A self-described “narrative compilation”, if Searchlight Moonbeam was meticulously designed for autumnal listening, it goes beyond reaching that intention. Coming from Australian label Efficient Space (responsible for other excellent compilations like Sky Girl and Ghost Riders), this multi-faceted offering reaches from the archival depths of somber instrumentals, spoken word vignettes, glistening avant-proq, and dusty orchestral transmissions.
Like its predecessor, this 16-song collection was compiled by garage rocker and record-maker Mikey Young (he’s played in Total Control, Eddy Suppression Ring, the Green Child, the Ooga Boogas and others, and mastered more hard-rocking down-under discs than you can shake a stick at) and Keith Abrahamsson (the founder and head of A&R at Anthology Recordings). Together the two have combed through dusty crates and piles of singles, finding long-neglected gems among collections bound for second-hand shops.
Spiritmuse Records is one of several modern record labels dedicated to reissuing jazz and jazz-inspired music from around the globe. The London-based label’s recent Spirit of France compilation showcases “obscure, rare spiritual jazz, deep folk and psychedelia sounds from the French ‘70s-‘80s underground” and is everything that tantalizing description promises.
In 2016, Australian label Efficient Space released Sky Girl, a near immaculate collection of gems lifted from small pressings dating from the sixties to the nineties compiled by Julien Dechery and DJ Sundae. Although highly varied, pasting together new wave tones, borderline outsider rock, and haunting folk, Sky Girl is a seamless listen. Six years on, Efficient Space offer their second compilation, Ghost Riders, put together by record collector Ivan Liechti, culled between 1965-1974.
In his sterling new compilation Sharayet El Disco: Egyptian Disco & Boogie Cassette Tracks 1982-1992, archivist Moataz Rageb, aka DJ Arabesquo, highlights the importance of cassettes to the musical culture of 1980s Eqypt. The compilation effortlessly moves through nine tracks, across thirty-seven groovy minutes, filled with classic 1980s production effects, early drum machines and synthesizers tweaked to accommodate Egyptian rhythms.
A near vocal-less affair, the 20-track double-album combines threads of both the Berlin and Düsseldorf schools, with most recordings laid down between the late ‘70s through the ‘80s. Each track contains constantly refining repetitious rhythms, often from a sequencer, with snaking, silvery synths and guitars overtop, each run through a series of effects that alternate between hijacking and complementing melodic impulses.
Hidden Waters, the recent vinyl compilation of new Brazilian music by Sounds & Colours, offers a dreamscape view of the alternative music scene that has recently bloomed around the Audio Rebel studio in Rio de Janeiro. From established icons of ‘nova MPB’ like Kassin and Letrux to up-and-coming artists like Raquel Dimantas and Os Ritmistas, and from the serene soul pop of Jonas Sá and Marcello Callado to the abrasive noise experimentalism of Cadu Tenório & Juçara Marçal and Ava Rocha.
Released in 2016, and followed with a second volume in 2018, Soul Jazz’s Venezuela 70: (Cosmic Visions of a Latin American Earth: Venezuelan Experimental Rock in the 1970’s) is a heady brew and one hot stew of a melting pot, blending Latin rhythms and Venezuelan roots with krautrock, baroque pop, intergalactic jazz, spaced-out garage rock, exotica lounge, and technicolor psych-pop.
A weird beast twisted in the very best sense, the hypnagogic assemblage finds its curator (Belgian dj, soFa) mining a disparate trove of curios from around the globe. Aesthetically eclectic, the set maintains a loosely connected through-line, one that equally embraces a German children’s choir, dumpster synths, nascent drum machines, and 8-bit madness.
Over the past five years, Light in the Attic have offered wanderlusting listeners a series of primers with reissue compilations featuring music not yet released officially outside of Japan.
The label’s latest collection is called Somewhere Between. Subtitled Mutant Pop, Electronic Minimalism & Shadow Sounds of Japan 1980–1988, this compilation attempts to connect the dots between various fringe figures operating outside of the country’s monolithic commercial music industry.
Released at the tail end of last year, the double lp Kreaturen Der Nacht compiles rarities and oddities from Germany’s post-punk and independent underground spanning the years 1980-85.
A spiritual successor to Golden Apples of the Sun, the recent compilation Fragments du Monde Flottant proves Devendra Banhart’s ears fully intact. Released by the Genève, Switzerland based Bongo Joe Records, Fragments again finds the singer-songwriter in a curatorial role, culling demo recordings from his labyrinth of friends, acquaintances and musical compatriots.
Originally a handmade mix CD compiled by French collectors Julien Dechery and DJ Sundae and sold at a Parisian boutique, Australia’s Efficient Space label brought Sky Girl to the masses […]
The best compilations peel back the curtain, offering a glimpse at obscured musical traditions, and leave the listener wanting more. No matter what kept American ears from hearing the varied […]