Our favourite vinyl releases this week

By in Features





Essential weekend listening.

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

Moor Mother

The Great Bailout



VF artist and poet/musician Moor Mother is on exceptional form with the breathtaking The Great Bailout. A dense and artful interrogation of the British slave trade and colonial project, The Great Bailout is a heavy fog of echoey, dark vocals and minimalist, deconstructed productions. The project is spearheaded by defiant spoken word–refrains such as “Where they get all the money?” (“ALL THE MONEY”) and “God save the Queen because who else life has value” (“GOD SAVE THE QUEEN”) pack a raw punch, staying with the listener long after the record stops spinning. Boasting an exceptional list of collaborators including Lonnie Holley and Kyle Kidd, The Great Bailout is Moor Mother at her best.–KD

Jessica Ekomane / Laurel Halo

Manifolds / Octavia

(Portraits GRM)


Portraits GRM continues its split series vinyl releases with this formidable pairing of Jessica Ekomane’s computer-generated polyphonies and a work of questing ambience from Laurel Halo. Manifolds finds Ekomane working up all manner of intriguing timbres within a ‘particle accelerator’ of multiple voices that push at dissonant thresholds. On the flipside, Halo’s Octavia brings in a gauzy network of electronics and shadowy piano as she looks to the titular ‘spiderweb city’ from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, conjuring sensations of elevation and unease within an alluring mix.–JH

Kahil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble

Open Me, A Higher Consciousness of Sound and Spirit

(Spiritmuse Records)


At 70 years old and eighteen albums deep alongside his Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, Kahil El’Zabar shows no signs of slowing down. Open Me, A Higher Consciousness of Sound and Spirit, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble’s sixth collaboration with Spiritmuse Records, positions El’Zabar’s legacy within the storied lineage of Great Black Music—a timely celebration of EHE’s fiftieth anniversary as a group. Featuring unorthodox re-imaginings of classic Miles Davis and Eugene McDaniels compositions alongside a selection of El’Zabar original pieces, Open Me, A Higher Consciousness reverberates with a deep, soaring spirituality that channels ancestral traditions whilst maintaining an urge for discovery.–AVD

Roy Montgomery

Temple IV



Made with a pawnshop guitar and a Tascam 4 track, Roy Montgomery’s Temple IV travels far and wide with sparing means. An oft-overlooked marvel of his expansive discography, Temple IV takes in the pain of losing a partner and a “focused personal trial” at the Guatemalan Tikal temple IV as it ventures out into transfixing works of insistence and electronic overspill. Layering rhythm guitar strums and interwoven guitar and synth lines, it is Montgomery’s flare for gradual and hypnotic saturation of elements and effects that make this a special one. A first time on vinyl following its CD release on Kranky in 1995.–JH

Gherkin Jerks

1990 EP

(Alleviated Records)


Gherkin Jerks’ 1990, produced in 1989 by the Chicago legend Larry Heard, aka Mr Fingers, is a highly sought-after record having been long out of print for many years. A departure from the Mr Fingers moniker we have come to know and love, it sees him diving headfirst as Gherkins Jerks into a more experimental realm with a sprinkling of techno flavours. Every listener has their favourite, but 1990 is arguably a significant stepping stone in musical history that paved the way for the musical realm we exist within now.–EH



(Dirty Hit)


Pop music’s most in-demand producer, Jack Antonoff, returns with the fourth album from his band Bleachers. Bleachers is rammed with Americana-tinged earworms primed for stadium sing-alongs, crafted in the spirit of Springsteen and emerging somewhere between Sam’s Town era The Killers and The National in their most anthemic moments. Antonoff’s emotive baritone shines in the album’s quieter moments, but it is in the flourishes of saxophones and jubilant choruses that Bleachers really shines.–AVD

Kim Gordon

The Collective



Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon returns for her second solo album and it’s yet another exciting left-turn. The Collective sees Gordon do battle with the attention economy against a backdrop of blown-out rap beats and grinding industrial sounds. Her casual deadpan delivery offers a stream-of-consciousness perspective of the world via Gordon’s eyes and it is utterly exhilarating. Kim Gordon has always been the epitome of cool and The Collective‘s cold textures and effortless vocals serve as even more confirmation.–KD

Vanessa Bedoret


(Scenic Route Records)


South London imprint Scenic Route, run by half of 404 Eros’ Theo Fabumi Stone and Jon Phonics (Astral Black), delivers a sensational debut album from experimental vocal violinist Vanessa Bedoret. Eyes is a modern classical marvel swirling in electronica fantasies between deconstructed percussion. On “Ballad”, we are immersed in more ethereal moments that transcend to a blissful state with only the subtlest glitches on the periphery. The record’s narrative occasionally changes with abrupt forceful kicks that create a subtle tension, but overwhelmingly, Bedoret opens the listener’s imagination to widen their emotional response.–EH