Best New Reissues: Felt, Herbie Hancock, Sam Rivers, Bas Jan and Frightened Rabbit.

Best New Reissues: Felt, Herbie Hancock, Sam Rivers, Bas Jan and Frightened Rabbit.

Today we’re all about mid-sixties jazz icons and mid-eighties alt icons.


Hello, Friends.

We’re starting this new week off with a couple of new-not-new collections from the esteemed Felt vaults.

Gold Mine Trash collects together the band’s Cherry Red Records period from 1981 to 1985, with non-LP singles including the much-loved 'Primitive Painters'. Bubblegum Perfume collects together tracks (both singles and album cuts) from Lawrence’s incredibly fertile time on Creation Records. Both compilations paint a picture of a hugely inventive writer and so many of these songs sound as wildly alternative as they did thirty to forty years ago.

+ Both are released on 1972 Records and look and sound fantastic (overseen personally by Lawrence), with Bubblegum Perfume pressed on limited Pink colour vinyl and Gold Mine Trash on Brown colour vinyl.


Herbie Hancock - Empyrean Isles

Empyrean Isles is the absolutely glorious fourth LP from Herbie Hancock, originally released in 1964 on the Blue Note. Hancock is supported by his Miles Davis bandmates in bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams, along with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard on an album that just flows. I might be wrong, but pretty sure this was the debut of ‘Cantaloupe Island’ too, which although iconic, isn’t the album's highlight by any means. Often cited as his breakout, the performances are both perfect and full of life. A classic.

Also reissued this week - and also originally appearing on Blue Note in 1964 - is Sam Rivers’ avant-boppin’ Fuschia Swing Song. Post-bop stylings and pace (it’s frenetic), but the way he blows is wild, like, really wild! Furious and full of handbrake turns, but not without melody. It’s a great listen, this.

+ Both editions are part of the ‘Blue Note Classic Vinyl Edition’ series and are presented in stereo. Both are all-analogue, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal. Nice.

To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Frightened Rabbit’s critically acclaimed Pedestrian Verse album, Atlantic Records release a limited, double edition this week with all of the original tracks, plus an additional eleven bonus tracks. It’s a handsome one, presented in a gold-foiled gatefold sleeve with the first disc pressed on blue marble vinyl and the second disc on classic black wax. One for the heads.

Also this week, Fire Records press a limited reissue of agit pop four-piece Bas Jan’s driving second album Baby U Know. We have a limited edition ‘Khaki’ vinyl pressing of Sniffany and the Nits’ sterling The Unscratchable Itch via PRAH. Both of these are albums you should all be checking out.

And that is the end of that chapter.

Do make sure to check out Felt if you’re not already acquainted, as I put off doing it for years and years and felt like a right berk when I finally got around to it; Lawrence was a proper lockdown go-to for the walk to work.

Good stuff!

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