Our 10 favourite new vinyl releases this week (9th July)





Electronics meet Indian classical, emotional indie, sultry r’n’b, and more.

This week’s rundown is by Vinyl Factory’s Gabriela Helfet and Lazlo Rugoff, alongside Alice Whittington, James Hammond, and Emily Hill.


Arushi Jain

Under the Lilac Sky

(Leaving Records)


Aiming to bridge the divide between traditional Indian classical music and more modern electronic experimentation, Arushi Jain crafts ambient ragas to heal on debut album Under the Lilac Sky. Tapping into her early training as a vocalist, Jain weaves her own ethereal vocals throughout, using them to guide her synthesizer work to celestial grounds. Under The Lilac Sky also comes with a set of specific listening instructions, for it must be played when the “sun is bidding farewell to the sky, and the colours turn into beautiful hues of purple and pink and everything in between.” — LR





It’s always a happy relief when an album is worth the wait. Such is the case with Welsh producer Koreless’ debut LP. The album’s name Agor – meaning ‘to open in Welsh – is a fitting reflection of what lies within. A welcome path into Koreless’ creative spirit, Agor sees his meticulously layered electronics build into grandiose realms without becoming saccharine, particularly thanks to his measured use of vocals. Bewitching first singles ‘Joy Squad’ and ‘Black Rainbow’ have already become firm favourites following repeated listens, with the album following similar suit. And, for those hankering for ‘MTI’ level emotional dance tracks complete with his perfectly cut vocals, look no further than ‘Shellshock’. – GH

Yoshiko Sai


(P-Vine Japan)


Japanese label P-Vine is officially reissuing avant-garde psych-folk artist Yoshiko Sai’s ’70s catalogue. While they’re also releasing a 5LP box set of her complete works, it’s her 1976 album Mikkō (密航) that stands out for its innovation. Opening track Kasama No Uta begins with traditional tabla and sitar patterns set to a soft noise backdrop, but then unexpectedly warps to another planet where city pop meets Akiko Yano style jazz-funk. Next up is Haru, a bluesy melancholic ballad, which is swiftly proceeded by acoustic folk with elements of flamenco guitar on Kino No Muchi. Mikkō is the product of someone given free rein to fully explore their creative identity, and you can feel Sai relishing the freedom. – AW

Ryuichi Sakamoto & David Toop

Garden of Shadows and Light



The latest vinyl offering from 33-33 brings forth Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Toop’s first live collaboration, which took place at London’s Silver Building in
August of 2018. For a first collaboration the seamless flow of sound here is stunning, though not surprising given the vast musical CVs of both involved and their expanded vocabularies for strings and other sound making objects. Resonant, and texturally alluring throughout, this record is an open invitation for some deeper listening. – JH

Jerome Thomas

That Secret Sauce

(Rhythm Section International)


Jerome Thomas’ sound is a breath of fresh air and a nice surprise from Rhythm Section. Breaking away from the slick highly produced sound of modern r’n’b, Thomas delivers a more organic, lo-fi, un-quantised offering. Silky smooth vocals feature influences of Omar, while the tight 6-piece live band keeps the beat firmly swung with extra swagger – channelling jams from D’Angelo and Amp Fiddler. You can hear a unique authenticity in Thomas’ sound, a product of a 90s R&B upbringing and his family’s love of classic soul. Listening to the album in its entirety reveals a romantic narrative, like a sultry r’n’b audiobook – following the story of initial attraction through the exploration of compatibility. – AW

Nadia Struiwigh

Pax Aurora

(Nous’klaer Audio)


Amidst hushed synthesizers and keys, Rotterdam producer and DJ Nadia Struiwigh conjures her own sci-fi universe on Pax Aurora for Nous’klaer Audio. Featuring 9-tracks, the album is best consumed as a whole, ideally on a decent audio system to fully take in all of its detail. Lead by understated piano hooks, it remains largely percussionless. However, the zippy blips and bops of ‘Nana’ prove a welcome change from the cosmic swirls. Imagine a cute little alien tending to its interstellar garden and you’re halfway there. – GH

Steve Summers

Generation Loss



Generation Loss marks the welcome return of Steve Summers on Ron Morellis’ LIES imprint. Arriving in a double LP format, its 13 tracks bubble with elements of Chicago’s signature sounds. Summers, known for his work with Beau Wanzer & Traxx under the Mutant Dance Beat moniker as well as his solo Rhythm Based Lovers alias has been a purveyor of fine sounds for the last ten years – crafting releases for the likes of BANK and Future Times. Generation Loss is a testament to his ability and the honing of his sound, as he weaves between ’80s acid funk with an edge of the psychedelic. From the jackbeat energy on ‘90s’ to the gritty binary electronics on ‘Skin Of Your Teeth’, it balances each element perfectly – giving way to one of my favourite dance albums of 2021 so far. – EH



160 DOWN THE A406



The sensational SHERELLE has been dancing between fast and furious sonic boundaries for the last couple of years. Demonstrating mastery over the turntables, SHERELLE turns her skills to production, toasting the launch of her new label, called beautiful, alongside her debut release, and creating something truly spectacular. Driving over two tracks into terrains exceeding 160 BPM she jostles between her signature high-octane style and more pared-down experimental energies. ‘160 Down The A406’ is frantically connected to the dancefloor, pulsating drums dance against euphoric synthesizer pads. ‘Rhythm Love’ on the other hand places more weight into its drum machine core! Both cuts evoke the warrior party spirit within us soon to be awoken after two years of anxious uncertainty. – EH


Baba Ayoola

(Brownswood Recordings)


Double A-side 12” em>Baba Ayoola brings together a pair of superlative works from eight-piece collective KOKOROKO. Known for their ability to meet forward
motion with impeccably balanced musicianship, the phrasing on both tracks keeps the grooves fleshed out and decidedly uncrowded, as brass, keys, vocals,
percussion, bass and some washed out guitar all find their space in the mix. A two-part homage of sorts, Baba Ayoola celebrates the life of saxophonist Cassie
Kinoshi’s grandfather, and the flipside ‘Carry Me Home’ takes inspiration from Afrobeat musician and educator, Dele Sosimi. – JH

Sharon Van Etten

‘Let Go’ / ‘Some Things Last A Long Time’

(Mondo / Jagjaguwar)


Sharon Van Etten’s ‘Let Go’ — originally recorded for a documentary tracing artist Matt Furie’s reaction to his Pepe The Frog creation being co-opted by alt-right — gets a limited edition vinyl release courtesy of Mondo and Jagjaguwar. The 7” also features a typically heart rending rendition of Daniel Johnston’s ‘Some Things Last A Long Time’. Overall, the 7” is an astute reminder of Van Etten’s mastery of emotionally brutal indie rock. — LR