A stunning survey of the 1970s heyday of great Japanese singer and countercultural icon Maki Asakawa (1942-2010). Deep-indigo, dead-of-night enka, folk, and blues, inhaling Billie Holiday and Nina Simone down to the bone. A traditional waltz abuts Nico-style incantation; defamiliarized versions of Oscar Brown Jr. and Bessie Smith collide with big-band experiments alongside poet Shūji Terayama; a sitar-led psychedelic wig-out runs into a killer excursion in modal, spiritual jazz. Existentialism and noir, mystery and allure, hurt and hauteur. With excellent notes by Alan Cummings and the fabulous photographs of Hitoshi Jin Tamura. "Japan's answer to Scott Walker, with a visual aesthetic and a death-decadent appeal that is straight out of the Keiji Haino songbook." --Volcanic Tongue
Karen Dalton’s 1971 album, In My Own Time, stands as a true masterpiece by one of music’s most mysterious, enigmatic, and enduringly influential artists. Celebrating the album’s 50th anniversary, Light in the Attic is honored to present a newly remastered (2021) edition of the album on LP, CD, cassette, and 8-Track.
The LITA Anniversary LP edition features the original 10-track album, pressed on clear wax at Record Technology Inc. (RTI) and housed in an expanded gatefold LP jacket, while the album makes its long-overdue return on the almighty 8-Track format.
Both the CD and cassette editions feature 9 bonus tracks, including 3 alternate takes from the In My Own Time album sessions, along with 6 previously unreleased tracks captured during Karen’s 1971 European tour, including live at The Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival and Germany’s Beat Club.
All audio has been newly remastered by Dave Cooley, while lacquers were cut by Phil Rodriguez at Elysian Masters.
A newly expanded booklet—featuring rarely seen photos, liner notes from musician and writer Lenny Kaye, and contributions from Nick Cave and Devendra Banhart—rounds out the CD (32-pgs) and LP (20-pgs) packages.
The Oklahoma-raised Karen Dalton (1937-1993) brought a range of influences to her work. As Lenny Kaye writes in the liner notes, one can hear “the jazz of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, the immersion of Nina Simone, the Appalachian keen of Jean Ritchie, [and] the R&B and country that had to seep in as she made her way to New York."
Armed with a long-necked banjo and a 12-stringed guitar, Dalton set herself apart from her peers with her distinctive, world-weary vocals. In the early ‘60s, she became a fixture in the Greenwich Village folk scene, interpreting traditional material, blues standards, and the songs of her contemporaries, including Tim Hardin, Fred Neil, and Richard Tucker, whom she later married. Bob Dylan, meanwhile, was instantly taken with her artistry. “My favorite singer in the place was Karen Dalton,” he recalled in Chronicles: Volume One (Simon & Schuster, 2004). “Karen had a voice like Billie Holiday and played the guitar like Jimmy Reed.”
Those who knew Dalton understood that she was not interested in bowing to the whims of the record industry. On stage, she rarely interacted with audience members. In the studio, she was equally as uncomfortable with the recording process. Her 1969 debut, It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best, reissued by Light in the Attic in 2009, was captured on the sly when Dalton assumed that she was rehearsing songs. When Woodstock co-promoter Michael Lang approached Dalton about recording a follow-up for his new imprint, Just Sunshine, she was dubious, to say the least. The album would have to be made on her own terms, in her own time. That turned out to be a six-month period at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, NY.
Producing the album was bassist Harvey Brooks, who played alongside Dalton on It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best. Brooks, who prided himself on being “simple, solid and supportive,” understood Dalton’s process, but was also willing to offer gentle encouragement, and challenge the artist to push her creative bounds. “I tried to present her with a flexible situation,” he told Kaye. “I left the decisions to her, to determine the tempo, feel. She was very quiet, and I brought all of it to her; if she needed more, I’d present options. Everyone was sensitive to her. She was the leader.”
Dalton, who rarely performed her own compositions, selected a range of material to interpret—from traditionals like “Katie Cruel” and “Same Old Man” to Paul Butterfield’s “In My Own Dream” and Richard Tucker’s “Are You Leaving For The Country.” She also expanded upon her typical repertoire, peppering in such R&B hits as “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “How Sweet It Is.” In a departure from her previous LP, Dalton’s new recording offered fuller, more pop-forward arrangements, featuring a slew of talented studio musicians.
While ‘70s audiences may not have been ready for Dalton’s music, a new generation was about to discover her work. In the decades following her death, a slew of artists would name Karen Dalton as an influence, including Lucinda Williams, Joanna Newsom, Nick Cave, Angel Olsen, Devendra Banhart, Sharon Van Etten, Courtney Barnett, and Adele. In the recent acclaimed film documentary Karen Dalton: In My Own Time, Cave muses on Dalton’s unique appeal: “There’s a sort of demand made upon the listener,” he explains. “Whether you like it or not, you have to enter her world. And it’s a despairing world.” Peter Walker, who also appears in the film, elaborates on this idea: “If she can feel a certain way in her music and play it in such a way that you feel that way, then that’s really the most magical thing [one] can do.” He adds, “She had a deep and profound and loving soul…you can hear it in her music.”
Melody As Truth is proud to announce ‘There Up, Behind the Moon’, a collaborative album from Romanian musician Ana Stamp and Jonny Nash. For this collaboration, the pair spent over two years researching, arranging and recording Romanian folklore songs, aiming to give new context to these traditional, forgotten melodies.Throughout the album Ana’s vocals sit in delicate balance with Nash’s signature minimalist arrangements, accompanied with cimbalom, piano, double bass and guitar.
‘Bright Girl’, ‘For You I Am Missing’, ‘On a Mountain Realm’, ‘Sacred Conversations’, ‘Noble Tree’ are arrangements from traditional Romanian “star songs” and carols, usually sung in connection to various rituals that take place throughout the year. ‘Clouds Passing By’ is a cover of a traditional song, covered by Oșoianu Sisters.
In addition the album contains two classical piano compositions by Romanian composer Sigismund Toduță’, ’Upwards’ and ‘There Up, Behind The Moon’ to complete the atmosphere. Ana’s contemplative, thoughtfully paced re-interpretation and performance of these pieces reflects feelings of waiting and longing over time.
In describing her first album ‘There Up, Behind The Moon, Ana says “it represents an important element of my connection with Romanian folklore and the country landscape that encompasses many feelings, ranging from longing to joy or melancholy at times. Rituals and traditions are part of our roots that we take with us wherever we go.”
Jacks meets Makoto Kubota & The Sunset Gang! Yokohama Rock guru Daisaku Yoshino's early masterpiece "Lamp Factory" (self-produced in 1974) is being released on LP for the first time in 48 years! Produced by Makoto Otowa, this album is known as a brother album to "Wasagetami".
Daisaku Yoshino has been performing live mainly in Yokohama since the early 70's. His musical style is diverse and elusive, from the folk rock period of the 70's to the post-punk/free form period of the 80's. Although he has never received a solid reputation, his early work "Daisaku Yoshino Lamp Manufacturing Factory" ( Although his music has never been well received, his early work, "Yoshino Daisaku Lamp Factory" (released in 1974), is well known and popular in later years, mainly in Europe, as a masterpiece of acid folk. The band's philosophical and modern poetry was expressed in straight American rock, dynamic and thirsty country rock, and acid folk style, and was regarded as "Jacks meets the Sunset Band". The band was praised by Makoto Kubota for their performance at the Hibiya Nohe rock festival, where they outclassed Tokyo bands. The bluesy, weeping electric guitar sounds are reminiscent of Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush," a superb world. The hidden masterpiece that will remain in the history of Japanese rock music is now being released in its original format for the first time in 48 years. The strength of the music is so pure that it has not wavered at all, and it is an album that must be listened to now more than ever.
Shin Otowa, is a legendary Japanese psychedelic musician who is coveted by psychedelic enthusiasts around the world.
Makoto Kubota and the Sunset Sunset Orchestra participated in the release of his acid masterpiece "Wasuretami" (self-produced in 1974) on LP for the first time in 48 years!
Self-produced album (1974) by a singer/songwriter known for having contributed lyrics to Makoto Kubota's first solo album "Machiboke" (1973).
Makoto Kubota, who made full use of his 12-string guitar and contributed so much to the overall sound that it could be said that he almost produced the album, Yoma Fujita, who created a fantastic space with his slide guitar, and Takashi Onzo, who played the bass guitar in a lighthearted and eerie manner. The members of the Yuyake Gakudan (Sunset Sunset Band), including Makoto Kubota, who contributed to the overall sound, Yoma Fujita, who creates a fantastic space with his slide guitar, and Takashi Onzo, who plays a nice and light bass, all played on this simple but richly expanded world of Otowa's songs, inviting our consciousness into a world that extends far "beyond", but gives a mysterious sense of peacefulness. In other words, it is a masterpiece of acid folk. In this era of rock, this album is a pure and miraculous album of intense rock that abandons any superficial rock sound in order to be rock. Therefore, it has been enthusiastically supported by psychedelic enthusiasts around the world and has been talked about for a long time in Japan, although only a small portion of the Japanese public has heard of it. In 1976, just after the release of this album, Otowa suddenly left for Ibiza, Spain, and is said to have returned to Japan in the mid-1980s.