Folk / Roots

133 products

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Branko Mataja - Over Fields And Mountains (White Blossom Vinyl LP)Branko Mataja - Over Fields And Mountains (White Blossom Vinyl LP)
Branko Mataja - Over Fields And Mountains (White Blossom Vinyl LP)Numero Group
Recalling Ennio Morricone spaghetti westerns, the electrified belly dance music of Omar Khorshid, and ’90s bedroom psychedelia at once, the music of Branko Mataja is from its own epoch. Snatched from the streets of Belgrade as a teenager, Mataja spent World War 2 in a German work camp, escaping the insanity of post-war Europe to settle in North Hollywood to live out the American Dream to its fullest. Crafting handmade music on homemade guitars throughout the 1970s, Mataja taught himself to play in order to pay homage to his ancestral home of Yugoslavia, a place he would never return to except through these guitar meditations.
Reverend Baron - From Anywhere (CS)
Reverend Baron - From Anywhere (CS)Karma Chief Records
From the academy of deep soul and no ego, Reverend Baron delivers visions of liquor store East LA, the off-the-freeway dry mirage of slow motion graffiti and lonely seagulls. A nylon stringed zen fog with themes of woozy love, layered dimensions of nostalgia and glazed neighborhood tales that roll in with a natural ease. After notching a permanent status in the skateboarding orbit as Danny Garcia, he transferred his effortless style, dedication and authenticity into music. Practicing a philosophy of demystifying the process and doing it yourself, he has become a proficient multi-instrumentalist, engineer, and producer of his own and other artist's music. All streams of curiosity converge into the river. An enigma, Reverend Baron emerges from the proverbial gray overpass with no sense of urgency. He takes a sharp gaze at his surroundings and processes them through a factory of depth and gentle swag to yield a sound that sits as easy as fallen molasses on the bodega shelf. The songs are an unassuming invitation to either walk through the doorway or lean on the wall outside, either way something beautiful and rare.

Reverend Baron - From Anywhere (Powder Blue Vinyl LP)Reverend Baron - From Anywhere (Powder Blue Vinyl LP)
Reverend Baron - From Anywhere (Powder Blue Vinyl LP)Karma Chief Records
From the academy of deep soul and no ego, Reverend Baron delivers visions of liquor store East LA, the off-the-freeway dry mirage of slow motion graffiti and lonely seagulls. A nylon stringed zen fog with themes of woozy love, layered dimensions of nostalgia and glazed neighborhood tales that roll in with a natural ease. After notching a permanent status in the skateboarding orbit as Danny Garcia, he transferred his effortless style, dedication and authenticity into music. Practicing a philosophy of demystifying the process and doing it yourself, he has become a proficient multi-instrumentalist, engineer, and producer of his own and other artist's music. All streams of curiosity converge into the river. An enigma, Reverend Baron emerges from the proverbial gray overpass with no sense of urgency. He takes a sharp gaze at his surroundings and processes them through a factory of depth and gentle swag to yield a sound that sits as easy as fallen molasses on the bodega shelf. The songs are an unassuming invitation to either walk through the doorway or lean on the wall outside, either way something beautiful and rare.

Juana Molina - Segundo (21st Anniversary) (2LP+DL)Juana Molina - Segundo (21st Anniversary) (2LP+DL)
Juana Molina - Segundo (21st Anniversary) (2LP+DL)Crammed Discs

To celebrate the 21st anniversary of Juana Molina’s breakthrough album Segundo (2000), here’s a very special reissue, remastered from the original tapes, and augmented by a rich booklet recounting the eventful start of Juana’s musical career, and containing numerous notes, anecdotes, original drawings and previously unreleased pictures.
Segundo is the album which started Juana Molina’s international trajectory as a musician, and its making was a wild story: after dropping her highly-successful career as a TV comedian, and signing with a major company who got her to record her debut album, Juana set out to find her own direction in music and started working on a new record (aptly titled Segundo). This journey took four years, and included sessions in Argentina and in several houses where she lived on the US West Coast, the involvement of several possible producers and of four successive record labels, who each had their own idea of what Juana should be doing... Juana remained untamed, forged ahead and, during the course of this sometimes complicated process, developed her own method and her own characteristic sound. She writes:
From the moment “Segundo” took shape, I began to walk a path that I have not yet abandoned. That is why it’s so important to me. I feel that this was the seed of everything I have done ever since. I discovered the flair of composing in real time, the charm of discarding the very idea of demos, the grace of documenting these moments of searching and finding. Everything else became dispensable.

In 2000, Juana finally self-released Segundo in Argentina. The album semi-accidentally made its way to Japan where it very spectacularly took off, and was eventually picked up by the Domino label in 2003. The reception of Segundo set Juana Molina on course for starting to perform around the globe, garnering a large, devoted fan base, and going on to record five more extraordinary studio albums (including the widely-acclaimed Halo in 2017) and a live record (ANRMAL, 2020).
All this and much more is narrated in the lovely booklet, which includes notes by several people who were involved in these events (including Bruce Springsteen producer Ron Aniello) and by early adopters such as KCRW DJ Chris Douridas, Domino Recording’s Laurence Bell (who discovered Segundo by chance, in Will Oldham’s car), and David Byrne who, as soon as he heard the album for the first time, invited Juana to open for him on his 2003 US tour. 

Jeb Loy Nichols - The United States Of The Broken Hearted (LP+DL)Jeb Loy Nichols - The United States Of The Broken Hearted (LP+DL)
Jeb Loy Nichols - The United States Of The Broken Hearted (LP+DL)On-U Sound

On-U Sound are proud to present a new album from longtime friend and associate of the label, Jeb Loy Nichols. Produced by Adrian Sherwood, with careful arrangements framing twelve beautiful, acoustic-based songs. The album features contributions from the likes of Martin Duffy (Primal Scream/Felt) and Ivan “Celloman” Hussey, fresh from his work on the massively acclaimed duo of Horace Andy albums, Midnight Rocker and Midnight Scorchers, both of which featured songwriting contributions from Jeb Loy.

Jeb Loy comments: "The United States Of The Broken Hearted has been forty years in the making. I’ve known Adrian, and considered him one of my closest friends, for that long. During that time we’ve spent more hours listening, and talking about, music than anything else. Reggae, Country, Folk, Jazz, Soul; it’s been the backdrop to our friendship. Adrian introduced me to some of my favourite music; Count Ossie, Culture, Harry Beckett, Mulatu Astatke. Through the years we’ve listened to Sun Ra, Lee Perry, Ornette Coleman, Johnny Cash, Woody Guthrie. A couple years ago, on a visit to Adrian, I mentioned Gram Parsons’s concept of ‘American Cosmic Music’, the melting mix of musical genres that constitutes a uniquely American sound. We talked about recording a record that incorporated all the influences I’d gathered, from Bluegrass to Jazz to Reggae to Soul. The United States Of The Broken Hearted is that record. We wanted to include Folk (Deportees), Country (Satisfied Mind), protest songs (I Hate The Capitalist System), and songs of my own that bore the marks of those that had gone before. I sang the songs and played guitar; Adrian brought in friends and fellow travellers to finish them. It’s all there, Soul, Jazz, Country, Folk; and underlying everything, Adrian’s Reggae infused production.”

Adrian Sherwood adds: “This is Jeb’s ‘Great American Songbook’, he’s become such a great singer and songwriter over the years. This is a beautiful piece of work reminiscent of our mutual love for the Miracle album I made with Bim Sherman. I’m really proud of this record and it’s a fitting follow-up to Long Time Traveller.” 

Amaia Zubiria - Pascal Gaigne - Egun Argi Hartan (LP)Amaia Zubiria - Pascal Gaigne - Egun Argi Hartan (LP)
Amaia Zubiria - Pascal Gaigne - Egun Argi Hartan (LP)Elkar
Coinciding with the release of the compilation "1972-1985 KATEBEGIAK Prog-Rock, Psych-Folk & Jazz-Rock Music from the Basque Country [Compiled by DJ Makala]", in which has been included Amaia Zubiria & Pascal Gaigne's "Itsasoa Laino Dago" song, we've just reissue for the very first time this rare & hard to find cult record of Basque music, released on 1985 by Elkar label. AMAIA ZUBIRIA & PASCAL GAIGNE "EGUN ARGI HARTAN" (ELKAR 1985) After the well-earned "Adarra" prize awarded by San Sebastián city council in 2021, the name of Amaia Zubiria is back on people’s lips, one of the most outstandingly beautiful voices in the history of folk and Basque music in general. In fact, thanks to the albums recorded with Haizea and with Txomin Artola and many other collaborations, she has been a constant presence in a long, fruitful career spanning over 40 years. However, despite this popularity, much of her extensive body of work is unknown or remains almost forgotten, apart from four or ve records and her most popular songs. This is a shame, because her forgotten back catalogue contains many of Amaia’s most moving songs. Among them, as a taster and an invitation to get into her music, we encourage you to listen to the enchanting “Itxasoan Laino Dago”, recorded together with Pascal Gaigne in 1985. A track featuring the electronic sounds created with great care by Pascal and adorned by Michel Doneda’s saxophone, and guided with a magical sophistication by the talented sound engineer from Hendaye, Jean Phocas. It is an impossibly beautiful melt of avant garde and traditional music (Text: Antton Iturbe)
Nathan Salsburg - Landwerk No. 3 (2LP)
Nathan Salsburg - Landwerk No. 3 (2LP)No Quarter
Phonographic samples with electric guitar, resonator guitar, organ and piano. Committed January 2021-August 2022 in Skylight, Kentucky. Mixed, mastered and otherwise improved by Chuck Johnson at Cirrus Oxide, Oakland, California. Source recordings: IX: From “Mutter's Kaver,” Mayer Kanewsky (as M. Gutmann), Columbia E1737, recorded February 1914. X: From “Foiu Verdi,” Dnu. H. Bloom, Grafton 9121 (off Emerson 13158), recorded September 1920. XI: From “National Hora (part 1),” Abe Schwartz and daughter (Sylvia Schwartz), Columbia E4745, recorded May 1920. XII: From “A Brief Fin 1916,” Jacob Silbert, Columbia E5145, recorded c. 1916. XIII: From “Lom Ich Frier Alten Derbei,” Ludwig Satz, Victor V-9003, recorded December 1928. XIV: From “Mazel Tov,” Abe Ellstein Orchestra, Victor V-9070, recorded February 1940. Thanks to Joan and Talya.
Makoto Kubota - まちぼうけ (LP)
Makoto Kubota - まちぼうけ (LP)Universal Music
This world-famous acid folk classic features performances by Matsutoya, Katsuo Ohno (PYG), Hiroki Komazawa (Honey Pai), Hiromasa Fujita (Sunset Band), Tsugitoshi Goto, Hiroshi Segawa in the chorus and Shin Otowa, who is currently undergoing a reevaluation. 1973 release.
Enji - Ursgal (CD)
Enji - Ursgal (CD)Squama Recordings
On her second album Ursgal Mongolian singer Enji creates a unique blend of Jazz and Folk with the traditions of Mongolian song. Currently based in Munich, her lyrics tell personal stories about unbearable distances, the oddness of being on earth and the simple truths in life. She’s accompanied by Paul Brändle on guitar and Munguntovch Tsolmonbayar on double bass. Born in Ulaanbaatar, Enji grew up in a yurt to a working-class family. Having always been drawn to music, dance and literature, she initially wanted to become a music teacher with little ambitions to compose or be on stage. A program by the local Goethe Institute sparked her passion for Jazz and eventually led her to become a performing artist. Inspired by the music of Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald and Nancy Wilson, Enji started writing songs of her own, cherishing this newfound means of expression. Ursgal is the first record featuring her original compositions.
Hydroplane (LP)Hydroplane (LP)
Hydroplane (LP)Efficient Space
Hydroplane reinstate their formidable 1997 debut of sublime guitar atmospherics, fragile lyricism and droning incidentals with an overdue vinyl and digital reissue. An offshoot of the now-féted The Cat’s Miaow, the trio formed after their drummer decamped to London, charting new territory with tape loops, manipulated samples and a borrowed Jupiter 4 in the wake of Endtroducing. Adopting a handle that Dean Wareham once considered calling Luna, Hydroplane intended to only ever release Excerpts From Forthcoming LP, a single-sided 7” sonic collage, before imploding in mystery. Their label however insisted they deliver their taunted album. From the comfort of a Brunswick flat, they continued to record soaring melodies and restrained song structures to 4-track, sculpting dramatic Radiophonic Workshop cues weighted in reverb and near-perfect dream pop lead by Kerrie Bolton’s empyrean vocals. Bored of industry expectation and largely ignored by local audiences, the reluctant performers followed the way of The Cannanes and formed meaningful overseas alliances by mail and phone, securing releases on Michigan outpost Drive-In and Broadcast launching pad Wurlitzer Jukebox. Championed by John Peel with twenty spins on his converted Radio One slot and even polling in the Festive Fifty of 1997, the humble three-piece still walked to their neighbourhood shops undetected. Previously only available as a US-issued CD, this reminiscent late-night suite establishes Hydroplane as an everlasting ember in Australia’s beloved indie nexus.
V.A. - Sky Girl: Compiled by Julien Dechery and DJ Sundae (2LP)V.A. - Sky Girl: Compiled by Julien Dechery and DJ Sundae (2LP)
V.A. - Sky Girl: Compiled by Julien Dechery and DJ Sundae (2LP)Efficient Space
"People who are sort of more the outcasts of society tend to tell it like it is" – Scott Seskind, 2015. Sky Girl is a mysteriously unshakeable companion, a deeply melancholic and sentimental journey through folk-pop, new wave and art music micro presses that span 1961-1991. A seemingly disparate suite of selections of forgotten fables by more or less neverknowns, Sky Girl forms a beautifully coherent and utterly sublime whole deftly compiled by French collectors DJ Sundae and Julien Dechery. From Scott Seskind's adolescent musical road movie to Karen Marks' icy Oz-wave, the charming DIY storytelling of Italian-American go-getter Joe Tossini and the ethereal slow dance themes of Parisian artists Nini Raviolette and Hugo Weris, Sky Girl resonates on a wide spectrum historically, geographically and stylistically. It unites in a singular, longing, almost intangible ambience. If the names sound wholly unfamiliar that doesn't matter, the nature of the compositions swiftly nurtures an intimacy with these lonely, poignant, openhearted wanderers. Most were available in a very limited capacity at the time of their release, some were never really released at all - Gary Davenport declined to release Sarra after he split with the girl for whom the track is named - years later a friend convinced Davenport to allow him to put 100 copies online to sell and DJ Sundae was quick enough to snare one. Beyond their scarcity, these tracks are bound together by a certain raw beauty that's achievable when music is made and no one is listening. Sky Girl comprises of fifteen officially licensed songs, a two year international scavenger hunt through long-folded home label operations, the depths of internet forums and traceless acetates. Both compilers are well trained record sleuths - DJ Sundae's labels Hollie and Idle Press have reissued Arthur Russell affiliate Nirosta Steel and DIY relic Pitch, while Julien Dechery previously compiled 'Fire Star', a retrospective on Tamil film composer Ilaiyaraaja, for Bombay Connection. Released by Noise In My Head offshoot Efficient Space, Sky Girl is enriched with artwork from Perks and Mini mutant Misha Hollenbach and appropriately elegant sleeve notes courtesy of Ivan Smagghe.
Skullcrusher - Quiet the Room (Cloudy White Vinyl LP+DL)
Skullcrusher - Quiet the Room (Cloudy White Vinyl LP+DL)Secretly Canadian
Helen Ballentine’s spellbinding first full-length album Quiet the Room is the sound of a window opening, a barrier dissolving. Across these fourteen tracks, the outside world seeps in and the inside world crawls out. The result is a stunning and quietly moving work that reflects the journeys we take through the physical and spiritual realms of ourselves in order to show up for the world. While writing the album in the summer of 2021, Ballentine drew inspiration from her childhood home in Mount Vernon, NY. What she set out to capture on Quiet the Room was not the innocence of childhood, as it is so often portrayed, but the intense complexity of it. Past and present merge Escher-like in this dreamlike space laced with elements of fantasy, magic, and mystery. Musically, this translates into a sound that feels somehow weighty and ephemeral all at once, like a time lapse of copper corroding.To capture the effortless blend of electronic, ambient, folk, and rock, Ballentine and her collaborator Noah Weinman brought in producer Andrew Sarlo to record at Chicken Shack studio in Upstate New York, close to where Ballentine grew up. “We wanted every song to have that little twinkle, but also a sense of crumbling,” she says. These songs thrum with moments of anxiety that boil over into moments of peace, as on lead single “Whatever Fits Together,” which chugs to a ragged start before the gears catch and ease. On “It’s Like a Secret,” Ballentine struggles to connect and let people in, recognizing that no one can ever fully know our inner worlds and that to understand each other is to cross a barrier and leave a part of ourselves behind. And yet, on closing track “You are my House,” she finds a way to reach out. “You are the walls and floors of my room,” she sings in perfect, hopeful harmony.As the album cover invites, these are dollhouse songs to which we bend a giant eye, peering into the laminate, luminous world that Ballentine has created. Like a kid constructing a shelter in a patch of sharp brambles, she reminds us that beauty and terror can exist in the same place. The complexities of childhood are so often overlooked, but through these private yet generous songs, she gives new weight to our earliest memories, widening the frame for us—even opening a window.
Karima Walker - Waking the Dreaming Body (LP)
Karima Walker - Waking the Dreaming Body (LP)Orindal Records / Keeled Scales

Tucson, Arizona interdisciplinary artist Karima Walker walks a line between two worlds. Aside from her long resume of collaborative work with artists in the diverse fields of dance, sculpture, film, photography and creative non-fiction, Walker has long nurtured a duality within her work as a musician, developing her own sonic language as a sound designer in tandem with her craft as a singer/songwriter. The polarity within Walker’s music has never been so articulately explored, or graced with as much intention, as on her new album, Waking the Dreaming Body.

Waking the Dreaming Body was written, performed and engineered entirely by Walker, with the exception of some subtle upright bass from C.J. Boyd on the song “Window I.” Producing the album on her own wasn’t Walker’s original intention, though; after flying to New York in November 2019 to develop some home-recorded tracks with The Blow’s Melissa Dyne, a sudden illness forced Walker to cancel the sessions and return home to Tucson to recover, and soon after, the COVID-19 pandemic ruled out the possibility of a return trip to New York. Instead, Walker decided to finish the album herself in her makeshift home studio. She spent the following months recording, processing and arranging her self-described “messy Ableton sessions” into densely harmonic arrangements of synthesizer, guitar, piano, percussion, field recordings, tape loops and her own dulcet singing voice, allowing trial, error and intuition to guide her way. The final result is a 40-minute dream-narrative of her conscious and subconscious minds that oscillates between the rich textures of her ambient compositions (as in the instrumentals “Horizon, Harbor Resonance” and “For Heddi”) and the melody and poetry of her melancholic, Americana-tinged songwriting (as in the lyrics-focused tracks “Reconstellated” and “Waking the Dreaming Body”), their ebb and flow recalling liminal states of half-sleep where images and emotions are recalled and forecasted from the previous night's dreams. Night falls in regular intervals throughout the album, forming a natural dialogue between waking and dreaming.

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (LP)
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (LP)Jagjaguwar
We are thrilled to release Bon Iver's debut full-length 'For Emma, Forever Ago'. Bon Iver (pronounced: bohn eevair; French for "good winter" and spelled wrong on purpose) is a greeting, a celebration and a sentiment. It is a new statement of an artist moving on and establishing the groundwork for a lasting career. 'For Emma, Forever Ago' is the debut of this lineage of songs. As a whole, the record is entirely cohesive throughout and remains centered around a particular aesthetic, prompted by the time and place for which it was recorded. Justin Vernon, the primary force behind Bon Iver, seems to have tested his boundaries to the maximum, and in doing so has managed to break free from any pre-cursing or finished forms.
Misja Fitzgerald Michel - Time Of No Reply (LP)Misja Fitzgerald Michel - Time Of No Reply (LP)
Misja Fitzgerald Michel - Time Of No Reply (LP)No Format!
French guitarist Mischa Fitzgerald Michel, who studied under Jim Hall, covers the genius SSW Nick Drake, who died young, on this 2012 release. A hidden masterpiece revived in the modern era with unparalleled beauty, refined harmonies and proper interpretation.
Makoto Kubota & The Sunset Gang - Live Best 1975-1979 (LP)
Makoto Kubota & The Sunset Gang - Live Best 1975-1979 (LP)Tuff Beats
Original song "Bye Bye Baby" (co-written by Hiroma Fujita and Haruomi Hosono) from early 1975 live recordings, Spring Carnival in April 1976 (Noon Hibiya) and Spring Concert in May (Osaka), etc. In addition, at the 1977 Rolling Coconut Review (Harumi, Tokyo), Richard Bell and John Sebastian, known as members of Janis Joplin's backing band, Full Tilt Boogie Band and The Band, joined Taeko Onuki. A total of 11 songs, including 2 songs, are organized with the best of the best selections, and enjoy the essence of the live band Makoto Kubota and Yuyake Band on LP.
Also, on February 15, 2023 (planned), Kubota Makoto and Yuyake Band "Rhythm Romance", which was edited from the studio demo sound source in the late 70's and mastered from the original master 10 inch open tape. (LP) will also be released.
Veronique Chalot - J'ai Vu Le Loup (LP)
Veronique Chalot - J'ai Vu Le Loup (LP)Bonfire Records
Reissue, originally released in 1979. "This is an album that takes you on a supernatural journey to the discovery of ancient sounds that move our souls in the deepest of manners." Veronique Chalot was born in Normandy in the north of France, but it was in Paris that she first became interested in traditional French folk music. In 1974 she landed in Rome where she soon earned a small, but dedicated following. In 1979 she recorded her first studio effort, J'ai Vu Le Loup, for the Italian Materiali Sonori label. Over the past 30+ years she has given hundreds of concerts, presenting her repertoire of traditional French/Italian folk songs and building awareness of that fascinating patrimony of antique melodies and dance rhythms. She passed away unfortunately on the 3rd of July 2021. Fully licensed. LP includes inlay card featuring an exclusive essay by Emma Tricca; 180 gram vinyl; edition of 500.
Ram John Holder - Black London Blues (LP)
Ram John Holder - Black London Blues (LP)Soulgramma
Fully licensed specification. Born in Georgetown, British Guiana in 1939, moved to Cincinnati in 1954, and the East Coast in the early 1960s, singer/guitarist Ram John Holder worked as a folk blues singer. In 1963 he settled in England and recorded several albums. The masterpiece "Black London Blues" released on the label in 1963 will be reissued on analog in 2022 by . A socio-political manifesto about the trials and tribulations of being a black immigrant to London, it's a concept album of every imaginable pathos and pain. Along with early Mike Cooper, Eugene McDaniels, and Sixto Rodriguez, this is a must-have album for blues revivalists, and a very great British blues work that expresses his own black experience! Limited to 500 copies.
Terry Allen - Juarez (LP)
Terry Allen - Juarez (LP)Paradise of Bachelors
Legendary Texan artist Terry Allen occupies a unique position straddling the frontiers of country music and visual art; he has worked with everyone from Guy Clark to David Byrne to Lucinda Williams, and his artwork resides in museums worldwide. Widely celebrated as a masterpiece—arguably the greatest concept album of all time—his spare, haunting 1975 debut LP Juarez is a violent, fractured tale of the chthonic American Southwest and borderlands. Produced in collaboration with the artist and meticulously remastered from the original analog tapes, this is the definitive edition of the art-country classic: the first reissue on vinyl; the first to feature the originally intended artwork (including the art prints that accompanied the first edition); and the first to contextualize the album within Allen’s fifty-year art practice.
Wade Walton - Shake 'Em On Down (LP)
Wade Walton - Shake 'Em On Down (LP)HONEYPIE
オリジナルは4万円越えの取引もある鬼レア盤!アメリカ南部ミシシッピのブルースギタリストにしてシンガー、ハーモニカ奏者のWade Walton (1923-2000)が1963年にリリースしたアルバム『Shake 'Em On Down』の〈Honeypie〉からのアナログ再発盤。
Yma Sumac - Incan High Priestess (LP)
Yma Sumac - Incan High Priestess (LP)Naked Lunch
The so called "Nightingale Of The Andes", a necessary introduction to the life and music of the one and only Yma Sumac. The Peruvian singer who startled audiences in the United States and Europe with her remarkable voice, beauty, and mysterious "Inca" princess/priestess persona. Literally bridging the gap from folklore to exotica, Yma Sumac was the forerunner of a new philosophy.
Markos Vamvakaris - Death Is Bitter (LP)Markos Vamvakaris - Death Is Bitter (LP)
Markos Vamvakaris - Death Is Bitter (LP)Mississippi Records
HEAVY, ENTRANCING TRANSMISSIONS FROM THE GREEK UNDERWORLD Continuing Mississippi's exploration of the darkest reaches of Greek music, we bring you 12 rarely heard recordings of addled suffering and love from the most legendary of all Greek rebetika artists, Markos Vamvakaris. Rebetika is the sound of Greece and Asia Minor clashing amid civil war, mass population exchange, and the anarchy of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Poetic, mournful, and bitter, rebetika music was born in the hash dens (tekes) of Mediterranean ports, its verses whispered in Greek prisons before spilling out to the greater population in the 1930s, propelled in no small part by a series of remarkable recordings by Markos Vamvakaris. Markos (first name basis for all fans of Greek music) sang heady, drugged out songs of love, pain and yearning at brothels, bars and hash dens in the port of Piraeus. He arrived as a youth in 1917, working as a skinner in a tannery. By the time he picked up the bouzouki around 1924, he was fully taken by the life of the manges, the lowest rungs of the Greek social ladder. They lived by their own code and in total opposition to the rest of the population, dressing, walking and speaking in their own style. Rebetika was their music. On these twelve early tracks, recorded in Athens between 1932 and 1936, Markos was already a master of the bouzouki. His forceful, clean playing compliments his hoarse voice and his stunning rhythmic sensibility, the result of his years as a champion zebekiko dancer. Tracks build and spiral outward, his open-note drones and melodic lines drawing calls of ecstasy and encouragement from his fellow musicians. Translations of songs like “Hash-Smoking Mortissa” and “In The Dark Last Night” provide a glimpse into the life and language of the manges - Ottoman cafe music, the calls of displaced Greeks of Smyrna, the chaos and suffering of port life, it all comes through Markos’ songs. These recordings, incredibly rare and expertly remastered, mark the height of rebetika, the brief period between the music’s emergence on the recording scene in the early 1930s and government censorship of all lyrics starting in 1936. During the Axis occupation there was no rebetika recording, and though Markos had some hits in the years after the war, he never again attained this level. These are the dizzying, entrancing, and heaviest works of one of the great artists of the 20th century. Expertly remastered from rare 78s by Stereophonic Sound, pressed on heavy 160gm vinyl at Smashed Plastic, includes full size 8 page booklet with detailed historical notes, rare photos, and lyric translations.
Daisaku Yoshino - Lamp Seizōkōjō (LP)
Daisaku Yoshino - Lamp Seizōkōjō (LP)Super Fuji Discs

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.

細野晴臣 - Hosono House (Coloured Vinyl LP)細野晴臣 - Hosono House (Coloured Vinyl LP)
細野晴臣 - Hosono House (Coloured Vinyl LP)LIGHT IN THE ATTIC

Turquoise colored vinyl. The unbelievably prolific Haruomi Hosono is one of the major architects of modern Japanese pop music. With his encyclopedic knowledge of music and boundless curiosity for new sounds, Hosono has put his unmistakable stamp on hundreds of recordings as a session player, producer, and auteur of his own idiosyncratic musical world. Born and raised in central Tokyo, his adolescent obsession with American pop culture informed his early forays into country music, which he would revisit later in his career. Hosono made his professional debut in 1969 as a member of Apryl Fool, whose heavy psychedelia was somewhat at odds with his influences, which leaned towards the rootsy sounds of Moby Grape and Buffalo Springfield. The latter was one of the main inspirations for his next group, Happy End, whose unique blend of West Coast sounds with Japanese lyrics proved to be highly influential over the course of three albums.

After Happy End’s amicable break up in 1973, Hosono released Hosono House, an intimate slice of Japanese Americana recorded at home with a back-to-basics approach akin to Music from Big Pink or McCartney. While his former band helped pave the way for the rise of “city pop” that reflected upon urban themes and city life, Hosono took a 180 degree turn towards the countryside for his highly-regarded first solo album. Located an hour from Tokyo in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, the actual Hosono House was one of several American-style houses originally built for the families of troops stationed at the nearby Johnson Air Base, active during the post-war occupation years. By the early ‘70s this small community had become a hub for creative types looking for a break from Tokyo’s hustle and bustle – and cheaper rent. For Hosono, this was as close as he could get to living in America without leaving his home country. With rooms filled to the edges with recording gear, the house became a live-in studio for Hosono and his crack band – soon to become known as the in-demand session group Tin Pan Alley. The songs on Hosono House display the breadth of Hosono’s talents, from the hushed acoustic folk of “Rock-A-Bye My Baby” and the country twang of “Boku Wa Chotto” to the New Orleans funk of “Fuyu Koe” and the unexpected breakbeats in “Bara To Yajuu.” Lauded by artists such as Jim O’Rourke and Devendra Banhart, Hosono House remains a touchstone of the early phase of Hosono’s career.

Hosono’s solo career would take many twists and turns from this point forward, with forays into exotica, electronic, ambient, and techno, culminating in the massive success of techno pop group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), who made their debut in 1978. Admired by artists ranging from Van Dyke Parks to Mac DeMarco, Hosono continues to forge ahead as he heads into his fifth decade as a musician. With the re-release of his key albums for the first time outside of Japan, his genius will be discovered by a whole new generation of fans around the world.

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