• Ben Lee

New Releases: 22nd January 2021

Ben brings you all the new releases and reissues to arrive at The Vinyl Whistle this week, featuring releases ranging from indie, electronic, techno, house, rock, metal core, folk, ambient, psychedelic, RnB, soul, jazz, punk, African, reggae, MPB and pop. To order, you can find the items on the links below. Here's Ben's roundup of his Top 10 Picks of the week:

Bicep - Isles (Deluxe) (Electronic / Techno / House)

Two years in the making, “Isles” expands on the artful energy of their 2018 debut “Bicep”, while digging deeper into the sounds, experiences and emotions that have influenced their lives and work. They describe “Isles” as “a snapshot in time” of their work in this period, with the tracks designed to evolve in their different iterations from record to live show and beyond. “This is definitely the home listening version,” says Matt, “the live version will be much, much harder”.

Lead single ‘Apricots’ encapsulates these disparate influences perfectly. Sampling traditional Malawian singers—recorded by ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey in 1958 and released via the label Beating Heart, whose profits go towards supporting the ongoing music conservation work of the International Library of African Music—and a 1950’s performance by The Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir, steeped in a shimmering bath of warm synths, its spare percussion and arresting vocals bring the big room chills of 90s rave, while still evoking something lost or forlorn. The accompanying video—also released today—is directed by Mark Jenkin, who recently took home a 2020 BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Director for his 2019 film ‘Bait’.

‘Atlas’, the first track drawn from the record, was released to massive acclaim in March, making both the Radio 1 and Radio 6 playlists, its euphoric energy and bittersweet heft hit all the harder in uncertain times. It is, as Resident Advisor called it, “music that commiserates with you while you try to dance out your anxieties”.

Buy the 2LP Black version here

Bring Me The Horizon - Post Human: Survival Horror (Rock / Experimental / Metalcore / Electro)

Bring Me The Horizon release their highly-anticipated new 9 track EP, Post Human: Survival Horror featuring Yungblud, Babymetal, Amy Lee and the Nova Twins.

Helena Deland - Someone New (Folk / Indie Rock / Art Rock)

Helena Deland’s debut album, Someone New, an exploration of gender, power, time and the “self” that finds Deland in full control of her sound and style, even as she asks whether control is ever possible. The album was written and recorded over a period of two years, beginning with Deland’s guitar and expanding into a lavish sonic sphere that blends elements of hypnagogic pop and classic folk. Deland’s voice ties it all together, sometimes hushed in a whisper, sometimes shrouded in distortion, and sometimes full and clear – but always inviting the listener into her world. Someone New is Montreal's Helena Deland's first full length record. It follows her 2018 series of EPs entitled Altogether Unaccompanied, a two-year period during which she toured with Weyes Blood and Connan Mockasin, amongst others, opened for Iggy Pop in Paris and collaborated with Jpeg Mafia.

Tom Furse - Ecstatic Meditations (Electronic / Ambient / Acid)

Ecstatic Meditations’, the follow up to 2016’s acclaimed debut solo outing ‘interludes’, features six beautifully crafted new tracks leading with an edit of the 20 minute album opener and lead track ‘journey in ecstasy’. An adventurous deep listening experience, the new collection was recorded, mixed and mastered by furse at his electronic studio on the margate coast. a sonic tapestry of sound that takes inspiration from the likes of alice coltrane, laraaji, eno and steve reich together with a new found appreciation for japanese environmental music composers such as akira ito and yasauki shizimu. the result is an intense yet playfully refreshing take on ambient and electronic music.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Infest The Rat's Nest (Rock / Garage Rock / Acid Rock / Peog / Psychedelic)

The planet is in trouble. Dire trouble. But fear not: Melbourne seven-piece King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard return to save us all, this time armed only with blast beats, an arsenal of well-oiled guitars that are locked and loaded, and a desire to melt faces clean off. Their fifteenth studio album, Infest The Rats’ Nest, released on Flightless Records, is by far The Gizz’s hardest and heaviest album to date.

Released just six months after the uplifting blues-rock boogie and deep electro explorations of Fishing For Fishes and drawing on the mid / late 1980s golden period of thrash metal - Metallica and Slayer, certainly, but also lesser-cited bands such as Exodus, Kreator and Overkill - Infest The Rats’ Nest sees a wholly unexpected creative detour into new sonic terrain. King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard aren’t mere dabbling dilletantes either. Their love of this ferocious music runs deep, and was previously explored on 2017’s apocalyptic concept album Murder Of The Universe, hinted at during 2016’s award-winning Nonagon Infinity’s more bludgeoning moments and elsewhere in numerous hardcore psychedelic freak-outs in their back catalogue.

Infest The Rats’ Nest is the sound of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard scratching the thrash metal itch, fully and unequivocally. This is an album dripping with disdain and disgust for a planet consuming itself in a mass act of cannibalism which meets the fears and anxieties of a planet head on; here is a place where uncompromising music meets the concerns of contemporary cli-fi, that emerging movement of writing centred around ecological disaster and its repercussions.

Palberta - Palberta5000 (Indie)

On Palberta5000, Ani Ivry-Block, Lily Konigsberg, and Nina Ryser max out traditional pop forms—blowing the genre out into lush, kinetic extensions - to create their own hardcore style of popular music. Together these 16 adventurous, hyper-melodic tracks represent the band’s most accessible album by far - one that is bursting at the seams with vocal hooks and exuberant playing.

Palberta5000 was recorded with Matt Lambozza (PALM, Shimmer), whose Peekskill, New York, studio is located in the original home and family lamp-store of Paul Reuben (Pee Wee Herman). Lambozza’s recording and mix capture the band’s rollicking instru- mentation and vocal precision with greater clarity than anyone has before.

Tracks like the emotionally chaotic Before I Got Here, which charges hard before turning on a dime into a hypnotic krout-surf outro, convey the panicked feeling of falling in love, while Palberta’s ear for pop music makes itself apprent on heart-melting harmonies like those fround on Corner Store. Adding variation to Palberta5000’s well thought-out song cycle are lavish downtempo jams ilke the slow waltz that is The Way That You Do, and the enchanting Red Antz.

Taken together, these songs create a full album experience, and one that is sure to excite the band’s devoted following while welcoming new fans along for the ride. For fans of Slits, Raincoats, A-Frames, Wire, Goat Girl, Minutemen and Urinals.

Rhye - Home (Electronic / Indie / RnB / Soul)

for rhye’s michael milosh, the home is the center of creativity and community.

it transcends conventional understandings of walls, stairs and hardwood floors. a culmination of a wayfarer’s journey, the home is a balm for a restless spirit — a place to simply be. for much of his life, the canadian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has wandered, decamping in toronto, montreal, thailand, the netherlands, germany and los angeles at varying times. since the meteoric rise of rhye’s 2013 debut woman, he’s mostly lived on the road—playing between 50 and one hundred shows a year. but over the last couple of years something changed. on the heels of some major life changes, including a new relationship, milosh yearned for a more permanent space. “it's this idea of creating a safe place that's not just conducive to creativity, but one that’s truly an anchor point from which to make art and be creative,” he says. that longing was fulfilled in august of 2019 when milosh and his partner genevieve happened upon the perfect place in topanga. it had been on and off the market for two years as the owner sought the perfect buyer, one who would carry on its creative tradition. “she did this ceremony somewhere on the property where she was trying to call in the right people, and apparently we came the next day,” milosh explained. “the right kind of home presented itself to us, and we presented ourselves to it. it was like a union between us and the home.” written throughout 2019 and early 2020, recorded at milosh’s home studio, united recording studios and revival at the complex, and mixed by alan moulder (nine inch nails, interpol, my bloody valentine, u2, the killers), home is familiar in its synthesis of propulsive beats, orchestral flourishes, piano ruminations and sultry, gender-nonconforming vocals, but never have they sounded more cohesive or alive. “i'm always trying to always accomplish musical goals that are connected to the way i listened to and interact with music as a child,” milosh says. the sentiment also underscores a broader, less obvious, but no less important theme echoed through his new record: no matter where life takes us, we can always go home.

Kate Rusby - Hand Me Down (Folk)

Kate Rusby returns with a covers album. Hand Me Down, started life a few years ago whilst she was rehearsing for the Jo Whiley Show on BBC Radio 2. Jo asks her live music guests to perform songs of their own plus any cover version of their choice, Kate's choice at that time was Oasis' Don't Go Away; on her second visit to the show she chose by Friday I'm in Love by The Cure.

"As a folk singer, it's what I do, re-interpret existing songs, but usually the songs are much, much older. After playing a version of Oasis' Don't Go Away on the BBC Radio 2 Jo Whiley show, about 5 years ago, it dawned on me that not just the very old songs are handed down through the generations, but also favourite songs of any age, of any generation. Songs are precious for many different reasons. With Don't Go Away proving so popular on the last album and hearing the reaction when we performed it on tour, I decided, "Right, that's it! I am doing a whole album of covers." It was always the plan to make this album this year, lock-down just made it more intimate. We have laughed and we have cried, we have danced and we have sung. All of that is here, engrained in every track."

Suede - Royal Albert Hall 24th March 2010 (Indie / Rock)

At the request of the Teenage Cancer Trust, after a seven-year hiatus Suede reformed to play what they believed would be a one-off concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 24th March 2010. As a result of the extraordinary reaction from the audience, the band decided to reform permanently, and have gone on to record three new studio albums. Featuring exhilarating versions of their most popular songs, including Beautiful Ones, Animal Nitrate, Trash, Saturday Night and The Wild Ones, luckily this incredible performance was captured on tape, and is now available again as a 3LP set, pressed on 180 gram clear vinyl. The inner sleeves feature Paul Khera’s beautiful photos of the event.

James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra - The Wide Wide River (Acoustic / Folk / Alternative / Indie / Rock)

James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra release The Wide, Wide River on Domino. The album came to be after the blossoming of a long-term friendship between James Yorkston and Karl-Jonas Winqvist, the Swedish music producer, leader and conductor of The Second Hand Orchestra.

That communal feeling is apparent across the entire album. Recorded and mixed in Sweden over the course of three days with a selection of musicians Winqvist had brought together, including Peter Morén (Peter, Bjorn and John), Cecilia Österholm (one of Sweden’s best-known nyckelharpa players), Emma Nordenstam (piano and cello) and Ulrika Gyllenberg (violin). The studio approach with The Second Hand Orchestra was entirely improvised around Yorkston’s songs, and the only song they heard in advance was Ella Mary Leather; Yorkston didn’t want to direct anyone too much but instead, allowed for a welcoming, instinctive, free-spirited and joyful atmosphere. The Wide, Wide River is a soothing, warm and sublime listen, whilst also highlighting Yorkston’s skills for songwriting, collaboration and as a musical conductor. The record takes in past loves, advancing age and friends, now gone, whilst also containing some of the most sanguine songs Yorkston has ever made.

The Wide, Wide River is James’ tenth album for Domino, not to mention his three albums as part of Yorkston / Thorne / Khan and his two books.

Here are the best reissues coming out this week at The Vinyl Whistle:

Sam Cooke - Ain't That Good News (Funk / Soul)

Sam cooke’s landmark full-length ain’t that good news, notable for being the last studio album released during his lifetime was originally released in march 1964, just nine months before cooke’s untimely passing.

the album features original hit songs written by sam cooke such as another saturday night, ain’t that good news, good times, falling in love, as well as the iconic, timeless masterpiece a change is gonna come, which became an anthem for the u.s. civil rights movement. remastered by joe yannece. lacquer cutting by carl rowatti, trutone mastering.

Sam Cooke - Keep Movin' On (Funk / Soul)

ABKCO Records release for the first time on vinyl, Keep Movin’ On, a 23-song collection that encompasses some of Cooke’s best loved and most incisive songs and represents the artist both at the very pinnacle and, tragically, at the very end of his ground-breaking career. The songs that comprise Keep Movin’ On were, for the most part, written and produced by Sam Cooke following his successful fight for complete creative and economic control over his recordings and repertoire. The notion of artistic self-determination was an unheard-of concept for virtually any recording artist, let alone a young rhythm and blues singer in the early 1960’s.

Miles Davis - In A Silent Way (Jazz)

Mile's classic 1968 proto-ambient album, famously mixed from 19 minutes worth of music to full album length by studio genius Teo Macero. With a band including Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, John Mclaughlin and co-composer of the title tune, Joe Zawinul, this is rightly regarded as one of Davis' key, groundbreaking releases.

Bob Dylan - John Wesley Harding (Rock / Folk)

8th studio album originally released in December 1967. Produced by Bob Johnston. Stripped down to a simple three piece Dylan mixes old American folk to simple country rock and creates an enduring, mysterious collection of outlaw songs, religious questing and simple down home vibes. An essential Dylan album featuring such classics as All Along the Watchtower, As I Went Out One Morning and Dear Landlord.

Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline (Rock / Folk)

Nashville Skyline was released in 1969, a country-rock album before country rock. It is a warm, pleasant record, one of Dylan's classic albums, but often missed out. And the songs are unusually short and tight (all of them clock in at less than four minutes), literate, low-key love songs about as far away from Dylan's usual surreal imagery as you can imagine. On the quiet, wistful "girl from the north country", Dylan duets with one of the few men who can just about match his own reputation is the music business, the late, great Johnny Cash - one of his greatest ever songs. and those who are usually turned off by Dylan's nasal whine of a voice should pick up this album right away...he delivers in a much gentler, softer voice, almost a baritone, employing a little bit of the technique of an opera singer to produce a pleasant low croon which threw many listeners for a loop (and enhanced Dylan's am radio appeal)

Four Tet - Sixteen Oceans (LRS) (Electronic)

5 colour splatter with clear base Vinyl, exclusive for Love Record Stores.

The Love Affair and Steve Ellis - The Best Of (Pop Rock)

The Love Affair was formed in 1967 (originally as the Soul Survivors) and burst onto the UK charts in January 1968 when Everlasting Love reached number 1. Featuring lead singer Steve Ellis’ distinctive vocals, this was followed by four more Top 20 hits, three of which were Top 10, including Rainbow Valley (# 5), A Day Without Love (# 6) and Bringing On Back The Good Times (# 9). Side One of this album features all five hits (including a re-mastered version of Everlasting Love) plus the single unreleased at the time, Time Hasn’t Changed Us, after which Steve Ellis left the band.

Side Two features six highlights from Steve Ellis’ solo career, starting with two favourites by Ellis, the band he formed with Zoot Money, produced by Roger Daltrey. Next up are covers of Jimmy Webb’s Evie, and also Rainy Night In Georgia. Taken from Steve’s 2018 album, Lonely No More and Cry Me A River both feature Paul Weller as co-writer, performer and co-producer. The inner sleeve features liner notes by Steve Ellis and photos and memorabilia from his own collection. The record is pressed on 180g gold vinyl.

Minus The Bear - Acoustics 2 (Rock / Indie Rock)

suicide squeeze records is proud to announce the reissue of minus the bear’s acoustics ii! in winter 2008/2009, minus the bear released an ep called acoustics featuring newly recorded acoustic versions of fan favorites from the quintet’s prolific career along with one new track.

acoustics ii, the second volume in the acoustic series, is a full lp consisting of eight newly recorded and reinterpreted standout tracks in addition to two brand new songs: “the storm” and “riddles.” acoustics ii is sure to please longtime fans and welcome fans to this critically acclaimed rock band.

Bob Mould - Distortion 1996-2007 (Rock)

Demon Records presents Distortion: 1996-2007, the second in a series of four expansive vinyl box sets chronicling the solo career of legendary American musician Bob Mould. Bob Mould’s career began in 1979 with the iconic underground punk group Hüsker Dü before forming the beloved alternative rock band Sugar and releasing numerous critically acclaimed solo albums.

Volume two in this new series covers 1996 to 2007, beginning with the 1996 self-titled solo album and continuing through to Mould’s 2006 collaboration with Rich Morel Blowoff.

6 studio albums across 8LPs, including – Bob Mould, The Last Dog And Pony Show, modulate. (first time on vinyl), Long Playing Grooves. (first time on vinyl), Body Of Song, and Blowoff (first time on vinyl). Each album is presented with brand new artwork designed by illustrator Simon Marchner and pressed on 140g clear vinyl with unique splatter effects.

Accompanying the studio albums is a new compilation Distortion Plus: 1996-2007 which features an array of bonus tracks including the demo version of Dog On Fire (Theme from The Daily Show), B sides and other rarities (pressed on clear vinyl). Includes a 28-page companion booklet featuring: liner notes by journalist Keith Cameron; contributions from Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino; lyrics and memorabilia. Mastered by Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice at Peerless Mastering in Boston.

The Offspring - Conspiracy of One (Deluxe) (Rock / Punk)

20th anniversary vinyl re-issue of The Offspring's Conspiracy of One, featuring Original Prankster, Want You Bad. It also includes a new bonus track, Huck It!. Deluxe package on yellow and red splatter vinyl and includes a custom Offspring Logo slipmat and spot gloss on the cover.

The Original Sound Of Mali - Various (African / Jazz / Folk / Funk)

Malian music is arguably deeper, more sophisticated and lyrical than any other form of African music. Those of us deeply entranced by Malian culture, and, in particular, the immense hypnotic beauty of Malian music, have put together a selection of songs from across the country.

Compiled by Vik Sohonie and Dave 'Mr Bongo’ Buttle, the story of this release began in 2015 when Dave happened upon the Soul Bonanza blog. A treasure chest of rare finds from around the world! One mix in particular stood out and totally enthralled Dave - le monde à change: a tribute to mali 1970 - 1991. He already knew of Malian legends such as the Rail Band, Salif Keita, and Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako, but this mix was something else! Deep & culled from the collections of some of the heaviest African music collectors in the world; legends like Vik Sohonie, Hidehito Morimoto, Philippe Noel, Gregoire Villanova, and Rickard Masip. Dave immediately contacted Vik and a journey of discovery tracking down the rights-holders began. He also turned to the font of Malian music knowledge; Florent Mazzoleni. Florent has written the definitive book about Malian music – 'Musiques modernes et traditionnelles du Mali’. He proposed some incredible tracks to include and provided the back bone of the sleeve notes and photos that are used in the album. No Malian album would be complete without a striking front cover photo, and ours is sourced from the late great Malian photographer Malick Sidibé.

On this album you will find well-known artists sitting next to rarer discoveries. The Rail Band, who are one of the best known of all the big bands in Mali, gave us the stars Mory Kanté and Salif Keita. Les Amabassedeurs du Motel de Bamako were another big act that had Idrissa Soumaoro, Kanté Manfila, and for a while Salif Keita in their ranks. Sometimes Salif would play in both bands in one night, quite a feat considering the bands were fierce rivals. As an albino Salif has had to face considerable prejudice from society, focusing on his musical career to help overcome this.

A major discovery on the album has been Idrissa Soumaoro et L'Eclipse de L’Ija. L'Eclipse de l'Institut des Jeunes Aveugles was a Blind teenagers institute and their record was produced by the German association that took care of blind Malian teenagers in Bamako. It was never properly released commercially and was the first recordings by the legends of Malian music Idrissa Soumaoro, Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia. Amadou and Mariam later got married and became household stars, including making an album with Manu Chao.

This album is a concerted global effort to showcase the most vital cornerstone of Malian culture in an attempt to preserve its reputation in the face of its current, grim reality. We hope our highlights of Mali's rich history of musical innovation will serve as a starting point for reclaiming an image tainted by unnecessary conflict. May peace and music return to Mali soon.

Evan Parker - The Snake Decides (Jazz)

Featuring four solos recorded in 1986 in St. Paul's Church, Oxford by the late Michael Gerzon, The Snake Decides is a groundbreaking example how far the language of a particular instrument can be taken. “The Snake Decides attracts a certain array of adjectives - intense, radical, fearsome, hypnotic, virtuosic – and occasionally allows a more ambitious reviewer to avoid platitude by talking more specifically about 32nd harmonics, circular breathing, multiphonics and Gerson's exact choice and placement of microphones. But this misses a point, too. Listening to this record, either for the first or the fortieth time, is an arousing experience. This is the ultimate document of one of the most important recordings in all of Parker’s extensive and exploratory catalogue.

Pavement - Crooked Rain Crooked Rain (Rock / Alternative)

Tuneful without being soft, confident without being pompous, hip without being inaccesible, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was a huge leap for Pavement up the rock and roll evolution cycle. They may have gained some pop smarts, but a casual listen to the dissonant guitar solo of Cut Your Hair proves that the seeds planted with 1989's first Slay Tracks EP have come to their logical fruition. Stephen Malkmus and co. created an album that neither short-changed their status as prominent indie noise-makers, nor stunted their growth as a musical ensemble. Thus, though the inspired eccentricity is toned down - an instrumental tribute to fellow Stockton-ite Dave Brubeck being the closest thing to their early quirkiness - this is the most consistent set of stubbornly catchy songs ever. From the odd tunings and drunken AC/DC riffing of Silence Kit - with its somber lyric of leaving the urban life behind - to the epic closing of Fillmore Jive - which begs us to say 'good night to the rock and roll era' Crooked Rain is an album of short stories, full of irony, wit, and hooks.

Lee Perry - Africa's Blood (Reggae)

Upon release in 1971, Africa’s Blood was the first record Lee “Scratch” Perry released under his own name, although his band The Upsetters do appear on most of the tracks. If any album serves as a good peak into what was happening in Jamaican music in the early 70s, Africa’s Blood is the way to go. There’s an undeniable influence from American contemporary R&B, but still Perry’s signature dub and reggae fusion shines through.

Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley (Rock / Rockabilly)

This is a monumental record in the history of rock and roll, from its iconic cover (which the Clash later paid homage to on the cover of London Calling) to the twelve great tracks to its unprecedented sales figures (it topped the billboard album charts for 20 weeks). The RCA material includes Elvis' arrangement of Blue Suede Shoes and covers of r&b hits Money Honey, Tutti Frutti, and I Got a Woman. The record is short (29 minutes) and the material it contains is available on lots of other discs, but if you must have the record that started a revolution, this is the one to get.

The Raveonettes - Chain Gang Of Love (Rock / Garage Rock / Alt Rock)

Danish boy/girl duo the Raveonettes with their full debut album and it is totally magic. It is a full on pop album in the vein of Psycho Candy by the Mary Chain, the first Blondie album, The Cramps and a host of great Motown releases. The production is from Richard Gottehrer who worked with Blondie and the Go Go's. It is an irresistible retro treat.

Lou Reed - Coney Island Baby (Rock)

On 1976's Coney Island Baby, Reed's songwriting began to move into warmer, more compassionate territory, and the result was his most approachable album since Loaded. On most of the tracks, Reed stripped his band back down to guitar, bass, and drums, and the results were both leaner and a lot more comfortable than the leaden over-production of Sally Can't Dance or Berlin. Crazy Feeling, She's My Best Friend, and Coney Island Baby found Reed actually writing recognizable love songs for a change, and while Reed pursued his traditional interest in the underside of the hipster's life on Charlie's Girl and Nobody's Business, he did so with a breezy, freewheeling air that was truly a relief after the lethargic tone of Sally Can't Dance. Kicks used an audio-tape collage to generate atmospheric tension that gave its tale of drugs and death a chilling quality that was far more effective than his usual blase take on the subject, and Coney Island Baby was the polar opposite, a song about love and regret that was as sincere and heart-tugging as anything the man has ever recorded. Coney Island Baby sounds casual on the surface, but emotionally it's as compelling as anything Lou Reed released in the 1970s, and proved he could write about real people with recognizable emotions as well as anyone in rock music.

Santana - Moonflower (Jazz / Rock / Latin)

Moonflower is a double album released in 1977 by Santana. The recording features both studio and live tracks, which are interspersed with one another throughout the album. It is perhaps the group's most popular live album. It displays a mix between the fusion of Latin and blues-rock styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the much more experimental and spiritual jazz fusion sound that characterized the band's mid-1970s work. The live material was recorded during the supporting tour for the Amigos album.

Shintaro Quintet - Evolution (Jazz / Avant-Garde / Hard Bop)

BBE Music presents the seventh release in its highly acclaimed J Jazz Master Class Series: Evolution by Shintaro Quintet. Recorded in 1984 and originally released on the private label Streetnoise Records, Evolution is a perfect example of stately modal jazz with every one of its five tracks composed by band leader and bassist, Shintaro Nakamura. A cut from the album, A Blind Man, was included on the BBE Music compilation J Jazz – Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969-1984, and it’s a track that’s indicative of the album’s graceful blend of spiritual jazz and gently swinging minor blues waltzes, a style favoured by Nakamura that allows the band to stretch out and explore the strong melodic themes, lush arrangements and seductive rhythms. Recorded in New York, Evolution features the great Japanese trumpet player Shunzo Ohno alongside a mixed Japanese-American band: pianist Jeff Jenkins, who brings a touch of McCoy Tyner’s percussive blues to the album, has worked with many jazz greats including Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Harris and Clark Terry; US-born Saxophonist Bob Kenmotsu, one-time member of Jack McDuff’s band has also recorded and performed with jazz guitarist Pat Martino; and drummer Fukushi Tainaka, who studied under Philly Joe Jones, completes the solid rhythm section with Nakamura and Jenkins. It also comes with the original notes fully translated plus a new extended essay and interview with band members by Tony Higgins.

St Germain - Tourist (20th Anniversary Travel Versions) (Electronic / Jazz / Downtempo / Deep House)

When first released back in 2000, Tourist was a global success, selling over four million albums worldwide. It was Ludovic Navarre’s (aka. St Germain) third studio album which really transformed his career into superstardom; combining elements of house and nu jazz to produce an impeccable album to chill out to. The album continues to be hugely popular to this day, with the critically acclaimed Jorja Smith doing a cover of Rose rouge earlier this year.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his Tourist album, Ludovic Navarre aka St Germain has invited UK, South Africa, USA, Reunion Island and France producers, DJs and remixers with various musical inspirations, from Deep House to Afro House and Chicago House.

He declares: “I would like to thank all the people I asked to travel through their favorite Tourist album track. Some of them worked on my last Africa-in- spired album in 2015, like my dear friend Atjazz, who helped me a lot on this new project, and also Terry Laird Dj Deep and Traumer. I don’t have to introduce highly respected newcomers such as Nightmares On Wax , Jovonn, Ron Trent, Black Motion, Osunlade and Jullian Gomes. I truly enjoy their passion for music, their personality and musical integrity. I know they’ve got soul!”

Arthur Verocai - Arthur Verocai (Jazz-Funk / MPB / Psychedelic)

A true and complete album masterpiece in every sense of the word, considered by many people to be one of the greatest ever made, regardless of genre. Recorded at Studio Somil, Rio De Janeiro in 1972, the album was produced, arranged, directed by the self-taught, Arthur Verocai. Previously he had worked on many records in various capacities, with artists including Jorge Ben, Ivan Lins and Celia, this album gave him the chance to do his thing in it's most pure form. The 29 minute masterpiece, perfect in it's arrangement and fusion of sonics, epitomises the sound of Brazil at the time; strings, guitars, pianos, break beats, basslines, synthesizers, vocals from the wonderful Célia and percussion from Pedro Santos. Bossa nova, samba, jazz, MPB, psychedelics and funk sit side by side effortlessly. The album transcends the genre of Brazilian music, and infact all genres. Highlighted in part by the number of artists that have sampled from it; MF Doom, Ludacris and Common, Little Brother, Jneiro Jarel aka Dr Who Dat?, Dibiase and Action Bronson amongst others. The original Continental versions of the album now fetch around $2000.

Here are the best of the rest of the new releases arriving at The Vinyl Whistle this week:

Bass Drum of Death - Too Cold to Hold / Wait (Rock / Garage Rock)

These two songs are a return to the early sound of the band, recorded and mixed in Mississippi with his brother Jim Barrett. The first is a grinding garage stomper with a stellar hook and a slinking groove. The B-side skews heavier and nastier with its bludgeoning riff, crashing cymbals, and a screaming breakdown.

Jeremiah Fraites - Piano Piano (Indie Folk / Folk Rock)

From co-founder of the Lumineers, Jeremiah Fraites, Piano Piano is a collection of songs that’s been in the works for the better part of a decade, featuring gorgeous, intimate piano-centric instrumental songs capturing Fraites’ reflective moments from his Denver home. Piano Piano is an achingly gorgeous set of songs, emotionally direct yet profoundly revealing. Fraites’ songwriting reaches into deeply personal spaces with moving grace and stark elegance, retaining the folk-inspired melodicism so familiar from his work in The Lumineers, transported into a more classically sophisticated setting. In addition to piano, Fraites plays nearly every instrument on the album, including guitar, drums, synths, and programming. It was co-produced and engineered by David Baron (Jade Bird, Vance Joy, Shawn Mendes) and features other collaborators such as The Lumineers’ violinist Lauren Jacobson, cellists Rubin Kodheli and Alex Waterman, and Macedonia’s 40-piece Fame’s Orchestra.

Steve Hackett - Under A Mediterranean Sky (Rock / Blues)

Under A Mediterranean Sky is the first new acoustic solo album from legendary guitarist Steve Hackett, since 2008’s Tribute – a record that saw him tackling some of the beautiful classical pieces that his guitar idols had also put their hand to. This new album however takes inspiration from Steve’s extensive travels around the Mediterranean. Under The Mediterranean Sky lacks nothing of the grandiosity of Steve Hackett’s recent solo electric records, however it does give room to the stunning breadth of approach that he has to playing his acoustic guitar, reminding us once again why Steve is such a revered and respected musician.

Jordana - Something To Say To You (Pop / Indie Pop)

Sophomore album from Jordana, featuring her two 2020 EPs compiled on one limited LP. The album combines her Something to Say EP with the recently released..To You EP for one full-length LP.

Her sound is dreamy bedroom slacker pop that will appeal to fans of Soccer Mommy, Lou Barlow and Snail Mail.

Lonely The Brave - The Hope List (Rock / Alternative / Post-Hardcore)

Some things aren’t meant to be laid to rest. Instead, they dig deep into your heart, your blood, your bones, your soul. You never let go of them, and – sometimes – they never let go of you. Such is the case with Lonely The Brave.

Building on the legacy that Lonely The Brave built for themselves, the new material is brimming with the band’s trademark purity and passion, as well as a newfound sense of confidence that weaves its way through. It’s a signal that the band aren’t just back, but back with renewed purpose and energy. Some things aren’t meant to be laid to rest – and these songs prove wholeheartedly that Lonely The Brave are one of those things who, once they bury themselves inside you, are impossible to forget about.

Chris Potter - There Is A Tide (Jazz)

It’s a year no one will forget: a year in which the global lockdown was shared by all and yet experienced in a million different ways. For Chris Potter, a musician who has been on the road continuously since the 1990s, whose raison d’etre is playing live, lockdown presented both a challenge and an opportunity. It’s a tribute to his creativity, personal integrity and huge musical talent that Chris was able to take on this challenge and make something unbelievably fresh from the opportunity.

As the Black Lives Matter movement was kicking off, Chris set out to create something alone, to express his reaction to these chaotic times. Uniquely, playing each and every instrument: piano, keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, drums, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, alto flute, percussion, samples and of course saxophones, Chris took just six weeks to complete the whole process.

Bob Schneider - I'm Good Now (Rock / Indie)

I'm good now was the follow up to Bob's debut album Lonelyland. It's the record he spent the most time recording. A record dealing with the dichotomy of relationships, even the title, which seemingly sounds hopeful, actually refers to the author being dead. It took six months and over 1,000 studio hours to create what many of his fans consider a masterpiece. For the first time since its release it's available on high quality vinyl.

Wardruna - Kvitravn (Electronic / Ambient / Folk / Nordic)

Masterful Norweigan storytellers Wardruna reveal yet another masterstroke in their mission to understand and integrate ancient thoughts, tools and methods to produce something relevant to the moderne era.

Following an intensive period in the studio, Kvitravn musically continues where the Runaljod trilogy left off, yet it marks a distinct evolution in Wardruna's unique sound. In a rich musical tapestry, Wardruna use a broad selection of both traditional and historical instruments such as Kravik-lyre, Trossingen-lyre, Taglharpa, Sootharp, Langeleik, Crwth, Goat- horn, Lur, Bronze-lur, flute, Moraharpa, and the record also features guest appearances by a small group of prominent traditional singers, spearheaded by Kirsten Bråten Berg, one of the most important custodians of Norwegian traditional song. Throughout eleven songs, Kvitravn discusses Northern sorcery, spirit-animals, shadows, nature and animism, the wisdom and meanings of certain myths, various Norse spiritual concepts, and the relation between sage and songs.

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