP of ruffneck, downtempo breakbeats, ultra-sparse electro and gorgeously melancholic, after-the-flood ambience from Pessimist and Loop Faction. Much like the Pess & Karim Maas album from earlier this year, We All Have An Impact is an Isolationist’s dream synthesis of low-slung trip-hop rhythms and suspenseful, blood-vessel-bursting dub-techno pressure – but the range of mood and tone and emotion is much wider here, moving up from the roiling depths of darkside into more numinous, ethereal, cautiously blissed-out climes…a kind of post-apocalyptic soundboy take on New Age?!

Perhaps. Certainly it takes the alternately crisp and MDMA-bleary sonics, and the edgeland pagan spirit, of classic “intelligent” techno – B12, Ross 154, Ae’s Amber, REQ, Future Sound of London’s Life Forms, etc- and brings it bang-up-to-date with cutting-edge drone-logic, field recording and heavy-ordnance sub-bass. More than anything I think it reminds me of Urban Tribe’s Mo’Wax-flattering The Collapse of Modern Culture, that incredible, futureproof cold-fusion of hip-hop and yearning, deep-space-Detroit blooz which still hasn’t REALLY been assimilated.

One of the albums of the year, for sure.

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Greg Foat “The Dreaming Jewels” (Athens Of The North)

2020-03-02T07:10:48+00:00January 9th, 2020|

Recording at Malcom Catto’s analogue studio has been an ambition of Greg’s for a long time, not only for the studio itself but for Malcolm’s skill using this vintage equipment, very few people can achieve such an incredibly big sound.

Earlier this year we grabbed the chance to get the full Greg Foat group joined by Binker Golding (Binker and Moses) on Tenor Saxophone, Malcolm Catto on drums and Hugh Harris (The Kooks) on Guitar on the session.

Moving to a more rhythmic space, you could call it Jazz funk or Fusion, but labels suck so just listen and appreciate the pure sense of space Malcom achieves with this recording. Instruments float in space, aided by the Vintage EMI desk and a host of valve equipment which has taken Malcolm a lifetime to collect. In amongst the more rhythmic pieces we also have some classic Foat style compositions; ‘Lake Kussharo’ and ‘The Dreaming Jewels’ as emotive and personal as ever, a feeling that can only be expressed and articulated in music. These past few years will no doubt be looked back on with great favour in musical history, with prolific and high quality output in all his various projects this LP is his crowning achievement of 2019. A strong year indeed!

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Mike Selesia “Flavor” (Mad About)

2020-03-02T07:11:16+00:00December 20th, 2019|

Mad About Records present a reissue of Mike Selesia’s Flavor, originally released in 1976. This is cool jazz album all the way around. From the black-and-white, hand-drawn cover, to the fact that it came out of Fresno, California (not exactly a hotbed for jazz), to the handful of styles present (straight ahead, funky, free, and even a raga), Flavor has got it going on. High quality musicianship and some far-out stoner tracks make this album stand head-and-shoulders above most of its private press peers. Original released in a very limited issue — rumor has it that only 300 were pressed — this album was handed out at their shows and sold only to local record stores. Only together for nine months, Mike Selesia (who plays sax and flute) and band recorded this album in one day presented this fascinating hybrid of early ’60s Coltrane, early ’70s Miles Davis. One of the rarest spiritual jazz LPs ever!

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Andy Stott “It Should Be Us” (Modern Love)

2020-03-02T07:11:50+00:00December 20th, 2019|

Andy Stott’s first release since 2016 and first EP since 2011, It Should Be Us is a double EP of slow and raw productions for the club, recorded in 2019 and following a series of EPs that started with Passed Me By (LOVE 069LP) and We Stay Together (LOVE 072LP) early this decade. Recorded fast and loose over the summer, these eight tracks harness a pure and bare-boned energy, melodies subsumed by drum machines and synths; slow, rugged hedonism. It’s all about rhythmic heat and disorientation, pure dance and DJ specials rendered at an unsteady pace, from percolated house and percussive rituals to moody tripped-out burners. There’ll be a new Andy Stott album in 2020, but in the meantime… this one’s for dancing. Mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

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Shasta Cults “Shasta Cults” (Important)

2020-03-02T07:12:02+00:00December 20th, 2019|

Shasta Cults is the musical project of Canadian electronics technician Richard Smith. For almost two decades, Smith was the official Buchla & Associates go-to repair person for studios, collectors, and musicians around the world, having worked with artists such as Aphex Twin, Suzanne Ciani, Mort Subotnick, and institutions such as The Library of Congress and Mills College, Smith has had the unique experience of restoring and interacting with nearly every model of Buchla instrument constructed over the past 50 years. “Recording demonstrations of the rare equipment that found its way on to my work bench,” is how Smith describes the origins of Shasta Cults. Although sounds have been trickling out for decades, it wasn’t until 2017 that Smith recorded his first album using one of these rare instruments: the Buchla 700. Configurations, released in September 2019 by Important Records (IMPREC 432CD) and the catalyst for this latest release, features eight tracks of heavily-modulated, wave-shaped explorations drenched in effects. Recorded over the span of three months in the fall of 2018, this album was programmed using the only fully-functional Buchla Touché. Developed in the early 1980s with hardware by Don Buchla and software programmed by musician David Rosenboom, the Touché features waveforms generated internally by twenty-four digital oscillators and uses frequency modulation along with sophisticated digital and analog signal processing to produce complex timbres. This LP is a continuation of themes first heard on Configurations, with more consideration given to the generation and recording of the pieces. The album’s six tracks — a collection of sonic experiments and hypnotic drones — span almost forty minutes, showcasing not only the incredible fidelity of the Touché but also Smith’s evolution as an audio engineer. Put on some headphones, find a comfortable chair, and let this LP transport you to the mystifying southern cascades of Siskiyou County. Manufactured at RTI and cut by John Golden.

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The Common People ‎”Of The People / By The People / For The People From The Common People” (Magic Box)

2020-03-02T07:12:17+00:00December 20th, 2019|

A highly regarded US psychedelic album, originally released by Capitol in 1969, gets reissued on 140-GRAM BLACK VINYL. The Common People had a very unique style, which was mellow, moody and intense (or even heavy, in a way) at the same time. The LP was produced by Tim Hudson (a.o. The Seeds, The Lollipop Shoppe) and arranged by David Axelrod. This special edition comes with liner notes and a free CD featuring four non-album bonus tracks!

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Shamek Farrah & Sonelius Smith ‎”The World Of The Children” (Svart)

2020-03-02T07:12:34+00:00December 20th, 2019|

One of the rarest albums on the infamous Jazz label Strata-East from 1977 and it’s a spiritual soul jazz masterpiece. Sonelius Smith’s free piano comes together with Shamek Farrah’s heartfelt saxophone for a totally unforgettable journey into the meaning of sacred jazz. Fresh and imaginative, but not too improvisational. Rhapsodic but never over-indulgent and with a raucous, bold groove that’s in the real classic Strata-East mold. Playful and wild but beautiful and confident and with a swagger and expertly crafted finesse that lets this record sit alongside the very classics of the era as a forgotten gem. One of the tracks of note on this LP is the 10 minute epic Latin jazz feast ‘World Of The Children’, but the entire album is a top class work that will now be infinitely enjoyable for generations to come. Limited to 500 copies on black vinyl.

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Various Artists “Spiritual Jazz Vol. 1: Esoteric, Modal and Deep Jazz from the Underground 1968-77” (Jazzman)

2020-03-02T07:13:54+00:00December 13th, 2019|

Remastered limited 2019 repress; originally released in 2008. Jazzman Records presents the sound of the unsung musicians who — in the midst of the Vietnam War and the fallout of the Civil Rights struggle — created some of the most beautiful spiritual and meditative music of the era. Sometimes funky, sometimes mellow, but always trying to say something about the world in which we live. Existing completely under the critical radar and largely ignored or unknown by music fans and critics alike, most of the musicians featured in this album won’t be familiar to even the most seasoned aficionado. Their records, frequently turned down by distributors and record stores, saw little attention when first released — and have seen even less since. But in this era of musical apathy, where so many music junkies look to the past for their musical fix, Jazzman Records have re-discovered hidden, obscure and esoteric jazz musicians who looked to the four corners of the earth — and beyond — for inspiration. Here Jazzman Records evaluates spiritual jazz — music that is a snapshot of the era after Coltrane, a time which saw the evolution of an underground jazz that spoke about the reform of the soul, the reform of the spirit, and the reform of society: a music which was local and international at once, which was a personal journey and a political statement, and which was religious and secular in one non-contradictory breath. The music on this album reflects the social and historical forces at work during the closedown of the ’60s dream; music made by close-knit collectives and individual visionaries, by prisoners and eccentrics, by mystics and political radicals. It includes music by acknowledged masters, and moments of brilliance by unsung figures known to us from just one or two recordings. It is the jazz music of America in the age of civil rights, brutal repression, political assassination and war; a music that would guarantee the survival of the spiritual dimension in a society that was angry and traumatized, but nevertheless had seen hope of better days to come. Soul jazz; Black jazz; Spiritual jazz. Features James Tatum Trio Plus, Lloyd Miller, Morris Wilson Beau Bailey Quintet, Mor Thiam, Ndikho Xaba & The Natives, The Positive Force with Ade Olatunji, Salah Ragab and The Cairo Jazz Band, The Frank Derrick Total Experience, Hastings Street Jazz Experience, Ronnie Boykins, Leon Gardner, and Ohio Penitentiary 511 Jazz Ensemble.

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Various Artists “Spiritual Jazz Vol. 10: Prestige” (Jazzman)

2020-03-02T07:14:11+00:00December 13th, 2019|

Double LP version. Gatefold sleeve with comprehensive liner notes and pics. Subtitled: Esoteric, Modal and Deep Jazz from Prestige Records, 1961-73. The tenth edition of Jazzman Records Spiritual Jazz series takes a closer look at the music Prestige was recording at the start of the 1960s. This was the period when the modal jazz sound pioneered by Miles and Coltrane was starting to percolate through the jazz underground. In its heyday, Prestige was the only jazz label that could hold a candle to Blue Note. Prestige was always quick off the mark to record new artists, and in the years after Kind of Blue (1959) the label was quick to release some of the most innovative early explorers of the new style. Founded as New Jazz in 1949 by 20-year old jazz fan and entrepreneur Bob Weinstock, Prestige was the only other imprint besides Blue Note to capture the iconic jazz sounds of the 1950s, and like its rival it grew to be an icon itself. If Blue Note documented the sound of hard bop in its most carefully crafted and beautifully presented form, the low-key, jam-session approach that Weinstock preferred meant that the music captured by Prestige has a tough, unfiltered energy that was a lot closer to way it was being played live, night after night, by New York’s most prominent jazz musicians. Featuring Afro-Eastern visions from Yusef Lateef and Ahmed Abdul-Malik, deep modal excursions from Mal Waldron and Walt Dickerson, and essential spiritual jazz grooves from Gary Bartz and Idris Muhammed, Spiritual Jazz 10 documents the sound of modal jazz in full flight, unabashed and authentic from the pioneers! Also features Roy Haynes, Latin Jazz Quintet, and Moondog.

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