Dinked Edition No.5, plus loads of box sets... it's as if it just dawned on everyone that we're 46 days off Christmas...
We announced Dinked Edition No.5 this week. Peter Sagar returns as Homeshake on the Captured Tracks sister label Sinderlyn and we have a really nice exclusive. 300 copies worldwide, hand numbered on "Fruit Punch" colour vinyl with an art print. They are obviously flying out so do get involved.
Record of the Week is a stunner. Ghost Forests is musical conversations between Meg Baird (Espers) and Mary Lattimore. The songs alternate between extended ethereal instrumentals, gauzy and dreamy pop, blown-out haze, and modern re-imaginings of epic traditional ballads. Both are musicians we like a great deal, but there is something really powerful about this lush collaboration. They are so trusting of one another which makes for a very special listen. Very highly recommended.
In celebration of the extraordinary life of Charles Bradley, Daptone's Dunham Records release his fourth and final album Black Velvet, just four days after what would have been the singer's 70th birthday. Black Velvet is an extraordinary collection of ten tracks making their LP debut, including fan favorites like Charles' covers of Nirvana's "Stay Away", Neil Young's "Heart Of Gold", and Rodriguez's "Slip Away".
Rockpool Blue is the seventh album by the most excellent Sea Pinks, Belfast's finest purveyors of bittersweet guitar pop since 2010. At 28 minutes, it's a short record about the pressure of taking on adult responsibilities when you still feel like a kid. Gorgeous jangling melancholia.
The Wave Pictures return with the promised second album of the year, Look Inside Your Heart - a warm, joyous record celebrating friendship, happiness and drunken party times. Man we love this band, genuine treasures. The musicianship is so strong, loose jams but delivered brilliantly.
There is life in the old dinosaur. J Mascis releases his new solo LP Elastic Days today on Sub Pop. Plaintive and poetic but full of riffs and really good fun.
Stephen Steinbrink returns today with the deeply personal Utopia Teased, his reflections of grief and catharsis following the Oakland Ghost Ship fire. Far from easy going, but beautifully measured and really quite special stuff.
Liela Moss (of Duke Spirit) releases My Name Is Safe In Your Mouth today on Bela Union. Quietly vibrant with loads of lush dense layers.
The six-piece London jazz ensamble Maisha release There Is A Place today on Brownswood. We were really knocked back by the band on the lush We Out Here compilation (also on Brownswood and also featuring the formidable tenor sax and flute of Nubya Garcia who is very present here).
Mick Harvey and Christopher Richard Barker have collaborated today on Mute with The Fall and Rise of Edgar Bourchier and the Horrors of War, examining the work of a long forgotten World War I poet, Edgar Bourchier, with his poetry as put to music in a concept album.
More or Less is the fifth studio LP from Dan Mangan on City Slang. Lapse of Exchange is a double collection of new work from Reto A Ichi, AKA Guillermo Herren, AKA Prefuse 73. Includes 4 panel comic visualisation of the music. We have about three copies left of the Taraval Aardvark 12” on Text which is a beast! Really lush compilation called Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music out on Anthology Recordings. Celebrated dance producer Planningtorock – aka Jam Rostron's - returns with her radical fourth album Powerhouse today. Only given this a few plays and we're already really into it. She is so good.
Boygenius is the new supergroup from Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus, three wonderful young voices. The self-titled EP is really special stuff, so hyped on this project.
Last new(ish) one today and it is amazing. Strut present an exclusive new compilation curated by Optimo’s JD Twitch, Kreaturen Der Nacht, bringing together classics, rarities and oddities from Germany’s original post-punk and DIY scene. Few bits we knew, loads we didn't. The package features a host of rare and unseen photos from the period along with extensive interviews. This is an amazing deep dive.
Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. We'll be honest... it's still a little bit hard for us to accept that we are in a post-Beastie Boys world. Loved this band to death and this book is an absolute joy.
It's a quite exceptional week for re-issues today, some big hitters and some lush editions.
The Beatles White Album turns fifty and this set of expanded anniversary editions are pretty lush. To create the new stereo audio mixes, George Martin's son Giles Martin and Sam Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios. The release includes Martin’s new stereo album mix, sourced directly from the original four-track and eight-track session tapes. Martin’s new mix is guided by the album’s original stereo mix produced by his father, George Martin. It is also half-speed cut by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. Has to be said, it sounds immense. Maybe they could have cut out some of the filler? I mean, side three is pretty sick.
So this is quite interesting. Also fifty and released in a deluxe box (remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analogue tapes) is The Jimi Hendrix Experience's Electric Ladyland. Again, this sounds lush. Hearing all sorts of new stuff in the background, ...And the Gods Made Love in particular... they were necking so many drugs.
Okay... calling it straight. Hendrix is better.
Fleet Foxes release a special limited-edition collection to mark the 10th anniversary of their debut album entitled First Collection 2006 – 2009. The package features content spanning the early days of Fleet Foxes’ career, including the self-titled full-length debut album on 12” vinyl, as well as the 'Sun Giant' EP on 10” vinyl and the first vinyl releases of both the very limited-edition, previously only self-released 'The Fleet Foxes EP' on 10” and B-sides & Rarities on 10”. Really nice textured box... it's pretty tasty.
Another short wave of essential Stereolab reissues with debut album Peng! and The Groop Played Space Age Bachelor Pad Music both getting new editions on Too Pure.
Sub Pop reissue The Helio Sequence's landmark album Keep Your Eyes Ahead, celebrating it's tenth anniversary with a full remaster of the original album, plus a second album of demos, alternate versions, and outtakes from the same era.
For over a decade, and almost every Christmas, Sufjan Stevens recorded a Christmas album that he gifted to friends and family. The recording process took place every December, for one week, usually at home, provoking collaborations with friends, roommates, and musical peers. This Christmas, Asthmatic Kitty Records is finally releasing Songs for Christmas: Volumes I-V as a 5xLP vinyl boxset. It's quite lovely.
Some really great stuff this week to get your teeth into. Sorry for mentioning Christmas... that was kinda weird wasn't it?!