Best New Reissues: Codeine, Idris Muhammad, Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders, Ramona Lisa and Studio One 007; Licensed to Ska!

Best New Reissues: Codeine, Idris Muhammad, Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders, Ramona Lisa and Studio One 007; Licensed to Ska!

Kiss Kiss, bang bang; we’re talking slowcore through spiritual jazz.


Hello, Friends.

Absolute gold this week via Numero with reissues from slowcore icons Codeine. We’re so chuffed about these. The fuzzed-out debut LP Frigid Stars, the noisy Barely Real EP that followed and the bleak and masterful second LP, The White Birch. The movement between clean and distorted guitars is as chilling and thrilling as it was at the start of the nineties, raw and hugely emotive music. The pacing on them is really incredible, such cautious builds and the way the sludgy riffs rip through is really something else. An amazing band, these really are very highly recommended indeed. Every second.

So that was three from Codeine, next up, another trio that will - if you let them - absolutely flip your lid.

Firstly, Black Rhythm Revolution! Is the solo debut from jazz-funk legend Idris Muhammad. A hugely respected drummer and bandleader, this 1970 LP is full of grooving soul (although the title would suggest otherwise) and started to introduce the tight funk sounds that he’d progress ever more into throughout the 1970s.

Psychicemotus is a 1965 set from Yusef Lateef, a tonally mixed bag from scronking sax through to floating flutes. Broadly based in a spiritual free jazz, there are some amazing bop swings to it as Lateef brings in real light, air and such subtlety to the wind.

Black Unity is a single track (split across two sides) from Pharoah Sanders, a rhythmic and driving piece that takes in Latin, African and Native American sounds. The way that it builds and evolves is truly masterful. Amazing stuff.

+ Both Lateef and Sanders are released under the Verve By Request series and are pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Third Man in Detroit.


Various Artists / Soul Jazz Records Presents - STUDIO ONE 007 – Licenced to Ska: James Bond and other Film Soundtracks and TV Themes

Arcadia is the first solo release from Caroline Polachek under the pseudonym Ramona Lisa. It was originally released in 2014, post Chairlift and before she released under her own name. Lo-fi in design, but warm and immediate pop songs with loads of weird little hooks. Good stuff, this.

+ Available on a very limited Sea Blue colour vinyl pressing.

Mantaray is the 2007 debut solo album from Siouxsie (Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees), a tight and driving album. Her voice sounds fantastic.

+ The album has been remastered and cut at half speed by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. Presented in a 2023 reimagined sleeve and pressed on limited Red colour vinyl
.

Lastly for today, Soul Jazz Records release a new expanded version of Studio One 007 - Licenced to Ska: James Bond and other Film Soundtracks and TV Themes, originally only available as a long deleted 7” box set back as one of the good-old Record Store Days.

There is a real buzz when you catch the various iconic motifs, but it’s the overall vibe here that just makes this one an absolute must have. Features cuts from; The Skatalites, Lee Perry, Jackie Mittoo, The Wailers, Roland Alphonso and The Soul Brothers - all produced at the world-famed Studio One.

Much like the films, my favourite one here is From Russia With Love, if you did wonder?

- Drift

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