Jazz / Soul / Funk

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Mariah - Utakata No Hibi (2LP)Mariah - Utakata No Hibi (2LP)
Mariah - Utakata No Hibi (2LP)Everland Music

A legendary yet long lost crown jewel from the early 80s
Japanese Electronic and Jazz Rock scene.

MARIAH used to be a Japanese outfit in the field of art pop, long way back in the very late 70s and early 80s with 6 albums up
their score from 1979 to 1983. The album at hand is the sixth and for the time being last album in this row, released as a double
vinyl back in 1983. Prices for original copies, that are at least in very good condition, are hard to find and go up to 250 Euro/USD.
The brandnew reissue on Everland, unlike the original and the first vinyl reissue from 2015, comes housed in a thick and artfully
designed gatefold sleeve with OBI, which finally does justice to the progressive spirit of the music you can find here.
The musical basement is a fusion of dreamy synthesizer pop and haunting new wave music, that could be found all around
the globe back in 1983. In the vein of TEARS FOR FEARS or more adventurous DAVID BOWIE stuff, with a touch of KRAFTWERK or
even BRIAN ENO here and there, but all this gets spiced up with an atmosphere of Japanese traditionalism, with a few bits and
pieces from the old music from this Far East island, which sounds so magic us Westeners. The progressive, wacky art pop of this
project was led by the popular Japanese composer and musician Yasuaki Shimizu, a relentlessly exploratory saxophonist who
even dared to rework Johann Sebastian Bach’s cello suites for saxophone.
As brilliant as this man is, the music on „Utakata No Hibi“ turns out to be. And the master himself approved and much
appreciated the brandnew remastering of this album by assisting a highly professional team of sound engineers who dusted off
the ancient tape reels. For certain the record sounds and feels 80s through and through, electronic to the very rhythmical bone
of each song sugar coated with catchy melodies that resemble Japanese classic and Enka music, which is a kind of folksy pop
music. The listener gets directly drawn into a feverish dream of steaming Far Eastern cities and their darkest and most depraved
corners where you find everything cheap in sleazy bars and unlighted backyards and alleys. The next moment he strolls through
a beautiful Japanese park surrounded by a sea of blossoms. This change in mood and style you will experience in the sparsely
instrumented tune „Shisen“, which indeed comes closest to classic Japanese folk tunes without any too catchy and pop oriented
melodies. But we certainly find these harmonies allover the album. Some tunes even feel like ancient BEACH BOYS compositions
and Brian Wilson creations played by a then contemporary electronic pop act and sung in Japanese.
An amazingly colorful album with songs that are based on solid substance rather than cheap pop structures. This is music for
the bold listeners and music lovers and this awesome reissue should quickly find it’s way into the record collections of 80s synth
and art pop aficionadoes.
Yasuaki Shimizu did what he wanted with MARIAH, pushed the borders of popular music further than anybody would have
thought. Listen to a track like „Shonen“ with a repetitive rhythm pattern that hypnotizes you and somehow silky melodylines by
saxophone and synth piano upon which a female voice sings in a very spiritual way. Praising pop or whatever this can be called,
it is sheer magic put in music. I wonder if this would have made it into the charts back then, but you never know. It is a piece of
musical art that shall be listened to. 

Sam Gendel & Sam Wilkes - Music for Saxofone and Bass Guitar More Songs (LP+DL)Sam Gendel & Sam Wilkes - Music for Saxofone and Bass Guitar More Songs (LP+DL)
Sam Gendel & Sam Wilkes - Music for Saxofone and Bass Guitar More Songs (LP+DL)Leaving Records
Don't miss it! Known for his collaborations with big names such as Ry Cooder, Vampire Weekend and Moses Sumney, and as the leader of the jazz trio Inga, he has been active in a variety of fields, from psychedelic to outsider to meditative. This is a follow up to his last album, which was self-pressed in 2018 and has been reprinted many times since then and is a huge best seller in our store. The collaboration with Sam Wilkes is now available on cassette from Leaving Records, and is a continuation of the previous album recorded between 2017 and 2018. The album is a confident work that combines a sophisticated jazz mind with a unique, experimental sound that is full of the free spirit of the West Coast, and sublimates it into a unique, even meditative, sound. The muffled sound image with a perfect balance makes the listener feel even better.
Sam Wilkes - One Theme & Subsequent Improvisation (LP+DL)Sam Wilkes - One Theme & Subsequent Improvisation (LP+DL)
Sam Wilkes - One Theme & Subsequent Improvisation (LP+DL)Leaving Records
For his sophomore full-length album, LA-based Bassist/Producer/Composer Sam Wilkes is prompted with ten questions from Leaving Records community mentor & facilitator Carlos Niño.
Sam Gendel - AE-30 (LP)Sam Gendel - AE-30 (LP)
Sam Gendel - AE-30 (LP)Leaving Records
AE-30 is both a film and audio album of the 2021 Sam Gendel x Roland AE-30 / Aerophone / Pro Digital Wind Instrument documentary. In August, musician Sam Gendel and filmmaker Marcella Cytrynowicz traveled to Iceland and filmed Gendel performing the instrument in unique locations outdoors around the country - most locations remote and accessed only via their friend Viktor, a search-and-rescue volunteer for Iceland who expertly navigates the country's challenging terrain in his modified Toyota Land Cruiser. The full documentary film and audio companion album will be released December 8th 2021 via Leaving Records.
福居良 - Mellow Dream (Marbled Blue & White Vinyl LP)福居良 - Mellow Dream (Marbled Blue & White Vinyl LP)
福居良 - Mellow Dream (Marbled Blue & White Vinyl LP)We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want
New "regular edition" on 140 gram vinyl. We Release Jazz (WRWTFWW Records' new sister-label) present the official reissue of criminally overlooked Japanese jazz gem Mellow Dream by Hokkaido pianist wunderkind Ryo Fukui, originally released in 1977. Released in conjunction with the its legendary predecessor 1976's Scenery (WRJ 001CD/LP/LTD-LP). Firmly standing on the foundation he laid down with Scenery, Ryo Fukui continues his exploration of modal, bop, and cool jazz sounds with meticulous grace and absolute mastery. As its title suggests, Mellow Dream ventures into slightly mellower, more soulful, and sometimes more contemplative territories (the Bill Evans-reminiscent "Mellow Dream" and "My Foolish Heart") while still packing the commanding punch Fukui's work is loved for, as heard on the amazingly bombastic "Baron Potato Blues" or the gigantic McCoy Tyner/John Coltrane-influenced "Horizon" which sees each member of the trio -- Satoshi Denpo is on bass and Yoshinori Fukui is on drums -- demonstrating their virtuosity for nine exhilarating minutes. With his sophomore album, Ryo Fukui swings from melancholy to vibrant joy with ease, and reminds you that jazz is best served with a pinch of blues, and displays an immensely rare combination of pure talent, unique personal approach and focused discipline. The man undeniably deserves a spot in the pantheon of all-time great jazz pianists. After releasing the outstanding Scenery and Mellow Dream back-to-back, Ryo Fukui worked on developing his live skills, often performing at Sapporo's Slowboat Jazz Club (which he co-founded with his wife Yasuko Fukui), and even releasing two live albums. He sadly passed away in March 2016, leaving behind a legacy of works that all jazz lovers should explore. Sourced from the original masters. Mastered at half speed; 140 gram vinyl; includes sticker.
Santili - Tidal (LP)
Santili - Tidal (LP)Growing Bin Records
Keeping his carbon footprint at a minimum, Santilli sails from Sydney to Hamburg via ten textured vignettes delicately drawn with guitar, bass and organic percussion. Relaxing, reflective and endlessly beautiful, ‘Tidal’ explores elemental inspiration through a humanistic gaze. Whether you know Max Santilli through Ken Oath duo Angophora, previous releases ‘Surface’ and ‘In Circles’, or this is your first time making his acquaintance, you’ll agree he’s right at home on the Growing Bin. The multi-instrumentalist crafts exquisite acoustic music in tune with the finer moments of Windham Hill and ECM; a perfect fusion of talent, balance and the emotion shared by each release on the Hamburg label. As befits its inspiration ‘Tidal’ is an organic affair, related through bright acoustic guitar, hazy chimes and hand played percussion. Where the Australian draws you in with hypnotic repetition, the subtlety, warmth and tonal variation serve as a welcome reminder we’re living off grid. Though expert fretwork often takes centre stage, especially on the delicate B1 ‘Warm You Give’, it’s the blend of kalimba, woodblock, hand drums and shaker which truly transport the listener through open waters; a rhythmic breeze carrying us through the maritime drones and bowed squall. At times the salt air is spiced with cardamom and cloves (‘Sea’) or lemongrass and galangal (‘Valleys’), as we skirt the Indian Ocean or the Java Sea. ‘Lapse’ provides subtle hints of fourth world jazz as mallets take the lead, leaving the guitar to provide its own shimmering texture. Clear your mind, clear your schedule and make some time for ‘Tidal’, an opportunity to breathe in time with the planet.
Duval Timothy - Sen Am (LP)
Duval Timothy - Sen Am (LP)Carrying Colour
Carrying Colour presents 'Sen Am', the third album by Duval Timothy. The album is the product of Duval spending the last two years living between London, UK and Freetown, Sierra Leone. 'Sen Am' is a Krio phrase that means 'send it' or 'send him/her Throughout the record friends and family from Sierra Leone appear through Whatsapp voice notes that speak over solo piano and layered instrumental compositions. Also featuring: 6pac, Aminata, Aruna, Emmerson & Sydney. The LP was recorded in London (UK), Bath (UK), Freetown (SL), Tokyo (JP), Kyoto (JP). Recorded and engineered by Duval Timothy Copyright Duval Timothy
Duval Timothy - Help (2LP)
Duval Timothy - Help (2LP)Carrying Colour
Duval Timothy's latest album Help, his most ambitious work to date, sees him collaborate with co-producer Rodaidh McDonald (King Krule, The XX) and Marta Salogni (Bjork), with collaborations from Lil Silva, Melanie Faye, Vegyn, Desta Haile, Mr Mitch, Dave Okumo, and Twin Shadow amongst others. Recorded in London and Los Angeles, it reveals the artists' experience traversing the meshes of the music industry, mental health, YouTube self-help videos, and the healing he discovered through friendship and collaboration. Duval Timothy is a multidisciplinary artist, whose practise is centred around colour and involves the use of music, photography, textiles, painting, sculpture, design, cooking and video. In between delivering a celebrated cookbook for Penguin Books, and an interactive installation at Tate Modern Turbine Hall, Duval makes music, which is sampled by the likes of Solange and Loyle Carner.
Duval Timothy - Brown Loop (LP)
Duval Timothy - Brown Loop (LP)Carrying Colour
Dear reader & listener, After being out of print for several years, Duval Timothy’s phenomenal ‘Brown Loop’ has finally been reissued. Recorded in New York in the winter months of 2016, this brand new edition features a slightly adjusted track listing. The release date is 2nd of October 2020, which happens to be the multidisciplinary artist’s birthday. Duval has asked me to write a few words about his record. I often find myself listening to Duval’s music when travelling. On an aeroplane for example, where the comforting piano pieces are set starkly against the sound of the world passing by, the constant engine humming, air conditioning running. Or when I’m walking through a city I’ve not been to before, the music blending into the continuous noise of cars and motorbikes, anchoring me when I find myself in unknown surroundings. Grounding me, one note at a time, in contrast to a city that does the exact opposite. Duval’s compositions bring a sense of comfort where there is detachment. It’s the soundtrack for an immigrant (such as myself), alienated from wherever he came, but someone who also doesn’t fully belong to the place he set off to. I heard Duval describe the music of Brown Loop as ascending a mountain, and after you reached the top you come down to the other end. Through rhythmic repetitive patterns, the music builds. Within the pieces, melodies stray away from the theme, into unknown territories, but always find their way back to a comfortable home. Most elaborately this happens on my favourite piece, Hairs. The patterns and melodies on pieces such as Through The Night and (recently added to the vinyl version) G are stripped down to their very essence. It is not just jazz, it’s pure hip hop, as the hooks are reminiscent of the shards of melancholy legends like Dilla, Pete Rock and Havoc used in their best work. In terms of repetition, the music is also very techno. And like in all good techno, the patterns (perhaps contrary to popular belief) ooze humanity and emotion. But most of all Duval’s Brown Loop is a very personal record. it takes courage to expose your inner self like that in the most minimal of compositions. But once you find the right notes, the right pattern, music is the most beautiful thing in the world. Martyn Deykers
Jay Richford and Gary Stevan ‎- Feelings (LP)
Jay Richford and Gary Stevan ‎- Feelings (LP)Be With Records
More than once Jay Richford and Gary Stevan’s Feelings has been described as the greatest library record ever released. Of course Be With can’t be seen to be playing favourites, but we have to admit, it’s pretty good. Insanely rare and immensely sought-after, it’s a tough funk, street jazz masterpiece coveted for many years by collectors of all musical genres. Groove-laden bass, irrepressible horns, sweet flute lines, warm Rhodes, lush string arrangements, blaxploitation-styled wah-wah guitars and so, so much more make this one of the finest instrumental soul LPs of the 70s, if not of all time.
Coastlines (2LP)
Coastlines (2LP)Be With Records

Coastlines is the self-titled long player from the new Japanese production unit of DJ and producer Masanori Ikeda and solo artist, session musician and Cro-Magnon keyboard player Takumi Kaneko.

Masanori and Takumi have been part of the Japanese dance music scene for years and Coastlines was born out of their working together on soundtracks for video projects. The pair wanted to make laid-back listening music for now, laying Takumi’s playful keys over Masanori’s widescreen balearic jazz-fusion to conjure beautiful and breathtaking “coastlines”.

A couple of two-track 7"s put out in late 2018 and early 2019 on Japanese house music label Flower Records soon sold out. Those four tracks were expanded to a full album of music, “a joyous, relaxing, summery soundtrack for everyone’s after hours wind down” that was released just in time for summer. It certainly soundtracked many a Be With BBQ in 2019.

The album opens in the horizontal with the sophisticated, cocktails-by-the-pool groove of “Sunset Reflection”. A lush, beatless wonder. Their re-imagining of Ralph MacDonald’s “East Dry River” removes all the original’s bells and whistles (quite literally) and re-gears it with a subtle balearic chug. The result is a percussive gem.

“Coastline” is a beach-jazz noodle. “Drifting Ice” is as chilled and glacial as its title would suggest, yet Masanori’s head-nod slo-mo house beats throb not far below the surface. “My Fire” is another soft killer, all swelling, swirling organ over muted kicks and snares. An elegant boom-bap.

A pair of insistent tunes of the deeply balearic variety raise the tempo, but not by too much of course. On “Woods And My Guitar” a half-heard vocal refrain breathes life into the synthetic xylophone and guitar. Deft piano-work turns “Half Moon Shadow” into lounge-house for the sophisticated beach bum. A classy duo.

The self-assured re-work of Azymuth’s “Last Summer In Rio” is arguably the album’s centrepiece. Ten minutes of casually propulsive slapped bass, steel pans and slick 80s soul beats. Cue the steel drum interlude of “Maracas Bay” before album closer “Down Town” transitions us on with a shuffling, string-hinted hit of ethereal, euphoric piano bliss. Gentle disco for the new decade.

As former Test Pressing scribe Dr. Rob observed on his ever-reliable Ban Ban Ton Ton blog, the Coastlines fusion is very much in conversation with their 80s counterparts, both at home and along the coastlines of different continents. So among the nods to revered Japanese artists like Hiroshi Sato, Sakamoto and Casiopea, there are also hints of Marcos Valle and Mtume, of the aforementioned Azymuth. “The production though is very much now, not then. Not retro, just proper”. We couldn’t put it better ourselves.

Coastlines was originally a CD release only available in Japan, with HMV putting out a super-limited vinyl version a few months later for Japanese Record Store Day. But this music is just too good, so when Be With was asked via Ken Hidaka to take care of a vinyl version for the whole world it wasn’t a tough decision.

Mastered by Simon Francis and cut by Pete Norman, this magnificent double LP has been pressed by the good people at Record Industry.

Fumio Itabashi / Henrik Schwarz / Kuniyuki - Watarase Joe Claussell Remix (12")Fumio Itabashi / Henrik Schwarz / Kuniyuki - Watarase Joe Claussell Remix (12")
Fumio Itabashi / Henrik Schwarz / Kuniyuki - Watarase Joe Claussell Remix (12")Studio Mule
after great rework of jan jazz classic “watarase” by fumio itabashi,henrik schwarz,kuniyuki, joe claussell reconstructed “watarase”. it’s an epic cosmic jazz fusion.joe claussell meets kuniyuki are always best. on b side, it’s a rare minyo(japanese folk song) version of watarase. it’s a live version that fumio itabashi played with the local orchestra and minyo singer. a lot of diggers have been wishing to be released on vinyl. so this release is one of the most important catalogue on studio mule. With ‘Drumming Up Trouble’, American experimental music composer Alvin Curran - perhaps known best for his work in live improv group Musica Elettronica Viva - presents an album of unreleased material for the Black Truffle label. Focussing on a largely unknown side of his work - namely, with synthesized and sampled percussion - it’s a collection of work recorded between 2018 and 2021, with the exception of ‘Field It More’ that takes up an entire side and dates back to the early Eighties. Polyrhythmic, wild and unstable, it will be of interest to anybody with even a passing love of beats and rhythm.
Biluka y Los Canibales - Leaf-Playing in Quito, 1960-1965 (2LP)
Biluka y Los Canibales - Leaf-Playing in Quito, 1960-1965 (2LP)Honest Jon's Records
The out-of-this-world recordings of Dilson de Souza, leading a kind of tropical chamber jazz on leaves from a ficus tree. Dilson was from Barra do Pirai, in the Brazilian countryside; moving to Rio as a young man, where he worked in construction. He recorded his first record in 1954, for RCA Victor. He travelled to Quito around 1957, soon hooking up with Benitez & Valencia, who introduced him to the CAIFE label. Dilson played the leaf open, resting on his tongue, hands free, with his mouth as the resonator. Though a leaf can also be played rolled or folded in half, this method allowed for more precision, a tethered brilliance. A picked ficus leaf stays fresh, crisp and clean-toned for around ten hours. He could play eight compositions, four at each end, before it was spent. Biluka plays trills and vibratos effortlessly, with utterly pure pitch, acrobatically sliding into notes and changing tone on the fly. In Manuco, he leads Los Caníbales into a mysterious landscape on a rope pulled from an Andean spaghetti western, and corrals and teases them into a dialogue. A leaf, a harp, a xylophone, and a rondador — joined in Bailando Me Despido (Dancing As I Say Goodbye) by a saucy organ, doing sloshed call-and-response. In Anacu de Mi Guambra, Biluka shows his full range of antics, hiccuping melodically over a set of magic tricks. His expressiveness was boundless. The eucalyptus leaf is popular among Aboriginal Australians. In China, they’ve played leaves for 10,000 years. In Cambodia, people play the slek, a leaf plucked from either the sakrom or the khnoung tree. But ain’t nobody like Biluka, ever. Astounding music.
Bruno Heinen Trio - Out Of Doors (LP)Bruno Heinen Trio - Out Of Doors (LP)
Bruno Heinen Trio - Out Of Doors (LP)CNM LDN
"An original suite by Bruno, the starting point for Out Of Doors was the eight Hungarian folk melodies used by Bela Bartók in his 1920 composition '8 Improvisations Op. 20'. Over the eight movements, Bruno's roots in impressionistic classical music are concentrated by Andrea's classical training and deep understanding of European jazz and Gene's renowned groove and swing. Credits: Bruno Heinen - piano; Andrea Di Biase - bass; Gene Calderazzo - drums."
Jaman - Sweet Heritage (LP)
Jaman - Sweet Heritage (LP)Outernational Sounds

Rare private press Jazz-Funk with breaks and some spiritual influences reminiscent of Brother Ahh at times. They cover Stevie Wonder’s “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” plus play originals that include “Sweet Heritage,” “Free Will,” “One of a Kind (Love Affair),” “Serene Beauty,” and “In the Fall of the Year.” This is a beautiful sounding record with elements of straight Jazz, Soul/Jazz, and some funky stuff including some Free and Afro-centric influences.

The main man is Jaman himself (J.E. Manuel) on keyboards, who in the past had worked with R&B bands and many people in the Jazz world (Turrentines, Bostic, Stitt, Joe Farrell, Lenny Welch, Ethel Ennis).

Mats Gustafsson - Contra Songs (LP)
Mats Gustafsson - Contra Songs (LP)Actions For Free Jazz
Liner notes by Mats Gustafsson: Alone at night. Large church room. Lots of air. Stone. Wood. Glass. Quietness. Stillness. The dead and the alive. Surroundedness. Existentialistic matters spinning. Peaceful state of mind. The dialectic equilibrium of complete stillness and deeper thoughts on contra- resistance on local and global levels. Fighting (y)our stupidities. Contra. I have never ever before gotten myself into such an unusual setting for a recording project. And yet, so simple. So naked. So peaceful. Alone at night. As we all are. I borrowed the keys to the beautiful church of Gustafsberg, from my neighbor Rune. I went there at midnight. Set up my recording gear. Old school DAT machine, tube pre-amps and two AKG 414s in an extreme stereo set-up, close to the horn. The horn of choice. The contrabass sax. The monstrous sax-machine “Tubax” made by the German engineer Benedikt Eppelsheim at the turn of the century. I sat down in the first row of benches. Breathing. Preparing. Contemplating. The saxophone positioned in the very middle of the church, close to the altar. More than 6 hours straight of low-end sax noise and many breaks later: the sun set. At around 7 am… I was done. I was alone the whole night. And yet, not all alone. Some things were going on in that church. In that room. I kid you not. Never audible. But strongly felt. Whatever presence of the old or new gods - old and new dreams - it effected the music and my mind. I let it happen. I let it all flow. Alone at night. There is nothing to explain. -Mats Gustafsson 2003/ 2021
Cosmic Threat - Cosmic Threads (LP)
Cosmic Threat - Cosmic Threads (LP)Jahtari
Six Black Hole jazz dubs by Cosmic Threat come together in one truly epic album straight from the astral echo chamber. Jammed over various sessions in an empty Leipzig club during lockdown, Kiki Hitomi, disrupt and bass clarinet black belt Volker Hemken (from Gewandhausorchester Leipzig) are keeping the track structures in constant warp mode, psychically locking in with the machines and freely exploring all the sonic territory inbetween Sun Ra and Prince Jammy. This highly hypnotic spiritual sequel to Kiki Hitomi’s 'Karma No Kusari' (2016) comes on red vinyl and with hand-painted artwork by Ellen G.
Ayanda Sikade - Umakhulu (LP)
Ayanda Sikade - Umakhulu (LP)Afrosynth Records
Ayanda Sikade on Drums Nduduzo Makhathini on Piano Simon Manana on Alto Sax Nhlanhla Radebe on Bass Produced by Ayanda Sikade Recorded by Peter Auret at Sumo Sound Mixed and Mastered by Gavan Eckhart at Soul Fire Studios Artwork: Michael MacGarry Cover photo: Vuyo Giba
Hamed Farras -  Slaman Djougou / Chef, C'est Pas Moi (12")Hamed Farras -  Slaman Djougou / Chef, C'est Pas Moi (12")
Hamed Farras - Slaman Djougou / Chef, C'est Pas Moi (12")Sentinel Island Disco
Introducing Hamed Farras! The singer, musician and performer from Abidjan. Hamed has been at the center of Ivorian reggae for over thirty years, the sound made famous by Alpha Blondy in the eighties. In 1991 Hamed released his first album Deni: named after his breakthrough track, however two tracks on his debut album never received the attention they deserve… Chef, C'est Pas Moi or "Chef, It wasn't me" features a 17 year old Hamed singing about his friend ‘Polo’ who got into trouble with the police. Slaman Djougou is about a cultural muslim who only prays during festivities. Both tracks feature Hamed’s characteristic singing and have an infectious groove that can match any of the famous Ivorian Reggae classics. Together with composer and arranger Georges Kouakou, who worked with Alpha Blondy on many of his projects, and Hamed’s brothers, magic was created in downtown Abidjan (see picture above). As the album Deni was only released on very limited cassette and CD copies at the time, Chef C’est Pas Moi and Slaman Djougou never saw the light of day. Until now... It is with great pleasure to release these songs with Hamed for the first time on vinyl after almost 30 years. The release is accompanied by a stellar DJ remix by one of our favorite producers: Lipelis!
Ghia - Down At The Hilton (7")Ghia - Down At The Hilton (7")
Ghia - Down At The Hilton (7")The Outer Edge
We are are proud to present the second release by Ghia on our label. The first single is sold out for a while and already became a collectible item. Now we present a piece from Ghia’s past – a very limited single with two unreleased recordings from 1985: At The Hilton. But this is just the beginning of a series of more unissued songs by the band. Two albums are currently in the works – and there will be more material to follow. For now, here is what label founder Günter Stöppel a.k.a. John Raincoatman says about the project, about the complete recordings of Ghia: “What you hear now is the beginning of one of the most exciting musical adventures I have been going through in my life as a music lover, researcher, dj, reissue producer and label manager. It was easy for me (and to most of you, I guess) to fall in love with “What’s Your Voodoo?”. It was the first track I ever heard by Ghia, it came out in 1991 together with the equally great “You Won’t Sleep On My Pillow”. But aside from the pure magic that these songs had, you could hear that they were extremely well made, professionally recorded, unique, and very mystic. These tracks weren’t recordings by some beginners. The songs were downtempo synth pop, almost trip-hop – but you could hear that there was some groove, warmth and irresistible musicality rarely heard in pop music at that time. I really wondered where this came from. For the past three years I’ve been asking Ghia every once in a while about further recordings. Lutz Boberg and Frank Simon, the two original band members who later joined with Lisa Ohm as a singer, always were communicative, friendly and interested in releasing more music. But at the same time nothing really happened. Accept for a bunch of newer demo tracks they offered on their Bandcamp page for a while, I never was able to hear anything more. I was mainly asking for master tapes to have better quality of the songs from Bandcamp and they just said, they didn’t have anything and everybody else they knew also didn’t have anything. Anyway, a few month ago, I suprisingly received a picture by email. A photo showing a box of 11 demo tapes by Ghia with basically all tracks they ever recorded. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I asked: “are all these tapes full length?” “Yes”, they said, “this is our complete archive”. After a few complications the package with the cassettes finally arrived in Berlin. I didn’t really know what to expect. Everything was taped chronologically, the first cassette included early recordings from 1984 and 1985. I put it in my tape deck and I couldn’t believe what I heard. It started with a minimal electro funk track, the next track was 80s funk with rap vocals, and then came a track entitled “Down At The Hilton” – what a shock that was! This was EASILY the best Balearic jazz funk track I had ever heard. The warm sound, the melodies, the drum computer beats, the solos, everything was almost too unreal to believe. I really didn’t understand why Boberg and Simon never considered that some of their early works could be of interest to other people. But hey simply thought of it as some sort of learning curve remnants or simply forgot that the music existed. I continued to listen and I must admit that my eyes got wet a bit for a couple of times. There was more to hear from their jazz funk past, it was too good to be true for a music enthusiast like me – funky grooves on jazzy electro beats, fast synthesizer solos, brilliant guitar sounds. Another track blew my mind at the end of the side A: “Curacao Blue”. Again, we get some balearic feelings and sounds, a well arranged song, electro-ish beats, a long enduring keyboard solo in a Bob James kind of mood. But it was just so much better than all of the rare fusion and contemporary jazz albums I had bought in the past years… there was so much musicality and beauty.” The story goes on – but we are going to end it here for now. Once you hear the songs we are sure that you’ll agree that the music by Ghia needs to be heard and shared with the world. We are happy that the vinyl single “At The Hilton” is available in just a couple of weeks. It will feature the afore mentioned two tracks, both recorded in 1985 in their homestudio in Bielefeld. This will be followed by a completely instrumental full length jazz funk album to be released end of the year. Then comes a full length vocal album with songs recorded at their peak of productivity from ca. 1987 to 1991 with Lisa Ohm which became the perfect counterpart to their music. We can’t wait! Can you? The time is now for Ghia.
Stella - Détends-toi EP (12")Stella - Détends-toi EP (12")
Stella - Détends-toi EP (12")Cosmic Romance
Détends-Toi is the debut EP of the Parisian-born, Berlin-based singer & DJ Stella Zekri. Produced and co-written by Ed Longo, Détends-Toi is a sunny collection of four original songs, one dub version and one special cover, heavily influenced by Zouk, Boogie and the sound of the mid-80s French underground. Coming to you in advance of summer ‘22 the record marks also the first release of Berlin label Cosmic Romance.
Shawn Pittman - Dreams (12")Shawn Pittman - Dreams (12")
Shawn Pittman - Dreams (12")Invisible City Editions
Invisible City Editions returns with the long awaited repress of Shawn Pittman - Dreams, a fantastic double-sided private press rarity from 1989 Detroit. Featuring two legendary Inner City alumni, Art Forest (producer / keyboardist / engineer), and vocalist / background dancer, Shawn Pittman. On the A side is a lush slow modern soul slow burner Dreams features a deep, spatial throbbing bass line with glistening synths floating underneath cool angelic hypnotic vocals by Pittman. “Dreams are only dreams until you make them real.” Perfect downtempo for early mornings and the post-club world. On the B side, we have 2 peak time bangers, a Prince style electro boogie hit I’m Losing Control, alongside the insane I'm Losing Control (Extended Bass-ment Club Mix), a wild late night warehouse dub remix featuring sci-fi vocal effects, fostex tape loops and ultra-heavy bass and driving drum machines. Official Repress via Art Forest and his label Wildboy. Essential stuff! Limited pressing. Tip!
Kan Mikami, John Edwards, Alex Neilson - Live At Cafe Oto (LP)
Kan Mikami, John Edwards, Alex Neilson - Live At Cafe Oto (LP)OTOROKU
Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami is nothing less than an unalloyed force of nature. A skin-shredding blast of frozen wind from the poor, rural north of Japan that he calls home. In the late 1960s, like thousands of other Japanese young people Mikami made his way to Tokyo in search of a life different from that of his parents. Since then he has forcefully carved out a space for himself in the culture as a modernist poet, a raging folk singer, an author, a actor, an engaging TV personality, and one of Japan’s most uniquely powerful performers. For most of Mikami’s career as a singer, he has performed solo. Just him and his electric guitar against the world, creating jagged A-minor vamps to drive along the surreal wisdom of his lyrics. But he’s equally at home in more demanding improvisational contexts such as those provided here by John Edwards on bass and Alex Nielson on drums. Their dense propulsive textures seem to spur on Mikami, his voice arcing powerfully into fragmented spaces, his guitar darting, colliding, shedding jagged and angular splinters of sound. A pulsing, raging maelstrom of serrated-edged energy. Gruff, rough, honest and very, very real.
Broetzmann / Edwards / Noble - ... The Worse The Better (LP)
Broetzmann / Edwards / Noble - ... The Worse The Better (LP)OTOROKU
"On an east London side street, Café Oto hosts a programme of international experimental sounds to shame subsidised arts temples, drawing demographic-defying crowds of all ages through its doors. The first release on Oto's own label, available as an authentic vinyl slab or a slippery download, is a 40-minute splurge of sax, drums and bass skronk, live at the venue in 2010, from the German free-jazz giant Brötzmann and two stars of the London improv scene. Unrepeatable moments of collective inspiration and sudden sunlit shafts of modal near melody punctuate the continuing energy blur. Business as usual down Dalston Junction." Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times "Since it opened in Dalston in April 2008, Café OTO has become London's new music venue of choice for the likes of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Joe McPhee, Mats Gustafsson – and Peter Brötzmann, whose first residency at the club in January 2010 yielded this inaugural release on OtoRoku, Café OTO’s new in-house label. The night in question was the first time Brötzmann had played with bassist John Edwards and drummer Steve Noble, and the decision to team them up was inspired. With Alan Wilkinson, or in Decoy with Alex Hawkins and NEW with Alex Ward, Edwards and Noble have a deserved reputation as a thrilling high-energy rhythm section. And as Brötzmann is no slouch when it comes to high-energy playing, the combination is explosive. Right from the start of the set – the first that evening – it's obvious why this was selected to christen the label. All three players jump straight into top gear, with Brötzmann setting a cracking pace, his torrent of sound characterised by that hard-edged tone which makes him such compelling listening. ...the worse the better sets a high standard for subsequent releases to match. But, as every night at Café OTO is recorded and there's a wealth of fine music waiting in the wings, including quality recordings from Otomo Yoshihide and Wadada Leo Smith, OtoRoku looks like a label to watch." John Eyles, Paris Transatlantic "These two extended improvisations, recorded in January 2010 during Brötzmann’s first residency at OTO, finds the group attaining near-telepathic modes of interconnectedness, despite this being the trio’s first outing together. From the off, Brötzmann’s gills are gurning, throwing up torrents of molten roar, while Noble’s mule-kicking at the traps reels out ride hits like a baby sporting a bonnet of bees." - Spencer Grady, BBC Music "Does the world need another Brötzmann album? Probably not, but as the inaugural release on Cafe OTO's in-house high quality vinyl-only label, this one is cause for celebration. Recorded there - superbly well, too - during Brötzmann's residency in January 2012, this is no frills straight-up free jazz, solos and all, pitting the Firebreather of Wuppertal against the might local rhythm team (yes, they can and do swing hard) of John Edwards and Steve Noble. All three are on outstanding form, from the opening yelp - when it comes to Big Bang beginning, nobody does it better than Brötzmann - to Edwards's snarling drone 38 minutes later. Shame engineer Shane Browne slammed thos faders down so brutally: for once, you feel like joining in with the whoops and hollers of the punters." - Dan Warburton, The WIREiframe src="" allow="autoplay" scrolling="no" width="100%" height="166" frameborder="no">

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