New Releases: 9th April 2021
Ben brings you all the new releases and reissues to arrive at The Vinyl Whistle this week, featuring releases ranging from indie, rock, experimental, hip-hop, electronica, folk, jazz, funk, dance, alt-rock 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:
Five tracks from Andy Bell’s debut solo album The View From Halfway Down reworked by Pye Corner Audio, with one re-edit by Andy himself in his Glok guise.
Album opener John L backed with b side Despair, has a massive sound, driven by some gutsy Discipline-era King Crimson thrust, and energy wrought by the inclusion of Jerskin Fendrix on violin. The group tease the raging track to the point of nonexistence before leading it through caverns of reverb and gauzy snareskin landscapes, just for it to return, hitting hard as hell once more. The story painted is a jet black comedy about what happens to cult leaders when their followers turn on them.
Not unlike the supernatural deities from which they take their name, Djinn - the Swedish collective featuring members of Hills and Goat in their ranks - have proven themselves a potent and mysterious force. Their first release for Rocket Recordings was a portrait of open-minded explorers foraying into the realms of free and cosmic jazz, but never overly reverential or in thrall to their own influences.
Following the ‘Avant De Servir’ tape which was released on Swedish label Zeon Light last year, Transmission is a still more intrepid step into new terrain for Djinn - the mantric rhythms are hypnotic here, the freeform extrapolations hit new peaks of vivid abandon, and the moments of calm are blissfully meditative. Yet their sound palette extends into refreshing collisions of intent and metaphysical intensity that echo across the psychic landscapes of Sunburned Hand Of The Man-style freak-folk, as well as the polylingual fusion of jazz, European and Asian music that Don Cherry essayed on 1969’s Eternal Rhythm and 1973’s Organic Music Society.
Amidst these intoxicating and richly eclectic soundworlds, the band are just as comfortable invoking Popol Vuh (as on the mellotronabetted title track) Art Ensemble Of Chicago and the lineage of Swedish underground music that found epiphanies in the radical folk-psych of Arbete Och Fritid whilst also sounding - crucially - like no-one but themselves.
For all the far-reaching explorations of altered states by which Djinn set out their stall, this collection of mystical headspaces - in all its fearless and feral glory - is proof positive that the band’s journey has only just begun. This transmission is set to ring out across dimensions unknown.
The highly-anticipated second album This Is Really Going To Hurt. Recorded in LA last year with collaborators Justin Raisen (Angel Olsen, Yves Tumor), Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver) and mixing engineer Ali Chant (Aldous Harding), the record is a lucid documentation of lead singer Will Taylor’s formative breakup, and follows the ending of a relationship through the stages of grief and acceptance. The title is evocative of knowing the decision you are about to make will change your life forever. The first singles from the album, ‘Easy Tiger’ and ‘Losing You’, served as stunning introductions.
Teenage Terrified is the debut EP by Hamburger, a Bristol band formed over a chance meeting at a vegan fast food joint. Consisting of six friends, Hamburger have mixed the raw, immediate feeling of home/bedroom recording with the poppier sound of studio recordings with Dom Mitchison of Humm Studios. Teenage Terrified takes in a range of flavours, from the sing-songy, slacker pop of Zebulon, to the more ethereal, dreamy and melodic Seafood, to the intensely personal, stripped back and introspective Agatha. Every time you try to define Hamburger’s sound, they will surprise you and take you somewhere a little different. Having said that…one can definitely hear the sonic influence of Elliott Smith, Alex G, Sparklehorse and Built to Spill.
Late Night Tales celebrate their 20th anniversary with the release of multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer Jordan Rakei’s majestic compilation. The 28-year-old modern soul icon effortlessly stamps his own jazz and hip-hop driven sound all over this gorgeous array of handpicked tracks. A beautifully layered blend that is mirrored in the music he’s made, it comes as no surprise that such a supremely gifted songwriter should deliver a mix that is all about the song. It includes cuts from Connan Mockasin, Alfa Mist, Puma Blue, C Duncan, two exclusives Jordan Rakei covers of Radiohead and Jeff Buckley and an new original and much more.
“I wanted to try and showcase as many people as I knew on this mix. My idea of Late Night Tales was to distil a series of relaxing moments; the whole conceptual sonic of relax- ation. So, I was trying to think of all the collaborators and friends that I knew, who’d recorded stuff with this horizontal vibe. Plus, I was also trying to help my friends' stuff get into the world. I know the story of Khruangbin blowing up after appearing on the series (in fact, I think that's how I discovered them). So, the main idea was to create a certain atmosphere, but also to help some of my favourite collaborators and bud- dies to give their songs a little push out into the world. Hope you like it” Jordan Rakei.
For fans of Sarah Records, Even As We Speak, The Field Mice, Blue Boy, The Clientele and early Belle and Sebastian. From the many musical lives of artist Glenn Donaldson emerges The Reds, Pinks and Purples, a project that sifts out the purest elements of pop music and in the process chronicles the point of view of an assiduous San Francisco-based songwriter. The Reds, Pinks and Purples’ third album, called Uncommon Weather, is both an elusive portrait of San Francisco - during one of its fluctuations as an untenable place for musicians and artists - and also a self-portrait, however inverted, of a songwriter who has dispatched another treasured collection of timeless sounding DIY-pop songs.
How The Reds, Pinks and Purples arrived here is a story with many roots, the most consequential of which is perhaps the musical aftermath of his earlier band, The Art Museums, whose brief tenure in the late ’00s coincided with an explosive period of the Bay Area rock scene and was followed by a hermetic musical period of Donaldson’s. Disenchanted with the dissolution of his band, Donaldson averted the DIY-pop sound with an instrumental, conceptual project called FWY! but meanwhile started a habitual songwriting practice, sharing nascent songs with friends in an email exchange. In 2013–2014, The Reds, Pinks and Purples took shape as the moniker for Glenn’s most direct expressions in the DIY-pop mode, enabled by this new disciplined output. By then, San Francisco was already a changed place. The tragic loss of his former bandmate in Art Museums was another source of discontinuity and rupture. You can hear in The Reds, Pinks and Purples’ earliest songs this grappling with life, anxiety, and atrophying subcultures. For an artist with an overriding interest in the aesthetic principles of discrete musical genres, this turn toward his immediate world for subject matter was a major shift, setting The Reds, Pinks and Purples apart from Donaldson’s other musical ventures.
Here are the best reissues coming out this week at The Vinyl Whistle:
Laurie Anderson’s 1982 debut album, Big Science, will return to vinyl for the first time in 30 years with a new red vinyl edition on Nonesuch Records. The release includes the re-mastered original album first released on CD for the 25th anniversary in 2007.
In the early 1980s, Laurie Anderson was already respected as a conceptual artist and composer, adept at employing gear both high-tech and homemade in her often violin-based pieces, and she was a familiar figure in the cross-pollinating, Lower Manhattan music-visual art-performance circles from which Philip Glass and David Byrne also emerged. While working on her now-legendary seven-hour performance art/theater piece United States, Part I–IV, she cut the spare ‘O Superman (For Massenet)’, an electronic-age update of 19th century French operatic composer Jules Massenet’s aria ‘O Souverain’, for the tiny New York City indie label 110 Records. In the UK, DJ John Peel picked up a copy of this very limited-edition 33⅓ RPM 7” and spun the eight-minute-plus track on BBC Radio 1. The exposure resulted in an unlikely #2 hit, lots of attention in the press, and a worldwide deal with Warner Bros. Records.
Released in 1985, Back To The Future has been a staple for fans of classic 80s movies. Travel back in time with the iconic soundtrack with songs like “Earth Angel,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and Huey Lewis and The News’ “The Power Of Love."
The LP captures a slice of the early days of the festival, and the band as a psychedelic rock powerhouse with tracks from The Black Angels 1st two LPs - with 6 tracks recorded at Austin Psych Fest 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The Black Angels - Live at Levitation has been given deluxe treatment on mind melting vinyl.
More than any other album in the canon of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, 1958’sMoanin’ — featuring the great drummer with trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, pianist Bobby Timmons, and bassist Jymie Merritt —was the perfect crystallization of the band’s bluesy, soulful sound, and it still stands today as perhaps the most quintessential hard bop recording of all-time.
Originally self-titled, the album was later renamed Moanin’ due to the popularity of Timmons’ unforgettable opening track. The album also introduced several indelible Golson compositions that would become standards of the jazz songbook including “Along Came Betty” and “Blues March.”
This Blue Note Classic Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
In the four years after The Clipse dropped their sophomore classic Lord Willin' the duo was able to build a legacy that had fans hungry for new material. After the smoke cleared and they hit the studio the Virginia brothers recorded the confidently mature sophomore effort, Hell Hath No Fury. Best known for their unconventional radio smash Grindin, Clipse are no strangers to taking risks with the boundary-pushing Neptunes, who return as trusted co-pilots for Hell Hath No Fury. As always the duo is right at home over The Neptunes crafted beats which perfectly embrace Pusha's inventive drug-game metaphors and Malice's soul-baring confessionals. From the bouncy lead single Mr. Me Too and the Slim Thug assisted Wamp Wamp to the oddly haunting Keys Open Doors to Momma I'm Sorry, Hell Hath No Fury represents some of the duo's best work. On the hypnotic Keys Open Doors, over the eerie mix of screwed-up angelic voices, chimes and congas, the brothers run circles around the competition, while the spine-tingling boom-bap of Ride Around Shining sets the stage for Pusha's hilarious boasts. Whether rhyming over distorted, lo-fi guitar plucks (Dirty Money) or overblown 808s (Trill), the brothers come with colorful references and inventive word play that easily places them in a lyrical class of their own. Get On Down now proudly issues this Neptunes produced favourite on LP for the first time ever.
Theon Cross strides confidently forth from his crucial role alongside Shabaka Hutchings in the award-winning Sons Of Kemet to unleash one of the vital sounds of 2019. Irresistibly inventive, while at once both serious and witty - Theon Cross plays Tuba like no-one else. An enormous, swaggering bass emanates from Theon’s magnificent horn, evoking sweaty clubnights where dance floor bangers sit side by side with intricate arrangements. Nubya Garcia and Moses Boyd, London’s Jazz golden generation illuminaries, feature heavily. Wayne Francis of Steam Down also guests. Refusing to be shackled by the confines of Jazz, the album draws on London’s vivacious cutural heritage, dipping in and out of grime, afrobeat, electronic, dub, dancehall and Jamaican roots music. Theon featured recently on the much lauded Makaya McCraven’s Where We Come From album. He’s also performed with the likes of Kano, Moses Boyd, Jon Batiste, Pharoahe Monch, Courtney Pine and is a founding figure in South London-based collective Steam Down.
taipu, written by American composer Philip Glass, were commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Along with The Light (1987), they marked Glass’s continuation of a symphonic trilogy of “portraits of nature” as he had recently turned