Happy Independence Day America!
So anyway, this week I’ll be writing about Roots Manuva, Grimes, Zapp, Electric Wizard, The Shins, Lee Perry plus a few others. Let’s get this rollin’
Zapp, Dance Floor/More Bounce To The Ounce, classic 80s funk on Warner from the famous murder-suicide Troutman brothers. More Bounce To The Ounce has been sampled like crazy by the likes of Notorious BIG, Public Enemy and EPMD. It’s highly unlikely that you haven’t heard it before but here it is, if you listen to this and aren’t inclined to move then you may be dead inside.
Francis Beby, Psychedelic Sanza 1982-1984, double vinyl compilation on Born Bad Records from 2014. Beby (real name Francisco Birago Diop!!) was a Cameroonian multi-instrumentalist, singing in Duala, French and English, this compilation covers only a small portion of his career and releases. His sound mixes traditional African sounds with funky basslines and beautiful vocals. Be prepared to instantly fall in love.
The Shins, Wincing The Night Away, 2007 release from these Indie legends on Sub Pop. Their third and last release on Sub Pop, The Shins had steadily been producing beautiful Indie albums throughout the early noughties, this one having been produced by the legendary Joe Ciccarelli, it sounds amazing and packs all the punches you’d want from a Shins album.
Krokodil, An Invisible World Revealed, hugely rare Swiss Prog, German pressing on United Artists from 1971 in a textured gatefold sleeve. The group are of Swiss, German and English decent with the heavily psychedelic sound of the era, lots of different experimental influences, this album is the possible jewel in somebody’s Prog crown.
Electric Wizard, Time To Die, limited edition, clear vinyl repress on Spinefarm Records from 2015. Doom, Sludge legends Electric Wizard hail from Dorset and are formed of member from Lord of Putrefaction and Thy Grief Eternal. Two founding members left to form the group Ramesses. The band in it’s many incarnations have been making stonking Doom Metal for years. This album saw the band locked in a legal dispute regarding payment and the album was removed from all popular streaming sites. Still, you can pop down to Reckless and get this lovely see-through copy whilst you wait for them to battle it out in court.
Next up are a fine selection of Reggae 12s: Love & Unity with Ranking Bogart, Put It On, John Kpyae & The Albans, Put Dub In, UK pressing on Studio 16 from 1980. Philip Levi, Mi God Mi King, Maxi Preist, Love In The Ghetto/In A Me Yard, white label from 1984. Jimmy Lindsay/Fabine, Easy/Prophecy, UK 1977 press on Tribes Man (you do know this)
Lee Perry, Africa’s Blood, an original mono pressing from the 1971. Features Dave Barker, Addis Ababa Children, Winston Price, The Hurricanes and the Upsetters.
Grimes, Art Angels, 2015 release on 4AD. This is Grimes’ most accessible and “poppy” albums to date. Canadian born Claire Boucher must have been channeling some stupid-ass spirits that encouraged her to make silly decisions in the writing of this album (a process she claims aids her writing) as it’s full of some really strange and, frankly, unenjoyable bullshit. This album has garnered her a huge influx of commercial success and some would say that it’s been her downfall. She produces all of her own artwork and, as with this album, it’s gorgeous and seems to personify exactly what the Grimes character is all about. If you enjoyed Visions then I’d give this one a miss and wait to hear what the Thinking Girl’s Taylor Swift will fart out next.
High On Fire, Luminiferous, 180 gram double LP with an etching on side-D and CD version of the album included, from 2015 on Century Media. This is the seventh studio album from these titans of Doom Metal and certainly doesn’t disappoint. Matt Pike’s capabilities go far beyond anything he would have been able to achieve with Sleep, he’s a giant of the heavy metal world and if you stubhub it you could get to see him perform with Sleep this week in London. Light a fatty and get grappled in a “rock-lock” with your closest stoner pal, this is gonna be a heavy ride…
Boards Of Canada, In A Beautiful Place In The Country, original UK sky blue wax pressing from 2000 on Warp Records. A four-track EP pressed on super heavyweight 200g vinyl. This Scottish duo have reached legendary status as one of Warps finest outputs, this album explores similar themes to their previous and subsequent releases: childhood, weirdness and nature. This EP dances with ideas related to The Branch Davidian sect and their Waco Retreat of the nineties.
Roots Manuva, Bleeds, from 2015 on Big Dada Recordings. This album is too good! If you haven’t heard it yet then it’s definitely worth a listen, in my opinion it’s the best thing Rooty Toot has produced since Run Come Save Me. You can tell the amount of work and effort he’s put into making another belter of a UK Hip Hop album. It features production by some UK heavyweights including Adrain Sherwood and Four Tet. It’s hard to describe this album as it’s multifaceted so I’ll leave it to Rodney himself to surmise it nicely: “liquid soul, the blood, the bleeds that paint infinite sacred wonders in our dreams and unfold in our day-to-day.”
As always, a playlist version of all the tracks featured on this week’s blog can be found here.