• How Dur Dur Band’s heady mix of funk and traditional Somalian rhythms defined an era

    By | October 17, 2018

    The subject of an extensive new reissue from Analog Africa, Dur Dur Band were one of the few privately run bands causing a stir on Mogadishu’s vibrant ’80s dancefloors. Lost for a generation, this is the story of Dur Dur Band’s mission to globalise Somali music.

    It was the mid-1980s in Mogadishu, Somalia, and the city’s cultural scene was thriving. The National Theatre offered nightly plays, rekindling centuries of Somali poetry and storytelling tradition. Hotels like Jubba and Al-Uruba each had their own in-house bands who played into the early hours of the morning, attracting a young and cosmopolitan crowd with their fiery mix of funk, disco and reggae.

    Among it all, Dur Dur Band’s music stood out. From the very beginning their vision had been to fuse traditional Somali music with the sounds that were making people dance at the time: new wave, disco, afro beat and funk were played with Banaadiri beats, spiritual Saar music and Dhaanto, a Somali style of music which resembles reggae (and many Somalis proudly believe it to be its precursor). It didn’t take long for Dur Dur to become one of the most popular bands in Somalia.

    Yet, like most protagonists of Somalia’s Golden Era – those exuberant years between the 1970s and late 1980s – Dur Dur Band almost slipped through the cracks. An economic downturn plunged Somalia into crisis, and by the time the Civil War started in 1991 most artists had fled, settling in places like Sweden, the UAE, Canada and the UK. Since then, in part due to the media’s myopic focus on war and destruction, Somalia has become synonymous with violence, and its rich cultural identity and musical legacy have all but been erased in the eyes of the world.

    Dur Dur’s music survived on a few old cassette tapes and in the memories of those who’d loved them, but their name was barely known outside of the Somali community. That was until 2007, when a Milwaukee-based musicologist named John Beadle uploaded a cassette he had been handed twenty years earlier by a Somali student.

    The blog post, titled ‘Mystery Somali Funk’, mistakenly credited the music to another great Golden Era Somali band called Iftin. “It was the deepest funk ever recorded” says Samy Ben Redjeb, founder of the Analog Africa label. His online discovery set off a chain of events which led him to Ohio, Mogadishu and London, and eventually resulted in the release of Dur Dur Vol 1 and 2, a reissue of the band’s first two albums, recorded in 1986 and 1987 respectively, with the addition of two previously unreleased tracks.

    The record, which follows the reissue of the band’s fifth album by Awesome Tapes from Africa in 2013, gives us a glimpse into the Mogadishu of the 1980s, and brings new life and much deserved recognition to one of Somalia’s most exciting bands. The record is feisty and danceable, gliding through moments of pure funk, soul, disco and even reggae, to which three different singers lend their vocals.

    “Dur Dur’s sound was more playful [than other bands]” says Samy. “There is humour in their music, in the way they change rhythm within a song. They always sounded good – in that way they remind me of Orchestre Poly Rythmo, they were just unable of making something bad.”

    The band was born during a period of extraordinary artistic innovation for Somalia, which flourished despite a repressive and nationalistic regime. In 1969 General Mohamed Siad Barre led a bloodless coup against an unpopular post-colonial government, instituting a socialist government which guaranteed universal education and promoted the arts, but also – eventually – brought increasing repression and censorship. Music production was placed under the control of the state, effectively nationalising the whole scene: private record labels did not exist, and music could only be recorded in the government-owned studios of Radio Mogadishu and Radio Hargeisa. Musicians were paid a wage to work in bands that represented different arms of the government, such as the Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Education and the police department.

    In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Somalia abandoned alliances with the Soviet Union, choosing to align itself with the United States instead. American pop, soul and funk flooded the airwaves, and Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Etta James and The Four Tops became household names. Many Somali musicians covered western tracks and sang in English, but Dur Dur – one of the few privately run bands – approached things differently. Founded in 1984 by keyboard player Isse Dahir Qassin, their doctrine was to ‘globalise’ Somali music by combining it with other genres.

    Isse began poaching the most forward-thinking musicians he knew from other bands: drummer virtuoso Adan Handal, for example, was recruited from Bakaka band (as was vocalist Shimaali Ahmed Shimaali), while Abdulahi Ujeeri Ajami left Somali Jazz to become Dur Dur’s bass player. Together they became one of Somalia’s most versatile rhythm sections. Saxophonist Musa Mohamed, guitarist Yusuf Abdi “Alype”, and vocalist Mukhtar Ramadan Idii also joined the band, as did two of Isse’s younger brothers. Abukar Dahir Qassin was brought in to play lead guitar, and Ahmed Dahir Qassin was hired as a permanent sound engineer – one of the reasons for Dur Dur’s consistently high quality sound.

    But what really defined Dur Dur’s sound was the inclusion of two singers from Waaberi Band, Sahra Dawo and Abdulahi Shariif Hassan, known as Baastow, who was an expert of Somalia’s traditional music. “I was particularly interested in Saar, a frenetic type of music intended to summon the spirits during religious rituals,” he says.

    Volume 1 was recorded in 1986 during one afternoon session, and ‘Yabaal’, a funky new take on a traditional song, became an instant hit. A few months later, in February 1987, the band recorded Volume 2, which cemented Dur Dur’s status as Mogadishu’s most popular new band. Their first single, ‘Diinleeya’ is a classic reggae tune carried by Baastow’s soulful vocals, while elsewhere on the record Sahra Dawo’s voice soars over deep funk grooves and psychedelic guitars. “That’s when we realised we had reached the pinnacle of success, at least in Mogadishu,” remembers Baastow.

    Not long after that, as the country descended into civil war, musicians left and funds were diverted away from the arts, the vibrant music scene, which, together with its iconic ivory buildings earned Mogadishu the moniker ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, came to an end. Somalia’s rich cultural heritage – its music, theatre, poetry – was the first victim of this war, and perhaps its most enduring.


    Dur Dur of Somalia’s Dur-Dur Band Vol.1 & Vol. 2 is out now on Analog Africa.

  • The funk and disco sound of Somalia’s Dur-Dur Band to be reissued by Analog Africa

    By | August 3, 2018

    A rare Dur-Dur Band performance will take place in London to celebrate the release.

    Formed in the 1980s in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, the Dur-Dur Band became one of the country’s most popular, and funkiest, bands. Their fusion of traditional Somalian music, Banaadiri beats and spiritual Saar, with funk, soul and disco, lead to their success across the Horn of Africa.

    Announcing their arrival into the Mogadishu music scene with infectious first single, ‘Yabaal’, their popularity only continued to rise. The release of Volume 2 in 1987 marked their peak, with ‘Diinleeya’ capturing the ear of Somalia. However, the band split in the early 1990s when Somalia’s political state became unstable, forcing many to flee the country.

    Their legacy was only thought to live on through second or third generation cassettes, but Analog Africa’s founder, Samy Ben Redjeb, was able to acquire the band’s master tapes. The reissue, titled Dur Dur of Somalia – Volume 1, Volume 2 and Previously Unreleased Tracks, promises to offer a new listening experience. This signals an increasing interest in Dur-Dur Band, and Somalian music, with Awesome Tapes From Africa having released Volume 5in 2013.

    The release will be available as either a triple LP or double CD, and will include two previously unreleased tracks. In addition, the liner notes contain interviews with the original band members, offering insight into Somalia’s musical history. It will be released on 14th September.

    Tickets for their live performance with DJs Samy Ben Redjeb and Stepping in Tomorrow can be purchased now.

     

     

  • Voodoo-inspired, rare ’60s–’80s afrobeat collected in new Analog Africa 2xLP

    By | March 15, 2018

    Fiery funk gems from Benin, West Africa.

    Analog Africa is releasing a new compilation showcasing little-known music from Benin, this May on double vinyl.

    A follow-up to 2008’s African Scream Contest, African Scream Contest 2 features 14-tracks recorded between 1963 – 1980, many of which have never been previously released.

    Traversing punk, funk, soul and afrobeat, the 2xLP package also includes a 24-page booklet with archival photos and interviews.

    Pre-order a copy of African Scream Contest 2 here ahead of its 18th May release, listen to Les Sympathies de Porto-Novo’s ‘A Min We Vo Nou We’ and check out the track list below.

    Tracklist

    1. Les Sympathics de Porto-Novo – ‘A Min We Vo Nou We’
    2. Ignace de Souza & The Melody Aces – ‘Asaw Fofor’
    3. Stanislas Tohon – ‘Dja Dja Dja’
    4. Elias Akadiri & Sunny Black ́s Band – ‘L’enfance’
    5. Picoby Band D’Abomey – ‘Mé Adomina’
    6. Antoine Dougbé – ‘Nounignon Ma Kpon Midji’
    7. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou – ‘Moulon Devia’
    8. Black Santiago – ‘Paulina’
    9. Lokonon André et L’Orchestre Les Volcans – ‘Glenon Ho Akue’
    10. Sebastien Pynasco et L’Orchestre Black Santiago – ‘Sadé’
    11. Super Borgou de Parakou – ‘Baba L’Oke Ba’Wagbe’
    12. Cornaire Salifou Michel et L’Orchestre El Rego & ses Commandos – ‘Gangnidodo’
    13. Gnonnas Pedro And His Dadjes Band – ‘How Much Love Naturally Cost’
    14. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou – ‘Idavi’

  • Analog Africa releases imaginary Brazilian Western movie soundtrack on 2xLP

    By | January 22, 2018

    Cinematic sounds of Camãro “the shrimp” from 1964 – 1974.

    Analog Africa has announced the release of a new compilation, Camarão – The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie, out this February.

    Read next: How Brazil is reclaiming its record culture

    Its mainly instrumental 16-tracks feature iconic Forró musician Camãro.

    “Some of Camarão’s tunes had a wonderful sense of humour, while others sounded as if they had come from the soundtrack to some imaginary Brazilian Western movie, but all of them were united by a special drive and positive energy”, shares Analog Africa.

    Camãro’s deluxe 2xLP release also includes a 12-page booklet.

    Pre-order a copy here ahead of its 23rd February release, listen to ‘Sereia Do Mar’ and check out the track list below.

    Tracklist:

    1. Retrato De Um Forro
    2. A Casa De Anita
    3. Rio Antigo
    4. Sereia Do Mar
    5. Xeêm
    6. Quem Vem Lá
    7. Forrozinho Moderno
    8. Vocé Passa, Eu Acho Graça
    9. Xaxando Com Garibaldi
    10. Não Interessa Não
    11. Os Camaroes
    12. Se Quiser Valer
    13. Canarão No Oriente
    14. De Serra Em Serra
    15. A Cigana Ihe Enganou
    16. Fim De Festa

  • Analog Africa collect the forgotten Afro-funk of Cameroon’s Hamad Kalkaba

    By | November 17, 2017

    But that’s just half the story…

    Far from being forgotten himself, Kalkaba has been in the public eye ever since, not as a musician but as a retired Colonel in the Cameroon army, and a former member of Cameroon’s Olympic Selection Committee. When the label tracked him down, he was serving as president of the Confederation of African Athletics.

    While it’s hard to imagine someone like Seb Coe making music at all, let alone something with as much personality and verve as this, Hamad Kalkaba focussed his recorded output into just six songs, and packed each one with a fuzzed-out heavy funk groove, jabbing horns, and socially-conscious lyrics.

    Built around Northern Cameroon’s mighty Gandjal rhythm, the music was released on just three 7″s between 1974 and 1975. As Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb says, despite being initially dismissive of the music, Kalkaba “turned out to be an enthusiastic ally in this project,” supplying photos, lyric sheets and notes to the project.

    During an interview with Redjeb, Kalkaba explained “how the songs recorded in the mid 1970s were part of a movement, a movement initiated by musicians from all around Cameroon who, with the help of keyboards, drum kits and electric guitars, had started to modernise the traditional rhythms of their regions.”

    The release follows Analog Africa’s latest compilation Pop Makossa, which collects a cross-section of Cameroon’s vintage funk and disco-leaning musics, and has been one of our favourite reissues of 2017 so far.

    Hamad Kalkaba and The Golden Sounds 1974-1975 is released via Analog Africa on 8th December. Pre-order yours here.

    Check out the artwork in full below:

  • The 10 best reissues of 2017 so far

    By | June 28, 2017

    Essential reissues and compilations for your collection.

    With the first half of 2017 already a thing of the past, we’re looking back two fold to pick out the ten best reissues of the last six months, that in turn have looked back on some extraordinary music from the last fifty years.

    Whether originally created in Cameroon or Brazil, in Berlin basements or LA ashrams, the dancefloors of Chicago or the broadcast studios of Tehran, music from all corners of the world now sits side by side in our record shops, providing seemingly limitless opportunity for musical escapism.

    As stimulating a selection as ever, we’ve narrowed down this year’s top reissues, retrospectives and compilations to ten (in no particular order) that we believe show that breadth of era, genre and location most accurately.

    Loathe to leave out some other noteworthy releases, honorary mentions go to Ahmad Jamal’s The Awakening (Be With), Gal Costa’s India (Mr Bongo – whose Sound Of Mali comp is also well worth tracking down), Numero Group’s Seafaring Strangers, Jazzman’s Islamic Spiritual Jazz compilation and, of course, that epic, expanded edition of Prince’s Purple Rain.


    Various Artists

    Pop Makossa: The Invasive Dance Beat Of Cameroon 1976-84

    (Analog Africa)

    Listen / Buy

    Analog Africa continue their very own brand of game-changing compilations with a pure fire survey of the eight year period where funk and disco invaded Cameroon’s Makossa style. Pinned down by a rubbery bass line and crisp drums, tracks like ‘Yaoundé Girls’ and ‘Ngon Engap’ fizz with a trance-inducing boogie groove, while others – particularly Pasteur Lappé’s extraordinary ‘Sanaga Calypso’ – drop into almost avant-pop territory, speaking to the country’s hugely varied and fertile scene. Like last year’s unmissable Space Echo voyage, the artwork and full package is top of the line once more.


    Alice Coltrane

    World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitnanda

    (Luaka Bop)

    Listen / Buy

    With LPs like Journey In Satchidananda and Universal Consciousness being out and out classics that can be found in many a record collection, Alice Coltrane’s extraordinary work recorded at the Sai Anatam Ashram throughout the 1980s is still little-known, having only been released on private press cassettes within the ashram community. Whilst we’ve had a few bootlegged LPs of these cassettes in the past couple of years to try and expose this remarkable music, here we have a selection in their full glory from David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label. Merging mantras, synthesizers, ensembles, choirs and notions of jazz into these transcendent pieces with Coltrane’s voice as your guide, quite simply this set is like no other and makes for essential listening.


    annie-anxiety

    Annie Anxiety

    Soul Possession

    (Dais Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Originally recorded in 1983, Soul Possession saw collaborators including Crass and On-U Sounds’ Adrian Sherwood back Annie Anxiety aka Little Annie on her debut LP. A mighty and quirky collision of industrial, dub and electronics, this is the first time this underground classic has been reissued on vinyl – despite past efforts – and thanks to the rather excellent Dais label.


    Jan Jelinek

    Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records

    (Faitiche)

    Listen / Buy

    Berlin’s king of intellectual techno, the inimitable Jan Jelinek, returns to the shelves this week with a self released reissue of his sublime Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records. Unbelievably, it’s been 16 long years since Jelinek’s groundbreaking dub techno masterpiece first soothed us into a deep and doped up dreamstate, putting us under with the gentle drone of micro-processed samples and misty ambience. While this revelation may make some tired eyed clubbers fully feel there age, I can think of no better therapy than Jan’s serene cerebral massage.


    Radiohead
    OK Computer (OKNOTOK 1997-2017)
    (XL Recordings)

    Listen / Buy

    OK, it’s an obvious one, but rarely has an anniversary of a major album caused such a fuss as Radiohead’s OK Computer. As has been the case on recent album releases, the band go to town for the super fans, offering all sorts of additionals for those who can’t go without the box set edition. Think Thom Yorke’s notes, a sketchbook with artists Stanley Donwood and Tchock’s ‘preparatory work’ and a C90 cassette mix tape compiled by the band, taken from Ok Computer session archives and demo tapes. Add in a handful of previously unreleased tracks and you’ve got a reissue that builds on rather than detracts from the strength of the original.


    Midori Takada

    Through The Looking Glass

    (Palto Flats / WRWTFWW Records)

    Listen / Buy

    Japanese percussionist and composer Midori Takada’s 1983 album Through The Looking Glass, one of the era’s most sought-after Japanese and ambient records, was reissued on vinyl for the first time in March. A gorgeous record that has assumed holy grail status, expect the reissues to become collector’s items in their own right. What other obscure Japanese ambient album has 1.7million views on YouTube?


    Ron Trent

    Prescription: Word, Sound & Power

    (Rush Hour)

    Listen / Buy

    You can always count on Rush Hour to do things right, and this six LP box set gives you all the Ron Trent you could ever wish for in one beautifully presented collection. A true master of his craft, the Chicago producer bossed the deep house scene in the nineties, co-founding Prescription to provide the DJs and dancers with something spiritual and slamming for late in the session. Prescription quickly became a by-word for the finest quality house music, and this 24 track set delivers all the must have moments from one of the greatest labels of all time.


    Tradition
    Captain Ganja and the Space Patrol
    (Bokeh Versions)

    Listen / Buy

    One of those rare moments when you hear something for the first time and think “what on earth is this!?”, Bokeh Versions pulled out one of the year’s must-have reissues in the form of TRadition’s long-lost sci-fi dub opus Captain Ganja and the Space Patrol. For those in the know, Tradition were the North London outfit dedicated to turning the dub tradition inside out, using early Roland samplers to fuse spacious, echo-laden synth-scapes onto jazzy improvisations. So otherworldly was their sound the BBC even approached Tradition to record the Dr. Who soundtrack, although the collaboration never materialised. At least we’ve got this though.


    Morteza Hannaneh
    Tschashm-e-Del
    (CLPM_R003)

    Listen / Buy

    A late entry, but impossible to overlook, these lost recordings from pre-revolution Iran are a captivating musical time capsules, so evidently from another era, yet as honest and connected to human emotion as you’ll find on any contemporary release. Essential for fans of library music, soundtracks and aural oddities, as well as globe-trotting record collectors following the likes of Finders Keepers and Folkways, Tschashm-e-Del is thought to have been made for play on Radio Tehran in the ’60s, but has languished on forgotten tapes ever since.


    Various Artists
    Outro Tempo: Electronic and Contemporary Music from Brazil, 1978-1982
    (Music From Memory)

    Listen / Buy

    Rightly one of the most talked about compilations of the year, DJ and collector John Gomez went deep into Brazil’s overlooked electronic music heritage determined to tell a different story about the country’s musical heritage. While Brazil may be all jazz and samba (and latterly boogie) in the minds of record collectors, here the focus is on new wave influenced, art and synth pop, that still manages to lilt with an unmistakable MPB flair. Personal favourites include Os Mulheres Negras’ ‘Mãoscolorida’ and Andréa Daltro’s ‘Kiuá’. If you’ve not been all over this already, then do yourself a favour and take this as your cue.

  • Analog Africa to release compilation of vintage funk, disco and makossa from Cameroon

    By | April 26, 2017

    The noteworthy reissue label dishes up another foot-shaking classic-in-the-making.

    In 2009, Analog Africa’s founder Samy Ben Redjeb travelled to Cameroon and returned with enough music to document a shapeshifting era in the country’s popular music landscape.

    Pop Makossa – The Invasive Dance Beat of Cameroon 1976–1984 collects feverish funk and disco belters that “plugged Cameroon’s traditional makossa style into the modern world,” held together by a beat that has its origins in a funeral dance.

    Out June 16, the 12-track compilation comprises tracks from the likes of teenage prodigy Bill Loko – whose monster hit ‘Nen Lambo’ you can hear below – producer Mystic Djim and Dream Stars’ jewel-in-the-crown, ‘Pop Makossa Invasion’. See the full tracklist below.

    Framed by an incredible cover image that depicts a figure wearing a traditional mask in the midst of a modern Cameroonian city, Pop Makossa follows last year’s superb Space Echo compilation and is set to be another coveted release from the ever-reliable imprint.

    Tracklist:

    01. Dream Stars – ‘Pop Makossa Invasion’
    02. Mystic Djim & The Spirits – ‘Yaoundé Girls’
    03. Bill Loko – ‘Nen Lambo’
    04. Pasteur Lappé – ‘Sanaga Calypso’
    05. Eko – ‘M’ongele M’am’
    06. Olinga Gaston – ‘Ngon Engap’
    07. Emmanuel Kahe et Jeanette Kemogne – ‘Ye Medjuie’
    08. Nkodo Si-Tony – ‘Mininga Meyong Mese’
    09. Pasteur Lappé – ‘The Sekele Movement’
    10. Bernard Ntone – ‘Mussoliki’
    11. Pat’ Ndoye – ‘More Love’
    12. Clément Djimogne – ‘Africa’

  • Travel the continent with this magnificent synth-heavy mix by Analog Africa

    By | March 7, 2017

    From Cosmic Cabo Verde to synth-reggae in the Horn of Africa.

    Frankfurt-based label Analog Africa is easily one of the most noteworthy labels rescuing and reissuing Afro sounds.

    In 2015, the label gave us an exceptional anthology of Afro-Cuban pioneer Amara Touré, not to mention a compilation of tracks plucked straight from the dance floors of ’70s Senegal. Last year, they blew our human minds with some of the most extraterrestrial synth music we’ve ever heard on Space Echo.

    This year, the label turns ten. To celebrate label boss Samy Ben Redjeb and his DJ partner Pedo Knopp have recorded a special mix which we’re delighted to share below.

    “What is special about this mix is the fact that all the songs, except one, will be released on Analog Africa in 2017,” says Samy. “They have all been handpicked by myself and mixed in real time, without loops or any other kind of gimmicks by Pedo.”

    It’s a synth-ridden journey from reggae in the Horn of African to Cosmic sounds of Cabo Verde, wavey soca-boogie monsters and other proto-electronic Afro jams.

  • Forbidden music of Cape Verde unveiled with “the best funaná album ever made”

    By | August 23, 2016

    Analog Africa strikes again!

    After revealing some of the most extraterrestrial synth music we’ve heard with Space Echo, Analog Africa has announced another offering from the magical Cape Verde islands.

    This time, the label has dug out a masterpiece by Victor Tavares aka Bitori – considered by many Cabo Verdeans to be the best Funaná album ever made. Analog Africa’s Legend Of Funaná is the first widespread outing outside for these recordings, which were originally issued in 1998 in Cape Verde.

    The press materials detail the forbidden status of funaná during Portugese rule:

    “Perceived as a symbol of the struggle for Cabo Verdean independence and frowned upon as music of uneducated peasants, the funaná was prohibited by Portuguese colonial rulers. Performing it in public or in urban centers had serious consequences — often jail time and torture. As a result, the funaná began to slowly disappear. In 1975, Cape Verde achieved independence from Portuguese colonial rule, and the ban on the funaná was lifted. Many artists embraced the funaná, translating and adapting its musical form in new ways. It was not until the mid-1990s, however, that the funaná in its traditional form was actually recorded.”

    In 1997, Tavares, aged 59, walked into a studio for the very first time to record a funaná work that he had been developed for over four decades. Finally his accordion-based sound is available to the world to hear, as Bitori (Legend of Funaná, the Forbidden Music of the Cape Verde Islands) drops on 2 September. Pre-order here.

  • The 10 best vinyl reissues of 2016 so far

    By | July 6, 2016

    A half-time scan of this year’s finest reissues.

    As much as we delight in the discovery of new music – look out for that roundup on Friday – the staggering amount of archival releases appearing on shelves is simply impossible to ignore.

    Whether it’s neglected, forgotten or misunderstood material, there’s a fleet of reissue labels and tireless collectors rewriting the history books on a weekly basis. So it’s only fair to give reissues their own mid-term list.

    We’ve worked though the stacks to pick ten of the best. With so much on offer, it wasn’t an easy task and as ever, we’ve had to leave out a few favourites to fit the brief. Some ground rules before we begin: included here are both compilations and retrospectives, as well as straight up reissues; and in choosing our ten we’ve spread ourselves across a broad range of genres and labels.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    TCP

    TCP

    (Disco Halal)

    Listen / Buy

    Some reissues live and die by their rarity, others by their quality and a select few just have both. Originally released in 1984, Tony Cary Project’s self-titled LP has bubbled away on wantlists for years, an oddball outlier on the Balearic scene that’s far more ambitious than the numerous cosmic disco reissues appearing at the moment. Musically, TCP is a album of spacious, kraut-ish grooves with a dab of Eastern flair that will speak to fans of YMO and the early ‘80s soundtrack scene, and testament to young Berlin label Disco Halal, who can’t put a foot wrong right now.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Various Artists

    Space Echo: The mystery behind the cosmic sound of Cabo Verde finally revealed

    (Analog Africa)

    Listen / Buy

    An early contender for compilation of the year, Analog Africa have outdone themselves with this staggering collection of synthesized dance floor grooves and plaintive astral melodies from the island of Cape Verde. Like all great reissues the narrative is all important, the label spinning a yarn about a shipment of synths that went missing on the way to Rio in the late ‘60s only to wash up on the island’s shores, birthing a vibrant, intoxicating scene of synthetic disco. And like all great compilations, there’s a sense of discovery in every track, none of which sound like anything we’ve ever heard before.


    © The Vinyl Factory, 10 best record releases February 1st

    Anna Holmer & Steve Moshier

    Breadwoman and other tales

    (RVNG Intl.)

    Listen / Buy

    Cooked up in the baking heat of California’s Topanga Canyon in 1982, Breadwoman is the salient stream of Anna Holmer’s deconstructed language, an imagined vernacular of her dough-masked alter-ego, kneaded into song form by producer Steve Moshier. And yet, while Breadwoman as concept is intoxicating enough – a heady coagulation of 1980s Los Angeles performance art, renegade DIY punk, gallery culture, galvanized jazz, underground cassette-trading culture, drag extravaganzas, and esoteric meaning-making mysticism – it is also a fascinating, emotive listen, comparable in its humanity to the great works of magical realism.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Eddie Hazel

    Games, Dames & Guitar Thangs

    (Be With Records)

    Listen / Buy

    The man behind ‘Maggot Brain’, George Clinton’s right hand man and the six-stringed architect of the P-Funk sound, Eddie Hazel’s only solo album must go down as one of funk’s overlooked masterpieces. The chugging, serpentine rendition of ‘California Dreamin’’ is worth the entry fee alone, and while Hazel’s psychedelic finger picking on ‘Frantic Moment’ will be familiar to J Dilla fans, every track here is a virtuoso lesson in exultant, deep-seated groove. A bumper year for Be With so far too, with reissues for Andy Bey and Kylie (!) also worth a mention.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Vivien Goldman

    Resolutionary (Songs 1979-1982)

    (Staubgold)

    Listen / Buy

    “The punk professor” and critic perhaps most famous for penning Bob Marley’s biography, Vivien Goldman’s career began on the other side of the fence, as a musician bridging London’s punk-dub movement with New York’s downtown scene. Resolutionary (Songs 1979–1982) captures her contribution to The Flying Lizards, her solo work on 99 Records, plus her releases as one half of Chantage with Afro-Parisian chanteuse Eve Blouin, produced in the most part by Adrian Sherwood, and later sampled by Madlib and The Roots. The goofy love-in-a-laundromat tale ‘Launderette’ has been a favourite of ours for ages and it’s testament to Goldman’s restless nature that her contribution to the scene she chronicled is being recognised again. Utterly original, engrossing music.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Yasuaki Shimizu

    Kakashi

    (Better Days)

    Listen / Buy

    An album with its foundation in a minimal dub approach, fans of last year’s killer reissue of Utakata No Hibi will be visiting familiar territory here, not least because Japanese composer-saxophonist-producer Yasuaki Shimizu was the architect behind experimental band Mariah. Shimizu’s production can also be heard on Dip In The Pool, who were recently given a fresh 12″ reissue on Music From Memory. Originally released in 1982 on Better Days, Kakashi has been long out-of-print, fetching big sums on the second hand market; so understandably this long-awaited reissue flew off the the shelves. Here’s to another repress.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    The Lines

    Hull Down

    (Acute Records)

    Listen / Buy

    The Lines were a mysterious below-the-radar post punk group who made stunningly futuristic music that no-one ever heard. A cursory listen to this, their never completed third album suggests a band that has that Factory aesthetic couple with a kind of more electronic take on New York experimenters such as Liquid Liquid. Chillingly the opening ‘Flat Feet’ sounds like it could fit perfectly on Radiohead’s latest record. A fascinating artefact.


    Lush 800x533

    Lush

    Origami

    (4AD)

    Listen / Buy

    Here we have an example of Record Store Day done right: to coincide with their first tour and new material in 20 years, ‘90s shoegazers Lush lined up this stunning career-spanning box set. Spread across five colour vinyl records, the release collects their previous albums and EPs. With all of those original items either out-of-print or never previously available on vinyl, it’s is an absolutely essential reissue, and beautifully presented too.


    © The Vinyl Factory, 10 best record releases

    Chi

    The Original Recordings

    (Astral Industries)

    Listen / Buy

    Having previously treated us to the subaquatic voyage of Deepchord’s Lanterns and the messianic ambience of Wolfgang Voigt Live In London, Astral Industries excel themselves with a vinyl reissue of Chi’s masterful Original Recordings. The Dutch ensemble decamped to a farm in Moordrecht in 1985 and fully immersed themselves in a living, breathing collage of found sounds, electronic experiments and organic instrumentation. Dubby and psychedelic, the eight tracks on offer meander between the swampy exotica of Mike Cooper and the blissed out electronics of Cluster.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Bernard Herrmann

    Twisted Nerve

    (Stylotone)

    Listen / Buy

    Stylotone launched as a new soundtrack label earlier this year with the first complete LP release of Bernard Hermann’s Twisted Nerve score. You’ll probably associate the whistling theme with Kill Bill – and indeed Quentin Tarantino – a big Herrmann fan – has penned the liner notes for this release. In fact Stylotone have pulled out all the stops: blood splattered vinyl, a film poster printed using the original 1960s process, an 7” single featuring pop and jazz versions of the main theme and a “certificate of authenticity” signed by the composer’s widow. Even without the extras, we’re delighted to add this to the collection.

  • The 10 best vinyl releases this week (13th June)

    By | June 13, 2016

    10-best-cover-photo

    We select the 10 most essential vinyl releases of the last 7 days.

    Whether it’s a limited 10″ by The Strokes, a Legowelt 12″ on Dekmantel or a compilation of cosmic synth music from Cabo Verde, there’s something for every ear in this week’s pick of new music.

    Other highlights include collage artist Elysia Crampton on vinyl, the debut album by anarcho-punks Bad Breeding and rolling trombone dub from Wareika Hill Sounds on Honest Jon’s.

    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.


    Singles


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    The Strokes

    Future Present Past EP

    (Cult Records)

    Listen / Buy

    New York’s finest are back with a super limited 10″ available in a rainbow of different colour vinyl. ‘Future Present Past’ clocks in with three brand spanking new cuts and a remix by their very own sticks man Fab Moretti. There’s something about this band that is so their own it turns even the simplest sounding melody into a soaring anthem. The guitars chime together perfectly while Julian’s vocal is just the right side of distorted. There’s even a killer goth moment in the shape of ‘Drag Queen’. They never fail.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Beautify Junkyards

    Other Voices 08

    (Ghost Box)

    Listen / Buy

    The latest in Ghost Box’s excellent series sees this set of Lisbon dreamers show off their lovely brand of ’60s inspired pop/psych. They are in fact the perfect band for this label with their hazy slow moving pop which will appeal to fans of Broadcast and Death and Vanilla.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Occult Orientated Crime

    Just a Clown on Crack

    (Dekmantel)

    Listen / Buy

    The “ritualistic neuroscience music” that packs this 12” is another inspired siphoning from Danny Wolfers’ (Legowelt) seemingly inexhaustible pool of ideas. This is his first physical release using this moniker after dropping some downloadable selections from the ambient-centric project in the past couple of years. Indeed there’s only one beat driven track amongst these distinctly cinematic takes, but the hypnotic structures and attention to texture that Wolfers has fine tuned, is in full effect. With many a record to his varying monikers, this release sits happily amongst the best of them.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Wav Fuzz

    Cold Fresh Air

    (Les Yeux Orange)

    Listen / Buy

    It’s double-debut-trouble on this week’s hottest house 12”, as fresh faced Portland producer Wav Fuzz graces the grooves of the first release from Parisian imprint Les Yeux Orange. A self confessed proponent of ‘phreek house’, Wav Fuzz lights up the plug-boards and plunges us into a web of neon tinged synthesis, Fingers-esque basslines, tropical chimes and crisp rhythms across four system smashing dance floor cuts. While each cut has that immersive quality you look for late in a session, it’s the bass-propelled ‘The Euphoric Six’ which will have you dancing in a saucer-eyed dreamstate.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Wareika Hill Sounds

    Mass Migration

    (Honest Jon’s)

    Listen / Buy

    Following a link up with Tapes, Wareika Hill Sounds – the collective led by Calvin “Bubbles” Cameron of Count Ossie’s Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari and Light Of Saba fame – returns on Honest Jon’s with rolling trombone stepper ‘Mass Migration’ and its stoned dead counterpart ‘I & I Know Bunny’. Dubs on both; 10” vinyl.


    LPs


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Elysia Crampton

    The Light That You Gave Me To See You

    (Total Stasis)

    Listen / Buy

    Written whilst Elysia Crampton was homeless in L.A between the years 2011 and 2013, TLTYGMTSY is quite possibly the best collage album in recent memory. A queer collection of sample – R&B snippets, video game electronics, Afro-Bolivian percussion, panpipes, ambient passages – crash and collide in this wholly disorientating aural ecology. We’ve been waiting some time for a vinyl pressing and it’s finally here.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Bad Breeding

    Bad Breeding

    (Bad Breeding)

    Listen / Buy

    It doesn’t seem that often you get a killer band out of Stevenage but here they are and here it is on their own label too. Bad Breeding are a relentless wall of noise made up of driving drums and guitars with one of the most intense vocals splattered all over it. Think a punkier Pissed Jeans or Metz dipped in the noiser end of noise rock but driven by attitude and youth. Limited to 1000 on vinyl only with all sorts of goodies inside.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Various Artists

    Space Echo: The Mystery Behind The Cosmic Sound of Cabo Verde

    (Analog Africa)

    Listen / Buy

    The tiny African island state of Cape Verde produced some of the continents most inspired synth-based music in the 1970s- cross-pollinating indigenous folk dances and musics with an electronic vocabulary that had been cooked up on some of the state-of-the-art synthesizers from around the globe. This compilation not only brings some of this wondrous music together, but also casts a light on the mystery of its genesis- and it involves a 1968 ghost ship of Moogs and Korgs and a fair amount of cosmic dust being found stranded in a field 8km from the shore. Originally destined for an electronics exhibition in Rio De Janeiro- the mystery abounds as to how the cargo ship ended up in Cape Verde, but with the cargo making its way into the island’s schools a whole new strain of music flourished with music arranger Paulino Vieira at the helm. Another classic to add to the Analog Africa collection.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Marquis Hawkes

    Social Housing

    (Houndstooth)

    Listen / Buy

    After serving us straight up jack juice for DABJ and a couple of 12” bubblers on Houndstooth and Aus, UK house hero Marquis Hawkes nabs the crown and sceptre with a debut LP of proper house music. Leaving the 14 minute builders, headphone tracks and modular jams to the out of work graphic designers, Marquis does it strictly for the dance floor with 12 imperious tracks of roughed up disco, buttery grooves and percussive voodoo. If you’re still not convinced, check out the outrageously cheeky, Gloria Ann Taylor sampling “Ode To A Broken Heart” and come back to me when you’ve recovered your equilibrium.


    The Vinyl Factory 10 best record releases

    Bart

    Holomew

    (Idee Fixe)

    Listen / Buy

    Twitching avant rock that sits somewhere between Women and Talking Heads if such a place can exist. Their music is conflicted, jutting between garage rock riffs and soft rock movements with saxophone an unpredictable element chucked into just make the thing even weirder.

  • The cosmic sound of Cape Verde revealed on new compilation; stream a wild space disco track now

    By | May 11, 2016

    Analog Africa unearth some of the most extraterrestrial synth music we’ve ever heard.

    Located 350 miles off the west coast of Africa, Cape Verde is one of the last places you’d expect to find a treasure trove of electronic dancefloor grooves.

    The island that synths certainly didn’t forget, it’s the focus on Analog Africa’s superb new compilation Space Echo, revealing a vibrant and intoxicating scene that flourished in the late ’70s and early ’80s as the arrival of synthesisers and electronic instruments revitalised the nation’s local mornas, coladeras and funaná rhythms.

    SPACEECHO_image_JOSE-CASIMIRO 1981 copy

    How did they get there? The story told by Analog Africa is (almost) too magical to be true. Legend has it that a ship load of Rhodes, Moog, Farfisa, Moog, Hammond and Korg gear left Baltimore on the 20th March 1968 bound for Exposição Mundial Do Son Eletrônico Exhibition in Rio De Janeiro, the first major expo of electronic equipment and gadgets in South America.

    By the evening of the 20th March, the ship had gone missing, only to reappear eight miles off the coast of Cape Verde three months later. Despite evidence to the contrary, the ship was deemed to have fallen from the sky, baffling local elders and Portuguese scientists alike. When they finally opened the hold, astonishment abounded. Curious but not overwhelmed, the instruments ended up in storage in a local church, no use to a community without electricity.

    SPACEECHO_image_TCHISS-LOPES-1983 copy

    With the instruments eventually distributed among local schools, the children of Cape Verde began to nurture a unique talent for playing synthesizers, which would explode a decade later into a cosmic funk and dance music scene like no other. Digging deeper than most, Analog Africa have compiled the ultimate introduction to what they’re now calling ‘The Cosmic Sound of Cape Verde”, featuring fifteen flabbergasting tracks that have almost never left the island.

    Released on double vinyl, with a booklet featuring interviews with 12 of the 14 musicians featured, it’s one hell of a document, and up there with the most ambitious, audacious, utterly brilliant compilations we’ve come across in recent years.

    Listen to ‘Quirino Do Canto’ by Mino Di Mama below. If anything sums up the comp’s title Space Echo, it’s this.

    Space Echo – The Mystery Behind the Cosmic Sound of Cabo Verde Finally Revealed! will be released on 27th May via Analog Africa. Click here to pre-order a copy.

    Tracklisting:

    01. António Sanches – “Pinta Manta” 4:25 – Originally released on Táki-Talá (004-XL), circa 1983
    02. Dionisio Maio – “Dia Ja Manche” 4:37 – Originally released on Carlita Cox (CAR-COX-1), 1984
    03. José Casimiro – “Morti Sta Bidjàcu” 5:23 – Originally released on Iefe Discos ‎(Iefe-029), circa 1983
    04. Bana – “Pontin & Pontin” 4:16 – Originally released on Discos Monte Cara (DMC 111-120), circa 1984
    05. Fany Havest – “That Day” 5:01 – Private press (001 FH5), 1984
    06. Pedrinho – “Odio Sem Valor” 6:05 – Originally released on Iefe Discos (IEFE-022), circa 1983
    07. Quirino Do Canto – “Mino Di Mama” 5:53 – Unknown
    08. Tchiss Lopes – “Mundo D´Margura” 3:05 – Private Press (TL 02), 1984
    09. João Cirilo – “Po D´Terra” 5:38 – Originally released on Edição Táki-Talá ‎(001-XL), circa 1983
    10. Abel Lima – “Corre Riba, Corre Baxo” 3:08 – Originally released on Afrika New ‎(ERL-01), 1977
    11. Os Apolos – “Ilyne” 3:50 – Originally released on La Do Si Discos ‎(780726)
    12. Americo Brito – “Sintado Na Pracinha” 2:53 – Originally released on Arsom Records (801004), 1981
    13. Elisio Vieira – “Capchona” 3:16 – Originally released on Brandão Records ‎(BR-001), 1984
    14. Antonio Dos Santos – “Djal Bai Si Camin” 7:21 – Private Press (A.S.-001-WZ), 1983
    15. Abel Lima – “Stebo Cu Anabela” 4:31 – Originally released on Production Abel Lima ‎(AL 05), 1980

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