Our favourite vinyl releases this week (November 17)

By in Features





Essential weekend listening.

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

Danny Brown




Twelve years since his breakout sophomore album XXX and Danny Brown is taking time to reflect. On Quaranta, the Detroit rapper is feeling the effects of the nihilistic hedonism that his raspy voice is synonymous with. The party beats are gone, with Brown opting instead for a solipsistic take on old-school rhythms and a markedly more muted vocal delivery. Whilst on a surface-level Quaranta feels like Brown’s Nebraska, these diaristic tales of misadventures and loss are a natural progression from his early career–XXX was a party for people who had something they needed to forget. A refreshingly sincere entry from an artist always willing to take risks.–KD

Various Artists

Alex From Tokyo Presents: Japan Vibrations Vol. 1

(World Famous)


Across his storied career, spanning almost four decades and multiple continents, DJ Alex from Tokyo has established himself as one of the world’s foremost tastemakers. Released on his own World Famous label, the first instalment of Alex’s Japan Vibrations series is described as a ‘sonic memoir’ of his formative years as part of Japan’s burgeoning electronic music scene. From luminous ambient compositions (Hosono’s “Ambient Meditation #3”) to exotica-influenced electronica (Sakomoto’s “Tibetan Dance”), Japan Vibrations stands as a musical tapestry of Japan’s tantalisingly esoteric dance music.–AVD

Jessika Kenney and Eyvind Kang


(Ideologic Organ)


Returning to the idea of “unison” music, Azure binds Jessika Kenney’s vocals and Eyvind Kang’s viola in shifting pitches and phrasing that are all the more profound for a sparing and minimalistic approach. With almost twenty years of collaborative work between them, this tightly bound unison music thrives on a shared language, with Kenney’s stunning and free-roaming voice readily mirrored by the strings. At times blurring the approach to conjure a single instrument, the effect is mesmerising and builds up into the eventual divergence of album closer “No Sound”.–JH

Charles M. Bogert

Sounds of North American Frogs

(Smithsonian Folkways)


A time capsule reissue that brings us back to 1958 and Charles M. Bogert’s field recording survey of 57 species of North American frogs and toads. With Bogert narrating and introducing the likes of the pig frog, Fowler’s toad, and the southern leopard frog, his interjections frame the distinct nature of each species’ sound, before heading into choruses of frogs and toads from across North America. With many of the amphibians being diminutive in size, their sounds are anything but, and make for a superlative showcase of biodiversity and the acoustic niches where they reside.–JH


Dimanche à Bamako

(Sahel Sounds)


Following his discovery on Sahel Sounds’ groundbreaking Music from Saharan WhatsApp series, Malian guitar prodigy Bounaly returns to the imprint for his debut, Dimache à Bamako. Dimanche à Bamako is an enthralling documentation of the street festivities that occur in Bamako each Sunday—the Malian day of celebrations. Recorded live from a wedding, Dimache à Bamako captures a communal, celebratory energy—ignited by Bounaly’s blistering desert guitar riffs and frenetic rhythms.–AVD

Alan Johnson

Ten Year Tonnage

(Sneaker Social Club)


Sneaker Social Club has been delivering some of the best UK-influenced bass music since its inception back in 2011 by Low End Activist. Duo Alan Johnson, aka Tom Neilan and Gareth Kirby, first stepped out together in the wake of the ’00s dubstep and grime scene with their loose percussion and half-step melodies–helping shape the new post-step era alongside revolutionaries such as The Bug and Kode9. Ten Year Tonnage offer four bass-heavy UK meets Berlin whompers designed to shake the dancefloor.–EH


Ali Sethi & Nicolas Jaar


(Other People)


Ali Sethi teams up with Nicolas Jaar to reimagine the latter’s 2020 album, Telas. An intriguing collaboration, Intiha rebuilds Telas through fresh looping and new productions by Jaar and marries it with Urdu poetry from Sethi. The result is an improvised adjustment that posits Jaar’s divergent compositions as supporting textures for a more traditional vocal lead. As different as their standalone outputs are from one another, Intiha sees two forms come together to create something both melancholic and euphoric.–KD

DJ Manny


(Planet Mu)


Chicago footwork legend DJ Manny lands on Planet Mu with a weighty 12-track album, Hypnotized. Touching on future sounds of the genre, it also revisits previously unheard collaborations, including one with longtime friend and celebrated icon DJ Rashad. Incorporating sounds from Detroit techno through to grime-y dubstep basslines, Hypnotized packs in different flavours, all centred in the 160 BPM network. Stand-out tracks have to be the smooth jungle style breaks number “Lost In Da Jungle” and the squelchy bassline off “Want U Bad”.–EH

Kurt Vile

Back To Moon Beach



Kurt Vile has never been afraid to upcycle his own music, and his latest release, Back To Moon Beach, is no different. The EP-turned-“KV comp” refines fragments of his American folk-rock musings from studio sessions over the past four years, alongside references to his forefathers with covers of Wilco’s “Passenger Side” and Bob Dylan’s “Must Be Santa”. In the typical Vile way, Back To Moon Beach allows negative space for moments of reflection among the sprawling stoner rock jams detailing his life as a father and everyday mundanities. A comprehensive collection for both the Vile-obsessives and those wanting a broad introduction.–BR