On The Turntable

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     Denis Mpunga & Paul K.

    Denis Mpunga & Paul K. :: Criola

    Early 80s industrial beats synthesized with traditional African rhythms make for a deep zone experience on Criola, a collection of collaborative tracks between Belgian/Congolese duo Denis Mpunga and Paul K.

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    Shintaro Sakamoto

    Shintaro Sakamoto :: Like A Fable

    Fall once again into the warm waters of Shintaro Sakamoto’s musical universe. Ever the maestro of mellow groove, Like A Fable is Sakamoto’s first album in six years …the fourth in a string of idiosyncratic solo albums each propagating their own infectious mixture of sly funk, exotica, disco, and deft songcraft.

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    Bill Laswell

    Bill Laswell :: Dreams Of Freedom (Ambient Translations Of Bob Marley In Dub)

    Bill Laswell’s 1997 remix collection of the Bob Marley catalog. At eleven tracks, the set deftly works a seam that feels at once familiar yet pleasantly discordant. As an ambient exploration of dub, traces of Marley’s original compositions float in and out, at times cresting, though more often submerged in atmosphere.

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    Alice Coltrane

    Alice Coltrane :: Live At The Berkeley Community Theater, 1972

    A major addition to the Alice Coltrane canon, this soundboard recording features the pioneering musician and her incredible band journeying fearlessly across the astral plane. Four tracks, fours sides! Tons of AC’s intense organ hijinks – how did she get that crazy sound?

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    Pierre Barouh

    Pierre Barouh :: Le Pollen

    As a composer, singer, and producer, Pierre Barouh’s wanderlust was matched only by his musical curiosity. With Le Pollen Barouh pushed the boundaries of French chanson ever further into his own borderless musical universe, reaching beyond language, style, and culture toward a commonality of song and sound.

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    Sessa :: Estrela Acesa

    A celestial nocturne, Estrela Acesa is a humble meditation on the nature of love, eternity, and the point of intersection between music and spirit.

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    Daniel Villarreal

    Daniel Villarreal :: Panamá 77

    Panamá 77, the debut album by Panamá-born, Chicago-based drummer and DJ Daniel Villarreal, arrives right on time—emitting earthy and humid spiritual jazz. Freewheeling and unmoored by genre…

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    Ryo Kawasaki

    Ryo Kawasaki :: Juice

    Kawasaki’s 1976 jazz-funk opus. Over the course of its seven tracks, the visually sci-fi-tinged world of Juice feels at once perfectly of its time, yet remains delightfully vital in 2022.

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Iggy Pop & David Bowie :: Shades (1986)

While tracing the collaborative history of Iggy Pop and David Bowie, you inevitably end at Iggy Pop’s 1986 album, Blah-Blah-Blah and its third single, “Shades.” According to the liner notes, the album was produced and co-written by Bowie, but the larger story – the one dipped in gossip and swirled in rock ’n roll folklore – is that Blah-Blah-Blah is a repurposing of throwaway material from Bowie’s ill-fated Tonight sessions, calling into question the classic Bowie/Pop paradox: is it Iggy Pop singing a David Bowie song? Or is it David Bowie producing an Iggy Pop song?

Norma Tanega :: I’m The Sky: Studio and Demo Recordings, 1964–1971

I’m The Sky: Studio and Demo Recordings, 1964–1971 collects parts of Norma Tenega’s first two albums as well as two songs from her unreleased 1969 album, and a healthy chunk of demos. Listening to this 2-lp collection and reading Erin Osmon’s excellent liner notes (which include interviews with Tanega shortly before she passed in late 2019), Tanega’s life and music feel inseparable. Her voice, guitar, and autoharp laugh off the hardships of living and lean into the comic details, embracing self-amusements, aphorisms, and minuscule mysteries.

Transmissions :: Joan Shelley

On Joan Shelley’s fantastic new album The Spur, the singer/songwriter reaches out from a place of solitude, seeking connection. Rooted in Britfolk aesthetics, it’s an album that feels intimate but spacious too, all finger picked acoustic guitars, Richard Thompson inspired electrics, and sparse percussion.

Dunza :: Disowned

The latest from JJ Toth of Wooden Wand and One Eleven Heavy, Dunza opens up new sound worlds, mutated drone funk, Popol Vuh-style devotional psych, and time-bending zoner rock. Check out the video for “Disowned” for a taste, conceived and edited by collaborator Jason Meagher of Black Dirt Studio.

The Smubbs :: This Is The End Of The Night!

Drifting in under the radar of psych collectors and enthusiasts alike are The Smubbs. They may have the worst band name in the history of modern music, but those willing to overlook this will revel in psychedelic folk that goes toe to toe with most of their freaked out peers.

Omertà :: Collection Particulière

Omertà is comprised of five musicians from a handful of projects that line the interior of France’s experimental underground, notably La Société Étrange, releasing limited edition pressings on labels like Standard In-Fi, Desastre, and La Novià. Each of the members, and their associated groups, possess krautrock’s stealthy octave climbing and open feel, dub’s intimate incorporation of analog electronics and generally hazy air, and a bit of post-punk’s willingness to try anything out.

Ryo Kawasaki :: Juice

A deeply pleasing sensation arises when terrific cover art not only fully delivers on the music, but also bears a distinct resemblance to it. Ryo Kawasaki’s 1976 jazz-funk album Juice is one such record. Bright and refreshing like a piece of citrus, peel the skin back and you’ll find an electric fantasyland of traversing wires and circuits. Over the course of its seven tracks, the visually sci-fi-tinged world of Juice feels at once perfectly of its time, yet remains delightfully vital in 2022.

Pat Metheny Group (ECM, 1978)

Guitarist Pat Metheny recently described music as a “carrot”, “I am still figuring out what the stick is,” he concluded to Ross Simonini in The Believer. That idea of constant investigation permeates Metheny’s nearly 50 year music career as well as his first s/t LP with his Pat Metheny Group.

Andy Paley :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

Depending on your entry point, Andy Paley’s body of work might be familiar via a number of unique gateways. Recording with Phil Spector and the Wrecking Crew. Producing the Shangri-Las. Writing with the Ramones. Sharing the stage with Patti Smith. And, of course, Brian Wilson’s proclamation of Paley being “the greatest musical genius I’ve ever come across”. Now residing in Vermont, Paley connected with us to discuss his long trajectory traveling all avenues of music, as well as current projects still rooted in the Spector-inspired tradition of the sixties “girl group” and French yé-yé sound.

El Gusano :: Fantasia del Barrio

Originally released in 1975, El Gusano’s Fantasia del Barrio was given a second life in 2010 via the Austin, TX based Heavy Light Records. It too soon found itself out of print. Described as the missing link between Texas psychedelia and the chicano soul and funk of the late 1960s and early 70s, the record’s ten instrumental tracks pivot between zeitgeisty rock and humid groove.