Donuts began simply enough as an idea to turn a particularly good demo beat tape into a full-length release, and has since became a classic hip-hop album, one of the defining works of the artist’s life. Completed during a year in which J Dilla spent mostly in a hospital bed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Donuts would gain particular poignancy when, only three days after it’s release, February 10, 2006, the artist passed away, losing his battle with a rare blood disease. Back late 2005 when Stones Throw was getting ready to release J Dilla’s Donuts, they made a casual decision to use a drawing for the cover of the 2LP vinyl release, rather than the standard cover photo of Dilla used for the other releases. But now here it is, better late than never: J Dilla’s classic album Donuts now released on vinyl with the smile on the cover. Cover & illustrations by Jeff Jank; photo of Dilla by Andrew Gura. Just a few months ago Stones Throw published a short back-story on the cover photo.
Retarded Alligator Beats is the next installment of Alchemist’s instrumental LP series, featuring unreleased beats that have not appeared on any other record in any other format. Recorded in the summer of 2013 in Alchemist’s own ALC Laboratories in Santa Monica, Retarded Alligator Beats showcases another dimension of Al’s repertoire, with his production taking center stage aside from a memorable Action Bronson appearance. Hand drawn artwork by Vice Art Director Nick Gazin.
3 x black 180g 12"s in artworked 3mm spined sleeves all housed in a rigid board outer slipcase. Half speed cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering. Includes 2 x 12" poster inserts featuring exclusive artwork by KC Woolf Haxton and story adaptation and calligraphy by Kenturah Davis. MP3 download code also enclosed. The story begins with a man on high. He is an old man, a warrior, and the guardian to the gates of a city. Two miles below his mountainous perch, he observes a dojo, where a group of young men train night and day. Eventually, the old man expects a challenger to emerge. He hopes for the day of his destruction, for this is the cycle of life. Finally the doors fly open and three young men burst forth to challenge the old master. The first man is quick, but not strong enough. The second is quick, and strong, but not wise enough. The third stands tall, and overtakes the master. The Changing of the Guard has at long last been achieved. But then the old man wakes up. He looks down at the dojo and realizes he’s been daydreaming. The dojo below exists, but everyone in training is yet a child. By the time they grow old enough to challenge the old man, he has disappeared. This is, in essence, both a true story and a carefully constructed musical daydream, one that will further unfold in May of 2015, in a brazen release from young Los Angeles jazz giant, composer, and bandleader Kamasi Washington. The Epic is unlike anything jazz has seen, and not just because it emanates from the boundary-defying Brainfeeder, which isn’t so much a label in the traditional sense as it is an unfurling experiment conducted by the underground producer Flying Lotus. The Epic is a 172-minute, three-volume set that includes a 32-piece orchestra, a 20-person choir, and 17 songs overlaid with a compositional score written by Washington. Pulsing underneath is an otherworldly ten-piece band, each member of which is individually regarded as among the best young musicians on the planet – including bassist Thundercat and his brother, drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., bassist (yes, there are two) Miles Mosley, drummer Tony Austin (of course there are two), keyboard player Brandon Coleman, pianist Cameron Graves, and trombonist Ryan Porter. Patrice Quinn’s ethereal vocals round out the ensemble. The band are all from Los Angeles, mostly South Central, and its members – who call themselves variously “The Next Step” and the “The West Coast Get Down” – have been congregating since they were barely teenagers in a backyard shack in Inglewood. Washington, 32, has known Bruner since he was two. The rest met, at various stages, by the time they were in high school. The hours they have put into the music, playing together and practicing alone, total cumulatively in the tens of thousands. "Nothing compares to these guys," says Barbara Sealy, the former West Coast director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, who has championed Kamasi and his compatriots from the beginning. “I challenge any group to go out on stage with them and see if they can keep up with it... Kamasi is at the top of his game, and only getting better.” “These young guys,” the rapper Common says, “remind me of why I love music.” And the story The Epic tells, without words but rather through some combination of magic, mastery, and sheer force of imagination, is the story of Kamasi Washington and the Next Step and their collective mission: to remove jazz from the shelf of relics and make it new, unexpected, and dangerous again. They seek to both honour and alter tradition: as The Epic’s opening track announces, they are the “Changing of the Guard”. The sound can be felt like flames, sometimes waving in the coziness of a fireplace, in other moments sweeping everything around like a backdraft. But Kamasi is always in control of the burning. “He just plays the craziest shit, man. I mean, everything — the past, present, the future,” Flying Lotus says, whose family lineage includes one of Washington’s direct musical forebears, John Coltrane. “It's hard to find unique voices in this music. Especially in jazz, more so lately, everybody is trying to do the same shit. I don't want to hear ‘My Favorite Things’ anymore… What I am hearing is a leader among artists.”
Long Beach, Cali rapper Vince Staples debuted his seven-song EP, HELL CAN WAIT late last year. The release of HELL CAN WAIT followed Vince s 3-week, 13-city Paisley Summer Tour headlining stint, which wrapped up at Hard Rock Live in Las Vegas. Vince has contributed tracks to dozens of today's hottest artists, including Earl Sweatshirt's first and second albums to Dilated Peoples' Directors Of Photography to Jhené Aiko's The Vapors (on her Sail Out debut, the biggest-selling EP in Def Jam history) and Common's latest album, Nobody's Smiling, on his single Kingdom, performed live by Common with Vince at his side on Jimmy Kimmel Live and at the 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards. As Common stated in XXL, "He's cold on the mic... This dude can really rhyme. It made me want to write." With HELL CAN WAIT, Vince turned the microscope on himself and his family for some of hip-hop s most remarkable music. Ain't nothing realer than the truth, he explains. Ain't nothing better than the truth, like I really did all that. I really seen all that. I really been around that my whole life. Vince's debut album, Summertime 06, set to drop this summer, will be no different. Vince describes Summertime 2006 as the summer that started it all. He looks back in time to tell a story of how his budding career came to be; this album will provide insight into who Vince is and why he does what he does. The countdown to Summertime 06 is on!
10th anniversary reissue of the hugely successful collaborative album between super producer Danger Mouse and Underground rap legend DOOM. The album features notable guest spots from Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killah and pre Gnarls Barkley, CeeLo Green. The album also features skits and contributions from Cartoon Network's Adult Swim characters Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sea Lab 2010, Space Ghost and more. The album was a critical and commercial success and the iconic UK version of the vinyl designed by longterm Lex collaborator EHQuestionmark has been long sought after. The outer sleeve is made from thick translucent textured plastic with DOOM's mask printed on cover, and mouse ears on each side of the mask forming a pattern that looks like a Rorschach test (a technique reused in another Danger Mouse project six months later). The inner sleeves, visible through the outer at first glance pattern based on an Ishihara test, but inside the circles in the pattern are tiny icons depicting a different disasters - climate change, acid rain, holy war, nuclear leaks. "The Mouse and the Mask" was produced by Lex super-producer Danger Mouse and masked supervillain MF DOOM. The album features Cee-Lo Green (also of Gnarls Barkley), Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killah, Money Mark and the cast of cult cartoon show Aqua Teen Hunger Force and ten years on remains DOOM's best selling album to date. The reissue is presented in the exact same spec as the original double vinyl including the custom made frosted plastic outersleeve, spot flouro and metallic pantone printed inner sleeves. The album originally debuted at #2 on the Billboard independent albums charts. Subsequent releases from Danger Mouse include Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz and Broken Bells, as well as production work for Beck, A$AP Rocky and the Black Keys. DOOM is, of course, the legendary producer/MC behind the Special Herbs series, Madvillainy (with Madlib) and collaborations with Jneiro Jarel and Bishop Nehru.
Giraffage’s signature remixes of R&B favorites quickly took him from blogs to Boiler Room and beyond, as he won over dancefloors worldwide with lush, bass-driven sets. No Reason marks another new turning point for this artist, who has grown from flipping Janet Jackson songs to crafting indelible slow jams of his own. The chopped vocals and bubble wrap riffs of “Tell Me” combine for a Tumblr-era love ballad like none other, and the entire EP is as heartfelt as it is head-nodding.
Each LP volume comes with a limited edition, glow-in-the-dark & embossed jacket and colored vinyl. The late, great J Dilla is rightly celebrated as one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time, in part because his ear for music was so diverse and expansive. From the smooth, soulful soundbeds he laid down for A Tribe Called Quest, Slum Village, The Pharcyde, Common, The Roots, and D’Angelo to the hard-edged, synth-heavy tracks he crafted for Busta Rhymes, Jaylib, Oh No, and Phat Kat, Jay Dee’s music continued to grow and evolve throughout his brief time on this planet. As Dilla’s mother Ma Dukes explains, “He didn’t come with a limited capacity, and real producers produce, produce, and produce. There are no formats for genius workers…just non-stop creations.” Now, a fresh batch of those creations will be made available to the world for the first time, in the form of the latest official J Dilla release, Dillatronic. Presented by Ma Dukes and compiled by DJs Alien Villainz (fellow Detroit natives who worked closely with Dilla), Dillatronic contains over 40 rare instrumentals that showcase Dilla’s undeniable electronic influences. J Dilla’s music was impacted by the diverse musical history of Detroit - the birthplace of Techno and one of the most important cities in the history of electronic music. “You can hear it in songs like ‘Raise It Up’ for Slum Village or ‘Make It Hurt’ for Busta Rhymes,” says Young RJ (Dilla's protégé and member of Slum Village). “The Detroit influence is part of what gave him an edge in production.” With today’s music sounding more electronic than ever, Dillatronic has a shockingly contemporary feel. “These tracks are still ahead of their time sonically,” explains RJ. “The things producers are doing now, Dilla did that 15 years ago.” As the years go by, Ma Dukes plans to continue presenting music fans with the untold chapters in Dilla’s ever-expanding legacy. “I can smile in my heart, knowing my son’s work is being shared with the people as we planned before he passed,” she says. “I only share the best, and I only hope to continue introducing the world to the genius of J Dilla.”
Wu-Tang founding MC Inspectah Deck and veteran Boston duo 7L & Esoteric – isn’t concerned with the glitz and the B.S. that modern consumer culture is pushing. And neither are the group’s fans. In 2013, the trio appeared relatively unassumingly with their self-titled debut, which was chiefly produced by DJ 7L and included guests ranging from Ghostface Killah and Cappadonna to Vinnie Paz, Action Bronson and Roc Marciano. The soon-to-be acclaimed group found out quickly that there was a groundswell of hip-hop fanatics thirsting for the lunchpail, lyrics-above-all-else rap they fell in love with in the ‘90s. Several pressings of the album on CD, 2-LP and even cassette later, they are back and ready to up the ante. This time around the group is the same, but it’s fair to say that all three men have stepped up their game. “We knew how we felt about the last album, but weren’t sure how it would be received by listeners,” explains MC Esoteric. “But people really responded to it, even more than we had hoped. That gave us the confidence to really spread our wings and let loose on this one. The chemistry is even tighter this time around. We know exactly what lanes we are cruising in and what weight class we are fighting in for Round 2.” Inspectah Deck adds, “Czarface is like the Danger Room for the X-Men, I can use all my weapons on there. When I’m in Wu-Tang, I have to come a certain way because we have a certain style of fan, when I’m here doing the Czarface projects, it allows me to actually be an MC, it allows me to actually just spit…I love that. I love when i can just spit freely and just be an MC.” The fighting analogy – whether drawn from pugilism or ‘80s wrestling, both which figure into Every Hero Needs A Villain – is an apt one, considering the unrelenting lyrical attacks that Deck and Esoteric unleash on track after track, each trying to one-up the previous verse. Best of all, it is friendly camaraderie, based around a loose theme of renegade mutant MC talents running wild. DJ 7L explains, “All three of us are influenced by comics, sci-fi movies, TV, wrestling. Czarface encompasses all of that, and it helps with the visuals as well.” On the production side, 7L shows yet again – as he did with the group’s debut – that he remains a formidable yet underappreciated musical force, constantly providing hard, funky and alternatingly ominous backdrops for the assembled MCs to use as lyrical luge paths.
Quasimoto first came to life on Madlib's personal beat tapes in the producer's early years in Oxnard CA – private music, not meant for release, made for himself and a small circle of local smokers and their car stereos. By the time of Quasimoto's debut The Unseen, most had caught on to the fact that Madlib and Quasimoto were one in the same. The MC as artistic alter ego, like a talking dummy from surreal rap vaudeville. Quasimoto is usually the "bad character," doing and saying what the producer doesn't, with Madlib along side as a noncommittal collaborator. The Unseen (Stones Throw, 2000) was among the new decade's first sleeper hits, ranking on Spin's year end list at a time when the producer and label were unknown outside hip-hop DJ circles. After a subsequent journey through jazz production and now-legendary collaborations with MF DOOM & J Dilla, Madlib called on Quasimoto again for The Further Adventures of Lord Quas. The album played something like a smoked-out comedy/crime Blaxploitation flick, and continued to build Madlib's reputation as one of the most creative and fearlessly skewed creators in hip-hop. As for Quasimoto – usually represented by pen & ink with brick in hand – he has been many things over the years: rapper, cartoon, the poor-man's Gorillaz, a toy, bad tattoo, internet meme. To all this Lord Quas might say, yessir ... whatever. It's all about the music. Yessir Whatever collects 12-tracks made by Madlib and Quasimoto over a roughly 12-year period. A few were released on rare & out-of-print vinyl, while a few others are previously unreleased, now mixed and mastered for the first time. Take two & pass. Yessir ... whatever. Artwork by Jeff Jank. Mastered by Dave Cooley.
The Unseen, released in 2000, was among the new decade's first sleeper hits, ranking on Spin's year-end list at a time when the producer and label were unknown outside of hip-hop DJ circles. Few could have known that this, Madlib's solo debut, would be just the first album in a rich catalog of music spanning from hip-hop to jazz, with wild experimentation and collaborations with MF DOOM & J Dilla. The identity of Quasimoto himself was a bit of a mystery - maybe he was Madlib, maybe he wasn't. Maybe it's none of our business. In fact, Madlib created Quasimoto as someone to rap on his beats for his own private listening while living in Oxnard and Santa Barbara in the 1990s. The Unseen was born out of Peanut Butter Wolf's convincing Madlib to release these recordings for the rest of us to hear.
Hailed as the world’s best club DJ, J.ROCC continues to capture music enthusiasts around the globe. In 1992, Jason Jackson, internationally known as J.Rocc, launched his vision of forming a DJ crew comprised of talented musicians, by introducing to the world Southern California’s first turntable band - the Beat Junkies. A prized accomplishment enthusiastically received by worldwide audiences, J.Rocc continues to invent musical styles that display his creative expertise. Highly recognized for his funky showcases and original arrangements, J.Rocc has clearly distinguished his place in music history. Funky President Edits, Vol. 2 is the second installment of J Rocc’s 7” edit series featuring “Boogie Blamin'" & “Jingles”, two party sureshots familiar to the discerning listener and edited with precision.
NEHRUVIANDOOM is Bishop Nehru's debut album. Produced by Metal Fingers and featuring MF DOOM vocals on several tracks, it's a compact nine track, 30 minute long player. Bishop Nehru's breakthrough mixtapes, released from the age of 15 saw him rhyming over DOOM produced instrumentals. DOOM joined the line of MCs who co-signed the young rapper including heavyweight lyricists Kendrick Lamar and Nas, who introduced him on stage during his set at SXSW as "The future of music". Still only 17, Bishop has wrapped up his debut album for Lex, a collaborative project with MF DOOM.
It's safe to say that hip-hop has never seen an album like Ol' Dirty Bastard's 1995 solo debut Return to the 36 Chambers. The brief glimpses of ODB's unhinged genius provided by Wu-Tang Clan's landmark Enter the Wu-Tang album two years earlier were begging to be expanded on to a larger canvas, and, with RZA guiding production, the album promised to give Dirty the creative license to make one of the most bizarre, entertaining and original LPs in hip-hop history. With his raspy, drunken flow and dark sense of humor, Dirty fearlessly attacks from all angles, throwing himself fearlessly into punchy rhyme attacks ("Damage," with GZA), drugged-out party jams (the monster singles "Brooklyn Zoo" and "Shimmy Shimmy Ya") and bizarre, grimly hilarious fantasies of sex and violence ("Don't U Know" and the R&B-tinged "Sweet Sugar Pie"). Backed by RZA's appropriately gritty, dissonant beats and appearances from the Clan, Return became an instant hit, selling over 1 million copies and earning a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album in 1996. The album stands as a high water mark in the Wu-Tang Clan's collective creative output and was selected as one of the Best 100 Rap Albums by The Source magazine in 1998. In honoring the legacy of one of hip-hop's most innovative releases, Get On Down is proud to present this incredible and unique special edition of Ol' Dirty Bastard's Return to the 36 Chambers as a double LP which contains the complete original album, remastered for optimal sound quality.
12" single included clean, street and instrumental versions of Ebonics and Size 'Em Up.
Fresh off the presses! Previously available exclusively at the Fat Beats' L.A. Beat Swap booth, Fat Beats tote bags are available for purchase online for a limited time only. Individually screenprinted onto high-grade canvas tote bags, they're perfect for carrying records, headphones or just repping your favorite record store. Get 'em while they're hot!
There are very few albums across any genre that stand the test of time better than 93 'Til Infinity, the classic debut record from the Hieroglyphics crew's very own Souls of Mischief. In an era where Gangsta Rap and G-Funk dominated the West Coast Rap scene, Souls broke ground on a completely unique and thoroughly west coast sound. While the Dr. Dre's and the Snoop Doggs were garnering much of the mainstream attention, Souls were quietly forging a charismatic, critically acclaimed, and cohesively shaped record that when categorized, sounded much closer to A Tribe Called Quest than N.W.A. The sound of their debut is characteristic of the distinct style explored by the collective, including a rhyme scheme based on internal rhyme and beats centered around a live bass and obscure jazz and funk samples. 93 'Til Infinity was propelled into success by its title track and lead single, which reached #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also featured singles "That's When Ya Lost" and "Never No More" which also reached the Hot Rap Singles. In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums of All Time. Considered by many to be a text book "slept-on" classic Rap record, 93 'Til Infinity has only grown better with age. The album simply defines the Hiero golden age with a sound that would later be fine tuned with strong releases from MCs Del The Funkee Homosapien, Casual and Pep Love. It takes some serious bravado to name your album 93 'Til Infinity, but certainly the goal of creating a Hip Hop "classic" must have been on the collective minds of group members A-Plus, Tajai, Opio, and Phesto when recording this landmark moment in Hip Hop history. It's true, even seventeen years after the album's initial release many people are still discovering it, and with this re-mastered reissue on double vinyl, fans all over the world will once again discover the brilliance that 93 'Til Infinity delivers and will continue to deliver beyond infinity.
Cultural phenomena streak through popular consciousness like meteorites. There’s a significant, even life-changing, impact made somewhere, but for many it’s only a moment that flickers by, soon to be swallowed back into the cosmos. Chicha might have been like that. Instead, a once-obscure music that enjoyed a fanatic embrace in the Peruvian slums of the 1970s has become a full-fledged global occasion – thanks to the stunning success of a 2007 CD called The Roots of Chicha. The album, released by the Brooklyn-based Barbès Records, was a passionate act of cultural appreciation: a heart-strong effort to turn the world on its ear with something it had never expected to hear. It took listeners back to the late 1960’s, when a number of Peruvian guitarists from Lima and the Amazon created a new electric hybrid, which mixed cumbia, surf, Cuban guaracha, rock, Peruvian folklore, and psychedelic touches. This new wave of Peruvian cumbia came to be known as chicha. Scorned by the middle-class and the official tastemakers, chicha remained mostly associated with the slums of Lima, where the ever-growing population of Andean migrants embraced the music and its players as their own. When Olivier Conan released the first volume of Roots of Chicha in September 2007, he couldn’t have foreseen the kind of impact it would have. The musician, who co-owns the club Barbès in Brooklyn and owns the label of the same name, had fallen in love with the music on a trip to Peru in the summer of 2006. Back in New York, he started his own band, Chicha Libre, as an attempt to share his enthusiasm. Then, he released a compilation of some of the best chicha tracks from the ‘70s. The music quickly found an audience in the US and in Europe. Musicians and DJs embraced it as a lost link between rock and Latin cultures. Accolades flowed from the New York Times, NPR, Le Monde, El Comercio and the BBC. One of its songs was covered by the band Franz Ferdinand, actor Elijah Wood praised it profusely in an interview to Paste magazine. Chilean rock group Los Tres gave a copy of the record to then-president Bachelet, which somehow became national news.
“Wondering how I got this high, fell asleep, and forgot to die,” raps Mac Miller on “Weekend.” GO:OD AM represents a reawakening for the rapper, who, after struggling with temptation and addiction, emerges with clear eyes and a stronger focus. He slays bars with impunity on “Break the Law” and “Clubhouse.” He imparts the value of experiences and repercussions on “Brand Name” and “100 Grandkids.” GO:OD AM is like a late-night conversation with the MC—all the crazy stories, deep thoughts, and laughs—reminding us that whatever happens in life, the sun will come out tomorrow.
Though beset by label delays and Twitter squabbles, no amount of innuendo could stymie the vividly original debut by Harlem pop iconoclast Azealia Banks. The snaking electro-house breakout "212" remains essential listening, flanked by a kaleidoscopic mélange of Latin, funk, trap, and hip-hop: forget naming styles, they're all here. Rapping and singing with equal aplomb, Banks anchors the spooky U.K. garage of "Desperado" as ably as she does the industrial skronk of "Yung Rapunxel" (the conflation of "rap" and "punk" there is no accident). The Ariel Pink collaboration "Nude Beach A-Go-Go," with its echoes of Gidget and '50s pop, is positively flummoxing in the best way.
LP version. Rids the World of the Curse of the Vampires (1981) not only ably displays Scientist's varied approach, but also clocks in as one of his best outings. Scientist keeps things lively with plenty of reverb and echo-treated percussion, ghostly piano parts, video game sound effects, and other wobbly interjections from the mixing board. The record's expert evocation of the Halloween spirit also includes some fiendishly-voiced intros, the cover art's cartoon potpourri of horror film characters, and the dubious claim made in the liner notes that Scientist mixed it all at midnight on Friday the 13th. Along with Keith Hudson's Pick a Dub (1974) and Lee Perry's Blackboard Jungle Dub (1973), this is one of the essential dub albums.
Released back in 2003, Take Me To Your Leader is arguably the most cinematic of MF DOOM’s albums from this period: entirely produced by him, it’s all dramatic strings, skyscraping samples and reflections on earth from Geedorah’s “alien perspective on humans. Reissue limited to 500 copies. Digital download included.
If indeed "you blows who you is," as Louis Armstrong once famously said, then Stephen Bruner's bass is a mainline to the soul of a man whose DNA was transcribed from the stars onto staff paper. His Flying Lotus-produced debut, The Golden Age of Apocalypse, offers both stone-cold skill and uncanny astrality, picking up where the pair left off on 2010's Cosmogramma and further distilling the jazz current running through that landmark Lotus release. A longtime contributor to others' albums, Bruner, aka Thundercat, is accompanied by an impressive cast ranging from Erykah Badu to members of Sa-Ra and J*DaVeY, to pianist Austin Peralta and his own Grammy-winning brother, drummer Ronald Bruner, Jr. Still, the end result is unmistakably a Thundercat record -- a lush and magical document combining classic jazz fusion, futurist electronic strains and timeless musical seeking. A native of South Los Angeles, Bruner found his instrument at the age of 4. That made him a late-bloomer in the house of Ronald, Sr., who drummed with the Temptations among others. His first bass was a black Harmony, and he practiced to the Ninja Turtles soundtrack until pops played him Jaco Pastorius. School was a blur of lessons, sessions and waking up for zero periods. At 15, he scored a hit in Germany as part of the short-lived boy band No Curfew. At 16, he toured Japan with soul man Leon Ware and joined thrash legends Suicidal Tendencies (he's still their bassist). More road and studio time followed, with everyone from Stanley Clarke to Snoop Dogg to Eric Benét. Eventually the name Thundercat stuck, a reference to the cartoon he's loved since childhood and an extension of Bruner's wide-eyed, vibrant, often superhuman approach to his craft. As one writer put it, he's "a mutant jazz cat," nuff said. Spanning a cosmic stew of players, locations and times, The Golden Age of Apocalypse was years in the making even though Bruner had never planned on releasing his own music. But Lotus spurred him on, and each song became a journey. There's the ebullient "Daylight," a soft whirl of bluesy piano, New Age synth, snapping beats and warm bass. There's "Walkin'," an upbeat soul strutter powered by Bruner's digitally distorted plucks. There are raw, improvised numbers like "Jamboree" and virtuosic bass pileups like "Fleer Ultra." One of the album's most stunning moments arrives with a spacious cover of George Duke's "For Love I Come," a taut beauty spangled with crystalline harp and keys. Bringing this string of divinely unexpected moments to a moody and cinematic close is "Return to the Journey." There, Bruner sings, "Time will pass us by," but listeners needn't worry. Inside of this space, time really isn't a thing.
Torch of the Mystics, the most popular and revered Sun City Girls album, was recorded in the summer of 1988 and became the first LP released on the Majora label in January of 1990 in an edition of 1000 copies (the original CD version was released by Tupelo Recording Company in 1993 and is long out of print). Reissued here for the first time, this record has influenced and inspired a wide variety of musicians and artists and continues to blow the minds of those hearing it for the first time. Arguably as unique a "psychedelic" statement as anything else that has appeared since the early 1970s, Torch of the Mystics cannot easily be compared to any other album you've heard. Here is Byron Coley's original review from the May 1990 issue of I magazine: "Just out of the box, and so majestic that it makes my brain do out-skull jigs across my sizzling, glass-strewn floor, is the Sun City Girls' new LP, Torch of the Mystics. As the heppest of you undoubtedly know, the Girls are a death-defying improv-rock band from Arizona who number no females amongst their membership, but who still bleed profusely on a near-monthly basis. Their recordings tend to be scattershot fiestas of lump-rich style gumbo, and Mystics is easily the richest, lumpiest puddle of guh they've yet emitted. The sounds on this record have moments of style-lifting, however, that should endear them even to fans of olden-days out-rock (a notoriously Luddite audience). At one point you'll 'hear' the circa-65 Mothers chanting 'Help I'm A Rock' while being pushed into a kettle of boiling oil by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band; at another you'll swear that your head is stuck in a lardy commode while one of the Fugs' ESP recording sessions rages around your sweat-soaked and heaving trousers. ET-fuckin-CETERA. But these 'cops' are not central parts of the whole. They pop up, rather, amidst swirling, psychedelic ethnic forgeries that will make Can fans renounce post-Landed Kraut Rock wax. Combined with this is greasy, long-wound-out puling that could come from nowhere but the small Arizona trailer park that birthed these honchos. The mix is nothing short of bo-weaving and I can't imagine that this disc will have many equals in 1990."
Pressed on 180g translucent red vinyl, with traditional OBI strip and 2 x lithographic prints featuring artwork from the Japanese and US/EU editions of the game. Audio sourced from the original NEC PC-88 files, recorded and supplied in 32bit/96kHz by Yuzo Koshiro, in combination with a 32bit/96kHz direct capture from a PAL Mega Drive (HD, VA4, non-TMSS) Yamaha YM2612 sound chip, running at 60Hz through a stereo output mod. The original soundtrack to the classic SEGA game, newly remastered in collaboration with legendary composer, Yuzo Koshiro. This is the first part of Koshiro’s monumental and highly influential trilogy, all of which will be released by Data Discs.