Welcome to week 47/52. Big returns, brilliant debuts and some lost gems.
Danny Brown is one of our most favourite voices in the hip-hop landscape, full of manic exuberance that creates an adrenaline-fuelled bop of squawks and yowls. His fifth studio LP - uknowhatimsayin¿ - is an absolute stunner, executively produced by iconic rapper and producer Q-Tip - of A Tribe Called Quest - it’s the culmination of a decade’s work that has brought huge plaudits from both the underground and mainstream. It transcends genres and further elaborates the Detroit rapper’s ability to evolve, whilst referencing the past and sounding totally like himself. Our Record of the Week and the best rap record this year by a country mile.
Berlin-based cellist and composer Anne Müller - a regular collaborator with Nils Frahm and Agnes Obel amongst many others - releases her long-awaited debut solo album Heliopause. A highly personal work, it was recorded, arranged and produced entirely by Müller. It’s named after the point at the edge of our solar system where solar wind from our own system is in balance with the interstellar wind from outside it. Exquisitely other-worldly whilst still sounding earthly and humanly crafted, a really beautiful set.
With production credits that include Pharrell Williams, Cole M.G.N., Greg Kurstin and Paul Epworth, you know that Beck is in full blown pop mode on his fourteenth LP Hyperspace. His ability to deliver music so massively stylistically different each time out a huge part of his charm. It is an album of tightly wound electro-pop bangers that feels just as sincere as his acoustic musings on Sea Change or Morning Phase.
+ Available as an Indie Shop exclusive on 'metallic silver' vinyl.
The excellent Girl Ray return with their second LP - Girl - Recorded at Electric Beach Studios in Margate with Ash Workman (Christine and the Queens, Metronomy), it's a delightful, sun-kissed tribute to their love of pop and R&B. Been playing this loads.
+ The limited Indie edition is pressed on 'Ferrari RED' coloured vinyl.
Richard Fearless (of Death in Vegas) returns with Deep Rave Memory and it is so fierce. The balance between the ambient sections and the intense beats is pretty thrilling stuff. Hell of an album this.
+ Double LP, limited to just 125 copies for the UK, this is only available through Indie shops.
Finnish psych-pop voyager Jaakko Eino Kalevi returns with Dissolution via Domino's Weird World imprint. A beautifully mixed bag of textures from chirpy synthpop to darker blends of disco and even krautrock. Always fascinating, well worth checking out this one.
Health&Beauty release their excellent seventh LP Shame Engine / Blood Pleasure via Witchita. Huge cast of current and former members, experimental layers and some epic wig outs, it's really lush this.
Thanks For The Dance is a posthumous set of new songs from Leonard Cohen. Leonard’s son, Adam Cohen, produced and masterminded the project, seven months after his father's death, retreating to a converted garage in his garden, down the street from Leonard's house, to work with his father again. It's going down a treat here this morning.
On New Music for the 12 String Guitar, Toby Hay explores the rich array of textures and tones of the the 12 string guitar. It's so beautiful this, all challenging and pushing to its limit both his playing and what the instrument could really do.
** Toby will be joining us live in the shop this Saturday afternoon at 3pm. We'll ask him to sign some copies for us.
Coming up late in the year with ANOTHER killer comp, Soul Jazz Records present SPACE FUNK - Afro-Futurist Electro Funk in Space 1976-84, an intergalactic journey of rare and off-the-wall space funk and electro, mostly released on small independent labels in the late 1970s and 1980s.
We have a fiftieth anniversary edition of The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed this week. LP sounds great and the deluxe box is really nice with all sorts of companion material. I had no idea that Delia Smith made the cake!
Between 21 October 1966 and 9 January 1968, Cream recorded eight sessions for the BBC radio network, selected highlights from seven of which are featured in chronological order on this collection. All housed in a gatefold sleeve, white and cream vinyl and numbered editions.
Les Disques du Crepuscule is pleased to announce new CD and vinyl editions of landmark avant-garde composition Vexations by Erik Satie, originally written in 1893. First performed under the supervision of John Cage in 1963, this radical, enigmatic, proto-Surrealist work is now recognised as a significant milestone in the avant-garde canon. This meditative 70 minute recording features 40 repetitions of the motif, performed by Alan Marks on piano. The recording was produced by Thomas Wilbrandt. Both the CD and vinyl versions include detailed liner notes by Marks and musicologist Stephen Whittington.
+ LP is limited to 500 copies and is pressed on crystal clear vinyl.
+ (CD Edition due next week).
Iowa Dream presents nineteen tracks of Arthur Russell’s most personal work. It features collaborations with a stacked roster of downtown New York musicians. More than forty years after Russell recorded several nearly finished songs, Peter Broderick worked diligently with Audika to complete them, and performed audio restoration and additional mixing
Originally released in 1988 on Fierce Recordings as a collection of five one-sided singles in a 7” cardboard box (etched on B-sides), Optic Nerve this week reissue the iconic The Pooh Sticks 7" Box Set with colour vinyl pressings, new notes and never before available B-Sides. Really love this.
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