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Strictly Discs

September 1, 2022

Labor Day Hours

We will be open this Monday, September 5th from 11AM to 4PM.

New This Week At The Shop

Ola. Suddenly it is September, and it's time for another serious week in the crates! Top of the lineup this week sits a pair of the greatest sessionable hip-hop albums ever carved to wax. DIGABLE PLANETS took over the airwaves with the infectious single "Rebirth of Slick" from their '93 debut, but it was follow-up album 'Blowout Comb' that found the Brooklyn group fully flexing the dimensions of their sound. With production straight out of a delirious 4am bebop club, and all three members showing limber mic skills and endless lyrical invention, the album remains a masterpiece, and a precursor to the heady jazzical sound of The Internet or Thundercat. Enough ink has been spilled about J. DILLA's beat tape opus 'Donuts' to fill Lake Michigan, so we won't gild the lily too much; this is a record we'd love to stock 365 days a year, but represses have been hard to come by lately. Grab a copy while you can. The titanic golden era conscious rap of MAIN SOURCE's debut album 'Breaking Atoms' is back in print, alongside a brand new pandemic-influenced album from HOMEBOY SANDMAN, 'There In Spirit', in on 'dreamsicle' colored vinyl.
Around a dozen or so years ago, Chicago trio BITCHIN BAJAS locked down the best band name in the business and set to making some of the most joyous, blissful and free psychedelic minimalism the universe has ever heard, with vibes, percussion, guitars, and a coupla synths roughly the size of a Buick. They've hit a new height with 'Bajascillators', their latest double album for Drag City, which strikes first with its purple nurple/maui wowie cover art, and then four potent sides of Reichian head high. Groove producer JOHN CARROLL KIRBY checks in with a fresh mini-album called 'Dance Ancestral' just to remind us that he's one of the best to ever do it; this woozy and vibrational record features notable contribs from Yu Su and Laraaji, both good folks to have in the booth with you. London jazzdance keyboardist JOE ARMON-JONES links up with esteemed dubstep producer MALA for a fulfilling new EP called 'A Way Back', and we get a legit edition of the Chicago boogie rarity from HOME BOY & THE COST OF LIVING.
Ah the nineties; what a time. All that relatively affordable access to technology without the distractions of brain-eating social media platforms sure did open up the doors for some great indie rock! A few of the most storied names of that era return to the spotlight this week in exciting ways, starting with NYC slowcore legends CODEINE, an odd kind of power trio who inverted the hierarchy between tension, volume, and voice and were likely the biggest influence upon a band like Low. The 90s department at Numero has unearthed an entirely unreleased '92 session from the band called 'Dessau', mainly faster, rougher, and therefore more interesting demos of songs that later ended up on their swan song, 'The White Birch', and we've got copies here on "barely green" vinyl. A revitalized STEREOLAB returns to their 'Switched On' series of non-album rarities with 'Pulse Of The Early Brain', which includes their 90s collabs with Nurse With Wound, live recordings, Autechre remixes, and much more. Tone bending guitar geniuses POLVO eked out a fantastic denouement with 'Shapes', their alluring 1997 album which pre-ordained a lengthy hiatus, and returns now on emerald green vinyl. At this rate, FUGAZI will never reunite if we don't keep mentioning them in this newsletter, so please help yourself to a copy of their final album to date, 'The Argument', back in stock now.
Originally slated for a Record Store Day release until it was set upon by production gremlins, we now have limited copies of the exquisite ART BLAKEY reissue 'In My Prime', originally released in a small amount in 1978 as the legendary drummer and bandleader rode out the fusion storm in Europe, continuing to make durable and inventive hard bop. Chicago jazz guitarist CALVIN KEYS re-emerged in the mid-80s with an incredible album of "advanced smooth" called 'Full Court Press', leavening his expressive style with funky bass and synth flourishes. We've also got a couple great archival releases in from THELONIOUS MONK and SUN RA.
There aren't a lot of anime fans here on staff, so you'll have to forgive us for not being too hip to the SEATBELTS' soundtrack for 'Cowboy Bebop', masterminded by composer Yoko Kanno in the late 90s. After getting enough requests for it, we decided to give it a run and the fuss is quite deserved! This eclectic jazz/pop/rock master stroke is back in stock this week on white and brown colored vinyl, alongside a lovely tribal ambient gem from early 90s Japan, YOSHIAKI OCHI's 'Natural Sonic'. Premier Japanese new age artist and pride of Ashland, Wisconsin's Northland College TOSHIFUMI HINATA sees his cant-miss compilation of ambient neo-classical, 'Broken Belief', return to the shop, and we've got a fresh pressing of the sleek fusion gem 'Juice' from RYO KAWASAKI.
Some fresh slabs from the family Burnside are always a welcome happening around here. R.L. BURNSIDE's live album 'Long Distance Call' returns on vinyl, with potent versions of some of his early career classics. A young boy appears with him on its cover, could it be his son, DUWAYNE BURNSIDE, who also delivers a new album this week? That would be a nice coincidence. We've got a ripping new live record from KRIS KRISTOFFERSON, circa 1981, called 'Live At Gilley's - Pasadena, TX' on white and marble vinyl, plus a 10th anniversary gold vinyl edition of the alt-country classic 'Arrow' from HEARTLESS BASTARDS.
If you're looking for a place to start within the daunting catalog of recently-departed reggae legend LEE SCRATCH PERRY, you honestly can't go wrong anywhere. A new compilation called 'King Scratch (Musical Masterpieces From the Upsetter Ark-ive)' handles the task well, taking the listener through the many highs of his lengthy career. Dancehall vet SEAN PAUL returns with 'Scorcha', and we've got an absolutely stunning compilation of Singaporean psychedelic funk culled from the archives of KRIBO RECORDS called 'Sounds of Lecak Vol. 1'. The famous blues summit of MUDDY WATERS & THE ROLLING STONES', 'Live At the Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981' gets a fresh edition on red and white vinyl.
Singular guitar-manipulator BILL ORCUTT turned in one of last year's avant-garde highlights alongside drummer Chris Corsano, and he returns now in a Reichian mode with the dizzyingly melodic 'Music for Four Guitars'. Avant-pop dervish DAVID SYLVIAN's stoic and nocturnal 2009 album 'Manafon' is back in print, alongside some early gems from MINSTRY and VOIVOD.
Last up, we lay on the heavy stuff thick with a new record from THOU, 'A Primer Of Holy Words', in the shop on gold wax; a new record from MEGADETH that comes in a deluxe, refractory edition with a bonus 7"; the mighty instrumental prog metal of RUSSIAN CIRCLES returns on 'Gnosis', while pendulous, heavy post-rockers PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH deliver 'Drift' on red vinyl.

Used Vinyl Alert

This week's used drop continues where it left off last week with even more classic jazz LPs from the likes of Miles Davis, Kenny Burrell, Ron Carter, Vince Guaraldi, Cal Tjader, Freddie Hubbard, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, & many more.

Soul is also in this week with essential titles from Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, Ohio Players, Isley Brothers, Temptations, Earth, Wind & Fire, Betty Everett, Kool & The Gang, Booker T. & The M.G's, among others.

Rock must-haves are here: Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Queen, Police, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, John Prine, George Harrison, The Who, Steely Dan, The Cure, & lots of others. Moving on to Country, you'll find Billy Joe Shaver, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, & more.

A number of gently used contemporary LPs will hit the bins this week as well, ranging from Indie/Pop to Hip Hop to Electronic. You'll find artists such as Com Truise, Lapalux, Bonobo, Ross From Friends, Post Malone, Big Sean, Shabazz Palaces, Pete Rock, Real Estate, PJ Harvey, St. Vincent, and a gang of others.

We round out this week with a healthy dose of soundtracks, reggae from Bob Marley (& Rita), Jimmy Cliff, & others, vocals from Ella Fitzgerald, Julie London, & Nancy Sinatra, as well as some interesting ethnographic recordings.

SELL US YOUR CDS & LPS

Yes, we are still buying! Call Ron to schedule (608.213.3610).
Ron, Ryan, Angie, Marty, Evan, Matt, Ed, Eric, Jack, Steve, Shep, Mark, Brad, Roger, & Adam
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