Nov132018| November 13, 2018
One of four reissues from Be With next month.
Judith Ravitz’s 1983 LP Bolerio is being reissued for the first time, by Be With Records this December.
An ode to Brazilian icon Jorge Ben by one of Israeli’s most famous musicians, the album fuses acoustic boogie and programmed electronic.
Be With is also reissuing The Moments’ Stylistics-esque “symphonic soul” LP On Top, as well as two albums by cult singer songwriter Larry Jon Wilson – New Beginnings and Let Me Sing My Song To You.
It caps a year of stellar releases from Be With, including 10 seminal KPM library records, Bôvel’s holy grail street soul track ‘Check 4 U’, Pink Rhythm’s cult funk slow jam ‘Melodies of Love’ and Kimiko Kasai’s Butterfly.
Pre-order the albums here ahead of their 14th December release, listen to Ravitz”Boiadeiro’ and check out the album artwork below.
Sep042018| September 4, 2018
Alongside records from Sidaku Buari, Side On, and Sleepy Brown.
Be With Records has announced four reissues this September and October.
Kicking things off, Sidaku Buari’s 1975 Ghanian afro-breat LP Buari is being reissued for the first time on the 14th of September. Sampled by Kenny Dope and a classic among the b-boy/breaking scene, the record also features legendary funk drummer Bernard ‘Pretty’ Purdie .
On 28th September, Side On’s 1982 UK boogie-funk track ‘Magic’ is being reissued for the first time. Side On featured Pink Rhythm/Freeez bassist Peter Maas, Freeez/Potion’s Everton McCalla and Potion’s Rick Clark. Earlier this year, Be With reissued Pink Rhythm’s seminal ‘Melodies Of Love’.
On 12th October, Outkast collaborator Sleepy Brown’s Sleepy’s Theme: The Vinyl Room is being released on vinyl for the first time, in a special 20th anniversary edition. Though the album harks back to ’70s funk, it contains no samples, with Sleepy boasting: “the music of the ’70s wasn’t computerized, it was just realness from the heart and that’s what we captured.”
Finally, on 26th October UK comedian Marti Caine’s Point Of View LP will be reissued for the first time. Originally released in 1981 it was the fifth album released by the dark disco pop chanteuse singer.
All of the records have been remastered from their original tapes by Simon Francis.
Head here for pre-orders, check out the track lists and listen to Marti Caine’s ‘Love The Way You Love Me’ below.
Sidaku Buari’s Buari
1. Karam Bani
2. Them Yebtheyet
3. Ku Ka Maria
4. Advice From Father
5. Iro Le Pa
6. Ye Koaba
8. Oh! Africa
Side On ‘Magic’ 12″
2. A Magic Version
Sleepy Brown Sleepy’s Theme The Vinyl Double Room
2. Can’t Let Go
3. Court Room
4. Choked Out Saturday Night
5. Still Smokin’
6. The Carwash
7. Simply Beautiful
8. Bong Experience Dude!!
9. Fallin’ In Love Again
10. Curse On You
11. Black Cherry
12. Grind On
13. The Ride (Private Party)
14. Private Party
16. Menage A Trois
17. 4:30 AM
Marti Caine Point Of View
1. Can I Speak To The World Please?
2. I’ll Never See You Again
3. Bitch Is Love
4. Love Is Running Through Me
6. Love The Way You Love Me
7. You Pick Me Up (And Put Me Down)
8. Snowbird City
9. Tin Heart And The Rebel
10. Too Much Between Us
Jun262018| June 26, 2018
Essential reissues and compilations for your collection.
We begin our mid-year round-up with a look at the most compelling reissues and compilations of the last six months.
Perhaps more so even than new releases, the best reissues are gateways to new worlds, one-way tickets to far flung destinations and lost eras of music.
Year on year, the scope of these retrospectives gets wider. Whether they’re compilations like Soundway’s superb South African bubblegum pop release Gumba Fire that bring a scene to life once more, or Finders Keepers’ lost Serge Gainsbourg soundtrack, that expose something both classic and altogether new in one go, the best reissues are those which add the sum knowledge of this musical world, and increase our access to it in the process.
Selected by VF’s Anton Spice and Gabriela Helfet, see our pick of the ten we’ve enjoyed most so far this year and add yours to the comments below.
If you’ve ever watched a Studio Ghibli animation by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, you’ll undoubtedly remember its heart-rending and unique sonics, created by longtime collaborator Joe Hisaishi. (If you haven’t watched a Studio Ghibli film before, get your ass to a Netflix at once.) In 1984, as Hisaishi first caught Miyazaki’s attention, he created the score to cult manga flick Kisshō Tennyo. Like his most affecting Ghibli work, Kisshō Tennyo‘s diverse, 10-tracks span electronics ranging from frenetically catchy Nightrider meets Nintendo chase music (‘遠野涼’) to synth excursions with equal parts Blade Runner and Yellow Magic Orchestra (‘魔性の女’) to dreamily sublime robot piano ballads (‘転生’). An essential window into the early work of one of Japan’s most visionary and inspiring composers, and a stellar second release from LAG Records, whose Neo-Plant reissue was our favourite 12″ of 2017.
Jura Soundystem / Various Artists
(Isle of Jura)
Norwegian tropico-funk, Legowelt space synth, hip-hop breaks and more feature in Jura Soundsystem Presents Transmission One. The first instalment in a series of compilations from Jura Soundsystem, aka Kevin Griffiths includes a must-have edit of Ken-Dang’s 1983 percussive super jam ‘Born in Borneo’, the first-ever vinyl release of Legowelt’s Smackos alias ambient tune ‘We Can Watch Alf In The Hotel Room’, Minus Group’s elusive 1979 Italian psych 7″ ‘Black Shadow’, and the eighties Baltimore booty shake of Mix-O-Rap’s ‘All Party People’. The collection also features four “soothing” Jura Soundsystem ambient tools, and follows the release of ‘Dear Adrian’ / ‘Udaberri Blues’ – one of our favourite dance 12″s of April – on sub-label Temple of Jura, as well as The Voice of Q 12″ reissue on the main imprint. A killer collection of elusive and little-known tracks that will power you through the summer rump funk and beyond.
Eighties Moroccan rap wasn’t even a blip on our radar last year. However in late January, Shams Dinn singlehandedly swooped in to change that for good. The self-titled Shams Dinn compilation – an impressive inaugural release from new imprint Smiling C – includes all of the tracks the “pioneer of Arabic flow” ever recorded during his all too short career. All of which are funky, fresh and leave you hankering for more. Here’s hoping for a comeback.
Much has been made of electro shades of techno as of late, be it via a resurgence in popularity of pioneers like DJ Stingray, or newer arrivals like Helena Hauff. E:\ectro-bytes.exe is the handiwork of veteran yet strangely under-recognised producer Erotek aka Andray Brown, originally released on the Afrosyntrix label in 2001. An album that you can file under: exquisite electro. To wit, there are tidy numbers to suit every whim and fancy, from the anthemic vocal-led ‘Computer-Aided Poetic Funk’, to the freak nasty and appropriately named ‘FreqU.com’ to the the warped computer yoyo of ‘Blinking Cursor’ and beyond. A reissue that should deservedly deliver Brown into collective waiting consciousness for the foreseeable future.
Composer and musician Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass reissue by WRWTFWW topped our favourite records lists in 2017. This year, she returns again, via her 1981 MKWAJU Ensemble debut album. KI-Motion captures the birth of Takada’s exploration of ambient, African rhythms, and minimalism, featuring marimba, bamboo percussion, synthesisers and vibraphone. According to WRWTFWW, KI-Motion “takes its conceptual inspiration from the tamarind (‘mkwaju’ in Swahili), a drought resistant tree notably used to craft some of the first mallets and marimbas but also known for its culinary and medical uses, an essential symbol of life and identity for the Central African grasslands.” Whatever its source, the result is a seminal release from the golden age of Japanese ambient.
Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop From Europe 1980-1991
(Music From Memory)
We’ve long thought that the best compilations are those that expand your understanding of an era, genre or movement, rather than just reflect it. For their newest comp, MFM drew their own lines across the map of European synthesis and have come up with a compelling cross-section of DIY and outré-pop that defies expectation and finds uncanny (or unheimliche) parallels between local sounds, bound by a distinctly European sensibility. Thankfully, the UK is still considered part of the club.
Things could have been so different for Hiroshi Sato. Had the synth maestro taken up the offer to join Haroumi Hosono as part of a little known outfit called Yellow Magic Orchestra, it might not have taken so long for us to catch wind of his incredible talent. Orient was released the year after YMO’s ground-breaking debut, and laboured in obscurity for decades. Part synth-funk, part exotica, part playful exploration at the boundaries of boogie, pop and esoteric music, Sato’s Orient is now getting some of the attention it deserves. It’s the stand out reissue in a stellar six months for the label, who also released a brace of sought after soundtracks (by Serge Gainsbourg and Dave Grusin) on Record Store Day and Don Cherry’s Paris electro-funk oddity Home Boy.
Levanta Poeria: Afro-Brazilian music & rhythms from 1976 – 2016
(Jazz ‘n’ Milk)
There aren’t enough compilations that dare to deal in contemporary music. It’s easier to canonise a sound as a time-capsule than to make claims for it in the present. What São Paulo DJ Tahira does so wonderfully on this collection is make explicit the thread of Afro-Brazilian music from the ’70s to the present day, putting contemporary incarnations alongside dusty artefacts with the result that everything bubbles with life and energy, just like Tahira’s hypnotic sets. Open-shirted boogie of the ’70s and ’80s contends with Afro-Brazilian rhythms, and contemporary favela funk, exploring corners of Brazilian music often overlooked by estrellar-struck Marcos Valle enthusiasts.
Kimiko Kasai & Herbie Hancock
(Be With Records)
It’s been another busy year for Be With Records, whose Reissue Request Line has been ringing off the hook for months now. Leading the way for us is this gem from Herbie Hancock’s electric jazz-funk years, which was recorded with vocalist Kimiko Kasai in Tokyo in 1979, and features silken reinterpretations of Hancock’s own disco monsters ‘I Thought It Was You’, and ‘Sunlight’ (although the less said about that version of ‘As’ the better). The pick of the bunch is the fluttering title track, which had previously set collectors back a few bob on Discogs, as would many of Be With’s other efforts this year. Look out for folk-funk grails Batteaux and The Deirdre Wilson Tabac, and floor-filling 12”s from the Whispers and Pink Rhythm.
Abu Obaida Hassan
Abu Obaida Hassan & His Tambour: The Shaigiya Sound of Sudan
Following last year’s wonderful collection of buried Somali tapes on Sweet As Broken Dates – our second favourite reissue in 2017 – Ostinato return with the first in what promises to be a treasure trove of music from Sudan. Declared dead in the early 2000s, Abu Obaida Hassan was tracked down by the label, who worked with the five-stringed tambour player to pick eight tracks from the thirty he recorded at a time, when he was a star of roving Sudanese sound system parties. A way in for those unfamiliar with the country’s diverse musical history and a sparkling example of a rhythmically complex, effortlessly swung style.
Illustration by Ben Connors
May312018| May 31, 2018
A pirate radio anthem.
Be With Records is reissuing Bô’vel’s super rare ‘Check 4 U’ on limited 12″ this July.
In 1996, producer Bô’vel released the Coming Back 12″ on a small pressing via her own Bô’vel Records imprint – its B-side ‘Check 4 U’ became a pirate radio anthem.
The track is “quite simply the greatest and most sought after street soul holy grail of them all,” shares the label. “The sound of Manchester then and now.”
‘Check 4 U’ has been fully remastered and produced by Be With, Bô’vel herself, and Ruf Dug; the 12″ features the original track on the A-Side, with the Metrodome UK-Gee Remix on the flip.
Pre-order a copy here ahead of its 6th July release and listen to ‘Check 4 U’ below.
May012018| May 1, 2018
Alongside Ned Doheny and Sorcerer records.
Be With Records has announced five new limited vinyl reissues this Spring.
Mixing funk with jazz and soulful pop, The Deirdre Wilson Tabac’s cult 1969 album The Deirdre Wilson Tabac will be released on limited LP the 18th of May.
Two 12″s will also be reissued on the same day.
Ned Doheny’s ‘Think Like A Lover’ 12″ will be accompanied by “a personally endorsed and officially licensed disco remix” by Paul “Mudd” Murphy.
And, The Whispers’ street jiving boogie tracks ‘Keep On Lovin’ Me’/ ‘Turn Me Out’ will be released together for the first time.
In June, two sun-soaked house meets cosmic disco albums by Sorcerer will be released on vinyl for the first time.
Both White Magic and Neon Leon have been remastered for these first ever vinyl reissues, limited to 500 copies each.
Pre-order the records here, and watch The Whispers funk it out in their ‘Keep On Lovin’ Me’ video below.
Mar202018| March 20, 2018
Available outside Japan for the first time
An overlooked masterpiece from Herbie Hancock’s electric jazz-funk years, Kimiko Kasai’s Butterfly is set to be given its first ever international reissue via Be With Records next month.
Read next: 15 essential funk-era Herbie Hancock records
Recorded in Tokyo and released in 1979, it features a collection of Kasai’s silken reinterpretations, from Herbie Hancock’s own disco monster ‘I Thought It Was You’, and a butter smooth rework of ‘Sunlight’, to the sun-drenched ballad ‘Butterfly’, and a bubbling version of Stevie Wonder’s timeless ‘As’.
Backed by an all-star group featuring Alphonse Mouzon on drums and Benny Maupin on sax, original copies of Butterfly have been incerasingly hard to come by, with a 1997 reissue also only available in Japan.
Restoring the iconic artwork complete with OBI strip and 4-page folded insert,Kimiko Kasai and Harbie Hancock’s Butterfly is released on 20th April via Be With Records. Pre-order your copy here and remind yourself of the sumptuous title track above.
01. I Thought It Was You
02. Tell Me A Bedtime Story
03. Head In The Clouds
04. Maiden Voyage
05. Harvest Time
Feb142018| February 14, 2018
John Rocca’s seminal Brit-funk 12″ ‘Melodies Of Love’ is set for a sparkling new reissue via Be With Records.
Originally released in 1985, the track has become something of a cult favourite among DJs, with every drop of that wonderfully ludicrous synth intro pushing the price of originals up a notch on Discogs.
The evolution of Rocca’s ’80s Brit-funk outfit Freeez, Pink Rhythm featured the great Andy Stennett and Peter Maas, with ‘Melodies Of Love’ one of just three 12″s the band ever released.
Backed by the winelight sax majesty of ‘Walking in the Rain’, it’s the wall-shaking boogie Moog basslines, electro drums and melancholy synth riffs that elevate ‘Melodies Of Love’ into one of the most vital Brit-funk jams out there.
Or in Hunee’s words: “Imagine people all smiling, musically open, on ecstasy, then the sun sets and you drop this… I would never leave.”
Released on 16th March on Be With Records, you can pre-order a copy here and reacquaint yourself with the original above.
Dec112017| December 11, 2017
“I dig everything – as long as it’s honest.”
Anyone who has ever watched Tommy Guerrero skate won’t be surprised to hear that hardcore really wasn’t his bag. Growing up in the ’70s in San Francisco, his soundtrack was the sun-soaked soul, funk and rock of the West Coast, and he treated the skateboard like Clyde Stubblefield or J Dilla treated the drums – loose, laid back, but always in the pocket.
Globally renowned as part of the Bones Brigade collective, Guerrero also spent much of the ’70s and ’80s in bands, finding an outlet for his myriad influences that ranged from UK punk to new wave, Latin, jazz and of course hip-hop.
With its renegade visual aesthetic and open-minded approach to hip-hop and despite being based half way around the world, it’s somehow seemed the perfect fit for Guerrero to end up releasing two early solo albums on Mo’ Wax at the turn of the century.
Little Bit of Somethin’ (2000) and Soul Food Taqueria (2003) are emblematic of Guerrero’s singular curbside folk, as lo-fi, street-smart beats hang out under his soft-touch guitar picking and dusty melodies. Both nostalgic and timeless, these are albums for long summer nights, that Be With Records are reissuing on vinyl for the first time.
To accompany the release, we asked Guerrero to tell us a little more about his musical journey, in the form of a superb influences mix and a short Q & A, which you can read below.
Was music always a part of your life?
I think it all started when I first heard Booker T’s ‘Green Onions’ at a very young age… maybe around 5? My fam always had music on – we lived with my aunt, uncle and their 3 kids who were all older. There was always lots of ’70s stuff on. I started playing music with my brother when I was around 12 and have been playing and recording ever since.
What records soundtracked your early life as a skater? Was hardcore already doing the rounds?
Hardcore wasn’t even around when I started skating! I’m old! ’70s rock/soul/funk was what we were listening to. Punk hit around ’78 or ’79 for me, and that’s when we started forming punk bands and writing tunes.
I was never really into hardcore unless Bad Brains are considered hardcore. We grew up on English punk for the most part. All the usual suspects. So much of that music stands the test of time.
That said, the influences present in your own music seem very broad. Have you always listened to a lot of different styles?
When you’re young you go through phases. Soul to rocker to new waver to punker to metalhead to hip-hop/b boy etc. It all informs what I do now. I dig everything – as long as it’s honest.
How did you get involved with Mo’ Wax?
Long story, short version: It all started with a skate vid I made called Amigo’s for a clothing brand FORTIES that I ran out of skate company Deluxe. I created the soundtrack for it which some people were stoked on, specifically Thomas Campbell who was friends with a skater who worked at Mo’ Wax – Andy Holmes I believe.
I can’t remember if Andy already knew about the vid or if Thomas hipped him to it. Anyway Andy played it for James and I guess he dug what he heard. That was the spark which lead to the albums. Toby Feltwell was also instrumental in helping it all come to fruition. He was great.
John Coltrane – ‘Aisha
Cymande – ‘Dove’
Santana – ‘Waves Within’
Syl Johnson – ‘Is It Because I’m Black’
Bill Withers – ‘I’m Her Daddy’
Gil Scott-Heron – ‘The Bottle’
Curtis Mayfield – ‘If There’s A Hell Below’
Marvin Gaye – ‘T Plays It Cool’
Booker T and the MGs – ‘Melting Pot’
Merry Clayton – ‘Southern Man’
Bob James – ‘Nautilus’
Bobbi Humphrey – ‘Harlem River Drive’
Donald Byrd – ‘Lansanas Priestess’
The Main Ingredient – ‘Euphrates’
Photo by J. Grant Brittain
Nov222017| November 22, 2017
Sun Ra, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, and P-Funk are this year’s top reissues.
You’ve bought a flight to a country you’d never intended to visit, a dishwasher that doesn’t fit in the kitchen, and something kitschy on Amazon, just because, why not? Now it’s time to buy a record you didn’t know you wanted! That’s right, the festival of aimless expenditure otherwise known as Black Friday is back, with Record Store Day’s younger pup scampering along by its side.
Unlike this year’s main event, which brought forth RSD’s most exciting selection in years, 2017’s Black Friday offerings look more like the dog’s dinner than Thanksgiving leftovers, and are heavily dominated by reissues as a result.
Not one to duck a challenge, we’ve stripped the carcass, found a Tupperware box and assembled the feast’s salvageable parts into something a little tastier. In other words, we’ve managed to find eight releases actually worth trying to get your grease-dripped hands on this weekend, U2’s new single on Third Man Records notwithstanding.
Ocean of Love
Ray Charles’ pianist turned Alice Coltrane’s protégé, Panduranga Henderson recorded tapes of synthetic and deeply soulful mantras while at Coltrane’s west coast ashram in the early ’90s, collected for the first time on Ocean of Love. An intriguing addendum to the Alice Coltrane World Spirituality compilation Luaka Bop released earlier this year – and hotly tipped for reissue of 2017 – Ocean of Love is Black Friday’s stand-out offering and essential every other day of the year too. You can read more about Henderson and hear the Stevie Wonder-does-hari krishna opening track here.
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry & The Full Experience
(Get On Down)
Get On Down cap another good year with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s space-dub cover of Max Romeo’s iconic ‘Chase The Devil’, recorded at the mad professor’s Kingston Black Ark Studios in 1977. Tough to get hold of on 12″ and 7″, this curveball reissue features both cuts and is really worth getting your hands on.
The Autumn Defense
(Be With Records)
One of six new reissues queued at Be With HQ, Circles is the sophomore LP from Wilco’s John Stirratt and Pat Sansone aka The Autumn Defense. A crafted suite of orchestral pop and silky smooth folk inflections, this one’s been out of print for ten years and fetches a fine sum on the re-sale market. Although it’s one we weren’t familiar with until a few weeks ago, in the eclectic taste of Be With we trust.
Electronic Meditation is the debut record from kosmische travellers Tangerine Dream, released in 1970, and the only Tangerine Dream album to feature the triple threat line-up of Edgar Froese, Klaus Schulze and Conrad Schnitzler. While reissues of this one are not particularly hard to come by, make this your reason to explore the expansive cranial wilderness of Electronic Meditation that sounds like Sun Ra caught in Dali’s desert landscape.
Speaking of Sun Ra… So copious and untapped is the great astral jazz maestro’s output that special reissues could populate a Record Store Day until the end of time. Thankfully, we just have to wait until Friday for the next, which is Modern Harmonic’s triple LP reissue of Exotica. The soundtrack to a cosmic cocktail party at Martin Denny’s moon mansion, Exotica is “a rhapsodic pandemonium of Afro-centric rhythms, Latin beats, ostinato grooves, and unissued tunes,” from the most out-there lounge lizard of them all.
All the Woo in the World
(Tidal Waves Music)
P-Funk’s irreplaceable keyboard genius, Bernie Worrell’s 1978 solo debut could pass for a lost Parliament-Funkadelic release. All the Woo in the World was another all-hands-on-deck effort from the collective featuring George, Bootsy, Maceo and the rest of the gang, and a rare moment for Worrell to shine as a frontman in between his prolific career elsewhere (including a fruitful stint with Talking Heads). One of the unmissable spin-offs from the Mothership worth tracking down.
As well as RSD exclusives, Black Friday also carries a range of “firsts” – records that are being released on the day but available afterwards too, of which Timothy McNealy’s Texas funk odyssey Funky Movement is a stand-out. Redolent of James Brown’s razor sharp inflections, Funky Movement is drenched in a psychedelic fuzz that gives the mega horn phrases an added weight, like a lost Sly & the Family Stone demo cut. Never previously collected in one place, Funky Movement grabs the 7″s McNealy released on his own Shawn imprint and packs them onto one must-have compilation.
Albert Ayler & Don Cherry
Albert Ayler’s second album was released in 1965 as Ghosts, and featured a who’s who of free jazz talent on the cusp of redefining the world’s relationship with improvisation. Recorded in Copenhagen in 1964, Vibrations features Don Cherry, Gary Peacock and Sonny Murray and sets the tone for Ayler’s ascent into the stratosphere on Bells the following year.
Still not satisfied? See the full list of RSD Black Friday 2017 exclusives here.
Nov162017| November 16, 2017
One of six Be With reissues on the way, including Aretha Franklin and cult skater Tommy Guerrero.
Responsible for the first ever release on maverick reissue label Be With Records, Leon Ware returns to the label for Rockin’ You Eternally, just months after the soul icon passed away.
Responsible for co-producing Marvin Gaye’s I Want You and penning classics for Michael Jackson, Minnie Riperton, Bobby Womack and a host of the era’s most iconic soul artists, Ware also released a number of highly sought after solo albums, of which Rockin’ You Eternally is perhaps the most timeless.
Featuring collaborations with Brazilian pop-soul star Marcos Valle, it was originally released on Elektra in 1981 and is now getting a definitive vinyl reissue.
As is customary of Be With’s broad palette, Leon Ware is released alongside a 7″ reissue of Aretha Franklin’s ‘One Step Ahead’ (as heard on 2017 Oscar winner Moonlight and Mos Def’s ‘Ms Fat Booty’) backed by deep soul classic ‘I Can’t Wait Until I See My Baby’s Face’.
Keeping things strictly sexy, next up it’s Michael Wycoff’s two-step and Loft classics ‘Looking Up To You’ and ‘Diamond Real’ (Tee Scott dub), straight to 12″ vinyl.
Also available on 24th November, Be With are also bringing back The Autumn Defense’s Circles, the sophomore orchestral pop and folk LP from Wilco’s John Stirratt and Pat Sansone.
Originally released on Mo’ Wax, Be With describe the albums as “strikingly beautiful and instantly addictive, a kind of funk-fuelled, melody-driven, groove-based magic.”
Follow the links above to find out more about each release and preorder your copies.
Jul252017| July 25, 2017
The Necessaries rescued from obscurity.
Musician and producer Arthur Russell’s notorious inability to ‘finish’ projects he started meant he released just three full length albums under his name, before his untimely death at 40 years young.
No reflection of his musical output, Russell was a prolific solo artist and collaborator. From disco to hip-hop to punk to pop to realising un-categorisable, futuristic electronic sounds, Russell’s uniqueness lay not only in his talent as a musician and producer, but also in his fearlessness in traversing different genres and musical scenes in New York City.
Case in point: Russell was recording and releasing some of disco’s most seminal records (Dinosaur L’s ‘Go Bang’ and Loose Joints ‘Is It All Over My Face’ during the very same years he was adding keyboard, vocal, cello and songwriting skills to The Necessaries.
First released in 1982, the Event Horizon LP is actually an overhaul of The Necessaries’ 1981 debut record Big Sky, with Russell himself describing the reworked album as the product of “some shuffling, some trimming of deadweight and the setting of real gems in their place. The biggest plus – ‘More Real’ is easily the prettiest song the Zombies never wrote.”
Reissued by Be With Records, and remastered by Simon Francis, the album, which also features extensive liner notes from Fact Mag’s Mikey IQ Jones, comes in the wake of a string of Arthur Russell single and album releases last year, as well as The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s spring 2016 display of his archives.
For more info and to pre-order a copy, head to Be With Records now.
Jul102017| July 10, 2017
Soulful dancehall, Belgian boogie and psych pop.
This week’s record bag is bursting with more rays than a Sunny D, with new albums for Broken Social Scene Rough Trade’s This Is The Kit, keeping good company alongside reissues for Yoko Ono and Belgian boogie maestro Alec Mansion, who can’t stop writing songs about swimming under the flight path in the French Riviera.
In the singles bank, DJs looking for new gear need look no further than the latest Brasserie Edits from Berceuse Heroique and Alexx A-Game’s soulful dancehall vocal ‘Braver’, which would doubtless be the jam of the summer if it wasn’t limited to just 200 copies.
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.
The Brasserie Heroique Edits Part 4
The latest instalment of the buy-on-sight ‘Brasserie Heroique’ series hits stores this week, finally providing a vinyl home for a quartet of long lost edits from Holland’s Loud-E. Previously available on a 2008 CDr, these cosmic killers have spent the last decade filling floors for the upper echelon of the DJ community, arriving on wax road tested and ready to rock the spot. Flitting between the spangled stomp of ‘2004 Time Machined’, saturated Afro-funk of ‘Bill’s Boa’, chewed up chug of ‘Prox’ and slo-mo slew of ‘Granada Nights’, this four tracker fries circuitry and oozes groove in equal measure, harnessing the power cosmic to turn the party upside down.
Kiss the Floor / Karl and the Kurbcrawlers
This Desire/ Same Day
(Death & Leisure)
Though you might not know it from the pseudonyms above this is a double a-side collaborative release from Veronicka Vasicka and Karl O’Connor (Regis), a pair with discographies very much worth investigating for the unfamiliar, not only for solo output but also as respective heads of the excellent Minimal Wave and Downwards labels. Here as Kiss the Floor Vasicka and O’Connor deliver some downbeat allure whilst Karl and the Kurbcrawlers up the gear for some jittered, industrial crunch. This one flew out of the gates, so act fast on the remaining few copies if this is your bag.
(Box Bedroom rebels)
The latest on excellent 7″ imprint Box Bedroom Rebels is the first release by 17 year old whizzkid Dominik Stevenson who gives us 5 blasts of super enthusiastic Tame Impala psych pop. Lovingly rickety and worth watching.
Labi Siffre / Banbarra
‘I Got It’ / ‘Shack Up’
Love it when one of these split 7’s turns up with two absolute burners on either side, slightly rejigged for maximum dancefloor presure. First up, Labi Siffre’s classic gets chopped a little and then on the flip, Banbarra’s guitar shredding gem gets turned inside out a little. Dre would be proud.
Braver (Swing Ting Edits)
Lazy summer time vibes from UK duo Swing Ting, who coil Alexx A-Game dancehall vocals around silky smooth Rhodes keys for a stunning slice of soulful roots with a contemporary RnB edge. Just 200 copies out there so get in quick.
(Be With Records)
After treating the jazz connoisseurs to an essential bit of Ahmed Jamal last time out, Be With turn their attention to the Belgian boogie scene with this lavish reissue of Alec Mansion’s self titled masterpiece. Originally released in 1983 and almost impossible to track down since about 1997, the LP sees Mansion serve his carefree pop vocals over a bed of moonlit melody, snapping percussion and slick bass. Boasting the production prowess of Placebo hero Marc Moulin and synth programming from Dan Lacksman of Telex, Alec Mansion sounds a million miles ahead of the lo-fi home releases clogging up the rare boogie scene at the moment.
Two LPs of Yoko Ono at her most adventurous and unrestrained, this effort from 1971 pulled no punches and years down the line sounds all the better for it and certainly deserving of reappraisal away from all those tired Beatle-centric biases towards her work. Secretly Canadian and Chimera records are steadily going about reissuing Ono’s back catalogue on faithful vinyl editions, and kudos to all involved for this first time reissue of what is an oft overlooked and beguiling exploration of sound and certainly a jewel amongst Ono’s most radical works.
This is the Kit
Sorta folkie Kate Stables gets dues paid with her biggest and most ambitious record to date. Moonshine Freeze is a silvery tread through mysterious pop folk with hints of kraut and post rock and the sort of song poetry that once emerged out of the mouths of Fairport Convention.
Broken Social Scene
Hug of Thunder
Arcade Fire are not the only multi member all singing all dancing gang coming out of Canada you know. After seven years we get to welcome back the amazing Broken Social Scene with their huge new record Hug Of Thunder. Feist and Emily Haines are back in the fold this time and the album is a huge, rushing and rumbling set of anthemic tracks built for festival stages worldwide.
It’s been a while coming but Hector Plimmer’s debut Sunshine has finally made it to wax. When he’s not gracing the pages of this very magazine with his graphic design talents, Plimmer can be found wrapping dusty breaks in otherworldly electronics, looping beat down instrumentals and subtly constructing field-recordings that could just as easily be emerging from the shimmering summer haze as from a smoked-out urban nightscape.
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16-18 Marshall Street
London W1F 7BE
Registered in England and Wales under no. 04184222.