October 10, 2016
New vinyl releases from Rough Trade, 4AD, Ninja Tune, Soul Jazz.
An album of the year contender arrives this week in the form of D. D Dumbo’s Utopia Defeated on 4AD. Other long form offerings include wintery folk from Itasca and sub-aquatic library-inspired electronics from The Mystic Jungle Tribe.
In reissue-land, Soul Jazz captures the sound of forgotten New Orleans soulstress Betty Harris, whilst Bruce Haack’s pioneering The Electric Lucifer album is dug out from the archives. As for singles, Romare drops a new house heating 12″, Rough Trade shines the spotlight on London band Goat Girl and Vancouver-based store Pacific Rhythm releases its third electronic volume.
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 and James Hammond with help from Norman Records. 5 singles and 5 LPs every 7 days that are unmissable additions to any collection.
Country Sleaze / Scum
Looks like Rough Trade have yet again found a band set to go the distance and this time they come from south London. Four young ladies make up Goat Girl and this is their debut release on limited 7″. They got that dark and fuzzy, moody grunge type sound sewn up but both tunes here sound so fresh and now it pulls them away from the pack easily.
Who Loves You / Together
For his first new material since the stellar Projections LP, Romare sticks with the sample heavy collage style which has served him well so far, plucking at vintage disco, gritty blues and dusty soul to turn out a pair of proper house heaters. A-side cut ‘Who Loves You’ shimmies out the system at a peak time pace, trading in diva vocals and jazz-funk strings as a low slung bassline unlocks our hips, while the hypnotic, super-loopy ‘Together’ just drives the dance floor on and on into infinity. A master-class in repetition and release, this bit of beatdown funk is a strong contender for club cut of the year.
It’s Never Too Hot
(Isle Of Jura Records)
With winter coming, here’s your castaway ticket to a deserted Caribbean island. Released in 1987 on the now-defunct Antler Records, this balmy 12″ funnels sea breeze and tropical rumblings through the sort of slow, meandering new beat rhythms you can imagine Harvey getting down to.
Rhythms of the Pacific
As with the first two volumes in the series the Vancouver based store and label’s sensibility for top-notch and propulsively heady electronica is conveniently sampled once again for us here. With the series aim being to shine a light on local producers, these editions have popped up as welcome signposts to the sounds brewing in and around Vancouver, and names worthy of further investigation. This time around it’s Slim Media Player, Electric Sound Broadcast and Khotin, who fit that bill and keep the ball rolling for a series and label that’s well worth your attention.
Oh Well Goodbye
1980s-influenced mope rock is common place at the moment but Oh Well Goodbye could offer something different by meshing jittering post punk guitars with funky almost Mick Karn style bass runs. Still currently spindly, they are on their way to perhaps providing something new.
D. D Dumbo
There’s been talk about how good this guy is for some time now and here’s the proof with huge bells on! It’s all the work of one Oliver Hugh Perry and is sure to be right up there in every top five of 2016 in a few months time. It’s psychedelic, it’s pop, it’s got huge tunes all over it and the whole thing rolls so sweetly you’ll fall in love with it at the first listen. Track down the limited colour vinyl and thank me later.
Open to Chance
(Paradise of Bachelors)
New York bred singer songwriter Kayla Cohen uses this unassuming moniker to make chilly wintery folk that wraps around you like a warm blanket. Her songs are best when they are stripped back to just intricately picked guitars and her swooning full bodies voice. Comparisons could be made to Laura Veirs or the sparser end of the Suzanne Vega oevre.
The Electric Lucifer
From channelling the natural conductivity of the body into sound via his “Dermatron” instrument, to a discography of adventurous sounds for children, and then this exposition of Lucifer’s fall from heaven and an electronic battle between good and evil, Bruce Haack certainly lived an intriguing if unsung career as a musical innovator. Originally released by Columbia records back in 1970, there’s a wealth of sonic imagination at play within this reissued LP of The Electric Lucifer and its head on collision of psychedelic rock and Haack’s singular electronic vocabulary. Certainly one for those with an ear for the lysergic or an interest in pioneering electronic sounds.
The Mystic Jungle Tribe
Never ones to shy away from a concept, Italian trio The Mystic Jungle Tribe swap the craters and moon seas of ‘Solaria’ for the cool sophistication of Capri’s famed Grand Hotel Qvisisana, turning out a five track mini-LP of library inspired brilliance. Awash with bubbling sub-aquatic electronics and remarkably nonchalant funk, this debonair collection is the perfect soundtrack for sipping cocktails in the orange glow of a Mediterranean sunset. Delivered in a gorgeous sleeve indebted to the finest European library records, ‘Qvisisana’ is a treat for all the senses.
The Lost Queen Of New Orleans Soul
Under the guidance of musical legend Allen Toussiant, unsung soul queen Betty Harris released a string of incredible singles that have finally been collected on this new comp. Recorded between 1964 and 1969, and backed by seminal engine room The Meters, the singles capture Harris’ raw, soulful, uncompromising voice that reflected the city’s raucous music scene, spilling out of every joint on Bourbon Street.