NEW THIS WEEK AT THE SHOP:
We have an always welcome new record from Chicago folk-rock scamp Ryley Walker and (bear with me now) this one is a disc of Dave Matthews Band covers. Whatever you think of the DMB, or their underappreciated early 20th century jam sessions dubbed 'Lillywhite', let it pass from your mind for now, as this disc showcases yet another side of a seemingly infinitely reinventable persona in the young Walker, seeing him lend jazzy folk inflections ala early Sea and Cake or fuzzy realness ala 'AM' era Wilco to these tunes of the Bard Dave. On the same note are two lovely archival releases from the Big Thief camp, the first a disc of unreleased music from the group's songwriters Adrienne Lenker and Buck Meek, and the second a vinyl reissue of Lenker's debut solo album 'Hours Were The Birds', which is a gorgeous set of wintry folk tunes heavy with imagery.
More exquisite moods from the continent of Africa this week, starting off with two lovely LPs from Bonga. The Angolan singer performs a style called semba, a kind of latin-influenced rhythmic folk that also turned up in some Colombian music of the same period. A couple of Bonga tracks have turned up on compilations here and there, but these albums have never been available as full LPs since their original release. The Awesome Tapes From Africa label launches another spiritual bomb into the stratosphere with a set of early recordings by Ethiopian harpist and singer Asnakech Worku. "Ethiopian Icon' is haunting, raw and elliptical, with engaging accompaniment from none other than ATFA MVP Hailu Mergia. The Sublime Frequencies label delivers another missive from the cultural fringes with a new record by balafonist Baba Commandant and his band, and its a real smoker.
On the heels of the release of his lost 1963 sessions, Impulse delivers a 3 CD set compiling ALL of John Coltrane's recordings from that year, allowing the listener to take in the full scope of his accomplishments in that year alone. It's been 50 years since the release of the Rolling Stones' 'Beggars Banquet' and its back with its original RSVP cover wrapping and a vinyl version packed full of goodies. Kate Bush's early albums get the remaster treatment on two individual LP sets and one large CD set.
More deep cuts restored to wax this week include the fiery spiritual jazz meets spoken word cauldron that is Amiri Baraka's 'Its Nation Time'. 80s funk group California Flight Project never saw their records make it past the demo stage during their initial existence, but thats been rectified by diehards more recently, and now we have it all on a single LP. Truly flawless, sundrenched and cosmic boogie funk here. The Be With Records label tucks another disco grail under their belt with the reissue of Marti Caine's one of a kind 1981 album 'Point Of View', which crosses up femme disco with bits of reggae and funk.
New jazz releases this week include the vinyl for Moses Boyd's incredible latin and funk influenced album 'Displaced Diaspora', and CD only affairs from Florian Weber and Gabriel Zucker.
Coil's late-period landmark ambient album 'The Ape of Naples' is back in print after last years repress disappeared in a matter of days. The 90s dark ambient masterpiece 'Stalker' by Robert Rich and Lustmord is on vinyl for the first time ever. The galactic jewel of 90s IDM known as B12's 'Time Tourist' is back in the house in an expanded edition on both CD and LP.
Speaking of IDM, the mysterious French label Melodies Souterraines has another cryptic compilation of rare 12" only cuts from the 90s and 00s that traces a delicate history of lesser appreciated electronic music and plays out like a loving mixtape made by the most knowledgeable DJ of all time. They've also brought us a compilation of early 80s material by the British art commune known only as Chen Yi, which sounds of a piece with music being made by likeminded groups like Throbbing Gristle, SPK, and Cabaret Voltaire. Glaswegian record savant JD Twitch has compiled a killer set of German art-punk for Strut called 'Kreaturen Der Nacht'.