Our favourite vinyl releases of the week

By in Features





Essential weekend listening.

This week’s rundown is by VF’s Kelly Doherty and Becky Rogers, alongside contributors Annabelle Van Dort, Emily Hill and James Hammond.

Ryuichi Sakamoto

Onagaku Zukan



Wewantsounds presents the international release of the late Ryuichi Sakamoto’s pivotal 1984 release Ongaku Zukan—available in its two rare Japanese versions for the first time. A playful, endlessly experimental work, Ongaku Zukan sees Sakamoto test the possibilities of his Fairlight synth, shifting effortlessly from celestial ambient pieces to exotica-infused electro-pop. Full of energetic bursts and theatrical turns, Ongaku Zukan displays the full breadth of Sakamoto’s genre-bending vision, dexterously—and with a wink—blurring the distinctions between radical experimentalism and pop music.–AVD

Matana Roberts

Coin Coin Chapter 5: In The Garden…



As revelations of Matana Roberts’ ancestral histories, the Coin Coin series of releases have made for vital listening that goes deep into ideas of ancestral and cultural memory and music’s power to unveil and illuminate. Where Chapter Four focussed on elements of Roberts’ grandmother’s life, Chapter Five looks further to their familial line and a woman who died following complications from an illegal abortion. Channelling this narrative into spoken word, improvisation, and the flow of a new 11-piece ensemble, Roberts’ sax takes its distinctive place in the mix for another affecting and unique instalment to the series.–JH

bar italia


(bar italia)


The mysterious bar italia outfit originally released ANGELICA PILLED back in 2020 as a digital-only release via Dean Blunt’s World Music imprint. Originally composed of four tracks, it is now pressed on a special limited edition 7″ picture disc. For the diehard fans, this is a much-awaited physical release and comes alongside a pressing of their bedhead album released originally in 2021. Existing on the lo-fi shoegaze spectrum, the London-based trio (who also form the core membership of the band Double Virgo) make melancholic music that touches the soul with feelings just out of reach.–EH

Armand Hammer

We Buy Diabetic Test Strips

(Fat Possum)


Not content with releasing one of the best hip-hop albums of 2023, billy woods is back again, this time with Elucid in tow. We Buy Diabetic Test Strips, the latest release from woods’ and Elucid’s dream team Armand Hammer, delivers the top-quality leftfield hip-hop we’ve come to expect from the New York artists. Named for the dystopian advertisements littered around NYC, the record is a conscious look at anxiety, ageing and existing in a system that doesn’t care if you live or die. Pulling from ’90s boom-bap production and reshaping it into a contemporary experimental framework, We Buy Diabetic Test Strips is unyielding in its outsider approach. Stacked with guest spots from the likes of JPEGMAFIA and Moor Mother, Armand Hammer’s latest is claustrophobic, relentless and packed with personality. The kings of underground rap continue their inimitable streak. –KD

Oneohtrix Point Never




Described by Daniel Lopatin as a “speculative autobiography”, his latest work as Oneohtrix Point Never certainly takes in the scope of the project and picks up on the adventurous strands that have produced some of his best work. Toying with genre throughout and indulging a density of ideas and musical juxtapositions, Again is, at times, head-spinning but remains compelling in its restless flow of electronica. With the glitch aesthetic of past works pushed forward and made all the more vivid through Lopatin’s increasingly intricate sound design, this one’s a worthy listen and all the better for avoiding any playing-it-safe proclivities.–JH

Jorja Smith

Falling Or Flying



Black Country gem Jorja Smith makes her long-awaited return with sophomore effort Falling or Flying. Five years since Lost & Found, Falling or Flying is yet another pristine release as she breezes through R&B, funky house and jazz cuts with ease. Now residing back in the Midlands after a stint in London, her roots shine through in unlikely places with “GO GO GO” as she offers up a tight acoustic number not dissimilar to fellow Yam Yams JAWS’ shimmering indie drawl. We may have had to wait a while for Falling or Flying, but it’s everything we could’ve ever wanted. Jorja Smith is unstoppable.–BR



(Planet Mu)


The Pulitzer-nominated Jlin returns to Planet Mu for a mini-album. Much like the rest of Jlin’s catalogue to date, Perspective resists categorisation. An electronic reworking of her collaborations with the Third Percussion Orchestra, Perspective is a medley of dancefloor indicators that exist in a minimalist space. Not quite a release for unadulterated dance pleasure, Perspective builds upon Jlin’s avant-garde approach to footwork through percussive interplay and modes that are alternately organic and electronic, relentless and ethereal. Boundary pushing work from an electronic visionary.–KD

Blonde Redhead

Sit Down For Dinner



On their first album in nine years, NYC art-rock auteurs Blonde Redhead return with a gorgeous meditation on love and loss, that wrestles between moments of fragility and gentleness. The album title takes inspiration from a passage from Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking (‘Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends’), read by lead singer Kazu Makino in the wake of her husband’s death at their dining-room table. Sit Down For Dinner reckons with this life-shattering unpredictability but finds light in the cracks. Ethereal shoegaze guitars are layered with unexpected grooves and rhythms—like a heartbeat resuscitated from the haze of grief.–AVD


Stratosphere (25th Anniversary Edition)

(Numero Group)


How do you celebrate an album like Duster’s Stratosphere’s 25th birthday? Send it to space of course! At its release in 1998, the slowcore debut went under the radar, lost to the record collections of a lucky few, but has since grown to cult stature pushing for multiple reissues since and even clocked a TikTok trend (or two). It’s only right that Numero Group are giving the album’s silver anniversary a proper celebration and spreading the sonic dreamscape to even more eager ears.–BR


Source of Denial

(Crammed Discs)


Nihiloxica are a Bugandan techno outfit hailing from Kamapala in Uganda. They return to Crammed Discs with their second LP Source of Denial. Debuting on the label back in the mid-2020s with their sensational album Kaloli, this is an exciting follow-up and combines frantic stabbing synths and a cocktail of Bugandan ngoma drum sequences. The narrative of the album focuses on holding a middle finger up to hostile immigration and freedom of movement systems implemented in the UK, as well as other countries. The music expresses a growing metal influence behind their sound, demonstrating the frustration and disdain of being caught in an endless cycle of bureaucracy.–EH