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Top 5 Soul-Jazz picks | January 2020

Top 5 Soul-Jazz picks | January 2020



Artist: High Risk

Album: High Risk

This reissue: 2019 Jazz Aggression

Emanating the spiritual freedom of the 70s with their mixture of jazz, folk and blues, the soul-jazz form charges the politically fuelled lyrics for a standout album.  

From an all-female band consisting of Virginia Rubino (of BeBe K'Roche fame) on keys, Cyndy ”Cynth” Mason Fitzpatrick (of flutemedicine fame) on saxes and flute, Bobi Jackson on bass and Sandy Ajida on percussion. The album features 6 original tracks including the full mix of Common Woman with all 6 poems by critically acclaimed poet and author Judy Grahn, who also contributed to the new liner-notes.

Available here



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Artist: Phil Ranelin

Album: The Time Is Now!

This reissue: 2019 Tribe / Pure Pleasure

The Time Is Now is a vanguard jazz record, full of the spirit, determination, and innovation inspired by John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Cecil Taylor, Pharoah Sanders, and Archie Shepp. Recorded in 1973 and 1974 and released at the end of 1974, the set shows Ranelin to be an imposing composer and frightfully good trombonist. The original album contained six compositions that are a deep musical brew of avant-garde improvisation, hard bop jazz esthetics, and soulful melodic ideas that were superimposed as a jump off point for both harmonic and rhythmic invention.

Available here


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Artist: Wendell Harrison

Album: An Evening With The Devil

This reissue: 2018 Tribe / Pure Pleasure

Something to push your perceptions - this record is one for those willing to take the plunge. Drawing straight from their collective experience, Wendell Harrison and his group The Tribe force you to lean into discomfort from the get go, meandering into 'justice' eventually. The music reflects the stress, tension and discords that took place within their community along with the positive and harmonious things that happen alongside. The relationship between art and culture, the total vibrations, both positive and negative, are amplified: the message is heavy but for those who are dedicated, the healing force of the universe that is Music will never fail to elevate. 

"The compositions we play are reflective of the music of our times whereby we play Jazz, Rock, and African music with its poly or many rhythms. I wrote all the tunes on this particular L.P. and it is written as a suite in 5 movements which means that the music can be performed along with poetry and dancers." - Liner Notes

Available here 



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Artist : Matthew Larkin Cassell

Album: Pieces | 1977

This Reissue: Out-sider | 2018

One of those rare / overlooked records that you have to thank re-issue labels for bringing back to the spotlight. This 1977 gem by Bay Area songwriter, Matthew L. C brings that mellow, laid-back Funk and Soul-Jazz grooves for your listening pleasure. Think of Steely Dan mixed with that dreamy Roy Ayers sound and you will get Pieces – A true salute to the emotion of Nostalgia and Hopefulness. Not exactly in that classic box of the genre Soul Jazz, Pieces still represents those soulful and Jazzy qualities that we love, so we figured why not in our Top 5! Sampled by the likes of Madlib & MF Doom, some of the heaviest diggers out there – further goes to show that this LP is not to be missed. Highly recommended – Check it out!

Available here 


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Artist : Doug Hammond & David Durrah

Album: Reflections In The Sea Of Nurnen | 1975

This Reissue: Pure Pleasure Records | 2018

A special session from the legendary Tribe Records Scene with the combined effort from leader Doug Hammond and keyboardist David Durrah. Goes deep in this one, mixing the sound of acoustic instruments, synthesizers, Rhodes and vocal chants, experimenting and expressing a liberating sound. The groove on this LP comes through as pure instinct, even during the quiet moments, topping it off with some class melodies reminiscent of the late Gil Scot Heron. Remastered and resissued via Pure Pleasure Records, this is a record that is usually overlooked at the vault, so here it is! Highly recommended.

Available here 


Top 5 Essential Records at the Vault - Latin America | January 2020

Top 5 Essential Records at the Vault - Latin America | January 2020

Artist: Arthur Verocai

Album: Self-Titled | 1972

This reissue: Mr. Bongo | 2016

Filed under as Bossanova, Samba, Jazz, Funk, Breaks and Psychedelic Rock, listeners here can expect a 29 minute long LP of unique song arrangements and interesting sonic timbres. Madlib described it as an album he could listen to every day for the rest of his life and we won’t disagree with that. Funky, Jazzy and free yet intimate and soulful, a journey through different emotions. An essential record for all of you starting their journey on Brazilian music.

Available here

Artist: Omara Portuondo

Album: Self Titled | 2000

This reissue: World Circuit | 2019

Portuondo, who is one of Cuba’s most acclaimed artist released her self-titled album in 2000. A true classic in songwriting which features many traditional musical styles, from son to guajira to bolero. On top of that, Portuondo’s voice is close to near perfection, evoking a sense of nostalgia, which instantly teleports the listener to her homeland. Nicknamed “The Fiancee of Feelings ”, this is one of our top recommendations at the vault – true vibes here! 

Available here

Artist: Caetano Veloso

Album: Transa | 1972

This reissue: Elemental Music | 2018

Transa is the fourth album by Brazilian artist Caetano Veloso, originally released in 1972 by Polygram. Recorded during his exile in London - the LP sounds like 70s electric rock fused with that Brazilian feel - strong percussive elements, berimbau sounds and his own Viola playing. Some songs were sung in English and some in Portuguese, all presenting a melancholic vibe with his strong yearning voice paired with beautiful chord changes and dynamic song structures. Sounds ahead of its time! Highly recommend this album.

Available here



Artist: Carioca & Devas

Album: Misterios De Amazonia | 1980

This reissue: Altercats | 2019

This 1980s Brazilian psych-folk LP reissued by Altercat records is a true gem. Drawing inspiration from the folklore of the Amazon and Brazil’s northeastern regions, the songs are an introspective journey into the living Amazon expressed through a spiritual touch of strong rhythmic percussions and melodies. 

Available here

Artist: Werther

Album: Self-titled | 1970

This reissue: Altercats | 2019

Reissue of 1970’s best-kept Bossa Nova Secret, Werther courtesy of Altercat Records once again. 12 tracks that evoke such an intimate and personal feel supported by subtle musical arrangements. Classic at times - the subtle strums of the guitar and the blowing of the flute paired with raw and honest vocals, makes this one of our top LPs currently at the vault. Can’t get any more real than this! Definitely, a must-listen, underrated piece.

Available here

The Analog Vault - Top 10 picks of 2019

The Analog Vault - Top 10 picks of 2019
Here are some of our top picks of 2019! It was very difficult to narrow it down to just 10 but we managed to pick some based on what was popular amongst you guys who have supported the vault over this year. We added more tunes to our Spotify playlist so that some of these titles don't get missed out but here are our 10 picks, in no particular order! 
*A big shout out to all who came through and spent the year with us listening and discovering music together
1. VA - Pacific Breeze (Japanese City Pop, AOR, Boogie 1976-1986)

One of those compilations that you won’t want to skip a single song. A very good introductory to the world of Japanese City Pop and one of our best sellers here at the Vault. With its eye-striking cover painting done by Tokyo based artist Hiroshi Nagai, we’ve seen many head turners and questions asked purely based on its illustration. Many key City Pop players on here, from Taeko Ohnuki and Minako Yoshida, as well as cult favorites Hitomi Tohyama and Hiroshi Sato. The music ranges from the playful emotions of City pop, its Machine like – Computer funk groove, right down to that distinct nostalgia which we all love from time to time. If City Pop is your thing, this compilation won’t disappoint!

2. Meitei - Kwaidan

Released on vinyl by local imprint Evening Chants, Meitei’s Kwaidan is a weird and wonderful journey into the spooky world of Kwaidan – a style of Japanese ghost stories. Using intricate sound collage as form, the lost Japanese mood is presented in a contemporary spin on this exceptional LP.  

3. Fauxe - Ikhlas

Our first release as a label! This wonderful beats album by local producer Fauxe was initially released on cassette in 2018, and we absolutely had to release it on vinyl. Fauxes exploration of the KL music scene is a story expressed through samples of traditional Malaysia music with Hip Hop as its vehicle. Inspired by an eight-month stay in Malaysia, this LP is a true modern ode to the sonic legacy of the country. Likewise, we are inspired by the man's love for music of all sorts and his Ikhlas (sincere) creativity.

4. Various Artist - Hydeout Productions - First Collection

A compilation album, the first of 2 released by Nujabes Hydeout Productions Label. Previously on CD, these beautiful songs have made their way onto wax for the first time. Featuring some major players such as Funky DL, Apani B-Fly Emcee and Shing02 paired with the iconic beats of the late Nujabes. Not much has to be said but this compilation helps to show how far his music has reached out, breaking boundaries and forming a unique vibe truly known to Nujabes. With his classic style of sampling and his known swing, the music here presents a colorful, wavering and watery flow that brings moods of both melancholy and beauty. 

5. Bombay S Jayashri - Shravanam

Time Capsule has knocked it out of the park with their fourth release, presenting the transcendental work of intimately spiritual Indian classical music by celebrated vocalist and composer Bombay S Jayashri. The drone of the tambura, intricate percussion and meditative chanting make up its deep musical landscape, truly engulfing any room this is played in; deservedly due to the incredible production. An incredible release by Time Capsule that will touch anyone with a spiritual charge.

6. Keith Jarrett - The Melody At Night

This LP is on rotation at the store most of the time as it fits the vibe of the store perfectly! If you have visited our store in the last 3 months, you probably would have heard it. Melancholic and beautiful from start to end with the solo piano work of Keith Jarrett, this LP is perfect for an after-work listen or just before you head to bed! First time on Vinyl from the good people of ECM Label, we highly recommend it for all music lovers and vinyl collectors :)  Perfect album to sum up the end of 2019.

7. Mort Garson - Mother Earth's Plantasia

First official reissue of this plantastic masterpiece made up of beautifully synthesized arrangements for flora and fauna. Surely one of the most popular reissues of 2019 with its iconic artwork along with some lovely melodies packed in here. It comes with a very creative seed paper download card - plant it and watch it sprout :) “Warm earth music for plants and the people that love them” – all melodies were created on the Moog, orchestrated by Mort Garson leading the instrument to speak a charming and subtle language. If you haven’t listened to this, we ought you to! Truly putting the synth in photosynthesis is the right tag line!

8. Sampa The Great - The Return

Melbourne artist Sampa The Great here with her debut album The Return. Truly unique rhythmic flow throughout with top productions and water like rhymes. Some key collaborations here as well such as Silent Jay, Jon Wayne and London Jazz collective Steam Down, giving it that extra flavor. Listening to it in its entirety is key here, with each tune touching different styles yet moving seamlessly as it progresses. Surely a must-listen for all hip hop heads and RNB lovers looking for that fresh sound. 

9. Resavoir - Resavoir

Chicago collective Resavoir with their first full-length album providing a very refreshing take on Modern / Contemporary Jazz. It features a suite of elegantly orchestrated jazz instrumentals filled with samples and interesting electronic textures. Loads of rhythmic styles on this one as well with that breakbeat, hip hop, house, and soul-jazz type rhythm. If you’re looking for something fresh sounding, Resavoir is a perfect LP to sum up that cross between Modern Jazz, Electronic and Ambient music.

10. The Comet Is Coming - Trust In The Lifeforce of The Deep Mystery

Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery is the second studio album by the English group, The Comet Is Coming. With Shabakka Hutchings leading the group with his high paced out style of playing the saxophone / Bass clarinet paired with lush electronic elements and a tightly pocketed drum groove – All the right elements for an interesting listen, definitely one of the freshest sounds in 2019, contributing to the ever-growing sound of the UK Jazz scene.

Catch you guys in 2020, Peace! 

Outin 017 - Itch & Vinylheavy | Selector Special

Outin 017 - Itch & Vinylheavy | Selector Special

It was a wax-only affair at the Vault' for our 17th edition of OutIn with guest selectors Itch and Vinylheavy 

A truly excellent pairing! Both are champions of sounds from our region, each with a deep knowledge of the music and a collection to match. 

Check out their episode of Diggin' here:



AV Mix Series

The 10th Edition for our mix series is brought to you by Ichiro aka Itch - Providing an all Vinyl mix, picking flavours from the South-East Asian Region, songs and melodies that are nostalgic to all of us here. Keep it locked in for the next hour as Itch makes you bounce, smile and dance, check it out!

Outin 016 - Fauxe & Halal Sol

Outin 016 - Fauxe & Halal Sol

Outin 016 - Fauxe 

In-store live performance by Fauxe, playing through some of his original tracks, keeping the emotions high, the melodies lush and the drums heavy. If you've missed out the performance, here is your chance to check it! Keep it locked in for the next hour!

Outin 016 - Halal Sol

In Store live performance with Halal Sol for our Outin Series. Halal Sol keeping the transitions smooth and making your feet move. Have a listen!

AV Mix Series 

Here is AV 009 from Producer / Artist - Fauxe, presenting an all Vinyl mix for your listening pleasure. With multiple releases under his belt, Fauxe has continued to pursue the idea of Freeform with his music, which is also evident with this mix he cooked up for us! Sit down, plug your ear phones and have a listen :)

Next up for our AV008 mix series we have local producer / artist Halal Sol, part of the Darker Than Wax community, pushing the sound of Deep House and Dance Music here in Singapore. A smooth mix cooked up by the man himself, keeping you locked in for the next 45 mins, check it!

Outin 015 - Colombo Kidd

Outin 015 - Colombo Kidd

Here’s the get down for our in store session, a journey inspired by his travels to Sri Lanka and Singapore, the chaos and tranquility in contrast to the urban plateau of the ambience of Singapore at night. Here C Kidd plays some of his personal favourites that don’t get played enough - Have a listen!

PS. Recording was a little hot so excuse the peaks!

The Analog Vault Top 25 picks from 2018!

The Analog Vault Top 25 picks from 2018!
What a year for music 2018 has been! Here, in no order, are our top 25 favourite releases and reissues of the year: 



John Coltrane - Both Directions at Once

A recently discovered recording from 1963 - this brilliantly captures the intensity of Coltrane’s great quartet and hints at the boundary-stretching musicality to come.


Jon Hassell - Listening to Pictures



His first album since 2009, this LP is rich with melody and unbounded rhythms, exploring in a dreamlike manner but still grounded in its vision. One of our favourites from the Vault!⠀

 
Haruomi Hosono - Philharmony



This is the second solo record from the unbelievably prolific Haruomi Hosono, one of the major architects of modern Japanese pop music. Philharmony is a wild listen, veering from abstract ideas, to synth pop, to tight, funky tunes for the dancefloor.



Yellow Magic Orchestra - Self Titled



The first album by the legendary Yellow Magic Orchestra, made up of Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yukihiro Takahashi and Haruomi Hosono. This boundary smashing debut from 1978 blends synth pop with early electro, hip hop and bleep techno. Seminal and  essential!


Ryu Fukui - Scenery



Unquestionably one of the most important Japanese jazz albums ever recorded! Scenery reveals Ryo Fukui as a miraculously brilliant self-taught pianist fusing modal, bop, and cool jazz influences for a very personal, dexterous and game-changing take on classic standards made famous by Bing Crosby and John Coltrane among others.


Sons of Kemet - Your Queen is a Reptile



A mainstay in our Modern Jazz collection, this emotionally and rhythmically-charged jazz album is definitely worthy of repeated listens!


N'Draman Blintch - Cosmic Sounds



One of our favourite reissues of the year - A synth-heavy, psychedelic disco record, with artwork to match, Cosmic Sounds marries the sci-fi boogie sounds of US and European dance floors with a Afro-funk grooves for an endless boogie.


Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth



Saxophonist Kamasi Washington's 2018 release is such a thrilling multi-genre journey through musical ideas, cementing his place as one of the Jazz greats of today. 

Various - J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969 - 1984



This amazing compilation is packed with obscure and sought after rarities that takes the listener on a wonderful journey. From deep spiritual jazz, post-modal Impressionism and dance floor material from artists & composers whose names are generally known to committed collectors of Japanese Jazz.



Various - We Out Here



An incredible compilation by Gilles Peterson's label Brownswood Recordings from earlier this year, this brilliantly showcases the UK's flourishing jazz scene. Spearheaded by saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, who is credited as musical director, and features sounds from Hutchings, Maisha, Ezra Collective, Moses Boyd, Theon Cross, Nubya Garcia, and more


Arthur Verocai - Self Titled



In this LP lies perfect doses of Bossanova, Samba, Jazz, Funk, Breaks and Psychedelic Rock. Listeners here can expect a 29 minute long LP of unique song arrangements and interesting sonic timbres. Perfect for a windy day and lovers of Madlib, as described as an album he could listen to every day for the rest of his life :) 


Various - Onda De Amor: Synthesized Brazilian Hits That Never Were 1984 – 94



An awesome compilation selected by Millos Kaiser, one half of Sao Paulo's Selvagem DJ and digging duo. This LP features 16 rare tracks from the 80s & 90s, exploring sounds from Brazil. Packed tight with balearic rhythms, synth driven melodies and classic drum machine grooves of the 80s, this LP is a must have for both DJs and vinyl heads. Perfect for a samba-boogie and an ice cream while listening!


Nujabes – Metaphorical Music



After a long, long wait, this genre defining breakbeat album from the late great Nujabes has finally been made available on our favourite medium, vinyl :)


Various – Untinted: Sources for Madlib’s Shades of Blue



 Untinted contains the source material for Madlib's seminal 2003 project 'Shades of Blue' and is a fantastic intro to compare all the material from both recordings. It's a great dose of jazz in which Madlib focuses on the soul and jazz he used for the remixes. With songs by among others Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver and Donald Byrd the 12-track album gives you an indication of the way Madlib created his pieces. 


Alfa Mist – Antiphon



Perfect for a late night listen, an insight into Alfa Mist's journey as an artist. Here, modern jazz meets hip hop with style, finess, and tasteful musical vocabulary.


Nils Frahm – All Melody



Nils Frahm's 7th studio album is actually the first out of his works from his new studio in Berlin, painstakingly crafted over two years, deconstructing and reconstructing the entire space from the cabling and electricity to the woodwork, before moving on to the finer elements; building a pipe organ and creating a mixing desk all from scratch with the help of his friends. All Melody is born out of the freedom that his new environment provided, allowing Nils to explore without any restrictions and to keep it All about the Melody.


Weldon Irvine – The Sisters



Throughout the 70s, Weldon Irvine released a series of seminal albums full of deep, soulful, funky grooves. "The Sisters" is a collection of lost tracks and demos from his late-1970s studio sessions with fellow Jazz-Funk luminary Don Blackman. Soul-Jazz at its finest!


Jon Hopkins – Singularity



Moving effortlessly through acid house and ambient bliss, Jon Hopkins' first album since 2013 is a wonderful journey through electronic styles, constantly changing - his tracks feel unbound from the metronome, his style cemented and present, his emotions ever so resonant. Singularity is a keeper. 


Joe Armon-Jones – Starting Today



Mixing jazz with hip-hop and dub production influences, Joe Armon-Jones - Starting Today features a band including Nubya Garcia (whose new solo EP Armon-Jones plays on), Moses Boyd, Oscar Jerome, and Maxwell Owin.


Charles Mingus – Jazz In Detroit/Strata Concert Gallery

 

A must have for Mingus fans - nearly four hours of previously unreleased live material by the legendary bassist, all recorded on a single night in February 1973 for Detroit public radio. This  is the glowing intersection of tradition and abstraction.


Mkwaju Ensemble - Mkwaju



The 2018 reissue of MKWAJU  (Midori Takada's first album).  Here Takada leads the ensemble with marimbas, vibraphone and other percussive elements blending Eastern and Western minimalistic traditions along with afro-latin rhythms to give a truly unique LP. The album covers a wide spectrum of sound, ranging from the spirit of Jazz through its improvisational qualities to hypnotic dance-floor ready percussive pieces, a beautiful listen throughout.


Abstract Orchestra – Madvillian Vol.1



A jazz deconstruction & re-imagining of the classic MF Doom/Madlib collaboration played live! A jazz album as much as it is a hip-hop album, Madvillain, Vol. 1 explores the reciprocal territory between the genres.


Mansur Brown – Shiroi



An integral part of the groundbreaking Yussef Kamaal album, (and also a contributor on one of the standouts on this year`s We Out Here collection), guitarist Mansur Brown comes into his own with his debut, Shiroi. Drawing on on percussive electronics, trap and jazz fusion, Brown's dextrous playing comes into full form on this one.


Carlos Maria Trindade / Nuno Canavarro – Mr. Wollogallu



On this fantastic collaboration,  Carlos Maria Trindade and Nuno Canavarro manage an enchantingly adventurous and sophisticated soundscape from a range of sources; disparate instruments from across the globe, synthesizers and samples melt into each other with the use of vintage electronic production techniques. Packed with distinct, contrasting elements, the movements make for a baffling, yet comforting journey. A lovely LP to get lost in.


Aphex Twin – Collapse EP



 How often does a late career comeback happen? Richard D James aka Aphex Twin is making some of the best music of his life right now. Joyous, meticulous, skippy, and smooth, Collapse has to go down as one of his finest. The joy is infectious, the programming and sound design ever virtuosic. A definite grin generator for any raver.