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Delphine Dora & Jackie McDowell - The Dream Of Change (CS+DL)Delphine Dora & Jackie McDowell - The Dream Of Change (CS+DL)
Delphine Dora & Jackie McDowell - The Dream Of Change (CS+DL)Round Bale Recordings / Feeding Tube Records
¥1,366
The initial collaborative seed for The Dream of Change was planted back in 2016 when Delphine Dora invited Jackie McDowell to release some of her solo work on her now-defunct micro-label, Wild Silence. This invitation resulted in McDowell’s masterfully crafted drone-folk song cycle, New Blood Medicine. Fast forward two years to when Dora was immersed in the process of recording, L'inattingible, her most ambitious and highly orchestrated full length, and she once again reached out to McDowell to provide some vocal arrangements for a few pieces on the album. Given their affinity for wide-reaching folk songcraft and avant composition, along with their shared interests in poetry, literature, nature, and inner inquiry, Dora and McDowell constellated with each other organically. This gave way to a two-year creative collaboration, the fruition of which is now an album called The Dream of Change. The music spans from 2019 to 2021, and the vision was to make some kind of utopian pieces that fit together in honest, expressive layers that make resonance in contrast with the gloominess of this sad period we’ve all encountered. The Dream of Change is co-released by Feeding Tube Records and Round Bale Recordings. An LP edition is due out later in 2022.
Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left (LP)
Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left (LP)Island
¥3,897
Debut album released in 1969 by Nick Drake, who is regarded as a genius singer/songwriter who died young. 180g Vinyl.
Maxine Funke - Felt (LP)
Maxine Funke - Felt (LP)Digital Regress
¥3,497
For a decade, Maxine Funke has cut an idiosyncratic path as a singer-songwriter, all the while avoiding the parochial retreads of that worn-out label. Funke's music is intimate and deeply intelligent, buoyed by a sense of effortlessness that belies a scrupulous attention to the smallest of details. Felt appeared in 2012 in a vinyl edition of 100 on the Epic Sweep imprint. This album has an altogether more crepuscular feel, making slightly fuller use of the sonic palette -- an increase in dissonance, errant drum rumbles, and nigh-ambient instrumental murmurings around which flow Funke's basically perfect songs. The brevity, yet fullness, of the tracks and Funke's unadorned if oblique arrangements lend a sense not of sketches but of fields of color, the sensation of late fall foliage glimpsed through the window of a quickly passing train. Indeed, as much as these recordings suggest the close quarters and warmth of a small home, Maxine Funke makes music for traveling, providing accompaniment through the rough, unfeeling vectors of a disenchanted world and, as she does on the last song of Felt, imagining it differently. As the titles of these albums suggest, Funke's is a tactile art, as warm and tangible as the tape hiss bathing it, her words and music rescuing everyday moments from traps of distraction and defeat. Following limited edition vinyl reissues in 2016 -- a swansong for Nemo Bidstrup's sorely missed Time-Lag Recordings imprint -- we're happy to make Felt and Lace widely available. Maxine Funke's music, immediate and entirely unpretentious, suggests a world in which Katherine Mansfield rubs shoulders with Liz Harris, or Vashti Bunyan grows up on the Flying Nun catalog. Absolutely essential.iframe style="border: 0; width: 350px; height: 472px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3969665761/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=333333/artwork=none/transparent=true/" seamless>FELT by maxine funke
Maxine Funke - Lace (LP)
Maxine Funke - Lace (LP)Digital Regress
¥3,497
For a decade, Maxine Funke has cut an idiosyncratic path as a singer-songwriter, all the while avoiding the parochial retreads of that worn-out label. Funke's music is intimate and deeply intelligent, buoyed by a sense of effortlessness that belies a scrupulous attention to the smallest of details. Lace was originally released as a CD-R in 2008 on Alastair Galbraith's Next Best Way label. Imagine the just-so arrangements of Josephine Foster and the knowing quotidian eye of Sibylle Baier meeting the realism of Funke's compatriots Turiiya or the acoustic textures of the Kiwi Animal and you're nearly there -- but in that gap lies the undeniable pull of Funke's music. Short songs for nylon string guitar, violin, piano, incidental snippets of bird song and furniture creaks, brief instrumental interludes in the vein of Funke's regular collaborator Galbraith: this is the realest of deals. The metaphysic of 'Second Hand Store' cuts to the uncompromised heart of this record, a rejection of the idea of ownership in favor of communal chance, the ragged comfort of things lived-in and passed on, a searching with no need to find, let alone possess. Indeed, as much as these recordings suggest the close quarters and warmth of a small home, Maxine Funke makes music for traveling, providing accompaniment through the rough, unfeeling vectors of a disenchanted world and, as she does on the last song of Felt, imagining it differently. As the titles of these albums suggest, Funke's is a tactile art, as warm and tangible as the tape hiss bathing it, her words and music rescuing everyday moments from traps of distraction and defeat. Following limited edition vinyl reissues in 2016 -- a swansong for Nemo Bidstrup's sorely missed Time-Lag Recordings imprint -- we're happy to make Felt and Lace widely available. Maxine Funke's music, immediate and entirely unpretentious, suggests a world in which Katherine Mansfield rubs shoulders with Liz Harris, or Vashti Bunyan grows up on the Flying Nun catalog. Absolutely essential."
Bola Sete - Samba in Seattle : Live at the Penthouse 1966-1968 (3CD+Booklet)Bola Sete - Samba in Seattle : Live at the Penthouse 1966-1968 (3CD+Booklet)
Bola Sete - Samba in Seattle : Live at the Penthouse 1966-1968 (3CD+Booklet)Tompkins Square
¥5,332
Bola Sete - Samba in Seattle : Live at the Penthouse, 1966-1968 is the first official release of the legendary and influential Brazilian acoustic guitarist BOLA SETE's live recordings at the Penthouse jazz club in Seattle, WA featuring bassist SEBASTIÃO NETO and drummer PAULINHO MAGALHÃES. Produced by Grammy-nominated jazz detective ZEV FELDMAN, and remastered from the original tape reels in cooperation with THE BOLA SETE ESTATE, this deluxe 3-CD set includes an extensive 40 page booklet with rare photos from THE PENTHOUSE; essay by music critic GREG CASSEUS (aka GREG CAZ); new interviews and statements by guitar icon CARLOS SANTANA, legendary composer/pianist LALO SCHIFRIN, Sete's friend, pianist and producer, GEORGE WINSTON, and Bola Sete's widow ANNE SETE; plus an effusive tribute by the late guitar great JOHN FAHEY. Samba in Seattle is a significant addition to the recorded legacy of an oft–sampled musician (A Tribe Called Quest, J Dilla and Dan The Automator) whose career straddled bossa nova, jazz–pop and early New Age.
Grouper - Shade (LP)
Grouper - Shade (LP)Kranky
¥2,987

The 12th full-length by Pacific Northwest artist Liz Harris aka Grouper is a collection of songs spanning fifteen years. She characterizes Shade as an album about respite, and the coast, poetically and literally. How one frames themselves in a landscape, how in turn it frames themselves; memories and experiences carried forward mapping a connection to place—“an ode to blue / what lives in shade.”
 
Songs touch on loss, flaws, hiding places, love. Deep connections to the Bay Area, and the North Coast, with its unique moods of solitude, beauty, and isolation—a place described and transformed by the chaos and power of river-mouth, wild maritime storms, columns of mist that rise up unexpectedly on the road at night. Portions were recorded on Mount Tamalpais during a self-made residency years back, other pieces made longer ago in Portland, while the rest were tracked during more recent sessions in Astoria.
 
Throughout, Harris threads a hidden radiant language of voice, disquiet, and guitar, framed by open space and the sense of being far away—“Echoing a lighthouse, burying the faults of being human / Into things that we project upon the sky at night.”

Grouper - Shade (CD)
Grouper - Shade (CD)Kranky
¥2,228

The 12th full-length by Pacific Northwest artist Liz Harris aka Grouper is a collection of songs spanning fifteen years. She characterizes Shade as an album about respite, and the coast, poetically and literally. How one frames themselves in a landscape, how in turn it frames themselves; memories and experiences carried forward mapping a connection to place—“an ode to blue / what lives in shade.”
 
Songs touch on loss, flaws, hiding places, love. Deep connections to the Bay Area, and the North Coast, with its unique moods of solitude, beauty, and isolation—a place described and transformed by the chaos and power of river-mouth, wild maritime storms, columns of mist that rise up unexpectedly on the road at night. Portions were recorded on Mount Tamalpais during a self-made residency years back, other pieces made longer ago in Portland, while the rest were tracked during more recent sessions in Astoria.
 
Throughout, Harris threads a hidden radiant language of voice, disquiet, and guitar, framed by open space and the sense of being far away—“Echoing a lighthouse, burying the faults of being human / Into things that we project upon the sky at night.”

Les Filles de Illighadad - At Pioneer Works (LP)
Les Filles de Illighadad - At Pioneer Works (LP)Sahel Sounds
¥2,598

Les Filles de Illighadad comes from the village of Illighadad in a remote region of central Niger. Like many of the villages in the area, its borders are loosely defined, owing to the largely pastoral population. It rests on the shore of a seasonal pond that swells during the rainy season. The center of town has a well, some small houses, and a school. But most of Illighadad’s people live in the surrounding scrubland desert, in tiny patched roof houses or temporary nomadic tents, hidden among the trees. 

Les Filles de Illighadad (“daughters of Illighadad”) was founded in 2016 by solo guitarist Fatou Seidi Ghali and renowned vocalist Alamnou Akrouni. In 2017 they were joined by Amaria Hamadalher, a force on the Agadez guitar scene, and Abdoulaye Madassane, rhythm guitarist and a son of Illighadad. Les Filles’ music draws from two distinct styles of regional sound, ancient village choral chants and desert guitar. The result is a groundbreaking new direction for Tuareg folk music and a sound that resonates far outside of their village. 

To emerge from this small village to perform on stages around the world is no small feat, and is a testament to the band’s unique sound. But their home is more than their narrative. Illighadad is central to everything about the band, from their repertoire, the way they perform, the poetry they recite, even the way they sing. Music has always traveled in the Sahel, from poetry recited by nomads, scratchy AM radio broadcasts, to cell phone recordings sent over WhatsApp. Yet even today each village has its own style. When Les Filles perform, they play the music of Illighadad. 

At the heart of Les Filles’ music is the percussion and poetry of tende—a term used for both the instrument and the type of music— whereby a mortar and pestle are transformed into a drum, and women join together in a circle, in a chorus of singing, chanting, and clapping. Sometimes it’s music for celebration, sometimes it’s music to heal the sick, sometimes it’s poetry of love. But it’s always music of people, where the line between performer and spectator breaks down. To be a witness is to be a participant, to listen is to join in the collective song. 
It’s precisely this collectivism that makes the recording “At Pioneer Works” seem so natural and timeless. Recorded in the Fall of 2019, “At Pioneer Works” finds the band at the height of their touring career. Over two sold-out shows, the band brought Illighadad to New York, their first performance in the city. Speaking of the night, The New Yorker's music critic Amanda Petrusich writes: “The crowd in Brooklyn was entranced, nearly reverent. Les Filles’ music is mesmeric, almost prayer-like, which can leave an audience agog... whatever rhythm does to a human body—it was happening.” 

There’s something bittersweet that it’s the sound of Illighadad that has propelled Les Filles’ to travel so far and so often. Playing on a stage 5000 miles from home, their performance evokes the village with a heavy ever-present nostalgia. In singing the songs of Illighadad, Les Filles’ invite the audience to share in the remembrance, to hear the poetry and driving tende, to stumble out into a night lit by a faint moon, joining in chants that carry over the nomad camps, in a call to come together and sing under the stars.

Ben Pritchard - Up In Air (2x10")
Ben Pritchard - Up In Air (2x10")Okraïna
¥3,091
After a near decade of solo and collaborative projects, Up in Air is Ben Pritchard's most confident foray into songwriting yet, nestling lopsided experimentation into a bed of lowslung blues and reflective folk. Up in Air is sewn from threads of everyday life: trails of thought, small stories and conversations with his daughter. Collecting, layering and condensing the world around him, his musings spill out in a palimpsest that renders both the material and metaphysical world. From describing a time where he inadvertently found himself on a hunting trip, recalling stories from doing role play and drawing together with his daughter, or scribing observations on the strange dedications people make in their lives, he explores the banal and the fantastical; the whimsical and the serious; the light and dark. Each line, aphorism or vignette carries with it weight that is looking to free itself, to embrace the impossibility of life distilled into simpler parameters. Ben's music acts as a motor for his words, weaving wistful melodic mantras and creaking guitar lines in and out as each song finds its feet. Although the album finds a rich array of influences dancing in an awkward balance, the emotive register of the music drinks from the fountain of the US rock continuum, with Supreme Dicks' uneasy indie, Low's slow unfurling grace and Neil Youngs' heart-worn drawl lifting each song to new heights. Expanding on this soundworld are collaborators Sholto Dobie (self-built organs) and bassist Otto Willberg, who provide drones, dissonant jolts and detuned paths for the music to open itself, but also curl into its own. Sounds are folded into one another, birthing new shapes, layers and sonic possibilities. Ben describes the album as "permeated by the sense that came from being around this sort of connection to the world where everything is immediate and fundamental." The album is representative of this shift inwards: on his own, socially, as a parent. But with that it also represents a confidence to deal with everything. The album is an excavation, both finding strange joy in simple findings and an unburdening himself of everything else, letting every thought and feeling whisks itself away up in the air. -- Fielding Hope (curator Cafe Oto, London)
Agincourt - Fly Away (LP)
Agincourt - Fly Away (LP)Trading Places
¥2,695
During the mid-1960s, deep in the Sussex countryside of southern England, aspiring musicians Peter Howell and John Ferdinando played in a few school bands before recording together in Howell’s father’s garage. Through Ferdinando’s connections with a theatre group, the duo created a musical companion for their production of Alice Through The Looking Glass, which the duo pressed privately; then, Fly Away, credited to Agincourt, was produced in a spare bedroom, an advertisement bringing Lee Menelaus, whose lilting voice provided a stirring female counterpart to theirs. Much of this psychedelic folk oddity has a quaint innocence fitting of the era and along with English folk-rock there are shades of pop, a touch of West Coast and even jazz in places. Pressed in minute quantity on another private press, original copies have been known to sell for £1500 or more; the duo continued recording, notably on work credited to Ithaca, before Howell became a full-time member of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, where he notably worked on the Doctor Who theme.
Tatiana Dordzhieva + Maria Beltsykova - Kalmykian Archaic And Soviet Folk (LP)
Tatiana Dordzhieva + Maria Beltsykova - Kalmykian Archaic And Soviet Folk (LP)Sub Rosa
¥2,846
This important recording is a historical document that fully captures the atmosphere of the times. The Karmik (Oirats) are an ethnic group of Western Mongols living in the territory of modern Russia. This is a rare archive of miraculous recordings by legendary singers Tatiana Dordzhieva and Maria Beltsykova, who were exiled to Siberia during the Soviet era. Dzhangar" is a collection of Karmic epics, including songs about the deportation of Karmics in 1943-1944, ritual wedding songs, religious Buddhist songs, and heroic ballads of Karmics during the Patriotic War of 1812. This is a wonderful showcase recording of the rich folklore of the former Soviet Union. This is one recording that I would love to have in analog form!
Grouper - Grid Of Points (LP)
Grouper - Grid Of Points (LP)Kranky
¥2,897

Not long after recording her tenth album Ruins, Liz Harris traveled to Wyoming to work on art and record music. She found herself drawn towards the pairing of skeletal piano phrasing with spare, rich bursts of vocal harmony. A series of stark songs emerged, minimal and vulnerable, woven with emotive silences. Inspired by “the idea that something is missing or cold,” the pieces float and fade like vignettes, implying as much as they reveal. She describes them as “small texts hanging in space,” impressions of mortality, melody, and the unseen—fleeting beauty, interrupted. Grid Of Points stands as a concise and potently poetic addition to the Grouper catalog.  “Grid Of Points is a set of songs for piano and voice. I wrote these songs over a week and a half; they stopped abruptly when I was interrupted by a high fever. Though brief, it is complete. The intimacy and abbreviation of this music allude to an essence that the songs lyrics speak more directly of. The space left after matter has departed, a stage after the characters have gone, the hollow of some central column, missing.” —Liz Harris

Abner Jay - I Don't Have Time To Lie To You (LP)
Abner Jay - I Don't Have Time To Lie To You (LP)Mississippi Records
¥2,673
“Abner Jay is the most unusual talent in the world. A true Southerner from South G.A. He was raised layin on his belly, drinkin water from the ol Swaunee River. Jay claims the secret for his good health and being the father of sixteen young’uns, and gonna git some more, layin on his belly drinkin water from that ol Swaunee. Abner still go to the Swaunee River every Sunday, and lay down on his belly. Abner is twenty five years older than you think.” - Abner Jay Stunning one-man band tunes from one of the United States’ great unsung artists. A new album of previously unreleased tracks from Abner’s vast catalog of home recordings, showcasing some of his most haunting and powerful vocal performances on revelatory new renditions of classics like “I’m So Depressed” and “Ol Man River.” Abner recorded the majority of the songs found on this LP over and over - some were recorded with R&B bands in the late 1950's, some as earnest folk ballads in the early 1960's and some as homemade one man band recordings on electric banjo, drum and harmonica throughout the 1970's. Here Abner plays these songs more deeply felt than at any other point, accompanied by his electric guitar, plaintive harmonica and solid almost tribal bass drum. We don't know exactly what date these recordings were made, but they stand as absolutely timeless. A truly independent artist who performed at swap meets and fairs out of his custom converted trailer, Abner Jay traveled the United States from the 1930s until his passing in 1993. Told with his characteristic blend of humor and pathos, I Don’t Have Time To Lie To You is an unsparing take on the country Abner knew so well, and possibly the best full album of his music to date. Licensed from Brandie Records and Abner’s family.
V.A. - Alan Lomax's American Patchwork (2LP)
V.A. - Alan Lomax's American Patchwork (2LP)Mississippi Records
¥3,597
Alan Lomax (1915-2002) was a legend in collecting and documenting folk, blues, and folk music from all over the U.S. from his very early days. These legendary performances by RL Burnside, Napoleon Strickland, Boyd Rivers, Tommy Jarrell, and many others have been overlooked in the history of American folk/blues. This is the first time they have been recorded. Traveling through the South and Southwest of the United States with a video crew, he captured over 350 hours of folklore from Kentucky coal miners, fiddlers, string bands, gospel quartets, and pre-war blues circuit players. In 1991, it was edited into the "American Patchwork" series and broadcast on American public television. However, because of the format, hundreds of individual performances and fascinating scenes went unheard. This set is a selection of notable recordings made to document the last of the "local surrounds" in Mississippi, Appalachia and Louisiana. The booklet includes lavish liner notes by Nathan Salsburg of the Alan Lomax Archive.
Vashti Bunyan - Heartleap (LP)
Vashti Bunyan - Heartleap (LP)Dicristina Stair Builders
¥2,385
Nine years after ¡ÆLookaftering¡Ç, her last album of new material, legendary British singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan returns with a breathtaking new LP. Recorded largely in her home studio, ¡ÆHeartleap¡Ç is a unique and entrancing collection of ten songs forming what Vashti is adamant will be her final album. Vashti¡Çs third album follows her rediscovery - after thirty years in the wilderness - with the 2000 re-release of ¡ÆJust Another Diamond Day¡Ç (a bona fide cult classic that made # 53 in the Observer Music monthly¡Çs ¡Ætop 100 British albums of all time¡Ç), and the critical success of 2005¡Çs ¡ÆLookaftering¡Ç. With ¡ÆHeartleap¡Ç she has delivered an album with a classic sound, where – for the first time – she herself has been in control of the whole process, from writing and arranging to playing and recording. Working predominantly from a studio set up in her Edinburgh home, the record was slowly pieced together, and reveals an artist at her peak, capturing her songs within fluid settings that masterfully marry content and form. Both ¡ÆJADD¡Ç and ¡ÆLookaftering¡Ç saw Vashti¡Æs songs arranged and framed by others. Joe Boyd¡Çs production and Robert Kirby¡Çs arranging of the former remain timelessly classy, whilst Max Richter¡Çs elegantly beautiful production of Lookaftering was enhanced by contributions from a raft of supporting artists - all eagerly adding their colours. Vashti is justly proud of ¡ÆLookaftering¡Ç, but ¡ÆHeartleap¡Ç is a more personal record, standing solely on the merits and patient endeavour of its author rather than being buoyed by and filtered through the cachet and collaborative creativity of a powerful supporting cast. The vast majority of ¡ÆHeartleap¡Ç was recorded and edited by Vashti, who ¡Èwanted it to be more akin to my very first recordings, the ones even before ¡ÆDiamond Day¡Ç. I wanted to try to emerge from the shelter of others and stand out in the open. It would have been much easier had I worked with a producer and an engineer - I would not have had to spend so much time on editing - but that¡Çs been the interesting part. If I¡Çd taken these songs and gone into a studio with them they might have turned out very differently, perhaps more 'produced' - but not as near to how I hear them for myself.¡É Recording her vocals when no one else was around to overhear - freed Vashti up to deliver more confident performances. Equally, working without the induced pressures of studio deadlines enabled her to craft it slowly and lovingly in her own time, weaving together tracks out of numerous takes. Predominantly guitar or piano led - with additional instrumentation building throughout - the songs have no underpinning bass-line or percussion, giving each instrument and voice the chance to pace itself. Where the synthetic instrumentation on Vashti¡Çs ¡ÆLookaftering¡Ç demos was rejected in favour of recording the warmth and organic nature of real acoustic instruments, ¡ÆHeartleap¡Ç retains those electronic voices, alongside studio-recorded string and recorder arrangements - the two mixed in a delicate balance between the synthesized and the organic. Freely admitting that she can¡Çt actually play the piano, Vashti built the keyboard parts from single notes and multiple one-handed takes. No-one else would have made it or played it that way and it¡Çs that voice, her own voice, that helps lend the record its power and marks it out as distinctive. ¡ÈThe whole point of the album was finally to learn a way that would enable me to record the music that is in my head, by myself. I neither read nor write music, nor can I play piano with more than one hand at a time, but I have loved being able to work it all out for myself and make it sound the way I wanted. I¡Çve built these songs over years. The album wouldn't have happened any other way. Sometimes when I replace the arrangements with real instruments they don't work in the same way. The extended notes of the clarinet on the song ¡ÆHeartleap¡Ç for instance could not be played on a real clarinet. I can't 'play' a musician playing their instrument - I can't make them play each note as I want it, but with a keyboard and a music program I am the player." Concise as ever, Vashti¡Çs lyrics open out a series of locket-like miniatures - stories of family and friends, lives and loves, memories, dreams and realities; of differences in perception and the gaps between people / meanings / understandings; of coping, getting by, surviving. ¡ÈAll the songs are based on real stories or real people, 'Mother' especially. 'Blue Shed' was written when the house was still full of young people slamming doors and yelling. (I do miss them now). 'Gunpowder ' is about an ex-partner with whom communication can still be difficult." There is no vast sweep or ambitious stabbing at the grandiose in her lyric writing, yet in their honesty these close-focused articulations draw you in and resonate with heartfelt emotions and universal truths. The luminous musical arrangements act with the lyrics illustratively - ¡ÆJellyfish¡Ç ripples and floats from side to side, ¡Èand is soft apart from the vibraphone which is quite harsh - like the dream it's about. The kalimba and the tumbling guitars in Across the Water are to give the song the sound of waves on shingle, and the piano on 'Mother' is to sound a little like the old un-tuned upright piano I overheard my mother playing sometimes, 'briefly unbound' from her duties as wife and mother." Recording in studios in California, New York and London - but mostly alone in her own studio - it took in total seven years to put together these ten songs. The first was written in 2007, the last just two months before mastering. A hiatus in recording came with the untimely passing of Robert Kirby in 2009. Robert had arranged three songs on ¡ÆJust Another Diamond Day¡Ç and the pair had just reconnected and planned to work on new arrangements together - just weeks before he died. It would be another two years before she took the decision that she must arrange the music herself, with Robert always in mind. The subsequent three years saw her gradually picking the thread back up and working with renewed purpose. Slowly more songs found their way out of her. Gems like ¡ÆThe Boy¡Ç - which she¡Çd sat on, fretted over and intended to ditch - were prised from oblivion. Seven became ten and those around her finally began to really believe that an end was in sight. The right final mix frustratingly eluded her until the album magically came together in a week in May 2014 - when it was balanced and mastered beautifully at the hands of mixing engineer Martin Korth - and mastering genius Mandy Parnell at her Black Saloon studios in London. The album¡Çs striking cover artwork is once again taken from a painting by Vashti¡Çs daughter, Whyn Lewis, and forms a neat companion to her hare painting featured on ¡ÆLookaftering¡Ç, giving the impression (besides both album¡Çs titles being portmanteaus) of a pair of bookends. Whyn describes this painting (titled 'Hart¡Çs Leap¡Ç) as being ¡Èabout getting away unscathed¡Ä about confidence and self-assuredness, and wisdom. The deer is leaping forward while looking backwards - and it has a little grin. It is said that deer make a large bound of joy when they know they are escaping. The deer is linked with the deerhound shown on the deer¡Çs collar - what it has been escaping from. The deerhound in this case really is just allegory for the thing that chases or hounds you. Life is most appreciated when it is challenged.¡É One of the final songs to be written, the gorgeously gauzy, autobiographical title track came to Vashti all of a sudden in March this year, as she was gazing at Whyn's painting. Recorded straight off, with only minor changes made in the final mix, it closes the album perfectly. A bittersweet song, it cryptically catalogues and a whole life¡Çs worth of loving, losing, letting go, getting through; of heartbreaks and happiness and the lulls in between – through a minimal, modular, repetitive structure with recourse to just a handful of compound word variations - surges and tugs between head and heart. Simultaneously aching and hopeful, it looks back with both pain and joy, with resigned acceptance. If it truly is to be the final word on a final album, then it is an utterly fitting and devastatingly beautiful one.
Dean Blunt -  BLACK METAL 2 (LP)Dean Blunt -  BLACK METAL 2 (LP)
Dean Blunt - BLACK METAL 2 (LP)Rough Trade
¥2,907

Dean Brandt returns to Rough Trade for the first time in seven years. The sequel to the cult classic!

The genius Dean Brandt, who has been active with the legendary Hype Williams unit with Inga Copeland, collaborated with Arka and Aesop Rocky, and has released works under different labels and names at random, has returned to Rough Trade for the first time in seven years to release his latest work!
This album is a sequel to "Black Metal", which has everything from alternative soft rock to cut-up AOR and hardcore noise, and features guitar sounds almost all the way through, making it a blues and hip-hop album that finally gives the listener a glimpse into Dean Brandt's true feelings as he stares into the post-Vaporwave dystopia that symbolizes the world today from afar.
This is the monologue of the last genius who stubbornly stayed away from the system while his contemporaries such as Frank Ocean and King Krule achieved commercial success.

John Fahey - The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party & Other Excursions (LP)
John Fahey - The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party & Other Excursions (LP)4 MEN WITH BEARDS
¥3,696
Originally released in 1966. JOHN FAHEY's never recorded an album that was more thoroughly of its moment. From the groovy flute and twangy sitar accompaniment to the backwards guitar, this Birthday Party is a charmingly trippy '60s time capsule. But it isn't a two dimensional one. The album gains immense depth from the tension between his sweeping, fingerpicked melodies and discordant string-battery. It's the audible battle between yearned for rose colored luminescence and ankle blistering hellhound darkness that enables this record to transcend its hippie dreaminess.
Natik Awayez - Manbarani  (LP)
Natik Awayez - Manbarani (LP)SUBLIME FREQUENCIES
¥3,398
From the great Sublime Frequencies, which digs up antique grooves from all over the world, comes the debut album of Natik Awayez, a lyricist, composer, and oud player who has lived a turbulent life, born on the banks of the Mesopotamian Marshes in southern Iraq. Although he grew up between the cities of Omarah and Baghdad and studied the oud with local musicians, in 1979 he left for Bulgaria to study philosophy as the political persecution in Iraq intensified. He then stayed in Yemen and settled in the Bayhan Desert on the border between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. In Abyan, he formed the Asheed Band, which was active for several years, and participated in the Zinjibar City Band as a composer and artistic director, an important figure in the Middle Eastern music scene! This album was finally recorded in Cairo, Egypt in 2015, and features some of the most famous local musicians such as Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, Maryam Saleh (Lekhfa), and Aya Hemeda. It is a chaotic mix of local traditions, trajectories of the various regions where he has paraded himself, and folklore. An undiscovered masterpiece of psychedelic Arabian tribal folk with violins and bouzouki!
金延幸子 - み空 (LP)
金延幸子 - み空 (LP)LIGHT IN THE ATTIC
¥2,974

Often regarded as Japan’s first female singer-songwriter, Sachiko Kanenobu created an enduring legacy with Misora, a timeless classic of intricate finger-picking, gently soaring melodies, and rustic Laurel Canyon vibes. Originally released in 1972 on URC (Underground Record Club), one of Japan’s first independent record labels, the Haruomi Hosono-produced album remains one of the most beloved works to come out of Japan’s folk and rock scenes centered around Tokyo and Kansai areas in the early 1970s. Born and raised in Osaka in a large, music-loving family, Kanenobu picked up the guitar as a teen just as the “college folk” boom swept through university campuses in the Kansai area in the mid-60s. The Pete Seeger and American folk-leaning scene didn’t appeal much to her, however, and instead gravitated towards the British sounds of Donovan and Pentangle, teaching herself guitar techniques by listening to their music. Kanenobu made her songwriting and recording debut as part of Himitsu Kessha Marumaru Kyodan, whose sole single was released on URC in 1969. After years of being pushed aside by the label in favor of newer male artists who were more “folky” in a traditional sense, it was her friendship with the groundbreaking band and labelmate Happy End that ultimately helped her secure the opportunity to record a solo album. With Hosono on board as producer, Kanenobu spent seven days recording the songs that would become Misora, with most songs recorded in a single take. By the time Misora released in September 1972, Kanenobu was gone. She had left for America, eager to start a new life with Paul Williams, a music writer who had founded Crawdaddy Magazine in 1966. Without the artist to promote it, “_Misora_ was asleep for a long time,” she said. Meanwhile Kanenobu settled near Sonoma in Northern California, retiring from music and concentrating on raising her two children. It wasn’t until Philip K. Dick, the famed writer and family friend, heard Misora and encouraged her to get back into music, that Kanenobu felt the urge to pick up the guitar again. Soon new songs started flowing, and Dick helped finance a single for Kanenobu in 1981. He was committed to producing a full length when he died unexpectedly in 1982. While she enjoyed success (especially in Germany) with her hard-hitting group Culture Shock in the 1980s, and continued to release albums in American and in Japan in the 1990s, it’s Misora that keeps coming back to her. Every few years a new generation of fans discover the album. Devendra Banhart, Jim O’Rourke, Steve Gunn, and many others continue to tout its greatness. Kanenobu played a series of sold-out homecoming shows in Japan in 2018, playing Misora in its entirety. Surviving members of Happy End came out to support, some even playing in her backing band. Audience members included old and young, some young enough to be her grandchildren. “I love it,” she said. “They love Misora, they’ve heard it so many times. And here it rose from death…because for them, they can’t believe it—she’s still alive!”

Maki Asakawa (2LP)
Maki Asakawa (2LP)Honest Jon's Records
¥2,548

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

John Fahey - Blind Joe Death (LP)
John Fahey - Blind Joe Death (LP)Takoma
¥1,978
Blind Joe Death is the first album by American fingerstyle guitarist and composer John Fahey. There are three different versions of the album, and the original self-released edition of fewer than 100 copies is extremely rare.
Russell Potter - Volume II: Neither Here Nor There (LP)
Russell Potter - Volume II: Neither Here Nor There (LP)Tompkins Square
¥2,725

Guitarist RUSSELL POTTER's A Stone's Throw (1979) and Neither Here Nor There (1981) reissued via Tompkins Square - LP & Digital June 25th

The latest in a series of reissues spawned from Imaginational Anthem Volume 8 : The Private Press, following Tom Armstrong - The Sky Is An Empty Eye and Rick Deitrick - Gentle Wilderness/River Sun River Moon

Reflections on Russell Potter by IA8 co-producer and poet, Michael Klausman :

The two latest reissues to spin off from our acclaimed Imaginational Anthem Volume 8: The Private Press feature the solo guitar compositions of Russell Potter, recorded in the last waning days of the initial American Primitive explosion.

A then obsessed teenaged devotee of John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and Leo Kottke at a time when Punk and New Wave were ascendant, Potter harnessed a similar DIY ethos to his own ends by starting his own label & self-publishing his first record, 'A Stone’s Throw’, while a freshman enrolled at Goddard College in Vermont in 1979. Assembled at the legendary Boddie Records in Potter’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and sprinkled liberally with references to his heroes, from the initial record label name of Fonytone (which more than a little recalls Fahey’s earliest record label, Fonotone), to the arcane song titles and references to obscure rags.

Even as he looks to his elders, Potter’s debut release nimbly evinces a complete mastery of his form and is all the more remarkable for one of such tender years, as only the chutzpah of youth can account for such moves as successfully grafting one of your own composition to one of John Fahey’s, as he does here. There’s a very immediate, lovely, and real homespun quality to Potter’s chiming twelve-string compositions that puts it in the realm of those classic records that seem to simply exist outside of time.

Shortly after ‘A Stones Throw’, Potter produced & released a 45rpm single by an Ohio bluegrass band featuring the cult singer songwriter Bob Frank performing a cover of Devo’s ‘Mongoloid’, before moving on to his second (and sadly final) album the following year, ‘Neither Here Nor There’. Following an independent study with a Goddard College ethnomusicologist, Potter’s compositions and performance only deepened on his second release — the recording quality steps up a little but loses none of the immediacy, the playing gets more exuberantly virtuosic —but then more reflective too, particularly on the tunes that are influenced by the gorgeous traditional Irish slow airs. He’s still tipping his hat to Fahey occasionally as well, this time with an audacious electric guitar setting of the classic “Dance of the Inhabitant of the Palace of King Philip XIV of Spain.”

Though these albums landed at a time when American Primitive guitar music’s 1960s & 1970s heyday was in the rear view mirror, they absolutely look ahead to the genre’s eventual 21st Century resurrection, anticipating both in form & content many of the same concerns you find in the great contemporary work of the last two decades by Jack Rose, Glenn Jones, Daniel Bachman, et al., and as such provide about as fine a stepping stone between these two eras as you’re likely to find.

Piry Reis (2x7")
Piry Reis (2x7")New Dawn
¥2,729
Brazilian music at it's finest! 2x7" set of four beautiful Piry Reis recordings from the 70s and 80s. Disc one is a reissue of his 1975 single on Som Livre, 'Heroi Moderno', which features the highly sought after 7inch version of 'Cisplatina' on the flip. The second disc holds the rare cuts 'Reza Brava' (1970) & 'Céu De Manágua' (1984). The project came together with the blessing of Piry Reis himself, and is released on the sub-label of Rush Hour recordings, New Dawn. Artwork by Amsterdam's Sekan with a touch by Megin Hayden. New Dawn, set up for less electronic but equally adventurous releases by artists we love.
V.A. - Wayfaring Strangers: Guitar Soli (2LP)
V.A. - Wayfaring Strangers: Guitar Soli (2LP)Numero
¥2,663

"Bridging the gap between American primitive pioneers John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and Leo Kottke, and the California modernists William Ackerman, Alex de Grassi, and Michael Hedges, Guitar Soli explores the private side of the solo guitar movement from 1966-1981. While Takoma and Windham Hill were laying the groundwork for the new age marketing juggernaut of the mid '80s, these fourteen loners were picking away in tiny cafes, selling records hand to hand. The single disc set comes housed in a digipack chipboard slipcase with a 40-page booklet and features Ted Lucas, Daniel Hecht, Dan Lambert, Jim Ohlschmidt, Tom Smith, Mark Lang, Richard Crandell, Tree People, William Eaton, George Cromarty, Scott Witte, Brad Chequer, Dwayne Canan, and Dana Westover." 

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