Recent Favorite New LPs and Reissues

July 16, 2019

A couple of months ago a friend asked me to pick about 16 or so LPs that I thought would be interesting for him to stock in his new record store (Clone Press; opens in Seattle area next week ~ more soon) and he asked me to write a little blurb for them for him to post on the stock. I realized they reflected some of my favorite finds, mostly of 2019 so far (some from 2018 that are new to me) as I had to try and make a list of still in print vinyl that he could easily get from a distributor.

Here's my 16 and write up/praise/ blurbs:

Sarah Louise - Night time birds and morning stars (Thrill Jockey)
This Appalachian psych-folk songstress continues to confound expectations and outdo herself with each record. After firmly establishing herself as a dominant and unique instrumental voice among ‘American Primitive’ acoustic pickers, she then released 2018’s 'Deeper Woods’, an incredible album with stunning vocals and broader arrangements that could sit proudly on the psych-folk shelf next to Espers or Trees. Then the follow up in 2019 with “Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars” took another leap forward and beyond fans’ expectations, flowing effortlessly into a dream state, a landscape of lush avant-garde, electronic proto-New Age and sounds of the world layered into gorgeous sonic imagery. Manipulated electric guitar and organic, fusing layers at times recall Metal Machine Music’s most beautiful flutterings and Popol Vuh’s soaring minimalism.

Chris Zebby Tembo and the Ngozi Family - My Ancestors (Mississippi Records)
Zambian ripper from 1974. Love 70’s Afro party jams? Love over the top imploding fuzz guitar solos? Love international ESL lost psych records? Holy grail of all that right here and delivers fully. This album instantly feels like a rad friend that always has a crazy story from a recent adventure out in the world.

Sunwatchers - Illegal moves (Trouble In Mind)
Mesmerizing blend of 70s Kraut and Prog with ESP-disk/ Actuel Jazz leanings riding above- these Brooklyn misfits spit fierce, infinite rhythms and melodies in the face of authoritarianism. Their unique language is to play intricate, complex progressive music that ends up sounding very primal and at times even no wave/punk at heart.

Alice Coltrane - Eternity (Antarctica Starts Here)
 If you’re not a deep jazz diver, don’t be afraid of Alice Coltrane’s Warner Brothers years. This is one of my favorite of her albums. It begins with Alice ripping moogy, bending synth solos over an orchestra and loping jazz band that’s playing some kind of space-age burlesque tune as if they are trying to get god to pull up his robe, kick up his legs and do an old-timey stripper dance up there in heaven and continues on to maximum AC jazz/ funk/ musical prayer on a path to spiritual ascendence throughout.

Six Organs of Admittance - Octavio Paz  (Hermit Hut)
One of the Six Organs fan favorites, the original vinyl pressing sold out in a single day back in 2003, here it is on vinyl for the first time since, remixed and remastered (label note: updated only for fidelity not content or modernization - originally mixed using a half-broken DAT machine in a basement bedroom in Santa Cruz). ‘For Octavio Paz’ is deeply intimate album, finger picked nylon string guitar at its center, a worthy soundtrack and homage to the great poet. Heavenly Autumnal.

Puro Tayta Shanti (Little Axe)                                                                                                                                                    Wow. If you don’t know what this is and you buy this you will have a new and joyful musical experience. ‘Andean party’ music (spanning the 1960s- 80s) in the way that Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain is a ‘party’ film. Won’t spoil with more words. Must try. Must have.

Ursula K Le Guin & Todd Barton - Music and Poetry of Kesh (Freedom to Spend)
Le Guin’s otherworldly musical creation in collaboration with composer Todd Barton was originally released as a musical companion to her 1985 novel ‘Always Coming Home’ ~ created with invented instruments, invented language and a million miles of imagination and intention. The end product and this wonderful reissue are both at once poetic, beautifully strange, immersive and comfortingly, deeply humane. A unique and wonderful musical experience.

Herbie Hancock - Fat Albert Rotunda (Superior Viaduct)                                                                                                        Quite simply one of the funkiest records ever made. Such joy, groove and just a deep, deep, deep bellbottom funky 1969 world here I’d like to live in forever. Party explodes when Fat Albert hits the deck.

Cruising Soundtrack (Waxwork)
The legendary Jack Nitzsche produced 3 x LP soundtrack (expanded from the soundtracks original 1 x LP release upon film release in the 80s) is a bit of a lost holy grail come home. Includes mind blowing tracks by Mutiny (parliament/funkadelic’s drummer’s short lived group), killer Barre Phillips music and AN ENTIRE LP SIDE of a lost 2nd Germs album. Uh…what?!?! Beautiful artwork, layout and liners and even with the high retail price, if you somehow don’t like this set it will still be worth hundreds of dollars in a year or two to resell to other collector scum, as is the case with most of Waxwork’s super high quality limited edition gems. Win Win.

Doronco Gumo - Old Punks (Holy Mountain)
Les Rallizes fan? This completely overlooked album by the bass player of Les Rallizes on Pac NW’s great Holy Mountain records is a gem. Deconstructed pop and pre-dawn staggering through the wet streets of musical romance, violence and nostalgia. In other words, a demented blind drunk neo-Noir classic complete with a smattering of those floating, electrocuted Les Rallizes guitar solos you love so much.

Rose City Band - S/t (Jean Sandwich)
 Ripley from Wooden Shjips/ Moon Duo’s private press country/ Dead/ choogler solo album. Relaxing, druggy, slow, hot, rural Texas summer day jams to take mushrooms to. Echoing, slurred vocals and infinite brightly colored guitar solos guide the afternoon’s journey that travels into the galactic deep and never leaves the back porch. Essential summer listening for stoners and trippers who love Spacemen 3 and sunny, 70s private press country albums.

Garcia Peoples - Natural Facts (Beyond Beyond Is Beyond records)
 Somehow at once both slightly scrappy and utterly masterful, these North Jersey sons always remind me of SST era Meat Puppets that way; a totally way-back-in-the-parents-garage-home-grown interpretation of jam music, punk, technical prog oddity of their own design and warped musical passion without once looking over their shoulder. And it all comes out in a very natural, real voice all their own.

High Rise - High Rise 2 (black editions)                                                                                                                                     One of the greatest, most blistering rock and roll records of all time and a seminal release from the mind-blowing underground Japanese psychedelic scene of the 1980s.

Arian Shafiee - A Scarlet Fail (VDSQ)                                                                                                                                         This record took me by surprise, I knew nothing about this artist or their music and I found the sounds, the interplay of melody and dissonance, very appealing and creative. It could very well be a great soundtrack to Samuel R Delany’s Dhalgren, in that way, it left me even more curious about what the whole of this thing was after listening than before I started.

Yuzo Iwata - Daylight Moon - (Siltbreeze)
This was certainly a head favorite of 2018, quickly went out of print and left a lot of folks scrambling for a copy just as word of it was reaching out from beyond the deepest, darkest of us Japanese psych nerd’s secret star chambers. Iwata, Philadelphia transplant and expatriate of the Tokyo underground scene and one time member of Maher Shalal Hash Baz, made this beautiful album before passing away in 2018. Fans of PSF and Japanese rock, folk, experimental outsider music from the 70s to present + fractured Velvet Underground half dreams will rejoice. Limited repressing of only 300 copies.

Mary Lattimore & Mac McCaughan -  New Rain Duets (Three Lobed)
I’m having a terrible time getting over this record. I listened to it at home while cooking most days. Then while working AND cooking most days. Then it was on all the time. I must have listened to it 4 times while driving back and forth over the Sawtooth Mountains in fog, rain and snow in May while on vacation. An absolutely incredible pairing with awesome and beautiful landscapes. Might be my most listened to new record of 2019. Masterful, minimal improv and deep, deep psychic geographies.
Sampler playlist: LISTEN