It was rather an unusual shop because it didn't sell anything. Wake up, be bright, be golden and light. Today is all about a saggy old cloth cat.
Roughly this time next week we will be launching our annual Records of the Year edition of Deluxe, our top 100 albums released in 2018. We're having a launch party at Drift between 6pm and 9pm on (Black) Friday 23rd November, playing records, drinking cans and giving away some pretty sweet stuff. More this week on our socials.
Record of the Week today is also our 2018 Soundtrack release of the year, the simply wonderful Bagpuss release on Earth Recordings. 12th of February, 1974, and for an audience of small children at 1:45pm, a life irrevocably coloured by the wayward wonderings of one saggy cloth cat. Some 44 years later and Earth Recordings opens the door to Bagpuss & Co. once again, revealing for the first time the original music in all its newly-mastered splendour. Sandra Kerr and John Faulkner’s compositions are so joyous, a patchwork of traditional pieces, improvisations and half-remembered tunes. Such a beautiful and loving presentation too, beautiful new artwork from Hannah Alice and liner notes from Stewart Lee, Daniel Postgate, Frances Mckee (The Vaselines) Andy Votel and Sarah Martin (Belle & Sebastian). Wonderfully simple music that is so evocative and - for a certain generation - evocatively linked to that saggy cloth cat. For another, it’s a thrilling entry point to a very special new world.
Flying Lotus’ immaculate Brainfeeder label mark ten years in the game with Brainfeeder X, a 36 track compilation featuring 22 brand new, previously unreleased cuts by Thundercat, Martyn, Georgia Anne Muldrow, mr.oizo, Jameszoo, Dorian Concept, and Iglooghost. For the last ten years, Brainfeeder has reminded the world that the future is only as far away as it needs to be. It’s less a label than an international conspiracy to conquer clichéd sounds, a glowing neon helix re-organising the DNA of hip-hop and house, jazz and ambient, techno and soul, funk and footwork and every other strain of beat music that eludes compartmentalisation. The label has become a sanctified refuge for those who believe that nothing is too weird, genre is largely obsolete, and the wildest style will always reign supreme.
Gearbox Records releases Sarathy Korwar in collaboration with UPAJ Collective. Recorded live at London’s Church of Sound, My East Is Your West appears here in its full unedited glory, since not a second of this incredible work could be left on the cutting room floor. Truly spiritual jazz.
Moshi Moshi release Make Up Your Own Stories from Invisible Minds. The project is a new outlet for producer and DJ Tim Green. Some amazing textures in this, it's a really lush collision of styles and tones.
Hen Ogledd - founded by Richard Dawson and harpist Rhodri Davies - release their third album Mogic (their first for Weird World), this time joined by Dawn Bothwell and Sally Pilkington. Ravishing melodies, hallucinatory textures and bonkers rhythms, it is irresistibly catchy, expertly crafted and very weird art-pop.
Following May's Deafman Glance, Ryley Walker closes out the year with a second album, but one poles apart from the studios grace of Deafman Glance. Ryley and trio have covered Dave Matthews’ infamously abandoned 2001 art-rock masterpiece The Lillywhite Sessions. Whereas Deafman Glance is a gift to everyone else, Lillywhite is clearly a personal joy for the hard-working Walker.
Spoken By The Other is the first EP from duo Powell Tillmans (Oscar Powell, the London-based electronic musician and Wolfgang Tillmans, the Turner Prize-winning fine artist). It's a collection of recordings from two of the most interesting artists in Europe, and one whose short length belies its radical tenderness, sonic language and political ambition.
Josephine Foster releases Fairy Faithful Harmony on Fire Records and her voice sounds amazing. Limited indie shop edition on double clear vinyl.
Some pretty big hitters releasing new albums this week. The Good, The Bad & The Queen release Merrie Land, Smashing Pumpkins return with SHINY AND OH SO BRIGHT, VOL. 1 / LP: NO PAST. NO FUTURE. NO SUN. and Mumford & Sons release Delta, including a limited beige colour vinyl LP. There is a track mid-way called The Wild with some really lush mixing on... we loved that bit.
First Terrace Records (who we are crackers about) present over two hours of brutalist rhythm explorations from Japan, taking the form of a major retrospective of prolific yet unsung noise-maker Sofheso. This first double cassette archive is pretty thrilling stuff.
Reissue section is WILD today.
The 2018 Kate Bush reissue series arrives in wave one today (with drop two at the end of the month). Two vinyl box sets and also stand alone remastered editions of; The Kick Inside, Lionheart, Never For Ever, The Dreaming, Hounds Of Love, Sensual World and The Red Shoes. Opened up Hounds of Love first thing this morning and it sounded banging as we poured out some hot coffee here in the shop.
Also sounding predictably brilliant, are Brian Eno's four ambient albums; Music For Films, Discreet Music, On Land and Music For Airports. They are all available as single LP and very limited double 45 speed Half Speed Master editions.
The David Bowie 7" picture disc series continues with a 40th Anniversary edition of Breaking Glass.
The ever-reliable Awesome Tapes from Africa release Asnakech Worku's Asnaketch today. Legendary Ethiopian singer/instrumentalist, who at her mid-1970s prime, was backed by Hailu Mergia who is part of the minimal trio on this fine LP. Starkly minimal but deeply evocative.
Fat Possum reissues a sky blue vinyl pressing of the debut self-titled Unknown Mortal Orchestra LP. Essential that.
Another one we loved going back to is Alela Diane's Pirate’s Gospel. It actually came out last week I think, but we have stock and it sounds dope.
The Rolling Stones join The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix last week in the 50th Anniversary Edition gang with Beggars Banquet. Remastered with a bunch of great stuff and packaged in the overwrap with original ‘RSVP’ front and back cover.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have reissued some long out of print gems on their Flightless Records. Special colour vinyl editions of 12 Bar Bruise, Eyes Like The Sky, Float Along - Fill Your Lungs, Oddments and Willoughby’s Beach EP. New art too, they all look pretty sick. Not many of these at all, so don't hang about.
Another label we love turning ten this year. Named as the result of confusion around the title of the first Blank Dogs EP (fronted by founder Mike Sniper), Captured Tracks has grown into an unwavering Brooklyn institution of independent music. What followed was a decade of revered releases from a roster that defined the label: Wild Nothing, The Soft Moon, Beach Fossils, Mac DeMarco, DIIV, Craft Spells and more, alongside the new generation of signings B Boys, Lina Tullgren, EZTV, Molly Burch and MOURN. To celebrate the last decade, they’ve produced two budget-priced vinyl samplers that showcase now-classics from a roster of vibrant and varied artists. Plus, they've thrown in an exclusive or two … including the supergroup Shitfather!
Last one day is a real cutie. Khruangbin delivery a Christmassy AF take on Vince Guaraldi’s timeless Christmas Time Is Here. Very limited pressing on green coloured vinyl with a red label.