The Vinyl Factory select the 10 most essential vinyl releases of the last 7 days.
A really strong week as we approach ‘End Of Year’ territory with Bowie and Loren Connors staking their claims in the singles/10″ category, while this week’s albums include strong records from Ariel Pink on 4AD, Happy Meals’ debut on Night School and an invaluable collection of Fugazi demos.
Scroll down for our definitive across-the-board rundown of the week’s new vinyl releases as selected by The Vinyl Factory’s Chris Summers, Patrick Ryder, James Hammond and Theo Leanse. 5 singles and 5 LP’s every 7 days that are unmissable additions to any collection.
Bradley Zero displays some impressive A&R reach on the latest Rhythm Section 12″, stepping out of the Peckham Rye pocket and enlisting Australian beat tweaker Prequel to bring his sweet sounds to the masses. Ditching Al Dobson’s exotic flavours in favour of jazz modes, Prequel cuts a rug on the beatdown floor, seamlessly marrying Detroit’s soulful heritage with an Antipodean warmth. The four tracks might do their thang with varying tempo and intensity, but each shares a smooth and lush fidelity which unites the EP and ensures it’s a cut above the competition.
Significant press, featuring two heavyweight representatives of two labels whose status reaches beyond iconic. On one side, for Motown, Marvin Gaye; on the other, for Blue Note, Donald Byrd. They each take on the same tunes – ‘Woman of The World’ and ‘Where Are We Going?’ – and are both produced by the legendary Mizell brothers, on mixes that are unreleased or rare on a 12”. Marvin’s take on ‘Where Are We Going?’ drips with the sweetest of his vocals, fittingly celebrating what would have been his 75th birthday year (perhaps a good time to pop on Moodymann’s tribute, too).
So this space is given to an unusual format rather than a single per se, as Portrait of a Soul is a little heard masterpiece from the inimitable Loren Connors spread out on two 10” records. Recorded in a single day, the takes span from morning to dawn to create what Connors intended as a simple portrait of a person, but became much more, and ultimately one of his most affecting works. If you’re a fan this is essential and for the unfamiliar this is as good of a place as any to start.
What’s this? A limited Bowie 10″? The slender maverick returns with his first new single since 2013’s The Next Day, and it’s a noir-ish orchestral murder ballad that only he could pull off. In truth he does more than that, as ‘Sue’ rises like steam from a wrought iron grill in the pavement, becoming ever more fraught, paranoid and operatic. Cat nip for collectors, it’s an easy sell, but one which won’t disappoint. Parlophone’s legacy sleeve only adds to the mood.
Australia’s King Gizzard announce their arrival on Heavenly with this sonic roller coaster jam named ‘Cellophane’. It’s a completely hypnotic, drone driven, guitar rawk blow-out where the drums and bass don’t do anything except play the same thing from start to finish. The vocals are all cosmic and the harmonica is phased out to stun. Think Thee Oh Sees but from down under. Limited 7″.