In 2015 Adrian Younge provided Ghostface Killah with a sonic backdrop equal parts hip hop and Italian horror, as much Ennio Morricone as sweet boom bap. Select singles from the project will now be available, presented here “Death’s Invitation b/w Let The Record Spin” in a full color jacket. 12 Reasons To Die II is vividly brought to life with the help of Younge’s never-endingly evocative and unique brand of cinematic, psychedelic soul. The music – on which Younge himself plays upwards of 10 instruments – was recorded strictly on analog tape, to bring out the true grit of the ‘70s era that provides the Twelve Reasons backdrop. Younge’s work of course sounds great – as presented here, it looks as good as it sounds with the Italian horror inspired graphics splattered all over the full color jacket.
Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde is, simply put, one of the most perfect albums in the history of recorded music regardless of genre. From the lyrical flow of Slimkid3, Bootie Brown, Imani and Fatlip to the cover art by Fuct the project is the embodiment of excellence start to finish. Musically, the foundation of this perfection is the production work of J-Swift. His use of jazz samples, phat beats and live instrumentation had the ultimate effect of “creating their own sonic utopia”, as NME put it. As such it’s more than fitting that Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde be released as an all instrumental outing. Swift’s adventurous use of samples from jazz, R&B, funk, classic rock and more melded with his personal additions of live instrumentation including piano, bass, and Fender Rhodes along with drum arrangements from fellow producer JMD create a lush, jazzy soundscape that works well as a stand alone recording. Though the west coast’s predominant G-Funk sound of the time or the east coast’s conscious kings De La Soul may have sold more records at the time, The Pharcyde and J-Swift’s work on Bizarre Ride has stood the text of time and continues to resonate with fans new and old in a way that few records have or ever will.
Returning after their Last Transmission collaborative album with Melvin Van Peebles, the Heliocentrics finish off their trawl through the vaults of tracks recorded at their old digs – Quatermass Studios – with psychedelic tinged funk and jazz instrumentals Rolling Stone describes as “…sprawling, with percussive patterns that suddenly morph into extraterrestrial sound blasts and opaque, detouring patterns.”
Get On Down presents a unique way to proudly re-live your “hip-house” past, with a 7” reissue of the Jungle Brothers’ infectious 1988 hit “I’ll House You,” which was arranged by the legendary Todd Terry. On the B-Side is a fan favorite from the group’s stellar Straight Out The Jungle album, “On The Run,” which was released as its own single in 1988. Group commentary on both songs, taken from Brian Coleman’s book Rakim Told Me: I’LL HOUSE YOUMIKE G: That was produced by Todd Terry and us. It was [a different] Todd Terry song, initially. They left us with the track and we wrote the lyrics to it, and did our mix version to it. At the time, we were getting into house music, and hitting all the clubs.AFRIKA BABY BAM: They were laughing at it at first, but it became our biggest hit of that time! We were just having fun with it. There used to be a house show on Kiss FM after Red [Alert], so he’d always play that as his last song. ON THE RUNAFRIKA BABY BAM: That was complicated to make. DJ Sugar Shaft from X-Clan used to cut up that break all the time. “Push Up,” by some rock band, I think. I looped it up like a machine gun beat. The bassline was from “The Mexican” [by Babe Ruth]. Mike kicked the lyrics to me at first over the phone. He said, “I’m a Scooby Doo so I don’t be late” and I was like: “Wow!”
De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest may have been more commercially successful, but the afrocentric, jazz political rap movement and unfadeable Native Tongue Massive started with the Jungle Brothers. Their debut full length “Straight Out the Jungle” opened up many doors that are walked through by today’s artists like Mos Def, Common and even Kanye West. Their taste for jazzy horn samples helped kick-start the entire jazz-rap movement, and their James Brown fixation was one of the first. Plus, the group’s groundbreaking collaboration with legendary house producer Todd Terry, “I’ll House You,” paved the way for numerous hip-house hybrids that shot up the dance and pop charts over the next few years and appeared to be a staple on every East Coast Rap Album from ‘88 until ‘92. The opening track “Straight Out the Jungle” samples the classic Bill Withers drum break as the JB’s tell you where they are coming from. “Black Is Black” (featuring a young Q-Tip) and “Sounds Of The Safari” introduces the pro-black edge, while the sexually subtle classics “Jimbrowski” and “I’m Gonna Do You” are funny, clever and timely. Hard, smart, fun, clever and brilliant, Mike G., Africa Baby Bam and Sammy G may not have realized it but they crafted a classic rap album that stands the test of time. Available here on high grade, loud pressed, double vinyl for the first time ever!
For starters, this platter begins with one of the great intros of all time: “Ladies and gentlemen, there are seven acknowledged wonders of the world. You are about to witness the eighth…” Lodged in a deep groove between the JB’s’ debut LP Food For Thought (1972) and the more complex and at-times political Damn Right, I Am Somebody (from 1974) sits the ridiculously vampy and infectious classic, Doing It To Death. First moving hips and making heads nod in 1973, the James Brown-produced, 5-song album is one big funk lick, broken up into many delicious moving parts. As with pretty much everything produced by the JB’s – led by Fred Wesley with heavy help from a supporting cast that included saxophonist Maceo Parker, guitarists Jimmy Nolen and Hearlon “Cheese” Martin and drummer John “Jabo” Starks – all songs began and revolved around a devastating riff. The title track is most certainly guilty-as-charged, as it starts strutting right out of the gate and continues for just over 10 minutes, driven by a guitar lick and MCed by the inimitable James Brown, with soloists stepping up and out while the song chugs on. The other centerpiece of the album is the 8-minute “You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I’ll Be Straight,” whose groove is interestingly teased two times before it arrives in full form. The song title itself is provocative, and the music keeps a stone-cold groove despite the less than cheery undertones. Again driven by an infectious guitar morsel, the breakdowns in this song gave sampling producers and DJs sweet dreams in the ‘80s, and Fred Wesley’s trombone solo rides beautifully over the group’s cries of “We need some money.” Beyond the aforementioned sure-shots, the twitchy “More Peas,” “La Di Da La Di Day” and the much jazzier, solo-heavy “Sucker” round out this incredible album. It’s just another perfect example of how James Brown’s funk machine could stop the world when they hit a groove.
Limited Edition of 400 Copies on Dark Green Vinyl! There is simply nothing more welcoming to the ears than a new Emancipator record. Slathered with organic rhythms and dripping with fusion atmospheres, Doug Appling’s (Emancipator) newest creation is once again a freely majestic pilgrimage into the depths of worldly sound. Seven Seas could not be a more appropriate name, as the album could easily fit flawlessly as the soundtrack to an oceanic escapade lasting months, or even years, in exile. The inclusion of electronic elements is no foreign concept to Appling, but nor is it any predominant requirement. Occasional synthesizer beams scan themselves across the sound spectrum being produced. The focal point of each composition, however, remains the pressing organic elements signature to the Emancipator sound. Frequently accompanied by live violin, and more recently a larger arrangement in the form of the Emancipator Ensemble, Appling has shown tirelessly that the presence of live instrumentation is a key component of his vision. Teasing guitar strums and chiming piano keys often introduce the songs of Seven Seas. Each composition emerges out of its organic components. The structures are kept minimal, but steadily moving through constant evolution to maintain the listener’s interest. At the root, these are electronically produced instrumentals, but taking an overall perspective there is truly so much more happening within the confines of the record. Each track is segmented, implementing distinct sections through which its instrumental and production components can highlight themselves and bask in their own, natural beauty. Not only does the release add to the furthering impressive discography of Emancipator, but also that of Appling’s own founded label, Loci Records. The Portland, Oregon label has seen itself home to the releases of numerous artists clearly inspired by Appling’s own musical expeditions, each dipping their personal touches on to their according audio canvases. (Kyle Taylor http://funkadelphia.wordpress.com)
When Donuts came out, on J Dilla's birthday, February 7, 2006, it was with this drawing cover (scribbled up by Jeff Jank). As some years passed, the vinyl was eventually reissued with "the smile" photo cover, and the drawing cover eventually went out of print. Here's the 10th anniversary edition of the album. Drawing cover; new drawing on the back; UV coated sleeve; gatefold with liner notes by Jordan Ferguson, containing an excerpt from his book Donuts 33 1/3 about the making of the album.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. Announced in Fall 2005, the concept of a “rap album without rappers” struck some as minor novelty, but Donuts would prove to transcend the rigid definitions of what a hip-hop album could be. It plays part like a DJ mix, part like a hip-hop beat maker at work, its songs starting and stopping unexpectedly, like someone turning the dial on an imaginary radio station. But it's an unmistakably modern album, and one which perfectly encapsulated the artist's reputation among his peers and fans as a top-rated architect of soulful hip-hop.
Music from the movie Attack on Titan, available for the first time on 2LP green vinyl.
Boy 8-Bit returns with an exclusive four track, limited edition vinyl release of new and previously unreleased material. The straight up dance floor oriented house shuffle of ‘Jungle Gym’ sits on the A-Side, with its modulated FM bass, descending harps and the repeated call to “Move”. On the B side he returns to his more melodic and progressive side with ‘Timeworks’. The arpeggiator is left to run, providing both the bass and the top line, over a bed of vintage synth strings and a 120bpm groove.
Sometimes you just gotta make dreams come true - it’s a big honor for us to realize the first Big Pun posthumous release after 15 years on Vinyl! Features KRS-One, Marley Marl, Kool G Rap, Cormega, Easy Mo Bee & Shaquille O’Neal!! Authorized big Domingo and his Rios family this release reminds us all about the lyricial genius Big Punisher - rounded off with an incredible Cover Artwork!
Rant In E-Minor: Variations is Bill Hicks’ most brilliant album in its raw form with no music interludes. The original release was compiled from multiple shows in Austin, Texas and this version is one of those evenings, October 24th, 1993. It contains Hicks’ classic material, never-before-heard bits, and some new twists on some of everyone’s favorites.
Deluxe CD is a one time pressing featuring a hardbook pack; 40 page booklet containing exclusive photographs.The Last Shadow Puppets return with their new album Everything You’ve Come To Expect. The album finds Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane reunited with James Ford (production and drums), Owen Pallett (string arrangements) and Zachary Dawes (Mini Mansions) on bass, recording the follow up to 2008’s The Age Of The Understatement at Shangri-La Studio in Malibu. Suffice it to say that other obligations came between The Age of Understatement and its sophomore successor, not least the unstoppable rise of Turner’s Arctic Monkeys, who released not one but three hugely successful albums between 2008 and 2013. Neither Kane nor Turner ever intended to put the Puppets on the back burner where so many “side projects” languish in perpepuity: the creative outlet that the act offered to the two friends was far too important for that. Just as The Age of Understatement enabled the duo to explore an all-but-forgotten world of epic ‘60s pop that contrasted starkly with the indie guitar-rock template of the Monkeys and the Rascals, so the second coming of the Shadow Puppets has given Kane and Turner new avenues that veer radically away from their other work. Everything You’ve Come To Expect is a more open and expansive work than its predecessor, wearing its influences less obviously on its sleeve – by turns the album is soaring, snarling and breathlessly seductive.
One of the most popular instrumental series of all time continues to expand with HISS Foundations. This project is truly one of those records produced solely for the diehard fans of Damu’s How it Should Sound (HISS) Volumes 1 & 2, but might also be a great introduction for newcomers. This 2XLP collection contains more than beats, but seeds of ambition long before the (original) harvest. Straight from the archives, literally salvaged from the original recordings and unedited, never before have these demos been publicly available. One may think they’re well familiar with the sounds, but this is an intimate look into a rather private artist’s sketchbook. In no way should this replace HISS 1 & 2, but instead consider this as a collector’s item.
First edition pressing of the sophomore Sister Crayon album, co-produced by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Wes Jones. Devoted is very much an album formed through loss. It is a juxtaposition of mourning that loss, challenging the loss of love, and understanding that love was never yours to begin with. It jumps from being cynical towards love to being wholly reflective and contemplative. Despite the melancholy nature of the subject, this album rarely touches sadness. Oakland duo Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez have been performing as Sister Crayon, trying to qualify relationships, friendships, tour life and home life. In the spring of 2014, in a studio in Florida with co-producers Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Wes Jones, all of the questions and drama turned itself over through the creation of Devoted. More than anything else, Devoted is concentrated anger and frustration. The heavy beats and forward, aggressive nature in which the vocals are presented in every song set a much more revealing tone than heard in previous work. Vocals often border a juxtaposition between the female, male, and the “other” - and the album features three tracks co-written by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez: “Into Solemn Hymns,” “Night Totem,” and “Providence.” In Devoted, the artists have taken a fully primal approach that focuses heavily on the electronic elements and voice. Lopez and Fernandez clung to these songs when there was nothing left. Devoted was written in order to restore faith in the act of devotion.
Mavis Staples has been a soul and gospel music legend for more than 50 years. Her work fronting the legendary Staples Singers defined the sound of politically-committed soul and influenced generations of musicians. As a solo artist in her own right she has helped to define much of what is righteous and soulful in American music. With Livin’ On A High Note, Mavis Staples has delivered the most joyful and uplifting record of her career. 12 original songs written exclusively for Mavis by some of the finest songwriters of our time including M. Ward, Ben Harper, Valerie June, Neko Case, tune-yards, Nick Cave, John Baptiste, Justin Vernon, Aloe Blacc, and more. At age 76, Mavis Staples shows no signs of slowing down and 2016 is slated to be one of her best years yet. On February 20th, HBO will debut Mavis! – the first feature length documentary on the gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon.
The Last Shadow Puppets return with their new album Everything You’ve Come To Expect. The album finds Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane reunited with James Ford (production and drums), Owen Pallett (string arrangements) and Zachary Dawes (Mini Mansions) on bass, recording the follow up to 2008’s The Age Of The Understatement at Shangri-La Studio in Malibu. Suffice it to say that other obligations came between The Age of Understatement and its sophomore successor, not least the unstoppable rise of Turner’s Arctic Monkeys, who released not one but three hugely successful albums between 2008 and 2013. Neither Kane nor Turner ever intended to put the Puppets on the back burner where so many “side projects” languish in perpepuity: the creative outlet that the act offered to the two friends was far too important for that. Just as The Age of Understatement enabled the duo to explore an all-but-forgotten world of epic ‘60s pop that contrasted starkly with the indie guitar-rock template of the Monkeys and the Rascals, so the second coming of the Shadow Puppets has given Kane and Turner new avenues that veer radically away from their other work. Everything You’ve Come To Expect is a more open and expansive work than its predecessor, wearing its influences less obviously on its sleeve – by turns the album is soaring, snarling and breathlessly seductive.
200 Gram Audiophile Vinyl, includes booklet, gatefold packaging, limited/numbered to 2000. The Fireman are back after a ten-year break. Electric Arguments is their third studio album and it's not the album people might expect from the previously mysterious duo. This is Paul McCartney's 2008 album with producer Youth (aka Martin Glover). Each track written, recorded and sung in the space of one day with Paul McCartney, playing all instruments. 'The album's opener is classic rock and an instant attention grabber. A heavy guitar riff with loud drums and souring vocals, it's like nothing The Fireman have ever done before.
Roxbury native EDO.G (Edward Anderson) and Da Bulldogs broke into the international Hip Hop arena in 1991 with the release of their debut album "Life Of A Kid In The Ghetto." Several successful singles were released from this first album including the party anthem "I Got To Have It", which went to #1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles Chart and on the Yo! MTV Raps countdown. Sales were estimated at over 470,000 units for this first album and during a two year time span between 1991-1992, EDO.G received 3 awards at the annual Boston Music Awards. By 1999 EDO.G earned 2 of the Boston Music Award's most prestigious titles four times over: "Best Rap Album" and "Best Outstanding Act."
Clint Mansell's score for Darren Aronofsky's film Black Swan (2010) is a unique creature in itself - adapting Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, and deconstructing it into a modern film score for a twisted fairy tale. Purists may cringe at the idea of modifying Tchaikovsky's seminal work, but it honestly results in one of the most unique and resonant film scores of the last 10 years, and easily one of the most remarkable examples of music adaptation in film to date. Featuring original artwork by Sam Wolfe Connelly & an all new interview with composer Clint Mansell. Cut at 45RPM for best sound quality.
RETURN OF THE TENDER LOVER is the 10th studio album by the poignant tunesmith, prolific hit maker/producer, superstar recording artist, and revolutionary label owner Babyface. The album is filled with eight beautiful new original tracks of unapologetic R&B, intended to bring feel-good grooves back to music. Babyface plays on every track on the album including, although not limited to, his amazing and widely-praised guitar work.
Republic Records will release "Amy", the Original Soundtrack. The album features music from the universally acclaimed film, directed by BAFTA winning director Asif Kapadia, and now officially the highest grossing British documentary of all time at the UK box office. Indeed "Amy", in the few months since its release, is a true global box office phenomenon and, officially the second highest grossing documentary of all time globally behind Fahrenheit 9/11.
While G-funk dominated hip-hop airwaves through the 1990s, the pulse of underground rap was maintained at the Good Life Café, an open-mic workshop at the corner of Crenshaw & Exposition in Los Angeles. After Freestyle Fellowship became the first Good Life group to invade the national consciousness in 1991, a young duo called THE NONCE were their heirs apparent, seemingly primed for a breakthrough. Composed of Leimert Park natives Lance ‘Nouka Basetype / Sach’ Caldwell and Yusef ‘Afloat’Muhammad, The Nonce had already been rapping and recording together for years prior to arriving at Good Life. The Nonce signed to Wild West Records / American and completed a record called ‘World Ultimate’ in 1995. An early single called “Mix Tapes” emerged from the ‘World Ultimate’ sessions. With its dense percussion, rolling bass, spare horn samples and deft turntable scratches, it’s emblematic of the sound that would pervade the classic album. The song charts Sach and Yusef’s growth from mixtape peddlers to artists. It also became The Nonce’s stepping stone to a major label contract and a bonafide west coast classic. After ‘World Ultimate,’ Sach and Yusef intended to push their musical boundaries even further. Unfortunately for Yusef Afloat, the journey ended at age 28. In 2000 his body was found beside the 110-Freeway. In the years since Sach has maintained a prolific solo career, selfreleasing nearly a dozen projects ranging from LPs to collaborations and instrumental tapes. Fast forward to 2016 and the forthcoming release of ‘ESSENTIAL [HNR57] a remastered twelve-track “Best of” SACH compilation album, serving as a re-introduction of Sach to a new generation of hip-hop lovers, producers, beat makers & emcees. This extraordinary musical document comes complete with cover artwork courtesy of Augustine Kofie, the legendary photography of Eric Coleman, plus illustrative and informative liner notes by luminary Carlos Nino, and is available on limited-edition 12” tangerine colored vinyl (plus Cassette tape (includes two non-LP bonus tracks “Heavenly Spit” & “Robot on Ya”).
Gatefold vinyl includes 7 inserts with artwork from Grimes, and LP includes download card with bonus track. Spanning fourteen tracks, the new album features collaborations with Janelle Monáe and newcomer, Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes. It was recorded primarily in her home studio in Los Angeles, CA, where she relocated to in 2014. Like all of her previous albums, Art Angels was written and recorded entirely as a solo endeavour. The new album features more live instrumentation than ever before on a Grimes record. She plays piano, guitar and violin, continuing her evolution as a musician and a producer for her most ambitious album to date.