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Masumi Hara

4 X A Dream

    A seamless mix of the organic and inorganic, the recent past and distant future, and the possible and impossible, Japanese multi-media artist Masumi Hara’s sophomore album arrived like a fish on the moon in 1984. An album filled with contradiction and purpose, 4 X A Dream is both Balearic acid folk and damaged steel drum dub, hi-tech new wave balladry and ambient synth pop. Classical and neo-impressionist vibes haunt and entrance. Quite possibly the most unique LP you’ll ever add to your collection.

    Unwound

    The Future Of What

      Their third album in as many years, 1995’s The Future of What is an unrelenting, constructivist masterstroke. The Olympia trio’s signature sound—grinding bass, syncopated drums, and fragmented guitar over measured yelps—ratchets past the thread into a stripped-out metallic slurry. Equal parts noise and adrenaline, the album opens with a simple question: “Where’s your energy?” It’s been 25 years and we’re still searching for the answer.

      Gary Davenport

      Scattered Thoughts

        A treasure trove of early underground from San Antonio’s first “punk” label Closet Records. Centered around the manic energy of founder Gary Davenport, this tidy 13-song collection compiles for the first time the best of his mid-fi work in Mannequin, quirky duos with Mark Champion and Charles Athanas, and alone at the raging edge of suburban Texas. A heady mix of jangly prog, dream-punk, community college rock, and anxious alternative, achieved just as video was killing the radio star. Packaged in a heavy-weight tip-on sleeve, with an accompanying book chronicling the entire sordid affair and visual discography.

        Charlie Megira

        Tomorrow’s Gone

          The bastard love child of Elvis and Lux Interior, Israeli guitarist Charlie Megira brewed a heady amalgam of ’50s trash rock, surf-y tremolo, and reverb-drenched goth during his all-too-brief 44 trips around the sun. He recorded seven albums worth of material in 15 years, primarily issued on CD-R, most of which is now unreadable or in a landfill. Tomorrow’s Gone is the first collection of Megira’s work; a 24-track double album accompanied by a lavish booklet that documents his tragic existence. Armed with only an Eko guitar, a black tuxedo, and his signature wrap-around shades, Charlie Megira was a mold-breaking artist who disintegrated while we were all staring at our phones.

          A winsome and dizzying spin on disco pop, recorded in westernized Iran during last moments before the 1979 revolution. All but criminalized in the wake of Ayatollah Khomeni’s theocratic repression, Hamlet Minassian’s solo masterpiece is a testament to the Middle East’s forgotten dance music culture. This six-song, 44-minute LP hybridizes Euro attitude and Armenian traditional songs to create long, hypnotic proto-house, seemingly beamed in from another dimension.

          Jackie Shane

          Any Other Way / Sticks And Stones

          The definitive version of Stax legend William Bell’s 1962 single "Any Other Way" wasn’t cut inside the storied Memphis studio, but rather 1300 miles away in Boston by a transgender pioneer. Recasting the plaintive breakup lament into an anthem of defiance and gay liberation, Jackie Shane rewrote the song without changing a word. Astoundingly, the track wasn’t selected for the A side of the late ’62 release - that would be "Sticks and Stones," a dynamite blast of a policy piece regarding gossips, scolds, and other little people. Following the Grammy-nominated success of our Jackie Shane anthology, Numero is glad to present this essential 45 for DJs and home listeners alike, packaged with a never before seen photo of Ms. Shane herself.

          Known by genre aficionados as one of the greatest singers and most riveting stage presences in soul music, Jackie Shane has remained largely unknown outside Toronto, where her career briefly flowered in the 1960s. Beyond her unmistakable gift of the gab, Shane is a pioneer of transgender rights, born in a male body but unabashedly living her entire life as a woman at a time when to do so seemed unthinkable. Any Other Way is the first artist-approved collection of Ms. Shane’s work, collecting all six of her 45s and every highlight from the legendary 1967 live sessions at the Sapphire Tavern, including three mind blowing, previously-unreleased tracks. Rob Bowman’s 20,000 word essay is Jackie’s first communication with the public in nearly half a century, telling for the first time ever Jackie Shane’s story in her own words.

          This deluxe two album (or two CD) set is copiously illustrated with never-before-seen pictures from a career and a life unlike any other.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Gold foil edition on gold vinyl.

          Ten incredible albums culled from the deepest, weirdest co-op of record enthusiasts ever gathered under one banner. We’ve spared no expense packaging these, pairing the idea of the Art of Compilation with living and breathing art, creating little fortune cookies baked in a factory of forgotten dreams. Video games, pyramids, trading cards, matchbooks, mazes, lottery tickets, film canisters, yearbooks, and various other exercises in design absurdity.

          P-Funk and Prince & the Revolution led the world through the last stellar evolutionary stages of soul music as it was transmogrified through the pulverizing lens of the 1980s, when African-American culture gave way to an advanced African-Interplanetary civilizations. Self-actualized artists and visionaries followed, reflecting and refracting their own interpretations as if translated by Samuel Delaney or Octavia Butler. This unwieldily titled collection documents ten successful experiments in privately-issued scifi soul music, lonely transmissions from a planet in a state of cultural fugue. Packaged in a one-way portal to the further limits of expression. Some assembly required.


          Indian Summer

          Giving Birth To Thunder

            The fourth leg on the early emo table of Rites of Spring, Moss Icon, and Cap’n Jazz, Indian Summer’s Giving Birth To Thunder compiles their complete discography. Emo’s second wave crashed into the Bay Area in the summer of 1994 in a rage-filled capsule of quiet and loud, octave chords, angry sons, Spock haircuts, and screaming. At the eye of this pissed-for-the-hell-of-it storm were Indian Summer. In the quartet’s 12-month existence they wrote ten songs, appeared on a dozen singles and comps, and played over 100 gigs across the U.S. and Canada before burning out, passing out, and moving out of their Blue House in Oakland. Their hand-screened aesthetic is replicated in alarming detail in the accompanying by 24page book with detailed liner notes, flyers, and miscellaneous propaganda.

            Universal Togetherness Band

            Saturday Night / More Than Enough

            While in pursuit of a Radio and TV Broadcasting degree from Chicago State University, Cynthia C. Gibson directed the music video for the Universal Togetherness Band’s “More Than Enough.” Backed with the unreleased party anthem “Saturday Night,” “More Than Enough” is available for the first time in an attractive picture-sleeve 45 and sounds super funky and sublime. The raw drums collide with nicely picked guitar lines while the male-female chorus is like golden syrup on fresh pancakes! Soul collectors you need this!

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Matt says: High grade jazz-funk that'd you catch plenty of jocks utilizing to devastating effect on the more sophisticated 'floors. Both sides strut and canter like a prized show horse, but it's the smoochy b-side love-in, "More Than Enough" that does it for me...

            Previously issued on three rare cassette only editions, Joanna Brouk’s 1980 sophomore album "The Space Between" has finally been given spacious LP quarters. The side-long title track, performed by Brouk’s Mills College instructor and sometime-lover Bill Maraldo is among the deepest and most distinctive pieces in the new age canon, a slowly unfurling piano-raga which captures the listener with an eastern energy. Meanwhile side B’s three cuts expand the theme in hypnotic new directions, utilizing glockenspiel on "Chimes And Bells", returning to piano and adding wafts of reverb flutter on the ultra delicate "Winter Chimes" and finally the coated, rich hum of "Golden Cloud Layers". Gobsmackingly fragile yet tectonically powerful, few ambient albums have the goosebump-inducing potential of "The Space Between".

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: It's been a wonderful year for ambient reissues, and Joanna Brouk's stunning 'The Space Between' is one of the greatest. Weightless, floating synth pads and subtle tremolo, brittle chimes and hazy reverb coming together into a blanket of spine-tingling beauty.

            Pastor T.L. Barrett And The Youth For Christ Choir

            Do Not Pass Me By Vol II

            The sequel to Pastor Barrett’s landmark 1971 masterpiece "Like A Ship…", "Do Not Pass Me By" finds the young Chicago preacher and his Youth for Christ Choir continuing their genre-bending spiritual journey. Heavy drums, soaring falsettos, euphoric tambourines, sharp horns, and Barrett’s unwavering devotion dance around a 40-piece choir, working together to form sanctified slab of gospel funk. Pressed in a minuscule quantity in 1973, "Do Not Pass Me By" was sold primarily from the pulpit of Barrett’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church, disappearing into Chicago’s south side for 45 years before Numero’s excavation. The ten-song album has been remastered, it’s generic album cover updated to match Barrett’s vision. On the back of the jacket, he insisted on the following words: 'After listening to this album you will be glad that you did not pass it by!'

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Matt says: Devoit Pastor T.L Barrett made some of the finest funk and gospel to emanate from the Pentacostal church; which Numero have hadily excavated for us here... All rejoice!

            Don Slepian

            Sea Of Bliss

            First ever vinyl edition of the landmark 1980 cassette by synth wizard Don Slepian. Utilizing the fabled and notoriously complex Alles digital synthesizer at the Bell Laboratories scientific research center, "Sea Of Bliss" features two transcendent cascading sidelong tracks, to easily qualify as one of the ultimate pinnacles of the new age genre. Cut with care using the Direct Metal Mastering process, and featuring cover artwork by visionary artist Jonathan Meader.

            Universal Togetherness Band

            Dreamality / Lucky Stars

            Two brilliant, previously unissued modern soul discoveries from the archive of U.T.B. mastermind Andre Gibson. “My Lucky Stars” rides the 120 BPM crest, with sharp horns, handclaps, triangle, and a wild guitar solo filling out the four and a half minute ride. “Dreamality” cops a Steve Miller vibe and goes on a spaced-out future funk adventure. 

            Originally issued as a hand-dubbed demo tape in 1982, Elisa Waut’s icy debut gets its first vinyl issue. The Flemish trio of Chery Derycke and siblings Elsje and Hans Helewaut took new wave to its natural conclusion; trading Europe’s organic post-punk approach for the new cold war order of synth and rhythm box. Soviet paranoia, isolation, suicidal musings, and other miscellaneous bouts of young adult depression are covered in both French and English. A 28-minute minimal wave masterpiece.

            Duster

            Contemporary Movement

              A muffled cry into the technological darkness, Contemporary Movement slid into the world right as the MP3 was seeping out of college dorms. A 39-minute drift into the void, drenched in Cold War-era reverb and then submerged in four track hiss for good measure. Duster constructed a Brutalist masterpiece on the outskirts of a suburban mall, as if to say, “We were here.” 

              Various Artists

              Planisphere

                Static filled signals emanating deep from inside the walls of Laurel Canyon, bouncing off clusters of incipient late century technology, are pulled through the twisted rabbit ears of a Chevy Astro Van. Planisphere. The equivocal sound of hippies fresh from their back-to-land sojourns shuttling drum machines through heartworn aspirations, as if the music section of the Whole Earth Catalog came to life. Let out from astronomy class with an arm full of Brain and Sky label releases, these 9 nomads scribble plein air narrations over a landscape turning its back on the sun. Bask in the reverberations of our celestial home sweet home. Our Planisphere, for those within the 30-40 degree zone, will provide you with a fairly discernible chart for discovering both deep-sky objects and telluric emotional pulses.


                From the blown-out motherboard of West Philadelphia’s Master Control Programmers, Charles Grossman broke off to explore his own personal outer space experience. With just a DW-8000 to keep him company, University City’s loneliest cyborg issued this eight song electro-mellow statement in 1989. Spectral synths, pulsating programming, and yes—a keytar—set the soundtrack to your next game of Spy Hunter. Jam on to a sound more sophisticated.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: Sweet synth boogie / relaxed e-funk here from 80's outsider Chasman. I'm always gonna give a warm welcome to a man clutching a keytar in Eddie Murphy's Delirious outfit, and the Chasman repays me with vocal and instrumental versions of his mellow magic.

                After a slightly dubious reissue a couple of years back, Numero treat Rupa Biswas' viral sensation "Disco Jazz" with their usual precision, care and respect, giving each of us the opportunity to own this masterpiece in lush HQ.
                Engineered at Calgary's Living Room in 1982, "Disco Jazz" was the only release Rupa put out, working with a crack team of Canadian disco muscle and Indian studio talent to create the perfect fusion dish. East meets West, guitar meets sarod, soul meets funk and psych meets disco as Rupa and her crew groove their way through four far out moments of dance floor brilliance. Opener "Moja Bhari Moja" locks us into a frankly irresistible bassline, before the wild guitar riffs, spectral synth lines and trippy sitar create a kaleidoscopic visionquest for our collective third eye. Rupa's echo drenched vocals arrive right on time to seal the deal and steal the show, securing the much coveted 'cosmic disco killer' title all records should aspire to. "East West Shuffle" does exactly what it says on the tin, fusing transcontinental tonalities into a smooth jazz funk simmer before "Aaj Shanibar" closes out the A-side with the kind of cinematic sunset disco all the Balearic heads go wild for. If it weren't for the expert tabla and psychedelic sitar, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was one of those flamenco disco bombs you'd hear in a peak time Mison set. Stretching itself suavely over the whole of the B-side, "Ayee Morshume" is the kind of cosmic disco journey only the most experienced trippers should attempt - a heads down, hands aloft groove-voyage through endless solos and enchanting vocals. Chances of finding an original copy are way beyond slim, and on the rare occasion they turn up on the second hand market you're looking at the top end of three figures. It's a special record, and you're never gonna get a better chance to bag a copy - don't sleep!

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: Numero rock our world with a much needed reissue of THE Indian disco holy grail, Rupa's magnificent "Disco Jazz". An East meets West affair, the LP combines Rupa's echoing vocals with slick disco grooves, spacey synths and all kinds of strung out psychedelia resulting in a cosmic bomb for the most enlightened of listeners. It's a must have!

                Step By Step

                Time After Time / She's Gone

                Soaring falsetto lead from 13-year-old Johnnie Gee, who, alongside brothers Jerome and Dewitt and a handful of kids from their Milwaukee stomping grounds, formed Step By Step in 1969. Gee and company’s 1972 sweet soul double sider for Jim Kirchstein’s regional powerhouse Cuca Records is among the rarest singles produced by the Sauk City outfit over its 13 year run, barely making it outside of Wisconsin before appearing on 2007’s Home Schooled: The ABCs of Kid Soul album. Step By Step’s “Time After Time” has since become a highly sought after single on the low rider circuit, and was prominently featured in season two of Aziz Ansari’s breakout Netflix series Master of None. Both sides have been remastered from the original analog Cuca masters

                Happy Rhodes

                Ectotrophia

                  The first authoritative compilation of American dream pop artist Happy Rhodes, whose singular songwriting and four-octave vocal range emanated from the pastoral confines of upstate New York in the 1980s. Her melding of classical music influences with synthesizer and acoustic guitar, and her enchanting and idiosyncratic singing, are favorably compared to heralded English chanteuse Kate Bush. Fans of such artistic pop music would be remiss to overlook Rhodes’s similarly remarkable and otherworldly sonic transmissions, traversing tales of dreamers, outsiders, lovers and other lovely and terrifying creatures born of a wellspring of wild creativity and bold imagination. Affectionately remastered from the original tapes, Ectotrophia gathers essential songs from Rhodes’s mid-’80s salad days, many written when she was just a teenager—wildly ahead of her time and unafraid to bare her soul to regional audiences, the ectophiles who’d eventually coin an entire subgenre of pop music in her honor. Dive deep into ecto, with the woman who started it all.

                  Bernadette Carroll

                  Laughing On The Outside

                  Though not a household name, Bernadette Carroll is one of the more successful teen vocalists of the girl group era. She charted as a member of the Angels, as a solo act, and as a for-hire backup singer, performing on at least two #1 hits, selling over a million copies of each. You’ve heard her voice, whether you know it or not.

                  Her early ’60s work with Hazlet, New Jersey, producer Tommy Falcone resulted in a handful of singles for the Cleopatra and Julia labels, including the syrupy ballad “Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside)” and the upbeat dancer “Heavenly.” “Laughing” was buried in a New Jersey basement until the label pulled it from obscurity for last year’s 'End of the F***ing World' for Netflix, which garnered the track five million streams in its first three months. Bernadette Carroll will be featured prominently on Teen Expo: The Cleopatra Label and Basement Beehive: The Girl Group Underground, both due this fall.


                  Express Rising

                  Fixed Rope II

                    The fourth Express Rising LP (and second featuring the expanded lineup of William Suran and Kevin Blagg, in addition to leader Dante Carfagna) finds the trio largely eschewing percussion in favor of twelve concise, three-minute-or-so-long bittersweet excursions that nevertheless retain the restrained, measured, and highly melodic scaffolding of their previous work. There’s more than a bit of Santo & Johnny at their most somnambulant here, slightly glazed, definitely reverb’d out, mysteriously bottling the flaring, saturated light of the desert at dusk.

                    Pastor T.L Barrett And The Youth For Christ Choir

                    Like A Ship (Without A Sail)

                      Recorded in 1971 by a 27-year-old pastor and an after school program choir, Like A Ship is a stirring and powerful meditation on the wayward aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement. Tracked with the help of Chess/Cadet maestros Gene Barge, Phil Upchurch, and Richard Evans, the album is a mix of euphoric gospel and Mayfield esque political soul, with sleigh bells, hand claps, and jazzy piano stabs. Sampled by T.I., Kanye, and Khaled, Barrett created a rapturous, crossover gospel classic that’s still wildly relevant.

                      Various Artists

                      Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares

                        As the hippie movement hurdled towards its emanate demise, bad vibes infiltrated the rock world. Tainted LSD, loud motorcycles, and a series of brutal deaths spawned inspiration for guitar-wielding teenagers across the globe. Implementing deafening fuzz and satanic screams to create their proto-metal monstrosities, short-lived stoner bands pressed their lysergic experiments in microscopic quantities before blacking out entirely. Lifted from the ashes of the acid rock hell fire are 18 distorted tales of dope fiends, pill poppers, and the baddest of trips.

                        Deluxe 2LP comes housed in a blacklight poster-style jacket, replete with flocking and lysergic neon. 24 pages documenting the creeping existential dread of the hard rock underground are tucked into the gatefold pocket alongside two dead dinosaur-heavy LPs. Compact disc is packaged in standard Numero slipcase, with digipak and 40-page book, limited to 2000 copies. 


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Matt says: This fearsome Numero collection is made up of sonic remnants excavated following the collapse of Haight-Ashbury and the 'Summer Of Love'. Bathed in bad vibes, strong amphetamines and cheap LSD; "Acid Nightmares" chronicles the musical movements of biker bands, social drop-outs and narco-casualties struggling to make their voice heard against the backdrop of civil unrest and encroaching mortality.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xColoured LP Info: Opaque yellow blob on clear vinyl.

                        The Numero Group’s dive into the deep end of America’s private press continues. Having battled the witches and wizards of Darkscorch, the outlaws of Cosmic Americana, and traveled alongside Ladies From the Canyon and their Lonesome Heroes, it’s time to take it easy.

                        With pop music’s volume knob adjusted for deflation in the early ‘70s, softness begat smoothness. Crewmen arrived from the worlds of jazz, folk, rock, and soul, all peddling a product that was sincere, leisurely, and lofty. A sound that was buoyant, crisp, defined. Sometimes classified as West Coast- and, later, Yacht Rock - the compass points of our Private Yacht expedition are the blue-eyed harmonies of Hall and Oates, the cocaine-dusted Fender Rhodes of Michael McDonald, and the combover strums of James Taylor. Here, at the glassy apex of rock’s softer side, 20 strong swimmers are gathered together. An album for both relaxation and reflection, where listeners can enjoy the present, a cool breeze, and a taste of the good life.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xColoured LP Info: Lavender coloured vinyl.

                        Various Artists

                        Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque In Upper Volta

                          Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta From his studio in central Bobo-Dioulasso, photographer Sory Sanlé documented a nation’s transformation from colonial foothold to cosmopolitan oasis. Bobo Yeye: Belle Epoque in Upper Volta provides an intimate look into the landlocked nation’s pop culture explosion of the 1970s. A melange of community elders and emboldened youth spill from the brightly lit confines of Sanlé’s Volta Photo into the dimly lit nightclubs of Upper Volta’s cultural capital. Accompanying this hardbound monograph are dozens of rare and evocative recordings spread over three discs by Bobo-Dioulasso’s musical titans: Volta Jazz, Dafra Star, Echo Del Africa, and Les Imbattables Léopards.

                          School is back in session! A decade removed from their acclaimed Homeschooled compilation comes a new class of talent show titans. With enterprising parents, neighbors and teachers turning play dates into recording dates, groups like Magical Connection, Little Man and the Inquires, and Five Ounces of Soul emulated the Jacksons, who'd made grade-school stardom appear easy as ABC. "Afterschool Special: The 123s Of Kid Soul" contains 19 tiny tunes ranging from bilingual D.A.R.E. anthem, to James Brown bio, to young love and life beyond the playground. 

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Patrick says: Numero have done it again! Risking respiratory disease and a bad case of diggers knee (you know what I'm talking about) the reissue masters teach us a lesson with their second excursion into the strange and beautiful world of grade school funk.


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                          Open and ready. Who’s coming to get themselves warm on this cold but sunny Saturday with some new releases?… https://t.co/X1pvtbqqMC
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