December 1, 2023
Essential weekend listening.
This week’s rundown is by VF’s Kelly Doherty, and contributors Annabelle Van Dort, Emily Hill and James Hammond.
20 Years of Phonica Records
Phonica Records mark two decades with a whopper compilation. With tracks selected from a pool of “people [Phonica] respect and people who support the shop”, the Soho record store offers up an efficiently comprehensive overview of contemporary dance music. From the buoyant lo-fi of Daniel Avery to late night floor-fillers by Will Saul and Dam Swindle, this four-part 12″ collection is an excellent addition to any DJ’s record bag. Long live Phonica Records!–KD
Palto Flats and Putojefe Records present the first reissue of Dorothy Carter’s 1978 private press album Wailee Wailee–a cosmic folk masterwork that marries avant-garde drone experimentation with Carter’s luminous, transcendental hammered dulcimer work. An expert in Appalachian and Irish folk traditions as well as more contemporary new age practices, Waillee Waillee sees Carter reimagine these ancient songs into psychedelic odysseys, otherworldly melodies anchored by the gentle lull of her voice.–AVD
Known for his sonorous works on the Bosendorfer grand piano, Charlemagne Palestine’s pursuit of the golden sound ventures out here to church bells–or put more accurately–the carillons of both St, Thomas Episcopal Church, New York, and his home studio in Belgium. With Palestine having been the carillonneur at St Thomas’ in the 1970s, one of the pieces here finds him back in this familiar setting, working up a beautiful homage to friend and fellow artist Tony Conrad. Moving from this street recording in New York to the more intimate climes of “Charleworld” in Belgium, both tracks here are joys to behold–inimitable works that bring out all manner of overtones.–JH
WRWTFWW continues their run of legendary Swiss Jazz and electronic composer Bruno Spoerri with Musiques Légères, an inspired collection of unreleased tracks recorded between 1976 and 1982. An intoxicating blend of kosmiche synth adventures, swinging jazz compositions and slick funked-up library grooves, Musiques Légères reveals new dimensions of Spoerri’s sound. An essential for all Spoerri fans!–AVD
April 6, 1966 saw the duo of Milford Graves and Don Pullen unleash a free jazz masterwork upon an unsuspecting audience at Yale University. With Graves already having built a reputation working with varying New York ensembles and the likes of Albert Ayler and Sonny Sharrock, it was with Don Pullen and this performance that he truly stretched out his radical impulses and delivered Nommo. This LP comes as just one part of the Milford Graves reissue puzzle this week, with his 1977 solo LP Bäbi and the second part of this recording at Yale also getting reissues. Essential listens for lovers of free-flowing expression.–JH
Mensaje De Amor
Peruvian powerhouse Infopesa returns with a reissue of Sonido 2000’s 1987 album Mensaje de Amor. A decidedly warm meeting point between psychedelic rock and cumbia, Mensaje de Amor alternates between peppy enthusiasm and an acid-washed mellowness. This first time vinyl reissue is a treat, offering a return to Sonido 2000’s most successful outing. If you’re struggling with the darkening evenings, give this one a spin for a much-needed blast of joy.–KD
Static Cleaner Lost Reward
Breathing Under Honey
It’s the end of Low Company as the beloved record store turned label draws to a close with its 16th and final release. The final body of work comes from Tarquin Manek aka Static Cleaner Lost Reward, dubbed by Boomkat as one of the most under-recognised yet distinct producers out there. On the CS + Kreme tip, this weird and wonderful release features a body of work recorded between 2013 and 2020. Living on the post-punk oddball pop spectrum, it creates a dreamlike narrative to transport you into a hazy paradise.–EH
Co-founder of Basel-based label and party series Somatic Rituals, Kombé, delivers five stellar club tools for adventurous DJs. Foreign Exchange explores themes and movements from Kombé’s own cultural sonic references with movement expressed through liquid polyrhythms. The whole EP can be characterized as techno leaning but incorporates stellar breaks with a beautiful sense of atmospheric space created on each track. This is an incredibly exciting debut from a promising producer, who I bet we can expect a lot from in the near future.–EH