Best New Reissues: Pacific Breeze, Small Faces, David Bowie, Kate Fagan and California Hardcore.

Best New Reissues: Pacific Breeze, Small Faces, David Bowie, Kate Fagan and California Hardcore.

From high-production to quite frankly no-production, it’s a varied week of new-not-new.

Hello, Friends.

We are absolutely floating our way into the new week with the impeccable third volume in Light In The Attic’s Pacific Breeze series; another perfectly curated set of Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie. Broadly covering the same time period as it’s predecessors (specifically 1975-1987 on this occasion), the set was curated by Light in the Attic’s Yosuke Kitazawa and Dublab’s Mark “Frosty” McNeill (like the first two) and brings in new names and slick production alongside some pure gold produced by Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Yukihiro Takahashi. Again featuring artwork from Hiroshi Nagai, this really is a thing of beauty.

To celebrate the release of Volume 3, LITA have also made limited, special edition pressings of Volume One (on double ‘Beach Umbrella’ vinyl) and Volume Two (on double ‘Sunny Seaside Splatter’ vinyl).

Remarkable vibes and dominating the stereo.

A Divine Symmetry is a really excellent new addition to the David Bowie vaults. The collection celebrates the twelve months running up to the release of the album Hunky Dory in December 1971. There have been flashes of this sort of thing from the archives across the last few years, but this release really does have a strikingly intimate quality to it. The vinyl format is largely alt mixes whereas the 4CD box features home demos, BBC radio sessions and live and studio recordings.

David Bowie - A Divine Symmetry

A Small Faces double today, with 2023 pressings of Ogdens Nut Gone Flake and Small Faces. The latter is the second album (or “The First Immediate Album”) as their debut on Decca was also eponymously titled Small Faces. They really were one hell of a band and these new editions (mastered by Nick Robbins on lacquers cut at Air Mastering) sound fantastic. Wonder how old Bert's lumbago is?

+ Pressed on limited White and Gold colour vinyl

Captured Tracks revisit Kate Fagan this week with an expanded edition of her iconic I Don’t Wanna Be Too Cool. The early eighties single is held in huge reverie, although it has largely been unavailable since. Following a 2016 repress that piqued all the right interest, this expanded 2023 follow-up features four unreleased songs, which encapsulate the gutsy, new wave energy that pulses through the original single.

+ Available on limited Milky Clear colour vinyl.

Two very limited represses on Warp this week from the Autechre back catalogue with 2003’s Draft 7.30 and 2001’s Confield. They still sound so complex and mechanical, quite amazing listens.

A high octane compilation on Futurismo this week called Suburban Annihilation, looking back at ‘The California Hardcore Explosion From The City To The Beach: 1978-1983’. Loads of stuff we knew and loads of gritty and blasted surprises too. Great stuff. The double LPs are pressed on "Concrete Beach" vinyl (silver/black marble and clear). The package includes a booklet that features the imagery of legendary punk photographer Edward Colver.

Beggars Arkive revisit The Cult’s much-loved second album Love this week. It was their critical and commercial breakthrough, featuring ‘She Sells Sanctuary’, which quite frankly slaps hard in 2023!

+ Indie Exclusive Red Vinyl

Another not-so-difficult second album back in print this week, with Ash’s Nu-Clear Sounds. Not available since its 1998 release, this limited edition pressing looks great, with sleeve art matching “Clear & Nu-Clear Green” splatter colour Vinyl.

Also back on wax this week is The Strokes’ third studio album First Impressions Of Earth. Way more polished than their first two albums, it has some cracking songs and stands up well in 2023.

Neutral Milk Hotel - On Avery Island

We’re closing out today's misgivings with a legit, low-key classic and Neutral Milk Hotel’s splendid debut LP: On Avery Island. Lo-fi psychedelics with drones, horns and crackling guitars wrapping around Jeff Mangum’s voice. It is dreamy and full of melancholia, an album not of these times and highly recommended if it’s not already part of your collection. Fire have done a really nice job on the reissue too, with lovingly revised artwork and a double (red and Yellow colour) 45RPM pressing.

So that is the week’s new-not-new!


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