The past is where it’s at, folks. My word do we ever have it going on for you today!
We are starting this new week very much with the best foot forward and a couple of Betty Davis reissues via Light In The Attic. Her self-titled 1973 debut and follow-up 1974 LP They Say I'm Different are both repressed and sound loud and vibrant, red hot driving forces of funk and sex. Featuring members of Family Stone and The Pointer Sisters (alongside Davis’ own excellent production), both albums are too hot to handle (literally banned for being too sexy) and highlight not only what a pioneer she was, but also a fundamental cultural lynchpin between (her ex) Miles Davis, Funkadelic, Jimi Hendrix and West Coast funk. Two great records (and two more to come in October/November), these are fresh and vital. A high queen.
We did tell you that we were a little bit obsessed last week, so let's dive a little deeper into the archives of the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. These amazing electronic mediations were recorded between 1969-1972 the compilation chronicles works from the previously unknown Indian composers Gita Sarabhai, I.S. Mathur, Atul Desai, S.C. Shama and Jinraj Joshipura; who all worked at the nation’s first electronic music studio, founded at the NID. The clunks and bleeps are richly analogue, but when they bring in the traditional Indian musical influences this one really takes off, a sort of devotional Radiophonic Workshop. A really beautiful release (with a stunning, etched D side) and so highly recommended for all of you sonic explorers. We’ll no-doubt sell out fast, so more due shortly if you miss the first batch.
Numero continue doing the good work with a reissue of Duster’s Stratosphere debut. Drifting in and out of walls of noise, the slowcore band really brought something different to the landscape (not as gnarled as mbv, not as maudlin as Galaxy 500), a sort of spiritual ambience of tone that is strangely soothing, even when they clatter about. They were not a band that we paid huge attention to back then (this is a 25th anniversary edition of the February 1998 release) but we tell you what… This has every chance of beating Earth 2 to be Drift’s most-played album of 2023, you know! A rich fug and another very highly recommended album to get into this week.
+ This 25th anniversary edition is foil stamped and numbered, pressed on 180g vinyl and includes a lyric sheet and poster.
+ Available on “Constellation Splatter” colour vinyl.
+ There will also be a slightly different ‘Clear & Black Splatter’ colour pressing released later this month for National Album Day.
Another one that has us deeply hooked already is Zimbabwean-British percussionist Lori Vambe’s Space-Time Dreamtime: The Four-Dimensional Music Of Lori Vambe on Strut. It is the first ever reissue of Vambe’s privately pressed original albums from 1982, Drumland Dreamland and Drumgita Solo. A self-taught drummer, inventor, and sonic experimentalist, Lori Vambe is the master of his own instrument, the drumgita (pronounced ‘drum-guitar’). It was created with the intention of creating a kind of music that had never been made in order to pursue access to the fourth dimension. We are buckled in. Hypnotic drones and spiritual timbres that loop and evolve, this one really is a trip.
Strut presents the two albums in their original artwork, housed in a deluxe slipcase including an additional 8-pagem 12”-sized booklet featuring unseen photos, liner notes and an interview with Lori Vambe by The Wire magazine writer Francis Gooding. Both albums are fully remastered by The Carvery.
A great new compilation on Daptone Recordings called If You Ask Me To...Victor Axelrod Productions for Daptone Records. The set compiles singles released between 2007-2023, including luminaries Sharon Jones, Charles Bradly and The Frightnrs as well as unreleased tracks from Sugar Minott and Binky Griptite. Good vibes only.
Never Return (also on Numero) compiles releases from California Punk band Pot Valiant, with the band’s Lookout and Sunny Sindicut 7”s, Transaudio LP, compilation tracks, and three previously unissued songs. Remastered from the original tapes, this 2xLP package is housed in a tip-on gatefold sleeve and includes a 20 page booklet crammed with notes, flyers, and photos of this staple of outsider emo.
Concord present a real nice 2023 reissue of Dan Auerbach’s excellent and rockin’ solo debut, Keep It Hid. The fourteen-song debut marked Auerbach’s first major work outside of The Black Keys and remains a sludgy, poppy, swampy set of rock ‘n’ roll. Features a new 2023 cover and is pressed on limited Black / Orange Marbled vinyl.
KILLER KILLER! Killer In Stereo: Good Rockin’ Tonight is a set of rare stereo mixes from the Sun Records archive from Jerry Lee Lewis. Quite limited, this one, which is mad because every decent collection needs some pick-me-up J.L.L.
Also today we have 10th Anniversary Editions of HAIM’s euphoric Days Are Gone and Jason Isbell’s Southeastern. Jesca Hoop releases a ‘complete’ edition of her striking debut LP Kismet that includes a live, stripped-back version of the album as well. Two quite remarkable voices under Verve’s ‘Great Women of Song’ series, with new Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan appraisals. Soul Jazz embark upon ‘an intergalactic journey into black space’ with the second edition in the Space Funk series, with Afro Futurist Electro Funk in Space 1976-84.
To celebrate its 30th Anniversary, Green Day have released a seriously deluxe appraisal of their breakout Dookie LP. The super deluxe box sets include a wealth of rare and unreleased material and there is also a limited ‘Baby Blue’ colour vinyl pressing of the album on its own too.
Kranky have pressed the first vinyl reissue of Bowery Electric's 1995 eponymous debut in nearly two decades. This double LP also includes their Drop EP - available for the first time since its original release in 1994. Four sides of essential post-rock.
We have a 50th Anniversary edition of Grateful Dead’s Wake Of The Flood. Somewhere between the country roots of Workingman's Dead, American Beauty and the full-lobed psychedelic adventures that would follow. Remastered by David Glasser, with Plangent Processes tape restoration and speed correction. Produced for Release by David Lemieux.
Verve Acoustic Sounds reissue Charles Mingus’ Pre-Bird, a set of music composed before he heard the revolutionary playing of Charlie Parker! Features transfers from analogue tapes and remastered 180-gram vinyl in deluxe gatefold packaging.
Anthology Recordings have made a 2023 pressing of their absolutely fantastic Sad About The Times compilation from a few years back. A deep dive into obscure 70s folk, soft-psych, west-coast jangle and power pop. This new pressing is on Pink Glow colour vinyl, and in related exciting news, there will be an accompanying ... Still Sad second volume to follow very, very shortly.
Lastly in this quite amazing dispatch (audio content, not the written conjecture, necessarily) is a double helping of Morphine, with the band's final studio albums - The Night and Like Swimming - reissued via Modern Classics Recordings. Low and sleazy rock with blues influence and full-lunged saxophone for that jazz touch. Real groovers, they’re dead easy to get into and it’s the little subtle changes and nuances that made them such an interesting band.
Each album has been lovingly remastered by Pete Weiss at Boston’s Jade Cow Music, with lacquers cut by John Golden. Both titles were pressed at Austin, TX’s Gold Rush Vinyl and are each available in two colorways.
So welcome to the week then. A HUGE Dinked Edition announcement tomorrow, amongst lots of other fascinations to fill us with gentle optimism for October!