Experimental sonic floats, blazing Afro funk and forty-five years of French Psychedelic Pop.
Some real magic for us all this week with Picture of Bunny Rabbit, a new compilation that collects together nine previously unreleased performances from the Arthur Russell vaults. Since his death in April 1992, Russell’s legacy has slowly grown and grown, with new appraisals and periodical discoveries from low-key disco through to ballarderring and experimentalism. The music here - gathered from tapes, four-tracks and even two unique test pressings - comes from the same period as his most celebrated work, 1986’s World Of Echo – the only album released in his lifetime. Sombre and totally captivating in its strange and otherworldly sonics, he remains totally peerless and a fascinating combination of idiosyncratic, instantly recognisable and constantly creatively searching. It’s beautiful music and we can’t recommend spending some more time with him highly enough.
A real scorcher this week from the Fela Kuti back catalogue with his 1973 Gentleman LP. Self-produced and recorded with his Afrika 70 band, there are deep grooves, hot, clattering rhythms and the title track - in particular - contains some of his very finest moments. On "Igbe”, Fela declares that anyone who betrays a friend is shit, and that anybody who lacks self-respect is shit: something you want to expel from your body as soon as possible. He sings the word "shit" in several Nigerian languages, so there is no misunderstanding. Shit clarity.
This is the seventh in the 50th Anniversary reissues series and is available on limited and exclusive 'Igbo Smoke' colour vinyl. The LP is wrapped in a gold foil obi strip, and also includes a brief essay on the album and Fela's global impact on music.
A real treat under the Verve’s Acoustic Sounds Series this week with Billie Holiday's Songs For Distingué Lovers. Recorded at the end of the fifties, the timbre of her voice had begun lowering and the rich tone adds to the sense of sadness. Beautiful and heartbreaking.
+ Transferred from analogue tapes and remastered 180-gram vinyl in deluxe gatefold packaging.
Also this week we have a limited, tenth year anniversary edition of Strange Pleasures, the second studio album by London-based dream pop band Still Corners. Remastered by John Davis at Metropolis London and pressed on Transparent Green colour vinyl.
Luaka Bop have reissued alt country maverick Jim White's debut The Mysterious Tale of How I Shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus!
Two-Piers have made a limited repress (on Jasmine Yellow colour vinyl no less!) of their absolutely excellent Pop Psychédélique compilation, a proper jaunt through The Best of French Psychedelic Pop 1964 to 2019.
On topic, we’re expecting Serge Gainsbourg’s L'Homme à tête de chou to arrive very shortly too.
Aphex Twin and Albert Ayler just arriving, we also didn’t have a chance to speak to you all yet about the dark and unsettling new Swans LP. Man alive, it’s a stonker!