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Alice Coltrane

World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda

As some of you may know, Alice Coltrane was a legendary pianist, composer, spiritual leader, and the wife of John Coltrane, the most venerated and influential saxophonist in the history of jazz. In 1967, four years after meeting John, he died of liver cancer, leaving Alice a widow with four small children. Bereft of her soul mate, Alice suffered sleepless nights and severe weight loss. At her worst, she weighed only 95 pounds. She had hallucinations in which trees spoke, various beings existed on astral planes, and the sounds of “a planetary ether” spun through her brain, knocking her into a frightening unconsciousness. The critical event of this period was not that Alice fell into the nadir of her existence, but rather that she experienced tapas, a vital period of trial. These tapas (a Sanskrit term she used to describe her suffering) helped prepare Alice for the spiritual ally she found in Swami Satchidananda, an Indian guru, with whom Alice made her first trip to India. On her second trip there, Alice had a revelation instructing her to abandon the secular life and become a spiritual teacher in the Hindu tradition – so she moved out West – eventually opening the Shanti Anantam Ashram on 47 acres she’d bought in Agoura Hills, California. Music was the foundation of Alice’s spiritual practice. From the mid 1980’s to mid 1990’s, Alice Coltrane self-released four brilliant cassette albums. These cassettes contained a music she invented, inspired by the gospel music of the Detroit churches she grew up in, mixed together with the Indian devotional music of her religious practice, and even finds Alice singing for the first time in her recorded catalog. Originally only made available through her ashram, they are her most obscure body of work and possibly the greatest reflection of her soul.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: You know you're onto a good thing with a Luaka Bop reissue (check William Onyeabor for further proof…), and this Technicolor retrospective of the sublime Alice Coltrane shows the multi-instrumentalist at her most spiritual. Originally availably (barely) on self released cassettes dating from the mid 80s to mid 90s, the tracks on this double LP find Alice fusing gospel harmonies, Hindu mantras, hypnotic percussion and soaring, searing Carl Craig style keyboards. Perfect as an introduction or celebration of Alice's inspirational energy, this mind-blowing, life affirming set should have us all vibrating as one.

William Onyeabor

Tomorrow

William Onyeabor was born outside Enugu, a small, rural town in Eastern Nigeria, he created his own genre of African electronic funk in the late 70s and early 80s, making music completely unique for his time. Today, he is reaching cult status among a growing list of admirers, including everyone from Damon Albarn and Hot Chip to Carl Craig and Madlib, with some likening him to the Kraftwerk of West Africa, or a precursor to LCD Soundsystem.

Among the crate-digging few that knew of him, he is considered a complete myth. While he has never performed live and almost never given interviews, his fantastical biography is scattered and has to this day not been verified. And, though he is still alive, he refuses to speak about anything regarding the past.

According to various rumors, he left home following the Biafran War and went to study cinematography in the Soviet Union, returning in the mid-70s to start his own film company and record label, Wilfilms. He then self-released eight remarkable records from 1978-1985. He wrote and produced everything on his own, and possibly played every instrument himself. Then, at some point of his life, he became born again and denounced his earlier music, deciding it is something he would never speak about.


Doug Hream Blunt (Feat. Psychemagik & Hype Williams Remixes)

Gentle Persuasion (Remix)

    THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2015 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

    You might ask what’s next after Luaka Bop’s William Onyeabor project, Doug Hream Blunt! As a preamble here is a very limited pressing of two stellar sonic prognosticator’s take on the legendary Doug Hream Blunt’s “Gentle Persuasion.” Pyschemagik is a UK duo, known for their sensational edits, obscenely vast record collections, beautiful production work and transcendent mixtape journeys. The artist known as Hype Williams is now known as Dean Blunt. Wonder where he got that name from? For the first time ever released with a dead stock 1990’s erotic magazine from Italy.

    William Onyeabor

    Atomic Bomb Remixes

      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2015 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

      The legendary John Talabot from Spain remixes the Hot Chip cover of Onyeabor’s “Atomic Bomb.” Love Fingers and Secret Circuit from L.A., get together as Secret Fingers and mix “Let’s Fall In Love.” The amazing Japanese artist Oorutaichi remixes the apt “Atomic Bomb” in his own very unique free style, and from Nigeria Ikon remixes this African Hip Hop reinterpretation of Onyeabor’s “Smooth and Good” done by Show Dem Camp & Funbi.

      Despite not having released any new tracks in 30 years, Onyeabor has taken on a mythical status in music. Luaka Bop, the record label founded by David Byrne, issued 'Who Is William Onyeabor?', an album of Onyeabor’s greatest work, in autumn 2013. The release, which took five years for Onyeabor to agree to, made TIME’s “Top 10 Albums of 2013” and NPR’s “Top 50 Albums of the Year,” and and was featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Sunday Times UK and Rolling Stone, and more importantly was our reissue of the year and a firm Piccadilly favourite.

      Originally out on vinyl on Record Store Day, this 10 track Onyeabor remixes / remakes collection now gets a long overdue CD outing. The set includes fantastic reinterpretations by Hot Chip, JD Twitch Optimo, Joakim, plus remixes by Daphni, Scientist, Justin Strauss and even more, all done as part of the Luaka Bop / MOOG Remix Project.


      Tim Maia

      Nobody Can Live Forever - The Existential Soul Of Tim Maia (World Psychedelic Classics 4)

      In the early 1970s, Brazilian popular music was approaching a high water mark of creativity and popularity. Artists like Elis Regina, Chico Buarque and Milton Nascimento were delivering top-shelf Brazilian pop, while tropicalists Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes were entertaining the college set with avant-garde fuzz-pop poetry.

      Enter Tim Maia with a massive cannonball into the pool. It was the only dive Tim knew. Standing just 5'7 (6' with the afro) Tim Maia was large, in charge and completely out of control. He was the personification of rock star excess, having lived through five marriages and at least six children, multiple prison sentences, voluminous drug habits and a stint in an UFO obsessed religious cult. Tim is also remembered as a fat, arrogant, overindulgent, barely tolerated, yet beloved man-child who died too young at the age of 55.

      Sebastiño Rodrigues Maia was born in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, on September 28, 1942. In 1957, at the age of 17, the singer went to America. He left home with $12 in his pocket and no knowledge of English. He adopted the name 'Jimmy' and lied to the immigration authorities, saying that he was a student.

      Living with distant cousins in Tarrytown, New York, he worked odd jobs and committed petty crimes. Having a prodigious ear he quickly learned to speak, sing and write songs in English. He formed a small vocal group called The Ideals who even recorded one of Tim's songs, "New Love." Intent on starting a career in America, Tim never planned on going back to Brazil, but like a badass Forrest Gump, he also had a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In a 1964 early pre-cursor to Spring Break's modern debauchery, Tim was busted in Daytona, Florida for smoking pot in a stolen car and served six months in prison. U.S. Immigration caught up with him and he was deported.

      Tim's first commercial records showed that a black Brazilian singer could assert his identity with confidence and power. His music helped to build the Black Rio movement, a new Afro-Brazilian music culture influenced by the US civil rights struggle. As a result, Tim Maia's soul music described a modern Black Brazilian identity that blew the doors off mass culture's tightly circumscribed role for Afro-Brazilians. A funny thing happened when Tim Maia launched his career in Brazil: he kept on writing and recording songs in English. Every album (all self-titled, with only the copyright years to differentiate) included at least one, if not a few songs in English. Obviously, Tim "Jimmy" Maia's teenage dreams of international soul success didn't die when he was deported from the US.

      In 1971, fresh from the big hit of his first album, Tim went to London and spoiled himself. He smoked, inhaled, drank, traveled on acid, listened to music, argued with his wife and returned to Brazil with 200 doses of LSD to distribute amongst his friends. As soon as he arrived, he went to (recording company) Philips' offices, which he called "Flips," where he visited various departments, beginning with those he considered most "square," like the accounting and legal departments, where he acknowledged the boss and repeated the same introduction, in a calm and friendly voice: "This here is LSD, which will open your mind, improve your life, and make you a better and happier person. It's very simple: there are no side effects. It is not addictive and only does good. You take it like this . . . " He would place the acid in his mouth, swallow it and leave another at the front desk. Since he was one of the best-selling artists for the company, everyone thought it humorous. In the production and journalism departments, the gifts were a success. Even Andre Midani, the president of the company, received his.

      In 1974, he converted to a religious sect, the cult of Racional Engergy. The sect was based in the faith that we are perfect beings from a distant planet, exiled on Earth to suffer but able to purify through the reading of a single book and to finally be rescued by flying saucers of our original home. It was a perfect fit for someone like Tim.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      David says: Original Tim Maia records are thin on the ground in Manchester so sometimes a good comp is the only thing that can fill the gap. This is an afro, latin, psyche pop masterpiece made by a man who believed that we're all aliens exiled on Earth to suffer. If that's true this is as good as way as any to spend your time until the space ship returns to pick you up and take you back home.

      In terms of their status and influence Os Mutantes are often referred to as the Brazilian Beatles. How did 60s Brazil produce the wildest, most psychedelic rock'n'roll group of them all? And why, three decades on, has the rest of the world gone crazy over them? Kurt Cobain, Beck, Super Furry Animals, The Bees and David Byrne are just a few of the musicians that have flown the flag for Os Mutantes. Against all odds, in May 2006 the band reunited for the first time in over 30 years for a euphoric show at the Barbican's Tropicalia Festival. The recording of this historic concert, with special guests Devendra Banhart and Noah Georgeson, is now released on CD and DVD. The live album features the best-loved tracks of this legendary group and the full-length DVD includes the entire Barbican concert plus documentary, backstage footage, video clips and photos.


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