Best New Reissues: The Soundcarriers, Dorothy Ashby, Daft Punk, The Stan Tracey Quartet, Roxy Gordon, Joe King Kologbo and frickin’ Big Star!

Best New Reissues: The Soundcarriers, Dorothy Ashby, Daft Punk, The Stan Tracey Quartet, Roxy Gordon, Joe King Kologbo and frickin’ Big Star!

Guys, it’s a trip! Psychedelia, wooze, free jazz, hard bop, highlife and the sound of Memphis ‘72.

Hello, Friends

We’re welcoming you to the new week with Celeste, the long out-of-print and much sought-after second album from the Nottingham band, The Soundcarriers. It’s such a treat; a handcrafted tapestry of tones and styles, from the driving Motoriks to the weird and wonderful pastoral sonics. Warm psychedelic hazes and ethereal melodies.

+ We’re sorry to report that the Dinked Edition encountered a production delay and has a new ETA of early July 2023.

The Drift Records Dorothy Ashby obsession of 2022… Continues into 2023, you’ll be pleased to hear; and this week we’ve been really enjoying The Rubáiyát Of Dorothy Ashby that has been reissued as part of the ‘Verve By Request’ series. Her signature harp flourishes (koto, technically, on this occasion) are as transcendental as ever, but the way this one flows in and out of strutting funk and soul is really something else, including a Spaghetti Western-esque cinematic opener that's just an entire mood in itself. Highly recommended.

+ A super decent 180-gram vinyl pressing at Third Man in Detroit.

An absolutely corker for the jazz heads this week with The Stan Tracey Quartet’s Jazz Suite Inspired by Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood, one of the finest British jazz albums ever made, reissued on vinyl for the first time in nearly 40 years. Tracey was hugely inspired by the 1954 BBC Radio drama of Dylan Thomas's surreal Under Milk Wood, and composed eight pieces in the same, free-flowing style. Recorded in just one furtive session, It’s such a complete album; gestures to swing, bop and almost haunting space. A really wonderful companion to such a distinguished inspiration.

+ Limited one-off pressing of 1000 copies worldwide.

+ Lacquers cut by Caspar Sutton-Jones @ Gearbox Studios.
+ Includes new sleeve note by Stan Tracey's son Clark Tracey.

A fascinating release this week via the ever-excellent Paradise of Bachelors label with Crazy Horse Never Died, the first ever reissue of Texan poet Roxy Gordon’s scarce and long out-of-print spoken word 1988 album. His voice is transfixing, with his Texan drawl really present in each curling vowel. Musically, there are weird jolts between pastoral country, field recordings and even pulsating synths. Thematically it’s about the treatment of indigenous Americans, but there are universal observations about displacement throughout history. It’s provoking stuff.

Dorothy Ashby - The Rubáiyát Of Dorothy Ashby [Verve By Request Series]

Alongside Dorothy Ashby under the Verve By Request series, we also have a new pressing of Archie Shepp’s absolutely sizzling Kwanza. Recorded in ‘69 and shelved until the mid seventies (people just had to catch up, we guess?) Kwanza really is the trip. Ranging from free jazz with absolute fire, to a really tight post-blues and pre-funk swagger. It plays out like a red hot night, this is music that sounds like fever.

+ Transferred from analogue tapes and remastered on 180-gram vinyl. Pressed at Third Man in Detroit

The Miles Davis Quintet of the mid-1950s featured the almost unbelievable lineup of Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass) and Philly Joe Jones (drums). Workin' With The Miles Davis Quintet is one of four albums to arrive from two studio sessions in 1956 and there is a remarkable amount of spontaneity on the tape. Some of the rawest post-bop around. They are workin’.

+ Released as part of the Original Jazz Classics Series. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI with all-analogue mastering from the original tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and presented in a Tip-On Jacket.

On Travesia, film director Alejandro González Iñárritu curates a double set from the esteemed vaults of Japanese composer and producer Ryuichi Sakamoto. Taking its name from the Spanish term for “journey,” Travesía spans nearly four decades of Sakamoto’s solo work and scores.

Joe King Kologbo & The High Grace’s Sugar Daddy is an album very close to us here at Drift. The Strut label first reissued it about five years ago and we just absolutely fell head over heels for it, absolutely one of the year’s most-played on the shop stereo, in the kitchen and in the sadly departed Black VW Golf Mk2 GTI. It is a supreme slab of highlife / disco crossover from the Nigerian guitarist and really is a great vibe. Apparently he wasn’t a playball at all, so it makes him playing the titular part of Sugar Daddy even more delicious. Trust us, it’s gonna get into your head.

+ Released in its original artwork and features new interviews with Oghene Kologbo and Sonny Akpan of The Funkees. The album is remastered by The Carvery, with vinyl pressed at Pallas.

We have a very limited 10th Anniversary edition of Daft Punk’s fourth and final studio LP Random Access Memories. The huge singles (remember it featured Pharell Willams, Nile Rodgers, Julien Casablancas and Panda Bear) still have the dancefloor hook, and it’s more idiosyncratic moments (specifically Giorgio by Moroder) remain as off-kilter as they did a decade ago. Features thirty-five minutes of unreleased demos and studio outtakes.

Oh, it inspired us to get hold of a Homework restock too!

The Cult reissue series on Beggars Banquet arrives at the band’s self-titled 1994 LP. It’s all about a different kind of euphoria, with quite a dark edge to it. Available on limited double Cream colour vinyl.

Big Star - #1 Record

Lastly this week - and for our money, the best album of all time - Big Star’s iconic and enduring debut, #1 Record. It’s just perfect. Full of a swaggering bravado but centred on fragility and a sweet post-adolescent sensitivity. It crunches through glam rock riffs and huge, swooning finger-picked epics. Each song is entirely different and the way they sit together is just magic, some sort of spiritual and sonic alchemy. If you’re not acquainted with the band, the documentary Nothing Can Hurt Me reveals the extreme highs and lows.

This fifty-ish anniversary pressing is on 180-gram 'Metallic Gold with Purple Smoke' colour vinyl and features all-analogue mastering by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl. Tip-on jacket sleeve. Hold it up to the light, it’s quite the sight!

Well well, we did say it was quite the week!

- Drift


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