December 20, 2014
(Invisible City Editions)
Dedicated diggers Invisible City Editions have dropped serious fire across their releases to date. Giving rare mixes from afro cosmic legend Beppe Loda a second life on cassette caused a stir back in 2012. But it was bringing Michael Boothman Touch and Stephen Encinas Disco Illusion, both rare beauties, to vinyl for the first time since their original releases, that really put them on the map. This fifth release continues their hot streak, entering long play territory with zam-rock band Witch’s most diverse record.
14. Ned Doheny
The 1970s/80s West-coast blue-eyed soul maestro who penned Chacka Khan’s ‘Whatcha Gonna Do For Me’ and had a UK dancefloor hit in ‘To Prove My Love’, Ned Doheny received a well-deserved re-appraisal courtesy of archive-record luminaries Numero this year. You can’t beat his blend of cheeky lyricism and Pacific groove.
13. Jon Hassell / Brian Eno
Fourth World Vol. 1
Considering the impact, both musical and theoretical that Jon Hassell and Brian Eno continue to exert upon contemporary music, this reissue of one of their key works was a necessity. That this is largely a Jon Hassell record is always worth noting, but that’s not to demean Eno’s and indeed many other artist’s own distinct explorations into Hassell’s ever-fertile idea of a culturally cross-pollinated ‘fourth world’ music. 1980 rarely sounds as current as this.
12. Jackson C. Frank
Jackson C. Frank
Pete Paphides put us onto this one when he invited us to snoop around his record room last year. The only record he ever made, Jackson C. Frank’s self-titled LP is a beautiful, influential (to Nick Drake, Marianne Faithful, and even Daft Punk) and terribly sad album, recorded in the early stages of a life plagued by personal tragedy. Produced by Paul Simon it ranks with the greatest of the genre.
11. Larry Heard
Released on the heels of his landmark Sceneries Not Songs series, this is one of Larry Heard’s most underrated records. Known best for his classic releases as Mr. Fingers, Gherkin Jerks and more, Larry Heard’s music has always revealed an otherworldly tint. But Alien saw Heard have a proper stab at the science fiction aesthetic, taking inspiration from the Ridley Scott movie. Travelling through expansive ambient passages and unfamiliar territory, the house beat takes a back seat in favour of melodic elements drawing on prog-rock, jazz fusion and sci-fi soundtracks. Composed entirely on a Korg O1/W workstation keyboard, a Roland d550 and Oberheim Matrix 1000, this is possibly the most unique sonic adventure in Heard’s influential back catalogue.