MAGIC MIX

folk . americana . blues . r&b . rock&roll

WEEK STARTING 23 Mar

Genre pick of the week Cover of Short Movie by Laura Marling.
‘Short Movie’ is Laura’s fifth album in seven years, which is a remarkable achievement for someone who has yet to turn 25 years old. This album marks a new chapter in Laura’s sound and development, this record moving towards a much bigger & electric feel, it’s a much freer and looser sounding album than anything she has done before. ‘Short Movie’ is Laura’s first selfproduced album which was a pleasant but anxious experience for her but one she boldly undertook with a desire to ‘demystify production’.

Aye Aye

Aye Aye

    The CV on Aye Aye, the long-rumored self-titled debut by Philadelphia’s premier desert blues marsupials, runs deep through the beer-strewn underbelly of Philly rock. The Gibbons Bros’ unmistakable slow-motion, big-chord fuzz will be familiar to anyone who’s taken a plunge into the Bardo Pond soundpool over the last few decades, though a cultivated ear will note more grits and butts and less pedalboard worship here. Ben Leapheart retains his very official title of greatest drummer in Philadelphia—have you shmoes not heard Purling Hiss or Watery Love?—with his innate understanding that the drums lead, not merely keep time. And then there’s the high lonesome harp of Harmonica Dan Balcer, a record hound of profound depth. He’s been the public face of Boogie Witch, blown his harp on records by Jack Rose and Birds of Maya, blasted noise with the Megajam Booze Band, patiently schooled dingdongs from behind the counter at the Philadelphia Record Exchange, and devoted unhealthy decades to an insatiable thirst for true rock spirit. Yeah, yeah, cool, but what does it sound like? OK bub, how about terrestrial crunching rock drifting over a great expanse? Aye Aye is limited to 300 copies on vinyl and includes a complimentary digital download with purchase.

    Richard J. Birkin

    Songs For Spoken Words

      “In its sweet, low-key way, Songs for Spoken Words is magnificent. It's as if you're hosting a cutting edge artistic event in the comfort of your own office, living room or train seat. Within a few lines of “Being That Person” you're hooked. Technically dazzling and emotionally involving.”
      - The Arts Desk.

      “Listen and marvel.” - Collective Zine.

      "The overall mood is reflective and melancholic spanning a spectrum that ranges from the warm slow-indie vibe that bookends the album (‘Being That Person’ and ‘Goodbye’) to modern classical motifs rendered with a dash of cinematic melodrama in such achingly beautiful pieces as ‘That Night’ and ‘One’. Everything is elegantly and minimally arranged, featuring crystal clear acoustic guitar, resonating strings, and just a faint smattering of electronics. Songs for Spoken Words is worth the price of admission for the music alone; each tune is engaging, both easy on the ear and able to summon wistful feelings in the listener." - Stationary Travels.

      Wayne Cochran

      Wayne Cochran! - 180g Vinyl Mono Edition

      'Wayne Cochran!' The exclamation mark is there for a reason. Known as “The White Knight of Soul,” Cochran was flamboyant in both voice and attire. Crowned by a swooping white pompadour, he held back nothing on stage. His performance style was very reminiscent of fellow Georgia native Little Richard Penniman. Like Penniman, music led Cochran to his current career as a minister. Anyone who’s ever witnessed a fire-and-brimstone southern gospel service can see the connection between gospel’s passion and r&b’s groove.

      Issued by Chess Records in 1967, Wayne Cochran! captured the outrageous energy of his live show within the album’s grooves. This explosive collection of songs proved that Cochran deserved to share the label home of r&b greats like Etta James, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Rather than a traditional artist portrait, the front cover features an outline of his white pompadour against a black background. Simple and direct, it stood in stark relief against the sea of day-glo, psychedelic imagery of the day. To put it another way, the cover art clearly conveyed that this album was all killer, no filler.

      The original mono version of this LP is incredibly rare and changes hands for princely sums. However, there is no need to empty the savings account now that Sundazed Music has prepared a righteous reissue, in glorious mono! Sourced from the original analog master tapes, this Sundazed edition is 180gm of concentrated soul. Just add a turntable and watch the party spring to life!

      Elizabeth Eaton Converse grew up in Laconia, New Hampshire in 1924. Described as a polymath, she attended Mt. Holyoke College, but by 1944 she decided to leave college and, in 1949, she made her way to New York City. Over the course of the next decade, in addition to acquiring her new moniker, “Connie” wrote and recorded songs that captured the hearts of those close to her. Some were recorded by the artist in her Greenwich Village apartment, others by friends enamored of the music. These included animator Gene Deitch and his colleague Bill Bernal, who helped coordinate an appearance on the CBS Morning Show with Walter Cronkite.
      Despite these efforts, Connie’s music never reached an audience wider than, as she once put it, “dozens of people all over the world.”

      In 1961 Connie tired of New York and left for Ann Arbor. She became increasingly despondent in the 1970’s, and, finally, in 1974, Connie wrote a series of goodbye notes to friends and family, packed up her Volkswagen and disappeared. She has not been seen or heard from since. At first listen, Connie’s music seems to keep close company with the female folk artists who were her contemporaries. The knack for plaintive storytelling shares much with Peggy Seeger and Susan Reed, but Connie’s music stands out from that of the American folk revival of the 1950’s. Her fluid and disarmingly intelligent poetry is often filled with the kind of contradictions that reflects an urban perspective. She is at once a maverick and a romantic, intellectual and spiritual, a staunch independent and a tender, pining lover. How Sad, How Lovely captures the broad spectrum of Connie’s music..

      Fabiano Do Nascimento

      Danca Dos Tempos

      'Dança dos Tempos'  is the debut album from thrilling, young Brasilian guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento, and it features legendary percussionist Airto Moreira in his first album project in over ten years. 'Dança Dos Tempos' follows folkloric Brasilian music as experienced through the mind and able fingers of an expansive musician, not yet thirty years old, and combines the heady ‘60s and ‘70s experimentalism of Hermeto Pascoal and Baden Powell with the childlike elegance of music played and passed down by native Brasilians for generations. It is the second Brasilian album released on Now-Again, following Seu Jorge and Almaz.

      Moreira, the bandleader, songwriter and producer who recorded a bevy of titles under his own name, with his wife Flora Purim, and whose resume contains the names of - seriously - every musician worth mentioning from America or Brasil from the past 50 years - plays percussion on the album and is joined by do Nascimento’s long time drummer, Ricardo “Tiki” Pasillas on trap drums. Do Nascimento and Kana Shimanuki handle vocals on what is otherwise an airy instrumental album that allows the guitarist’s virtuosity to shine through originals, folkloric Brasilian songs, and select covers by the likes of Pascoal and Powell, both formative influences on the guitarist.

      These duets show the camaraderie that two master Brasilian musicians - of two different generations, but of the same spirit - share with comrades of ages past as they imagine music for the years to come. These tracks were recorded live in the studio with no overdubs by producer Luther Russell and engineer Jason Hiller - straight to 2” analog-tape, and only sparingly mastered to focus on the subtleties of the performances.

      Mike & Cara Gangloff

      Durang‘s Hornpipe / Rake And Rambling Boy

        Having released records on The GPS previously as part of the late great Jack Rose’s backing band and The Black Twig Pickers- (as well as cutting their cloth as part of the mighty Pelt), Mike and Cara release a great double ‘A’ side for March here in an edition of 500.

        “Durang’s Hornpipe” is spectacularly underpinned by the majestic drone of Cara’s Shruti box, with Mike on banjo and fiddle and is backed by the peak and fall and drone pulse of the Shruti once again on an incredible reworking of the standard “Rake and Ramblin’ Boy”.

        A beautiful 45, worth it alone for those moments where both voices collide on the flip- it won’t hang around long and is dressed in ace printed inside and out sleeve and on dark cherry wax. Pressing of 500 only.

        The Hanging Stars

        Golden Vanity / Floodbound

          ‘London’s best cosmic country band’ - TIMEOUT.

          Features several member of The See See.

          In April 2014, Paul, Sam, Rich, Phil and Horse started life as The Hanging Stars. Combining lush harmonies with their love for Cosmic American Music, English folk and psychedelia, their songs lie somewhere between the desert's beating sun and the grey skies of East London; both timeless yet new.

          The band’s debut 7” single will be released on cult vinyl label Great Pop Supplement and was recorded both in Lake Hollywood (US) and Walthamstow (UK) by Rob Campanella (Beachwood Sparks, The Tyde) and Brian O’Shaughnessy (Comet Gain, The Clientele) respectively.

          A side ‘Golden Vanity’ sees the band take the lyrics from a traditional folk ballad they found in the pages of an old Alan Lomax anthology and reworking them into a whole new original melody. Part inspired by the folk tradition and part pure psychedelic pop song, it exemplifies the band’s unique and distinctive sound.

          AA side ‘Floodbound’ is an English take on Californian music. Desert chords and swirling pedal steel combine with a soaring melody in a song that ebbs and flows with darkness and light.

          A full album is scheduled for release late 2015.

          Richie Havens

          Mixed Bag - 180g Vinyl Mono Edition

          “Freedom.” The very mention of the song conjures images of Richie Havens at Woodstock, fiercely strumming his guitar and lost in an improvisational moment of creation. An intensely engaging performer, Havens honed his craft in the clubs and cafes of Greenwich Village, just over the bridge from his native Brooklyn. Painter, poet and multi-instrumentalist, Havens immersed himself in the Village’s beatnik culture just as the nascent folk scene began to develop. Connecting with uber-manager Albert Grossman, then guiding the careers of Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary, Havens rose to the top tier of the international folk movement.

          Signed to Verve Forecast, Havens released his first album, Mixed Bag, in August of 1967. The intriguing LP gathered songs from Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, Lennon/McCartney as well as two self-penned compositions and one co-written with future acting star Lou Gossett, Jr. The album’s instrumentation featured Havens on sitar and acoustic guitar played in his unique style, thumb chording songs in open D tuning. Soaring above it all was his commanding baritone, a voice that injected gravitas into every song, bringing the lyrics to vivid life. A stunning debut, it climbed both the pop and jazz Billboard charts.

          Sundazed Music presents this vital album in its rare mono version, sourced from the original Verve masters, and pressed on lush 180g vinyl. Cue it up and hear the glorious sound of artistic freedom pouring from your speakers.

          Richie Havens

          Something Else Again - 180g Vinyl Mono Edition

          “Freedom”. The very mention of the song conjures images of Richie Havens at Woodstock, fiercely strumming his guitar and lost in an improvisational moment of creation. An intensely engaging performer, Havens honed his craft in the clubs and cafes of Greenwich Village, just over the bridge from his native Brooklyn. Painter, poet and multi-instrumentalist, Havens immersed himself in the Village’s beatnik culture just as the nascent folk scene began to develop. Connecting with uber-manager Albert Grossman, then guiding the careers of Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary, Havens rose to the top tier of the international folk movement.

          Havens followed up his album debut 'Mixed Bag' a year later with 'Something Else Again'. The cover portrait found Havens clad in dashiki and wearing beads while playing a sitar, looking like a standard bearer for the counterculture. The songs’ subject matter followed that direction as well, dealing primarily with social issues rather than relationships. It was another charting record for Havens, reaching #184 on Billboard’s Pop Albums. More than mere albums, Mixed Bag and Something Else Again: were signposts for a rapidly changing culture, leading the way to a more enlightened existence.

          Sundazed Music presents this vital album in its rare mono version, sourced from the original Verve masters, and pressed on lush 180g vinyl. Cue it up and hear the glorious sound of artistic freedom pouring from your speakers.

          Piccadilly Records

          Mono Colour Print - Black Tote Bag

            One colour 'mono' print (white) of the Piccadilly Records logo on a black tote bag.


            Snails

            Talking To Anthony / Winter Hearts

              First up for March’s trio of spankin’ new Great Pop Supplement is the long awaited follow up to Snails’ debut 45 on The GPS a couple of years ago “She’d Like an Hour”. Selling out it’s run in next to no time after several plays on 6music and lauded by the likes of Stephen Pastel.

              The new single sees the band reappearing with a stable line up for the first time, and is timed to coincide with a bunch of live shows in support. “Talking to Anthony” recalls the classic uk folk of Pentangle, Clive Palmer / C.O.B and early Fairports and so on. Or, as the band themselves put it: “songs centred on two voices projecting a vision of widescreen heartache as seen through rain streaked semi-detached windows”.

              A beautiful 2nd 45 dressed up in gorgeous circular diecut sleeves and on lush clear vinyl. Edition of 500 and expected to sell out quickly….

              “Hammer And Nails” is a reissue of the classic 1962 release by The Staple Singers. This album showcases the group in their Southern gospel prime on the title track, “Gloryland” and “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen”. The group would go on to soul glory when they signed with Stax Records later in the decade but this is the group doing what they do best - gospel. Reissued on 180 gram vinyl by 4 Men With Beards.

              In 1990, Roebuck “Pops” Staples recorded a final session, capping an illustrious career as leader and patriarch of the Staples Singers.
              Unfinished at the time of his passing in 2000, the tapes went to his daughter, Mavis, who then waited for the right opportunity to finish the recording in the spirit Pops intended. When she began her series of remarkable collaborations with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, starting with 2010’s You Are Not Alone and continuing with 2013’s One True Vine, Mavis knew she had found the person to work on her father’s record.

              Mavis Staples: “I chose this title because these were the words my father said to me as he gave me the tape of his final recordings. He was sick and lying in bed and asked me to play the record for him in his room. After listening to it, he called me to his room again. He was weak, but he handed me the tape and in a soft voice said ‘Don’t lose this, Mavis.’ While Pops’ voice and guitar sounded so good on the original recordings [and remain untouched on this record], I knew the songs needed something else to really come to life. Something special. Pops deserved that. So I called on my dear friend Jeff Tweedy to fill out the tracks around Pops and he’s helped to craft this beautiful album.”

              • Mavis Staples’ releases on ANTI are the most successful and lauded releases of her solo career. 2010’s You Are Not Alone won a Grammy, while One True Vine received tremendous acclaim, with the Herald Scotland saying “One True Vine moves closer to the late-career flourish of Johnny Cash’s studio work with Rick Rubin… these songs take life by the hand.”

              • Pops Staples and the Staples Singers are one of the most important bands of the post-war era, from their Civil Rights gospel in the 60s to their positive-message hits like “Respect Yourself” in the 70s.

              • Produced by Jeff Tweedy, and featuring son Spencer on drums and the original Staples Singers vocal lineup.

              Produced by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon at April Base - his Eau Claire, Wisconsin studios, 'If I Was' is a record that takes the initial blueprint of 2012's 'Dead & Born & Grown' debut LP, and gives it a real sense of muscle, darkness and depth to those already untouchable harmonies. Having toured the globe extensively with Bon Iver, the bands became firm friends, and an initial visit to Eau Claire soon became the basis for the new album sessions. What they've produced is a genuinely beautiful, soaring and powerful album that firmly positions The Staves as one of Britain's most treasured young bands.

              Second volume of the '¡Chicas!' series, an irresistible collection of ye-yé, rock & roll, twist, beat, gipsy rock, soul and cinematic grooves! From the early 60s and in the middle of a difficult political and social context, Spanish female singers - and those who moved to Spain - disregarded conventions and overcame all barriers to be part of a music movement that shook the Spanish society of the period. Many of the 28 tracks are reissued for the first time, including very hard-to-find records. Both formats include extensive notes by Vicente Fabuel featuring all the original record sleeves and artist photos.

              Various Artists

              It's Jamaica Jump Blues Time! Jamaican Sound System Classics 1941-1962

              Well, no one can accuse Fantastic Voyage of rushing things: it’s been a year since 'Jump Blues Jamaica Way' became the third volume in the label's Jamaican Sound System Classics series, but here at long last is the fourth instalment. 'It’s Jamaica Jump Blues Time!' is another selection of US jump / shuffle blues recordings, which will be of equal interest to both Jamaican music fans and connoisseurs of classic US rhythm & blues. Since Fantastic Voyage released 'Jumping The Shuffle Blues' back in 2011, each successive volume in the series has been eagerly awaited by lovers of the music, some of whom have even suggested tracks for the consideration of compiler and annotator Phil Etgart.

              Over the last twelve months Phil has been busy researching what records were favoured by the Jamaican sound systems. This is no easy matter, considering that many had their labels scratched out and were retitled by DJs keen to preserve their “exclusives”, meaning that they were known on the island by their sound system titles. This is the music that provided the inspiration for Ska and all that followed. So enjoy sound system favourites by Louis Jordan, Joe Liggins, King Pleasure, Fats Domino, Louis Prima, Rosco Gordon, T-Bone Walker, Professor Longhair and a host of other names, both famous and obscure. Maybe we’ll do it all over again sometime, but you can’t hurry a good thing!



              Various Artists

              Slow Grind Fever Vol. 4

                Slow Grind Fever Vol. 4 was compiled by DJ Diddy Wah from London. Insider know him from his Diddywah Blog, his radio show and from constantly DJ-ing in London hosting his own nights like Heavy Sugar, Get Rhythm and others. Expect the best in late 50s Slow Dance!


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