This week: rare ragas, avant-rock, and acid vibrations

By in Features





Our favourite new vinyl releases.

This week’s rundown is by VF’s Will Pritchard and Lazlo Rugoff, alongside Annabelle Van Dort, Emily Hill, and James Hammond.





Originally released digitally in June, Pariah’s Caterpillar 12” make its vinyl debut this week. The London-based producer dabbles with technical mechanisations on the titular opening track, before moving into flittery bleeps on ‘Frogspawn’, and closing off with electro roller ‘One on One’. Much like the caterpillar emerging from its cocoon, expect to hear this 12″ fluttering across festival dancefloors this summer. – LR

Various Artists

Studio One Music Lab

(Soul Jazz)


On their latest Studio One reissue, Soul Jazz Records unearths a stellar collection of rare reggae instrumentals and versions. Soulful, meditative and always funky, this essential compilation showcases the virtuosic musicianship of Studio One’s legendary session players, such as Jackie Mittoo, Cedric ‘Im’ Brooks and Ernest Ranglin. Featuring little-known takes on classic tracks like ‘The World is a Ghetto’ and ‘People Make The World Go Round’, Music Lab explores the profound influence of jazz, funk and soul on the formative reggae sound. – AVD

Amelia Cuni

Mumbai 04.02.1996

(Black Truffle)


Leading on from last year’s Parampara Festival 13.3.1992, Black Truffle bring forth another gem from Amelia Cuni’s live archive. Recorded at Vishweshwarayya Hall, Mumbai in 1996, these three ragas find Cuni’s dhrupad singing in accompaniment with the tanpura’s drone and Manik Munde’s complex beat cycles. Two LP’s worth and mesmerising throughout, this is as good a place as any to acquaint yourself with Cuni’s sublime voice and her long-form craft. – JH


‘Squelch’ / ‘With Luv’



Wisdom Teeth co-honcho K-LONE maintains a strong stride with this solo return to his own Wych offshoot – his first solo outing on the label since 2018’s anthemic ‘Barbarossa’. Bending heavily in the direction of Bristolian dubstep’s ‘purple’ offshoot led out by the likes of Joker and Gemmy, ‘Squelch’ rides on sultry ’80s synths and gallumphing kicks; the flip, meanwhile, plays off hefty subs against the lightest of string plucks for the sort of delicate bludgeoning that only golden-era dubstep can deliver. – WP

Grim Lusk

Diving Pool

(Domestic Exile)


Glasgow’s finest Grim Lusk rustles up some early morning wigglers for a limited 300 press on Domestic Exile. Chuggy, psychedelic rhythms reverberate through this six-track EP, starting with the trance-like ‘Nuovo’ which invites you into one of those euphoric heads-down, eyes-closed moments. Flip onto the B-side and there’s the broken stagger of ‘Wazoo’ and an eery, dubwise, pulse from ‘Diving Pool’. – EH

Celestine Ukwu

No Condition Is Permanent

(Mississippi Records)


Producing some remarkable LPs in the 1970s with his Philosophers National group, Celestine Ukwu’s approach to Nigerian highlife music combined his sensibilities as teacher, poet, bandleader, and innovator. Scaling back on the tempo and interlocking melodic, rhythmic and lyrical complexities, Ukwu and his group’s legacy for distilling the cerebral elements of highlife music are in full bloom on this excellent five-track survey. – JH

David Bowie




While a whole string of David Bowie reissues arrives today, the highlight is his often overlooked Outside album. One need only look at the album’s subtitle — “The Diary of Nathan Adler or The Art-Ritual Murder of Baby Grace Blue. A Non-Linear Gothic Drama Hyper-Cycle.” — to understand the avant-garde direction Bowie was embarking on. Eschewing the more accessible compositions of albums like Heroes or Hunky Dory, Outside toys with elements of experimental art-rock, grunge, and electronics to create a wholly engaging body of work. – LR


Could We Be More



On their much-anticipated debut album, London-based Afrobeat eight-piece Kokoroko concoct a forward-thinking fusion of Afrobeat and contemporary London sounds. Could We Be More establishes Kokoroko as a force to be reckoned with in the London scene. High-energy percussion, infectious melodies and complex rhythms showcase the band’s impressive musicianship. Their unique reimagination of West African sounds with a modern spin showcases the growth from their previous work. – AVD


Breakin’records Greatest Hits



WeMe Records’ very own legendary tastemaker ‘Fred de chez Weme’ takes a retrospective look back on Ed DMX’s astounding career from his label Breakin’ Records, which has spanned an impressive 25 years. Piecing together powerful floor-stomping productions, this double-LP offers a perfect slice of old school flavour. Sitting in the realms of freaky electro it bounces hard across all 12 tracks, from straight up booty bass on ‘DMX Krew DMX Bass’ to more bleep-inspired ‘Emerging Technology RMX’ and the racing acid of ‘What Happened to Peace’. A powerful anthology of one of dance music’s finest minds. – EH


Outside The Ride



Okzharp puts some of dance music’s most intriguing propositions – namely, gqom and footwork – into a blender, with metallic percs, granite synths, and shredded vocals for seasoning. The results, over seven blistering tracks, are every bit as igniting and unsettling as you’d expect. Seconds, please. – WP