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BE (GARTH BE)

Anohni

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue / Be My Husband

    The songs mark Anohni’s first new music since the 2019 charity single ‘KARMA’, a collaboration with Jade Bell and J. Ralph.

    A viscous embrace, a pulsating pouring out, Anohni’s voice is above all else a vessel for political armament. On 2016’s Hopelessness, her voice bombarded with explicit illustration of Obama-era atrocities -- of war crimes, of apocalyptic climate change, of patriarchal violence. Now sharing a dual cover set, she casts a subtler, but no less powerful incantation towards change.

    The original tracks dating to 1965, a year marked by the Selma marches, the Watts Rebellion, and the landmark Voting Rights Act, illuminate the eerily parallel struggles of this year. Anohni’s rendition of ‘It’s All Over Now…’ reads as a hopeful, future goodbye to times dominated by oppression. With ‘Be My Husband,” textually woven with marital submission and want for acceptance, she examines our reliance on the very systems that fail us.

    In borrowing these songs, Anohni adopts their history along with her contemporary interpretations, respecting the lineage of the people’s movement while calling for its continuance today. “When Biden said ‘Americans don’t want revolution, they want a return to decency,’ he was wrong,” she explained. “We all know deep down that the continuation of our civilizations for much longer will require seismic change.”

    Junie

    Suzie Super Groupie

      Walter ‘Junie’ Morrison released his third solo LP, Suzie Super Groupie, in 1976. A slick, smooth and soulful record, it’s a genre-melting tour de force with rich elements of proto-boogie, funk and jazz. In short, this is yet another essential album reissue from Be With. The sublime “Suzie Thundertussy”, is a favourite of Harvey and Theo, and was brilliantly sampled by Madlib for Kanye West’s “No More Parties In LA”. The track opens with a sinuous synth and combines Junie’s storytelling abilities with an emphatic vocal style and funky arrangements.

      The powerful bass and sinister chords create an undeniable groove, and the explosive chorus is full of ambition and joy. “If You Love Him” is a great, mid-tempo soul song. With a swinging jazz-infused middle-eight, it demonstrates Junie was much more than a mercurial funkateer. The laconic groove of “What Am I Gonna Do” recalls “Fresh”-era Sly Stone, whilst the frantic “Super Groupie” showcases his sharp imagination and sense of fun. The lyrics range from humorous to dirty, all fuelled by an infectious groove and tight horn arrangements. The P-Funk of B-side opener “Surrender” bounces and sparkles, with a strutting Junie backed by great harmony vocals and joyous horns. “Suzie” is a sleek, softer affair albeit with a disco pulse; a beautiful combination of bright, funky horns, fluid basslines and vigorous rhythms. “Stone Face Joe” is another character song, this time one that chugs along on a sweet boogie rhythm. The winner for us, however, is the closing piece. An extended funk-rock jam, “Spirit” has a heart-rending spoken-word intro and, as a nod to Jimi Hendrix, creates a live concert sound, complete with screaming crowd and fuzzy vocals. Junie made his name as the lead singer and keyboardist of the Ohio Players.

      As the mastermind behind “Pain”, “Pleasure”, “Ecstasy”, and the oft-sampled “Funky Worm”, he was beloved by countless musicians, not least Prince. As co-writer of some of Funkadelic’s seminal works - “One Nation Under A Groove”, “(Not Just) Knee Deep” – his standing as one of the structural fathers of funk is undisputed. In late 2016, Solange’s “A Seat At The Table” featured a track called “Junie”, a tribute to the freedom he created in music. His work continues to be as relavent and inspiring as it was when it was first recorded. In February 2017, Junie died, aged just 62. With records as mighty as Suzie Super Groupie, his legacy will live forever and Be With is proud to be able to do our bit to make this LP accessible again on vinyl.

      JR Bailey

      Just Me N You

        A dramatic, string-drenched epic, James Ralph Bailey’s Just Me ’N’ You has been a sought-after soul masterpiece for decades. A lush suite of beautiful songs, it was conceived as a concept album; a sophisticated paean to love. Originally released by MAM Records in 1974, Just Me ’N’ You is a breathtaking jazzy soul album. It’s similar in style to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On - particularly the performances, orchestrations and chord progressions - but dealing with a different universal subject matter.

        If What’s Going On was about romance instead of politics, it would sound like this. Fans of Marvin, Leon Ware, Donny Hathaway, Leroy Hutson and Willie Hutch will love this record. Not as well known - this is definitely an underrated gem - the work of James Ralph Bailey is no less mind-blowing. It’s got to be one of the best soul albums of all time. The original productions were made on a basic home tape machine and enhanced with strings, rhythmic overdubs and a variety of other instrumentation. These are beautiful arrangements of strings and jazzy horns.

        Rhythm guitars and bouncy bass serve as the groove foundation, congas provide a Latin feel whilst the vibraphone and harmonica add colour. And then of course there’s JR’s voice. His style recalls Hathaway, with a delivery akin to Marvin at the time. As he scats and sings, accompanying himself in sweet harmonies, there is still a rawness of pain and longing in his voice, the rawness familiar to all deep soul. As an album, Just Me ’N’ You is no mere collection of songs. The tender, smooth tunes flow perfectly together into a fluid, single artistic statement. This is one where it’s hard to pick out any standouts. You may have heard the soaring title track before, maybe on Gilles Peterson’s Digs America compilation. The opening track “After Hours” sounds as fresh now as it ever was and segues beautifully into the majestic “Heaven On Earth”.

        Recorded by Hathaway the previous year, Bailey’s original of “Love Love Love” is incredible and arguably the definitive version. The powerful, dreamy, sax-and-harmony-laced “All Strung Out Over You” has echoes of the Chi-Lites, it’s that good. Goosebumps. And we could go on. Mastered by Simon Francis, cut by Pete Norman and pressed at Record Industry, this Be With edition of Just Me ’N’ You sounds every bit as brilliant as it should. A joyous celebration of love, this album is perfect in every way. If you don’t already own a copy then now is the time.

        Caiphus Semenya

        Listen To The Wind

          Caiphus Semenya, AKA Mr Letta Mbulu, is a South African legend, and Listen To The Wind, his iconic debut album, is simply a superb modern-soul/boogie album. It’s also incredibly rare, especially in good condition, so Be With is delighted to present this reissue. Now a revered composer, musician, and arranger, Caiphus left apartheid South Africa in the 60s for selfimposed exile in Southern California together with his wife, Letta Mbulu. Settling in Los Angeles he started working with the likes of Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba and other exiled and semi-exiled South african artists, as well as, of course, his wife Letta.

          Caiphus also found himself working with and composing for a broad range of jazz and pop artists, including Lou Rawls, Nina Simone and Cannonball Adderley. His facility with both jazz and African forms served him well. His LA stay was also the beginning of an ongoing collaboration with Quincy Jones, the fruits of which can be tasted in Caiphus’s African compositions for the scores to Roots and Spielberg’s adaptation of The Color Purple. Given his decades of work behind the scenes, it’s no surprise that it took until 1982 for Caiphus to get around to putting out the first album of his own. But all that experience shows.

          Listen To The Wind is a deeply impressive synthesis of early 80s US production and instrumentation together with his traditional South African musical roots. It’s stylistically diverse but the ingredients are never diluted. There are elements of boogie, soul, funk and jazz, all shot through with pan-African flavour, and moving effortlessly from uptempo floor fillers to more meditative, slower soulful tracks. Produced by Caiphus himself, he makes full use of a stellar line up of session musicians including Nathan East, Michael Stanton, Sonny Burke and Paulinho DaCosta.

          And of course, there are Letta’s show-stopping vocals. To our ears, Listen To The Wind is just one big party, and lord knows we need that more than ever right now. Opener “Angelina” is one of Caiphus’s most beloved tracks at Be With HQ. It’s a breezy, feel-good SA boogie-funk classic. Harmonic and horn heavy, it sounds as fresh today as it would’ve done in the early 80s. If this one doesn’t make you move, you may need your pulse taking. The drum breakdown alone, a little over halfway through, is sensational. It’s followed by the gentle reggae lilt of “Play With Fire”. A real melodic slo-mo delight, carried by the tropical vibes and, above all else, by the extraordinary performance of Caiphus himself and his backing singers. Closing out side one, the spectacular “Umoya” is driven by triumphant horns and slick bass. With its protoGraceland vibes, we reckon Paul Simon must’ve been listening. Hard. Caiphus trades verses with the unmistakable tones of Letta, and it sounds divine.

          Yes, it’s as good as anything on Letta’s canonical In The Music… The Village Never Ends. A wide-eyed wonder, made for unity and togetherness, it’s all infectious, smiling faces for nearly nine minutes. But never mind nine, we could party to this for ninety minutes and “Umoya” would leave us re-energised for ninety more. Elegantly firing up side two is perhaps the album’s best known track. “Without You” is a heavenly slice of modern soul, an end-of-nighter to end them all. Smooth strutting, disco-fied funk with that unmistakably South African sound, it’s just sublime, with those lyrics that keep coming back to smiling faces and community, “without You the sun won’t shine”. Big with the likes of Rush Hour’s Antal, this is aural perfection. “Ziph’inkomo” is a soul-soothing, swooning epic. Gently building throughout, its final few minutes are genuinely stirring as the backing vocals and instrumentation swell. Jaw-dropping.

          The irresistible groove of frantic, percussive workout “Gumba Boogie” closes out what must surely be one of the greatest artistic statements of the 1980s. If his friend Quincy wasn’t feverishly taking notes for Thriller, then you could’ve fooled us. With Simon Francis handling the mastering of this Be With edition, you know it sounds as fantastic as ever. The cover art, as breezy as the music, has been faithfully restored. All that’s missing is you.

          Caiphus Semenya

          Streams Today… Rivers Tomorrow

            Caiphus Semenya, AKA Mr Letta Mbulu, is a South African legend and Streams Today… Rivers Tomorrow, his second solo LP, is perfect. A ten out-of ten album if ever we heard one. It’s also incredibly rare, especially in good condition, so Be With is delighted to present this reissue. Now a revered composer, musician, and arranger, Caiphus left apartheid South Africa in the 60s for selfimposed exile in Southern California together with his wife, Letta Mbulu. Settling in Los Angeles he started working with the likes of Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba and other exiled and semi-exiled South african artists, as well as, of course, his wife Letta. Caiphus also found himself working with and composing for a broad range of jazz and pop artists, including Lou Rawls, Nina Simone and Cannonball Adderley.

            His facility with both jazz and African forms served him well. His LA stay also the beginning of an ongoing collaboration with Quincy Jones, the fruits of which can be tasted in Caiphus’s African compositions for the scores to Roots and Spielberg’s adaptation of The Color Purple. Originally released in 1984, Streams Today… Rivers Tomorrow is not just a musical masterpiece, it is also the soundtrack to the life of many South Africans - both then and now. Fusing the US-heavy sounds of boogie, disco and funk with Afrobeat and traditional African elements, it’s truly a spectacular listen. Jabu Nkosi handles keyboards on the album, with synths by Caiphus and Craig Harris. Sipho Gumede is on bass and Condry Ziqubu is on guitars. The Afro-Cuban grooves of “Mamase” open the record. Continuing where Listen To The Wind left off, this is another horn-heavy call-and-response ode to a positive life. Life as an invitation to party, to take part, to “get involved”.

            But only if you’re willing to let in the transcendent power of music. “There’s gonna be a Mardi Gras, there’s gonna be a carnival; there’s gonna be a jamboree, there’s gonna be a bacchanal”. Who can resist that? Vibrations everywhere. It’s followed by the joy of “Aida”. Gleeful, dayglow keys and synths *just* on the right side of mid-80s sleaze are accompanied by a killer bassline, slick, skipping drums and proud horns. Infectious funk. The tempo is taken down a few notches for the powerful “Nomalanga” and the lamentations of a heartbroken man who must leave his wife Nomalanga and their children to join the fight against apartheid.

            It’s an emotional song, no question, but it doesn’t bring you down. The uplifting music and optimistic vocal delivery from Caiphus and his backing singers in the second half offer hope. Breezy drums and contemplative keys act as a backdrop for the stunning backing vocal harmonies in the intro of “Moshanyana”. This gives way to stuttering beats, a bassline to die for and Caiphus giving it his all, over guitars, marimba and synth strings. Another slo-mo winner. Side two opens with “Dial Your Number”, an uptempo English-language boogie-funk workout, complete with mid-song cutaway to a random telephone call. Whether or not this propels the song into “key track” status, we’ll let you decide. What’s not up for debate is the brilliance of “Matswale”. This was a hit in South Africa in the mid-80s and you can still hear why. It might just be our favourite Caiphus hit.

            Wow. This is some damn fine breezy, beautiful, emotional pop. The restrained playing, the guitar licks and the gentle keys are out of this world. The beats? Thundering, direct and slick. The singing? It’ll give you goosebumps. As for the sentiment? This is Caiphus singing to his in-laws about their daughter’s adultery, begging them to intervene and help him save his marriage. Not your typical pop single story-telling! The ferocious “Ndi-Kulindile” closes the set with a nod to the coming sound of the States. The hard-edged, electro-influenced drum patterns and bouncing, elastic bassline are something of a departure from the album’s predominant sound, yet one wonderful constant, Caiphus’s exceptional delivery and his sparring with his backing vocalists, is satisfyingly present and warmly deployed. With Simon Francis handling the mastering of this Be With edition, you know it sounds as fantastic as ever. The stunning sleeve has been restored, with its painting of a dream-like cosmic vista, as a lone figure takes in a scene that’s part distant planet, part urban sprawl.

            Fuzzy Duck

            Fuzzy Duck- Vinyl Reissue

              A memorable name with an outstanding cover, Fuzzy Duck is a classic slice of underground London art rock and melodic psychedelia. Originally released on MAM in 1971, it’s truly a musical force of infectious riffs and fiery solos, sharp tempo changes, a tight rhythm section and heavy, Hammond-drenched grooves. With echoes of Spencer Davis Group, early Grand Funk and Vanilla Fudge, it comes on like a heavier Soft Machine or Caravan. No wonder Fuzzy Duck’s cult appeal has endured.

              The album features Mick Hawksworth (Five Day Week Straw People, Andromeda) on bass, acoustic 12-string, electric cello and some of the vocal duties, and also Roy “Daze” Sharland (Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Spice) on organ and electric piano. Accompanying those two were Paul Francis on drums and percussion, and Grahame White on guitars and the rest of the vocals.

              Originally released in an edition of 500, Fuzzy Duck became legendary all over the world through a holy trinity of scarcity, personnel and its sheer brilliance.

              The album kicks off with a heavy, bass-fuelled, Hammond rocker titled “Time Will Be Your Doctor”. This is pure hard-edged blues rock, brilliantly played. Its drum break intro was sampled by DJ Premier for Gang Starr’s “Mostly Tha Voice” on 1994’s legendary Hard To Earn. And we can hear its personality all over Harvey and Thomas Bullock’s Map Of Africa.

              Rollicking highlight “Mrs. Prout” follows. At nearly 7 minutes long, it incorporates more psych-leaning guitar and drawn-out keyboards à la Ray Manzarek with the band effortlessly switching from jazzy rhythm section to a progressive one. That magnificent instrumental jam that starts half-way and continues through to the end is a true wonder.

              “Just Look Around You” is propulsive folk-rock with a soaring, proto power-pop chorus, backed by frenetic organ and heavy bass high in the rich, intoxicating mix. Back comes the heavy, strung-out psych to both close out side one with “Afternoon Out” and kick off side two with “More Than I Am”. Both tracks are improvisational winners that stylistically nod to the late sixties and “More Than I Am”’s guitar hook, catchy organ and memorable chorus would’ve surely made it a great single.

              “Country Boy” quenches the thirst for rhythm and melody, only the lyrics and vibe are wonderfully creepy. The sudden cut of the groove and the drop into a more sinister tempo will make you stumble, before the band pick up speed and toss you back again into the opening jam, this time with a badass organ to ride you home. The final, fully fleshed out track is the majestic “In Our Time”, which oscillates between endless organ-driven boogie and heavenly, genuinely moving vocals. Just stunning.

              Infamous instrumental cut “A Word from Big D” rounds out the album. Yes, that’s the band jamming with duck quack sound effects accompanying the music. “Ducking vocals” as the sleeve says. You know, just in case the whole “duck” theme had passed you by. It’s an appropriate closer for what sounds like an album that must have been *a lot* of fun to record. It’s definitely fun to listen to.

              Mastered by Be With’s chief sound duck Simon Francis and cut with glee by the veteran Pete Norman, this reissue of Fuzzy Duck’s one-and-only LP sounds as mighty as it should. That unforgettable sleeve artwork has been carefully restored and the records pressed by the wonderful Record Industry in the Netherlands. Essential.


              FORMAT INFORMATION

              LP Info: 2020 re-issue, 140g vinyl, remastered from the original analogue tapes.

              Linda “Babe” Majika

              Don't Treat Me So Bad - Vinyl Reissue

                Linda “Babe” Majika’s insanely brilliant Don’t Treat Me So Bad is a tight six tracks of blistering electro-flavoured bubblegum and synth-drizzled solar-powered machine-funk. It has become increasingly hard to find, with copies currently moving for over £200. But this is definitely a case of eye-watering price equalling heart-thumping quality.

                Once of the Hot Soul Singers, Don’t Treat Me So Bad was Linda’s debut LP as a solo artist. It was produced by Ace Mbuyisa of boogie-funk maestros Freeway and was originally released on Umkhonto Records in South Africa in 1988.

                The enormous “Let’s Make A Deal” is probably the best known track here, and it’s definitely the best one if you ask us. Linda’s vocals drip with attitude over warm, breezy synths and an urgent, edgy electro beat to create a timeless club-ready bomb that sounds as fresh as ever. But the rest of the album is far from filler.

                Opening track “Kunzima (Tabalaza Mjita)” instantly brings the sunshine vibes, strutting out the gate with that unmistakable South African steppers groove. It’s a deceptively simple song, with multiple instrumental elements arriving and taking leave with admirable restraint.

                “It’s Our Home” is a powerful showcase for Linda’s vocals, enhanced by some life-affirming call and response backing vocals throughout. In fact they’re a joyous presence on the whole album. The insistent pipes and swirling, bubbling synths of title track “Don’t Treat Me So Bad” follow. A spacious proto-piano house banger that closes out the first side in phenomenal fashion.

                Arriving as track two on the second side, “Unga B’Omthemba Umuntu” has the unenviable task of following the huge “Let’s Make A Deal”. It does the job with class, bringing the tempo down to a mid-paced tropical bounce with lilting harmonies and welcome traces of hi-life guitar. Wonderful stuff. “Playboy” is is another unbeatable head-nod groover rounds out the set wonderfully. That bassline high in the mix is to die for, and the chorus will make any dancefloor smile.

                As ever, Simon Francis on mastering duties elevates this release, adding heft and elegance in all the right places with his customary deft touch. The memorable cover art, in which Linda appears straight out of the 1950s with her polka dot skirt and butter-wouldn't-melt pose, has been faithfully restored. But don’t let the innocent styling fool you - Don’t Treat Me So Bad is the work of one badass woman who can hold her own, and then some.


                FORMAT INFORMATION

                LP Info: 2020 re-issue, 140g vinyl, remastered from the original tapes.

                Black Marble

                I Must Be Living Twice

                  I Must Be Living Twice is an EP of cover versions performed by Black Marble, including songs originally recorded by Robert Palmer, Lives of Angels, Wire, The Field Mice, and Grouper.

                  "I’ve always loved the cover song aspect of live performance. Most musicians are fans first and covers are a way for bands to show this. They can add an improvisational tone to an otherwise rehearsed feeling set, and give a sense that songs are owned not only by the people who write them but by the fans that know them and the other musicians that take influence from them.

                  About three years ago we started playing cover songs on stage, and a couple of unforseen things started happening. First off, people would ask me - not knowing it was a cover - when the new songs they heard were coming out on an upcoming Black Marble LP. Sadly, I’d have to tell them that a) I didn’t write the song, and b) me playing this new material was not evidence of the impending new release they were hoping for. The other thing that would sometimes happen is people would come up to me who already knew the songs I was playing. These people were stoked to hear an old favorite worked into our set, but again they would often wonder if they could ever hear them outside of the live setting.

                  After awhile it became obvious that we eventually wanted to record the covers we’d been playing live for the fans that wanted to hear them. Also, we’ve played a lot of shows in the past three years. We crossed the full U.S. several times and met a lot of great people and this covers EP is a cool way for us to remember that time as well.

                  As far as process, I recorded and mixed this one myself shortly after, and as a way to come down from, the process of writing and recording the Bigger Than Life LP. I took some of the mixing and arranging things I was working through for a year on Bigger Than Life and was able to apply to this record fairly quickly and easily, so I think from an engineering perspective this recording is the culmination of that way of thinking about presentation before I move on to the next phase.”


                  -Chris Stewart, Black Marble, April 2020 


                  TLC

                  Creep / Waterfalls (2020 Reissue)

                    TLC’s “Creep” and “Waterfalls” are both stone cold killers from the golden age of American R&B. Here they are again, back to back on a jukebox 7", just as they appeared back in 1996. Name a more iconic duo.

                    As far as Be With is concerned, the mid-90s remains a high point for this supreme musical expression, and these two tunes from T-Boz, Left-Eye and Chilli sit pretty much at the summit. A pair of canonical guaranteed party starters if ever we heard them.

                    The achingly cool funk of “Creep” was the lead single from TLC’s second album CrazySexyCool. Released in 1994 it was the R&B trio’s first worldwide smash, and hit number one on Billboard’s Hot 100. This is a sophisticated head-nod gem. A breezy horn refrain, speaker smashing beats and the Slick Rick samples blend sumptuously with the defiant lyrics to create an eternal sun-drenched classic.

                    Written from inside the head of a woman who’s cheating on her shitbag boyfriend just to feel wanted, Dallas Austin penned the lyrics for “Creep” after talking with lead singer, T-Boz. “Unfortunately, that was one of my true stories,” T-Boz said in 2015. “You’re with a guy and he’s not showing you attention, so another guy comes along and you’re like, ‘Hey, if you were where you were supposed to be, he couldn’t be showing me attention right now!’”

                    On the flip, “Waterfalls”, also off CrazySexyCool, was no mere follow-up single. This was TLC’s version of alternative music, a song with a strong message: “the idea that pursuing anything that’s self-destructive, that’s chasing a waterfall”. To the three of them, this meant “unprotected sex, being promiscuous, and hanging out in the wrong crowd”. The message hits home hard, now as much as ever, and it’s probably why “Waterfalls” remains their biggest track. But the mighty Organized Noize also deserve some credit. They produced “Waterfalls” after working with Outkast and Goodie Mob and brought along that same in-the-pocket funk, that soulful sound that was their signature.

                    It’s maybe easy to forget now, 25 years on, but the track was regarded as groundbreaking when it was released in 1995. Musically, the future-retro sound appealed to deep heads across the board, turning TLC into the mainstream R&B group it was hip for the indie cognoscenti to reference, and those bracing lyrics moved them beyond “just a fun girl group”. From then on, TLC were seen as the real deal.

                    Remastered for this vinyl reissue (that turntable crackle is pure, authentic 90s sampling), we’re delighted to present this essential double-sider as a dinked 7" perfect for every record bag.


                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Ltd 7" Info: 2020 re-issue, dinked jukebox 7".

                    Breakwater

                    No Limit / Do It Till The Fluid Gets Hot

                      Be With presents hen’s teeth extended cuts of two glorious Breakwater classics - “No Limit” and “Do It Till The Fluid Gets Hot”. These super-rare Arista promo-only 12" versions from 1978 have never been commercially available until now. Originals have regularly sold for upwards of £400 in the past 10–20 years so you know how vital this is.

                      Breakwater’s futuristic boogie-funk glider “No Limit” is six and a half minutes of slickness on wax. It’s almost AOR. Like an infinite masterpiece, the chilled opening chords of the intro could go on forever - and they almost do - but when they give way to the power-funk groove, the track just slaps. It sounds so fresh today, over 40 years on, thanks to the smooth, smooth mixing of Jimmy Simpson. In no uncertain terms this is a monster, written by the great Grey and Hanks. That bassline, those keys, the horn section… all the ingredients are there. Ahead of its time by a good 3 or 4 years, some regard “No Limit” as the first 80s groove ever recorded in funk/soul history. A neat trick, given its year of production.

                      On the flip, the six minute version of “Do It Till The Fluid Gets Hot” is an original Philly party jam. A showcase for Breakwater’s phenomenal intensity, this sounds like Parliament’s “Flashlight” on steroids. Acidic synths bleep and warp, blending with triumphant horns, in-the-pocket drums and bumping bass to conjure a truly deep funk groove. Laying deep in the cut, the salacious vocal delivery only adds to the brilliant sleaze.

                      Breakwater had a sonic aesthetic beamed in from the future and these two tracks are just more proof of that. Remastered and cut loud for devastating dance floor dynamite, this vinyl reissue arrives just in time for all those (perhaps imagined) BBQ Boogie Throwdowns. This is a true modern soul double-sider, essential in every way.


                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Ltd 12" Info: 140g vinyl, extended versions, cut at 45rpm.

                      Billy Paul

                      Let The Dollar Circulate / East

                        Billy Paul’s “Let The Dollar Circulate” and “East” have never appeared on a legit 12" before. They do now.

                        “Let The Dollar Circulate” is inextricably linked to one of J Dilla’s greatest ever deep productions, whilst the massive “East” has long been a big Harvey tune. Both make full use of the incredible MFSB, the regular group of crack musicians that acted as the house band for the Philadelphia International Sound label at Sigma Sound Studios.

                        Causing glorious damage to discerning dance floors until this very day, Billy Paul's “Let The Dollar Circulate” was first released in 1975 on the album When Love Is New. It has the upbeat, dramatic proto-disco sound of classic Philadelphia soul. Taut, urgent verses of evergreen lyrics that preach the evils of capitalism and environmental destruction, to a thumping, menacing bassline. A gospel-infused chorus releases the tension in an explosion of strings and horns. Dynamite.

                        A richly textured and enduring soul hit, “Let The Dollar Circulate” received a second wind when it was sampled by Dilla for Spacek’s 2005 underground gem “Dollar”.

                        “East” is a fascinating, genre-blending track; a magical, widescreen soul-jazz masterpiece. Mystical and powerful, it’s a pulsating mini-epic with a potent spiritual dimension. “East” was written by Philly bassist and baritone Tyrone-William Brown and appears on 1971’s Going East LP. Lenny Pakula’s atmospheric arrangements are complex but deeply funky, perfectly suited to Paul’s fervent vocals. Gamble and Huff’s production is a brilliant demonstration of their balancing Paul's jazz roots with the funky soul of the day, and seeking to innovate and push musical boundaries.

                        A first-person rumination on slavery, Paul’s thoughtful, deeply moving spoken word introduction unravels as the track reveals its secrets. Against the jazzy backdrop Paul’s delivery is heartfelt, welling up with emotion. Strings cascade and winds howl while the bass prowls along the arrangement. Stunning.

                        Remastered to stunning effect, Be With is delighted to present this vital double-sider from the man ?uestlove called “one of the criminally unmentioned proprietors of socially conscious post-revolution ’60s civil rights music”.


                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Ltd 12" Info: 140g vinyl, first time on a 12", cut at 45rpm.

                        No Age

                        Goons Be Gone

                          Summer 2020, and No Age are back out on the street! 

                          Effortlessly raw and extravagant in one practiced swoop, they set their live/bedroom internal clock and get out early into a glorious windtunnel of naked beats and sunbaked guitars, forming a wave from which they hang eleven tunes. 

                          A perfectly balanced set, ranging from their classic punk and indie to ever-evolving soundscapes, in maybe their most direct statement yet.

                          TIME TO BE ALIVE the new and third record in the candomble various artists series - Featuring 3 mystic tracks by D.J. Ungel, Instrumensch and D.J. Rasputin.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Patrick says: My Dusseldorf homeboys round out their trio of 10" EPs with this hot drop featuring DJ Ungel, Instrumensch and DJ Rasputin (AKA Number 1 Party Dude). Machine funk madness, cosmic wobble and poi friendly prog house for the heads!

                          The Goa Express

                          Be My Friend / The Day

                            Teenagehood, brotherhood and a love for alternative music have united The Goa Express from the off. Hailing from the Northern industrial towns of Todmordon and Burnley they return with the insistent garage-rock smarts of “Be My Friend”, continuing their hedonistic pilgrimage into the underbelly of suburban rock and roll. This latest single was produced by Ross Orton (Jarvis Cocker, Arctic Monkeys) right next Sheffield’s famous ‘City Sauna’ brothel, and presents itself to us as a cheeky, snarling pop song, holding undertones of raw cynicism laden with psychedelic sunshine. The song is a “a step away from those who’re always trying to get close to you. An avoidance of those that are always hanging round. A shout out to individuality and an acceptance of rejection.” It’s evocative and immediately intense but also an instant anthem.

                            With influences ranging from Spacemen 3 and The Brian Jonestown Massacre to long hours working at the Bookies to the journey into the sunrise on the night bus home, it is their ability to be all these things at once which makes The Goa Express a guitar band for the 21stCentury. Nothing is ever a compromise because they are so unapologetically themselves in everything they do- proud Northerners with a DIY foundation that aren’t afraid to look into the often dim future and see themselves shining brightly in it, unforgiving and unpretentious.”

                            Maston

                            Tulips - 2020 Reissue

                              Frank Maston’s Tulips is a sample-ready film score to the best 70s movie never made. Originally a super-limited self-release on his Phonoscope label in late 2017, Tulips has already become incredibly sought-after. Be With were introduced to Maston by mutual friends Aquarium Drunkard and it didn’t take long before we decided this modern classic deserved a reissue.

                              Inspired by the deep-grooving soundtracks of Italian cinema - think Morricone, Umiliani and Alessandroni - Maston conceived the entire Tulips project as a continuation of these revered works. Frank designed the artwork and made two 16mm films to accompany the music: “It wasn’t just the LP… it was kind of a whole vibe I was trying to create. Not really trying to emulate the things that influenced me but more trying to make something that could sit alongside those records on a shelf. I’m still very proud of the project.”

                              There’s a distinct library music feel too, with wiry organ, spacey keyboards and loping 60s guitar hinting at KPM and DeWolfe. Like the best library music, Tulips creates a cinematic universe through sound alone, evoking moving images in the listener’s technicolour imagination. It turns out that was accidentally on purpose: “I was discovering a lot of library music for the first time… listening to a composer’s entire catalog or finding all this obscure stuff. I wasn’t entirely conscious of the influence until I started making this music and realized I was channeling the vibe. That’s when I began focusing more on weaving melodic themes throughout the record to make it function more like a soundtrack”.

                              Tulips was recorded between 2015 and 2017 in a small studio in a village called Zwaag in Holland, during downtime from Frank’s touring duties with Jacco Gardner’s band. “Tulips” comes from the title of the very first demo he made in Holland, it was the first thing that came to mind. Makes sense.

                              Recording in Europe with some very European influences in mind, Frank wanted to eschew any American influences. But we can still feel the studio wizardry of the likes of Brian Wilson and Harry Nilsson in there somewhere. A psychedelic bedroom-pop song-cycle, full of hypnotic hooks and dusty drums, Tulips manages to sound charmingly homemade yet wholly widescreen.

                              Dreamy opener “Swans” is an exquisite soul instrumental and recalls the soft-psych of Koushik, which Be With loves of course. Tropicalia influences abound in the cool and breezy “New Danger” and the KPM-references are loud and proud on the lush organ pop of “Old Habits”. Fast-paced “Chase Theme No. 1” manages to be both tense and laid back, decorated by acid-drenched spaghetti Western guitars. The glorious Gainsbourg-esque melancholia of “Infinite Bliss” is all gauzy flutes and happy-sad vocalizing and the title is almost perfect: it’s bliss, no question; *if only* it went on forever. Side A closes with “Evening”, a subtle bossa nova beat thing. Gorgeous.

                              Side B opens with the heat-shimmer guitars of “Rain Dance”, evoking an unreleased Byrds or Buffalo Springfield backing track. Yes, it’s that good. “Sure Thing” is music to accompany an elevator ride you never want to end, but in a good way! The ornate “Garçon Manqué” is as beautiful as the instrumentals on Pet Sounds (think “Let’s Go Away For A While”) and the wistful “Turning In” starts like a stroll in the park before Maston introduces a scorched-Earth guitar solo that would startle if it wasn’t so pitch-perfect. “Chase Theme No. 2” is a briefer, more keening counterpart to what we hear on side A. The head-nod bass-drums-keys funk of “Hues” rounds out this staggeringly assured set; still opening each phrase with a plaintive strum, but using vibrato and heavy reverb to accent the electric organ melody. Sublime.

                              All these top drawer musical references might sound like just more of the usual release notes hyperbole, but there’s a reason that this still-young LP already changes hands for big money. It really is that good. Of course that first pressing didn’t hang around for long and Frank’s regularly been asked about a re-press pretty much ever since.

                              Re-issuing Tulips on Be With made sense to Frank “because the record would fit in so well with the catalogue”. Having already delved into the archives of KPM and Themes, and beginning to do the same with Coloursound and Selected Sounds, the collaboration “just makes sense and seems inevitable”. We agree.

                              Frank wasn’t sure a record of instrumentals with obscure soundtrack references would be an easy sell when it was originally released, and was surprised when Tulips turned out to be exactly what some people wanted to hear. We reckon its timeless beauty ensures that it’ll *always* have an audience.

                              The record was originally cut to be played at 45rpm, a technical quirk that grants the home listener the opportunity to go deeper, for longer. Played at 33rpm, the more languid unfurling of the tracks proves just as wonderful a trip. As a psilocybin-soaked case study from Aquarium Drunkard back in January of 2019 describes, some of the songs sound as if they were intended to be heard that way. The slower speed allowing the listener to step inside and perhaps even “crack the code” of the music’s meaning.

                              This Be With reissue has been mastered for vinyl by Simon Francis and has alternative burnt orange artwork from Maston himself. Hypnagogic it may be, but please don’t sleep.


                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Ltd LP Info: 2020 re-issue, 140g vinyl. Can be played at 33rpm or 45rpm.

                              February Montaine

                              Mount Nod (Inc Peaking Lights Remix)

                                February Montaine’s “Mount Nod” is a delicate, shimmering slice of DIY pop music. The lo-fi charm sits on that knife-edge between happy and sad, its repeated “I’m on the bottom line but I’m doing fine” changing meaning as the song goes on, plotting the course of Mr Montaine’s sensitivity. What starts out small gently unfolds into an understated English confidence by the end.

                                On the B side Peaking Lights dive into the mysterious undercurrents beneath the surface of Montaine’s worldview. Like all good remixes it sets the artist in a parallel universe, this one a utopian disco slowscape, complete with bubbling clouds and dayglow fountains.

                                We have to sincerely thank Sam Potter of 00s band Late of the Pier for coming to Be With with the story of February Montaine back in the spring of 2017. When we first heard “Mount Nod” our jaws dropped. We immediately thought of all the people that would love it. Of friends and family, far and wide. Of fans of timeless, soulful pop music everywhere.

                                Championed by Trevor Jackson and Efficient Space, it’s perfect, addicitve pop which generously gifts the listener eternal goosebumps. Three years later, we are absolutely delighted to finally bring this out as the second release in our Be Pop series of 12"s. In Be Pop fashion it’s pressed on white vinyl and this time limited to 500 copies for the World.


                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Ltd 12" Info: White vinyl, picture sleeve, limited pressing of 500 copies, includes Peaking Lights remix.

                                Frazey Ford

                                U Kin Be The Sun

                                  On her third album U kin B the Sun, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter FrazeyFord inhabits an entire world of shapeshifting rhythm, elevating every beat and groove with the subtle magnetism of her mesmerizing voice. At turns ecstatic and heavy-hearted, gloriously shambolic and deeply purifying, U kin B the Sun is the outcome of a certain personal transformation that Ford has experienced in recent years. With its graceful collision of soul and psychedelia and sometimes ’70s funk, it’s a body of work that invites both self-reflection and wildly joyful movement, and ultimately sparks a quiet transcendence.

                                  A departure from the guitar-driven and largely solitary songwriting that’s defined Ford’s previous work, both in her folk bluegrass trio The Be Good Tanyas and her solo albums Obadiah (2011) and Indian Ocean (2014), much of U kin B the Sun took shape from spontaneous collaboration with her longtime bassist Darren Parris and drummer Leon Power. Over the course of several late-night sessions in the thick of summer 2019, the three musicians joined producer John Raham (Destroyer, Stars, Dan Mangan, Said The Whale) in dreaming up a brilliantly untethered sound, recording as they improvised and continually tapping into their potent camaraderie.


                                  Coastlines

                                  Coastlines

                                    Coastlines is the self-titled long player from the new Japanese production unit of DJ and producer Masanori Ikeda and solo artist, session musician and Cro-Magnon keyboard player Takumi Kaneko. Masanori and Takumi have been part of the Japanese dance music scene for years and Coastlines was born out of their working together on soundtracks for video projects. The pair wanted to make laid-back listening music for now, laying Takumi’s playful keys over Masanori’s widescreen balearic jazz-fusion to conjure beautiful and breathtaking “coastlines”. A couple of two-track 7"s put out in late 2018 and early 2019 on Japanese house music label Flower Records soon sold out. Those four tracks were expanded to a full album of music, “a joyous, relaxing, summery soundtrack for everyone’s after hours wind down” that was released just in time for summer. It soundtracked many a Be With BBQ in 2019.

                                    The album opens in the horizontal with the sophisticated, cocktails-by-the-pool groove of “Sunset Reflection”. A lush, beatless wonder. Their re-imagining of Ralph MacDonald’s “East Dry River” removes all the original’s bells and whistles (quite literally) and re-gears it with a subtle balearic chug. The result is a percussive gem. “Coastline” is a beach-jazz noodle. “Drifting Ice” is as chilled and glacial as its title would suggest, yet Masanori’s head-nod slo-mo house beats throb not far below the surface. “My Fire” is another soft killer, all swelling, swirling organ over muted kicks and snares. An elegant boom-bap. A pair of insistent tunes of the deeply balearic variety raise the tempo, but not by too much of course. On “Woods And My Guitar” a half-heard vocal refrain breathes life into the synthetic xylophone and guitar. Deft piano-work turns “Half Moon Shadow” into lounge-house for the sophisticated beach bum. A classy duo.

                                    The self-assured re-work of Azymuth’s “Last Summer In Rio” is arguably the album’s centrepiece. Ten minutes of casually propulsive slapped bass, steel pans and slick 80s soul beats. Cue the steel drum interlude of “Maracas Bay” before album closer “Down Town” transitions us one with a shuffling, string-hinted hit of ethereal, euphoric piano bliss. Gentle disco for the new decade. As former Test Pressing scribe Dr. Rob observed on his ever-reliable Ban Ban Ton Ton blog, the Coastlines fusion is very much in conversation with their 80s counterparts, both at home and along the coastlines of different continents. So among the nods to revered Japanese artists like Hiroshi Sato, Sakamoto and Casiopea, there are also hints of Marcos Valle and Mtume, of the aforementioned Azymuth. “The production though is very much now, not then. Not retro, just proper”. We couldn’t put it better ourselves.

                                    Coastlines was originally a CD release only available in Japan, with HMV putting out a super-limited vinyl version a few months later for Japanese Record Store Day. But this music is just too good, so when Be With was asked via Ken Hidaka to take care of a vinyl version for the rest of the world it wasn’t a tough decision.


                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    2xLtd LP Info: Limited to 500 copies.

                                    52nd Street

                                    Look Into My Eyes / Express

                                      Be With Records would like to refer you to FAC 59.

                                      "Working with founding member Tony Henry, we’re honoured to present the reissue of 52nd Street’s crucial debut single “Look Into My Eyes”, backed with “Express”. Originally released on Factory Records in Summer 1982, this ultra-rare 12" is a double-sider in the truest sense. Unrivalled Manchester jazz-funk-boogie-soul. Both “Look Into My Eyes” and “Express” came out of a five day recording session in the spring of 1982 at Revolution Studios in Cheadle Hulme, just outside Manchester. Rob Gretton had just signed the band to Factory, snatching them from under the noses of RCA and WEA Records who had been sniffing around and seemingly ignoring Tony Wilson’s concerns that Factory might not be the right home for a black soul act. Rob clearly thought different.

                                      The band of Tony Henry on guitar and vocals, bass player Derek Johnson, drummer Tony Thompson, lead vocalist Beverley McDonald and John Dennison on keyboards were put in the studio with A Certain Ratio’s drummer Donald Johnson producing the sessions. The band also found themselves with an interesting new member. The back cover of the finished record credits synth F/X to a mysterious “Be Music”. Turns out that’s Bernard Sumner. Yes, that one. Tony Henry explains that bringing Bernard in was another part of Rob Gretton’s plan, “Barney was a real soul boy at heart and had always wanted to produce and work with black artists… with 52nd Street, he was an honorary member”. The results suggest he fit right in.

                                      “Look Into My Eyes” squeezes so much aural pleasure into one side of a 12" single. A strutting, rich, soul-gliding funk with bass and guitar high in the mix above twisted, bubbling synths. Like Nile and Barney drenched outside the Haçienda that first summer. How can something be this liquid loose whilst sounding so, so tight? The hypnotic, naïve-cum-insouciant vocals from McDonald, backed by her fellas, only add to the track’s charm. Put simply, it sounds like nothing else. On the flip, “Express” is sheer drama on wax. Tony’s opening lesson in good manners (“Excuse me miss, is this seat taken?”) sees us strapped in for a wild, chaotic, rhythmic ride. All bold keys, synth brass blasts, insistent bells and a galloping groove giving *that rush* atop a bassline to die for. No surprise it was a Frankie Knuckles favourite. Blistering heat.

                                      The 12" was Paul Morley’s single of the week in the NME but his approval did little to get daytime radio play or to sell the record when it was released. It probably didn’t help that, in Tony Henry’s words, Factory were a label “notorious for not promoting their bands, not wanting any communications with the written press and not answering their office phones.” It came and went with none of the fuss that music this good deserved. But in the near-40 years since they were released, these two tracks have gone on to become cult underground hits for those in the know. Of course that means those original 12"s have gotten rare and pricey. So here’s your chance to own this particular piece of post punk Factory Records funk.

                                      But this record isn’t just a vital slice of Manchester soul history. Tony’s not shy about just how important he thinks the collaboration between 52nd Street and Bernard Sumner was: “this worked out quite well for us in the band but even better for New Order and Factory Records as Sumner studied grooves, rhythms and how to write and construct funk and dance music from 52nd Street and producer Donald Johnson”. You just have to listen to Blue Monday to hear what Bernard did when he started putting what he’d learnt into practice. “Look Into My Eyes” and “Express” come from a chapter of the history of Factory Records that no-one seems to have gotten around to writing. Working with Tony to reissue the original 12" is the start of putting that right. The story of 52nd Street is more than just a footnote."


                                      Ian Willson

                                      Straight From The Heart

                                        Privately pressed and originally released in 1985, this is the only album Ian ever put out. A magical blend of AOR/sophisticated funk/synth-boogie/spiritual jazz and modern soul, it’s a spellbinding record of many colours. You might already know “Straight From The Heart” for the dubby-disco paranoid-balearic anthem “Four In The Morning”, and it’s easy to assume this is probably just another one of those one-track LPs. But trust us when we say it’s definitely not. This is an impressively slick record from start to finish, just ask those modern soul DJs and AOR collectors who’ve managed to find a rare copy in the last 35 years. It could’ve (should’ve?) been number 1 all over the world back in 1985.

                                        Album opener “Think About It” is all sorts of right. It’s emotional. It’s tops-off. It’s funk in its purest form. And take the proto-modern-funk of the title track (half Dâm-Funk / half Dâd-Funk). The shimmering, spiritual Bossa-Jazz of “If I Were You” serves as the album’s soaring centrepiece. A gorgeous suite of Cosmic vibes to get Gilles frothing, it sounds like nothing else on the record which makes sense given that it was recorded a couple of years earlier, and is the only track on the LP that wasn’t recorded in Ian’s own studio.

                                        Side B opens with the propulsive ode to love that is “Two Is Better Than One”. Wonderfully sparse when it needs to be, it’s also richly percussive and that special kind of California-warm. Frenetic, speaker smashing synth and horn workout “Funk Invasion” dares you not to dance and “A Game Called Love” is heavily indebted to Prince with its lush, deep funk stylings. The sweeping sax-drenched instrumental “Song For Katelyn” is head-nod, beat-heavy AOR for that melancholic magic hour we spend our days longing for. It all adds up to the ultimate BBQ record. Almost all of “Straight From The Heart” was recorded over a few months between 1983 and 1984 on Ian’s brand new Otari 8 track in the Oakland, California studio he built just the year before. Only “If I Were You” was recorded elsewhere, at Bay Sound in 1982. A “full time poor musician” at the time (and he says he still is), Ian produced the album himself and played all of the instruments, except for guitar. That’s Peter Fujii you can hear, his good friend from growing up together. Tower Of Power, Average White Band, Earth Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder was the list of influences Ian gave us when we asked. No wonder the record’s just so easy on the ears. And why did he put the record out himself? Simple, he had no idea how to go about getting a record deal.

                                        When we first got in touch with Ian he had no idea that “Straight From The Heart” had become something of a cult record, let alone that there were those of us out there that thought the album deserved to be pressed again. The original tapes have long since been lost so this re-issue was only made possible by remastering Ian’s one and only pristine copy of the finished LP. The end results have been worth the work, including reproducing the original’s unmistakeable sleeve. Ian Willson’s “Straight From The Heart” is yet another Be With release that will find an easy home on the shelves of those of you who up to now have only dreamt of finding a copy and also those of you who who never knew it even existed.

                                        Seahawks

                                        Island Visions

                                          Jon Tye and Pete Fowler have been making music as Seahawks for a decade now. Given the sounds they’ve been exploring over those ten years it was a cosmic inevitability that they would be asked to contribute to the catalogue of the legendary library label KPM. They replied with Island Visions, an exploration of sound for vision where they construct “audio micro-worlds to explore and inhabit”. A way to transport the listener away from the everyday without the bother of getting on an aeroplane. Mind travel is space travel after all, and much better for the environment.

                                          Mostly recorded at The Centre Of Sound in Cornwall, with additional recording at Studio 34 in London, Jon and Pete’s travelling companions on this particular trip were boogie wunderkind Sven Atterton on fretless bass and keys, Nick Mackrory on percussion and the Seahawks live team of Dan Hillman and Alik Peters-Deacon. From the grooves of Brian Bennett to the moog vibrations of Mike Vickers, the lush textures of Les Baxter to the experimental sounds of Delia Deryshire and David Vorhaus, this new music channels sounds and moods from across the KPM universe.

                                          The spacious “Hot Sand Shuffle” opens the record with some of Seahawks’ familiar “deck-shoegaze”. The slinky digi-dub of “Sky Blue Sky” follows, gently encouraging us to lay back and relax. “Mystic Beach” is a refreshing ocean spray of a synthetic groove that clears the head, priming a pathway to receive “Crystal Forest”, a new age house groove of birds and flutes. Dense, deep and dreamlike, “Distant Shore” is ambient rainforest house with a 90s vibe, its dense foliage clearing to let us bask in the shimmer and shine of “River Run”. Hang drum, electric gamelan, flute and loon close side A.

                                          Side B bounces into being with “Catch A Wave”, an upbeat beach groover of synthetic guitar, effervescent synth and snappy drums. Equatorial bubbler “Paradise Bird Bath” soon glides in with marimba, crisp beats and fat synth bass. Fender rhodes, space echo and fretless bass make “Smooth Runnings” a laid-back poolside groove. “Spirits Have Flown” conjures a hazy vibe with marimba, sax, synth funk bass and chilled beats before “Rolling Deep” serves up a light cocktail of sultry rhythms, refreshing textures, cooling sax and fretless bass. Almost-title track “Island Blues” brings the horizontal poolside feels with melodic chimes, oboe and more fretless bass for maximum vibrations. The marina drone of modular electronics, celestial trumpet and jungle ambience pay the album’s final respects to the cosmos on “Sun Salute”.

                                          Like many KPM suites, this is a record of two distinct sides. The sunrise of side A brings a deep meditation, a journey within to renew the jaded self. Side B refreshes with cocktails by the pool and a chance to groove away the evening at some sunset beach party before dancing under the stars in the house of dreams. Pete’s front cover for the LP is part map, part postcard: “the record has five different sections and I wanted to reference those in the worlds they created, musically and physically. From beach campfire, to poolside hanging and nighttime dancing. A kind of portal to those places and the pictures they inspired in my mind. All places we’d like to be in this turbulent year”. The track descriptions on the back help guide the way.

                                          2020 marks 10 years since Ocean Trippin’, the first Seahawks release, and Island Visions is the perfect distillation of the sounds, sights, textures and moods that Jon and Pete have been exploring over the last decade. Sunrise to sunset condensed to two sides of an LP. The normal rules of space and time don’t apply here. This is the first time Be With has worked with Seahawks, but individually Jon and Pete have been members of the extended Be With family since forever (Pete did those posters for our Ned Doheny tour and we worked with Jon on the vinyl version of Hatchback’s Colors Of The Sun). Of course we were going to put this out on vinyl. Mastered by balearic engineer of choice (and Be With’s regular audio co-pilot) Simon Francis, cut by the legendary Pete Norman and pressed in the Netherlands by Record Industry, the sonic frequencies of these Island Visions have been precision tuned and encoded for optimum travelling conditions. Take the trip.


                                          Afro grooves, electronics and fierce energy. Afro futurist sensations Onipa unleash their debut album, combining Afro grooves, electronics and fierce energy for an effervescent celebration of cultural and musical encounters.

                                          Onipa means ‘human’ in Akan, the ancient language of the Ashanti people of Ghana. It’s a message of connection through collaboration: from Ghana to London, our ancestors to our children, Onipa brings energy, groove, electronics, Afro-futurism, dance and fire! Born out of deep collaboration between long-time friends K.O.G (Kweku of Ghana of KOG and the Zongo Brigade) and Tom Excell (MD, guitarist and writer of acclaimed jazz/ soul afrobeat pioneers Nubiyan Twist), the group features KOG on vocals, balafon and percussion, Tom Excell on guitar, percussion and electronics, Dwayne Kilvington (Wonky Logic) on synths and MPC and Finn Booth (Nubiyan Twist) on drums.

                                          The group have worked closely with Ghanaian star Wiyaala who features on three tracks, singing in the Sisaala language from the North of Ghana. The album also features collaborations with South African rapper Spoek Mathambo, Lesotho star Morena Leraba, Ghanaian percussion master Afla Sackey and Tanzanian sisters Pendo & Leah Zawose, each adding their own flavour to the project. “Through the musical prisms of London and Ghana our influences join together to create, a fundamental thread of traditional African rhythms, instrumentation and storytelling, interwoven with electronics, urban soundscapes and synth bass. We use technology, but it should never use us, our music is live and about deep human connection.” (Onipa)

                                          Norwegian producer Carmen Villain follows up last years cosmic beauty - Both Lines Will Be Blue - with a remix mini-album. Curated by Carmen, she asked some of her favourite producers to pick a track from the album to remix, which resulted in this collection of 6 tracks and 31 minutes of cosmic/dubs, featuring club ready tracks by Parris and Karima F., deep atmospheric reggaetón by DJ Python, fourth-world jams by D.K. and Yu Su and a far out dancehall dub by Jay Glass Dubs

                                          The first Be With foray into the archives of revered German library institution Selected Sound is one of our favourites on the label - the super in-demand "Japan" from Victor Cavini, originally released in 1983.

                                          Rare and sought-after for many years now, this is one of those cult library LPs that never turn up. With Daibutsu the giant Buddha of Kamakura’s presence gracing the hefty front cover, this is a record bursting with dope samples for adventurous producers: it’s koto-funk madness!

                                          Victor Cavini was the library music pseudonym of prolific German composer and musician Gerhard Trede. He was known for exploring instruments and styles from around the world (he played over 50 different instruments himself) and Japan is
                                          his collection of 14 musical sketches painted with traditional Japanese wind and string instruments. These are the sounds of traditional Japanese folk music re-interpreted through Western ears, with the occassional contemporary twist. Contemporary for 1983, of course.

                                          These “Pictures of Japan” are hypnotic, sometimes frantic, but always beautiful. The first twelve tracks offer airy explorations of koto and flute, with other strings and percussion being added and then given their own space. Indeed “Pictures of Japan XII” is just drums.

                                          And then “Pictures of Japan XIII” seems to come out of nowhere. But the subtle sleaze of its full band sound still doesn’t quite prepare you for the towering climax of “Pictures of Japan XIV”.

                                          This is Japan’s undoubted standout piece, completely and wonderfully at odds with the rest of the album. It’s the reason this has become such a must-have record. It keeps the traditional Japanese instruments but combines them with shuffling funk breaks, electric bass high in the mix and a Godzilla-sized psychedelic fuzz guitar sound that might actually be a traditional reed flute pushed to its limits. Whatever it is, it sounds awesome.
                                          Recalling both Rino de Filippi’s "Oriente Oggi" and Giancarlo Barigozzi’s "Oriente", the track’s a real head-nod groove for b-boys and b-girls alike that sounds straight out of a late 70s Yakuza film. Indeed, if you were told The RZA or Onra had cooked this up in the lab this century, you’d be convinced. It’s crazy that this dates from 1983.

                                          The audio for Japan has been sensitively remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis to keep all the character of the original recordings. Richard Robinson has handled the careful restoration of the original Selected Sound sleeve. Essential.


                                          After a 5 year hiatus that has seen him delve into a range of diverse musical projects, Squarepusher returns with a long awaited album, "Be Up A Hello".

                                          With this new album, Tom Jenkinson has returned to using a bewildering array of vintage analogue and digital hardware, the same equipment that first helped him develop his sound in the early '90s. Something of a 180 degree turn, these synths, effects units and even a Commodore Vic20 are in complete contrast to the tools he used to create 2015’s "Damogen Furies" - cutting edge software that Tom developed over the course of 15 years. The result is "Be Up A Hello", an album that is celebratory with rinsing breakbeat tracks such as "Nervelevers" and "Terminal Slam" - classic floor fillers - as well pieces loaded with visceral atmosphere and melody in Squarepusher’s inimitable style. Darker moments such as "Vortrack" and "Mekrev Bass" illustrate Tom's continuing fascination with finely balanced psychological overload. As such, "Be Up A Hello" gives a nod to the mayhem, joyousness and abandon of the DIY Essex rave scene that was a strong determinant in Tom's work. 


                                          Oh yes! First ever official reissue of the positively sublime and very rare Butterfly LP, recorded in Tokyo in 1979 by Japanese songstress Kimiko Kasai and jazz legend Herbie Hancock.

                                          Due to its super-rare status as a Japan-only release, this exquisite collection of covers never got the recognition it deserved at the time, despite incredibly inspired performances from Kimiko, Herbie and the supremely talented musicians assembled for the project. From heavenly drummer Alphonse Mouzon and renowned organist Webster Lewis to bassist Paul Jackson, reedman Bennie Maupin and the master percussionist Bill Summers, the legendary performers crafted amazingly good vocal versions of Herbie / Headhunters jazz-funk. Unsurprisingly, it has been heavily in demand for many years.

                                          The LP opens with Kimiko’s highly desirable version of “I Thought It Was You”, an elegant take on Herbie’s own anthem. Other superb re-workings include the delicately soulful “Butterfly”, jazzy groover “Sunlight”, the smooth and sexy “Tell Me A Bedtime Story” and the beautiful ballads “Maiden Voyage” and “Harvest Time”. A wonderful example of perfectly understated and masterful jazz-funk soul fusion that shouldn’t be missed, the set closes with a jaw-dropping version of Stevie Wonder’s “As”.

                                          This lovingly curated reissue enables a long overdue reappraisal of this hitherto unavailable masterpiece. The stunning artwork which adorned the original jacket - complete with OBI strip and sumptuous 4 page folded insert - has been faithfully restored. Simon Francis’ sensitive mastering elevates the sound throughout and, as ever, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g. Essential.


                                          Be With Records present the first ever vinyl release of R&B star Cassie's seductive debut. A late-night classic of chilly electro-soul, the self-titled album has influenced many in the dance music fraternity since its original appearance back in 2006. Indeed, it is particularly revered by Jamie xx, Four Tet, Hot Chip, CFCF, oOoOO and How To Dress Well.

                                          Perhaps most famously, it features the slick summer smash “Me&U” (which reached No.6 in the UK charts and topped the US equivalent) but the remaining 10 tracks serve to create a minimalist R&B masterpiece. The intricate and space-filled arrangements are laced with sinister synth bleeps that wouldn’t have been out of place on an early 90s Warp record. The dark, hypnotic high ends coupled with Cassie’s ice-queen delivery made this stand out from the tired crowd of mainstream R&B at the time. It still sounds wholly and eerily unique.

                                          Like all Be With releases, this record is officially licensed and has been pressed on audiophile 180g vinyl, befitting the heaviness of the music contained within. When news of this vinyl release first broke, the R&B cognoscenti went into overdrive. Don’t miss your opportunity to own this timeless classic on the format it should've always been on.


                                          Various Artists

                                          The Hunter (Drama Suite) / Adventure Story (KPM)

                                          "The Hunter (Drama Suite) / Adventure Story" is a real library-head’s library album. We’re treated to some of the best works of no less than five different heavyweights of the genre: drummer Brian Bennett, guitarist Clive Hicks (of The Gentle Rain), saxophonist Duncan Lamont, rock bassist Dave Richmond and keyboard session giant Steve Gary! Something of a dream line-up, they each contributed stellar efforts to create one of the most sought-after of the legendary KPM albums.

                                          They Say: 'Composite themes and incidental cues for dramatic application'.

                                          We say: Well, it’s definitely dramatic. No wonder this LP was mined by a multitude of 70s and 80s crime shows. Much like "Beat Incidental", this true gem includes a raft of enjoyable sub-ten second incidental cues alongside satisfyingly stretched out, hard-knocking sleuth-funk.

                                          Both sides of this LP are dripping with insidious grooves and dramatic spy-score themes, bursting with heavy guitars, swirling flutes, creeping piano-funk and drum breaks galore. Originally released in 1975, it’s clear that these library heroes were heavily influenced by the tough funk and street soul sonics emerging from the cutting edge Blaxploitation soundtracks.

                                          Dave Richmond’s taut swagger and wah-wah guitar licks of “Nightwatch”, Steve Gray’s sleazy horn and clav-funk on the A-side opener “Theme For A Hunter” and Brian Bennett’s rolling strut of “The Investigator” are just three of the highlights here. That last one being sampled by Jeff Jank under his Captain Funkaho guise on “My 2600” for Stones Throw back in 1999.

                                          The audio for "The Hunter (Drama Suite) / Adventure Story" comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. And don’t worry! Those KPM stickers aren’t stuck directly on the sleeves!


                                          Various Artists

                                          Breath Of Danger (Themes)

                                          "Breath Of Danger" was originally released in 1974, and rounded up a killer ensemble cast of library legends including Alan Hawkshaw, Brian Bennett, Alan Parker, David Lindup, Kenny Salmon, Barry Morgan and Ray Cooper.

                                          They Say: “A selection of suspense underscores and drama blackcloths which vary in intensity and cover a wide range of suspense and drama situations”.

                                          We say: A breaky, funky library great masquerading as a horror score. Oh, and the cover art is amazing.

                                          Lindup’s opener “Cold Sweat” sounds like hip-hop-friendly mode Axelrod and, indeed, was brilliantly sampled by Kool Keith for his Dr. Dooom project. Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett’s “The Manipulator” sounds like it arrived straight out of the same sessions as their legendary Synthesizer & Percussion LP from the same year.

                                          Over on the B-side Alan Parker’s “Psychosis” is a moving and beautifully restrained funk-guitar/cello/harp workout. Stunning. Kenny Salmon’s “Flying Squad” is a sleazy, flute-enhanced gem and the album closes with “Voodoo”, a seventy second riot of sound and colour from the dynamic drumming-percussion duo of Barry Morgan and Ray Cooper.

                                          Sonically, there’s a widescreen vitality in all these tracks thanks to the driving rhythms, vibrant horn sections and blazing guitar work. It renders Breath Of Danger - 45 years old - truly ageless. The Themes series is known for having particularly striking sleeves, which was unusual for library records at the time, and Breath Of Danger’s scraps of comic-book crazy make for one of the most eye-catching.

                                          As with all of our other Themes re-issues, the audio for Breath Of Danger comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                                          They Say: 'Documentary and industrial underlays for current themes of modern life'. We say: Mind-blowing, percussion-heavy, Afro-tinged, cosmic-disco library bomb.

                                          This is the one. An absolutely outstanding record from 1983 and definitely one of the hardest to find on the collectable German library label, Coloursound. "The Now Generation (Percussive Underscores)" is comfortably one of the very best library records full stop.

                                          The record comes galloping out the gate with a pair of rapid synthy-eurodisco bombs - the title-track and "Panama" - before slowing down to a woozy pace on "Inorganic Matter". "African Nightclub" sounds like it reads, and is a particular favourite of Prins Thomas. Indeed, it was used to great effect on his seminal 'Cosmo Galactic Prism' mix for Eskimo back in 2007. It’s followed by the dark, druggy, slow motion industrial groove of "Grease Plant" before "Southerly" lifts the tempo to close out side A with its Latin funk strut of bells and melancholic keys.

                                          For us, though, it’s all about the opener to side B: "Mechanical Heart". Seven minutes of building, mid-tempo disco-funk joy, deceptively explosive, club-ready gear for body and soul. The back cover dryly describes the track as 'Guitar and percussion, light industrial underlay'. Hmmm. How about, 'after finally emerging from a particularly heavy week jamming in a sunless, lawless German warehouse, Chic warily press record on a wayward, illicit instrumental for basement gatherings'. Just wait for those drums at the 3 minute mark…

                                          The beatless ambience and menacing stabs of the proto-electro "Chemical Threat" follows, before the open drums and incredible fills of the metronomic "Steady Going" and fantastically monotonous funk breaks of "Nepal Trek" round out this sensational set.

                                          This is a library masterpiece in no uncertain terms, full of synth funk, afro beats, exotica, leftfield madness, dance floor dynamite and all-around greatness.

                                          The audio for The Now Generation comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. Richard Robinson has brought the original Coloursound sleeve back to life in all its metallic silver glory.


                                          A classically trained multi-instrumentalist, Don Laka began his career in the ‘70s and then joined the seminal jazz outfit Sakhile in the early ‘80s. Already an established musician by this time, Laka was at the forefront of exploring the latest synth sounds of the day. Being introduced to synthesizers by Harari's Alec Khaoli, Don soon began experimenting with different synths like the Oberheim, Juno, and Prophet 5 while using a Commodore 64 to sequence them. Constantly striving for the latest sounds, Laka’s early explorations culminated in his debut solo album, "I Wanna Be Myself". 'I went and did an album, recorded tracks at Downtown Studios [in downtown Johannesburg]. Most of the album, except for "Let’s Move the Night", was done straight with a Fairlight at a different studio, of the guy that owned the Fairlight, Adrian Strydom.'

                                          He was the only guy in the country who had a Fairlight, I think on the continent. 'This was the first commercial record made on a Fairlight in this country. I remember the other instrument I used was Jupiter 8, which was a very expensive Roland synth, and I used a Juno-60. I would layer them. The only thing I programmed was the drums. You can hear the snare sound, I think it was a mix of some cracked bottles and something that we just mixed. Holed up in the studio, Laka remembers getting special input on "I Wanna Be Myself" from master bassist Bakithi Khumalo, who would also feature prominently on Graceland. 'I remember I played all the instruments on it. I played bass, I played all. Bakithi walked into the studio and I said, ‘You know, I’m not a bass player. Baks, do you wanna do it?’ And he nailed it, in one take! Reissued for the first time is Don Laka's masterful album. 


                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Matt says: If you study the sleevenotes or credits of pretty much any good dance record from South Africa around a certain time period (let's say 1980 - 2005) there's a 90% chance that this guy will be involved! A true star, prodigy, muse and inspiration. Don Laka we salute you!

                                          Louie Vega

                                          Cosmic Witch / A Place Where We Can All Be Free

                                          The smash new Double A Side 12” single from Louie Vega features “Cosmic Witch” and “A Place Where We Can All Be Free,” and is the first single from Louie’s forthcoming “Expansions In The NYC” album.
                                          The “Vega” side includes “Cosmic Witch", a disco-infused house jam on which Vega puts a masterful touch using a clever sample from the 1976 “Cosmic Lady” by Tony Silvester & The New Ingredient, combining his percussion and synths with a hypnotic vocal performance from Anané. As quoted by Vega previously, "I call Anané a chameleon, because she transcends so many different sounds with her voice.” Special thanks to Natasha Kitty Kat for the track inspiration.

                                          The “Nervous” side features “A Place Where We Can All Be Free,” on which Vega works with longtime collaborators Axel Tosca and Gene Perez to create the perfect jam session that is guaranteed to blow up dancefloors worldwide. The trio created 6 minutes of pure and authentic house music featuring Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Synth Bass, Electric Bass instruments.


                                          The follow-up to "Hail Ceasar!", it’s a taut, grooving set that expands his sound and, put simply, it’s got better songs. The key elements of his debut album are all there - production from maestro Bob Porter, accompaniment from hip players (Bernard 'Pretty' Purdie, Cornell Dupree, John Tropea) and arrangement from Horace Ott - but the overall sound is elevated. The tightly jamming, expressive jazz-funk makes for a richer, fuller, more satisfying experience.

                                          "75" is a mixture of hard-driving originals, deeply beautiful slower numbers to vary the tempo and a couple of classy covers. The crazy bombastic “Mighty Mouse” - a riot of horns, organ and in the pocket drums - became an acid jazz classic at Dingwalls and it’s easy to see (hear?) how. A blissed out, lushly instrumental take on Seals and Crofts’s “Summer Breeze” follows, perfect for those sunshine sets.

                                          Side A closes with the heavenly “Sweet Children”. A loping, funky jazz masterpiece famously sampled by Kanye West for Common’s "Real People". It opens beautifully, with soaring sax and a funky horn section combining with weightless keyboard tones atop snapping drums. Unsurprisingly, the excellence endures right through to the end.

                                          The B side opens with perhaps the album’s most famous track. "Funk It Down” contains the familiar “I Can Feel The Funk” vocal refrain throughout. But it’s the gorgeous, insouciant bridge that you should all know and love, having been used as the hook for Gang Starr’s "Ex-Girl To Next Girl". A great cover of Stevie Wonder's "Living For The City" comes next, with an unforgettable bassline which anchors the entire heavy rhythm section workout. Dizzying organ, triumphant horns and sun-dappled guitar grooves combine to create "Walking On The Side", rounding out a pretty smoking set.

                                          This is one of those rare 70s funk-soul-jazz LPs on which a bad track cannot be found. It’s all essential. So of course finding original copies on vinyl at affordable prices has been tough for years.

                                          Mastered brilliantly by Simon Francis, cut by Pete Norman and with painstakingly reproduced artwork by the Be With team, this fresh Be With reissue ensures this legendary LP now sounds, looks and feels as sensational as it should.


                                          Tommy Guerrero

                                          A Little Bit Of Somethin' - 2019 Repress

                                          The cult skater from San Francisco is globally renowned as one of the original members of the legendary 'Bones Brigade' team. And as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, his laid-back soul is beloved by all who’ve basked in its blissful glow. There’s something elemental about this music that really stirs the soul. Strikingly beautiful and instantly addictive, it’s a kind of funk-fuelled, melody-driven, groove-based magic. There's a serenity and heart in the playing that radiates warmth and splendour, as if crafted for endless sunsets. His albums that surfaced on Mo Wax at the turn of the century have been treasured since their release and it’s two of his most vital LPs that we're honoured to reintroduce.

                                          "A Little Bit Of Somethin" is a quietly majestic gem. Brimming with Guerrero’s horizontal 'loose grooves', these brief but innovative instrumentals demonstrate a rich variety and, as such, comprise an LP that is aptly titled. An enchanting start-to-finish listen, it was instantly regarded as essential upon release via Mo Wax in 2000. It has aged remarkably well.

                                          Throughout this inspired collection, simplicity is key. In deploying it, Guerrero presents a beautifully crafted melodic soundscape. The distinctive, mellifluous approach of his guitar style, blending Brazilian, Cuban, Mexican, soul and jazz motifs, is at once startlingly new and tantalisingly familiar. Set against unrushed percussion, the music releases a crystal clear stream of healing frequencies to create a fragile, hypnotic atmosphere.

                                          Each track clocks in at around three minutes and, with a lack of studio polish or commitment to traditional song structure, it’s a wonder how this enigmatic record demands your attention. However, through its gentle dynamism and impressive playing, it does just that. Whilst resolutely low-key, this lo-fi aesthetic feels genuinely organic and remarkably personal; its powerful intimacy truly connects. It’s what makes this album so beloved of those lucky enough to be already familiar with it. From Margaret Kilgallen's truly iconic cover artwork to the music contained within, it's all brilliantly effortless.

                                          Guerrero’s musical ideas are consistently compelling throughout, making it impossible to select highlights. The album’s laconic drift touches upon jazz-fusion workouts and slow-mo hip-hop drums, Tortoise-style experimental post-rock and cinematic sound textures. It’s at once hazy, light and bouncy yet sombre and bluesy. The Latin soul of El Chicano blends with the breezy jazz of Grant Green. By employing guitars and drum machines to create a stripped down rhythmic tapestry of spellbinding, addictive songs, there are even traces of The Durutti Column. A little bit of country, a little bit of rock & roll. "A Little Bit Of Somethin’", indeed.


                                          Foals

                                          Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2

                                            Foals’ creative ambition for ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1’ resulted in a striking state-of-the-world-address of an album in which apocalyptic lyrical themes were equalled by the sheer impact of the music.

                                            Now Foals complete that artistic statement with the release of ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 2’.

                                            “Part two is a heavier listen, the guitars are more emphasised and there’s some big riffs on it,” explained Philippakis in an interview with NME. “It’s a rock record and it definitely carries on the narrative from part one. Part one ended with a lot of fire and destructive imagery, part two is trying to respond to that: how you can continue in the wreckage and through the scorched earth? We’re just excited for people to hear it because it completes the journey of what we’ve made over the last year-and-a-half.”

                                            Whereas ‘Part 1’ melded Foals’ disparate influences into a thrilling melting pot of sounds, much of ‘Part 2’ simmers with pure visceral intensity. ‘The Runner’ and ‘Black Bull’ are streamlined attacks, with vehement rhythmic onslaughts the foundation for even bigger riffs. It’s an approach that also informs ‘10,000 Feet’, as it lurches ominously from dreamy soundscapes into a heavyweight collision of post-punk and psychedelia.

                                            Yet ‘Part 2’ also echoes the opening chapter’s eclectic nature. The cinematic instrumentals ‘Red Desert’ and ‘Ikaria’ underline that ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’ is a journey rather than a mere collection of songs, while ‘Wash Off’ marries manic world music-tinged grooves with a punk-like intensity.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: The foals return with the second part of their superb 'Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost..' series, and this one's possibly even better than the first. Smooth synths, soaring melodies and percussive, nigh-dancefloor arm-wavers. Classic foals +.

                                            Strawberry Guy

                                            Taking My Time To Be

                                              When Alex Stephens (A.K.A. Strawberry Guy) self-released his debut single last year, he was merely doing it out of a love for songwriting. What he wasn't expecting was a million Youtube streams and an avid fanbase. Now, the South-Wales born, Liverpool-based songwriter is ready to release a Mini-Album of his compelling, lushly produced dream-pop.

                                              Born outside Cardiff, Strawberry Guy moved to Liverpool to study music and grow as a writer. 'I knew that it was a very artistic city with all it’s creative history, it seemed like the perfect place to move to.' he says. Whether it's playing keyboards in The Orielles or just being part of the city's growing musical scene, Alex plays music for the love of music, something that heavily translates into his adept songwriting.

                                              The intense emotional feel of the tracks he writes is down to Alex's songwriting process, recording the entire MLP in his bedroom & producing it himself. 'I feel that it’s important to me to only write/record when you’re channeling some kind of emotion, so I would only work on it when I was in the right mood to do so.' He answers when asked about the isolated environment into which he put himself for the recording process.

                                              Much of the inspiration for Alex's work comes from experience rather than other artists. 'When something significant happens to me, all I want to do is make music.' In terms of musical touchstones however, there's the obvious dream-pop contemporaries such as Beach House and Weyes Blood, coupled with great songwriters of old like Nat King Cole or Harry Nillson. Sonically, a blend of orchestral & synthesized melodies layer together to act as a platform for his heartfelt lyrics.

                                              Opener 'Without You' is a fine example of this, a break-up song of sorts, with an infectious keyboard melody and swirling synths over which Alex contemplates whether it's even possible to find lasting love. The lyrics 'Do you really have to talk about the things you do with him? Do you really have to talk about your love?' hit particulary heavily.

                                              Contrast this with the final track, the titular 'Taking My Time To Be', a powerful song of self-discovery. Beginning with downtempo piano and drums, the song breaks out into a saxophone and synth solo that wouldn't go amiss on a Badalamenti soundtrack. 'The song is about me learning to be comfortable with myself, but then wondering if I'll be accepted for being myself' Alex imparts. It's a fitting closer to a MLP driven by emotion and experience.

                                              Currently playing his live shows with a full band of 'berries' he's hoping to get a full tour going, and says this is just the begininng. 'I won’t stop making music, I can’t help but just write, it’s something that I have to do. An album will be coming at some point, I can say that for sure.'


                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              Coloured LP Info: Limited 180 gram Bone coloured Vinyl, 500 pressed.
                                              Comes with postcard that includes a download code.

                                              Produced in coordination between Be With, Efficient Space and the artist, this definitive reissue is restored from original masters with vivid reproductions of the Down On The Road By The Beach exhibition catalogue, intended to accompany its original release, and extensive liner notes penned by fellow Steve Hiett obsessive Mikey IQ Jones.

                                              Near-ambient arrangements that float in a space between The Durutti Column, Steve Cropper and Ashra, Down On The Road By The Beach also crowns Hiett the master of recontextualization with his zero-gravity blues visions of Roll Over Beethoven, Santo & Johnny’s Sleep Walk and the 1967 Eddie Floyd soul hit Never Found A Girl.

                                              For the first time since its inception 36 years ago, Steve Hiett’s elusive Down On The Road By The Beach is finally made available outside of Japan. Most recognized in the fashion sphere as an English photographer and graphic designer, Hiett‘s transportive audio portraits amplify his serpentine guitar to the infinite blue, recorded across Paris, Tokyo and New York with no coastline in sight. Now widely celebrated as a desert island disc, very little is actually known of its unfathomable genesis.

                                              A career devotee of Brian Wilson’s ground breaking harmonies, Hiett shot The Beach Boys for Rolling Stone - as well as The Doors, Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix (in one of his final performances at the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival) - while establishing himself as a fashion photographer. Decamping to Paris in 1972, he began what would become 20-year collaborations with Vogue Paris and Marie Claire, printing his signature warm, saturated and vibrantly hued snapshots.

                                              In 1982, representatives from Tokyo’s Galerie Watari visited him to propose a solo exhibition. Asking if he could insert a 7” of original music into the back of the exhibition catalogue, Hiett laid down ‘Blue Beach - Welcome To Your Beach’ in a Parisian radio station, playing all of the instruments himself, and two more cuts in New York with Yoko Ono, The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan hired-gun Elliot Randall. Once dispatched, the phone began ringing off the hook with requests for him to fly to Tokyo. Assuming these long-distance callers were wanting him to check proofs for the book, it wasn’t until he arrived that he discovered CBS/Sony had facilitated an entire album. Heitt hastily gripped some petty cash, bought a guitar and retreated to his hotel room to start writing.

                                              Entering the studio the following day, he was further surprised by a waiting room of session players known as Moonriders - one of Japan’s most acclaimed rock bands of the 1980s. Intimidated by their indecipherable sheet music, Hiett suggested Randall join them and with money being no object for major labels at the time, his wingman was on the next plane out of New York to finalise the high production indulgence.


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Patrick says: An underground favourite amongst Balearic and Ambient collectors, original copies of this cool and contemplative LP from Steve Hiett dried up recently, making this reissue a must have. Hiett's soundscapes and reflective guitars are every bit as beautiful as his cover photo.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              CD Info: First time on CD, remastered from the original masters, digipack, 6 page photography book with liner notes.

                                              The Wannadies

                                              Be A Girl

                                                Swedish rockers The Wannadies reached internationally stardom by releasing their third album Be A Girl. Single “You and Me Song” became the group’s biggest hit, peaking at number eighteen in the United Kingdom. The song featured on the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s film Romeo + Juliet (starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio). But the magic of the album goes further, “Might Be Stars” became another UK hit, and sounds exactly like the Britpop from that time. The sound of summer is what makes this record so wonderful, from the start to the end.

                                                Be A Girl is available as a limited 25th anniversary edition of 1.000 individually numbered copies on transparent yellow vinyl.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                LP Info: 180 gram audiophile vinyl with insert
                                                Includes the massive pop single "You And Me Song"

                                                Three emotional years in the making, Be With and Efficient Space finally present Steve Hiett’s Girls In The Grass. Pressed alongside the long awaited reissue of his one-shot masterpiece Down On The Road By The Beach, these ten balearic soul instrumentals are of equal necessity; unrivalled beauty rescued from the fashion photographer-guitarist’s Paris Tapes (1986-1997).

                                                Hiett’s guitar sings with the same clean, crisp tone as Down On The Road, animated by a carefree weekend groove. Unlike his defining album which was boiled under pressure, these subsequent sessions have all the time in the world. The naïve melodies chart a missing link between Vini Reilly’s ventures into electronica and Booker T, sounding like sun-warped takes on wordless, fractured non-hits from his heroes The Beach Boys.

                                                While recordings unintended for release should often be approached with caution, this is a rare case of unheard material being assembled as an indispensable and coherent piece. Girls In The Grass is something super special. The light and shadow that defines Hiett’s music is arguably more compelling here. It speaks to us in a language that feels profound, yet entirely comforting and familiar.

                                                Girls In The Grass reintroduces Hiett’s languid electric blues boogie, crafted on Saturday afternoons with fellow art director Simon Kentish. Kentish would cook, pour some wine and then utilise his arsenal of technology. He’d dial up a chugging rhythm, together with some ambient pads or keyboard textures, and anchor the weightless gauze of Hiett’s six-stringed touch.

                                                Remastered for public pleasure by Simon Francis, these private moments are adorned with Hiett’s singular photography and feature typically idiosyncratic liner notes from Mikey IQ Jones.


                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Ltd LP Info: Previously unreleased material from Steve’s private recordings, remastered from the original masters, 140g vinyl, 4 page photography insert with liner notes.

                                                CD Info: CD is INDIES ONLY with previously unreleased material from Steve’s private recordings, remastered from the original masters, digipack, 6 page photography book with liner notes, 2 bonus tracks not on the vinyl version.

                                                The Dum Dum Boys

                                                Let There Be Noise

                                                  “Often obscured by the ascent of Flying Nun’s legendary roster is New Zealand’s late 1970s / early 1980s punk scene. Based in Auckland, a cadre of acts influenced by The Ramones and Stooges briefly thrived. The Dum Dum Boys—the first NZ punk band to record and release a full-length in their native country—were hooked on the Ann Arbor sounds of Iggy Pop. “The Dum Dum Boys’ Let There Be Noise (1981) is chockfull of James Williamson and Deniz Tek riffage; it also contains elements of Iggy Pop’s nihilism. Take the lyrics to “Something To Say”—it’s refrain repeatedly asking ‘What am I living for?’—and juxtapose them to the band’s namesake track from Pop’s The Idiot (1977): ‘What happened to Zeke? He’s dead on jones, man.’ ‘Stalking The Streets’ taps into the meaninglessness of James Taylor and Dennis Wilson’s TwoLane Blacktop journey through the American Southwest. “The Dum Dum Boys understood the proto-punk sounds of 1970s Ann Arbor and Cleveland. More importantly, they also got the vibe. Life stinks—sometimes in the places (Auckland) you’d least expect it. “As the title suggests, Let There Be Noise is anything but a record incessantly focused on introspective doom and gloom. ‘Don’t Be A Bitch’ rivals Radio Birdman’s ‘I-94’ for lyrical thick-headedness—like sticking a hot 454 in a Ford Falcon gasser, the song’s simultaneously awesome and dumb. That’s a difficult balance to strike. “Let There Be Noise (1981) was self-released and copies quickly became damn near unobtanium, even in New Zealand. (I should know: I lived there.) In The Red has performed a major service by reissuing this obscure and outstanding record. Independent New Zealand releases from the early 1980s didn’t get their due; distribution out of the country was essentially nonexistent. It’s nice to see that finally getting corrected.” —Ryan Leach, Terminal Boredom 

                                                  Joel Paterson

                                                  Let It Be Guitar! Joel Paterson Plays The Beatles

                                                    As a follow up to his well-revered holiday album Hi-Fi Christmas Guitar, Joel Paterson will release a collection of vintage instrumental, guitar-centric covers of songs from the Beatles' catalog, entitled Let It Be Guitar! Joel Paterson Plays The Beatles.

                                                    The album features the guitarist's signature blend of vintage jazz, exotica, blues, rockabilly, western swing and country, and uses classic Beatles songs as a sonic template for the mid-century musical journey.

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                    The melodically adventurous soul of Leon Ware continues its expression in his final opus Rainbow Deux, released on double vinyl by Be With Records.  Co-produced by Taylor Graves, it has stellar musical contributions from the likes of Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Ronald Bruner Jr, Rob Bacon and Wayne Linsey. The album features new songs recorded and performed by Leon before his health turned, leading to his transition on February 23rd 2017.

                                                    Taylor Graves came into Leon’s musical family in 2002 when he, his brother Cameron and the Bruner brothers Ronald Jr and Stephen (Thundercat) were playing along with their schoolmate Kamasi at an L.A. jazz club. Taylor, Cameron, Ronald and Stephen became Leon’s band for his debut shows in Japan in 2002 and Taylor continued to work with Leon as his mentor and collaborator over the next 15 years.

                                                    “Leon was ALWAYS writing something or developing his musical palette” his wife Carol Ware tells us, so it’s impossible to pinpoint any single moment of Rainbow Deux’s genesis. Six of the songs go back to 2012/2013 and were released in 2014 as part of Sigh, a Japan-only CD collection heavy with Rob Bacon’s tasteful licks and Wayne Linsey’s piano vibes. The rest of the material comes from Leon’s sessions with Taylor.

                                                    Describing Leon’s and his process, here’s Taylor: “We’d start by having some great homemade food! Then a glass of wine ‘to slow down time’. After we’d have our fill and smoked our joints we’d go into his studio room to listen and create.”

                                                    The album was finished-up around August of 2016 in a back-and-forth between Leon and his go-to mastering engineer Toni Economides in the UK.
                                                    Leon worked on "Rainbow Deux" with life’s greatest challenge looming over him, yet it is one of his most focused and cohesive solo offerings since the 1980s. The entire record is a vibe: mellow, deep and smooth as silk. The lyrical themes are eternal, and the music is elegant, soulful and sensual.

                                                    The album opens with the hypnotic throb of “For The Rainbow”, coming on like a percussive, slow-mo house shuffle. Gilles Peterson is a fan. The exotic “Let Love In” follows, with its gradual-build Island Funk, intricate guitar picks and sassy female vocals. It explodes when it hits its stride. “Sigh” is the stylish slow jam close-out to side A. Serene guitars and polished drums create neck snapping funk, with a swaggering finger-snap strut.

                                                    Side B opens with the easy-burning broken-beaty “The Darkest Night”, the centrepiece of the album. Kamasi Washington’s lurking sax, restrained and beautiful, unfurls into the dank, sticky atmosphere of Thundercat’s signature creeping bass laid over his brother’s in-the-pocket drums. Leon’s vocals are perfect, a masterclass in seductive sax-soul.

                                                    “Surrender Now” conjures waves of vocals to swell and wash over the glossy piano, subtly bumping hip-hop drums and bubbling synth-bass stabs. It’s got the trademark Leon layers. “Summer Is Her Name” has Kamasi’s effortless, melancholic sunshine sax give way to rising tempos and propulsive rhythms.

                                                    “Are You Ready” is a total highlight (and we’ve been playing it out for ages). It’s a nimble groove of piano and synth rolling around Theo Croker’s sensual trumpet playing. Digi-soul at its finest. With lush G-Funk sensibilities “Streets (Keep Me Runnin’)” sounds like a lost Dam-Funk produced gem. All tough kicks and snares and street sounds. Leon’s hood pass will be forever intact.

                                                    “Samba Dreams” is the first of two tracks that bring a little Rio magic to Rainbow Deux. Leon created a whole body of work in partnership with Brazilian legend Marcos Valle that includes “Rockin’ You Eternally” - a hit for Leon - and “Estrelar” – a hit for Marcos. Leon channels his obvious love of Brazilian music here through more of Croker’s sumptuous trumpet, played over loose percussion. “Let’s Go Deep” is next up. A dreamy between-the-sheets quiet storm anthem and a real showcase for Leon’s vocals.

                                                    The dripping, honeyed harp-funk of “We Should Be Laughin’” marks the star turn of the brilliant Kimbra. Leon first met her on-stage to do an impromptu duet of “Inside My Love” during an open-air celebration of Minnie Riperton in July of 2014. Kimbra was working with Taylor on her music and he brought her to Leon’s house to do some writing. This was the result.

                                                    Warm synths radiate shuffling samba soul on “Wishful Thinking” as those Brazilian rhythms return to bring Rainbow Deux to a close.

                                                    During an apartment move Leon and Carol rediscovered some watercolours Leon had done years ago. One of these paintings had been dubbed “Deux Hearts” and Leon decided it should be on the cover of Rainbow Deux, getting as far as approving a draft concept for the artwork.
                                                    Carol has overseen developing that draft into the final gatefold sleeve. It brings together quotes, photographs and tributes in what is a reflection on the music, relationships and philosophy of the sensual minister.
                                                    Gerry “the gov” Brown, Leon’s long-time sound engineer, was by his side throughout the project, recording and mixing. The album was mastered by Toni Economides and Simon Francis’ additional sensitive work makes sure this double LP sounds like it should on vinyl.

                                                    Be With’s first ever release was Leon’s eponymous LP. Re-issuing that album planted the seed of a relationship that has grown to grant us the privilege of presenting his crowning achievement. We know that Leon’s fans all over the Earth will love Rainbow Deux. But we also hope that this album, the final entry in a phenomenal body of work, will reach new fans and find fresh conduits for the spirit of this oft-unsung hero of Soul.

                                                    Leon always said “they will get it when I'm gone.”
                                                    He also said that “the spirit never dies”…

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    2xLtd LP Info: 140g vinyl, double LP, gatefold sleeve, printed inner sleeves.

                                                    Alex Chilton

                                                    It Isn't Always That Easy

                                                      "We adore Big Star and Alex Chilton more than words can express. Being able to present two of Alex’s staggeringly beautiful demos on vinyl for the first time (on a cute picture sleeve 7", no less) is an absolute honour for us at Be With.

                                                      “It Isn’t Always That Easy” and “If You Would Marry Me” both sound like templates for some of Alex’s best-known Big Star numbers. These demos come from the transitional recording sessions he made with Terry Manning at the Ardent studio in 1969, but were missing from the vinyl version of the wonderful Free Again compilation that was released in 2012.

                                                      Caught between the end of the Box Tops and the birth of Big Star Alex’s song-craft was already remarkable - as these demos prove - and this release represents a fascinating, exploratory period in the career of one of pop’s most enigmatic talents.

                                                      “It Isn’t Always That Easy” is the real knockout. A tender, acoustic ballad that, stylistically, could have appeared Big Star’s “#1 Record”. Yes, it really is that good. A deeply affecting, ruminative lament that explores the ravages of Alex’s short career to date, it is also one of the sweetest and most delicate melodies he ever wrote. A song this stunning shouldn’t just be kept for the Big Star completists.

                                                      Over on the flip, “If You Would Marry Me” finds Alex in earnestly romantic mode. It’s just him and a piano, albeit one that is played in a poppy, uplifting fashion to complement the optimistic mood: “I could make you feel so glad inside and so alive” he confidently declares. It’s quite the gem. It really should be mandatory for this to be played at every wedding.

                                                      Unfortunately there seem to be no photographs of Alex from around the time he was making these recordings. But luckily we were put in touch with Pat Rainer who was photographing the Memphis music scene that Alex was still part of a few years later.

                                                      Happy to be described as “a friend with a camera who was hanging around”, Pat’s candid pictures of Alex included one of him asleep on the floor of the Ardent studio. Even though the photograph was taken 9 years after the demos were recorded, we think this intimate portrait makes a fitting cover for these equally intimate songs."


                                                      Yes! Tommy Guerrero’s much-loved 4th LP – the smooth West Coast classic From The Soil To The Soul - gets its first ever vinyl release. As the follow up to his revered Soul Food Taqueria, this album was originally released by Quannum Records 2006 but only on CD. Working with Tommy directly, the LP has been fully remastered, cut on to heavyweight wax, and comes with artwork freshly reworked by the man himself.

                                                      From The Soil To The Soul represents a continuation of Tommy’s blissful guitar-soul whilst demonstrating increasingly complex chops and a slightly darker side to his distinctive sound. His spare, effortless funk is blended here with elements of Americana, heavy psych, lo-fi fuzz and intoxicating Latin rhythms. Combined with his typically breezy, laid-back San Franciscan style, it’s a vibe from start to finish.

                                                      Recorded primarily in his home studio, Tommy wrote, arranged and played nearly all the instruments, including bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion and kalimba. Renowned street artist Barry McGee, aka Twist, designed the cover art which Tommy has now recast in a deep, deep red for the vinyl version.

                                                      As ever with Tommy, the highlights are many and memorable. From twinkling, sun-drenched opener “Hello Again” to the penultimate, punk-rocking track “Let Me In Let Me Out” (featuring the melodic yet fearsome rapping of Lyrics Born), the variety across the LP is relentless, but satisfying, and without once losing focus.

                                                      We’re treated to the gorgeous hip-hop blues of “The Under Dog”, Meters-style Hammond B-3 jams like “War No More” and “No Guns More Glory” and Balearic bangers like Bing Ji Ling’s star-turn on the sleazy “Don’t Fake It.”

                                                      Curumin’s soulful guest vocal elevates the already-great Brazilian lounge feels of “Salve” to hitherto unscaled heights and the heavy, driving basslines - funky and warm on “Badder Than Bullets”, sombre and intense in “Tomorrow’s Goodbye” and “Molotov Telegram” – never fail to move both body and soul.

                                                      But our favourite track is the beautiful breezy pop of “Just Ain’t Me”. A bittersweet, skipping ballad which boasts an incredibly rare instance of Tommy singing. “What you want from me, I can never give” he repeats throughout, lending the already-melancholic atmosphere greater poignancy. It would’ve been number 1 across the planet in a parallel universe.


                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      David says: First time on vinyl for Tommy's seminal fourth album and Be With's third release of the week. Remastered and reworked with the help of the man himself. Unmissable.

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      Ltd LP Info: Remastered, 180g vinyl, first time on vinyl!

                                                      Barbara Dane / Betty O'Brien

                                                      I'm On My Way / She'll Be Gone

                                                      Barbara Dane was born and raised in Detroit in the late 1920s against a backdrop of deep depression and race riots, little wonder that she became a political activist. She used her folk/blues musicianship to spread her message in the coffee-houses of San Francisco where she relocated in 1949 and founded her own Blues Club… Sugar Hill. Betty O'Brian currently residing in Fort Worth, Texas, was managed by Clyde Otis who hit the big time with fellow Liberty artist TimiYuro. Unfortunately for Betty that was her only claim to fame until, finally, out of the blue, the big-voiced Country singer stole our hearts with this thumping slab of dancefloor R&B. It only took six decades to catch on!

                                                      Be With are back on the tail of brilliance with an ace reissue of a total disco destroyer, oft overlooked because it's more or less impossible to find.
                                                      In 1980, Randy Muller’s Skyy dropped the monumental “Here’s To You”, comfortably one of the greatest dance singles of all time. Released on Salsoul, “Here’s To You” is now exceptionally hard to find in its original form. On this special Be With double-header, we present the sought-after 12" mix and back it up with the strutting “You Got Me Up”, which has never been on a 12" before. Naturally, both are cut loud and bumping for devastating dance floor power.
                                                      A sure-fire classic of the NYC club scene and a true block party rocker, “Here’s To You” beautifully combines sweeping synth-strings, loose cymbal hits and swaggering lyrics delivered with enviable style. But the real hero is *that* bassline. Oh, wait, no, actually, it’s *that* synth refrain halfway through. Harnessing the Oberheim Matrix 12 to emulate a horn section has provided goosebumps on discerning dance floors ever since.
                                                      As Muller expressed in his 2007 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, “It’s a very special record, it’s positive and has that spontaneous, life-giving spirit in the groove. Everything locks, just pure chemistry.”
                                                      If that wasn’t enough, over on the B-side is “You Got Me Up”, a real hidden gem from Skyy’s Skyway LP. Also released in 1980, the track is a wonderful showcase of the group’s airtight rhythm section and Muller’s uncanny ear for a groove and a melody.


                                                      If ever an album could transport you to the hazy sunshine and imagined halcyon paradise of Southern California in the mid-1980s, could capture the early evening warmth of hanging at an inclusive boogie jam as it approaches “magic hour” in Santa Ana or Anaheim, then it’s Vaughan Mason and Butch Dayo’s Feel My Love. A brilliantly produced deep slung, low rider funk classic originally released on Salsoul in 1983. It’s a masterpiece of “funk love music”.

                                                      Yes, this is indeed a perfectly formed five track “mini LP” of unparalleled heat, but there’s one song here that, above the rest, represents Orange County boogie-funk. A straight killer beloved by all that have had the pleasure of moving to it. A track that can fill up a dance floor within seconds of its starting. That song is the eternal title track, “Feel My Love”.

                                                      This is a work of art that made people fall in love with the funk. It transcends the limitations of genre. “Feel My Love”’s deceptive simplicity makes it perfect to drop during a house set, a classic funk party or at a west coast rap jam. It’s sexy, deeply emotional, melancholic, hopeful, passionate and just radiates so, so much raw energy. This is music.

                                                      The rest of the record is hardly filler though. Opener “Oh, Love” is a dizzying, emotional slow jam. With heaven-sent vocals riding gorgeous, sweeping keys that alternate between sweet twinkling lines and funk-fuelled stabbing. It’s sensational. A rollerskating jam named “Rollalong Songs” is an ultra-swish piece of dance floor dynamite. Its slick drums, staccato piano and neck snapping claps underscore Dayo’s buoyant vocals. It’s essentially “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll Part II”.

                                                      The flip begins with “Party On The Corner”. Smoother than silk vocals, day-glo synths, a bubbling bassline and guitar licks that surely received the Prince seal of approval. It’s another example of how Vaughan Mason and Butch Dayo flirt with perfection so routinely. The most majestic closer, the kaleidoscopic, cow-bell-assisted synth-funk heater “You Can Do It” is a proto-rap groover that truly smokes.

                                                      This prized LP is a stone cold jam and finding original copies on vinyl at affordable prices has been tough for years. Mastered brilliantly by Simon Francis, cut by Pete Norman and with lovingly reproduced artwork, this fresh Be With reissue ensures this legendary LP now sounds, looks and feels as sensational as it should.

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      David says: Yet more heat from Be With, the reissue label de jour. They're so hot at the moment they have their own fire department just in case things get out of hand.

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl.

                                                      Following 2017’s Infinite Avenue and 2013’s Sleeper, Both Lines Will Be Blue is Carmen’s first full instrumental album. A 7 track collection of cosmic excursions and dubby ambient-jams, the album is written, recorded, played, produced and mixed by Carmen in her Oslo studio. The soothing atmospherics are made up of tapestries of field recordings, synths, piano, drum-programming, zither and modular sounds. Throughout, Carmen’s music is colored by experimenting with different sounds and learning new techniques or by adding new instruments to the mix

                                                      "I’ve been playing around with instrumentals for a long time, and it was something I wanted to do more with after I finished Infinite Avenue,” says Carmen. “Leaving out my voice and lyrics got me out of my own head a bit, which I needed. Working with sound is to me the ultimate meditation and is a more unconscious way of expressing whatever is going on inside.”

                                                      The flute, played by Chilenean-Norwegian Johanna Scheie Orellana (formerly of Sassy 009), is a central part of this new album. Carmen got her in to the studio to both record melodies that she had written, as well as making plenty of room for impro/freeform. Prins Thomas also appears on the record, playing percussion on “I Could Sit Here All Day.”

                                                      “I made this track based on a Roland SH-101 sequence run through various processing,” says Villain. “The whole thing came together kind of like a jam, I wrote the flute in one take, and it just felt right. I wanted real flute on this, so asked Johanna if she'd like to come in, and we've been collaborating ever since.”


                                                      Soul Asylum

                                                      Made To Be Broken

                                                        Soul Asylum's sophomore release. Produced by Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü).

                                                        Reissue co-produced by Twin/Tone co-founder Peter Jesperson and Grammy®-winning producer Cheryl Pawelski. Soul Asylum first hit the Minneapolis music scene in early 1981. Core members Dave Pirner, Dan Murphy, and Karl Mueller met at local punk rock shows. Coming up in the shadow of formidable bands like Hüsker Dü and The Replacements, who they were all big fans of, was daunting but, ultimately, it inspired them to make a name for themselves.

                                                        Soul Asylum stood out immediately because of their work ethic and smart, punky hard rock sound. They made four records for hometown label Twin/Tone Records before moving on to the majors; first A&M, then Columbia, where they scored two platinum albums and won a Best Rock Song Grammy® for "Runaway Train." 

                                                        Beauty Sleep

                                                        Be Kind

                                                          Beauty Sleep have earned a stellar reputation for crafting vibrant synth-driven pop music thanks to previous single releases like ‘Until We See The Sun’ and ‘All In’. Their debut LP Be Kind is released on Quiet Arch records.

                                                          The captivating record showcases a young group clearly in love with the process of creating music together. Flush with golden vocal harmonies, dazzling synths and earworm hooks, Be Kind is a huge step in Beauty Sleep’s blossoming career. Beauty Sleep’s music is born of the friendship its three members share. The Belfast natives met first by chance at a mutual friend’s party. While chatting, Cheylene, Ryan and Aimee discovered a powerful shared creative bond. Overcome with the rush of inspiration only the prospect of a new project instils, the group decided to seize the moment and focus their energy into forming a new band. Enter the lush dream-pop Beauty Sleep makes today. Their strong releases have been bolstered by the band’s high energy live performances, which the group view as another avenue for communal celebration of music and dance. 

                                                          Doomsquad

                                                          Let Yourself Be Seen

                                                            Even this far into the 21st century, the recent social media furore surrounding US congresswoman and free-style dancer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez illustrated that the spectacle of someone dancing without compunction can still ruffle the right (and alt-right) feathers. In which case, all hail the third album from Toronto’s ardent, art-dance sibling trio Doomsquad. Let Yourself Be Seen is the most assertive, ambitious, groove-sodden declaration of intent yet from Trevor, Jaclyn and Allie Blumas: the sound of dancefloor believers and thinkers firing on all personal and political fronts, at a time when we need it most.

                                                            Even if Doomsquad never lacked the courage of their convictions, Let Yourself Be Seen ups the stakes. On 2016’s Total Time, the trio issued invitations to free your mind, body and spirit over dirty bass-lines and hypnotic disco jams. And yet, their reliance on unspoken sibling intuition left them fearing that much of its “message and meaning” had gone unheard. Thus, the trio took a more forthright approach for their third album, aiming to “crystallise what Doomsquad is and what it means to us. What we always knew but put at the forefront of this record is that Doomsquad is a project of protest, catharsis and emotional and spiritual reconnection through music and, especially, through dance-music culture. It’s about activating the body on the most fundamental level, into states of change, release and reunion.”

                                                            Richly steeped in the influences of acid house, West African disco, spiritual jazz, NYC no-wave and new-age ambient music, Let Yourself Be Seen hums with a sense of vigorous, invigorating purpose. After the overture of ‘Spandrel’, ‘The General Hum’ sends out a buoyant new-wave rallying cry for maximised engagement just when the world seems intent on stifling it. “Is there a place for spirit anymore?” it asks. Kicking in with a percussive bustle that all but defies you to try and stand still, ‘Aimless’ answers in the affirmative.

                                                            Elsewhere on the album, Doomsquad’s own dynamic thematic engagement alights on subjects ranging from formative influences to modern societal struggles and eco-crises. ‘Let It Go’ grapples with the challenges of social change at 140BPM, climaxing with a scalding guitar solo to match the heat of its questioning thrust. The mellifluous ‘Emma’ reflects on early-20th-century anarchist and activist Emma Goldman; ‘Dorian’s Closet’, meanwhile, honours New York drag queen Dorian Corey. “Let Yourself Be Seen was fuelled by the inspiration of outsider artists and thinkers before us,” say the band. “Through these songs, we get to glorify some of our heroes.”

                                                            Doomsquad's intent to carry their heroes’ “messages of empowerment, release and spiritual self-determination” to new audiences peaks on the title-track, where the album’s disparate parts build to a disco inferno with a call to “Let yourself be seen!” ‘The Last Two Palm Trees in LA’ offers an empathetic take on a similar theme, based on the acceptance of ageing, before ‘Weather Patterns’ steers a reflection on unity in the face of global crisis to a buffeting crescendo with a thrilling urgency.

                                                            The result is an album for fraught political times, charged by the impetus to bring “music back to the body”. Close-to-home influences on that score include Tanya Tagaq and Peaches, both of whom Doomsquad have toured with; further afield, Peter Gabriel, Diamanda Galás, Genesis P-Orridge and Underworld numbered among inspirations. Meanwhile, as the trio’s creative process took them from a lakeside cabin to a studio in Toronto, they benefited from the input of kindred spirits such as Ejji Smith, whose virtuoso guitar-shredding propels ‘Let It Go’. Israeli jazz composer Itamar Erez adds watery synths to ‘Emma’, while a key studio collaborator was producer/artist Sandro Perri, whose credits include Barzin.


                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            Coloured LP Info: Clear vinyl.

                                                            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                            Barrie

                                                            Happy To Be Here

                                                              Inclusivity is at the heart of Barrie, the Brooklyn five-piece made of Barrie Lindsay, Dominic Apa, Spurge Carter, Sabine Holler and Noah Prebish. And on their debut LP Happy To Be Here, their multidimensional take on classic pop sounds awake and present, like a group that’s daydreaming but firmly there with one another. Lindsay largely wrote these songs late into the night, alone in her apartment, and her voice feels appropriately full of possibility throughout. Barrie, the band, is primarily her project; on the record, which she co-produced with Jake Aron (Snail Mail, Solange, Grizzly Bear), Lindsay plays guitar, piano, synth and bass. But still, Barrie is distinctly not a solo project, and Happy To Be Here is very much a full band record. Dominic’s drums fill the entire album, while Noah added synths and Spurge sang on nearly every track; the three also contributed production. And Sabine, though stuck in Germany with visa issues, remotely recorded vocals. Engineered and mixed by Aron at his Brooklyn studio in August 2018, the album is a softly explosive document of Barrie’s collective vision: “a well-crafted pop song that’s a little bit fucked up,” they explain. The album’s singles speak to its scope: the analog synths that burst from piano pointillism on “Clovers”, the lush electric guitar grooves on opener “Darjeeling”, the minimal arrangement and modular programmed drums of “Saturated”. The album’s energetic but unhurried movement is a testament to the wide-ranging backgrounds of Barrie’s membership: Spurge and Noah met at the Lot Radio through a shared love of house and techno, Dom plays and tours with the electronic rock band Is Tropical, Sabine is a performance artist and solo musician. 

                                                              Tom Williams

                                                              What Did You Want To Be?

                                                                Having taken a break from the music industry to teach in 2015, Tom was offered a week-long artist residency in the music department of Leeds Beckett University, and on the condition the university provided him with a band, Tom accepted the post and entered into one of the most creatively inspiring periods of his career, and resulted in the critically acclaimed album ‘All Change’. The new album ‘What Did You Want to Be?’ was recorded in January 2018 in East Sussex at Tim Rice-Oxley’s (Keane) home studio. Written under a year since ‘All Change’ came out, the album came from a series of intense, ‘20 song days’ that Rice-Oxley encouraged Tom to throw himself into.

                                                                For his feelgood third solo album We Wanna BeHyp-No-Tized, Pavement co-founder Scott Kannberg best known to the musical world as Spiral Stairs concocted some of the most fun and accessible music of his storied career by expanding his musical repertoire.

                                                                We Wanna Be Hyp-No-Tized is fun, infectious and musically compelling, while still managing to cover some hefty topics like the current rambunctious political climate. Reuniting the bulk of the dream team who assisted him on Doris & The Daggers album, bassist Matthew Harris (Oranger, The Posies), multi instrumentalist Tim Regan and good friend Kelley Stoltz, as well as former touring Preston School Of Industry drummer Jim Lindsay, We Wanna Be Hyp-No-Tized is the most fully rendered encapsulation to date of Spiral Stairs nimitable aesthetic.

                                                                “To me We Wanna Be Hyp-No-Tized feels like the records I’ve been listening to and the records I’ve been digging and aspire to sound like,” Spiral offers. “In my early-twenties I felt like I knew everything – I always knew about new bands before everyone else – but that kind of closed off a lot of bands that I didn’t give much credence to, and now I’m a bit older and it’s, like, ‘Wow, how did I miss that?’

                                                                “I’m talking things like the first two Nick Lowe records – I’m obsessed by that shit, they’re beautiful, beautiful songs on those records. Then he led me to this guy Jim Ford who’s like a weird country-soul singer, he’s so good. And I’ve really got into Van Morrison way deeper than I’ve ever got into Van Morrison before.

                                                                “So I got into that 1973 album Veedon Fleece, and then of course Roxy Music stuff and Brian Ferry. But I think the influences on this are definitely Nick Lowe and Van Morrison – I even tried to sing like Van Morrison on a lot of the songs, like how he repeats himself a lot. Those are the kind of bands I would never have liked in 1984… or 1994… or 2004 really.

                                                                Foals

                                                                Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1

                                                                  From playing chaotic house parties in their home city of Oxford to becoming major festival headliners across Europe, Foals’ trajectory has been remarkable. They’ve earned critical acclaim (NME and Q Award wins, plus Mercury Prize, Ivor Novello and BRIT Award nominations) and fan devotion (1.7 million sales of their four Gold-certified albums) in equal measure. And while the majority of contemporaries have fallen by the wayside, Foals continue to hit new peaks.

                                                                  After more than a decade in the game, Foals again embrace that love for the unconventional with the bravest and most ambitious project of their career: not one, but two astonishing new albums: ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’. A pair of releases, separate but related, they share a title, themes and artwork. ‘Part 1’ is released on March 8th, with ‘Part 2’ following later in the year.

                                                                  “They’re two halves of the same locket,” frontman Yannis Philippakis explains. “They can be listened to and appreciated individually, but fundamentally, they are companion pieces.”

                                                                  Fundamentally tethered but possessing their own personalities, the two bodies capture the most compelling, ambitious and cohesive creations they’ve ever produced. Eager to break the traditional pop song structure which they felt they were becoming increasingly tapered to, the 20 tracks defy expectation. There are exploratory, progressive-tinged tracks alongside atmospheric segues which make the music an experience rather than a mere collection of songs. Yet the band’s renowned ability to wield relentless grooves with striking power and skyscraper hooks also reaches new heights.

                                                                  The album’s lead single ‘Exits’ is a case in point, featuring Philippakis conjuring the image of a disorienting world via a contagious vocal melody. It’s a fresh anthem for Foals’ formidable arsenal, but also an ominous forecast.

                                                                  “There's a definite idea about the world being no longer habitable in the way that it was,” says Yannis. “A kind of perilousness lack of predictability and a feeling of being overwhelmed by the magnitudes of the problems we face. What's the response? And what’s the purpose of any response that one individual can have?”

                                                                  ‘Exits’ signposts what to expect thematically from both instalments of ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’. The title is a warning that anything – from the tiniest fleeting moment of inspiration through to the planet’s own biological diversity – can be under threat of being irrevocably erased.

                                                                  It’s a theme that permeates throughout the album’s material, as Foal mirror the public neuroses that have been provoked by our current cultural climate. Paranoia of state surveillance? Fear of environmental collapse? Anxiety over Trump’s next potentially cataclysmic move? It’s all there in these apocalyptic songs.

                                                                  “Lyrically, there are resonances with what's going on in the world at the moment,” summarises Yannis. “I just feel like, what’s the utility of being a musician these days, if you can’t engage with at least some of this stuff? These songs are white flags, or they’re SOSs, or they’re cries for help… each in a different way.”
                                                                  The new albums’ journeys began as the ‘What Went Down’ era ended. Founding bassist Walter Gervers departed on amicable terms after playing the Festival Paredes de Coura in Portugal in August 2017. Foals felt that he couldn’t be replaced – a decision that ushered in a period of recalibration, reorganisation and, ultimately, rejuvenation.

                                                                  After taking a little time out, Foals – completed by Jimmy Smith (guitar), Jack Bevan (drums) and Edwin Congreave (keys) reconvened – with Yannis on production duties, who, together with Edwin, also covered the bass parts. They began by writing in a rehearsal space before exporting those sketches into the recording phase at 123 Studios, Peckham, with the assistance of engineer Brett Shaw. They’d repeat the cycle between the two spaces, effectively creating an ongoing feedback loop as they sought to push every new idea to the finish line.

                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                  LP Info: Black vinyl 180 gram and gatefold sleeve.

                                                                  Foals

                                                                  Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 - SIGNED EDITION

                                                                    LIMITED SIGNED COPIES OF BOTH THE CD AND VINYL EDITIONS.

                                                                    From playing chaotic house parties in their home city of Oxford to becoming major festival headliners across Europe, Foals’ trajectory has been remarkable. They’ve earned critical acclaim (NME and Q Award wins, plus Mercury Prize, Ivor Novello and BRIT Award nominations) and fan devotion (1.7 million sales of their four Gold-certified albums) in equal measure. And while the majority of contemporaries have fallen by the wayside, Foals continue to hit new peaks.

                                                                    After more than a decade in the game, Foals again embrace that love for the unconventional with the bravest and most ambitious project of their career: not one, but two astonishing new albums: ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’. A pair of releases, separate but related, they share a title, themes and artwork. ‘Part 1’ is released on March 8th, with ‘Part 2’ following later in the year.

                                                                    “They’re two halves of the same locket,” frontman Yannis Philippakis explains. “They can be listened to and appreciated individually, but fundamentally, they are companion pieces.”

                                                                    Fundamentally tethered but possessing their own personalities, the two bodies capture the most compelling, ambitious and cohesive creations they’ve ever produced. Eager to break the traditional pop song structure which they felt they were becoming increasingly tapered to, the 20 tracks defy expectation. There are exploratory, progressive-tinged tracks alongside atmospheric segues which make the music an experience rather than a mere collection of songs. Yet the band’s renowned ability to wield relentless grooves with striking power and skyscraper hooks also reaches new heights.

                                                                    The album’s lead single ‘Exits’ is a case in point, featuring Philippakis conjuring the image of a disorienting world via a contagious vocal melody. It’s a fresh anthem for Foals’ formidable arsenal, but also an ominous forecast.

                                                                    “There's a definite idea about the world being no longer habitable in the way that it was,” says Yannis. “A kind of perilousness lack of predictability and a feeling of being overwhelmed by the magnitudes of the problems we face. What's the response? And what’s the purpose of any response that one individual can have?”

                                                                    ‘Exits’ signposts what to expect thematically from both instalments of ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’. The title is a warning that anything – from the tiniest fleeting moment of inspiration through to the planet’s own biological diversity – can be under threat of being irrevocably erased.

                                                                    It’s a theme that permeates throughout the album’s material, as Foal mirror the public neuroses that have been provoked by our current cultural climate. Paranoia of state surveillance? Fear of environmental collapse? Anxiety over Trump’s next potentially cataclysmic move? It’s all there in these apocalyptic songs.

                                                                    “Lyrically, there are resonances with what's going on in the world at the moment,” summarises Yannis. “I just feel like, what’s the utility of being a musician these days, if you can’t engage with at least some of this stuff? These songs are white flags, or they’re SOSs, or they’re cries for help… each in a different way.”
                                                                    The new albums’ journeys began as the ‘What Went Down’ era ended. Founding bassist Walter Gervers departed on amicable terms after playing the Festival Paredes de Coura in Portugal in August 2017. Foals felt that he couldn’t be replaced – a decision that ushered in a period of recalibration, reorganisation and, ultimately, rejuvenation.

                                                                    After taking a little time out, Foals – completed by Jimmy Smith (guitar), Jack Bevan (drums) and Edwin Congreave (keys) reconvened – with Yannis on production duties, who, together with Edwin, also covered the bass parts. They began by writing in a rehearsal space before exporting those sketches into the recording phase at 123 Studios, Peckham, with the assistance of engineer Brett Shaw. They’d repeat the cycle between the two spaces, effectively creating an ongoing feedback loop as they sought to push every new idea to the finish line.


                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                    LP Info: SIGNED COPY. ONE COPY FOUND!
                                                                    Black vinyl 180 gram and gatefold sleeve.

                                                                    CD Info: SIGNED COPY.

                                                                    Indoor Pets (formerly known as Get Inuit) formed straight after leaving school in Sittingbourne, Kent, it wasn’t long before their effortless songs were attracting attention, with one of them making Record Of The Week on BBC Introducing and within two weeks Huw Stephens had picked up on the track.

                                                                    For the next few years Indoor Pets wrote and gigged incessantly, building up a batch of killer tunes and a devoted fanbase across the country. They did, and still do, everything themselves. From making the artwork to organising their own tours on the road, producing music, building their own stage monitoring system and even running their own finances (Simpson: “if anyone wants to spend any money they have to ask me,”). It’s a fiercely DIY ethic born less from punk principle as it was from necessity. “It was either do it yourself or don’t have it done,” notes Glass, “and we decided to do it ourselves.”

                                                                    Signing to Wichita Recordings, the band set about recording their debut album, a record seemingly full of a bottomless pool of great tunes. Familiar feelings of not fitting in or wanting to play the hand life’s dealt you are delivered with self-deprecating wit and Glass’ trademark use of double-bluffing word play. Think Rivers Cuomo and a pre-sandpit Brian Wilson bunking off school to play records and snigger at the cool kids. They’re smart, life-affirming and all contained within a thumping primary-coloured pop wallop.


                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                    Barry says: Brilliantly encompassing the lo-fi aesthetic that's become so popular nowadays, Indoor Pets have a penchant for snappy percussion and mid-heavy fuzzy guitars, all topped with the snarling vocals of Jamie Glass. It's an intoxicating combination, and one sure to have you bobbing your head with the best of 'em. Awesome.

                                                                    Be Svendsen – Dancefloor heavy hitter and pioneer of the desert-tech sound, is releasing his first full length album on Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams label. Here he reaches beyond the dusty dance floors that brought him recognition, and connects with nostalgic roots of music from his childhood.  After a series of very well received singles and ep’s on labels like Crosstown Rebels and All Day I Dream, we now get a deeper peep into what it’s like Be’ing Svendsen.

                                                                    ’Between A Smile a Tear’ is a wide spanning album in terms of mood, instrumentation, tempi and style, with clear references that reach back to a time where experimental innocence met the futuristic and forward thinking. Be Svendsens describes his music as “Tarantino Techno”. He brings in emotional guitar melodies and dry strings, and adds it to his club universe where moods can change in an instant. With many talented musicians featured on the album, Be Svendsen shows us his diversity that spans from innovative deep new-disco cuts, galactic journey melodies, analogue ambient atmosphere to classic song writing, soundtrack’esque epicness, and a deep-tech organic collaboration with Henri Texier. We even get a taste of Be Svendsens own vocals.

                                                                    In his musical expression Svendsen still walks the fine line of opposites. He takes both the obvious and the unpredictable, the familiar and the unknown into play, dedicated to entertain yet challenge the listener. Be Svendsens describes his musical universe as so: ”The music should ultimately connect you to a bigger picture”. The goal is to express and convey a feeling, and to behold the moment - the essence of oscillating between a smile and a tear. “I like to bring tragedy and humour together, and invite them up for a dance.” This is in some way, a a celebration of what he calls chiaroscuro - the light and dark - of existence.


                                                                    The Twilight Sad

                                                                    It Won't Be Like This All The Time

                                                                      From their unassuming origins as a group of school friends drawn together by a shared passion for music to the global touring force (supporting The Cure and Editors at arenas and stadiums), they have quietly become, The Twilight Sad’s ascent has been forged the old way with grit, graft and four exceptional studio albums. Now signed to Mogwai’s Rock Action Records, the bands fifth album does not disappoint and will certainly not disappoint fans of their previous works. It will also appeal to fans of The Cure, Frighten Rabbits, The National, Interpol and Editors.

                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                      2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                      “Larry Jon Wilson? He can break your heart with a voice like a cannonball.” - Kris Kristofferson.

                                                                      Larry Jon Wilson came to the party late. When he arrived in Nashville, country soul pioneer Tony Joe White had already made six albums. Townes Van Zandt had made seven, Mickey Newbury eight. Kristofferson, the accepted High Priest of the New Nashville, had made five. Larry Jon, by the time he arrived, had spent ten years in corporate America.

                                                                      He did not start playing guitar until the age of 30, but five years later he released his debut, New Beginnings (1975) and followed it just a year later with Let Me Sing My Song To You, both on Monument Records. A revelation among the hipsters and critics of Nashville, the LPs ensured Larry Jon was immediately embraced as part of the mid-70s “outlaw country movement” that eschewed slick production in favour of a raw, gritty approach. When a film crew came to document this burgeoning sound, they made straight for Larry Jon's door. The legendary Heartworn Highways (1981) featured his mesmerising performance of “Ohoopee River Bottomland”.

                                                                      He was a singer and writer of intensely private, painfully moving tales of southern life. With his deep, papa-bear voice, funky southern groove, and richly evocative narratives of rural Georgia, Larry Jon was a unique stylist but his gutsy, greasy sound did not translate into sales. Too funky for the country crowd, too heartfelt for pop radio, he fell between the cracks. We hope the long-overdue reissue of his first two albums will go some way to rectifying this. Indeed, both New Beginnings and Let Me Sing My Song to You - so similar they play like two halves of a double album – showcase his unique mix of country, folk, soul and swampy blues.

                                                                      New Beginnings failed to propel Larry Jon to even the relatively modest cult acclaim enjoyed by his likeminded contemporaries. And some of the frustration this conjured can be heard on 1976′s Let Me Sing My Song To You. Both the title track and the self-deprecating “Drowning in the Mainstream” speak of Wilson’s hope to inch at least a few steps towards the big time without making too many compromises. Any album containing the likes of the heartfelt, deeply beautiful tribute of “Ballad of Handy Mackey” and the superlative country-gothic funk opus ‘Sheldon Churchyard’ – the lead track from the lauded Country Got Soul compilation - must rank as essential listening.

                                                                      The audio for Let Me Sing My Song To You comes from the original analogue tape transfers and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the striking cover art and we were honoured when Larry’s close friend Jeb Loy Nichols kindly agreed to contribute wonderfully unique liner notes, presented beautifully on the printed inner sleeve opposite a gorgeous black and white shot of Larry, mid-performance.


                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                      Ltd LP Info: 180gram 2018 reissue – remastered from original tape transfers, carefully reproduced original art, strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide – no repress.

                                                                      The Moments

                                                                      On Top

                                                                        The Moments’ On Top is a perfect example of symphonic soul. Amongst true heads, this is considered the most valuable of all their albums; an original copy of this LP, if you can find one, starts at around $75. Alongside contemporaneous acts from the early 70s - The Chi-lites, The Stylistics, The Delfonics, The Futures, Blue Magic and The Main Ingredient - The Moments exuded all that was compelling about deep, harmony-drenched, string-laden soul.

                                                                        The standout here is undoubtedly "To You with Love", a floating, tender ballad sung by Harry Ray that features the group’s patented handclap-tambourine combo, sweetly repetitive strings, serene guitar and gentle piano. It was famously sampled by J Dilla for “Last Donut Of The Night” - the gut-wrenching finale to his seminal Donuts. Concentrating solely on its sampled history would do The Moments a huge disservice, but its crucial appearance at the climax of Donuts directed fresh generations of pre-disposed soul fans to the absolute canon. Judged entirely on its merit, it’s one of the most heart-breaking songs of any decade and worth the price of admission alone. It’s the sweetest, most goose-bump inducing 3 minutes of aural bliss you’re ever likely to be exposed to.

                                                                        If that wasn’t enough, On Top spawned two minor R&B hits: "All I Have" and "Lucky Me", each featuring Billy Brown's ice-melting falsetto. Opener “All I Have” is a sumptuous introduction to the album. With melancholic, understated guitar licks, twinkling keys and heartbeat drums, it’s a gem. The triumphant “Lucky Me” is simply gorgeous; all gentle chimes, swirling strings and, again, scarcely believable falsetto soaring atop proud horns.

                                                                        Also included are two singles that are different from anything the group had ever done; "I Can't Help It" and "That's How It Feels." The former features thundering kicks and crashing cymbals underneath floating flutes, progressively stabbing strings and horns. The yearning vocals embody an almost Temptations-like delivery at times. "That's How It Feels” is a two-parter wherein Brown's voice bestrides a bed of rhythms on a tune more aptly defined as a love suite than a song. Dripping in breakbeats, piano and strings, Brown describes the devastation of losing the one you love before the track brilliantly switches up with a sweeping string-led chorus and heavenly harmonies.

                                                                        The only genuine uptempo number, where anomalous happiness reigns, is "Sweeter As The Days Go By," led by Brown in his natural, gospel-inspired tenor. A charming but sorrow-filled "I Lost One Bird In The Hand" is an impressive, slow lamenter crooned by Ray, with horns and strings dominating the lushly arranged backdrop. Appropriately, we end on that down-lifting note that we've all come for: "Candy Shack."

                                                                        The audio for On Top comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the memorable cover art, handling the reproduction duties with the utmost attention to detail.


                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Ltd LP Info: 180 gram 2018 reissue – remastered from original tape transfers, carefully reproduced original art, strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide – no repress.

                                                                        Alan Parker And Madeline Bell

                                                                        The Voice Of Soul LP (Themes Reissues)

                                                                        2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

                                                                        Veteran library musician Alan Parker recorded with session vocalist Madeline Bell for his Themes International Music label and the result was 1976’s The Voice of Soul.

                                                                        The sensational uptempo dancer “That’s What Friends Are For” is probably the most well known track on the record, and is a big hit on the rare groove scene, but it is by no means an anomaly. The Voice of Soul is essentially a perfect, sophisticated soul album with heaps of swagger and sass from beginning to end. Its once generic-sounding title is now deservedly definitive.

                                                                        And the whole LP oozes sex. It oozes sex so much that it could have soundtracked a period porn film. Indeed, parts of it did. “Love Is All” and “You’ve Got What It Takes” both featured on the infamously banned Pretty Peaches from the same year.

                                                                        As is usual with library records, The Voice of Soul was hard to get even when it was first released. It’s next to impossible now. So here’s your opportunity to own what is in our opinion one of the finest rare soul LPs of the late 70s, and a superb example of Madeline Bell’s superlative vocal talents.

                                                                        But that’s not the whole story. As well as pitching the record as “a varied selection of modern female vocal features which are equally suitable for background or radio programme usage”, the original release notes go on to explain that “the corresponding backing tracks are issued on TIM 1022 The Sound of Soul. Therefore it is possible to edit from vocal to instrumental version and vica versa where commentary or scene changes occur.”

                                                                        So yes, all of the backing tracks from The Voice of Soul were released as The Sound of Soul, and we couldn’t re-issue one without re-issuing the other.

                                                                        As with all ten re-issues, the audio for The Voice of Soul comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

                                                                        Alan Hawkshaw And Brian Bennett

                                                                        Full Circle LP

                                                                          Their NEW album, in full, iconic KPM cover is a return to the laidback jazz-funk that helped Alan and Brian demonstrate their library chops. The album is classic Hawkshaw/Bennett. It swings, it grooves, moves and thrills with a flair these two have perfected over years.

                                                                          Alan Hawkshaw (piano/Hammond) and Shadow’s drummer Brian Bennett are responsible for some of the slickest, funkiest and most sought-after library records ever made in the UK, particularly ones recorded on the legendary KPM label. Their work has now become the go-to place for sampling in music today. Artists such as Dilla, Nas, and the xx, right through to the billion selling Kanye & Drake have taken Hawkshaw’s and Bennett’s immaculate beat-driven soundscapes for their own usage.

                                                                          Their new album, in full, iconic KPM cover is a return to the laidback jazz-funk that helped Alan and Brian demonstrate their library chops. The album is classic Hawkshaw/Bennett. It swings, it grooves, moves and thrills with a flair these two have perfected over years.

                                                                          Standout tracks such as "Hole In One", "In The Clouds", "Interchange", "Oasis", "On The Nile" and "Corcovado" are no mere excursions in nostalgia, for they carry lots of deft studio work that many a producer would give their right arm for. Hawkshaw’s arrangements allow the drums, guitar, bass, strings, Hammond, flute and brass to swirl elegantly around the 12 original tracks; a masterclass in recording.

                                                                          Cut by Pete Norman, housed in a beautifully designed Richard Robinson sleeve and pressed at 180g by Record Industry in Holland, this release has been afforded the care and attention it rightly deserves. Essential.


                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Patrick says: The kings of the KPM library scene, groove barons Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett hit the studio together for the first time in years and treat us to an eagerly anticipated LP of new material. As you'd expect from this pair of heroes, it's a far out and funky affair. KPM x BeWith for the win!!!

                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

                                                                          2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

                                                                          James Clarke’s Mystery Movie was released in 1974 as “modern, small group compositions in various moods. Ideally suited to the new Americanised style of T.V. and cinema film where music is used to create the mood and carry the action”. So this collection covers a lot of bases, but it does so brilliantly and has absolutely no right to be such a fantastic listen from start to finish. Mystery Movie is best known for the slick drum breaks underpinning the top-notch jazz-funk chase theme “Car Patrol”, the fuzz riffing and ARP soloing of “The Heavies” and the slow-mo strut of “Mystery Moll”. “Study In Fear” and “Empty Streets” are horror soundtrack fodder of the finest sort. However, it’s the understated, plaintive pieces that we find the most rewarding. Ambient feels and strung-out fried-folk treats, full of cyclical naïve melodies. Music that evokes the ‘downlifting’ Ronnie Lane and Ron Wood instrumentals from their great Mahoney’s Last Stand LP, as well as the beautiful soundtrack work of Jack Nitzsche and Ry Cooder. You might also recognise “Waiting Game” from being sampled by melodic downbeat masters Express Rising. Check “Relaxed Theme”, “Quiet Girl”, “Routine Procedure” and “Quietness Sustained” for a melodic, melancholic set, with the last three performed on just acoustic guitar and harp. Gorgeous work. As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Mystery Movie comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

                                                                          2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

                                                                          When Alan Parker recorded the killer library soul-funk LP The Voice of Soul with session vocalist Madeline Bell in 1976, some bright spark at Themes decided to also release all of the backing tracks as a separate, and equally innocuously title LP called The Sound of Soul. Thank goodness for bright sparks.

                                                                          Released as a collection of “unobtrusive musical backings in various rhythmic styles”, the LP’s original description dryly explains “these tracks have been issued without melody and are therefore particularly suitable for use behind commentary. Female vocal versions of these tracks are issued on TIM 1021 The Voice Of Soul and it is possible to edit from vocal version to instrumental version or vica versa where commentary or scene changes occur”.

                                                                          Madeline Bell was backed by The Rhythm Section, who were for all intents and purposes the Themes International Music house band. So what we end up with here is entire album of instrumental work-outs by a band comprised of the formidable talents of Alan Hawkshaw on keyboards, Alan Parker on guitars, Barry Morgan on drums, Les Hurdle on bass guitar and Frank Ricotti on percussion.

                                                                          Without Bell’s vocals these backing tracks are given all the room they need to breathe. Each one more than stands up on its own.

                                                                          The Sound of Soul is a real diggers’ delight and, unsurprisingly, a must-have counterpart to The Voice of Soul.

                                                                          As with all ten re-issues, the audio for The Sound of Soul comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

                                                                          Keith Mansfield / Alan Hawkshaw / David Snell

                                                                          Big Business / Wind Of Change LP (THE KPM Reissues)

                                                                          2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

                                                                          The two sides of 1973’s Big Business / Wind of Change are mainly the work of the great Keith Mansfield but there’s a killer cameo each from Alan Hawkshaw and David Snell to help deliver “a thematic suite, diverse in mood, applicable to dramatic and environmental situations”. A Be With favourite and truly one for the heads.

                                                                          The Big Business of side A is all the work of Keith Mansfield. It’s heavy on the suspense and features the vital “Hot Property”, an insistent groove so good that Madlib sampled it to lace the ace “Long Awaited” by Lootpack with Dilated Peoples.

                                                                          “Sleeping Giant 1” is a more fleshed out version of the equally-dazzling “Fatal Error”, evoking the orchestral magic of David Axelrod. Indeed, it conjures images of Diamond D falling over himself in the early-to-mid 90s to loop its intoxicatingly eerie soundscape. Complete with guitar fills that recall Paris, Texas-era Ry Cooder, you need this record for this piece alone.

                                                                          The horn-and-flute-led "Tycoon" is a head-nodder and "Power Complex" has some fantastic percussion. Other highlights include the breezy glide of “Whistle Stop Tour” and its sister groove “Clean Air.”

                                                                          Over on Side B is the more expansive Wind Of Change, which includes the David Snell and the Alan Hawkshaw contributions. But these ain’t no filler. Snell’s shuffling “International Flight” sounds like a smooth Dorothy Ashby track tossed from the heavens. Hawkshaw’s “Road And Rail” is about as luxurious and strung-out as the great man gets and it might just be the highlight of this whole set.

                                                                          Not to be outdone, if Mansfield’s “Balance Of Power” doesn’t make you feel like king of the world then you must be playing it wrong. Oh, and did we mention “World In Action”?!

                                                                          As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Big Business / Wind of Change comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

                                                                          Francis Coppieters

                                                                          Piano Viberations LP (THE KPM Reissues)

                                                                          2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

                                                                          Piano Viberations’ “small group jazz featuring piano and vibes with rhythm” makes for a gorgeous Francis Coppieters showcase, surely one of Belgium’s best-kept musical secrets. Released in 1975, and arguably the most low-key of the KPM and Themes records we’re re-issuing, this is easily our current favourite.

                                                                          “The Open Highway” is the appropriately-named opener, and immediately demonstrates Coppieters’ dexterous interplay between piano and vibes in assured, joyous fashion. The shuffling bossa of “Sales Notes” is a jaw-dropper, well-mined by samplers with impeccable taste. The mellow head-nod drum-break that is “Funky Chimes” brilliantly demonstrates Coppieters’ quiet majestic side with its slow-motion funk rhythm with beautifully reflective notes throughout.

                                                                          The upbeat and joyful “Cross Talk” closes out side A. Vibes and piano are definitely at the heart of the arrangement here. The quick cut movement of “Piano In Transit” is another gem, driven principally by piano but those vibes along for more than just the ride. On a more gentle, elegiac note, “To Shearing With Love” is a warm, slow, romantic piece in the style of George Shearing. It’s plaintive and sublime.

                                                                          Piano Viberations is one of those rare library records the original description of which makes as much sense now as it did when it was first released. Piano and vibes with rhythm indeed.
                                                                          As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Piano Viberations comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

                                                                          Nick Ingman

                                                                          Distinctive Themes / Race To Achievement LP (THE KPM Reissues)

                                                                          2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

                                                                          Released in 1976, Distinctive Themes / Race To Achievement is legendary arranger Nick Ingman exploring the two distinct ideas of “impressive themes varying in style from ‘Basie to Elgar’” and “a study in the pressure and rewards of achievement”.

                                                                          Distinctive Themes is a veritable indulgence of variously-tempoed, full orchestra, big band workouts, from relaxed swing to more propulsive themes. The progressively building “Expanding Markets” is a true highlight, with its rolling pianos, contemplative electric guitar solos and moody horns over skipping beats. The dramatic “Against The Odds” is another stand-out.

                                                                          Race To Achievement is all rugged funk with stabbing chords and strutting horns and it’s probably our favourite side. Of course we have to acknowledge the fantastic “Tense Preparation”, sampled by Prince Paul and Dan The Automator for Handsome Boy Modeling School’s seminal “Magnetizing” with Del Tha Funky Homosapien. But the whole side’s range from tense underscores to fast and punchy chase themes makes this is a gem of the KPM catalogue.

                                                                          As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Distinctive Themes / Race To Achievement comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

                                                                          2018 Reissue – Remastered From Original Tapes, Carefully Reproduced Original Art.

                                                                          Hot Wax is an assured KPM masterclass from a dream team line-up of Brian Bennett, Alan Hawkshaw and John Fiddy. Here we’re treated to what happens when all three decide to explore “the latest trends in production music”. The latest as of 1976, of course.

                                                                          John Fiddy’s numbers are sumptuous, string-led and light. Floaty soft-psych underpinned by a solid groove, particularly on “Taste For Living” and "Fresh Start". If you're into Koushik and those early Manitoba/Caribou records - and you should be - you’ll appreciate these.

                                                                          For us, the Bennett and Bennett/Hawkshaw stuff is on another level. “Capitol City” oscillates between driving funk and downbeat sentiment. “Name Of The Game” is tough, smokin’ funk, famously sampled in 2007 by Madlib for Percee P’s “Who With Me”. “Bop On The Rocks” knocks hard and “Full Throttle” features a guitar solo with some of the nastiest, about-to-explode fuzz you’re ever likely to hear.

                                                                          As with all ten re-issues, the audio for Hot Wax comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. We’ve taken the same care with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.


                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl edition.

                                                                          As a delightful taster for his upcoming debut album called “Between A Smile And A Tear” on Music For Dreams, Danish artist Be Svendsen launches his new vocal driven - the weird and wonderful deep disco single ‘Drop The Gun’ World premiered by Pete Tong on BBC1, and already harnessing great momentum in Ibiza and the summer festivals, this crossover track is very likely to stick in your head. Produced, arranged, mixed, played and sung by Be Svendsen.



                                                                          A certified UK boogie bomb, originally released in 1982, and coming hot on the heels of the Be With Records Pink Rhythm reissue campaign. Original copies are incredibly hard to come by so grab a copy of this officially licensed, fully remastered, reissue before the 500 copies (for the world) find their forever homes.

                                                                          Side On were a one-off UK soul dream team, consisting of Peter Maas (Freeez/Pink Rhythm bassist), Everton McCalla (Freeez/Light Of The World/Potion) and the legendary Rick Clarke (Potion). 

                                                                          Originally released on Beggars Banquet, it's a huge, feel good, Brit Funk classic and a massive record with everybody's favourite boogie aficionado, Dam-Funk.

                                                                          Unmissable.

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          David says: Hoowee it's getting hot in here, did someone put the heating on? No? Then it must be the fire that is Side On's 'Magic'playing in the shop. The ace, Beggars, Brit Funk classic, lovingly restored just for you, you lucky LUCKY people.

                                                                          Hailed as the new vanguard of indie rock following the breakout success of 2016’s Puberty 2, Mitski returns with Be The Cowboy, via Dead Oceans.

                                                                          Mitski’s carefully crafted songs have often been portrayed as emotionally raw, overflowing confessionals from a fevered chosen girl, but in her fifth album, Mitski introduces a persona who has been teased before but never so fully present until now—a woman in control.

                                                                          “For this new record, I experimented in narrative and fiction,” comments Mitski. Though she hesitates to go so far as to say she created full-on characters, she reveals she had in mind “a very controlled icy repressed woman who is starting to unravel. Because women have so little power and showing emotion is seen as weakness, this ‘character’ clings to any amount of control she can get. Still, there is something very primordial in her that is trying to find a way to get out.”

                                                                          In Be The Cowboy, Mitski delves into the loneliness of being a symbol and the loneliness of being someone, how it can feel so much like being no one. Lead single “Geyser” introduces us to a woman who can’t hold it all in any more. She’s about to burst and unleash a torrent of desire and passion that has been building up inside. While recording the album with her long-time producer Patrick Hyland, the pair kept returning to “the image of someone alone on a stage, singing solo with a single spotlight trained on them in an otherwise dark room. For most of the tracks, we didn’t layer the vocals with doubles or harmonies, to achieve that campy ‘person singing alone on stage’ atmosphere.”

                                                                          There is plenty of buoyant swagger on Be The Cowboy, but just as much interrogation into self-mythology. Throughout these 14 songs, the music swerves from the cheerful to the plaintive. Mournful piano ballads lead into deceptively uptempo songs. “I had been on the road for a long time, which is so isolating, and had to run my own business at the same time. A lot of this record was me not having any feelings, being completely spent but then trying to rally myself and wake up and get back to Mitski.”

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Barry says: We aren't the only ones who've been eagerly awaiting a new Mitski album, with the news on this outing being VERY warmly received online, and listening to it, it's no surprise. Forward thinking synth-pop progressions, beautifully balanced song structures and Mitski's unmistakeable vocals. Superb stuff.

                                                                          Pete Spiby

                                                                          Failed Magician

                                                                            Spiby is probably most well known for being the leader of Black Spiders - renowned for the face melting rock n roll and unmatchable swagger. Groop Dogdrill were pure, uncut, weapons grade alt.rock napalm and Future eX Wife lovingly crushed anyone and anything in their path. In April 2017, Black Spiders gave their fans one final chance to raise their middle fingers aloft and yell ‘fuck you’ at their five, grizzled faces before hanging up their riding capes for good. In the months leading up to their final shows, Spiby was undergoing rehabilitation. Not in the cliched rock n’ roll sense, dear reader, but for an operation on his left hand, which learned physicians say is an important part of the human anatomy when you’re doling out sweet riffs left, right and centre. “When we did the farewell shows, it gave me such a confidence boost that I was even able to play guitar without the pain and medication that I’d had for the last 3 years,” says Spiby. “I decided that it was time to do the only thing I've been doing since I was at school.” Please welcome, ladies and gentlemen, Failed Magician. It's the title of Spiby’s new solo release; it's not a concept album about sleight of hand tricks gone awry, accidentally sawing an assistant in half or drowning before a horrified studio audience. 


                                                                            For his next trick, he assembled a crack team of ne’er do wells to help bring his ideas to life in the studio with Matt Ellis at the production console. “It’s quite a mixed bunch of losers really,” he says. “All solid musicians and amazing people : Luke Athiko (The Defiled, guitar), Simon Bismark (Daken guitarist, bass) and James Maiden (Future ex Wife, guitar). Then there were three drummers : Simon Smith (Wedding Present/ChaCha Cohen), Tony Arthy (The Wonder Stuff) and Richie Mills (Cable/ Imogen Heap). Danni Maibaum (Double NoNo/ Dirty Blood) recorded some vocals. Adam Thistlewaite (Massive Wagons) and Lee Storrar (Servers) guitars. And his kids too. “If it’s the last thing I ever get to do, recording wise, I’ll die a very happy man,” says Spiby of his solo debut. “The greatest success is just even getting it done in the first place. There will be live shows later this year - “It’ll be a chance exorcise those demons in the live arena,” says Spiby. “The songs have already started to take on a different meaning already and band rehearsals are going very well. World submission awaits.” 

                                                                            Linn & Freddie

                                                                            Sunshine / Be Thankful For What U Got

                                                                            Stockholm’s Linn & Freddie debut excursion with Dinked Records sees two wonderful summery tunes, taken from their their long-awaited second album “Right Here in the Middle”, pressed up on 7” vinyl for the first time. The aptly named “Sunshine” is the perfect head nodder for those summer BBQs and Festivals. Flipped with a reggae/ska-fused version of the William DeVaughn classic, “Be Thankful For What You Got” – this essential for your crates. Limited pressing of 500 copies – don’t sleep!!

                                                                            Various Artists

                                                                            Czech Up! Vol 2: We'd Be Happy

                                                                              Second volume of Vampisoul's "Czech Up!" series, which compiles 60s and 70s gems from the vaults of Supraphon and Panton labels from the former Czechoslovakia. Freakbeat, soul, baroque pop, prog-funk, garage rock, psych-jazz... all that and more is contained within these 22 tracks, wonderfully produced and now carefully remastered, many of them never reissued before. 

                                                                              The totally prolific K15 returns to WotNot after more killer releases on Eglo & Wild Oats, a collaboration with Henry Wu, and remixes for Nubya Garcia, Colm K (on Tiff's Joints) and WotNot's own William Florelle, not to mention the beautiful record earlier this year under his Culross Close alias.
                                                                              We're all creative but somehow, being 'creative' has become a class within itself, often defined and measured by the whims of popular culture and monetary gain, which leads us to devalue what we create if we are not successful by those metrics. We are all creative, we all use our experience, talent and feeling to shape and we should "Be Glad We Create Anything".

                                                                              This EP holds onto this mantra tightly throughout, reflecting both the meditative and joyful effects of unimpeded creativity. The title track begins with K15's signature introspection, deep washes of jazz-inflected textures before exploding into a rapturous syncopated synth groove. B1 "Communion" explores the spiritual angle with a devotional piano cadence over bouncing drum pattern, with interlocking bass and synth rhythms adding to the hypnotic mood.

                                                                              Wrapping up the release is a warm, deep-soak hip hop instrumental titled "You're Alive (There's Still Time)", a message to self but also a beacon of hope to those who have maybe not created as much as they would have liked, or have strayed from the path the intended to take.

                                                                              Frank Turner

                                                                              Be More Kind

                                                                                Frank Turner has announced details of his forthcoming seventh studio album. Be More Kind will be released on May 4th through Xtra Mile Recordings/Polydor Records. Months after the release of Songbook, a career-spanning retrospective which also saw reworked versions of tracks from across the past decade, Be More Kind represents a thematic and sonic line in the sand for the 36-year-old. It’s a record that combines universal anthems with raw emotion and the political and the personal, with the intricate folk and punk roar trademarks of Turner’s sound imbued with new, bold experimental shades.

                                                                                Robyn

                                                                                Love Kills (Harry Romero Remix) / Be Mine (Mark E)

                                                                                The RMX/RBN project saw Robyn invite some of her favourite artists in dance music from across the globe to remix key tracks from throughout her career. This is the second twelve from this week's slew and one of five separate remix packages. I have to say, this one made me smile - Subliminal superstar DJ Harry Romero is enlisted for "Love Kill", dropping both and remix and a dub - I guess Robyn had just as much fun dancing to this cat back in the day as we did here in Manchester - so she got him in to remix her tunes! Choo chooo! On the flip is another house star, Mark E, who get busy deploying on of his faithfully drugged-up and drawn out remixes. Similar in vain to his iconic "E-Version" series, Mark squashes elements of the original under a highly elastic, rubbery soundbed, deploying some tasteful grain delays while Robyn's lush vocal echoes nonchalantly from the recesses of the mix. Mega!




                                                                                Soul Brothers Six / Willie Tee

                                                                                I'll Be Loving You / Walkin' Up A One Way Street

                                                                                The Soul Brothers Six hailed from Rochester, New York and have played a part on the Northern Soul scene for over 50 years. Their first recording, for Lyndell Records in 1966, is now a 3-figure rarity, but it is their debut disc for Atlantic, “I’ll Be Loving You”, that first graced the decks at the Twisted Wheel, The Pendulum et al and has become a perennial Northern Soul favourite. At the time of release it was the B-side to “Some kind Of Wonderful” which took the disc to No.91 on the R&B charts. Willie Tee has also been a familiar figure on the rare soul scene since the early Mod clubs with his archetypal New Orleans mid tempo soul sound. His early recordings on Gatur rank as some of the most collectable 45s to emanate from the Crescent City. Here we feature his club classic from 1964, the anthemic “Walkin’ Up A One Way Street”.

                                                                                Katie Von Schleicher

                                                                                Glad To Be Here

                                                                                  "Glad To Be Here" / "Party Dawn" is the first material the Brooklyn-based songwriter has shared since her critically acclaimed debut album, Shitty Hits, last year. Katie said the following about the tracks: "On a break from touring this winter I went alone to Maryland, where I am originally from, and made these two songs, taking the gear I’ve very happily accrued since making my album Shitty Hits. I built a fire, I set up my gold drum kit, I saw a ton of stars and felt smushed by silence, and it was lonely, so I made these songs. “Glad to Be Here" is where I find myself right now. “Party Dawn” is tied to Maryland, to my friend and our adolescence. Both are a bridge toward the subject matter of my next record. Back in New York, my collaborator Adam Brisbin (Sam Evian, Jolie Holland, Buck Meek) contributed guitar and bass, and Julian Fader (Ava Luna, Frankie Cosmos, Nadine, Palehound) mixed it."

                                                                                  Plush

                                                                                  Fed - Vinyl Reissue

                                                                                    UNCUT: “The dazzling symphonic album he always threatened to produce. 5/5”

                                                                                    ROLLING STONE: “A soulful symphonic masterpiece”

                                                                                    Originally released in Japan only on CD in 2002, Plush's Fed lives up to the cult-like adulation it has garnered ever since. A stunning symphony of Bacharach-inspired pop, Toussaint-swing and Melody Nelson-era-Gainsbourg, it’s an album bound together by Liam Hayes' maverick genius; an uncompromising Brian Wilson-esque quest for sonic perfection. Positively indulgent in every way, this sumptuous record has long deserved to be treated to a deluxe vinyl edition. Lovingly overseen by Hayes and recent collaborator Pat Sansone (Wilco/The Autumn Defense), it will finally be available on the format it should’ve always been, this Record Store Day 2018. Remastered and presented as a double LP - cut specially at 45rpm – it comes housed in a beautiful gatefold jacket with expanded artwork throughout.

                                                                                    Its expansive, singular vision infamously took years to realise, involving Earth Wind & Fire’s horn arranger (the legendary Tom Tom MMLXXXIV) amongst other elite personnel. Recorded with five different engineers (including Steve Albini and John McEntire), Hayes meticulously extracted every ounce of pop from each note. A long list of renowned studio ringers (including soul drummer Morris Jennings) and Chicago regulars (McEntire, Rizzo, Parker) among many others provide playing of demonstrably professional precision. As such, Hayes' complex, meandering melodies are rendered far more coherent and satisfying than they otherwise might have appeared, bringing his epic, anguished pop to a rarely seen level of perfection and depth. This unstinting dedication to the overarching vision was rewarded handsomely - artistically, at least.

                                                                                    However, as might have been expected, his deluxe approach resulted in a bill too steep for any American or European label to ultimately support. It has since seemed unlikely that it would see the light of day on either side of the Atlantic. Yet we were determined not to allow Hayes' lifetime achievement to go unnoticed or let music fans across the world miss out on one of the finest albums of this century.

                                                                                    A wide-eyed opus of stunning intensity, Fed oozes Hayes’ impeccable influences without ever becoming overwhelmed by them. Incredibly, it touches upon Blaxploitation soul, Boz Scaggs-soft-rock, hints of jazz and blues, timeless baroque and skewed pop. In one long minute, the stabbing, soulful "So Blind" moves through five different melodic segments; horns shift easily from haunting backdrop to explosive forefront, smoothly giving way to strings as Hayes' voice casts its bewitching spell. The ambitious soul of “Having It All” has been described as the diffident cousin of Marvin Gaye’s “Save The Children” whilst the breezy "Greyhound Bus Station" is pure 70s AM Gold, evoking the easy warmth of Jimmy Webb’s beloved Land’s End period. The sublime resignation of "No Education", a beautifully slow number that begins, "Never read a book in my life/ But I feel just fine" is post-rock ballad heaven. Arriving towards the end, the title track arrives as a majestic suite; moving from a horn-and-guitar-led instrumental via shifting melodies to Hayes’ compelling vocal bursts.

                                                                                    An album of such brilliance, Fed can comfortably sit alongside such staggering statement pieces as David Bowie's Young Americans, Randy Newman's 12 Songs or Harry Nilsson's Nilsson Schmilsson. Indeed, for all the sprawling elements that went in - lengthy guitar builds, exploding horn sections, solemn strings, female backup chorus - it is a deeply personal and original record. Employing a distinct “more is more” aesthetic, he demonstrates remarkable restraint in producing an album of such intimacy. "My creation has drowned me," he memorably sings on languid opener "Whose Blues", yet he navigates the shifting styles and ideas with enviable ease.

                                                                                    Marilyn Monroe

                                                                                    I Wanna Be Loved By You

                                                                                      Great compilation, featuring classic Marilyn songs including “I Wann Be Loved By You”, “Some Like It Hot” and “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend”.

                                                                                      Ionnalee

                                                                                      Everyone Afraid To Be Forgotten

                                                                                        Swedish singer, songwriter, producer and filmmaker, ionnalee (Jonna Lee), brings the evolution of her ten-year creative career to a new peak with the release of her new self-produced solo album EVERYONE AFRAID TO BE FORGOTTEN on 23rd February 2018 on To whom it may concern.

                                                                                        Even considering Lee's past endeavors as the creator and frontperson of iamamiwhoami, who have captured the internet's attention since 2009, this is the most ambitious project which the Stockholm-based master of audiovisual artistry has embarked on.

                                                                                        EVERYONE AFRAID TO BE FORGOTTEN is a studio album and standalone filmic counterpart directed by ionnalee and cinematographer John Strandh, made in visual alliance with fashion and art trail-blazers, COMME des GARÇONS.

                                                                                        Breaking from tradition, the feature is not a sequential track-by-track visualization of EVERYONE AFRAID TO BE FORGOTTEN, rather its own separate organism, combining a dramatic plotline, music and art house cinematography with an avant-garde fashion slant.

                                                                                        “John Strandh and I were discussing the format of what we do and how the online distribution arena affects that format”, ionnalee says. “Our work is predominantly regarded as a form of music video because there is music and movement in it. But, in reality, we have been at the very forefront of the audiovisual format and, in the past couple of years, a lot of other works have patently drawn inspiration from ours, so that the term “visual album” is now part of common parlance and practice.” Consequently, ionnalee and Strandh wanted to try an alternative configuration, rather than treading the same old ground and to go closer to the feature film format”.

                                                                                        The official album cover is shot by John Strandh and features a sculpture made by ionnalee.

                                                                                        The Decemberists explore a new sound with a new producer on their inspired eighth studio album I’ll Be Your Girl, which will be released March 17 on Rough Trade Records. The acclaimed Portland, Oregon-based band worked with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Lana del Ray) and embraced influences such as Roxy Music and New Order to spark a new creative path, as can be heard on the synth-driven lead single “Severed”

                                                                                        I’ll Be Your Girl is the sound of a veteran band finding new inspiration, a unit unafraid of challenging itself to re-connect with its creativity. “Making music is an infinite choose-your-own-adventure,” says Colin Meloy, “and when you go down one path, the other paths get sealed off. So every time we could, we said, ‘If this is what our impulses would tell us to do, let’s try to imagine it in a different way.’”

                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                        Barry says: A more direct affair than their previous outing, 'I'll Be Your Girl' flits between the full-sounding AOR melodicism of War On Drugs and the pseudo-country psychedelia of their previous iterations, 'I'll Be Your Girl' takes all the elements we love about The Decemberists and distills them into a cohesive and hugely satisfying whole.

                                                                                        Bert Jansch

                                                                                        A Man I'd Rather Be (Part 2)

                                                                                          A Man I’d Rather Be' (Part II) comprises Jansch’s late ’60s and early ’70s output, an under-rated era, no doubt influenced by the now well-established Pentangle sound. Bandmates Danny Thompson (bass) and Terry Cox (drums) regularly feature among the musicians as well as cameo appearances by Mary Hopkin, Toni Visconti and Dave Mattacks. In this period we see Jansch’s take on pop (Nicola), blues (Birthday Blues funnily enough), handsome arrangements (Rosemary Lane) and barque folk (Moonshine).

                                                                                          All of this being conjured during a time when Pentangle was simultaneously releasing albums and constantly touring; to say that the man had a generous talent is something of an understatement.  The lush orchestration of Nicola was partly recorded by John Wood who would later engineer Nick Drake’s recordings at the same studio. The heart melting cover of Birthday Blues contains a set with some of the stalwarts of Bert’s solo and Pentangle sets, ‘Poison’ and ‘A Woman Like You’ and some of his most arresting work including ‘Come Sing a Happy Song’ which featured on the soundtrack of Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale in 2005.

                                                                                          Rosemary Lane is considered by many to be one of Bert’s finest records, a smooth mix of traditional folk such as the title track and ‘Reynardine’, timeless original compositions like ‘Tell Me What Is True Love?’ and in ‘Alman’ and ‘Sarabanda’, examples of early music including the 16th and 17th/18th centuries, all with the sympathetic production of Bill Leader. Moonshine, Bert’s first release after Pentangle split, It was produced by fellow member Danny Thompson and the legendary Tony Visconti, who not only arranged a number of songs but also played on the record. It also features Mary Hopkin duetting with Bert on Ewan MacColl’s ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’, Aly Bain and Charles Mingus’ drummer Charlie Richmon. "Simply, I think Bert was a truly unique musician. Somehow he could elegantly bridge differing musical and singing traditions to sing and play in a way that sounded only like Bert Jansch.” - Anne Briggs // “The Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar” - Neil Young // "At one point, I was absolutely obsessed with Bert Jansch. When I first heard that LP, I couldn’t believe it. It was so far ahead of what everyone else was doing. No one in America could touch that.”  - Jimmy Page 

                                                                                          The Spook School

                                                                                          Could It Be Different?

                                                                                            If a debut LP is an artist’s introduction to the world and their sophomore release is their now-or-never moment, their third is their most cathartic: they’ve made it out, they’re here.

                                                                                            Glasgow, Scotland’s indiepop optimists The Spook School, despite personal and political obstacle, made it out, and their latest full-length Could It Be Different? is here. It’s been a journey of self-discovery and feel-good realism; modern, dance-friendly indiepop fueling the fun. They made a name for themselves for their exultant and empowering pop, and now, they’ve shown real growth in nuance. Even at their most beaten down, The Spook School manage to find hope free of naivety. That’s clear the second the album opens with “Still Alive,” and its ascending chorus (and soon-to- be crowd favorite) of “Fuck You, I’m Still Alive,” written by Nye after surviving an emotionally abusive relationship. The song avoids villainizing the past, instead, it celebrates the present and welcomes the unknown future.

                                                                                            The energy of working through the wicked exists all over Could It Be Different? “Bad Year” makes personal connections with universal ennui, the debilitating feeling of an atrocious political climate and the desire to do better. Could It Be Different? is a human release a record full of the insecurities and anxiety that arrive after self-awareness, in learning something new and potentially frightening about yourself. But at it’s heart is joy there’s no desolation on the LP, because The Spook School manage to find light in moments of darkness. All things glum must pass even if hope comes only in the form of acceptance.

                                                                                            “A theatrical indie pop band that embrace’s life’s misinterpretations and messiness...their noise-pop jams remain as joyful as ever” - Pitchfork “The Spook School are that rare and beautiful thing: a band with something to say.” - The Guardian

                                                                                            “Societal norms and gender stereotypes are in the crosshairs of these threadbare tunes...trans love songs that hit home no matter your orientation.” - NPR

                                                                                            “Dance music for introverts, love songs for people who are too shy to be in love” - Stereogum

                                                                                            Bert Jansch

                                                                                            A Man I’d Rather Be (Part 1)

                                                                                              Comprising Bert’s seminal 1960s output (alongside his only album as a duet with Pentangle bandmate John Renbourn) this four disc set covers an era that forged creative paths for everyone from Neil Young to Johnny Marr. New listening notes from Bill Leader, as well as unseen photographs from Brian Shuel complete this special collection. Where to start with a career as prolific as that of Bert Jansch? Why, the beginning of course. Bert’s first studio (though as Bill Leader rightly points out, that’s a bit of a stretch) albums capture a man whose star is truly on the rise. It also marks his most prolific period - these four LPs were written, recorded and issued in just two years; a testament to not only Bert’s abundant musicality but to a time for music that was changing - excitedly - from minute to minute.

                                                                                              From Bert’s masterclass in elegant, melodic, one-man-and-his-guitar fingerpicking on his self-titled LP, to the beginnings of something altogether more exotic on ‘Bert and John’, these records are nothing if not a remarkable insight into the changing face of folk music at the time. For those unfamiliar with Jansch’s oeuvre, this is a real treat; you won’t find a more comprehensively produced collection. ‘A Man I’d Rather Be’ includes all the original liner notes (from both Keith De Groot and Bert himself) as well as new ruminations from Bill Leader (who recorded much of Jansch’s nascent work) as well as never-before seen photographs by the illustrious Brian Shuel.

                                                                                              For those in the know, this is a chance to revisit these extraordinary albums, revel in new insights and add some - perhaps more listenable LPs - to sit alongside their love-worn originals. “The Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar” - Neil Young // "At one point, I was absolutely obsessed with Bert Jansch. When I first heard that LP, I couldn’t believe it. It was so far ahead of what everyone else was doing. No one in America could touch that.” - Jimmy Page // "I particularly like his second record. The album before it [1965's Bert Jansch] is more revered and held up by most journalists as being the seminal one, but I think the songs are better on It Don't Bother Me, particularly the title track. The fact that they were both recorded in a kitchen at his mate's house is another reason why it has never dated.” 

                                                                                              Michael Wycoff

                                                                                              Looking Up To You / Diamond Real (Tee Scott Instrumental Mix)

                                                                                              Two seminal 12" mixes of a pair of Michael Wycoff heavy hitters from 1982. One a two-step favourite and one a Loft classic, these sought-after versions have never been paired on the same record.

                                                                                              Side A features the smooth-gliding anthem "Looking Up To You". The unmistakable snap of that sighing intro is unlike anything else. As such, it's no surprise that Leon Ware, celebrated master of the unexpected chord, has his fingerprints all over the track. Co-written with Zane Grey, "Looking Up To You" stands among the very best of Leon's staggering bank of compositions, both solo and with Michael Jackson, Minnie Riperton and Marvin Gaye. It's such an influential track, serving as the sample foundation of a massive top five R&B hit for Zhane in 1993, but it has never been bettered upon. Original 12" copies – if you can find them – go for over £50 today, making this side worth the price of admission alone.

                                                                                              If that wasn't enough, it's arguable that the B-Side wins again. A staple of David Mancuso's New York Loft parties, the Tee Scott mix of uplifting boogie gem "Diamond Real" is on another level entirely. A DJ legend of infamous clubs Better Days and Zanzibar and a trailblazing innovator, Tee Scott mastered the art of the reconstructive club mix.

                                                                                              For maximum destruction of discerning dancers, Be With have opted for his heavenly dub. 7 minutes of devastatingly slick dance floor dynamite, at once polished and dilapidated, its ecstatic charm is universal.

                                                                                              Devout lovers of modern soul have long worshipped the rapturous, sophisticated funk of Michael Wycoff. In combining that richly elegant voice, redolent of Donny Hathaway, with the production of keyboardist and arranger Webster Lewis, it's no surprise that both of these tracks became vital club classics of the early 80s R&B scene. Clear, full-bodied and bright – the 12" versions of these tracks are notoriously punchier than those featured on Wycoff's LP, and feature boomin' low end and neck-snapping drums. Buy on sight.



                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                              Patrick says: MASSIVE Be With 12" here pairing Michael Wycoff's biggest hit, the hair raising disco/club soul/jazz funk gem'Looking Up To You', with a rare Tee Scott instrumental mix of Loft classic "Diamond Real". Pressed to perfection, this is must have tackle for the collector and DJ alike.

                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                              12" Info: One copy available

                                                                                              Letta Mbulu

                                                                                              In The Music... The Village Never Ends

                                                                                                Originally released in South Africa in 1983, 'In The Music... The Village Never Ends' is one of those holy grail African records that barely needs any introduction. Featuring the enormous 'Nomalizo', it's a record that aficionados around the world have been waiting many years to get hold of. Now, Be With Records proudly presents the hugely anticipated vinyl reissue of this bonafied classic.

                                                                                                This release is officially licensed and has been lovingly mastered for vinyl by Simon Francis (Claremont 56 mastering engineer) It has been pressed on audiophile 180gram vinyl for the first time and features the original, rarely seen artwork.

                                                                                                South African singer Letta Mbulu possesses one of the most beautiful voices the world has ever known. Her immaculate voice emits a sweetness that radiates from deep within, brimming with a joy of life and inspiring a spirit of hope and happiness. On this album, her voice soars over a strident musical force that veers between disco, soul and pop music of the most incredible kind. The gleaming guitars recall disco's finest hours while the thump of the beats anticipate 80s British soul.

                                                                                                News of this limited reissue has already been causing a significant stir amongst those in the know so do not sleep on this - you have been warned!

                                                                                                Caroline Says

                                                                                                50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong

                                                                                                The album title seems to refer to the contrast between what our elders tell us and the perspectives we form out of our own experiences. There's a vacillation between idealism and realism, and it expresses itself musically in the hairpin turns from gentle folk into brazen experimental flourishes, like on “Funeral Potatoes.” The track opens with lilting, somber, Satie-esque piano, but at the halfway point, typical choices of song structure and transition are discarded in favor of a screeching, static-washed loop of violin and feedback that transcends the formality of songcraft, becoming something altogether more daring and collage-like.

                                                                                                The more band-driven songs on 50 Million recall an early-1990’s style of production in the way chorus-twinged electric guitars and tight, papery drumbeats point our mind’s eye to the West Coast sunset, like on the mid-album standout “Gravy Days.” Sallee decorates the background of most songs with hushed humming that could stand alone as a minimalist-ambient choral album, and when employed on her songs, elevates the ¬final product to an astral level. Sallee’s gift lies in pitting the familiar against the unexpected with a delicate assuredness, never compromising the one for the other. These kinds of debuts can sometimes feel like an over-promise of what is to come, but in the case of Caroline Says there's clearly plenty more thread to be unraveled. It'll be a pleasure to see where the next bus ride takes us. 

                                                                                                Hurtling / Creepy Neighbour

                                                                                                Feel It / Be Friends

                                                                                                  Second split 7" release from Brixton Hillbilly, the label of Brixton Hill Studios. Gold coloured vinyl, in diecut 'Brixton Hillbilly' sleeve.

                                                                                                  Soul Reductions

                                                                                                  Got To Be Loved

                                                                                                  Buzzzzziiiiiiinnnnnnggggg!!!! Take Away turn the deep fat fryer up to 11 for release number three, enlisting Soul Reductions to drop one of the hottest peaktime scorchers of recent memory. Taking me back to the endless sunshine of the very late nineties, the London outfit loop up a riotous bit of disco heat before working the filters to the max and serving the whole thing on a slamming house 4/4. Jazzy guitar licks, rolling keys, drifting synthwork and a massive mainroom vocal all combine into the perfect bit of peaking summertime house - enjoy with your shirt off and your shades on. Things are no less banging on the flipside as "A Rose Is A Rose" heats a boogie banger from a simmer to a rolling boil, adding percolating bongo led percussion and a fat kick drum to beef up those glossy synth licks. A-grade foot fuel for the disco dancers and house heads!

                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                  Sil says: I don't know who Soul Reductions are, but they certainly know how to pack a dancefloor. This latest Take Away release takes us back to the glory days of filter house thanks to frazzled disco loops and stomping 4/4s. Massive!

                                                                                                  R. Stevie Moore And Jason Falkner

                                                                                                  Make It Be

                                                                                                  R. Stevie Moore and Jason Falkner are both brilliant solo artists but, as Make It Be loudly announces, their voices, performances, and arrangements make for a match made in heaven that's been realised here on earth.

                                                                                                  What happens when R. Stevie Moore and Jason Falkner get together to record, arrange, and mix R. Stevie's songs? We get to hear an audacious realization of the tracks full potential in an epic collaboration no one saw coming.

                                                                                                  Moore and Falkner burst through your door with "I H8 Ppl" and take you on a journey through rock, pop, and experimental textures. Anchors such as "Play My Self Some Music" and "Sincero Amore," keep the effort focused, while guitar-only interludes and spoken word pieces push boundaries.

                                                                                                  Before they met up, both artists had long and storied careers, but their paths to cult status take completely opposite routes. Moore is widely considered to be the godfather of the DIY recording aesthetic. Dubbed a “lo-fi legend” by the New York Times, he started his career in the late 60’s, gaining widespread underground recognition during the 70’s punk explosion. Anticipating the viral internet era, Moore made innumerable cheap but brilliant videos. Luckily, many of them eventually found their way to YouTube where a whole new generation of fans discovered his work including the likes of MGMT, Mac DeMarco, The Vaccines and collaborator Ariel Pink.

                                                                                                  Falkner was involved in various major label deals as a group member and solo artist. He started with Paisley Underground pioneers The Three O Clock, joined supergroups Jellyfish with Andy Sturmer and Roger Manning, and the Grays with Jon Brion, finally scoring a solo deal with Elektra. He’s gone on to release numerous solo records and has worked with a wide range of artists, including Beck, Air, Brendan Benson and Paul McCartney.

                                                                                                  Recorded by Jason Falkner at his Rhetoric Studio in Hollywood with the majority of songs composed by Moore, with one by Falkner, one co-written by the pair, one co-written by Roger Ferguson. There's a wonderful rendition of Huey Smith & The Clowns "Don't You Just Know It."


                                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                  Ltd LP Info: Vinyl comes with a digital download code including bonus tracks.

                                                                                                  St Francis Hotel

                                                                                                  Stay As You Are / You'd Gotta Be Alive

                                                                                                    New limited 7" single from the enigmatic production duo St Francis Hotel.

                                                                                                    Their recent track 'Modello' debuted by The Line Of Best Fit, who described it as "a classic pop track that hints at raw talent".

                                                                                                    Our favorite Italian trio picked up their bluesy inspirations from the delta of Mississippi, mixed it with more modern sounds and genres and found their own style of raw and dirty blues. Imagine Robert Johnson jamming with a young Jack White and the guys from The Black Keys.

                                                                                                    The story of There Will Be Blood started back in 2009, and in the seven years passed they have made 3 albums and 2 EPs, playing live around Italy in festivals and rock clubs, gaining excellent reviews from press and audience. Their third album “Horns” is the end of a trilogy of concept albums that tell the story of a lone wandering man looking for a way to redeem his soul and finally find his vengeance, crossing his path with all kinds of freaks and prodigies, miracles and disasters.

                                                                                                    Compared with the previous albums, “Horns” is a more articulated work; the band has put a lot of effort into these 12 tracks, challenging themselves with new styles and new influences. Through their collaboration with professional musicians, “Horns” has become their biggest project so far: choir, harps, trumpets, saxophones, trombones, pianos and keyboards add layers and volume to There Will Be Blood’s fantastic blues-rock sound.

                                                                                                    With elements from classic blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel, stoner and country the band stretches their signature sound to new frontiers, without losing their focus on strong riffs, powerful drums and the catchy lyrics that we love.

                                                                                                    Culture Club

                                                                                                    Kissing To Be Clever

                                                                                                      'Kissing To Be Clever' is the debut album by Culture Club. Originally released in 1982, it immediately put the band on the musical map. Turning the flamboyant Boy George into a star, the soulful outing incorporated elements of pop, rock, new wave, dance and Caribbean rhythms and sprouted several international hit songs.

                                                                                                      “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” hit the #1 spot in several countries and turned out to be a song that resonates to this day with its universal feel of heartache. All in all, this set is a highlight of 80s pop music, that set the stage for one of the decade’s most loved and oft-remembered bands.

                                                                                                      Bossa Nova = Nouvelle Vague = New Wave.
                                                                                                      This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project, which, by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way: Camille, Phoebe Killdeer (whose Fade Out Lines was remixed by The Avener,) Nadeah, Mélanie Pain, and, soon, Liset Alea.

                                                                                                      The gambit paid off, with sales of over one million records over four albums released between 2004 and 2010, and world tours that included stops at venues such as London’s Royal Albert Hall, L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl and Paris’ Olympia. Since 2011, Nouvelle Vague had stopped recording, focusing on an innovative live show created in collaboration with the mythical Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (Ceremony and Dawn of innocence,) and branching out into different projects: Olivier’s Uncovered Queen of the Stone Age, and Marc’s Bristol, along with his Kwaidan label. The time seems right to write a new chapter in the Nouvelle Vague saga: with a new album “I Could Be Happy” and live show, the band and its coterie of female vocalists continue their time travels with a renewed alegria.

                                                                                                      Nouvelle vague by Nouvelle Vague and Some Friends is thus more of a nexus of forthcoming projects: a new album comprised of punk and post punk standards imbued with the inimitable Nouvelle Vague touch, and, for the first time, a bevy of surprising Collin/Libaux which prove that the two producers are more than prodigious arrangers. This album is also the opportunity to gather again the pioneer singers of Nouvelle Vague: Élodie Frégé, Mélanie Pain, Liset Alea, Nadeah and to find other guests as Camille or Clara Luciani.


                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                      Barry says: A euphoric and heady mix of electronica, indie, downbeat and everything inbetween. Nouvelle vague have always been masters of constructing many disparate elements into a cohesive and bracing whole, and this is no exception. Brimming with groove, and filled with eminently satisfying melodic flourishes.

                                                                                                      Joan As Police Woman & Benjamin Lazar Davis

                                                                                                      Let It Be You

                                                                                                      A true collaboration from studio to stage, from two artists well known for their ability to effortlessly cross musical genres. A deeply soulful artist Joan has famously worked with Antony (Anohni), Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed and David Sylvian and Benjamin is talented multi-instrumentalist who currently performs with Okkervil River, Cuddle Magic and Bridget Kearney.

                                                                                                      The album will be preceded by a single on September 30th - 'Broke Me In Two' -with a video featuring not only Joan and Benjamin but also Fred Armisen famous for his comedy roles in Saturday Night Live, Portlandia and Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgundy, amongst many others.

                                                                                                      Joan and Ben met each other after separate trips to Africa. Ethiopia for Joan as part of Damon Albarn's Africa Express, and West Africa for Lazar to study traditional music. They initially bonded over Central African Republic Pygmy musical patterns and ended up writing this album together loosely inspired by this music. In Broke Me In Two you can hear this influence in the staccato bit-crushed guitar line that plays throughout. But ultimately it's a joyous, love-soaked pop song.

                                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                      Deluxe LP Info: Deluxe black 180g vinyl LP in a gatefold sleeve, with poster insert complete with a CD of same tracks.

                                                                                                      The DBA DUBS series returns with a fresh tropical house roller from Samrai backed by a remix from Michigan resident James T. Cotton. Khadi brings together Samrai's tough drums and ethereal sun-kissed fx with a helping of keys from an anonymous local collaborator. On the flip JTC, the artist behind Dabrye, Sound Murderer and a host of other cult catalogues reinvents Khadi as a Detroit house stepper.

                                                                                                      Manchester resident via the Midlands, Samrai makes up 50% of the Swing Ting production unit. He's released with distinguished labels such as Keysound, Niche & Bump and UTTU as well as collaborating with Ruf Dug, Murlo, Brackles & Hyperdub's Okzharp. His DJ sets take in x-amount of styles, always system-friendly with an emphasis on the soulful side of things.

                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                      Matt says: Excellent work from Swing Ting main man Samrai. The MCR stalwart cooks up some simmering UK house music on side A. While James Cotton drops by with an iconic JTC remix - technofying the track and taking it into lazer guided territory. Don't sleep!

                                                                                                      The Moondoggies

                                                                                                      Don't Be A Stranger

                                                                                                        "I can't for the life of me figure out why The Moondoggies aren't one of the largest independent bands in the country." -- Performer Magazine

                                                                                                        "It's the rich three-and-four-part harmonies that really give the Moondoggies' expansive, epic jams their distinctive, vintage sound." -- Pitchfork

                                                                                                        The Moondoggies have hit upon a nice balance of tradition and contemporary influence." -- The Big Takeover Everett is a small city in northern Washington state, perhaps best known as the birthplace of Kenny Loggins, Carol Kaye, and, as of 2006, The Moondoggies. The Moondoggies are a four-piece band that plays timeless American music. Warm three-part harmonies, gothic Rhodes organ, and wanderlust guitar mark a sound rooted in boogie blues and cosmic country; their whip-smart songwriting leads to hook-heavy tunes that bristle with originality. The Moondoggies’ inaugural full-length release, Don’t Be a Stranger, was first released in 2008 and contains shades of gospel, blues, rock, and country - each of these songs have earned their slot in the great American jukebox.

                                                                                                        As of 2016, The Moondoggies as a band will have existed for a full decade. To commemorate, Hardly Art will issue Don’t Be a Stranger on vinyl for the very first time. In addition to the original album, five previously unreleased bonus tracks have been tacked onto the release, all recorded during the same Don’t Be a Stranger sessions with producer Erik Blood in Seattle. The Moondoggies are pleased to re-present this album and its new-old songs to you, dear listener, in lieu of new material that has been brewing since 2013.


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