Our 10 favourite new vinyl releases this week (30th October)

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Colombian dream pop, US spiritual jazz, Egyptian synthesizer funk, and more.

This week’s rundown is by VF’s Gabriela Helfet, alongside Jesse Bernard, Lucie Stepankova, James Hammond and Emily Hill.


LPs


Ela Minus

Acts of Rebellion

(Domino)

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Channeling electronic dream pop through a DIY punk spirit, Brooklyn via Colombia producer Ela Minus unleashes her debut album – acts of rebellion. It sees Ela merging personal and political themes, with a considered hand, exclaiming: “even revolutionaries need to leave space for simple human interaction.” Here’s hoping we’ll get to see her touring it live, complete with that human touch, in 2021. – GH


Manif

small steps

(Cracks In The Sky)

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em>small steps – a collection of downtempo house – is a real treat from Bradford On Avon producer manif, especially following his previous release in May, pause. Like pause, small steps has a similarly synthesizer-led style that feels harmoniously ambient. It’s the perfect fit for where we find ourselves listening to most of our music these days. ‘Out to lunch’ is a particular highlight – one of those tracks that captures that vibe where you’re stuck between wondering what to do next and knowing there’s very little to do that’s worthwhile anyway. – JB


Omar El Shariyi (Ammar El Sherei)

Oriental Music

(WeWantSounds)

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Having learnt the oud, accordion and piano, Omar El Shariyi hit his stride for electronic keyboards from the mid ’70s onwards, and Oriental Music along with its companion release Music From the East are much sought after examples of this. Interpreting the compositions of fellow Egyptian composer Mohamed Abdel Wahab, El Shariyi skillfully arranged and partially “electrified” these pieces with, as the cover shows, a Steelphon synthesizer working in tandem with a Farfisa organ. With both original editions being much sought after, Oriental Music gets a needed reissue here, and as part of a series curated by Arabic music expert Mario Choueiry for Wewantsounds, from which you can expect more key works in the future. – JH


Nadja

Tsukihoshihi

(Studio Mule)

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Elusive Japanese singer Nadja’s Tsukihoshihi receives the reissue treatment via Studio Mule. Often referred to as a lost jewel from the crown of Japanese ’80s pop, the iconic 1982 album features collaborations and contributions from the likes of Yasuaki Shimizu and Ikira Inoue, alongside a cast of talented arrangers and keyboard players. Described by many as pop-funk, the smooth melodies and easy listening dance qualities of tracks like ‘Easy Rain’ and ‘Private Tripper’ contrast excitingly against abstract frequencies on ‘Kaze No Onna’ and ‘La Carte’ whilst others are laced with a certain pop-esque, dubbed out perspective such as ‘Yumeno Toriko’. It’s an exciting listen from start to finish – one that’s bound to fill you with warmth in through the winter season. – EH


Kahil El’Zabar

Kahil El’Zabar’s America the Beautiful

(Spiritmuse Records)

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Chicago born and bred avant-garde multi-percussionist Kahil El’Zabar re-establishes himself as one of the rightful legends of spiritual jazz and all things groove with America the Beautiful. Returning to London label Spiritmuse, the album is a mesmerising musical portrait of America and the world today – a world in trouble. Throughout, El’Zabar conjures up a sense of urgency, and manifests deep contemplation of the happenings around him, on which he also shines a light of hope. The release closely follows his Spirit Groove long-player in collaboration with David Murray – a beautiful record that is also well worth listening to, which was also released on Spiritmuse. – LS


Dizzee Rascal

E3 AF

(Island Recprds)

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Three years after the release of Raskit, which saw Dizzee return to a grime sound in album format, he credits much of that to producing some of the songs. With E3 AF, he takes a step further crafting the album’s overall sound and it sees Dizzee sound comfortable with where he is at this point in his career. Tracks with Ghetts, Kano and P Money set the standard, and overall it’s a solid return for an MC twenty years into his career, who many thought couldn’t deliver a stellar album again. – JB


LOMA

Don’t Shy Away

(Sub Pop)

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Pairing stripped back, gossamer vocals with lo-fi instrumentals, Emily Cross teams up with Dan Duszynski, and Jonathan Meiburg as Loma for the trio’s latest, Don’t Shy Away. Across its ten tracks sounds toe the outer bounds of guitar fuzz meets piano improvisations alongside more pop-hued, balladic realms in equal measures. Throughout, Don’t Shy Away reminds of the beauty of Mt. Eerie in its ability to be both heartbreaking and uplifting at exactly the same time. – GH


Singles


Sauerstofff

Für Alle

(Raw Culture)

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The work of Inox Kapell, Dieter Mausson & Wosto, Sauerstofff’s first 7” single finds differing strands of electronica intermingling with the outré rock sensibilities of a different era. (Can’s period with Damo Suzuki comes to mind, for example.) Like Wosto’s past release on Raw Culture there’s a certain grit to the drum programming here, and with a suitably fried mix these three tracks deliver with a frazzled immediacy. – JH


Bronze Savage

Cold Ibiza

(Club D’erange Recordings)

Buy


V/A

Trident Vol.3

(Rummenigge)

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The mysterious Rummenigge label is slowly building a reputation with its deep, vinyl-only, breakbeat-infused minimal offerings. Case in point: the third installment of its Trident compilation series is a tour-de-force in dancefloor deepness. Dubfound’s opener ‘Pdlk’ iterates with a smooth yet hefty groove, layered with unsettling utterances, woody percussions and shivering synthesizer sequences. This lays the groundwork for Amin Ravelle’s lively breaks animated by detailed percussions, off-beat metallic stabs, and underlying two-tone harmony, all of which is followed by Dorothy’s Dream’s wavy electro roller ‘Cha’i Creduto Eh?’ on the flip. – LS