Sun Ra

Early Singles 1955-1962

    Herman Poole Blount, better known to the world as Sun Ra, lived more musical lives in his 79 years on this planet (and others) than seems possible. In the 30s he was the most rigorous bandleader in Birmingham, heading the Sonny Blount Orchestra and filling every waking moment with music or philosophical discussions, by the 40s he had moved to Chicago and performed with luminaries such as Wynonie Harris, Fletcher Henderson, and Coleman Hawkins. By the 50s he had changed his name to Sun Ra and began performing with longtime Arkestra bandmates John Gilmore and Marshall Allen. Ra started his own label, El Saturn (or Saturn), to release his own recordings as well as those featuring the Arkestra backing local R&B and doo-wop groups. Though the genres showcased here are more pop than the world has come to expect from Sun Ra, the vibe and feel is purely cosmic, producing some of the wildest, strangest R&B ever created on this side of the sun. This collection compiles Saturn singles and rare hard to find early Sun Ra in different forms/group settings including the Cosmic Rays, the Qualities, Sun Ra and his Myth-Science Arkestra, and more from 1955-1962. A must have for all true Sun Ra collectors, this is a comprehensive retrospective on the early days of this legendary music guru packed into a monstrous double LP. 


    Drain You: Live At The Pier 48, Seattle, December 13th, 1993 – Westwood One FM

      This is the legendary “Live & Loud” concert, recorded live at Pier 48 in Seattle, WA on December 13, 1993. Featuring the trio of Kurt, Dave, & Krist, augmented by guitarist Pat Smear (Germs, Foo Fighters), this is Nirvana at its absolute finest; loud, aggressive, claustrophobic, and downright transcendental. One of the greatest live performances of a quintessential group.

      D Ball

      Guidance / Transitions / Manifestations

      When D Ball's debut release inaugurated Ourtime Music, I was a spritely 16 year old, spending my days playing football on the park and my nights playing the field on MSN messenger, blissfully unaware of the under-the-radar techno classic doing the rounds on the club circuit. In the intervening 13 years, the legend of that release has grown and grown, prompting some silly money flying around the second hand market. Now, Ourtime have forced their way through the basement racks of an NQ vinyl spot and tempted D Ball back into the studio for three outstanding excursions into Motor City techno. With absolutely no fucking around whatsoever, D Ball gets straight into the good stuff on album opener "Guidance", serving up rapid fire sequences, shimmering keys and sizzling hi hats as we head right into the peak time. Textured to perfection with propulsive bass and warped Inner City style vamps, the track could be a obscure Carl Craig remix on KMS, lost sometime in the mid nineties - superb! Winter sets in on B1 cut "Transitions" as D Ball plugs into the Drexciyan mainframe for some glacial electro gloom. Deep and malevolent bass rumbles under a snapping Metroplex beat while icy pads and crystalline sequences chill you to the core - you'd best get dancing before you freeze to death. In suitably contrary fashion the shadowy producer saves the best till last, tucking the life changing brilliance of "Manifestations" on the B2. Hypnotic keys put you under their spell before giving way to a body moving bassline, swinging synth leads and motorised percussion. Understated yet powerful, the melodic majesty and propulsive power of this cut combine to attain a higher frequency of ecstasy. Believe me when I say that the raw dancefloor power of this record set the strip-light above my head into a heady strobe the second the needle hit the groove - immense!

      Run Forever

      Run Forever

        Pittsburgh indie-rock band Run Forever will be releasing a new, self-titled album on October 9th. The album was produced by HUM’s Matt Talbott and Kyle Gilbride (Waxahatchee), and features 11 songs, including the recently released single “Big Vacation.”

        The album showcases vocalist/guitarist Anthony Heubel’s impressively diverse evolution as a songwriter. Its memorable hooks and melodies grab hold of listeners with each telling note.

        Huebel is no stranger to writing emotive and evocative songs that his audience can relate to. Over the last several years his band Run Forever has become well known for their gifted songwriting and alt-indie musical style that’s flourished on fan-favorite records like The Devil, And Death, And Me, A Few Good Things EP and several splits with bands like The Wild and Adventures.


        Imani Vol. 1

          '"We're older, we're wiser, we're more mature," MC Gift of Gab (nee Timothy Parker) says of 'Imani, Vol. 1', Blackalicious' first new album in a decade. "It's better now, because we've grown as people and artists. Each one of these records is a chapter in our lives, and we put our complete heart and soul into it," agrees Gab's longtime musical partner, DJ / producer Chief Xcel (aka Xavier Mosley). "We live these records." The pair is joined by such guest performers as Afro-pop diva Zap Mama, who's featured on the title track; Amde Hamilton of legendary '60s rap progenitors the Watts Prophets on the album-opener "Faith," eclectic singer-songwriter Imani Coppola on "The Sun," underground hip-hop duo LifeSavas on "That Night," neo-blues auteur Fantastic Negrito on "Love's Gonna Save the Day," Myron of retro-soulsters Myron & E on "On Fire Tonight," and the all-star hip-hop combo of Lateef, Lyrics Born, Monophonics and DJ D Sharp on "Alpha and Omega." 

          Jack Cutter

          Serpent Strut / Gift Of Our Fathers

          Jack Cutter is a songwriter and guitarist based in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. He started with a $5 banjo just after finishing high school. In University, during the late 60’s, he performed with bar bands in Buffalo, New York. After completing University and a year as an Aerospace Engineer, he decided that attack helicopters were not really what the world needed and so he headed off to California in pursuit of music and mystic times.

          Fast forward to Fall 2014: Jack is playing his quintessential tune, ‘Gift of Our Fathers’ in the SF BART subway to an onslaught of morning commuters when he was spotted by 40 Thieves. Eureka! Love at first sight and in the next few months, two of Jack’s original acoustic pieces were given the 40 Thieves treatment.

          Enter David Sanderson aka David Harks, a singer, songwriter, producer and label curator from the East Sussex region of the UK. “Having fallen in love with the cosmic boogie (of 40 Thieves classic ‘Backward Love’) I really felt I would love nothing more than to write a tune with them. Layne got back in touch with a track he was working on entitled Serpent Strut with Jack Cutter and we worked via email over a few months to brew up that misty soul.”

          Deep, stony, psychedelic, drawing from the well of Hawkwind, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Baffo Banfi and Tolkien-tinged acoustic Led Zep, the proof of concept is now complete and in the capable and loving hands of Claremont 56.

          Back in stock Cover of Au Pays Des Merveilles De Juliet - Psychemagik Remix by Yves Simon.

          Yves Simon

          Au Pays Des Merveilles De Juliet - Psychemagik Remix

          This edit of Yves Simon ‘Au Pays Des Merveilles De Juliet’ first appeared a year or so ago as a free download for a super limited time via the Psychemagik soundcloud page. Blink, as we did, and you missed it. Now, after a long wait and many licensing delays the edit sees an official release on limited edition vinyl (500) via Leng Records. Played by many over the last year the edit takes all the elements of Yves Simon’s original, stretching it out from two minutes to over seven making it an instant classic.


          12" Info: The 12” comes one sided with an acid etched B-side. Now in plain sleeve.

          In order to make their sixth release just as special as the rest, those fine folks at People Must Jam headed to Poland in search of fresh talent. Ptaki have been making ripples around the world for their unique approach to putting together a record or two and having just recently dropped their album "Przelot" those ripples have turned to waves. Well guess what, shit's about to get tidal! "Antypody" sees the duo at their best, delivering a deep, dope and diverse selection of real dancefloor treats. Up first, "Milosc" sees the duo hit us with a heavyweight high duty house cut perfect for terrace play. Filtered guitar licks, reinforced bass and storming percussion make this an essential for the mainroom disco DJ. Next up, the wonderfully Balearic "Termy" changes tack completely, ditching the thunderous kick in favour of floating keys, drifting female vocals and delicate harp licks. Over on the flip, "Lotnik" works some smooth and jazzy ingredients into a deep and rolling house cut, perfect for the warm up or the afterhours, before the low slung and sleazy "Radio Roman" finishes us off with a porn sampling money shot. You need this in your life!

          Miles Davis

          Sketches Of Spain - Mono Edition

          ''Sketches of Spain'' is part of Miles' late 50s / early 60s 'blue' era. This is one of the four albums Miles and Gil Evans (arranger and conductor) made together with a small orchestra of horns and percussion, and it was fueled by Spanish melodies - "El Concierto de Arajuez" by Joaquí­n Rodrigo and "El Amor Brujo" by Manuel de Falla - that fascinated Davis to the point he needed to get into them and go beyond. Imagine "Kind Of Blue" but with a Spanish influence and you'd not be far wrong. Davis and Evans put something together that every single music lover should possess, a sketch of some place he'd never been to. As Miles said, 'It's music, and I like it'.


          Ltd LP Info: Limited 180g audiophile pressing.

          Ella Fitzgerald

          Lullabies Of Birdland - 180g Vinyl Edition

          Ella Fitzgerald is widely heralded for her clean phrasing, scat-singing and a confident sense of swing. Viewed as one of the world's most popular jazz singers, she performed alongside Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington. Her outstanding performances on record and live yielded both critical and popular success during her lifetime.

          'Lullabies Of Birdland' consists of recordings from 1945 to 1955. It offers a wonderful set of Swing-era standards, impossible to listen to without imagining yourself sipping cognac in a smoky jazz club on Broadway!

          Rival Consoles


            'Howl' is the new album by Rival Consoles, London-based electronic producer Ryan Lee West.

            Foremost a guitarist, growing up listening to rock rather than club music, West continues to strive towards finding a more personal balance between music for home listening and larger spaces. The title track was inspired by the howl-like tones he developed by running synths through guitar pedals.

            "By slowly drifting the pitch through distortion and delays, the result sounded like vocal cries – something which was perfect for the song and this inspired me to take on a darker set of tones across the whole album. It was made over the past few years, inspired by capturing small performances on synths, touring with some of my musical heroes, playing with feedback when I should have been catching a train, sampling my voice in unexpected conditions and recording textures in different countries.”

            The album explores a wide range of emotions; from the dissonance eruptions and primal rhythms in 'Howl', to the mournful improvisations of '3 Laments', which features a sample of his own voice. Alongside his performances on Moog, Prophet, tape delay and guitar, West enlisted the help of drummer Fabian Prynn for ‘Low’ and cellist Peter Gregson for ‘Walls’, both long-time collaborators of Erased Tapes peers Douglas Dare and Michael Price.

            "This album features a lot of my own recordings, rather than simply using samples that I have sitting on my computer. This gives the album a more personal feeling, which is very important to me because I think we live in a time where there is just so much recorded material out there, and accessible at a click of a button, that the joy of recording your own drum sounds, your own percussion, your own claps, seems redundant – but it’s not! That should be a priority because its often more interesting and makes you choose a different creative path."

            It’s rarely reported that Rival Consoles was Erased Tapes' very first signing, with a CDR of early demos under the name Aparatec that inspired founder Robert Raths to start the label. Indeed West has more in common with his contemporaries Nils Frahm and Peter Broderick than some might think. His consistent desire to create a more organic, humanised sound sees West often draft early ideas on traditional, acoustic instruments like the guitar or the piano; forming pieces that capture a sense of songwriting behind the electronics.

            "I try to create atmosphere and mood throughout with a less-is-more approach to composition. I'm always trying to find an exciting reaction from a few ingredients, because that is magic to me. To make something interesting with tons of layers of effects just doesn't excite me. But to make something interesting with just three layers requires a special alignment of sounds, ideas and timing. This is my most personal work to date, following on from 'Odyssey' and 'Sonne' which gave me the confidence to continue exploring my own ideas and approach to sound. The essence of this album was made with a few synths, some guitar pedals and lots of cups of tea. I hope you’ll enjoy it."

            Having repeatedly performed at such prestigious venues as the Tate, and having created a bespoke audio-visual performance for Boiler Room at the V&A Museum, the blueprint for West’s current live A/V show was formed. Featuring self-programmed visuals in Max/MSP has earned him appearances at music festivals around the world including Mutek, Decibel, Big Ears and Berghain’s Pop-Kultur Festival, as well as tours in support of Clark, Nosaj Thing, Luke Abbott and Kiasmos.


            Deluxe LP Info: Ltd. 500 Edition on Coloured Vinyl.

            The Evil Usses

            The Evil Usses

              Stolen Body Records are proud to announce the forthcoming album from the magnificent Bristol 4 piece The Evil Usses comprising of Conrad, Leon, Dan and Lorenzo. They play, as they describe, ‘jazzy notrock, post-op pop’. Through wildly chaotic sax solos and spasmodic guitar bursts, The Evil Usses are a band full of sensory passion and provocation.

              Think Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band mixed with Frank Zappa and Sun Ra and you might get where these Bristol guys are coming from. Stolen Body Records first released The Evil Usses as part of Vegetarian Meat 2 and have been excited about getting this album out ever since then. The Evil Usses have been praised for their amazingly wild and energetic live shows and they have recently recorded their eponymous debut album with renowned Bristol musician Jim Barr (Portishead, Get The Blessing) who has also co-produced the records.

              BRAND NEW album from legendary LA firestarters, The Icarus Line. Their third full length release for Agitated (their eigth album in total), following on from their imperious return to the fray in 2013 with the much lauded release of 'Slave Vows', followed up by its companion "album release" 'Avowed Slavery' in 2014.

              Recorded and arranged live as a group in Cardamone's studio, Valley Recording Company in Burbank, the sessions "were very private and conducive to conjuring," the frontman describes. "If you are lucky, you can capture something before it dies. I feel like all great music is a fleeting inspiration. You only have so much time to capture it before it either turns into routine or it turns its back on you."

              The album features a guest appearance from legendary outsider artist Joe Coleman who helped coin the album title. Also appearing is Bad Seed / Grinderman/ Dirty Three band leader Warren Ellis who helped pen the track "Bedlam Blue" with Cardamone.

              Art work for All Things Under Heaven was found during the making of the record. Veteran news photographer Randy Taylor was receiving attention for some works of his that were created out of destruction. During the Sandy hurricane his archive was flooded and many of his photos were "destroyed". The pictures that would make up the record's sleeve were simply a document of a 4th of July cookout but after the waters of Sandy they became the american dream in a car crash with mother nature. The perfect visual to compliment a document about a melted american dream.

              All Things Under Heaven packs the kind of swagger, raunch & ascent that would make Iggy Stooge and Sun Ra proud parents. It is a record that expands the vocabulary of what rock music can be without sacrificing the critical spirit that makes it Rock N Roll. The Icarus Line have summoned up the demons from the past, paid their homage and taken the sound in an entirely new direction; because this band are never ones to be caught on their knees. The album is a sprawling sonic landscape that has a timeless quality about it as it traverses between low valleys, towering skyscrapers and all the dirty alleyways that connect them. It's a record that's as sprawling as the city of Los Angeles to which The Icarus Line have always called home. It's a fuck you to the bite size society that has become music consumption. Life is bigger than that. And just like LA, this is a record that from the opening hollow echo swallowed pounding drums of "Ride Or Die" to the final free jazz funeral lullaby of "Sleep Now" is all its own world.

              The Icarus Line have been deep in the rock 'n' roll trenches since their debut album Mono in the late 90s, yet sound more significant now than ever. Over the years The Icarus Line have proved to be one of the most exciting and unpredictable live bands around, again and again. Their performances are explosive, dangerous and sexy all at the same time.

              "Joe Cardamone slanks in a room like some sick fuck who actually knows how to live on the street, instead of pretending that he still does," writes Permanent Midnight author Jerry Stahl. "Walking down Vulnerable Hardass Ave " the one where OG rock'n'rollers, the early eat-their-arms screamers and bar walkers that paved the way for posers and haircuts to come, first started screaming out the truth that was eating them alive."

              For fans of all music styles American Primitive: Ayler, Patton, Howlin Wolf, Gira, Velvet Underground, Funkadelic, Sun Ra, The Psychedelic Stooges, Black Flag, Charlie Feathers, Tony Conrad.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: As brash as ever, The Icarus Line return to the fore with this, their latest outing since 2013. All Things Under Heaven sees the band in a more grungy, punk-influenced mood. Snarling vocals, and screaming call-to-arms refrains atop driving distortion and thumbing kick drums. Never likely to be accused of being boring, this is a new direction from a band that can do no wrong. A Political noise-punk statement, and a righteous performance from one of the greatest post-hardcore bands of all time.


              Deluxe LP Info: Deluxe double LP / Gatefold sleeve, packaged with a CD copy of the album.

              Various Artists

              Norman Jay MBE Presents Good Times - Skank & Boogie

              For this 12th compilation Norman kicks off with St Germain’s version of Henry Mancini’s 'Pink Panther Theme'. Next up, Slim Smith’s 'Everybody Needs Love' is a classic from 1968, cut at Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle studio. Sticking with Motown, next we have a 2008 version of Stevie Wonder’s 'Living For The City' by blue-eyed soul man Michael McDonald.

              D-Influence served up contemporary boogie tune 'Good Lover' as part of their 1992 debut long player. Home-grown soul continues with Paul Johnson’s 'Better Than This', released via longstanding UK soul imprint Expansion to deserved acclaim in 2014. Dego & Kaidi’s mix adds a classic 80s soul dimension to proceedings.

              The Chi-Lites 'I Keep Comin’ Back To You' and The Real Thing’s 'Love Takes Tears' expand the 80s theme, bringing in 2-step and boogie, as does Deodato’s 'Never Knew Love' from the same period.

              We switch genres again with Delroy Wilson’s 'Better Must Come', a massively popular roots reggae sufferers lament from 1971 by this former Jamaican child star, it would go on to be used in election campaigns by various Jamaican political parties. 'Kent People' by Laurel Aitken & The Gruvy Beat is the next one out the box and was the flip to the 1969 anthem 'Skinhead Train'. It features the UK’s top reggae band of the era The Rudies. From the same year 'Splash Down' by The Crystalites is another slate that ignited dancefloors in both Jamaica and the UK upon release.

              As the end draws close The Stone City Band featuring Rick James serve up some hard edged boogie, closely followed by a classic Tom Moulton slice of late 70s disco courtesy of The Fantastic Four and their 'I Got To Have Your Love'. If that doesn’t have you dancing then Chanson's superb 'Don’t Hold Back' will leave you no choice. Classic Good Times indeed.

              Omena enlists Swedish born, Berlin based producer Anders Hellberg to launch their 'X' range, a series of 10 limited releases aimed squarely at the clubs. The producer follows up last year's tense techno release on Telefonplan with the glacial majesty of "Fiction", a melodic journey through the wintery fringes of techno. While a solid beat keeps impeccable time, icy sequences glisten and glide before the bloodless pads and synth strings propel us towards the smoke and strobes. Delsin affiliate Bleak comes through on the remix tip, offering two distinct versions of dancefloor magic. His "Original Remix" rolls and judders into the shallows, merging aquatic techno with the kind of muddy bassline Drexciya bossed in their prime. On the flip, Bleak's "Ocean Remix" heads right to the sea bed, upping the tension and club ready percussion and adding immersive elements of dub techno. If you're a fan of deep dreamstates and hours lost in the dance I suggest you pick up a copy, just don't forget your snorkle.

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