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Best New Reissues: Cymande, Mulatu Astatke, Charlie Megira and The Hefker Girl, Fela Kuti, Alabama Shakes and Bell Orchestre.

Best New Reissues: Cymande, Mulatu Astatke, Charlie Megira and The Hefker Girl, Fela Kuti, Alabama Shakes and Bell Orchestre.

Funk, soul, gothic rattles, psychedelia, orchestral ruminations and lots more.

Heading up this week’s new-not-new is the positively iconic self-titled Cymande album.

It’s one of those records (and they are one of those bands) that is steeped in magic, mystery, myth and 100% pure good energy. The self-titled LP was released in 1972 to modest fan fare (and followed quickly by studio albums ‘Second Time Round’ in 1973 and ‘Promised Heights’ in 1974) before the band mostly disappeared into hiatus. It’s almost unimaginable that this beautiful record didn’t find it’s audience. It did however, become part of the broader cultural consciousness, being sampled to glorious effect by DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, De La Soul, The Wu-Tang Clan, Gang Starr, EPMD, Sugar Hill Gang, Fatboy Slim and The Fugees to name a few. A legit funk and soul classic, it’s a soother and really is essential stuff.

+ Newly remastered at Abbey Road Studios and available for the very first time on translucent, ‘Orange Crush’ colour vinyl.

Mulatu Astatke - Mulatu Of Ethiopia

Strut present the official reissue of a landmark album in the field of African music this week with Mulatu Astatke’s 1972 Mulatu Of Ethiopia album. The first fully-formed document of his trademark Ethio jazz sound, it is a hugely evocative trip through jazz, funk and sonic atmospherics. It sounds like everything is swaying in a heat haze. Beyond cool and always highly recommended.

Some serious noir-vibes via Numero, with the collaborative record from Charlie Megira and Michal Kahan as Charlie Megira and The Hefker Girl. Israeli garage chic with 50s trash rock, surf-y tremolo and the most reverb-drenched goth going. Such a vibe. Originally self-released on CD-R, we’re really delighted to explore this one fully.

Available on limited ‘Opaque Ennui' colour vinyl.

Shakara is the sixth edition in the ongoing series of celebratory Fela Kuti 50th Anniversary reissues. Like its predecessors in the series, this new pressing is on colour vinyl, wrapped in a gold foil obi strip with a brief essay on the album and Fela's global impact on music. Pretty much as up-tempo as anything he did, there is some serious energy going on.

+ Pressed on limited Pink colour vinyl.

+ This edition also includes a bonus 7" with two covers from Ezra Collective.

Fela Kuti - Shakara

A few more recent records back in press this week, with XL Recordings making a custom 10th Anniversary Edition of The xx’s landmark second album Coexist on Crystal Clear vinyl. City Slang’s Lambchop series lands on the all-time classic Nixon LP, with a limited and very impressive-looking Clear & Black Marble colour edition. Rough Trade Records issue a deluxe 10th Anniversary edition of Alabama Shakes’ fantastic Boys & Girls debut, also pressed on (double) Crystal Clear vinyl. The Courteeners’ St Jude album also benefits from a 15th Anniversary Edition, with loads of extra audio on an exclusive double Grey colour vinyl in new re-artworked sleeve. We also have some very limited tote bags to give away!

It’s a Love And Rockets double on Beggars Arkive with new pressings of Seventh Dream Of Teenage Heaven and Express. The trio of Daniel Ash (vocals and guitar), David J (vocals and bass) and Kevin Haskins (drums) emerged phoenix-like after the first split of their band Bauhaus. Gestures towards glam and psychedelia, it’s quite a trip.

Two stone cold classics under the Verve ‘By Request’ series, with James Brown’s Soul On Top and Mel Brown’s Chicken Fat. Both absolutely stacked and sounding fantastic on 180-gram vinyl pressings via the esteemed Third Man of Detroit.

East Coasting is a (slightly) lesser known gem from the Charles Mingus catalogue. The 1957 NY session includes Clarence Shaw, Jimmy Knepper, Shafi Hadi, Dannie Richmond and Bill Evans on piano.

And lastly today, Erased Tapes present a limited new pressing of Recording a Tape the Colour of Light, the wonderful 2005 debut from the Montreal collaborative collective Bell Orchestre. We’ve really loved revisiting this one, it still sounds fresh, sonically unpredictable and full of life.

So that is the week’s new-not-new. A reminder you can read all about the new releases here and expect a full week of new announcements too!

- Drift


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