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Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band

Obiaa!

    ‘Obiaa!’, produced again by Kwame Yeboah and Ben Abarbanel-Wolff at Lovelite Studio’s analogue HQ in Berlin, is a deep and soulful journey into the heart of Ghana’s indigenous highlife music celebrating the timeless and iconic voice of Pat Thomas, the 72 year-old “Golden Voice of Africa”.

    After producing Ebo Taylor’s seminal albums ‘Love and Death’ and ‘Appia Kwa Bridge’ for Strut Records, in 2014 Ben Abarbanel-Wolff approached Kwame Yeboah, Ghana’s top contemporary instrumentalist and bandleader, to work on a new project: “We initially wanted to invite Pat back into the studio with Ebo Taylor and Tony Allen to recreate and expand on some of the vibes they had recorded together during a lost session in 1977,” Ben explains. Recorded in Accra, the result was the critically acclaimed self-titled debut album ‘Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band’ in 2015.

    Pat and the Kwashibu Area Band (named after Kwame’s neighbourhood in Accra) hit the road in October 2015. After a memorable performance at WOMEX in Budapest, they never looked back. The next two years took them around the world to play at major venues and festivals including Glastonbury, Roskilde, WOMAD, Sakifo, WOMADelaide, Sines and many more. “We could see there was something for everyone in our music. People of all ages, colours and trends were dancing together!’ explains Kwame, the mastermind behind the band’s unbelievable precision and killer live show.

    The new album is called ‘Obiaa!’ which means ‘Everybody!’. Tracks include the modern parables ‘Onfa Nkosi Hwee’ warning against arrogance and ‘Odo Ankasa’ about the value of real love and trust as well as a great new cover of Thomas’ Afro-disco favourite ‘Yamona’. “Playing highlife around the world taught us what we had to do to move our sound forward,” continues Ben. While simultaneously looking back towards the classic days of highlife and forward to a fresh revival of the guitar band sound, this album cements Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band’s position at the pinnacle of modern African music.


    The Souljazz Orchestra

    Chaos Theories

      Always known for their uncompromising social and political messages, the Canadian collective hit harder than ever on 9 new tracks, outing the hypocrisy of modern day politics, police brutality and the everyday struggle of the working man. Led by chief songwriter and arranger Pierre Chrètien, the band continue to evolve their sound, drawing on a broad palette from their trademark Latin, Afro and Caribbean styles to some of the UK’s political sounds of the early ‘80s, the era of The Clash, The Police, 2-Tone and frontline reggae. “We were basically messing around with the idea of creating our own brand of ‘Afro-punk’”, remembers Chrétien, “something with the aggressive, in-your-face energy of punk rock or free jazz, but still backed by the hypnotic, pulsating grooves of tropical music.”

      The album takes the listener from carefully targeted sonic missiles to more reflective thought-provoking moments. ‘Police The Police’ starts the offensive: “I wrote this after my neighbour was beaten to death by Ottawa police during an arrest,” explains Chrétien. “The authorities downplayed the incident and the officers were working the next day like nothing had happened.” ‘House Of Cards’ takes a thinly veiled swipe at the current US administration on an infectious disco groove: “lies within lies within lies… like so many Russian dolls”; ‘Boat Rockers’ challenges us all to look beyond accepted norms and ‘General Strike’ documents the frustrations of the working class as the pay gap gets increasingly wider; ‘Slumlord’ shines the spotlight on dodgy landlords while the brilliant closer ‘Well Runs Dry’ laments modern day living, with its confused pace and mundane obsessions, remembering simpler days gone by.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Dark blue vinyl.

      Various Artists

      Alefa Madagascar - Salegy, Soukous & Soul 1974 - 1984

        Strut continues its essential compilation series of Indian Ocean sounds with ‘Alefa Madagascar’, the first compilation to document the unique culture of salegy, soukous and soul on the island during the ‘70s and ‘80s.

        Originating as far back as the 15th Century through folkloric ceremonial music and an a cappella chanting style called antsa, salegy emerged as a fast-tempoed local dance style based on 6/8 and 12/8 rhythms. By the ‘60s, radio was bringing in new sounds from the Congo, Mozambique, South Africa and Kenya and Jean Francois de Comarmond’s Discomad label championed a new generation of artists breaking the mould with their own new fusions of styles as electric instruments replaced the traditional. The strong call-and-response dialogues, rich vocal choruses and rolling triplet feel in the rhythm sections all boasted a unique Malagasy sensibility and singles started selling tens of thousands of copies, rivalling any foreign music at the time. Local pop was sometimes referred to as tapany maintso (half-green) a reference to the stickers on singles from the other key label in Madagascar, Kaïamba, many of them produced by Charles Maurin Poty whose work was crucial in shaping the emerging genre.

        ‘Alefa Madagascar’ showcases the rich variety of sounds during this heyday of Malagasy music: Roger Georges’ ‘Mama’ and Jean Kely et Basth’s ‘Andosy Mora’ bring the raw energy of salegy, influential band Los Matadores drop military drums and Hammond soul in the classic ‘Andeha Hanarato’; Mahaleo’s ‘Izahay Mpamita’ showcases the band’s powerful folk sound, a crucial voice emerging from the Rotaka farmer and student protests of 1972, while Terak’Anosy Group work around a stomping Congolese guitar groove. The era paved the way for many of the household names of Malagasy music today including Jaojoby, D’Gary and Lego. Mastered by The Carvery and featuring cover artwork by top illustrator Lewis Heriz, ‘Alefa Madagascar’ is released on 16th August 2019 and is compiled by Réunionese DJs La Basse Tropicale and Percy Yip Tong (Mauritius). Physical formats feature sleeve notes by influential producer Charles Maurin Poty and Banning Eyre of Afropop Worldwide.

        First ever compilation documenting the heyday of Malagasy music during the 1970s and 1980s. All tracks officially licensed in conjunction with the Discomad and Kaïamba labels. Includes sleeve notes by legendary producer Charles Maurin Poty and writer Banning Eyre. Latest instalment in Strut’s ongoing series documenting some of the best original music from the Indian Ocean region.

        Various Artists

        Disco Not Disco - Reissue

          Strut present a new repress of the influential first volume of ‘Disco Not Disco’ compiled by Joey Negro and Sean P as part of the label’s 20th Anniversary.

          ‘Disco Not Disco’ was a perfectly timed compilation back in 2000. Released when interest in the myths, history and playlists of original New York clubs like Paradise Garage and The Loft was at its peak, the album drew on the outer limits of leftfield disco championed by Levan and Mancuso, bringing together unlikely dancefloor anthems by rock acts like Yoko Ono and Ian Dury, obscurities from cottage labels like BC and Splash and selected oddities from the unique mind of avant-garde hero, Arthur Russell. It was essentially a celebration of the sonic melting pot in New York during the early ‘80s, an era when punk had burnt itself out and disco had become commercial and saccharine; in its place, the post-punk movement threw up brilliant oddities which tore up the accepted rulebook.

          Since its release, the compilation title has become a by-word for a whole genre of music and remains a landmark collection of its time. With original copies now changing hands for €100+, this new pressing is a welcome return for an essential celebration of disco’s difficult cousins. The album features full original artwork and Kris Needs’ sleeve notes and is remastered and cut by The Carvery.


          Miriam Makeba

          Pata Pata

            Strut presents an all-time classic of South African music, the definitive remastered edition of Miriam Makeba’s ‘PataPata’, her first album recorded for Reprise in 1966. The album marked a significant international breakthrough for Makeba. Moving to the US after the anti-apartheid film ‘Come Back, Africa’ gained international attention and staying there in exile, she quickly built her career in New York during the ‘60s, mentored by Harry Belafonte. Signing with Reprise after a period with RCA, she returned to one of her older songs: “I wrote ‘PataPata’ back in 1956, back in South Africa,” remembered Makeba in her autobiography. “It was a fun little song and I was thinking of a dance that we do at home (“pata” means ‘touch” in Zulu and Xhosa).” Originally a hit in South Africa with her early vocal harmony group the Skylarks, the new recording, produced by Jerry Ragovoy, brought a lighter uptempoR’nB arrangement, adding some English lyrics. “It was my first truly big seller. All of a sudden, people who never knew I had been in America since 1959 were asking me to be on their television shows and play at their concert halls during 1967. In the discotheques, they invented a new dance called the ‘PataPata’ where couples dance apart and then reach out and touch each other. I went to Argentina for a concert and, across South America, they are singing my song.”


            Patrice Rushen

            Remind Me - The Classic Elektra Recordings 1976-1984

            Strut present the first definitive retrospective of an icon of 1970s and ‘80s soul, jazz and disco, Patrice Rushen, covering her peerless 6-year career with Elektra / Asylum from 1978 to 1984. Joining Elektra after three albums with jazz label Prestige, Patrice had shown prodigious talent at an early age and had first broken through after winning a competition to perform at the Monterrey Jazz Festival of 1972. By the time of the recordings on this collection, she had become a prolific and in-demand session musician and arranger on the West coast, appearing on over 80 recordings for other artists. She joined the Elektra / Asylum roster in 1978 as they launched a pop / jazz division alongside visionaries like Donald Byrd and Grover Washington, Jr. “The idea was to create music that was good for commercial radio / R&B,” Patrice explains. “We were all making sophisticated dance music, essentially.”

            Drawing on some of the leading musicians in L.A. like saxophonist Gerald Albright, drummer “Ndugu” Chancler and bassman Freddie Washington and keeping an open minded approach from her training in classical, jazz and soundtrack scores, Patrice’s music was a different, more intricate proposition to many of the soul artists of the time. “L.A. musicians were not so locked into tradition,” she continues. “None of us were accustomed to limitation and the record label left us to take our own direction.”

            Early classics like ‘Music Of The Earth’ and ‘Let’s Sing A Song Of Love’ were among Patrice’s first as a lead vocalist before her ‘Pizzazz’ album landed in 1979, featuring the unique disco of ‘Haven’t You Heard’ and one of her greatest ballads, ‘Settle For My Love’. “Although ballads make you feel more vulnerable as an artist because they are often personal, I think listeners relate to that sincerity,” she reflects. By now, Patrice’s records were supremely arranged and produced as her confidence as an all-round writer, producer, arranger and performer grew. Slick dancefloor anthem ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ and the ‘Posh’ album in 1980 led to her landmark album ‘Straight From The Heart’ two years later. Receiving little support from her label, Patrice and her production team personally funded a promo campaign for the first single from it, ‘Forget Me Nots’. It went on to peak at no. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album was later Grammy-nominated, while the track became a timeless anthem and popular sample, inspiring Will Smith’s theme for the film ‘Men In Black’ and George Michael’s ‘Fastlove’.

            Patrice’s final album for Elektra, ‘Now’ kept the bar high with sparse, synth-led songs including ‘Feel So Real’ and ‘To Each His Own’. It concluded a golden era creatively for Patrice which remains revered by soul and disco aficionados the world over. ‘Remind Me’ features all of Patrice Rushen’s chart singles, 12” versions and popular sample sources on one album for the first time.


            Various Artists

            Disco Not Disco

              THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2019 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

              “Strut Records were there first, well before DFA recorded The Rapture’s Sub Pop debut. ‘Disco Not Disco’ preceded the punk funk revolution by two years.” - Resident Advisor For Record Store Day 2019, Strut present the first ever repress since 2000 of the influential first volume of ‘Disco Not Disco’ compiled by Joey Negro and Sean P as part of the label’s 20th Anniversary. ‘Disco Not Disco’ was a perfectly timed compilation back in 2000. Released when interest in the myths, history and playlists of original New York clubs like Paradise Garage and The Loft was at its peak, the album drew on the outer limits of leftfield disco championed by Levan and Mancuso, bringing together unlikely dancefloor anthems by rock acts like Yoko Ono and Ian Dury, obscurities from cottage labels like BC and Splash and selected oddities from the unique mind of avant-garde hero, Arthur Russell. It was essentially a celebration of the sonic melting pot in New York during the early ‘80s, an era when punk had burnt itself out and disco had become commercial and saccharine; in its place, the post-punk movement threw up brilliant oddities which tore up the accepted rulebook. Since its release, the compilation title has become a by-word for a whole genre of music and remains a landmark collection of its time. With original copies now changing hands for €100+, this new pressing is a welcome return for an essential celebration of disco’s difficult cousins. The album features full original artwork and Kris Needs’ sleeve notes and is remastered and cut by The Carvery. • First volume of the seminal compilation series repressed for the first time since 2000 for Record Store Day • Album title became known as a style of music in its own right, when rock bands and experimental NY artists aimed at the dancefloor • Major influence on the punk funk bands and labels of early 2000s including DFA • Album remastered by The Carvery and featuring full original artwork and sleeve notes by Kris Needs

              As part of their 20th Anniversary celebrations, Strut present the first new volume in their pioneering ‘Nigeria 70’ series for over 8 years, bringing together rare highlife, Afro-funk and juju from the ‘70s and early ‘80s. Compiled by collector and DJ Duncan Brooker, this new selection of tracks is receiving its first international release outside of Nigeria.

              The compilation returns to a fertile heyday in Nigerian music when established styles like highlife and juju became infused with elements of Western jazz, soul and funk and musicians brought a proud new message post-independence. Brooker places the spotlight particularly on some of the incredible Ukwuani musicians from the Delta State region as guitarist Rogana Ottah and Steady Arobby’s International Brothers Band forged their own fluid brand of highlife and soulman Don Bruce drew on the US R&B greats for a series of great albums and explosive stage shows at his residency at Hilton Hotel in Abuja.

              Elsewhere, the album explores the close connection between Nigeria and Benin’s music, most famously through Sir Victor Uwaifo, appearing here with a killer mid‘80s ekassa jam, as well as highlife hitmaker Osayamore Joseph on ‘Obonogbozu’ (Joseph made headlines in Nigeria for very different reasons in 2017, surviving a one month kidnapping ordeal).

              Other tracks include ‘Sickness’ a 1979 lament on how all countries share troubles by Prince Nico Mbarga, the Nigerian / Camerounian star behind the smash hit ‘Sweet Mother’; reggae singer Felixson Ngasia switches to funk and disco for a heavy workout with potent lyrics around black identity; another major highlife great Etubom Rex Williams unleashes a punchy psych funk gem with ‘Psychedelic Shoes’ and Africa 70 member Pax Nicholas vocals a simmering Afrobeat groove from Jacob Lee’s Saxon Lee & The Shadows International Band.


              Now one of the leading lights in the UK’s new generation of soulful, genre-fluid artists, the Leeds-born and now London-based 12-piece collective Nubiyan Twist have created their finest recordings to date, effortlessly weaving together elements of jazz, soul, hip hop, African styles, Latin, dub, hip hop and electronics in a flow of thought-provoking and life-affirming music.

              Recorded at the band’s own self-built Henwood Studio in rural Oxfordshire, the album effortlessly moves through different voices from the band’s circle. The inimitable, timeless vocals of Nubiya Brandon lead the way on the album’s title track about breaking preconceptions and promoting equality, “Where you from? I’m from wherever I be.” Saxophonist Nick Richards vocals the killer first single from the album about inner turmoil and a search for the truth, ‘Tell It To Me Slowly’ while rising Ghanaian star K.O.G. appears on the Afro jams ‘Basa Basa’ and ‘They Talk’. Percussionist Pilo Adami (Nina Miranda / Afrosamba) voices the infectious bossa-jazz jam ‘Borders’. The band also draft in two African legends for guest duties with the original Afrobeat maestro Tony Allen on ‘Ghosts’ and Ethio jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke contributing vibes on the sinuous ‘Addis To London’. “The depth of talent and ideas that every member of this group has brought to the table for this album is incredible,” says producer and orchestrator Tom Excell. “Conceptually, ‘Jungle Run’ is all about connecting different people and cultures whilst exploring the journey of individuals. This album is the pinnacle of everything we have done to date and to collaborate with the godfathers of Afrobeat and Ethio Jazz and celebrate their music in a modern context was very humbling.”


              Strut present an exclusive new reissue of a great (and now very rare) original album from the early career of Nigerian juju star Shina Peters, ‘Sewele’ from 1986.

              “‘Sewele’ represented a time of transition in my music career,” explains Peters. “I had branched out to start as a solo artist after spells with Ebenezer Obey, Prince Adekunle and Segun Adewale and I was trying to find my own voice and to play juju in a more progressive direction. This was an important time for me. Three years later, I had honed that sound into AfroJuju, and my ‘Ace: Afro Juju Series 1’ album broke me as an artist.

              On ‘Sewele’, Peters explores different themes on four extended juju workouts, showcasing his incredible guitar work and his sense of fun as the odd Bob Marley and Abba riff pops up in the grooves. The title track means ‘shower of blessings’: “it’s like a prayer for my fans throughout Nigeria and the diaspora.” The funky Afrobeat of ‘Yabis’ is about being proud to be African and not to follow American ways and ‘Agbe’ere De’ states proudly that Peters is coming again with something different: “I always wanted to get the message across to my fans that I was keeping things fresh and creating melodies and music that people would enjoy.” The final track, ‘Late Aboderin’, is a moving tribute to Peters’ mentor, the late Chief Aboderin: “He helped me in many ways including legal aid in a court case against a record label. He also bought a van to carry the band to concerts.


              Various Artists

              JD Twitch Presents Kreaturen Der Nacht - Free Fanzine Edition

              THE PICCADILLY RECORDS COMPILATION OF THE YEAR 2018.

              Strut present an exclusive new compilation curated by Optimo’s JD Twitch, ‘Kreaturen Der Nacht’, bringing together classics, rarities and oddities from Germany’s original post-punk and DIY scene.

              1979 to 1984 was an era of particular artistic upheaval in Germany as strong subculture scenes formed in many German cities. Emphasis was placed on expression rather than technical perfection, artistic impact rather than skill. DIY self-organisation prevailed with the establishment of small record labels and independently produced records and cassettes. Bands experimented across genres and consciously abandoned the English-speaking mainstream with German band names and lyrics. “Although we had a small underground scene, it was very vibrant,” explains Gudrun Gut of Malaria! “Bands like Die Haut, my first band Mania D., Malaria!... we organised gigs ourselves or friends would open a gallery and have bands playing. We hung around together in a handful of clubs like Risiko or Dschungel and went to gigs at SO36. West Germany had other regional scenes too: Düsseldorf and Köln around Der Plan and the Ata Tak label and there was the Hamburg side with Abwärts. Germany didn’t have a real music industry like the US or England back then."

              This new collection is a personal selection from JD Twitch, built over years of playing the tracks in club sets. “It is not designed to tell a definitive story of what was going on in Germany in this era,” he explains. “Rather, it is simply an arbitrary collection of records I adore from a specific era with a specific attitude that hopefully together sum up some of the musical undercurrents in Germany at that time.”

              The package features a host of rare and unseen photos from the period along with extensive interviews with artists including Beate Bartel (Mania D.), Christoph Dreher (Die Haut), Michael Hirsch (P1/E) and Thomas Voburka (Weltklang). All tracks are remastered by The Carvery with artwork by Optimo’s in-house design man Andrew Beltran.


              Oneness Of Juju

              African Rhythms (2018 Reissue)

              Strut present a brand-new edition of Oneness of Juju’s Afro-jazz classic ‘African Rhythms’, originally released on Black Fire in 1975 and first reissued on Strut in 2002.

              For bandleader James “Plunky” Branch, ‘African Rhythms’ marked a significant return to his home town of Richmond, Virginia after a politically charged five years based on the East and West coasts. His personal journey had taken him from activism at Columbia University to San Francisco where Zulu musician Ndikho Xaba used theatre to “resurrect” Afro-Americans with a new African identity. The first incarnation of Plunky’s band, Juju, drew attention to the struggle in South Africa under apartheid, layering heavy Afro rhythms under uncompromising avant garde jazz.

              Back in Richmond, Plunky tapped into the mid-Atlantic preference for Southern R&B and gospel: “Juju had always been blues-based and it was a natural progression to add R&B and dance rhythms. It didn’t change our message.” Produced by Jimmy Gray of Black Fire Records, the new sessions included the title track (“We wanted a song to dance to with a message – ‘you are dancing to African rhythms’”), the positive message of ‘Don’t Give Up’ and political commentary on ‘Liberation Dues’.

              Originally just a regional hit on the East coast and in Washington DC specifically, the album gradually spread, influencing the nascent DC go-go scene. The UK revived the album during the rare groove era of the late ‘80s and the title track has since become a soul-jazz favourite worldwide.

              Remastered from the original sessions and featuring rare photos and extensive liner notes, this new repress also features Part 1 and Part 2 of the original 45 version of ‘African Rhythms’ and the previously unheard ‘Afrobeat’, recently unearthed from the original tapes.


              STAFF COMMENTS

              Patrick says: Jeepers! Oneness of Juju's Afrocentric jazz-funk great "African Rhythms" gets a nicely remastered, repackaged reissue from the fine folks at Strut. Quality stuff...

              Strut present the first ever compilation series to access the archives of one of the greatest of all French Caribbean labels, Disques Debs out of Guadeloupe. Set up by the late Henri Debs during the late ‘50s, the label and studio has continued for over 50 years, releasing over 300 7” singles and 200 LPs, covering styles varying from early biguine and bolero to zouk and reggae. Debs played a pivotal role in bringing the créole music of Guadeloupe and Martinique to a wider international audience.

              Volume 1 of this series marks the first decade of the label’s existence and takes in big band orchestras, home-grown stars, touring bands and a new generation that would emerge at the end of the ‘60s. Early releases were recorded in the back of Henri’s shop in Pointe-a-Pitre, from his own sextet playing percussive biguines to young saxophonist Edouard Benoit, leader of Les Maxels and regular arranger for Debs bands. Other artists ranged from big bands like Orchestre Esperanza and Orchestre Caribbean Jazz to poet and radio personality Casimir “Caso” Létang and folkloric gwo ka artist Sydney Leremon. Debs also capitalised on recording foreign touring artists visiting Guadeloupe during the early ‘60s including Haitian trumpeter Raymond Cicault and Trinidadian bandleader Cyril Diaz.

              Compiled by Hugo Mendez (Sofrito) and Emile Omar (Radio Nova), ‘Disques Debs International’ is released in conjunction with Henri Debs Et Fils and Air Caraibes. The package features a host of rare and unseen photos from the Debs archive with both formats featuring extensive sleeve notes and interviews with Philippe Debs and Max “Maxo” Severin of Les Vikings. Volumes 2 and 3 follow in 2019.

              Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids

              An Angel Fell

              Strut presents the brand new album from cosmic jazz travelers The Pyramids, led by saxophonist Idris Ackamoor, "An Angel Fell". 'I wanted to use folklore, fantasy and drama as a warning bell,' explains Ackamoor. 'The songs explore global themes that are important to me and to us all: the rise of catastrophic climate change and our lack of concern for our planet, loss of innocence and separation... but positive themes too, the healing power of music, collective action and the simple beauty of nature.'

              Produced by Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics, the album was recorded during an intense week at Quatermass studios in London and is one of the deepest, richest works yet from a band reaching their highest creative peak since the early ’70s. Some of the many highlights include the poignant title track depicting a fallen angel in purgatory, outrage and grief on the powerful, hard hitting "Soliloquy For Michael Brown" and the lilting, beautiful album closer, "Sunset".

              The Pyramids originally came together in 1972 at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio where teachers included renowned pianist, Cecil Taylor. After forming in Paris and embarking on a 'cultural odyssey' across Africa, the group recorded three independent albums, "Lalibela" (1973), "King Of Kings" (1974) and "Birth / Speed / Merging" (1976) and became renowned for their striking live shows, mixing percussive, spiritual and space-age jazz with performance theatre and dance. After migrating to San Francisco, they disbanded in 1977. 35 years later, the band reunited in 2012 following growing demand for their music from vinyl collectors. German label Disko B released the freeform album "Otherwordly" and in 2016, they released their first album for Strut, the acclaimed "We Be All Africans".


              Trevor Jackson (Playgroup / Underdog / Output Recordings) returns with the eagerly awaited second instalment of his 'Metal Dance' compilation series, following widespread critical acclaim in the wake of 'Volume 1'. Drawing from Jackson’s deep collection of original industrial, post-punk, EBM and new wave, the album is an inspired mix of sounds and styles, mining classics, dub versions, oddities and secret weapons inspired by his formative clubbing years at many of London's seminal nightlife haunts.

              Alongside more familiar names like Visage, Chris & Cosey, Front 242 and Ministry, the compilation includes unexpected outings by 80s artists Godley & Crème (with the obscure B-side "Babies") and an early incarnation of Sheffield’s ABC, Visa Versa, with "Riot Squad". As before, Jackson also places the spotlight onsome of the less heralded bands of the time and casts the net far and wide: Germany’s Plus Instruments, Spain’s Diseno Corbusier offshoot Esplendor Geometrico, Italy’s Neon and Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Haruomi Hosono out of Japan all feature. The selection even travels as far as Lebanon for the outrageous "Tanki Tanki" by Rene Bandaly Family, a truly one-off slice of intense political Arabic proto-techno (here re-edited by fellow Lebanese artist Rabih Beaini aka Morphosis). Rarities include tracks from pre-Liaisons Dangereuses / DAF group CHBB, Craig Leon & Arthur Brown, and Trevor's own re-edit of Rusty Egan’s "Twilight Zone," all receiving their first official release on CD.

              'Metal Dance 2' is another essential selection of anarchic machine music which remains hugely influential on today’s generation, informing the sound of groups and labels such as The Knife, Factory Floor, Gesaffelstein, COMEME, DFA and L.I.E.S.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Patrick says: Mega selection of synthwave bangers, Industrial rumblers and skewed EDM cuts plucked from the archives by Trevor Jackson. If you're tuned into the likes of Bahnsteig 23, LIES and Macadam Mambo, you need to cop this disc.

              Sun Ra

              Singles - The Definitive 45s Collection - Vol. 1 1952-1961

              Strut present the definitive collection of singles released by Sun Ra across his illustrious career, spanning 1952 to 1991. Released prolifically during the 1950s and more sporadically thereafter, primarily on the Saturn label, the 45s offer one-off meteorites from Ra’s prolific cosmic journey, tracing the development of his forward-thinking “Space-Bop” and his unique take on jazz and blues traditions. The collection is hugely varied, ranging from Ra’s spoken word recitations and his early work with Chicago vocal groups to the different phases of his Arkestra, small group and duet recordings. The singles are also unpredictable vehicles for Ra’s music, combining different tracks from different sessions and occasionally making available music which was recorded many years beforehand.

              As with his LPs, most 45s were only pressed in small runs and have since become extremely rare and sought after. Only a small handful of copies of ‘Love In Outer Space’ b/w ‘Mayan Temple’ and ‘The Blue One’ b/w ‘Orbitration In Blue’ have ever been seen; some have only been discovered in physical form in recent years; some were planned and pencilled but allegedly never made it to vinyl (including ‘Saturn’ and ‘Velvet’ from the Jazz In Silhouette LP) and some appeared as limited one-off magazine singles and posthumous releases, including ‘Hell #1’ aka ‘Out There A Minute’.

              All formats feature fully remastered tracks, rare photos, original 45 artwork, Francis Gooding’s extensive sleeve notes, an interview with Saturn Records founder Alton Abraham by John Corbett and detailed track by track and session notes by Paul Griffiths.

              The set is the most comprehensive collection of Ra’s singles to date. Sleeve note writers Francis Gooding and Paul Griffiths brilliantly illustrate the role of the single within Ra’s career and break down each release with detailed track by track notes. Working with Sun Ra LLC and Sun Ra archivist Michael D. Anderson, Strut has also assembled the best possible master sources for each track.


              STAFF COMMENTS

              Patrick says: Free jazz innovator, Afrofuturist pioneer and possible (probable?) alien Sun Ra transmitted a lot of cosmic wisdom before his eventual return to the mothership. Harnessing an unorthodox compositional style and complex personal mythology, he cultivated a devoted army of followers, fans and acolytes, while forever changing the course of jazz and experimental music. This lavish compendium collects together ten years of Sun Ra singles in one specially remastered package, complete with in depth liner notes, unpublished interviews and original artwork. A triumph of detail and devotion, Strut’s ‘Singles’ is a spaceflight to Saturn away from perfection.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              7" Box Set Info: 10 x 45 box set in flip top box with 32 page bound booklet - extremely limited!


              Kanaku Y El Tigre

              Quema Quema Quema

              'The only people for me are the mad ones, mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved and desirous of everything' - Jack Kerouac, 'On The Road' (1957). If 'On The Road' lead characters Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty were modern day beatniks, they would find spirited company in Kanaku y El Tigre, a Peruvian collective who release their sophomore album (and first internationally), 'Quema, Quema, Quema', on Strut / Tiger's Milk.

              Back in 2010, their debut album 'Caracoles' brought Kanaku's creative duo Nico Saba and Bruno Bellatin considerable success in Peru with a set of quirky songs inspired by American folk. Five years on, 'Quema Quema Quema' has a whole different atmosphere - euphoric, unapologetically feel-good hooks littered with electronic jitters, ghostly delays, serene Hawaiian slide guitars and a chorus of other-wordly vocal harmonies.

              Featuring 10 songs including two sung in English, 'Quema Quema Quema' is led by the tortured, Impassioned vocals of lead singer Nico Saba and the musical relationship between he and Bruno is key. 'With the new album, we have focused consistently on the melody and the song despite a multiinstrumental approach,' explains Bruno. 'We have always shared this process of dreaming up ideas - we both bring light and darkness into the room and use each other as creative mirrors.'

              'Quema Quema Quema' features some illustrious guest vocalists adding to the Kanaku palette: Almodovar actress Leonor Watling (star of 'Talk To Her'), Peruvian singer-songwriter Pamela Rodriguez and Cecimonster frontman Sergio Saba.

              Their strong musical partnership stems from the '90s, when, in their early teens, they were kicking the dust together in a punk band in downtown Lima. Now in their late 20s and both now bilingual having lived for periods in the UK and the States, their sound owes much to western music forms. Despite being very different characters with near opposite tastes in music, as life-long friends, they see the fruits of their creative partnership as a mutual appreciation living life charged, intense and always ready to 'Burn, Burn, Burn'. The lyrics of lead single, 'Si Te Mueres Manana' encapsulate the Kanaku philosophy: 'if you die tomorrow, make sure you you've done everything you ever wanted'.

              To complement the fluid production and sonic oddities peppering 'Quema Quema Quema', Argentinian graphic artist and cartoonist Ricardo Liniers brings his unique childlike surrealism to the album artwork.


              Rodion G.A.

              Misiunea Spatiala Delta (Delta Space Mission)

                THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                Strut teams up once again with Rodion Rosça, Romania’s rejuvenated electronic music pioneer, to make available an intriguing lost film soundtrack for the first time anywhere. Inspired by early ’80s Star Wars mania‚ Victor Antonescu had first created ’Misuinea Spatiala Delta’ (’Delta Space Mission’) as a domestic animated TV series in 1983. Despite recording a 15-minute prototype score, Rodion’s music was tragically shelved at a late stage, remaining an unreleased oddity in his archive until now.

                - first ever release for Rodion G.A.’s prototype sci-fi soundtrack, commissioned but never used
                - Album mastered from original reel to reel tapes
                - Follow-up to 2013’s acclaimed Rodion G.A. compilation ‘The Lost Tapes’
                - Continues to position Rodion Rosça as an important player in Eastern European electronic music history

                FOR FANS OF: Can, Kraftwerk, krautrock, Goblin, Death Waltz Records, Silver Apples, Conrad Schnitzler, Brian Eno, Neu!, psych rock, Robert Rental.

                Strut's first collaboration with Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton’s DJ History celebrates Bob Blank’s time at Blank Tapes with an exclusive compilation, covering the many facets of the producer's work. They feature the very first track ever recorded at the studio, Milton Hamilton’s "Crystalized", anthems including Fonda Rae’s "Over Like A Fat Rat" and lesser known Blank classics from the vaults from Debby Blackwell and Mikki. The first ever album retrospective of one of New York’s most revered of all producers, Bob Blank, this album traces the history of his independent studio, Blank Tapes, one of the city’s most important creative dens during the vibrant arts scene of the mid-70s to mid-80s.

                Blank started out in New York in 1973 as a guitarist before producing one of the first 12" disco records in 1975 – Jimmy Sabater’s "To Be With You". He opened his own Blank Tape studios a year later. He quickly became an essential port of call for New York’s diverse artistic community, honing the freeform, anarchic visions of August Darnell, Cristina and Lydia Lunch for ZE Records and, with producers Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael, helping to shape the sound of many disco classics. Musique, Inner Life, Instant Funk and Salsoul Orchestra all recorded classics at Blank Tapes. Arthur Russell also recorded much of his most celebrated disco-related output at the studios under pseudonyms Dinosaur L, Indian Ocean and Felix, as well as "Wax The Van" with Blank’s wife, Lola. Other regulars at Blank Tapes included Latin producer Tito Rodriguez, whose Charanga 76 and Eddie Palmieri recordings with Blank would receive Grammy nominations. Not only that, but jazz and blues heads like Sun Ra and James Blood Ulmer also passed through the Blank Tape mixing desk. An awesome compilation, and another essential from Strut.

                Strut deliver Grandmaster Flash's first high profile studio album in over 20 years! Recorded at Flash's own Adrenaline Lab studio in New York during 2007-2008, the over-riding theme of the album is the global language of hip hop. Throughout the album, Flash mixes up the flow and features some heavyweight guests and intriguing collaborations. Familiar faces appearing on the album include KRS One, Big Daddy Kane, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest frontman Q-Tip and Snoop Dogg alongside mixtape hero Red Cafe and Lynn Carter. Flash sets up an all-female soundclash between MTV favourite Byata, Hedonis Da Amazon and electro queen Princess Superstar for a Miami bass-style party joint. He presents his son, J-Flo on his debut recording alongside Def Jam MC Lordikim Allah and Almighty Thor. Last but not least, Lost Boyz' Mr. Cheeks teams up with old skool heroes Grandmaster Caz of Cold Crush Brothers, and Tito of Fearless Four. An essential album for old and new school hip hop heads!

                Tracklisting
                1. Intro
                2. Shine All Day - Feat. Q-Tip, Kel Spencer & Jumz
                3. We Speak Hip Hop - Feat. Krs One, Afasi, Kase-O, Maccho & Abass
                4. Here Comes My DJ-Feat. DJ Kool & DJ Demo
                5. Bounce Back - Feat. Busta Rhymes
                6. Swagger - Feat. Red Cafe, Snoop Dogg & Lynda Carter
                7. What If-Feat. Krs-One
                8. Interlude
                9. Tribute To The Breakdancer - Feat. Supernat
                10. Grown & Sexy - Feat. Lordikim Allah
                11. When I Get There - Feat. Big Daddy Kane & Hedonis Da Amazon
                12. Interlude
                13. I Got Sumthin' To Say - Feat. Lord Ikim Allah, J-Flo & Almighty Thor
                14. Can I Take You Higher - Feat. Mr Cheeks, Grandmaster Caz & Tito
                15. Unpredictable - Feat. Syndee & Big Daddy Kane
                16. Those Chix - Feat. Byata, Princess Superstar & Hedonis Da Amazon
                17. Bronx Bombers - Feat. Lordikim Allah, Almighty Thor & Mann Child
                18. Zuka
                19. Oh Man - Feat. Syndee & Natacha Atlas
                20. Swagger - Feat. Red Cafe, Snoop Dogg & Lynda Carter (Grandmaster Flash Street Leak Remix)
                21. Shine All Day - Feat. Q-Tip, Kel Spencer & Jumz (Sloth Remix)

                Amp Fiddler & Sly & Robbie

                Inspiration Information

                Strut launch a new series, "Inspiration Information", which sees the label take a break from their usual (excellent) compilations, and come up with a series of studio-based works instead. The series brings together current artists and producers with their musical heroes for a mouth-watering one-off collaboration. With each album centred around an intensive five-day writing and recording session, the emphasis is on spontaneity, musicianship and an open A&R brief. The series kicks off with Detroit soul maverick Amp Fiddler in a head-to-head collision with reggae legends, Sly & Robbie. Arriving at Anchor Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, armed only with a handful of acoustic vocal ideas, Amp and the Riddim Twins recorded the album in just three days during June with overdubs laid down a week later in Detroit. The result is a confident, laid back set that brings a whole new twist to Amp's trademark vocal style: Sly builds innovative digital and live rhythms, Robbie underpins the tracks with solid bass foundations and original generation guests 'Sticky' Thompson (percussion) and Dalton Browne (guitar) add plenty of colour. Back in Detroit, Amp knitted together the finishing touches, adding extra keys and backing vocals. The tracks are never predictable, at times echoing Sly & Robbie's 80s days with Island Records at Compass Point studios, at others structured around more mood-based keyboard pads and new patterns re-inventing the established dancehall template.


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