MAGIC MIX

ALL GENRES

BACK CATALOGUE - M

Mort Garson

Mother Earth's Plantasia - Reissue

In the mid-1970s, a force of nature swept across the continental United States, cutting across all strata of race and class, rooting in our minds, our homes, our culture. It wasn’t The Exorcist, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, or even bell-bottoms, but instead a book called The Secret Life of Plants. The work of occultist/former OSS agent Peter Tompkins and former CIA agent/dowsing enthusiast Christopher Bird, the books shot up the bestseller charts and spread like kudzu across the landscape, becoming a phenomenon. Seemingly overnight, the indoor plant business was in full bloom and photosynthetic eukaryotes of every genus were hanging off walls, lording over bookshelves, and basking on sunny window ledges. The science behind Secret Life was specious: plants can hear our prayers, they’re lie detectors, they’re telepathic, able to predict natural disasters and receive signals from distant galaxies. But that didn’t stop millions from buying and nurturing their new plants.

Perhaps the craziest claim of the book was that plants also dug music. And whether you purchased a snake plant, asparagus fern, peace lily, or what have you from Mother Earth on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles (or bought a Simmons mattress from Sears), you also took home Plantasia, an album recorded especially for them. Subtitled “warm earth music for plants…and the people that love them,” it was full of bucolic, charming, stoner-friendly, decidedly unscientific tunes enacted on the new-fangled device called the Moog. Plants date back from the dawn of time, but apparently they loved the Moog, never mind that the synthesizer had been on the market for just a few years. Most of all, the plants loved the ditties made by composer Mort Garson.

Few characters in early electronic music can be both fearless pioneers and cheesy trend-chasers, but Garson embraced both extremes, and has been unheralded as a result. When one writer rhetorically asked: “How was Garson’s music so ubiquitous while the man remained so under the radar?” the answer was simple. Well before Brian Eno did it, Garson was making discreet music, both the man and his music as inconspicuous as a Chlorophytum comosum. Julliard-educated and active as a session player in the post-war era, Garson wrote lounge hits, scored plush arrangements for Doris Day, and garlanded weeping countrypolitan strings around Glen Campbell’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” He could render the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel alike into easy listening and also dreamed up his own ditties. “An idear” as Garson himself would drawl it out. “I live with it, I walk it, I sing it.”

But as his daughter Day Darmet recalls: “When my dad found the synthesizer, he realized he didn’t want to do pop music anymore.” Garson encountered Robert Moog and his new device at the Audio Engineering Society’s West Coast convention in 1967 and immediately began tinkering with the device. With the Moog, those idears could be transformed. “He constantly had a song he was humming,” Darmet says. “At the table he was constantly tapping.” Which is to say that Mort pulled his melodies out of thin air, just like any household plant would.

The Plantae kingdom grew to its height by 1976, from DC Comics’ mossy superhero Swamp Thing to Stevie Wonder’s own herbal meditation, Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants. Nefarious manifestations of human-plant interaction also abounded, be it the grotesque pods in Invasion of the Body Snatchers or the pothead paranoia of the US Government spraying Mexican marijuana fields with the herbicide paraquat (which led to the rise in homegrown pot by the 1980s). And then there’s the warm, leafy embrace of Plantasia itself.

“My mom had a lot of plants,” Darmet says. “She didn’t believe in organized religion, she believed the earth was the best thing in the whole world. Whatever created us was incredible.” And she also knew when her husband had a good song, shouting from another room when she heard him humming a good idear. Novel as it might seem, Plantasia is simply full of good tunes.

Garson may have given the album away to new plant and bed owners, but a decade later a new generation could hear his music in another surreptitious way. Millions of kids bought The Legend of Zelda for their Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1986 and one distinct 8-bit tune bears more than a passing resemblance to album highlight “Concerto for Philodendron and Pothos.” Garson was never properly credited for it, but he nevertheless subliminally slipped into a new generations’ head, helping kids and plants alike grow.

Hearing Plantasia in the 21st century, it seems less an ode to our photosynthesizing friends by Garson and more an homage to his wife, the one with the green thumb that made everything flower around him. “My dad would be totally pleased to know that people are really interested in this music that had no popularity at the time,” Darmet says of Plantasia’s new renaissance. “He would be fascinated by the fact that people are finally understanding and appreciating this part of his musical career that he got no admiration for back then.” Garson seems to be everywhere again, even if he’s not really noticed, just like a houseplant.


FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Green vinyl.

Mary Gauthier

Drag Queens In Limousines

Mary Gauthier (pronounced Go-Shay) is another rare find from the label that discovered Johnny Dowd and her downbeat lyrics are similarly hard hitting, whether they tell of drag queens, execution in Texas, drinking, strippers and inhabitants of the darker side of country: the kind of people Gauthier has been around, those Bohemian spirits that abound on "Drag Queens In Limousines" along with her wry vision and vocal directness.

Mary Gauthier

Filth And Fire

The follow-up to last year's debut "Drag Queens And Limousines" continues Gauthier's exploration of the seedy side of life on the American underbelly. The female equivilant of Johnny Dowd she peoples her songs with losers on the edge, every day dramas and the universal themes of love and loneliness.

"Here, My Dear" is a wrenching yet beautifully rendered chronicle of the end of Gaye's first marriage to Anna Gordy Gaye. Released in December 1978, the suite was attacked by critics as indulgent and irrelevant, a misstep in a musical career noted for breakthroughs and artistic bravery. With mixed reviews and no hit singles, the album was not a big seller and failed commercially. Yet in the decades since "Here, My Dear" has become recognized as a masterpiece of romantic anguish. It's also one of Marvin's most influential recordings. Hear it in today's young soul singers and in hip hop's confessional raps. Listen to the many producers who obsess over every note. This is a Marvin gem waiting for you to rediscover it.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xCD Info: Expanded Edition 2xCD features remastered original LP, plus bonus disc of alternative versions, unheard demo vocals and newly discovered instrumentation. The set is housed in a deluxe digi-pack with a 28-page booklet featuring enhanced original cover art, memorabilia, full lyrics and an essay by Gaye biographer David Ritz.

Marvin Gaye

Let's Get It On - 180g Vinyl Edition

    The weight of a follow-up to 1971's "What's Going On" was lifted from Marvin Gaye's shoulders by the success of his soundtrack to the film Trouble Man, but he was still searching for something to unify his next long player. In 1973 he started working with R&B balladeer-turned-producer Ed Townsend, who gave him the basis of a song about 'the business of getting on with life'. However, inspired by the presence of studio visitor Janis Hunter, destined to become his second wife, Gaye transformed the song into a monument to desire and seduction that ran soul-deep. In this moment Marvin found the focus for the album that had eluded him. If "What's Going On" is a celebration of the spirit, then "Let's Get It On" is all about love, salvation and the pleasures of the flesh.

    Marvin Gaye

    Trouble Man - 180g Vinyl Edition

      As Motown migrated from Detroit to LA, Marvin's follow-up to the spiritual consciousness of "What's Goin' On" was the soundtrack to '72 Blaxploitaion flick "Trouble Man". It's altogether a more streetwise collection of stone cold funk, earthy Curtis-esque falsetto and badass grooves that has seen it plundered by generations of beatdiggers. "'T' Plays it Cool" is one of the best tunes ever made, just ask Jazzy Jeff!!!

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Marvin Gaye

      What's Going On

        By 1970 Marvin Gaye was already a phenomenally successful singer, with a string of hit singles to his name, making him Motown's number one male performer. However, when he entered the Hitsville studio on June 1st to cut a new single, Marvin hungered for more. All over the world social unrest was prompting political activism and cultural revolution. Yet the Motown hit production line carried on like nothing was happening. Marvin longed to make a statement that would reflect the new reality, so when Al Cleveland and The Four Tops' Obie Benson brought him the framework of a song called "What's Going On", he jumped at the chance to record it. Initially rejected by Motown, the track went on to become a runaway smash, and the label demanded a full length LP to capitalize on sales. Recorded in ten days in March 1971 the "What's Going On" album features co-writing credits from awesome session band the Funk Brothers, as well as brass and string arrangements by David Van De Pitte. The heady mix of percussive-heavy grooves, luxurious fills and Marvin's sweet vocals became an instant classic. Taking in themes like the Vietnam war, poverty, spirituality and green issues, the album seems just as relevant today as it did back at the start of the 70s and deserves the vote as 'greatest album ever' that it often receives.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        CD Info: Remastered CD reissue features two bonus tracks.

        Marvin Gaye

        What's Going On - 180g Vinyl Edition

          By 1970 Marvin Gaye was already a phenomenally successful singer, with a string of hit singles to his name, making him Motown's number one male performer. However, when he entered the Hitsville studio on June 1st to cut a new single, Marvin hungered for more. All over the world social unrest was prompting political activism and cultural revolution. Yet the Motown hit production line carried on like nothing was happening. Marvin longed to make a statement that would reflect the new reality, so when Al Cleveland and The Four Tops' Obie Benson brought him the framework of a song called "What's Going On", he jumped at the chance to record it. Initially rejected by Motown, the track went on to become a runaway smash, and the label demanded a full length LP to capitalize on sales. Recorded in ten days in March 1971 the "What's Going On" album features co-writing credits from awesome session band the Funk Brothers, as well as brass and string arrangements by David Van De Pitte. The heady mix of percussive-heavy grooves, luxurious fills and Marvin's sweet vocals became an instant classic. Taking in themes like the Vietnam war, poverty, spirituality and green issues, the album seems just as relevant today as it did back at the start of the 70s and deserves the vote as 'greatest album ever' that it often receives.

          Marvin Gaye

          What's Going On Live

            Designated “Marvin Gaye Day,” it began with Gaye giving a speech to students at Cardozo High, the school he’d attended, before he and his parents were ushered by motorcade to other points around the city. They visited the office of D.C.’s mayor, Walter Washington, who presented Gaye with a key to the city.

            A VIP reception followed at the U.S. House of Representatives’ Rayburn House Office Building, before the evening’s hotly anticipated main event at the Kennedy Center: Marvin Gaye’s first live performance in four years. After opening acts and onstage testimonials by others, Gaye finally took the stage at around 11pm. The legendary concert – Marvin Gaye’s only live performance of his iconic 1971 What’s Going On album in full – was recorded. After being shelved for decades, the recording was eventually released on CD in 2001 within Motown/UMe’s expanded deluxe edition for Gaye’s What’s Going On album.

            Never before issued on vinyl or as a standalone CD, What’s Going On Live is newly mixed by John Morales at M+M Mix Studios and mastered by Alex Abrash at AA Mastering for its October 18 release by Motown/UMC. The album is making its vinyl debut in black 2LP with deluxe gatefold packaging, in addition to CD. The vinyl and CD packages include rare photos from Gaye’s performance and new liner notes by Marvin Gaye biographer David Ritz. What’s Going On Live includes the only known live recordings of Gaye performing four songs: “That's The Way Love Is” and “You,” which he opened the D.C. concert with as part of a meditative 13-minute medley; “Right On;” and “Wholy Holy.” Due to an unfortunate lag in switching the first reel-to-reel tape to a second one during the concert, Gaye’s performance of “Mercy Mercy Me” from the What’s Going On album was not successfully recorded. 

            'You’re The Man" is the first-ever planned “lost” Tamla/Motown album from Marvin Gaye. Fifteen of the album’s 17 tracks are on vinyl for the first time and three tracks are newly mixed by Salaam Remi.
            The album also includes the rare long LP version of Marvin Gaye’s cancelled Christmas single from ’72, as well as an unreleased vault mix of its instrumental B-side, and new essay by Marvin’s biographer, David Ritz. The release concides with the 60th anniversary of Motown as a label and also Marvin Gaye’s 80th Birthday (April 2).
            While the tracks have been issued on various collections and deluxe editions, this is the first time they have been placed in their proper context. In addition to context, "You’re The Man" was the album that was proposed to follow-up the monumental "What’s Going On", and it contains all of Marvin’s solo and non-soundtrack recordings from 1972 (his next two albums in quick succession: "Trouble Man" and "Let’s Get It On").

            Martin Georgi

            9 To 5 Is Killing Me

            After his 12" on OYE Black Label, Martin Georgi is back on his own imprint Quiet Elegance. Two sample-based deep house tracks that demonstrate playful and inventive MPC usage plus a keen ear for a dusty hook! Subtle and sexy, it finds the producer adding to the strong legacy of MPC constructed house tracks and holds its own against luminaries such as Theo Parrish, Garth Be & FYI Chris. Top stuff. 

            Martin Georgi

            Oye Black Label 03

            Delfonic stumbled upon the tracks that make up this release during a none-descript warehouse party around 2013. After founding out they were actually made in 2008, Oye Black hunted down the artist, Martin Georgi and signed two tracks off the original EP, and backed them up with a DJ friendly edit by Delfonic.

            The first track is a mid tempo, low-NRG MPC house jam - well constructed drums, an eyes down pad pattern and a catchy female vocal hook. It could easily be a lost Sound Signature jam, or, finds new alliances with Bastien Carrara and Eddie Danielle. The second unnamed track keeps the vibe flowing as organs, strings and picked guitar lines are gleefully chopped up and rearranged across the MPC's 16 pads. 


            Michael Giachinno

            Jurassic World - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

              Mondo is pleased to announce a first vinyl pressing of the soundtrack to this year's biggest blockbuster: Jurassic World - composed by the incredibly talented and prolific Michael Giacchino. Deftly balancing the playful heart, warm nostalgia and action packed elements of this film, the soundtrack to Jurassic World crafts unique earworm melodies that stand triumphantly in the canon of this franchise's massive musical legacy.

              Featuring original artwork by Stan & Vince.

              Ciao bellas! Here's another hot shot from the MM Discos stable, this time featuring the musical talents of mighty Italian maestro Marcello Giordani, 'Italo Deviance's capo' and half part of the project "Marvin & Guy". For "Riflessi", Giordani stays on topic, exploring all the influences which have formed the foundations of his own sound over the years. A record where the vocoders play a very important role, mixing old electro-boogie and Italo-disco in order to create an amazing, spacey and a very personal 80's tribute. 
              Vocoders are set to stun on opener "Non Me Lo So Spiegare", while clicking robo-claves and snapping snares keep time for the swelling synths and weighty bass tones. The "In The Night" Mix of "Rolandio" follows, serving up spaced out melodies, classic Italo vocoders and soaring sequences - this robot is systematic baby. Our trip through the stars finishes with the heartswelling, super emotive Italo of "Se Ritornerai", a personal highlight from the EP. Endless breakdowns, dreamy keys and a melancholic chord progression ensure tops off, hands aloft energy, while the vocoder brings a touch of robot romance to proceedings.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Patrick says: Marvin / Guy man Marcello Giordani does his thing on MM Discos here, turning out a trio of mega synth jams on an Italo / boogie style. Totally spaced out, always emotional and flawlessly produced, this is a fine homage to the 80s Italian sound.

              Industry by Michael Gordon (1992)

              Cello: Oliver Coates
              Distortion: Jonny Greenwood

              Water by Jonny Greenwood (2018)

              Piano: Katherine Tinker
              Violin: Daniel Pioro
              Cellos: Clare O’Connell, Christopher Graves
              Double Bass: Dave Brown
              Tanpuras: Nicolas Magriel, Jonny Greenwood

              Recorded at RAK Studios, London and St John the Evangelist Church, Oxford. Produced by Jonny Greenwood Engineered by Graeme Stewart Technical support from Peter Clements Mastered by Dan Baldwin at Metropolis, London.

              Black, 180-gram vinyl LP in a rigid, tip on sleeve, including an 8 page printed booklet, featuring the full score of Industry and original notes on the piece by composer Michael Gordon.

              A download card for Volume 2 is also included in the package.

              Manuel Göttsching

              Inventions For Electric Guitar

              Herr Göttsching goes it alone on this 1974 release, for Ash Ra's most groundbreaking work thus far... Using just guitar, echo and a four-track, he creates three shimmering, immersive cosmic guitar soundscapes that'll suck you right in!!! Almost sounds like a synthesiser record until right at the end when he cuts the echo and lets rip! Get your headphones on and BUG OUT.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              CD Info: Remastered by Manuel Göttsching.

              Following last week's curveball, where Max Graef delivered some KP-approved weirdness on Money $ex, our disjointed German is back once again and joined by Funkycan, Graverock & DJ Neumann, not to mention the in-house all-stars - VAT Supergroup! With an unfathomably fresh palette of sounds and rhythms all five acts here deliver something head turning and stimulating. Personal favourite is the Max G effort, a percolated beat squashed through a resonator and with some enchanted melodic flurries. "Tax Free Theme" sees a fast paced, electro-themed number put through its paces while Gravrock's sine tone bleeps and drum box rhythms should keep those with a penchant for the wacked out and wonderful more than happy. Plenty to get stuck into here folks, get involved!

              Max Graef & Glenn Astro

              The Yard Work Simulator

                Max and Glenn are music lovers first and foremost - playing it, making it, digging for it, talking about it - music is their lifeblood. Less concerned with the world of online hype, you could describe their vibe as “old school”. Put them behind the turntables and they’ll smash out a proper 100% vinyl back-to-back set skipping between jazz, funk, hip-hop, soul and disco - the heart and the backbone of their sound - and have the whole room freaking out to Polish jazz-funk oddities.

                Lock them in the studio together and it’s the swing that grabs you when one of their productions stumbles and nearly trips out of the speakers. The duo revel in the exploration of the space in between beats, and the resulting loose-knit, roly-poly grooves that they coax from the MPC nestle comfortably amidst the deep-dug vinyl treasures that populate their DJ sets.

                Let’s be clear though, we’re not talking about simple reverence to the warmth and dynamics of classic records, and we’re definitely not talking about straight forward sampling (which is by far the easiest way to imbue vintage character into your productions). Max and Glenn’s approach to the making of 'The Yard Work Simulator' was atypical.

                Taking in chunky but totally misshapen four-to-the-floor bangers 'Where The Fuck Are My Hard Boiled Eggs?!', 'Jumbo Frøsnapper' and previous single 'Magic Johnson' alongside the shuffling 7 minute breakbeat epic title track and digi-funk nuggets 'Money $ex Theme' and 'Flat Peter', the result is a 10-track trip through the pair’s deliciously warped psyche, channelled through a ton of hardware. A direct extension of the album’s irreverent sonic palette, the artwork is by friend and illustrator Rahel Su?ßkind.

                Releasing their debut albums independently for the excellent Danish label Tartelet; and also Box Aus Holz; Brandt Brauer Frick's "The Gym"; Space Hardware and WotNot Music, and together for the first time on the inaugural Money $ex Records 12” in 2015, Max (real name Max) and Glenn (real name Konstantin) originally linked up as mutual fans via Soundcloud in 2012. Konstantin was living in Essen but whenever he visited Berlin they hung out and began making music together. They would meet at OYE Records (Prenzlauer Berg), one of Berlin’s finest independent record stores run by kindred spirit and local linchpin Delfonic (real name Markus). He not only established and runs the Box Aus Holz and TORBEN imprints but he also co-founded and runs the Money $ex label with Max and Glenn.

                Drawing comparisons with South London’s scruffy beat crew 22a and label / club night Rhythm Section a similarly close-knit collectives fostering voracious vinyl appetites and a healthy attitude to eclecticism, the Money $ex gang are in full flow.

                Sonically and ideologically off to the left of the pristine, highly-polished dance music underground, Max and Glenn have built their reputation on short-run vinyl-only 12”s, real grass roots independent record store excitement / support, turning dancefloors on their head week in week out, and pure word of mouth. It has been solely about the music from the beginning and with 'The Yard Work Simulator' the duo are set to spread their message even further.


                "Sweet And Nice" is the vital debut album from Jamaica’s undisputed first lady of song Marica Griffiths. It’s reggae at its most soulful. Slinking through a tight ten tracks of R&B and pop-sourced material, it became an instant best seller. 45 years after its initial release the LP is available again on vinyl as a double LP and remastered to sound sweeter than ever!

                "Sweet And Nice" has appeared over the years with a revised running order and under different titles. But the original’s opening sequence of loping soul is legendary, even beyond reggae circles. These songs are now returned to how they were presented on that first Jamaican release, and under their intended album title.

                Marcia’s version of “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” has long been lusted after, played by genre-hopping selectors to snapping necks for decades now. It’s followed by the sophisticated, rollicking wah-wah funk of “Everything I Own” and the slice of smooth lovers soul par excellence that is “Green Grasshopper” and her ace, lilting Neil Diamond cover “Play Me”.

                The thundering, humid funk of “Children At Play” 'sounds uncannily like a precursor of Massive Attack', as FACT Mag astutely noted when they put "Sweet And Nice" at number 16 in their list of the 100 best albums of the 1970s. Otherworldly, moody and essential.

                Side two keeps the fire burning. “Sweet, Bitter Love” should leave you swooning, and is also one of the album’s alternate titles. Curtis Mayfield’s already-eternal “Gypsy Man” is up next, recast as proto-lovers rock.

                “There’s No Me Without You” is elevated to canonical status by the majestic, forlorn horns of the Federal Soul Givers and Marcia’s heartbreaking delivery. And if this doesn’t get you then surely the next track will: arguably the definitive version of Ewan MacColl’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. Yes, seriously.

                “I Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely” re-takes its rightful place at the end of the LP’s second side… but we couldn’t leave it at that. So we added an entire second record of rare material recorded around the same time as "Sweet And Nice", much of it unavailable since it was originally released. Some of these songs have only ever been found on now unattainable 7" singles and no, rarity doesn’t always correspond with quality, but in this case we’re talking about some seriously jaw-dropping music.

                Amongst 14 extra tracks you’ll find the exquisite late-60s singles “Melody Life” and “Mark My Word” which, along with the sumptuous reading of “Band Of Gold”, are now £100 records, if you can find them! Just sayin’. There‘s also a fantastic version of “The First Cut Is the Deepest” and an alternate take of “Play Me” with producer Lloyd Charmers adding his own vocals.


                Muriel Grossmann

                Golden Rule / Okan Ti Aye

                With 10 albums already to her name, Muriel Grossmann is well-placed to create more sonic waves in 2019. Taken from her mesmerising spiritual jazz LP 'Golden Rule', we have deep jazz, modal jazz, esoteric jazz, spiritual jazz; refined, intensified and concentrated into 2 whirlwind sides.
                Muriel Grossmann... embraces the groundbreaking, exploratory jazz of Sun Ra and John Coltrane, gives a very respectful nod to fellow contemporaries Nat Birchall and Shabaka Hutchings, and immerses itself in a swirl of transcendental expression.



                Rock provocateur Marika Hackman will release her highly anticipated new album ‘Any Human Friend’ via AMF Records and on Sub Pop in North and South America'.

                Any Human Friend’ has been co-produced by David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, Let’s Eat Grandma) and Marika herself, and shows off a sharper and more liberated sound than ever before.

                Marika is a ‘Rid of Me’-era PJ Harvey for the inclusive generation: unbounded by musical genre, a preternatural lyricist and tunesmith who isn’t afraid to go there. 

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: A brilliant outing here from Marika Hackman, beautifully marrying the synths and rhythmic drive of 80's pop music with her notoriously superb songwriting prowess, immediately rewarding but develops with every listen. A wonderful change of pace.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Pink marbled vinyl.

                Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

                When The World Was One

                Over the course of four albums, Manchester based trumpeter, composer, arranger and band-leader Matthew Halsall has carved out a niche for himself on the UK music scene as one of its brightest talents. His languid, soulful music has won friends from Jamie Cullum and Gilles Peterson to Jazz FM and Mojo as well as an ever-growing international following. His label Gondwana Records is home to GoGo Penguin and his own albums have found Halsall exploring the modal jazz of John and Alice Coltrane, paying tribute to the hard bop of the late '50s and early '60s or most recently on 'Fletcher Moss Park' drawing on Eastern influences in his most personal statement yet. His latest album 'When The World Was One' is something of a companion piece to 'Fletcher Moss Park' (much of the music was written at the same time) but draws more explicitly on Halsall's love of spiritual jazz and Eastern music as well as his own studies in meditation and travels in Japan. Beautifully recorded at Hasall's favourite studio, 80 Hertz in Manchester, and engineered by Brendan Williams and George Atkins it features the recording debut of Halsall's large ensemble, The Gondwana Orchestra, which utilises the exotic flavours of harp, koto and bansuri flute and Eastern scales to create a global palate for Halsall's life-affirming sounds.

                The Gondwana Orchestra features long time collaborators Nat Birchall, saxophone, Gavin Barras, bass and Rachael Gladwin, harp as well as Taz Modi on piano. Modi who also plays with Halsall in their more electronic trio shares his passion for spiritual jazz and plays the music with real feeling while the role of the harp here is to bring a touch of 'magical reality' a floating dreaminess that is a vital part of Halsall's elegiac and beautiful music. The drummer Luke Flowers is perhaps best known as part of Cinematic Orchestra, and Halsall describes him as 'one of the best drummers in the world' and hails him for 'playing the music exactly as I heard it in my head', Keiko Kitamura is a Japanese Koto player who is becoming an increasingly important part of the Gondwana Orchestra, her role is similar to Gladwin's in that the koto helps free up the music while also bringing a real sound of the East. Finally, flautist Lisa Mallett brings a love of Indian music to the orchestra, much travelled on the continent she brings all of her knowledge and experience to play offering a unique texture to Halsall's dreamy melodies.

                Manchester based trumpeter, composer, arranger and band-leader Matthew Halsall is one of the rising stars of the UK jazz scene. His unique sound was brilliantly described as "Rain-streaked spiritual jazz from Manchester" by the Independent On Sunday and previous albums have found Halsall exploring the modal jazz of John and Alice Coltrane or paying heartfelt tribute to the hard bop of the late 50s and early 60s, but on 'Fletcher Moss Park' he offers his most personal statement yet.

                Written and recorded over the last couple of years, 'Fletcher Moss Park' is inspired by one of Manchester's most beautiful places. A rambling, multi-tiered park of walkways and dreamy gardens that offers the contemplative Halsall a place of peace and respite from the city, a meditative space to think and write in. The stillness and beauty of the surroundings have steeped into his beautiful compositions for this album. Elegant and sincere, Halsall's compositions draw on his love of spiritual jazz, modern dance music and even his work with the award-winning Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band earlier this year. Halsall who has recently been exploring his music in a stripped-back, electronica influenced, trio (featuring Taz Modi and Luke Flowers who also appear here) as well as the 12 piece Gondwana Orchestra has always favoured an earthy honestly and direct communication over tricksy arrangements and it is this deceptively simple openness that gives his music such a unique flavour as the young composer and producer seeks to express his feelings and thoughts with his music.

                'Fletcher Moss Park' opens with three tracks featuring saxophonist Nat Birchall, harpist Rachael Gladwin and pianist Adam Fairhall alongside bassist Gavin Barras and drummer Gaz Hughes all long running members of Halsall's sextet. The beautiful 'Cherry Blossom' opens with a nod to Alice Coltrane before exploring it's own contemplative trajectory, the title track features a gorgeous opening from harpist Gladwin and one of Halsall's trademark slow but foot tappingly catchy grooves, Mary Emma Louise is an elegant tribute to someone special and features some beautifully wistful playing from the composer. 'Sailing Out To Sea' and 'Wee Lan' offer a change in mood, two short interludes for violin (Holly Simpson and Davinder Singh), cello (Adrianne Wininsky) and double bass (Barras), Halsall chose not to play here feeling that the brief musical sketches caught his intentions perfectly. Finally the album closes with the two most recent compositions, the reposeful 'Sun In September' which features fine work from flautist Lisa Mallett, alongside pianist Taz Modi and drummer Luke Flowers and the uplifting 'Finding My Way', which with its compelling groove and fine drumming from Flowers (best known for his work with Cinematic Orchestra) offers a nod towards Halsall's love of contemporary electronic music as well as a hint of future projects. But as with the writing here you can be sure that wherever Halsall's muse takes him his music will remain heartfelt and life affirming in its elegant directness as he explores his own unique musical terrain that stretches from the bucolic stillness of 'Fletcher Moss Park' to a world far beyond!

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Ryan says: A favourite of mine from our own local Jazz mastermind. Fletcher Moss Park explores a 50's, 60's sound channeling the likes of Coltrane. As you can imagine this album flows beautifully from beginning to end, almost as good as a stroll through the park itself.

                Manchester based, DJ, bandleader and trumpeter Matthew Halsall is one of the UK's brightest jazz talents. A gifted trumpeter with a beautiful, expressive tone, his music draws on his love of the transcendental, spiritual and modal jazz of Alice and John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, as well as the glories of 60s British jazz.

                His third album "On The Go" is a heartfelt love letter to the jazz of the late 50s and early 60s. Inspired by the evocative sounds of Miles Davis' soundtrack to the Louis Malle film "Lift To The Scaffold" and the legendary early 60s recordings of Art Blakey and Max Roach the album is nostalgic but always soulful. However, while Halsall's elegiac music is imbued with a sense of history, the young trumpeter and DJ nevertheless brings a contemporary bounce to his music ensuring that his music breathes with a personality all its own.

                The album opens with "Music For A Dancing Mind", the most obvious nod to the work of Blakey and Roach. The beautiful "Song For Charlie" is named for Halsall's grandfather, a key inspiration in his life. Dukkha is a Buddhist term roughly translating to suffering so the title "The End Of Dukkha" is self-explanatory and "Samatha", another Buddhist term, means calm, a perfect title for this elegant tune. "The Journey Home" came to Halsall on the train back to Manchester from London and captures that happy feeling of return.



                Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

                Journey In Satchidananda / Blue Nile


                Originally isused back in 2015 and now selling for silly money on Discogs and Ebay, Gondwana Records is delighted to announce the re-release of Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra's tribute to Allce Coltrane / Journey in Satchidananda and Blue Nile.

                Featuring Matthew Halsall trumpet, Lisa Mallett flute, Rachael Gladwin harp, Taz Modi piano, Gavin Barras bass, Gaz Hughes drums and Nat Birchall percussion and recorded at the legendary Maida Vale Studios. Vinyl and download.

                Packed in a distinctive bright orange Gondwana Records sleeve this is the first in a collectors series of spiritual jazz limited-edition EPs set for release in 2018 as part of Gondwana Records' 10th anniversary.

                Matthew Halsall (born September 11, 1983, in Manchester, England) is a Worldwide Award winning and MOBO nominated trumpeter, composer, producer and DJ. Since 2008, Matthew has released seven critically acclaimed studio recordings and has been a key figure in the rise of a new jazz sound in the UK. In addition to his own releases Halsall has collaborated with many DJs and producers, most notably DJ Shadow and Mr. Scruff, and in 2013 Matthew's music was selected by Bonobo for his Late Night Tales compilation. Halsall is also the founder of Gondwana Records, a genre bending independent record label featuring a wealth defining albums by the likes of Portico Quartet, GoGo Penguin, Hania Rani and Mammal Hands. His own rich music draws on the spiritual-jazz of Alice Coltrane and Phaorah Sanders, contemporary electronica and dance music alongside his travels in Japan, the traditional art and music of which, has left a lasting impression on his compositions.


                Sending My Love (2008) and Colour Yes (2009) were his first releases and document Halsall's first great bands featuring the likes of flautist Chip Wickham, saxophonist Nat Birchall, harpist Rachael Gladwin, bassist Gavin Barras and drummer Gaz Hughes. Joyful, life-enhancing albums, drawing on UK jazz and spiritual jazz influences but with a decidedly modern bounce, they introduced Halsall's music to the world gathering support from the likes of Gilles Peterson and Jamie Cullum, Mojo, Straight No Chaser and beyond. But Halsall was never completely happy with how the records were presented and as part of Gondwana Records 10th anniversary decided to revisit the recordings, meticulously remixing and remastering them for vinyl and commissioning new artwork from Ian Anderson, one of his favourite designers. These then are the definitive editions of the records. Sending My Love comes complete with the beautiful bonus track This Time, while Colour Yes features the equally striking It's What We Do and Ai.


                "I am very proud of these early recordings. They represent the starting point of my musical journey in Manchester and showcase some of the cities finest musicians such as: Nat Birchall, Chip Wickham, Rachael Gladwin, Adam Fairhall, Gavin Barras and Gaz Hughes. They are also the very first recordings my brother and I decided to release on our record label (Gondwana Records). Listening back they sound full of energy and joy and really reflect how I was feeling at that precise moment. But as much as I loved the music, I was never 100 percent happy with the sound of the mixes and mastering. So I decided to go back to the original tapes to remix and remaster them and present them the way I'd always wanted, and along the way we unearthed a couple extra unreleased tracks, which we decided to include as bonus material. Myself and my brother also decided to bring in Ian Anderson of The Designers Republic to re-imagine the artwork and we are super blown away by the results!" Matthew Halsall, Oct 2019

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Millie says: A further look into Matthew Halsall’s previous releases, Colour Yes from 2009 (Ten years ago!!!) is a mixture of soft piano keys and swaying brass. More uncovered gems please Gondwana Records, this is truly beautiful.

                The recordings on Oneness date from Jan, March and September 2008 and were born from a period of experimentation as Halsall first began to explore the music that would provide the inspiration for his spiritual jazz recordings Fletcher Moss Park and When the World Was One. They also offer an intriguing snapshot into the birth of Halsall's Gondwana Orchestra and feature many musicians who would go on to become a key part of Halsall's musical journey, such as harpist Rachel Gladwin, bassist Gavin Barras and saxophonist Nat Birchall. The recordings sat in the Gondwana Records vaults for over a decade before Halsall felt it was the right time to share them. Asked about the recordings Halsall says:

                "I've always treasured these recordings and loved how vulnerable, open and free they are, but I just felt they were too subtle and sensitive to release early on in my career, so I held them back until now. I also feel now is the right time to release these before I begin a fresh journey with a new bunch of musicians."

                Remarkably, the beautiful compositions heard here were all built around a simple tanpura drone sound. An instrument Halsall heard on Alice Coltrane's 'Journey In Satchidananda' album and then at a later date in a concert featuring Arun Ghosh on clarinet and John Ellis on piano. "I loved the way this instrument created a sort of meditative atmospheric pulse for the musicians to work over and it had this beautiful feeling of togetherness, so after the gig I went out and bought a Raagini Shruti box featuring the tanpura drone and began to practice my trumpet over it and wrote lots of loose themes and melodies".

                The sessions that make up Oneness capture Halsall in the process of building a new band, reaching out to various musicians he'd discovered and admired on the Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds music scene. "I really liked this idea of bringing lots of musicians together from different backgrounds and was fascinated with how they would all react to each other and the tanpura drone box seemed to bring everyone together really well, it was kind of like a nice meditative icebreaker exercise for everyone to loosen up, before we got stuck into the more composed tunes I'd created, some of which ended up on the Sending My Love and Colour Yes albums".

                The album's title, Oneness, speaks to both Halsall's conviction that the planet should be shared equally with all of its inhabitants. That no human being or other inhabitant deserves to exist more than the other and that we can achieve far more together than against each other. And also importantly to what Halsall was aiming for musically:

                "I really believe in Oneness and I've always loved the term 'greater than the sum of its parts'. I could make music on my own and live a fairly isolated antisocial life, but there's something far more rewarding about creating things with others. And for me these sessions document the coming together of lots of different musicians in a wonderfully organic soulful way to make egoless music".

                It's a belief that continues to underpin Matthew's music making and a message that the word sorely needs right now as we feel more divided and separated than ever. This then is Oneness, a decade in the making and well worth the wait. Enjoy!

                AIRPLAY from Mart Ann Hobbs, Gilles Peterson, Unclassified radio 3, Late Junction etc

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Millie says: Matthew Halsall’s recordings from 2008 have made it to the surface in this stunningly delicate record, Oneness. From the beginning of his journey, this precious jazz which has been stored for over a decade is a beautiful and pure edition to Halsall’s releases.

                Matthew Halsall (born September 11, 1983, in Manchester, England) is a Worldwide Award winning and MOBO nominated trumpeter, composer, producer and DJ. Since 2008, Matthew has released seven critically acclaimed studio recordings and has been a key figure in the rise of a new jazz sound in the UK. In addition to his own releases Halsall has collaborated with many DJs and producers, most notably DJ Shadow and Mr. Scruff, and in 2013 Matthew's music was selected by Bonobo for his Late Night Tales compilation. Halsall is also the founder of Gondwana Records, a genre bending independent record label featuring a wealth defining albums by the likes of Portico Quartet, GoGo Penguin, Hania Rani and Mammal Hands. His own rich music draws on the spiritual-jazz of Alice Coltrane and Phaorah Sanders, contemporary electronica and dance music alongside his travels in Japan, the traditional art and music of which, has left a lasting impression on his compositions.


                Sending My Love (2008) and Colour Yes (2009) were his first releases and document Halsall's first great bands featuring the likes of flautist Chip Wickham, saxophonist Nat Birchall, harpist Rachael Gladwin, bassist Gavin Barras and drummer Gaz Hughes. Joyful, life-enhancing albums, drawing on UK jazz and spiritual jazz influences but with a decidedly modern bounce, they introduced Halsall's music to the world gathering support from the likes of Gilles Peterson and Jamie Cullum, Mojo, Straight No Chaser and beyond. But Halsall was never completely happy with how the records were presented and as part of Gondwana Records 10th anniversary decided to revisit the recordings, meticulously remixing and remastering them for vinyl and commissioning new artwork from Ian Anderson, one of his favourite designers. These then are the definitive editions of the records. Sending My Love comes complete with the beautiful bonus track This Time, while Colour Yes features the equally striking It's What We Do and Ai.


                "I am very proud of these early recordings. They represent the starting point of my musical journey in Manchester and showcase some of the cities finest musicians such as: Nat Birchall, Chip Wickham, Rachael Gladwin, Adam Fairhall, Gavin Barras and Gaz Hughes. They are also the very first recordings my brother and I decided to release on our record label (Gondwana Records). Listening back they sound full of energy and joy and really reflect how I was feeling at that precise moment. But as much as I loved the music, I was never 100 percent happy with the sound of the mixes and mastering. So I decided to go back to the original tapes to remix and remaster them and present them the way I'd always wanted, and along the way we unearthed a couple extra unreleased tracks, which we decided to include as bonus material. Myself and my brother also decided to bring in Ian Anderson of The Designers Republic to re-imagine the artwork and we are super blown away by the results!" Matthew Halsall, Oct 2019



                STAFF COMMENTS

                Millie says: The first of Mathew Halsall’s original releases ‘Sending My Love’ is a journey back in time to Halsall’s first beginnings with flourishing jazz notes. With the bonus track ‘This Time’ it’s a remastered treasure!

                Martin Hannett & Steve Hopkins

                The Invisible Girls

                Factory Benelux presents The Invisible Girls, a collection of rare and unreleased recordings by legendary new wave production duo Martin Hannett and Steve Hopkins (aka The Invisible Girls), most of them never before heard.

                Martin ‘Zero’ Hannett is the legendary Manchester producer famous for his work with Joy Division, Buzzcocks, New Order, Magazine and Happy Mondays. Steve Hopkins was his musical partner in The Invisible Girls, the floating studio collective that shaped epochal records by John Cooper Clarke, Pauline Murray, Nico and several others.

                The first five tracks on the album are a selection of previously unreleased ‘Moods’ recorded at the famous Strawberry Studios between 1980 and 1987. “These were the beginnings of Martin’s Invisible Girls world domination plan,” Hopkins explains. “The idea was to assemble a roster of key instrumental players, produce tracks to be fronted by different singers/stars - and get some hits!”

                Other tracks include rare solo tracks by Hannett, collaborations with Section 25, Pauline Murray, Nico and Crispy Ambulance, as well as the complete soundtrack to All Sorts of Heroes, a short animated film from 1976 scored by Hannett and Hopkins.

                The 74 minute album features detailed liner notes by Steve Hopkins and others, as well as archive TIG and Strawberry images.


                Matt Hartless is a British-Irish musician performing and recording mainly as a soloist and with his backing band, The Matchstick Ghosts. Writing music and having had lessons in Piano, Trumpet and Violin at an early age; Matt took to music more seriously when having drumming lessons and teaching himself to play the guitar at around fifteen/sixteen. As he went into his A-level years at school, Matt formed his first band, a covers band called 'The Swag' where he sang and played lead guitar with some childhood friends. They only had a few gigs then everyone went their separate ways to university.
                Matt became a lot more interested in recording his music after starting a music degree at Salford and forming a few bands with fellow students. The most prominent of these was 'Freed By Mice.' After a few gigs in Salford, Manchester and Sheffield, Matt went home to finish writing and record his first full solo album, 'Our Last Days In The Sun' upon which Freed By Mice guitarist Joe Leonard contributed a solo.
                Freed By Mice soon went on hiatus and Matt formed The Matchstick Ghosts to play songs from his album. As his second university year wore on, Matt started to write again, but with a much darker and more experimental sound. In April 2013 Matt released his first single, 'Friend Synthetic' adapted from the Freed By Mice days (but written long before) with a launch gig in Manchester.
                Problems with finding a regular bassist meant that the band was often set back and making any progress was difficult, so during May and June, Matt focused again on his solo work and at Salford University's studios recorded the majority of 'Victory,' the second album. He employed a lot more of the university's facilities, especially effects programs and hardware to create an amalgam of man and machine before mixing the whole album with friend and Matchstick Ghosts drummer, Kit Warren.
                During the next few months Matt played many small acoustic gigs in and around Manchester with his nylon string guitar and occasionally with piano when there was one to hand. After two gigs in Sheffield, The Matchstick Ghosts finally solved their bassist conundrum, at least for the near future, in Sheffield based Jacob Harrap.
                Victory was released on the 4th of October on Matt's label, Weird Affection Records.

                Influences:

                Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Elbow, The Specials, Streetlight Manifesto, Louis Barabbas, Frederic Chopin, Duke Ellington, Erik Satie, Porcupine Tree, Muse, Dry The River, Joy Division, Gogol Bordello, Hybrid, Jean Michel Jarre.

                Mick Harvey & Christopher Richard Barker

                The Fall And Rise Of Edgar Bourchier And The Horrors Of War

                The Fall And Rise Of Edgar Bourchier And The Horrors Of War examines the work of a long forgotten World War I poet, Edgar Bourchier, through his poetry as put to music in a concept album. Its release coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, on 11 November 2018.

                The works of this long forgotten war poet arrive in 2018 indirectly from the trenches of the Western Front. The wider narrative takes us from Bourchier’s birth in Warwickshire in 1893 through to his final school days and then his pointless death at Passchendaele in 1917, aged only 24. It continues by virtue of the poetry being posthumously published in 1918, adapted into song via a proposed cabaret treatment influenced by the Weimar Republic, through to an Olympia Press reprint of the poems in the 1960s, and then onward into the late 80s when The Moon Lepers translated his words into song. In 2018, Bourchier’s words were revived when the author Christopher Richard Barker approached Mick Harvey to ask if he could help him recreate the scores that had been discovered for the unrealised cabaret show. Happily, Harvey’s interest was piqued.

                The route was indirect though, not just because of the twists and turns in the story of Edgar Bourchier and his poetry, but also because Bourchier’s entire backstory and poetry was constructed by Christopher Richard Barker, an author who initially created the character while working on his novel, The Melancholy Haunting Of Nicholas Parkes.

                Barker paused from this venture to approach Harvey to ask for his expertise with arranging and recording the scores. In response, a 15-track album was written by Harvey and Barker to give life to an incredibly powerful fictional narrative.

                Created as a concept album describing the horror of war, the project seamlessly brings the fictional poetry to life via myriad possibilities of how a forgotten WW1 soldier’s story might open up and continue to be relevant to new generations – from a barely read initial publication of the poetry that came tantalisingly close to being adapted for Weimar era cabaret with the help of German artist, Otto Dix (‘The Kindness of Ravens’, ‘Further Down the Line’, ‘Softly Spoken Bill’, through to the 60s, when Mick Jagger was apparently photographed with a copy of the reprint published by the Parisian underground publishing house which then led to the poetry being discovered by a new generation (‘Listen in the Twilight Breeze’, ‘Poor Poor Surgeon Tim’); then onward to subsequent interpretations of the work by the fictional 80s band, The Moon Lepers on ‘The Expressionist Tell #2’ and ‘Corpse 564’; before finally culminating in the creation of three new pieces by Barker and Harvey (‘I am the Messenger’, ‘The Eternal Black Darkness of my Death’, ‘Lost Bastard Son of War’).

                In addition to Mick Harvey and Christopher Richard Barker, the album features contributions from J.P. Shilo, a long time collaborator of Harvey’s and Jade Imagine, Simon Breed and Alain Johannes as guest vocalists. The album was recorded primarily in Melbourne, Australia with some additional vocal recordings in the UK and LA.


                The aptly-titled "Raw Materials" sees Marquis Hawkes making a welcome return to the primitive house rhythms for which he became known via his early work for Dixon Avenue Basement Jams. Highly influenced by house originators Ron Hardy, Gene Hunt and Roy Davis Jr, "Raw Materials" updates the form with modern production techniques whilst preserving its authenticity. The title track sprawls over the A-side, making you move with a deep and hypnotic 808 beats and mesmerising dusty pads. Far deeper than a straight up banger, this is transportative club music of the highest order. The flip, on the other hand takes no prisoners, offering instead two cuts of raw drum machine clatter, strained vocal cuts and analogue tones in the form of ‘‘Ave That" and "Jerk U Later". All in all, this is a well rounded release, moving effortlessly from the immersive beauty of the A-side to the deadly dancefloor destroyers on the flip.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: "Raw Materials" sees the DABJ mainstay blessing Houndstooth with the sexiest, most sultry house sound you're likely to hear this year. Deep, warm and intimate, this is marriage material. The two B-side cuts on the other hand, are sleazy, raw and gritty basement bangers for all the hoodrats.

                After a slew of well received releases for the likes of Rose Records, Razor-N-Tape and Lazare Hoche, Leipzig house head Martin Hayes kicks off his Mating Rituals imprint with a fresh 7" of woozy house delight. The set opens with the tape chewed strains of a battered player piano, a medicated love motif and a rush of unavoidable infatuation. The skipping percussion and occasional bass bleep forming the rhythm for those first steps of pair-bonding. "Histoire D'Amour" is soft and gentle like her rouged lips but rough like daddy playing the piano while sipping on Japanese whisky. Clangers keys and a distorted kick force their way through a wall of surface noise as Hayes lays down the oddest downbeat jam you'll hear all year. On the flipside "Les Fantasmes De Joyce Kinney" lurches through the blurred and drifting colours of a seventies lovebeat theme, picking up the wooze of a wonky hop heat-beat. Last but not least, "The Clamdigger" conjures images of wood-paneled rooms, Cuban cigar smoke, drab tweed suits and Jasmine serving that fine Remy martin cognac.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: Wonky woozy, plinky plonky pissed pianist beats from Mr Martin Hayes. In the words of gruff old Tom... "The piano has been drinking.."

                Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

                Adiós Señor Pussycat

                Beautiful and evocative and recorded in his home-town of Liverpool between March 2016 and June 2017, the album is the culmination of four years of hard work. Equal to his finest moments, Adiós Señor Pussycat will undoubtedly only further cement his reputation as one of this generations greatest songwriters.

                Since a self-imposed hiatus in 2008, Michael Head has been working with a fluid concept of an ever-rotating band format to provide a flexible platform for the range of his new live and recorded works.

                ‘Under the guise of Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band in 2013, they released their sought-after debut EP, Artorius Revisited, and followed this with a double A sided 7”, Velvets In The Dark / Koala Bears in 2015.

                A soulful and poetic genius, fate, bad luck and circumstance and often conspired to deny him his rightful dues. Loved and lauded by fellow artists and critics alike, he started out in the early 1980s with The Pale Fountains, with whom he recorded a brace of acclaimed albums, Pacific Street (1984) and …From Across The Kitchen Table (1985). He subsequently formed Shack with his brother John and went on to record five albums over almost twenty years including the much loved and acclaimed Waterpistol and HMS Fable in 1999 which saw the band briefly flirt with chart success and hailed from the cover of the NME as “our greatest songwriter”

                He also released, what is often regarded as his classic album, The Magical World Of The Strands under the name of Michael Head & The Strands in 1997, and with Shack currently on hiatus he has been performing under the Red Elastic Band guise for the past few years.

                The album features the following musicians:
                Michael Head - Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
                Steve Powell - Electric & Acoustic Guitars
                Phil Murphy - Drums
                Tom Powell - Bass Guitar
                Nina - Piano
                Dan Rogers - Electric Guitar
                Rod Skipp - Cello
                Dewi Tudor Jones - Violin
                Helen Tonge - Viola
                Martin Smith - Trumpet
                Andy Diagram - Trumpet
                Simon James - Saxophone
                Steve Powell, Joanne Head, Phil Murphy, Mary McCombs - Backing Vocals
                Michael Head, Phil Murphy, Karina Townsend - Percussion


                STAFF COMMENTS

                Andy says: Good things come to those who wait! It's been 11 long years and here it is: a modern day singer-songwriter, folk pop classic! Sounding closer to his work as The Strands than Shack, this uses his love of The Byrds and late-60's folkies to create a modern masterpiece, timeless and true. Our "Greatest Living Songwriter" (thanks NME!) has delivered. It better hadn't be 11 years 'til the next one!

                Michael Head And The Strands

                The Magical World Of The Strands

                2015 is a busy year for Michael Head:

                His second record as ‘Michael Head and the Red Elastic Band’ has just been released on his own label, Violette - ‘Velvets in the Dark’ 7 inch single. Shack’s 1990 single ‘I Know You Well’ opens ‘Perfect Motion’, Jon Savage’s 2LP compilation as “a musical return-trip to these fondly remembered years spanning 1988-93”.

                Plus, Megaphone is set to reissue ‘The Magical World of The Strands’ in its original form, with the addition of a 20-page booklet, including new liner notes by Michael Head himself and photographs testifying to the album’s sleeve work-in-progress.

                The CD version will come with 2 bonus tracks – the B-Sides to the 1998 NME and Melody Maker Single Of The Week ‘Somethin’ Like You’. ‘Green Velvet Jacket’ is an acoustic solo piece by Michael Head. And Queen Matilda (demo) was recorded in early 1993 and produced by the band’s friend and live engineer Ian Eastwood on a 4-track Tascam cassette recorder.

                Alongside this reissue comes ‘The Olde World’, an exclusive new album of recordings from the same sessions.

                Last but not least, Michael plans his first gigs as ‘Michael Head & The Strands’ promising to play his classic album ‘The Magical World of The Strands’ in full.

                After a couple of demos for the French promoter who paired him with his childhood hero Love’s Arthur Lee in 1992, Pale Fountains and Shack legend Michael Head entered a Liverpool recording studio the following year, with a new project in mind, ‘The Strands’. Michael teamed up with his brother and lifelong companion, John, his long-time drummer Iain Templeton and two new recruits, Michelle Brown on bass and Les Roberts on flute. The recording sessions would last two years and were only halted because Michael was offered a new major label deal. A deal, not for his current work, but for him to record as Shack again.

                So it came to be that Stephane Bismuth, the French promoter, was left with 100 or so minutes of a thwarted project, only a third of which had made it to the mixing studio in Sheffield in the summer of ‘95.

                Patch-working and weaving rough mixes and sketches – by engineer Steve Powell, made in Liverpool – with completed mixes by producer Mark Coyle who had hired an arranger and string section for sessions in Sheffield, Stephane Bismuth founded a new label Megaphone and finally released ‘The Magical World of The Strands’, in autumn of 1997.

                This work-in-progress comprising sketches, rough mixes and fully orchestrated tracks, garnered great critical acclaim and is still rated by many as the "rarest jewel of the 90s", Q Magazine.

                About “The magical world of the strands” :

                “AS THE MAGICAL WORLD SO CONCLUSIVELY PROVES HE DESERVES THE WORLD” (9/10 NME 1997)
                “THE RAREST JEWEL OF THE 90S” (Q 2014)
                NME :`LIKE NICK DRAKE STRUMMING ALONG WITH THE STONE ROSES."
                - **** GUARDIAN: "ONE OF THE FURTHEST REACHING ENGLISH GUITAR RECORDS THIS DECADE."
                - **** Q: "INCREDIBLY AFFECTING, A STAGGERING ALBUM.
                - **** UNCUT: "Regarded by many as the equal of the STONE ROSES debut."
                - **** THE TIMES : ’BIGGER THAN A LEGEND '.


                Micah P Hinson And The Red Empire Orchestra

                Micah P Hinson And The Red Empire Orchestra

                Brand new album by the much-loved and critically-acclaimed Texan country-noir wonder Micah P Hinson. Moving on from his startling debut album "Micah P Hinson And The Opera Circuit", this album combines the delicate cracked intimacy of the debut with a new songwriting assurance, delivering heartfelt and melancholic dusty epics. His accompanying Red Empire Orchestra have added a stunning new depth to the music, courtesy of instruments such as cello, violin, viola, upright bass, Hammond organ and more, which combine wonderfully with his husky downbeat vocal delivery. Another understated classic from Mr Hinson.

                Micah P. Hinson

                At The British Broadcasting Corporation

                  Full Time Hobby’s first album announcement of 2018 comes in the shape of a compilation of Micah P. Hinson’s performances at the BBC over the last 15 years.

                  Re-mastered at Bent Leaf Studios in Texas, overseen by Micah himself at the end of last year, these 11 tracks were picked from a wealth of cuts from Micah’s visits to Marc Riley over the course of nine albums.

                  Micah offered some insight into the personal importance of these sessions:

                  "I owe Sir Marc a deep gratitude that spans back years now. In this life, champions are needed- yet they are rare. As if I was deep in the amazon, I had found a flower not yet known to the world and people would congratulate me on what had found and what I had brought to the world- and Marc was the first one in line, hand outstretched; a grin on his face."

                  Marc also spoke about his experience of having Micah in to play for him over the years:

                  "I remember the first time Micah came in to do a session for us. 18th September 2004. It was at the time of his debut ‘…And The Gospel Of Progress’ LP which I absolutely loved. He was backed by The Earlies (as he was on the record) and the session was mind-blowing. The songs were fantastic, Micah’s voice made Johnny Cash sound like Aled Jones. He told tales of being thrown in jail.. of suffering great dramatic losses in his life. I remember asking him to clarify how old he was on air and he replied “23 Sir”.

                  I believe his eventful life will one day be made into a biopic…but until that day this document of his radio sessions will serve to document the path of this great singer-songwriter from Abilene Texas."

                  Micah P Hinson

                  Presents The Holy Strangers

                  Micah P. Hinson’s new album “Presents The Holy Strangers” is described by the artist as being a “modern folk opera.” Telling the story of a war time family, going from birth to love, to marriage and children, to war and betrayal, murder to suicide – spanning all of the strange and glorious places life can lead. We follow their story, we see their decisions, we see their faults and their beauty. We live with them, we die with them.

                  Two years in the making, Micah wrote and recorded The Holy Strangers in Denison, Texas, incorporating ancient reel to reels, analogue keyboards, old Tascam and Yamaha desks. The recording only entered the digital realm once pre-mastering took place.

                  Split across two pieces of the vinyl, the 14 tracks which make up The Holy Strangers are at times sparse and haunting; at other times luscious, maybe even euphoric. From the Johnny Cash-style country single “Lover’s Lane,” to the album’s broad, spoken-word centrepiece “Micah Book One”, The Holy Strangers covers a lot of ground over the course of its hour long running time, appealing to both long-time fans and new ones alike.

                  Masaaki Hirao And His All Stars Wagon

                  Nippon Rock'n'Roll - The Birth Of Japanese Rokabirii

                  “Nippon Rock’n’Roll” documents the rise of Masaaki Hirao. Dubbed “The Japanese Elvis”, Hirao was one of the famed Rokabirii Sannin Otoko (Three Rockabillies), alongside singers Mickey Curtis and “Kei-chan”, Keijiro Yamashita. In early 1958, the rokabirii buumu (rockabilly boom) was born, the first youth music tribe in the Land Of The Rising Sun.

                  Rokabirii may resemble US rockabilly, but this Nipponese version is a more varied dish. Hirao and his band’s covers of Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley and Little Richard are not kitsch renditions, but raw, desperate rockers. Hear a Paul Anka makeover, but put through a rocking mangle; a smattering of jazz; a twist of New Orleans; and some Japanese folk songs with a greased-down quiff. American occupation a distant memory, these boys wanted to party.

                  Country and hillbilly music was a mainstay of young Japanese musicians working the GI base and jazz café circuit of the 1950s. Following the runaway success of a Japanese cover of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ (Hirao’s version here has dynamite in its teeth), demand grew for more of this strange, new music. The need was met with a huge gala, the Nichigeki Western Carnival, which showcased the new rokabirii groups to thousands of screaming Japanese teenagers. Wild footage of the concerts, alongside that of burgeoning radical student movements, put fear of a wave of delinquency into the heart of the establishment.

                  The studio numbers here are hardboiled, with unkempt live recordings that really rock. Tough drums back up honking sax, in a pedal steel pandemonium with slap bass. In the words of Elvis: these guys “get real gone”.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  10" LP Info: Limited 'rising sun' red vinyl pressing.

                  The only solo album by former Talk Talk frontman Mark Hollis, released January 1998. Despite being released as a solo album by Hollis, it was originally intended to be credited to Talk Talk, under the name ‘Mountains of the Moon’.

                  A beautiful and haunting work, this album picks up where he left off with Talk Talk’s’ Laughing Stock’ seven years before, re-emerging with a suite of music that encompassed jazz, ambient, and folk.

                  His inspiration came not from ‘pop’ but 20th-century classical music and jazz from the late fifties and sixties (there is a distinct flavour of Miles Davis – ‘In A Silent Way’ here) and is one of the quietest and most intimate records ever made – creating an exceptional atmosphere in which the listener can submerge.

                  A Life (1895 – 1915), which has been referred to as “the album’s epic centrepiece” refers to Roland Leighton (1895–1915), a British soldier and poet who was the fiancé of Vera Brittain at the time of his death in World War I. Hollis has stated about the song…“That was someone born before the turn of the century…and dying within one year of the First World War at a young age. It was based on Vera Brittain’s boyfriend. It’s the expectation that must have been in existence at the turn of the century, the patriotism that must’ve existed at the start of the war and the disillusionment that must’ve come immediately afterwards. It’s the very severe mood swings that fascinated me”.

                  The understated artistry and minimalist beauty of tracks like The Colour of Spring and Watershed makes ‘Mark Hollis’ a truly unique and indelible listening experience.

                  “…open, restful and at times fantastically beautiful”.

                  “A sound whose ambience is as natural as breathing” – Melody Maker.

                  This genuine ‘lost classic’ is now available again on heavyweight vinyl, with original artwork – printed inner sleeve with lyrics and credits. Remastered at Abbey Road.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  LP Info: Heavyweight black vinyl.

                  In 1986, Uruguayan vocalist and musician Mariana Ingold took the advice of a storied Uruguayan composer and musicologist and recorded her first album (Todo Depende) for the now legendary label Ayuí/Tacuabé. In the early ’80s, the introduction of the synthesizer fostered an experimental new approach to traditional Candombe rhythms. Ingold’s influence on the scene looms large. Pairing elegant vocals and majestic harmonies with complex arrangements, she pushed the Montevideo-specific sound — loosely termed Candombe fusion — in new directions and thrived working collaboratively with artists including Eduardo Mateo, Jaime Roos, and Hugo Fattoruso.

                  With the assistance of Chris J. Morris, Left Ear Records has extracted a collection of tracks that encapsulate this period between 1986-1991, lifting from her albums Todo Depende, Cambio de Clima, and Haace Calor. Full liner notes translated in English and Spanish with archival photos included.

                  Mark Isham

                  Arkangel : Black Mirror

                    The soundtrack to Arkangel from the hit TV series Black Mirror (series four, episode two, directed by Jodie Foster). An epic score for a disturbing tale of child tagging and exposure to graphic violence and pornography. A brooding, malevolent, claustrophobic, unnerving episode brought to life by Grammy and Emmy award winning composer Mark Isham (Point Break, The Crash, The Hitcher, etc). “Isham is firmly entrenched in the A-list of film composers…” Josef Woodard, JazzTimes. // Part of the cult Black Mirror legacy which Charlie Brooker claimed offers “more hope”. Really?!? // Prickly, moody, melancholy, too close for comfort, dark, dangerous, haunting, a gem of modern composing that perfectly captures Brooker’s warped vision of the future. 

                    Michael Jackson

                    Off The Wall

                    'Off The Wall' is very much Jackson's coming of age LP. After massive success as part of the Jackson 5, syrupy solo ballads like 'Ben' and 'Got To Be There' and more monster hits as the Philly-disco-inspired Jacksons ('Blame It On the Boogie', 'Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)'), Jackson hooked up with Quincy Jones and Heatwave's Rod Temperton to create solo album 'Off The Wall'. Packed full of hits, the album features no less than four US Top 10 singles - 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough', 'Rock With You', 'Off The Wall' and 'She's Out Of My Life', the first two being chart toppers. Pre-plastic surgery, pre-million Dollar videos, pre-home zoo, 'Off The Wall' captures Jackson at his pop best.


                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    LP Info: Limited 180g pressing.

                    Recorded in Busan, Republic of Korea by former US special agent MB Jones, ROK Spy documents both his stay in a country on the verge of a nuclear conflict and his mission there (for obvious confidential reasons, the purpose of this mission is only to be referred to in an elusive way). While most of his personal belongings have disappeared – or, more likely, been destroyed – we are very thankful for the safe receipt of a USB stick containing 7 songs recorded in Autumn 2017, alongside a drawing and a few handwritten notes. We are proud to now be able to share these with you.

                    In order to do so, we hastily came up with a label. The circumstances under which it was born lead us into calling it “Drama”. This release is DRAMA1.

                    The content of this LP is a seemingly disparate set of pop-not-pop tunes, flirting with dance music on songs like the apocalyptical disco Nuclear War or the bizarre and mind puzzling boogie Pusan Perimeter. Though it is quite hard to put words on MB Jones’s productions (one may accurately call it an “oddball” of a record), his musical testimony may sit somewhere in-between Holger Czukay’s most narrative pieces and Arthur Russel’s most cheerful moments, sharing with these two brilliant musicians a genuine feeling of intimacy emanating from each second of his songs. The only thing that may be said without a doubt is that these 7 songs are the product of someone whose ear has been attentive and receptive to all sorts of contemporary musical genres (from trap to experimental electronic music and EDM).

                    It’s still not clear whether the cryptic lyrics evoke situations which already occurred, whether they are oracles, some insider’s warnings or whether they are the product of a mind in a hallucinatory state. On Poison Pill – the closing song – he is particularly ambiguous : “the CIA bought me a trip / I put the tab under my lip / They want to build a shopping mall / On the DMZ wall”. We’ll leave the interpretation to you.

                    PAM & Zaltan

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Patrick says: The inaugural release on Antinote's Drama offshoot comes from ex pat musician MB Jones, who offers an odd-pop reportage from Busan, South Korea. Inventive and irresistible, 'Rok Spy' is a masterpiece of colour-soaked weirdo-wave and surrealist synth-pop and it's heading straight into heavy rotation round these parts.

                    Margie Joseph

                    One More Chance

                    This is a reissue of a rare soul record from 1976. Originals exchange hands for up to £300 but don't let that sway you - just listen to those brilliant horns, powerful drumming and, of course, that sugar sweet vocal on "One More Chance" - sonic sunshine!

                    B/W "Nobody" - a most glorious B-side which sees Joseph wax lyrically about how no-one's gonna tell her how to love her man! Indeed!

                    Limited copes, official release.


                    Max Jury

                    Numb / Standing On My Own

                      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                      Very special limited edition 12". Both tracks are taken from Max Jury's self-titled debut album.

                      Matthew E White's Spacebomb collective produced B-side Standing On My Own sees Max veering further towards the world of R&B and Soul. Whilst Max gently sweeps between whispered vocals and falsetto the complimentary horn and string arrangements from Spacebomb create an air of authentic classic Motown, Chess and Stax Records.

                      Max Jury

                      Modern World

                        ‘Modern World’ is the second album from 26-year-old Iowa native Max Jury. The follow up to 2016’s critically acclaimed, self-titled debut, ‘Modern World’ is a graceful, sophisticated and truly contemporary body of work, brimming with Jury’s vast and eclectic range of influences. It is an album about life, friendship and facing each day with a renewed clarity. Produced by four time Grammy nominated Robin Hannibal (Kendrick Lamar, The Internet, Jessie Ware, Anderson .Paak), the album is steeped in soul and jazz influences. The stunning ‘Stillness’ for example, arrives with a bassline that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Thundercat record. ‘Fading Out of You’ manages to evoke Jury’s newly chosen home of Paris before a huge RnB beat comes in, complimented perfectly by the warmth and subtlety of his vocal, which since his debut, has grown into an androgynous instrument that dances across his music.

                        When Matt Karmil’s music comes on in a club, everything around you slows to a crawl, and you focus on that one tiny detail – a bouncing earring or a frozen smile, the lights flashing through the smoke as slow as a distant lighthouse – before it all comes zooming back and everything’s jumping at normal speed again.  Karmil’s fourth album, "Will", is released on the Norwegian Smalltown Supersound label – the home of Lindstrøm among others. Even more than before Matt has managed to combine his love of the graceful forward motion of minimal techno beats with the deeply granular textures and meditative chambers of reverb and delay. Mastered by the careful hand of Rashad Becker at the legendary Dubplates & Mastering plant, this driverless vehicle takes bumps and curves with ease, but passes through enough scuzzy neighbourhoods to make the journey more memorable.

                        You can definitely hear the influence of Kompakt founder Wolfgang Voigt on Will – specifically the GAS project’s melding of billowy sound clouds and insistently pulsing 4/4 beats. Like the GAS albums, "Will" is presented as a continuous piece, even though it is a sequence of eight tracks. ‘It's mainly samples,’ Matt explains, ‘although usually heavily processed and decontextualised. I used a lot of my older samplers for this one - MPC 3000 and Akai S-612 basic edits and processing in ProTools.’

                        Before you get to the long ambient closing track, ‘Maffé’, "Will" contains its share of muted bangers like ‘Morals’ and ‘Can’t Find It (The House Sound)’. While these would vibrate well on the dancefloor, the experience for Matt is primarily a private domestic one. ‘I like to try to create a room to visit, and while it's nice to have details and look out the window occasionally, the fundamental is the room/environment itself – my personal enjoyment of music away from the club is often centred around long form and ambient works.’

                        With a studio established in Cologne, Matt made his LP debut with the well received (but hard to Google) ‘----‘, combining dusty samples and elegant tape hiss with scuba-diving grooves and minimalist vibes. In the same year he released the jubilant club anthem ‘So You Say’ on Tim Sweeney's Beats In Space label and remixed John Talabot and Axel Boman's (Talaboman) single ‘Sideral’.

                        Recent years have seen a raft of new releases from Matt, remixing X-Press 2 for Skint, the albums idle 033 and ++++, as well as 12”s for Yumé Records, Idle Hands, Endless Flight and Studio Barnhus, received with great reviews in publications from The Wire to Resident Advisor and beyond.

                        2016 also saw Matt much in demand for his skills in engineering, mixing and mastering, working extensively with Matias Aguayo for Crammed Discs, Kornel Kovacs for Studio Barnhus and Talaboman for R&S, among many others.

                        At the invitation of artist Christine Sun Kim, Matt composed a sub-20Hz piece for Bounce House at Sound Live Tokyo 2015, while his video collaboration with Boston’s MIT Media Lab, Time Moods, was premiered in late 2017.

                        Among all this activity Matt still finds time to make his signature tracks, sampling scraps of source sounds during his travels around Europe, then listening back with extreme care over long durations, documenting and trying to articulate the feelings provoked by them. Extended time is really the essence in this process: ‘I can easily listen to any of the ideas that made it to the record for five to six hours at a time,’ he says, ‘to really sink into the details of the textures and if there are any tones, or subtleties that I want to exaggerate or hide. I usually have a fairly disorderly looking working environment, wires and vinyls all over the place, then long walks while I listen to works in progress.’

                        By sheer force of Will, Matt Karmil’s music has entered sonic bullet time.

                        Born and raised in Uganda, Mark Kavuma is a key young trumpet player on the British jazz scene and leads his own band, as well as playing with Jean Toussaint's Young Lions, Jazz Jamaica and Nu Civilisation Orchestra. He is a driving force of the new, young London jazz scene. His debut album, 'Kavuma', is a London - New York collective of exceptional artists who deliver soulful jazz. Their purpose is to get people to dance, by feeling the music's heart and soul. 'Kavuma' is all about bringing people a good time, which they do in a very big way.

                        Part of the new London vibrant jazz scene, taking the world by storm. London and New York based musicians. Significant debut album from a rising star.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Millie says: Big bold jazzy-goodness served with an extra helping of trumpet on the side. Kavuma is ruling the jazz world right now with up beat lively songs to uplift your mood. Absolutely lovelyyy.

                        Madeline Kenney

                        Night Night At The First Landing

                          Madeline Kenney begins her new album with a helpful reminder: “Don’t forget, there’s room for you.” The declaration is meant to lay to rest unnecessary competition. The universe is pretty large. It’s a fitting welcome to Kenney’s debut full-length, Night Night At The First Landing. The record is framed by meditative, repetitive recordings that each offer some kind of encouragement. "Don't you worry about a thing, you're fine." "I won't give up on anything now." The trip on Night Night is deciding whether the narrator is full of confidence or talking to themselves privately.

                          Kenney began working on the record immediately after completing her first EP, 2016’s Signals. As with Signals, Company Records label head Chaz Bundick (Toro Y Moi) was on hand as producer, but with Kenney as the arranger and key creative force, Night Night reveals more of the artist. Kenney wrote and arranged all the songs and tracked most of the instruments at home.

                          "No one's a hero for just being strong," Kenney sings on first single “Rita,” letting us know it’s about action and how that strength is utilized. It takes guts. The song bursts with an exhilarating guitar workout providing a clear-headed version of distorted bliss. Similarly euphoric is a math-y tapout on “Witching Hour.” Narratives of people and how those people affect others are surrounded by musical worlds of echo and propulsion. The melody through-line of “Always” is a transfixing piano part of royal heritage. “Big One” is a lyrical puzzle and a musical skip across happy times.

                          The album is unavoidably dreamy, dipping into sweet fuzz while usually sailing through smooth, crystalline production. The songs are about people, and though people sometimes disappoint, this record is meant to comfort. Fall into it and imagine the clouds scooping you up, or the changing tide’s ripples gliding you past a gentle moon’s new reflection.

                          STEREOGUM: “Lead single “Rita” is exceptional, building from understated beauty to dense guitar theatrics. It reminds me of Chicago circa ’93 as remembered in a dream — a little bit of Liz Phair 'Exile In Guyville' - rendered in soft-focus with the graceful confidence of a young master. Its video, directed by Adam Murphy, makes for a compelling introduction. 

                          “Building from understated beauty to dense guitar theatrics. It reminds me of Chicago circa ’93 as remembered in a dream — a little bit of Liz Phair 'Exile In Guyville' - rendered in soft-focus with the graceful confidence of a young master. “ STEREOGUM.

                          In January of 2018, five months after the release of her debut album Night Night at the First Landing, Madeline Kenney traveled from Oakland, California to the woods outside of Durham, North Carolina to record her sophomore album with a new collaborator, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner.

                          The choice was a conscious decision to explore new methodology in writing, recording, production and even genre. Perfect Shapes sees Kenney leaping headfirst into fresh and adventurous territory, largely eschewing conventional rock structures in favor of theme and melody. Its ten songs are full of surprises big and small - from vibrant synth lines to taut bass figures and subtly modulated vocals - that instead of feeling fussed over, reveal Kenney’s penchant for elegant and abstract composition.

                          Kenney’s 2017 debut, Night Night at the First Landing, was a guitar-centric rock album, produced by friend and collaborator Chaz Bear of Toro Y Moi, Perfect Shapes leans on the foundational pieces of Night Night - fuzzed-out guitar tones, coy wordplay and Kenney’s notably strong voice - but with an unconventional approach that allows them to bloom, reincarnated. Perfect Shapes marks Wasner’s first foray into producing another artist’s work and is permeated by the pair’s collaborative spirit. Both Wasner and Kenney play multiple instruments on the record, and engineered the session alongside Kenney’s touring percussionist, Camille Lewis.

                          An eagerness to explore and experiment is apparent from start to finish, as Kenney and Wasner weave endless sonic curve balls into the arrangements. From the delightfully warped percussion on opening track “Overhead” to the burbling synths on the R&B-tinted “The Flavor of the Fruit Tree” and the left-field trumpet solo in “Your Art,” these rich and inventive ideas echo Yo La Tengo’s everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mentality, as well as the surging soundscapes of Tame Impala and Wye Oak at their most impressionistic. Lead single "Cut Me Off" is a surprise of its own - the most pop-forward song Kenney has written yet. “Bad Idea,” finds her balancing fragility as foil; later, “I Went Home” manages to evoke both frustration and affection in a single breath.

                          The complex and open-ended questions that lay at the core of Perfect Shapes mark Kenney’s arrival into a hard-hitting reflective space: How do you love another when it hurts to do so? What is the physical limit to which one can carry the emotions of others? How does a modern female artist reckon with the expectations demanded of her femininity? Yet for all the notes of doubt and fear that Kenney raises, she delivers each song with confidence and poise, grounded by the pointedly laid and surging soundscape.

                          Kenney has always had a penchant for curiosity and experimentation. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, she began studying classical piano and dance in kindergarten, and grew to believe her future lay in modern dance choreography. Not one to be tied to a singular pursuit, however, Kenney took a hard left in college, studying Interpersonal Neurobiology and supporting herself with a career in baking. Music remained a constant however, and after moving to the Bay Area in 2013, Kenney quickly found footing in the supportive arts community in Oakland. There, she met and began collaborating with Chaz Bear (Toro Y Moi), which led to the production of her Signals EP and later her debut album, Night Night at the First Landing. Both releases were received with great critical acclaim, and saw Kenney exploring the sounds within her self-proclaimed twang-haze genre, defined by cathartic fuzz breakdowns and lyrical sensitivity.


                          Soulful and raw, Londoner Michael Kiwanuka’s critically-acclaimed debut album ‘Home Again’ (April 2012) staked his claim on the list of great British singer-songwriters. Having taken a deep breath and relaxed into his musical approach, Kiwanuka is back, and has delivered his eagerly anticipated second album - and it packs a powerful punch. 'Love & Hate', produced by Danger Mouse, Inflo and Paul Butler, is an outward-looking, drenched with emotional density and rich, soulful production at the helm. Two years in the making, the British Ugandan Londoner has worked with new talent and created a canvas which sees his vulnerability take centre stage. Honest, unabashed, and ambitious, this is Kiwanuka proving that he is ready to secure his position as one of our most exciting homegrown talents. It’s a new world since his debut, and it seems that it’s his for the taking.

                          Michael Kiwanuka

                          Home Again

                            Few records make such an instant impression as 'Home Again', the debut album by Michael Kiwanuka. Immersing the listener in a sound that is both modern and at the same time as familiar as the classics, it manages to strike the balance between being contemporary and somehow utterly timeless.

                            “I just wanted to make a record that, when someone puts it on, it takes them to a certain place,” says the 25-year-old north Londoner. “I wanted it to have the lush-sounding instrumentation and feel of older records, to be warm and peaceful and put the listener in this little world, which is rich with vibes and sounds and colours.”

                            For Kiwanuka, key musical touchstones include Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Shuggie Otis, Roberta Flack’s 'First Take', Bill Withers’ 'Live At Carnegie Hall' and D’Angelo’s modern soul landmark 'Voodoo'. Citing the latter album in particular as Exhibit A in refuting suggestions that his listening tastes are rooted exclusively in the 1970s, Kiwanuka calmly shrugs off any “retro” accusations that might be levelled at his music.

                            “The truth is there was no intention behind any of it,” he states. “There was no intention for my voice to sound old. The songs come out like they do because I like the sound of stuff like that. I didn’t start writing songs to get a record deal. I wrote songs to express myself and they ended up sounding old.”

                            Moreover, given the fact that he was born in 1986, to Kiwanuka’s impressionable young ears, even the music of the past was fresh to him. “To me, those records sounded new,” he says. “Growing up, I didn’t have records at home. I didn’t even know any Beatles albums. For me, it was all completely brand new music, even though it was recorded decades ago.”

                            Born in Muswell Hill to Ugandan émigré parents, Michael Kiwanuka was brought up in a home from which music was largely absent, with his first introduction to rock (Nirvana, Radiohead) arriving at the same time as he began to hang with the skater kids in the north London suburb during his early teenage years. Later coming across a soul compilation album given away with a music monthly, he was enthralled by the sound of Otis Redding’s studio talkback discussions with his engineer while recording an outtake version of '(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay'. From this point on, he resolved to make music that sounded raw and authentic.

                            As a guitarist, however, the session work that Kiwanuka managed to find in his early career as a musician was entirely in the urban genre, notably with Bashy and Chipmunk. While he says he learned much from these experiences, it chiefly taught him that his musical passions lay elsewhere. “My head was in other music,” he admits, “so this was just a means to get there. It forced me to try and write my own songs because I didn’t feel this other stuff in my heart.”

                            Though deeply into soul and jazz, he found real inspiration in the cross-pollination of the two styles with folk in the music of Bill Withers. “Bill Withers was very rootsy and earthy,” he points out, “but people branded him as a soul singer. To me, he was a folk artist. So that encouraged me to keep going, ‘cause I didn’t know where I would fit in as a black guy with an acoustic guitar.”

                            In beginning to perform on the acoustic circuit around London, Kiwanuka quickly attracted interest and made connections, not least with his current manager who in turn garnered the attention of Communion Records, the label that in 2011 released the singer’s first two acclaimed EPs, 'Tell Me A Tale' and 'I’m Getting Ready'.

                            Both of these EPs - as with 'Home Again' - were produced by Paul Butler (The Bees) in his vintage equipment-stuffed basement studio at his house in Ventnor on the Isle Of Wight. Together the pair played almost every instrument to be heard on the album, with Butler’s remarkably intimate, detailed productions - adorned with everything from flute to brass to sitar to aching strings - perfectly matching Kiwanuka’s visions for his songs. “The way we made the record was very modern,” the singer points out. “There was loads of editing. We manipulated it to get exactly what we wanted.”

                            From the opening bars of the stirring 'Tell Me A Tale', it is instantly clear that 'Home Again' is a very special album. While its more upbeat characteristics are embodied in the Prince Buster-like loping of the lovelorn but irresistibly catchy 'Bones' and the rolling soul groove of 'I’ll Get Along', elsewhere it proves itself to be a record of real stripped-down beauty. In 'I Won’t Lie', with its gospel-infused echoes of The Staples Singers, Kiwanuka offers something akin to a modern spiritual, while in 'Rest' he turns in a tender “love lullaby” and in 'Always Waiting', he blends classical elements with the confessional intimacy of Roberta Flack.

                            It is with the title track of 'Home Again', however, that Michael Kiwanuka feels the record’s sounds and themes are ultimately encapsulated. “That’s the song that really for me ties everything together,” he says. “It’s one of the earliest songs I wrote for the album and even though I progressed and changed stuff in the studio, it was the one I could never throw away. Like a lot of them, it’s a hopeful song. I use home as the metaphor for contentment and peace within.”

                            Other parts of the record, on the other hand, find Kiwanuka struggling for peace of mind and using his songs as a form of self-empowerment, not least in the soulful 'I’m Getting Ready', the darker, unburdening 'Any Day Will Do Fine' and the self-explanatory 'Worry Walks Beside Me'. “It can really paralyse you, if you worry too much,” the singer admits. “I do tend to overthink things. All of these songs are me talking to myself, really. Trying to encourage myself to believe.”

                            The self-titled record usually marks a definable phase of a musician’s career; an embrace of personal mythology, perhaps, or merely a shift to ‘take me as I am’ straightforwardness. But “Kiwanuka”, the single eponymous word that heralds Michael Kiwanuka’s third album, holds a resonant, complex significance. It signals, for one thing, a swift, pointed rejection of the stage personas that artists have historically donned as both a freeing creative mask and a protective shield. It is an act of cultural affirmation and self-acceptance: a young British-African, contemplating the continued struggle for racial equality, and proudly celebrating the Ugandan name his old teachers in Muswell Hill would struggle to pronounce. It is a nod to a suite of arresting, ambitious soul songs that – while they deftly recall the funkified epics of artists as varied as Gil Scot-Heron, Fela Kuti, Bobby Womack and Kendrick Lamar – cement the singular, supremely confident sound that made 2016’s Love & Hate such an undeniable step up.

                            Now, following ‘Money’ – the lauded summer single collaboration with Tom Misch – and a sunset Park Stage set that was the talk of Glastonbury 2019, the long-awaited follow-up to that record can be announced. And “Kiwanuka”, like its creator, contains multitudes; it offers both the triumphal, grin-widening empowerment of opener ‘You Ain’t the Problem’ and the ruminative, candlelit intimacy of ‘Solid Ground’. It looks inward and out, across widescreen sonic landscapes constructed in recording studios in London, Los Angeles and New York, and provides a sumptuous showcase for the honey-poured mahogany of Kiwanuka’s voice. It skilfully crosses the streams of the personal and the political. No other name would really have done.

                            “I remember when I first signed a record deal, people would ask me, ‘So what are you going to be called?’” laughs the man himself, considering the thought process that inspired the title. “And I never thought of that; calling myself Johnny Thunders or whatever, like singers from the past. But I have thought previously, would I sell more records if my name had an easier ring to it? So [on this album] it’s kind of a defiant thing; finally I’m engaging with who I am and I’m not going to have an alter ego, or become Sasha Fierce or Ziggy Stardust, even though everyone's telling me I need to be this, that or the other. I can just be Michael Kiwanuka.”

                            In many ways this self-possession is a direct consequence of Love & Hate. That record added an unexpected Mayfieldian groove and scope to to the scuffed, ‘70s-infused mellowness of Home Again, Kiwanuka’s Mercury-nominated 2012 debut. Album number two, of course, got its own place on the Mercury shortlist (not to mention a No 1 chart position, a Brit Award-nomination and the wide cultural blast radius afforded by songs that featured on shows like The Get Down, When They See Us and, most notably, HBO’s Emmy-winning Big Little Lies).

                            “Kiwanuka” marks a reunion of the team that conjured ’s acclaimed, pulsing soulscape – namely Gnarls Barkley hit whisperer Brian ‘Danger Mouse’ Burton and British hip hop producer Inflo – and it actually began life not long after the 32-year-old had finished touring its predecessor. Early Los Angeles sessions – in May, 2017 – proved wildly productive. Maybe, in fact, too productive. The trio had sketched out around eight songs – including lyricless, early versions of ‘You Ain’t the Problem’ and the spine-tingling, wintry ballad ‘Piano Joint (This Kind of Love)’ – at such a breathless gallop that Kiwanuka felt some of his old doubts and insecurities creep back. “It was all so fast,” he reasons. “I remember having a conversation with Danger Mouse where I even asked, ‘Is this my album?’” He chuckles at the memory. “That was the lack of self-belief and me beating myself up.”

                            An extended recess was called and, when the team fully reconvened in New York in November 2018, Kiwanuka returned to the project with a new vigour, confidence and a clear sense of this new record’s themes and immersive, sonic textures. It was here that he actualised the lyrically knotty, comforting message of ‘You Ain’t the Problem’ (“It almost made me feel like being a rapper,” he grins); where he turned ‘Hero’ into a shape-shifting, thunderously percussive mini-movie, partly inspired by slain civil rights activist Fred Hampton; here that he crafted the hazy refrain – “” – that allied with Danger Mouse’s rhythm guitar playing to give psych-gospel highlight ‘I’ve Been Dazed’ its eerie, hypnotic power.

                            “We had three weeks and every day I would just do this half hour walk from my hotel by the Brooklyn Bridge to the studio in Red Hook, listening to backing tracks and scribbling lyrics on hotel paper or in my little scrapbook,” he says, more than a little wistfully. “It felt like being 15. And that excitement and childish imagination really helped me forget that it was a scary process.” This youthful sense of play also led to the invocation of some, possibly surprising, tonal influences from Kiwanuka’s childhood as a skater kid who loved Nirvana and Green Day as much as Outkast and Lauryn Hill. Using the cinematic skits and interludes of a record like by The Fugees as a springboard, Kiwanuka wondered if the horn-drenched grandeur of previous lengthy songs like ‘Love & Hate’ and ‘Father’s Child’ could be intensified and transformed into something even more atmospheric, more immersive.

                            The result is the unhurried, auterish poise that may be one of “Kiwanuka”’s most striking features. ‘Piano Joint (This Kind of Love) Intro’ sets the scene with windblown harmonies and a rumbling, canyon-deep baritone to rival Isaac Hayes (it’s actually Kiwanuka, detuned). ‘Another Human Being’ features a jolting gun shot and a quote taken from a participant in the Civil Rights ‘sit-in’ protests that swept through North Carolina in 1960 (‘Interlude (Living All the People)’ also features the voice of congressman and activist John Lewis). ‘Hard To Say Goodbye’ is a dawnlit, 7 minute opus that Kiwanuka garnished with the sampled sound of twittering birds. “I was really influenced by the vividness of something like ,” he explains, about the desire to create such a rich, inhabitable world.

                            And he even allowed himself to be coaxed towards stretches of musical terrain that he would never have ordinarily explored. When Danger Mouse first started working towards the skipping, almost ‘80s rhythm of ‘Final Days’ – about as far from “Home Again”’s retro soul as this new record gets – Kiwanuka was hesitant. “It’s kind of spacey so I took a lot of convincing,” he admits. “But we went the whole hog with it and it’s one of my favourite songs now.”

                            It tells its own story that Kiwanuka – who came up in the pub rooms of London’s acoustic scene before winning the BBC’s Sound Of 2012 poll – is now so happily embracing musical touchstones and styles that may have once seemed contradictory. The revelatory, confessional core of ‘Black Man in a White World’ (which grappled with identity and Kiwanuka’s status in communities where he was conspicuously the only ethnic minority) has evolved into something a little more certain. Now, Kiwanuka’s reengagement with his Ugandan heritage (he hopes, he notes, to play some shows there soon) manifests in skittering Afrobeat drums and guitar lines that he hopes possess “the feeling of a Fela track”. Now, the wide-lapelled, shimmering doo-wop of ‘Living In Denial’ implores you to . Now, and here we return to that album title, ‘Hero’ opens with the proud, chest-puffed line: .

                            “The last album came from an introspective place and felt like therapy, I guess,” he reasons, surveying it all. “This one was a bit more about feeling comfortable in who I am and asking what I wanted to say. Like, how could I be bold and challenge myself and the listener? It is about self-acceptance in a bit more of a triumphant rather than a melancholy way.”

                            “Kiwanuka” solidifies one of British music’s more remarkable career progressions. The man behind it has put his immense natural gifts to work in an album that wields difficult subjects – black identity, violence, self-doubt – with a light touch and a dramatist’s sense of mood, space and atmosphere. “The things that end up being enjoyed are often things you want to hide,” he says, quietly. “But obviously that’s the stuff that makes us connect.” Telling people who you are – truly, unabashedly showing yourself – has never sounded more thrilling.

                            By Jimi Famurewa, July 2019.


                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Deluxe CD Info: Hardcover book deluxe edition.

                            Marie Knight With The Teacho Wiltshire Orch. / Frankie Tucker

                            Thought I Told You Not To Tell Them / Hey Hester

                            Little Richard copies don't come any better than this smokin' female black rock & roll masterclass from Marie Knight, who doesn't get her tongue tied on the twisting lyrics of "Thought I Told You Not To Tell Them". That's backed with another fine rhythm & blues mid-pacer from Frankie Tucker.


                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            7" Info: Limited dinked reissue with replica US label artwork. 500 copies only.

                            Mekanik Kommando was a post punk / New Wave band from Nijmegen, the Netherlands founded in 1979 by Peter van Vliet and Laszlo Panyigay. The duo became a quartet with the addition of Simon van Vliet and Mirjam van Hout. The name Mekanik Kommando comes from the album â??Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöhâ?? by the French progressive rock band Magma. Inspired by a DIY ethos, Kraftwerk and Magma, the band began recording songs at home using two tape recorders. Their demo cassette was discovered by Wally van Middendorp of Minny Pops and owner of Plurex Records, who booked them for a gig at Paradiso in Amsterdam. In 1981 they were asked to contribute music on a flexidisc for the first issue of newly established magazine Vinyl. In the summer of that year the band recorded their debut album â??It Would Be Quiet In The Woods If Only A Few Birds Singâ?? released on Torso. In February 1982 the band secured five days of studio time at Salisbury Sound in Dordrecht. The end result was the mini-album â??Dancing Elephantsâ?? released on Torso later that year. Musically, the five songs are a mix between cold wave, experimental electronic and industrial pop. The band utilized two bass guitars plus a Korg 770, KR-55 drum machine, violin, effects, metals and plastics. Lyrics explore themes of decay and morality, hypnotically spoken on top of playfully metallic sounds. All songs have been mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each EP is housed in a replica of the original jacket, which features artwork by the group members, and includes a 4-page booklet with lyrics and notes designed by Eloise Leigh.



                            Mark Korven

                            The Lighthouse

                              “Composer Mark Korven and I developed a shorthand working together on The Witch. This made collaborating on The Lighthouse an incredibly enjoyable process. But it was not without its many challenges. Originally, I wanted a score with no strings at all. The Witch soundtrack was so string-prominent that I wanted a full departure. I only wanted horns, pipes, conch shells, concertina – things that sounded like the sea – or the lighthouse station’s ominous foghorn. It would be a minimalist aleatoric soundtrack with a nod to sea shanties and ancient Greek music. As Mark and I embraced the sound of big brass sections, it quickly became a maximalist aleatoric soundtrack.

                              From the beginning, Mark thought that we might need some string textures to tell the story and that I was being foolhardy. As usual, he was right, but it took some time for me to hear that I was wrong. We eventually set up an experimental session with a cellist and a double bass player to create some strange, otherworldly sounds to use in moments of high tension, rather than relying on the tried and true Penderecki-esque string rises of horror cinema (although we still use a couple). These strings would be obscured and camouflaged. I was fine with that.

                              To create the ethereal and monstrous sounds of the light itself, Mark experimented with the waterphone, glass harmonica, his famous Apprehension Engine – as well as friction mallets drawn across cymbals, wood, and glass. This beautiful work of Mark’s, combined with Damian Volpe’s sound design, does so much to convey the inner world of Rob and Willem’s characters.” -Director Robert Eggers

                              “Robert [Eggers] and I were rather like the two wickies that went insane in The Lighthouse, musically speaking. We travelled to some very dark harmonic and textural places. We both enjoy not just breaking the rules, but blowing them to smithereens. The spirit of experimentation was always present.” -Composer Mark Korven

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Limited clear vinyl edition.

                              Over the years Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon and his earlier band, Red House Painters, has gained well deserved praise for his extraordinary songwriting. At the same time he has developed a parallel reputation for his unique covers of other people's material Many of these tracks were recorded for tribute albums that are now unavailable. Caldo Verde Records has now collected them in a cohesive, 10-song LP titled "The Finally LP". Highlights include a bluegrass version of "Lazy" by Low, "Bedtime Lullaby" from the children's show Yo Gabba Gabba! and an intimate, acoustic version of Stephen Sondhiem's "Send In the Clowns" recorded for the Minneapolis Bridge Disaster Benefit CD. The album also includes radio show rarities, a previously unreleased version of Husker Du's "Celebrated Summer" and two original instrumentals.

                              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”

                                Mark Kozelek And Nicolas Pauls

                                Dreams Of Childhood: A Spoken Word Album

                                Dreams Of Childhood is a collection of 12 poems written by street kids in Argentina, translated Argentine actor/musician Nicolás Pauls, Federico Novik, Pablo Cubarle and Catalina Morano.

                                Performed in English by Mark Kozelek and in Spanish by Nicolás Pauls. Executive producer Nicolás Pauls. All proceeds will go to La Casa de la Cultura de la Calle (The Streets House of Culture) which is a nonprofit civil organization that seeks the social inclusion of kids with no homes by giving them art, music, theatre and photography classes.

                                Music ruined Mike Krol’s life. And then saved it. In 2015, Mike Krol found himself in the midst of an existential crisis. He’d invested everything to create the rock-and-roll life he’d always wanted, but he wasn’t sure the life wanted him back. Power Chords, Krol’s new Merge release, picks up where Turkey left off. It traces Krol’s journey back to punk rock, harnessing both the guitar technique and the musical redemption referenced in its title. To rediscover the power in those chords, Krol recorded for two-plus years in three separate locations (Nashville, Los Angeles, and Krol’s native Wisconsin). The record opens in a howling maelstrom of feedback: welcome to Krol’s crucible. After a stage-setting spoken-word intro, we find ourselves back in familiar Krol territory—aggressive and assertive, scratchy and raw, catchy as hell—but something has changed.

                                The sounds have a new density—and so do the stories. Krol’s lyrics have always walked a fine line between self-acceptance and selfdestruction, but throughout Power Chords, they reveal a new sense of self-awareness. Of course, none of this is to say that Krol has mellowed. You might find a mea culpa or two, but Mike Krol will never be chastened. If anything, he’s out more for revenge than forgiveness, and if he’s grown, it’s because he’s grown bolder. He’s wielding the same influences—Misfits, The Strokes, early Weezer, Ramones—but turning up the gravity and the gain. Indeed, Krol has gone somewhere new; yes, he bludgeoned himself with over-analysis and self-loathing, but along the way he stumbled upon a trove of intricate guitar lines and artfully mutating melodies. It’s there in the chorus of “Blue and Pink,” the bridge in “I Wonder,” the entirety of the deliriously infectious first single, “An Ambulance.” 

                                Compilation of the works by MJ Lallo, weird harmonizing mantras layered with drummachine rhythms.. Very psychedelic compositions where she uses her voice to create all kinds of sound(scapes)

                                Take Me With You is a revelatory voyage through the captivating universe of voice artist and poet MJ Lallo. The works on this 2LP compilation were all recorded in her home studio between 1982 and 1997, primarily using drum computer, synth and her own voice processed through a Yamaha SPX 90 digital effects unit. They range from wordless harmonizer mantras and primitive drum computer meditations, to psychedelic latin dance-floor anthems and synth-drenched end-of-the-nighters. Lallo has created her own inimitable galaxy of sound where the human voice, liberated from the constraints of language and abstracted using digital technology, is able to explore the outer realms of human expression, like Joan La Barbara with an Eventide and a new-age sensibility. Although Lallo’s flight path is distinctly her own, her journey converges with other travellers as diverse as Jon Hassell, Laraaji, Stereolab, William Aura, Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, Gertrude Stein and even Terry Gilliam (whose film Brazil was a big influence on Lallo). Like something beamed in from another planet, Lallo’s work is both fascinatingly strange and strangely familiar, and will leave a lasting impression for lightyears to come. Double gatefold LP, remastered DDM pressing.

                                Matt Lamkin

                                Where I'm Matt

                                  MATT LAMKIN and MATTHEW MCLOUGHLIN were high school friends who started the MUSLIMS in 2007, indulging in their love for the Modern Lovers, punk rock and power pop. The band released a self-titled LP on 1928 Records and a 7” on I Hate Rock n Roll before changing their name to the SOFT PACK and releasing LPs on Mexican Summer and Kemado, culminating in a performance on David Letterman in 2012 and a video with Bob Odenkirk of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Mr. Show, etc.

                                  In 2013, Lamkin moved to Ensenada, Mexico, and began building a life there and slowly writing the songs that would eventually make up his self-titled LP, Where I’m Matt. Lamkin and his band will tour the West Coast along with Silver Shadows.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Ltd LP Info: Limited to 500 on yellow vinyl.

                                  ‘Blues Funeral’ is the new Mark Lanegan Band record, the first since 2004’s ‘Bubblegum’, recorded in Hollywood, California by Alain Johannes at his 11ad studio. In the mean time, he’s been busy working with the likes of Isobel Campbell, Twilight Singers, Gutter Twins and Soulsavers. Here, the music was played by Johannes and Jack Irons with appearances from Greg Dulli, Josh Homme et al.

                                  The awesome ‘Gravedigger’s Song’ kicks things off, with it’s pounding, claustrophobic beats. The tempo slows for the next track ‘Bleeding Muddy Water’, with it’s soulful, pulsing groove. In fact, the whole album ‘grooves’ to varying degrees, from slow and soulful, to Kraut-ish metronomy, to almost funky – yes really! There’s a lot going on here, and it’s taken me a good few listens to get to grips with it, but as ever, Mark’s dark tales, delivered in his distinctive gravelly tones have won me over.

                                  Featuring 15 original tracks and boasting some stunning guest appearances, "Bubblegum" is simply one of Mark Lanegan's (Screaming Trees singer and Queens Of The Stone Age member) best albums, a stunning dark americana journey full of tales of remorse and loneliness delivered by his unique and emotive gravel-edged voice. Musical assistance on "Bubblegum" comes from luminaries including Queens Of The Stone Age bandmates Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri, PJ Harvey (who provides vocals on "Hit The City" and "Come To Me"), Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers' Greg Dulli and Ween's Dean Ween amongst others.

                                  Mark Lanegan

                                  Field Songs

                                    ‘Field Songs’ is the fifth solo album by Mark Lanegan, released in 2001.

                                    Mark Lanegan

                                    Whiskey For The Holy Ghost

                                      ‘Whiskey For The Holy Ghost’ is the second solo album from Mark Lanegan, originally released in 1994.

                                      The album builds upon the roots-music foundation Lanegan established with his debut ‘The Winding Sheet’.

                                      Released during the grunge explosion of the early 1990s, ‘Whiskey For The Holy Ghost’ showcases Lanegan’s growing maturity as a songwriter and vocalist. Lyrically, Lanegan continues to delve into the darker side of the human experience on songs like ‘Borracho’ and the biblical ‘Pendulum’.

                                      Dan Peters of Mudhoney guests on the album, playing drums on the songs ‘Borracho’ and ‘House A Home’.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      2xLP Info: Black double vinyl in a gatefold jacket with custom
                                      dust sleeves and digital download coupon.

                                      Mark Lanegan

                                      Whiskey For The Holy Ghost

                                        ‘Whiskey For The Holy Ghost’ is the second solo album from Mark Lanegan, originally released in 1994.

                                        The album builds upon the roots-music foundation Lanegan established with his debut ‘The Winding Sheet’.

                                        Released during the grunge explosion of the early 1990s, ‘Whiskey For The Holy Ghost’ showcases Lanegan’s growing maturity as a songwriter and vocalist. Lyrically, Lanegan continues to delve into the darker side of the human experience on songs like ‘Borracho’ and the biblical ‘Pendulum’.

                                        Dan Peters of Mudhoney guests on the album, playing drums on the songs ‘Borracho’ and ‘House A Home’.

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        2xLP Info: Black double vinyl in a gatefold jacket with custom
                                        dust sleeves and digital download coupon.

                                        Mark Lanegan

                                        Winding Sheet

                                          ‘The Winding Sheet’ is Mark Lanegan’s 1990 solo debut. It showcases his adept skills as a lyricist and his deep, soulful voice.

                                          Highlights include ‘Mockingbirds’, ‘Ugly Sunday’ and the haunting ‘Wild Flowers’.

                                          The late Kurt Cobain lends vocals to ‘Down In The Dark’ and for the folk classic ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’ Cobain contributes guitar and vocals and Krist Novoselic plays bass. Nirvana would later also cover ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’ on their ‘Unplugged’ album.

                                          ‘The Winding Sheet’ was produced by Jack Endino, Lanegan and Mike Johnson.

                                          Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood

                                          With Animals

                                          Over the last decade, Lanegan and Garwood have worked in tangent on 2013’s Black Pudding as well as on Lanegan’s solo records (Garwood contributed to 2012’s Blues Funeral and 2017’s Gargoyle after which he toured as part of Lanegan’s band). Writing and recording was split between studio collaboration and sharing music between Garwood’s home in London and Lanegan’s in Los Angeles. Elsewhere, technology helped make the duo’s transatlantic working relationships relatively easy.

                                          “Over the years, we’ve recorded together and apart. This time, I started this record alone, with many animals as company,” says Garwood. “It flowed, I set to work and out it came. Our music is instinct, there is not much talking about it, just creating. I think that if you are at peace with your work, and feeling it right, it flows, and can feel ‘easy’. Music isn't meant to be hard. Though sometimes it can burn you to ashes. Making music for a singer, so they can inhabit it with a song means hitting the right soul buttons. There is no hit without a miss. It is a healing record, for us the makers, and for the listeners. It grows natural. We are gardeners of sonic feelings.”

                                          While Black Pudding put Garwood’s mercurial guitar centre stage, With Animals is constructed from a different set of tools. Analogue and dust flecked, it sounds like Lanegan and Garwood have been holed up in a ’60s recording studio while the apocalypse rages outside. Tracks sit on loops that sounds like they’re straight out of There’s A Riot Goin’ On while sparse melodies nod in the direction of British electronic producers like Burial or Boards of Canada. Which is not to say it sounds like any of those things – this is a weird world all of their own design.

                                          The record’s 12 songs are spectral and sinewy, often defined by the spaces in between the sounds. A ghost’s whistle weaves itself around a pulsing single note on Lonesome Infidel; Feast to Famine’s hard luck story floats above a guitar part so strung out and washed with distortion it’s become barely recognisable. It’s soul music for anyone who’s long since left the crossroads.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: Brimming with morose energy and perfectly measured songwriting, an album from these two veterans was never going to be anything but mindblowing, and here we have it. Lanegan and Garwood have managed to meet perfectly in the dark ether between their two styles and 'With Animals' is every bit the perfect fusion.

                                          Mark Lanegan Band

                                          Somebody's Knocking

                                            ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ is the eleventh album from Mark Lanegan. The album pulsates with energy echoing the punch of Eighties garage metallers Raw Power and the sweep of brooding atmosphere concreted by late Joy Division. With his love for electronic dance dating back his youth, tracks on ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ act as a callback to these days whilst simultaneously signifying a definitive shift in his sensibilities and very approach to songwriting.

                                            It’s unsurprising then that ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ was cowritten by Rob Marshall - of Exit Calm and collaborator on 2017’s Gargoyle - alongside Martin Jenkins of electronica project Pye Corner Audio. In Lanegan’s own words, he approached working with the two “from the perspective of a fan.” This is unsurprising; Lanegan’s love for European dance music even led to Jenkins contributing album remixes for both 2015’s ‘A Thousand Miles Of Midnight’ and 2017’s ‘Still Life With Roses’, Pye Corner once again proving to be the perfect foil for Lanegan’s more overtly electronica infused approach.

                                            Mostly recorded in LA over an eleven-day session, ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ is a shift in perspective for Lanegan, showcasing his maturing approach to songwriting and remaining instinctive, elusive and unflinchingly honest.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: Lanegan's newest outing is full to the brim with gritty, southern rock drive and the undeniable musicality we've come to expect from him over the past 30 years, only this time we get the more electronic-leaning production of Martin of Pye Corner Audio and Rob Marshall of cooking vinyl, a match made in music heaven.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Coloured LP Info: Limited heavyweight blue vinyl, limited to initial pressing.

                                            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                            There’s a singer with a voice 50 fathoms deep and the consistency of vitrified teak, who has been known to go to extremes in search of a song. Across continents, over oceans, through multiple time zones. From West Hollywood to... Tunbridge Wells. A long way – but Mark Lanegan knows the directions.

                                            Early in 2016, Mark was at home in Los Angeles, working on some ideas for what might turn into his next album. He wasn’t too thrilled by what he was coming up with. Then he got an email from a friend, an English musician named Rob Marshall, thanking Mark for contributing to a new project he was putting together, Humanist. The pair first met in 2008, when Marshall’s former band Exit Calm supported Soulsavers, who Mark was singing with at the time. Now Rob was offering to write Mark some music to return the favour.

                                            “I was like, Hey man, I’m getting ready to make a record, if you’ve got anything?’” Mark recalls. “Three days later he sent me *10 things… !”

                                            In the meantime, Mark had written Blue Blue Sea, a rippling mood piece that he thought might be a more fruitful direction for his new record, and had the idea for a song called First Day Of Winter that felt like an apt closer. “It’s almost always how my records start,” he explains. “I let the first couple of songs tell me what the next couple should sound like, and it’s really the same process when I’m writing words. Whatever my first couple of lines are tell me what the next couple should be. I’ve always built things like that, sort of like making a sculpture I guess. Start with the raw material and let that point me in the direction I want to go. So, once I was pointed in that direction, the music that came from other sources, from Rob, I just went for the ones that helped me build this narrative that I had started already.”

                                            Within an hour, Mark had written words and vocal lines for two of the pieces Rob had cooked up at Mount Sion Studios in Kent and pinged through the virtual clouds to California. Rob's music fitted perfectly with the direction Mark had been pondering: in essence, a more expansive progression from the moody Krautrock-influenced electronica textures of his two previous albums, Blues Funeral and Phantom Radio. Eventually, Rob Marshall would co-write six of the songs on the new Mark Lanegan Band album. “I was very thankful to become reacquainted with him,” Mark deadpans.

                                            The remainder of the album was written, recorded and produced by Lanegan's longtime musical amanuensis Alain Johannes at his 11 AD base in West Hollywood. Everything was done and dusted within a month, unusually fast by Lanegan’s recent standards. Both Blues Funeral and Phantom Radio unfurled at leisurely pace over several months. But this time Johannes had only a fixed window of opportunity due to his ongoing touring commitments as a member of P.J. Harvey’s band. But Mark was sufficiently happy with the material to move swiftly, a reflection of contentment with his abilities as a singer and writer, which have now produced a huge body of work spanning a period of more than 30 years: whether it be his own solo records, or collaborative recordings with others, or going back to his legendary first band, the Screaming Trees.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: Lanegan and band do it once again with this, the brilliant 'Gargoyle'. A more upbeat outlook than previous iterations, channelling the spirit of 60's psychedelia, stadium rock, downbeat folky moments and good ol fashioned songwriting talent. Brilliant.

                                            Mark Lanegan

                                            Scraps At Midnight

                                              ‘Scraps At Midnight’ is the third solo album by Mark Lanegan. It was produced by Mark Lanegan and longtime collaborator Mike Johnson. ‘Scraps At Midnight’ could arguably be considered the final instalment of a trilogy of albums (preceded by ‘The Winding Sheet’ and ‘Whiskey For The Holy Ghost’) which feature the songwriter’s interpretation of American roots music set to troubling lyrics that explore themes of loss, sin and redemption.

                                              Mica Levi is best known for her work as part of the experimental pop group Micachu & The Shapes, but her prolific, maverick creativity is not restrained to just one project. Levi has worked across manifold genres; she has been an artist in residence at the South Bank Centre, written experimental music for the London Philharmonic Orchestra and collaborated with the likes of Kwes and Ghostpoet.

                                              As with many great film scores, the brilliance of this soundtrack lies in its simplicity. Three notes - just three - lie at the core of the soundtrack, united in one chromatic motif which snakes its way up and down your spine as Johansson’s alien seduces her prey. A great majority of the film is spent immersed in the diagetic silence of the white van, so when Levi’s uncompromising rhythmic thumps break the muted atmosphere, your heart really starts testing the limits of your ribcage. The piercingly high strings, with their sinister glissando, dissolve the Cinema around you, sucking you in as the alien’s victims drown in blackness.

                                              It isn’t all that dark, though. We do see some meaningful interpersonal connections develop as the film progresses, and the score effortlessly adapts to this shift in mood. Levi sticks to strings throughout, playing the classic tropes of the Hollywood soundtrack off against each other. Strings for horror. Strings for passion. The warm but disjointed swells in “Bedroom” capture the pleasant confusion of the alien who, having benefited from the kindness of a stranger, stares perplexedly at her own body (Johansson also does an excellent job of appearing bemused by her own sexiness). “Love” also plays with sliding, pitch-bending strings, just as the earlier themes do - this time evoking the rising thrill of attraction.

                                              The Under the Skin score matches Glazer’s understated, minimal aesthetic scene for scene. Never does the music outweigh the carefully constructed silences and – as all good film music must – it only ever adds to the potent illusion of a twisted, heart-rending reality. - The Line Of Best Fit


                                              Mica Levi

                                              Monos: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

                                                Invada Records and Lakeshore Records will co-release ‘Monos: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’, featuring original music by Ivor Novello Award-winner and Academy Award-nominated Mica Levi (Jackie, Under the Skin).

                                                The London-based composer, music producer and artist creates an indescribably hallucinatory, often menacing backdrop to the survivalist thriller set on a remote mountain in Latin America.

                                                Says director Alejandro Landes: “Mica connected with and understood the spirit of the film: the faces, the colors, the extremeness of the environment, the mash of costumes, the absence of a specific time, place or date. She's classically trained but can be equally as inspired by pop or heavy metal; she can mix synthesizer-driven music with a quartet. All this brings a very particular sensibility, a mixing of instruments, that made for a distinct, emotional and atemporal sound.”

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                LP Info: The score is pressed on 180g black vinyl, housed in a deluxe heavyweight gatefold sleeve, with stunning artwork by Sander Brouwer printed on reverse board. The record comes housed in a double sided printed innersleeve and includes an extra thick printed artwork insert and digital download card.

                                                The triumphant 1998 major label debut from Mary Lou Lord. A sonic partnership with The Bevis Frond’s Nick Saloman recorded with input from Roger McGuinn, Elliott Smith, Jon Brion and Money Mark plus many others. Featuring a gaggle of her self-penned tunes, gorgeous collaborations with Saloman and covers of Freedy Johnston and the grand lady of the blues Elizabeth Cotton. An emotional rollercoaster, a bittersweet gem from one of America’s unheralded singer songwriters steeped in Byrdsian myth and melodious grunge effervescence. “One tremendous album that frames her singing and creative personality with skill and sensitivity.” Trouser Press. “A seamless collection of folk-rock that offers more than a glimpse of Lord’s roots playing for passersby in London and Boston subway stations” Rolling Stone. An epic recording remastered by the experts at Fire Towers. 

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Coloured LP Info: Limited edition purple vinyl version

                                                ‘Blood Moon’, M. Craft’s third full length album, is very much a score for seclusion. Inspired by witnessing the titular lunar event twice during his time as a desert resident, ‘Blood Moon’ began life in a studio in nearby Los Angeles as a series of unstructured, experimental piano pieces.

                                                Constructed from those piano recordings with additional percussion from another temporary desert dweller, Seb Rochford (Polar Bear) and occasional orchestration, ‘Blood Moon’ is a stunning fusion of freeform instrumental explorations and properly pure songs.

                                                Leipzig's leader of the new school comes correct with this fresh four tracker on Heist, letting loose with smooth, deep and warm sounds for the dancefloor. We get straight into the pudding on the A1, locking into the rolling groove of "Volle Schnauze" from the get go. A simmering bassline holds it down in the lows while bright key stabs jump and dance up top, adding a summery swing to this peak time freaker. Next up, "Perle" puts us in prime "Eurodans" territory, layering swaying synth stabs over a shuffling beat, while deep round bass licks and concentric bleeps lie in perfect balance at either end of the sonic spectrum. M.ono swaps the sunny vibes of the A-side for the magical glow of moonlight on the flipside, bathing the intricate rhythm and snaking bassline of "Delaware State Route" with bright celestial keys. EP closer, "Pegasus '83" blacks out all light with a gloomy combination of brooding pads, menacing acid lines and frenzied tribal percussion. M.ono may switch it up stylistically, but he keeps the quality at a constant 5* throughout.


                                                On their newest LP, m1nk provide a haunting middle ground between the dytopian downbeat atmospheres and delicate vocal aesthetic of Portishead or Massive Attack while encompassing the wandering electro-acoustic minimalism of late-70's ambient. Take 'Devil Under' for instance, kicking off with syncopated percussive shards and insectile shivers before staggering into the song proper, a slowly unfurling distillation of perfectly measured fretless bass and nu-jazz percussives holding the piece together despite the ever-present chaotic influence threatening to pull the song apart at the seams. 

                                                Elsewhere, trappy glitches and spoken word take over, 'The Far Side' being an excellent example of how Erika's voice can easily turn from a sultry, atmospheric aid to a synth-pop falsetto within the space of a couple minutes. The more meditative sections really show their beauty when barely adorned save for a couple reverbed vocal echoes. The superb psychedelic jam of 'Love Sign' is a great example of this and goes to show that while momentum is an important thing to build, it can also be accrued through layering atmospheric devices, slowly progressing from a subtly meandering echoic cascade into a rich cataclysm of perfectly curated drone. 

                                                While the songwriting is top notch here, it is the way the sounds are layered and their perfect cohabitation of the same sonic space that really sets this apart, with each instrument and effect perfeclty sculpted to increase their dynamic intensity without sacrificing their minimal but effective aura. 

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: Bloody lovely this, haunting echoes and shadowy vocals beautifully rising above the snapping percussion and pulsing basses. Rich with atmosphere but flecked with light streaks to keep things from getting too introspective.

                                                "Digital Shades Vol. 1" is the precursor to the fourth album from M83, essentially the brainchild of Anthony Gonzalez, a resident of Antibes, France. Just after the "Before The Dawn Heals Us" US tour, Anthony decided to develop a musical direction already heard on some earlier M83 tracks and he started to write and record a collection of ambient works. Having long been a Krautrock and Eno fan this was a kind of music that Anthony has always been familiar with. Recorded primarily at his home studio with the assistance of Antoine Gaillet, who had previously worked on "Before The Dawn Heals Us", Anthony was able to work without pressure, knowing he could work on the record at his own time and pace. The idea of digital, relevant during all the process (from creating the music to sharing it), gave him the idea to call the project "Digital Shades Vol. 1", and to make the album part of an ongoing series.

                                                M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez released Digital Shades Vol. 1 in 2007 as a compendium of unused ambient tracks for diehard fans to enjoy rather than letting these works disappear into the void. It was a way to breathe life into songs that normally would not see the light of day as well as a vehicle for Gonzalez to explore areas of musical creativity separated from the pop-leaning M83 studio albums. Gonzalez credits Brian Eno’s ambient collections as a primary inspiration for the creation of the Digital Shades series. Now, more than a decade later, M83 has returned with the latest installment of Digital Shades - one that adopts a grander nature and seeks to transport listeners to another time and place entirely. DSVII is influenced heavily by early video game soundtracks, ‘80s sci-fi/fantasy films and analog synth pioneers such as the aforementioned Brian Eno in addition to Suzanne Ciani, Mort Garson and John Carpenter.

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: I have to admit to being mildly (not mildly) confused when I saw the video for 'Temple Of Sorrow' but then remembered, this is pretty much what Gonzalez does. Massive, operatic instrumental music, euphoric dream-state rock and absolute ego dissolving lysergic 'tron. Mental, but thoroughly brilliant.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                2xColoured LP Info: 180g pink vinyl with a galaxy/candy floss effect in gatefold sleeve.

                                                M83

                                                M83

                                                  Aptly titled M83, this album served as the French electropop outfit’s debut release in 2001 on Gooom. Recorded as a duo by founding members Anthony Gonzalez and Nicolas Fromageau, the album was described by Pitchfork as “how it feels to live inside a triumphal music box.” The track names can be read in order to describe a boy/girl meeting at a party. Taken in tow with the sampled movie dialogue throughout, the album serves as a poignant soundtrack for the simplest of scenarios.

                                                  Four years on from the Grammy nominated, critically acclaimed release Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (featuring platinum selling single “Midnight City”), French electronic act M83 re-issues their first three albums in addition to two digital EPs featuring remixes and B-sides from those albums. After several years of being out of print, M83 (2001), Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts (2004), and Before the Dawn Heals Us (2005) will be released August 25th, 2014 on Naïve Records.

                                                  M83 has become a household name amongst music lovers due to extensive success across many formats. Since Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, not only has M83’s Anthony Gonzalez scored two films: Oblivion (featuring Tom Cruise) and You and the Night (directed by his brother Yann Gonzalez), but his music has been used across a plethora of movies, television shows and commercials, most recently in films The Fault In Our Stars, The Vampire Diaries, and 22 Jump Street. Huffington Post even reported, “few recent albums have had a bigger impact on movie music than M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.” At radio, M83 reached #1 on the CMJ charts, #1 at Commercial Specialty, and #5 in Commercial Alternative Radio, while receiving rave reviews from publications across the world, including Pitchfork, Spin, Entertainment Weekly, XLR8R, Filter, and countless others.



                                                  Timo Maas

                                                  Lifer Remixed -1

                                                    Four firing remixes of Timo Maas for your dancefloor arsenal. Tim Green comes through with the gold medal.


                                                    After Vox Populi!'s "Half Dead Ganja Music" and Frank Dommert's "Kiefermusik", we have a hand picked compilation by the Hamburg artist Maat. Maat is a solo project by Dorte Marth, who created two secretly powerful and underappreciated records in 1993. They were released on two labels (Dragnet, Dom Elchklang) run by Achim P. Li Khan, the co-founder of the Greatest Band On Eearth, H.N.A.S. Maat's musical pallette is at once, strikingly, a more dark and brooding occult version of Anima and Limpe Fuchs. One can hear classical music references much like Coil's Unnatural History, but played further, blurring the shadowy lines between sampling and virtuoso playing.

                                                    Maat's dark and glisteningly illustrated use of electronic drums, Pan-Asian arrangements, and classical styles, invent a private world where she uncovers and projects forth, a new and ancient female energy. Its almost as if she is orchestrating her pallette and shooting it through star-clusters beneath the world. Probably Typhonian Highlife's and 4th World Magazines greatest influence. 

                                                    The Mabon Dawud Republic

                                                    Wawa Tree / Ayaya

                                                    The Mabon Dawud Republic, Hungary's first all-star progressive Afrobeat ensemble started as the Fela Kuti tribute band for the very first Felabration event in Budapest, organised by the band itself and joined by Fela's original Egypt 80 band member, keyboard player and singer Dele Sosimi.
                                                    Given the member's love for Afrobeat, the jamming soon evolved into a project of their own songs. Their republic is a place filled with the soul-warming vibes of a 15 piece orchestra, a place for dancers, a place to escape from the outside world and enjoy the magic that is unfolding on stage. This debut 7" serves up a pair of funk heavy afro-beat bangers essential for fans of Fela, Tony Allen or more recent revivalists the Flammer Dance Band.



                                                    Originally released in January 1980, the second album from (Crammed founder) Marc Hollander’s band was the first record bearing the Crammed logo (although the label only really started to exist at the end of that year). More intense and experimental than the first Aksak Maboul album (yet often as playful), “Un peu...” was recorded with a band comprising revered UK musicians Fred Frith & Chris Cutler and contains complex written section, free improv, and a wild variety of elements. If you're looking for a post-punk experience as abstract as it is angular, then you're in luck. Boasting free-jazz horns, stuttering rhythms, abrasive guitar and the occasional thrash moment, "Un Peu" is far from an easy listen, and that's a very good thing. The first reissue on vinyl of Aksak Maboul’s classic 1980 LP. It includes a booklet with various documents, as well as previously-unreleased recordings (available via a digital download code). 


                                                    Marc Mac's Visioneers project LP "Dirty Old Hip Hop", was one of the stand out albums of 2006 and a favourite at Piccadilly HQ. It now comes back reconstructed by some like-minded producers on the hip hop scene. Just three tracks from the original LP get the remix treatment on this CD, with "Funkbox" reworked by Jazzy Jeff, Terry Tester (one fifth of Danish hip hop troupe Vincent Van Go Go), Twelve Beats and Denz, "Replay" is remade by Terry Tester and Marc Mac. The LP is rounded off by the Visioneers remix of "Runnin'", featuring the original Pharcyde vocals reinstated over Marc's live band instrumentation. There's 14 different mixes in total.

                                                    Soul Jazz Records release Tee Mac’s ‘Night Illusion’, a lost classic Nigerian Afro-soul meets disco-boogie-funk album originally released in Nigeria in 1980 as a private press release of 1000 copies on the enigmatic artist’s own label. Impossibly hard to find, the record remains practically unknown outside of Nigeria. Tee Mac Omatshola Iseli is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger and features on Soul Jazz Records’ recent collection "Nigeria Soul Fever: Afro Funk Disco & Boogie" alongside Joni Haastrup, Christy Essien and others, as well as on a recent compilation "Nepa Oh Nepa" released on Hot Casa earlier this year). The timelessness of this soulful, ground-breaking funk jazz lost masterpiece "Night Illusion" leads to comparisons with James Mason’s legendary lost classic album "Rhythm Of Life", with his unique individualism and intensity hinting at the boogie funk of groups such as Mass Production and Slave, so loved by artists such as Moodyman and Theo Parrish.
                                                    While Fela Kuti is now a cultural icon of Nigerian music throughout the world, the recent crossover success of William Onyeabor shows just how much undiscovered Nigerian music remains waiting to be explored outside of the country. Tee Mac was born in Lagos, the son of a Nigerian princess and a Swiss diplomat. He picked up the flute at age seven and ten years later was studying classical musical in Switzerland under his uncle the composer J.J. Direndirger. Returning to Lagos, Nigeria in 1970 he formed the heavyweight afro rock group Tee Mac & Afro Collection (which included Johnny Haastrup on keyboards and The Lijadu Sisters on vocals). This band were famously joined by the legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker, who came to Nigeria to play with them in 1971 (captured in the film ‘Ginger Baker In Africa’). At age 24, Tee Mac moved to Germany where he co-wrote and recorded with the European disco group Silver Convention (whose ‘Fly Robin Fly’ became number one in the USA charts). This enabled him to return to Nigeria where he formed his own label SKJ Records to release his self-financed ‘Night Illusion’ album, as well as buying two nightclubs and also investing in a number of mineral mining companies. Tee Mac continues to live in Lagos today and travels the world as a composer – one of whose pieces is ‘The City Of Mer Kailash’ (2009), a two-hour ballet featuring over 60 dancers and a 100+ piece orchestra.
                                                    Soul Jazz Records are releasing this lost classic Nigerian album as an exact replica artwork reproduction LP (plus sleeve notes and digital download code), CD and digital album 


                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Patrick says: Holy Smokes! After featuring the one and only Tee Mac on their recent "Nigeria Soul Fever" release, Soul Jazz go back in with a full scale reissue of his 1980 LP, thankfully reproduced with replica artwork!

                                                    Our favourite bothy botherers Mac-Talla Nan Creag (comprised of Hoch Ma Toch, Other Lands and Lord Of The Isles) return to Firecracker Recordings, channeling ancient rites, the mysteries of the Scottish landscape and its elements through technologies both old and new for your listening pleasure.

                                                    This time round the archaeological work of Forestry Commission Scotland at Dun Deardail in Glen Nevis, and the links between that site and the ancient Celtic myth ‘The Sorrow Of Derdriu’ provided fertile ground for new exploration and response. Accompanying the music once again will be a lush booklet containing some of the stunning imagery that results from the work FCS have done there, all packaged and silk-screened with the usual finesse we've come to expect from Firecracker Recordings and their chief visionary House Of Traps, in conjunction with 12th Isle's Al White.

                                                    Captured in part in a high vaulted medieval church, then in home studios, bouncing ideas back and forth over the internet, MTNC have once again drawn on field recordings, traditional instrumentation, analogue electronics and the simple power of the human voice to create a shimmering and expansive song cycle.

                                                    Whereas the first album was borne out of an intense period of field trips and whisky fuelled jam sessions in brochs and had a loose approach overall, the second is perhaps more focused in its themes relating to the ancient tale - love, war, beauty and tragedy all intertwined - and they arguably go deeper this time, conjuring up something of the Fourth World feel, by way of the Firth Of Forth.

                                                    With additional contributions from Professor John Kenny - whose primal Zummoesque playing on a range of horns including a giant conch shell and a replica of the ancient Deskford carynx underpins several tracks on the album - and Eva Sutherland (daughter of Other Lands) who provides a reading from the myth at the very beginning, this is an album that not only carries the heaviness of history but also looks to the light of the future.


                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Matt says: It's another triumph from Firecracker HQ, a truly magical addition to Scottish future folklore from this all-star production trio and one of the most important albums you'll hear in the bleakest deep winter. Fully endorsed by us all here at Piccadilly Records - do not miss this!

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    Ltd CD Info: CD + Full colour, 16 page insert. Silkscreened artwork by Al White & House Of Traps.

                                                    Fourth and best album from this London combo. The Maccabees make powerful indie-rock with incendiary guitars, the perfect backdrop to Orlando Weeks' poetic lyrics, which on this record are sometimes politically motivated too. It's very much an urban band, and the gentrification of the area around their studio (in the Elephant and Castle) is a particular bugbear. But ultimately we're here for the tunes, and just like on their last, Mercury Music nominated effort,  "Marks To Prove It " does not disappoint.

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Martin says: Politics take centre stage on The Maccabees' best LP so far.

                                                    Egisto Macchi

                                                    Pittura Contemporanea - Pittura Moderna N.1 & 2

                                                      Coming in a luxurious box with hard cover on canvas like a painting, this new Cinedelic production rediscovers 3 rare 70s gems of Maestro Egisto Macchi. Born in Grosseto, Macchi studied in Rome composition, piano, violin and singing with, among others, Roman Vlad and Hermann Scherchen, and Human Physiology at the Università La Sapienza. Since the late fifties Macchi has been active in organizing music, in collaboration with a group of musicians (Franco Evangelisti, Domenico Guaccero, Daniele Paris), to whom he was bound by strong friendship. Along with Dominic Guaccero, Daniele Paris and Antonino Titone, he was among the editors of the magazine "Ordini", which appeared in 1959. With Bertoncini, Bortolotti, Clementi, De Blasio, Evangelists, Guaccero, Paris, Pennisi, Franco Nonnis, Macchi founded in 1960 the Association of New Consonance, on whose board he has repeatedly been a part, also holding the position of President from 1980 to 1982 and in 1989. Following the ANC was the dawn of the activities of Settimane Internazionali di Nuova Musica of Palermo. After giving life with Domenico Guaccero to the Teatro Musicale di Roma, Macchi was one of the founders of Studio R7 – an electronic laboratory for experimental music born in Rome in 1967. In the same year he was one of the members of the Gruppo d'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza founded in 1964 by Franco Evangelisti. Macchi’s time in the 70s was mainly dedicated to experimentations in library music and film scores. Among the most noteworthy soundtracks he made at the time were for the label AYNA, which gave him full artistic freedom. From that catalogue, Cinedelic is reissuing together the LP PITTURA CONTEMPORANEA (CONTEMPORARY PAINTING) and the double LP PITTURA MODERNA 1 & 2 (MODERN PAINTING 1 & 2) released in 1975. Remastered from the original master tapes in a hard-shell case with canvas cover / 3 LP. Limited Numbered Deluxe Edition of 600 copies.

                                                      Kirsty MacColl

                                                      The One And Only

                                                      Kirsty MacColl combined a pristine '60s girl-group vocal with some very witty lyrics and a dash of new wave sass, marking her out as one of the most endearing and unique voices of the last twenty years. This low price CD features all of Kirsty's early classics including "A New England", "They Don't Know", "Terry" and more and pays tribute to an artist who died too young.

                                                      Francis MacDonald & Harry Pye

                                                      Bonjour

                                                        Francis Macdonald has plays drums with Teenage Fanclub and makes music for filmmakers/TV. Other artists he has worked with include BMX Bandits, Alex Chilton, Belle & Sebastian, The Pastels, Camera Obscura and The Vaselines. His album “Music For String, Quartet, Piano & Celeste” (2015) was described as “Sublime, minimalist classical music” by Classic FM in the UK.

                                                        Harry Pye is a London-based artist, once described by The Guardian newspaper as "the master of lo fi British art". He won first prize in a competition to paint a portrait of Tony Blair, judged by Gilbert & George. He edits The Rebel art webzine and has had exhibitions of his work in London, Denmark, Australia and Brazil. Collaborations with filmmaker Gordon Beswick have been screened at Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London.

                                                        Harry and Francis began collaborating when Harry asked Francis to write about his favourite Elvis song for a fanzine. Then Harry invited Francis to add percussion to a song he was recording with Neil Innes – a version of Micke Nesmith’s Rio, in the run up to The 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Harry then began sending Francis song lyrics and Francis would write music.

                                                        “Bonjour” was produced by Francis and Harry and recorded at Francis’ home studio in Glasgow, Scotland

                                                        Margaret Stewart & Allan MacDonald

                                                        Colla Mo Run

                                                        A blend of song, piping and instrumental music that brings together the best aspects of the Gaelic tradition and benefits from the super sound quality of the Greentrax label. MacDonald is an excellent piper and the high, clear vocals of Margaret Stewart are a perfect compliment to his dexterous skills.

                                                        Ian MacFarlane

                                                        Planetarium

                                                          * Rare private press Electro and Ambient Synth
                                                          * Solo album from former Cybotron member Ian MacFarlane
                                                          * Electronic Outsider Music

                                                          Post-Nuclear Mind Music? Lizard Strategies? Void Spirit…? These bizarre titles are just a few of the self-coined terms that Australian electronic musician Ian MacFarlane has conjured to represent his eccentric sonic world. An artist whose unique style of electronic experimentalism has balanced dangerously close to the edge of popular convention, existing outside the mainstream and extending well beyond the fringe of any sanctioned independent scene. A futurist outsider whose extraordinary musical vision has explored the uncharted realms of consciousness and fantasy.

                                                          Following a brief stint with the legendary Australian Krautrockers Cybotron, MacFarlane produced three independent solo albums throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s. His debut LP Void Spirit, an experimental album issued under the pen name ‘Violet Lightning’, was followed by a further two albums published under his own name, the cosmic influenced Back From Beyond and finally the privately issued electro-ambient suite Planetarium.

                                                          Presented with hours of unreleased home recordings, The Roundtable has begun a dedicated search through the fascinating archives of this under exposed artist. Beginning with a vinyl release of the rare cassette-only album Planetarium; this private press sees MacFarlane armed with a bank of Roland Synthesizers, Drum Machines and field recordings, spawning a mutant amalgam of German Kosmische Musik, French Library electro and Private Issue New Age.

                                                          Surrender to the stars and welcome to the first instalment of “Muzak To Moralize By”. 

                                                          Joanna MacGregor

                                                          Neural Circuits

                                                          Blowing the cobwebs off the usual classical piano repertoire, Jonna MacGregor releases the follow up to last year's critically acclaimed "Play" and takes the idea one step further with a stunning selection of her most exciting orchestral pieces. Including two specially composed pieces by Nitin Sawhney (one the twenty minute "Urban Prophecies") and works by Arvo Part, Schnittke and Messiaen.

                                                          Travis Stewaert aka Machinedrum returns with possibly his career-defining album. Written during the early stages of this year, which saw Steward move to California and start exploring esoteric and new age sounds. This concept of sound as a healer, or as a way of expanding our mind is something he's trying to carry throughout the execution of the album. From opener "Lapis", Machinedrum immediately grabs our attention - slowly an arpeggio ascending to heaven which, apparently building towards the mother of all drops, instead fades up and off into the ether. "Morphonogene" swiftly carries the listener into some skitty, future-proof beats backed by what will become the albums ident - pitched angel vox set to a half-tempo swagger. "Angel Speak" continues the theme with euphoric stabs building and rising before a huge snare roll signifies the drop into bass heavy wobble - the post-everything production ethos coming through strong on this number while MeLo-X offers understated, classy assistance.
                                                          The music throughout is scintillating, stimulating and stylish; from the mind-candy riffs of "White Crown", the ecstatic d&b finale of "Do It 4 U" (featuring an absolute stand-out vox from singer-of-the-moment D∆WN). From the smile-inducing, melodic brilliance of "Colour Communicator" to the precision and build of "Dos Puertas" featuring Rihanna collaborator Kevin Hussein, one of those albums that displays perfectly what it sounds like to be alive RIGHT NOW, without a thought of looking backwards. There's a plethora of collaborations: the aforementioned MeLo-X; Jesse Boykins III offers a moment of astral r&b goodness on "Celestial Levels"; Rochelle Jordan provides the lift off as Machinedrum works the rhythm flips on "Tell U". There are also contributions from Ruckazoid, Roses Gabore and SK Simeon. It's a tour de force of future musica and we love it! Recommended. 


                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Matt says: Thoroughly invigorating listen from Machinedrum, exploring new styles and sounds with ease and finesse. Perfect for anyone wanting a glimpse into the futuristic progression / hybrid of bass and pop music


                                                          next 100

                                                          Latest Pre-Sales

                                                          133 NEW ITEMS

                                                          An End Of Year Review party next Wednesday (November 27) AND a vinyl compilation coming out in the coming weeks. Cr… https://t.co/jLWmfyVJiz
                                                          Fri 22nd - 4:11
                                                          Signed up to our mailing list you? You would have received the latest mail out yesterday. If you aren’t signed up,… https://t.co/vyL9JRyqeb
                                                          Fri 22nd - 3:22
                                                          One week today. Black Friday will be in full swing. Click the link for all the details and the list of the records… https://t.co/bMvAu52Y5m
                                                          Fri 22nd - 2:59
                                                          Very excited for next Wednesday. Come down if you can. https://t.co/Jov5j4buDg https://t.co/sqGGTc08r9
                                                          Fri 22nd - 11:39
                                                          E-newsletter —
                                                          Sign up
                                                          Back to top