Strictly Discs

June 27, 2024

New This Week At The Shop

Welcome, newsletter readers! We're just about to hit July, when the record world supposedly slows down for the summer. I guess we missed that memo this week because we've got *so much stuff*. Our rundown will be broad and blunt, so use your best music sampling methods and cruise down this-away to claim your picks. A week of eclectic modern pop kicks off with a new one from Aussie unit HIATUS KAIYOTE, who deliver maximalist avant-garde R&B fusion that stays playful. 'Love Heart Cheat Code', in on indie blue/white marble vinyl, benefits from production by acclaimed Beastie Boys studio engineer Mario Caldato, and percolates with the same vibrant energy as a late 70s Donald Byrd album. Respected chillwave elder WASHED OUT is back with a new record on Sub Pop, and he's not getting sloppy on us. 'Notes From A Quiet Life' is as clear and embellished as a prism, and definitely indicates that he's been getting back into his OMD and Human League records. A big under-the-radar recommendation this week goes to 'Lashes' by a new duo called HYSTERICAL LOVE PROJECT, who deliver sweetly on that evocative name. Like a raver in a tailored corduroy jacket, this record crosses up sophisticated pop with trancey breaks, in a style similar to recent classic turns by Avalon Emerson, Suzanne Kraft, and Jonnine Standish, while staking out a very cool new piece of territory that is all theirs. Ever since he got up from behind the drumkit with Durand Jones and seduced the paint right off the walls with his falsetto, we've fallen hard for retro-modern soul singer AARON FRAZER, and he's still got it going on. Still rocking the Goodfellas-level belt-cinch, still blending western noir and smoky psych with classic soul; 'Into The Blue' is in stock on Frosted Coke Bottle Clear vinyl for those first in line at the soda jerk. What a delightful surprise we have with the new record from LIANA FLORES, a Brazilian-British artist who is new to us, but has apparently impressed the right people, as her debut album 'Flower of The Soul' arrives via the famed Verve label. Expecting a pleasant jazz vocalist, it was quite something to put this record on and hear a modern reincarnation of Vashti Bunyan, crossed up with a bit of Astrud Gilberto and Linda Perhacs. Think I'm exaggerating? Go listen! Also asking (hopefully) rhetorical questions is the melancholy folk-rock trio LOMA, who return to Sub Pop with 'How Will I Live Without a Body?' Vocalist Emily Cross remains one of the most bone-chilling vocalists out there, and the band retains their haunting brand of midnight in the dustbowl slowcore.
We're already packing the cooler for our CAMILA CABELLO listening party, which is Friday at 6PM. We'll be playing her latest latin-fused hyperpop album 'C,XOXO', doling out beers to anyone over 21, and giving $10 credit slips to anyone who purchases the new album. How can you say No to that? Speaking of, post-R&B crooner OMAR APOLLO's new album is called 'God Said No', and finds the emotive vocalist processing a breakup and meditating on the piano music of Ryuichi Sakamoto. Haven't we all been there? If you already bought the new BEYONCE album 'Cowboy Carter' (and that's quite a few of you), I've got some, er, bad news. That wasn't the "Official Version", which is here now, beefed up with a 40 page booklet of unseen photos and art, and a large poster, oh and the incredible cover image of Bey riding side-saddle. A new record from LUPE FIASCO called 'Samurai' proves why he's your favorite rapper's dad's favorite rapper. Longtime R&B studio musician (Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, etc) CHARLIE BEREAL steps out with his own solo album, a luxuriously funky record called '11-11-11' that goes full on Bootsy mode in all the right ways. PREVIOUS INDUSTRIES is a new unit of veteran rappers Video Dave, STILL RIFT, and Open Mike Eagle, all blessed with incredibly quick wits and wordplay, plus a love for the golden era of the shopping mall. 'Service Merchandise' contains odes to such bygone institutions as Showbiz, Zayre's and Babbages. Babbages! Do you think they had a newsletter?
A new album from JOHNNY CASH? But isn't he, you know, not recording anymore? Don't worry, you haven't landed in a parallel universe. The greatest country lyricist of all time is still resting eternally in a better place, but the time has come to release an early 90s album of original Cash material that never saw the light of day, or even the dark of night, as it was rapidly eclipsed by his American Recordings comeback albums. 'Songwriter' is in on limited black and white vinyl. NEIL YOUNG and CRAZY HORSE retreat wayyyy back in the vault for 'Early Daze', a collection of unreleased versions of tunes from 1970, on vinyl for the first time. LORD HURON's 'Strange Trails' turns ten years old with a limited color reissue, plus we've got the 20th Anniversary edition of SUFJAN STEVENS's 'Seven Swans' (hot take: his best album?) on silver vinyl with a bonus flexi disc of demos. Around the time of their breakout albums for 4AD, THE MOUNTAIN GOATS released a small-run lofi LP called 'The Coroner's Gambit' which has gone on to become one of their most sought-after slabs. It's restored in all its home-recorded ramshackle glory with a new edition from Merge this week.
A new jazz-etc album from the Los Angeles quintet SMALL MEDIUM LARGE arrives via the International Anthem label this week and it feels like a record that just sums up the essence of this vital label completely. I guess a lot of IA records do this, it's why the label rules so hard, but this one, boy: the unit of bassist Anna Butterss, synthesist Jeremiah Chiu, saxophonist Josh Johnson, percussionist Booker Stardrum, and guitarist Gregory Uhlmann are making music that moves in all directions but never steps out of line. New York jazz wunderkind JULIUS RODRIGUEZ is magically of the moment on his second album 'Evergreen'; in the New York Times, Me'Shell Ndegeocello is quoted saying Hes what we call auxiliary, he plays everything. Ethereal Afro-cosmic jazztronica thrives on a new meetup by BLACK DECELERANT, 'Reflections Vol. 2', the duo of Khari Lucas and Omari Jazz Addae. The Greek ensemble SOKRATIS VOTSKOS QUARTET channel Shorter and Coltrane, Milcho Leviev and Armenian folk music on the explosive 'Pajko, Fire in the Forest on the Mountain'. A legendary trio of improvisers WILLIAM PARKER, COOPER-MOORE, and HAMID DRAKE come together on a new album that finds them improvising on a host of traditional and homemade instruments, creating timeless, gentle spiritual jazz. A Johannesburg big band led by trombonist MALCOLM JIYANE carries on the tradition of swinging 60s township jazz on 'True Story'.
Vancouver musician Scott Gailey returns to his HOTSPRING alias for a stunning new record for Mood Hut called 'Apodelia', full of poignant minimalist songs that sound like Talk Talk in reduction. Veteran Aussie post-rock trio DIRTY THREE are no strangers to mood, either. 'Love Changes Everything' is their first album in over a dozen years, but it doesn't sound like they've been apart much. Turner, Ellis and White still have the same uncanny knack for drifting, impressionist abstraction and gnashing, poignant noise. If you dig the subliminal slurry of the latest Amen Dunes album, some credit goes to central european producer PANORAM, who has production flourishes all over it. His latest for Balmat is called 'Great Times', and its a brain-bending collection of strange electronic pop, definitely recommended for fans of mid-period OPN or James Ferraro. Oakland slow-core trio SOUR WIDOWS have a new LP called 'Revival Of A Friend' which nails the anguished, slowmotion riffery of Duster or the Spinanes. Veteran post-rock guitarist DANNY PAUL GRODY (Tarentel, The Drift) returns with a lush disc called 'Arc Of Night', while the traditional bluegrass trio of JOSEPH DeCOSIMO, LUKE RICHARDSON, and CLEEK SCHREY scour the psychedelic side of the Appalachians on 'Beehive Cathedral'.
The incomparable CAN live series lands at the 'Saw Delight' era aka the Rosko Gee era with 'Live In Aston 1977', which captures four instant compositions from a fruitful period of transition for the band. Veteran noise-rockers BEAK> continue to outdo themselves with their latest, '>>>>', now in stock. Though known more for their albums, the mighty post-hardcore trio UNWOUND also released a slew of incredible singles, from their blistering punk era to their noise-collage-kraut era. All were compiled on the Kill Rock Stars disc called 'A Single History: 1991-2001', which finally gets a vinyl edition this week from Numero. TURNOVER hands their latest album over to a group of electronic producers for 'Myself in the Way: Remixes', plus we've got represses of long out-of-print records from TEEN SUICIDE and NARROW HEAD.
Colombian group INDUS merge traditional folk forms with pulsating club production on the entrancing new album 'Negra'. Cairo producer DIJIT can make uncanny lofi trip-hop and thunderous trap bangers, all of that and everything in between turns up on his excellent new album 'Wisswass'. Venezuelan "Raptor House" legend DJ BABATR delivers an infectious new EP of piston-pumping bounce called 'The Journey. Brazilian avant-popstress ANA FRANGO ELETRICO's early classic 'Little Electric Chicken Heart' gets its first pressing available in the US. Twin Cities soundsystem FEEL FREE HIFI bring maximum pressure on their latest collection of finetuned avant-dancehall, 'I was so far in I was out', plus we've got a pair of essential LPs from the almight dub producer SCIENTIST: 'Jah Life In Dub' and 'The Dub Album They Didn't Want You To Hear!' It's true, I almost bought that second one for myself just so you couldn't hear it.
The emo-ambient dream team of ULLA & ULTRAFOG returns with the gloriously fuzzy album 'It Means A Lot'. Hermit-like New Zealand tape musician OMIT makes a surprising appearance on the Siltbreeze label with the impenetrably loopy 'InSec'. With his long-running project SKULLFLOWER, guitarist Matthew Bower took the music of My Bloody Valentine and Godflesh and asked "What if this, but really slow, dejected, and bored?" Someone had to do it. He released a handful of great records under the moniker, the undisputed best being 1993's 'Last Shot At Heaven' (best title ever), which gets it's first ever vinyl edition this week. Ohio post-jazz glitch artist KEITH FREUND lands on Soda Gong with the impossible to pin down 'Trash Can Lamb'. Modern noise legend AARON DILLOWAY pays tribute to OG noise legend JOHN CAGE with a rare performance of his tape-loop piece 'Rozart Mix', which required an entire house to create.
The "First Album" by MISS KITTIN & THE HACKER announced a new movement in underground electronic pop that soon bubbled to the surface as electroclash. If you know what I'm talking about, you know you need this new, definitive edition of the album on vinyl with all of its original tracklisting restored. Who better than the ITALIANS DO IT BETTER label to make a tribute to the one and only Ciccone nee MADONNA? The entire IDIB roster goes ham on every corner of her discography here; they even hit "Beautiful Stranger"! UK acid rave pioneer A GUY CALLED GERALD made a major impact with his now-rare 1989 EP 'Trip City', originally conceived as the soundtrack for a book, and now back in print with added versions. Outside of the main hubs of Detroit and Berlin, the best dub techno ever made came out of the unlikely locale of the Dallas, Texas, bedroom of Gerard Hanson aka CONVEXTION. His first two mid-90s EPs are incredibly rare now, and get reissued as a mighty double album on 'R-CNVX2'. 90s IDM kings STASIS & PAUL W. TEEBROOKE return to the vaults for some rare unreleased bleep on 'Time Sensitive', and we've got a welcome repress of the punchy synth-boogie classic 'Private Paradise' by SPACE GHOST.
Last up, some incredible house and techno round us out: a cosmic new album from MAX GRAEF called 'Natural Element'; Thievery Corporation's ERIC HILTON continues his hot streak of brainy downtempo with 'Out Of The Blur'; Northern England's EDMONDSON turns out some lush, Four Tet-ish tech house on 'Vanarama Bar', and we've got some fantastic new avant-garde techno from SIGNIFICANT OTHER on 'When It Rains', the return of the veteran PUB with 'Process The Wise', and an elegantly alien effort from LINA FILIPOVICH called 'Music for an imaginary dancefloor'.

Used Vinyl LP Alert

Here is your weekly update for June 27. We'll pickup where the Thursday night sneak peek video on our @StrictlyDiscs Instagram and Facebook left off. No frills. Just the artists. The rest is for your 500+ fresh-used digging pleasure downstairs. Some of the headliners this week:

Rock/Pop: The Cure, Phill Collins, Badfinger, Bob Dylan & The Band, Jimi Hendrix, Dylan & The Dead, B-52s, Jeff Buckley, Rolling Stones, Dio, Judas Priest, Frank Zappa, The Kinks

Jazz: Special treat this week for the jazz heads...check out the rare 10" jazz bin!

Folk/Country: Waylon Jennings, Emmy Lou Harris, Willie Nelson, Alabama, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton

Contemporary/Hip-Hop: Big Pun, Outkast, Madonna, Chris Stapleton, Culture Club, R.E.M.

Soul/Funk/Blues: WAR, Otis Redding, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Stevie Wonder

Soundtracks: Rainbow Brite, Lost in Translation, The Muppet Movie, Blade Runner

Happy Digging!

Shop our Warehouse HiFi on Reverb

We've been putting in work at our Cambridge warehouse, including inventorying and photographing our HiFi for sale to list on Reverb. We've only got so much space downstairs to sell our gear so we'll be listing the rest at https://reverb.com/shop/strictly-discs. You'll note a focus on turntables, receivers and amps from brands like Marantz, Thorens and Kenwood. Give it a gander as we'll continue to post a little over 100 listings through the end of this week.

And reminder that our HiFi tech Eric Hartz will be downstairs in the shop on Tuesdays from 11 - 3 in June evaluating HiFi buys. If you've got gear you think could use a new home, give us a shout.

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