Strictly Discs

September 14, 2023

New This Week At The Shop

It's been eleven years since we last got a solo record from KILLER MIKE, which has brought some big changes in the life and profile of the rapper and Run the Jewels co-founder. On 'Michael', we get a reminder of his overwhelmingly powerful flow, and his savvy ability to weave political awareness in with his bombastic boasts. Major guests like Ceelo, Ty Dolla $ign, Curren$y and even Andre 3000 keep things unpredictable here; in the shop on limited metallic gold vinyl. Beguiling songstress CORINNE BAILEY RAE has spent quite some time away from the studio, returning now with a bold and renewing album called 'Black Rainbows' that sheds her previous pop trappings in favor of more experimental approaches, reflecting her noisy punk roots. The sophisticated, strange pop of VAGABON hits a new high with producer Rostam from Vampire Weekend at the helm on 'Sorry I Haven't Called', in on blue wax. LEON BRIDGES modern-day soul classic 'Good Thing' turns five years old with a yellow vinyl edition that includes a bonus track.
We had a heckuva time with the listening party for MITSKI's new record, 'The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We', earlier this week. The brain-genius songwriter has crafted another epic expanse of dreamy folk, elevating the mundane to the majestic. It sounds like she's been hanging out listening to Van Dyke Parks with Angel Olsen a lot. We have the limited deluxe edition of this beaut on blue vinyl with a special diecut cover and post card set, and while they last, a couple two-tree of the giveaway items from the listening party. We've also got a phenomenal new set from the NY regents of rustic known as WOODS; on 'Perennial', the group leavens their sundrenched psychedelia with a welcome strain of heavy keys/guitar interplay. SHAKEY GRAVES is back with a soundtrack for an imaginary 'Movie Of The Week', and we have the latest from MASON JENNINGS, 'Underneath The Roses'.
Technically it arrived last week but we cannot overlook the new JAMES BLAKE for tardiness. What a record! The evasive singer and producer has returned to the dancefloor inspirations that began his teenage career, blessing 'Playing Robots Into Heaven' with some of the best beat programming he's ever done, ranging from skeletal dubstep to spooky, subterranean acid. The eleven tracks here sound as spectacularly in-the-now as the Hessle Audio and Hemlock white labels that he first made waves on, with the added presence and poignance of a much more mature producer. Synth-pop austerios NATION OF LANGUAGE are back with a gorgeous and moody follow-up called 'Strange Disciple' on limited clear wax, with the expert mixing hand of Holy Ghost's Nick Millhiser. Dreamy techno vet LUSINE returns to Ghostly with 'Long Light', a wonderfully punchy piece of clubby pop, and we've got the pitch-perfect Balearic synth-funk of SOSHI TAKEDA's 'Same Place, Another Time', originally released only on cassette, now available in a limited vinyl run.
It's a pretty fantastic week for life-changing jazz reissues! At last, the Luaka Bop label has delivered a definitive, authorized edition of one of PHAROAH SANDERS' crown jewels, the 1977 album 'Pharoah'. Released in a small run on the relatively unknown (compared to Impulse, that is) label India Navigation, and with a lineup of less-than-household names, this transcendent session has come to be considered one of his finest, particularly the sidelong "Harvest Time", and it has been bootlegged accordingly. With Pharoah's blessing coming shortly before his passing, Luaka Bop has done this one up in impressive fashion with an embossed cover, unseen photographs and ephemera, as well as a 24-page booklet featuring interviews with many of the participants, and a conversation with Pharoah himself. MARION BROWN's beautiful 1975 album 'Vista', featuring Stanley Cowell and Harold Budd, is back in print, alongside a super-sticky Jazz Dispensary edition of the landmark post-bop fusion masterpiece 'Blackstone Legacy' by WOODY SHAW, and the expanded technique soul-jazz salve of MICHAEL WHITE's 'Pneuma'.
On 'From Left to Right', the great BILL EVANS plays both Fender Rhodes and acoustic piano simultaneously in real time. Drummer ROY HAYNES leads the hard bop classic 'Out Of The Afternoon' with some of his best-known drum work, joined by the incredible lineup of Roland Kirk, Henry Grimes, and Tommy Flanagan. This oft-requested session gets the Verve Acoustic Sounds treatment this week; plus we've got a pair of Blue Note scorchers back in print: HORACE SILVER's 'Blowin' The Blues Away' and JIMMY SMITH's 'Midnight Special'.
We always look forward to each new record from CARLOS NINO & FRIENDS. Who are the friends this time around, for 'I'm Just Chillin On Fire'? Oh just some folks like Kamasi Washington, Andre 3000 (second time in the newsletter!), Jamael Dean, Photay, Surya Botofasina, Dntel, Sibusile Xaba, and more. Not bad! 'Circular Temple', a 1992 album from piano explorer MATTHEW SHIPP alongside NYC free legends William Parker and Whit Dickey, gets a reissue via a revived ESP Disk. Saxophonist JOSHUA REDMAN makes his Blue Note debut with 'Where Are We', which prominently features the vocals of Gabrielle Cavassa, and recent Terrace/Bur Oak performers S.CAREY and JOHN RAYMOND join up for a genre-bending album of improvised folk-jazz called 'Shadowlands'.
Thrilled to have a fresh vinyl edition of the astounding JULIUS EASTMAN piece 'Femenine' back in stock, one of the renegade composer's most emotionally charged works. LA fourth world jazzer SAM GENDEL delivered 'Fresh Bread' in early covid times, and now it has a fresh 2LP edition. The Mule Musiq label is always hipping us to Japanese obscurities we wouldn't even know where to start looking for; a nice new pressing of SHINSUKE HONDA's 1983 album 'Silence' restores a lovely ambient jazz guitar wonder. The Be With label continues its stunning dedication to reissuing every last library music banger with one of the all time greats, Arpadys/Voyage drummer PIERRE-ALAIN DAHAN's 1973 Tele Music beast, 'Rythmiques'.
The deeply grooving, muscular post-metal of BARONESS returns with 'Stone', which is somehow just their sixth studio album. Limited ruby red vinyl on that one, while we've got the yellow vinyl version of 'End', the latest, greatest album from the demonstrative environmental rockers EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY. I try not to believe everything I read on the internet, but seeing news that Darkside's Dave Harrington, Real Estate's Alex Bleeker and Vampire Weekend's Chris Tomson have a jam band called TAPER'S CHOICE? No secondary sources needed. Their first release is of course called 'History Of Taper's Choice Vol. 1' and its full of legit face-melters! We've also got a gorgeous new yellow/blue/silver pressing of YOB's epic doom crusher from 2009, 'The Great Cessation'.
We're eagerly anticipating the new Merge Records album from beloved Philly folkie Rosali Middleman, but in the meantime, she checks in as EDSEL AXLE for a lush record of guitar improv called 'Variable Happiness' that lands somewhere in between Loren Connors and William Tyler. Sometime Wisconsinite guitarist LIAM GRANT makes gorgeous, Bashovia-style waves on 'Amoskeag', and we have a new pressing of the startlingly great debut album from Rotterdam quartet LEWSBERG, channeling Loaded-era VU, Young Marble Giants, and the Strokes in equal measure. Mythically rad West coast psych ala Opal or the Sun City Girls returns with a limited reissue of the 1985 debut LP by THE BLACK SUN ENSEMBLE.
Near the end of the 90s, a little-known band named ANTARCTICA released a pair of discs before disappearing under the snow. Led by guitarist Eric Richter of midwest emo heroes Christie Front Drive and keyboardist Glenn Maryansky years before he would start Cult Of Youth, the band delivered '81:03' only on compact disc: as close to a perfect channeling of the Cure and Slowdive (much more niche influences back then) with the throbbing pulse of the club just under the surface. Very few people heard this stuff in 1999, I remember seeing them play live to an audience of roughly 8 people; oddly enough it sounds absolutely at home here in 2023. White vinyl on this stunning reissue. BOWERY ELECTRIC put the shoegaze world on notice with their incredible 1995 debut, a heaving, hazy record that feels welcomingly inhuman. We're not exactly stocking every Prurient record around these parts, but his ambient dub techno made under the moniker of RAINFOREST SPIRITUAL ENSLAVEMENT is some truly world class stuff. 'Ambient Black Magic' gets a nice triple LP reissue this week.
Tuareg guitar hero BOMBINO returns with a blazing new set called 'Sahel' on blue vinyl. The hypnotic folk blues of JOHN LEE HOOKER seldom sounds any better than on his 1966 Impulse classic 'It Serve You Right To Suffer'. A compilation called RAKS RAKS RAKS introduces us to the staggeringly rich world of 1960s Iranian psych, and we have another cant miss reissue of vintage cumbia from AFROSOUND with 1973's 'Carruseles'.
Still with us? Lastly but definitely not leastly, we've got nice n cheap reissues of the first four solo albums from recently departed blues guitar legend JEFF BECK, starting with his 1968 debut 'Truth', and continuing through 'Beck-Ola', 'Blow By Blow' and 'Wired'.

Used Vinyl LP Alert

The hits just don't stop coming in the Used Vinyl Alert this week. We go five bins deep this time around, with lots of faves (including some more of those oh-so PERECT sounding 70s UKs pressings) like The Beatles, Queen, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Van Morrison, Grateful Dead, Richard Thompson, James Taylor, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Ry Cooder, Rolling Stones, Roxy Music and many more.

A slew of classic hard rock and prog includes big jams from Rush, Styx, Bon Jovi, Judas Priest, Blue Oyster Cult, Whitesnake, Ratt, Winger, Fastway, King Crimson, Captain Beefheart, Billy Idol, Thin Lizzy, Def Leppard, ZZ Top, Quiet Riot and lots more.

A downright comprehensive scan of 80s punk, alternative and especially new wave is here from Pylon, Devo, the Cars, Violent Femmes, INXS, the Cure, Bronski Beat, Oingo Boingo, Wang Chung, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, the B-52s, Elvis Costello, Robert Wyatt, Alphaville, Sade, A-ha, OMD, New Order, Swans, Iggy Pop, REM, Blondie and the English Beat.

Secure some vital hip-hop new and old this week, with some essential and out-of-print gems from Tyler, The Creator, Joey Bada$$, MF Doom, Vince Staples, Kendrick Lamar, De La Soul, Kanye West, Roc Marciano, the Geto Boys, Mobb Deep, Blackalicious, Clipse, Notorious B.I.G., A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang, Too Short, Aceyalone, The Roots, Outkast, L'Orange, Atmosphere, POS, and plenty of others.

Clutch jazz is in from Keith Jarrett, Yusuf Lateef, Jackie McLean, Thelonious Monk, Pharaoh Sanders, Kamasi Washington, Soft Machine, Herbie Hancock, Lou Donaldson, Cannonball Adderley, Andrew Hill, Donald Byrd, Curtis Fuller and more.

Country is in from Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, and Gordon Lightfoot. Plenty of funk from Parliament, Prince, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Reggae is in from Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley, plus a nice spread of latin, middle eastern, greek and indonesian records. Some big name cult soundtracks are in, plus metal from from the Black Dahlia Murder, Power Trip and Integrity. Lots more sorta new stuff is in as well, from Coldplay, Car Seat Headrest, Smashing Pumpkins, Black Midi, Leon Bridges, Vampire Weekend, Flying Lotus, Sleater Kinney, Fleet Foxes, the Strokes, and Spoon!


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