MAGIC MIX

folk . americana . blues . rock&roll

WEEK STARTING 6 Dec

Genre pick of the week Cover of Anne Briggs by Anne Briggs.

Anne Briggs

Anne Briggs

    Anne Briggs’ eponymous 1971 debut album, largely unavailable for 48 years, is widely regarded as a pillar of any folk collection. Re-issued here as part of the Topic Treasures series – the label’s classic and notable albums expanded in deluxe format with rare images, new liner notes (by folk aficionado/ journalist, Ken Hunt) – ‘Anne Briggs’ heralds a huge resurgence of interest in this most reclusive of folk doyennes. This debut album contains some of Briggs’ most notable songs, including ‘Blackwater Slide,’ which she famously taught to Bert Jansch, (who recorded it on his ‘Jack Orion’ album) and ‘Go Your Way,’ co-written with Jansch. As with the 1971 original, the sleeve here contains song notes by the highly-regarded English folk singer and collector of folk songs, A.L. Lloyd.

    Anne Briggs began singing in local folk clubs in her teens. In 1962, she became part of the Centre 42 - a leftist group of artists, writers, actors and musicians whose aim was to make arts and culture accessible to the masses. Ewan MacColl first heard Briggs’ remarkable voice and persuaded her to join the group and tour. There Briggs met MacColl’s comrade, A.L. ‘Bert’ Lloyd who became her mentor, producing her debut EP, ‘The Hazards Of Love,’ and recording Briggs for Topic landmark albums, ‘The Iron Muse’ and ‘The Bird In The Bush.’ Briggs went on to record a follow-up album, ‘The Time Has Come,’ for CBS which, at the time, sold poorly and was rapidly deleted. Two years later, she recorded again but blocked the subsequent album’s release, disheartened as she was by her singing. She retired from the limelight only to resurface in the mid 90’s to perform only momentarily with Bert Jansch for a TV documentary.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: 180g gold vinyl.

    Saadia Jefferson is a glorious act of vandalism on Yemeni traditions led by inventor, carpenter, musician and composer Eyal El Wahab.

    Dismantling lyrics, melodies and compositions from Yemeni folk songs, El Khat delve into uncharted sonic territory updating Yemen’s ancient culture. Using an orchestra of instruments old and new, many repurposed from junk objects and turned into instruments that sound similar to traditional Arabic and North African lutes and percussion, Tel Aviv based El Khat have imagined an indelible stamp of polyphonic, harmony soaked, pan-Arabic braindance.

    Hover over the tracks and you can pick out certain influences such as Omar Souleyman and dabkefolk characterised by trance-inducing chants ("Wahed Mozawej"), the searing Ethiopique organ of Mulatu Astatke ("Ala Jina Nuhayiykum"), and the unashamedly sing-along choruses of Bowie or McCartney ("Balagh Al Achbaab"), but the over-arching concept within Saadia Jefferson is Eyal’s sense of identity, or lack of it, as a Yemeni Jew living in Tel Aviv.

    The album is the rewards of a self-imposed mission to discover Eyal El Wahab’s Yemeni roots.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Colleen Grant / Sandra Hamilton

    Latin Parang / Parang Jam

    Soundway Records presents two rare, parang dancefloor cuts from early 1980s Trinidad & Tobago. Parang is a style of folk music that originated from Venezuelan and Colombian immigrants that came to the Caribbean, and evolved to include elements of Latin music, disco and soca - as is evident in this release. Although it used to be traditionally played during the festive season in Trinidad and Tobago, parang music now heats up dancefloors all year round. These two in-demand tracks were originally released on the local RH Productions label in Trinidad & Tobago. Fully restored, remastered and officially licensed - both are now both being released officially re-pressed for the first time on vinyl.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Sil says: Nicely fragrent world disco vibes here from Trinidad & Tobago. Sure to create a furnace in the trousers and skirts of the dancers - ooh la la!

    Rachel Grimes

    The Way Forth

      The expansive new album Rachel Grimes, the renowned modern composer and cofounder of iconic chamber-rock group, Rachel’s. A rich, sprawling folk opera that explores the controversial history of Kentucky’s overlooked figures. The Way Forth, a new folk opera from Rachel Grimes, encompasses lush layers of voices and orchestrations in an experiential, non-linear investigation highlighting perspectives of Kentucky women from 1775 to today. Inspired by a treasure-trove of family documents, photos, and letters spanning several generations, Grimes began in 2016 to research some of the more vexing questions that came to the surface about these people, places, and events.

      The songs that make up The Way Forth weave back in time through a postcard, a personal account of a long life on a farm, traces of folk tunes, names, places, and rivers, all woven into an emotional fabric of yearning, nostalgia, grief, and the rich intimacies of everyday life. Initially solo voices are heard above vivid orchestrations, expanding with the choral voices of the community through fragments of traditional church music and popular tunes. The scope widens to include a modern male narrator's reflections on a place battered by greed, civil war, bigotry, and the exploitation of natural resources. Through music, voice, and film, The Way Forth honors the emotional legacy of the silenced, the holistic, the beauty in quotidian life, and explores the eternal grace and redemption of time, as symbolized by the great Dix and Kentucky Rivers

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: An honest and tender look at rural history and locality as well as the place of arts and creativity within society, all presented through Grimes' singular musical vision. Any fans of Rachel's tender chamber classical (myself included) will find a lot to enjoy here, while being comfortingly different from anything that's come before.

      Hurt Valley

      Glacial Place

        During a trip to Death Valley, California in 2010, two friends decided to drive an old Saturn station wagon down a four wheel drive road into the wilderness. After a few hours of driving through the canyons, ever so slowly so not to bottom out the car, they came upon a clearing. It was filled with burned out vehicle carcasses and double wide trailers that had all been shot at, set on fire, vandalized, and finally left to become relics of the desert. It was surreal in the sunset of painted rocks and dead silence. Upon returning home to an A-frame house in Sugarloaf California, Brian Collins started Hurt Valley as a recording project. Many ideas and songs were fleshed out next to a wood burning stove and firelight. Fast forward a few more years, and with a relocation to Los Angeles in 2014, Hurt Valley became a routinely worked on project. What happened next, along with the comings and goings of many different friends and neighbors, was the recording of a series of songs over the course of a few years. Days, nights and weekends, and anytime in between, songs were crafted and recorded in a living room, in an apartment, in Los Angeles. This is what would become Glacial Pace, an album that is part memoir, part dream, part feeling—good, bad, and in between

        Mark Kozelek With Petra Haden

        Joey Always Smiled

          Mark Kozelek teams up with violinist and singer Petra Haden for a new LP called Joey Always Smiled. Along with Haden, it features contributions from Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, character actor Kevin Corrigan, regular Kozelek collaborator Ben Boye, and more. And following six originals with very Kozelekian song titles, the record closes out with a folky, beautifully spare cover of Huey Lewis & The News’ immortal Back To The Future soundtrack hit ‘The Power Of Love”

          Low Anthem

          Oh My God, Charlie Darwin - 10th Anniversary Edition

            It’s been a decade since Rhode Island’s The Low Anthem released their breakout second LP 'Oh My God, Charlie Darwin'. The album trawled a sombre and indelible beauty from America’s troubled waters, and struck a deep chord with listeners. The band’s 2008 self-released version of the disc spread like wildfire via word-of-mouth audience response, eventually attracting the attention of Bella Union and Nonesuch Records. Oh My God, Charlie Darwin was licensed, remastered, reissued and traveled the globe, sweeping the DIY minded Low Anthem along with it. From the ragtag house show hopping, MySpace friending, bar gigging circuits to the venerated stages of Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, Newport Folk Festival, and the BBC.

            “At first we were pushing the album out into the world, but then at some point we passed a threshold where the album took over, and started pulling us along on its ride,” the group’s co-founder Ben Knox Miller said. “Suddenly we were trying to keep up with it.”

            A brief survey of late-2000s American popular culture offers no immediate clue as to why an earnest, and largely acoustic folk-rock album would so dramatically rise up from America’s underground - and perhaps no-one was more surprised by this than the band itself. “We definitely worked hard, and we had a lot of luck, but the response was overwhelming,” Miller observed.


            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Dinked Edition LP Info: Dinked ‘Archive Edition’ Exclusive.
            180g White Vinyl.
            Custom screen printed jacket.
            Hand Numbered.
            300 Copies only.
            ‘Dinked Archive’ obi-strip and a custom gold foil sticker.

            Dinked Edition LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            Coloured LP Info: Green Vinyl.

            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            Richard Youngs & Paul Refree

            All Hands Around The Moment

              For their first meeting, Richard Youngs (Glasgow) and Raül Refree (Barcelona) have created a suite of stately, circular longform songs that manage to connect Tim Buckley’s Happy Sad to Federico García Lorca to plainsong liturgy. The largely acoustic and quietly urgent All Hands Around The Moment finds Youngs in an impassioned and emotional space he’s rarely inhabited since Sapphie, elevated by lush chamber folk / jazz compositions that incorporate piano, guitar and more, performed by both Youngs and Refree. The four pieces that build the whole of All Hands Around The Moment harness transcendence in repetition, and feature gorgeous progressive minimalism in full spectrum. Dark existential themes flow into mystic uplifting expressions of humanity, without missing a beat. In its timelessness and prescience, the realities present in All Hands Around The Moment make for a powerfully engrossing listen from top to bottom. Richard Youngs & Simon Wickham-Smith 20 Years 

              Various Artists

              Buzzsaw Joint Cut 6 - Dusty Stylus

                Buzzsaw Joint was born of a club offering Londoners the chance to revel in the sounds of good ol’ trashy rock’n’roll in all its vintage vinyl forms. Club top-cat, Fritz, then took the primitive Buzzsaw sounds online with a series of savage Mixcloud mixes created by record fiends from all over the globe. Now, the high-octane energy of Buzzsaw Joint has manifested into the physical form with a run of compilations on Stag-O-Lee. Get your ears around the wild’n’weird sounds of the extraordinary and inimitable Buzzsaw Joint! Dusty Stylus is a music junkie who lives in the country, a hundred kilometers north of Melbourne, Australia. He spent the late 80s drumming in 60s garage bands and now mainly gets his buzz from collecting post war blues, R B, and good old Aussie garage rock. He hosts a couple of nights, including the ever greasy Bacon Fat, and is often on the DJ bill at the phenomenal Slow Grind Fever. For the sixth Buzzsaw Joint cut, Dustys dusted off a purely top shelf selection of his rare 45 and 78 rpm records. Take the edge off with a hit of this gear here.

                Various Artists

                Buzzsaw Joint Cuts 5 & 6

                  Buzzsaw Joint was born of a club offering Londoners the chance to revel in the sounds of good ol’ trashy rock’n’roll in all its vintage vinyl forms. Club top-cat, Fritz, then took the primitive Buzzsaw sounds online with a series of savage Mixcloud mixes created by record fiends from all over the globe. Now, the high-octane energy of Buzzsaw Joint has manifested into the physical form with a run of compilations on Stag-O-Lee. Get your ears around the wild’n’weird sounds of the extraordinary and inimitable Buzzsaw Joint! mixcloud.com/BuzzsawJoint.

                  As usual with Stag-O-Lee we compile two vinyl volumes on one CD into 73 minute/32 track monster! The first 16 tracks come courtesy of Sophisticated Savage from Sweden. Dusty Stylus, an Australian native, offers another 16 track trip from mesmerizing Blues to moody Popcorn.

                  Various Artists

                  Hoochie Koo Volume II

                    Here you are! A second batch with essential tunes from the hallowed nights of the Hoochie Koo. To us, this is dance floor material. Some of these versions you won't find anywhere else. The Hoochie Koo is a high octane extravaganza inspired by the risqué Rock ‘N’ Roll lifestyle of the early days, delivering an explosive mix of rare 50s/60s tunes, a live - Soundsystem for the dancefloor, Gogo dancing - and the raunchiest Burlesque in town. We’d like to thank all the Queens & Cowboys, frenetic musicians, sultry showgirls and self acclaimed dancing kings. A big shout to the collaborating venues for helping us set a benchmark. And the almighty Bassy Club, that will stay in our hearts forever...

                    The music: Crazy Lover sets the mood. Thunder is tweaked a bit to kindle the floor, followed by the Earthshaker featuring the crazy honking of our Sax-player, Florent. Rock-a-Chika is an homage to the leader of our GoGo team, because her name is Chika ! Bassy Boogaloo had been recorded years ago at one of our wild nights at the infamous Bassy Club (R.I.P) Snacky is the soundtrack for the quirkiest Burlesque performer we ever had: Snacky The Drag King!

                    Furthermore: a hiccup rock, the Nabout dance, atmospheric surf and a French Mambo version of the all-time classic Istanbul.


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