Strictly Discs

February 2, 2023

New This Week At The Shop

A great week of new releases jumps off with some phenomenal jazz LPs. Independent NYC tenor saxophonist JAMES BRANDON LEWIS makes a break towards the Anti- label stable with 'Eye of I', a feverish album of soulful, insistent and funky jazz that feels irreverent and raw, melding a punk spirit with the approach of Sonny Rollins. You don't have to take it from us though; it's Thurston Moore on the liner notes for this one. Wellington, New Zealand's CLEAR PATH ENSEMBLE returns with the effervescent 'Solar Eclipse', led by drummer and producer Cory Champion, who is clearly an aficionado of the deep end of the 70s ECM catalog. Eritrean trumpeter HERMON MEHARI checks in with 'Asmara', a delightful album imbued with traditional songs from the region and the spirit of Masekela. Afro-jazz legends THE PYRAMIDS see their 1974 rarity 'King Of Kings' restored to vinyl.
'In A Minor Groove' is a total classic from the early catalog of harpist DOROTHY ASHBY, joined by flautist FRANK WESS for one of the coolest cool-jazz LPs of the 50s, back in print this week on green wax. The OSCAR PETERSON TRIO album 'Night Train' makes nearly every list of essential jazz releases for a reason; energetic yet effortless, workmanlike and relaxed, it's inspired generations of musicians. For the first time in a long, long time, we have a proper audiophile edition of this one via Verve and Acoustic Sounds, along with their new edition of the early DONALD BYRD live cooker 'At The Half Note Cafe'. We've also got a welcome new pressing of WELDON IRVINE's 'The Sisters', the posthumous collection of unreleased late 70s material that features Don Blackman and Marcus Miller.
The Scottish trio YOUNG FATHERS return with 'Heavy Heavy', another phenomenal album of sweeping investigations into rhythm and blues in the tradition of TV on the Radio. SUNNY WAR brings out potent protest folk on the well-named 'Anarchist Gospel' album. The singer-songwriter SYML enlists guests like Lucius and Sara Watkins on 'The Day My Father Died', in on limited color vinyl. Lunchpail New York rockers THE MEN return to their roots (the Cramps, Telephono-era Spoon) on a surprise new record.
Aside from the Amen Break, few loops of drums have had as long a lifetime as the mighty bridge of THE SOUL SEARCHERS' "Ashley's Roachclip", found nestled deep in their 1974 album 'Salt Of The Earth'. If you've ever listened to any hip-hop record made in the late 80s or early 90s (or failing that, Milli Vanilli), you've heard it, and the rest of the record it comes from is just as fruitful. Atlantic reissues some must-haves from their catalog for Black History Month, check out classics from WILSON PICKETT, RAY CHARLES and OTIS REDDING.
From the socially permissive land down under of Australia comesTROPICAL FUCK STORM with a new record, 'Submersive Behaviour', on cool blue smoke colored vinyl. WEEZER goes 'elfcore' whatever that means exactly on their latest EP 'SZNZ: SPRING', on glow in the dark wax. Vampire Weekend's Rostam revisits his side-project as DISCOVERY with a deluxe ten year reissue on orange, while THE LUMINEERS self-titled debut turns ten as well with a fresh expanded edition.
Compilations! The beloved FOR THE LOVE OF YOU lovers rock collection sees its second volume get a slight amendment, with one track swapped out (dang lawyers) and a new green cover. London chillout champion DJ Paul Hillery delivers a new set called FOLK FUNK & TRIPPY TROUBADOURS which describes its selection of offbeat grooves perfectly. The Etats-Unis label delivers a stunning recreation of a 1979 sound sculpture comp called SOUND, which originally accompanied an installation at the Los Angeles Contemporary art museum. The selectors behind the ever-intriguing Smiling C label outdo themselves tenfold with AMERICA DREAM RESERVE, a double LP set collecting extremely obscure and equally intoxicating private press lounge, funk, and pop. You ever heard a cover of "Eye Of The Tiger" that could make you cry?
The enigmatic New York band REX made a trio of records in the 90s that transfixed the indie underground. Emerging in the "post-rock" heyday (drummer Doug Scharin was in Codeine), the group made long, loping strides away from the familiar sounds of art-rock and slow-core, towards a kind of progressive folk rock influenced by Uncle Tupelo and later embraced by Wilco. The group's crowning achievement was 1996's 'C', an epic album of rootsy, motorik Americana tailor-made for long car trips that's somehow never been released on vinyl until this week's lush edition from Numero Group, which comes on fittingly rose-colored wax. Philadelphia eagles of delay pedal BARDO POND return to their earliest primordial ooze with a vinyl edition of their '93 demo tape, 'No Hashish...', which has aged extremely well. Toronto ambient outpost Seance Centre delivers an exquisite trio album from CHRISTINA VANTZOU, MICHAEL HARRISON and JOHN ALSO BENNETT which rewards a deep listen. The Music From Memory label takes a break from exploring ambient pop of years past with a remarkably chill record of electrified soft-rock from THE ZENMENN featuring the Jarreau-esque vocalist JOHN MOODS; if they ever start putting music in elevators again may we suggest this one?
A pair of absolutely essential documents of the golden era of Ethiopian jazz are back in stock: singer MAHMOUD AHMED's poignant 'Ere Mela Mela' and MULATU ASTATKE's simmering 'Ethio Jazz'. The Vampisoul label continues to give up the goods with a reissue of a boogaloo burner from WGANDA KENYA, and a compilation of hits from the Peruvian cumbia label MAG.
A pair of out of print bangers by metalcore kings AVENGED SEVENFOLD are back in print on limited color wax. The incredibly talented R&B vocalist JOYCE WRICE sees her hard to find debut EP come back in print, plus we've got oodles of other long out of print titles back in stock from MELANIE MARTINEZ, THE DEFTONES, and so many more!

Used Vinyl LP Alert

This week's Used Vinyl alert picks off where we left off last week -- we continue to roll out stacks of incredible synth pop, no wave, disco, hip hop & electronic LPs & 12"s! We'll start off this week with hip hop -- there's no shortage of golden era material from artists like Boogie Down Productions / KRS-One, Dr. Dre, Wu-Tang, Cappadonna, Method Man, A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, AZ, Grandmaster Flash, Main Source, Mantronix, Newcleus, Eminem, Trick Daddy, Erykah Badu, Lucy Pearl, & lots more!

On the electronic front, we've got a wide variety of vintage and more contemporary techno & house from artists like Giorgio Moroder, Bobby O, Frankie Knuckles, A Guy Called Gerald, Gherkin Jerks / Larry Heard, Model 500, Robert Hood, Jeff Mills, Masters At Work, LFO, & Kenny Larkin, among many others.

Synth pop & no wave is in this week from A Certain Ratio, Au Pairs, Gang Of Four, New Order, Robert Gorl, Kate Bush, John Foxx, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Pet Shop Boys, Tom Tom Club, & more. Essential classic rock & pop titles are here from David Bowie, The Beatles, Velvet Underground, Tom Petty, Thin Lizzy, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Grateful Dead, Prince, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, along with many more.

Blues & soul are in this week from Howlin Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Lightning Hopkins, Magic Slim, Junior Wells, Chic, Gil Scott Heron, Otis Redding, Loose Change, Ike & Tina Turner, Tower Of Power, along with a number of great & highly collectible disco / boogie 12"s. Jazz is also here from Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto, Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Nina Simone, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Michael White, Grachan Moncur III, & more.

We round off this week with some lightly used contemporary LPs from Halsey, Fourtet, Gorillaz, Mogwai, Charalambides, Radiohead, Metronomy, & Robyn, some essential folk LPs from Sandy Denny, Bert Jansch, & Francoise Hardy, and a nice assortment of rare international LPs.

Save The Date - Record Store Day 2023 is Saturday, April 22nd


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