USA

Hedy West was one of the most individual and inspiring folk musicians to grace the North American and European folk scenes. Ace's remastered release of her two solo albums for Vanguard is available for the first time anywhere apart from limited-edition, expensive imports prices or bootlegs. A major restoration to the marketplace, none of this material has ever been released commercially in Europe before. This superlative 32-track Ace release comprises her two ultra-rare solo studio albums for Vanguard in their entirety plus two bonus tracks of illuminating contemporaneous material never heard in public since the original sessions. In addition to the original Vanguard liner notes, folk music historian Ken Hunt (The Independent, fRoots, R2, Sing Out! contributor and consultant to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and more) contributes an original and extensive CD booklet essay to contextualise her life, art and career. Hedy West is among the best women singers of the American folk-song revival. That among is a pretence of objectivity: my private view is that she's by far the best of the lot, was how singer and folklorist Bert Lloyd described her in 1965. Fellside's anthology of Hedy West's UK recordings for Topic, Ballads & Songs From The Appalachians, topped the 2011 Roots Critics Poll in the Reissues and Compilations of the Year category. This Ace anthology consists entirely of her US Vanguard solo album material and duplicates none of the Topic sessions.

Hedy West was born in Georgia in 1938, into a politicised family. Following Klu Klux Klan cross-burning warnings, shortly after moving to New York's bohemian Greenwich Village, the family home was razed to the ground. As Ken Hunt notes, Hedy was a natural. Her voice is eminently suited to the dark lyric content of many of these older songs, with a harsh tonality (not unlike Hazel Dickens or Rosalie Sorrels) that speaks of hard times and struggle. Her banjo (and occasional guitar) provides exemplary accompaniment to her vocals. “Hedy West Volume 1” came out originally in 1963 and “Vol 2” in 1964, the latter year also seeing the first release of the “Mike Seeger” LP (on Fontana in the UK). Both artists attracted critical attention on both sides of the Atlantic for their uncompromising talent. For the new CD versions, there are two bonus tracks on the Hedy West: the previously unissued versions of 'Cotton Mill Girls' and 'Who's Going To Shoe (Them Pretty Little Feet)'. The Mike Seeger is a straight reissue as there are no other outtakes or extra tracks available from the session. Hedy visited the UK and Europe frequently from 1964 onwards, and lived over here for several years, and made an enormous impression on audiences. Talking recently to the acclaimed British singer-songwriter and guitarist Steve Tilston, he told me seeing Hedy perform when he was 16 years old shook his world "I was so taken with her sound that I almost gave up guitar in favour of banjo".

Folk power at its most basic

Hedy West, who died in 2005, was a folk singer whom I long overlooked amongst reading about Joan Baez, Judy Collins and such English folk masters as Anne Briggs, Maddy Prior, June Tabor and Shirley Collins. Whilst I have long been familiar with the difference between English and American folk music, it still surprised me to know of the history of folk singers accompanied by a banjo. A banjo, with its sharp, twangy sound, is ideally suited to the rendition of traditional music, and Hedy West, who spent only a small period on the famous Vanguard label, does not disappoint.

This reissue disc covers two middle 1960s albums titled "Accompanying Herself on the 5-String Banjo" and "Volume 2". The former album, released in 1963, is a superb collection of traditional songs. Highlights are the relatively little-known "Single Girl", which in its demands for and dreams of female independence reminds me of Ani Difranco seven years before Ani was even born, "Erin's Green Shore" similarly rmonatic but sharply powerful in a manner beyond almost all other folk of the time, and "Cotton Mill Girls", which like all good folk music manages to find joy in the most joyless experiences. Then there are songs such as "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie", Hedy's signature tune "500 Miles" and the epic "Brown Girl" (which reflects the dark realities of and conflicts inherent in a racially segregated society). The last few songs on the original first album are not quite so good, but "Letter from Down the Road" remains surprisingly beautiful as Hedy took on a quieter tone than usual, whilst the short "Fare Thee Well" shows skill on the banjo and as bare - and powerful - a vocal tone as any folksinger ever did.

The second album, released in 1964, continued in essentially the same vein as the first, with powerful starkly sang folk piece highlighted by "Lewiston Cotton Mill Girls", "Boston Burglar" and "Anger in the Land". The whole of "Volume Two" had the highly politicised tone that make folk music so favoured by the countercultural movements of the 1960s, but the highly traditional tone and the starkness of West's vocals - there is nothing of the image of women as angels here - militated against its wider acceptance. Nonetheless, this collection is unrivalled for stark power, depth of message, and lacks little for delicacy or even beauty in its own way.

1. Drowsy Sleeper 1:31
2. Cotton Mill Girls 2:21
3. Erin's Green Shore 4:03
4. Shady Grove 1:54
5. Single Girl 3:30
6. Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie 2:45
7. 500 Miles 2:53
8. The Brown Girl 5:11
9. Letter From Down The Road 2:34
10. Little Willie 2:00
11. Sweet Jane 3:12
12. Miner's Farewell 2:06
13. Fragments 2:31
14. Fare Thee Well 1:45
15. Cotton Mill Girls 1:08
16. Boston Burglar 1:58
17. Moonshiner's Lament 1:43
18. Lady Beauty Bright 2:57
19. Pans Of Biscuits 2:31
20. The Little Carpenter 2:15
21. Lewiston Factory Mill Girls 3:09
22. Little Margaret 3:13
23. Don't Go Down That Lonesome Road 1:29
24. Little Old Man Lived Out West 2:17
25. Fair And Tender Ladies 2:31
26. William Hall 1:29
27. Poor Little Lost Baby 1:20
28. Anger In The Land 3:27
29. Run Slave Run 1:29
30. Hubbard 1:22
31. Farther Along 3:05
32. Who's Going To Sho (Them Pretty Little Feet) 2:13

Credits
Vocals, Banjo – Hedy West

Notes
CD Re-issue of Hedy West's debut Albums with previously unissued bouns tracks (15, 32). Original records: Hedy West (Vanguard VRS 9124, 1963); Hedy West Vol. 2 (Vanguard VRS 9162, 1964).

Russia

The Ennio Morricone of Soviet Russia

“Tariverdiev’s eclecticism allows songs to exist apart from the films that inspired them and to speak to Western audiences” -Pitchfork

Following the release of the critically acclaimed ‘Film Music’ box set and ‘Irony Of Fate’, this is Mikael Tariverdiev’s score of 1975’s ‘Olga Sergeevna’.

"Bringing the composer close to recognition in the west, the magisterial score and improvisations are taken from the Soviet TV Film series ‘Olga Sergeevna’ which was directed by Aleksandr Proshkin. Based on a story by Edvard Radzinsky, the show featured several film stars with the lead role of Olga played by screen star Tatiana Doronina. Olga is a marine biologist brought from a small town to Moscow by her mentor. As the story unfolds there’s a tangled web of professional, romantic and emotional relationships with various men.

The main theme of the series is that a woman can dedicate her life to her career and feel satisfied, even when she is not particularly happy in her personal life. In the USSR, and globally, it was a revolutionary concept in the 1970s to set a TV drama around the life of a female scientist. As many critics have noted, his music, like the theme of the TV series, contradicts the lazy prejudice that any popular culture which escaped the Soviet censor could not be ground breaking or the equal of anything being made in the West. The scores improvised baroque jazz inflections were created from improvised pieces lead by Tariverdiev on keyboard, celeste, cimbalon, harpsichord and piano. Here he’s accompanied by Josef Kobzon with the Orchestra of Cinematography conducted by Emin Khachaturian along with double bassist Shakhaliev and Livshin on drums. At the time of its release, Tariverdiev had recently scored the popular ‘Seventeen Moments Of Spring and was about to work on ‘The Irony Of Fate’ when Proshkin submitted music from the score for the Union Of Composers. Having won the award, Tariverdiev travelled to LA to receive it and the offers for further film composition work came flooding in.

Unfortunately, he was not granted permission which was most likely rooted in an act of solidarity with friend and dissident director Mikhail Khalik that eventually saw him banned from the leaving the country for over ten years. In the decade that followed he had become head of the Composer’s Guild of the Soviet Cinematographer’s Union, proclaimed as the People’s Artist of Russia and in 1996 before his death had won 3 Best Composer Nika awards." -Boomkat

1. Faster Than Sound 3:06
2. Movement In Tempo Presto 1:38
3. Morning in the Mountains 4:07
4. Sun In Rain 2:26
5. Memory (Instrumental) 5:28
6. Olga's Melody 3:48
7. Burned Out Nerves 1:51
8. Reflection 2:42
9. Recollection 5:27
10. Movement In E Minor 2:24
11. The Solitude Of The Boat 1:54
12. Harpsichord Rhythm 0:58
13. Nocturne 2:27
14. Don't Disappear (Instrumental) 4:24
15. Moscow Morning 2:04
16. Childhood 2:54
17. Circles On Water 3:54
18. Wanderer 4:13
19. Aria 5:10
20. Longing For Silence 2:50
21. Memory (Vocal) 3:08
22. Appearance 1:50
23. Out Of Shot 2:38
24. Horizon 2:45
25. Mariner 1:27
26. Cloud Land 1:22
27. Vanishing Point 2:16
28. Don't Disappear (Vocal) 3:07

Jamaica

Two classic Big Youth albums on one disc, from the mid-seventies. Natty Cultural Dread features classics such as Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing, Hell Is For Heroes – his swipe at Prince Jazzbo on the same riddim as Hit The Road Jack, Stalag cut Jim Screechie, Every Nigga Is A Star and Keep Your Dread and also contains the epic title track on Gregory Isaacs’ take of Bob Andy’s My Time, the elusive gem I Light & I Salvation and several of his proto-dancehall singjay tunes including his delightfully out of key take on Diana Ross’ Touch Me In The Morning, not a vocoder or auto-tune in sight! Hit The Road Jack contains classics such as the title track, the alternative vocal to Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing entitled here The Way Of Life and the ferociously anti-papal Ten Against One alongside his spirited takes on Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On on the same riddim as Every Nigger Is A Star, Harold Melvin’s Wake Up Everybody.

When it gets hot and muggy, some of the surefire ways to adjust to the severity of climate include shedding all unnecessary clothing, raising the intake on cold beverages, and even submerging oneself in a cool body of water. All no brainers, I know. But along with attempting to beat the heat, a person can also just get into the spirit of the season, and one of the best avenues to that goal is a musical one; simply crank up some prime Jamaican reggae. Natty Cultural Dread, the 1976 LP from the man known as Big Youth, is a particularly fitting soundtrack to sweating it up in the summertime.

The collecting of Jamaican music, especially on LP, can be a rather daunting endeavor. I’ve mentioned this before in relation to other forms/styles, but it bears repeating here; there’s just so much Jamaican material of quality and in so many different, equally enticing subgenres, that getting a handle on the whole heap is at this late date basically beyond anyone not slinging a slush-fund of downright spectacular proportions, to say nothing of the deluxe hutch needed to house all those records once they’ve been acquired.

To continue retracing a theme, it’s situations like this one that expose the completist urge, at least when it’s combined with a diverse musical interest, as sheer folly. But hey, there’s no need to get into a funk about it; just shoot for the essentials, and after that, let the chips fall where they may.

In terms of personal collecting (in contrast to extensive libraries, which have their own allure), it’s the uniqueness of those fallen chips that makes checking out the contents of specific collections so enlightening; a person’s record stash, whether large with experience or small but growing with budding enthusiasm, is as individual as a thumbprint and yet (hopefully) in a state of perpetual growth.

And just as interesting will be the varying responses to the nature of the “essential.” Writers and gabbers on music (and art in general) often employ the term as an objective truth that’s in accord with the dictionary definition of the word, but no matter how much writing and gabbing gets done, there’s no denying the inherent subjectivity of art. Everybody responds to music differently, which is why so much ink and breath accompanies its creation.

Take Manley Augustus Buchanan, for example. The man renowned far and wide as Big Youth is commonly regarded as an essential reggae figure. At least I’ve yet to encounter any quibble with this assessment of his overall significance. For in the toasting deejay development arena, there’s really no argument; guys like U-Roy, Dennis Alcapone, King Stitt, and I-Roy may have been the pioneers, but after some early chart struggles, Big Youth achieved a massive commercial breakthrough in the 1970s.

The era of this good fortune has additionally taken on a retrospective critical evaluation as the “essential” period of Big Youth’s career, and that’s where the situation gets a bit stickier. For while ‘72’s brilliant debut LP Screaming Target and ‘75’s killer Dread Locks Dread album (featuring the outstanding Skin, Flesh & Bones band) inspire a lot advocacy, most of his other work from the decade has been doled out on compilations.

On one hand that’s no shocker, for the cat released a whole mess of singles and in a relatively short span. And a few of those comps have done a very nice job of corralling his prolificacy into one easy to access location, multi-disc sets like Tell it Black and Blood & Fire’s exquisite Natty Universal Dread specifically, but in the 21st century it seems that only Ride Like Lightning, a selection of recordings from ’72-‘73, has made it onto vinyl.

And on the subject of the original LPs, a few of Big Youth’s major statements from his prime, while not heinously neglected, have also suffered a bit beside Screaming Target’s first-album status and Dread Locks Dread’s higher than usual profile (it received a lot of distribution, including pressings from Epic and Virgin.) I’m thinking mainly of two discs issued by cornerstone reggae imprint Trojan in 1976, the very spiffy Hit the Road Jack and the even better Natty Cultural Dread.

While the former goes down smooth as a mid-July gin-and-tonic and includes a handful of strong reggae-fications of sturdy sources (not only the Percy Mayfield-penned Ray Charles-derived monster that supplies the LP with its title-track, but also Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ “Wake Up Everybody”) plus a slick reading of the Marley-Tosh warhorse “Get Up, Stand Up” in the bargain, to these ears Natty Cultural Dread surpasses it, mainly because it’s a weirder album.

It also possesses a humid thickness right out of the gate with opener “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.” While loaded with sly horn lines and some very welcome touches of piano, there is also a tough, dense, and mildly echoing rhythmic orientation, the track hitting a spot that’ll satisfy fans of reggae’s in-the-pocket instrumental approach along with massaging the muscles of those who like to dive deep into the steamy oceans of dub style.

And this sets side one’s overall tone. The title-cut holds a considerable level of appealingly spacey vocal effects, but the playing that accompanies Big Youth, while also lightly kissed with out-there studio-technique, never plunges full-on into the strange sponginess of uncut dub. Which makes a lot of sense; this is a toaster’s record, after all.

But if lacking the zonked-overload of dubbed-out kingpins like Lee “Scratch” Perry and King Tubby, Natty Cultural Dread, as stated, is still mightily oddball at times. Unlike reggae ambassadors Marley, Tosh, and Cliff, Big Youth’s widespread popularity, at least at this stage, resided mainly at home and in the UK (I’m not positive, but I think all his ‘70s work was an import-only affair in the US), so this lacks the constraining mellowness found on some of the genre’s crossover successes.

Instead, “Hell is For Heroes” has a bass line that’s as deep as it is slinky, a stream of vocals that are both catchy and loose (and yes, occasionally echo-ed out) in delivery, spry sprinkles of chukka-chukka guitar, and rich keyboard comping, and a horn fanfare that intermittently floats in from left field to spice up the atmosphere. The end result is a warm groove with a wide palate, and things don’t falter from there.

Actually, the situation gets considerably more whacked-out. “Jim Squashey” (also known as “Jim Screechy”) finds Big Youth lyrically ruminating in a rather bent manner over the death of John Coltrane, and after a long personal relationship with the song, I’m still far from sure exactly what he’s on about. But that’s not a bad thing, for it’s the exploration of twisted terrain such as this that helps make reggae such a fulfilling musical form.

You wanna slow dance? Hey, who doesn’t, right? Well, “Touch Me in the Morning”’s got a whole lotta something for just that jones, Big Youth landing smack dab in a love-spot with some superb crooning. That ends side one, but the flip opens with some righteous uplift via a cover of “Every Nigger is a Star,” a deep-soul obscurity (unsurprising, given its title) by Jamaican singer Boris Gardiner that’s sourced from a little-known Blaxploitation film of the same name (well, ditto.)

Femme backup singers slide onto the scene in a grandly unwinding dialogue with the vocalist that lacks the original’s lush conception, and the track enhances Big Youth’s rep as a socially-motivated artist in a major way. From there, “I Love the Way You Love” continues the singer’s exploration of romantic concerns, and it’s one of the album’s sprightliest numbers that tosses in some ginchy guitar burn for good measure.

But Natty Cultural Dread’s biggest gesture in the direction of lovey-dovey stuff comes with a cover of Leon Haywood’s “The Day I Laid My Eyes on You.” Sporting the record’s most popish vibe along with tasteful harmonica and a crisp-and-clean little guitar solo, the song adds to Big Youth’s range and without doing any harm to the disc’s overall cohesiveness; there’s something here for just about anyone that ranks themselves a reggae fan, but the LP is still a tidy statement from a deejay that held court in a plethora of packed halls.

“Keep Your Dread” diverts back into more dub-friendly (and socially relevant) environs, but the most notable aspect of the tune (at least instrumentally) is the arrival of some choppy organ playing. “I Light and I Salvation” continues on this route until it hits the album’s end groove. And I’ve never been able to decide if it’s harmonica or melodica on the cut (my Trojan LP isn’t exactly rife with liner info), but no matter; an enriching Augustus Pablo-like scenario does unravel and provides a sweet concluding statement to a classic record.

But is Natty Cultural Dread as classically scaled as the more celebrated Screaming Target and Dread Locks Dread? In a word: no. However, this record makes up for its lack of historical heftiness with an everyday reliability directly related to Big Youth’s firing on full creative cylinders, so don’t be surprised if it sneaks up and hands you your keister.

And right about now, when just thinking about taking a stroll in the sunshine is enough to make me perspire like a pig in a serious pickle, Natty Cultural Dread feels pretty damned “essential” to these ears. -Joseph Neff

Natty Cultural Dread
1. Wolf In Sheeps Clothing 3:10
2. Natty Cultural Dread 2:59
3. Hell Is For Heroes 3:23
4. Jim Screechie 3:19
5. Touch Me In The Morning 3:53
6. Every Nigger Is A Star 3:34
7. I Love The Way You Love Me 3:24
8. Day I Laid My Eyes On You 3:19
9. Keep Your Dread 2:20
10. I Light And I Salvation 2:55
Hit The Road Jack
11. What's Going On 3:38
12. Hit The Road Jack 3:11
13. Wake Up Everybody  3:51
14. Get Up Stand Up 3:27
15. Jah Man Of Syreen 3:28
16. Ten Against One 2:49
17. Hotter Fire 3:34
18. The Way Of Life 3:00
19. Dread High Ranking 3:10
20. Dread Is The Best 3:09

Detroit

C-L-A-S-S-I-C deep jazz masterpiece on the cult indy label Tribe out of Detroit. This is essential leftfield jazz with vocals and a soul music influence - as deep as it gets. Very highly recommended.

An incredible session from the legendary Tribe Records scene – an equal effort from leader Doug Hammond and keyboardist David Durrah, who contributes some groundbreaking Fender Rhodes and moog work to the set. Hammond handles drums plus a bit of vocals and synthesizer on the session – working alongside Durrah in a groove that mixes electric and acoustic instrumentation into a totally righteous sound with lots of heavy Afro Jazz leanings. A number of tracks feature great vocals from Hammond – righteous, and with a beautifully souful message-oriented approach – and a few other tracks, such as the classic "Space I" and "Space II", feature a sparer all-electric sound. The whole thing's wonderful – skittishly rhythmic, warmly flowing, and righteously beautiful. -Dustygroove

1. Fidalgo Detour 7:37
2. Space II 0:43
3. Wake Up Brothers 3:13
4. Reflections 4:30
5. For Real 3:04
6. Space I 2:08
7. Sea Of Nurnen 4:43
8. Moves 4:34
9. Venus Fly Trap 2:52
10. Kai 3:54

England

Simultaneous Flight Movement is Laura Cannell's third solo release, following her critically acclaimed Beneath Swooping Talons (FANF 036CD, 2015) and Quick Sparrows Over the Black Earth (2014). Simultaneous Flight Movement was recorded live in one take inside Southwold Lighthouse in Suffolk, UK. A collection of semi-composed, semi-improvised pieces from the edge of England which attempts to move away from formal structure and to re-imagine a sonic landscape unrestricted by time or origin. With a background in medieval, baroque, traditional and experimental music, Laura explores the spaces between ancient and experimental music through improvisation to create new music that is rooted in but not tethered to the past. With the seldom used, rich and evocative polyphonic overbow technique and double recorders styled on early stone carvings, Laura creates a minimalist chamber music, where one player makes all the harmonies, encouraging harmonics and different tones to emerge. Medieval cantigas intertwine with the music of long disintegrated renaissance courts, and real-time compositions produce parallel chord movements which seem to originate from the same, ahistorical place.

At certain times of the year, one of the most spectacular sights to behold (if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Britain’s East Anglia) is the flocking of birds along the coast. As if guided by an overseeing hand, swallows or sea birds gather in vast numbers, seemingly describing images and shapes in the sky (different depending on which sort of birds you witness, of course). Bird flight is the overarching theme of Norfolk-based fiddler and recorder-player Laura Cannell, as outlined by the very titles of her albums, from her stunning 2014 debut Quick Sparrows over the Black Earth to this latest work, Simultaneous Flight Movement, with her semi-improvised takes on medieval folk mirroring the swoops and flurries of local bird life.

Quick Sparrows… was centred on the relationships between birds and the land, and was therefore more overtly folky, while its follow-up, Beneath Swooping Talons captured the underlying tensions and violence of birds of prey. Simultaneous Flight Movement, which tracks the flights of coastal avians, is more elaborate and allusive than those two albums, Cannell’s bow slides and recorder notes tracing the outlines of wings and the movement of bodies. Most intriguing is her work on dual recorders, an unusual musical approach these days: on the two previous albums, the tracks featuring recorders were almost abrasive, applying the structure of free improv as much as anything. Here, the focus is on melody, elevating this most underappreciated of instruments to the elegance of a flute or trumpet on tracks like ‘The Happiness of Both Worldes’ and ‘Interrelations of Diverse Emotions’. Cannell also takes a bold step in opening with the recorders on ‘Winter Saltings’, the trilling notes echoing the songs and calls of starlings or larks.

Fiddle remains Cannell’s instrument of predilection, however, and her use of it is as idiosyncratic as with the recorders, often loosening the strings of the bow to slide it over the fiddle’s neck. The resultant overbowed notes are deeply resonant, with an almost harmonium-like droning undercurrent. ‘Horselore’ builds and builds skywards, whilst “A New Theory of Eclipse” is more swooping, with the notes seesawing in and out of focus. Again, bird metaphors abound, but one can just as easily drink in this music without any context. Much is made of the contextuality of “historic” music of the sort played by Cannell, but she projects it into a broader continuum that feels both ancient and modern at once, from the haunting folk of ‘Sheltering Hollows’ to the improv and jazz flourishing that dominate on ‘A New Theory of Eclipse’ and ‘Three Stones’.

Just as crucial to the music is where it was recorded: Laura Cannell created (“recorded” feels too technical for music this organic) Simultaneous Flight Movement in one take, live, inside a 19th-century lighthouse in the Suffolk town of Southwold, and the cold air and the empty vastness of the space both contribute to the resonance and slight intangibility of her work, amplifying both fiddle and recorders as the notes echo through the ether. It also adds to the sense of location and place, as anyone familiar with that part of the world will have a mind’s eye vision of the expansive coastline, choppy seas and, yes, the birds.

Comparing Simultaneous Flight Movement to either of Laura Cannell’s previous albums would be inappropriate because her body of work needs to be taken as a whole broken into chapters rather than a series of missives, but it represents another step on a fascinating, rich and unique musical journey. -Joseph Burnett

1. Winter Saltings 3:37
2. Simultaneous Flight Movement 2:04
3. Horselore 4:28
4. A New Theory of Eclipse 4:08
5. The Happiness of Both Worldes, Pt. 1 2:31
6. The Happiness of Both Worldes, Pt. 2 2:34
7. Sheltering Hollows 5:15
8. You Have Departed 3:28
9. The Sudwulf 3:30
10. Interrelation of Diverse Emotions 2:07
11. Three Stones 4:12
12. Fragments from Summer Saltings 4:21
13. Call to Alms 3:42
14. Buried Woodland 3:53

Notes
Laura Cannell - Fiddle / Overbow Fiddle, Recorder / Double Recorders

Mastered by Mark Beazley

Southeast Asia

Since the end of the 90s, Laurent Jeanneau, has been recording the music of mostly endangered minorities of South East Asia. Alongside his relentless pursue of remote exotic and unpublished musical traditions, he also creates electronic versions by combining raw recordings with natural sounds, archive material and electronically treated sounds. For Gongs, Laurent returns to his soundscape approach not seen since the Xinjiang LP (2011) and develops his unique re-versions around the extensive Gong recordings he made on location in the remote regions of Cambodia & Laos. All tracks were recorded on location and re-arranged by Laurent Jeanneau in Dali, Paris & Berlin.

Over the years Jeanneau has become an expert of Gong orchestras of South East Asia, releasing in 2014 a double LP highlighting the different tonalities and resonances inherent to this kind of animistic ceremonies of the Asian Sub Continent (Gongs of Cambodia, Kink Gong recs, 2014). The compositions on this LP deform, re-assemble and distort said recordings.  They contain unedited acoustic recordings, computer modified parts, sound collages and acoustic recordings of people and instruments.

1. gongAside 19:04
2. gongBside 17:54

Kink Gong aka Laurent Jeanneau is a Field Recording artist based in Dali, China. He spends his time recording ethnic minority music, mostly in Southeast Asia and releasing the results on his own CDr label, Kink Gong Recordings as well as occasionally contributing to Sublime Frequencies compilations. He also composes electronic music that includes and transforms those recordings. For Xinjiang, Laurent based his soundscape around the recordings he made on a 2009 trip to the frontier region of Northern China, Xinjiang. Spreading from Mongolia to Afghanistan, it is the biggest Chinese province. From various locally made recordings, including Kazakh Dongbra jams, Uyghur Dotar riffs and various regional radio interferences, Laurent constructed a melting pot of ethnic related weirdness packed with mind blowing virtuoso recordings. 
Simple and beautiful, this music makes people fall into visionary reality.

PRESS:

''Beguiling, fragmented collages of exotic voices and instrumentation knitted together with filigree electro-acoustic processing. Always singular thanks to his precious, compelling palate of otherworldly source material.'' (Boomkat)

''Keep coming back to this stunning record. Turning out to be one of my favs of the year so far. A most enjoyable listening experience.'' Jeremy Bible (Experimedia)

1. At (Horse) 11:52
2. Khosa (Sheep) 9:54
3. Kikzu (Kazakh Hut) 15:16

USA

Hideously rare private press Jazz LP recorded by a group of Westcoast teenagers circa 1968. This band played 4 great jazz funk tunes. A real masterpiece. Don't miss it.

''This release has been blocked from sale in the marketplace. It is not permitted to sell this item on Discogs.''

For a fan of the funk, there are so many different musical avenues to pursue. There is the jazz –funk. There is New Orleans funk. There is soul jazz. There is modern hip-hop. The list is endless. No matter the type of funk desired, there always exists one large problem – accessibility. Many of the rarer funk classics from the 1970s have been virtually lost in time. Many albums were not massed produced while many others have been scratched beyond belief by modern DJs (no hard feelings!). The problem of availability has been solved by San Francisco’s Ubiquity Label. Through is own subsidiary of Luv N Haight Records, the folks at Ubiquity have re-released some funk curios from deep within the annals of funk history.

Even better, Luv N Haight covers many different stages of the funk: disco, Boogaloo, jazz-funk, Latin-funk and Soul-funk. They have found them all. To anybody who grew up during the 1970s, the tunes that comprise these re-releases will immediately become familiar. For those who never experienced the 1970s but can identify a slinky groove, you will want to take a step into a time machine.

The Jazz Symphonics/Beginning

When pianist Larry Nash and drummer Woodrow Theus were just thirteen years old, they sat in an old garage with beat up equipment and started a band. The two were soon joined by fellow teenagers – percussionist Tony Poinsett, saxophonist Herman Burns and bassist Robert Miranda. Together these youthful musicians formed the Jazz Symphonics and played their first gig for a dollar each.

Beginning is the aptly titled debut album for Jazz Symphonics. After this release, the teens rose to relative stardom in the Los Angeles area. They were the feature band at the Tropicana and they shared the stage with jazz greats such as Kenny Burrell and Willie Bobo. The opening tune, Athena, which is said to be tribute to the Greek God is more of a tribute to a Latin or Cuban god. After hearing this song, there is little doubt why the Jazz Symphonics shared the stage with Latin wizard Willie Bobo. The band continues with their Greek tribute by pairing Athena up with Apollo. Except for Woodrow Theus’ Fresh Egg Boxes, all of the tunes on Beginning were written by Larry Nash. In addition to his compositional skills, Nash is also quite the piano playing protege. Unlike the other re-issues that comprise the Luv N Haight series, the Jazz Symphonics remain true to the jazz form.. The band started out as an R&B band then they switched over to jazz. They somehow made that switch without bringing too many R&B influences with them. Unfortunately for the CD generation of music lovers, Beginning seems to be the only example of the Jazz Symphonics to be heard. Fortunately, Luv N Haight Records took the initiative to seek out this great album. -Brian L. Knight

1. Athena 8:41
2. Apollo 9:50
3. Fresh Egg Boxes 6:58
4. Weird Sisters 13:40

Notes
Incl. booklet

Released 1968
Genre: Jazz
Style: Bop, Free Jazz, Jazzdance, Modal

Peru

KEY POINTS
• For fans of jazz, Latin and cumbia as well as tropical-minded DJs and deep-digging collectors.
• The frst in a three part regional series of albums exploring Peru’s diverse musical heritage.
• Almost all tracks see their frst ever release since their original pressing in Peru.
• Martin Morales is the chef, restaurateur and founder of Peruvian restaurants, Ceviche and Andina in London. Martin is a pioneer of Peruvian food in Britain and is the GQ Food & Drinks 2017 Innovator of the Year award winner.
• ANDINA is also the cookbook from the award winning restaurant based in London published early October.
• Tiger’s Milk specialises in uncovering Peruvian music past and present. Previous compilations include Peru Maravilloso, Peru Bravo and Peru Boom.

A window into the full-blooded, captivating spirit of music from the Andes, ANDINA shines a fresh perspective on Peru’s multifaceted heritage. A co-release with Strut Records, the album is selected from records originally released between '68 and ‘78, upending clichéd ideas of Andean music and bringing to light the divergent, exciting traditions to have emerged from Peru’s strip of the iconic mountain range. Encompassing steady-grooving, Peruvian cumbia rhythms, transcendent folkloric harp recordings and Lima big band groups taking influence from their highland neighbours, it boasts a diversity that will appeal to fans of jazz and Latin as well as tropical-minded DJs and deep-digging collectors. 

ANDINA was never intended to be a definitive overview of Andean music.The selection sees the debut release of many tracks (since their original vinyl release on Peruvian labels like Iempsa, Sono Radio and El Virrey) and reflects, what we think are, the most exciting insights into Andean musical culture. Not restricted to bands based in the Andes, there are entries from outsiders, in particular from the coastal city of Lima, artists who took cues from their compatriots in the mountains. The sound most represented is that of Peruvian cumbia where groups imbued a tropical, Colombian style with Andean huayno rhythms and rock-influenced electric guitars. The album also reflects the huge numbers of traditional folk records released during this era that left a bounty of atmospheric, harp-plucked huayno and carnaval to be discovered. 

An avid DJ and record collector, Martin Morales (Ceviche/Andina) has once again teamed up with Tiger’s Milk co-founder Duncan Ballantyne (former Soundway label manager) and Peruvian crate digger Andres Tapia del Rio to create a series which starts with ANDINA but will later include discoveries from the Amazon and the coast of Peru. 

Reflecting on his connection to the Andes, Martin Morales remembers: “Growing up in the coastal city of Lima, it was my grandmother who kept our family’s connection to the mountains alive. Our visits to her home high up in the Andes in the province of La Libertad and the fascinating 18 hour trips we made to reach her passing through villages and towns, sounds and flavours, imparted in me a strong sense of the Andes’ traditions, creativity and rich artistic textures.” The Andes’ different cultures have resulted in a myriad of ever-evolving hybrids as shown by this collection, which opens the door onto just a few of its most fascinating musical examples. 

Tiger’s Milk Records is part of Ceviche and Andina, launched by award-winning Peruvian chef, DJ, music and art collector and restaurateur Martin Morales in 2012. It encompasses 4 award-winning London restaurants, a record label, an art gallery and works alongside a charity called Amantani.

1. Los Demonios Del Mantaro - La Chichera 2:51
2. Los Compadres Del Ande - Los Compadres Del Ande - La Mecedora 2:21
3. Los Walker’s de Huánuco - Todos Vuelven 2:59
4. La Peruanita - Recuerda Corazón 2:46
5. Los Bárbaros Del Centro - Loca Loquita 2:50
6. Los Compadres Del Ande - El Lorcho 2:31
7. Los Bilbao - Zelenita del Año 2000 3:00
8. Manolo Avalos - Rio de Paria 2:15
9. Lucho Neves Y Su Orquesta - Caymeñita 3:06
10. Los Jelwees - Descarga Huanuqueña 3:11
11. Los Sabios Del Ritmo - Cholita 3:05
12. Alicia Maguiña con Mario Cavagnaro y su Sonora Sensación - Perla Andina 2:48
13. Conjunto Los Luceritos De Casacancha - Mi Casacancha 2:40
14. Huiro Y Su Conjunto - Cumbia en los Andes 3:28
15. Los Turistas Del Mantaro - Agua Dulce 2:42
16. Los Bárbaros Del Centro - La Celosa 3:05
17. Conjunto Kori Cinta de Huancavelica - Toyascha 2:47

Jamaica

Arguably the heaviest hitting of the quartet of albums U-Roy recorded with producer Tony Robinson, Rasta Ambassador's musician credits read like a best of the era list. The Riddim Twins Sly & Robbie, percussionist Sticky, pianist Ansel Collins, synth player Earl Lindo, and vocal group the Gladiators are just the some of the 15 guest stars that filled the Harry J Studios during the recording. Needless to say, this dream team created an extraordinary classic roots reggae album, with Robinson's love of reverb adding a throbbing, deep dub feel. At the same time, the backing vocals, in best rocksteady harmonizing style, provide a link with Jamaica's past, notably on "Say You" and a re-recorded "The Tide Is High." Equally impressive is the recut "Wear You to the Ball," where the deep dub beats are juxtaposed against Collins' simple piano melody and the Gladiators' sedate sweet vocals are played off against the DJ's more excited delivery. Counterpointing these versions of '60s gems are the newer, pure roots songs like "Evil Doers," which showcases some of Sly & Robbie's fattest rhythms, and U-Roy's rap becomes one with the beats. A dub-heavy version of the Wailers' "Small Axe" made quite a splash at the time, but the DJ delivers much more powerful performances on "No More War" and "Jah Jah," tongue-tying toasts that ride the rhythms like a Grand Prix driver. Rasta Ambassador remains a masterful album, a seminal blend of past and present, roots and rocksteady, this is U-Roy at his best, accompanied by a group that is yet to be beat. -AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene

1. Control Tower 3:41
2. Wear You To The Ball 2:58
3. Evil Doers 3:48
4. Mr Slave Driver 3:48
5. Small Axe 5:24
6. Come Home Little Girl 3:39
7. Say You 4:08
8. No More War 3:41
9. Tide Is High 4:27
10. Jah Jah 4:21

Notes
Produced by Tony Robinson.
Recorded at Harry J Studios.
Originally released in 1977.

Jamaica

Big Youth, the great jamaican deejay phenomenon captured in 31 songs, most of them from his best work: Screaming Target.

A spectacular two-CD compilation stuffed to the gills with hits, seminal early singles, and crucial cuts. Tell It Black rounds up 31 songs, all recorded between 1972 and 1975 for a variety of different producers, and showcases Big Youth at his undisputed height. Even two albums aren't enough to fit in all the chart-busters but, bar the inevitable omission of Prince Buster productions, it's an excellent overview. From such early singles as "Moving," "Fire Bunn," and the title track (produced respectively by Lee Perry, Niney Holness, and Phil Pratt), to his first hit, "The Killer," cut for Gussie Clarke, to his first Jamaican number one, the Keith Hudson-overseen "S.90 Skank," and on across a glittering string of further successes, this album has it all. The DJ cut singles for all the island's best producers, not just the aforementioned, but also the likes of Joe Gibbs, Sonia Pottinger, Tony Robinson, Glen Brown, and many more, and most are represented within. Working with nothing less than classic rhythms, once Big Youth conquered the chart, he then occupied it like an invading army. At one time the DJ had a staggering seven singles there at the same time, and his songs had longevity; in 1973, for example, four hung in the Top 20 for the entire year. Two of those, "Screaming Target" and "A So We Stay," are included. You'll also find such other fabulous songs as "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing," "Tippertone Rock," "Natty No Jester," and "Reggae Phenomenon." The latter versioned Dennis Brown's "Money in My Pocket" and the liner notes helpfully identify many of the original rhythms the DJ toasted over. Few had the ability to ride the rhythms like Big Youth, and his wonderful singsong vocals continue to enthrall. There are few better introductions to the DJ than this. -AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene

From Joe:

I don't know how we're gonna break the dj deadlock, and I'm not sure I care - I'm just going to use this opportunity to indulge my great love for the original dreadlocks, who indelibly put his stamp on all dj that came after.

Why Big Youth?

Big Youth shares plenty stylistically with the other toasters of his era like U Roy, I Roy, and Dennis Alcapone. But beyond bouncy rhyming, clever lyrics punctuated with shouts over the best rock steady and reggae cuts of early 1970s, Big Youth had something else - or lots of other things. He had a unique chanting style that was somewhere between talking and singing that was repetitive and meditative, but also spontaneous, unpredictable and sometimes choppy.

Very early on he interwove rasta spirituality (some say he was the first openly dread performer in Jamaican music), local politics, pop cultural references (everything from Spiderman to Billy Jack), and gutteral sounds. In these ways he reflected a kind of anarchic, psychadelic vibe that his forebears hadn't yet developed.

I think it is why the punks, like Johnny Rotten (and later Sonic Youth and others) dug him so much. He was equally loved at home of course, where his populist credentials and attention to crucial runnings earned him the street name "the human gleaner."

Big Youth and Johnny Rotten, The Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, 1978.
But while he differed from the first generation of dj, Big Youth is also rooted in the Kingston ghettos of the 1970s and therefore different from what came after. Have yu noticed that almost all of our cuts for this extended round have come out of either London or New York?

Those scenes exploded with dj music in the 80s in part because of an exodus of artists from Jamaica in the 70s, but also because they reflected the creative tension that emerged from the second-generation immigrant experience primarily in England but also in America. As such it has a very different feel than 70s toasting and dj. But even the dj coming from Jamaica had a different feel musically and politically. Much of 80s dj is poppy, and often kind of light (think of the biggies - Tippa Irie, Michigan and Smiley, Eastwood and Saint, etc.)

Big Youth, on the other hand, is anchored in a slow, heavy jamaican vibe in a time when Kingston was a very heavy and heavily politicized place - reflected in such songs as "Greenbay Killing." His chants are often goofy too - but that loose-limbed playfulness takes place within a dread groove musically and socially. In this way he prefigures 80s dj but is distinct from it.  

Why S 90 Skank?

This awesome song was a huge hit for Jah Youth as well as the debut moment for the great talents of producer Keith Hudson. From the opening rev of the japanese motorbike for which it's named, it is all Big Youth - sweet, rocking chants and big exclamations. It is dead-on with Hudson's sparse and understated dub style.

If ya ride like lightening, ya crash like thunder! 

Disc 1
1. (Keep On) Moving Version 3:01
2. S 90 Skank 2:51
3. Fire Bunn 3:24
4. Concrete Jungle 3:49
5. Screaming Target 3:38
6. Pride and Joy Rock 2:36
7. Be Careful 3:35
8. Tippertone Rock 3:26
9. One of These Fine Days 3:03
10. The Killer 2:27
11. Solomon A Gunday 3:09
12. Honesty 2:38
13. I Am Alright 2:42
14. Lee A Low 2:18
15. Facts of Life 3:05
16. Forman Versus Frazier 2:41

Disc 2
1. A So We Stay 2:42
2. Opportunity Rock 2:34
3. Reggae Phenomenon 2:16
4. Weeping in the Night 3:13
5. Tell It Black 3:07
6. Phil Pratt Thing 3:12
7. Johnny Reggae 2:44
8. Mammy Hot Daddy Cool 3:08
9. Hit the Road Jack 3:06
10. Give Praises 3:58
11. Wolf in Sheep's Clothing 2:57
12. Kip-Ki-Do 2:43
13. Riverton City 3:08
14. Notty No Jester 2:52
15. Get Up Stand Up 3:23

Note
Incl. booklet

Nigeria

It took the Dutch to assemble a decent compilation of Nigerian highlife, the r&b-ish horn-and-guitar music that came over from Kenya with founding father E.T. Mensah in the '50s. Less brassily arranged than Congolese rumba, these four-minute classics from the style's masters skip all over the past decade-plus yet mesh as gentle pop epiphanies for untrained ears. Many feature sax solos almost as laggardly as the gritty, half-conversational singing exemplified by patriarch Dr. Victor Olaiya. Both elements pulling against effervescent guitar hooks and the lift of multiple drums in indigenous patterns I couldn't begin to specify, with the pleasinigly received guitar solos occupying a middle ground where the music resolves. Though such generalizations don't hint at the reggae side trips and rock steals and best-selling vocals also present, they do sum up the music's sky-above-mud-below tension--an animistic charge that doesn't demand a literal belief in anybody's or anything's soul. -Robert Christgau

1. Sir Victor Uwaifo & His Melody Maestroes - Ekassa 24 (Kirikisi) 3:52
2. Gentleman Mike Ejeagha & His Premier Dance Band - Obiako Nnwam (Omenani No.2) 3:38
3. Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe - Onu Kwulunjo 4:31
4. Victor Awaifo And The Titibitis - Five Days A Week Love 4:36
5. Dr Victor Olaiya - Ewa 3:04
6. Cardinal Rex Lawson & His Majors Band Of Nigeria - Tamuno Bo Ibro Ma 3:05
7. Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe & His Nigeria Sound Makers International - Odindu Nyuliba 3:20
8. Prince Nico Mbarga And His New Rocafil Jazz - Let Them Say 4:11
9. Celestine Ukwu & His Philosophers National - Igede (Part 1) 4:00
10. Dr. Victor Olaiya & His International All Stars Band - Mo Fe Mu'Yan 4:51
11. Martha Ulaeto - Ndito Isong Amana Nyin 4:43

Note
Incl. booklet

Re-Up

guys, i will re-up

asiko rock group
freddie scott
john fahey
orlando julius & ashiko
star band number one
yalla

compressed into a .zip format using 7-Zip

Amigos de musica,
Files have been re-upped. Is it working well for you now?

Nigeria

Official reissue of one of the hardest to find albums by the Afro Soul maestro, a pure Afro Funk spiritual grail from 1978!

Born in 1943 in Ikole-Ekiti in Ondo State, Nigeria, Orlando Julius Ekemode (“Orlando was really a nickname, taken from the Nigerian actor, Orlando Martins“) had started in music from an early age, becoming the school drummer and learning flute, bugle and other instruments at St Peters Anglican School in Ikole-Ekiti. Nigerian musician, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is credited as one of the first musicians to fuse US R&B into traditional highlife music, creating his own influential Afrobeat sound during the mid-‘60s. From his time playing in the USA during the 1970s onwards, he is credited with bringing African music to a broader audience and famously co- composed the song ‘Going Back To My Roots’ with Lamont Dozier. In 1978, Orlando Julius Ekemode decided to produce himself this amazing session, originally recorded between Maryland and West Virginia (USA ) and released in limited quantity in Nigeria by the obscure label Jungle records. 6 stunning monster Afro Funk tracks, recorded by 8 musicians based in Oakland. Fully licensed with the artist and remastered by Carvery. Essential!

An unusual album from Afro Funk legend Orlando Julius – in that it was recorded in the US, and definitely has the groove to match. The style here is right up there with the best American underground funk of the time – and the record has a groove that really mixes up African roots and more conventional funky instrumentation – maybe a bit like the Lafayette Afro Rock Band at their best, with a really freewheeling approach to rhythm, and as much strength on the instrumentation as the vocals. The back cover has a picture of Julius and his Ashiko group looking very badass in Oakland – and the vibe of the album really lives up to that photo – on cuts that include "Get The Funk", "Ashiko", "Crystal Pleasure", "Oyetoff Super Hot", and "Awade". -dustygroove

In 1978 Orlando Julius released the groundbreaking afrobeat/funk album Love Peace and Happiness. The album was a true show of historic genre-breaking.

With this kind of music it is very easy to forget that it started somewhere. For the modern listener the fusion or cross cultural idea is almost normal; it’s crazy to imagine music not being like it. But contextually, Paul Simon’s Graceland– an album renowned for bridging genres and countries- was released in 1986, some YEARS after Julius’s album. Furthermore, Love Peace and Happiness is arguably more culturally significant. The furthest that Modern Western music had dabbled in African music was the blues and rock and roll; with Julius it was groundbreaking. The soulful voice, brass section and Western elements combine with the African rhythms and dense accompanying vocals to make something really special, and so important.

When you listen to Love Peace and Happiness, it is really hard to imagine that nothing like this had really existed before. The album is rich with other sounds of the time, you can hear Stevie Wonder, KC and the Sunshine Band, Earth Wind and Fire, throughout, and Julius’s work really stands up next to these other great artists. Needless to say, the album is lush with original material and intense musicianship. The band are massively on form in the recording, and the dancey beats are really infectious; you want to dance as soon as it starts. The albums title track eases the listener in with a chilled, soulful track, but the beat ramps up by the second song, “Crystal Pleasure”. Rich harmonies fill the album, and the strong funk presence never tires. “Oyetoff Super Hot” brings a slower beat, but opens the funkier second half of the album, with “Get the Funk” sounding years ahead of its time. On top of all of the funky beats and instrumentation, “Get the Funk” has an MC-style narrator and long improvised solo sections where the band really go to work.

Love Peace and Happiness is a wonderful example of historic forward-thinking music making, and is absolutely worth a listen to. It does not sound dated, and is very deserving of its re-release this year. -rainbowexoticmusic

1. Love, Peace & Happiness 6:09
2. Crystal Pleasure 6:11
3. Ashiko 8:02
4. Awade (Here We Come) 6:49
5. Oyetoff (Super Hot) 6:28
6. Get The Funk 5:26

Egypt

Irresistible party/dance/whirl-around-the-house recording

An essential collection of Egyptian pop music with top-notch selections from artists working in both the sha’abi (working class) and jeel (middle class) musical traditions.

For this album, released in 1990 and still the best compilation of modern Egyptian music around, David Lodge divvied Egyptian pop into working-class shaabi music and the upscale, educated, urban al-jil ("generation") sound, and devotes six rambunctiously appealing tracks to each. In al-jil the ongoing struggle between Islamic conservatism and a secular society tempted by Western ways is acted out in jumpy synthesizer rhythms and cautious, carefully monitored lyrics sung by some of the world's most sensuous singers. So-called shaabi music, on the other hand, is a funkier, rootsier reaction by Arab "country" singers to the wayward politics and pitfalls of urban life. The instruments are acoustic and traditional, the lyrics often socially conscious, and the emotions fervent. Relatively untouched by the West, Egyptian music provides a unique sonic entryway into a truly different cultural universe. ---Richard Gehr

Al Jeel
1. Amr Diab - Eih Yaani 5:23
2. Hanan - Besma 4:49
3. Ehab - Misakeen 5:00
4. Mohamed Moneer - Sif Safaa 4:00
5. Khedr - Balsam Shafee 5:36
6. Adel El Musree - Ya Ramal 2:58
Shaabi
7. Sami Ali & Sahar Hamdy - Eli Shatr Enhaa Tgannen 4:18
8. Hassan El Asmar - Kitab Hayarti 5:48
9. Magdy Shabeeni - Ya Dunnya Ley 4:01
10. Magdy Talaat - Yalle Khadak Habibi 4:36
11. Shaaban Abdel Raheem - Akhar Saah 7:15
12. Hassan El Asmar - Mish Haseebak 5:08

USA

More essential music for guitar lovers.

Fahey recorded two versions of this album, one in 1963, the other in 1967; this deluxe reissue gives you both! This was his second album, and the first to get any kind of distribution (the re-record benefits from better fidelity); with compositions like When the Springtime Comes Again; Some Summer Day, and the epic America, it's essential.

This inspired collection reissues all the music from John Fahey's genre-expansive, groundbreaking 1964 disc Death Chants and its (mostly) rerecorded version from 1967. On both discs Fahey's finger picking is nimble and awe-inspiring, his head afire with ideas both revolutionary and musically pure. His goal was to reconcile a love for American primitive folk traditions and 20th-century classical music; by 1967 he'd largely succeeded. Death Chants is one of the most intense, life-affirming, and visionary recordings of the 1960s, and the clear (and thankfully not digitally messed-with) sound plus context-heavy, insightful liner notes by Byron Coley make the reissue a must even for folks who own the original artifacts. --Mike McGonigal

There are a few solo stringed intrument players or "pickers" who are real GIANTS. We all have our favorites, and not everyone's "list" will be just the same. But I can say here without reservation and without fear of contradiction that John Fahey should be on just about everyone's list. He was an inventive master, a gifted synthesist who took standard folk-blues progressions and reinvented and reinvigorated them into his "American primitive guitar" style.
I'd rather hear Fahey's fingers sqeaking on the strings than most other guitarists playing. This album (1967 version) is a personal favorite of mine. It is surpassingly haunting. This is music that stays with you: once you've heard it, really LISTENED to it, you don't even need to put the record on. The music is so archetypal you can re-play it in your HEAD indefinitely.
Fahey was a great genius. His contribution to American music and American folk guitar is inestimable. The release of this album on CD has been long anticipated and is extremely welcome, and a double treat because you get to listen to the original 1963 version and the (more familiar) 1967 version. -Clifford Teapes

Dating from an original 1963 limited issue of 300 copies, this second album by John Fahey is presented here in both its initial form and its 1967 re-recorded form, with the latter being at least partially prompted by his constantly improving playing. This mirrors his first album, “The Legend Of Blind Joe Death” which was re-visited on two occasions and is available via Ace as Takoma CDTAK 1002. “Death Chants” proved to be the album that began the first real spread of his music when his friend Norman Pierce began to wholesale copies to US folk hotspots from his Berkeley record store. Fahey had re-located to Berkeley where he was majoring in Philosophy at UC, and he was happy for Pierce to become the main outlet for his tiny Takoma label issues. As with his first album, this second outing had spoof notes from Fahey under a pseudonym that set him apart from the then folk mainstream for which he had a healthy distaste. He saw the music being moulded to  middle class tastes by taking out the bite of the songs. Friend and producer ED Denson, also  disdainful of the commercial sentimentalisation of the folk world, described him as 'a breath of air from a different clime".

Fahey played finger-picking style on steel-stringed guitars, and was one of the earliest players to seek to properly promote the instrument. Between the time of his early 1959 first album recording and this one he had taken to playing with finger picks, which in part led to his playing sounding much more self-assured. By 1967, ED Denson was trying to upgrade the Takoma range and was instrumental in Fahey re-recording the album along with the earlier one to take advantage of his improved abilities. All but two tracks are included here, with only ‘The Downfall Of The Adelphi Rolling Grist Mill’ (where John was joined by flautist Nancy McLean) and ‘Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Philip XIV’ not making it beyond their original form. The only track not written entirely by John was the beautifully lyrical ‘When The Springtime Comes Again’ (co-written by Pat Sullivan), which is extended in its second recording here. By contrast the tracks ‘America’ and ‘Stomping Tonight On The Pennsylvania/Alabama Border’ are shortened second time around.

The material included is very varied - from the intensely pretty, through subtle blues undertones, fine bottleneck work, hillbilly, ragtime and the sometimes eerie work on ‘John Henry Variations’. It was certainly a step beyond his first album in terms of breadth and the decision to re-record the work is justified in terms of the improved sonority, richness and maturity of playing and the comparison that it affords the listener. The re-recordings have been the ones that have been used for most subsequent re-issues of the work. (Ace)

1. Sunflower River Blues 2:36
2. When The Springtime Comes Again 3:52
3. Stomping Tonight On The Pennsylvania/Alabama Border 6:59
4. Some Summer Day 3:23
5. On The Beach Of Waikiki 2:58
6. Spanish Dance 1:56
7. John Henry Variations 5:42
8. The Downfall Of The Adelphi Rolling Grist Mill (Flute – Nancy McLean) 3:38
9. Take A Look At That Baby 1:26
10. Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Philip XIV Of Spain 2:31
11. America 7:53
12. Episcopal Hymn 1:14
13. Sunflower River Blues 3:22
14. When The Springtime Comes Again 4:54
15. Stomping Tonight On The Pennsylvania/Alabama Border 5:35
16. Some Summer Day 3:27
17. On The Beach At Waikiki 2:40
18. Spanish Dance 2:06
19. John Henry Variations 5:14
20. Take A Look At That Baby 1:26
21. America 5:00
22. Episcopal Hymn 1:23

Including
Booklet
John Fahey - Dance of Death (ePub)
John Fahey - How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life (ePub)

Notes
Tracks 8 and 10 recorded live in 1962 at St. Michael's Church, Adelphi, Maryland.
Tracks 1 to 7, 9, 11, 12 recorded Fall, 1963 in Berkeley, California.

Tracks 1 to 12 originally released in 1963 as "Death Chants, Breakdowns And Military Waltzes" (Takoma, C-1003).
Tracks 13 to 22 re-recorded and released in 1967 under the same title and catalogue number.

Remastered in 1998 at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley.

Tracks 1 to 12 are mono, 13 to 22 are stereo.

USA

Freddie Scott ranks among the greatest soul singers. That’s all you really have to know.

One of the sleekest soul senders of the 1960s, Freddie Scott grew a bit rougher as the decade progressed, though his 1966-68 period with New York's Shout Records still find him in fine form. Cry to Me includes 20 tracks, featuring hits like "Are You Lonely for Me Baby" and the title track as well as two previously unreleased tracks. -AllMusic Review by John Bush

According to soul aficionados, Bert Berns’ Freddie Scott LP “Are You Lonely For Me” is one of the greatest albums released during the golden age of soul. Brought to Berns’ Shout Records label by close friend and artist manager Carmine “Wassel” DeNoia, Berns took Freddie Scott into the studio and made some of the best work of their lives. The title track “Are You Lonely For Me Baby” went straight to number one on the R&B charts for four weeks, and Freddie Scott was voted Number One Newcomer in Cashbox Magazine. Only the death of Bert Berns prevented the world from truly knowing and appreciating the “distinctive, powerful and extremely soulful tenor” of the great Freddie Scott.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1933, Freddie Scott began singing with his grandmother’s Gospel Keyes at age eleven. In the late 1950s, Freddie moved to New York City, where he worked as a songwriter for Aldon Music and a demo singer for a variety of songwriters and producers. But it was his hit single “Hey Girl” on Columbia Records in 1963 that put Freddie on the map. Unable to recreate that success with a follow-up hit, Freddie’s manager Wassel convinced Columbia to release his artist (under threat of pain), and brought him over to Berns’ newly established Shout Records.

With the overwhelming success of Bert Berns’ Bang Records and it’s ever growing roster of pop artists, Bert created Shout Records as an outlet for his greatest passion – R&B and soul music. The nine Freddie Scott singles recorded by Bert in 1966 are best evidence of this passion, from the hit “Are You Lonely For Me Baby” (recorded over 100 vocal takes) to the relatively unknown “No One Could Ever Love You.” And Freddie’s impassioned take on Bert’s epic “Cry To Me” is perhaps the best version of the song ever recorded. Listen closely and you can hear the sound of Freddie’s tears falling.

“One of the milestones in the history of real soul music… this album is like being in a deep soul heaven.” That’s how the experts describe the work of Bert Berns and Freddie Scott. And like so many other of the artists associated with the life of Bert Berns, Freddie Scott’s star eclipsed with the death of the songwriter and producer responsible for his most inspiring work. The great Freddie Scott passed in 2007.

1. Are You Lonely For Me Baby 3:18
2. Cry To Me 3:19
3. Open The Door 2:33
4. Where Were You 2:58
5. Am I Grooving You 3:13
6. Never You Mind 2:55
7. He Will Break Your Heart 3:28
8. Shake A Hand 4:03
9. No One Could Ever Love You 3:35
10. The Love Of My Woman 3:15
11. I'll Be Gone 2:10
12. He Ain't Give You None 2:56
13. Run Joe 2:32
14. Just Like A Flower 2:36
15. (You) Got What I Need 3:00
16. Powerful Love 2:08
17. Loving You Is Killing Me 2:32
18. You'll Never Leave Him (Previously Unissued) 2:56
19. Our Love Grows (Previously Unissued) 2:48
20. Forever My Darling 2:23

Note
Incl. booklet

Nigeria

Nigerian band that released one album in 1976 (re-issued in 2012).

Long-awaited Superfly reissue of the ultra collectible legendary Nigerian Funk LP, includes the massive club favourite 'solo mon an doan' and the killer psychadelic tune 'everybody get down' but the whole LP is a treat - as usual, beautiful quality repress with paste on covers made in Japan and 180grs vinyl, limited to 1000 copies, funky as hell, don't sleep!

Great Nigerian Afro-Funk dancefloor LP. Has two standout tracks and a couple of extras (Everybody Get Down & Shadow of the Boogie) that would appeal to those of you into LP's by C.S.Crew and SJOB movement etc. Two common mistakes made about this LP are that it's by the same band that made the Asiko LP on Gorilla Records, released in Germany and that it's from Kenya (EMI NIGERIA had to manufacture some of their releases at this time in Kenya, due to problems with the plant in Lagos) "Lagos City" sounds heavy as hell played loud. Produced by the Legendary Odion Iruoje...wih his trademark Lagos sound...Horn echoes, tight drums etc.

1. Every Body Get Down 8:08
2. Let's Marry 6:30
3. Shadow Of The Boogie 4:10
4. Together Again Never To Part 5:53
5. People Talk 3:48
6. Solo, Mon, A Ndoan 5:11
7. Lagos City 3:51

Senegal

the tracks are compiled from various albums and cassettes by number 1 de dakar (see booklet for details). this compilation does not feature tracks that are on the dakar sound releases

Günter Gretz is a one-man record label operating out of Frankfurt. When he goes into the control room, I imagine he slips off his jacket and underneath is wearing a Superman costume. He really is the Superhero of World Music, keeping it alive with well-selected and consistently brilliant reissues. His African Dancefloor Classics series, subtitled "Reminiscin' in Tempo" is the core of any good collection of African classics. NUMBER III DE NUMBER 1 is the latest installment in the Senegalese salsa/mbalax story of Star Band and Number One de Dakar. Number One were the main rivals to Orchestre Baobab in the 1970s. Both had similar sounds apart from the guitars. Baobab's Barthelemy Attiso is the consummate technician and plays quietly but his understated leads creep up on you till you are totally engulfed in his sound. Yahya Fall is more of a chancer: he uses dramatic effects so tube screamer and fuzz-tone pedals pop on when you least expect them and jarringly remind you of acid rock. Star Band are well-known for applying the traditional Wolof instruments sabar and talking drum to Cuban rumba rhythms. Yahya Fall joined the Star Band in 1970 but quit 6 years later, feeling he wasn't getting his due from bandleader Ibra Kassé. He left with other disgruntled musicians and they formed a new band called Starband Numero Un, claiming they had the original members aboard. But Ibra Kassé had the Minister of Internal Affairs on his side and the breakaway group were told to think of another name and leave Star Band alone. Thus they switched the Numero Un to English and became Number One de Dakar. Founder Pape Seck (beloved for his work with Africando) was chef d'orchestre. Other vocalists included Mar Seck and Nicolas Mennheim. Ali Penda Ndoye also joined on trumpet. But don't expect slick New York-style salsa horn charts, these guys ain't the Fania All-Stars: they have their own ideas about horn playing so there is some very ragged (but charming) soloing on here. And the guitarwork shimmers. If you were disappointed that you didn't get to see Africando after the death of Gnonnas Pedro derailed their last tour, you can console yourself with this album. It's not all Cuban, there's a lot of loping mbalax with outrageous outbursts on the tama by Mamané Fall and those smoky questioning vocals echoing in the distance while the guitars chop about and the horns make tentative replies to the melody.

The previous releases of Number One have been on Dakar Sound. The original "Yaye boy," "Guajira ven" and "Walo" were on No 1 DE No 1 (Dakar Sound 6 1996), a must-have album. The follow-up, No 2 DE No 1, came out in 2000. In addition they were anthologized on two crucial Dakar Sound compilations, THEIR THING & LATIN THING. Pape Seck's insistent "Nongui, nongui" was the opener on THE MUSIC IN MY HEAD compiled by Mark Hudson. It also crops up on ESCALE DE SENEGAL VOL 1, along with "Walo" and "Say Konntaa," and another Dakar Sound volume 100% PURE DOUBLE CONCENTRÉ. Gretz has considerately avoided duplicating any of these releases. He draws from nine cassettes and LPs to produce a genuine "Best of the rest" compilation. I know Pape Seck's "Liti-liti" because it occurs on a more obscure series of Senegalese compilations: the SENEGAL FLASH series which came out in France, as does "Ndaga seri boy" from the MAAM BAMBA album, in which Pape Seck urges the audience to dance the Ndagga with him. So put on your clogs and ah-one and ah-two... -muzikifan

1. Junto A Un Cañaveral 8:31
2. Alee 6:30
3. Yonou Dara Ji 9:07
4. Liti-Liti 5:51
5. Ndaga Seeri Boy 6:05
6. Senegal Jambaar 6:11
7. Kaniaane 6:10
8. Yeli Bana 9:38
9. Takoussane 6:20
10. Geej 6:06
11. Viva Number One 5:16

Note
Incl. booklet

Nigeria


Wicked 70s Juju beats in top shape!

Here's another late '70s-vintage juju lp, this time it's ''Super Star Verse'' from Nigeria's Sir Shina Adewale and His Super Stars International. The rawness and distortion index is upped on this one, with faster tempo overall. While unmistakably juju, the two side-length medleys rock more demonstrably than do most of Sunny Adé's out put from this era. By the way, yes, there will be more of the latter's Nigerian lp's to come in the immediate future.  -Count Reeshard

Segun Adewale born into a royal family in 1955 in Oshogbo, Nigeria, was introduced to music at an early age through his father's amateur guitar-playing. His father objected to a career in music for his son and so Adewale left his hometown for Lagos where he became an apprentice musician with Chief S.L. Atolagbe and his Holy Rainbow. Soon Adewale hooked up with the father of Juju music, I.K. Dairo who gave him encouragement and taught him about arranging and composing. In 1977 Adewale, along with his good friend Sir Shina Peters, formed a new group Shina Adwale and the Superstars International. In the three years the band lasted they issued nine recordings. In 1980 Adewale and Peters split up the group and went on to form their own seperate groups. By 1984 Adewale has refined his sound into something he dubbed "Yo Pop", which he described as a blend of funk, jazz, juju, reggae, and Afro-beat.

Vinyl rip by Count Reeshard

1. Awa Ni Superstars / Eyo Mo Wa / Ori Mi Gbemi Leke / Oluwa Yi Won Lokan Pada / Eda To Mola Kosi / A Dupe Emaseun Eni 19:29
2. Adura Mi Ti Gba / Ope Ni Fun Eledumare / Mi O Sojo Mo / Aigbagbo Bila / Tunde Bakare Balogun / Bola And Kamoru 19:32

Colombia

The King Of Cumbia

Easily one of the most identifiable forms of music to come out of Latin America, cumbia has a certain longevity that comes from its infectious spirit. It’s almost impossible to sit still while listening to it, and it mixes well with a wide range of other styles, from Afrobeat to punk rock. Cumbia, a truly Caribbean art form, comes from the synthesis of the African and indigenous American cultures of Colombia. Andrés Landero has never needed to water down his cumbia; he plays it in its purest form, each song full of rich tradition. Yo Amanecí compiles 20 such songs from 1966 to 1982, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more definitive collection of classic cumbia.

The tracks run the gamut in tone and mood. The album starts with “La Cigarrona”, a fast, engaging instrumental that sounds a little like a three-minute vamp but holds its own as it leads into the dramatic “Mara del Carmen”, a midtempo tune that Landero delivers with a lot of emotion and just a hint of romance. Later on, “Mercedes Elena” offers a lighter, slower alternative for relaxing on the shores of Cartagena. Along the way, the intense and the beachy mingle, giving something to sway to for any occasion.

The instrumentation is minimal and effective; Landero sings as he plays a versatile accordion, accompanied by tight percussion and a simple bassline in the back. There’s no real deviation from this formula, and his band is a solid and sturdy framework upon which Landero can build, draping his passionate poetry and lyrical agility over the structure of tradition. That tradition does not restrict him but instead shows him a path that allows him to make something fresh and personal.

With all that said, this is an album for a specific listener, one with at least some level of devotion to vintage cumbia (and preferably someone whose level of devotion is set at “die-hard”). The sound quality here is rustic, to say the least, and though there is range across the album, the differences are often subtle. That aforementioned set structure persists so strongly throughout the compilation that if you don’t like it once, you probably won’t want to hear it 20 times. This is a vibrant slice of history, no doubt, but it’s one that relies heavily on very specific instrumentation, which includes the oft-misunderstood accordion.

So, cumbia enthusiasts: the world is your oyster with this essential collection, which is strong with nostalgia and textures of the Caribbean, infused with Andrés Landero’s love of his native Colombia. This is an anthology that will wrap you in sea breezes and warm you beneath a South American sun. Landero has earned his many accolades—multiple cities have crowned him King of Cumbia—and his music lives on, free and rhythmic. Landero’s whole heart goes into every song he plays, and Yo Amanecí overflows with love. -Adriane Pontecorvo

Andrés Gregorio Landero Guerra, born in 1931 in San Jacinto, Colombia, embodies the spirit that made it possible to bring cumbia music to the world. Synonymous with the evolution of this musical genre, Landero managed to charm audiences through a complex weave of compositions, shot through with local nuances and diverse derivations from his native Caribbean province. He constantly sought to create his own language while remaining acutely alive to tradition. Landero left home at seventeen, manifesting his passion to take artistic creation to the limit while demonstrating his belief in freedom and communal living. In 1964, he started his musical career with Discos Curro, the landmark Costeño label owned by José María "Curro" Fuentes from Cartagena. In 1965, he released Fiel Caricia, his first album with this label, presenting a broad and intense repertoire of merengue, paseo, and cumbia music. Landero displays his compositional brilliance by combining naturalness and long-standing carnival tradition. He was named King of Cumbia in El Banco (Magdalena), King of the Bolivian accordion festival in Arjona (Bolívar), and King of Cumbia in Mexico. He constantly paid tribute to his native land with heart, with soul and the ability to stir emotions, on albums such as Cumbia En La India (1966), Mujer Querida (1969) or La Fiebre (1969). This first stage of Landero's work with Discos Fuentes is a vast compendium of rural dialogues of unswerving beauty, encompassing songs in the son, paseo, puya, cumbia, pasebol, merengue, and gaita styles. Tender, wild poetry that describes a delightful panorama of true stories, sea breezes and sun that unfolds timelessly. Landero returned to Fuentes in 1979 with Bailando Cumbia (1979), followed by El Hijo Del Pueblo (1981) and ¡Por ahí es que va... la cosa! (1983). Not one of the records released during Andrés Landero's career is dispensable. His coherent and constant efforts to build on the foundations of the cumbia tradition form an extraordinary legacy rich in masterpieces of Colombian popular music. He is the author of a polyphonic blossoming and the outstanding figure through which to appreciate, from a historical perspective, the syncretism of indigenous and African slave music from the Caribbean coast, namely cumbia. Yo Amaneci gathers tracks from 1966 to 1982, taken from his albums on Discos Fuentes and other labels. Includes liner notes by Carlos Mario Mojica (Don Alirio).

1. La Cigarrona 2:55
2. Mara del Carmen 4:16
3. Tambó Tambó 3:27
4. Virgen de la Candelaria 4:20
5. Perdí las albarcas 2:42
6. Mi machete 2:38
7. La muerte de Eduardo Lora 2:45
8. Martha Cecilia 3:00
9. Cuando lo negro sea bello 3:04
10. Así se goza 2:37
11. Cumbia en la India 2:49
12. Que te vaya bien 2:42
13. Por ahí es que va la cosa 4:25
14. La mochila terciá 3:00
15. Rosa y Mayo 2:29
16. La pava congona 3:10
17. Yo amanecí 2:41
18. Las Mellas 2:32
19. Mercedes Elena 2:51
20. La Sanjacintera 2:45

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