• Shabazz Palaces announce new album Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star

    By | April 25, 2017

    Hear new song ‘Shine a Light’ now.

    Following their 2011 debut and Lese Majesty in 2014, Shabazz Palaces will release their third studio album, Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star, via Sub Pop on 14 July.

    The 11-track album will include contributions “in body or in spirit” from Thundercat, Gable and Huff, Ahmir, Jon Kirby, Sunny Levine, Blood, Thaddillac, and more. Watch a lyric video for the band’s new song, ‘Shine a Light (feat. Thaddillac)’ below:

    The album tells the story of a “sentient being from somewhere else” called Quazarz. The group’s Ishmael Butler made this statement about the extraterrestrial persona:

    I, Quazarz, Born On A Gangster Star, son only of Barbara Dream Caster and Reginald The Dark Hoper – he who rides on light – dreamer of the seventh dream and kissed eternal by Awet the Sun Scented – who far from home I found my same self differents in those constellies that be Dai at my weap-side immediate and all us Water Guild affiliates who revelries in the futures passed recordings and ceremonies flexing resplendent in the Paradise Sportif armor – raising these musics a joy/cry that way into these aquadescentdiamondized ethers of the Migosphere here on Drake world. Welcome To Quazarz.

    Tracklist:

    01. Since C.A.Y.A
    02. When Cats Claw
    03. Shine a Light (feat. Thaddillac)
    04. Dèesse Du Sang
    05. Eel Dreams (feat. Loud Eyes Lou)
    06. Parallax (feat. The Palaceer Lazaro)
    07. Fine Ass Hairdresser
    08. The NeurochemMixalogue
    09. That’s How City Life Goes
    10. Moon Whip Quäz (feat. Darrius)
    11. Federalist Papers

  • Gonjasufi announces new album featuring Shabazz Palaces, Massive Attack’s Daddy G, Tony Allen, Moor Mother

    By | March 9, 2017

    Mandela Effect contains remixes, covers and original music.

    Gonjasufi has rounded up a stellar cast for a new collaborative album titled Mandela Effect.

    The LP features a Shabazz Palaces rework of ‘Afrikan Spaceship’ from the San Diego artist’s 2016 album Callus, while Massive Attack’s Daddy G has remixed ‘Your Maker’.

    Moor Mother, Portishead’s Beth Gibbons, Brainfeeder’s Ras G and Afrobeat legend Tony Allen also make appearances.

    As the press release states, the “Mandela Effect” is a fairly recent phenomenon in which experiencers claim to be living in a reality slightly different from the one they remember. These differences, manifested in literature, movies, logos and even people themselves, constitute the evidence of an altered reality for “Mandela” believers.

    The phrase was conceived after large groups of people seemed to “misremember” that Nelson Mandela had died during his imprisonment in South Africa in the ‘80s, rather than in 2013.

    Out via Warp on April 7 on limited vinyl as well as the usual formats, place pre-orders here.

    Tracklist:

    01. ‘(x)’ (Intro)
    02. ‘Show’ (Beth Gibbons/Rustin Man cover)
    03. ‘Your Maker’ (Daddy G Remix)
    04. ‘Afrikan Spaceship’ (Shabazz Palaces Rework)
    05. ‘Maniac Depressant’ (Perera Elsewhere Remix)
    06. ‘When I Die’ (IMD Remix)
    07. ‘(y)’ (interlude)
    08. ‘The Conspiracy’ (Santino Romeri Remix)
    09. ‘Your Maker’ (Anna Wise Remaker)
    10. ‘Afrikan Spaceship’ (Ras G Ghettoscifi Remix)
    11. ‘Maniac Depressant’ (Innsyter Remix)
    12. ‘Vinaigrette’ (Dave Parley Remix)
    13. ‘Afrikan Spaceship’ (King Britt Rework)
    14. ‘The Kill’ (Moor Mother Remix)
    15. ‘Etherwave’ (feat. Tony Allen)
    16. ‘(z)’ (Outro)

  • Shabazz Palaces to release live album on Third Man Records

    By | May 23, 2016

    Originally published on FACT

    Following up the spacey video for ‘Dawn in Luxor’, Shabazz Palaces announce live album.

    Shabazz Palace’s live performance last year at Third Man HQ in the Nashville Blue Room was recorded direct-to-acetate and will now be released as a full-length LP at the end of the spring.

    Of the performance, Third Man affiliate Ben Swank says: “Shabazz Palaces’ obstinately original oeuvre emanates from a fully formed higher conscious, they plant their flag in the outermost realms of the hip hop global soundscape where vibrations throb into beat-heavy explorations, chrome covered constellations of higher reveries each offering its own sonic boom.”

    Last week it was announced that the Seattle duo will open for Radiohead at their LA concerts in August, so this is a great preview of what’s to come. Find the tracklist and artwork below.

    Shabazz Palaces: Live at Third Man Records is out June 3. Pre-order now.

    Listen to the live take of ‘Youlogy’:

    Tracklist:

    01 ‘New Black Wave’
    02 ‘Forerunner Foray’
    03 ‘Youlogy’
    04 ‘Clown Music’
    05 ‘They Come in Gold’
    06 ‘Solemn Swears’
    07 ‘Swerve… The Reaping of All That Is Worthwhile (Noir Notwithstanding)’
    08 ‘Free Press and Curl’
    09 ‘Kill White T, Parable of The Nigga Who Barrels Stay Hot, Made by Hardkings@freecasino.blk’
    10 ‘Are You… Can You… Were You? (Felt)’
    11 ‘Falling Up the Bean Stalk’

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  • The 10 most collectable records of 2015

    By | November 30, 2015

    We begin our end of year review with a look at the 10 most collectable records of 2015.

    Over the next two weeks we’ll be looking back at the year in vinyl, from the best artwork to the most important reissues, the strongest 7″s to the most complete LPs. As we did last year, we’re starting things off with something a little less clean-cut. Here, more than in any other list, it’s important to set out our terms.

    There are many factors which make a record collectable, and many reasons why those factors will mean more or less to every individual (just take a look at our number one…) The first thing to say is that rather than rank these releases as a definitive list, we’re taking each as an opportunity to discuss a different aspect of what we deem to be collectable, and by extension, valuable.

    The most ostentatious mark of value is, of course, monetary. Given that we’re dealing with this year’s new releases and reissues, the time period in which a record can accrue value is relatively short, so any increase should be treated accordingly. While some records will look to artificially create value through limited runs or extravagant packaging, others will simply go up in value through a combination of quality and demand. The most desirable Record Store Day releases are a good example of the former, Arca’s self-released 12″ which topped last year’s list, a good example of the latter. In every case, an inflated re-sale price tag can only tell you so much.

    Collectability can also be defined in terms of the desirability of an individual object for a specific fan base; a record that acts as a trophy or fills some unassailable void (like Ringo’s No. 0000001 copy of the White Album). By the same token, rather than looking at records as totems, collectability can also be seen in terms of series, where a completed set represents more than the sum of its parts.

    Being confined to the last twelve months, we’ve also taken into account some more timely trends (perhaps most strikingly where vinyl is concerned with video game soundtracks), nodding to the movements which have seen a revival of interest among DJs, and elevating the artists who have helped define them. There is really no point discussing collectable records in a vacuum.

    One final word before we start. The records we’ve picked below are subjectively collectable, a list of ten releases we believe to retain some intrinsic value. In doing this, we have sought to keep these choices as accessible as possible, opting (for the most-part) against high-end box sets in favour of ten records with ten unique stories to tell.


    Catch up on all our end of year lists:

    The 50 best vinyl LPs of 2015
    The 30 best vinyl reissues of 2015
    The 20 best 12″s of 2015
    The 20 best 7″s of 2015
    The 20 best record sleeves of 2015
    The Year in vinyl tech
    The 10 best vinyl soundtracks of 2015


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    10. Ragnar Kjartansson / The National

    A Lot Of Sorrow

    (4AD)

    If a pragmatist gauges collectability by monetary value – both on release and secondary markets – then, pragmatically speaking, A Lot Of Sorrow isn’t especially collectable. Retailed at £120, it’s not worth an awful lot more six months on, especially in relative terms. But concept can be as alluring as capitalism, and it’s on qualitative grounds that A Lot Of Sorrow scores points.

    The recording captures the collaboration between Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson and The National, who teamed up in 2013 to play the track ‘Sorrow’ repeatedly and continuously for six hours at MoMA. The marathon concert interrogated the potential for repetition to produce “sculptural presence within sound”.

    The release echoes that concept on vinyl – with ‘Sorrow’ pressed down 99 times, across nine, clear, identically packaged LPs; all housed within a functional acrylic box. Like Trevor Jackson’s FORMAT, A Lot Of Sorrow follows the archival turn in contemporary art but through near-laughable obsessiveness it pushes object fetishisation one step further.


    FrameShot4 copy

    9. Christian Marclay / Various Artists

    Live at White Cube

    (The Vinyl Factory / White Cube)

    Thereʼs nothing more collectable than a series, particularly when every sleeve has been hand-screen printed to designs by Christian Marclay. Released in conjunction with the artistʼs solo show at White Cube earlier this year, the series features performances from the worldʼs leading experimental musicians cut direct to disc in the gallery and pressed in editions of 300. Our mobile pressing plant, The VF Press was on hand to produce the records, which are among the first to have ever been pressed live in a gallery.

    Collectable in so far as youʼll need all fifteen to complete the series, here are records you could witness being performed and pressed for free before purchase. OK, we’re a little biased but weʼve included this series to highlight that collectable need not mean prohibitive expense nor outlandish novelty.

    Documents of a process of experimentation and improvisation, a number of specific releases also stand out, notably Thurston Mooreʼs collaboration with Christian Marclay, which rekindles a creative partnership first forged in the spaces of downtown NYCʼs no wave scene in the early ʻ80s and has sold for £70 since.

    And far from an anachronistic practice, the setʼs emphasis on contemporary music also sees Mica Leviʼs return to composition after her score to Jonathan Glazerʼs Under The Skin won a BAFTA at the start of the year, and Ryoji Ikeda collaborate with Marclay on the final 12” of the series. The VF Press was also in operation at Barbican for Doug Aitken’s Station To Station where Savages, Nozinja and Giogrio Moroder were produced in a similar fashion.


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    8. Rupture

    Israel Suite / Dominate En Bel

    (Digger’s Digest, French Attack)

    This year’s lavish reissue of holy grail vocal jazz fusion album Israel Suite / Dominate En Bel is an instant collector’s item. Recorded in France in ’73, but never commercially released, the original has held a mythical position for over four decades. No one knows how many copies were originally made, but you can bet your needles it’s less than 100 – which goes some way to explain why a first pressing has never traded on Discogs and why dealers push four digits for it.

    The reissue, a joint production from Digger’s Digest and French Attack, brought this rare groove masterpiece back within reach, but with just 500 released, it sold in a flash. With demand still far outweighing supplying, and no sign of a repress, this one’s a wise investment.

    Other reissue collectables this year include Mariah’s absurdly cult album Utakata No Hibi, and ‘Disco Shitan’, a super rare Italian cosmic disco banger from the ‘70s. We also reckon Athens Of The North’s 100 copy reissue of soul burner ‘Thousand Years/Party Time’ has the makings of a rarity, just like the revered father pressing.


    shit and shine2

    7. Shit & Shine

    Chakinʼ

    (Rock Is Hell Records)

    Craig Clouse rarely does things by the book. Following Shit & Shineʼs stellar showing in 2014’s top 100 records list, this yearʼs contribution comes in the form of five differently coloured, hand-printed editions of Chakinʼ, which originally appearedon just 250 cassette tapes. As collectable as those are is, weʼre here to talk about the vinyl, and why Chakinʼ is a perfect example of how hand-crafted anomalies can be both collactable in themselves and relative to the market.

    Not shackled by round numbers, there are 407 copies of Chakinʼ out there, each with variously different sleeve patterns. Hereʼs the breakdown: Green background print, limited to 149 copies. Green/Grey background print, limited to 3 copies. Green/Yellow background print, limited to 8 copies. Grey background print, limited to 99 copies. Yellow background print, limited to 148 copies.

    While ‘Green/grey’ is obviously the combination to covet, the concept is charmingly shambolic, somewhat random and wonderfully egalitarian. While weʼre not suggesting Shit & Shine super-fans are going to go out and complete the set, this kind of variation lends an intrinsic value to each individual object. Needless to say, the record is also heisse scheisse, and the kind of thing that should sky-rocket when S&S finally get the credit they deserve.


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    6. Chiwoniso

    Zvichapera

    (Nyami Nyami)

    French label Nyami Nyami debuted earlier this year with the final recording of late Zimbabwean singer and mbira player Chiwoniso Maraire who sadly died aged 38, at the peak of her career. Weeks before she passed, Chiwoniso stopped by a studio in Harare where she and fellow musician Jacob Mafuleni, captured an enchanting, stripped-down take of ‘Zvichapera’ – a song popularised by Thomas Mapfumo.

    “It was one of the most emotionally intense sessions I’ve ever experienced,” writes Nyami Nyami label head Antoine Rajon in the record’s liner notes.

    The swan song, remix from her brother Tendai Marare (one half of Shabazz Palaces) and silk screened artwork all make for a fitting and beautiful testament to the artist. Totting up those elements and a limited run of 350, we’re taking a punt that Zvichapera will mature into a sought-after item.


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    5. David Wise

    Battletoads (‘Dark Queen’ edition)

    (Iam8bit)

    Digital composers of the ‘90s introduced teens to trippy and daring electronic music while they mindlessly bashed buttons on the NES and Sega Megadrive. It might have been background noise then, but it’s a digging treasure trove in 2015.

    Right up there is David Wise’s glitchy soundtrack – featuring the best pause screen music ever – for the impossibly difficult 8-bit beat’em up Battletoads. Iam8bit pressed up the soundtrack in a limited batch of 300 and sold it exclusively at the San Diego Comic Con back in July. That ‘Dark Queen’ gatefold variant – which plays music when you open it (like a massive birthday card) – now attracts three digits on second hand markets. It’s since been repressed without frills in a generous run of 3000.

    Other gaming collectables this year include Yozo Koshiro’s incredible Streets Of Rage score on Data Discs, Minecraft on Ghostly, Mondo’s reissue of the The Last Of Us, and Super Mario by Koji Kondo on 7”.


    tame impala_currents ltd

    4. Tame Impala

    Currents (Limited / numbered edition + prints)

    (Fiction Records, Interscope records)

    One of the yearʼs heavyweight releases and a collectable record in the traditional sense of the word. While loads of releases will throw in a limited edition run with a print or some kind of extra, these only occasionally become truly collectable. Hereʼs how Currents hit that sweet spot. This edition of was sold exclusively online through Get Music in Australia; it features five individually numbered lenticular prints of the album cover and the singles that preceded it; the appetite and size of the bandʼs following (over a million on Facebook alone) dwarfs its five hundred-copy run.
    
    While all these factors create fertile conditions for collectability, thereʼs one simple fact which has elevated Currents in this instance and pushed its value up ten-fold to between £200 and £300 on the re-sale market, and itʼs perhaps the simplest and most over-looked of all. Currents is a damn good record with emphatic artwork that delivers for Tame Impala fans on every level, and this run is the ultimate trophy edition. No wonder 500 was never going to be enough.


    Len Leise edits

    3. Len Leise

    Edits 001

    (Len Leise Edits)

    One place where value and rarity tends to stay constant is on the international balearic underground. Not so much a genre as a state of mind (once defined simply as anything that came out of Daniele Baldelliʼs record bag a little slower than intended), this brand of cosmic, afro-infused downtempo dance music has played a major role in 2015, both in the glut of reissues weʼve seen from labels like Music For Memory and Emotional Response but also in new music pushed by the likes of Stump Valley and, of course Len Leise.

    A relative enigma, here is an example of a year making a man. Culminating in his first LP Lingua Franca released on International Feel and a stunning afro-dance mix for us, 2015 began with the quiet release of Edits 001 in a run of 150 hand-numbered copies. Doing the rounds in no time, these two tracks sent the price of this 12” spiralling – a modern balearic rarity for a scene of seasoned collectors and DJs experienced enough to have a accrued a fair bit of disposable income.

    Such is the appetite for new music in the scene, and such is the international flavour of its cognoscenti – from Growing Bin in Hamburg to Music From Memory in Amsterdam and Claremont 56 in London – this 12” is a great example of the workings of a global online community in action. There may be a repress in the wind, but for a self-released 12” from an unknown artist to push £70 (itʼs never sold for less than £40) on Discogs is quite something. And if Lingua Franca charts well this winter, you know where those figures are heading.


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    2. PM

    Sweet Thrash

    (Paul McCartney Self-Released)

    The tide somewhat turned on Record Store Day this year, with labels, consumers, even record shops, knocking the annual festival. There’s a feeling (amongst some) that majors have co-opted the event: clogging pressing plants with pointless and novelty reissues – that are then turned out on eBay for dizzying profit.

    In the thick of it is this ‘secret’, self-released Paul McCartney record, with two previously unreleased mixes of ‘Hope For The Future’. Pressed as hand scrawled white labels only, selected shops in the UK and US received a single copy and were instructed to quietly file it away. No prior advertising, nor was it listed with the rest of the RSD releases; presumably the idea was that genuine fans riffling Beatles’ racks would find the record, rather than grasping market flippers.

    But with only 100 copies pressed down, it’s become risibly sought-after and inevitably invited three figure sums on Discogs and eBay alike. One fan even splashed £865 on it. Perhaps the insert card with details of how to download a ‘3D printable Paul’ figurine was one temptation too far. Easily one of most valuable records of the year (in price gain at least), completist McCartney fans can visit Discogs to fight over a copy. That’ll be $1,500 please.


    lee scratch perry - i am paint

    1. Residence La Revolution (Richard Russell & Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry)

    I Am Paint

    (RLR)

    Buying records can be an awfully passive affair. The simplicity with which you can access records online is both liberating and a little worrying. The period of contemplation between desiring a record and buying it is often brief, card details typed in and confirmation sent before youʼve had a chance to ask yourself whether you really wanted it. Sometimes, the answer would have been no, had there been any more resistance along the way.

    Thereʼs a little more activity involved in getting hold of rare records, particularly new releases (although Warp last year put pay to that by entering collectors into a ballot for new limited edition of Syro). None however, have required such active participation as Richard Russell and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perryʼs I Am Paint, where prospective ʻbuyersʼ were tasked with creating something of equatable value to be bartered for a copy of the record.

    Beyond the fact that the record itself was limited to two hundred and fifty uniquely (and literally) hand and foot-painted sleeves by Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, the project has spawned a series of unique artworks that are more or less collectable in their own right.

    Profiled on Richard Russellʼs tumblr, some of the most creative barters include a 3D printed teapot, a painted brick proclaiming itself as ‘I Am Stone’ and our personal favourite from Lee Waller, who first sent a letter suggesting he trade his own birthday for a copy, only to have his attempt denied for not having ʻmadeʼ his own birthday. Resubmitting both his letter and XLʼs response as a single image seems to have done the trick.

    An original, generous and endearing project that turns the concept of value, monetary or otherwise, on its head, itʼs been impossible to look beyond ʻI Am Paintʼ for this list. Thankfully, there isnʼt a single one up for re-sale on Discogs, making it not only the most collectable record of the year, but one with which those who own it may never want to part.


    Illustration by Hector Plimmer

  • The 10 best vinyl releases this week (27th April)

    By | April 27, 2015

    Web

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

    With Record Store Day now a distant memory, regular releases are out in full force again. Hot off the press this week is a ten LP boxset showcasing the unissued works Pierre Henry, a pioneer of musique concrète. Travelling from past to present, we’ve also bagged an hour of odd-pop and heart-stopping sounds from Britain’s most absorbing composer of the moment Mica Levi.

    The singles don’t look too shabby either. Whether it’s beach-ready Balearic beats, hi-tech jazz style techno, twisted punk or Zimbabwean mbira music, there’s something for every palette.

    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, James Hammond and Theo Leanse. 5 singles and 5 LP’s every 7 days that are unmissable additions to any collection.


    Singles


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    Farbror Resande Mac

    EP

    (Aficionado)

    Listen / Buy

    After a stunning mini LP on Mystic & Quantum and a swooning single on Is It Balearic? last year, Farbror Resande Mac bring their stargazing sounds to Manchester’s imperious Aficionado for their strongest release to date. More diverse than their previous offerings, this EP sees the Swedish spacemen blast off with pulsating Balearic trance and zero gravity house before gliding into relaxed ambience, soothing New Age and horizontal night music. Each track sits well within the whole, sharing the same kosmische DNA of glittering synths and sustained tones, but evolves into a different strain of the Farbror Resande Mac sound, by turns transporting the listener to the dancefloor, the bar, the beach and the bedroom.


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    Chiwoniso

    Zvichapera

    (Nyami Nyami)

    Listen / Buy

    The inaugural release from French imprint Nyami Nyami is the final recording of the late Zimbabwean artist Chiwoniso Maraire who sadly passed whilst at the height of her artistry at 38. The lead track, remix from her brother Tendai Marare (one half of Shabazz Palaces), and silk screened artwork, all make for a fitting and beautiful testament to her touching song-forms and role as a truly inspired and unique voice for the mbira.


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    Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat

    Oma Rauha

    (Mutant)

    Buy

    If you haven’t come across Helsinki’s PKN yet then make this limited 7″ your first point of call. Founded in 2009, these four cooler than cool Finnish punks got together through a charity workshop for adults with learning disabilities called Lyhty and decided to form a punk band. A real punk band. None of this fake shit punk either. Their tunes match their attitude and here’s six reasons why.


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    Various Artists

    Decon Recon #1

    (Noise Manifesto)

    Listen / Buy

    Delivering UR style hi-tech jazz along with some straight-up industrial techno, rRoxymore, Aquarian Jugs (a.k.a. Planningtorock), Oni Ayhun and Jaguar Woman (aka Paula Temple) present this four-track EP on Temple’s own Noise Manifesto project. But which track belongs to which artist? This is libertarian techno, forget ownership. Each of the artists submitted samples to an open archive which were assembled and re-assembled by the artists themselves, blurring lines of ownership, surrendering identities and ultimately producing a string of slamming otherworldly dance cuts.


     

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    Jeb Loy Nichols

    Katie Blue / Don’t Drop Me

    (City Country City)

    Listen / Buy

    Jeb Loy Nichols is an American-born singer-songwriter who has been based since the ’80s in Wales, where he has recorded almost ten albums of material tied to the music and musicians centred on Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released these records on labels including Capitol and Rough Trade, but this latest single is for his own City Country City imprint, and is a double-header of country-tinged vintage southern soul limited and signed by Nichols and launched with four gigs on one day.


    LPs


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    Psychemagik

    Magik Sunset Part 1

    (Leng)

    Listen / Buy

    Kentish DJ duo and record obsessive-compulsives Psychemagik mark the beginning of the end with this concluding part of their compilation trilogy (preceded by Magik Cyrkles and Magik Sunrise, both also on Leng Records). It’s another haul of psychoactive dance music and meditative ooze from the oddest recesses ever to be touched by the legacy of psychedelia, stretching like a long private beach from the huge surfside hippy dream of Bobby Brown’s ‘My Hawaiian Home’ to the extra-terrestrial strut of Terry Brooks & Strange’s ‘High Flyer’, with a blissful glut of guitar and sitar, funky, sometimes edited for DJs, often privately pressed, and always super obscure.


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    Dawn Of Humans

    Slurping At The Cosmos Spine

    (La Vida Es Un Mus)

    Listen / Buy

    The ever excellent La Vida Es Un Mus label reaches its 100th release with this unhinged masterpiece from New York’s very own Dawn Of Humans. This could easily be the soundtrack to the creepiest house party you’ve ever been to yet guaranteed to bring the best time ever. It’s punk for sure – but twisted, chewed up and brutalised in equal measure. Nice package too – reverse board, lyric sheet and poster too. All made with love.



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    Micachu

    Feeling Romantic Feeling Tropical Feeling Ill

    (DDS)

    Listen / Buy

    In 2014 indie singer Mica Levi traversed new territory with Under The Skin, one of our favourite records of the year and arguably one of the greatest horror scores ever. In 2015 she continues to experiment with composition in new contexts, most recently producing a work in response to Christian Marclay’s exhibition at White Cube art gallery. Slipped in between these projects, at the tail of last year, was a very limited cassette run on DDS that sold out in a flash. Set across three unbound and interlinked chapters, as per the title, Feeling Romantic Feeling Tropical Feeling Ill mashes together vignettes of spine-tingling post-classical ambience and scratchy strings with folding and warping odd-pop, instrumental hip-hop and soft rock. Now on vinyl for the first time, this hour-long session is the strongest evidence to date of Levi’s ability to put her own, utterly fascinating, stamp on a diverse array of musical styles.


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    Various Artists

    High Road

    (Red Motorbike)

    Listen / Buy

    Eddie C parks his reliable chopper in a truck-stop off Route 101 and invites us all to party with the rest of his beat-loving biker gang with this limited double vinyl compilation of head nodding sounds. Bringing together his nearest and dearest associates from the extended family of Red Motorbike and Common Edits, Eddie curates a thirteen track selection of all new material perfectly in keeping with the label’s inimitable style. Psychedelic soul, laid back funk and navel gazing aor are looped and flipped into hypnotic grooves as we’re taken for a slow cruise down the coast. There’s plenty of bang for your buck in the tracklist, but if I were forced to pick a stand out I’d have to go with Eddie’s sublime rework of JJ Cale’s “Ride Me High”, a worthy inspiration for the LP’s title.


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    Pierre Henry

    Choix D’Oeuvres: 1950-1985

    (Vinyl-On-Demand)

    Listen / Buy

    It was around this time last year that Vinyl-On-Demand dropped their expertly curated and beautifully presented Muslimgauze box set, and this time round the same treatment has been given to half of Pierre Henry’s life in sound. That this set stretches out across 10 LPs and focuses on previously unissued works isn’t surprising- quite simply to step into Henry’s library of recordings is to step into a vast and self-contained universe of sound where the wondrous abounds. With the size, contents and attention to detail these sets call for- from mastering to Henry’s specifications, to the 4 panel booklet of liner notes and onwards- they do end up as a bit of a financial undertaking, but one that is indeed most worthy for all lovers of experimental music.

  • Shabazz Palaces pair up with Jack White for a direct-to-acetate album

    By | January 9, 2015

    Sub Pop hip hop duo Shabazz Palaces are the next act to step inside Third Man’s Blue Room.

    Jack White’s Third Man Records have announced that Shabazz Palaces will record a live, direct-to-acetate LP at the label’s Nashville studios later this month.

    Set to take place with a live audience on Saturday, January 17th,  Third Man announced the album on their website:

    Very few records from last year got us as excited about the current state and hopeful for the future state of music as Shabazz Palaces’ Lese Majesty. Easily the most oft-spun record on the Third Man office turntable in the second half of 2014, it was imperative that we bless the beginning of 2015 with a live direct-to-acetate recording from these psychedelic warriors from the Pacific Northwest. Shabazz Palaces’ obstinately original oeuvre emanates from a fully formed higher conscious, they plant their flag in the outermost realms of the hip hop global soundscape where vibrations throb into beat-heavy explorations, chrome covered constellations of higher reveries each offering it’s own sonic boom. We couldn’t be more excited to host Shabazz Palaces in our Blue Room transcribing their astral suites direct-to-acetate for a live audience, on Saturday January 17th we all blast off together.

    Other acts to step into the unique Blue Room include Tom Jones, Black Milk and the Insane Clown Posse. Fans who attend the performance will be able to pre-order the live album on limited edition blue-and-black split-colour vinyl.

    (via FACT)

  • The 10 best vinyl releases this week (28th July)

    By | July 28, 2014

    top records_cover2

    The Vinyl Factory select the 10 most essential vinyl releases of the last 7 days.

    One of the strongest and most varied weeks in quite some time, as we fill our record bag with gorgeous 12″s from Anthony Naples on Trilogy Tapes, the new Brazilian Shakedown EP and Bison’s ‘Mandy’ on Claremont 56 – by some way the sleaziest thing you’ll hear all summer. A big week for albums too sees Shabazz Palaces return, Craig Leon get another RVNG Intl. re-up and Pye Corner Audio team with Not Waving for a set of spy-themed dispatches on Interceps.

    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, James Hammond and Theo Leanse. 5 singles and 5 LP’s every 7 days that are unmissable additions to any collection.


    Singles


    Anthony-Lion-1200

    Anthony Naples
    Zipacon
    (The Trilogy Tapes)

    Anthony Naples knows how to keep pushing his craft forward, and in a relatively short space of time as a recording artist/ producer he’s drawn a lot of attention to his output and live shows on both sides of the pond and further afield. This 2nd EP for The Trilogy Tapes is further cause to investigate if you’re unfamiliar, with ‘Perro’ in particular sounding like an upping of the refinement – 8 minutes of keenly pitched, propulsive and dreamy tones, and a shifting of gears part way through that seems to belie his experience. Naples’ own imprint Probito, which flows out of Glasgow’s Rubadub records on these shores, is also well worth checking out.

    Listen HERE.


    Bison
    Mandy
    (Claremont 56)

    In 2011 the ace leftfield disco and cosmic label Claremont 56 released a little seven inch by Bison, a few minutes of sticky cosmic rock that had been recorded on what is hallowed ground for that sort of thing — Interspace Studios, a commune home to the band Can. The vocals were close and gristly, delivered by none other than Can’s drummer Holger Czukay, and the louchly bass-led plod was a dunk into a timeless funk of trippy, whirling sensation, a statement of oddness and other-worldliness that ended seemingly as soon as it was begun. With this 12” release, it’s extended to a much appreciated 7+ minutes by Mudd.

    Listen HERE.


    Various Artists
    Brazilian Shakedown
    (Brazilian Shakedown)

    From the guys behind the brace of African Shakedown EPs (remember Noema’s Ata Kak edit of ‘Den Nyinaa’ which took the roof off every party in 2012) comes Brazilian Shakedown, which this time sees Noema joined by a trio of Brazilian producers – Sao Paolo’s DJ Marcio Vermelho and the Voodoohop collective and Carrot Green from Rio, whose local sensibilities treat their subjects with supreme respect for a series of seamless summer edits, remixes and originals. With original artowrk from Porto Allegre artist Daniel Eizirik, it’s worth noting that the original African Shakedowns are going for top dollar on Discogs ($75-$110).

    Listen HERE.


    sequester

    Mark Forshaw
    Sequester EP
    (III Rivers)

    After close encounters with black holes and meteor showers while Voiceless and Hakim Murphy were at the helm, III Rivers enlist a North-West neighbour to take the reins as we continue our journey into deep space. Armed with a star map, a compass and a week’s supply of sensory boosts, Mark Forshaw rides glistening arpeggios and thrusting sequences over the milky way (‘Change Request’), dives through a wormhole into a maze of concentric loops (‘Fantastic Flake’) and finally emerges into an acid vacuum of dark matter and starship debris (‘Where Did You Go’). If you like your techno both retro and space age, then this three tracker on Manchester’s most underground imprint will send you into orbit.

    Listen HERE.


    frau_punk is my boyfriend

    Frau
    Punk Is My Boyfriend
    (Static Shock Records)

    If you’re thing is all-girl, discordant punk blasts of pure diy magic then Frau are your band. It’s got elements of Crass, Kleenex, Huggy Bear and even The Slits buried in its scratchy guitars, pounding drums and shouty vocals, yet these girls sure know how to party. Limited to 400 copies on the excellent Static Shock Records.

    Listen HERE.


    LP’s


    shabazzpalaces-lesemajesty-600px

    Shabazz Palaces
    Lese Majesty
    (Sub Pop)

    This behemoth project from the Seattle duo made up of Digable Planets rapper Ishmael Butler and multi-instrumentalist Tendai ‘Baba’ Maraire lurches forward again. After 2011’s Black Up, the esoteric layers of this thing isn’t a surprise, and at times there are memories of the Beastie Boy’s louche, friendless and F-you attitude developed by their transitioning from hardcore to hip hop, but there’s something incredibly exciting and unplaceable about their grand textures, as the allusive and rambling raps are ruptured by synthesizers and beat shifts only to be held elegantly and ever more closely together. A record that drips with care, completely dedicated to expand, or grate against, or otherwise somehow divert consciousness.

    Listen HERE.


    felizol and the boy

    Felizol & The Boy
    Like Cannibal Father Like Cannibal Son
    (Optimo Music)

    JD Twitch’s tastemaking Glasgow imprint Optimo Music makes it five LPs in as many years with this unique debut album from Greece’s Felizol & The Boy. In their other life, Yiannis Veslemes and Alexandros Voulgaris are cutting edge film directors, and this fact is reflected in both the cinematic narrative running through the heart of the record and a sonic debt to the likes of Carpenter, Vangelis and Wendy Carlos. The heady brew of all these influences results in an idiosyncratic album which moves between the slow bubble of acid sleaze, demented baroque hymns, and brooding sci fi chug on a restless journey towards a feast of the flesh. As cool as it is crazy, you won’t hear another record quite like this for a long time.

    Listen HERE.


    ReRVNG04_900px

    Craig Leon
    Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music: Vol 1
    (RVNG Intl.)

    Whilst last years reissue of 1981’s Nommos brought it out of relative obscurity and onto a fair few end of year lists (FACT/VF), a facsimile reissue of the Takoma version was not exactly what Craig Leon had in mind. This package not only unites the narrative arc between Nommos and it’s twin sister Visiting, but makes considerable improvement on fidelity as Leon painstakingly recreated the exact settings on his now vintage synths for a 2014 re-recording of both pieces. Conceived as extraterrestrial transmissions of sound, steeped in the cultural traditions of Mali’s Dogon tribe, the visionary electronica within makes for an essential listen that covers a lot of bases- modern classical, ambient, kosmiche, minimalism- but with the sounds, fitting to they’re genesis, ultimately falling under “Other”.

    Listen HERE.


    intercepts

    Pye Corner Audio & Not Waving
    Intercepts
    (Ecstatic)

    Alessio Natalizia aka Not Waving joins Pye Corner Audio on this superb split LP drawing on the clandestine world of Cold War espionage, an esoteric and at times not entirely explicable frame for what is, narrative aside, essentially a superb eight-track collection from a two-faced underworld where industrial techno masquerades as ethereal synth pop and ambient electronica carries a cosmic passport. Look no further than Pye Corner Audio’s ‘Perfect Secrecy Forever’ for the key – a sparse synth-heavy techno grower that reveals itself as a full-blown cosmic anthem. The initial limited edition run of 500 copies comes on “battle-ship grey vinyl” (come on, guys) with 4x A4 declassified artwork also included.

    Listen HERE.


    jonahtolchin-cloverlane_sm_2

    Jonah Tolchin
    Clover Lane
    (Yep Roc)

    Jonah Tolchin’s take on country is the rough and rugged kind. One minute it’s steeped in folk and blues and the next, an almost punk direction takes over! It’s still Americana and rich in country magic yet there’s something about the way Tolchin delivers that sets this apart from a hundred other artists ploughing that direction.

    Listen HERE.

  • Experimental hip hop outfit Shabazz Palaces to release early EPs on vinyl for the first time

    By | December 2, 2013

    Clandestine Seattle hip hop collective commit their self-released 2009 debut Shabazz Palaces and follow-up Of Light to wax for the first time.

    Routinely caught pestering the upper echelons of 2011’s ‘best of’ charts, Shabazz Palaces’ groundbreaking Black Up on Seattle’s Sub Pop (not a label strictly known for its hip hop) was a bold proclamation for a duo who until that point had kept their output very much in the shadows.

    Fronted by Ishmael Butler (formerly ‘Butterfly’ Digable Planets, who have finally had their landmark LP The Blow Out Comb reissued on vinyl by Light In The Attic) and multi-instrumentalist Tendai ‘Baba’ Maraire, Shabazz Palaces slipped out two EP’s anonymously in 2009 with Herzogian titles Eagles Soar, Oil Flows and The Seven New. Known roundly since as Shabazz Palaces and Of Light the EP’s were CD & download only; under the table calling cards for a new breed of experimental hip hop.

    Now, spotted by Potholes in my Blog listed on online record retailer Insound, it looks like both are to be released on vinyl for the first time via the Templar Label Group, with Shabazz Palaces to be pressed to red and Of Light to green vinyl.

    Both look to be available for order now and you can listen to the superb ‘Gunbeat Falls’ from Of Light below:

    shabazz palaces

    shabazz palaces_of light

    Cover image by Leif Podhajsky.

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